traveling sagas.

Ok. I assume many of you are on Instagram and followed along as we very leisurely made our way back to Virginia.

Before we left for the airport we knew we were going to miss our first layover (unless a miracle occurred) because our flight was delayed 18 minutes. We could have stayed four extra days, or continue on as planned and leave Phoenix the next morning at 5 am to get home just one day late. For various reasons, we decided to just go for it and booked the 5 am flight.

Everything really got muddled in San Luis when they sent a 50 person plane instead of a 70 person plane. This led to us picking up $4800 in vouchers. For flights we had already planned on missing. So that was a nice bonus.

We spent eight hours in the San Luis airport (had to stay for vouchers and then our next flight kept getting delayed). Jack napped. Ivy never did.

We arrived in Phoenix at 10 pm where we picked up our hotel vouchers and food vouchers, walked through the security checkpoint and I promptly couldn’t find my purse. I opened my backpack to start to search and couldn’t even handle it. I said, ‘Wes, find my wallet,’ and then started stripped off jackets, sweaters and hats and fell on the ground praying as I envisioned spending the rest of my life in Phoenix with no I.D. to get back into the airport.

After many hot flashes, Wesley (bless him) found it underneath the stroller and I prostrated myself further thanking God in heaven above. Wes told me to get up. haha.

But enough drama. Here’s why it was all ok. Even after two hours of sleep in the hotel and another delayed flight in Charlotte.

Before we even knew about delays, Ev was freaking out about what we were going to do if flights got canceled. And I was like, ‘Ev, we’ll all be together and that’s all that really matters.’

And we were. Ivy made us (and everyone surrounding) laugh like always. The kids did their kid thing. And we sat and observed and changed diapers and fed people. Kinda like normal.

Even as everyone operated on very little sleep, there were no epic meltdowns. From me or the kids! haha. And that my friends, is truly miraculous. Like truly. So much potential for true disaster. So. Thank you for your prayers.

And lastly. People were asking me on IG how I do it and how I managed. I didn’t. Wes did.

When we got on our shuttle at 11 pm I had the 3 kids with me on a bench seat at the front and Wes was somewhere in the back taking care of our stroller and backpacks. The bus was jam packed and everyone was regaling their American Airlines nightmares.

We made it to our hotel room and I was in the middle of undressing Jack when a guy walked in. Took me a minute to figure out it was our bus driver with a pack and play for Ivy. He looked at Wes and said, ‘hey man. Thanks for all the help loading and unloading everyone’s baggage. I’ve never had anyone do that and kinda felt like I should tip you!’.

And I smiled and shook my head and thought, ‘this is who I married. And this is why it’s all ok.’

And it was. Thanks to your prayers and Wes and some pretty good kids.

haha. And boy, do these pictures bring it all back. Happy we made it home, sane and sound.

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cayucos 2018

I can remember as a kid, those last few moments of our vacation at the beach. I would go stand on the bluff and watch the sun set while soaking up every minute of beauty hoping it would keep me full til the next time.

And now I’m watching my kids stand on that same bluff, soaking it all in, loving every minute and it’s pretty great.

I told my mom that I was like a thirsting man in the desert crawling towards this vacation as he crawled towards water. It was really needed. And wonderful.

Couple highlights.

Davey and Jennifer got to fly out to celebrate Journeys End’s 20th birthday with the Bowins and it was just really great. We had one of those Norman Rockwell morning where the whole family was down at the water, the guys surfing, Aunt Jennifer in the waves with Ev and Jack and Mom and I sitting by the shore chasing Ivy out of the water. Just one of those, ‘soak in this moment’ times.

Wes and I got away for 24 ish hours and it was just fun; kicking up our heels, eating the good food, and plain relaxing.

We also went to a foot reflexology/massage place in SLO and I think I drooled for an hour.

Wonderful to see my grandparents and other family and friends.

There’s just not much like sitting in the back yard of Journey’s End with your family around you. Thankful and grateful for the opportunity to be there.Three kids-3Three kidsIvy MaeEv w flowerJourney's End

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surviving…thriving…

Well it’s about time for that monthly update.

Biggest news is that we survived January. Barely. We were saved by eight days where it was pleasant to go outside and play and practice some down dogs.

Speaking of down dogs. I don’t really do the whole new years resolution thing, probably because I don’t enjoy failing, but I kind of purposed in my heart to get up in the morning. I asked my mother to pray for me because generally my soul weeps when I hear Ivy crying long before dawn.

And I kind of decided I was going to follow Yoga with Adriene’s 30 day challenge.

Amazingly enough, my soul is not weeping in the morning. It’s more resigned and while I still don’t hop joyfully out of bed (perhaps thats the next phase), I do manage to sometimes make it down before Ev and Jack and the five of us kitchen together if not breakfast together. It’s actually a quite pleasant way to start the day.

And wow. I’ve been doing yoga for 43 days straight. Mostly inspired by my father who appears to have grown taller after 6 months of daily practice.

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So. There’s how I’m killing it this winter.

My children?

Ivy’s just started doing down dogs with me and it’s about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. She started walking at 13 months old and is so pleased with herself she could pop. Her vocabulary is miles ahead of what I’m used to. Like, she says hi to people! Crazy. She plays legos with Jack and Ev and there’s not much I love more than watching them together.

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Jack is…hilarious. He has decided that he prefers to sleep in Ev’s room and so I tuck him and Ev in Ev’s queen bed, shrouded by a flowered duvet in a pink room. He routinely wakes up in the middle of the night to let us know that his foot hurts, Ev stole his blanket, and he can’t find Ev. He’s also SUCH a boy as he loves to pester his sister’s with a twinkle in his eye. He sings to Ev when he tucks her in for a game of goodnight good morning and as he croons ‘God is so good’ to her, I wonder at my blessings.

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Evelyn is suddenly grown up, wants to go to school and tells me she’s ready to learn things. And so we paint our way through the alphabet and practice writing names and occasionally work on math with all the legos around. She plays such an amazing role in the interaction between the three and there is no way I’m ready for her to head off to school. Hoping I can convince her to hang out with us for a bit longer. img_4116img_4218img_4380

We are well. We are longing for spring. And a trip to California. It’s been eleven months since I’ve been back to my home state, which is the longest I’ve ever been away, which may have attributed to my winter crazy. Plus the week and a half of house arrest while the stomach bug made it’s way through our family.

SO. Yeah. We survived January. And its February! And we’re going to buy seeds on the 64 degree day and plant our little spring garden and rejoice.img_4382img_4641img_5088img_5054img_5110img_5129img_5138img_5142img_5167img_5341

Gosh what great kids. And husband. And life.

Hugs to you and yours!

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We went to Texas!

Oh hey. Just catching up on this here blog. It’s just January, and we only went to Texas in November sooo, I’m not too far behind.

So, we went to Texas for Thanksgiving. My mom’s side of the family resides there and it was the first thanksgiving for me with my family in ten years. So that was lovely.

It’s always with a touch of apprehension that we load up on an airplane but Ev and Jack are getting to the age where airplane rides bring much delight so that was fun. I had to carefully ignore Jack on the second flight and it wasn’t long before he crashed and I think I read my book or something else ridiculously relaxing.

The weather was amazing. So many high fives for that. We went on a fun football date that really turned into quite the experience. Haha. Go watch that video, literally just brought it all back. I was on my feet hollering,’Guys, it’s Texas CHRISTIAN University!!!!!’. I’ve never experienced a brawl of that proportion and it produced all sorts of adrenaline. We were also sitting next to the sweetest Baylor fans so that was kind of sad.

Three cheers to the family who took such good care of us. It was majorly a thanksgiving vacation. I barely lifted a finger in the food department. So thank you again aunties, and Brookie, and Gram for letting us take over your room and bed and house.

When I was maybe 14, Davey and I went to Texas and hung out with my little toddler cousins, Avery and Parker. And now I have little toddlers. And my little toddler cousins are not so little anymore. Watching them love on my kids was such a highlight for me.

Wes and Dad took the kids to the zoo while mom and I did some serious shopping. The kids are still talking about experiences at the zoo and it makes me smile to think of them hopping around with my two favorite guys.

Lots to be thankful for.

So happy we were able to make this happen. Hugs family!

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Ivy Mae turns one.

It never fails to blow my mind how much they grow and change in that first year. I’m amazed at what they comprehend, the tricks they do and how big they are!

Ivy is pretty much just the sweetest baby. At times she feels like she’s my easiest baby, other times, many other times, definitely my hardest. She prefers to go to bed at 6 and also wake up at 6 and this is just soooo opposite of my time clock. So lots of personal development there for me. Her napping habits have also been a bit dismal.

But, when she’s up, she’s pretty much little miss sunshine, the friendliest of all. On our last airplane ride, she literally grinned and waved to the person next to us the whole flight. After 30 minutes, I was like ‘you don’t have to keep waving back!’.

I think she’s the first mama’s girl. Generally, if Wesley is home, I’m pretty secondary. But not with miss Ivy Mae. She’d enjoy me holding her all day long.

She’s seems to be much quicker at the draw than the other two and I’m sure its all the social interaction she gets with Ev and Jack. She’s a pro at dancing, singing, waving, playing where’s Ivy?, and has just now learned the art of annoying her sibling. It’s hilarious. She just pokes them over and over and over and gets a little Jack gleam in her eye. They are not as amused.

I’ll ask for snuggles and she burrows down in my chest and its the most wonderful feeling in all the world.

So, so thankful for this year with this beautiful, funny, little squish of a cherub.

What a little heart melter.

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the years i won’t remember..

I was talking to my librarian the other day during story hour and she told me, ‘Yes, there’s about four years that I really have no memory of.’

It was an exhausting Ivy week and I came home and told Wes that I was pretty sure I was right in the middle of those years. And at the same time, they just feel like the best years.

The way Ivy gives hugs. We’ll be holding her and all the sudden it’ll be like she just can’t get close enough, and she throws her arms around our shoulders and dives her head into our necks. And we melt.

The way Jack tells me who loves him. His face glows as he says, ‘ivy love me, ev love me, jesus love me, God love me.’ It’s one of the more precious things in life.

The way Ev tucks her hands underneath her face as she earnestly converses while I’m tucking her in. And then one hand reaches up and starts stroking my face and hair as she tells me ‘pray for you mom because you’re sick.’ She brought me up a tray yesterday morning in bed with three bananas, a cup of water and a straw and a “waffle cracker from the airplane because we were out of cheese crackers. And mom, I walked veeerrrry carefully up the stairs so I wouldn’t spill the water.”

They fill my heart to overflowing.

Gosh I’m grateful.

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coming home.

So I wrote about our trip to Chicago.

But I haven’t mentioned yet that coming home was the most wonderful feeling in the world. I pretty much just basked in the feeling of the five us home together on the lovely steps of our front porch. And in the days that followed, the sun shone brightly, and I basked on the outdoor blanket while the kids did circles around the road. And all was well and I was ever so grateful.

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