Sunday, June 29, 2014

Hilton Head

We had the pleasure of going to Hilton Head with Mark's parents a few weeks ago and had such an amazing time. We didn't think we were going to be able to get away this summer but last minute this opportunity arose and we jumped on it. I'm so thankful we were able to spend time together as a family of five before the new baby comes (just 6 weeks away....eeeeek!!!)



Honestly, there was a lot of resting, swimming, and just sitting in the sand. I didn't take my camera anywhere....I hardly took my purse anywhere. It was fabulous. Flip flops and bathing suits were the only attire, and we ate lots of yummy beach food.

I walked on the beach one night with the big girls while Stella went to bed early and realized how beautiful and peaceful it was, so we took them back the next night to try to get a few pictures, to prove that we did, in fact, go to the beach, and to document these beautiful girls growing up right before our eyes.


I got a few pictures of us swimming and doing random things on my phone but I'm glad we took the time to have a little mini photo shoot with the girls in some sweet sundresses. I'm such a sucker for sundresses.

If you look really close you can see that Annie gained a few freckles on the trip.


Lucy tanned all beautiful and bronze-like. Stella is somewhere in the middle. Not quite as fair as Annie but not the brown lady Lucy is either. I slathered them all in spf 50 every day but they still got pretty good tans.




To say they loved the beach would be a massive understatement. Adored. Discovered. Inhaled. I especially love how Stella just sat down and made herself at home every morning in the sand after we set up our chairs. She is my child.







They had a blast running around and splashing, discovering sea creatures, and getting their adorable sundresses all wet and sandy.

I just wanted to pause life. Right there.





The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Psalm 19:1


Friday, May 16, 2014

Catch up

Lots of new posts!! Some of these I posted a few days ago but they have been updated so be sure to check them all out!

Lucy's Graduation


Spring in a Nutshell (kind of it's own catch up post as it's really long!!)


Easter


I can't promise that I will be better about blogging. Not that anyone really cares. But this pregnancy has been SO hard on me (I think I say that everytime) and in just a few short months (eeeeeek!) my time will be occupied with FOUR little ones. I know, I know, there are moms of 8 who homeschool and work from home and blog every day and blah blah blah. But I am not those moms.

But I will try to do better.

Lucy's Graduation

It seems like just yesterday I was sending this girl off to Kindergarten....



Now she's all grown up and we are finished with her first official year of school!


Stella had to get in the pic too. Annie was probably still upstairs grumbling something about sleep or juice. She is not my morning person.


We were so blessed to have such a fabulous teacher for Lucy this year. I literally could not have asked for/prayed for/wished for a better kindergarten experience. As some of you know, we moved into our house in August of last year, and the kindergarten that Lucy was registered for was about 30 minutes away, so last minute we decided to move her to one in downtown Newnan that was about 6 minutes away, and I'm so glad we did. It is the sweetest little school, plus it was only half a day AND she had Fridays off. Oh how we loved our Fridays!



On Monday they had Kindergarten Graduation. I'm so glad they have graduation...it's such a sweet time for the kids and their families. I cannot believe how fast Lucy is growing up. She was my first baby!! And now she is almost 6 and has graduated from kindergarten. I need a time fairy.



They had a sweet graduation ceremony, complete with diplomas and caps and gowns. Lucy's diploma is upside down. Apparently they didn't cover that in class.




After the ceremony we had a brunch and the kids performed Eric Carle's The Grouchy Ladybug.




And who do you think The Grouchy Ladybug was?

Lucy was the star of the show. I'm assuming she was chosen for the lead role because of her acting ability, not because of her grouchiness......but I could be wrong there.



"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord. "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11



It seems like I am constantly in prayer over this girl and the Lord's plans for her. I am trying to give up my own plans and submit to His. I forget sometimes that she is a child of God first, and that I am just blessed enough to be a part of her life too. I KNOW that the Lord has a plan for Lucy. A good plan, an amazing plan, a plan that will lead her straight to Him.


Congrats Lucy! We are so proud of you.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Spring in a Nutshell

This is a REALLY long post because I have a lot to catch up on. You have been warned.

I have not had the capacity to blog. I have not had the capacity to make dinner until the past few weeks. This pregnancy is kicking my tail. I don't know if it's because I'm getting....ahem....OLDER....or if it's because my body is sick and tired of being pregnant, or if it's because that's just the way my pregnancies roll. This one has been almost identical to Lucy and Stella's pregnancies, but I didn't have three little ones to take care of then so I'm thinking that's a major contributing factor too.

Whining aside....we had a great Spring. I didn't get to document it much....and really didn't get to participate in it a whole lot. But I was present, albeit on the couch or in my bed or laying over the toilet....but I was present. I feel so guilty sometimes because I haven't been able to do as much as I have in the past but I know it's just a phase and I hope the kids will remember the good times and not the bad.

I think I said I was going to stop whining.

Stella grew up this Spring. Out of nowhere she is a little toddler. Running and playing and "talking". She and Annie have become big buds while Lucy is in school and I just love watching them together. There is more sweetness and less fighting between the two of them these days, which is a full blown miracle if you ask me.




I got a video the other day of them playing in the trampoline for literally an hour. Jumping and laughing and wrestling each other. They didn't come out of the trampoline until I told them we needed to go inside.

We also had a lot of rain this spring. Spring rains are the best....the ones with no storms, just warm, spring showers. We took a walk in one of these showers, because some of my fondest memories are playing barefoot in the rain.



We played outside in good weather too. Side walk chalk, bubbles, bouncy balls, and all the things that make Spring great. Minus the bees and the pollen. None of that around here....no none at all. Not in the pictures anyway.



Annie got sweet and girly....



Stella got clingy and demanding...



I did an AWESOME Lent study on shereadstruth.com. It's an amazing website and I am loving their devotions every morning. They lean heavily on scripture instead of someone's writing, which I love, and the Lent study was really really really amazing.

I have been struggling lately with my plans vs. His plans vs. dream plans and this particular study reminded me, humbly, that my Savior did not worry about his own plans. He followed His Father's plans. And I'm so glad He did.



We had a Spring photo shoot because I have been horrible about taking pictures lately. Either I forget the camera or hand the camera to Mark (= king of blurry) or I take a picture on my phone which ends up being mediocre at best. I thought these turned out pretty good for a last minute dinner is in the oven and we have to leave for small group but I'm taking a picture of you kids anyway photo shoot.




Stella is bipolar lately. She is either the meanest thing in the world or the sweetest. And really your chances are about 50/50 on what she's going to be in any particular moment.









I had a great Mother's Day this year...the girls all piled in my bed that morning and gave me a few presents, some handmade cards, and lots of love.




I was super emotional this Mother's Day. I'm not sure why....I guess pregnancy has something to do with it. But it seems like I cried all day long. Good tears....overwhelmed and happy and blessed tears.

Our church services were canceled last minute so we re-routed and went to church in Newnan with my mom and then went out to eat afterwards.


I'm so thankful I got to spend some time with my mom this Mother's Day. She is such an amazing mom and everything I strive to be with my girls....selfless, fun, giving, full of grace, and always always supportive. Even to this day. I hope one day to have this kind of relationship with my girls. She is one of my best friends and I know a huge part of who I am is shaped by her.


My heart and arms are full this Mother's Day, and I am so humbled and in awe of how blessed I am. I think that's why I cried so much. I grieve for the mothers whose arms are empty and rejoice over the ones whose arms are full. Especially on the days that they feel too full.

"She is clothed with strength and dignity; 
she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household,
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her.
Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gates"
- Proverbs 31: 25-31

This is what I strive for daily. And every single day, I fail miserably. And I will continue to fail, and pray that my shortcomings are covered in grace and my children rise and call me blessed.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Easter

Easter has somehow turned into another Christmas for us. We ended up driving around and house hopping all day so we can see everyone. One of these days I'm going to say no and we are going to be scrooges and stay home. One of these days.....

This Easter we went to church at our fabulous church, which we love, and then went to my aunt's for a big lunch and egg hunt for the kids. It was so much fun and the girls love being with their "cousins". We were blessed with a gorgeous day so that helped too. 





We ate way too much food, the kids ate way too much candy, and then we headed over to my mom's for naps and egg coloring. After that we went to Mark's parent's for another Easter feast. We ate so much food that day....GOOD food though.

The egg hunt is pretty much the only thing I took pictures of. I got some good ones though. I mean how sweet is this face?







We have to get a picture every year in front of my mom's azaleas. They are so beautiful!


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Annie Turns 3

I have a three year old. I mean, a long with a 5 and 18 month old....but still....I have a 3 year old. 

Do you ever assign your child a permanent age in your mind? Like whenever you picture them they are always a certain age? I do. Maybe it's just the year younger than they are....but for some reason whenever I picture/talk about/think about or envision Annie, she's 2. It just rolls off my tongue, "let her do that, it's fine, she's 2", or "well she's only 2 so......", and "this is Annie, my crazy 2 year old". Even when she wasn't 2 yet I pictured her as a 2 year old.

Two is a big transitional age for most kids. Potty training, moving to a big bed, sometimes a new sibling comes a long, they no longer are learning to walk and talk but are singing and dancing and running. 

Two has been a great age for Annie. She took all the transitions in stride and for the most part has been a very easy 2 year old (aside from climbing the walls and her life being risked due to her acrobats and physical activity on an almost daily basis). She doesn't give me much trouble, she doesn't argue, and she is fairly obedient. She is wild, but in a sweet way. 


She has stepped up to the big sister plate and has learned to help me around the house and entertain her younger sister while Lucy is in school. She is slowly taking on responsibilities and I'm learning that I need to give her responsibility instead of doing things for her or letting Lucy do it for her.


She also gets away with a lot. She's sneaky in that middle child sort of way, and whenever she is doing something borderline wrong, she meets you with a big grin and looks all innocent as if to say, "What? Is this wrong? This? What I'm doing right now? What if I keep doing it? Is it still wrong?" GRIN.


She isn't rebellious. If she doesn't do something I ask her to, it's because she's indifferent. She doesn't care if she does it or not. No skin off her back. Unlike my first born, "oh you want me to do that? I'm gonna stand here and not do it just because you asked me to". So parenting her has been different for me. Because I relate to Lucy. I'm a firstborn, type A, rebellious, and a little (ahem) controlling. Parenting Annie has taught me to be more sensitive, more laid back, and quicker on my feet.

Annie is energetic, happy all the time (except when she first wakes up), doesn't want responsibility or control, loves attention, and loves people. She loves princesses and baby dolls. She sings even though she can't carry a tune. She wants to wear a dress and flip flops every day.

She is a great big sister. She's also a great younger sister. She is starting to stand up for herself more and it cracks me up to see the look on Lucy's face when Annie decides to stop taking her crap. That being said, she absolutely adores Lucy and wants to do whatever she is doing. She tolerates Stella. Lovingly tolerates her.



For Annie's 3rd birthday we had a special breakfast, just hung out as a family, went to Partner's for dinner (of course), and then the girls had some late night ice cream as a special treat after Stella went to bed.

The day after her birthday we had family over for some cake and ice cream and playing. Annie requested a cookie cake again this year.





My two cousins came with their girls and they just loved playing together. Stella was cracking me up playing on the floor with baby Kennedi.




Big girls sitting together. Annie's tongue is already pink. It was a great day and a great party. We so enjoy keeping birthdays low key and in the family. It's fun to do a big party every once in a while but Annie really enjoyed playing with her cousins and getting attention from all of her grandparents.


I'm excited to see what the age 3 brings for Annie. She will become a big sister again, she will continue to grow and gain independence, she will learn, she will wear us out, she will test her limits physically, and I hope she will stay blonde.

Sweet Annie Faith, you are such a joy to our family. You bring a smile to everyone's face and you light up the room with your sparkle. You keep mama on her toes and daddy wrapped around your finger. You are a precious miracle and gift and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't thank our Heavenly Father for blessing me enough to be your mama. Happy Birthday!