Thursday, January 30, 2014

Cole buddy is ONE!!!

We are so TRULY blessed by our sweet little boy.  He was the easiest in his first year of life over our girls.  He has been so laid back and easy going, just enjoying being part of the chaos we live in.
Just recently...things changed.  He is still the sweetest, cutest boy around...but he requires a LOT more attention.  He likes to be carried - especially by his mama.  He likes to throw all his food on the floor when he's in his high chair and no one is paying attention to him.  And he likes to scream when anything is taken away.  Yes, he's become a toddler.
(Side note: that little gate was his birthday present and you can guess...he despises it.  But sometimes when mama has to make dinner and open a hot oven, he just has to deal)
Cole is a walker, climber, and runner already.  He thinks its funny to disappear and I can tell it will be different having a boy than what I'm used to.  He LOVES (ADORES) his sisters and loves when they give him undivided attention.
He is getting really good at folding his hands before dinner and saying "men" for Amen after we pray.  He's great at clapping his hands and playing peek-a-boo.  And instead of saying "mama" or "mommy," he sits in his high chair holding out his sippy cup and yells "MOM" over and over.
I love watching the relationship develop between Cole and LD. If he comes in the door from work and doesn't immediately acknowledge Cole - there is lots of screaming.  He likes to be known, can you tell?
We decided to have a (very) small birthday for Cole.  And it got smaller as every kid in Charlotte got sick the weekend of his party.  But he still had a great time opening presents...and of course eating cake!
I am so blessed to be the mommy of a little boy.  I secretly love that he's a mama's boy, even though LD tells me I coddle him.  I'm not a coddler by nature, but man...he is really cute!
Happy First Birthday Cole!

Thursday, January 16, 2014


I did not anticipate the week going as it has.  I didn't expect LDs wallet and phone to be stolen, causing us to quickly cancel all our credit cards, change passwords and codes.  I didn't expect to be going to bed uneasy that night because someone had our address and could see pictures and videos of our family.  But, LD and I committed the year to The Lord so we knelt by the bed and prayed for the young man who was in possession of his identity.

Monday, I didn't expect to go to he doctors for what I knew was a MRSA spot on Cole.  I had diligently for six months made sure no one bathed together, shared a towel, tubs were bleached, we used special cleanser and used medication to "decolonize" all of our family.  But there it was.  We started medication and all four of us lay hands on Cole pleading for Gods protection.

Tuesday, I didn't expect to end up at Levine children's hospital with my baby boy, where his infection site needed iv treatments.  I didn't expect that come Thursday I would still be sitting here.  I didn't expect that while I was here I would fight demons of inadequacy, anger, and pity.

Wednesday, I didn't expect LDs car not to start as he drove the girls to a friends who would take them for the day while I waited at the hospital and he finally spent time at work this week.  I didn't expect Coles iv to stop working, causing us to put in a new one.  And I certainly didn't expect to get a call saying our home was rezoned to a new school district for Clare for next year, leaving me anxious about what that means for the fall.

My dad sent me a devotion that I read at 2:30 am waiting for Coles meds to be changed out.  It said that the enemy only goes after those who are a threat to him.  As a Christ follower, if I am a threat to the enemy he is going to make life hard for me.  Those who are dead to Christ aren't a threat to the enemy, therefore don't need to be Challenged.  It also reminded me that the Bible tells us over and over through trials we are refined, made like gold.  Through trials my faith is proved genuine.

This week is hard. I have cried. I have thrown full out rages in my mind.  And when I go home I have a lot of work to do to start all over at how to decolonize our family from this mess so we don't end up here again.

But I decided January 1st that I was counting graces, blessings.  So here they are:
-cole did not need surgery
-my husband has been a rock of strength and guidance
-my mama is on her way
- a friend came to hold cole so I could take a breath
-friends sit at Jesus feet on my behalf
-we have great nurses
-my baby boy has made others smile
- my girls are resilient
-i am loved completely

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
James 1:12

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

I will not merely survive 2014

2013 was a blur.  It was a blur of survival in its finest form.  I remember last Christmas I was 8 months pregnant and my dad asking me what I thought about the upcoming year.  I remember telling him I knew it would be the most physically exhausting and most difficult year for me as a parent thus far.  And, I was right.

For some, three kids is a piece of cake.  It was not for me.  It was a day by day challenge and still is at times.  I feel like 2013 was started in survival mode and we accomplished what we set out to do.  All 3 of my kids, myself and my husband survived - go us!

But, I am really ready to tackle 2014 with some bigger goals than mere survival.  I am ready to jump into parenting 3 with Cole's first year of life almost behind us (sniff sniff). 

If you don't know about Ann Voskamp, you should.  She is INCREDIBLE.  She is a farmers wife, homeschooling mother of 6, writer and incredibly uplifting and challenging.  Her blog is a place I will live a lot this year.  She wrote on January 1st about instead of having a new years resolution you should have a new years revolution, and that is what I am ready for this year.

To kick off the new year, the girls and I painted our fingers and toes bright purple.  Do you know when the last time I painted my finger nails was?!?  At least a year ago.  Sad, but true.  But we did it as a statement.  When you are merely surviving, the small things go by the wayside.  You are way too busy emptying and refilling the dishwasher, throwing kids in and out of the bath, and changing laundry to sit and paint your finger nails.  And if I did paint, I painted the girls because I did not have time to maintain my own.

But, this is my life.  And as Cole is (way too) quickly approaching his first birthday and these baby years are all flying by, I want so badly to be in the moment.  And since life as a mom is super busy, super crazy, that means I am up at 6:15 to work out and shower before the kids get up so I can enjoy my day with them.  It means I empty the dishwasher at 10:30pm before hopping into bed so in the morning we are ready to hit the ground running. 

I keep telling myself - this is a season.  And this season is FAST! 

I highly encourage you to read this blog post by Ann.  It will give you some gusto to tackle your upcoming year!


A HUGE, memorable family Christmas

This was our family Christmas!  15 people consisting of 2 families from Michigan, 1 family from Vegas, two little boys first Christmas and lots of cousins.
I was so excited to finally be able to host Christmas for my family.  I was ecstatic to have everyone in our home for the week, but got crazy!!
Before everyone got here we had to do some high priority items to get ready for them to arrive, like making decorations AND

visiting Santa Claus!  (Negative mom points for me not getting Cole to see Santa on his first Christmas.  Poor third child...I feel sad for him) 

But even if he missed seeing Santa, he didn't miss out on collecting lots of loot!!!

Vanessa, Evan and baby Owen were the first of the family to arrive and the last to leave.  We were SO thankful they spent 10 days with us.  It was such a treat and I soak up every minute of I can get knowing our time together is so short and spaced out.

This was the first time Cole and Owen met.  Yay for cousins!!!  I have no doubt next year they will be causing all sorts of boy havoc.

My parents arrived in time to go with us to the Christmas Eve service and prepare for Santa's big arrival.

We have not all been together for a Christmas Eve in at least 4 or 5 years so it was a big deal!
Last year my mom started the tradition of leaving reindeer food out on Christmas Eve and the girls were all about that!  They are such a fun age.  We looked at the sky trying to see if we could see Santa and Clare was sure she saw him.  She went to bed happy as can be knowing she saw Santa!

We had some big highlights that I did an awful job documenting while everyone was here.  But here are some favorite things we did:
- My mom and aunt took the girls to build-a-bear
- We all went to see Frozen while LD watched Cole and Owen all by himself
-We played lots of games after the girls were in bed
- We went to Founders Hall to see the singing bears
- We played with new toys
- We laughed a LOT
-Mommy got a break from giving baths :)
I will admit, I was exhausted when everyone left and my house looked like it had been taken over by animals.  But I promise I would give anything to do it again every year.  It was such a blessing to be together as family!