What Happened?

The other day I snapped a few pics of my girls.... Alice's hair was down and she looked so pretty.  She doesn't especially appreciate me taking pictures of her :)  She is anything but a poser... she always looks either awkward or annoyed!  Ahh... but that's my Alice!  None the less, I wanted to get a shot or two of all that pretty hair and safely secure the memory of it.  I was working with her desperately trying to get a pleasant look.... when the image in my view finder made me stop.  I jumped back 4 years.... I could see my Alice, 2 years old, sitting on the couch with sunlight illuminating the pile of curls on top of her head.  She was quite the sight at that age.... petite and precious with dark curly hair that seemed to only accumulate on top of her head, refusing to grown in length on the sides :)  That was my favorite age with her.... she was still an only child and she consumed my world.  I was so proud of her.

But there in my dining room currently stood my 6 year old... tall and fair with long curly dark hair that no longer fell in ringlets over her warm brown eyes.  She was still striking and I was still so proud of her.... but she wasn't my baby anymore.  I was overwhelming with the passing of time and all that had changed since then.  Where did the time go?

I know this is a common feeling as a mom of growing kids... but sometimes it hits you so oddly, that you feel as if you've jumped into another life.  I can hardly remember what it felt like to only have one child, to not feel exhausted and overwhelmed continually... to be able to focus on the joys, accomplishments, needs, and struggles of an individual child.

Yet life is good... and it goes on.  Each years multiplies the joys and struggles through the scope of multiple children.  Life get more complicated with each year yet increasingly rich. The reality of the dream is so much deeper than it could have ever possibly been dreamed.  And for this I am thankful... thankful to a Heavenly Father who holds our lives and our dreams in his hands.  He know the days to come and turns our hopes into a deeper, more amazing reality that we could have ever hoped for..... IF... it is in Him.  Without him that disparity between what I dreamed of, expected, imagined...and the current reality would seem disappointing... but in him life in all it's complexity is joy. Alice is no longer my only baby... she's a big girl and shortly I will have THREE other little ones!  But this is where I want to be.... I don't know where the time went, but I'm thankful that I'm here.

Thank you Lord for where you've brought me... thank you that life is rich and complex, even if it feels overwhelming at times.  As hard as life can be, I trust you with these days and the days ahead.  You have brought me this far and you will see me through.  Help me to never long for the past, but allow you to give me joy for today and hope for tomorrow.

Blessings and Joy for today!

Baby Bump

I took some pictures of myself this afternoon.... wow, that's challenging :)  But I got it done, and I think I will look back on them someday and enjoy the sentimental feeling they create.  I just wish I could be in two places at once and actually take pictures of myself.... so could capture all the images and angles I can see in my head!  Oh, well... these will have to do!

On a side, note... baby's kicks are getting nice and strong :)  I'm not a huge fan of pregnancy in general, but am just loving the late night acrobatics of my little guy.  It makes it all worth it...   Also, we finally really decided on a name for him!  We thought we had figured it out the night before the sono, but once we knew it really was a boy our tastes seemed to change!  Very odd...  BUT, he is now named (with the approval of Alice and Elsie) and I can now begin to affectionately call him by name as wiggles around inside of me :)  Yay :)

Blessings to you on this beautiful Sunday,

The gift of time...

It has been a typically busy week.... Yesterday and today were supposed to be especially crazy.  Yesterday I started the day in a grumpy mood because I didn't get much sleep (random lengthy awakenings by numerous children during the night), and I was overwhelmed at all that need to be done.  I struggled through the morning trying to determine what things "had to be done" and what I might be able to skip.  The afternoon wouldn't offer much time for getting things done either... then we had to be a church by  5:15. 

BUT around 4 I noticed Alice wasn't running around the house chasing her sisters.... her cheeks were rosy and she was quiet on my bed.  She had a fever...

At first I was really agitated. Great... another sick child and now I can't go to church. But as I resigned myself to the change in plans, I realized it wasn't all bad.  I now had some extra time.....

I had a whole list of things I needed to do.... and now a little extra time to tackle some of that.  It almost felt like a gift: a quieter (not quiet because Sadie stayed home with Alice and me also) evening at home!

I strung baby bracelets, printed, cut, and packaged business cards for my sister, placed a bead order, and wrote some thank you notes... Not bad!  I regretted not being at church to help Jeremy with the youth group, but all in all it really was a good evening in spite of Alice not feeling good...

Well, today was supposed to be the other crazy day.... well, Alice is still sick.  That has significant implications for today also: no homeschooling, no fussing over getting everyone dressed (we won't be going anywhere), and no heading to Kansas this evening.

That last part is the kicker.... we were planning on leaving for KS tonight so that I could take some newborn pictures for a friend.  I'm really bummed about that part... I was looking forward to seeing her, seeing family, and also attending some of  the homecoming celebration at our college there in town. 

BUT once again... to try and focus on the positive... I now have some unexpected time at home on my hands, 2 days actually.  I've decided to appreciate it and use it.  It will be nice to just be at home, especially after a long week and a busy past weekend.

To fit our lazy sick day, we're all in our P.J.s.  The girls received a gift from their Grandma: matching fleece leopard print footies.  Now if that isn't the perfect thing for a day like today :)  This slow, cool, unexpected day feels good for a change...  Thank you Lord for the unexpected break.  You know what I need,  better than I do.  Help me to breath you in.... recharge and be grateful.  You are good, so good... and you take care of me. 


31 is too much AND a new idea :)

We need to go grocery shopping...(yes, I said "We" not "I"... I don't do the shopping alone, ever... JJ does it almost all of the time.  I love that.).  So for lunch today we opted for quick and fast: we each got a Beefy Burrito from Taco Bell, for a grand total of $2 (the kiddos got oatmeal... a standard  backup for when we have no food :) ).  But... bonus... we got more than we paid for.  In addition to our beefy burritos, we received 31 packets of sauce.  31 PACKETS OF SAUCE!!!!   It was a memorable moment.

Secondly, I wanted to show you my new idea....
Alice had a birthday and she needs to write some thank you notes.  So being the person that I am, I couldn't just have her write on a generic note card!  Instead, I took one of her precious little animal drawings and converted it into a bitmap image for my illustration program.... Voila! an adorable personalized card to send to family!   I think this might become an Etsy item... send me your kiddo's drawing and I'll make it into personalized stationery... definitely worth letting brew in the creative chambers of my mind :)   Alice loved them... by the way... She loved seeing her artwork come to life on a stack of note cards.  So fun!

Blessings to you all,

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