Let them be little

Let them be little


Happy 7th Birthday, ANNABELLE Grace!

Annabelle turns SEVEN today!  It is so hard to believe that we have a seven year old.  Since Skylar turned two in September, I have loved saying, "I have three kiddos...6, 4 and 2."  If I could freeze time, it would be these ages.  6, 4 and 2.  They are all SO much fun at these ages.  But, I have no doubts that this year will also be amazing as Annabelle continues to grow and FLOURISH!  She's just incredible.

I went to bed last night thinking about that exact night seven years ago.  In labor with my first child and having NO CLUE about, well, anything.  Parenting, labor, babies, Down Syndrome, life with kids, etc...  Within minutes, our lives changed for ever and our world was shaken.  Annabelle came in to this world easily and perfectly. With a room full of nurses expecting a challenge, and two brand new parents only expecting a precious baby girl. She came in to this world around 5:25 am on a Thursday morning and this crazy, overwhelming love covered Craig and me in a REALLY powerful way.  If we could see the spiritual world around us, I imagine that it would look like this...
Craig standing next to the hospital bed, me laying in the bed and Jesus standing over us. Above Jesus, a waterfall that is being held back by a leaky gate.  He just has to pull a string to release the water that is continuing to just press into this gate so hard that he is almost having to physically hold it closed until the right time.  Little bits of this water keep seaping through little cracks and holes and falling on to our heads, almost giving us a tiny taste of what this is about to feel like.  He is ready to pull this string that would release a flood of love that almost drowns us.  Then, she comes.  He opens the gate. And we drown.  Drown in this love that is almost crippling.

If you have ever become a parent then you know exactly the love I am talking about.  It is CRAZY.

This is the picture I thought about when I woke up this morning. We are so young and unknowing. Tired, but in love with this precious baby. We knew in this picture. We knew she had Down Syndrome. That didn't change our love.

Today, we will celebrate our special girl. And today and every day will thank Jesus for the gift of ANNABELLE!!!


Here we are...

Seems like every post on this dusty blog includes a sentence that sounds like this... "well it's been a while!" OR "Does anyone even read this?!" Well, here I am again, asking the same question and saying the same thing.  I just don't have time. OR just don't make the time to actually do this.  But, I have the urge.

I have been sitting here staring at this blank "new post" page wondering where to even start.  So, it's summer.  Yadi Yada. This summer started out strong for the four of us.  The four of us meaning, Me, Annabelle, Carter and Skylar.  I LOVED having Annabelle and Carter home all the time and really loved not having a busy morning schedule. The first week, I wrote up a 'plan' on how to spend our days.  Each week with a theme and we would do things that week around that specific theme.  We actually did awesome the first few weeks.  We were creative, busy and had a lot of fun with it.  Then, I slacked a little around the busyness of the Fourth.  Then, last week, all four of us were involved in VBS.  So we haven't really kept up with our creativity or really done much at all. SO, confession... I am TIRED and have lost all motivation.  The TV has been used as a babysitter for hours a week. Some moments I am sick of hearing my name.  Some moments, I can't immagine how they could still be hungry or still need a drink.  And why do they have to go potty?!?!?  Like I said, I am tired.  I feel like there's not a minute a day that I get to myself.  It is CONSTANT.  NO lunch breaks.  NO coffee breaks.  And, often, no potty breaks.  For real.  It's constant.  By the end of the day, I am so spent.

As REAL as I know this is for mommas, it still makes me feel guilty to 'complain' about it or be honest about it.  No, I am not ungrateful.  No, I don't hate my job.  No, I am not resentful. But, summer 2016, you're wearin' me OUT!

I have had some deep, wonderful moments with Jesus this week begging for His strength to help me get through the days.  NOT just to get through the days, but to thrive through the days.  Love and nurture these kiddos.  Bring back my JOY in mothering.  Help me to be creative and challenge my mind and theirs.  Every morning His mercies are NEW and I literally FEEL His newness in the mornings.

I "plan" to get back to this whole 'theme' thing next week. It really is such a great idea because it gets my mind rolling with fun ideas.  It's a good place to start.  For example, one week our theme was CAMPING.  We made 'smore' pictures, campfires with tissue paper, went to REI, and made animal sponge paint prints.  Another week was SPORTS.  We qtip painted basketball pictures, rolled balls covered in paint down the slide and learned a little bit about diffrent sports.  (I should do this again for the first week of Olympics).  Next week I plan to do DINOSAURS.  We have toy dinosars we will learn the names of.  We have a couple dinosaur books to read.  There's a park we can go to where there are dinosaur bones and a huge sandbox where we can also dig for some bones.  As far as art, im not sure.  Maybe dip the dinosaur feet in paint and do prints?  I dunno.  I am rambling, but these theme weeks seriously excite the kiddos. When I have plans and direct a small portion of their day, they behave better.  And I kind of behave better too.

Craig can totally tell when I have had a day.  He is SO wonderful to love these kiddos when I feel like I can't.  He is wonderful to love me on days when I just don't deserve it.  He has been amazing to me.  He knows I have had a tough couple weeks and just pours out affection, mercy and grace ALL the time.  Yall, he's the best.  Some days, I don't feel like I deserve him.  I pray that Jesus loves that man through me in ways that I just can't.  I hope he knows how much I appreciate him.

As overwhelmed with summer as I have gotten, I KNOW without a doubt that I will cry the day that Annabelle goes back to school.  I will miss seeing her ALL day. As I scrolled through some of this blog earlier, I came across a post from exactly a year ago, and I remember feeling the same sorts of feelings as I do now.  As soon as August comes, it will fly by and our life and schedules will change a whole lot.  waaaaaaaaaaa.....

Welp.  Here's to tha rest of the summa.
And to hopes to more posts in the future.


come on..................

It's almost SUMMER!!!!!!!
Carter is all done with school, and Annabelle has like a day and a half left.


The Third

Been thinking a lot about my sweet third child, Skylar.  How different she is than the first two, how different we are as parents, and the dynamics of a family of five vs. two, three, or four.  She is not a 'baby' any more.  She is RAPIDLY growing out of her baby-ness (?) and IN to a toddler.  It's a mix of incredible JOY and sadness to see the youngest pass the milestones and stages of infanthood.

I have known that I just HAVE to write a post about all of this, as the memories of your kids at this age very quickly fade.  Skylar started walking on October 28.  Exactly 13 months and one week old.  She has not looked back since.  It's killin' me.  I can't get over how dang cute she looks toddling around the house.  The other day, she turned the corner into the kitchen, holding a little mini tin lunch box, and Craig and I just melted all over her.  Every time we see her walking, it is still so new to us.  She waddles.  And her cute high pony tail waves back and forth as she waddles.  Ya'll, she's so cute.  And she's growin up!

Poor third kid.  The third kid....Has less boundries and more freedom.  Has no schedule.  Like, NO schedule.  Is much more easy going, go with the flow.  They kind of just have to be, right?  Her big siblings have school, events, and do not nap.  Therefore, Skylar has to just go along with whatever is going on that day.  Annabelle is in school full time, and Carter goes only on Tuesdays and Thursdays for a short period of time.  I LOVE my time with Sky.  LOVE it.  I get to run errands, OR just come home and do mommy/homemaker projects and jobs during that time.

Today, I ran to Kohl's.  She does NOT like to be in the shopping cart any longer. I either have to hold her and push the cart, or let her toddle through racks as I try to look for deals.  Today, I spent a lot of time in the kid section.  Looking for the changing season and growing kid sized clothes.  Make sense?  Anyways, she would grab something from the bottom rack, and try to 'run' off.  It was so cute.  She just waddles a little quicker, almost losing her balance, while holding a size 3 month onesie.  I love it.  I'm soaking it up.

I could just write forever about how everything she does is so cute.  But, you get it.  Right?  She's growing up. It happens SO fast.  TOO fast.  Even though I know I will forget, I don't WANT to forget.

The only thing I want is....SLEEP.

(Will post pics or videos of the incredible cuteness of my kiddos SOON!) Glad you still read this.

For now... My cuties on Halloween



It's been such a long time since I have posted anything here, that now I am wondering if I still have any readers?  I have a lot to do this morning, but wanted to stop in and ask....Anyone still read this? Anyone interested in still reading this?  Cause I would like to try and write again when I can.  I miss using this space to reflect a little.  Let me know!



As frustrating as it IS, so cute though!!!! 


Time of My Life

My three kiddos are five and under. There are days where that is really hard. We (Craig and I) are tiiiiiiired at the end of the day. (And in the middle of the night and again in the middle of the night and then again in the morning) ;) 
The ages and needs of our kiddos are demanding. We can't go everywhere we want to go. We can't do a lot of the things that we want to do. We can't let them out of our sight for long. 
Craig and I don't often get to have alone time or carry on conversations.  We are constantly moving it seems. There is also constant noise. Ha. 

I've been pondering this a lot more after being invited to a pool party recently. I avoid certain parties, invitations, play dates when I may have to go alone because it's just easier to not be stressed than to go to certain events and not be able to enjoy myself. I became a whole lot more ok with saying NO after I had Sky.  Craig was able to go to this pool party since it was on a Saturday. And they are great friends, so we wanted to go. I was still a little nervous, and expected to not even be able to carry on a conversation with MY buddies because I would have to have my eyes (or my hands) on them at all times. But, it was really fun. Even with all three kids there. It was relaxing, and not actually stressful, which may have been because I felt more relaxed. Yea, we had to keep watch, but my attitude was just different or something. 

Don't know where I am going with that story, but I've been cherishing the days lately.  Yes, it's constant and exhausting, but when I say I looooooove it, I really mean it. God has given me so much joy in this season of our lives. I am realizing more and more how this is just another season of life. The kids are at an age  where they crawl up on the couch and snuggle us. They randomly run up to us and hug us. They excitedly greet us when we walk through the door.  They give us kisses when we ask. They hold our hands when walking somewhere. They are small enough to pick up and hold. They are small enough to be tossed in the air and squeal with joy.  They get excited to see us when we pick them up from Sunday school. They are gentle, pure, innocent, FORGIVING, compassionate, full of grace, precious precious precious children. 

So, i understand, THIS is the time of our lives. They are growing so fast before our eyes, and while I know we have wonderful moments to look forward to when they get older, I will miss this stage and possibly forget a lot of it. I don't want to forget their little dimpled hands. The sparkle in their precious eyes. Their sweet small voices. Their sweet smells. 

 Carter randomly throughout the day will tell us he loves us. It's one of my most favorite things right now. THIS IS THE TIME OF MY LIFE!