Sunday, June 8, 2014

My Boy.

:: Love at first sight. ::
:: ONE :: 
:: TWO ::
:: THREE!! ::
photo taken by my friend Adriane Honerlaw 
"I'm three!  I'm three!!"  Thus began Tell's third birthday. He sat up in bed and proclaimed to the world, that he is in fact a whole year older, overnight.  

This boy.  Has me on my knees -- thanking God for his sweet little life intertwined with mine, praying for the energy to keep up with him, asking for wisdom to raise him right and protect him.

He loves his sisters.  
He adores his Papa.  
Everything has an engine for him.  He is constantly making an engine sound, sometimes he's not even playing with anything.  He just is an engine.  
He fixes things.  
Loves stories and lights up at the promise of a new book.
He attempts to drive anything with wheels.
Not at all a surprise, he is infatuated with airplanes.  
Loves his bike.
He's my eater.  Gets serious about food.  An empty plate has brought him to tears before.  That last bite can be a stinger, I feel your pain little one. ;)

Here's to you Tell, my little light-filled ginger -- I love you, I love you, I love you and wish you 100 more birthdays!


Sunday, June 1, 2014

A Conversation with Ever.

Tenderheart.  That is my girl.  Tender, gentle (mostly), and a bit of an old soul...

Last night she wanted to look at some of my jewelry hanging above the cupboard.  She loves the sparkle.  We went through it and I told her about each of the things hanging there.  I told her she could have anything of mine she wanted, except for my wedding ring.  She talks about me "donating" my things to her.  Been around for a few closet cleanings, I guess ;)  Anyway, I said of course I would donate my things to her.

Then she says, "Can I have your wedding ring when you live inside my heart?"

Huh?  Goodness.  "Well, of course you can.  You or Isla or Tell."

Within an instant she goes from the joy of "yes" to the sobbing, wailing tears of losing her Mama someday.  I mean she cried - hard - for half an hour.  And let's not kid ourselves, I cried a little too.  This tenderness did not show up out of nowhere.  And while we're at it, her Papa is no hard-hearted figure either.

Anyway, we were a sight to see.  Bry was so confused.  And then he wasn't when I told him the conversation.  He knows his little girl.

That girl carries my heart around in her pocket.  I told her I hope she will always love me this much.   And she answered, "Of course I will."
Crossing my fingers and praying every day...
:: Ever and "Tell" the (hopefully) hen, so named by Tell the boy :) ::

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Summer Book Review: The Nesting Place


"It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful."  Just what I needed to hear right now.  A little while ago I went on an Amazon binge and bought a few books for summer reading.  I wanted to share a couple trinkets from this last quick read -- The Nesting Place by Myquillin Smith -- that found a place in my heart right now....

"I don't open my home because it's finally done and presentable.  I share it for the same reason I wear a bikini to the pool.  It's not because I think I look great in it.  It's because I'm finally okay that I don't.  It's the same with our home.  I don't share because it's perfect; I share it because I'm finally okay that it's not."
-Myquillin Smith

"Everyone gets to decide how happy they want to be, because everyone gets to decide how grateful they are willing to be."  
- Ann Voskamp

and finally:

The Imperfectionist Manifesto

We believe that home should be the safest place on earth.
We believe that home has a greater purpose than looking pretty.
We believe that authenticity trumps perfection.
We believe in mismatched sheets and unmade beds.
We believe that the things in our house are there to serve us, not the other way around. 
We believe that toys and homework and smelly shoes and spilled milk are signs of life.
We believe in using the good stuff now, not waiting for some future better purpose.
We believe in handmade.
We believe that contentment results not from stuff but from gratitude.
We believe that decorating done good enough is better than decorating postponed.
We believe we are all creative because we are all made in the image of a creative God.
We believe that it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful.

Our family is in somewhat of a housing holding pattern.  In our current habits, we are starting to outgrow this space.  But this is our home and I love it.  My kids love it.  There is plenty of potential here and I was needing some moral support.  I found not only lots of inspiration, but also solace and peace of mind from The Nesting Place.  Another reminder to enjoy the present moment and be grateful for our blessings.  

Now on to Clutterfree With Kids -- ha! :)

Sunday, May 4, 2014

New York, New York.

Stacey, Isla, and I spent about 40 hours in New York City a couple weeks ago.  It was wonderful, and exhausting, and expensive, and chilly.  And a bit of a blur.

The highlights?  Having a photographer I found on Instagram - Mimi Nguyen - take photos of Isla in Central Park...








The skyline.  Amazing.  Simply looking up -- incredible.  



Grand Central Station.  Everything about it.  The Whispering Wall :)  The macaroons!  Fully living up to their glorious reputation.




The outrageous amount people can charge for a simple meal.  Although it was really good.  "I don't know what's in this, but it's even better than butter.  Whatever that would be..."


The Museum of Modern Art.  Truly a cultural experience for me.  A little tainted by the "video art" at the entrance elevators, but I recovered with Monet, Picasso, Pollock, Gauguin, Degas, etc, etc, etc.... Amazing!  And whoever painted this, it may have been my favorite:

























I'm so thankful we got to see a glimpse of the city.  I was really wishing we had a couple more days. And about $5,000.  And a baby sitter so we could go see a broadway show.  Well, we'll plan better next time :)  Thanks Aunt Stace for taking this detour with us... we love you.

P.S.  Happy Birthday to my Daddy-O -- I miss you and love you.  More with ever year that passes :)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Spring.

:: Mimi Nguyen Photography ::
Well, it seems that Spring may actually be here.  The rhubarb is peeking it's little red face from the dirt, tulips are poking up, Bry took the skis off the plane and has put on wheels.  
Yesterday we planted a dozen dahlias in pots to start sprouting.  Today I'm hoping we get a few seeds started as well.
I have some new plans for the garden and water system that I'm getting excited for.  And we also have a new lawn-mowing technique:


This guy was working at it off-and-on all day yesterday :)

More pictures from our recent NYC and Florida trip tomorrow ....

Monday, April 14, 2014

Lately 1.

So, I broke my phone last month.  Luckily I had insurance and just last week I got my phone back from being fixed.  Somehow, in the clearing and re-booting and syncing and linking, my phone linked up with my blog and all the photos I had ever posted on here are now on my cell phone.  It's crazy.  Bry thinks it's a little creepy -- all the syncing and linking that occurs without us really knowing it's happening.

Anyhow, it was such a great trip looking back at all those photos!  I love it and am so grateful for the peek back at the last four years.  I've gone in spurts of posting my very favorite pictures, sometimes frequently, sometimes not.  It really re-energized me to keep it up.  

Sometimes this blog is an outlet, other times I'm looking for advice, sometimes just sharing something I think is great, but most of the time it's simply a good old new-fashioned journal.  It helps me remember these "long days, but short years" and the fleeting stages these kids (and us, as parents) just storm through.  So without further ado -- here are more pictures ;)
:: My little Frida Kahlo ::

:: And here we are as Coolio and mini-me Coolio ::

:: Barefoot races on the ice. Love their in-sync stride here .... ::

:: Special trip to NE with Ollie, Stace, & Isla ::


:: Ready to eat! ::

:: Feed me! ::

:: Still ready -- sense a theme? ::

:: Isla and Sunnie at Omi & Opa's. ::

:: Miss these turkeys every day. ::


:: Sawyer loved looking at herself in the DSLR screen. ::
:: cuties. ::
I didn't take as many pictures as I normally do in Nebraska (Maggie, I didn't catch you once!).  But it was a short trip and I think I was just enjoying having a little more hands-free time since it was just Isla and I.  Looking forward to the kids getting to visit this summer, they were feeling so left out as you can see:
:: "Let me see all the kids." ::

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Spot On.

::image from Pinterest::

A bible verse in church today really reaffirmed for me how timeless God's word is and how sinful people have always been:


Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. 
Philippians 3:19.

Is that not a perfect description of modern culture?!?  Of society's celebrities, idols, and so-called "successful" people?  Amazes me every time.  Every time those puzzle pieces fit right into what I'm struggling with at the moment.

Another humbling lesson at church: looking across the aisle at a 90-something, recently widowed women sitting there intently listening to the sermon, with her bible open and taking notes.  Such a lesson for me.   She appeared as a  true 'child of God' if I've ever seen one. 

We will never know it all.  The Lord is always willing to teach us, if we will only take the time to listen and look for Him.  If we can take our mind off our own earthly things, He can show us what truly matters and brings lasting joy, purpose, and contentment.  
I want to be His student for always.