Wednesday, December 30

so sweet

this boy loves his dog.

Tuesday, December 29

Christmas recap!

Our Christmas holiday started on Wednesday December 23, when we traveled up the road to Ryan's parent's house to start the festivities! We opened presents with them on Christmas Eve, joining Ryan's out-of-town brother and family via web cam. Christmas morning we woke up early to drive home, open presents at our house, attend mass, come home for lunch and naps, then go to my uncle and aunt's house for a feast of a Christmas dinner. We opened presents and ate dessert at my grandmother's house, and came home late to all collapse in bed!

playing with daddy on the morning of christmas eve. so many cool toys at grandma and grandpa's house!

just too silly and cute

uncle josh and aunt mona, i think baby chris is there too! we opened presents with them via web cam!

presents galore! beth and luke got a whole bunch of little people sets, ryan has a new armada of tools, and i received a beautiful new diaper bag!

beth and i made birthday cupcakes for jesus, and sang happy birthday to him on christmas morning. then she ate a cupcake for breakfast- a great start to her morning!

what greeted us as we arrived home on christmas morning!

in front of the tree as we got home

beth, finally getting the hang of "presents," didn't want to wait until after mass to open gifts!

cow and tiger flashlights!

before mass

after mass

merry christmas!

Sunday, December 27

Beth's 3rd

Today our little Beth is 3 years old! We just put her to bed, and after a little bit of protesting (so many new toys to play with!), she was very thankful. She said her favorite part of the day was eating the cake, and she said that it was very nice of mommy and daddy to get her new presents. She's such a sweetie, and such a goober! She has been a ham all day, basking in all the glory of being a birthday girl.

We started the day with mass, which was a children's mass. The deacon invited the little kids to sit around the altar during the homily and Beth was interested in going today. Since we were only a few pews from the front, we sent her off and she didn't hesitate! She went right up to the front, sat down in front of the deacon, and smirked at us! She sat the entire time, copying the other kids as they nodded and raised their hands. She was very proud of herself when she came back to the pew, and behaved very well the rest of mass. Sort of makes me wish every Sunday was the children's mass!

After mass, Beth requested we go to a restaurant! Ha! We had a gift card from Christmas so we headed to Chili's and had a nice lunch. Again, Beth was on her best behavior and got a special birthday treat at the end of her meal- they sang to her and gave her some ice cream! Again, she hammed it up with her new trademark smirk.

We came home for rest time and when Beth woke up, the house had been transformed to birthday mode. She requested a chocolate birthday cake with pink dots, so we took the shades of pink theme and ran with it.

Family members came over to share pizza and cake and watch Beth open her presents. Beth's a pro at opening presents now, it's actually a very frantic process! She rips into that paper and throws it to the floor as she's already reaching back to pull off more paper. It made me laugh out loud a few times! Her presents from mommy and daddy included a few books so we can start Along the Alphabet Path soon, and a bicycle and helmet. She loved all her presents and wanted to open everything right away!

the smirk

thank you uncle josh and aunt ramona! we missed you!

this picture shows the true chaos that opening presents entails

After everyone left, she spent some time playing with her new toy from Grandma and Grandpa, had a laughter-filled bath with Luke and read some books with Daddy before bed. It was a pretty perfect day!

Birthdays have taken on a new meaning to me now that I'm a mother. For me, growing up, birthday celebrations we fun and exciting, but they were just about me. Now as a mommy, when my kids celebrate a birthday, it gives me a special opportunity to reflect on what we've accomplished. Like, that three years ago I actually labored and gave birth to this little girl- the same little girl that's ready to ride a bike! That my labor didn't go exactly how I wanted it to, but that I wound up with a pink, healthy little girl who stole my heart the moment I saw her smooshed-up little face. Sometimes I can't believe she's only three years old; she's so precocious and has always seemed a little ahead of the curve to me. Potty-trained for nearly a year now, her speech is next-to-perfect and she understands absolutely everything going on around her. People usually think she's older than she actually is! But on the other hand, some times she's still so little to me- especially days she needs some special cuddle time after her naps. I am trying to hard not to "rush" her childhood because she has younger siblings, I don't want to force her to grow up and be a big girl when there are times she clearly is still just a little girl. I hear there are trying times coming up in this next year, so my goal is to keep her mind challenged, her body well-rested and well-fed, and to be compassionate.

Happy birthday sweet Beth! We all love you so much!

Wednesday, December 23

Officially listed!

Ryan and I have been working on our home non-stop since Friday. As Ryan said, my years of watching Home and Garden Television television will hopefully finally pay off! We decided to make a few changes to our home in an effort to get it to sell quickly, including fixing up the front bathroom with new paint, a new light fixture, new decor and a nice mirror. The kid's rooms were drastically decluttered, as was the kitchen and hall closet. Our bedroom finally got a coverlet for our bed, which really makes it come together! Our bathroom got new paint and a deep clean- I stripped and recaulked part of the shower stall! We would have installed a new light fixture in there too but the people who installed the initial fixture left several holes in the wall, and it would have been a big deal for us (and expensive!) to change it. We cleaned up the exterior of the house by mowing/mulching, blowing off the roof, adding mulch, and a few flowers in the garden bed. I am really impressed with our listing on, feel free to take a look (but I'm not posting a link here!). We're working with the same Realtor who helped us find this house, and we're hoping to find something new and pretty and big soon! We know it's the slow season right now but we feel really confident that the house looks great, I hope the people who walk through agree with us!

somebody "helped" daddy paint her bathroom!

Carrots and Helicoptors

This shirt goes out to Uncle Dan!
Bugs Bunny

Here's a carrot from our garden, our first fall harvest. The broccoli isn't ready yet, the arugula has been ready for quite awhile but I haven't actually used any yet! We have one head of lettuce that came in and looks delicious, but it needs to grow a little more first. Hopefully it won't get eaten by the catepillars that have devoured the broccoli leaves!

Sunday, December 20

First steps!

Luke has sort of taken his first steps a few times now. Even before his birthday, he took a couple of steps (more like grace-less falls) into our arms, but he's to the point now where he'll do it without our coaxing. I think at most he's traveled 8 or 9 steps, and he's so proud of himself when he falls into our arms!

Saturday, December 19

Friday, December 18

Moving on

Since we're adding #3 to the clan sooner than we know it, Ryan and I are getting very serious about moving. We're currently in a 1600 square foot home with 3 bedrooms, and just starting to bust at the seams! I try very hard to keep a "minimalist" ideal, but it's so hard when the kids just keep getting so many toys (and the man of the house likes to keep lots of "mementos" and "souvenirs"). So we're prepping our house to be put on the market sometime in January, after we take our Christmas decorations down around the Epiphany. Luckily our home is in pretty good shape; a few small jobs and a couple of bigger jobs and lots of clearing out and we should be ready to go. While our house is like many others in our neighborhood, we have the benefit of a few awesome upgrades and a huge cul-de-sac lot, so our Realtor is very sure it will go quickly. Ryan and I want to look at this next house as our "forever" house, so we're letting ourselves be really picky! We're actually worried we'll sell faster than we'll find something! I keep hearing that buying while selling is very tricky, so we can only pray that things work out perfectly and that our dream house doesn't slip away!

first task: painting the kid's bathroom to a more neutral beige/sand color!

Tuesday, December 15


I love noticing the house is too quiet, then tip-toeing into the hallway to see where they are. I love peeking around the corner to find them sitting next to each other, both quietly reading. I love it when things fall into place. I love the blessing that it is to realize this is how it should be.

Monday, December 14

In the sink

I walked into Beth's room the other day to find her in this awkward position. I asked her how she got in there and she proceeded by smiling and telling me it was "very easy" and she showed me how to get out (she climbed out by putting her legs on the "stovetop" and using the oven as a ladder). It was just pretty funny how matter-of-fact she was about it, like she does it every day! We are learning about the importance of respecting our toys and taking care of our things- especially our books that wind up all over the floor! It's a very hard concept to teach a little girl!

Saturday, December 12

13 weeks

Frisbee is about 3 inches long and weighs about an ounce. This last week of my first trimester, s/he is already perfectly formed!

I am feeling very good. I could have sworn I've felt flutters already; they say it's not too early for your third baby!

Goodbyes are rough

Our dear friends moved back to their hometown far far away today. We said our goodbyes this evening and let the kids play around one last time. I don't think Beth understands that they won't be back but I'm so happy she had the chance to already have a real "friend" at such a young age! We hope we can convince them to visit Texas again sometime seeing as they'll be mighty cold up north this time of year! They will be missed so much!

the boys, finally almost the same size and just about the right age to start playing together

the girls, always happy to hug each other!

Old pic

I just found this picture online of Luke from the All Saint's Day party we attended last month, what a cutie.

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