Today’s parade

I do not know if this post will ever actually see the light of day but I just felt the need to get some thoughts written out. If you know me, you know there isn’t much I keep inside. I like to share, I appreciate input and I love to let other people know they are not alone. I also wanted to share because over the weekend I let people see all of the happy, but I am not going to pretend like I don’t have struggles or don’t lay awake at night with battles. What we see in the squares are not everything, there is always bad with the good and it’s what we do with the struggles that matters the most.

It’s no secret that we’ve always struggled with getting pregnant, before Grayson I had two miscarriages. I was heartbroken for what felt like a really long time. Then before Carter it took me 14 months to actually get pregnant, both were so hard in their own ways. But both taught me that relying on God was the absolute only way to get through.

After Carter, I really did think I was done. Labor hates me. But slowly that desire crept in to have another. Or so I thought. For the past six months it was like a tug of war, do I want to actually be pregnant and give birth.. ugh again.. or stick to our plan to adopt. Because I do believe in my heart, that our family is not complete. I just do not know what that looks like yet. Age has played a huge factor too, I just turned 35 and in ovary ages.. that’s kind of ancient. So in “not trying” but “kind of trying” we decided this last month was it. Well, that month (and time of month) has gone and then come. For a few days last week, I thought I was pregnant but am not. I feel like I almost mourned something I never had, is that even possible? In my mind I have gone through a wrestling match of my own kind. “Am I not a good mom? Do I not deserve another baby?” to “I will finally not be working soon and can put 100% into my two beautiful boys.” or “Good because I definitely do not want to be pregnant again.” back to “But why not?” and “Why is it so easy for some people?” I could go on.

But you know what, I don’t have to know why because God does. My final thoughts were this. From this moment on I am going to be praying for a baby girl, our baby girl. One that isn’t conceived yet, or one that is already growing. Because the Lord knows who she is. I am not going to limit God in the way of my womb either, hey look at Abraham and Sarah. They were over 100 right? I truly do believe I am done birthing babies but really, we have no idea what He has in store for us.

I heard an analogy one time that I loved and still remember whenever I struggle with the unknown. (I sure wish I could remember now who told me this! So sorry if it’s someone who is reading this) But, our life is like a parade. We can only see what is right in front of us passing by, we can’t see the beginning or the end (or even most of the middle). But the Lord, He sees all of it. Every single bit. So how can we not trust Him with it? I have soo so much in my life to be thankful for, I am not going to get caught up in why or what I don’t have.

A friend who knows my heart sent this to me the other day after I told her. “This God—his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.” (2 Samuel 22:31) A to the men. He has proven that in our lives over and over, his way is PERFECT and I have to admit I’m pretty excited to see what that looks like as far as our family growth is concerned.

Thank you for reading and for loving our family, because I know you wouldn’t be here if you didn’t.

Palm Springs vacation

It seemed like a lot went into our vacation this year, a lot of back and forth. Some wanted Mexico (not I) and some wanted Hawaii (me always) and some wanted to stay more local without flying anywhere (completely fine with me). We were going to do a beach house but it can be pricey and let’s face it, the ocean is cold. (Especially when you’re used to Mexico and Hawaii water) So we decided on Palm Springs and I thought that was perfect. They found a giant house and we booked it. I do have to admit, up until we got there I thought despite how big the house was.. I would still be chomping at the bit wanting to get out mid-week. We had planned a water park trip for that very reason. But once we were there (minus day two of being a little homesick) I was completely fine and had no desire to even leave our poolside oasis. I don’t think anyone did. The house was massive, something like 9,000 square feet. So you could go to your own little part of the house and feel like you were in your very own hotel room. Each of us had our own bathroom for the most part, and there was two kitchens. It was so nice.

We all picked a night to cook dinner for everyone, which was such a good idea and saved us money and having to lug eight kids to a restaurant. We didn’t realize the water park is closed during the week (really?!) and debated whether or not to go. But a few of us finished off our week with a day there and I am really glad we did. So get ready for an overload of pictures, I tried really hard to have my camera always around. So I got tons.

On our way!

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Oh it’s my favorite to look back and see baby toes!

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Some of you might recognize this look, it’s definitely a mischievous one. I wish I knew what he did here, and to who.

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A few action shots.palm-springs-46 palm-springs-47 palm-springs-48

And then this.palm-springs-49palm-springs-52palm-springs-53palm-springs-54

Nice puppy.

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Nice puppy.

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Then there is these three. Goofs.palm-springs-65 palm-springs-64

Sometimes I think they hate me. I mean look at Grayson, I make him miserable because I ask for one picture.palm-springs-70

And this is what you call, swimming with your eyes open too much. This guys’ eyes were so bad by the end of each day, I brought his goggles but apparently he didn’t want to use them on this trip.palm-springs-72

This day was by far everyone’s favorite, not sure why it was any different but it was the best. The night was even better, it was our night for dinner. (I had stuck a couple of roasts in the crockpot for the day and we did shredded beef tacos, so yummy!) Rick & Mal’s family had to leave the following day so we wanted a group picture and I love how this turned out. We had been having a cornhole tournament (if you’ve never heard of it, you have to try it. It is so fun.) We were all questioning why in the world we waited so long to start playing! This was on Thursday night, and for the most part everyone was back home by Saturday. We have already planned a vacation reunion where we will pick up our tournament again, and this time Mal and I might just be grand champion. palm-springs-73

And the morning they left we had to get a group picture of the crazy kiddos, and it might be my favorite.. All of their different expressions crack me up.palm-springs-83b

Daddy decided to do Carter’s hair.

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The last night we were there we decided to go out for dinner, I don’t know exactly where in Palm Springs this is but it was a cute little spot. This might have been the first time Grayson wore underwear all week, so we had to document it. Goodness gracious I have some handsome fellas.

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Then finished up the week with a quick trip to the water park. We are thankful for a daddy that works so hard for us, but we miss him so much when he’s gone. Such a great week, and so needed for our family. (Carter, what is that look?! Not used to seeing such a straight face from that one)

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I also did a quick video. I probably should have spent more time on it, buuuut I just don’t have it and I wanted to post these pictures already so enjoy a quick snippet of our fun week.

 

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Apple picking at Oak Glen

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Apple picking up in Oak Glen has become one of our traditions, I love getting outside and doing something that we aren’t able to do all the time. Add in friends, and it’s a great day in my book. Grayson had so much fun just running around with his buddies, getting dirty and collecting the apples all on his own. 691a0463691a0475 691a0459 691a0452 691a0495 691a0501 691a0507 691a0494 691a0487

 

Kyrene wanted a very specific apple, I think it was basically at the very top in the very middle of the tree.. And right when they finally got to the exact one she wanted.. They decided it just couldn’t be done, or in their words.. “that one isn’t good, the worms got to it.” I bet Kyrene is still thinking about that perfect apple and how wonderful it would have tasted.691a0515

I am so bias. But they are adorable.

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Showing off their full bags. Well, they look pretty uninterested in their bags actually, or at least getting a picture of them. 691a0510

The babies. (But no picture of Nora! Fail.)691a0478691a0455

Of course we all needed to grab a family photo, but darn I didn’t think to try and get an entire group shot. (besides the boys and/or children probably would have protested) I think my photographer liked the scenery to the right more than she did our family. Haha just kidding!! I wanted a picture of all of those lovely pine trees ;) I look like I am pinching Grayson, I really was tickling him but his smile almost looks like a painful one. And Carter. No comment. I’ve let go of the perfect shot, although it is hard. All that matters is the memories we make, and this is just a reminder of the day we spent together. (That is what I tell myself anyway so that I don’t make them take eight hundred)691a0517

Hudson definitely wins the best smile award out of all the kids, look at that!691a0529 691a0524 691a0468

You can be certain these two will always be next to each other, but you can also be certain that neither of them want to smile for me anymore.

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And then there are these.. So in love with them all. It would have been an injustice to you, my devoted blog readers (all three of you) not to share them. None of these kids have any personality, obviously.

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And finally, the momma’s.

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Scott’s Amazing Race

691A9792Where do I even start??!! This party has been a long time coming.. We did it years ago, and it is still something we talk about to this day. Most of the racers have a love/hate relationship with it. But since Scott was turning 35 years old I figured it was a big enough birthday to do it again. But for reals, it was so so stressful to plan this time! Maybe I have become more of a perfectionist in my old age, but I wanted everything to be exact (and it was not). I worried a lot about silly things. I also think that it is hard to do something like this for the person who I “talk to” about everything, I always bounce every crazy idea I have off of that guy.. But couldn’t this time. I did have my parents though, which I couldn’t have done this without them for sure. But all in all, watching my friends that day made all of the stress worth it. They seemed to have a good time, and they (maybe they lied who knows) told me they had fun!

We had ten tasks they had to complete, starting and ending at the same destination. I had to also think about those of us who had kids, I definitely did not want anyone to have to pay a babysitter for this. So we had my mom, Lisa and Nelson all manning the babysitting at the house. (Which also added to the “hectic” factor of the day) So they did the first event at the house, and then headed off to the park for two others.691A9795 691A9800

Three legged race (birthday boy on the right). Also, I did horrible at picture-taking! But it was just too hard to be the main instructor and photographer. I’m bummed about that. But Scott and Tommy’s wrap thing broke when they were doing the race.691A9807 691A9808

The next task was a baseball throwing (not pictured of course) but they had to throw the ball into a (homemade) target to score a certain amount of points before they got their next clue.691A9814

Next they went to a 7-11 and had to buy a big Icee and drink it all. Brain Freeze. Then head to the arcade and had to win 15 tickets before they could get their next clue. My dad was at this location to help hand out the clues. For the next task they had to make a choice, either create a balloon flower or find 12 license plates from different states. (This is where I messed up, I did not know that you couldn’t blow up those type of balloons by mouth and did not think to have a pump there) Although, the winning team actually thought to ask for a pump at the bowling alley/arcade and they had one!! Gave them a little time advantage for sure.

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For the final task, one player had to jump in the pool and grab their flag from the bottom (or floating at the top) of the pool.

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That was the extent of my picture taking.. so lame. But I did do a lot more video so you’ll have to watch that!

Grayson playing with his friends.

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Then Molly and him attempting at a photo. I can just hear them both saying “chheeeese” And Grayson looking at her to be sure she isn’t trying to go in for a smooch (probably the one and only girl I will ever want him to smooch, he doesn’t want to)691A9853691A9854

More fun.691A9861

And here, the look and grip of fear. And all of us momma’s watching cautiously as he jumps in and proceeds to look for buried treasure or something because they were under for so long. But they came up and Gray was fine, thankful for the practice we’ve done of holding our breath under water.691A9866

Here are a few clips from what I could record, I so wish I would have had more time to take pictures and record more but what can you do.. That is my only recommendation if you ever attempt to do this yourself (which I highly encourage because it is so fun!) But have as much help as you possibly can, more help would have made it a lot less stressful.

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Orange County fair

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Yay we made to the fair this year! Last year we had wanted to go but it just didn’t work out, this year we were determined and I am so glad we did. We have never wanted to go on a Saturday before but we decided to try and it is wasn’t bad. Well, you know for the fair. Sometimes you feel like the pigs are looking at you like livestock instead of the other way around, with the way you get herded in big groups there. Ha! I grabbed a couple pictures right away before anyone got tired (Scott included) and I think this is the first picture of Scott and Carter together! (these are all iPhone so excuse the bad quality)ocfair_1960

Grayson is entering the age of the “cheesy smile”. ocfair_1975

Despite the cheeseball smile, he really was so excited, as you can tell.ocfair_1993

I don’t know if I would exactly call it a splash pad but there were holes in the ground and water was shooting up so all the kids were in it. Mine included. It wasn’t super hot that day but hot enough to want to get wet. And he got soaked, obvs.ocfair_2008

They’re the best.ocfair_2025

Obligatory fair picture. Carter is enthused. ocfair_2034

Now for our first attempt at a family picture, at the end of the day.. Almost never works out.. ocfair_2044

When we got to the exit we decided we wanted to grab a funnel cake so our friends headed out and we stayed to eat. I wanted to try for another family picture and Scott agreed only if it was in front of this fake cow. Hey, I will take what I can get. As an added bonus a stranger kindly offered to take it for us.IMG_2048

A funny little story. In this short little video I made you’ll see Grayson playing a baseball game. The lady running the game was so nice she gave him like five or six different tries (and kept scooting him closer each time) until he made it (of course I missed recording that part!) but after he made it I asked him if he wanted to give the prize to the little girl we were with and so he did. Sweet boy. Plus I did not want more junk to have to put somewhere and eventually throw it in the trash.. Then Scott took his three turns but made me take the last one, I stepped over there and made it on my first try! Such luck! And wouldn’t you know, we came home with that same dang ducky that we just gave away. I tried. Anyway, this is a super short video capturing a few fair memories.

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Becoming Child Wise

A friend recently recommended Child Wise to me, and we started out both of our boys on Baby Wise and although it has been a complete success with Carter (not as much with Grayson) but I completely stand behind the book and loved the routine we’ve always had with it. So I started Child Wise yesterday and got through two chapters and have already been so happy with the way it is started. I have to believe that the authors are faith-based but I do not know that is a fact. Anyway, just because.. I thought I would share a couple of things from these chapters that have stuck out to me..

“What do parents really want? First, we want to enjoy our children. Secondly, do other people enjoy our children. Are we raising children that are a joy and blessing to others? Third, to raise children that are well-prepared for life.” Yes, yes and yes. That small paragraph alone would have me craving to read this book because I want all of those things.

The second chapter was just as good. “Childwise Principle #1” “Great marriages make great parents.” And our homework is to take 15 minutes at the end of the work day, (while our children are awake) and have uninterrupted conversation. Scott is gone so much now, so much more than in the first 2-3 years of Grayson’s life. It has been an adjustment on him, and when Scott gets home he is glued to his side. I am okay with it, but ultimately I think we need to always remember it was us first. When Grayson was first born we had a conversation about even just when he comes home, I am the first person he greets. Of course Grayson always runs over to Scott, and he doesn’t ignore him but he makes it a point to always give me a kiss before he fully engages with him. I’ve also recently made a point to get up from whatever I am doing to greet him. (That is because I want Scott to know how happy I am that he is home as well) But just the simple fact that our children know we come first. Does not mean we love them less, but that our marriage is important. In that, our children will find security.

There you have it, a couple little nuggets that have stuck out to me already. Agree? Disagree? I don’t mind and love that we all have opinions, let me know your thoughts if you want._MG_3476

Let’s talk

If you follow me on Instagram then you’ve already seen some of these, but this is just a few things I would tell you if we went to lunch today.

When I was a kid I would eat vanilla ice cream with pretzels, and right now it is all I want for a snack. I would have it twice a day if no one (including my hips) would notice.

The show ‘The Big Bang Theory’ used to bug me so bad, now I laugh out loud just about every episode. I completely relate to Sheldon. Not the genius part but his fear of germs. Did you see the one where the spit was went into his mouth? I died.

I’ve had the itch to move for a while now, and apparently passed it on to Grayson because all he talks about is “our new house”.

If I had to choose between dairy and nursing, it would have been C’est la vie nursing! Can’t get between a girl and her cheese.

Who knew you spelled C’est la vie like that, I had to google it.

Goldfish Colors, where have you been all my life?

I sure am talking a lot about food.

The thought of being in a bathing suit makes me cringe. Maybe it’s because of all of the junk food I’ve been eating.

Speaking of nursing, my goal was six months and we just passed it. I was on the count down, and feel so proud of myself for making it. I will miss the way his hand lays across my chest. It’s my favorite. I will not miss the way he karate chops my neck.

I wash my colors and whites together. Unless I actually feel like doing laundry, which is pretty much never.

Scott told me the other day we should only use paper please when we don’t have time to do the dishes. Um, who ever has time for dishes?

Grayson has been wiping away my kisses lately, I wish he knew how sad that makes me.

It hasn’t always been, but the beach is my happy place.

I finally watched ‘The War Room’, so cheesy but so good.

No matter how hard I try I cannot cook a good pancake, or Rice A Roni.

Well there you have it, a little insight into the crazy that is me. xoxo