Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Today we woke up to sunshine, and I knew it was time for an adventure. Yesterday was snowy and wet for most of the day and I was just itching to be outside. So, I gave the kids some options ( the gardens, the farm, or the park). They chose Red Butte Gardens and so off we went! Well, it was actually pretty slow going getting out the door this morning.

For example, as I was trying to round them up to get dressed, Sam came up from the basement with his shirt stuffed full of "babies". He asked me to tell him if his baby was a boy or a girl:) As it turned out he gave birth to two octopus, a guitar, and a sea turtle! Three boys, one girl. I mean, how can you rush things like that?! Haha.

So, we made it out the door and drove through Subway to pick up lazy picnic food. Had a great picnic and decided to walk down to the pond. Got distracted by a field and ended up on this wonderful series of trails that I had never seen. We got to walk through the forest at the gardens-what a surprise! We walked and walked, this being our first Spring "hike". I just love walking through the trees with them. I mean really, it's one of my favorite things in the world to do. To hear all of their commentary and questions, to breathe the fresh air and get exercise together, to see the wonder of nature through their eyes. Love it. While we were walking, Sammy tripped and scraped his knee. He let out a cry and then quickly followed it with ,"Shhhh, look at that!" I got down to his level (still on the ground from falling) and tried to see what he had spied. It took me a moment but right at his eye level was a moth or butterfly that blended in exactly with the shade of the twig it had landed on. I still don't know how he saw it!
Another moment I loved was when I let them run a bit ahead of me. When I caught up with them Amelia was laying on the ground on her tummy and Sam was kneeling beside her. She said, "I fell." I said, "I'm sorry, did Sam come over to help you though?That is so sweet Sammy!" She said, " No, he thought I saw something great and came to see it too." Oh my, that made me laugh! They were just there talking when I walked up.

Oh anyway, I treasure days like today. Though we were all tired afterward and the evening culminated in quite a dramatic dual meltdown (several days in a row of naps have been missed and I think it all caught up with them), it was so refreshing to be in nature together again (I know snow is nature but...) and to feel the sunshine on our faces. I look forward to many more Spring and Summer hikes to come!

Time for this mama to go to bed early ...the kids were conked out by 6:10pm:) Jen

Monday, April 25, 2011

On the way to our early morning ultrasound today, Sam was singing "I see the moon, the moon sees me, God bless the moon and God bless me." It wasn't that early, and I'm not sure why he had that song on his mind. After a few rounds he stopped singing and asked in that sweet voice of his, "Mom, does Jesus always bless us?" After looking at Joel like, "Where do they come up with this stuff?" I answered, "Well, the Bible says that every good thing comes from the Lord..." and Sam followed that with "and blessings are good things." "Yes they are Sammy." ( Don't judge if you have a more theologically sound answer. It was early. He is a newly four year old that can't wait until I get all of my thoughts together:)

I must have had that on my heart, though, because as the ultrasound began and I heard the first "Well, the spleen looks good" or something of that nature, I prayed, " Lord, I give you thanks for every good thing that we hear about this babe. Please give me grace to deal anything we hear that may be not good news. " I went into the ultrasound a bit fearful. Or mindful I guess of all that can not go "normally" with a pregnancy.

Though we found out that our baby GIRL (a big surprise to all but Amelia, who knew it was a girl from the beginning:) looks great so far as does the positioning of the placenta for a VBAC , etc. , I know that for many these mid-point ultrasounds are not so joyous as they find out really tough news. Gosh, I know many, many, many don't even have the chance to get an ultrasound because of infertility, etc. I know. Deep in my gut I know. I have felt the pain of infertility, I have dealt with the fear of having very sick babies.

Hard stuff comes. Life shaking moments. I guess I'm just saying that eventually I want Sam to know that though I believe with all of my heart that God loves to fill our life with blessings and good things, this is a broken world. There is pain. There are surprises that seem like they could never turn out happy. But God is there too. He would have been with us in that ultrasound room if the news had been devastating today. He would have been there to comfort our breaking hearts, to start His work of making beauty from ashes. It is in both the beautiful moments and the despairing ones that we can see His hand prints in our lives.

So, there you go Sammy. I hope you see in your mama's and daddy's life that we trust and love and believe God when it seems as though the blessings are pouring from the sky, but also when it seems there are no bright spots to be found.

For tonight, Joel and I are giving thanks for the beautiful moment of seeing our baby girl, sitting and watching with her wide eyed brother and sister and her Mammy as she wiggled around on the screen in front of us. Amazing. Spectacular really. I don't want to take that for granted for a moment. Thank you for the reminder Sam, to be thankful for every good thing in our life (especially a good God who is with us all of the time.)

All for now, Jen

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Birthday fun: round 2!

Today was the babes 4th birthday party at the Gardens. Mmm, I just love that place. It felt sort of like a cop out to not do a "home-made party" at the house, but I'm so glad we chose the worm party! The party was in the Sprout House, which is the education center in the Children's Garden. It always feels so earthy and ferny in there, and today was no different. The kids got to paint pots, learn about composting and observe (and hold) the worms out of the composter, search for toy worms in the snake tunnel outside, and plant Thyme. Whew! It was an action packed hour:) Then it was on to cake. I must say, the first time I saw a dirt cake was at a wedding shower I had. I seriously thought it was the greatest thing EVER! I was so excited to make these for Sam and Amelia's party. Presents were so generously given and Amelia cracked us up by not letting go of her bag of presents for ANYTHING. It was so heavy but she would not put it down. Oh my. I think Sam was overwhelmed a bit by the whole thing, but not nearly as much as he was last year and for that I'm so thankful. He had a blast playing outside with friends after the inside festivities were over.

So, now we are home, feeling pooped out but happy and not nearly as pooped out as we would if we would have had the party here! So thankful for sweet little friends, and their mamas and daddies too.

Happy 4th Birthday to my little garden lovers, I think it is going to be a great year!! Mama

Friday, April 22, 2011

Looking forward, looking back: Pregnancy

As I look forward to this new babe arriving into our life, I can't help but look back as well. I have spent a lot of time reflecting on my pregnancy with Sam and Amelia, their infancy, their toddlerhood....all of the things we are about to experience again, only this time with one baby (plus two four year olds) instead of two babies. Here are some of the thoughts that have been floating around:

The pregnancies.
They have been very, very different. I'll sum it up by saying that this one has been much, much more taxing. I feel like I spent the first trimester deep in a cave and I am just starting to emerge (at almost 20 weeks!). Tired to the bone, nausea ( I threw up once with the twins, and I just stopped counting with this one), more tiredness, quick weight gain (on top of starting our WAY heavier than I did the first go round:/ ). Just all the way around different. Let me just say, THANK THE LORD my mom was here! Really, truly, it would have been not pretty, to say the least! Thank you mom!!

Of course, there are sweet differences too. I have a precious little girl who wants to kiss my tummy and who blurts out things like, "Oh, I just LOVE your baby! I just can't wait for her to come out! I am going to give her a big,big,big kiss and a hug and wear her in a sling and let her sleep with me, and feed her. I am going to yell ' Go mama go!' when you are pushing your baby out. Is it time for her to come out yet? Maybe you should name her Heysha-la. " and on and on. I have a precious little boy who tells me all the things he is going to teach the baby. I have a husband who is notably not in the thick of PA school and because of that is much more excited about the pregnancy and addition to our family than he was the last go round.

A lot of people have asked if I am anxious about this birth/ pregnancy because of how the last one went. I have to say that even though I have moments of anxiousness to be sure, I have to say that overall I am just much more calm inside about everything this time. Maybe because I experienced a pretty traumatic birth and first few months of being a mama and saw how God's grace and lots of attachment principles helped to heal our little family. I saw that you can only plan and hope towards a certain type of birth so much and then the rest is just out of your hands, etc. . Maybe I just don't have time to dwell on it like I did last time? I don't know. But I'm thankful to be in this state. I am reading ONE book on birth this go round (Birth Matters by Ina May Gaskin), not 5 and I think this is a good thing:)

All in all, I guess I have been thinking about how pregnancy is humbling (as is mothering, for that matter) and this one in particular has been. I have never claimed to be a high energy person, but this has taken it to another level. My ideal would be for people to ask how I am feeling and for me to say, "So great! I love every single day of this pregnancy! I've been a little tired but overall it's been a breeze. Gotta run, I'm going to walk five miles before making dinner for friends and family:)." Yeah, not so much.

Anyway, I don't want to be Debbie Downer or anything, I just wanted to give an honest assessment of the past few months and give major thanks to the Lord for His provision in sending my mama and giving me a compassionate and helpful husband:)

Spring is here and I'm feeling better and more energetic, so I'm very hopeful for these next few months. Productivity here I come! :)


Here we all are at 18 1/2 weeks

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Wish I could bottle it up...

Their fourth birthday was such a joy! I wish I could just bottle up every moment and remember it, especially when they first woke up. Blogging about it is about as close as I'll get I guess:)

It had been a rough night for Amelia before their birthday morning. Her bad cough kept waking her up and she and Joel spent most of the night in the guest room, neither getting much sleep. So anyway, Sam woke up first. He was in our bed with me and turned toward me with a big grin as soon as his eyes opened. I thought he must remember that it was his birthday, but instead he said, "Mom, where do box turtles hide when there is danger?" I laughed and said, " Inside their shells?" "Yep" he answered, still smiling from ear to ear. Perfect first words of his fourth year-haha. So I said, "Sam, do you know that today is your birthday?" He was SO excited. He said all sorts of wonderful things like, "I'm FOUR. I'm SO STRONG! I have to tell MENA!"

He ran and found her in the guest room and yelled, "MENA, we are FOUR. Today is our birthday!!!" In true Amelia fashion she popped straight up from a dead sleep. She was standing in the bed in just her underwear and yelled, "Look how tall I am Sam!!" Seriously, it was the cutest thing I have ever seen.

Poor Joel, he had to go to work and since they woke up a bit later he missed it all:/ We did face time with him when we went downstairs to their "pancake party". Mom and I had decorated the night before and she came up and was greeted with shouts from Sam about how strong he was. They opened presents (the favorites being Mammy's gifts of a car transporter truck for Sam and a horse trailer pulling truck for Melia ), went crazy with silly string and ate pancakes with whipped cream. It was so much fun. Well, poor Amelia was so sleepy and a bit out of it most of the day but Sam was in fine form.

We had decided to take them to the zoo since we never go (this was their third time I think). We met Anne, Vera and Eden there and had a great time. Thank goodness I thought to bring the stroller for Amelia because she was pooped. I was so glad Vera was there to run and shout with Sam over all of the animals.

Anyway, I think what made it so special was comparing it to last years party. Sam was just completely overwhelmed with all of their friends being there and had meltdown after meltdown (meanwhile Amelia was in friend heaven). It was SO wonderful to see Sam have such a special day--he was happy and excited from the moment he woke up to the moment he went to sleep.

Don't you worry about Amelia--she will have her day too! We have a little party planned for them at our favorite place (Red Butte Garden) coming up and I know she will revel in having her friends there. They are having a worm themed garden party and Sam is really excited too, so hopefully it will be fun for both of them!

All in all, it was a wonderful day and I'm so very thankful for my two sweet four year olds!
P.S. I have more pictures, I just need to get them off of my phone. Soon, soon:)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

We loved seeing you sleep side by side as little babes...

and we love it still...

This last one was taken today by your daddy of your last nap as three year olds. Sniff, sniff. Oh how we love you, Mama

Saturday, April 09, 2011

The land of silliness...

On the way home from eating dinner out last night (BBQ...mmmm), I recognized that Sam and Amelia are entering a new phase of silliness. The kind of "funny" that goes something like this:

Sam sings in the back seat: "I am a screw and I have legs (HAHAHAHAHA, laugh he and Amelia), I am a screw and I have eyes (HAHAHAHAHA), I am a house with a tree coming out of it (HAHAHAHHAHAH), I am a car with a back and and a neck (HAHAHHOOHOOHAHAHA)!!!!!!!

Meanwhile Joel and sit in the front, laughing only at how funny they think these jokes are and thankful they have each other to experience this silliness with:)

Yes, folks, I think four is going to be a very silly year indeed!
Here are some pictures from this morning that Amelia requested we take (darn this weather--GO AWAY snow!)...

Okay, that last one was from 2007 but I just had to include it since this is birthday reminiscing time:) Jen

Thursday, April 07, 2011

How can it be?

How can it be that on Monday these little precious babes will turn FOUR years old? More birthday posts to come for sure, Jen

Saturday, April 02, 2011

A tale of two friendships, part 2.

I hope you enjoyed the tale of Sammy and his friends Hershey Bar and Jewelry. The friendships are still going strong and daily we hear new tidbits (today Jewelry saw a flying cow! She also taught Sam how to make cake out of macaroni. Amelia thought that sounded yucky but Sam assures us it is really good:) .
Anyway, today I would like to introduce you to Amelia's sock monkey, Harry.
Now, Harry was actually supposed to be for Joel. That's right. See, Joel has always told me that he dreamed of having a sock monkey as a child and so when I saw Harry at a thrift store on vacation, I grabbed him. As soon as Amelia saw him though, she was in love. Which is funny, because Amelia is never really too attached to toys or things. She has one doll (Baby Black) who she has professed her love towards for longer than one day and a giraffe that she has loved since she was a babe, but usually Sam directs the play and she just goes along with it (trucks? sure. sandbox? ok. sea creatures? fine. etc.) Anyway, she was so cute because she would say over and over as she clutched Harry, " I love your monkey dad. I really, really love him." I've never heard her be so verbally affectionate about a toy. She took him sledding, hiking, to Mesa Verde, to Arches National Park. Everywhere we went on our road trip, she took him. Finally she said to Joel, " I know he is your monkey dad, but can I just call him mine?"

Here they are doing yoga together. Just kidding. We aren't sure what they were doing, but isn't it hysterical?:)

While in Moab we were eating breakfast one morning, I realized Harry was missing one of his arms (which was present when we bought him)! Amelia hadn't noticed and so we decided not to tell her until we saw if it turned up somewhere. Sure enough, when we got back to the hotel, there it was on the bed. I grabbed it and put it in a bag to take home and have mom sew it back on. While we were loading the car though, Amelia saw it in the bag and when she put two and two together she burst into tears and didn't stop crying for thirty minutes! It was quite tragic, though I wouldn't be telling the whole story if I didn't admit that I could not force myself to stop laughing. Oh gosh, it was so funny and sad at the same time. Anyway, she recovered but here she is not long after the revelation :(

Now that Harry is home, he is just one of the crew and not as prized for sure. But she does still love to snuggle with him at bedtime and I do think he will always have a special place in all of our hearts for sure.

So, there ya go. One of the few tales you will hear about Amelia and a prized possession. People are her everything, but this monkey, he found his way into her heart and it was an adorable pair to be sure.
All for now, Jen