Friday, December 26, 2014

One Picture

I wanted one picture of all the children in one place in their Christmas jammies. I felt like that was reasonable. I thought it would be fun.

Instead this happened...

 at one point every single child from 10 down was screaming and crying. It was ugly.

Friday, December 5, 2014

I Promise You - I know

I can be high a little high strung at times. I worry about a lot of things. Crazy things. Things I won't go into tonight.

But I try really hard not to put that on my kids. I like to sit back and let them be free.
I have been catching a bit of flack for it recently and I just feel like I need to be clear with something.

I promise you, I know most of what is going on. Some things get by my, as they do all of us. But we deal with things as they come up.

The world will not end because my son refuses to cut his hair, or my daughter wants to shave hers. I promise it wont make either of them serial killers or out of control teens. What it will do is make them feel heard.

I will sit back at the playground and allow my one year old to climb and jump where she pleases. If no one is waiting I will even let them go up the slide.

Or in our case , up anything they decide to climb (as long as it isn't destructive.) I promise they wont decide they don't ever have to follow rules, it might just give them discernment to know when to follow the rules and when to just let go.

It is't because I don't care. It isn't because I am unaware. It is because I trust them to know their limits. That seven year old on the monument has been climbing everything he could fit his pudgy toes in for as long as he could balance. Because, he learned how to balance and trust himself. He learned that risk is good.

I stood so close and silent when they were little. To catch them just in case they fell. Sometimes they did. Sometimes there was blood, tears, and fear. Through that , they learned their bodies and their boundaries and as a result they can be just a little more free.
isn't that we all miss from childhood. The feeling of being free?

 Because, that childhood freedom is fleeting. They grow up so very fast. I want them to enjoy these years even more than I do. Because in the end, I am not raising cattle, I am loving children.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Graces and Joy

 I have been so stressed and busy lately. I haven't even had time to blog. Some days are just ugly and really, all I want to do is run for the hills. Alone.

Some days  just shutting the bathroom door  or closing my eyes results in catastrophic wailing and mayhem.

Like Tuesday.

AJ was watching the kids. I closed my eyes for exactly 11 minutes when I heard " She got into the makeup!" and splashing coming from upstairs. Then I hear Grace giggling like a crazy woman and she screams " IT'S NOT MAKEUP IT'S POOOOOOOOOLISSHHHHHH"
 Yes my only bottle of nail polish was covering my girl, my sink, my floor, the door jam in the boys room, and the side of my tub and toilet. Oh and 2 toothbrushes.

AJ threw her in the tub hoping that since it was still wet it would come off. It did. sort of. It did dye her skin a bruisy looking red. He moved too fast to get a picture.
Very similar to when she got into the blue stamp pad!

The Stamp Pad

Grace is known for her messes and disasters. Like this last picture where she emptied out an entire bottle of baby powder while she was "napping"
Baby Powder
She cannot be left alone for a moment.

Evangeline is in a clingy stage. she has to be touching me at almost every moment. Unless she is eating. Thankfully she loves to eat so that saves my sanity some.

She loves to just be with me. She doesn't demand anything. Just my touch, and really she is so perfectly perfect how can I say no?


The combination of a great explorer , a cling-on, and two home school children  is enough to put most over the edge. On top of that I am 21 weeks pregnant and GIANT!
It's a recipe for disaster and temper loosing.

But it hasn't been
There has been this outside myself sort of calm that has come with the days of chaos. watching my children be kids and live makes me heart feel so full it just wants to explode.
I was overcome with pure and surreal joy just watching my children eating pie the day after Thanksgiving.

granted it was breakfast. But hey. shhhh

I just feel like I have been given this amazing grace that is allowing me to get through some incredibly trying times. even today when my dryer went down, I didn't panic.

For me these things are huge.
I am so grateful for the joy that has taken over in my house.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Every moment

make no mistakes

 I am not saying that  we should not or cannot complain when we are upset and stressed. I am not saying that we don't all have the right to cry, and be upset at some of the hands given.

But, every single moment in life has a purpose, a value.

With every pregnancy after loosing Emma I would panic from week 14 to week 15. Somewhere in that week is when my sweet girl passed. I would wake in cold sweats, my heart racing inside my chest so hard that I felt my ribs could break at any moment.

I lost my mind when I discovered that Evangeline's due date was a mere 10 days from Emma's. It was too close. I was convinced the pain would find me again. I was panicked and frightened.  I was also clinically depressed , one might think.

Evangeline's birth provided me with closure I hadn't expected , but because God is bigger than my fears, I was able to feel safety again.

Then the healing began. It took the tragic loss of someone else to bring me to a point where I was able to heal and not feel so broken inside my heart.
Seeing that moment in my mind's eye and knowing my sweet girl is safe and waiting healed the deepest places inside of me.

That doesn't mean that I don't miss her, or that I don't think of her all the time. What it means is that it is no longer a chain around my neck.

I cruised through week 14 this time. One dream of my sweet girl. Holding hands on the dock sitting quietly.
The healing continues for sure.

This time, it's different for me.I am grateful for every moment,kick, and heart beat this little baby growing in me has.

So much is the life around us. The person-hood of everyone around us. The unique and irreplaceable soul that God gave all of us.  The sick, the young, the old, the afflicted, the perfect... those dying with terminal illness. they all have a unique place in this world. Every moment of every life. Every single one. Even the ugly moments that hurt.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Sam- the transformation

Those of you that have followed us from the beginning know the struggles I have had with Sam and his behavior in the past. That was my biggest fear when we decided to pull him to home school him.
I saw us fighting to get anything done.

We have been at this since August with Samuel and he is doing great! In Fact, it's been amazing.

In August when we started Sam refused to read anything even close to grade level. He insisted he was a bad reader. He would cry at the mention of reading anything other than books the girls liked. I kept telling him how much the girls liked him reading and how great he was doing. He kept reading. Then I found him picking up other books. Now I find him reading books that surprise me.

after Quiddich 
He almost always gets his work done without and issue. Usually before noon, which is pretty awesome! He often says " I love being home schooled!"

He is struggling through some of his math though. He can't quite get the multiplication. He doesn't seem to know / understand the facts. So as soon as he doesn't get the answer right away he freaks out and cries. he is working on it slowly, but it is clearly difficult for him. I don't think it's because of the math itself but more because he is so afraid to make mistakes!
magic tree house book club

He has blossomed so far this year and I am amazed at how well he is doing.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Fingerprints on the Window

 We all see it. Our own messy places that scream out to us every second of the day that somehow we aren't good enough. Those  fingerprints, peeling paint, wall scribbles, smudges, and drips that we all have if you look hard enough. We don't often notice other peoples drips , spills, and messes though do we? I know I don't.
 My own though, cannot be silenced.

I could list the things I fail at daily. The list would be so long that most would loose interest before getting halfway through.

Why do we , as women, compare ourselves so much to those around us? Those messy spaces we have are not unique to us. Everyone has them... don't they?
I often catch myself in my mind watching families wishing I had just a little more of what they have. The "put together"  or the "well behaved"  scream to me, not they are doing a great job, but that I somehow am failing.

I struggle with this a lot.

I work hard to remember that I too am a child of God, and that he loves me. He called me to serve and be where I am. I am not here by accident but purposefully and by his design. Simply put.
My life, exactly the way it is, is not a mistake. Even my drips, spills, and fingerprints.

So my house isn't magazine clean, and my laundry pile may eat me if I don't get to it tomorrow. I may have a ton of gray hairs, and wrinkles on my forehead. I may be selfish, and angry, and bad at empathy. But...
I have amazing children who did not get that way by accident. Yes, thankfully God makes up the difference between where I am and where he is.  I am not perfect, but I am good enough.

I don't know the eyes in which my children see me, but I do know the eyes through which I see them.
I need to be as kind with myself as I am with everyone else.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Forever and a Day

It has been forever since I have been to this space. I miss pouring my thoughts out here.

So much has been going on in my house.

We are expecting another baby! I have had a tough time adjusting to this both physically and emotionally. It was unexpected and though not unwelcome, a little hard to digest at first.

But I remember being pregnant with Evangeline. I felt like my world was caving in around me. I was heart broken  and miserable. I am sure some of the issue was hormones, but some was just me.

I was fighting against God's plan for me. I was fighting against what people thought about us. I was fighting against finances, and energy, and capability. I was fighting against myself.

At one point I considered adoption for Evangeline. I seriously debated the option of giving her away. No one seemed happy for us (except our church family) I was bombarded daily with people that made rude comments when they saw me out with the children. It weighed on me.

... and then I held her...

Everything changed.

It was one of the hardest times for me in the last few years. I just couldn't see my way out of it.

Evangeline is such a joy to raise. She snuggles close with her face against mine, just to be close to me. She can often be found simply sitting beside me, snuggled close with her thumb in her mouth and her hand on my ear. Unless of course Nathaniel is close by, then she prefers his ears. ( he has ears like velvet, almost like they don't have any cartilage)

So this time. I have some major perspective. I know that no matter how freaked out I am right now. I will never regret having this baby. Because, once I hold him / her in my arms it will all be fine. What people say won't matter. It will be my arms filled with a soft, warm, squishy, and perfect baby.

I am not 16 anymore. I am a married woman doing exactly what God and my Faith ask me to do. He has this under control. I am just along for the ride.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Pretty Spaces

I am in a funk right now. I feel like my entire house is a mess and choking me. I am trying to get our house ready to have a Realtor come look at it. I need solitude. I need beauty. I need... something.

I feel stressed and sad. I feel emotional.
I don't feel like myself.

I have learned, however, that this feeling always shows up before a big change. That I need to slow down and breath my way through it. Sort of like being in labor.
I have been holding a moment this past week or so in my head.
one small itty bitty moment that made me feel happy, safe, and loved. I doubt my friend even knows the impact it had on me.

I keep thinking
"Smell the flower- Blow the bubbles"

it's getting me through it.

Monday, July 14, 2014

In This I am Grateful

We have vacationed and enjoyed the past few weeks. Summer is fleeting and fast. It makes me sad to think of how quickly the leaves will turn and the air will become crisp.

In this moment however
I am Grateful

for summer breezes

 and sun kissed smiles

for pools with children happily splashing and enjoying freedom.

I am Grateful for vacations

and in-laws

and cousins

I am grateful for playgrounds.


and Peace

I am grateful for love and understanding and friendship and support.I am grateful for my next breath and glass of great wine.

For Silly

For teenagers

For the love that is my entire life.

I am blessed and for that I am Grateful