October 11, 2017

Our Best Kept Secret...

Well the news is official. Sage will be joining the big sister club in a few short months! We've been keeping the announcement to ourselves since we found out on Father's day this year, just letting family and friends know face to face. It's been fun to have this be our own little secret and not make a big deal on social media about it, especially when I see others around town who I haven't seen in a while react to my belly. But since it's no longer able to be hidden, and the little one will be making an appearance right around the corner, I figured it was time to let you all in on the news. 

The girls are pretty excited to have another baby in the family soon. They're already practicing non stop at "being mama", rocking the baby to sleep, and changing diapers. Its been so fun to talk with them about the baby growing in my belly. The questions they ask are hilarious, like about how its growing or what its eating and how big they think its going to get. Watching a 3 and 4 year old trying to figure out the concept has to be one of the most entertaining things. The tie is still even between the 4 of them who thinks its going to be a boy and who thinks its going to be a girl. We're praying for that little boy someday, but know that we will be overjoyed either way! 

We get asked quite a bit if we'll keep going with building our little tribe and our answer has continued to be that we'll just take it one kid at a time...(except for that time we had two at once). And yes, we know that there is only ONE in there this time. This pregnancy wasn't a surprise and we always knew that after having Sage, she wouldn't be our last. Not to mention, she's made it easy on us to keep wanting to more! Its pretty surprising to people when I say that we want to keep going and I'm not sure what it is in us that wants a big family, other than the fact that we just love having little ones. Don't get me wrong, its not any easier for us than other parents and we don't have a magical formula that makes parenting a smooth ride. We have just as many hard, frustrating, sleepless, confusing moments as anyone. But I guess its the moments of laughter and play and being rewarded with the gift of parenting that far outweigh the tiring ones and its in those times we remember how much we love this opportunity we get to have.  

And by no means do I think that not having a lot of kids says that people don't love their own or love parenthood. I'm sure this would be a totally different experience for me all the way around if I was sick to my stomach every day of pregnancy too. I'm super thankful that I've been able to somewhat function normally throughout all my pregnancies and it's something I don't take for granted at all! Exhaustion is the strongest thing that sets in for me while carrying which can get pretty disheartening to me when I want to be present with my girls or don't want to waste a minute. Plus the fact that its not always fun to have a belly stick out so big you can't bend over to put your own shoes on! But I know its temporary and the sweetest gift if awaiting us at the end of the journey.

For a few months we thought I was due at the end of March until my last ultrasound appointment told us we are actually due a whole month sooner! I'm about 5 and half months along now so with that news its felt like this pregnancy has flown by a whole lot faster. There will be a two year gap between Sage and this new one, making it the biggest age gap between our kids so far. So getting back into the swing of things with a newborn will feel natural in some ways and in others I'm sure it will be a whole new adjustment. We can't wait to see what this new one will bring to our family and can hardly wait to find out the gender when it makes its appearance in February. 

October 3, 2017

Dear Daughters (Summer)

I don't even know how it got to be October already! I've had this post started since July...which feels like it was just yesterday. The summer was so full for us. Lots of traveling with our little fam, art projects on my table, and birthdays celebrated. While I intend and desire to document it all, some days I just realize that being present in the moment is more important than getting the "picture perfect" photo to post about later on. I set out on these posts at the beginning of the year hoping to make this a monthly thing. In the past I think I would've felt guilt (and maybe a bit of shame) for not keeping up with my own goal, but I'm learning and growing to hold on to whats better in the long run for our family, and let go of the little things. The heart behind this goal was to seek out my girls and pay attention to the smallest and most intricate parts of their personalities, praying that I don't miss out on what God may have for me to learn about them. And although the posts may not alway go up on the world wide web each month, the goal has still remained and being present and intentional about being mom in front of them has still allowed me to learn and grow and be humbled.

(photo taken on the last day that my three oldest were all age three together!) 

Some days, I'm inspired and excited by so much I want to share on here and other days the "real life" duties call my name and this blog takes the back seat. I hope that I will continue to find ways in our crazy lives to schedule in more time to create new things for this place since I do find a lot of joy in doing it. My desire for sharing this blog is to use my creativity in a different way than what I normally do in my daily mothering/working/freelancing life. And if along the way it inspires and brings encouragement to someone else, then thats just a sweet bonus! 

I just want to tell those of you who follow along, too, thank you for your support and being here for a minute or two. Its always to so fun to hear from you when I do! 

Now onto this...

Dear Raleigh, 

The past few months have been a joy to watch you grow up! Gosh I can't believe you're already four. I often try so hard to remember each moment and new thing with you because I know I'm going to wake up and you're going to be 18 already! Just the thought of that brings me to tears. Your spirit is still so tender and sweet. You continue to love your sisters and those around you so well. You are easy to laugh with and quickly know how to have fun. And I must say that I've never seen a toddler with better dance moves than you. (They say you got it from your mama, ;)) You are growing with more and more curiosity and it brings me joy to teach you new things and watch you learn. You are always wanting to be next to me, watching how I paint or draw and asking me questions about every little thing I do. I love that you enjoy creating too! I love to watch how you create. You teach me how to be free in creating. You teach me how to love the process of creating more than the outcome. I hope and pray this is something we will continue to enjoy and bond over your whole life through. 

Dear Jocilynn, 

Lately, I'm the only one you'll allow to call you by your full name...everyone else gets corrected by you that your name is "Joci" not Jocilynn. ha! I'm not sure where that snuck in, but I think its another way of how your personality has played out-- you know what you want and you stick to it. Often it becomes a battle for us to work through when you don't get your way, but there's also a part in that where I can see how confidence and beauty can grow from a place of knowing what you want. You know how to laugh and be silly and fun and I love watching that come alive in you. You give me the sweetest hugs and still ask me to sing and pray with you before bedtime every night. I've watched you try so hard to be kind and learn how to treat others nicely and although its the hardest thing to figure out sometimes, you continue to trust me in helping you figure it out. I pray this will always be true, that our relationship will be built on trust and deep love and that nothing would make you doubt otherwise. I'm learning how to nurture your sensitive heart better and praying that as you grow you'll always know how much I love you. 

Dear Jaelynn, 

We've said it from the time you were one...you know how to make people laugh! And your sense of humor keeps getting better and better. I don't think there's a day gone by where you haven't made at least one of your sisters belly laugh. Your humor just shows more and more how smart you are, knowing how to understand a situation and make someone smile when they need it most. You can't go too long crying your eyes out before you start to burst into laughter about it (probably because you realize how ridiculous your little tantrums sound sometimes). Its the funniest thing to watch as you go from complete sobbing to extreme giggling within one breath. I think it just explains how much joy you find in life and it is utterly contagious! You are more often than not the little leader of your sister clan, usually deciding what silly games you're going to make up and play and bringing them into your imagination with you. Watching you grow up is the best thing and only makes me more excited to see who you will continue to become. 

Dear Sage, 

You are finally starting to communicate with your words these days! For a while we wondered if you'd ever talk, since your sisters seemed to always do the talking for you. But you're learning to find your voice and its the cutest thing to watch. You still are the first one to follow where ever any of them will go and there's hardly a time we find you sitting alone. You continue to be their favorite person, making them laugh at everything you do--from "jumping" on your feet, to making up songs to sing, or making the silliest faces. You're always up for snuggling and I love getting you our of your bed whenever you wake up just for that embrace. Your smile still lights up a room and produces an even bigger smile on anyones face thats around you. I love watching how up for anything you are, trying out whatever your sisters are doing or making up something completely on your own. More and more ways continue to show me just how perfect you are for our family and I couldn't imagine anyone but you!

I love you girls...more than life itself!

August 24, 2017

Twins Turn Three!

prince & princess crowns- DIY  party decor- Oh Happy Day Shop

We officially have three 3-year-olds living under our roof now! The twins are already THREE (what!?!) and I feel like I just blinked since we brought home those teeny little ones from the hospital. Per their request, it was a pink and purple themed princess party to celebrate the milestone. We re-arranged the living room furniture to create a "ballroom" for dancing and decked out the table for an ice cream bar and cupcakes. Our house was full of toddlers wearing their best prince and princess attire, running around giggling and getting filled up with sugar! 

We finished the party with games and opening presents and singing happy birthday. I know that most of the details that go into putting things like this together go unnoticed, but they still talk about their party to this day... which makes me think they really do remember how special it was for them. 

Although this age has its many frustrating moments, I have to say over all it has to be my favorite with them so far. Their personalities are more apparent and alive than ever. It seems as though every day brings on something new about them that I'm learning. Having twins is no easy task, especially being just 10.5 months younger than big sister and 18 above the littlest, but I would do it all over again in a heartbeat! There's nothing like watching how they're bond continues to grow with each other and each of their other sisters more and more each day. These two never give us a dull moment in our day and I'm pretty thankful I get to be the one they call mama.