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to prove i’m still alive…

20 Oct

It seems like years since I’ve been here. And truthfully, I even feel a few years older. This is a tough season of life for me. I’m the curious sort that has a love/hate relationship with change. And unfortunately, the kind of changes that I’m not so fond of have popped up a lot recently.

Most notably…September 16th my dad lost {or won, depending on your perspective} his struggle with cancer, and finally met his Savior. The last few days before his death were exhausting emotionally, mentally and physically. The weeks since his death have been hard too.

But not in the ways I expected.

It’s hard because…

…no one grieves the same way, yet we all have expectations of what grief should look like. I don’t grieve like my mom or brothers, or even my husband. And sometimes my way of grieving conflicts with their way of grieving. And, instead of getting offended or lashing out, I have to remind myself that we are all going through this together. And that lots of grace is required as we navigate this unfamiliar territory.

It’s hard because…

…life goes on whether I’m ready or not. There is a family to take care of, a house that needs cleaning, home schooling to be done, etc. There is no “pause” button to push until I’m ready to face the daily grind of life again. Moving on is part of the process, even when I’d like the luxury of making time stand still for a bit longer.

Along with that major life change, comes the start of a new school year. As much as I was looking forward to starting 1st grade with Sam, it was another transition to acclimate to. I’m happy to report that it’s going well…even though it’s not the well-oiled machine that it could be. We are working out the kinks one by one and I look forward to the next couple of weeks when we get into our “school groove.”

Ava turned two this month and is well on her way to perfecting her “terrible” status. Not really…but she is quite the drama queen and keeps us cringing or grinning, depending on her antics! She has a will of steel titanium and really dislikes to be told “no.” Her favorite response is to look at us with an expression that says, “Your rules don’t apply to me, I’m too cute!” Oy…

Rachel is 7 mos. old and has matured from newborn to baby {a change that any parent can appreciate} and she is now demanding my full attention. She loves to play peek-a-boo, squeals at her brother’s antics and loves to be surrounded by family. She has thighs that rival the Michelin Man’s and eats non-stop {or so it seems!}.  Her smile lights up the room and there is nothing, I mean nothing, that brings a grin to my face quicker than listening to her belly laughs.

So there’s the update of my life in a nutshell.

Just wanted to prove to you that I’m still alive. ;0)

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snapshots of life

21 May

Here are a few snapshots of my life at the moment.

The Stare.

Defenders of the Soap

My precious babe.

Sam on the boogie board.

A single…

and double nose dig.

tick tock

30 Nov
This week brings me to 6 months pregnant.
I can’t believe that I’m over half-way through with this pregnancy. 
I feel like I just found out yesterday that I was expecting.
Baby Girl is kicking and grooving up a storm these days.
Thankfully, she settles down at night and I’m still able to get a good night’s sleep.
(Except for the 5 times a night I have to get up to pee!)
We have decided on a name (no, I’m not telling)
and it’s fun to talk to/about her like a real person now,
instead of referring to her as “the baby.”
Sam is getting used to the idea of another sister…
although he’s still praying that she will come out a boy!
And Ava, she’s totally clueless.
However, she is very, very interested in her newborn cousin.
And wants to be touching and playing with her whenever she can reach the baby.
So, I’m sure once her little sister arrives, Ava will be all over her!
Speaking of Ava…
she is walking all over the place now
and tries really hard to keep up with her big brother.
Her favorite questions are, “What’s that?” and “Who’s that?”…
questions she asks a hundred times a day!
She also says, “WOW!” about anything that catches her eye.
She has perfected the temper tantrum,
and looks up at us out of the corner of her eye
to see if we’re watching her do something she knows is wrong.
She is obsessed with cell phones and, if there is one in a 20 ft. radius,
she will have it in her hands in 1.6 seconds.

The moment music hits her ears, she wiggles and jiggles like she’s dancing for her life.

And she manages to wrap everyone around her little finger in a matter of moments.

I’m just wondering…what happened to my newborn? 

how is it

14 Nov
that I got a little girl that loves everything girly?
At 13 months, she is completely smitten with babydolls

and jewelry

and fixing her hair.

She crawls around most days with a beaded necklace (or three) around her neck.
She feeds and pats and rocks her babydolls like a pro.
Not that I think there’s anything wrong with this…at all.
I love that she loves all these things.
It’s just that I was so, so different growing up.
Instead of dolls, I loved drawing.
Instead of baubles, I loved books.
There were no frills or lace or pink (gasp!) around me if I could help it.

And now, I have a daughter, who at a very early age
is showing serious signs of girliness.
This is definitely a stretch for me.

God has such a sense of humor!

in other news

17 Oct
Alternately titled: Random thoughts that have nothing to do with each other.
Tomorrow I will be 18 weeks pregnant.
Now that I am fully into my 2nd trimester, my energy has returned and my stomach has settled.
My tummy is starting to pop out a bit and the maternity clothes have come out of hiding.
Can I just tell you how much I love wearing maternity clothes…cute ones, anyway?
I love them.
I love that I can have a tummy and people look at me with a twinkle in their eye,
instead of giving me the stink eye because they think I’ve had one too many twinkies.
Just kidding. I don’t really normally get the stink eye.
Only if I’m walking passed a gym eating twinkies.
Sam has finally decided that he is okay with the boy name that we’ve most likely chosen.
Whew.
Now he wants to name the baby Charlotte Leah, if it’s a girl.
Not our first choice, but it sure beats Gator!
Anyways, my 20 week ultrasound is coming up soon and all mysteries will be revealed.
Speaking of Sam, his mouth is healing well.
He had his stitches removed yesterday, and the scabs have all fallen off.
Unless I look into his mouth, I can hardly tell that he was a bloody mess one week ago.
His teeth have not shifted back into place yet, and I’m not sure that they will.
I’m just happy that they are all baby teeth, that will eventually come out anyways.
Ava is taking her first steps, and will soon be on her way to full-on walking.
She has also acquired several new words and has become quite a chatterbox.
She is fascinated with babies (baby dolls, specifically)
and anything with a face-that is smaller than her-is a “baby.”
The S.W. Florida version of fall is finally here, which means pumpkin patches and fall festivals. 
It also means weather that is NOT scorching hot! 
I’m thrilled that our highs are in the 80’s and the lows are in the 60’s.
Outdoors, here we come!

happiness is…

7 Oct
…balloons

a ladybug smash cake,
and turning ONE!
Happy Birthday, Ava!
To see what others are happy about, check out this blog.
Happiness Is...

raw(e) smiles

22 Sep
This week’s RAW(e) photo challenge over at Sailor & Company is
SMILES & LAUGHTER

Introducing…

Miss Mischief.
I have discovered something about Ava.
She is FULL of mischief.
Even at 11 months, she gets that glimmer in her eye
and I know that some naughtiness is about to happen.
You can almost hear the “MUAHAHAHAHA”
running through her little head.
She is so completely different from Sam in that respect.
He was my calm, totally compliant baby/toddler.
If we told him not to do something, he didn’t.
No questions asked.
I actually thought for awhile it was because of our fabulous parenting skills.
HA!
Now I know that it was just his laid-back personality.
But not his sister!
Oh me, Oh my!
She is proving to be a little handful.
And this is just the beginning…

raw(e) pink

26 Aug
Ok, so this week’s theme for RAW(e) is
PINK.
Yes, pink.
The color that I avoided like the plague.  
Until recently, that is.
Because now that I have a daughter, pink is popping up all over my house.
Pink clothes,
pink sippy cups,
pink towels,
pink shoes,
and yes, even pink toys.
It’s a losing battle.
And I, the reluctant prisoner, am coming to terms with the fact
that pink will forevermore be a part of my world.
If you are a lover of pink, hop on over to Sailor & Company to get your fill of pink-ness.

raw(e) 2(6)

26 Jul
No, this is not some strange new blogger code,
it’s the theme for this week’s RAW(e) photo challenge. 
Here’s the skinny – go to your 2nd folder and post the 6th photo.
No matter how wacky or horrible the picture.
No editing.
Just raw.
So, here’s my photo.
 It’s a cast-off from a photo session I did with Ava. 
I really would’ve loved it if the picture was something crazy like Sam picking his nose
(yes, I take those pictures!).
 But alas, this is what we’ve got.
So trot on over to Sailor & Company and see if anyone else has a crazy, hilarious photo…I’m headed that way now!

a slight detour

22 Jul
…now back to our regularly scheduled programming.