A bit fragile

Oh my gosh you guys. 
How has it been nearly a month since I last blogged?  
Time just keeps slipping on by.  

Carly is now nine weeks old and she regularly smiles and coos at us. It melts us one and all.  Josh was just home for a visit along with some medical appointments, and while it was so good to see him, his departures always leave us feeling a bit fragile.

The future for our family is currently unclear.  He's applying for jobs from Alaska to North Dakota to Texas and we're just praying God puts us exactly where we're meant to be.  At this point, as long as we're together under one roof, we'll be happy.

I did manage to figure out Carly's insurance, if not perfectly.  Since I missed the window on signing her up under Josh's health insurance plan at work, I had to sign her up for Washington state health care.  They retro-dated it for me so she's covered from birth forward, which is such a blessing.  But it means finding her a new doctor, at a different clinic and that's bumming me out big time.

I guess most of my time is spent doing the ins and outs raising four kids by myself.  From the minute my eyes open, it's go-go-go.  We're making beds and getting dressed to get downstairs for breakfast.  Then it's a shower for me, getting ready for the day and starting homeschool.

Homeschooling the last month has been kicking my ass.  It's hard.  So so hard.  Feeling torn between taking care of Carly, being patient with the twins, and keeping Wyatt occupied can make my head spin.  My enthusiasm for teaching has taken a turn and at this point we're just checking things off the list.  The one thing we're all still enjoying is read aloud, so we're doing lots of that to keep spirits up.

In more positive news, Carly is doing great.  She's breastfeeding & sleeping like a champ, weighing in at 11 and a half pounds and giving me six hours of sleep at a stretch.  Her being so easy is my biggest blessing.  I just love holding her as she sleeps, wearing her in my sling, and snuggling her as she smiles when she first wakes up.  She's truly my sunshine.  




Josh and I have spent every evening this week Face Timing and deciding what to keep and what to get rid of as he works to wrap up five years of living in Marshall.  That's right.  Our adventure in rural Alaska is over.  

Now we are on to the difficult tasks of: finding a job elsewhere and downsizing all our earthly belongings into the number of blue Rubbermaid totes we have in our laundry room in Marshall.  

Last night as we sat sorting through the boys' homeschool stuff, Josh in our dining room in Alaska, me in my in-law's upstairs office-turned-bedroom in Washington nursing Carly, I burst into tears.  This is hard.  It's hard being away from him.  It's hard "packing" while I'm not there.  It's hard to have someone else (even if it's your beloved husband) sort through things for you.  It's hard to make the decisions I'm having to make.  

But just when I was feeling really down about the whole thing, I thought how lucky I am, really, that I am here and he is there.  Because if I was there, I'd have been doing the sorting & packing all myself instead of holding our sweet baby daughter.  If I was there, we'd have to take into account what the kids and myself would need to use/play with for the next three months.  Since it's just Josh there, he can sort and sell and pack whatever he wants cause we're not there to need it.  These are the silver linings I'm clinging to.

I'm not the only one struggling and wishing for this school year to be over.  Last night Wyatt wandered into my room around 10pm, tears in his eyes, looking for a lap to climb into.  I shifted little sister to one side and hugged them both tight while we all cried a bit.  He's just "sad dad's not here" he says.  That's all.  And there's nothing I can do to fix it. So I hug him.  And I cry with him.  And I tell him that I agree... It stinks.

We're on the downhill slide-- he'll be home for a visit soon and then we only have two months more... but honestly it feels like it'll be forever till we're living together again.  And if it feels like forever to me... I can't imagine how it feels for Wyatt or his brothers.  

I guess I keep expecting it to hurt less, for me to miss him less, for it to suck less... but it doesn't.  I haven't gotten used to being without him.  I still hate it.  And that makes each day feel particularly long.

I'd appreciate your prayers and words of encouragement as we push through this last bit of time being apart.  Not knowing what the future holds for our family is stressful; and days like yesterday & today, being apart feels simply unbearable.  



I originally heard about Chatbooks from Ashley over at Under The Sycamore.  She's such an amazing photographer, I decided if she liked them, I'd give them a try as well.  Plus I love the ease of recording memories and not having to create the book myself, which is fun, but super time consuming.

 I back ordered & had every picture I've ever posted on Instagram printed.  It ended up being 8 books.  The ninth just finished (60 more pictures) and will be heading our way soon as well.  I like that I could name the books-- I chose "The Cunningham Family"-- and that they come labeled as volumes, so it's easy to look through them in order and know the dates included.

 The quality of the books isn't amazing.  But it's good.  And they're so cheap (and it's easy to order replacements) that I don't mind the kids paging through them.

 This is what an inside spread of pictures looks like.  The top left has the date the photo was taken, and under the picture the caption is printed.  

The only drawback for me is that if I wrote a long caption, it prints the caption on the next page.  I don't love how that looks, especially if they don't print together in page spread.  But like I said, for only $8 a book, I can live with it!

I spent the whole evening last night looking through every book (and being amazed at how far I've come since the miscarriages last year) and the boys spent all morning pouring through them, exclaiming at their clothes, toys & all the fun memories I captured.  
What fun!



Just Carly

{late night clothes change}
{sad to be out in the rain running errands}
{our princess... the crown kills me!}
{There will never be enough pictures of her hands}
{I love this outfit on her}
{sweet girl}
{hello, doll}
{I love snuggling a naked baby}
{Skin on skin is my absolute favorite thing about a newborn}
{Baby yawns-- is there anything cuter???}
{My favorite outfit-- clouds & rose gold moccs!}
{her hands... again}
{hi sister!}
{she always sleeps with her hands by her face}
{snuggling my sick girl... her first cold has been so sad!}
{She was completely asleep when I took this.  Her hands have a mind of their own!}
{first doctor visit to check her lungs}
{her lungs are clear... it's just a cold... we gotta wait it out}
{Birth announcement in the paper!}
{love her silly little face}
{Are you serious, mom?}
{lots of snuggles for this sweet girl as she tries to get better}
{she's worn out from this cold!}
{got a blessing from papa Saturday & started feeling better, so we made muffins}
{Saturday night, hanging out with mom}
{Seriously, her precious little hands get me every time!}
Sunday morning fashion show.
I die.


The Bleakness of Winter

"There seems to be something miraculous 
about seeing the relentless optimism 
of new growth after the bleakness of winter." 
-J. Moyes