“Welles is loving, Welles is joyful, Welles is Smart, Welles is funny, Welles is handsome.” That is what’s written on our kitchen letter board right now. There are a million other beautiful words that describe that incredible little boy, but those were the first that came to my mind as I prepared for his birthday party last week.
Three sets of precious, sticky hands climbing all over me. Three different high pitch voices, asking me questions or squealing and pointing for something. Three mouths to feed with different dietary needs. Three bums to wipe in one way or another… Three different little people who want mommy to play with them in their own form of play. Three beautiful little kids that need time and attention from me… One me.
Never did I think I would be this ready for summer to end… but ready, I am! Let’s trade in sunny days for cooler and crisp ones. Let’s go from days of randomness to days of planned activities and let’s get back to me forgetting parent-teacher meetings and missing papers that need signing from school.
What a summer. We’ve had it all this season. Some real tragedy in our extended family, some incredible growth, some beautiful memories made and some real taxing days that have brought us all closer together. It hasn’t been a typical summer but we wouldn’t trade our experiences for anything. I will blog about some of those moments, soon.
Let’s talk about traveling with kids… I know I know, it can be a serious headache, right? At least once every trip I say to Scott "what were we thinking?!", but at least twenty times every trip I sit back and watch the memories we make and relish in those moments. Traveling in our stage is HARD but nothing stops us from getting our kids out and spending time in new places as a family. With that being said, I have found that the more prepared I am, the smoother the drive/airplane rides go. So I am just going to list five tips for traveling and the best travel (as well as at-home) stroller that have helped me and my family!
When we did the Q&A blogpost a couple weeks ago, I was surprised at how many cyber-pals asked about our day-to-day routine. While I don't particularly find it interesting enough for a blogpost, I would enjoy getting a glimpse into the lives of some of the people I follow, and their day-to-day. It's just interesting because we get this idea of what we think each others lives our like based on the pretty pictures we see on Instagram, when in reality they are probably far less glamourous than the little squares we see!
Church. Oh church. How do I come home fulfilled and rejuvinated as well as exhausted and depleeted?? I love going to semi formal and organized events such as church. I actually get ready for the day and my kids get a chance to learn to sit and be respectful... bahahaha! Okay, we are working on that second part. My kids are still very little, but we are trying to create good habits in these sort of enviroments. I'll be honest, it's far from easy and most Sundays I wonder why on earth we even try, but I know it's good for them. Good for us. Good for our family.
Changes in the weather make me so happy. We live in a place where we get to enjoy the vast differences of all four seasons. I love a good, hot summer, enjoying popsicles and splash pads with the kids. When fall rolls in, I eat all things pumpkin and drive through the mountains to see the changing leaves. Winter makes me giddy with snow activities, Christmas music, hot cocoa and fireplaces snuggles... Then February hits and I curse winter. I curse it with a fist in the air! I dread leaving my house and toting kids around in freezing temps. I get so sick of snow clothes and layering the whole family up just to run out to preschool. Being a raised California girl, my attitude gets a little nasty when winter lingers... so when spring arrives... I welcome it with open arms and a grateful song! Spring, I love you with an unwavering heart.
It's been over a month since we moved in to our new home. I feel like we've lived her for years. We've quickly adapted and worn the place in. Scratched up the new floors, put a few dings in the walls and everything... Feels like home
People regularly ask me how often I work with Welles on his therapies. Like sit down, focus in and work on speech, physical and occupational therapy. The answer is... Almost never. Throughout each day we are practicing these little exercises routinely and constantly. Most of the time not even consciously. It's just become part of our day-to-day. Completely our normal.
So much reflection and a whole lotta nostalgia this past month. Amidst the chaos of our move, I've had the opportunity to speak twice at different church functions about our story. Once was to a group of youth (Scott was dragged into that one with me;)), and the other was in front of about 2,000 church members. At both engagements I was asked to focus on how to deal when life doesn't go as planned. Easy topic, right?? When does life ever go the way we plan?! As you must know, Welles' diagnosis was so far from my "life plan" and I love talking about that transition in re-routing our future, goals and dreams. I think so many of us think our dreams aren't coming true when really we're just trading them in for better dreams without even knowing it.