Tuesday, January 28, 2014

January in review...

wow, January 2014!  I almost can't believe how quickly time.marches.on.  I'm so glad to continue to pour over our lives & see how blessed we are - because sometimes we can get caught up in the overwhelming.chaos that sometimes swallows us whole.  How easy it is to set our ship back upright by looking over pictures of our boys playing paper violins...  Thank you Lord for how easy my mind is made easy by your simple.grace.  Thank you for the days that my mind wars with itself over my own failures & imperfections, because it makes me grateful all the more.

Downtown Jax library had a quartet with their story time!

The boys were given cardboard violins & straws as bows!!

The proses are back to running.  We are prepping for the Gate River Run in March & this will be our 3rd year running it, but the first after having 3.babies!!  The process of getting into shape is daunting, but also refreshing & rewarding & encouraging & frustrating & painful.

its amazing how fast little legs GROW (3 months time)

This January has given us quite a few cold nights - more than normal & hard freezes!  We've had quite a few plans die, which is again, unusual.  But we've enjoyed disabling our gas fireplace in favor of recapturing the capability to have a regular wood burning one.  My hubs has enjoyed it most of all. ;-)

We got back into the swing of preschool & the boys have continued to grow&learn from their experiences.  Mommy has continued to be thankful for that one day every week that I have some quiet during Calvin's morning nap.  A blessing for sure.

One of my favorite things in January is printing my blog book!  Of course with James' birthday as well as our nephew's party & our niece's birthday also, January is always full of happy celebrations.  Starting out the new year with a sweet chance to look back over that last is by far my favorite way to 'ring in the new'.

I've never been one for much resolution when January rolls around, but this year as I continue as a stay-at-home-mommy with no major changes in sight, I have felt I could benefit from more intentionality in my daily living.  It seems to me that most logical way to 'achieve my goals' in the sense that I desire to grow deeper in my faith but also grow as a mom & wife, would be to make time each day to work towards my 'life goals'.  I even checked out a 'goal setting' class with The Influence Network by Hayley from The Tiny Twig, but didn't really connect with her ideas.  Luckily, my lovely friend Meredith from Hazel Hive was in the class with me & we brainstormed what 'goal setting' could look like practically for us.  So as far as 'yearly goals', I have simple ones like running a race & being a part of our family's celebrations, but I'm grateful for the encouragement to carve out the daily time needed to work towards the 'life goals' that I'm living out.  I'm so grateful for dear friends, near & far.

Speaking of dear friends, I re-worked our Orange Cat Photo gallery wall & decided it would be more fun in chronological order.  I just had too many photos that I really love that sweet Dana took!

The prose-boy-pyramid

Our other major project of January was having our pool fence installed & taking down our (rotting) red privacy fence that separated our driveway from our backyard/pool.  I absolutely love how open our yard feels & being able to see my driveway from my kitchen window!  I love it.  I.love.it.  Can't wait for the next phase of gardening this spring!  ps. Craigslist does it again!!  The pool fence was second hand & installed very inexpensively by an pool contractor off-season.  whoohoo!

Family fun event - we took our kids to the circus!!  haha, I'd never been to the circus myself, but we braved the crowd & vendors (holy smokes!) and had a great time seeing the acts.

The boys were really good for the show, which was long, and ended later than we had thought.  But, it was a fun, unique experience that I hope our kids enjoyed!

I had no idea they really held each other's tails

and they actually do this with lions & tigers

This January marked 10 years since Matt & I met at Crossroads World Wide's Winter Conference in Gatlinburg, TN.  It marked 8 years since Matt & I got engaged over the same MLK weekend at the same conference.  It is amazing to me that we've been best friends now for a whole decade.  BLESSED.

The awesome view with the red fence gone & all our kiddos ready to join us for a run.

Ending our month with Daddy's on call weekend & going with him on his calls for the day turned out to be a great Saturday.  5 calls, 4 hospitals & a ton of ambulances that the boys spotted.  Donuts for breakfast, lunch at our fav place in St. Augustine & riding the carousel.   Loved having some time away from our normal, enjoying the sunshine, & each other's company.

Happy January 2014!!  Here's to the rest of the year...

Monday, January 27, 2014


My baby boy is 9.months.old !

he likes hangin' out with momma - thanks for loaning me the ergo Jessica!!

It is amazing how much he has started to become independent already.  Here he is pulling up to his knees in his crib, which was our warning sign to go ahead and lower the crib to the lowest setting (waahhh!).  It's silly, but I love how the crib looks on the middle setting.  The crib skirt hangs perfectly at that height, and you can still store things underneath.  It is by far my favorite way for the crib to look, but onward marches time & sadly, that's probably the last time I'll have our crib set to that height (waahh!!)  It does feel a little silly to mourn the loss of small, insignificant details of life, like crib height.  But, I'm learning that it is ok to be a little silly over some things.  It's better to find ways to put our 'things' to use, like cribs, rather than cling tightly to it & rob it of its usefulness.  Doesn't this happen all through raising children?  I'm also currently girding myself up to do another baby clothes clean-out, more opportunities to bless someone else & walk down my memories one more time. (I'm not crying. yes, I am.)

post-nap pull up to knees!
One of his favorite things to play with: his curtains in his room.  I love watching him lay on his back and play peek-a-boo with himself, essentially.  It's adorable. and so is this face.

James is still the first one to beg for your attention.  He loves helping take care of you, Hayden, Mommy, Daddy.  I think you enjoy his favor.

My boys & their matching Jammies - thanks Aunt Natassja & Uncle Mike!

"Can Calvin sit by me in my tent?"
This month Calvin found his fingers.  I'd catch him looking at them & moving them around.  He was so serious with his eyebrows furrowed.  Hayden begged for you to sit next to him after you'd had a turn sitting by James, so here you all are, snuggled up on the couch.

"I want Calvin to sit next by me in MY tent!!"
Oh.My. little buddy you've learned to stand.  I think you saw some of your friends standing & decided you could probably do that too.  No real steps yet while standing (thank goodness) but you are getting stronger & stronger when you stand!

You have been such a trooper for joining me on my runs.  I know you must enjoy the scenery, because you never complain while we run.  Gosh you are just the cutest little fella.

You did have a Dr appointment to check out the cold that had been hanging around our house for weeks.  You are still sleeping fine despite the cold, & mommy is so grateful.  You finally learned to sleep through the night!!  albeit the hard way :-(

You hit 20 lbs!!

We finally got our playroom re-organized & you were the first one excited to explore!  You (of course) are more interested in your brothers' toys than the ones that are for you, but we are working on it!  You may be my most inquisitive child- and babyproofing may be a more difficult task for the child who likes to eat doorstop plastic ends (??!?).  seriously.  & crawls towards lamp cords... oh.my.  Mommy is on.her.toes.

Calvin already mastered the crawling tunnel!  You already love it- I'm sure this is one of the most fun baby toys we own.

1st pull up to stand!!  Playing piano & looking out the window with Hayden.

and here we go.  1st pull-up post-nap.  You've done it a few times now, but it will amazes me that you're already able to do that.  You haven't figured that getting down part yet, I don't think...

Happy 9.months.old Calvin!!  You are such a joy in our lives.  We are blessed by you!

1st tub bath for this big boy!!

Your 9.month.well check - 20 lbs 8 oz & 29.5 in long!  You are 75%/50% - I tried to make sure we were measuring you while you were still today, so we got a MUCH more accurate measurement.  You were measured 29 1/4 at 6 months which was WAY off, by maybe even a whole inch or more because you wiggled so much.  Mommy doesn't like to tell them to re-do, but I did at home and you were definitely only around 28 in long then.  ;-)

Love you so much little man!!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

James' Monster Truck Jam!

My boy is 4 years old!!??!!  How did this happen...  I remember when James turned 1!  And I'm just realizing, I never blogged his birth story (this may come soon!)

Daddy made him a special '4' pancake, which is upside down in this pic ;-)
This amazingly sweet little boy surprises me everyday.  He's 90% for height & weight (42 in & 42 lbs). His beautiful eyes & dark red hair haven't changed since he was a baby.  He is the sweetest big bro you've ever met, but when he doesn't get his way, watch out!  haha, this boy's emotions keep him on his toes, but he's making progress towards self control & self discipline (and that's more than I can say for myself some days if I'm honest).

He's in his second semester of preschool this year & has become such a social boy.  He loves to be near me, to sit in my 'wap' and read a story.  To get tucked in at night & have snuggles.  He carries around his 'babies' to take care of, just like mommy does for baby brother.  No more naps for this guy (waaahhh!) but every now and again, on a sick day, he'll take one.  'Quiet time' is a challenge for this guy, because he doesn't want to be alone!

He loves to take pictures of himself with his brothers or me.  He loves to turn up his music, Needtobreathe's album, Outsiders, and dance around the kitchen.  He is really getting into building train tracks & lego 'hostitles' because that's where daddy goes 'for work'.  He must be coerced into drawing or using crayons, but his will use static stickers to create masterpieces on the windows! or put together puzzles all by himself...  he is self sufficient (99%) for using the potty which is wonderful!  and he gets dressed & chooses his clothes all by himself.

he also shares his pancakes with his monster truck buddies.

We had the opportunity to take cupcakes to his preschool class to celebrate his birthday.  It was probably one of the most fun things I've gotten to do.  They sang him a special song (pictured below) & he was so eager for Matt&I to be a part of it.  They read him a special book, & then we all sang happy birthday.  I got that on video.  He was so sweet, gracious & hospitable.  He wanted to make sure everyone had a cupcake, a chair.  To make sure we all knew each other's names, he made proper introductions.

He made me so proud.  What a sweet, sweet spirit this boy has.  I am so grateful God gave him to us to be a part of our family.  He is amazing.

The boy asked for chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing.  yes, he is my son!

Our neighbors were able to come over for dinner on his birthday, a monday night.  So we rounded out our wonderful day with a pizza party, cupcakes round 2, and a little monster truck madness!

He asked for a monster truck birthday party, and he wanted to have boys only. (?!)  I'm not sure if this will be the last year I make him a number shirt, but we'll see what he wants for his 5th birthday.  James helped me use his big monster truck (birthday gift) & some paint to put the tire tracks on his shirt.  The number 4 & the triangle I freehanded, but the flags I used a cookie cutter! haha.  I was happy with the result, and so was the birthday boy.

Mimi made James a monster truck table (wow!) for his birthday party gift, and boy, it is full of her amazing creativity!  The kids all loved it!

My big 4-year-old boy getting ready to blow out his candles!

We are so very blessed to have friends & family to celebrate with us.  Aunt Michelle drove down from SC for the party, Grammy&Papa came up, Mimi&Grandpa came up, and Aunt Natassja, Uncle Mike, & Jack drove up as well.  We played monster trucks, had monster truck bean bag toss, ate snacks & cake, and loved James.  I think at the end of the day, taking the chance to celebrate him & show him he's special (in whatever way) means the most.  James, I hope you know how special we think you are!  We love you!!

Jack is 3!!

We have had the privilege of attending my nephew's birthday party, 2 years in a row now!  (not bad, considering he's only 3! ;-)  It is such a blessing to spend these times together.  I hope we can continue to be grateful for living close!

walking up to the party with Uncle Mike!

As always, Aunt Natassja planned a really lovely Pirate birthday party for Jack.  If you'd like to check out her party planning tips & ideas, check her out at Prose and Company !

Mimi had a special surprise for Captain Jack... a real pirate ship!  (WOWZA) Ahoy matey, ready to set sail??!?

James & his balloon sword

Hayden walkin' the plank!

Happy, happy birthday Jack!!  We love you & are so happy to celebrate your special day.  I can't believe you're already 3.years.old!?!  And such a sweet, handsome little fella.  Your mommy&daddy love you so much, and so do your Uncle Matt & Aunt Brie!