Friday, October 3, 2014

We Love Autumn!

I blink and nearly a month has passed. Hello! Life here is moving along. Autumn has hit full-force with cool temps and famous colorful leaf displays in our own yard. The days are getting shorter while getting busier. It's a rare day when we have nothing scheduled. It's fun and crazy. The kids are learning (I hope) and the grown-ups spend a large chunk of our days asking where the puppy is and what is he destroying?

Really, I have nothing REAL to complain about.

Our little town had our fall festival last week, and it was so fun.

Basically, if we ever have to move, there will be much keening on my part. Holy crap, I love it here.

The fire department let the kids shoot the water hoses. 

Ezra at the fall festival.

Miriam shooting the fire hose. 

Ice cream! It was cheap! 

Oliver and Henry on the hay ride!

Henry on a horse.

Fireman Spencer. 

Now we are in the throngs of "What should I be for Halloween?" which is always fun, until I click "check out" on that Amazon cart. Then the debate is over. I am mean like that. Fall is a favorite around here. I hope it's treating you as well as it is us. 

Thank goodness for October. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

We Continue To Hope

Things don't always go as planned.

 I know this. I've learned and relearned this.

So, when we found out, after three losses, then, after a lot of difficulties, testing, etc, that we were again expecting, I didn't feel anything close to excitement. Nope.

All my pregnancy joy and excitement had died, it seemed, back in February.

All I felt instead was a feeling of bleakness, and said to Derek, "Well, we'll see."

Weeks were spent in a state of high anxiety/near panic. Every twinge, every stretch was, "Am I miscarrying?"

Exhausted by the end of the day, I'd fall into bed and think, "Made it through another day. We'll see what happens tomorrow."


Part of the exhaustion was anxiety, but part of it was trying to NOT feel anxious. Ferevently, I'd lean on my God to just help me feel peace instead of fear, make my faith greater than the terror. See, I KNOW in my heart, that faith is better, that no matter what happens we'll be okay, but putting it into practice is and continues to be very hard.

Add to the anxiety, near debilitating "morning" (yeah right) sickness, and constant exhaustion, and well, it doesn't take much imagination to guess my house was in shambles and my spirit pretty battered. We couldn't hide it from the kids, with my being so out of commission. They took the news fine. Mostly because I simply said, "We're hoping for a baby in the spring."

For so long, all we had was hope.

Yet, through it all, everything continues to look great with the pregnancy. Everything IS great. My 12 week appointment was yesterday, and while still considered and treated as "high risk" Baby keeps on growing, and making me fat and tired.

It's so awesome.

It's taken me a long to time to feel okay. Then to go from "okay" to excited. And now? Well. I know tomorrow it could all change. It could all go away. But I've come to the conclusion that I'm going to be grateful TODAY for God's gifts. Today, I'm 12 weeks and some change, pregnant with our baby. We're so hopeful for a March birthday, just as spring is springing. Every day is a victory.

If it all goes away, I'm still going to be grateful for the journey.

(Baby, happy and healthy about two weeks ago)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Final Hurrah of Summer

We are celebrating the end of summer. Sadly. Summer has been straight up fantastic. Oh how we haved lived and loved summer. I let go of my expectations very early on. Our chore chart, for better or worse, was left to gather dust. School books were left forgotten on the shelf. I have/had some guilt about, but the reality was it was what we needed. We swam in the lake, had camp fires and bbq parties, swimming pool parties, hikes, picnics, outings galore. Oh my, I am mourning the passing of summer. 

To give us one final hurrah, Henry has been asking if they could sleep outside in the tent. We live in a ridiculously secluded woodsy lot, in a zero-crime town, so I figured, sure why not. To make it more fun, we had a camp fire, cooked hamburgers, ate watermelon and smores until we nearly burst. Then I tucked all four boys into the tent, ready for a night out. 

Ezra immediately changed his mind and came straightaway into his familiar bed. Oliver lasted twenty minutes. But the big boys made it all night and were up with the sun. 

It was pretty awesome. 

Wallace, the puppy (have you been introduced to Wallace? I can't remember...) found a bottle of blue food coloring IN THE YARD (Thanks a lot stinker butt kids) and well, the results were blue. Lots of blue. The whites of his EYES were blue. His mouth was blue. I'm sure his fur was too, but he's too dark to be able to tell. Anyway, both dogs were invited to the party, and Jonah at least behaved himself and didn't dye himself colors.

School will start for reals on Tuesday. It'll be great. All the books are awaiting readers, pencils need sharpening, but we're ready. Kind of. Well, I will be by Tuesday.

Cheers ya'll!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Birthday Adventures

With Miriam's birthday yesterday and mine on Tuesday, we decided that an afternoon off on an adventure was definitely in order.

Tomorrow is too busy, so Derek played hooky. And we went to Maine. See, when you live in New England, like 13 states are all just a quick drive away. I'd heard rumors that this particular quick drive up was VERY worth it, so we threw a picnic in the back, grabbed some diapers and went.

We should have put a BIT more thought into what to bring along... like towels... or extra clothes...

Anyway, first stop, Nubble Lighthouse! It was beautiful, and closed to the public which was a tragedy indeed. But we did get the chance to watch a Mainer fisherman who was CLEARLY extremely experienced save the life of a sea bird that had tried to steal the bait off another fisherman's hook and failed. The bird and lesser experienced fisherman were struggling a lot. Mr. Experienced saw from across a rocky cliff, took off running and in a matter of tense minutes had the bird free and on his way. It was amazing, and we all applauded.

I wanted to break into the lighthouse and move in. I mean, and never ever leave. Squat there for the rest of my days. Oh it was beautiful.

Then we headed to Short Sand Beach. It was COOL today, so I had veto'd swim suits. I demanded that the boys wade and not get soaked. We had no extra clothes after all!

Yeah. That worked.

For about three minutes.

The freezing water did not slow them down one bit. We left covered in sand, having eaten sandy PB&J, soaked to the bone, and thrilled with ourselves.

Next, since we were filthy, wet and still hungry, we got a couple wholesale lobstahs to go. There wasn't anywhere to eat them except in the parking lot of the Rite Aid where we bought paper towels with which to dry off. We are KLASSY.

And, neither Ezra nor I had any interest in eating the lobster. Everyone else found it quite the adventure. It WAS an adventure, airing the car out, and ensuring that the lobster juice didn't stick to the floor and cause un-earthly stench.

Then we drove through McDonalds for the momma who won't eat lobstah.

It was the BEST Birthday Adventure I could have asked for. I love the ocean, I love the waves, the sand, the rocks, the infinity of it all. LOVE. It was amazing. I could go back everyday. Too bad ocean front shacks cost a million dollars.

So so fun.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

And Then She Was Two

Today is Miriam's second birthday. How time does fly.

I have so much I want to say, could say about this little girl who has blessed our  famiy immeasurably. I can't quite articulate it though. We are ALL forever better because she came into our lives. Our daughter, their sister... our family needs her as an intricate piece of the whole. She never ceases to amaze me. She is smart as a whip, sassy, sweet, loving, hilariously funny, and oh so adorable.

And today for her birthday, we let her call the shots. Donuts for breakfast, pizza ("piah") for lunch, peanut butter and jelly for dinner, and three pieces of ice cream cake (it HAD to be ice cream cake. Spencer tried valiantly to change her mind.)

Birthday Lunch

Birthday Nap

Birthday presents *and an ever helpful Ezra*.

"Miriam! You are TWO!" 

Much cake was demanded. 

So pretty! 

Birthday Bath to bring it home! 

At two years old Miriam: 
speaks in four word sentences, often to tell off a naughty brother.
is very addicted to her binky (pronounced "be-be").
loves babies, legos, dress up, drawing and reading books.
like "Go Dog Go" and Curious George books best. 
isn't big into eating anything unless it's sweet. We're working on meat. 
sleeps great in her crib, but has to be moved from OUR bed after she falls asleep. 
loves ice cream. (Duh.) 
won't keep her hair *mullet* in hair ties. She lets me put them in, then pulls them right out. 
loves to look cute. 
picks our her own clothes and shoes. 

Happy Birthday my sweet girl! 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Today Spencer is SEVEN

Not much has happened that can be deemed "Blog worthy" around here lately. Just summer, summer, summer. Bbqs, bonfires, swimming parties, days at the lake, lazy days out in the yard, it's been a dream.

HOWEVER, August is the month of birthdays, and today was Spencer David's 7th.

Yesterday, he wanted to celebrate by going to Chuck E. Cheese's. While far from the favorite place to go for his PARENTS, he and his siblings had a blast. I'm glad they had fun. It took approximately 45 minutes for them to burn through two pizzas and 100 tokens. Insane.

Spencer, very seriously playing a game

He wanted cupcakes for his cake, a change from the last couple of years of a homemade ice cream cake. But whatever, kids are weird. 

He like his new shirt. 

I'm glad Spencer had a good birthday. It's funny to gauge how fast time passes by your kids' birthdays. You blink, and they have gone from tiny bald-headed baby to big seven year old boys. I love that they are growing and getting smarter and wiser each day, but wow. Time is not always kind. 

At seven years old Spencer: 

is going into second grade. 
can read pretty well, but writing is a challenge and a struggle. 
like to play outside, build with legos, draw, and run around. 
hasn't figured out a two-wheeler yet, but I think he'll get there yet this summer. 
has lost three teeth. The rest seem to be in no hurry. 
is sweet most of the time. 
is my most quiet, aloof child. He is trying to learn that when I call for him, he can't just ignore me. It's a challenge. 
is an early riser. I think this is here to stay. 
complains about almost nothing. 

I am thrilled to be Spencer's mom. I feel like we've known each other a long long time. Longer than we've been together here on earth, that's for sure. 

Happy 7th! 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I'm Walking

It's like I can almost see the way my life WOULD be.

I would be huge. So uncomfortable, and so hot. I'd be having contractions all the time, as my uterus would be protesting doing this AGAIN.

We'd be preparing for guests, for a new baby. The boys would be asking when the baby was going to come. Miriam would be patting my huge belly and saying. "Baby, tum ow?"

I'd be washing newborn clothes and marveling at their tininess.

I'd be worried about labor, could I do it again?

I'd be telling Derek that I didn't think I could do it again.

And he'd be patiently telling me that I could.

I'd be stressing about the kids, the animals, the house... everything.

In just four days, our baby would be born. My babies are USUALLY predictable after all.


Rather than things being as they would have been, my baby was born on cold February morning, in a cold ER, much too soon.

Nothing is as I thought it would be.

I'm here. Healthy. Happy.

And my baby isn't.

There are no tiny clothes awaiting an occupant.

The kids never even knew that George was coming. We were waiting until we found out the gender. Then after, it seemed cruel to tell them. So we didn't. I'm sure we will. Just not yet.

Life carries on completely normally.

I'm different, of course. Not in the way that I would have been should I have carried my sixth baby to term. I'm different in ways that can't come from joy.

I panic often because I'm missing one. When I head count in public, and there are only five, I think, "I'm missing one!" I've even said it out loud. Henry, my smart boy is quick, "No, Mom, we're all here, see? Five!"

Yes. All five.

Even though the circumstances SUCK, I can't quite think that I can wish it undone. Oh, don't get me wrong. I'd give up several toes to still have him with us. But, the Lord does compensate. Where my baby has gone, new friends cropped up. And they've blessed and supported in beautiful ways.

My family and friends have cared so thoroughly, so generously that it makes me cry.

I still ache. There are days and hours and minutes when I am breathless with it. When friends announce pregnancies, when new babies are born, I am so happy and joyful for them, and my throat tightens, and my eyes water, against my will.

For the most part though, I'm great! We're all great. It just hits on occasion. Every day, a little.

It's bizarre. Happy, and grateful. And sad.

I'm a walking contradiction.

But I still walk.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Summer so far...

Summer is in full swing. VERY full swing. It's fun, it's sandy, it's warm and sunny, and thunderstormy, all of the above.

My house is a mess. Like crud on every surface. Ridiculous. But really, with running off to swim nearly every day, who has time to clean??? Not me. My kids either.

So, we're washing laundry, and dish-doing sort of as we go. I'm learning to accept that a messy house with large amounts of people and small amounts of time to clean. It's just going to be that way.

We're dog-sitting for a few weeks. This means we have three dogs running around. None of them is small. It's a lot of dog. The kids love the endless energy of the lab who's come to visit, and so we spend a lot of tiime outside when we COULD be cleaning.

Or watching a movie in the afternoon when it just gets too hot.

I'm clinging to my summer. It won't last long, which is, I suppose, part of why we love it so. New Hampshire is pretty amazing here summer. We can't get enough. Soon, the leaves will be changing and we'll  be hunkering down for another long, hard winter. But in the meantime, we're going to love the crap outta summer.

Oh yes, we are.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Catch-Up Post... a Month's Worth

I am grateful for airplanes.

Oh so grateful.

^^^Airplane naps! Yay! Makes the time pass much faster. ^^^

There was definite beauty in starting your day in your own bed and ending it at your final destination. 

Road trips. Blah! 

At least with five kids. 

^^^Watching a movie also helps.^^^

I am also grateful for technology that occupies my children whilst flying through the air at the 500 mph across the country. 

I am super thankful for anti-nausea meds. You see, I don't like being puked on. I forgot to give Miriam hers and didn't remember until she horfed all over me, then it was too late. 

And Miss Pukey-Pants did not appreciate me holding a barf bag in front of her face. 

Did I mention that we were on the runway? BEFORE TAKE OFF. 

Yeah, awesome. 

BUT puking aside, we had a wonderful family vacation in Salt Lake with dear family and friends we love like family. 

^^^Lunch with friends!^^^

^^^All the cousins on my side of the family, going to the dollar movie. The most fun ever! We took up an entire row!^^^

We came home exhausted and happy to have been there. We were also sad to have to come back so soon. Who knew a week simply wouldn't be long enough? 

But coming home was also oh so good. Driving back home from the airport, on my winding, bumpy roads, with sunlight filtering through hundreds of trees, I was struck with how totally awesome New Hampshire is, especially in the summertime. 

^^^No filter dudes. The sky really looks like that here.^^^

The animals were happy to see us. Seriously, Jonah liked every inch of me. GROSS. The chickens welcomed us home with a huge stash of eggs they had hidden from the pet-sitters. Spencer found them. 

^^^Weird egg. I love having chickens.^^^

Derek stayed in Utah for some extra days due to work so it was just me and the littles on the plane ride home and for the rest of the week. We spent it recovering from travel, by enjoying the sunshine and doing almost nothing. We had a hike and picnic in our backyard. 

^^^Right in our own backyard. Well, techinically it's the neighbor's yard, but whatever.^^^


^^^He kills me with the cute!^^^

^^^What is with her eyeball? No idea^^^

^^^Anytime I'd stop walking she'd smack me on the back and yell, "Go Mommy, go!" ^^^

Now, we're onto swimming lessons and freezing our tushies off at the lake. It's the BEST. Sand in all the places! 

We love it. Can't even lie. 

^^^Sand, everywhere. The big boys don't come in for towel time, making getting a picture of them difficult.^^^

^^^When their lips turn blue, I gotta make them sit out for a minute.^^^

^^^You can't see it, but he was visibly shivering during his lessons. His lips were blue. I worry about hypothermia, I really do.^^^

I love LOVE summer here. It very nearly makes up for the hideousness that is winter. It is warm, and green, and lush and incredible. I am so blessed. WE are so blessed. 

Happy Summer! 


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