Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Memorial Day

It's always a treat when Jonathan is home on a weekday. Yesterday was Memorial Day, so we got an extra day together as a family. An agent was showing our house in the morning, so after spending some time cleaning up, we got ready and left for a late breakfast at Chick-fil-A. The girls ate quickly so they could go play and Jonathan and I got to have some quiet time together. In a restaurant. It was amazing. :)  The play area is closed in and inside, so we could see everything they were doing, but we couldn't hear any of the squealing and screaming. Pure bliss for all.  I wore Noah, so he was snuggly and asleep, you could hardly tell he was there.

After that we went shopping for food to grill and we let Madelynn spend some of her birthday money. Through some persuasion from daddy, she decided to buy a big pool for the backyard. She also got a kite for her and her sister and some bubbles. The rest of the day was a wet, splashy, bubbly good time. I don't deserve this family of mine.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Madelynn's 4th Birthday in Photos

This year Madelynn had three birthday parties. One with Jonathan's side of the family, one with us, and another with my side of the family. She was one excited girl this year. :)

Pink Lemonade Princess Party (#1)

Her actual birthday with mommy & daddy

(She LOVED her tea set that I made her!)

Daddy & Noah carrying on tradition and recording her opening her gifts.

And finally her Cherry Chocolate Princess Party (#3)

My sweet girl had such a wonderful birthday week. Happy birthday, my angel.

Friday, May 23, 2014


Life lately has been incredibly busy. Madelynn just celebrated her 4th birthday and has one last celebration with my side of the family on Sunday. Annabella is potty training and it's not going well AT ALL. Noah is nursing pretty much constantly. And during all of this we're trying to sell our house which means it has to be clean and "show ready" pretty much all of the time, which is nearly impossible with three cats, a dog and three children. Also, we've found a house and have entered the negotiation stage with the seller's agent. We are absolutely in love with everything about this house. It was built in 1972 so it has so much charm and so much potential. One reason I wanted to buy another house was so I could have a project to work on. I don't want a brand new house that doesn't need any fixing up, I love DIY and making big changes to turn someone else's house into our home. This house is perfect. All of the work that it needs is all cosmetic, so it's work I can do by myself while Jonathan's at work. The biggest feature for me is the yard. It has a huge, extremely private fenced in back yard with a beautiful deck right off of the kitchen through french doors. It's perfect for our family. I can see us eating on the deck while the kids run and play in the backyard. It's perfect for birthday parties and holidays. The street that it's on is immaculate, quiet, and exactly what we were looking for. We are avidly praying that everything goes smoothly and God sends a buyer for our home so we can move on. Here is a photo of the house we'll [hopefully] be buying soon. (It needs shutters, so imagine that they're already there!)

I am completely smitten with it. But along with buying a new house comes inspections, tons of paperwork, e-mails, and phone calls all while juggling our house and kids. It's a pain, but I know it'll be worth it. We haven't even started packing yet since we don't have a buyer for our home, but I have started cleaning out our house and cutting back on the items we own. We're hoarders. Particularly Jonathan...but I tend to keep a lot of home decor and clothing that can easily be parted with. 

Jonathan is also facing a lot of new changes at work that are going to be keeping him very busy and possibly working more often. I'm willing to pick up the slack here because I know that this is leading to great things for him and opening so many more doors, but it's going to be a struggle for sure. I'm so proud of him and how successful he has become at his job in such a short amount of time. He provides so well for our family and I don't know what I'd do without such a hardworking, loving man. He's the best dad and the kids absolutely adore him. 

While I'm getting through this exhausting season, I know that the only way I can be successful is by keeping my head up and my mind focused on God. I have tried to get through tougher times than these without the help of God and all it got me was grief, anger, and even more exhaustion. I know we'll get through this and when it's all said and done and we're settled into our new home, we'll be beyond grateful and we'll owe it all to Him.  :)

Monday, May 19, 2014

A Tea Party for Madsy

Madelynn's birthday is today!  I can't believe my little girl is FOUR years old! For each of my kids, I want to start making meaningful and fun gifts for their birthdays.  For Annabella, I made a scrappy tutu. Madelynn had already requested a tutu which I was more than happy to make for her, but I wanted to make something that would be a surprise as well.  For Annabella's birthday we bought a pricey wooden tea set for her that the girls LOVE and FIGHT over constantly. So what better idea than to make one for Madsy?!  She loves having tea parties and serving the family tea and pastries, so it's the perfect gift for our sweet girl. I got everything I needed from JoAnn's.

All I needed was a few squares and knobs for pastries, a couple of coasters and tea cups, some tags to make tea bags, a box for the pastries, a serving tray, a couple of pieces of scrap book paper, acrylic paint and a clear acrylic sealer. After a couple of days and some serious sneaking around, I finally got it all painted and sealed for my little girl. 

I used spray adhesive to attach scrap book paper to the inside of the tray, coasters, and the tops of the cardboard boxes. Madelynn loves to put things in boxes and bags, so they were perfect to store the pastries in. Then I painted and sealed all of it. I can't wait for her to see it tonight when she opens her presents!  And here is a photo of her wearing her scrappy birthday tutu that I made her last week!  Happy Birthday Madsy! <3  (I'll do a birthday post with all of her photos and presents soon!)

A Letter to Madelynn on her Birthday

My precious Madsy,

The last four years have been a whirlwind of experiences that I will never forget. You are growing before my very eyes and I am so blessed to be your mommy. You are the most creative and imaginative little girl that I have ever met. You are constantly using your toys for imaginative purposes in ways that I would never even think of. You're a natural leader, giver, and nurturer. The volunteers in church all agree that you're in charge and Annabella would definitely agree. You have the spirit of a leader and that will take you so far, baby girl. When any of us are sick you immediately go to your pretend food stash and put a meal together, get your doctor gear to give us a check up, and bring us blankets and pillows to make sure we get enough rest. In the middle of playing, you stop and announce that you're going to check on the baby and run to make sure Noah is okay. I have never met another child who cares so much about others. You're so, so special.

As I said before, being your mommy is such a blessing. You're my oldest, so it's more challenging raising you. I know what to expect as your brother and sister go through the stages you've already gone through, but your stages are all brand new. And they're amazing. I listen to you play with your sister and I hear my words come out of your mouth. You're a mini me and I can't express how flattered I am. 

Right now your favorite things to do are painting, drawing, running, dressing up, cooking (with pretend food and real food with mommy), tea parties, and you love watching a good movie. You're an amazing snuggler and you are absolutely hilarious. Your smile is contagious and your love is unconditional. Just like Annabella, your favorite time of day is when daddy gets home. You ask about him throughout the day and run into his arms when he walks through the door. 

While I miss you being little, I adore that you're getting older and more mature. I love how our conversations have evolved and we're able to talk on a different level now-a more mature level. We love teaching you about Jesus, answering questions about Him and watching your morals grow. 

You're on of a kind and I know that God has amazing plans for your future. I will always be here for you, you can always talk to me, and I will ALWAYS be your biggest fan. Madelynn, you made me a mommy. You changed my life in ways that I could have never imagined. You forced me to grow up and become a better person. You've done as much good in my life as I have in your life. Thank you, sweet girl.  I love you more than words.

Happy 4th Birthday.



Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A funny from Madsy...

While Annabella and Noah were napping, Madelynn and I got to have some snuggle time for just the two of us. It's summer time now, so we were both wearing shorts. She was curled up in my lap and was rubbing my legs with her legs until, "Mommy, let me down. Your hair legs are sharp." She refused to lay with me any longer, she HAD to get down. It was SO funny. 

When we were eating dinner later that evening I asked Madelynn to tell daddy what happened when we were snuggling that afternoon. She acted like she didn't know what I was talking about and then says, "OH! Mommy's skin fur is sharp! But it's ok, you're cute in your own way." What?!  Where does she get this craziness? As she was telling her daddy, she looked at his arm, rubbed it and said, "Daddy, your fur is soft. Mommy's is sharp."  

Oh my goodness, this child of mine. :)  

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

We're Selling the House

Jonathan and I decided to sell our house. It's something we talk about from time to time, based on the fact that we bought this house as an investment. The market had just crashed when we bought it and we got it for a steal. So we've been patiently waiting for its value to go back up so we could sell it and move on to better things. I don't think I realized just how attached I am to this house. 

When we moved in it was an unpainted, unwelcoming shell of a building. As the years crawled by, we watched this shell of a house morph into the welcoming, loving, and comforting sanctuary that it has become. We came home from our honeymoon to this house, I found out I was pregnant with two of our babies in the downstairs bathroom, I ran into Jonathan's arms in the backyard when I announced my pregnancy with Annabella to him, we brought all three of our babies home from the hospital to this home and we watched the girls take their first steps, say their first words, and eat their first meals right here. Jonathan planted and planted trees and flowers when I was pregnant with Madelynn because he had dreams of her running and playing in the yard when she got bigger and he wanted it to be nice for his new family. I painted and repainted walls, collected furniture and knickknacks and watched the rooms evolve into family friendly spaces for us.  Madelynn was dedicated to Jesus in our family room because our pastor resigned and was sweet enough to do it in our home. This home is built upon our love for one another. We've thrived in this house because of God's grace and favor. I've gotten down on my face and desperately prayed to God on this very carpet time and time again. And while we've grown, loved, lived, and expanded in this home we know we can't stay here for the memories. The memories will come with us, the kids will come with us and we'll have lots of new firsts in our next house. 

The house that we're interested in is another shell of a house. It needs work, paint, and love. It needs the running of little feet and it needs to see Noah take his first steps. The yard will need some attention from Jonathan so we can watch our babies run and play safely among the flowers and trees. We'll have a fence for Puppy and a deck for barbecues. Big changes are never easy. It would be so much less stressful and just plain easier to stay here, but we know that's not the right decision for us. As I'm typing, I'm waiting for my agent to tell me that the buyers have signed and we're under contract. I haven't moved in six years and I've NEVER moved with children, much less with two wild little ones and a nursing infant. Please say a prayer for our sanity!