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.

img_5108

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.

img_4379-1img_5319img_5366img_5376

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.

img_4381img_5404img_5407img_5008

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!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in baby 3, family, Happiness | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

on being alone

I recently met this girl who has 18 month old twins and is a single mama while her husband is deployed overseas. I can’t imagine how tough that would be but she said this one isn’t as bad as the first, because the first time he deployed, she was all alone.

And I’ve been thinking about that all week. I have never been alone. I went straight from being part of a family of four into marriage with Wes. And anytime I’m faced with aloneness, whether in my mind or actually a day or two or week, I kinda crash. (Anyone remember that time I was stranded in the Charlotte airport?). And I know that even if I’m alone, I’m not really. I have a friend that sticks closer than a brother, as in the Holy Spirit, as in Jesus, as in God. Thank God. And I survive these times by desperately holding on to Psalms 23 and gritting my teeth.

Not really the picture of rest. I attempt to live life with open hands but I often find myself gripping the reins of control. Which is pointless, because really, I don’t have control over much.

Did any of you see that terrible news story about the mother of six killed by a drunk driver while on her way back from visiting her premie twins at the hospital? I tried not to absorb the words but her face kept finding mine and I wondered where God was. How was he going to redeem such tragedy. Why?

So, I think I’m having a hard time trusting God. My head knows the truths that he really would be everything I need, but my heart has a heart time getting there, and it never wants to really find out. So I hold tight to the humans that bring me such joy, even as I know our time together isn’t guaranteed. When instead, I should be holding onto; because he lives, I can face tomorrow.

So. No bows to wrap up these thoughts. Just the hope that getting them out of my brain and onto paper will clear my head and help me moving on the right path.

If you’re alone, hugs.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Chicago

You may have noticed that we survived our trip to Chicago. All planes functioned as they should and that was my largest, irrational fear.

I didn’t realize Chicago was the third largest city in the U.S. and as Wes maneuvered the highways and then later as we walked through downtown at 9:00 looking for a place to eat, I was rather overwhelmed by humanity. Hello! I live in small, small town U.S.A. and kinda forgot about suburb life.

Over the next few days, as the sun shone brightly and we walked and walked the streets admiring the river and the architecture, I saw the part of Chicago that people love and that was fun. River taxi was a highlight.

But. The reason why we went. My childhood friends wedding.

As I watched my beautiful friend walk down the aisle and felt so many of our childhood dreams and talks come true, I was so thankful I was there. And when I watched all their family and wedding party surround them during the ceremony and pray over their marriage I was overwhelmed by the love and faithfulness of God. And then when I finally got to hug her after not seeing her for nine years, I was a bit overcome.

I’d been visiting with many of her friends during the dinner and was telling them, ‘So, I know the Leslie in that slideshow, I was in that tree there with her. Now you catch me up on the present day Leslie.’

And through their stories I recognized my childhood friend’s tender heart and love and oh it was just really lovely and wonderful.

Really thankful that Wes came with me, that my parents got to be there too and that my other kiddos had a fabulous time with their grandparents. Praise hands all around.

Nice moves mom. 😉

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment