Around Here: Week 26

 First I have to mention that it's Week 26, and 26 is my favorite number. I'm not sure why, it just sounds pretty to me. In fact, when I married Josh I wanted to get married June 26th (my favorite day of the year, again cause it just sounds pretty) but it didn't fall on a weekend day for, like, four more years. So we didn't. Josh joked that maybe I could have one of our future babies on June 26th.

Fast forward five years, and our first pregnancy was due June 26th, no joke. Crazy, right? It was the twins, so I ended up giving birth three weeks early, June 6th, but I got to say "June 26th" every time someone asked when I was due for nine months.


This week I have been:

Melting... as I watch Carly and Wyatt's bond grows.   He is absolutely her favorite brother (is it nice to say that? maybe not. but it's true. hah!)  She adores him. Last night he left their bedroom to go potty while we were getting ready for bed, and she cried like she'd been injured until he came back.  She signs his name (a "W" just to the right of her chin) and says, "Wy" when she sees him or pictures of him.  He loves her just as much, and is always willing to play with/entertain her if we need him to help. It's so nice.  I hope they'll be friends forever & always.

Suffering... more migraines than I can even count in June. The ones I remembered or wrote on the calendar added up to EIGHT this month alone, and I'm not even sure that's all of them.  I am very lucky that they go away when I take my medicine (Sumatriptan) but it makes me feel so nauseous and weird and yucky for about two hours before it starts working, and some of these migraines were STUBBORN and I had to take TWO pills, so I felt awful for four to five hours before feeling relief.
I'm not sure what is causing these migraines.  I am still nursing (nearly 18 months now), have an IUD, and have yet to really establish a monthly cycle. So who knows what's up.

Trying... to make better life choices because of the migraines. So I am going to bed by 10:00pm every night, drinking plenty of water and working out every morning.  If the hormones are the cause, there's not much I can do, but I can at least eliminate any stress/tension or sleep issues that could be causing them.

Going... to the pool basically every single day.  Carly wakes up from her afternoon nap and we load up and head to the waterpark here in town.  We got passes and it's the best investment in summer awesomeness!  The twins go on the giant slides, pretend to surf and body board and ride around the lazy river.  Carly toddles around the splash pad and the zero entrance (think like a beach entry) to the pool, getting more confident everyday.  I've even managed to get in some reading while Josh and I are there with the kids. Best ever!
Wyatt is too short to do any of the slides or rides and yesterday we were talking about it (him sitting on a giant lounge chair, soaking up some rays & me next to him, also on a giant lounge chair) and he folded his arms sternly across his chest and said, "I hate my stupid, stumpy life!" Oh.my.lord. I was laughing so hard!  Poor shorty!

Finishing... The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand this week.  This book! This is what I've been waiting for. It was the absolute perfect summer read with lots of twists and turns and family drama. I loved it!!!

Reading... Eleanor + Park, which is so good I can't put it down!  I am finding I like YA more than I would have imagined.  (Last week I finished Everything, Everything, and I loved that one, too!)  I am listening to The Island by Elin Hilderbrand again.  It's one of my two favorites of hers. (The other is Barefoot.  They're both perfect summer reads!)  I started The Stars are Fire, but put it on hold while I finish E+P.  I'll pick it back up next week.  Two pages in, and it seems like it's going to be un-put-downable as well!

Watching... The Light Between Oceans after reading the book two years ago. I remember crying as I read, which is rare for me, so I knew it would be sad... but sad doesn't begin to describe it. It was gut wrenching. I was absolutely UGLY-CRYING for the entire last quarter of the movie. So, so good, but so, so hard to watch.

Keeping... an eye on Carly while she had a fever for two days this week.  She's been teething (runny nose, drooling, clingy & warm) so we stayed home two days from the pool while she got her temperature back to normal.  While we were home I did lots of reading for pleasure (my favorite summer past time) and cooked up some homemade tortillas for enchiladas and quesadillas.  I had a happy crew when they arrived home from the pool with dad to a giant stack of homemade tortillas. :)

Making... the boys work tirelessly in the front yard to move rocks.  The bark chips were driving us crazy, spilling onto the walk way, and with some of our yard planning, we had extra rocks, so Josh dug out the bark and set the twins + Wyatt to work.  Josh has been working in the yard nonstop since the snow melted, and we're finally seeing the fruits of his labors.  It makes me so excited for the next few steps we have planned.

Having... special time with the twins and then Wyatt while Josh was out of town last weekend.  We had fun staying up late, watching movies and playing outside extra before the sun went down.  The twins rode bikes and played basketball.  Wyatt helped me water the garden and marveled at all the flowers we're growing around the yard.  I love those growing bubs of mine!

Enjoying... our gorgeous yard while reading outside after getting the kids in bed.  Between our lush grass (thanks, babe!), the beautiful flowers (thanks, Wyatt!) and the sunset (thanks, God!) I was feeling overly blessed in this beautiful life here in our new hometown.



Being a Stay-at-home Mom

I am a stay at home mom.  I've been a stay at home mom for six years.  It is, hands down, the most fulfilling career I've ever had.  In my life before kids I:
was an office assistant,
a real estate assistant,
a department store clerk,
a swim instructor,
a special education staff assistant,
and a behavioral education staff assistant.

Since 2011, our family of (then five and now) six has been living on a single (teachers') income.  It's not easy, but Josh and I agree that this is exactly where I need to be and we wouldn't trade my being home for any material possessions in the world.

I am passionate about being a stay-at-home mom & homemaker.  I encourage every woman with children to stay home if it's on their hearts.  Sure, there are sacrifices that must be made, but you won't regret it.  I never have.

That said, there are days where it's lonely here. At home.
Even though there is always at least one kid with me, the work I do is often invisible.
Bills paid, dishes rinsed, laundry folded...
But the next day or week or month, everything I do must be done again.
It's often thankless.
Worse than the thankless work, I often wonder if what I'm doing even has any real value.
I will harp on my kids (and harp and harp) and it may be months before I can see the seed I planted begin to sprout.  Some seeds may take decades to sprout. Others never will.

All I can do is hope.
Hope that I can love hard enough and encourage loud enough,
for them to know that they can do anything.
But to also let them know that they don't have to do everything.
There can be balance.
It can be freeing to know the things you don't like or aren't good at.
That can often be as important as knowing what you do like, what you are good at.

I am good at:
making our house a home
and loving our children

I am not good at:
keeping my cool all the time
being flexible
consistently waking up before my kids
letting things go

Thankfully I am good at turning to Josh for help where I have weakness, and I am bad at leaving my children.  It puts me in the perfect position to be a stay-at-home mom.  It's what God made me for.



Wrapping Up The School Year

Off to school...

Before summer leaves the old school year in the dust, I wanted to blog the last few events of the school year.  Some of the year we had to drive (hello snow for months!) but our favorite way to to get to school and back was walking/riding. I would walk, pushing Carly in her stroller, and the boys would ride bikes, scooters or rollerblades.

Everyday on the way to school we would pass this patch of wild pansies and it made me so happy. (For those who don't know, my grandma's name is Pansy, so they're one of my favorite flowers!)


(Jack's in the middle in pale blue)
(Logan's in the middle in pale green)
(Wyatt is in the second row, grey striped shirt)
For the end of year spring concert the kids sang the cutest little songs and I loved watching them.  Especially Wyatt's because they do little hand motions!


Jack's Class: End of 3rd Grade Shenanigans

Jack has become such good friends with everyone in his class.  I love how school has allowed him to be his usual outgoing self and make a million new friends!

Another new thing for us this year was class birthdays!  
Sharing cupcakes with all Wyatt's little friends was especially sweet.


I loved some of the words Wyatt used in his alphabet of words.
Kk: Koomplucatid (complicated)
Vv: Voolum (volume)
Ee: Empoosubl (impossible)
He's such a little smarty!


Wyatt went on a field trip to the fire station.
Since Carly and I couldn't go, Wyatt's good friends' mom took some pictures and texted them to me.  I cannot tell you how much it meant to get those pictures as I was home sick that morning.  Thoughtfulness from other moms means so much!


Wyatt's stories are my favorite:
"This is me and mom and Carly jumping on the trampoline."

"I am ridi abou mi cites namd rumona and jorj."
"I am writing about my kitties named Ramona and George."


The boys had art in the elementary school art show:


While I was going through some notebooks Logan brought home from school, I found this note he wrote to the school counselor.
"Dear Mrs. U,
I need help calming down.
Yesterday my dad was close to having a seizure like me."

He was talking about when Josh had a bone infection behind his ear and had a really high fever with the shakes.  It was absolutely terrifying for me, so I can't imagine how Logan was feeling. I am so proud of him for reaching out for help.


Our boys had a lot of learning to do when it came to testing (at all) this year, and state testing took it to another level beyond that.  Logan got a HUGE reward for taking his time and doing his best on one of the end of year tests, and I was so proud of him. He worked so hard, he even surpassed his goal!


As much fun as we squeezed into the last few weeks, it also left me reeling some days!
It's making me grateful for these lazy summer days!
Just looking at these pictures is giving me anxiety!

The last day of school was rainy, and honestly I was so happy to come home, let the kids plug in for a minute and just breathe (and do a little blogging, of course!).  

What an amazing year we had.  
I'm so grateful.