24 December 2014

Merry Christmas

Happy Christmas Eve, everyone! We are busy over here with some final Christmas present wrapping and getting so excited for all the festivities ahead.  This Christmas season has been extra special in so many ways.  Marin has really filled it to the brim with all her exclamation “Whoa, whoa, WOW!”  Pretty magical.  Watching Marin grow and feeling her sister wiggle and squirm in me  has made me even more grateful for a God who gave his child so I could have peace on earth and assurance of heaven.  I hope you and yours are enjoy the next couple days.   Here are a few pics of the magic of Marin during Christmas:  serious little tree hunter, her first look at the Christmas lights on our house,  “mmmmm-ing” at the red berries and Christmas d├ęcor.  Much love from us to you!



  








08 December 2014

IT'S A...


For you, friends, a picture into our future…all pink and sparkly.  There’s a baby GIRL in this belly! Another girl, a sister for Marin. Wow. Cue the amazing humility of getting to offer your daughter something you know nothing about…a sis, a chance at a best friend who has known you since the day you were born.   We are so thrilled about this news, tickled pink!  ;)

Ahhhh! A GIRL!!




01 December 2014

19 WEEKS + STORIES


I just witnessed (via baby monitor) Marin do her first somersault of all time in her crib.  I don’t know if I should be worried or just keep laughing.  So… I guess this 19 week preggo post goes out to the human bod and all the wacky things it can do. Not to mention the disappearing hand in the pocket and the floating hand on the belly pictured above. Whoa. 

Beside body contortions and a doctor’s apointment, there isn’t much going on around here today…just a few post holiday blues and missing the guy in our lives who had to return to grown up land today.  Also, I’ve been doing a bit of thinking. Warning, there’s a pregnant lady doing some thinking over here. 

On a couple occasions last week, I was able to get out of the house for errands and a pedicure.  A lady named Sam got the awesome job of dealing with my callouses.  We got to chatting about the holidays and who we were spending them with.  She shared that her four kids were coming over, but that she actually has five kids. Her fifth child, her daughter, passed away when she was seventeen.  I told her that I was so sorry to hear that. It was the kind of sorry that comes from one mom to another.  Stories like that will always hurt to hear, but now they are heavier.  It just hurts.  And isn’t that all we can really offer for stories shared.  To hurt over them with the one who entrusted us with them, and maybe just maybe carry some of the load.

While returning a portion of our overzealous purchase of Christmas tree lights to Wal-mart, I noticed a tiny baby girl smiling back at me.  I asked her mom and dad how old she was.  “She is four months.”  I asked if they were getting rest. “Oh yeah, ever since she was three days old.”  I giggled inside about my 19 month old challenged sleeper.  They continued like proud parents do. “You know, we didn’t even know we were pregnant until 7 months in.” (surprised look) “The doctor told me I would NEVER be able to have kids, so we were really surprised and happy.” 
Then my hormones made me cry like the jerks they are.  Wal-mart and tears…I mean, what are you lookin at?


Loss and gain.  Stories.  Maybe it’s the hormones or motherhood or God’s grace, but these stories are gifts and a reminder to me that God picks out our stories in his most loving way.  He gives them to us, and we can use them to move people or mountains or all of the above

29 November 2014

Our Thanksgiving


Oh this week.  The older I get, the more I look forward to the holidays.  Is there a contest for holiday cheer because I think I'm in the running for most improved. I’ll place it under my title of most croissants ever eaten in the history of Thanksgiving.

Andy’s family camps each year for Thanksgiving, so we planned on visiting the campsite Wednesday and spending Thursday at my parents’ house.  Wednesday morning the car was packed and ready for all the happenings.  Andy came out of the house to a car already filled with snacks and meals for Marin, extra bundling layers, and a cooler with ice and drinks.  “Wow, babe, I’m impressed.” Insert proud smile and small giggle for the chaos that will be next Thanksgiving. I’m dizzy thinking about the snacks alone. 

We couldn’t have gotten a more beautiful day or more happy babe for the journey. She took her nap in the car and rolled with the punches like a champ. We stopped for barbecue for lunch and had lots of running around the campsite for the remainder of the day.  It’s a different way to spend Thanksgiving, but it is so wonderful. No TVs, no distractions.  Everyone sits around and chats or throws a football.  So fun.

We made it home late and tucked an already jammied and sleepy girl in bed.  Andy and I made big plans for White Christmas watching and canoodling, but we crashed early (old people alert). Maybe tonight…

Thursday we made our way to my parents’ house where all the Christmas decorations were up and the kitchen was filled with amazing smells. Marin walked in, arms in the air “Wow! Wow! Wow!” eyes all lit up over the Christmas trees and lights.  Maybe she is part of the reason I am loving the holidays so much. Is there anything better than watching it all through a wee one’s eyes? We rounded off the night with time spent around the table, everyone taking turns walking Marin around and playing with her.  Isn’t family the best, especially on days like these? I hope you and yours had a wonderful Thanksgiving too (oh and that you also enjoyed no less than three croissants.)
















20 November 2014

TOYS



It kind of makes me laugh that our plan before babies was minimal toys, minimal STUFF.  We’ll just tuck that away with the long list of other things we uttered before we became parents.  While we don’t have a TON of toys, we’ve actually come to really enjoy watching Marin find interest in these little gadgets that were designed to entertain and help her grow.  So, I thought I’d share a few of the toys/books that Marin has taken an extra special liking toward. And maybe spark a few ideas for those in need of Christmas ideas for tots. 

  • Pop-up tent:  Ever since Andy taught Marin how to build a fort, she has been enamored with “gorts.” So, when we found this pop-up fort at Ikea for 10.00, we couldn’t wait to show her.  It it the only toy her jaw has dropped over.  We play in it every day.  Oh, and the 15.00 tunnel (bottom right) is one of her favorite parts. 
  • Go Dog Go and Pout Pout Fish: (Top middle and Bottom middle)  I think I’ve memorized both by this point.  Marin just doesn’t tire of these two.  Also, the English teacher in me does summersaults over the word choices in Pout Pout Fish.  “Aghast!” for goodness sake? Yes!
  • Bath Letters: Yes, they actually stick.  Marin asks for them in her bath EVERY night.  She has fondly named them “nins.” I’m not sure how they acquired the name, but I do know that ever since we got them, she has been pointing out nins all over town.  Bath phonics for the win.
  • Teach My Toddler Learning Kit: I found this one on Amazon and crossed my fingers that it would be well-made and engaging.  It is AMAZING!  Marin loves it and will sit for hours with me looking at all the flash cards, books, foam cut-outs, and posters. 
  • B. Bristle Blocks and B. Water Drawing Board:  You can find the B. toys at Target or Amazon.  Both of these were gifts, and I’ve been blown away by how much Marin returns to play with them day after day.  Also, if you are looking for an artsy little activity, this is such a wonderful alternative on the days when you can’t monitor chalk/paint/crayons/etc.  It fosters the art time, but not the wall kind. ;) Brilliant!
  • (And last but not least) A giant ball from Wal-mart: Never underestimate the power of simplicity with these little ones.  Sometimes we have to hide the thing if you know what I mean. ;) 

Happy Christmas shopping everyone! Oh, and I would love to know which toys/gadgets your little ones love! 







17 November 2014

HAPPY GOLDEN BIRTHDAY, BUMP.


Happy Monday, friends!  Hope it was a good weekend for you and yours.  

In our news, this here bump is 17 weeks on the 17th .  Should we celebrate with some favorite cravings? I think so.  Any reason is a good reason for fruity pebbles, or sour patch kids, or…salt and vinegar chips.  This is about to get embarrassing. 

What else is noteworthy on this bump’s golden birthday? 

  • Maternity clothes: yes, sometimes.  Also, just getting dressed in general…to display the bump or to just look chubby? Decisions, decisions.
  • Cravings: Salty anything, sour patch watermelons, grilled cheese sandwiches, orange juice, bagels w/ cream cheese for ever and ever. Amen.
  • Pregnancy brain: What brain?
  • Body cha-cha-cha changes: the belly (der), acne and rosacea (I’m so lucky), inny belly button, leg hair has ceased to exist (silver lining, friends, silver lining)
  • Feelings: There's just so many to choose from (thanks, hormones) but mostly feeling in love (times three) every day.