Friday, April 29, 2011

the rest of last tuesday...

well, here we are, the day of the stunning royal wedding! I did, indeed, dress up. Oh yes, we did (well, the girls did... will share a picture or two :)). But right now, I find myself waiting up for one of my kids to come running inside screaming (they are "camping"... in the yard...). So, while I wait for a scared kid or two (Sam quickly noted that he preferred his bed, inside), I will finish up my documentation of last Tuesday!

It was far more exciting than a regular Tuesday, because the Budweiser Horses visited our town! Zach's mom lives downtown, so we gathered and watched the horses from her balcony. It was splendid!

So basically, after the Y, my Tuesday was everything I had done before, just in reverse. This particular day, after picking Leah up from school, we had a lovely time with dear friends:

Then it was time to wait for the Budweiser horses to arrive....
some of us waiting inside and dined on delicious subs and chips (it was a party... healthier choices were saved for the rest of the week :))...

Here they come!
Those of us who stayed up...
those of us who went down for some street viewing...


HUge!!! (and in true form, sammy didn't really care about any of it... he just wanted to watch a movie...)

So, it was a great Tuesday. Thanks for reading "a day in the life"... of our Tuesday last week. Most of it is pretty normal of our days lately, minus the fun horses and dinner (cooking and wrangling kids is more the norm)...

while we celebrate a beautiful wedding and blessed life today, please remember to keep Alabama and the other states torn apart by the horrible tornadoes in our thoughts and prayers. I'm utterly shocked by the devastation. Give generously to the American Red Cross or other organizations helping with the relief efforts.



Tuesday, April 26, 2011

yes, I'm gonna brag... my parents ROCK!

Hi friends!

Today, my parents are in Washington DC on behalf of ONE.org (you know, Bono's little organization ;)). A few years ago my dad (a family doc) testified before Congress on the importance of vaccines in preventative care and shared some of his research. ONE recently reached out to my parents and asked them to share their story with ONE members. You see, it's also personal, because my sister has Hepatitis B.

Today, my parents along with the president of the American Academy of Pediatrics spoke to the press and government officials about the importance of helping to provide vaccinations to children in poor nations. A simple vaccination can save millions of lives!

Needless to say, I'm a proud daughter. I'm proud of my parents for their activism throughout my life and for the example they set for our family. I'm proud of my brothers and sisters for continuing to speak up for those who don't have rights or a voice in this world. I'm proud and grateful! To see the ONE blog on my parents, visit HERE.

Monday, April 25, 2011

comparison

Easter 2010:

Easter 2011:
Hmmmmm..... history seems to be repeating itself, despite the bigger shoe sizes. Luckily, peace is restored with permission granted to hold a football in the picture. It's the little things...

Here's a bonus picture... I said "smile sammy!" and he said "my lips are broken." and I said "well, just try to smile!" and he lifted up his shoulders. I snapped the picture and proceeded to almost pee my pants. bahahahahaaaa!!!!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

bloom!

Happy Easter weekend!
I was going to keep posting pics from my "a day in the life" series but that can wait.
It's Easter and I hope you all have a lovely time and feel your hearts blooming like flowers. (these are the ones we get to see every day in our temporary yard. pretty fantastic!)
Ultimately it's all about Love, and I hope you feel love in your life right now. If you don't... here, have some. It's from me. You're welcome! :). (oh gosh, we're pale. yikes.)
Oh, and check out this picture! Zach was very happy to capture the bee:

See the land, her Easter keeping,

Rises as her Maker rose.

Seeds, so long in darkness sleeping,

Burst at last from winter snows.

Earth with heaven above rejoices;

Fields and gardens hail the spring;

Shaughs and woodlands ring with voices,

While the wild birds build and sing.

You, to whom your Maker granted

Powers to those sweet birds unknown,

Use the craft by God implanted;

Use the reason not your own.

Here, while heaven and earth rejoices,

Each his Easter tribute bring-

Work of fingers, chant of voices,

Like the birds who build and sing.

-Charles Kingsley


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Day in the Life:

Hey there! So this is the first part of that project I mentioned. Since moving to my parents, our drive and routines throughout the day have changed a lot. We used to live in a more urban neighborhood in the middle of town, so my driving time was very short, plus we carpooled with our neighbors. My parents live closer to the countryside, and obviously we don't have our carpool buddies anymore, so my life now consists of a lot more driving! This isn't such a terrible thing, as we get to talk in the car and observe the changing landscapes as we manage our morning commute. (however, gas prices = poop).

I'm going to take a couple of days to share what our Tuesday was like this week (typical of a normal day for us). I brought my camera along for our drives throughout the day, and tried to document our commute as best I could. It was fun to capture these seemingly mundane moments. But these are the moments that take up the majority of our days for these few months, and I wanted to remember them! Also, I would LOVE to have you participate, too. If you decide to capture your daily routine, Link to your blog in the comments section so that we can follow your "A Day in the Life" series too! I'd love to see how our daily routines compare. It's also a fun way to capture memories for later in life, when you want to remember what life was like now.

Without further ado, my morning, Part One:

I get into my car and look out over the driveway:
I turn around to make sure everyone is buckled up. Note the normal sleepy looks of two of my children, and a slightly different approach to life displayed by my middle child:
We make our way down the little country road my parents live on:
Onto the road leading to the busier town:
Enter heavier traffic, and repeat this scene about 5 times:
Travel down the parkway and behold the skyline:
Pull off the parkway and enter downtown area:
Note the train stalled on the tracks... make alternate plan in brain:
Go around the "do not enter" signs... all in the name of getting your kid to school on time:

Come up on stalled train from other direction:
Turn onto the little street leading to school parking lot:
We made it!
Walk up the path to school:
Drop off # 1 = complete!
This first part of our morning, from pulling out of the driveway to drop-off, takes about 20-25 minutes.

With my daughter settled into school, we leave and start the next phase of our morning, to be featured tomorrow :). Let me know if you decide to document your day! I'd love to hear from my readers and learn more about where you blog and do life :). Cheers!

Monday, April 18, 2011

hello

it is a sad thing to participate in lovely weekend events but lack a camera. oh well... next time I'll remember it!

Also, I'm working on a fun project, involving a camera, that I want you to participate in. Details coming soon! It involves taking pictures while driving. Er, while stopped, while driving. Because actually taking pictures while driving would be dumb. Stay tuned!

And, check out this video! Our in-real-life friends have started a non-profit to serve women and children in Uganda. They are the real-deal. They understand what they are doing and do it well, out of a call to serve as opposed to a call to build up their egos. I love these people and their servant hearts, and how they are doing this for all the right reasons. We love this project and I'll be highlighting it here a lot! Here's a little intro to get you acquainted!
(Had to temporarily remove the video... to the themightyriverproject.com to get to their FB page and follow their videos/journey!)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

3 years of Sammy

Three years ago today,
we met our precious son for the first time.
So many of you have seen our little video, but I wanted to share it again.
Equally measured, it was one of the four best days of our lives :).
Our lives have been forever blessed by this beautiful child. I will forever be grateful to be his mommy.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

playing hooky with my babies

Today I picked the kids up early from school and we headed to the mall.
bad parenting maybe...
but we went to see a free concert with my mom and one of my sisters!

one of our favorite songwriters, Laura Story, was giving a concert...



This is particularly one of Leah's favorite singers... what a treat to skip school and see good music... (hoping for a few cool "mom points" to use someday...). Below is one of my favorite songs written by Laura. I've shared here that I have a full-blow phobia of bad christian music (and yet, when done well, music can speak so gently to my skeptical soul), so when a good songwriter comes along I'm always thrilled. We were lucky enough to see our dear friends there too... it's been a lovely day :).

Thursday, April 7, 2011

but love, it never fails.

***disclaimer: these are some super personal thoughts that I wrote down awhile ago. I decided to publish this as a reminder to myself, somewhere down the road, when I'm able to do more, to never pass judgment on another mama who may just be having a quiet time in her life. I mean no judgment towards any of you in the midst of a busier time. In many ways I envy you. I'm learning to be very content with how my life is at any given moment. Thanks for your grace!

lately i've been feeling inadequate.
sometimes, reading other people's blogs, or sitting with friends and hearing of their incredible pursuits, leaves me feeling like i'm not doing enough.
the state of the world equals lots of hungry people. lots of children without homes, and lots of debates about who is right and who is wrong in terms of how to care for the least of us.
i loudly hear all sides of the arguments....

-orphan care is better for these kids. pay for their parents to keep them... help them where they are.
-what about those who truly don't have parents or family? keep them in their towns, build bigger and better orphanages.
-sponsor a child.
-no, no! kids need families. step up and adopt. help fund other people's adoptions. do your part.

i personally believe that all of these options are "right."

my problem lies here:
i can't currently participate in any of these "solutions."
I can't donate to a cause.
I can't buy the shirts.
I can't fly across the country and attend benefit parties.
I can't sponsor a child.
I can't adopt.
I can't donate my time.
I can't choose sides and fight for one way over another.
and so i feel left out of so many of these worthy and amazing endeavors, but left out due to my own choices, no one else's.

i'm broke, i'm tired, and i can't imagine giving any less of me to my three, precious children.
some of you can do that... you can do more than i can.

seasons. life has seasons. and i'm in a selfish one.

i wake up some nights sweating over what i'm not doing. i'm not adopting another child. i'm not helping to set up a nonprofit. i'm not giving any money. i'm not writing some inflaming post fighting for a cause. i'm doing nothing to help any of you save the world. (although, i can offer up my prayers and words of support. that i can do.)

and yet, i'm loving my kids. my kids and my husband need ALL of me right now. we're in a time of transition. they're only young once. and sometimes, before, i felt like i was too busy saving the world to pay attention to them. to cherish their every breath.

is it worth saving the rest of the world of i neglect my own kids? not to me. not one bit. i'd forsake the world to make sure they are loved and happy right now. i know this is wrong on a few levels, but it's just how i feel (today). i want to be superwoman who can do it all, but...

right now i'm so, so pleased with just being a mom. (again. i fully admit: selfish. not servant-hearted enough. not ENOUGH.)

i'll jump back in to helping with the rest of the world when the dust settles a bit around here. but for now, i'm right where i should be, and i couldn't be more at peace. truly. i'm at peace... until the guilt creeps in. even the guilt can't override the joy i feel when i have nothing to do other than care for my 7, 5, and 3 year olds. they need their mama, and i want to give them every bit of me now.

loving our kids can never, ever fail. Love never fails you. never.



Tuesday, April 5, 2011

the worst time of year.

people who know me in real life know that this is my least favorite time of year. while the rest of the country celebrates the budding flowers, i feel like dying. i should go to an allergist, but they are expensive and extremely time consuming (i can't go sit and get myself tested/get shots often when i have these babies to care for...). So I'm on three different allergy meds and they barely make life livable. I'm always wondering why my body so violently reacts to tiny, pretty little buds:
even the buds on this tree at my daughter's school, in the middle of the city, try to kill me. Ugh. The whole inside and outside of my head itches for two months straight. And our part of the country, apparently, has the highest levels of all types of pollen. awesome.

I'm moving to the tundra.

but before I move...
do any of you have any crazy suggestions? I've tried so much... (don't mention a netti pot.... doesn't go over so well...). Medicines, showers every 10 minutes (almost), staying inside, exercising inside, drinking lots of water, etc, etc....
am i missing something life-changing?
HELP!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Springity Spring Break

At first, the weather was pleasant... by the looks of Pete, it was HOT outside. But alas, it was not that warm. This is just his regular uniform of life. Anyway, we were able to get a lot done outside, as shown here:


Then the weather took a turn for WINTER. It was downright nasty outside! So that called for some indoor concerts.

And it's usually important on bad weather days to make a cake. I've never made red velvet from scratch before. I'm not a pretty cake baker, but heck yes they taste divine!

Sammy loved being covered in cake... he loved eating the cake too! {I nearly had a heart attack when I changed his diaper though. Then I remembered: RED cake. Phew.}
It was also quite nice being at my parents house during this cold snap... because if you can't tell, it's huge. like, massive. not the "hey look at us we have tons of money blah blah blah" kind of huge, but the "hey look at us we raised tons of kids here and oh look our kids can move back in with their kids" kind of huge. It's an awesome house, full of good karma and love.
And extremely good for indoor games of tag. {note Zach's heart pants. Yes he wears these in public. Atta boy.}
So that's that. We've had a good week filled with lovely friends and cheer, despite the icky weather. It remind me of Ireland in March though, which is always nice to think about. I hope you all had a great spring break, if you've had yours yet! It was nice to be free from routine... back to the grind next week.

{oh, and good news! Pete got a spot at the charter school where we're moving... but there were no spots for Leah's grade, so she's 2nd on the waiting list. I'd love for them to be at the same school, and would appreciate any prayers and good thoughts on our behalf so that Leah gets a spot at the school, too. All we need is for 2 kids in her grade to move away or decide to go to another school. Could happen! I'm hopeful! thanks friends.}