July 31, 2017

Dear Daughters- June

 We took a family trip up north last month to celebrate our grandmas's 80th birthday. It was a nice little break from the heat of Phoenix and we enjoyed the time being with extended family all cooped up in a beautiful cabin together. Seeing my girls run around and come alive in the outdoors, getting dirty, catching frogs and rocks and critters was the best thing for my mama heart. While we were up there my sweet aunt of Joyful Gestures Photography captured these portraits of the girls and I thought it was perfect for this month's post. There's nothing quite like being away together to help you appreciate the slow and steady small things life so often offers. 



Dear Raleigh, 

I love watching your adventurous side come out. Our weekend away was so fun to be around you listening to your silly stories, seeing you try new things and embrace the fun in every moment of your day. You are pushing me to be in the moment with you and remember how important it is to pay attention to the beauty of the now. I want to be even better at this every day with you-- entering into your world, your imagination, your playfulness. There are many times I just wonder how you experience me as your mama, hoping that you know deeply how much I love you. I can only pray that the moments of fun and laughter far outweigh any of the ones that I come up short. You're too important to me to be anything but the best I can be for you. Making memories with you on any adventure is the best medicine for any hard day or week or month and I hope you grow to hold these memories in your heart as sweetly as I do. 


Dear Joci, 

I forget how much you love to get dirty and explore until we're forced into a place that can only make us play that way. You have always been the one to first dig in the dirt and find new bugs or creatures and as much as it makes me squeal sometimes, I love how unhesitant and unafraid you are to experience something new. Your curiosity is something I've always seen in you and I love watching it grow and come out in more and more ways. You challenge me to learn more about the world around us and help you understand it better. I love the times when we learn things together, talking about something as simple as a lady bug or as complex (for a two year old) as sharing and being kind. You're interested in it all and I love the ways you are growing up. 



Dear Jaelynn, 

There's something about putting you in the midst of a big group of people that makes your world light up! You thrive being around people and fun. I'm seeing more and more how you love to gather others together, something I think will  (and already does) make you such a sweet friend to others. Sometimes you seem too smart for your own good, keeping us laughing and feeling crazy daily! You've gotten into a phase of being "super polite" almost to the point where you know how to work the system to get what you want. I can't deny that it works well on us, sometimes, but we're onto your silly little schemes! Either way, it just shows me how smart and attentive you are to what's going on with people. You observe others so well and are able to see something beyond the surface of what's going on. I hope and pray it blossoms into something that would serve others well, allowing them to feel known and loved by you unlike any other. I know thats already true for me whenever I'm with you. Somehow, already at the young age of 2 and a half, you totally get me. 



Dear Sage, 

You never stop moving and following the crowd of sisters and cousins that are constantly around you. You look up to them so much and love to be a part of whatever they're doing. You've definitely figured out your way with them because I don't think anyone makes your sisters laugh more than you do! The endless giggles in our house are the sweetest sound to my ears. There's never a time you choose to be alone or away from them and I love that you are looking up to them and adore them as much as you do. This only makes me love and adore you more and more. Your personality is so extremely fun and contagious. You draw me in to love you more and I only know its going to get better from here. 


I love you girls more than life itself.
Love, 
Mama

June 29, 2017

A Very Merry (Cousin) Unbirthday Party



girls striped twirl dresses- alice & ames

A few weeks ago my sister and her little family came to visit us from Ohio for the week. This was the first time since our youngest two were born that we had all been together. I came up with the idea to throw a little "birthday party" for all the cousins together since we don't get to celebrate on their actual birthdays together throughout the year. So I rounded up all the colorful party decor I could find around the house to throw together and bought some cake mix to celebrate the event. Luckily they're all young enough that a bunch of sugary cake is the best present they could receive. 

We watched and danced to a snippet of Alice in Wonderland's unbirthday song and sang happy birthday to each one of them. With all the girliness that goes on in our house on a daily basis, it was a sweet time to have my nephews bring a little bit of boy into the mix. (We're still praying for that boy of ours ;)). I loved getting to watch my girls play and engage with their cousins, like they've known each other since they were born.  It's little things like this that make being a mom the best gift of all, watching their relationships develop and grow with each other among all the laughter and playfulness. Loved getting to spend time with all SIX of these kiddos together (all 3 and under!) haha!

June 7, 2017

Dear Daughters- May

I captured these pictures while we were on our trip in Vegas at the beginning of May. It was our first family trip we had taken away in a while. Being out of our normal everyday routine and on vacation forced us to just be a family playing together. It brought out a newness in seeing the girls playfulness come alive and I loved every second. Taking trips away is something I highly recommend to do, even if its just down the road 20 minutes at a nearby hotel. There's always something fresh that comes from being away together and I think is just what our souls need every once in a while.




Dear Raleigh, 

Oh how fun it was being with you and watching you on our trip away. Your excitement for every little thing made it that much more exciting for me too. You were brave and adventurous and so...grown up. You would've spent the whole day being in the water if we let you. You made friends playing in the pool and invited them in to play with you and your sisters. It showed me how caring you are of others and love to let others be a part of the fun you're having too. I pray this only grows and matures in you more and more. You were silly and kind and imaginative and made the best time out of every little thing we did. Like building sand castles with Jaelynn, filling buckets and dumping them over and over again with Joci, helping Sage learn how to "swim" around in the water and being up for anything we were going to do. I love watching you grow up. I love watching how you learn and teach and play. You give me fresh eyes to see the best in our surroundings. I'd go anywhere with you!



Dear Joci, 

That smile! It can light up a room. And the giggle that usually follows can't help but make everyone join in. I'm learning how to love you better. There are some pretty strong differences between us, and I think thats a good thing. You are causing me to pay more attention to the things that may be hard for me to deal with. You are helping me understand that even though someone may see things differently than me, they are just as much important and valuable as anyone else. And usually, they have a legitimate need that is worthy of nurturing too. Watching you around the sand and water was just like this. You were careful and shy at first, but once you warmed up and engaged in the fun you were pure delight. You laughed and screamed with joy. And even though you wanted to do things your own way on your own timing, you still were able to play alongside your sisters and create fun in the moment. I love to be with you. I'm learning to see things in and through you that can easily go missed if I don't pay attention to the details of your heart. I'm seeing that even through our differences there are pieces that are so endearing and beautiful. And I wouldn't want to miss that for the world. 


Dear Jaelynn, 

I'm learning how your adventurous spirit comes alive more and more whenever we go away on vacation. And gosh is it a breath of fresh air to be around. You were like a whole new person in the water...in the best way. I didn't think your smile could get any bigger and brighter, but somehow it did. You made everyone around you have so much more fun because of your ability to laugh and enjoy everything. You brought others into the fun with you and gently helped your little sister learn how to enjoy the sand and water too. You are helping me enjoy being present in the moment and not letting the little things pass by. You are easily able to notice when someone is alone or needs help and quickly draw close to them to make them feel better. You do this for me daily and I find so much joy just being in your presence. 


Dear Sage, 

The past couple months your quiet and content personality has turned into hilariously feisty and bold. You came alive on this trip in the best ways. We're seeing how brave you are in going after things without caution or care (something I think you get from your dadda). You took on swimming like a pro, not being afraid of the unknown. You tried new things with laughter, making us realize you might be the most adventurous one in the family so far. I can't wait to see how much more your character will unfold as you get older. I imagine we're in for a lot more fun and amusement than you've already given us. 


I love you all...more than life itself. 

Love, 
Mama

June 2, 2017

Las Vegas Getaway


We packed up the car and took a trip to Las Vegas a couple weeks ago with our little family. Vegas wasn’t on my radar for places to visit, but we found a free stay at a new resort to take time share tour so we jumped on the deal and planned a little getaway. The resort was just a couple miles down the road from the downtown strip, so it didn’t feel too “vegasy” being where we were. We did a few touristy things like visiting the M&M factory and watched the water show at the Bellagio, but after a couple hours of walking through the crowds with four little ones, we decided just staying at the resort was enough fun for us.

There’s something about getting away together that is so refreshing and bonding. This trip sure made me see a side of the girls come out that was so fun to watch. They were playful and free and so much fun! The resort had a small beach and lazy river on property, which they couldn’t get enough of. It was such a gift to be able to relax while watching them play and laugh together.

Long before I ever had kids I knew that family vacations were going to be a priority for us. I’m drawn to traveling and adventure and long for my kids to flourish in the experiences travel brings. This trip was short but so so sweet and made me dream of  more travel days ahead for us, especially as these desert temps start to rise!  Can’t wait to plan out next adventure.


May 15, 2017

Dear Daughters (April)


How is it already MAY!!?! I'm slacking on getting these posts in before the month is over, but welcome to my life of raising 4 littles. The day I took these photos we spent it playing at the Children's museum together before our annual pass ran out. Its been one of my favorite things that we've gotten to do as a family this past year, watching them explore and learn and thrive in playfulness being there. Definitely well worth the money and something I'd recommend for you mamas with little ones. I'm already missing it.



Dear Raleigh, 

You have grown up more than I'd like to admit this past month. You wake up in the morning and its like you changed over night. As much as I don't want to think about you getting older, I must admit it brings me the most joy to see who you you are becoming. You gave me the sweetest birthday spending it with you and your sisters at the museum, playing. laughing and watching you be you! You  have the best sense of finding fun in anything you're doing and I love being a part of any fun you're having. You are the greatest gift I could ever want. 



  Dear Jocilynn, 

I've seen your maturity start to come through this month. Its so hard for you to let go of the littlest things you get your mind wrapped around, but you're learning to see whats more important in the moment like treating others with kindness or giving your sisters a chance to enjoy something too. Its been a battle for us for sure, but I see how much you're choosing to trust me and your daddy in learning these things and it makes my heart ache with pride and adoration for you. You are teaching me so much through this and I see how incredible you are becoming in your strong-willed, sensitive and sweet personality. I love watching you. 


Dear Jaelynn, 

Oh sweet Jaelynn! I didn't think your smile could get any brighter, but somehow it has. Your laughter and joy are a contagious gift to anyone thats around you. You are learning so much and try to help others learn it with you. This month I've seen so much of how the things that used to be such a fight for us are diminishing because of how much you're growing up. Like learning to use your words gently and kindly and using the "dramatic" side of you for fun instead of trying to get your way. I can tell already how much of a little leader you are. People are naturally drawn to you. I'm constantly becoming better because of you and I will choose to learn from you and follow your example all of my days.


Dear Sage, 

My Sagey-girl. Watching you this month has been the greatest delight. Now that you're keeping up with your sisters on foot, there's no stopping you. It's already so evident how much you love to have fun and play and make others laugh. You admire your sisters with the sweetest adoration, mimicking their moves, or "singing" along with them. You make us want to have more and more kids! You bring so much laughter and silliness and play to our days, I can't imagine not having a fourth girl in the mix of things. You're a perfect fit in every way and I love you more than I can say. 



I love you all more than life itself. 
Love, 
Mama