Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Just for fun... a few comparisons of Christmas pictures!!!

It all began with Brayden in 2012.... I do love this picture. :-)

He did way better the next year, 2013, although the picture actually isn't in the chair, since he didn't want to sit on Santa's lap!

Drumroll please... the boys in 2014! They had each other, so they did awesome! Super proud... and yes, compare 2012 and 2014... J and B wore the same outfit and I think they look super alike! Fun! 

Anyhoo... fun memories. I am treasuring Christmas this year with two little buddies to enjoy it with. B is learning all about "Bible Jesus, Jofus, Mary, sheepies, shepherds, and wise men." Happy birthday to Jesus and Merry Christmas to all!!! Such a wonderful time of year.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

happy birthday to my littlest!

Happy birthday, Brody!

You're my oldest, yet my littlest... but I am pretty sure, you're only little in my memory. You're much bigger, I imagine. Maybe you're already an adult in heaven or maybe you're growing up in heaven and today you're celebrating your four-year-old birthday! I don't know, but I like imagining what life is like for you up there as we remember meeting you four years ago.

I have been looking forward to today with excitement because it's a chance to celebrate and remember you all day long. Then last night, I got choked up remembering, which I knew would happen,... and I think all that is healthy. You're my baby and I love remembering you, but I do wish you were here... but then I know that Brayden may not be here due to logistics if you were here... so crazy how that works out. God has helped us remain content with loving you up in heaven and providing two new brothers down here on earth. I'm content that you're mine and Erik's, no matter what.

I have a box of your things and a box of cards people sent to us when you went home with Jesus. I wanted to share some of that with these people who are reading about you....

First, you were only a little less than a pound and a little less than a foot when you were born at 21 weeks. Your card and your footprints are below. You were perfectly formed and have everything right about you. You lived outside of me for a little less than an hour. You were perfectly formed and it was amazing to see that you were a perfect human being, every part in place, just tinier than everyone else.

Here is your bib that my cousin, Summer, made for you. I love it because it's personalized. That is your hat from the hospital, which fit your head perfectly. You had a little knit wrap to match. A big thank you to the people who made and donated those clothes to the hospital.

One of the biggest lessons you showed me and I will share again and again to the world is that you were fully formed and a beautiful baby at such a young age. You were just a few weeks shy of when that hospital would put you in the NICU. Although I sometimes have mixed feelings about being so close to having you survive, it's okay now. You're in an amazing place with Jesus and God has blessed us abundantly with your brothers. ... and I'm SUPER excited to be reunited with you and have your brothers meet you!

So today, we remember and celebrate your beautiful life. You've taught us so much and we've learned about trusting God through everything... and are still working on it quite a lot.

Love you so much and I am so excited to meet you, see who you look like, get to know your personality, and spend eternity worshipping Jesus with you! Happy birthday!

P.S. I can't believe it is four years already!

Love, Mommy

Sunday, November 9, 2014

loving life with these little ones!

I have thought about writing so many times, but remembering to post to my blog at the same time I have free time seems next to impossible! So since I just sent another Shutterfly photobook to print, I figured I'd take the opportunity to share pictures with you. :-) 

J will be 10 months this week and B will be 2 years and 10 months. They are really wonderful boys... B is talking up a storm, learning all the time. I'm enjoying teaching him letters, numbers, colors, etc. He loves Thomas the train and Lightning McQueen. Just the other day, I found out he likes clouds. Random thoughts from B while sitting in his carseat!

J is climbing stairs, crawling, and moving around as much as possible on two feet, although still a bit wobbly (that will change soon, I know!). He is starting to babble and not just when he's tired. Both Erik and I have heard him say "Dada" and "Mama"... He has five teeth and is super smiley. 

J often uses Dad's beard to hoist himself up... not Dad's favorite because it hurts when J pulls on it! 

Mommy and J were at the library. Happy boy!

J eats bananas, sweet potatoes, and other small, mushy cut up food.

For a costume party, the boys put on their jammies and went as Superman and Batman. Capes included.

The other costumes for this year... B took his off five minutes after this photo! 

Tent time! Love that smile!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

DIY: another place for DVDs and CDs

It's been a while! Two kiddos keeps me on my toes and off my blog! :-)

Much has happened with them... B is talking up a storm; repeating us (we learn what we say most often!); loving books, Thomas, Lightning McQueen and Tow Mater. J is just getting his top two teeth in, army crawls around, pulls himself to standing, loves eating anything except doesn't seem to love peas.

A few pics of adventures...

Learning about engines (which he calls 'Thomas')

Look what B found while dad was working on a project!

Climbing everywhere and anywhere, including between the tabletop and glass shelf

a favorite view when grocery shopping

In home land, Erik did another DIY shelf for me. For those of you who have visited the house, you know the area above our fireplace has just been a "junk" shelf and collecting random things over the years. Well, it finally looks great! What happened? Brayden had dug in the DVD and CD drawers one too many times (they were right at floor level), so we finally put toys in there and moved the CDs and DVDs... but I had no place to put them, so I asked Erik to make a shelf that could go above the fireplace. I thought he'd do something like what he had done previously, but he was way more creative than that. I couldn't have imagined the final result... fits all our stuff and looks fantastic!

Love anything that helps keep us organized and make our house look better!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

homemade organization projects

My husband deserves a shout out! He has made me a bunch of homemade projects to help organize our home that I would have spent lots of money on in the stores. I love them so much I wanted to share!

Here's the first one. I got directions for how to make this online - it's a DIY Pottery Barn mail organizer. As you can see, I've filled it up nicely. Mail often ends up on the table or somewhere to make a mess... now at least it is a mess in the wall. I love it!

The next one is our shoe organizer. I was looking at our square space just inside the front door. I noticed our shoes never made it to the organizer in the closer. Instead of making another effort to put them in the closet, Erik and I thought a homemade shoe organizer would be nice. Erik based this off one he saw on google images, I think, and used some legs off a sewing machine table we were not going to use. That provided the four main framing pieces. I love the look and yes, this one we are actually using! It looks cool and helps keep the entryway more picked up.

Here's the lastest... just finished last night. I requested one, but Erik found a place for and made two! I would totally buy these if I saw them at Target. The idea came to fill Mason jars with B's art supplies... then they were sitting on the counter by the toaster oven... then the shelf idea came... and look what Erik came up with. I absolutely love them! They are on parallel walls in the hallway and kitchen, so they look splendid. Closeups of the Mason jars would show sidewalk chalk, crayons, markers, sharpies, etc.

Thanks to my honey for making these! They are proving useful and they look fantastic!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

summer pics of the boys

It's that time again! Dump the pics on my phone onto my "scrapbook" of a blog. Most pics below are Jase, but B is at the beginning and ending. They are at such a fun stage right now individually and together! 

The easiest way to get the raisins out of \cereal... dump, find, and eat!

At the park. Love! 

J has been rolling like crazy and even army crawling/scooting this past month. He rolls and rolls and rolls until he gets stuck, tired, or picked up off the ground.

Ahhhh... love. :-)

Great grandma Carol (just turned 90) and Jase (six months)

boy in blue

They were not in the same crib when I put them down for a nap separately., but this is how they ended up! (cribs are right next to each other)

Saturday, June 7, 2014

the boys in action (photo overload!)

 So I haven't yet given in to getting a "smart phone." As a result, my phone doesn't have as much memory and the photos can be fuzzy... so here are some quick snaps of the boys in action taken on my phone! Great place to "dump" them and make room for more! :-)

helping make cupcakes for Grandpa's birthday 

rainy day fun

more rainy day fun


Lots of people ask how I get work done with the kiddos... here's a glimpse of one of the ways! Kids on the lap, computer nearby!

Here's what happens during a grocery story trip when you give your toddler a piece of chocolate to amuse him (this is at the end of the trip!)
zonked out

Jase is super smiley at 4 months! And chubby. Love the chub.

I love this... B loves holding things wherever he goes, even when he can't fit them in his lap! Here's his latest picks for going on a walk. He occasionally throws the basketball and wants me to pick it up and "hide" it in the back of the stroller. Super funny.

The boys (and my feet) just hanging out... not sure what B is thinking....

Sidewalk chalk in action! (mostly pictures of cars!)

This will hopefully have many pictures to follow of the boys in action wearing their matching superhero pajamas! This is them hugging!

That's all for now!

Friday, May 23, 2014

life is beautiful

If I'm honest, life is pretty "go-go-go" right now... so I was pretty excited that tonight, according to my plan, the boys would be tired enough to go to bed by 7 p.m. I'd have a whole night to myself (Erik is visiting his parents). Did you catch that? A whole night to myself!

But then, I'm not sure what happened or why, but Jase would not go to sleep, no matter what I tried... and I did try! He was mostly sleeping at least three times within an hour, but then I'd lay him down and he'd cry or he'd move and cry and wake again. At that point, I was worn out and a bit bummed that my time with sleeping children was slowly disappearing. 

Instead of moping, I followed this picture I had in my head (which I attribute to the Holy Spirit's prompting) and moved my favorite glider from Brayden's room (who was thankfully sleeping) and placed it smack dab in the middle of our upstairs. I brought my computer, water bottle, cell phone, and baby boppy pillow to the floor surrounding the chair. Then I went and got Jase, settled him down for the long haul in my arms, and put my computer on my knees so I could get some work done. I put piano music on in the background, and just held him until he was clearly sleeping and wouldn't wake up. 

You know what? That hour of frustration that almost brought me to tears turned into a beautiful new hour of admiring Jase, soaking in mommy/son time, and getting my computer work done that I had initially planned to do after the boys were sleeping. 

And in that moment, I knew, life is beautiful. It has ups; it has downs. It has rain; it has sun. It has thunderstorms and it has beach days. It is a beautiful "circle of life" (pardon the Disney reference!).

Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. 

This is obviously beautiful: 

In a completely different way, this is just as beautiful:

I don't always love what life brings my way, but I do love the beauty I find in life.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

happy mom's day

I'm vividly reminded today that I am mom to three healthy boys. It's hard to believe that could be possible, but it is true, and an amazing fact. I think about Brody a lot today and wonder what exactly he looks like, what age he is in heaven, if he's growing in heaven or just automatically became a young man... I'm so excited to meet him again in heaven. It propels me forward to think about that day.

These past few years have changed my perspective of Mother's Day. I've watched my mom and experienced myself the heartache of loss moms go through around the world and it provides a whole new appreciation for motherhood and the ladies who haven't yet experienced it but would love to and those who are remembering their angel babies or children who have passed away. May God's strength and peace rest on each of you today.

I also am reminded of the beautiful legacy of mothers I am surrounded by. I am literally surrounded by beautiful moms from both Erik's side and my side of the family. I couldn't ask for better moms, grandmas, or great-grandmas.

So today, I am celebrating my boys...

...and I'm celebrating my mom, who is beautiful, loves God, loves her family, and loves people in a way I can only hope to imitate....

...and I'm celebrating my mother-in-law, who is one of the sweetest ladies I know...

...and I'm celebrating the beautiful grandmas in my life who teach me about love and commitment and living life every day....

Here's to each of you... thank you for making me who I am and teaching me by example and by word how to be a better person who loves the Lord and family above all else. Happy Mother's Day!