Family Pictures

December is busy, right? Might be the understatement of the year. Of course, my big plans for a Christmas letter to tuck in with our picture/card have gone...no where. I'm still sending out our pictures, of course. If you want one and don't get it by Christmas, it is probably because I "misplaced" your address. Let me know and I will send it out.

I love our family pictures from the fall. Andi Mae did some beautiful work, once again. These are just some that I didn't choose for our card...that one is a surprise:)



I just love that November is right between October & December--two ridiculously busy months. October was full of soccer practices/games & cross-country practices/ meets, Halloween activities and parties, plus all of normal busyness. Of course December will be crazy-busy with all of the festivities of Christmas. It promises to be a full and joyful month, for sure, but I am already trying to scale back my plans and expectations for the season ...because there is such a thing as too much Christmas for a young family ;)

November is a month for giving Thanks & for us, a time to pause just a little bit as we have finished up with Fall sports and haven't yet started basketball for Winter. I recently came across Psalm 100 in The Message and it unofficially became my theme for the month. You will see why.

psalm 100
On your feet now—applaud God ! Bring a gift of laughter, sing yourselves into his presence.
Know this: God  is God, and God, God . He made us; we didn't make him. We're his people, his well-tended sheep.
Enter with the password: "Thank you!" Make yourselves at home, talking praise. Thank him. Worship him.
For God  is sheer beauty, all-generous in love, loyal always and ever.

I just love that password part! Sometimes I have no direction, no idea how to approach worship. But this psalm makes it very clear! How appropriate to give thanks as our password into God's presence during this cold and blustery month of November & to prepare room in our hearts for Jesus during the month of Advent.
my shiner ;)

I have felt a bit beat up lately-- both literally and figuratively;) My middle darling smacked me in the eye with a matchbox car while he was playing ninja yesterday. It was an accident, and he felt terrible, but I had to laugh at the fact that my face now matched how I've been feeling in my heart. Nothing has really felt easy lately--parenting, relationships, health--it all has been hard work and I feel slightly defeated and beat up. Nothing horrible, I have just grown weary of the hard work. So it is perfect that this month is full of Thanksgiving and the reminders are all around me. Even on Facebook, I see daily thankful status updates. How simple: I can turn my heart away from myself and towards God just by thanking Him for His good gifts. Simplicity is so refreshing right now.


new design

My lovely friend, Jenn, decorated my blog for Christmas! Similar to painting a room or rearranging furniture, a fresh blog design can make you love your space again! Love you, Jenn...and your mad skills.


star of the week

I just finished printing this out for Parker and thought it would be a fun thing to share and look back on. He is "star of the week" at school and these are the lists he wrote to share on his poster. Sometimes I have a really hard time with this little guy. Mostly because he shares some traits with me...and that is so hard and humbling sometimes. Mostly, though, I love him for his sensitive spirit and inquisitive personality. His lists brought a smile to my face.

coin collecting
riding my biking

Joel (Dad), 34 * 1-29-78
Amy (Mom), 31 * 5-19-81
Parker (me), 7 ½ * 4-17-05
Griffin (brother), 5 ½ *2-7-07
Hollyn (sister), 2 ½ *5-3-10

Favorite Things



As I was driving into town this morning, I was trying to explain to my mom why I was still calming down from getting the kids ready for the day. I know it is so normal...but getting out the door in the morning is one of the most exasperating times of the day. And then there is dinner time. Which is just awesome. You know what I mean, right? Yeah. But here is a little snippet from my morning which took place over about 10 minutes:

8:50 a.m. 
Me: Parker, get out of the shower!!!
Put your clothes on!!! We have to leave in ten minutes
P: Mom, where is my Halloween costume? 
Me: I have no clue. Wherever you left it. But put your clothes on! And brush your teeth. And put your eczema lotion on.
P: Mom, but I need my costume! 
Me: Parker, I will look for your costume, but please put your dang clothes on...and your lotion and brush your teeth!!!!!

Meanwhile, I text my neighbor to tell her I can't drive the boys to the bus. I try to find a matching sock for myself and a ponytail holder so I can shove my wet hair up on my head. Hollyn is running around half naked with snot absolutely everywhere and crying for a hug. Griffin is asking why he needs to find his sweatshirt. I explain we're going to bible study and he just needs to listen without questions. My sweet neighbor then texts  me to tell me she can take the boys to school. Griffin tells me his shoes are broken. 

I find Parker playing Pokemon. No costume. No pants on. No eczema meds yet. But he HAS brushed his teeth. 
I go nutso mom on him. I think I get his attention. He finds pants and I put his meds on while he thinks about his costume and what he is going to do without a costume on Halloween. And he's supposed to leave in 2 minutes. 

I look everywhere for the costume. Finally I find it in his closet in a plastic bag on a hook. Exactly where it is supposed to be. Of course. Stuff costume in backpack. Quick hug to Parker. Send him off to my angel neighbor who takes him to school. 

Hollyn is still running around even more naked than before and asking to pee on the potty. I have no time for this. Griffin is MIA and whithout shoes. I find a clean-ish shirt for Hollyn and I find myself thankful that she wore socks to bed so no need to find any of those. I dress Hollyn as she is still asking about the potty and I continue to ignore her. Because Griffin returns from who knows where with his hands full of something.

Me: Griff, get your sweatshirt on and where are your shoes?!
G: Mom, my shoes are broken and why do I need a sweatshirt and look what I found?!!!!
(he then proceeds to open up a handful of worms. Real worms. And some were moving. Others were red like blood)
Me: Ohmygosh! Where are those from? 
G: The driveway. Can they be my pets?
Me: Are you serious? Why were you in the driveway? Ummmm....no they can be your outside pets. Put them back. And find your sweatshirt and shoes. And, Griff...wash your hands. With Soap!!!
G: Mom, why do I need my sweatshirt?
Me: We are trying to leave!
G: We are? 

The rest of the two minutes or so at home are a blur as I throw shoes at Griffin and ask him to brush his teeth again....blah, blah, blah. Try to find shoes for myself. My boots will have to do. I start the car and then realize I forgot my bible study book. Get back in the car and finally I'm on my way to bible study. This is when I decided to call my mom. Poor mom. She gets an earful. And she is the one stuck on the east coast enduring all of the Sandy events! Woe is me? Hmmmm....

As I go back and read all of this, it doesn't even sound that bad. It wasn't even that horrible, but actually very typical. But in the moment, I always feel like a maniac. I always have to apologize to my kids for being crazy.  I hope they remember the sane parts of me more than the crazy. Someone, please relate to me on this one...anyone?


fun. run.

A couple years ago, a friend asked me what I did for fun. I was stumped. I think I said something about watching movies and trying to keep in touch with friends...maybe working out? I'm not positive, but I do know that I thought about that question for quite some time and realized I really couldn't come up with anything actually fun that I did myself. Like hobbies. I literally remember thinking it would be fun to have clean counters and dinner made before the screaming started. Or maybe it would be fun to get a workout in before the baby needed to be fed. I had started going to book club but rarely was able to finish the book before the next meeting.

Of course hindsight is 20/20 and while life was actually very crazy/fun with three little ones, I now realize that I was just in survival mode and that is was totally acceptable to think a freshly swept floor was a reason to celebrate. And I will tell you that it was worth every second of it...and it still is. Really, I'm not complaining. Motherhood is a sacrifice, but it is such an honor and satisfying in so many ways. But it is exhausting and depletes time and energy, leaving not much left for fun for mom . I'm still there, but like I said, I am slowly emerging from this fog and I'm starting to feel glimpses of  "fun for Amy" come back. Like running.

A year ago, this week, I bought a treadmill on Cragslist. I started the Couch to 5K program and got through the horrible, "I think I'm going to die" feelings of starting out. I had attempted to run before but had convinced myself that I couldn't do it. I don't feel like I'm a natural athlete. I mean, really, my major "sport" growing up was horseback riding :). This time, however, I kept going and didn't quit. And my dear friend, Amy convinced me to run a 10 K with her in the spring and then Bloomsday (12 K) a few weeks after that. Last week, we ran another 10 K.

And now, a year later...totally hooked. I am not fast and I'm not extreme by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, I'm not sure of the difference between jogging and running, but I'm choosing to use "run"...because I like the sound of it. But I now look forward to my runs! Really. It is my time to think and process...and push my body just a little bit. When the weather is nice, I get my workout in and my dose of vitamin D, not to mention the pleasure of being outside in Creation.  

Now if someone were to ask me what I do for fun, I would be able to give a few more examples...like running AND being able to finish an entire book in one month. We're making progress.


coming back

There was a time when this blog was a huge part of my life. I posted a ton, documented most of our family events and even shared parts of my heart. Blogging was such an outlet to the outside world as I transitioned into full time motherhood. It all started when we had recently moved back into the area and were new homeowners. We were new parents. We didn't have many friends yet. We were just starting out. And yes, I had many, many more online friends than I had "real life" friends. Some great online friends became dear real life friends in the process. And they're keepers. Really, blogging was a lifesaver for me.

Things are different now. We have three kids...that baby that was published on this blog more than necessary is now 7 1/2! I'm no longer a newbie. We've moved to a new neighborhood. Joel has been at his job for a while and, most importantly, we have-- a network of our people. We are no longer on the outside looking into this community, but we're plugged in and so happy to be here.

Lately I've been feeling the need to write on here. I no longer feel the need to be really involved in the blogging community, but I just want to express some of the things going on in my head. As I (slowly) emerge from the fog of babies and toddlers and into the very different stage of parenting school-aged children, I feel the seriousness of this time of life often overwhelming. It is a different kind of hard. I need to process...not let these thoughts just swim in my head or let them explode on the first adult I happen to be with. I hope this place can be an outlet for me, once again.

I also want to document this good life of ours. I love looking back on our early years and seeing the kids grow up in pictures! I hate that I've had such a gap, but I'm serious about getting back on track. So, hello world, I'm back to blogging. Hopefully.


Thinking about this...

http://bible.us/Prov2.3.NLT Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. Then you will understand what it means to fear the LORD, and you will gain knowledge of God.


road trip

We have a whole bunch of family living in Western Washington and we recently made a trip to see all of them. I feel like we're finally at the stage where we're able to drive across the state without too much screaming from children and parents ;) I've learned that junk food and lots of stops help a ton. We were able to visit Joel's parents, siblings, nieces and nephews...aaaaaand a whole bunch of animals at the zoo. As I was looking through my pictures, of course I realized that I have major gaps...as in no pictures of some really important people. But I do have some good ones...out of order, but fun!


She says...

<p>Two year old Hollyn is so dang fun! So dang difficult at the same time...but mostly hysterical. I never want to forget her munchkin voice and the way she has something to say about everything--although we can only understand maybe a 1/4 of it. Have I mentioned how she says Griffin's name? "Gigiss"=her bff. And she says a couple of other funny things...

When she is ready for us to come get her from the crib in the morning, she grows all of her special items out on the floor and tries to make as much a ruckus as possible. Then she jumps up and down and shouts, "mama, way Aaahhh youuuu?"...over and over....and over. ;)

Also, she has really been enjoying conversations about her boogers. And she really likes making her brothers laugh. So we hear, "karker, memember, I have boogas?"...as she holds out her finger for his inspection. Ugh.

I almost forgot this last one. She actually said no words, but sometimes actions speak louder;) Last night at dinner, Hollyn accidently spilled her ranch dressing on griff. Griff absolutely lost it! Tears and devastation, oh my. For some reason, condiments and dressings send Griff over the edge. Hollyn got such a kick out of it, her salad "accidently" made it over to griffin a few more times. Her expression was priceless: total poker face and then cracking up as she was placed in timeout. Oy.

I sure love her.


Summer '12

Oh, summertime, how I love you! I think I love this season even more now that I have school-aged kids. I realize I'm such a blessed girl to be able to be home with my kids to experience everything with them. We have long days with no plans ahead of us...ready to filled in with last minute plans. Good stuff.


Random pics to share from a 7th bday

Parker's class singing happy bday, my special lunch with him & his crazy party. 7 years seems wrong. Has it really 7 years since I first saw that beautiful face? Pretty amazing.


What I need

I can't say that I've been easy to live with lately. However, here I'm content...and I want to remember this.

I'm working on my Beth Moore study, drinking my coffee, snuggled on my couch, and tuned into a perfect pandora station. This is what I love, what I need in order to function. And I haven't been doing it enough. But I think it is time for a change.


Big boy

Our griff learned to ride a two wheel bike today. I'm so proud of my middle hooligan :)


Another home

I am a total northwest girl and would be happy living in WA forever. But if I had to live in another state, it would be Colorado or Arizona. My love for the beautiful desert state has been well documented but today...I'm in love with Colorado!! The mountains, the weather, the culture, the air! I just love it. Feels like home.

A big part of my love for the state is the fact that we have dear friends that call CO home. And when I say "dear friends", I actually mean people who feel more like family than friends. Being here makes me miss them more.

This week we're on a vacation in Breckenridge, CO, courtesy of my sweet in-laws. And it is a real escape from real life because there are NO KIDS!! I kind of have no idea what to do with all my free time. So weird. Last night I stayed up until 2 a.m....which hasn't happened on purpose since college. I miss my kids. I don't even want to write another word about that because I'll  get sad. 

But we're having a great time together...all of Joel's siblings and their spouses plus parents= 12 adults on a much needed vacay! The beauty is breathtaking and the company even better. Love these crazies :)


Have you ever seen....

Anything more beautiful than this?

Sweet sweet

I barely ever talk about these two together. Totally different than H with G...but they are super sweet together too. I think h really looks up to park...wants to be big and do big kid things. When park takes time to snuggle with her, it is extra special.



I hope to never give the impression that I have a single ounce of my life "all together". In fact, I had to stop reading blogs too often because that part of this culture drives me batty.  So, I'm going to show you what my house looks like on a normal day...not especially messy and not just cleaned. Here you are:

Just a little exercise in keeping it real. :)



Hollyn knows the word snow...but it sounds very much like NO!

First time trying to go out to play in the snow like the big kids:)


stomping grounds

My mom sent me these pictures as she was driving up north near my old stomping grounds. Funny thing about "home"...I can't help it, it still is home and I think it is the most beautiful area. I feel drawn to that area...to go up and breathe the good air and walk through the fields and woods. I miss it.


My sunshine!

Griffin is five and I just can't quite wrap my mind around it. I remember posting about my pregnancy on this blog- back when I used to be better at documenting life. Griff is something special. I think it takes a specific kind of person to really notice his sunshine instead of his crazy:) He just gets so darn excited when he's around people...he kind of turns into something resembling a quivering puppy. But Griffin is my sunshine when life seems dark. He keeps me laughing when I get too serious. His love for his little sister actually gives me such reassurance. I've never seen anything like it. As always, this boy has a huge piece of my heart and I can't even say how proud I am to be his mom. 

Look back at the day he was born!

About Me

My Photo
*WIFE* to a great man *MAMA* to Parker, Griffin & Hollyn *BLESSED* to be living out this dream & always... longing to be *LOVELY*

Our Family

Our Family


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