Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas Cuties

Ohhhhh these girls....the siren call of matchy-matchy is soooooooo hard to resist.
Trust me, I did NOT think that this was my "thing".
And yet, here we are.

Alternate titles for this post as follows:
"Hurry before they stain them with candy canes again"
"The full range of Poppy"
"Lily smiled like a champ through 54 photographs"
"Up next...Easter Dresses!!!"

Christmas Morning

This year, I walked around all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with a heart full of gratitude.
For my Savior Jesus Christ,
For my testimony of His love for us and His great plan,
For my eternal companion, whom I love AND really like,
For my adorable children and this particular season of life,
For our health and our home and many many more blessings.
I kept thinking about how swiftly my lot in life could change,
but that what I treasure most about my life... (my family)...
is a blessing and gift that I can keep forever.
I can't fathom anything more precious than that knowledge.

Advent Upgrade

This year, in addition to a small treat in our advent calendar, each day held a slip of paper with a suggestion for a small act of service.  They were things that the kids could really do on their own for the most part.  I loved hearing about their experiences each day.  We strung popcorn and cranberries for the birds,  delivered goodies to our neighbors and left quarters and notes on vending machines, in hopes of brightening the day of our fellow man.  One day we left a note and some Carmex for our mail carrier.  (I tried to think of a universal gift seeing as we have a different mail carrier almost daily)  The next day, she rang our doorbell to deliver a package and told me she really enjoyed the kids notes and that she was wearing the Carmex! :)  It was such a tiny thing, but these opportunities really added a special feeling to our month. We all agreed that we definitely want to do this again!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

reviving the photo wall in our new home

After a 2012 lapse (just barely surviving morning sickness), we are back in photo wall business.  I'm so excited to have these hanging in my hallway again.  I love these sweet smiling faces so much it physically hurts.  Ugh.  In the best way possible of course.
#1 - Why does Zachary (who is only 8!!) look like he's about to drive off in the family car in this photograph.? I very literally had tears spring to my eyes when I loaded his photograph.  My sweet firstborn is looking so. grown. up.  I can't.
#2 - My beautiful Lily.  In her October journal at school she answered the question, "When I grow up I want to be..."  by saying: "a good mom, a jimnist, and a balurena".  Love.  I think she will too.  Also, "A person I admire" was answered with:  "my sister". 
#3 - Robino is looking so big too!  He still has the most adorable smile I could imagine.  It's impossible to think about him heading off to kindergarten next year.  And finally, we did it.  Roman is getting "a team" next month and he couldn't be more excited about it.  Bitty Basketball here he comes :)
#4 - Oh Poppy.  One of the sisterbabies.  I love her so.  She is talking all day long, and constantly surprising me with her adorable phrases that reveal her awesome imagination.  "Oh no, the dinosaurs are coming!  It's ok!  I ride them!"  (said in her indecipherable 2 year old voice)
#5 - And seriously.  Violet is killing it with her bald head, chubby cheeks and gummy smile.  She is so in love with me it is unreal.  (All I had to do was put the camera down and say "Violet, I love you!" and this is what I got!)  Follows my every single move, and cries until we are reunited.  I have never had a baby so young be so attached.  I won't lie...I love it.

For History's Sake:

Monday, October 28, 2013

Just a mama thinking about her punkins in a pumpkin patch

Gosh I love the pumpkin patch.  First time I went Zachary was about 20 months old and Lily was less than 2 months old, strapped to me in the little carrier.  I'd like to find the photograph that a friend took of me and my tiny clan back then!
It was a cold and windy day, and little Violet wanted to be snuggled the whole time...
(no babies were harmed* in the taking of this  1 second photo)

 Poppy was a hilarious wild woman, picking up every pumpkin, zooming down the 2 story slide and showing every other toddler how it's done in terms of feeding baby goats.  Oh goodness, she was reminding me so much of this day, and this girl (even wearing the same jacket!)

Pumpkin donuts rounded out our trip.  Admittedly, it was quite a process to get here this year.  There was only one potential day that worked and it still involved picking the kids up early from school, packing soccer practice gear, taking two separate cars, and sticking to a tight schedule.  I suppose it is the season we've entered with our family.  There is always something to miss about the old days, and yet the new things that have come our way are just as gratifying, and I'm sure I will miss them too once they've passed.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The most meaningful work of my life.

Yesterday I sat in the rocker in our nursery and read Violet a little book.  I was feeling all sentimental because it was a book we've had since Zachary was a baby.  I know I have sat in that very chair and read that very book to each one of my babies.

Today I began to organize the nursery dresser by taking out the 0-3 month summer clothes and getting ready for the cold weather that is heading this way.  What?  My baby is 3 months old, and try as I might she will never squeeze into that adorable lemon romper or the pink and orange crab one.  You just always feel like there will be another day, another time to grab a shot of the cute baby in her sweet outfit...but man, it's just so fast.

I realize that in many ways I've escaped a lot of those "life direction" questions.  I always felt solid about where I would go to college, what I would major in, whom (and when!) I would marry.  Perhaps it's finally caught up to me, it's my turn to grapple a bit.  I find myself thinking about what the next 15 years will look like.  Will I be employed again?  When will I start?  What will I do?  Will I teach?  There are so many things I am interested in.  It all feels so fuzzy, and I have no clear cut path right now.


If there is one thing that rings louder and truer, and I feel more sure of, more confident in every single day, it is that these last 8 years have been amazing.  Full of growth, and sacrifice, and freaking hard work :)  And as I see it now, it's maybe the most meaningful work of my life.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thank you Pinterest

Easy breezy Friday activity.  We practiced letters and numbers, played a few rounds of tic-tac-toe and then he went to town creating his own masterpieces.

I'm feeling so grateful for the time we get to spend together.  Roman gets to be the big brother all day long :)  He is loving his "preschool" learning we do together.  He even insisted on storing his folders and papers in his own backpack that he hangs on the same hooks Zach and Lily use.  Love this guy.  I've said it before, but he is just a cool, relaxed, go-with-the-flow kinda fella.  Everyone needs a Roman in their life!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A girl and her birthday balloon

Poppy is two!!!
She was loved and treated right all day long. 
We woke Poppy up with a loud chorus of Happy Birthday, (the kids were so excited to surprise her).  
She was all sleepy smiles as we took her downstairs for her special birthday sprinkle donut.  
She had a lunch out at chik-fil-a (playplace being the most important criteria), 
and then we stopped by the party store to get her a balloon.
Poppy could not be parted from her balloon for at least a day.
(I did finally convince her to leave it on the nightstand while sleeping though)
Oh that sweet little bug.
We had a family party a few days later with cupcakes and singing and presents.
What I love most about Poppy at two,
 is that she will give you a run for your money if you are the one in charge of keeping an eye on her.
(you better have both eyes on her)
she is talking so much now, and it is obviously apparent that she is brimming with sweetness and love.
Strong-willed, yes.
But underneath all that fire is a heart of solid gold.
I love my Poppy.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Birthday Girl

Oh Miss Lily.  She's a treat.  Let me revel in every single fleeting minute of 7 years old.
A few things that I believe could change at any moment, but so perfectly describe her today:

1.  she does not want to get her ears pierced (it hurts) so she has already arranged with Grammie to inherit all of her clip earrings.

2.  she's never getting married...she wants to live with David and I forever.  we've had at least three conversations where she's made this clear.

3.  she won't pick out her clothes.  wants me to choose an outfit for her each day.

And a few things I hope will never ever change:

1. looooooves her sisters.  is incredibly gentle, kind and endlessly patient with them.

2.  a spunky and feisty little girl.  she has passion and drive and this energy that comes from within.  it's so infectious and admirable.

3. Nature lover.  woodland wanderer, friend to all animals and insects.  always first to pick up the worm, catch the frog or create elaborate habitats for lady bugs, caterpillars, grasshoppers....and on and on.

Love these snapshots.  After practice we ran by Grandpa and Grandma's house.  When they asked Lily what she wanted for her birthday, she described some random spa kit with gel balls (I had no clue what she was talking about, I was apt to move on and suggest something like art supplies) but luckily  G & G to the rescue.  They figured out it was a commercial she had seen on TV and tracked it down at WalMart (the "as seen on TV" toys!).  They are high-five-ing  because this is what she reeeeeally reeeeeally wanted.  Her birthday wishes came true!

 And finally, her other birthday wish was to have a gymnastics party with her friends.  And although I tried, (don't you spend so much time there?) she could not be swayed.  So gymnastics it was with 10 sweet little girlies.  They had a blast building forts and playing on the inflatables.

I love you Lily.  You are wonderful.  I cherish the moments we get to spend together, out for errands, reading together, running to and from gymnastics, or snuggling in your bed after a long day. It's a constant prayer and priority that I get this mother-daughter relationship right.  Happiest of 7th birthdays. xoxo.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

And it is enough.

Violet had her 8 week check up.
Being there reminded me that Poppy will soon be heading in for her 2 year check up.  And that Miss Poppy, she was spicy as usual.  The doctor made the mistake of leaving the door cracked open about 8 inches.  Well, she eyed the doctor, she eyed David, and realizing they were both distracted in conversation, bolted towards the door.  She made it about halfway down the loooong hall before a nurse jumped out in linebacker stance to grab her.  All of this reminded me of an experience in a doctors office with another 2 year old firecracker I used to have. I started to tell Dave the story and I was like, wait, wait,  I think I wrote a blog post about it!  Pulled it up on my phone and we laughed like crazy.
Here's the wild thing though.  I remembered the gist of it, but I couldn't recall any of the details from 5 years ago (like what the doctor said, what she said) and those were the best parts!
It made me realize, whether it's blogging, or some other format...I've got to keep writing it down.  That was only 5 years ago, but everything fades so fast.  It's worth the time it takes.  
Last week I read an article by Michael Gerson about parenting, in it he said, 
"Parenthood offers many lessons in patience and sacrifice.  But ultimately, it is a lesson in humility.  The very best thing about your life is a short stage in someone else's story.  And it is enough."
Yes. yessss.
I hope some day David and I are really old together, and we pull out these memories and laugh and say super cliche things like those were the best. years. of. our. lives.
Because, I think they are.

Sometimes, when everyone else is sleeping, we get out the camera.

Oh my baaaaaaaby.
She loves me so much  (it's probably the milk :)
But I love her more.  A thousand times more.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

These two...

They don't like each other much...can you tell?  Kidding.  
Best buds these guys.
It's so much easier to send them off into the world
(or maybe just elementary school)
knowing that they have each other. 
And so we begin another year.
3rd grade for Zachary and 1st grade for Lily.
They were soooo excited to start school.
And luckily they both came home saying that it was probably going to be their best year!

They were standing as still as possible because they really wanted me to get a picture of their bus driving away in the background (see it?)  
They thought it was hilarious that they were missing the bus.
Eh, car riders the first day it is!
Moms gotta get those photographs.
I love these crazies.