Tuesday, March 05, 2013

I won't even pretend

I know it's been almost a year.  It's really a shame.  And I'm sorry.  But then again, I'm not.  

So here are a few things I've been thinking about lately: some more significant than others, but not in a particular order.

1.  Having 3 children has been a challenge for me.  But I think it is mostly due to the fact that babies are my least favorite life-stage.  I don't like it.  Am I thankful I can carry my own babies?  Absolutely.  And I am sad for those who spend years trying and still have not conceived.  I am very thankful for my offspring.  I am just quite stretched and exhausted at this phase in my life.  I do hope I can be an encouragement to young moms in the future who struggle with having children of this age.

2.  In spite of my #1, I am reveling in these words from Mumford & Sons: 
"So love the one you hold, 
And I will be your gold, 
To have and to hold."

3.  I think I often am seeking to find a reason to justify my significance in this world.  I am just often seeking that in all the wrong places.  

4.  I really love the age of 7.  Huntleigh continues to surprise me daily.  It makes me encouraged that all the time I have spent nurturing and shaping her is not for naught.

5.  The age of 5 is a bit harder for me.  I sometimes wish I had a mute button for Lucy.  

6.  I will not express in truest form how I feel about the age of 1.  Instead, I will pour myself a glass of wine. 

7.  I just admitted last night that I feel as though I have cooked dinner if I bought a rotisserie chicken for my family on any given night and put some rolls in the oven.  Don't judge.

8.  I went to a concert with Josh last week.  We are really getting old.  

9.  I think so much of living life well is about learning to mourn all of its losses.  Losses come in myriad forms, from small to large.  And fleshing out those losses with words: angry words, tragic words, desperate words, healing words.  I want to push through our natural inclination to stuff our sorries in a sack.  I want my kids to know they can live redemptively.  This is a process, in which I do not profess to be an expert, but Josh and I certainly do try and try and try again.  

10.  I have begun about 10 different blog posts since my last one, right before we went to Hong Kong in May of 2012.  I have obviously posted none of them.  There is no concise way to talk about that trip.    We made it back safely and have begun another year of travel.  Just two notes:  Our kids were hardly even fazed by a 14+ hour flight.  Lucy really wants to go back to try shark fin soup (pretty sure it's illegal in the States) because she wasn't brave enough when we were there.  I told her it might be awhile.  

Just a little celebration craziness at my parents' 40th wedding anniversary party.  I love this picture.  I find it to be kind of a funny social experiment.  

This was the girls' school valentine card this year.  Priceless.  

And my baby's first birthday.  She had a bit of a black eye under her left eye.  But, I think, still beautiful as ever.  She has been the most amazing addition to our family.  

Friday, May 25, 2012

anchors away

In just a few short hours, our family is embarking upon our biggest adventure to date. I am proud/excited/nervous/happy to say that we are adventuring back to Hong Kong! When we first began discussions about this trip, it was way back in January, so I feel like we have (in a way) been preparing since that time. Josh told me he had to do some extensive business travel in Asia and it would have meant him leaving us for over 2 weeks. Due to some other longer-term travel we'll be taking later this year, we toyed with the idea of me going to China with him and brining Huntleigh with us. But I didn't want to leave the baby for that long...so we said we'd take her. But could we leave Lucy behind? How could we leave Lucy?! Okay. Let's go as a family of 5. We're ready for it. This is what we value as a family: let's begin to put it into practice. Travel is never easy, but it is will change your life, if you allow it.
The reason this trip is so meaningful to us is because Hong Kong was Josh's and my first place we built a home together after we got married. Josh did business there for 2 years and during that time God stretched and pulled us, He put us into a fire and sustained us, He sharpened and refined us, He built a solid foundation for us to be the team that we continue to strive to be. Our youthful sense of adventure could never have even processed how shaping and influential our time in Hong Kong would be for us and for our (at that time) future children. We lived there when we were ages 25-27 and here we are, 10 years later, living out the work God began in us while we were there.
I am excited to take my children to Hong Kong today. I cannot wait to see so many of our friends who still live there and who were powerfully influential in our young lives! I am excited for our kids to meet those people...and their children. I am excited to do this flight with our kids: 16 hours from Chicago. We would covet your prayers. I am excited to connect Hong Kong to YOU, my readers, through the camera and through word, something I wish I had done whilst living there, but, oh well. Here's my second chance! I will try to faithfully blog while I'm there, since I'm assuming I'll be up in the middle of the night with children who are jetlagging! Thank you so much to everyone who so faithfully served me this week, both with physical presence or just checking in on me to let me know they were praying for me or calling me to see if they could bring me anything. I felt so loved this week! Mom, Tina, Janet, Karlee, Hannah, Leslie, JennyLark, Cary, Jd, Nin, Mollie, Emmie...thank you!
Here we go!!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

mother's day and more

We have a serious drooling problem around here.
Mother's Day was really fun for me this year. This is probably the best picture of me and the three, which isn't really saying much, since Lucy and Polly are completely disinterested in the camera. Oh well. It's just a memory. And memories are always imperfect, at best. Even the best of memories. I love being a mom. It's exhausting, exhilarating, humbling, eye-opening.
mother's day 2012
And I'm really thankful for my own mom who loves me well as an adult and humbles me with her unending willingness to serve me. She is such an example of Christ to me. I love you mom! You are such a faithful woman! I am so thankful my children have you in their lives.
i love my mom
I went on Lucy's end of the year field trip to Tilles Park and we had a little girls' photo shoot afterward. They were working the camera. Lucy called all the shots. This was "be cute and smile":
3K girls
this was "pouty face/be a grouch" (or in Eden's case, "just growl"): In my opinion, Winnie wins best pouty face....
grouchy girls
and this was "go crazy/let's have a girl party": I think this photo is a somewhat actual foreshadowing of what slumber parties will probably look like in the near future....yikes.
girl party
Lucy with Mrs. Heinemann: her loving, tender, shepherding 3K teacher. We love Mrs. Heinemann! I can't wait for Polly to have Mrs. Heinemann in just a few short years! This was a super great year in 3K for Lucy!
Lu and Mrs. Heinemann

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

in the not so distant past

Life has literally been flying by. I am sometimes overwhelmed, but truthfully, my heart is full and happy. I love that the Lord gave us Polly. She is such an amazing addition to our family. These are the pictorial memories from our life lately: This was her baptism at 6 weeks. It was important to me to keep in the tradition of baptizing Polly at 6 weeks, seeing as we did the same with both Hunts and Lucy. I love watching my children be baptized. Those are precious, precious memories to me.
Pop and B took a little princess and a cowgirl to get some fun new cowboy boots. They came home with 4 new pairs. Such a fun day for all of them!
We took a zoo trip with Poppa and Yia Yia. The penguin house was super stinky as always.
We celebrated Valentine's Day in Palm Desert, California. It was such a great family trip!
While in California, we took a day trip to Joshua Tree National Park. I'm so glad we carved out time to experience the place. Just fascinating.
I am ashamed to admit that this is the very outfit Huntleigh wore into the Park. I guess I really didn't know what to expect, and I certainly did not expect it to be as cold of a day as it was. We made a quick detour to an odd little souvenir shop where I bought this ridiculous purple Yucca tree sweatshirt and hippie hat. The aviator sunglasses really pull the outfit together, though. I'm just going to blame these choices on sleep deprivation. I had a 2-month old baby.
I love these two. Lucy's outfit was equally as ridiculous, albeit slightly more subtle in its coloration.
Here's the littlest babe, back in Saint Louis, going on 3 1/2 months old. I purchased this flowery little sleeper at Target after her blowout poop while I was shopping there. I literally had to carry her around the store naked (in a diaper, of course) while searching for an outfit in which to put her. I just pretended like no one was watching me, even though I am confident I was receiving glares from strangers. I am an underprepared mom. So what?! At least I had one diaper left for her.
In March, we took an unexpected trip to Florida during the girls' spring break. It was so much fun. This picture was taken on the girls' first fishing trip in a flats boat. There is little my husband loves more than fishing in a Florida flats boat.
By the end of our fishing day, Hunts had gotten brave enough to touch the bait fish with her bare hands. We caught a couple snook, a lizard fish, and some sea trout and ate some of our own fish for dinner. I love how rewarding that was for Huntleigh!
Love this picture of Lu.
And our family pic, right before leaving the island to go home.
Oh my gosh. I love this picture of Lucy and her special friend, Winnie. They are such sweet buddies from school. This was before their special date for Winnie's 4th birthday when she took Lucy with her to get a little manicure and pedicure. Too, too cute.
Easter 2012. He is Risen!
Scrumptrulescent Polly with Yia Yia and Poppa. I love this picture.
Hunts with her sweet friend, Ava Grace, at AG's 6th birthday party. These girls are two peas in a pod and get along just swimmingly.
At 4 months, we like to go on a special trip with our baby. We did that with Huntleigh when we went to Cologne, Germany and with Lucy when we went to Dubai. With Polly, it wasn't as far of a trip, but we had our special time with her in Portland, Oregon. And I love that Polly found her feet in Portland, just like how Lucy found her feet while we were in Dubai.
So we stayed at the super cool and hip Hotel Monaco. I have to admit that we did see COLDPLAY while we were in Portland, since I am clearly obsessed with them. It was an incredible concert. We found out right before the concert that Coldplay was also staying at Hotel Monaco. We never ran into them, which is probably for the best since I would have freaked out if I were standing within arm's reach of Chris Martin.
First Daddy Daughter Dance at our school.
And first tooth loss for my first baby. These are the days!

Monday, April 30, 2012

anastasis films

I would highly encourage all of you to take a couple minutes to watch this video. Our friend, Matt, is a very talented filmmaker and his company, Anastasis Films. His perspective is creative, artistic, beautiful, pure. You'll also see Josh in this reel. He's the squash player wearing red!

Monday, April 09, 2012

officially 4

I know these pictures are completely old news, but as I was going through them I just had to post a few because they remind me of so many hilarious memories.

So for Lucy's 4th birthday I finally threw her a "big girl party" and got a magician and a hippo cake. I had little to no idea what the magician would be like, but he seemed legit and I thought I had done enough research to justify hiring him and making him the central part of Lucy's birthday party. I had a 5-week old baby and I was proud of myself for just making her party happen at all.

Here we are at the beginning of the magic show: curiosity is fresh, magician is "normal" complete with a purple blazer and all. He is part of The International Brotherhood of Magicians., no joke. He brought his own theme music. It wasn't "The Final Countdown," but it was something not too far from that. With each second of his show I felt like we were stepping further into an episode of Arrested Development with Gob.
magic show


At least this picture makes it look like people were having fun, thanks to Huntleigh. Seriously though, I think it was fun, from what I remember.
Here's the central player of the magic show, sweetly tossing the silks around. She (mostly) loved it, was sometimes a skeptic, and totally fell apart at the end when Gob put her on a "magic" carpet and loudly clanged 2 swords in front of her. Not joking. I will never forget her cries of sheer terror and my guilt of not having told her about this "special" moment in the performance. Insert: "The Final Countdown" loudly playing in the background. Good times.
beautiful lu

Friday, March 16, 2012

these days

These days life seems like it is just flying by. I hardly have time to sit down and breathe. Thank you for those of you who still faithfully check my blog. I am sorry I so often disappoint. I don't think going from 2 to 3 has been too difficult a transition...Polly is so easy. She sleeps, eats, poops and smiles. But what I do find difficult is just the management of all things. Am I loving all my children well in the day? Am I forgetting anyone? Am I sure Polly is in the car when we leave the house? (That's how easy she is....) Am I loving my friends well? Am I talking with my husband enough? Is there clean laundry to wear? (Thank you so much, Mom! Because of you, my children have clean underwear and ironed dresses!) What are we eating for dinner tonight? Is there milk in the fridge for tomorrow morning? Have I snuggled enough with Lucy? Have I talked enough with Huntleigh about her day? Did I remember to write down that appointment? Dentist appointments, doctors' appointments, allergist appointments, tennis lessons, 6-year well visit, 4-year well visit, 4-month well visit....don't forget to fill the car up with gas, pack lunches, remember what everybody likes, dance party with the kids, sing with the kids, pray for my kids, clean up the kitchen, mix the bottles, clean up, clean up again...why even bother cleaning up this time?! Work out, lose that baby weight, who am I kidding?! That baby weight is gonna hang on for awhile. Wear it proudly. Enjoy your baby. She'll be 1 in the blink of an eye.

When I sit down with a glass of wine at the end of the day I can't help but wonder if I've done anything well at all. My husband is patient and loving, picking up something for dinner on his way home as often as he needs to and he is quick to encourage me in this task of motherhood. I want to do everything perfect all the time, but it's just not possible anymore. It never was possible. It was just easier to maybe fake it. I'm so thankful for my three beautiful children. What I really want them to know at the end of each day is that I love them very much and I am proud of who they are all are. And this little kiddo: it seems like all I have of her are sleeping pictures. She does do a lot of sleeping...if you click on her pic, there are just a handful of other pictures on flickr and I will try to take time to get one with her eyes open!!

snuggled up