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Everyday Beauty

18 Apr

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I took this picture late last Wednesday night.  Joel searching for a ‘Diamond in the Ruff’!  Last week, our home search was in full force.   I really did not think our search to find a new place to live would lead us here, but I am so happy that it did.  We found a place with land to run on and grow a garden, an office space, and potential for remodeling.  It’s a place we can be happy at for a long time.  We made an offer on the house Friday night and Joel flew out to London for business Saturday morning.  We received notice that we are ratified and can move forward with the inspection next week.  So excited, so very excited!!!  Joel comes home tonight and we will be able to celebrate together!

Throughout the very busy week, I have been hunting for Everyday Beauties all around me, and finding them, but for sanity sake I am not going to try to backtrack for everyday.  I am just going to pick up in the present.  I would love it you joined me – even without picture; just leave the beauties in the comments section.

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Everyday Beauty 2:30

2 Apr

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We have been reading The Complete Tales of Beatrix Potter, specifically The Tale of Mr. Tod. This one is Eva’s favorite. And, I love the way she rolls “Mr.Tod” off her tongue as if it was always intended to be one word said by a two year old.   Sophie understands the relationship between rabbits and foxes, so she doesn’t like Mr. Tod at all.  No matter how you feel about Mr. Tod,  it is better with pink sunglasses and moccasins, naturally.

Six.

26 Mar

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Our oldest girl turned six on Saturday. Six trips around the sun of her making our life brighter, and better, and more exciting just by being her.  A whole heck of a lot has happened in the past six years, but Ella remains one of the happiest and joyous moments.  For the past six years, she has been my constant companion, living and loving alongside each other. She has been my greatest teacher these past couple years, .  Challenging me to move past comfortable into a deeper and better love.

Ella is a girl whose default speed is excitement. She loves a good plan, and if we haven’t created one quick enough she will step right up to the plate.  She is diligent, thoughtful, considerate, big picture, and well aware of everything going on around her.  As she grows day by day and year by year, she continues to be an amazing blessing.  She is at a age where she takes great delight in being helpful.

Ella willingly bears the responsibility of being the oldest.  She is a partner in crime to Sophie, patient with Eva, and a watchman to Gavin.  As we have been approaching six, many growing milestones have come into place.  Reading had taken off;  riding a bike; making grilled cheese.  I blinked, or changed a diaper, or wiped someone’s nose and Ella seemed to have conquered another  new feat.  So just to slow down time, she and I snuck out on Friday afternoon for a date.  We took a trip to the Downtown Mall and popped in the yarn store per her request. Our date was so Ella could pick out yarn  so we could make a shawl for her Felicity doll and then we were going to get hot chocolate.   The touring antique carousel was  set up in the middle of the Downtown Mall, and Ella skipped from the yarn store to the horses swinging her yarn bag and giggling all the way there.  We rode around and around.  Twirling and laughing together I got to watch her and remember inside my grilled cheese making, reading girl is still my sweet first baby who flipped my life upside down and isn’t too big, after all.

Beautiful Exchange

7 Mar

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Last week, my word for the week was peace.  I wanted to begin to see what our new normal would look like as a family of six.    I am not sure where to begin.  We spent a great deal of last week trying to pinpoint which foods caused Gavin’s belly to be upset.  He seemed to be most affected by foods I ate at dinner time and he was most upset after his 3am feeding. As you can imagine this made for a pretty tired mama.   I think we have narrowed down the problematic foods, and he is sleeping better.  Score.

Simultaneously, the girls seemed to have energy oozing from their veins just waiting to say hello to spring time.  The days were flying by.  In a hazy way that you neither remember nor smile upon.  If I were being really honest they were the days where tempers (old and young) seem to spike at a moment’s notice.  We were asking for forgiveness and having to regroup quite a bit.  All of this left me feeling deflated, yearning for more patience.  One of the days I walked into Joel’s office and asked how the week could be passing so quickly because I felt like I was only blinking.  Moments felt like I was racing against the clock all the while losing time.

My soul was asking for more grace.  For myself.  For my family.   Without asking for it, the endurance of my patience was being tested.  I felt like I was failing.

Then I read these words: “If all the work of transfiguring the ugly into the beautiful pleases God, it is a work of beauty.” Ann Voskamp.

Last night I tucked the girls in bed and Sophie told me “Mom, I really love you.”  And, after all was settled down, I was sitting on the couch with Joel who was holding Gavin.  I called his name.  He found my eyes and smiled at me.  Really smiled at me.  The whole week melted away.  This motherhood gig is the hardest thing I have ever done.  I want the hard days to mold me into someone I am not naturally so I can love better.  I want my ugly hidden parts to melt away so I can see them with the beautiful grace.  Ugly becomes beautiful.  A beautiful exchange.

[All pictures taken Tuesday when Gavin turned one month old.]

It’s a boy!

11 Feb

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Introducing our sweet new son, Gavin Joseph!   He made his way into world early morning Tuesday, February 5th. He was 8 pounds 10 oz and 21 inches long.  And, has more hair than any of our other babies.

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I’m not sure I even have words yet for how in awe we are with our sweet little man and how much I am loving these sweet new moments.  I know I will never forget the shock of Joel telling me he was a boy.    Or, the girls excitement of meeting their brother that morning.  Or tire of hearing their new song “I love baby Gavin”.

He is simply perfect to me.  I keep finding little tears of gratefulness in my eyes as I fall in love with him time and time again.  Welcome to our hearts, Little Man.

Due Date

1 Feb

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It’s here!   My mom arrived yesterday afternoon, so this morning I had the rare privilege of putting my makeup on by myself.   I was thinking about how this day seemed so elusive for so long – no matter how close the calendar got to February 1st it just seemed a long way off.   Last Saturday, we set up the baby’s bed in our room, moved in my nighttime nursing chair, got out the newborn diapers, vacuumed in hidden corners, brought out the newborn clothes.  After all that, Joel sent me for a pedicure and suggested take-out pizza when I got home (that man of mine is a keeper).

Yet, there was still something missing. There was a different kind of preparing I needed to do.

Remember the chant from the TV show Friday Night Lights:  “Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can’t lose.”   Yes, that was it.  I needed some of that.

Clear eyes to see the miracle and the magic.

Full heart to give full thanks.

Clear eyes to see the here now.

Full heart to delight in the moment.

:: Can’t lose ::

Snow Day

24 Jan

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When Joel got into bed last night, he woke me to tell me it was snowing., There was enough on the ground for the girls to be able to play in the snow.  They have been talking about snow angels for weeks. They were going to love every last inch of this rare treat.

I was drinking my coffee and reading when Sophia awoke this morning.     Oh, the plans they made early in the day as the snow was still ever so slightly blowing off the trees and appearing to still be snowing.  After school was done and layers were added, they were up and at ’em ready to embrace nature’s gift.  We all had a good traipse from the front yard to the backyard and back again.  Just enough snow to be exciting, and they were back inside.  Just enough hot chocolate to make us all remember the real reason we love snow days.