Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Randomness

It's rainy and cool here today, which is so rare for Texas. Actually, this entire summer has been super mild so far. We've reached high 90's for several days, but haven't seen 100 yet--what's up with that?! And the night's have still been gorgeous--as in, you could actually take a walk or sit outside and feel a beautiful breeze. Normally, it's 97 degrees and humid still at 8:00pm, so this has been such a nice, refreshing break!

A little Friday randomness for you...

Is it normal to find your 2 year old like this? Sitting in your sink, pumping the soap bottle and happily saying "bubbles! bubbles!"? Do all 2 year olds behave like this?

Brooke and I started a fun little project that is teaching her how to sew by hand. I am the worst seamstress ever, but I do know basic skills and want her to learn. A while ago, one of my sisters got her a kit to make a little princess doll. We started on it and it will be fun for her to have the finished product with the satisfaction that she made it!

We have not been to the library enough this year, but we finally went the other day. I can't believe I have a child going into second grade that is loving the books I did when I was that age! She's started into the American Girl series and reads a little at night before bed, just like her Mommy used to do.

Books are too boring for him when you can climb and stand on windowsills. Have I mentioned this child climbs on  everything and jumps off of everything?! He has no fear whatsoever, something he did not get from me. I'm a scaredy cat.

I love finding my childhood classics to read to my kids! Do you guys remember any of these?

Someone started sleeping in a big boy bed this week, but it didn't go over too well at first. At not even 2.5, he's my youngest by far to be in a bed. I usually don't let them out of the crib until after 3, but it just felt like it was time. Not to mention the small fact that he was taking off his diaper in his crib and peeing out through the slats. So yeah, there was that.
After hugs and snuggles from daddy...

...All was well! His little feet did come pattering down the stairs at about 4am yelling "GUYS! IT'S DARK! GUYS! IT'S DARK!" A few snuggles later, he was tucked back in by daddy and has done great ever since.

Speaking of books, remember Corduroy? That was a favorite for sure. The corduroy bear that quotes the whole story in the cutest voice ever has resurfaced recently and they will sit and play it over and over. Quiet time abounds.
 And speaking of quiet time, them laying there together, her reading to him, amidst their toy "House" (because obviously that's not a mess) was the sweetest thing ever. 

Have you seen the newest style? Diaper and a blow up Dollar Tree lifejacket. You're welcome. When you catch on, you have Nathan to thank for setting the newest trend.

Happy Friday!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Baby #4 ~ Week 34

How I'm feeling:
 Basically how every other pregnant woman feels at this point. Huge and uncomfortable--but still pretty good most of the time! I cannot complain. I'm still exercising and pretty active which keeps my energy levels up. I'm not quite ready to be "done", though--still have a lot to do this summer with the kids before baby comes along! One thing that has been different this pregnancy is sharp, lower abdominal pains. I've had the usual stretching pains before, but this has been different and has brought me to tears a few times. I'm told it's the pulling down of my uterus with not much muscle to hold it up because of multiple babies. And of course, I'm peeing like every hour or so at night, and even more frequently during the day! Oh, the joys. ;)


 I mean, I could say I want sugar and everything bad for me--but really, that's the stuff I pretty much crave every other day when I'm not pregnant so I can't really blame it on pregnancy! I'm trying to be good, though, and limit my weight gain in these last weeks. So far so good in the weight department, and I'm hoping to gain the least I ever have this time around. We shall see!

Belly News:

 The thing is massive at this point. Sometimes it's hard to imagine I have 6 weeks of growing left, but I know that every pregnant mama feels the same way. My belly is oh-so-happy when it's floating in the pool, which is where I'm very blessed to spend usually a few hours a day. Talk about heavenly! I always tell people I would rather have my last trimester in the summer rather than the first--as crazy as it sounds considering the heat here--because not feeling morning sickness in the intense heat is a huge plus. And, the pool. Have I mentioned the pool? Yeah, I'm pretty much in love with it at this point.

 What I'm looking forward to:

 Honestly, this last month and a half of no baby! Does that sound bad? I can't wait to hold my precious little man, but right now I'm really focused on the three we have and making these last weeks super fun for them. This is my usual time of getting pretty sentimental about how our lives are about to change because I'm totally sappy like that, so we're making the most of the time we have left with no constant diaper changes, feeding, crying, sleepless nights, etc. ;) In about 3 weeks I know I will be so ready--just haven't quite reached that point yet!

 Will be back later this week with some day to day happenings around here.
 Happy Monday!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Childhood Friendship

Is anyone else feeling summer crunch time? This summer is going so fast and I feel like there are so many things I want to do before it ends! We don't have a big summer "bucket list" or anything like that, but we do have a few things we still want to do with the kids--visit the zoo, go bowling, go on a photo treasure hunt and complete a few projects around the house. And by complete a few projects around the house, I of course mean putting my dear husband to work. ;)

This week, however, was kind of like a stay-cation for all of us. One of my best girls who lives a quick 8 hours up the road ;), stopped by for a visit. I finished all of my photo editing before she got here so I  could totally enjoy the week without the nagging thought of needing to work.

 A lifelong, childhood friend is something that I have grown to cherish and hold close the older I get. I have so many wonderful friends that I've grown close to since I got married, and I'm thankful for each one of them. But there is something comforting and reassuring about someone you've been best friends with for 20+ years. We stay in constant contact, no matter the miles, and when we see each other again it's like we never left. The talks were long, the sleep was short, the coffee was strong and the shopping was frequent. Just the way it should be with friends. No need for schedules or entertaining--just picking up where we left off, talking, cooking, cleaning up, swimming, shopping and caring for our babies.

We visited a store that I'm not sure how on earth I missed over the past 8 years of living here. This crossover bag had to come home with me!

I don't think we stopped talking for a second when she was here. We both cried when she left, mainly because of the reason I wrote about earlier--that childhood friendship is like none other, and you don't realize how much you miss it until you experience it again. However I am so thankful for the times we do get to spend together, even though they are few and far between!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Our First Fourth

This was the very first year in the history of our little family that we spent the 4th of July together doing the whole shebang-- parade, fireworks and a fun meal. It's not that we didn't want to, it's just that we're usually away for our anniversary, or it fell on a Wednesday when we have church. Anyway, I was more than excited to make this a big deal for our kids this year. America has it's faults which are not going away any time soon, but we have an amazing history and heritage and that is something to celebrate. Besides, who can resist an excuse for a family day?!

We started out our morning with a small town parade. It was sunny and hot but right up my alley--I grew up a small town country girl and that will never leave me. It wasn't anything big, just an old fashioned, down to earth parade. It was the kids first and they were thrilled to come home with a huge bag of candy!

We did some shopping, and then came home for a relaxing afternoon. The kids helped me make a fun flag cake (which I managed to make sugar free and it was still delicious!), they swam, and watched a documentary about the declaration of Independence with Nate while I cooked dinner.

Grilled chicken, tomato pie and strawberry lime water. Throw in leftover red Christmas napkins and straws and it's an easy, patriotic meal!

After dinner, we headed out for more fun--fireworks! Our small town puts on a great show. There were bouncy houses for the kids to play in while we waited and, best of all, a beautiful cool breeze as the sun went down. It was a gorgeous night and I loved being in a big open field with hundreds of people dressed in our nation's colors and wearing them proudly. 

I was holding Nathan and not able to get the best pictures of the fireworks (I would need a tripod for that) but I did enjoy what I got because it's the memories that count! Our families first fourth was a huge success and I can't wait to do it again next year! 

 God bless America--and may America bless God!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Living the Dream

This week, Nate and I celebrated 8 years of marriage.

 8 years! 

 It's hard to believe, but our 3 children bouncing around and my ever-growing belly says it's true. 8 years with my best friend. What a dream! Eight years with someone defintely has it's ups and downs but thankfully, we've had more ups than downs. I'm sure there will be many more downs and significant trials in the coming years but there is no one I would rather face them with than my man!
 When I first found out he liked me, I couldn't believe it. Actually, back up. When I first met him I said to myself "too bad I would never end up with a guy like him." Seriously you guys, this is how infatuated I was with him! I had never met anyone quite like him. So when he chose me?! I actually started crying, because it seemed so unbelievable. Those first few months I felt like I was holding my breath, waiting for it all to go wrong because it was too good to be true.
 Well, it turns out that when you live for God many things in your life seem too good to be true. God's hand is on our lives, blessing us at every turn. And no, that doesn't mean we live easy or never have rough times. It just means that we get this amazing life that our Saviour makes worth living--and then Heaven at the end!
 Talk about a dream!

 Happy Anniversary, Babe. I love you!

We are excited about celebrating the fourth this weekend as a family. We tried to make plans with family and friends but they all fell through so we took it as a sign to spend time with just each other, which I'm excited about! A small town parade in the morning, fun patriotic colored foods for dinner, and fireworks at night.

 I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Mini Summer Vacation

We knew we weren't going to take a summer vacation this year because of our anniversary trip this spring, but we wanted to do something small with the kids that would be a special memory for them. We found a resort close to home that was very reasonably priced and packed up the ridiculous amount of stuff that a family of 5 needs for 2 days. 

 We had a cookout/pool party for Father's Day with family on Friday night, so we ate at Nate's favorite Mexican resturuant after church on Sunday and then headed to the gorgeous resort on the lake. The kids were literally bouncing on the walls they were so excited!
 For the next few days, we enjoyed lots of fun in the sun, piled on the bed at night for a movie and spent truly quality time together. It was so much fun and the time really went by slow, which was perfect since our time was so short!

Father's Day--no words to describe how thankful I am for this man and the thoughtful, caring, fun, consistent dad he is to our children. They all are so attatched to their daddy, and there is no one else I would rather be my kid's hero!

Baby brother makes a good head rest ;)

Yes-jumping on hotel beds is a must

This is how they pose for me. Seriously?!

This. Slide. We were really lucky to have the whole place almost to ourselves and the slide was a hit for all 3 of the kids. Or should I say all 4--cause I went down a bunch too ;).

Lunch in our room after hours and hours of swimming. Of course I brought enough groceries to last a week!

Shopping and ice cream on an absolutely gorgeous night!

Relaxing and watching a movie ;)

The spectacular view from our room. Nathan kept wanting to "go in that pool".

A cozy hotel nap

Like I said, we had almost the whole place to ourselves most of the time. The kids loved that they could touch the bottom in most places, and Brooke was able to practice swimming a lot!

What can I say... we had so much fun and I hope it's something the kids will remember for a long time. The great thing about teaching kids to be thankful is that it doesn't take much for them to be ecstatic about something simple and say "thank you Mommy and Daddy!" over and over. A hotel room, kids sleeping on a rollaway bed and the floor, cereal for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch eaten while sitting on the floor, pool time and an ice cream cone and they were over the moon. I am so, so grateful for my husband who is my best friend and my kids who make me so grateful to be a Mom. It was such an enjoyable few days!
 Summer seems to be flying, but we're doing our best to make memories in the few months we have left before school starts back up again! 
 I will leave you with a crazy family selfie. Look at Nate and Brooke--they are twins! 
 Have a great week, friends!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Baby #4, weeks 24-31

I have missed a ton of pregnancy updates this pregnancy, so I wanted to a little bit of a catch up. My last update was finding out we were having another precious baby boy. After that, Nate and I went to Florida and that was when I really started feeling super great and loving pregnancy again ;). May was extremely busy for me, as I mentioned before, so it really flew by. Really, this entire pregnancy has flown. I'm already buzzing through the last trimester and time doesn't seem to be slowing down yet!
Possibly the worst moment was when I came down with the stomach flu the night before I was shooting a wedding. Let me just tell you, throwing up at 7 months pregnant is not fun. You Mom's that have awful morning sickness--my hats off to you that you keep having more kids! I wouldn't do it, I know myself. I'm a wimp. Give me labor and delivery any day over that!
 At around 28 weeks, I had my glucose test as well as an ultrasound to check on my placenta. As usual it was a little low, but as of now it's moved to where it's supposed to be. Praise the Lord! The best part was seeing my precious little man again--seriously amazing. He was all smooched against the placenta, but she was still able to get a pretty decent 3D shot for me and I really fell in love with him more than ever.
24 weeks, 28 weeks & 30 weeks
As usual, my braxton hicks have started in full swing. My body likes to prepare early, even though I don't necessarily deliver very early. But when the time comes, it's fast, and I attribute that to my weeks...and weeks...and weeks of braxton hicks and eventually contractions.
 And speaking of labor--this time around we are going with a birth center and I am SO excited about it. I really needed to switch Doctors (much to my disappointment--they were amazing) because of fast labors and the minimum 40 minute drive to the hospital. I did a lot of research and really looked into water birth, because I would love to labor and possibly birth in a tub depending on how I'm feeling at the time. The only place that even had tubs to labor in was a birth center about 25 minutes away, so I went for a tour at the beginning of my pregnancy and fell in love. They have all of the equipment there for infant resuscitation, if, God forbid, it's needed, as well as IV's, medicines and pitocin for hemorrhaging, a wonderful relationship with the hospitals, etc, etc. I was so impressed with all of this, and since I've been blessed with 3 natural deliveries and no complications, Nate and I made the decision to switch to them. It has been amazing. I've worked with midwives since my first pregnancy and anyone who has knows how special they are! I have friends who have delivered there, and another friend due one day after me who is delivering there as well, which is so much fun!

 Anyway, other than sore feet at the end of a long day, a really bad digestive system (ehem) and feeling like I can't breathe at night--I'm doing great! And yes, rolling over and getting out of bed is officially an act of congress. I'm not complaining--every day with this sweet boy (name TBA at birth ;) inside of me is a true gift. I love every single movement, even when he does push against my bladder and crush the living daylights out of my lungs. I cherish every moment of this pregnancy, even the discomforts, and am so thankful that God has chosen me to carry another life into this world.