Wild Imaginations

I love being home to see my boys grow, learn, and change on a daily basis.
My most favorite thing to witness right now, is their love of accessories, and their wonderful imaginations!
It seems like lately, we can’t leave the house without a cape, hat, and/or mask. (Along with their ‘toy of the day’, of course)
I love hearing “Jesse, here, you forgot your cape!” and “Carter, you look awesome!” throughout my day.
And, nothing can put a smile on your face like a kid in a cape.

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Any of you have superheros as kids?

Fall Favorites

It’s finally started to feel like fall around here. I’ll take the sun over the rain any day, but the slight chill in the air has been a nice touch. My love of the season and all it’s beauty would be much easier to sum up in photos!

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Football! Growing up I was a Miami Dolphins fan. Mainly because my Dad was a Bills fan, and I was a rebellious child, I choose his rival. Since marrying a Jets fan, I’ve ‘switched’ teams, however when the Jets lose to the Dolphins, I still have a smug smile and an internal celebration!

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Gods beauty in Fall is absolutely amazing. The usually green leaves change to multiple different colors, and no two trees look the same. The falling leaves bring beauty as well as endless leaf-pile jumping entertainment! (For the kids, and myself!)

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Although I love the summertime, It’s been amazing to be able to go for a run and not be sweating before I start. It’s nice to feel the cool air going into my lungs, and for some reason I feel like I can run and run and run in this weather. My runs have become slightly longer. (bonus!)

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Flannels! Especially this little guy wearing them.

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With the fall weather comes fall boots, endless chunky sweaters, layers upon layers and fancy fall scarves. Another perk of the slightly chilled weather…. hot starbucks!

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Although the fall weather tends to bring rain in the Northwest, nothing can stop outdoor loving boys from doing what they do best. The added puddles and mud add hours to our outdoor entertainment, and although it can be messy, their smiles and giggles are completely worth it!

What are some of your fall favorites?

A day in my life

One of the many blogs that I follow is Laura.. Her blog has everything from book reviews, to parenting, and so, so much more. She started a “One Day”  project on instagram, and this year I took part.  The goal of this project is to capture the unfiltered, non-social media worthy, daily photos that we tend to pass over.  The one “perfect” photo you got of your children after the 20 tries, and the beautifully taken selfie are fun to see on our feeds, but we don’t want to go through life without any of the raw details. So, with this project, we took photos throughout one day (Wednesday 10/22) and posted them to instagram with #onedayHH attached. (They are great, you should go to instagram now and search for the #onedayHH photos!)
Hundreds of people participated, and it was refreshing to see the usually glam “i’ve- got-it-all-together Mom” in slippers and pj pants.  Seeing photos of other moms kids having meltdowns in public was a nice reminder that kids will be kids,  and seeing other OneDayHH photos of a stay at home moms homeschool day with her kids was inspiring.
Here are my photos from my onedayHH project :
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Good morning! Coffee, big boys having morning quiet time, and happy baby!

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Zachary and Jesse playing in the waiting room while Carter meets with his Speech Therapist
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Lunch Time!
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Carter playing while I get things together for the homeschooling day
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Crafts
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This little man normally naps for 2-3 hours while we do school… not today!
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Baby food. It seems like making it is never ending, however it’s great to know exactly what is in there, and it’s extremely cost efficient!!
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The boys room after they ‘cleaned it’ before we had our church home community group over (boys will be boys….right?)
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Good night to the boys! our usual 8pm bedtime was a little later tonight, all the boys were out as soon as their little heads hit the pillows!
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After spending some time with Jordan, I’m beat and ready for bed.

I think that through this OnedayHH project, it shows that all the moments in our days are important. even the ones that seems mundane. It was fun to see my instagram feed fill with real life photos of all your lives! (And if you didn’t partipate, seriously go to instagram and check out the other #onedayHH photos. They all tell their own story of someones life!)

My Insecurities

“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” -Steven Furtick

When I originally read this quote, my mind automatically shot to fitness.
I have been struggling with my post baby body, and have recently chatted with a few dear friends about my struggles.
They were amazing supportive, and had a lot of truth for me.
They reminded me that although working out and eating healthy is good, I have to be aware that it can quickly turn to an idol, and I need to check my heart in my motivations.
They reminded me that my body has given birth (three times!) to amazing little boys.  I wouldn’t trade that for anything, including my old body back.
They reminded me that God loves me for me. Not for my jean size, not for the fact that I can fit into my old pants, not for the healthy eating, and not for my workouts. He loves me, and has blessed me tremendously with three boys, and with the things that I’m able to do.
I started working out 4 weeks after baby #3.
I’ve been doing everything from running to yoga to cycling.
He let my body be able to train to complete the Tough Mudder just 4 months after having baby #3.
I have been given a loving, supportive husband, who although probably gets annoyed with my “body bashing” loves me and continues to tell me “You’re Beautiful!”
I am blessed.
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I plan on working out still, but with the right heart.
I plan on making healthy eating habits and choices, not just for my family now, but so I can instill those healthy habits in my boys.
I am just going to do this knowing that God loves me.
I am going to do this with my own goals in my mind, without comparing my “right now” to someone elses “highlight reel”

I know I’ve made progress. Not only in my physical appearance, but in my mindset, in my heart, and in my motives.
Any other Moms struggle with similar things?

Our home

Four years ago this month, Jordan and I moved across the country. We left our familiar surroundings, our friends, and some family to move to the west coast. Jordan’s parents lived out here, and after conversations with them about our struggles (from debt, to arguments, to selfishness) they suggested we consider moving out with them. They would help us get our finances on track, we could live with them, his mom would watch Carter while I finished up my degree. Our plan was One Year.
Well as I wrote about in the last post, God has a plan for our lives and it doesn’t always match up with what we think our plan should be. Four years later, and we’re still here. Our living arrangement has slightly changed, we’re out of debt, and we’re owning our sin in our marriage. (As best we can)
Over the last four years, my in-laws have been a huge support. From accountability in finances, teaching us how to budget, introducing us to an amazing church family, and helping me get through a deployment with two children, even when it was hard for them, they were always there. I liked that when I needed someone to pray with, or a hug while Jordan was deployed, I could go to my mother-in-law. We liked spending more time with them, and living life together.
This year, the four of us decided to purchase a home together. It’s slightly comical the reactions we tend to get when people hear we’re still living together. We’ve heard ‘you’re crazy!’, ‘how do you like that?!’, and ‘I could never do that!’. American is one of the few places where multi-generational homes is not normal.  For us, it’s working, and we love all being together, having accountability with each other, and  living life together.  It’s also nice to have someone else here with me when I have homeschooling struggles, feel overwhelmed with household chores, want to go for a run, or just need a few hours in “mommy time out.” I’m blessed, and thankful to have married into such an amazing family.

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Any of you live in a multi-generational home? What are the reactions you tend to get?

Throwing it Back.

God has an amazing way of writing our story.
He changes things in our lives, and takes us through different things in our life to bring Himself glory.
Although you may not understand something as your working through it, there will come a time when you do.
You see why God let you make choices you made, you see how he carried you through circumstances.
I met Jordan in the middle of his second deployment. We were married 4 months after he got home.
God used Jordan to bring me to Him. Before knowing Jordan, my faith was missing.

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A few months after getting married, I lost my Dad. God used this to teach me forgiveness, and hope.
Although it’s been tough not having him here to play with my boys, it’s given me a chance to help other people struggling with losing a loved one to suicide. There will always be unanswered questions about it, but I’m sure as time goes on God will answer them.
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Exactly one week shy of a year after our “I Dos”,
Carter entered the world. God used him to teach us responsibility, and love.
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After a move across the country, Jesse entered the world.
God has used Jesse to teach us more responsibility, and how to balance our time between Him, each other, and the boys.
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Jordan had his third deployment in 2012. God used this to teach me to depend on Him, to trust friends, and to rely on other people. Although it was a tough year, it improved our relationship with each other, and with God tremendously.
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Zachary entered the world this year.
God used him to show us more responsibility,
more about balancing finances, and about teaching our boys to love Jesus.
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Over the past few years, especially, I’ve realized more that we aren’t brought to anything that God doesn’t think we’re strong enough for. Our stories, are His stories. If we’re willing to listen, and learn.. He teaches us so much. From trust and love to strength and hope.

Have you been through something that you didn’t quite understand when it was happening, but as time passed have been able to understand more clearly??

Out of the Darkness

This past weekend I walked in the Out of the Darkness walk. It occurs yearly in numerous states, and help to raise awareness for suicide prevention.
As I’ve mentioned in a previous post I lost my dad to suicide six years ago.
It took a very long time for me to work through my anger, and my questions of “why”.
It’s taken even longer for me to be able to openly talk about it, without those feelings rising up again.
I was somewhat nervous the morning of the walk, mainly because I didn’t know what to expect.
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At the walk, they gave you beaded necklaces representing losing someone in your life.
Then, before the walk they took the time to recognize each of the different groups, by having people raise their necklaces.
It was eye opening, in a way, to see all the gold necklaces to up, which was showing they lost a parent.

I have been blessed with an awesome family-in-law,  and walked with my sister in law, brother in law, their kids, and of course Jordan and our boys. Although it took 2 hours (not kidding) to walk 3 miles with the 6 kids in tow, it was great to be supporting a cause.
I wanted to thank everyone who donated to help me reach my goal of raising $200 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Also, to anyone who has lost someone close to them to suicide, I want you to know that you’ll get through it. It might take awhile, it might take working through anger, and fighting off tears… but sooner than you think you’ll be able to laugh again at the “remember when…” stories, and the times you remember will be the good times.