12 years old

It has been quiet on here as of lately. Christmas {and more so} Christmas break has a way of doing that.

But today is not a day for me to be quiet.

Today our oldest turned 12!

d2

You have rocked our world since day 1.

luvu so much, D.

Birthday Thanks

This year was a difficult birthday. And I still don’t know exactly why. Maybe there is no reason {or maybe a multitude of them} for why I felt the way I felt. But that is what I have reminded myself of…those are feelings.

Feelings that are real, but feelings that I can’t base her birthday on.

The truth is, Sunday was a BEAUTIFUL day- full of sun and hope and peace.

I struggled the week before with feelings of guilt for not having everything planned out, even though I didn’t know exactly what to plan out. I think with having so much change this summer, and I still don’t feel ‘settled’ yet. I didn’t want to miss making 1 memory for Lulu because I was so preoccupied. I had to remind myself that just like with the other kids, if we had other things going on during their birthday’s, we would still celebrate them, even if it was a different day.

We started Sunday with church and the kids all wore a special shirt…

Then we came home to play with Lulu’s birthday present…

Meet September.

Our 3 month old Goldendoodle.

That afternoon we all headed off to D’s soccer game. And afterwards we celebrated with Marion’s pizza and a chocolate chip cookie cake and singing happy birthday to Lulu.

From yellow balloons, to cards, calls, hugs, texts, roses in bubble containers, $2 bills, a strawberry pie candle, texts, email’s, mum’s, a song written just for Lulu, and bubbles. We had friends celebrating with cake & ice cream from California to covering us in prayer in New Jersey. And we did get to eat my strawberry ‘soup’ pie {thanks for renaming it, babe}. Yes, we had to eat it with spoons again this year. And I will figure out a recipe one year that works. But it was delish.

Thank you for continuing to make memories with us. Because those memories are real. Our feelings change from day to day. But the luv that you all share is real.

Thank you for luving our daughter with us.

1st Day of School

It’s official, they’re all back in…

D started 6th grade.

O is in 3rd.

S is in 1st.

And little miss is in 3-day pre-school.

P.S. We are in 4 different schools this year. Fun. Fun.

P.P.S. I didn’t think of the kids holding up their fingers to show what grade they’re in, until after D was already at school. Sorry, D, we’ll just have to remember what grade you started this year.

P.P.P.S. Do you see there is no furniture in the living room {behind O & S & A’s pics}? That’s because we decided to have our floors re-finished last week, starting on the 1st day of school – cause why not? It’ll be fun. And since we couldn’t use our stairs…

This is how we entered our home…

I kid you not.

P.P.P.P.S. I will be having more photos of the house progress soon, Angie. 🙂

Texas and our busy week at home

Welcome to my brag book.

It’s like I’m a first time mama, so please excuse my excitement about my ‘baby’ boy.

{oh yeah and don’t tell him I called him my baby boy}

Here he is in training…

{front row – grey t-shirt – left hand side of pic}

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And here is Austie…

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Teaching all these 11-13 year olds.

 {God bless her}

And while they’ve been busy away.

We’ve been busy here at home.

Sanding floors…

First time dance revue…

Drawing on random sidewalks…

Have a great weekend…

He made it to Texas.

Yippeee!

{Dylan last night at 11:00 pm – too much energy to sleep}

His sweet little voice called at 4:00 this afternoon to let us know that he arrived safe and sound.

He was very hot but excited.

And then I got a text that made my night.

Thank you all for your prayers for D {and for me} this week.

I am feeling the balance of being a parent BIG TIME. Wanting to keep him here with me and not let him out of my sight, but knowing that this is an amazing gift that he gets to experience. I am still tearing up thinking about him walking down the terminal to get on the plane {without me}. I feel like I have no control, just like with Lulu. And just like with Lulu, God is reminding me that He is holding them. They are His first. Even in this, Dylan is His first.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Parenting is the greatest balancing act

D is going on his first mission trip in less than 2 weeks!

He is SO excited.

Me?

I’m excited, nervous and thankful.

Excited because he will be traveling with 2 other’s from Greenville and our good friend Austie. She will be teaching 11-13 year old kids at Teen Mania this summer how to share their faith & their testimony’s with other children. They will work in a soup kitchen & put what they learn into practice at local events with kids their age.  I am excited for this opportunity for D to learn about missions. I told Austie, I want her to do this for all my kiddos. And she said she would be honored to.

I am nervous. I know he will do great, but yes, he will be flying & traveling WITHOUT ME. I can’t focus on my fear too long or it can easily take over.

And I am thankful. Thankful that God continues to do great things in our life. Thankful that D gets to go on this trip. Thankful that this is a gift, I pray, will be life-changing.

And so, as I have been thinking about his trip I realize that, sometimes parenting is like walking on a tightrope at the circus.

So many uncertainties…

will I fall?

can I make it?

do I even know what I’m doing?

The fact is…

I will fall.

I won’t always do the right things.

 I don’t know what I am doing.

But having my safety net is the only way that I can continue to walk forward, one foot in front of the other, holding my arms out, and looking forward.

D is going to have an amazing time on his trip.

And even better?

He is going to get to know his safety net a little bit more as I let go of him and he reaches out,with both hands, to God.

Summer is almost here…

This is a sign that summer starts {at least in this house} in 2 short days…

The kiddos boards are our go-to the whole school year for school papers, soccer forms, ballet rehearsals, and schedules.

And with just 1 paper on each board that says to me it’s almost time for staying up late, pulling out the swim trunks, flashlight painting in the dark, more cooking on the grill and less on the stove, riding bikes, heading off to camp, sleeping under the stars {at least once}, making s’mores a regular dinner item, catching fireflies for night lights and visiting the Dairy Barn way too often.

What is on your summer to-do list?