Christmas Eve 2014

Christmas has become my favorite holiday since we’ve had kiddos.

It just seems so much more magical and joyous seeing Christmas through their eyes.

I also have loved creating traditions as a new and growing family and even carrying on traditions from our own upbringings.

This December I decided to lay aside a few traditions and we did the traditions that felt effortless and fun, but not an ounce overwhelming. In years past, I found myself to caught up and overwhelmed by too many activities. My deciding factor was the moment I found myself upset, even annoyed, with my kids because of an activity advent calendar we set up that wasn’t going as “planned”. And if we didn’t do one days’ activity, I felt like I was failing.

It was ridiculous. I may pick it back up as they grow older, or maybe not.

More than anything, I want the holidays to be filled with joyous memories, not memories of momma flippin’ out (I already do enough of that :))

One of those we did keep this year was our Christmas Eve tradition of new jammies, a new book and a new game. We get dressed, drive around to see christmas lights, and then come back home for our new story, game and hot cocoa! Here are photos from that evening:

Christmas2014Collage_2 What made this Christmas especially exciting was the pink jammy’d girly pictured. Ever’s first Christmas!
Christmas2014Collage_Christmas2014Collage_3Reality struck as quickly as the camera clicks. :) christmasjammiescollage

Looking back over the years… I am in awe of Chase’s lankiness now and how quickly Shailo’s baby-boy look turned big-boy.

And my oh my, please note how {adored} Ev is by her brothers!

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Shailo’s Bug Birthday!

I cannot believe this beautiful blue eyed boy is THREE.ShailosBirthday_2

ShailosBirthday_4 Our Shai is a bug-lovin’ boy! So we planned a bug party for this amazing little guy!

There weren’t a lot of DIYs for this party, it was the EASIEST party to plan and do and also one of the funnest!

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I used a cloud bed sheet as a backdrop and added pictures and shared some stats from his actual birth day.

untitled-228Basically I went really simple:

-Dollar Tree bugs (like ten packs so each kiddo could take some home and some for decor!)

-I used faux grass (also Dollar Tree) in mason jars with faux bugs

-I used little planters (pictured above) with green silverware as “grass”

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– I saved a bunch of glass jars and we were SUPER lucky because we have SO many grasshoppers in our backyard. The kiddos spent an hour (at least) collecting them! It was a blast. Even the dads had fun with that hahaha :)ShailoBirthdayCollage_1

ShailoBirthdayCollage_2-We put a little bit of dirt and bugs in the kiddos pool so they could “dig for bugs”ShailosBirthday_3

ShailoBirthdayCollage_3ShailoBirthdayCollage_4We did a “worm” cake but of course! I think he liked it ;)

It was a dirty, messy, super fun birthday that I recommend to any momma with a boy or girl who loves bugs!
ShailosBirthday_5LOVE THIS AMAZING LITTLE WILD AND CRAZY BOY!

Here’s to many more bug catchin’ years with you, Shai!

triggered trauma + declarations

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The past few weeks have been pretty trying for our family. “When it rains, it pours” describes it best, I think.

So many things that were out of my control. Chase and Shailo somehow caught Whooping cough (Pertussis) … like an actual documented case. This was after learning Shailo had Pneumonia two days before (a result of the whooping cough). I had a sinus infection – not a big deal, just tiresome and annoying on top of everything else. Ted just had sinus surgery yesterday, which thankfully he’s recovery wonderfully.

Just a lot at once. And all of it, totally out of my control.

Since we’ve lost Eisley, I’ve really struggled with things being out of my control. Sometimes even more than one should. I used to take pride in being adaptable and adventurous and after September 14, 2010 – I felt as though those parts of me vanished.

My adventurous spirit is slowly rising up again, I can feel it. (Even my dad recently commented on seeing a bit of it again) I remember the exact day that I felt I dreamt again. I was at a little coffee shop with my friend Chey, late February. We were talking of future plans and I just felt excited, for the first time since Eisley’s passing, about a particular piece of our dreams that I thought I’d lost. Since then, I have felt even more adventure and courage rise up in me. I am moved to tears even now, with gratefulness.

But it’s also a struggle when things like the past few weeks come flooding in like they sometimes do.

I’ve struggle a lot in the past year. June of 2012 I started on anti-depressants. I’ve since had an on again, off again relationship with my meds. I hate that I need to take them to keep on moving, but I do. When I don’t, it’s really, really rough and dark. For me and for my entire family. I don’t like putting them through hell every time I’m not well, so I’m back on them.

And, yes, here I am sharing publicly… well, within the “privacy” of my blog and those who want to read it.

Monday, I sat in front of my counselor with this incredible weight on my chest. Tears wanted to burst through but again, I felt I needed to keep it together, be strong.

He said the words, affirmed what I feel deep down, but rarely affirmed. What we went through was horrific and traumatic and it’s okay that I (still) feel the way I do inside.

I told him I often feel crazy. I know deep inside that what we went through with the loss of Eisley was awful. I know this, if I let myself, I feel this. I’ve struggled feeling like I am crazy, because it’s not spoken of, most often it’s been ignored or I have been ignored. I get it, it’s very awkward, but I feel like it’s so much more than that.

I’m not crazy. I’m hurting. I’m still broken in many ways.

Trauma is triggered in moments like the past few weeks, when things are so difficult and out of my control. Obviously on a scale of 1-10 the things recently barely registered compared to the things we’ve walked through with Eisley. But my brain doesn’t know any different. It just triggers my trauma and I flip out, or shut down.

Friday May 31st, I sat in Shailo’s ER room, my hand on his little sleeping body and my head on the bed, tears pouring out my face. I knew he wasn’t in a life or death situation, but it all felt so scary. And to make matters worse, we were in the same hospital I lost Eisley in. Normally, I fet a little bit of time to prepare my mind for walking back in that hospital, but this evening there wasn’t time to “prepare” my mind and heart. A few different moments, it all felt too overwhelming. I just wanted to leave, but if you’ve ever been to the ER you know, it’s not a quick in and out experience.

I sought His peace but also felt so hurt and somewhat betrayed. I know He never leaves us or forsakes us, but there is still struggle and heartache.

That morning, before I realized how sick Shai was, I woke around 4am cramping and bleeding. The worst part was that we had just learned – 5 days before – that we were pregnant again. They were faint lines, but lines nonetheless. It all felt to odd, because if I’m being honest, initially I cried. But then wanted to be strong because the reality is that we didn’t really even have a confirmed ultrasound pregnancy – so it wasn’t a big deal, right? I had convinced my mind that it wasn’t a big deal, but my heart was so burdened and sad. Just days before we were talking about having our first February Baby and then here we were.

A friend helped guide me to truth and validation; we had a chemical pregnancy – which basically means I only knew via tests that we were pregnant. I guess it’s pretty common but most of the time woman think it’s their period starting late. I almost wish I hadn’t known I was pregnant, but then another part of me is glad I did know.

Talking with my counselor about it, I found myself choking up, tears filling my eyes, ” I’m so sorry, I don’t know why I’m crying.”

“Of course you would cry. Why wouldn’t you? You lost a baby. I would be worried if this didn’t affect you.”

Hearing that, the walls broke and so did I. Validation.

It’s not even been 3 years since we’ve lost Eisley and I just cannot keep living, denying my feelings and grief and the trauma anymore. The trauma is too much to bury and if I do, I wouldn’t be myself. I’ve seen it. If I continue to face this grief and trauma (in counseling like I have), perhaps I will continue to find peace and healing – and maybe even the pieces of me that I felt I’d lost will come back slowly. I know that I am forever changed by the loss of our Eisley-girl but I am not crazy. I am a broken, hurting, traumatized, emotional momma. But I am not crazy.

Declaring it. Standing firm in it. Choosing to walk in truth and face what needs to be faced.

Declaring that I will trust Him.

I wasn’t going to share about our little “Glory Baby”  – but within the “safety” of my blog – I know the people are read are ones whom I know what to hear what I have to say. Thank you so much for stopping by and listening to my ramblings.

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When my broken world caves in
And the darkness covers over
With a love, love, love that heals

You come, You make us one
So, Jesus, stay with my heart, stay beside me
You are hope for my soul, You complete me
You make us one
You make us one
When Your tenderness surrounds
And Your gentle whisper finds me
With a love, love, love that fills
You come, You make us one
When the beautiful unfolds
And my longing touches heaven
With a love, love, love that fills
You come, You make us one
You are love, You are grace
You are kindness and compassion
You are love, You are grace
You are God

-Stay Beside Me by Future of Forestry

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I will bring praise, I will bring praise!
No weapon formed against me shall remain!

I will rejoice, I will declare; God is my victory and He is here!

All of my life, in every season, You are still God. I have a reason to sing, I have a reason to worship!

-Desert Song

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And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us.
And if our God is with us, then what could stand against.
What could stand against?

-Our God by Chris Tomlin

brothers.

oh these boys…
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occasionally sweet with each other, mostly rough and all boyish. lots and lots of wrestling and running and screaming and sword fighting and pirate playin’…

20130529-070542.jpgyou’d think the eldest beautiful boy, with model-like hair (seriously SO JEALOUS), would be the ring leader. the mastermind. while, sometimes that’s true… most cases, his little brother is the mastermind. the one who pushes the limits. Chaseyboy, though he can be mischievous at times, he is mostly a follow the rules kinda kid. he does argue an awful lot and want everything to be explained well ;) but he isn’t typically the rule breaker of the two.

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yes indeed, this squishy little Shai is the most mischievous one. what he lacks in size (he’s pretty small for his age) he makes up for in dramatics and bravery.  he is truly MAJOR drama and fearless.20130529-070434.jpg

 

they are both joys and sunshines – they’ll brighten your spirit in a heartbeat!20130529-070455.jpg

also, models. I’m super bias but SERIOUSLY they are beautiful! ;)

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and finally, my fave of the little mini iPhone photoshoot we did (while waiting for daddy after church last Sunday)

 

Disney on ice

We were recently blessed with a fun gift from Ted’s sister. One that Chase will talk about for months, and maybe remember for years.

20130410-122050.jpgDisney on Ice: Treasure Trove!

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(Above photos: Alice and Wonderland and the Little Mermaid)

We had amazing seats and both Chaseyboy AND Shailo sat quietly, in amazement, the entire show. Ted and I weren’t really sure what to expect, but I can tell you this, I never expected it to be as incredible and captivating as it was! I definitely recommend this if it comes near you! (Also, check Groupon and Living Social, that was where his sister found such a deal!)

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Above photos: The Lion King. Chase LOVED this one.

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Above photos: Snow White – I guess it was the first Disney movie! I didn’t realize that. Chase had never seen Snow White (or really, most of the princess movies besides my favourite: Beauty and the Beast and Brave)

20130410-185246.jpg20130410-185305.jpgAladin, just in case you couldn’t tell ;) I personally loved this one, hehe. I knew the songs word for word. Reminded me of grade school and a creative speech I had to give. I did the scene from when Genie is released from the lamp! HAHA!20130410-114357.jpg

They actually had an intermission and I asked the gal in front of us to snap a shot of us as a fam. Chase wanted to wear his pirate bandana to the show and Shailo joined in as well :)

Of course, Chasey’s favourite part of the night was indeed Peter Pan!

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There were others they showed as well but I didn’t snap photos of them all. It was just a really fun filled night :)20130410-114329.jpgThe evening ended with all of the princesses and princes coming out as couples and skating. It was really pretty but to be honest, it also made my heart ache a little bit. Maybe this is a bit heavy for this post, but I couldn’t help but think of our Eisleygirl. As silly as it may seem, I mean we were at a Disney show, I wondered how different this evening would have been with her along with us. Perhaps dressed in a little princess outfit and perhaps we would have known the scenes from Tangled and The Princess and the Frog, etc. Or maybe she’d be dressed as a pirate along with her brothers. :) Ever so often that evening I felt little aches in my heart, but mostly we had a really wonderful time.

20130410-190752.jpgIn the moments like that night, where my heart tends to ache, it also helps to guide my heart towards a deep gratefulness; for the moments I had that night, with my children that are here with me. I am overwhelmed and thankful, for even the silly, fun and goofy nights like this one – to the ones at home where I’m watching and listening to my little ones play.

A fun and wonderful memory as a family!

Easter eggs (a family first)

As far as I can remember, this year was our first time dyeing Easter eggs as a family. Ted rarely has Saturdays off, but recently he has been given a few weekends with us. A fun blessing! Saturday, before Easter Sunday, we decided to try our hands at dyeing eggs with the boys. It had been years since either of us had.

It was kind of comical ;)
EasterEggs (1 of 2) We watched the Veggie Tales Easter story and got to work. Chaseyboy took it oh. so. seriously. :)
EasterEggs (2 of 2) Shailo just shoved his hands right in (thankfully this washed off!)20130407-090935.jpg

(photo taken with my phone)EasterEggs (1 of 4)“What’s gunna work? Teeaaam work!” EasterEggs (2 of 4) I love the shots above. He’s getting so big! (He’ll be a 1 1/2 next month!)
EasterEggs (3 of 4) We dyed some and then wrote on some with colourful sharpies.
EasterEggs (4 of 4)

Definitely doing this again next year. Maybe branch out and be a little more creative? Pinterest was EXPLODING with ideas!
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So pretty and fun. worth the mess and extra long bath time :)

What kinds of ways did you decorate eggs this year?! I would love to hear!

Bits + pieces: colourful playroom + bedroom

Welcome to the full room tour of the boys’ super colourful-artsy-vintage bedroom/playroom !20130324-160552.jpg20130330-091248.jpgThis room is a collection of thrifted + gifted items from over the years (the most expensive thing I paid for was the $20 orange rug from IKEA – that’s really not a bragging point, but just to say, I’m a cheap-o and also, to hopefully encourage thrifting, because I know it works! ) I started collecting vintage toys since before we were pregnant with Chase. It has always been a small dream of mine to do a vintage inspired bedroom/playroom  – if we are ever blessed with another girl I think this dream will come into fruition even more so!20130330-083743.jpgAs you enter your eyes might be a tad overwhelmed ;) It is a bit of a colour explosion.
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Chase spotted this rug at IKEA. $20 for a decent sized rug, not bad! We previously had a CARS blanket laid down for the wear and tear my boys put carpet through. Since we always rent – this rug was a nice find! It will help be a catch all for the little messes little hands can quickly make :)20130330-083725.jpgYou might remember the room tour from our previous home. I had a very specific colour pallete – which is mainly the colours you see on the 5 canvases above. Well, that all flew out the window with this room. But I have to say, I LOVE where it went; Colour galore.
20130324-160608.jpgI hung an outfit both boys wore when they were infants. I also framed one of Chaseyboy’s first toys – it was well loved as you can see ;) The cars prints are from IKEA as well as the white frames. The ‘love’ Chase painted a while back.
20130324-160600.jpgOn top of the changing table: a cute pillow friend my mom made Chase two Christmases ago. I also put their basket of musical toys up high for special times when my ears can handle the banging symbols ;)20130324-160758.jpgWe’ve barely used the changing table for what it is really for – to change kiddos. We mostly have used it for storage. I thrifted the baskets that hold Shailo’s jammies and paints/comfy clothes. The bottom drawer holds the awkward sized toys that can’t fit into bins very well.
20130330-083810.jpg20130330-083731.jpgSome art I made for the boys room with a few quotes I love.20130330-083750.jpgThe pendant banner is made of felt + string. It was decor I made for  Shailo’s 1st birthday party.
20130330-083641.jpgClouds + Shailo’s 1st year painting! Didn’t his turn out super cute?! 20130324-160632.jpgI absolutely LOVED these curtains from the moment I saw them in an IKEA catalog. They were a whopping $15. Notice, I didn’t actually hang them with a rod. I just simply hung them with pins! They have yet to be torn down and they’ve been up for months now.
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We like to call this tent the little “pirate ship cove” because… as you can see… my little pirate-lovin’ Chaseyboy houses his ships here. He and I found the first pirate ship at a thrift store for $3 and at Christmas time this year, he was gifted 2 more pirate ships. WHOA. Thankfully both of my boys are super into pirates currently (Chase’s 4th birthday party is actually pirate themed – per his request!)
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The boys cozy spot of the room. Side note: The boys room has the most beautiful natural light all. day. long. We all enjoy being in this room and I think that is a part of it. LOVE natural light.20130324-160454.jpgIt is a blessing to have both a mother and a mother-in-law who are seriously gifted in sewing. My mom has made these cute little stuffed animals for each of our kiddos!

20130324-160411.jpgMy MIL, Anisa, makes the most amazing quilts and blankets for the boys. This one beneath my feet was one she made right before Chase was born. The basket that holds their stuffed animals (seriously, don’t know how this happened, so many!)20130324-160431.jpg This is where Chaseyboy sleeps (you might remember, Shailo sleeps in our room, sometimes in his crib, mostly in our bed ;)) Chase has never had a beloved stuffed animal that he just can’t sleep without but this pillow case is his ‘must have’. Thankfully I have 2! The sock monkey blanket I thrifted and it fits for when he moves to a twin bed. The name banners I made with scrap fabric and twine. And the picture was a gift from my MIL! I spotted a smaller version at an antique mall and she surprised me and mailed this beauty to me. Brought me to tears. LOVE it. 20130330-120152.jpg

Chaseyboy also “can’t sleep” without the “rain” of the white noise maker and his turtle that puts blue stars on his wall at nighttime.

20130324-160708.jpgUnder Chasey’s bed is a mesh organizer (IKEA) that holds extra blankets and the bright bin (thrifted) holds his Dinosaur Train + characters)

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Art wall. Love this so very much. From left to right: chalk pastel art by Chase framed in a thrifted, vintage frame, a ‘you are my sunshine’ canvas I painted on Eisley’s due date – for her, next is Chase’s 1st year canvas and some photos you’ll see up close below, next is another You are my sunshine canvas – this one for the boys.20130330-110433.jpg This AMAZING piece of art is one my sister, Abie, did. She took a photo of Chase and I and re-created it with, get this, ONLY the words ‘You are my sunshine’ over and over. Isn’t that AMAZING?!20130330-083737.jpg

Up close of each of the boys’ 1st year canvases.

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Frames are from IKEA and the far right one is from Target. Photos: Chase and his friend Anthem at our Ugly Sweater Christmas Party, and then one of my FAVES of the boys from this summer – by a tractor, and another of the boys, dressed the same with a similar expression – at the Denver Aquarium.20130330-091149.jpgWe’ve all seen the crayon art on Pinterest – when it was becoming popular, a mom’s group I was a part of in Fort Collins did it! It was actually a lot of fun, mine of course, was a sun for my “sunshines” :)  Below that is Chase’s 3rd year canvas and 2nd year, above that is a small painted frame with an ultrasound photo of Shailo and above that is the quote “every cloud has a silver lining” that I printed offline a few years ago..

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Some of the collected vintage toys are able to be displayed (and played with) on their bookcase. The little red, foam car up top was Chase’s very first car! It has now been chewed and torn up but it’s one I just can’t seem to throw away! 20130324-160701.jpg

My MIL often brings us things Ted owned or made as a child. I LOVE THAT. She brought down these heavy wooden cars Ted made when he was little. This blue truck is one of them.
20130324-162004.jpgThis dresser was really nothing special. So I decided to add green and star knobs from Hobby Lobby! The mesh blue hanging organizer I thrifted but found out it is actually from IKEA! It holds dress up things and sometimes toys and stuffed animals – depending on what Chase puts in it.20130324-160737.jpgFrom left to right: The little picture frame which holds the first photo of Chase and Shailo (when he first met his baby brother) was actually made by Ted when he was a kiddo! The other painted frame – Chase and his friend Anthem each painted one before his friend moved away to Georgia recently. It holds a photo of the boys in a tent at their first sleepover! The skateboard I thrifted when Chase was a baby (hope to made skateboard shelving when they are older) and the blocks spell out our boys’ middle names.  To the right: close up of the alphabet lamp I thrifted.20130324-160833.jpgThese little white shoes were Ted’s when he was a baby! Next to it is the Willow Tree ‘brothers’ figure I bought for Christmas and a gum ball machine I added thrifted glass marbles to.20130330-094009.jpgThe closet is my LEAST favourite spot in this room and you can imagine why :) But I am thankful for this toy organizer.20130324-160444.jpgI thrifted both the toy organizer and this vintage shelving! I love the little vintage print with the train and fox.
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I made this pinterest inspired organizers “for the boys” this Christmas. It has been a HUGE help. I bought the little wooden creatures from Hobby Lobby for around .50-.67 a piece. I painted the wooden door hangers, and used scrap fabric to hang them. The letters are foam stickers. And the ‘months’ was written with a silver sharpie marker.20130324-160616.jpg

Laundry basket from, you guessed it, IKEA. :)

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As you exit, you’ll always see this little sign on the door. Yes, indeed :)

Annnnd… just to keep it real… YES, I did clean their room for the photos and this is actually what it looks like 90% of the time…

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Have a happy Saturday and a wonderful Easter Sunday!

DIY kid’s art display

I am excited to share  a simple DIY to display your kiddos art, or really, whatever you’d like :) Last week, I had the boys’ art strung on a piece of yarn tied between thumb tacks. It worked, yes, but for some time I’ve wanted to create a better display and when I received gift cards to Hobby Lobby for my birthday, I found the perfect frames and began! It seriously takes no time at all! Stay, especially if you have a little artist on your hands :) (and please excuse the horrible lighting and quality of these photos… I may just be speaking to my photographer hubby who I know will see this ;))

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Supplies used:

Frames (you could use a regular and painted one if you’d like) – I bought mine at Hobby Lobby for 40% off of $8 each

Paint – colour of your choice

Paint brushes

Glue gun

Mini clothes pins

Stickers (or a Cricut to cut out your own)

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Step 1: paint and let it try

Step 2: Pick a word, quote or saying and place stickers

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Step 3: Glue clothes pins  (measure and mark ahead of time – so they are even. Mine aren’t because I didn’t think that through)

Step 4: Print photos and add to frames

Step 5: Hang and hang up kiddos artwork20130329-115059.jpg

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The aprons  – one was a gift for Chase and we recently painted it. Shailo’s was $1.19 on sale at Hobby Lobby!
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It is fun to display their art in a place for them to admire or show daddy and friends who come by. When we take down the art – I am so that mom who saves everything but recently started using an app called ArtKive which is amazing!

Hope you are inspired

365 grateful {weeks 5 & 6}

Just playin’ some catchup on my grateful project. What are some things that you are grateful for?

Here are some things I have been thankful for the past few weeks.
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For snuggles with my 3.5-year-old. I love his heart and that he’s always been a softie and a cuddle-bug.

61735_10151297013676989_1160481773_nFor a day time “hang out” with our friends in Georgia (via Skype) and an evening with my dear friend, Chey.426510_10151298400466989_295352741_n

For this. I’ve prayed for this for a long time. I now just pray that this is really more than a “kick” and we can stick with eating more clean. Slowly gaining knowledge which has helped a ton. And the best part is my love and I …we’re doing this as a team!

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For him and how he makes our life so much more fun and imaginative… my little pirate found a treasure chest at the aquarium and it made his day! This boy. Oh my heart.

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For words that help my heart. I am thankful for little reminders like this. And I’m also thankful for my friends who reminded me of truth when I was/am struggling to believe.

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He woke us before the sun to tell us of the pirate show he saw with Mimi (and then asked me to take a picture of him and his spyglass :))

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Thankful that even if I totally screw it up, they’re love and affection is unconditional. I could learn a lot from them.

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For moments like this. Even on an extra fun-filled day (Valentine’s Day) these are my favourite moments.

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Thankful for grace, grace, grace and that my trip to the DMV and the post office with boy my boys was so much easier than I had anticipated. 72920_10151314739231989_1881986798_n

Do I even need to say anything? ;) He has the CUTEST Chaseyboy smile. Adore.537079_10151321424966989_980067611_n

For quality time out with my love.
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For this. Washing these 2-3 times a day doesn’t upset me but makes my heart so happy and so proud of Ted!

554233_10151325076351989_444067945_n Watching my siblings love on my kiddos and my kiddos love on my siblings. This always makes my heart so full. Can’t wait to someday have nephews and nieces to adore!
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Dinner with friends we hadn’t seen in some time. Does our hearts good! Enemy likes to fool us (I’m sure we aren’t the only ones) into believing we’re truly alone. Wrong-o. We’ve got an incredible group of friends here – and all around the world, really!
A great way to end my weekend, looking back on the things I have to be grateful for in the weeks past and looking forward to what’s ahead.
What was your weekend like?

365 grateful {week 4 & 5}

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For time with my dear friend, Chey. We went wedding dress shopping and found her dress on this day! I am so blessed to call this girl friend (more like my sister) and I am {beyond} ecstatic for her to be married this summer to an amazing man and also, friend of Ted :)

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At the time I took this photo and was grateful that my boys were better. They had both caught a stomach bug. Unfortunetely Shailo’s lasted for over a week. Throwing up and then a fever (sometimes 103.2) for a week straight (which is apparently okay! Did you know this?! Crazy!) Broke my heart!

485897_10151254567471989_1962110312_nFor a few days with my beautiful, Aussie friend, Alanna. The last time I saw her I was overdue with Chase. She left just a week before he was born. It was so incredible to introduce her to our boys and to spend time with her!

196312_10151256784431989_2055762599_nFor precious time with our friends Alanna and Josh – visiting the zoo, but of course ;)

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For a day of painting, crafting, laughter and Downton Abbey.

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For this messy little one even when it’s really hard. Chocolate popsicle (hey, it’s homemade and healthy ;)) and an empty medicine bottle he dug out of the recycle. Momma of the year today during this week (jokes, seriously)
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 For Ted helping me be strong when I feel helpless and weak. My heart was aching. One full week of my sweet shai being sick (viral crap & teething.) He was a little better but wanted to be held literally ALL day. And only by me. I am thankful for a husband who helped encourage me while we let him “cry it out”. My first time ever doing that as a momma. Totally not my thing but it was this or my sanity. My heart felt so torn as I listened to him cry. Bah…
62336_10151263579956989_802508135_nFor a skype sesh with our dear friends that moved away. Here is a photo of our boys playing snakes  “together” from afar. At one point they even said, “I love you.” on their own accord! So thankful for Skype and amazing friends.
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For the ability to dream again. I am in the process of writing a blog about this. I haven’t really dreamt much since we’ve lost Eisley. In fact, I had thought I’d lost that ability. I was wrong. So very thankful for dreams and the ability to keep dreaming (of future plans, what we hope for our family, etc)…
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For time with my Madre and for her help and calming spirit that was able to put my clingy, sick son to sleep. Oh so thankful.
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Ted pulled out our juicer and juiced for the first time (for him.) I couldn’t be more thankful and excited that Ted’s now on board with me in learning what it means to be healthy! (I’ve been praying for this, shhh ;))
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For beautiful weather, fresh air …46694_10151269556736989_1817490193_n…and tons of chalk dust and laughter. :)

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For the opportunity to attend To Write Love On Her Arms (TWOLHA) Heavy & Light Tour. Truly an amazing ministry that in the past, spoke to me and my sisters hearts. I absolutely loved this night with my baby sis Abie and Ted. Moved to tears multiple times.

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For this boy and his fun imagination. He’s truly a {joy}! He and Shailo were my little Super Bowl Sunday crew. We had our own little fun “party” which ended with me muting the game and browsing through our Thailand photos, researching the cost of living in Thailand and sharing our stories and dreams with Chase! 5 years ago we watched the Super Bowl while in Thailand! I ache for Thailand lately… oh so much!

What’s something you’re grateful today?