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Tuesday, July 30, 2013


July has flown by in some ways. But most days it has felt like the summer is moving at a snail's pace. Honestly, we've missed the water park this summer. Life just hasn't been the same without it. It definitely kept us all entertained in summers past. And we will most likely return next year with season passes. I started taking the boys when Holden was 2 years and Pax was 10 months that first year. So technically we could have gone with Abe this summer. I just felt like he needed some chill time after his many little adjustments. So by default the rest of us are getting that chill time whether we want/need it or not. I haven't been the best at planning activities at home for the big boys. And I've heard one boy complain about boredom more often than I ever want to hear again. One regular event that they have enjoyed this summer has been Monday mornings at the library, bringing home 10-15 new books to read and re-read throughout the week. They always love playing in the water, so the water hose gets pulled out a lot in the backyard. The big boys have been doing a lot of bike riding. Holden's training wheels are off and he almost has it down. If he could just be a little more patient with himself. He tends to get really frustrated by the challenge and wants to give up. But he did ride 1/2 mile last night with a few breaks in between and Jeremy running beside him. Then occasionally we do other things like sidewalk chalk, painting or other random ideas I find on Pinterest or somewhere else online. Feel free to send me any low maintenance ideas that would entertain my big boys during Abe's morning nap. I'm serious. Leave me comment with any ideas you've seen or have been doing this summer. We are always up for new activities. And my creativity has recently been at an all time low. Here are a few pictures from our fun in July.
A messy and odd Pinterest activity. They enjoyed it.
Painting with cars.
The three boys and I took a little trip east during the week in early July so the great grandparents could meet our sweet little Abe. We ended up spending much of our time swimming, which was so much fun for the boys. Holden learned to dive and Pax became much more confident in the water. Abe loves splashing in the water. He even sticks his face in over and over again.
This was Pax the first day...all about safety. :)
See, he got a little more brave as time went on.
Holden became pretty good at diving. I had fun teaching him. And below is the man that taught me to dive when I was a little girl. I remember learning on the side of his pool.
My sweet Uncle Jimmy took the boys around the block in his "sports car". They thought they were big stuff! Goodness, they love cars!
And meeting the greats. They loved our newest addition.
I don't want to wish the summer away. Mainly because I know that means my little guy inches closer and closer to 1 year. That's hard for me to think about it this time around...I think because of the time that we lost. But I'm also ready for the routine that will follow when the school year begins. For now, I'm looking forward to August which will include a visit from my sister, Amanda and her little girls! Hope you all are enjoying the long days of summer!

Friday, July 26, 2013

weekend with the roomies.

I'm a little behind on this blog of mine. But I couldn't let this wonderful weekend go completely undocumented. Two weeks ago today my 3 college roommates and myself all met up at the Gaylord Texan Resort for a little reunion and relaxation. It had been way too long since we had done a girls weekend. In fact, I think it had been about 6+ years. Since all four of us have lived in four different states for several years, it had just become more challenging to make it happen. But now that we have all returned to Texas and Kristy pushed for this trip, we all jumped at the opportunity. I am so glad that we did. These 3 girls will always be called "my roomies", spoken in the present tense, though we haven't lived together for 11+ years now. Back in college, we were like sisters in our closeness, all the way to our silly spats. We were able to laugh about those moments during our recent weekend. Today, 11 years later, life looks so differently for each of us. Four amazing Christian men in our lives, and 9 wonderful little blessings (ages 5 and under) and more to come, I'm sure of it. I'm happy with where I am today in life, but I'm thankful for these relationships that have stuck with me over the years. These relationships that hold buckets and buckets and buckets full of memories from a very special season in my life.
On Saturday we floated the lazy river for 7 hours! It was glorious. And hot! But because we had so much to talk about, there was never a dull moment. I needed the fellowship and conversations more than anything. We talked about being a wife, motherhood, learning to truly trust Jesus, our favorite cocktails, and how everything had changed, but in some ways so much was still the same. It was good for my soul! I think that we decided this little trip needs to be an annual commitment.

Thursday, July 11, 2013


So I bought myself some gifts. Mother's Day was a little different since we traveled to Oklahoma the Wednesday before to meet Abe. Once we were home and settled a few weeks ago, I offered to Jeremy to order my own Mother's Day gift. Ha. So thoughtful of me, right? I had received a sweet little sign for Abe's room from my friend Kristy that I mentioned here. So the same Etsy seller created these two custom pieces for me. This one is for our living room mantle.
If you've read here for any amount of time then you know that this song speaks to my heart in how God did some work in me through the creation of our family. I've mentioned it here and here.  Sometimes when I listen to the lyrics I can see the music video of Jeremy and I's life about 6ish years ago and then fast forwarding to today...3 beautiful little boys that light up our world. So why not hang the lyrics in my living room. Holden and I titled this "our song" (as in our family's song) well over a year ago. So I was ecstatic when it showed up on my doorstep today. And it showed up side by side with this little sign for Holden and Pax's shared room.
After I read to them their new sign today they began purposefully tripping, falling to the ground and then stopping to help one another up. Ha. Silly boys for sure. At least they were actually listening to me read it! But they are big time buds. Sometimes I wonder what in the heck they would do without one another. That thought crossed my mind today as they sat at the kitchen table for about an hour playing with legos and sharing pieces back and forth. Not that it's always peaceful around here. There is plenty of arguing, tattling and those not so fun parenting moments. But these boys share hundreds of sweet moments and I know they will have a heart full of fun memories with one another. Their closeness often reminds me of the relationships I've seen between twins. When Holden was 16 months old and Pax came along, things felt a little CRAZY. Partly because we moved three times during Pax's first 4 months of life. But I wouldn't have it any other way. And I would do it all over again for Abe to have a sibling close in age. Just warning you. ;) Anyways, this scripture has always been a special one to me. And I thought it was the perfect addition for the big boy's room.
And here is the shop that created them both!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Family Photos

Soon after Abe and I made it back to Texas, Ashley Rutland squeezed us in for a photo session. She took some very sweet and memorable family photos last May. So it was an easy decision for us to call on her again. Photographers can cost an arm and a leg! Ashley does not. But she has amazing quality and great my opinion. Without giving away too much, since we are sending out a little announcement for Abe, I had to post some of the pictures she captured. One little 3 year old in the family has problems smiling on command. But she somehow managed to get some great ones. I highly recommend her if you're in my area. I linked her blog above and here is her Facebook. And I get no benefit from bragging on her. Just an honestly, happy customer. Twice in a row. And I'm even holding back some of my favorites for now. :)
Now, how on earth did we get three of the most handsome boys I've ever laid eyes on!?? ;)

Monday, July 8, 2013

long weekend.

This past weekend we had four semi-solid days as a family. Yes, semi-solid. There were still pockets of time that Jeremy had to go into work. A few hours here and a few hours there. But for the most part he was home and completely available to the boys. He tried to do most of his work during their afternoon naps. Since things have been a little crazy the past few weeks, mainly pertaining to Jeremy's work schedule, we allowed the big boys to call some shots on how they wanted to spend time as a family.
On Wednesday night, to kick off our long weekend together, we took them to a nearby town center that did a great fireworks display. Holden loves fireworks and had been looking forward to this for several days. We went with some friends but this was the only picture I got. Poor Abe. Teething those eye teeth is a beast! We can't keep his fingers out of his mouth. Even Abe sat in my lap and watched in amazement at the fireworks display. It was noisy and he was completely unbothered by the volume. He just stared at the sky with us and took it all in. He even fell asleep during it. Then during the noisy finale of crackles and pops, I knew it would wake and startle him. But it never did. He was sawing logs through the end of it. He's pretty easy.
On the actual 4th, we headed to some friend's home for a cookout. Holden and Pax were able to spend many hours on a slip in slide and in the dirt. They were in heaven. :) And I took no pictures. That evening we had a night in. We didn't want to fight the traffic and we had already watched fireworks the night before. We did attempt to light up some sparklers from last year's Independence Day. FYI: sparkler
s expire. We had about 20 and they were all duds.
We also made some homemade icecream that evening. Because really, what is July 4th without homemade icecream? The flavor was cinnamon and there is still plenty in my freezer to date. Please come finish it off for me. Here are the boys waiting on daddy to scoop them their bowl full.
All week the boys had been saying they wanted to play golf with daddy. He has trained them well by convincing them to love his favorite pastime. So Saturday night we all went out for mini golf. Pax is a more serious player. Holden is so full of energy that he doesn't really slow down enough to focus on aiming very well. He may be a little too aggressive for golf right now. In fact, he might do better at a driving range than putting. Either way, they both loved playing. And more than that, they were just soaking up their time with daddy. They are crazy about him.
Abe and I were spectators.
It was a good weekend for us to catch up on some much needed family time. And like they always do, it traveled by way way way too quickly.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Abe: 7 months

Today our baby boy is 7 months old. It's hard to believe that we have known about his existence for less than 2 months. He is a perfect and joyful fit for our family. And we are so grateful that God blessed our family with this addition.
A lot has happened in the last month. Today Abe and I have been home for 3 weeks. It feels like we have been home for months now...and I mean that in a very positive way. It really feels like a distant memory that we were stuck in Oklahoma, but yet it was just a short 3 weeks ago. Some people have asked how Abe has adjusted to all his recent changes. I appreciate that. I think too many people just assume babies are resilient and unaffected by these transitions. My best guess is that he is doing really good. I mean, I don't know what is going on in his little heart and head. But he normally wears a big smile on his face when his immediate family is close by. He absorbs our touches and cuddles, as some children/babies might resist those things if they are afraid to trust a new caregiver. Instead he is very affectionate with us. In fact, if I say to him, "give me kisses", he flashes a big grin and then leans his face in to meet mine. Sweet. He's so so sweet. He is absolutely in love with his big brothers and gives them the biggest smiles. And they are equally in love with him. It's been such a joy to watch these 3 little boys connect and love and bond.
These two big boys are my little helpers. Always eager to lend me a hand in most any way that I ask.
On Saturday night Abe slept through the night (9:30pm-8:00am) in his own room, in his own crib. I was amazed when I woke naturally at 7am to a quiet house. Mind you, that has not happened since. But he's done it once with us so I do know that it's possible for him. He is normally waking somewhere between 3-4am. Currently, we start him in his crib at nighttime and he ends up in our bed, normally close to 4am. I know he probably doesn't NEED that 4am feeding that I am offering him. (At his 6 month appointment his stats were weight: 20lbs 11oz - 90%, height: 27inches - 51%, head circumference: 43cm - 28%) But he sure acts hungry when he wakes. And I'm probably creating some terrible habit that is going to be tough to break, but honestly I'm just not sure what to do about it. I justify it by telling myself that he is the same size (actually 1 pound heavier) as Holden and Pax at this age, but they were taking 8-9oz of formula 4 times a day. He is only taking 6oz of formula 4 times during the day (+ the 5th feeding during the night.) And I've even tried a 6th feeding, by feeding him at 11pm or midnight before I go to bed. But he still seems to wake around 4am even with that late night "dream feed" (a Babywise term for those that know what I'm referring to). Except for that random and beautiful Saturday night this past weekend. This is the first baby that I have rocked. I rock him to sleep at each night and at each nap. It's a sweet, sweet time for us. Sometimes he stares in my eyes as I sing until his eyelids get to heavy to hold them open. And he normally ends up curled up on my chest. I sing, he snuggles and quickly drifts off to sleep. And I've wondered...why in the heck did I not do this with the other boys!!! I love the rocking, singing and cuddling. Precious time for us. I know it may be another hard habit to break. But I feel like it's a very important part of his life right now and he needs this from us. So we are rocking him to sleep and I am enjoying every moment.
Abe is now independently sitting up. I don't even place the boppy behind him anymore because he is at pro at sitting. He is also starting to get up on his knees and rocking back and forth a little. He scoots himself backwards easily, which I remember both of my other boys doing soon before crawling began. He can also rotate in a full circle to get to his different toys. So more excitement should be going on in our house very soon once he is mobile and crawling around exploring on his own. As I posted previously, he loves to clap and is clapping constantly. He is pretty proud of this new skill. He loves to blow raspberries...and sometimes during meal times...ugh. It makes for a nice spray of purees over his high chair tray and often on the feeder (typically me).
We have started solid foods. So far he has had green peas, green beans, blueberries, apples, bananas and peaches. I went in a better order with the first two. This time it was more about what I had available in the freezer to make once I got home. So we started fruits before introducing all the veggies. Oh well. He'll be trying butternut squash and sweet potatoes in the coming week. So far he likes it long as he has his bottle first. I've tried to feed him solids while he's famished and he was devastated and reacted as though I was attempting to poison him with green beans. See for yourself...
Abe adores bath time and playing in the water. He loves to splash and bat at the water. I'm happy to have another water lover. You always hear about parents having to convince their kids to take a bath. My boys would take them twice a day if given the option. Occasionally they take a shower with Jeremy and that is normally a disappointment because they'd rather sit in the bath and play.
He has been teething and chewing since the moment we met him. And almost two months later, still no teeth. It seems as though some of the "eye teeth" will be the first to arrive. He has been a trooper, but yesterday I noticed he had bruised his tongue from all the chewing a biting. :( Abe is starting to master the sippy cup and loves to sip his ice cold water.
Jeremy has been extremely busy with work since we came home 3 weeks ago. I hate that because his time with Abe was already so much more limited than just naturally worked that way since I was the only one caring for him in Oklahoma the majority of those weeks. So it seems as though he has fully bonded to me and that is a great thing. But he has had just a couple of hard times when I haven't been home. Jeremy will have 4 full days at home this week/weekend with us. I hope it will help to strengthen Abe's connection and trust in Jeremy. Obviously we want and need Abe to have a strong connection with both of us for many reasons. I'm planning a weekend away in about 10 days. This was planned long before we knew of Abe. But I just really want Abe to feel complete security and safety at home with daddy and the big brothers. Honestly, I worry about what his little mind will think of my absence for a couple of days. A few people have commented that we fortunately missed the hard part (those first 5 months and sleepless nights). Little do they know about the different challenges faced through adoptions that happen further from birth. And goodness, I would take those sleepless nights in a heartbeat. We surely never wished to miss 5 months of his life. But regardless, it was God's good plan and we are grateful for however he chooses to write our story. Personal history reminds us time and time again that being open to His plan only enriches and blesses our lives in amazing ways. Blessed blessed blessed. While I'm rocking this little love several times during a day, I thank God that he chose us.