Friday, November 29, 2013

The Perfect Tree (2013 edition)

We found it… but it wasn't the perfect day to do it.  25 degrees and windy + 2 no-nap boys = a tearful journey.  But it was memorable:)  

Cutting down a family tree is a tradition my family has had for as long as I remember.  Even Ben remembers his Dad getting a "real tree" for them- and they lived in Florida!  They are sticky & messy and totally worth it.  It's something we've been doing with the boys since Eli was born.

Poor little boy!

Once we found our favorite, Ben went to work cutting and I took the boys inside the shop to watch the electric toy train and pick out a candy cane.  
(I think my kids/husband are the only people on earth who actually think candy canes taste good.)

What?  Is that a smile?  It can't be!!

They love the train.  It runs around the perimeter of the store ceiling and blows a whistle and smoke… it's quite elaborate.  

The trip proved exhausting and the ride home was mercifully silent!

Usually we race to get home, put up the tree, and decorate it all in one day.  This year spread all of that over a period of about a week… and it was awesome.  A week of tree decorating.  We might make THAT a yearly tradition!

Merry Christmas!!


It's been an incredible year:  the seventh I've spent with my best friend, a permanent (God-willing!) home purchase, the rapid sale of our old place, a pregnancy, completion of the foster parent program, and lots of life lessons from 2 little boys.  As I thanked God for all these obvious blessings, I began to reflect on some of those less apparent blessings I take for granted.

- I am Thankful for God's Word-
I've never ever ever thanked God for the Bible.  It's always something I've had, something that there's 3 or 4 of on the shelf, at any given time.  But I think back through my life, at it's most terrifying moments- dark with depression, heavy with exhaustion… in each of those times I had a completely good, pure, and true source of comfort to turn to.  I had free access to answers untainted by someone's opinion or inability to understand.  I wonder why it takes me so long, sometimes, to run to it.

-I am Thankful for America-
 It seems like it's not very popular right now to be patriotic.  I know there are a unbelievable amount of issues right now with our government (no matter which side you take!).  But even still- we live in a country with unsurpassed medical technology, a country that allows women freedom to leave their homes, to hold jobs, to have opinions and a have a say in things that happen, and a country in which we are free to make choices about how we worship (or whether we worship!) We are blessed to be here.

-I am Thankful for my Hobbies :)
I know that sounds a little strange.  I guess what I mean is that I'm thankful for a healthy outlet when the stress of the day seems overwhelming.  It's SUPER dorky, but there is nothing like creating something useful from a ball of yarn and a hook.  Or a few tubes of paint and a brush.   I remember times in my life when my coping mechanisms were so destructive.  I am so thankful for the ability to do things like crochet and paint and craft.  I'm so thankful for the free minutes I find in waiting rooms or checkout lines- or once the kids go to bed- that I have to pursue these interests.  These are enormous blessings in my life.

-I am Thankful for my Marriage-
 7 years is a long time to be with someone, and there have been some pretty epic difficulties. But I'm so grateful we both wholeheartedly meant "for better or worse"!  I'm thankful for someone who fights the every day fights with me- the kid discipline, the continual home maintenance… and for someone who fights FOR me- for our marriage, for our future, for our spiritual health.

And I'm thankful for someone who's a little bit weird:)

Friday, November 22, 2013

Pink or Blue?

We decided we'd wait for a surprise, this time.
I haven't regretted it for a second.  There were several occasions that Ben had to talk me out of finding out, and I'm so so thankful that he did.
I don't have any inclination of what we'll get in 4 weeks… both Ben & I go back and forth in our feelings.  At my last ultrasound, Ben said he felt like the pictures looked like a girl, but the attitude was all boy (when trying to get a face shot, baby squeezed his/her eyes shut and stuck out his/her tongue at us!!).  This mommy just has no idea.  And I'm ok with that :).

So baby, if you are a boy… we can't wait to meet you.  You have two feisty brothers who have paved the way and demonstrated time and again the joy of little boys.  A world of pillow fights and sofa forts, toy train and car wrecks, elaborate army men battles, complete dissections of peanut butter sandwiches, mud-puddle madness, and  daddy wrestling matches that mommy takes a back seat for :)  Plenty of rough edges-with room in the middle for snuggling, story time, brownie baking and hugs/kisses. We love you already.

And baby, if you are a girl… we can't wait to meet you.  We have little to no idea what to expect, so forgive us if our kisses are a little sticky and our hugs are a little rough.  We've had fun selecting a few "girl" items for you-just in case- and even Daddy has been sucked into the whirlwind of fluffy dresses and hair bows. You'll have 2 big brothers who will protect you, a Daddy who will treat you like royalty, and a Mommy who will never spend another afternoon watching Beauty and the Beast alone… ever again. :)  We're ready for a new challenge.  We love you already.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Halloween Parade

Halloween night was a DUD of epic proportions.  It started raining as soon as we got our costumes on, everyone was cranky…
These are (sadly) the best photos I got.  Seriously.

See the tears?  We made it through 3 houses before heading home.

Lucky for #1, he had a Halloween parade the next day at school, and was able to get a few more treats.

You just never know what the day holds with these kids. :)