Summer recaps

since it’s been so long in updating this blog with pictures, i thought i’d give you some recaps of our summer {warning: picture overload coming right up}.  my littles, though still little, seem to be growing so fast.  here are some of our highlights over the past several months…

a few moments captured from easter … {i just love that little grin on baby E and M boy’s smile is as always, contagious}

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all the grandkids with mema and grandpa

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we tried to get a shot of these 2 nuggets smiling at the same time, but this was the best turnout…

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our little girly girl turned 1! 

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our sweet littles with their monkeys… 

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gotta love those 2 teefers poking out! 

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hangin’ with uncle tyler at the river market 

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uncle pete was able to get us some tickets to science city and little M boy particularly thought there were many cool things to explore.  baby E on the other hand, was a bit suspicious. 

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they certainly know how to have heaps of fun with an old cardboard box on a rainy day… 

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weddings and friends and cupcakes!!

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and of course, the animals at the county fair were a sure highlight!

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baby E and the dress-eating goat…  {i think it startled me more than it did E}

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there were actually only 2 requests of little M boy when visiting the county fair. 1) to go on a fair ride, and 2) to eat a piece of cherry pie. so we did both. i mean, how could you say no to this?!!…

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then, a few weeks later, our little M boy turned 4!

a birthday surprise! a fully equipped thomas the train set that mommy found on craiglist was waiting for him in the morning… 

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a birthday donut

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and a night at splash park.  he was SOOO looking forward to seeing all his friends. 

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boys will be boys! chasing each other and throwing buckets of water… 

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while baby E toddled around drinking milk and eating cake

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a few more late summer highlights… 

baby E was less than thrilled about the boat ride {and the life jacket}.  poor baby. 

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little M boy on the other hand, LOVED the tube ride. he kept giving the driver a thumbs up to tell him to go faster! 

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first k-state football game with daddy!!

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baby E and Abbey

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well, that’s a wrap folks.

no fancy vacations or trips to the mountains for us this year, but we still had many timeless memories that we’ll be sure to cherish for many years to come. 










it’s been a long time

i know.  you don’t have to remind me.  i haven’t written anything on this blog for close to a year.  for lots of reasons.  obvious logistics… you know, the wife hat, the mother to 2 hat, the house caretaker hat, the bill-payer hat, etc.  

truthfully, though, i’ve really just been fearful to write. feeling like i don’t have anything worthwhile to share.  scared of vulnerability.

while this blog has primarily been focused on family life, little boy M and baby E, and the fun happenings in our household, i want it to be more.  i want to share more… from the heart.  the story that God has given me….oh yea, like i said i would in my last post…   :)

so, here it goes… 

some time ago, my husband {or my Mr., as i like to refer to him as}, sent a story my way by Reggie Joiner.  i had actually just read this particular story in one of his books as well, so there was extra emphasis added.   after reading it, my first thought was, “i have no idea what makes me come alive?  what gives me energy? life?”   

i’ve thought about these questions a lot over the past several months.  and still, i don’t know that i’m much closer to the answer.   don’t get me wrong.  i love being a stay-at-home mother.  i absolutely adore my precious littles and wouldn’t want to give the responsibility of raising them to anyone else.  i think i’m a good mother… most of the time.  let’s be honest, i have my moments of failure too. we all do.  regardless, there’s nothing else i’d rather be doing for this time and place in my life.   but am i happy?  not really.  truth be told, most of the time, i probably look a bit depressed.  more to be said about that later. 

anyways, it’s funny how God brings things full circle at times in our lives.  in my last post {written  a looooong time ago}, i was reflecting on one of my favorite author’s words.  and wouldn’t you know it, but today, i sat down and listened to a talk given by Shauna herself.  

i love her boldness.  i love her vulnerability {and her mother’s vulnerability} to share their stories with women like me.   i can sooo relate to what she shared about her mother’s journey…

maybe you find yourself asking the same questions?  that’s good. we can be on this journey together.  i really don’t want my children to say of me when they’re older… “she was a good mother, but she wasn’t a happy mother.”  

i’m going to find what makes me happy, what gives me passion, what makes me come alive.  i hope you do too. 

winter happenings…

we’ve been feeling a bit cooped up this winter. but that hasn’t stopped us from having a good time! so, i thought i’d share some of the moments…

{yes, i know… please just pretend you don’t see the fully exposed electrical outlet in the background} :) i just love the glee on baby E’s face here!!

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enjoying the warmth of the fire…

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bedtime stories by daddy next to the christmas tree…

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little M boy loves to still hold his baby sister, even if she is starting to outgrow his lap.

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abbey is certainly thrilled to be the stand-in pillow when needed, can’t you tell?!

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admiring uncle b’s hospital room view overlooking the new football stadium…

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bath time!!!

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M boy with his buddy C enjoying the mounds of snow in the back yard…

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daddy and M blasting by on the sled…

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Telling Stories

it’s so easy to get lost in the daily’s of my life right now. to forget who i am and then, to not really be present.  often, the day starts before i even mean for it to and before i know it, it’s gone.  and i can’t even remember what i did other than feed, clothe, bathe, pick up blocks and tools, discipline, pickup more tools and more blocks, and answer a bajillion “why?” questions from my 3-year old. don’t get me wrong — there are many priceless moments in my days. watching little M grow up, seeing him literally starting to connect the dots about life or how to build a 5-story tower with ramps {talking to himself the entire time}.  i know this is just a season with little ones, but sometimes in the middle of it, it’s really hard to SEE. 

but thank the good Lord that He gave me a wonderful, understanding and selfless husband who surprises me from time to time with a little retreat to a coffee shop.  times where i can think, write AND i don’t have to take the kids with me! :)  i wholeheartedly believe that every mama needs to find some time on a regular basis where she can stay in touch with herself… whatever that might be — going to a coffee shop, going shopping, getting a massage, or grabbing lunch with a friend. 

after baby E was born, it was a bit of a tough transition for me.  more difficult than i was prepared for. i desperately NEEDED to get away at times. and so, during my excursions to the local coffee shop, i began reading this book.

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Bittersweet by shauna niequist.  i so appreciate her honesty, her giftedness with words to tell her story. it’s been so life-giving for me in this season of life where i’m exhausted, giving and pouring out for my children and husband, having very little “me” time and struggling to get regular time in the Word and prayer.

every time i sit down to read a chapter in this book, i’m moved to think about my life in a more “big-picture” sort of way. the things i do and the things i don’t do. the people, places and things that give me life. similarly what drains me.  it’s truly been a way for me to stay connected with my soul and keep listening to God. to keep dreaming.  to keep hoping.

towards the end of shauna’s book, she talks about stories, your story, my story… and the importance of sharing our stories with others.  her words spoke deeply to me, and in many ways have given me more perspective for what i write here on this blog…  to keep sharing my story.

here’s what shauna writes…

“There’s nothing small or inconsequential about our stories.  There is, in fact, nothing bigger.  And when we tell the truth about our lives — the broken parts, the secret parts, the beautiful parts — then the gospel comes to life, an actual story about redemption, instead of abstraction and theory and things you learn in Sunday School….

“Don’t allow the story of God, the sacred, transforming story of what God does in a human heart to become flat and lifeless.  If we choose silence, if we allow the gospel to be told only on Sundays, only in sanctuaries, only by approved and educated professionals, that life-changing story will lose its ability to change lives.”

and so, i’m going to attempt to share more of my story with you in the weeks and months to come.  God’s story in me and in the family He has graciously given me.   and i hope that it will move you to think about your story.  how He is working and moving in you through the deserts and plateaus of life.  or maybe it’s just the daily’s, like me, where you’re finding that though it seems like nothing special, He really is weaving stories in you and in the precious souls around you.

share your story.  that’s why He gave it to you.

p.s. on a completely different note,  here’s a little sneak peak of our sweet family pics that we recently had taken. :)

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a little break

well, i’m back… i know you didn’t think i would ever return, and honestly i had my doubts too.  but sometimes, life just necessitates a break.  can’t promise i’ll be regularly posting or even that the next post won’t be 3 months from now, but at least i’m here. 

i’ve felt guilty for not blogging. i’m not really sure why… i mean, i’m just sure the many thousands of blog followers [cough, cough… or rather, all 12 of you] have been hanging by a thread just waiting to hear about the latest fiascos of little M. :)  actually, i think i have these high expectations on myself… that somehow i should have it altogether. you know, snap back to it after giving birth and instantly have it all figured out in how to care for my husband, 2 children, a dog… and find some time to blog too.   i don’t.  have it all figured out, that is. but, i do have a good reason for being absent.  

maybe you’d like to see some pictures of her… :)


little emma grace came into the world just 2 days after my last blog post.  born may 13, weighing 7 lbs 11 oz and 21 inches long.  a week past her due date, but all on her own… no induction, no c-section.  another precious miracle in our lives.  healthy, 10 fingers, 10 toes and quite the set of lungs. :) 

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obviously much has changed in our lives over the past 5 months {hard to believe that much time has actually gone by}. and there is much to write about the transition to 2 littles, so more to come on that in later posts. 

for now though, i’ll just give you a glimpse of how much baby E has changed in the last 5 months.  my, how they grow fast! 

we took monkey pictures with little M each month of the first year of his life.  so, naturally, we decided to do the same with baby E. 

{1 month}

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{3 months}

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{4 months}

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{5 months} i promise… i really didn’t plan for the baby and monkey to be matching.  it just worked out that way. 

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and here’s a few more…   

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she’s a pretty fun little gal.  a thumb sucker – the first in the family. but i’m not complaining since that also means she’s sleeping through the night. :)  we’re really loving to see all the ways that she is growing and changing.  and of course little M boy and her are becoming more attached each day.  fun to see them interacting with each other. 

{little M showing baby E how to build a house… }

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