Monday, November 20, 2017


We had to say goodbye to our sweet Howie at the beginning of October. We've had a month to get used to him not being here but  I still forget and wonder if I let him back in the house or catch myself just as I'm about to tell a kid to go let him out of his crate when we get home from being out and about. He wasn't always ours but I'm so glad it ended up that way. We got him when he was about three years old when Paul and I were still dating and our girls don't have a memory without him here. 

To say he was the most anxious, high-maintenance, quirkiest dog is an understatement. He turned pink if he drank unfiltered water {makes you wonder about the water?}. He flat-out refused to eat people food but would loiter wherever we were eating like maaaybe he would but then, nah, never mind. {At least three times a day I would say, a mother out with these crumbs why don't ya? Please?}

He had a few nick names..Howie Bowie, Boward, The White Wizard, Norman. When his fur grew out just enough from a grooming, he looked like the white dragon in the Never Ending Story. He had the craziest, crooked teeth and itchy ears. 

He came to us with a full wardrobe and had these tiny green snow booties that were hilarious. About once a year when it snowed, we would put them on him and die laughing at how he pranced around when he was wearing them. I don't think we ever got a video of it but I so wish we had. 

Until the last few weeks he was with us, he barked constantly. At everything and nothing. The wind. A person going by. His shadow. Me with a towel on my head. It drove me crazy and I miss it the most. His favorite place to be was literally right under my feet...unless my mom, sister, or a few select other visitors stopped by and then he would choose to be their shadow for a bit. 

He never knew if he wanted in or out and one day in our old house I let him in or out 70 times before I lost track in the dinnertime craziness. He was never much for playing with dog toys or a game of fetch but every once in awhile he would join the nightly game of chase around the couch. Which was always hilarious. Given a whole couch to curl up on, he would find a book, computer, or the back of the couch instead. 

He was so weird and quirky but he was ours. And this dog was the most loyal, sweet natured pup you could ever ask for.  Even though I probably had too many babies in too little time for his liking/attention needs and even though he had to reluctantly take on the role of long suffering playmate to a string of toddlers, he did it well and loved us through it. He became Drew's little buddy in the last few months and he let her carry him around as she went from room to room throughout the day. 

I knew in the thick of it...with twins and then four under four and then moving and growing...I knew I was going to look back and feel sad about how I wasn't able to give him the time and attention he probably wanted. But I'm also thankful to know that just being near us always seemed to be enough for him. 

I miss him barking at all hours of the day, even nap time. I miss tripping over him 8 billion times a day. I miss him just being on the edge of everything we were ever doing. But how lucky we were to have him at all. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

two years later

The last post I shared on this silly little blog was two years ago in the wee hours of July 22nd. Bouncing on an exercise ball, breathing through contractions. It was 3:30 in the morning and my contractions were too uncomfortable to sleep through but not painful enough to bother anyone's sleep. Definitely not urgent enough to head to the hospital. I knew it was the real thing but also knew it would be hours until we met this tiny baby who was the definition of a surprise and the epitome of joy. 

So what else is there to do when you're in labor in the middle of the night but write down the things you wanted to remember about that pregnancy? And here we are two years later. A beautiful baby boy. No birth story, no monthly pictures, no first birthday post. As the kids say these days, hashtag fourth child problems. I don't feel bad about it...but I kind of do...

We've enjoyed every second with this baby. He's adored by his three sisters in a way that I could never have imagined. These two years have been some of the best and hardest for a lot of reasons. Everyone says that with babies. It's hard but it's just so good. And while we've had some serious struggles that I never would have imagined would touch our little family, it's mostly been those big changes that can be hard and wonderful all at the same time. A new baby. A new house. A red-headed, blue-eyed toddler that, after months and months of being the easiest baby, threw me for a loop with her sass and spunk and temper. Who also became strawberry blonde. Sisters getting excited for Kindergarten in the fall. 

So here we are two years later with an unbelievably handsome tornado who showers our home with equal parts chaos and charm. I mean, mostly pure chaos. But still. And that's why I feel a little bad. I started this blog as a kind of gathering of days. The days since his birth are a little fuzzy. How have we spent our days? I couldn't really tell you. But I can tell you, we're so, so grateful to have this TWO-year-old in our family. Happy birthday, my sweet Wiley-boy. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

third pregnancy {faq}

-You do know how this happens, right? Umm... yes? Pretty sure. 

-Was this pregnancy planned? Not by us! I remember feeling slightly nauseous the night before Thanksgiving and then had the sudden impulse to eat a bowl of cereal to feel better. I thought, 'No way but maybe I'll take a test in the morning just in case.' I was still nursing Drew and hadn't thought about the timing of our next baby. We knew we wanted at least one more but hadn't discussed when. Thanksgiving morning the lines turned blue lickety split and I was beyond excited. I didn't tell anyone right away since I didn't really know anything and wanted to see my doctor first. After the initial excitement, I went through a day of feeling overwhelmed. My baby wasn't even one yet and how could I do four under four? That lasted a whopping few hours and I was back to being over the moon about it. I'm really trusting God doesn't give you more than you can handle. Also, I am praying for a good sleeper. That would be a Minor baby first. ; )

-Is it a boy? More often than not, rather than asking if we know the gender, people (mostly strangers) ask if it's a boy this time. Welp, we don't know. We didn't find out this time! But I'm guessing a girl. And we'll be thrilled with either! (My sweet neighbor, Loretta, literally prays over my belly every time she sees me. 'Jesus, please let this be their boy.' But then she always says they had three daughters and 'three strikes and we were done.' I'm all, Strikes?! Well, that's not really the best way to look at it...)

-Has this pregnancy been the same as your other two? (I think people ask this to try to figure out if it will be a boy or girl...) I have felt the same exact type of nausea as my other pregnancies. And by type of sickness I mean all day, every day, can't open the refrigerator, eat a ton of cereal, gag brushing my teeth, etc. sickness. But I'm thankful for it. I was really holding out for this to stop by 16 weeks or so like the last two times. No such luck. I'm 38 weeks pregnant and still just as sick. I had really bad heartburn towards the end of my other two pregnancies--more with Drew. This pregnancy, I've had heartburn since the end of the first trimester. Drew had more hair than the girls, so maybe the old wives tail is true about heartburn and the amount of hair. If that's the case, this kid better come out with Rapunzel hair. Like I get heartburn from drinking water.

 I've also had bloody noses at least once a day since then. I had a few at the end of my last two pregnancies. But, this time, basically every time I laugh too hard, bend over for too long, or scratch my nose, I get a bloody nose. Which basically helps the nausea situation not at all. They tell me this is normal. So overall? I'd say this is about exactly the same as my other pregnancies just amplified by about a trillion. I'm way more achy this time but I've been reminded I'm older now. Thank you very much. 

-Cravings? I haven't really felt like much to eat this entire pregnancy. Just the thought of opening the refrigerator door is discouraging. And, wouldn't you know, toddlers eat all the time. So I'm basically preparing/cleaning up food non-stop. Oh, the irony. I did go through a phase in the first 12 weeks of my pregnancy where if I didn't eat three bowls of Kellog's Pops cereal in the evening, I thought I might die. (Pregnancy is so dramatic, right?) So, my non-GMO, organic, whole foods philosophy about eating was compromised for the sake of survival. (Kind of like on Friends when Phoebe was pregnant with the triplets and wanted nothing but meat...) I hadn't even seen a box of Pops since high school but, wouldn't you know, I almost single-handedly ate 8 boxes of it during the first 12 weeks. 

-Are the girls excited? Drew has no clue what's going on. Bless her heart.The girls on the other hand are definitely more excited this time. They sing to my belly, come up with the best/most imaginative names (Nosu? Add it to the list!), ask how the baby is feeling, and are generally thrilled to be getting a new baby. 

We've been blessed with three wonderful pregnancies and, while this one has definitely been the most difficult, we would never take it for granted and are praising the Lord for another little soul. Things are about to get a little crazier around here, but we wouldn't want it any other way. 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

dear baby {drew}

Dear Drew-bee, 
I wrote a letter like this to your sisters when they were around two months old. As I write this, you're 19-months-old, sleeping soundly in your crib, 7 centimeters or so away from being a big sister. Not the baby anymore. But still, in so many ways, a baby. You've been a doll baby and now a tiny firecracker running around our house. 

I've been meaning to write this to you for months and months. I've kept a list of things I wanted to remember about your babyhood on my phone. And I'm sure you'll forgive my lack of writing about your baby and toddler years but, for the sake of my poor memory, I wish I had the chance to write a little more.  These last 19 months may be a bit of a blur compared to your sisters' first years but I have cherished every second and feel so happy to say we have all lived in the moment and soaked you in. You are adored--to put it simply. You were prayed for, hoped for, and expected...yet became the sweetest surprise we've ever been given. Our 'rebound baby.'  A miracle baby, really. We have watched you transform from an easy, quiet, sweet baby to a fiery, independent, opinionated toddler. {Which kind of threw us for a loop in the last two months, if we're being honest...} You sat back and watched this family move around you until you were ready to keep up and have your say. 

I remember watching you sleep when you were tiny. How you would tuck your thumbs between your pointer and middle finger. I don't know when you stopped doing that  but you slept like that for months. You were a great napper. Not so much a great night sleeper. But, eh, who needs sleep? You were and are a snuggle bug and still much prefer our bed to yours.  You were curious and almost shy at first. Peering at people through your eyelashes as you kept your head down.  You took in the world around you with a worried and concerned look on your face. 

{Also, you thought the soundtrack of the world outside the womb was the song 'Let It Go' on repeat. Because it was. Your sisters grew out of that phase but whenever it comes on now, you get really animated and sing 'go' along with it. Like it's the anthem of your birth year.}

You moved from being quiet and calm to being a huge goofball in a short period of time. When you're feeling real good about life, you have an amazing baby strut--you stomp around one arm swinging way behind you. You laugh at your daddy, your sisters, Howie, things that aren't really funny but are just hilarious to you. When I would nurse you, you would prop one of your feet up on my shoulder or under my chin. Because that's super comfortable for all involved. You still like to ride like that in your grandma's single stroller, with your feet way up by your ears.

Speaking of Grammy, she is by far your favorite person in the world and you literally squeal with joy when she walks in the door. Other favorites: Daddy, Lolo, Char-char, Katie, Noney, Mimi, Uncle Dustin...I get a spot way down the list. Way, way down. I'm cool with it, though. I only birthed you. And then nursed you for 12 months. No big thing. 

You went through a phase where when you were in your high chair ready for your food you'd just throw your pacifier. You get really excited about mealtimes. And speaking of your are definitely attached. We'll just deal with that at a later date though, yes?

You are thrilled and awed by new things every day. When you even saw the clouds out of our airplane window...I thought you would explode from the wonder of it. You kept saying, 'whoa, whoa' and pointing. So excited at your new discovery. 

Somewhere along the way, you've become a shoe girl. You love your shoes. You love to bring people their shoes to put on. You have a favorite pair of little green Tinkerbell ballet slippers from your Lou-lou that you wear every moment possible. They go with nothing but you don't care. 

Your big sisters dote on you and mother you and, in return, you are infatuated with them. You try so hard to keep up with them. You expect to be able to do anything they do and you're convinced you're 'big' like them. For a long time you let them get away with anything. Piling toys on you when you had zero defenses. Giving up bites of your snack or the toy you were playing with. Not so, anymore. Sorry, sisters. But you can hold your own. You were an easy, dream baby. But we are loving the sass and strength you are starting to show just as much. {Let's go a little easier on the sass, though, mmkk?}

I wondered how different it would be having one baby instead of two at the same time. Your sisters got a lot of attention  when we were out and about because they were cute (duh) but also because there were two of them. People lose their minds over twins. But apparently they do the same for red-headed, blue-eyed babes. You literally stop people in their tracks with that sweet face and spunky personality. 

You've taught me so much about being a mom and, somedays, I still can't believe God has trusted me with you. I can't wait to see you grow and change and become you. You are truly love and light and joy in this house. You make dance parties epic and bedtime sweet. We love you so much, baby Drew. I thank God every day that I get to be your mommy. 
Love and kisses,

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