Saturday, December 1, 2012


Well, it seems that blogger is mad at everyone. I know of at least 7 people whose blogs have spontaneously "run out of space" including mine ... boo! And now we have to pay for more storage space for our pictures. Convenient this should happen at the end of the year. Someone's needing to make budget, eh?

So, for now you'll have to check out my facebook account for pictures of the family. We'll see what to do with this once I have more of a brain. Sorry. If you don't have a facebook account, let me know. We'll find a way to share pics with you also. :)!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Elsie Jean

Contemplating her name the night she was born...

Day 2...

Day 3, at home...

Relieved. Thankful. Resting. Savoring. Stepping back. Nourishing. Falling in love all over again.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sometimes I think Paul would make a better stay-at-home-Dad

I don't know what it is, but lately Paul has stepped up this whole "Dad" thing. We'll be sitting at the dinner table and he'll say, "Hey kids! Want to (fill in the blank with something the kids would absolutely LOVE to do) with me?" And then he jumps right in.


Messes, meltdowns and all, he just goes with the flow.

He's so much more adventurous and creative than I feel like I am with them. In tonight's "project" of carving the jack-o-lantern, Paul asked Ilana what she wanted the face to look like. This was her response:

He let her draw the mouth, and he cut it exactly as she drew it.

I need to learn from him, let go and just roll with it more often, because who would want to pass up moments in life like these?

Thanks, Paul, for being an awesome Dad to our kids!!!

(And yes, I know I broke some sort of unspoken "blogging rule" by doing 2 posts in one night, but in my mind these are completely different posts. So, enjoy!) :)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Thoughts at 38 weeks

Well, I was 38 weeks along with this pregnancy last Friday, and we are almost there!! I had Paul take some belly shots of me tonight and as I was looking through the pictures on the camera I found these few as well and it made me pause and reflect on these past few weeks.

These days have been simple and sweet, challenging and rewarding, physically uncomfortable (for me) and relaxing ALL at the same time.

The kids are going along with the flow, despite my constant nesting. I'm usually always either running errands or doing some sort of project. My theory is this baby is waiting until everything is done, and I honestly relax, to make her appearance. We'll see. Starting this week we have nothing extra on the calendar except for my regular mom's groups and Ilana's speech therapy - nothing else.

I think the kids are understanding that big changes are coming, especially Ilana. We talk often about her baby sister. I know that when she actually arrives it will be a much bigger deal than it is now, but her sweet heart already shines through in our conversations. The thing she seems to be most excited to do is simply smile at her sister.

And boy, I hope she gets Ilana's smile! Maybe not the silly one above, although I love that one as well. ha! I wonder how many things I will actually be teaching this baby when she will have constant teachers in her older sister and brother. I can't wait to watch it all happen - the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, I'm positive it will all be there.

I miss the days of patience and playing with my kids, and though it may be a while before they come back, at the same time, we do our best and trust God's grace for the rest.

Paul was given strict orders to not include my face in the belly shots - nobody needs or wants to see my swollen face these days. My rings no longer fit my fingers either. But heck, neither does the size large maternity top I'm wearing! This is my reality at 38 weeks, folks.

So, as I sit here and have mild contractions here and there I am thankful. Thankful for the time I've had with my kids and Paul, just a family of 4. Thankful for the incredible amount of support we have here, in our home away from family. Thankful for the healthy, moving, growing babe inside. Thankful that this season is coming to a close soon and a new "normal" is about to begin. Thankful for the spurts of energy that help me feel more ready to take on the day-to-day challenges of another little one. Thankful that I have done nothing to make my kids amazing, but they are. Thankful that the flu/cold Paul had last week seems to be gone, and that he's feeling much better now, and ready to go through labor and delivery with me (and then come home and take care of our other 2 kids). Thankful for the friends and family I've been able to catch up with when they call "just to see how I'm doing." Just thankful.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


My kids are in no way, shape or form perfect.

But one thing they do really well together is play!

I remember before Grayson was born, praying that Ilana would learn how to share. I also prayed that they'd be more than just siblings, but also friends.

I remember the endless days of teaching her how to share, take turns, and find things to do that would be interesting, fun and safe for her and Grayson. (That's a tall order for a then 2 and a half year old!)

Wow, they have paid off!

I am extremely thankful that my two crazy kids are wonderful playmates for each other. Sure they have their moments - they're siblings! This time around, I'm looking forward to watching them include their baby sister too. I'm sure it's going to be amazing to watch.

I'm officially full term. This baby girl could come any day and it would be fine. I find myself nesting constantly and continually tweaking this home to be ready for our newest addition. All the clothes and gear are washed, the carseat is installed and my hospital bag is packed. It still blows my mind that we're about to welcome another human being into our family and completely fall in love all over again in the blink of an eye.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Taking it easy

I guess we're slowing down.

We're getting ready to welcome another human being into our family. (This is Ilana on the sibling tour at Evanston Hospital - she was SUPER SWEET with the baby doll they gave the kids to "practice" on.)

We're recovering from the Loyola flu/cold that descended on our house almost 3 weeks ago. Gray's on his second round of it already.

Honestly, these days are some of the most physically uncomfortable I've ever experienced. This pregnancy is having its way with...basically every part of my body from my belly down. Laying down is the most comfortable position, once our baby repositions herself and snuggles in.

But, laying down doesn't wear out 2 active little kids very well. And when their energy is high, they don't sleep well, or play well together. So, there's a magic combination of activity and rest (that changes daily) that we're trying desperately to hit. Most days we do alright, but of course we have our challenging moments.

Grayson had his 2-year old check up today and he is one healthy little boy! His stats are basically identical to Ilana's except he's a few inches shorter.

I'm doing my best to enjoy "simply" having 2 kids, that are on the same schedule, that are both eating what we eat, and walking and playing really well together. These days are numbered.

On October 1 I'm allowing myself to pack my hospital bag. Although I'm not technically due until November 9, Grayson was born at 38 weeks and if this little girl is going to be big (which everything seems to be pointing in that direction) and wants to come early, I won't mind too much. :)

I'm thankful the days are getting shorter and the temps have dropped. Fall is well underway. This was our first week in our "fall routine" and I like it!

I hope you're taking it easy too.

Friday, August 31, 2012

It was time...

...time for a new living room rug! Our old one was perfect for the 9.5 years it's lasted us, but boy it screamed 80's in every way to me.

I was giddy when it arrived. Paul just thought I was crazy.

Love, love, love!

Even Moses loves it.

And the next morning, Grayson couldn't contain himself (most of his emotions are loud these days).

Grayson's even become a huge "help" in keeping the shedding under control.

The rug sheds like crazy, and the white parts aren't quite as white as they were when we first got it, but we love this rug! Got it from It's so much more plush than our other one. It really makes our living room cozy, and welcomed it into the 21st century.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

"I'm TWO!!"

I tried all day to get Grayson to answer me with "I'm TWO!" when I'd ask him how old he was, but it never happened. Oh well. Here's our day:

It's our birthday tradition to have a pile of gifts waiting for you at the breakfast table. So, almost immediately after Grayson came out of his room and saw the gifts, he began opening. First it was his new tow truck. He was pretty excited. Moses was too.

He was also pretty excited about his new movie. Ilana was too.
He was too busy opening his gifts to eat breakfast (we've got to have our priorities!), and the excitement couldn't be contained, so he immediately went to playing.

With August being as crazy as it was, and Paul being gone so often, it was the best gift to have him home to celebrate with us.

At some point in the morning the family's gifts began to arrive. Gray was busy with his new dump truck all day, and I do mean ALL day. (This picture was, of course, taken with my phone. I SO wish it was in focus, it is completely "him" these days. Oh well.)

After nap we watched The Lorax and ate dinner on the couch. Then, we went outside to roar at play with our neighbors for a bit before cupcakes.

One little girl asked to "go on a bear hunt" (a new favorite game of hers). I think she found the bear.

We had a great time outside.

Then we sang to Grayson. He was not a fan. Really. It was hilarious!

He did enjoy looking at the candles.

But they "refused" to be blown out. (He just isn't experienced enough yet, but his reaction after a few tries was priceless.)

So big sis had to help.

They were pretty good, despite being a little burned on the bottoms.

We enjoyed some family time outside.

Most of our neighbors were there too, but none of those pictures turned out well - sorry y'all. Really, our neighbors have become our "family" out here as well.

Grayson, we are so in love with you and who you are becoming. Thanks for lighting up our hearts!
...we must've partied pretty hard because this morning I found this on our dining room table. It's just a sticker, but still...