Monday, December 29, 2014

My Mother Heart, Edited

Back in November we had company from out of town and since then Gage has been sleeping in “big boy bed” as he refers to it. He gave up his room to the guests and hasn’t wanted to go back. It’s pretty funny to me how people assume that since we have 4 kids and our home is only 3 bedrooms that we are outgrowing our home. That’s not really the case, yet.
Do you see how they are holding hands. I think that’s my most favorite thing about my kids. They genuinely love each other and they play the best, together. They are different ages and in different stages but their love for one another is constant and they may drive each other crazy, or actually Gage drives them all crazy, but they still love him and are so patient with him.
There are lots of things to give our kids in this big, busy world. I am so glad I could give my kids each other. There’s really nothing better than that.
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Braxton is the oldest and the wisest (just ask him). He is always the boss and his ways go for most (minus Adelle). He is patient and kind and every time he and Emmett play football (500x a day) he let’s Emmett win and Emmett really thinks he’s winning. That’s Braxton. He knows the truth about Santa and he still embraces the belief and lives it up for his siblings. He is helpful and responsible and always does his chores without complaining (even though he does way more chores than the rest of ‘em). He works really hard and doesn’t give up on his goals. He is a good boy and it makes me crazy when I volunteer in his class and see him mutually flirting with a cute little blonde trouble maker.
Adelle doesn’t usually think Braxton’s ways are right and lucky for her he is patient and so as they say, “it’s not who wears the pants but who wears the panties,” rings true in this little scenario. Adelle loves these brothers of hers. She is very motherly and always reminds the boys of what they need to be doing.  She is my biggest helper and will usually be found reading a book to Gage when I am trying to get something important done. She is very happy and vibrant and is known around her school by most as, “that cute girl who always wears the fancy dresses.” She loves to sing and dance and color and draw and she is naturally gifted at the piano.  Adelle is a quick learner. She is one of the youngest in her class at school but she really can carry her own weight in all aspects.
Emmett still pulls at my heart strings. He is sweet and tender and so intuitive. The boy catches on to my every feeling and emotion and those of his siblings as well. He is such a peacemaker and a server. He does whatever Braxton tells him to do and smiles the whole time. That being said he does whatever Jeff or I tell him to do too. He is the most obedient, compliant child. Never argues or pitches a fit. Just happy to be doing what’s right. He is really into numbers and amazingly good at math. He is silly and this new thing to say is, “you’re ruining me,” when we play games. This makes everyone laugh. This boy loves preschool. He is the most mature male 4 year old you will ever meet (seriously). He is the first one to wake up every morning. He has never argued with me or complained. He has al little crush at preschool who’s name is Mahalia and all the kids know about her. Apparently she wears dresses every day which makes her the prettiest one at school. I guess his sister set the standard for him in that area. Gage likes to tease Emmett and chant, “Mahaia, Mahaia…” and it’s so funny how embarrassed Emmett gets.
Gage is a Joy. Capital J. I really thought I had this whole parenting thing down until him. He is so cute and so funny but he is really a rule breaker and a stinker. When he is good, which he usually is, he is really good. Like he always says “please” and “tanks,” and if you are in his way he will say, “cuse me please,” so he can get by. Like super cute and really good manners. But then there are the fits and the times he tells me know and really means it. I honestly haven’t had a child through a fit since Braxton so I am really out of practice and not really into dealing with the whole fit thing. So he tries my patience, a lot. On the positive side he is really good birth control! He is super athletic and courageous. He tries everything the big kids are doing and is usually naturally good at it. Sledding down hills, shooting basketball, throwing footballs, tackling… He’s really good. He is the funnest though and he has us all whipped.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sunny October Days


Lots of football in the park


Swinging with friends


Apple picking with cousins


A early morning football block party


Cub Scout Stampede


More apple picking, this time with friends


October was a beautiful month and we enjoyed lots of crisp days outside.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A weekend on my own

Back in October I got away for two nights all by myself. Admittedly, it was absolutely wonderful. It was the most perfect weekend away and I am so thankful that my husband convinced me to do it. 
It's hard for me to get away. Well, let's me honest, it's hard for me to make myself eat lunch most days. There is always something else to do and someone else's need to meet. I feel like my constant quest is to find and achieve balance and it's not an easy thing for me to manage. So what do I do? Run away, naturally.

Jeff bought me a round trip train ticket to travel on the Amtrak down to Corvallis, OR, and back. It was my first train experience ever and it was quite the experience.
Jeff and I pulled the kids out of bed early that morning to drive me to the station. They were still in their jammies because we all figured they would not be getting out of the car. Well, after learning that my train was delayed they ended up all getting out and entertaining all the onlookers with their attire and sweet dance moves. They were so funny running around and happily playing outside a packed train station. They eased the tension for the whole group.

After learning that the train would not be arriving I sent them home to eat breakfast and get on with their day. I continued to patiently wait for the bus that they sent up to transport us to Seattle. Everyone around me was freaking out and complaining about plans and appointments and I was just sitting there, reading my book, in peace and thinking, "this is the most relaxation I have had since Gage was born." It was funny and gave me a good perspective check.

 After a crowded bus ride to Seattle we were able to board the Amtrak and continue on our way. I met some people at the train station who were college students and Western and we checked on each other throughout the trip to make sure each other were okay.
The train ride was beautiful. It was a clear day and the view of the water was really breathtaking. I continued reading my book which I finished just as I made it into Oregon. I think The Language of Flowers is my new favorite book. At least for this stage in my life I found it to be so relevant and I enjoyed laughing and crying in the comfort of my own little seat on the train.
When I got into Albany my friend Shelby came to the train station to pick me up. I will be okay if I am never again at a train station in the dark. It was a little scary for me, even as a grown woman, to stand there alone in the dark night. Crazy ideas kept me company and when I saw her headlights I was so relieved.

Because of the delay and the bus ride I didn't get in until almost 8 pm so Shelby and I went to a late Thai Food dinner and then back to her house to chat. 
I love my special friend. She was expecting her first baby at the time and it was so fun to share in her excitement and anticipation. We always have so much to talk about and as much as our lives have changed, we are still the same 7th graders with different drama.

The next day after pedicures we attended her baby shower that her co-workers threw her. It was so fun to be with her mom and both of our sisters. I love all these ladies!!

I had made a baby quilt for baby Hollyn and it was so fun to see Shelby open it. She made my babies homemade blankets and I wanted to return the favor. 

There really is love in a homemade gift and I was so happy to have spent time and energy on something for a baby who was so warmly welcomed. When your best friend has a baby you make a big deal out of it. Period.
After the shower I went home to my sisters house with her in Vancouver. Her husband had dinner all ready for us and I was able to eat and relax and play auntie which is so much more fun when you aren't playing mom. 

 Lesha and Corbin and I spent the next day running kids to school and seeing some of the sights of downtown Portland. Portland, OR is one of my favorite places to visit and I never seem to have enough time there. We found a yummy place to eat lunch and then a specialty ice cream shop for dessert. It was such a good day spent with my sister shopping and hanging out. This doesn't happen as much as it should and I am going to make more of an effort to visit her more often.

The train ride home was just as pleasant. Another good book read cover to cover and more tears shed. Crying is so good. It is so healing for me and relieving. I came home feeling like a better woman. A rejuvenated mother and a thankful and appreciate wife. 

Jeff was exhausted. He had the kids for 3 whole days. This is a picture my mom sent me on my cell phone from Sunday night. Lucky for him he took the kids to my parents for 2 dinners and even got a nap. 
I think all of us benefited from me getting away and we all loved each other a little better when I returned.