Saturday, October 4, 2014

Weekend Update

Helloooo weekend! And hello October! Two of my favorite things all rolled into one :) Autumn is settling in nicely around these parts and while life has by no means slowed down... I am finding little times day by day to enjoy my favorite season.

Speaking of seasons - wow, this one of raising 3 little kids is a fun one. And crazy.
My littles are growing up way too quickly and we are really trying to treasure the days and memories.
Jane, 4 months old THIS week!

Ava, soon to be 6! (in Dec.)

August, bouncy 3 year old
Jane is growing leaps and bounds and getting all chunky and completely adorable. I love it! She has just started doing this very loud yell/laugh thing and scares herself every time. She adores her big sisters and is really getting into grabbing at toys glasses and earrings. Ouch! Of all three girls she is my first spit up baby, which is taking some getting used to. Kinda hoping she grows out of that quickly. Otherwise, I would love to freeze time and keep her right as she is - curious, perky and loooooves her momma. On a few occasions now I have noticed that when I hold her, she lays her head on my shoulder and chest still - even though she is more then capable of holding her head up. She's my first baby to keep doing that into the 4th month! Loving it! Jane Evelynn, you are so precious to me.
August is really diggin' this whole big sister at school all day thing. {grin} We are finding our new groove and she's loving access to basically all the toys during the day. My Augs keeps herself busy which is so different (and refreshing) to me. That girls plays and pretends all day long! From tea parties to barbies to coloring and dress up - she's busy! I am so thankful for her happy disposition and easy going little temperment. The Lord knew I needed her. Her hair is finally long enough to put into a tiny braid or a mini-bun and it seriously doesn't get any cuter. :) Love love love my 3 year old! I'm eager to start preschool with her in a few weeks. We are just waiting for baby sis to catch onto her 4 hour routine first. ;)
Ava is my big girl now. In so many ways. Kindergarten is going wonderfully well and she enjoys it. We had our first parent-teacher meeting the other night where we found out she is above average in several categories, and right in the norm for others! So proud! Her teacher commented that she is a joyful child - always whistling, skipping, etc. Oh how that warms the heart! I don't always see that side at home. She is really into journaling and drawing - always has a pen in her hand... just like her momma. But don't tell her that! :) She turns 6 in December and I don't see how that's even possible.
Hubs and I are adjusting and enjoying a new phase in life with one in school. Brad is now a seminary student and just had his first "on campus" class in Kentucky this week. I think he really enjoyed his time and I know he loves the learning. Ministry continues to be busy and fruitful and we see many new salvations and baptisms at our church. It's awesome! We've had a whole slew of teens get baptized and it's been neat to see last years' class branch out to college and really already be impacting the world for Jesus! Out of the last class 4 of them chose Christian colleges or universities! We haven't seen that in all our 6 years here so far. :) Not that you can't make an impact at other schools - but what a cool experience to watch kids choose those schools for the purpose of becoming a pastor, womens ministry leader and teacher! We are excited to get to know the new classes now and build new relationships. I've been reminded recently how hard that can be - but how worth it the teens are. :)

Personally, I'm coming out of a bit of a slump. Housework and raising kids and full time ministry was feeling a bit overbearing for awhile... but, the Lord has faithfully pulled me through (sometimes kicking and screaming) and has restored the joy! Where would we be without our Father God? In my "down" time I've been doing a little crocheting, some decorating, a lot of kids clothes transitioning (3 girls?!!?!), started an instagram account, ordered my FIRST EVER IPHONE, welcomed a new niece into the world and started taking budgeting more seriously. :) Last night I was able to enjoy a girls night out with some of my best girls - which was so refreshing. It was the first time sans baby and we had a blast! Needed some mom time out and cheesecake factory was just the ticket!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


As if life needed more change. We are at it again switching things up and making some much needed (albeit sometimes difficult) changes. Which explains why my blog has been little more then an online ghost town of a space. :)

First up, duh-duh-duhn...
Meet my friend, Dave. You've heard of him I'm sure. If not, here's a picture.
My husband and I are taking a "Financial Peace" course through our church. So far, SO good. We are only in week 3 and I feel like the take-aways have been helpful and eventually life changing. This week we'll be testing the waters of the envelope system and looking proactively into setting up a solid emergency fund. We have never done either of those - so this should be a good challenge. Our goal in taking this course is to really get a grip on our finances. We praise God that our only debt is student loans (Dave says a mortgage is not considered a debt), and I don't say that lightly... as we both have... enough. (boo!) But being in our early thirties with three children under our belt - we really feel NOW is the time to get serious and take control. We have always lived with the mindset that on payday you set out your tithe, pay your bills and then just don't spend. Imagine my slight surprise to find out there are better ways. :) I'm eager and excited to put what we've learned to practice! I'm also looking forward to being prepared for emergencies, broken whatevers, and extra expenses. {sigh}
So, big change. But it's time.

Next, managing this home and these children.
Yikes. This stay at home mom thing is not for the faint of heart. There are days when I go to bed feeling completely exhausted and yet I cannot actually remember why I'm so tired. Been there?
Part of my problem I'm realizing is that I haven't delegated much out - and I'm taking on everything. Which, I enjoy doing, but it's time for a change here also. So, today I jotted out a few jurisdiction charts for my children and started my "command center" that I hope to get done here within a few weeks. It will be a spot for kids to check off finished chores, see meal schedules, school info, etc. I grabbed a notebook and made a chore chart for myself as well. I constantly feel like I can't stay on top of the house work & organization - so I get overwhelmed and just sit down and do nothing. And then that goes on for several days until our home resembles a Hoarders episode. Or... until we are going to have company. Hey, just being honest.
The organized work schedule is something that I have thrived on in the past and I know it will help me stay on task, and then have designated intentional time for my babies throughout the day. I need this. My family needs this. We have been in survival mode since my 8th month of pregnancy until now. It.must.end.

And, bible study. Another new.
In my 19 years of walking with the Lord I don't think I've ever done a study on the Sermon on the Mount personally. This year our fall ladies bible study is based on just that and it's AWESOME. Seriously. Jen Wilken teaches on a video lesson and then we have great discussion time after. I'm already so challenged on topics like - what really does it mean to be salt? To be light? What exactly do the beattitudes mean? So good.

Lots of changes. Lots of busy but good things.
Ah, life is sweet.

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.


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 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 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.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Life in Pictures.

Woooot! Today marks 8 weeks since we brought a new baby into this world. She is growing and changing and we love every minute of it!

My girls keep me on my toes and remind me I only have two arms, several times a day. But you know... it's all blessing. We are so thankful for this crazy time in our lives. Here's what we've been up to.

Praise God for this sweet life on earth. We are so thankful.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

And it gets a little easier..

Tomorrow is the last day of July. Normally I'm smiling and giddy about the last bit of the season ahead of us is my favorite! But today I just shake my head when I realize how quickly the summer has flown by and how I'm pretty sure it hasn't really felt like a summer to me. But that's all part of life when you have a June baby :)

Life. It feels easier these last two weeks. Routines are in place and cooler weather allows for open windows & happy children. Jane is pretty much sleeping all night and napping like a champ during the days. {sigh} what is it about good rest!? We seem to have adapted to this family of 5 thing and while I still feel slightly anxious in the evenings - those times are subsiding, too. I fully acknowledge how wrapped in grace we are! Oh, how I sense this so many times in a day.

The month of August brings a good mixed bag of events for us.
- Jane turns 2 months old
- youth ministry kicks back up in full schedule
- our firstborn starts kindergarten!!
- we celebrate 9 years of marriage
- Hubby starts... Seminary. (Gulp)

I have baby weight to lose and house work that needs done, groceries haven't been gathered since before baby was born... In so many ways I feel a mess. But then on the other hand, these days are so very precious and won't last long. Someday I'll be thinner and the house will always be tidy, but that's not today. I'm ok with that. It's getting a little easier - one day at a time.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Happy homemaker Monday
It feels like it's been 100  years since I've been able to join in for HHM'S! I've missed reading and sharing. But, life with a newborn sometimes just kinda runs a little bit differently. :) Miss Jane is 6 weeks old and I'm feeling like my head is a little bit above water now. She is doing really well, getting chunky, and learning this sleeping at night thing. We are so blessed and thankful for baby girl #3! Happy Monday to all of you.

Breakfast time, what is on the plate this morning::::
My 3 year old and I have blueberry bagels with cream cheese, orange juice, and some hot coffee for me! 

On today's to do list::::
Some laundry, some painting (I'm redoing my kitchen), diaper changes, feedings, entertaining the 3 year old, and hopefully an afternoon nap. 

Currently reading::::
"Women of the Word" by Jen Wilkin. GREAT book on bible study and the important of using our heads and hearts while doing so. 

On the TV today::::
Angelina Ballerina. My little girl LOVES this show. It's cute.

The weather outside is::::
HOT. Weather man said expect to see heat indexes in the 105 range. Blah.

On the menu this week::::
As my hubby and oldest girl are at camp all week - I'm keeping it simple with corndogs, PB&J's, mac n' cheese and all things 3 year old friendly :) 

If I have a few minutes to myself, I will::::

New recipe I tried, or want to try this week::::
Next week I'm going back to pinterest recipes and making Hobo packet dinners on the fire. Yum! 

In the garden::::
No garden. Tho... if weeds were a garden, I'd have a rockin' weed garden.

Favorite photo from the camera::::
From our newborn shoot. LOVE how Shawna captured these shots. 

Homemaking tip::::
Take advantage of neighborhood clean up days! Also known as...Junking. Our neighborhood is having a clean up week where you can put just about anything out on the curb and waste management will pick it up. I found an amazing solid wood desk on the curb - in perfect shape! Score! It helps us to clean out and helps us help others by saving something from the landfill. 

Visiting with blog friends (blog you want to share, blog post that caught your eye)::::
Um, if you aren't following the Pioneer woman. Why not? haha :) Today she has an AMAZING recipe out for Jalepeno cheddar scones. Yum! These need to make an appearance at my house! 

Praying for::::
Hubby and 5 year old at camp. Praying they have a really great time together - 5 year old needs the attention and time away. :) 
Friends due with babies.
That OUR baby would learn some more sleeping skills :) 

Bible Verse, Devotional that is resonating me with at the moment:::: 
I need to dive into my devos today! Might come back and edit this later to share.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

My Kitchen redo attempt.

There is one room in my home where I spend the most amount of time. My kitchen. I love being in the kitchen whether its to bake, create, brew coffee or chat with my hubby. It's my place. I'm not a super picky kind of woman - I don't really care much about having a fancy kitchen...but I will confess, that my strange green counters and finger-printy walls (from the last family that lived here) is kind of grossing me out. :) 

So, I'm taking on the task of doing what I can to kind of redo the kitchen for as cheap as possible without any major renovations. For me this means - paint. So my pale, finger-printy, scuffed up, tan kitchen walls will very soon take on the shade stone brown. I saw it at Home Depot and just loved it right away - so warm.

My husband and 5 year old leave for camp tomorrow and will be gone for a week - my goal is to have it done before they get home. Here are some before pics:

See that white patch? I fixed a hole all by myself! :)

THE most finger printed wall I have ever seen. Who chooses flat tan paint for a kitchen?!
For now, paint will do. We can't do anything about the green counters or the retro oven...but nice walls will for sure help :) And an idea pic of what will go on those walls once done. :) Thank you Pinterest!

For the wall by the pantry (that has the white patch) - thinking of this idea, on a smaller scale. I love the mini clips that let you change out pics, and that it's BURLAP behind it. My kitchen valance is made from burlap.
kitchen - wall by the pantry. 
We'll see how much gets done with a 6 week old and 3 year old :) 

Friday, July 18, 2014

.::6 weeks and a new normal::.

I woke up this morning actually feeling refreshed and alive. My Jane slept until 5:45am and for any mom of a newborn - that may as well be 12 hours. :) So I fed her and rocked her and she was back in bed by 6. Giving me an entire hour to work on my bible study, check my email and just enjoy the quiet of a new morning. It was beautiful - and hopefully our new routine.

We have made it to 6 weeks. This is a big deal because two weeks ago I was almost drowning in my own tears and feeling the weight of our new life so heavily. Every day was hard and I think I was crying more then the baby. Feedings were going well, but getting Jane to nap was horrible - taking her 20 or 30 minutes to even settle for sleep. I felt like everyone else in the family was neglected as I spent hours nursing and getting baby to nap. My two older girls were watching hours of TV a day and my eldest seems to have grown this all new attitude that I can only guess comes from not getting enough "mom time" and too much tv. So all this weird mom guilt was just piling. Add that to sleep deprivation and a hubby that was out of the home often for ministry things.... crazy. Every night I ended the day sobbing - usually on my husbands shoulder (poor man), blubbering all my thoughts and none of which made much sense. Everyone warns you the transition is hard but you just can't know until you are there. We. Were. There.

{deep breath}

But we made it to 6 weeks and things have really turned around, or at least fallen into a pattern of "new normal". Jane is on a great 3 hour routine and going down for naps better and better. I'm getting more time with my older kids, and the evenings are open now as all 3 girls are asleep by 8:30 - so I can actually sit and talk to my husband. What a whirlwind this last month and a half has been. But if I am being honest it has been a tremendous time of growth... as most "valley times" are. My prayer life has grown as really sometimes there was nothing else to do but sit and cry to God. Sometimes it's very sweet as I sit and nurse the babe and pray for her. Other times it's through tears of frustration or loneliness, or just praying for my children as I shushed my newborn to sleep. I have so clearly seen the Lord answer many, many prayers and for that I'm changed and challenged. I've been a part of the "Women of the Word" study put out by Crossway and it has been a HUGE blessing to me every morning. If you are looking for something well put together - join in the study! It runs until the end of July.

Jane is beautiful and getting chunkier by the week. Minus a small set back this week with Thrush (she and I), nursing is going great. This is HUGE for me as my experience with my last baby ended me in the hospital for 7 days with mastitis gone very, very, bad. My older girls seem to have adjusted for the most part and we are settling into our new normal. That is, until the month of August comes and our 5 year old goes to school.  Yikes!

It's almost the end of July and although I don't really feel like I've had much of a summer - I'm just thrilled to be feeling human again and watch things get a bit easier. I confess that during all this time I have seen the idolatry in my heart for comfort and ease. Just another step of growth for me. I'm so thankful for the Lords faithfulness in my life and His leading.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Mid week Faves.

Well, we've made it to almost 5 weeks as a family of 5. I can't say it's been a breeze, but it has all been covered in grace for sure! I'm constantly being tested and feel like I learn something everyday. In lieu of a lengthy (probably emotional) post about my mourning my kids growing up, how tired I am, etc. I thought  it would be more fun to do a quick list of favorite things! These are things I've discovered or appreciated over the last month. Here.We.Go.

1. Favorite book(s):
The word of God and a really, really, great book on bible study.
If you aren't familiar with Jen Wilkin or The Gospel Coalition... take a minute and go check out THIS SITE.
Oh how my hunger for God's word and for non-fluffy TRUTH has been reignited in the last few days. I have found myself on more than one occassion in life basing my view of God on how I feel... dangerous ladies. Very dangerous. This book along with great scripture study through the old testament has really been challening my view of God and how I study His word. I definitely recommend this book!

2. Favorite treat:
Peanut Butter M & M's and regular coffee with coconut creme creamer. Lethal combination if taken together before breakfast...but, sometimes we mothers like to break all the rules :)
When my mom was here 2 weeks ago she bought me this XXL bag. Bad, bad, bad idea to keep around when you are sleep deprived and falling on sugar to sustain you. Delicious. But bad!

3. Favorite newborn:
Obviously - my Jane. Who has affectionately now been called: Janer, Jane Bane, Janie, Jane Ev, Evelynnie, and random other assorted ways of saying her name. :) We love, love, love this baby - who apparently wants held at all times.
She turns 5 weeks old on Friday and I think we are really falling into a nice routine. She is up just once at night and for only 20 minutes max. :) I'm finding myself really slowing down and just enjoying her. Savoring every minute... precious. 

4. Favorite blessing: MEALS!
Our church family is amazing. I'll just say that. Since Jane was born we have been getting 3 home made meals a week delivered to us. What a blessing it is to not have the extra task of prepping meals, grocery shopping, etc.while I continue to rest and adjust. We've had such yummy meals, too! These ladies really do glorify God in their service to us new mommas! :) We get our last meal today and then I think... I think, I'm ready to start menu planning and cooking again. 

5. Favorite NEW thing: Patio Furniture!
We saved the rest of our tax return and bought this 10 piece patio set from Menards. (This is not our yard..)
It's so great to eat our meals outside on the deck and I love the two recliner chairs and side table for extra lounging space after we are done eating. Summer may continue now :) 

6. Favorite smell:
Cozy Home, by Yankee Candle.
(found this pic online... )
The girls and I made a pit stop to a store called Tuesday Morning where I found this candle clearanced WAY down. And for those of you who know me well... I'm ALL about autumn, warm, smells. It's so cozy and really does clear the atmosphere when I'm feeling tense or stressed. :) 

Happy Wednesday! Hoping you can enjoy favorite things where you are!