June 2014

Monday, June 30, 2014
Of course!! I just sat down for the evening, grabbed a glass of wine, turned on my laptop to update this little blog and what do you know? The baby woke up! How do they always know to wake up right when you relax?!? 

I'll be right back...off to nurse the baby back to dreamland.

Ok, I'm back. Thank you Lesley for introducing me to this linkup. Seems like a nice little way to document the happenings around here.

Books: June was a good month for books. I read two books that had a pretty big impact on me and it's been many years since I've read a few books that were this influential. I'm not quite ready to articulate in words my thoughts about why I love these books so much, but I'd still like to share. First, is Evelyn Waugh's Classic, Brideshead Revisited. The first half of the book, I wasn't sure I liked it all that much. I didn't understand all the hype, but by the end, I knew it was one of the best books I had ever read. I was delighted to read a few weeks ago that even Modern Mrs. Darcy says if she had to pick, it may just be her favorite book. I can definitely see why she put it on her list as one of those books you read over and over again. 

The other book I read was Jennifer Fulwiler's memoir, Something Other than God: How I passionately sought Happiness and Accidentally found it. I love Memoirs and have been a huge fan of Jen's blog for the past few years. She's funny, relatable, and is able to convey complex topics in a way that is easy to understand. I read this book in 2 days which I haven't done with a book in years! The title of her book is from a C.S Lewis quote that says, "All that we call human history...[is] the long, terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy." If you like memoirs, conversion stories, and good writing, I highly recommend it! 

Music: When I upgraded my cell phone plan earlier this month (through Sprint), I got a free 6 month subscription to Spotify Premium. I am loving it! So basically this month, I've been checking out all of their pre-made playlists depending on my mood. When I wake up in the morning, I usually put on the "Nora Jones" radio station, and then in the afternoon or when I go to the gym, I put on the dance mixes. To be honest, I started to feel my age because I've never heard 90% of the trendy dance songs out there. My club days are most definitely over.

Food: Two things come to mind here. First, since Riley is on summer break, we've all been eating breakfast and lunch together at the table (doesn't happen during the school year) and it has been SO nice! We've had the best conversations! That time we spend discussing and learning is definitely one of the things I miss most about homeschooling her. The second thing is that tonight I ordered pastured pork and chicken from our favorite farm. We've only ordered beef from them, so I'm looking forward to getting some fresh chicken and bacon. 

Tv/Movies: Most of my favorite shows are on summer break, but the other day, a friend got me hooked on The Duggars reality show. I am obsessed! I just started season 1 a few days ago and I'm so intrigued! How do they do it all? They're all so joyful! Is it just me, or does Michelle Duggar have such a nice sounding voice? Tonight I started to get mad at Ryan (for something really stupid) and all I kept thinking was, "I bet Michelle Duggar wouldn't react like this." and I stopped and apologized to him! I can't wait to watch all the seasons!

Wearing: I have a confession to make! I use to never understand why girls/moms would wear their yoga clothes all day, but I get it now! I recently signed up for a gym, and had a gift card to Nordy's and splurged on some nicer gym clothes, and I never want to take them off!

A few of my favorite purchases from June: See above. Also, Trader Joe's Margarita Mix.

Things I loved in June: We did so much celebrating in June! Luke's 4th birthday, Ryan's 35th birthday, and Dominic's 1st birthday! And especially these past 2 weeks, I have loved having Riley home on summer break! We haven't done anything crazy, or taken any vacations, but have spent a lot of peaceful days at home and at the pool! It's kinda perfect!

Things I learned in June: 

1.) Setting a few timers on my iPhone throughout the day to remind us to pray was a really good idea.
2.) I need to work on being content in my current home. I love my home, but there are some things really driving me crazy lately.
3.) I finally made this 2 ingredient pancake recipe and it was a lot better than I expected. It has become a staple breakfast in our home.  Also, I really like The Ma Books blog. 



26/52: The halfway mark

Sunday, June 29, 2014
I can't believe I've been doing The 52 Week Project for half the year now! Usually I'm the type that starts a million projects and doesn't finish most of them...although we do still have another 6 months left so let's hope I can keep it up. I think my chances are good though because this has been the perfect creative outlet this past year. I love the challenge of picking just one photograph per child, and writing a few sentences about our week. It's not too overwhelming which is great in this current stage of life. 

On to the pictures...

Whenever things seem to be spiraling out of control at the homestead...you know, one too many tantrums, fighting siblings, and usually I haven't had any coffee or I'm barely out of my pajamas, I usually throw the kids in the car and go visit Ryan at work. His workplace is next to a lot of great spots for letting the kids burn off some energy, so last week I brought along my camera for some pictures. We're pretty fortunate to have that opportunity as not too many people can take time away during their jobs to visit with family. I'm very grateful he can usually take a 30 minute break to come join us. The kids love to climb trees and D likes to eat dirt so a fun time was had by all! 

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"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014"

Reflections on celebrating a First Birthday

Saturday, June 28, 2014
It was just before 6am on Wednesday morning. I looked out my window while tucked in the comforts of my king sized bed and noticed how the cobalt colored sky was slowly starting to peak through the dark night. I listened to the sound of the train chug by, like it does every morning, and felt comforted knowing that I wasn't the only one awake. I peered over my shoulder and noticed that Ryan was missing, and in my sleepy haze, remembered that Luke had a bad dream in the middle of the night and he went to comfort him. They must have fallen back to sleep together.

I wasn't alone though. This little baby cuddled next to me was the reason I couldn't sleep. I generally lament being awake so early and Lord knows I am the furthest thing from a Morning Person, but on this particular morning, it was different. He turned One today. Last year, at this exact hour, I woke up deliriously sick. Today though, I woke up filled with happiness. As I stared at his perfect profile, my soul understood more fully the abundance of love I have been given in this 22 pound, strawberry blonde haired child. 


This past year hasn't always been easy. There have been countless sleepless nights, too many wild emotions that were a result of said sleepless nights, and times of despair when I wasn't quite sure how I'd make it through the day. I've been a mother for nearly 8 years, he is my third child, and yet, I've only begun to understand this vocation of mine. Why do I so easily slip into the mindset that this is suppose to be easy? It isn't easy because sacrificial love never is. But I know that Love and the Beauty of raising another little soul is alway worth the fight. The laughter, the multiplication of love, and seeing the new relationships form between the 3 kids has made this past year one of the best. 

So Happy 1st birthday my sweet Dominic! You are irresistibly cute, and today we will celebrate a year of all the goodness you have brought to our family.   



Monday, June 23, 2014
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"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014"

Last week was good. It felt like summer, and the warm nights were perfect. The highlight of the week was going to a friends house where good, live music was played and lots of fun was had. Once the sun went down, the kids jumped back in the pool, and ended the night with one last swim. I love summertime.   


Sunday, June 22, 2014
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"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014"

R: I was telling a friend the other day how she is starting to enter "into a new phase". Is this a normal thing for 3rd grade? She's asking more questions about Life, and starting to think deeper thoughts....and I guess, just seems so much older than last year.

L: This is one of the many weird expressions he makes pretty often.

D: I wanted to take a few photos of Dominic for his 1st birthday, but it was sort of a fail. He is the kind of baby where I find myself questioning whether or not he somehow snuck coffee in with his breakfast, which means photographing him requires a lot of energy. And I'm not exactly overflowing in the energy department, so out of 100 photos, I managed to get this 1 nice picture. 

The end.   


Monday, June 16, 2014
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"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014"

R: I slacked on taking any photos of her this week because of all the boys' birthdays and it being the last week of school, but I did manage to get this one and only photo when we were at Leatherby's for Ryan and Dominic's birthday. I love having her home more in the summer and am looking forward to documenting more of her life.

L: He's officially 4!! We celebrated by having a BBQ at our house and he had his very best friend spend the night. Along with his love of Super Heroes, he's entered into the "lego" phase and has been spending HOURS in his room playing with all the new legos he got for his birthday.

D: He's officially walking everywhere! Gone are his crawling day!   


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"A Portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014"

Still slowly playing catch up...

Riley: Part of me feels a bit guilty posting this photo of her because she was having a rough day and did not want me to take her photo. The only reason I had my camera at the table in the first place, was because it was my birthday dinner. She doesn't cry very often, and I honestly can't remember why she was even crying (probably a fight she was having with Luke?). But in an effort to have this project represent day-to-day life, I'm adding it here.

Luke: Since I took this photo about 3 weeks ago, I don't remember much about what was happening. But as I look at this picture of him, the first thing that popped into my mind is how I never want to forget how much he dislikes wearing clothes. The first thing he asks me when we walk in the door from running errands is usually, "can I just wear my underwear?" and then it's usually, "can I have something to eat?" 

Dominic: This poor kid has no official baby book. So I've got to take a moment here to just document a few facts. He can say: uh oh, mama, dada, all done, ball (which was his first word), and meh (which means "milk"). That's it for now. 

21/52 (Playing Catch-Up)

Saturday, June 14, 2014

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Although my camera hasn't left my side these past few weeks, I haven't been able to update this here blog in a while. The past few weeks, like they are every year at this time, have been insanely busy. There is much celebrating during this time of year, and for that I am so so grateful. The past 4 weeks we have celebrated, Mother's Day, my 32nd birthday, Luke's 4th birthday, Ryan's 35th birthday, and Dominic's 1st birthday....and tomorrow, Father's Day. So much to be grateful for!! I'll be playing catch up this week, posting all my photos from the past few weeks, starting with these three photos. Enjoy! 
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