Wednesday, May 6, 2015


Loss is hard. So hard. A month and a half ago we learned that we were expecting baby #4. A total surprise, but happiness overtook us. We were tickled. Rob smiled so big. A mini van was bought, plans were evolving for nursery furniture and shared bedrooms, a midwife was hired. I was elated to finally be planning for the home birth I always wanted. Then a little over a week ago the bleeding started and our baby is no more. I've cried many times over the past week. We've talked and are still dealing with our heartache in the way that's most comfortable to us. But the hardest part is telling the people that we had already shared our happy news with. That's hard. They don't know what to say and I prefer to remain private with my grieving. Hard stuff.

This pain hurts. I loved our child even though we never knew exactly who they were. We were so excited which makes it hurt even more. However a verse that almost immediately popped into my head when the bleeding started was Isaiah 55:8-9, "'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,' declares the Lord. 'For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.'" I have full confidence that God has a plan and purpose for this heartache, I just don't know what it is yet, nor may I ever fully understand and that is ok. I hope that somehow He is glorified through our suffering.

And yet again I am brought back to one of my all time favorite verses, Romans 8:28, "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."


My sweet 10.1# mama's boy turned four years old over a month ago. That boy has a heart of gold and I cannot believe how fast time is flying by. I think something magical happens at four years old when children suddenly start reasoning and understanding this great big world better. I remember when it happened to Brady and now I see it occurring in Carson. I so wish time could slow down and let me enjoy them a little longer.

We celebrated, as usual, with a family only party. Carson is asking for a "friend" party next year and I think I might consider it. Curious George was our theme, complete with a piƱata, which I didn't get any good pictures of.

Here are a few thoughts on Carson at four years old...He is still my snuggle bug. More often than not every morning he wakes me up a little before 7am with a smile on his face sneaking into our bed for morning snuggles. He thinks of others often. When we asked him what he wanted for his birthday gift he replied, "I don't know, we'll just have to wait and see what I get". When pressed a little harder he requested a second Gotham City Jail toy so that Brady could have one too. After a recent Easter egg hunt at school he immediately got in the car and started telling me about how he was going to give almost all of them to Brady and Eleanor. And he stuck to his word. He still loves to talk and does so A LOT! He is so social and I cannot wait to watch the friendships he develops as he gets older. I just love him so so much and pray that he will have an open and receptive heart to God's gentle calling for him. 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding - Proverbs 3:5

I love you my sweet boy!

Monday, November 3, 2014


I cannot believe how quickly time is flying by. Brady turned six years old almost 2 weeks ago and I wanted to make sure I recorded how we celebrated and just how much I love him. 

^^ Taken the day of his family party...last game of the season for flag football!^^

His birthday fell on a Monday this year and our plans were to celebrate with just the five of us that night and then host an extended family party for him the following weekend. We celebrated with doughnuts and opening gifts in the morning after which I took the children to explore a park in old Milford that we had yet to visit. Carson and Eleanor had fun on the playground and Brady practiced with his new "Zombie" bow and arrow that he really wanted and received.

He really wanted to go roller skating that night as a family and so we promised him we would....big mistake. This mama didn't realize that roller skating rinks weren't open to the public every night of the week and failed to check until about 15 minutes before we were leaving. Every rink on our side of town was closed. Bummer. He was very sad. But then Daddy had a wonderful idea....Chuck E. Cheese! Every time he sees the commercial he begs. And what a better time for our inaugural visit than a birthday for our sweet boy! All three of the children had a blast and even though we were fearful of the germs and chaos we both admitted it wasn't nearly as obnoxious as we expected. I'm sure it being a Monday night helped with that! 

We celebrated some more with a family party the following weekend  and I'm pretty sure he got every single item he had on his wish list! I think next year we will try for a friend party. But for now I am happy that he is content with just his cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. 

I absolutely love watching this sweet boy grow up. He has my heart for sure. I remember so clearly struggling as a mother when he was a toddler (I know this because I'm currently in this same struggle with his brother!). I would wake up in the morning and just pray. Pray that God would somehow give me love to show him. Because I was at my wits end and didn't know how I was going to make it through the whole day with him and his antics. And now suddenly he's the most fun, lovable little boy in the world. I enjoy him so much. We have wonderful conversations and the things he asks me about and his reasoning sometimes just blows my mind. And he is SO SMART. One thing I really dislike about conventional schooling these days is the testing and comparing among students. But he recently brought home his first report card along with the results from the first assessment given to the students and Rob and I got a great little laugh. He had blown them out of the water. His scores were higher than the end of year benchmark. GO BRADY! We are in awe of you!

^^^ sweet boy requested a "skeleton cake"! He has been all about the spooky Halloween decorations this year!

Brady my hope for you is that as you grow you will see the world from a biblical worldview and that your heart will belong to God. This world can be so hard to navigate at times. But if you stay close to God you will see that he has an incredible purpose for you. The key to your happiness is in knowing Him and trusting and obeying his leading. Always remember that Mama loves you, Daddy loves you, but Jesus loves you most of all!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Halloween 2014

Happy Halloween from Flash, Wonder Woman and Captain America!

The children had a wonderful time last night even with the freezing cold and spitting rain. We actually woke up to snow flurries this morning! Now the children can't quit talking about if it will snow on Christmas or not. I'm not even ready to think about Christmas yet. This past week was one of the busiest weeks of my year. I volunteered to help with both Carson's preschool party and Brady's Kindergarten party. Add to that conferences, bible study and a little urgent care visit Thursday night for Carson's first (of I'm sure many to come) stitches. This mama is whooped!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Two Years

Last weekend we celebrated Eleanor turning two years old with a small family party at our home. Her actual birthday was one week ago (September 25th) but of course I am just now getting around to writing about it. Two years later and I am still in awe over the blessings God has poured out to our family through her birth. He has been so faithful and it is my hope that I will be able to help her understand how truly special she is and that God himself planned her life and has a purpose for her. 

We had a very fun time celebrating. I have to admit I'm not much of a party planner. It's not really my thing. So I usually try to keep things very simple. Thankfully at this age we only do family parties so I don't have to worry about having anything Pinterest worthy. We purchased a chicken nugget platter, fruit tray and cole slaw from Chick-fil-a and added our own veggie and cracker & cheese trays. I always find food for these parties a little boring. Rob usually tries to pressure me into something more elaborate, but I stayed strong this year! It is after all a child's party! Why have food that half the guest list won't eat?!?

As a daughter Eleanor is an absolute joy. I looked through an old journal I started for her after she was born and I wrote several times about her peacefulness. She is still that way today. Of course she has spunk (how could you not with two older brothers!) but to me she is the epitome of what a sweet little girl should be...full of innocence, love, excitement and wonder.

Eleanor, my hope for you is that you will seek to know God intimately every single day and that you would seek his truth and beauty in everything and that he would lavish His grace upon you. That you would know your worth and be confident in his plans for you. Always remember you are living for an audience of One and live your life in a way that reflects that so that others around you can know the source of your joy and peacefulness.

Thursday, September 11, 2014


This handsome boy of mine started 3 year old preschool last Tuesday. I love him so much. He was very hesitant about starting school again and kept asking me if I was going to miss him. But I am so proud of him. He has been doing wonderful and hasn't cried once. He has never enjoyed being dropped off anywhere. The church nursery was always very difficult for him. Last year he attended the 2 year old Mom's Day Out at the same school he is at this year. It was only one day per week (2.5 hours) and every week was very difficult during drop off time. I think the one thing helping this year (besides him being older) is that the assistant teacher in his room was his lead teacher last year. Her name is Mrs. Schulte and we adore her. She is seriously one of the most genuine, fun and caring teachers I have ever met. His lead teacher, Mrs. Frey, is new to the school this year so we don't know her very well but I think she will grow on us. We are looking forward to another wonderful year at St. Marks!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Vacation Recap

This was our first year taking a "real" vacation with all three kids. Up until this point the thought of it nearly exhausted me. It was still A LOT of work and Rob and I were exhausted by the time we got home. We may have even joked about needing a vacation from our own kids, but overall it was still wonderful and I am so glad we had the chance to get away and make these memories with the children at these ages. It is something I am looking forward to in the years to come. 

Orange Beach, AL was our destination. We chose here in part because we are somewhat familiar with the area after living in Mobile for 7 years but also because our good friends, the Nicholson family, who still live in Mobile were joining us. This is one of the biggest reasons why taking this trip was more manageable. Even though they have 2 very little ones of their own, it was nice to have 2 extra sets of eyes helping us with our own crew!

We knew that traveling 12+ hours with 3 kids was not going to be the best part of the trip so we stopped in Birmingham on our way down. After this first night I wasn't too sure I wanted to continue on our journey! First we got locked out of our hotel room...truly locked out. Not even the hotel staff could get our door open.
And we had just taken the children swimming in the indoor pool, so we were locked out in our swim suits with hungry children and no wallets, cell phones or keys! Thankfully they were eventually able to get us into a new room and retrieve our stuff. But then as Ellie and I were cuddling in bed she sat up and then slammed her head back on me resulting in a black eye which I got to sport the entire week!

Thankfully that first night was not a predictor for how the rest of the week would turn out and we ended up really enjoying ourselves and soaking in this time with the kiddos.

The condo we stayed in was a child's paradise. It was brand new and had all sorts of great and spacious features. By far the boys' favorite was a huge water slide. They could (and sometimes did) spend all day on it. I wish I had gotten a good picture of it. So many people were amazed at Carson going down all by himself. Especially for the first two days before my safety conscious self demanded he finally put on his puddle jumper. The slide emptied into a lazy river which Eleanor and I claimed as our favorite. There was also another good sized pool which the boys loved swimming and jumping into and an indoor pool and a splash pad. Plus the beach!

Brady and Rob discovered hunting for sand crabs at night, which Brady loved and would beg to do nearly every night. We did go down as a family one evening with the other kids, but I don't think they understood, nor were interested in what was going on!

One of the things Rob was most excited about was getting to eat at some of our favorite restaurants. Twice we ate some Moe's Original BBQ. And of course we made trips to the touristy Lulu's and the Hangout. Most nights, however, we and the children were perfectly content eating in the condo on the balcony. Dinner out with 5 kids in extremely busy restaurants isn't always fun!

The fourth of July fell on one of our last nights there. We got to watch two fireworks shows. One from the balcony of our condo and another from the opposite side of the condo building. The children were not quite as interested as we had wished, but we were happy to not have to take them out anywhere. It was nice to not have to fight any crowds and be in the comfort of our own home (for the week).
Driving home, we were brave and decided to drive the whole 12 hours...which of course ended up taking 15 hours! And if I remember correctly our talkative little Carson didn't sleep once. If you have even been so lucky to ride in the car with him for more than 20 minutes you can understand our pain. 

Look at those cuties ^^^!