Friday, September 12, 2014

There are no perfect days

For the last few days the sky has been gray.
The mornings start out cool and the sun is going down in a flame of oranges and reds at the end of the day.
It's my season.
A neighbors tree has the most amazing orange leaves that have started to change already. In the evenings you can stand on the porch and smell wood burning stoves and nearby bonfire pits, as people enjoy the last of the warm season. There's enough chill to notice. Fuzzy socks have been put back in our dresser drawers... for me, it's the best time of the year. I adore this season of all things Autumn.

And, while there is no such thing as a perfect day, we may have come close today. While my kindergartener was at school - the rest of the fam headed out for some library time. I love the library for many reasons - but especially when I'm going in search of cookbooks. I've been feeling so frazzled lately and slightly overwhelmed with all of life and responsibilities, etc. There is something so soothing to me to walk up and down rows of cookbooks just dreaming and thinking and planning. After finding a good one I rejoined the fam and we found some good fall themed books to read at home.
The book on the right is so fantastic! It was in the cookbook aisle but is such a good, fun, mommy read. It has recipes and little stories, crafty ideas and the authors family memories.


"Give me the splendid silent sun with all his beams full-dazzling, 
give me juicy autumnal fruit ripe and red from the orchard."
Walt Whitman

I'm eager to dig in and enjoy. And, because my husband knows of my joy in this season... he treated me to one of these gems. :) Oh pumpkin and apple everything. You are my favorites.
And now, as the youngest children nap and my hubby and big girl are out and about. The quiet. It's not perfect, but it sure is good.


Monday, September 8, 2014

Some thoughts before my next cup of coffee

Good morning and happy Monday! It's still early morning and the irony is not lost on this day...
I set my alarm for "early", as I'm still fighting to get up before everyone and get into the Word of God. I need it. I want it. I keep trying and trying to do things in my own strength and by the end of the day that worn, weary feeling is worse - because I keep forgetting my source of strength. So I fight the drooping eyes and roll out of the bed, tip toe downstairs, brew the coffee, sit down to read and... the red lights on the monitor go off. Jane is awake. Of course she is, because I just sat down to read. (sigh)

But the Lord in his kindness to me - gave me a sweet child. She nurses quietly and dozes off and on before finishing up. Then while I read (some out loud to her) she just lays in my arms. I love that baby. We have our own precious morning thing going - and she's back to bed an hour later.

I just started reading through the book, "Discipline" by Elisabeth Elliot. Wow. Good stuff.
 
I enjoy Ms. Elliot's writing style and I'm thinking I have MUCH to learn from this book. Eager to grow and hear her wisdom.  I'm trying (again) to wake up early and spend time in the word... the older I get the more I realize how much discipline I NEED in my life. I'm a work in progress for sure.

I also took 30 minutes last night to watch this interview with Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar. If you (like me) struggle with "how on earth do I raise these children without losing my brain?!"... you will be blessed and encouraged by them. It's worth your time. They have a lot of experience and are so tender to the Lord's working. I have always been a Duggar fan, but over the last few weeks I have been so thankful for this living example of a Mom who strives to raise her children to honor and love the Lord - and, each other! Go ahead... watch. :) You won't be disappointed.


Friday, August 29, 2014

First week down. And, thoughts about this crazy life.

So I found this picture tonight and I have no memory of getting it taken, but, I love it. My biggest babies were so, so... little! Ava was probably 3 and August couldn't have been more then 10ish months?! Jane wasn't even a thought at this point. Holy moly. While I look like an incredibly goofy momma, I still just love this picture. Life is just crazy fast and sometimes I feel like if I blink, another day is gone.

We made it through week one of Kindergarten and all 5 of us are enjoying it. Ava LOVES her class, teacher and all the new activities. August loves having all the toys to herself during the day, Jane loves sleeping, and I am loving a few hours to get things done and get back to creating. :) This week I said to a friend that I felt bad about enjoying the void of one child at school. She reminded that I don't need to feel that way, it's OK to enjoy the new routine. Especially when everyone is SO happy. So, I am now thoroughly enjoying it. We had a parents meeting last night and I'm eager to be a blessing to Ava's teacher and the staff at her school. What a HUGE opportunity! My imagination is already going a mile a minute with ideas.

The days are different and we are learning our new day-to-day. I so enjoy packing up my big girls "Sophia the First" lunch box and watching her (shall we say) creativity on the days that I let her choose her own outfit. THAT is proving to be the most challenging thing so far! Ha. I'm back to cooking almost every night and things are just feeling really normal. {sigh}

This morning my husband took our 3 year old out for the morning on a daddy/daughter date - leaving me time to pop Jane in the baby seat and check out some of my favorite stores basically alone. So refreshing to just have quiet. I walked up and down almost every aisle of our local antique mall - it was wonderful - and I found a few pieces of vintage silverware for my crafty dining room project. I don't know what it is about antique stores - but, I always get emotional when I look at stuff. Isn't that so strange? All this old classy stuff that used to be somebody's belongings, now lining the aisles getting picked through by thirty-somethings who think that once super practical day to day things are awesome decorations. Ha! Can I still blame postpartum for these random emotional dramas? Anyway, it was a wonderful time out and I even have a few minutes to check out a local thrift store for some cheapy frames. Score! My project is almost complete and I'll put up some pics once its finished. Here is the gist of what I'm going for, from Pinterest:

antique silverware burlap minus lace frame 
Now that I have a few extra hours in my day when my two littlest nap, I am so enjoying really getting back into creating things for the home. I've missed it. It doesn't come naturally to me... but it's fun to look around and get ideas. Operation "really move in" is now in full effect. We've been here a year in October and I still have boxes. Still. One day at a time I suppose. 


Side note: Anyone else avoiding the news lately?
Wow it seems the world is minutes away from imploding on itself. So much sickness, sadness and sin. It's enough to make my heart break. I have found myself pondering the power of God a lot lately - even in the midst of so much ugliness. He promised He will return and make all things new. What a hope for those of us who believe! 

Monday, August 25, 2014

And there she went

The first time I held that 8 pound bundle I knew I was in for a whole new adventure. For 5 ( and a half...she would say) years we've experienced the highest joys and most troublesome trials of this thing called parenting. I can count on nine million hands the times I have failed. But I can also tell you that each time we felt such grace from our God.

This morning I watched my girl turn a page in our story. She started kindergarten with such admirable courage...without even looking back.

And as I kissed her forehead and turned to leave her classroom the tears came. My tears. Did I do this right? How will she do? Please Lord send her a good friend. How can we moms have 100 thoughts all at once like that?

This afternoon as I nursed the baby, who reminds me so much of my Ava, I just all out cried. Are we really this far into the story with her? Kindergarten? Wasn't I just nursing her and babbling silly pet names to her in whispers while she cooed?

And while I'm tempted to imagine any and every bad thing that could be... I will think on truth and I will trust and rejoice in the Lords plan. And just as I felt my heart could bust - I get a text from a friend. She works at Ava's school. Seems my girl got to be line leader, and the tears again. Mine. I am so proud of that girl and I can't wait to hear every detail of her big day.

I embrace our new page in this story. And I'm thankful for that little school just down the road.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The end of the season.

Roses!

We are mid August and the yard is starting to wrap things up.
I haven't gotten a lot of time to actually be outside to enjoy all the pretties. Having a baby threw a wonderful wrench in my attempt to garden beautiful flowers. Can't complain about that. :) But the other day while the girls were out playing, I grabbed the camera and explored. 
The end of the season is looking pretty good. 

The last of the hosta blooms.

Trumpet vine, my favorite.

Not sure what... but I love the fun shape of this leaf.


Our gorgeous BIG back yard tree.
Here's to a fantastic remainder of the month and to big yellow leaves here soon. {grin}
What's growing in your yard?

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Baby Weight. Seriously though...

So, I'm breastfeeding this time around. And by that I mean... it's going well and we are strictly nursing no supplementing, no breaks, no reason to. It's Ah-mazing. Jane seems to just get it, which is totally unlike my other two children. Strange, but I am NOT complaining. :) This child eats and sleeps and that is her life - and she's chubby and happy and sleeps. But I have already covered that. It's awesome. I feel good.

I also feel... slightly fat.

Now, before I get a zillion comments about how it will eventually go away and to treasure these days, etc. I AGREE on those points. Perhaps, though, I'm treasuring the food a little more and forgetting that while I am burning the calories while nursing - it's not a free for all. (bummer) I'm literally hungry ALL.THE.TIME and because it's this urgent starvation feeling I just go for what's easy - banana's, something peanut buttery, or... all the amazing desserts we got with our "new baby meals". Those meals have now come to an end and perhaps that is best for me. :)

While I have lost some weight, I feel like I have SO much more to go. The task seems daunting and today I feel discouraged about it. I'm also super curious how you moms do it... losing the weight so quickly, that is. And how on earth do you have time to exercise or practice any form of fitness?? I am on a 3 hour routine of nursing, baby napping, keeping other 2 alive... repeat. There is little to no time to even cycle through the laundry or sit down {and not be nursing}. I'm not a multi-tasker when it comes to that sit down time. And that's another post all together. The other night I nibbled on some carrots because I read they help with lactation - but, the entire time I was pretending they were chicken wings and big fat juicy bbq ribs. Don't judge.

Ah, baby weight. You sweet little reminder that Hershey bars and entire bags of chips probably weren't worth it that last month of pregnancy. {sigh} I will conquer you after Christmas.

Just for the record, I really am ok and not too super discouraged.
After all, we just ordered pizza for dinner. ;)

Friday, August 8, 2014

Friday catch up.

First of all... announcement: Jane Evelynn slept, wait for it, 12 hours last night! To be fair I should let you know that I tip-toe in at 10:30 and give her a bottle I somehow managed to pump throughout the day. She stays asleep and just guzzles that down so I lay her back down and we carry on. I also must admit how excellent my stealthy ninja crawl moves are now. If you have never dropped to your knees and crawled out of your babies nursery...well, then you just don't understand. :) I'm considering myself the ninja queen.

It's a friday family day and I kind of want to pull my hair out, or nap, or drink 3 more of these iced mochas. How is it that I look forward to this day allll week and then the day of seems sooo chaotic and nerve frazzling. It's a word, trust me.

My husband treated us to breakfast out at Perkins. And all the momma's say "Amen". So while it was awesome to not have to prepare food and actually get a warm breakfast, it's always loud and slightly crazy to be in public. If I really focus and step back out of myself... it's cute, and once in a lifetime. Breakfast out with my goons really is precious and I know we make people smile - or wag their heads - I've seen both. {grin} Today the girls made up a game called "Scooty checkers" with the jelly packets and coffee creamers. (Side note: Thank you perkins for leaving those on the tables!) They started out so nicely and in just a few minutes the 3 year old was chucking her packets at the 5 year old and loud giggles followed. Then the sleeping 2 month old woke up and breakfast came all at once. I will not go into the number of times one child climbed under the table and visits to the bathroom. But it's real.

Currently, everyone is doing their own thing - and if you have multiple children you might appreciate this. I know I do. My biggest is playing in the toy room while the three year old is making a "craft", and I use that word loosely as she is playing with a glue stick, the lid to said glue stick, 1 piece of paper and a cut up piece of ribbon. Hey, it's a craft to her. Annnnnd she's quiet. As she went to do this "craft" she turned around and said to me -

"I'll do something my best".

Ah I love these little 3 year old sayings.

My husband is asleep at my feet. And you think I'm kidding. I'm not. This man can curl up and pass out just about anywhere. I would share a picture but I'm sure I would get "the look". So I'll just treasure this image myself. Jane is...you guessed it, asleep. I am beyond thankful for that nap loving babe.

Last fall...oh, how I am ready for it again!

As for me... I'm dreaming. Yep. Dreaming. Not that I want the clock to move or that I'm rushing life... because really I'm not. Just, dreaming and thinking of what's to come. In two weeks my girl heads to kindergarten and life will change...again. Then it's practically Thanksgiving. OK, that's a leap but that's how I feel. I am secretly enjoying these cooler summer days while everyone else complains. My fall loving self has already pinned a ton of Autumnal things for this fall on Pinterest. I'm on the hunt for the perfect fall smelling candle. I'm also dreaming about a clean house. A house that organizes itself or at least vacuums itself. I really do clean - sometimes I deep clean, even. And yet all of that goes to pot almost as soon as I move on to the next room. I know it's just a phase and someday I'll have a clean house and empty rooms... but today I'm just dreaming. I'm also dreaming about another iced mocha. Did I already mention that? If you haven't tried Caribous iced mocha...do it.

I miss blogging. I've had so much on my mind and heart recently but there is just no extra time to blog it all down. Maybe that's ok. I'm keeping up with my paper journal and treasuring lots of things there. But I do miss writing (and reading) on the ol' blog - maybe once biggest is at school we'll have more time. Life rolls on - mountains and valleys. I'm thankful for each day and for this family the Lord has given me. Speaking of... back to family day.