Emma at three months

Little lady is three months old now! I feel like we’re sort of exiting the newborn phase and I’m looking forward to discovering more of her personality. I’m also holding onto her newborn-ness fiercely because it’s just the most precious phase to me.. gosh I love this girl.

She is still quite talkative and has the sweetest voice, maybe even a little rasp in it which is cute. She smiles, coos and makes so many noises!

The kids make her smile the most. Although Kate moves so much around her that she rarely gets to focus in on her! It’s constant kisses, hugging, squeezing toes, etc 🙂

She has been a bit stinky in her neck rolls and underarms! I can’t seem to keep up with cleaning them out. Call me crazy but the smell is becoming a little sentimental.

Emma took her first ride in the double jogging stroller today, which isn’t particularly a milestone of note, though it was for Kate, who was sooo excited to have her within reach.

And while I am not aiming for her to be sleeper of the year, I would nominate her! She currently goes to bed around 7pm (sometimes a little later) and wakes up at 7am! I haven’t been paying too much attention during the day to her sleep schedule because she has done so well.. she has acclimated so well to our family life so far.

Emma, you are our little blessing!

Bits and pieces

On Sunday afternoon, I decided I had my last frustrated attempt at reaching and grabbing the ridiculous amount of toys that had built up under our bed! While the little girl population in our family slept, I shlepped our furniture around and found a new arrangement, cleaned and literally used my entire being and body to shimmy our stuff around, and it feels so much better! It’s crazy how rearranging could adjust

My favorite part was Luke peeking in with so much excitement. “This is amazingggg!” or “you’re doing such a good job!” I think the discovery of lost under the bed toys must have struck the thankfulness in him.

My humility meter has been at an all time high these past few weeks. Today I was talking with someone and I totally started mildly choking mid sentence, sort of like a terrible low quality comedy act where the person is dribbling water and fake coughing. A week or so back, I almost ate it so hard chasing Kate.

And then! When nobody was looking, stepped slash fell into a huge hole one Sunday after church and went straight dirt with my white pants. Nothing like a good dose of humble pie, people.

We have a Christmas wreath up now and a little tree from Trader Joe’s. We’ll be getting our tree this weekend but I must admit I never wait this long! It’s a little eerie. I can’t wait to get the tree up and soak up all the magic with the kids.

I’m hoping to find a few Christmas destinations locally to take the kids to see before Christmas is here. It really is the most wonderful time of the year.

And lastly and least important, I don’t know if you’re a Survivor fan but if you are, tonight had all KINDS of blindsides and trickery and it was fascinating and you mustn’t miss it!

5 ways to think of others during the holidays

I’ve been looking for ways to teach myself—and our children—to think of other people and practice empathy. The holiday season naturally inclines me to consider those in our community who are in need, though I realize these considerations must go much beyond only this small piece of the year. As I see empathy growing in the kids and I watch them interact considerately with each other (especially their baby sister), something in me settles knowing that this is one of the greatest gifts, one I’m still unpacking myself.

With this, I have been increasingly mindful of the many material things in life and, at times, how self-absorbed our culture is, I️ think there’s a narrative that perpetuates that we are the center of everything, kids especially. They are indeed, the center of my life in many ways! But the center of the universe they are not, and it wouldn’t be right to leave them with this. There are some things out there (some tv shows, toys, etc) that DO go against the grain, however there is a lot to be said for the opposite and it’s easy to become unshaded by this consumerism and self focused mentality.

That said, I️ will be bringing into focus teaching the kids to do these things alongside me. My hope is to replace some moments of self focus with focus on others, preferring them and learning how to offer ourselves in lieu of people’s needs. The five tasks below are just a few I found to be easy on ramps, especially with smaller kids like mine 🙂

  1. Writing cards to hospitalized kids—Cards for Hospitalized Kids. This site keeps a database of all kids nationwide requesting cards and gives some really great understanding of how to write to them!
  2. Pay it forward. This is simply an easy way to bless someone while going about our daily duties. I plan on doing this at Starbucks or a coffee shop (places I can be located most days) but I suppose it could happen anywhere!
  3. Buying gifts for families and kids in need. The USPS provides a service called Be An Elf that allows people to volunteer, purchase gifts etc. Our church also has provided a program where you can adopt a family and purchase gifts for them. Buying a gift for someone else is good practice for our kiddos (it’s hard for them honestly!) and we know they’ll experience that amazing feeling of giving to another. Anyways, we’ll keep at it 🙂
  4. Bringing a gift basket and thank you cards to local fire stations, hospitals, doctors, police stations etc. Read around the Internet that a thank you note and things like pie, coffee, brownies, and in special circumstances, steak are warmly welcomed!
  5. Volunteering locally—VolunteerMatch, Idealist/Action Without Borders, Do Something, or All for Good to name a few. These sites provide databases that help narrow down where you want to serve and in what capacities. They are all nationwide databases so you should be able to utilize them regardless of your location.

Happy Thanksgiving! 🍁

Hope you enjoy being with loved ones today. I kind of feel that this is my season of thanks, rather than just one day! Either way, I can say one hundred percent that being thankful everyday as a family has flipped our entire family life on its head. When I start my day out with recognizing what a gift life is, I feel like nothing is standing in my way.

It’s not always easy and lack of sleep certain nights can be quite unhelpful, but being grateful and avoiding my thoughts natural lean towards complaints or grumbling has been one huge of JOY. Happy season of thanks!!

Bits and pieces

Luke told me he dreamt of frogs a few nights ago. I guess there’s not much more to say about it except I thought it was cute. And amazing that he’s beginning to remember his dreams, or at least describe them to us 🙂 Also, his three favorite animals to sleep with are a Swiss cow, a turtle from the Target dollar section a few years ago and a big Batman. They are all named Austin or Eddie depending on the day (two of his favorite young adults lol). Continue reading

Navigating the needs

We had so much fun at the aquarium last week. We’re so spoiled and have an amazing one locally that’s incredible for the kids–and any chance for a 45 minute trip, drive through espresso en route and quiet time (forced naps) along the way is good with me! The kids were super excited (dare I say PUMPED) about the penguins, sharks and the “fishies” (Kate especially..). I personally love the jellies, I could spend my entire time in that exhibit! And the sea turtle! Oh!–he’s lovely.

I’ve noticed that the kids have been a bit needier as of late. I think our initial weeks with Emma were pretty seamless, Continue reading