Thursday, April 26, 2018

Clara's 9 Month Well-Check- from Jonah's Perspective

A week  or so before Clara hit 10 months, we finally got around to going to the doctor for her 9 month well-check. #thirdchild #alsowejustmoved

Jonah was getting antsy about 30 seconds after we got into the exam room, so I told him to take some pictures on my phone. I deleted about 200, but kept a few to document her appointment. :)

There was some "forced" tummy time so the doctor could see what she can (or cannot) do. Most babies can roll around and go from laying down to sitting up, to pulling up, to starting to cruise at this point. But not Clara. She is content to sit, and scoot around, and have others bring her things. Tummy time usually means crying. The doctor is pretty sure that at 12 months, Clara will be capable of walking, but isn't sure how likely she'll want to be walking.

Gotta check that baby mouth! Two bottom teeth, and the doctor said the top two are starting to come in!

Getting her ears checked. And maybe I'm asking a question?

Concerned? Brushing back my hair? And I'm only not wearing a sweatshirt because we had MOPS that morning, and I try to look presentable on those days. :)

"Smile, mommy!"

 Off to go set our chunky girl on the scale. Weighing in at 15.6 pounds (1 % CDC, almost 6% WHO) (apparently there's a difference and my pediatrician in MD did CDC, and the one here does WHO)

 A portrait: a doctor, a baby, and a mother.

Seriously, I deleted 200 pictures, but Jonah kept himself entertained. And we liked our doctor, and Clara looks great! We also had Jonah's 4 year well check this week, and he's also rocking it. He can hear, he can see, he's growing. And as much as he's been asking to get the flu shot, he's now decided he does not in fact like shots. But he handled the two he got without any tears!

And before we went to his appointment, we hurried over to Dunkin Donuts so Jonah could buy the birthday donut Grandma sent him money for (and I cashed in on my free birthday drink!)

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Happy 4th Birthday, Jonah!

Happy Birthday to our precious middle child!

Panera in our pjs

You are so loved, and a bright spot in our lives. Your smile and laughter are contagious, and oh how you make us laugh out loud!

You know what you want, but you also like to want all of the things that your big sister wants. When we ask you what you want to eat for lunch, you'll sometimes ask Noelle what she wants before you tell us the same thing she told you. But you also love to ask for turkey sandwiches and cheese pizza for breakfast (which Noelle would not do!)

You're a proud big brother, and will often run over to Clara and give her a toy or make silly faces at her to help her when she's upset. You've prayed quite a few times that God would "help her not have the pains" when she's had tummy problems. You are the perfect brother for Noelle and Clara!

Your absolute favorite is still Paw Patrol. We wear it all- shirts, pajamas, underwear, socks, and shoes. Whenever we walk by the Paw Patrol aisle at Target, you want to "just look", and your ever growing collection is scattered about the house. You've also been in to matchbox cars lately and want to have a racetrack. And your little cars are all over!

buying his donut with his birthday money from grandma!

Mommy needs to get you new clothes because most all of your pants are high-waters, and it's sometimes a real struggle to get your shirts pulled over your head. You're starting to learn how to dress and undress yourself, and you easily put on your own shoes now, though often on the wrong feet. But they're the cool light-up kind and you love to light the way for us when we go in to the dark garage.

Your favorite foods are cheese pizza, grilled cheese, cheese and turkey sandwiches, yogurt (clearly we're going strong with the dairy), and ALL things dessert. You're like mama- every meal should be followed by dessert, which is why you ask for candy or a popsicle as a part of your breakfast. At least we get donuts fairly regularly. :) You ask for Chick Fil A on the regular, though now that the closest one is 25 minutes away, we don't go nearly as often as we used to. But we're regulars at Target, and you love your "smoothies", aka Icees. And your soda water, you are all about that.

I love watching you jump right in to playing with other kids. When you see our neighbors outside playing, you want to run right out to join them. Playing with sticks, climbing on the rocks, running around- you're all about it. It's fun being at a church that has a lot of little boys right around your age who have taught you the joys of sword fighting and more about super heroes.

We've been told multiple times that you are eager to pray and ready to answer questions in Sunday school. I love all the times that you ask "did God make..." referring to cars, buildings, people, everything! I hope your childlike questions and faith continue with you into adulthood. And that you choose in your heart to follow after the God who loves you enough to send His Son to die for you.

You. Are. So. Loved! We are proud of you, and pray that God blesses your life abundantly!


Saturday, April 14, 2018

The Hub

The little kitchen nook is our hub. And it's probably my favorite place in the house.

It's where we eat.

Where Noelle does her homework. We read books here. I nurse Clara sitting in my chair.

Luke and I sit and talk about life and work and finances. I sit down to read my Bible here. Each evening I come to write out Scripture and a little record of our day.

I drink hot coffee as I watch the morning begin. We've celebrated Valentine's Day around this table, eaten green pancakes for St. Patrick's Day.

We've expanded the table to take up more space in this little kitchen nook to host Nana and Holden. We've welcomed our friends traveling through TN to share their meals here. We expanded it when we invited all our friends to sit around in their pajamas and eat pancakes.

Noelle and Jonah have created a million crafts in this space (wasting approximately 1,000 pounds of paper.) I've written letters to my grandma, and my Pen Pal.

We've sat at the table watching our big kids run around the backyard with our new neighbors.

I've sat at the table with a new friend, sharing our hearts and having "me too!" moments.

I've scrubbed the table about a million times, and vacuumed crumbs all day long. Clara has learned to scoot herself around by grabbing the rung of the kitchen chair and pulling herself forward.

So many things have happened around our table, the hub of our home.

I've been reading the book Daring to Hope by Katie Davis Majors, and something she says in the very first chapter captures what I want to be true of our home and dinner table: "I serve meals in this kitchen, but I want to serve what really counts. I want to offer all who pass through this place the Living Bread, the only food that truly fills."

May JESUS be known around our table! I'm still learning how to do this, learning to let go of the mess, letting go of my routine, and not only opening our house, but our hearts. And loving Jesus by loving others.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

33 and Mule Day!

Last Friday was my 33rd birthday! Eek!! Things that have made me feel old lately: having three kids, talking about adults who were born in 1995, thinking about my freshman year of college and how that was 15 years ago! But this past year was full of good- there are days where I just look at the three kids playing around me and acknowledge God's blessings! Clara who was so longed for and prayed for. A big family move that has brought friendships that I was not expecting this quickly, a job that Luke is enjoying (with a commute that has him home so much more!) It's been good!

I started the morning with a run (Praise the Lord!), and made it to a slow 4.6 miles (in honor of it being 4/6.) I'm just thankful to be moving my body again! I still have some pain in the ankle I did NOT injure, but overall it's fine and doesn't bother me during the day to day.

We had Bible study that morning, and one of the other girls had her birthday the day before, so I ran out to Starbucks beforehand to get my birthday drink and pick up something for her. At Bible study, we had chocolate muffins and a delicious egg casserole to celebrate our birthdays. My friend who leads the study had gifts for both of us, and she lead honor time, where anyone who wanted could speak truth and encouragement over the two of us celebrating turning a year older. It was special and sweet and made me feel very loved!

Afterwards, my friend Becca and I took our kids to Chick Fil A for lunch so that they could play and we could chat. Noelle had a half day, so I swung by and picked her up on the way, and I was happy to have her join the fun! Becca and I were able to talk for awhile, until her youngest kept escaping and Clara was starting to get fussy. We headed home, and I was able to put Clara down for a nap and get the big kids settled on the tablet. Luke got home from work early (yay!), and then ran out to grab us dinner from Panera (one of my favorites!) I got the shoes and Bible tabs I asked for, along with cards from lots of family and friends! I felt very loved!

On Saturday, the high was predicted to be 36*, but we knew in the town south of us, their big claim to fame, Mule Day was going down. Becca and I kept texting about whether or not we were going since it was going to be so cold, and Luke and I decided to wait till morning to see what the weather was doing. It was COLD (especially for April!) but we decided to drive down and just see how long the kids would last. We parked and walked down to the street that the parade was going down, and just kept walking to stay warm. Eventually we ducked into a building that had hosted a pancake breakfast and warmed up in the lobby until we heard the police sirens signalling the beginning of the parade. Jonah and Noelle lasted for about 20 minutes of the parade before we decided it would be a good idea to head back towards the car. Hopefully next year it will be warmer so we can check out more! I told Luke it makes me want to get a mule. :)

We've been keeping busy with the moms day our church has on Mondays, Bible study on Fridays, MOPS every other week on Wednesdays, and play dates with our new friends! We like to go to the library when we can, though I'm finding it hard to read to the kids because Clara does not stay happy if she's not being held. But she does last at the library for a little while!

And yesterday was National Sibling day! Love my little trio and seeing them grow up together! And I love my siblings! I miss them and cannot wait to see them all in June! And hopefully we'll see my siblings-by-marriage soon too!! (come visit us!)

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Our Easter Weekend

Normally we would have had Bible study on Friday morning, but it was cancelled because of spring break for a lot of people in the group. Instead, the kids and I played at home for a bit before heading up to meet Luke for lunch. We swung by his office to get him, and then drove over to try Which Wich. Jonah loved his pizza sandwich, and Noelle her turkey and cheese. I got a vegetarian wrap (because veggies are life!) and it was delicious! Clara sat in the high chair and I fed her little bits of my food. The kids were excited because as part of their kid meals, they got a special token to get M&Ms out of a little dispenser. (Which of course Jonah managed to spill all over the floor right before we left!)

messy console always

Afterwards, we went back to Luke's office and he gave us a quick tour. In the two years he worked in D.C., we never went to visit him. I wasn't sure I wanted to navigate the metro with two kids by myself, and there was no way I was driving in. But now his office is 25 minutes away and so easy to get to! The kids of course were most excited about swinging by the office kitchen to pick out a treat.

On Saturday, we went to a local farm that my sister got us a season pass for. There is so much to do (slides, swings, pony rides, wagon rides, farm animals, giant jumping pillow, and more!) and on Saturday they had an Easter egg hunt, which my kids are now obsessed with. They had so much fun, and thankfully with a season pass, we didn't feel bad about leaving after 2.5 hours. Noelle and Jonah could have stayed longer, but Clara was starting to get fussy, and I was hungry!

On Sunday morning, the kids woke up in time for us to get dressed, take some pictures, go on a scavenger hunt for Easter baskets, a quick Easter egg hunt on the back deck, finishing the last Resurrection egg, and then opening the Easter box shipped from Nana and Aunt Heather. It was busy, but they were so excited about it all!

We went to church and then drove up to my brother-in-law's for Easter lunch. They had a giant chicken pot pie, and we brought some sides. It was yummy, and the kids enjoyed their chicken nugget lunches. :) I filled a bunch of Easter eggs, and Luke spread them out around the backyard so that Noelle, Jonah, and their cousin could search for eggs. One last Easter egg hunt hurrah until next year!

After they played for a bit, we headed home. We'd eaten lunch late, but I was starting to get hungry and a milkshake sounded like the perfect dinner. Luke ran out to Sonic and brought back milkshakes for us, and the big kids were mostly too busy watching something to notice that we were eating ice cream without them. And milkshakes for dinner might just have to be a new Easter tradition!

Jesus is risen, and I want to live my life with that truth in mind. Women were the first to find out that He had risen from the grave, and the angel told them to go SHARE the news! What joyous news we have to share- it truly is LIFE! When the women saw Jesus, they clung to His feet and worshiped. I hope and pray that God continues to work in my life and give me a heart and spirit that responds in love and adoration for Him!

Friday, March 30, 2018


I feel like we are in a season of blooming. God has been at work in our lives in what feels like both big and small ways. We're in a new state, a new town, finding new spots to call our own.

a beautiful view of some blossoms with the gas station in the background from my run this morning ;)

Our kids are growing every day. Learning new things, growing out of clothes, becoming their own little people. Asking questions about God, and stating truths about Jesus that I didn't even know were stored away in their hearts.

Luke is in a new job, a different position that is giving him an updated skill-set. Building relationships with co-workers.

I'm in a season of making friends. God is giving me a sense of bravery as I go to a house full of women I've maybe met once. Or going to hang out with a group of moms who already know each other at least a little bit.

God is beginning to provide a sense of community. As an introvert, it's hard to put myself out there, but God is giving me a desire to be with people. To meet with other moms. To come alongside them and pray for them.

And He's giving me a desire to be in His Word. Every time I have a baby, I go for the first nine months or so of their little lives never sitting through a complete sermon. I'm either nursing or pacing around with my littlest love in my arms. I know it's a season, and as we begin to get to a point where Clara should probably be put in the nursery, God is giving me more of a passion for the Bible. I want to be in it. The more I read it, the more I see of God, and the more I want to keep coming back to it.

I'm thankful for this season that we're in. It's growing us and stretching us. It's not necessarily easy, but it's more fun than some of the other seasons we've been through. It's learning to lean into God in a different way. There are others around me walking through valleys and climbing what seem to be impossible mountains. As I navigate this season of blooming, I want to be aware and come alongside those who are in a harder season and love on them through the love of Christ. And I'm praying that God continues to keep us blooming!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Egg Hunts 1, 2, and 3!

On Saturday we had planned on joining some new friends for their neighborhood Easter egg hunt, but the threat of rain postponed that hunt until the next day. I had noticed a sign in front of one of the assisted living places we drive past to go to Noelle's school saying that they were having an egg hunt on Saturday, so we headed there instead! Noelle and Jonah were very excited and had their Easter baskets all ready to go.

Unfortunately, I don't think they were prepared for the number of kids who showed up. Jonah was able to grab two eggs, and Noelle got four. Part of Jonah's problem was that he was so excited when he picked up the first egg he found, he ran over to show us before looking for more. They were both a little upset, but we tried to distract them with a cookie and trip to Books A Million. And Jonah was of course all about the candy, and finished all of his before we got back home.

And Clara just hung out in Luke's arms the whole time we were there. One of the residents came over to say hi to her and Clara just grabbed on to her finger and listened as the lady talked to her. It was so sweet! I also had a moment where our new town felt like home- we saw people we knew outside of where we normally see them! In MD, almost every time I went to Walmart (which was multiple times a week) I saw someone we knew- from MOPS, from the neighborhood, from preschool. Well at the Easter egg hunt, we saw a teacher from Noelle's school who has a son in Noelle's class, AND I saw a mom who is in my Friday Bible study. Definitely makes it feel more like "our" town!

On Sunday, we snapped a quick picture after church, and then headed home for an even quicker lunch before heading to meet our friends in their neighborhood for the Easter egg hunt. (We also put Clara in the nursery for the first time, and when I went to get her after the sermon and communion, she was a crying mess. So jury's out on what I'll do with her this coming Sunday!)

All the moms had provided a dozen stuffed eggs per kid, so there were a lot of eggs! Noelle and Jonah were quite excited about all the eggs and candy that they got, and I had fun being able to chat with one of my new friends. (Also, I again saw someone I had met once before at the very first MOPS Bible study I went to. She happens to live in that neighborhood as well!)

Also, the more hunts we do, the more they learn how to get their game on and focus on the egg searching! No distractions!

Monday was Noelle's first day of Spring Break, and there was an Easter egg hunt and picnic planned for the moms and kids from our church. Noelle was awake a little after 4 a.m. because her poor nose was just a faucet. She was miserable, and crazy girl refuses to take any kind of medicine that would help her. The snot was all clear, so our best bet is that it's allergies. Luke ended up working from home so that he could stay at the house with her (movies all day for Noelle!), and Jonah, Clara, and I still got to go meet our friends.

Jonah of course enjoyed having more eggs to look for, and getting more candy. It was a bit windy, so instead of eating at the park, a few of us headed to someone's house for lunch. Then we headed home and had a low-key rest of the day!