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.
Yes, yes, yes! Praise the heavens above. We are finally in our new home. Seven months of living on top of each other and hauling three kids up two flights of stairs is over and done! We are thrilled to be in our new place and loving just about everything about it.
We were honored to be reached out to by OshKosh because #1. I love when brands see the beauty in my kids, especially my unique son (who couldn't though, right?) and want him to sport their gear. And #2. I love keeping my babies little and precious and OshKosh does just that. If a cute pair of overalls and a denim dress don't scream "let them be little", then I don't know what does! All the babyhood to kidhood glory in one stop. I was so excited to hear that OshKosh is now carrying sweet and simple styles with their new Baby B'gosh line up to 5t! Scarlett looks so darling in this beautiful new dress below. Kids fashion, toddler fashion and baby fashion... Way too much fun.
Life. It's so wonderful, it's so hard. It's so beautiful, it's so bleak. It's so exciting, it's so exhausting. Life has been filling me with many different emotions lately. Through all the recent trials and triumphs the loudest feeling of all is gratitude. Life is precious.
When I'm in sitting in church and my kids are winning for fruit snacks, trying to escape the pew or pulling on my shirt to breast feed, I usually think "why am I here?". There are Sunday's where I don't hear a word of whats being preached and spend most of the time chasing disruptive kids around like a zoo keeper. But then.... the hymns start and we all join in song. We sing as a congregation words that make me feel so close to god. The melody is usually to a beautiful song that takes me to a peaceful place and most times, my kids even stop to listen and feel the music. It's magical.
Commitment has never been my friend. I'm full of good intentions and grand ideas. I even construct plans to carry them out and start off strong... Then when commitment starts to settle in, I get distracted by another pretty idea or just lose interest. It's not you, goals... It's me!
You hold so much of my heart. I had my doubts when I carried you in my belly. I didn't think it possible to love another baby boy as much as I loved your brother, Welles. But I was very wrong. With the extra attention he needs and receives over the years, I hope you always know that you are equally loved and in your own very special way. I already call you my little rock because that is just what you are... Calm and even keel like your daddy, who is also my rock. You sit back and observe the chaos happily. You let your two older siblings love you in their rough and tumble way. You take a good (loving) beating regularly and you hardly make a peep. You just seem to know when my hands are full and choose to be less demanding in those moments. It's like you have this mature disposition and a wisdom that I know will be valued in our home. It sounds funny to call a one-year-old as wise! But you didn't get the nickname "little old man" for no reason.
It's been slow, but we are finally getting into Christmas festivities. Sickness after sickness after sickness has hit our family hard this last month and we are just now getting back on our feet! Actually Scott is laying in bed next to me with a barf bowl by his side... But I'm assuming he caught the 24 hour bug and will be better by tomorrow. Not just assuming, I'm praying!!!
So proud to be the winner of this years #DesignTheGood challenge! Thank you so much to My Cents of Style for putting this together and donating proceeds to our favorite foundation, United Angels! We are so excited as that foundation was so instrumental in preparing us for Welles. Scott and I spent a lot of time volunteering before we even got married or had Welles. Now they are a big part of our lives in celebrating our little angel with us! Cents of Style has been so generous in this process of getting our message out there that NOTHING is down about children with Down syndrome. So much gratitude to them and this project!
Our lover/fighter, whimsical and imaginative, bossy and passionate little buggy is a beautiful five-year-old. What?! Lately when I look at her I feel like I'm looking at a teenager! I guess I'm not quite ready for her to stop needing me so much. She's looking much older and becoming so independent (in spirit). How does this happen so fast? She was a perfect newborn and I was a nervous new mom just yesterday! Time... you sly devil.
Home sweet home. Nothing beats going back for the holidays. While I have lived away for nearly 12 years, Northern California will always be where my heart feels is home. Taking my little family out there is always such a treat and leaves us with more wonderful memories that jog me back to when I was a kid.
Sharing the kids Christmas lists with you has been a great way to help me resist giving them all of their Christmas spoils now! I'm terrible with surprises and get too excited to wait on good things (sharing pregnancies, early birthday gifts, good news of any sort, etc...)! So thanks for letting me blab to all of you, instead! ;)
Since we got a great response over Scar's gift guide, I decided to share with my peeps what we're getting Welles. He is such a happy and content child and would probably be thrilled with a single ball from Walmart. This beautiful and grateful attitude of his makes me want to spoil him all the more! But I'll contain myself and stick to the items below, which are plenty enough spoils for any child. ;) I can't wait to see his reaction when he opens them.