My boys and my sisters' boys are so happy to be reunited!!!
I would say my mom's pretty happy, too!


The rest of our Anchorage trip

Our few days in Anchorage passed in a blur of errands, speeding cars and bedtimes.  We managed to get everything on our to-do list done, and then some.  We even took advantage of the sunshine one afternoon and played at a large park.

Wyatt went on the swings for the first time.

He was beyond precious.  Giggling and trying to kick us.

Then, as fast as it had come, the good feeling ended and he was done.  I think he had gotten a bit motion sick.  I knew the feeling. The whole time we were in Anchorage I suffered car sickness.  I used to get car sick when I was younger, and had (mostly) outgrown it.  But I think nine months of being off the road (only occasionally riding with Josh a mile down the road to the store or post office) meant my body had some readjusting to do.

Thankfully, since arriving in Washington, the sickness has subsided. Phew!
We stay at the Quality Inn and Suites in downtown Anchorage when we're there, and I absolutely love it.  The actual room is perfect for our family's needs- it has a "living room", separated by a door from the bedroom.  So Josh and I can lay the kids down for bed at seven, and stay up watching TV (or blogging) in the living room.  

The bathtub is huge, and the water pressure in the shower is awesome.  I also like the towels (not too rough or too fluffy) and they give you tons of pillows.  

They also do a huge buffet breakfast every morning.  Waffles, bagels, toast, cereal, eggs, sausage... the works!  The first morning I sat at the table with the kids while Josh made them waffles and Jack goes, "Lo-gan," in a sing-songy voice, "Look... Daddy has whip cream!"  They were ecstatic!

Traveling with three kids is not easy, but I love that the hotel has so much to offer us.  It makes it that much easier.
One thing we found about Anchorage that was irritating is their late hours.  The mall didn't open until noon. Every day of the week!  And the DMV didn't open until 10am.  Our kids are up and at 'em by 7 every single day.  Most days by 6:30am.  So to sit around the hotel room waiting for the rest of Alaska to wake up was annoying!
It was fun to take Wyatt to the park now that he can walk.  When we left Washington last summer, he still wasn't walking, so he hasn't really played at a park before.  He walked up and down the stairs, climbed on the play equipment, went down the slide, and went on the swings twice.  He walked around like he owned the place, and had a huge smile on his face the whole time!
The week before we left for home, I started playing around with  my hair, trying to find something I could do with it, now that it's so long, that I could do without needing to blow it dry, which takes forever!  So I discovered that if I twisted it, almost like french braiding (adding more hair as I went along) I could tie it together in the back, and voila! My hair was done quick and it looked like it took a lot more effort than it did!  I love tricks like this that make my life easier.
Another reason I love our hotel?  
The pool

The big boys were so excited to swim after nine months of missing it.  

Honestly, Josh and I were excited, too!

We are a family of fish!

This picture reminds me of something else that was interesting on our trip.  At least three times I was asked if the boys were triplets.  Now, I get that the three of them look alike, and that they resemble Josh greatly.  But I can't understand someone mistaking my almost two year old for an almost five year old.

Yet it happened.
Multiple times.

Once at the airport, once at Fred Meyer and once at Sears.
Honestly, I was so thrown off by the absurdity of it, I wasn't ever sure what to say.  

At Sears the lady checking us out asked if the three of them were twins.  I didn't tell her that three is triplets, and I didn't say, "Yep.  Except for the age difference, they are identical!"
Instead I said, "No, the older two are twins, but not the baby."
This little guy wasn't so sure about the pool.

But his brothers were all over it!

Shivers and all, they LOVED it!

They were so brave, jumping in, putting their faces under the water and racing Josh across the pool.
At Sears I took the twins, and Josh had the baby.  Josh and Wyatt perused the tool area, while the twins and I searched for jeans for the three of us.

Shopping with them, I had forgotten, is not easy!  They are in constant motion.  Hiding in the clothes, running and playing games, and shouting at each other.  It reminded me of when I was little and would shop with my mom and cousin Kimmy.  Kimmy and I would pretend we were twins, talking with fake accents and, I'm sure, making my mom's shopping trip harder.

But we managed to find pants for all of us.  And it was nice, as it always is, to see them in public. Using their manners and learning about social rules.  (Like, ahem, not peeking under the walls of the changing room... Sorry random shoppers of Anchorage!)
I love these guys, and as we march onward toward their fifth birthday I am realizing, we did it!  We have made it through their infancy, toddlerhood and preschool years.  This next part, the school years, are going to be so much fun.

Camping, hiking, fishing.  
Reading, listening, learning.  
Watching as their personalities continue to develop and seing them become who they will be.  
It's very exciting.

And then there's this guy.
I cannot believe he has only been with us two years--
it's hard to remember our family without him.
On the other hand, I cannot believe he's going to be two.
I cannot believe his infancy is over.

We all love him.  If pressed, I think that we would all say he's our favorite.
He has such a great personality, and is just so dang lovable!
This is my wish for our boys:
And as we start our summer, it's my hope for our family.

** If you are new to the blog, be sure to use the email option on the right hand side bar to have my posts go straight to your inbox!**


He gets me

The last week, maybe even the last two weeks, 
I have watched my husband in action and thought, "He gets me."

He jumps in without asking what needs to be done with the kids... he just knows.

He hugs me right when I am on the brink of losing my mind... because he knows.

He makes me laugh when I am going to cry... it's just what he does.

He gets me.

Tonight he was going to run to the store after dinner.  I agreed that it was fine for him to go. Then he stopped and asked if I'd prefer he wait until after bedtime. I said, no, it was really okay and he could go.  Then I thought for a minute and as I did, he said, "I'll just wait. Really, it's fine."

He knows.  He knows that bedtime without him is harder. He knows that getting them in bed on time is important and keeping routine, especially this first week home, has been tough.  He just knows.

Last night, when our  neighbor was playing bumping music (something that is a trigger for me, and can cause an anxiety attack in mere moments) he magically made the dead fan in our room come to life, and then talked to me, telling me stories, until I was sleepy and no longer thinking about the music.

This afternoon at the park, he put his arm around me and said he loved me.  Just because.

There are all these moments, sprinkled throughout my day, where I find myself shaking my head, wondering what I did to deserve him.  Wondering how I was lucky enough to be blessed with such an amazing husband and partner.  

I see him with our boys-- wrestling with the twins or snuggling with Wyatt, and I think how lucky they are that he is their dad.  I see him reading and teaching and listening, and I think how blessed they are that he is the man they get to grow up watching.  How blessed they are that he is the one who will guide them to adulthood.  He is the one who will teach them how to be men.  How to treat women.  How to work hard.  How to keep trying.  How to never give up.

He is the husband of my dreams, the best father three sons could ask for, and exactly what we need.  Everyday that I wake up, I am happy it's next to him.

"If you press me to say why I loved him,
I can say no more than because he was he, and I was I."
-Michel de Montaigne


Lewisville Park with the family

Sunday I had the privilege of taking my three boys to a family get together 
with my mom's side of the family. 

{Aunt Sheri, Mart, Eric, Jeff, Jennifer, Amy & Uncle Norman}
 Her aunt, uncle, cousins...

{Birth Order: Barb, Marilynn, Mart, Linda, Eric, Jeff, Jennifer, Amy & Uncle Norman}
and sisters.

{Isaiah, Milo, Roxanne, Me, Wyatt, Erica, Xyleena, Amy, Simon, Kris, Sidney, Sammi, Ceaira, Cole, Hailey
Row Two: Ferris, Jack, Logan, Indie, Kahlil & Avery}
Plus all their kids!

The weather started out questionable, but turned out great. 
A handful of showers, but dry enough for everyone to play.

My boys were overjoyed to be set free outside.

Wyatt was beyond precious.  Walking slowly, taking it all in.
It reminded me of myself as I was driving out to Lewisville.

The contrast of the green here with the blue sky is still taking my breath away after so long in Marshall where everything was brown or white.  I loved not only the scenery on the drive to the park, but listening to my ipod in the car, singing along with the boys, and driving. Oh, I didn't realize how much I miss driving. I was like, "I could go anywhere!" as I traveled along the highway.

One thing I also really missed while in Marshall was showing off my kids.
Who doesn't love to brag on their kids, right?

So it was really fun for people to meet Wyatt, see his little personality and get to know him.
I would have him count, or name letters. 
I would ask him where he was from, or how to spell his name.
He's such a social guy, and he loves meeting people.
He was in his element.

I am happy to say that I feel settled where we are staying. It already, less than a week in, feels like home.  And the boys have adjusted beautifully.  It was a long road (most of May) to get here, to this place, and I still can't believe we made it! 

But we did. And Sunday was a day spent enjoying every moment.
(Actually, luckily enough, so was Saturday, at the boys' pool party!)

Being there, surrounded by family who loves me and my boys, I found that I was living "in the moment" and not once (not once!) was I self conscious about how I looked.  That is something that is never true for me in a social setting.  And as I put on my pajamas last night, I thought it was a compliment to my family that I feel so loved and accepted by them, that I wasn't worried about my appearance one bit.

The boys (all three) played beautifully all day, and everyone was having good food & conversation.

 There was even a touch of adventure!

 When poor sweet Milo fell in a puddle!
These pictures kill me!

His daddy got him rinsed off, though, and he was no worse for wear!
He didn't even cry!
(I just know those pictures will go down in family history for him!)

Everyone there had babies.  
Little people.

Our "batch of babies" started in June 2011 with Indie, and wrapped up in October 2011 with Milo.  Between those two are Wyatt, Xyleena, Simon & Sidney.  Six babies in five months.  Oh, it was fun!

Here is Sammi holding her little sister, Sidney.  And if you look hard on the left, you can see my cousin Heidi throwing Sid's twin brother, Simon, into the air! 

In addition to driving and showing off my kids, I missed the green.  I missed the sun peeking through the trees.  I missed standing underneath trees.  Being surrounded by them.  I missed the smell and the way that green lights up.

It just feels spectacular to be seeing it again.

Wyatt at this age (nearly two) is so different from the twins.  Attending something like this with the at this age would have been a nightmare.  Two kids in two different  directions!  But Wyatt just moseyed around, sticking pretty close to mama.  He even played music with my Uncle Jon, and frisbee with my dad & cousin Savanna.  I love watching him develop into his own little person, and I love seeing the differences (some subtle, some not) between he and his older brothers.

They are all so unique. So different. And yet so the same.  All boys. All like their daddy.  

Being around my mom's family, her sisters and cousins, is so much fun.  I get to see our similar mannerisms and the ways the genes are expressed in each of us.  I also love getting to "talk mom" with other mama's of littles.  I spent a lot of time Sunday talking with Amy and Erica about the ins and outs of parenting.  The good, the bad. And there is just such comfort in knowing I am not in this alone. That other moms, my own family, face the same struggles I do daily. Waking up overwhelmed with the dishes, laundry, to-do lists... while also trying to do best by our kids, providing them quality time, snuggles and patience.

It is a balance, and knowing we all struggle to keep it makes it a little easier for me to try.
Once we got home and the kids were down for the night, Jack woke up near midnight and threw up.  He was one sick pup.  Super feverish and miserable.  In reflecting on the conversations of the day, of the kind of mom I want to be, I was able to pull out an extra reserve of love & comfort and take care of Jack the way he needed to be cared for.

And today, I reflected again on this post I read (and this one) and resolved not to yell. Just for today.  I was not successful. I yelled twice.  But it's a start. And I feel really good about that.