Wednesday, November 11, 2015


In my last post, I talked about a yearning I had to just get away. After a quick family text reading, "Can you watch the kids?" Jordan and I were off on a birthday get-away to celebrate the big three o. The kids did everything in their power to keep us from boarding the plane. Their bags had been packed for days, but the morning of I was frantically tossing in my summer clothes, trying to think of everything I might need to spend a weekend in South Florida. I forgot my makeup and all hair products and tools, but perhaps it was better that way. Anyway, that morning I had our babysitter coming over until the kids would be divided up among family members when they all got off work. Abel woke up feeling a little sluggish and by the time we were "ready" to leave, he was burning up with fever. Of course. Then Merit's diaper rash was the worst I've ever seen it when he woke up. And Kinley? He was insisting he join us as the beach, his favorite place. I told him that his Pap was coming to get him so he could spend the weekend there and naturally, he expected that to happen RIGHT NOW. Our poor sitter is a trooper to inherit those three as we took off flying to the airport so as not to miss our flight. We were off to a rough start, but by the time we arrived our worries were behind us...

We booked ourselves a mini vacay in Captiva Island, FL in a resort on the island. We appreciated the small things, though. A cat-nap on the beach. Time to read. Sunsets. Not having to prepare food for little people that would soon be refused anyway. Sleep. Chatting with new friends. Sunrises. The beauty of being alone together. It was perfect, honestly. The best birthday.

We also took time to fish, ride bikes, go down water slides, swim in the ocean, dip in the pool, and remember what it was like before we had all these little people to attend to. It was great, but our little clan was beckoning us back home because even though we enjoy a break every now and then, these kids make our lives worth living!
Hopefully the next time we get away alone won't be another five years in the making!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Messy Life

"Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, It is well, It is well with my soul."

 I just have to laugh. It's incredible the messes that I clean up on a daily basis. Earlier this week I cleaned up an entire bottle of baby powder that was sprinkled throughout the house followed closely by an entire box of cheerios. I'm still finding remnants of both. WHY LITTLE PEOPLE?!
This was a new one, though. Dog food in a Christmas decoration. 
This was also the day of this:
 so I was ready for an early bedtime, as you can imagine. The first thing I did the following morning was clean up a broken glass. It's always something. There's never time to just sit and enjoy a clean, quiet house. Never. Still I know that this time is fleeting and so I try to just laugh. It's funny isn't it? As I approach my 30th birthday, I've been reflective on my goals. It's bizarre to think back about where I thought I would be at 30. I thought I would ADOPT my FIRST child by this age. Not in my wildest dreams did I think I would have three children that I nurtured and grew in my body before my thirtieth birthday. It's a new kind of wild life that I wouldn't trade for all the vacations in the world. 

I'd take a vacation, though. I'd take it gladly.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Goals Updated and Created: October

It's October 1st and Fall is in the air. I truly love this time of year. Despite having to actually clothe my children when we play outside, I enjoy every bit of this season. September seemed to fly by! Perhaps that's one of the reasons why my monthly goals went un-accomplished. I thought I would revisit those and then create some new ones. Last month I wanted to accomplish these:

1. 8 glasses of water a day
2. Limit 2 cups of coffee (what? I can't give up everything!)
3. #50milesinSeptember
4. Regular weekly exercise
5. Lose 5 lbs (Starting weight: 124)

I failed to finish the fifty miles this month. I stopped somewhere in the thirty mile frame. I was struggling because my husband has been working long hours and they don't exactly make a three child running stroller. Anyway, that will change though because I've finally signed my oldest up for preschool. The other goal of 8 glasses of water a day was probably accomplished 75% of the time. It's not hard for me to drink water when I remember. I love it. For October, I have some new goals I hope to accomplish:
  1. Continue with regular exercise and water in addition to completing the October Ab Challenge I created a few years ago. 
  2. Spend an hour (at least) each week working on my writing and publications.
  3. Go to a pumpkin patch, apple orchard, or both!
  4. Bake again.
  5. Create fun Halloween costumes.
  6. Take at least four bags of donations to KARM.
I hope each of you enjoy a cup of joe on your porch as the leaves fall around you. I hope you build piles of leaves for your kids to jump in. I hope you dress up on All Hallows Eve and disperse candy or trick-or-treat. I hope your football team makes you happy (unless of course it makes us VOL fans sad). I hope you carve pumpkins and bake apple pies. I hope you climb a mountain and feel God's presence as you look out on all the magnificent colors this time of year brings. Happy Fall, y'all.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Ugly Part of Me

I've had people tell me lately that they don't know how I do it all. Between the kids, doctor appointments, school, my business, and exercise, they wonder how I can make it all work. That's flattering, really...but I'm always striving to be honest with you and that's just not accurate. While I try, I do not have it all together. Far from it. I hardly feel afloat most days. My days are filled with appointments I have to be at and I get stressed out just thinking about trying to arrange babysitters for each engagement. It's probably one of my biggest stressors actually. Just once, I'd like to get a babysitter and have nothing to do for someone else. My selfish spirit would like just one day to not have to do anything. To do something fun during the time I have a sitter. Instead, I rush off to another appointment for the kids. As I type this, I'm sitting in group speech. On the way in, I was already worried about the next few weekends that are booked up when my phone rang asking me to schedule a meeting with the school psychologists for Abel. I often wonder what life would be like if Abel didn't have special attention so often. What if we could just register him for preschool like most children? What if he had a Type A mother who flawlessly organized her schedule with ease? One who purposed to do everything possible to get him to talk? What if I thought only of my children and died to myself daily to fulfill God's purpose in my life? I know I'm to have a servant's heart, but it is so hard for me for some reason. I struggle with wanting to help others because I feel like that's all I ever do. I know how ugly that makes me sound. But in this age of social media, when everyone only presents the pretty parts of their lives, I will continue to be open and raw. I struggle. Daily. This season of life is challenging and scary and wonderful. I just hope as I grow older that I remember the good and the bad so I can reach out and help other young mothers who stay home with their children constantly when mine are grown and out the door. I hope I don't forget. 

Monday, September 28, 2015

All Things Fall

Thank you all for your kind words about our new house. We certainly feel at home here, as if we have been here forever. I'll continue to update you as we make changes to the house. It's kind of fun to have small projects that we can do ourselves. We got some great news since I last wrote. We have found renters for our home in Cleveland! What a burden that has been lifted--thanks be to God.
We have been trying to settle in here and enjoy being less busy. Yesterday was one of those very busy days where I had lots of stuff I had to do and places I had to be. One of them was the nursery at church. Periodically, I watch the kiddos in the 18-36 month room. We only had one boy (Abel) in there yesterday and the rest were girls. I was amazed at how quiet the room stayed. Typically it's much rowdier, but as the boys have moved up a class the noise level has gone down. I wonder how much quieter my life might be if I had three girls instead. I'm sure this was probably just a fluke, right? :) Anyway, attempts to minimize the crazy around here have morphed into a bit of a tot school. Google it. I've just been trying to create quick, fun educational activities or play that is structured for the two oldest. It's difficult to be on a strict schedule because of the nature of our weeks revolving around various appointments for Abel. Each day is a bit different. That makes it hard as I have heard and read that the best thing I can do for my children is to create a routine they can find comfort in. Still, we do our best. The kids have been enjoying adding this new element into our daily routine. It makes getting them outside and away from the t.v. much easier. We've been learning about the current season we're in and all things Fall. I'm in my element. It's truly the most wonderful time of the year.

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Welcome to the Farm

It was weeks ago that I promised a tour of our new nest, wasn't it? You know how it is. Life gets busy, messy and it's easy to put it off after watching HGTV or seeing your picture perfect Instagram photos of your home since there's a ton of stuff we want to do here, but you know what? None of that matters. We love it here despite the work we plan to do when we can afford it. We love it because we wake up every day and can sit in relative silence on the porch with coffee and Bible in hand and literally see how God has provided for us when we trust in Him. Having two mortgages is scary...but my husband felt God was leading us home and here we are. We love it here because our boys fill the rooms with joyful noise (or sometimes just awful noise, let's be honest). We love it here because of the room to roam. We love being within 9 minutes of all our families. We love it for many reasons. Here are a few more:

1. We live on a working chestnut tree farm. We can walk outside and enjoy chestnuts from the trees or cherry tomatoes that the previous owner planted. We look forward to a major garden overhaul this spring.

Would you like some? $10 will get you seven pounds packaged in an official First Fruits Farm bag. They're pretty good. I had never tasted one until I moved here. I actually like them raw even more than I do cooked, but that requires more work to get to the good stuff. I'll have to type a whole other post about what I've learned thus far on farming chestnuts.

2. We love the outdoor space. There's a large front porch that I've lovingly decorated with some colorful pieces and I'm loving the brisk Fall mornings outside as I sit and watch the fog lift and the sun rise. In the back of the house, there's a large fire pit that we haven't broken in yet and a brand new play set plopped down on the four acres of playroom for the boys (Thanks Lolly and Pop!).

3. There are four bedrooms and all people sleep in their own beds and well, that's glorious.

4. There's plenty of storage for all my Christmas decorations!

5. Lastly, I have created a Harry Potter room! I might have lost some of you on that one. I'll rephrase- I made a reading/writing/prayer room for this mama. It's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it's such a cool, tiny place for me to relax at the end of the day. With space enough for only a twin size mattress, it's a cozy place for just me. Plus it's under the stairs- just like HP.
We are delighted to be here. Our proximity to the Interstate makes travel to Jordan's job and Abel's therapy much easier for us. We are settling in, as we always do, for the long haul. This time we hope to break the record of longest we've stayed in one house. One and a half years is the new time to beat. Think we'll do it?

Thursday, September 3, 2015


It's funny what you do when you're avoiding packing a little boy's hospital bag. Paint your nails. Scrub the floor. Unnecessary activities. Whatever takes your mind away from lovingly choosing suitable hospital toys or folding tiny, fresh smelling t-shirts that you might not even ever put on him because his head dressing will be so big and his head so sore due to the surgery he will be there to have. I don't ever want to get used to this feeling. I don't want to have to do this anymore- sending my baby off into the hands of mostly strangers. If we have spoken in the last few days, I'm sure you could tell my thoughts are everywhere. The one thing that bothers me most about this surgery as opposed to all the others is that there is seemingly nothing happy about it. Hope is powerful and all the other surgeries provided that. Hopefully he can hear. Hopefully his nerve isn't damaged. Hopefully he is a candidate for cochlear implants. Hopefully the surgery goes well and he can start his hearing journey. Hopefully this infection will clear up. Hopefully they'll save the implant. The hope in regard to his hearing is gone with this surgery today. When he comes out of surgery, he will have been drilled on, poked, and prodded and for what? The hope is that the infection can have a chance to heal when the implant is out. The surgeon disclosed today that he fears the nerve is too damaged to reimplant again. He could try and he wants to do so, but we won't know if it worked until after a new implant is put in his perfect little head. Another surgery potentially. One that might not work. Our case is the cochlear implant community's worst nightmare and I'm sick thinking of that sweet, curly headed little kid having more hurdles to climb. He's a climber, though unlike his mama. I wish you could have seen him scaling his hospital crib while we were waiting on the OR to open up. I've never seen anything like it. My two year old was climbing better than I ever could. We need to get this boy in a climbing gym! I'm left in the waiting room now with my thoughts of him. I know God has his hand on him. I feel your prayers. I'll check in soon.
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