Sunday, June 24, 2012

A new pace

Nellie has been here for 2 1/2 weeks and it's hard to remember what life was like without her.  The kids are in love with her.  Addie summed it up one day when she told me that having a baby sister is way better than having a doll.  She loves being able to cuddle and kiss on Nellie.  Sam is often too busy playing, but when he comes around for his turn to hold her, I instantly melt.  He gives her his undivided attention and is totally sweet.  Charlie is still figuring out what it means to be a big brother.  He loves having jobs to do and is eager to help.  When Nellie cries he emphatically tells her to "shhh"  repeatedly, and he seems extremely worried to hear her upset.  His turns to hold her don't last long before he'd rather be off playing, but he gives her sweet, soft kisses regularly and seems happy to have her around.  

Last week the husband went back to work and I made it through the first week by myself with everyone.  Although our pace of life is currently quite a bit different than it was before, we're all enjoying it.  Addie and Sam are the best of friends right now and currently spend their days playing non-stop.  Charlie tags along until he's worn out mid-day and takes a nap.  On Monday we made a list together of things we'd like to accomplish each day, things we'd like to do during the week, and things we hope to do some time this summer.  Our lists included things for our bodies, our minds, and our home (based on ideas from the Power of Moms).  It's been nice to have a loose framework for our days, especially when things start to get crazy.  

The house is definitely not spic and span, but I'm feeling more motivation to get things in order with the chaos of the basement/remodel still very visible everywhere.  I'm easing back into making dinners and I've attempted a couple quick runs to the grocery store.  I'm hoping by the end of this week I'll have enough stamina for a big Costco trip.  

But even though things are still in the process of getting back to normal, I am reveling in these slow days.  I tend to have a hard time creating downtime.  I love making plans and usually when normal life doesn't have enough going on, I'm busy planning and filling our days with play dates and outings and activities.  It's nice to have a reason to slow down.  It makes me think about how I can incorporate more of these peaceful days when "real life" resumes and we're back to school and all the other busy things.  For now I'm just taking it a day at a time and enjoying the things that matter most.  

Hope you're finding yourself enjoying some slow days this summer!  

Thursday, June 14, 2012


great print via

Today I'm 30.  It feels like such a milestone, but also such a gift to be celebrating simply today.  I'm not planning on going anywhere.  There will be no adventurous plans to mark another decade.  Having 4 kids is adventure enough right now!  Instead the best gift is being able to spend a slow day surrounded by the ones I love.  I love that family time to just BE together.  I'm excited to soak it up.
I look back at where I was turning 20, and although I felt mature and became a bride a few weeks later, I have come a long way in the past ten years.  I'm sure in ten more I'll be saying the same thing.
Life is amazing- a gift to help us become who we are.  That's how I'm feeling at 30- like I'm become more and more myself with a greater calm and quiet confidence about it all.  I think it's also my goal as a mother to help my children become who they are.  Sometimes easier said than done, but I am constantly amazed at how our lives are tailored just for us to teach us- to help us reach our potential.  What a beautiful gift from the greatest Giver.  I've been reflecting on the life lessons I've learned so far- I've always been a bit nostalgic.  Without further ado:

30 things I know
1. People are more important than things.
2. We are stronger than we think we are.  Not just me, not just you- everyone.
3.  It's important to understand where we come from.
4.  The right people come into our lives at the right times.
5.  Forgiveness is one of the best gifts we can give to others, but an even better gift to give ourselves.
6.  I can't do everything.
7.  It's ok to ask for help.
8.  Relationships take work, but the best thing I've done in my strongest relationships is to let the little things go.  
9.  Some people just don't like you, and it's ok.
10.  Gratitude makes any situation seem better.
11.  My happiness is not dependent on anyone but me.
12.  There is tremendous joy found in nurturing.
13.  My worth is not measured by what I look like.
14.  My worth is not measured by how many items I check off my to-do list.
15.  It's important to let the little things go when it comes to frustrations, but it's equally important (or maybe even more?) to appreciate the little things that are good that make up a beautiful life.
16.  I can instantly feel better by focusing on others instead of myself.
17.  I'm really good at the learning part of things, but not always so good at the doing and applying what I've learned.  I have work to do to align the two.
18.  We do not have to let our past control our future.  Our circumstances do not define us.  There is always choice.
19.  Friendships make life so much sweeter.
20.  I'm learning to be quiet.  I can still stand for something with the way I live my life instead of thinking I need to shout about it.  But if I need to be vocal, I will.
21.  Nothing brings the same satisfaction as a day of hard work.
22.  I've never regretted trusting in the plan, even when it's scary to step into the dark.
23.  Faith is empowering.
24.  What's right for us during certain times isn't necessarily right at other times.
25.  A clean house makes me a happier person.
26.  Being a mom is harder than I ever thought.  Being a mom makes me happier than I ever thought.
27.  We can choose to change.  We are often the only thing holding us back from making those changes.
28.  Marriage has made everything seem possible.  I know I can do anything with my husband by my side.
29.  My life is improved in every way when I'm building my relationship with Jesus Christ.
30.  Time flies, and it feels like it's accelerating.  I want to treasure every day.

Happy Flag Day, friends.  Hope to be back soon with Nellie's birth story+ more.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Our Nellie

Eleanor Joy
June 7, 1:30 pm
8 lbs, 13 oz
20 inches

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Soaking it up

one of my favorite sayings made beautiful by the nester

Tomorrow is my last day to be a mom to 3 kids.  Thursday is baby-day.  I requested the husband take tomorrow off work.  Tomorrow we get to spend the day together as a family of 5.  I'm soaking it up.

We've grown a lot in this place.  Becoming a family of 5 was one of the hardest transitions I've ever made, especially when we turned into a family of 6 for a while.  But it's been oh, so good.

Everyone is feeling the anticipation as we approach the change.  Each child has had their own way of reacting, and I know it will be an adjustment for all of us.

A few nights ago Sam said our family prayer before bed.  He prayed that Addie could feed the baby a bottle and change her diaper.  He prayed that he could rock her to sleep.  I'm pretty sure he included Charlie, but not writing it down right after it happened means the memory has been lost.  He voiced how much we love her and prayed that she would be kind.  He prayed for her to arrive safely and that I wouldn't be scared.  He offered up the sweetest, most sincere desires of his heart, and I loved hearing them.

I am excited to see how each of my kids interacts with their new sister.  It is one of the best part of having more than one child- seeing their relationships with each other.  I know that Addie will be a little mother, always trying to make everything just right.  I know that Sam and Charlie will both find her adorable until she's too loud.  I know that Sam will dote on her and be grateful for an increase in screen time that's probably sure to come.  Charlie is somewhat of a wild card, and I think he's going to be a little shocked that we really have a baby living at our house.

Besides excitement, I definitely have some anxiety.  I am still feeling unprepared and almost a little shocked that this is really happening- we're really having a baby- and soon!  But I'm hopeful that I can enjoy the moment and soak up this new phase for us- a family of 6.  I'm sure I'll check in to announce her arrival, but with the husband off work for the next little while I'm sure I'll be taking more time away from the computer to soak it up.

Hope you'll soak up these beginning days of summer and whatever they may bring for you.