05-24-18 Find the adult…

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This is probably why Tim is considered the ‘fun’ one! Ha ha!

Tim and I enjoyed the company of a few nephews and nieces this evening as my brother-in-law and sister-in-law had a previous engagement. We ate pizza, played outside (for a long, long time) and watched some tv. The kids loved it when Tim got home from work because he let them chase him around the yard (and apparently up a tree!!)

05-23-18 Captain America

Baby E sleeps on the floor next to my bed now. That will change when we move to the new house, but for now we allow it as he has been dealing with some pretty tough separation anxiety. The funny thing is that he moves around a lot in his sleep and one morning I woke up and looked over the edge of my bed to see the place he was sleeping was empty. Thinking he got up and wandered out of the room, I sat up in bed and looked around. That’s when I noticed his head sticking out from under my bed. Just his head. Apparently he had rolled himself under there during his sleep. He has done it pretty consistently since that night and it cracks me up!

This evening I had a photoshoot with one of my favorite superheroes, Captain America. He’s a pretty handsome guy!!

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Oh, and Moana wanted in on the action. 🙂
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05-22-18 Fireworks

“Do you know why like fireworks?” C asked from the backseat on our way home the other night.

“No, why?” I replied.

“Because they remind me of Jesus.”

“What do you mean by that?”

‘Well, before the fireworks begin it is very dark out. It’s like when Jesus died on the cross and everyones’ hearts were dark. But then he rose from the dead and there was this bright light in peoples’ hearts, just like when the fireworks go off!”

Out of the mouths of babes, my friends, out of the mouths of babes.

05-21-18 Things that are making me happy!

Now that it is finally official, I’m bursting at the seams with the announcement that our brother-in-law has been asked to be the pastor at a church that is only a half an hour from our new house!! We’ve been praying for this outcome for months! We are excited to have additional family living so close and since they will be homeschooling as well, we are sure to have plenty of adventures as we settle in to our new communities!! (yes, all of those exclamation points were intentional!!)

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Tim brought the boys home this evening and we met at the local ice cream shop and enjoyed some much needed family time. 🙂 We all gobbled down our treats and then we took a walk on the boardwalk. I loved watching the kids laugh and chase Tim around, getting extra excited when he laid on the ground for them to tackle him. The shenanigans carried on when we returned home. I am looking forward to our move and the chance for us to all spend more time together.

I’ve been dealing with some pretty crazy stress over our upcoming move and this evening was the first time in a week that I got to relax and breathe. It’s so easy to get caught up in the ‘what ifs’ and worry about the things I have no control over. So today I needed this reminder, and I’m going to need it every day for the next few weeks!

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05-20-18 Just The Girls

I have to be at work early tomorrow and since mornings are pretty rough around here, Tim and I decided that the boys would stay out the new house one more night and come home with him tomorrow. It would mean that Big E would miss a day of school, but since he has had good attendance this year, it seemed like a good option. So it was just me and C on the drive home. Let me tell you, you’ve never lived until you’ve played the ABC game for an hour and a half with a wide awake 7 year old. We went through the alphabet with names, animals, stores, foods, drinks, things, and places. I was exhausted with all of that thinking, but I really did enjoy all the one on one time I got with her this evening. 🙂

05-18-18 Last Day of Mom’s Morning Out

Baby E had his last day of preschool this morning and while I didn’t get to see the closing ceremonies, he seemed very happy when I picked him up this evening. Mom’s morning out has been the highlight of his weeks since September and I’m so glad he got the chance to attend! ❤️

We came out to the nee house this evening. I was so exhausted that when we got here I wandered to my room and flopped on the bed. I didn’t mean to fall asleep but I was out! When I woke up an hour later Tim had gotten the kids to sleep.

05-17-18 Baby E’s Eyes

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Baby E’s eyes disappear when he smiles. He has these huge cheeks that push his eyes closed, so when he is really happy his eyes look completely shut. This evening he practiced opening his eyes as wide as he could and the result was adorable!

I wanted to thank everyone that reached out since last night’s post. We are blown away by all your encouragement and we are so thankful for each of you. 🙂

05-16-18 I Quit My Job

Two weeks ago I quit my job. I handed in my notice, that is. My final day in the office is June 29th. It’s taken me these past two weeks to come to grips with it, but there it is. I’ve had lots of people ask me why, and I figured you guys would too. Do you want the happy answer or the honest one?

The happy answer is this- after much consideration, Tim and I have chosen to homeschool our kids. We have wanted to for ages, and we decided we’d better do it soon, so we’ve been prepping for the past year to make it happen. On top of that, Tim has a really rough commute and he has been doing it for years, so it’s time to simplify. By me quitting my job, we will have more time as a family and our kids will get the education we want for them.

That’s the easy, go-to answer. The honest answer is a little more complicated and uncomfortable.

In the weeks and months that led up to the fall of 2016, I began to feel a shifting beneath me, an acknowledgement that while I loved the individual aspects of my life, (my family, my job, my church, my hobbies, etc.) they weren’t working well together. Because of his commute, Tim and I weren’t seeing each other very much, and the kids were missing out as well. I wasn’t in any hurry to change anything though, after all we had been juggling our lifestyle for awhile and we were getting by.

But then on October 29, 2016 I suffered from a ruptured ectopic pregnancy and everything changed. I remember coming home from the hospital and seeing my children. They had no idea what had just happened, no concept they had just lost a sibling. But the loss was real and it was devastating. When you lose a pregnancy you lose so much more than a clump of cells- you lose an entire future. You lose the first smile, the first steps, the first ‘I love you, Mommy.’ There is no kindergarten, no wrestling on the ground, no tickle parties, no snuggles, nothing. There is nothing, only a void where your child should be. Your existence becomes merely that, existence. You are there, but you are not present. Life continues and you flow along with it, vacillating between feeling everything and feeling nothing.

Thankfully we had an army of people surround us as we navigated the dicey waters that followed that experience. People came out of the woodworks to encourage and love on us. We cried. We prayed. We mourned. We resumed our routine.

But we had changed.

The following months were filled with constant sicknesses, an unending clobbering of illnesses that pushed me past my limit. Between recovering from the miscarriage, all the illnesses, working full time, commuting long distances, and raising three children we were spent.

One weekend we got away and visited my parents and sister. They sat us down to tell us they had an idea. What if we all pulled our resources and went in on a house together? It would mean a move to a different state, I would quit my job, and I would homeschool our children. It would put Tim over an hour closer to work, and I would have the help of family and the opportunity to watch my kids grow.

Normally I hate change, even minor change, and the idea set before us was drastic. It was a complete overhaul of our lives. And in that moment I needed an overhaul. I had spent the better part of 3 months praying for a change, but this certainly wasn’t what I had imagined. This was huge. This was scary. It would have been easy to say ‘no’ and keep going on our path, existing while life slipped by, after all I was in a job I could retire from, my kids were in a good school system, and we were surrounded by Tim’s family and a church family we had known for most of our lives. But in doing so we would be sacrificing our own family. I didn’t want to get to the end of my life and my kids say, “Mom worked a lot. I wish we had seen her more.”

So we prayed about it. We sought counsel. And we said ‘yes.’ The plan was set into motion. By November we had sold our townhouse and my parents had sold their own house. Tim, the kids, and I moved into the basement of his parents’ house. The kids stayed in their same school and Tim continued his commute. In December, we bought our new house, an hour and 40 minutes away from home. We decided to keep the kids in their school until the end of the school year and move to the new house after that. We hoped that would minimize the chaos for the kids during our transition. We didn’t anticipate that Tim would be practically living at the new house, though, which left me to raise the kids on my own during the week, but we’ve made it work. We go to the new house most weekends. We have found a new church family and we have started to settle in.

Over the past year, I can’t tell you the number of times I prayed that God would stop the forward momentum; that if we were making a mistake, he would let us know. But the opposite happened. Every obstacle was removed, every hurdle was taken out of our path.

So on April 30th, I put in my resignation. It was hard. If I hated my job, it would have been easier, but I like my job and I like the people I work with. In just under 7 weeks, I’ll be unemployed and moving to a new state, and while I am nervous, I am also incredibly excited.

I know our new life will come with its challenges, but at least now we will face them together, we can invest in our children and our marriage. The next few months will be bumpy as we make our transition, but I’m looking forward to it with optimism.

It’s been amazing to see how God has taken the worst tragedy we have ever experienced, and turned it around for good and used it for His glory. We are stepping out in faith that God will continue the plan He has for our lives, and we pray that we will be obedient to His will, no matter where that takes us.

After all, God is good all the time!

The lord is near

05-15-18 Foot Flops

The other day we bought the kids new flip flops for the summer. Baby E was especially enamored with his and has insisted wearing them all the time, even to bed, which honestly I find hilarious. He is a funny little guy when it comes to his bedtime routine. He wears a ‘Daddy Shirt’ for pajamas. He uses a pull up at night, but doesn’t like the way it feels against his skin, so he insists on wearing underwear underneath. Since he next to never wets the bed, I allow this unorthodox fashion choice. So as you can imagine, Baby E looks pretty ridiculous sleeping in his oversized shirt, diaper outside his underwear, and a pair of flip flops (which he refers to as Foot Flops.) He sleeps with a 10in tall Batman figure that has to have its legs completely straight or he thinks it is broken, and he insists on sleeping with a butterfly decorated blanket. This kid definitely knows what he likes.

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