Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Trip to the Cabin

Saturday morning we decided to take a quick trip to the cabin.  It's a bit more than a couple hours away, so once we decided and got packed, it was early afternoon before we got there.  

We hoped to see some of the fall colors, but it was a bit early.  There was only a bit of yellow to be found.
Most people were preparing their cabins for a cold winter with stacks upon stacks of firewood.
We had a wait a bit to go exploring because an afternoon shower graced us with its presence.

The entire weekend, John Paul had a buddy with him.  One of three dinosaurs never left his little hand.

Finally, the boys got to explore...

They started to make a tepee in the event that they needed to stay outside.
John Paul wasn't as enthusiastic about it as the rest were.
Peter was having the time of his life, searching for the perfect log for the tepee.

And, Carter was pretty content to follow Jeremy around asking him about different plants, logs, bugs, etc.

John Paul still wasn't enthused.

It didn't get better.

This right here is Peter's outfit of choice.  He wears it every day.  And, when I forget to wash it at night, things are not good.  He dresses himself and is so very proud of his "army" clothes.

In the meantime, Sophie and I tried to join them for a bit, but it ended up being too cold for her taste.
On the second day, they went on another hiking adventure.  
This time, everyone was happy.

Even little Sophie (who stayed home with me)!

It was a nice little 24-hour escape.  Even though things aren't ever extremely relaxing with kids in tow, it was still fun and great to get out for a bit!  Hopefully next time we go, there will be sledding involved!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Taking Stock // Fall 2014

I wrote a post like this last winter with plans to do it every season.  That didn't happen.  But, here I am now, and here's what is going on in my world...

taking stock // fall

making: time to write more letters.  It's a practice I've gotten away from but want to get back to.  Who doesn't love real mail?

cooking: this bread and this stew for lunch.

drinking: black coffee.  I started drinking it on the Whole30, and I am starting to convert.  Never say never.

reading: Divine Intimacy.  It's my daily devotional for now.  By daily, I mean I miss days here and there, but I should be reading it daily.  It is changing me.

wanting: a little more peace and surrender.  I've realized (over and over again) that I love control.  But, it's not mine. Therefore, I need not worry about so many things.  

looking: at my calendar for October and getting a little stressed, which leads back to the previous answer.  I have to learn to not worry about what's ahead and take one day at a time, because 99% of the time, what I worry about never happens.  We're just going to be busy, and it makes me anxious.

playing: lots and lots of "hey, look at me" games with the kids.  They always have something to say.

wasting:time on too many devices.

sewing: nothing, i can't sew. :(

wishing: for a few more beautiful weeks of fall before winter strikes.

enjoying: having an infant (3 month old).  It's my favorite!

waiting:  for Christmas to see my sweet sister again.  

liking: these little animals.  Which for Sophie?

wondering: what the future holds.

loving: the new cinnamon/sugar pretzels at our coffee shop and trying not to find an excuse to get one this week.

hoping: that my children always know how much they're loved.

marveling: at how much the kids can argue yet how deep their love for each other runs.

smelling: a few essential oils (what have I gotten myself into)???

needing: sleep.  Sophie's been sleeping about 12 hours/night for about 2 weeks, and I've been staying up later that ever. Makes sense?  Not really.

wearing: my fleece.  Always my fleece.  

following: a few people on Twitter.  I signed up yesterday and have no clue what I'm doing!

noticing: I need more patience (always).

knowing: I need to make the most of these moments when the kids are so little.  I want them to want to share things with me always, and so much of that depends on them sharing things with me now.  I know I need to stop more and just listen.

thinking: about how blessed I am to have the husband that I do, for so many reasons.  

bookmarking: this for a little photography inspiration.

opening: my heart to greater self-awareness and instruction

giggling: at the boys and their antics.  Carter's new favorite: "I live for numbers!"  Peter: "But, but, but."  John Paul: "Taaaan (can) I??"

feeling: all over the place yet still thankful for everything around me.

Here's to a great week!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Thoughts and Links

We have the cutest little coffee shop/cafe just about seven miles away.  The boys kids (I still have a hard time not saying "boys") and I went there this week for a little breakfast pretzel.  It was really hard to eat just one.  Back to the point though...the sweet owner of the shop is so good to the kids. Seriously, so good.  They adore her.  I do, too.  One of the young men she has working for her (who we love too!) came over to our house for some tutoring and look what he had with him...
 Four of these and a nutella cinnamon roll.  

It completely made our day.  It's those little things...the kind, unexpected acts that let you know others are thinking of you...that make you thankful for people.  Angela and Miles, we won't forget. Thank you!

John Paul has been sleeping late these days - until 9:30 some mornings (crazy but wonderful!).  I went to get him out of bed yesterday and walked him into the kitchen for his breakfast.  He squinted his eyes, and grumbled, "I neeeeed coffeeee!"  I don't think I've ever acted that desperate for mine, but maybe so.  He's a character!

Carter, I think, is getting out of the stage where he takes a long nap every day.  I'm praying that's not the case, but at least once a week, we have troubles with nap time.  Usually he has a "weeeealy stwange dweam" or a "big supwise" for me!  Earlier this week I really needed nap time to work on a few things, and he kept getting up.  I got more and more frustrated with the creaking open of his door for the sixth or seventh time.  I finally got really stern, and he stayed in his room another thirty minutes.  When he came out he said with a huge smile on his face, "Momma!  I finally did just lay down, smile and offer my day to Jesus for YOU!  So, it's okay, Momma!"  I needed that offering.

Peter's my quietest one.  Hence the lack of quotes from him.  

Carter has been really into swinging these days...but not himself.  Instead, he's the pusher, and here's the victim...
Good ol' Teddy.

I just finished this book.  I never read anymore, but for some reason I stuck with this one.  And the verdict: as always, when I have to tell myself to stick with it, instead I should give it up.  It was well-written, and it kept me interested.  It was just...heavy.  Not something I needed right now.  Have you read any good books lately?

One of my shows (who am I kidding, we never watch TV in real time, but I like a couple of shows) premiered this week for the new season.  Blacklist.  Umm, a bit creepy for anyone else?  This is getting intense!

Anyone have a buffalo check shirt or tunic they just love?  I'm looking for one.

If you're looking for the sweetest post ever, look at this.  

Do not forget to enter the giveaway for the amazing Peacock Alley sheets here!  It's really easy.  All you have to do is leave a comment there, OR follow me on Facebook or Instagram OR follow Peacock Alley.  Easy peasy for an amazing prize!

Read this.

How about I leave you with a Sophie picture?!  Just incase you've never seen her before (yeah, right).
 And another...

Okay, I'm done.

Have a great weekend!

Linking up with Jen.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Yesterday morning, when I got John Paul out of bed, I had Sophie up, too (and Carter and Peter were enjoying their breakfast in the kitchen).  I laid her on his bed, grabbed him and put him beside her while I turned around to get a diaper and his clothes for the day.  When I turned back around, I saw this!  
He held her hand long enough for me to run to the other room, grab the camera and snap this picture.

"I hold Sopie's haaand!"

Siblings.  They are such beautiful gifts.

When I was getting a few quick groceries on Sunday, I took Sophie with me.  She wasn't up for laying in the little part of the cart, so I held her while I tried to put a few things in my cart (where is that baby wrap I've only worn once??).  As I started to check out, the cashier said, "So, the real question is, are you stopping now?"

I've learned to smile.

With true joy (finally).  I told her, "I hope not."

The days can be crazy.  Yet, we've gotten into somewhat of a groove.  Yes, yesterday seemed a little chaotic.  I had just finished the laundry, told Carter to get back in bed for his nap for the sixth time, and sat down to respond to a few emails when Sophie began to cry.  Hadn't I just fed her (I guess it really was three hours ago)?  As I was feeding her, John Paul woke up and cried out for me to get him.  Then I realized it was 4:30 and Carter needed to get up so he'd go to bed for the night at a decent hour.  I opened his door not realizing he had finally fallen asleep right by the door.  Bonk!

After I settled him, I went to rustle Peter (he's a heavy sleeper).  He had wet the bed.  Our bed.  Our bedding that takes what seems like a million cycles to dry (did I mention, I had just finished the laundry?).

Then just as Daddy got home, Peter rushed to open the door and ran it right over his shoeless toes. Yes, his big toenail is hanging by a piece of skin.  He began to wail (as I would have), and blood was coming quickly.  In the craziness of me trying to find something a bit better than a bandaid and Daddy running cold water to keep the bleeding to a minimum, Carter runs after me saying, "I sure hope Peter is okay."  And, I get back to the bathroom, where Peter is still so upset, to see John Paul an inch from his face with, "What happen Peder??" on repeat quickly followed by, "You otay???"

Nevermind Peter shoving him away.  This might be the time to remind him that he punched John Paul in the face on Sunday after John Paul tried to take a toy away.  The same brother he slugged was worried sick that his older brother was hurt.

Yes, there are moments when I get a little crazy. Some days go better than others, and I spend a lot of time saying, "I'm sorry."  But in the midst of the chaos, beauty shines through.  They love each other. I mean really love each other.  If one wakes up before the others, he asks where his brothers are, almost not knowing what to do alone.  I'm often hearing of "huge pwoblems" that need immediate attention, and at the other end of those scenarios are typically little boys who need help off of the rock wall or the top bunk.

They look out for each other.  No, they're not always chummy.  But what relationship is?  On a much, much deeper level, they are each other's best friends.  Each sibling is a gift to the rest.  A gift that cannot be bought and one that is never guaranteed.  Yet, I believe it has the power to be one of the most beautiful this side of Heaven.

It's in moments like the one I captured yesterday that I'm reminded of the beauty of it all.  As big of blessings as these little ones are to me (and I can't think of anything greater), they have the power to be even more to each other.

As I sneaked into our room last night, quiet not to wake Sophie in her crib, I knew I'd be sleeping with a blanket while those sheets got clean.  But instead of being frustrated this time, I was thankful that I was given an opportunity in the center of the crazy afternoon to witness a love that I often overlook.  As hard as it was to witness, Peter's pain will go away, just like the pain in John Paul's nose from Sunday.  But what will remain is the knowing that they're not alone...the deepest sense of feeling that they have someone with them always, someone who can forget their own hurt and seek to comfort the other.  A brother.  A sister.  A friend.

While they didn't choose their siblings, they do choose to love them, and I see it every day...in the midst of the chaos.

If we're blessed with the opportunity to add more to that tight inner circle, I don't think we'll be able to say no.

Are we done?  I hope not.

Peacock Alley Review and GIVEAWAY

When I was at The Hundred Event (I know, I know, some day I'll stop talking about it), we had the most fun evening outing complete with the best grilled cheese food truck known to man, amazing cake dots and champagne, the most delicious popsicles and many prizes to be had.  The evening events were hosted by Peacock Alley and Milieu magazine and they definitely know how to throw a party!


Peacock Alley

Before the night was over, they had several door prizes.  I was visiting with friends when my name was called!  I had won a set of Peacock Alley Soprano sheets!  To say I was excited would be an understatement. I was ecstatic!  Last Christmas my sister-in-law and I had purchased a set for my mother-in-law, yet I didn't know exactly what everyone was raving about until these came in the mail. 

And, after a month of use, I can honestly say, I am in love!  They are so soft, and they get softer with each wash!  They are cool and crisp, and well, the wake-up call of the pitter patter of feet comes way too soon.  It's so hard not to ask for just fifteen more minutes here...
...but they want in too!
You can always tell when Peter is comfortable.  His two middle fingers on his left hand go directly in his mouth.  See..

Carter wanted to stay all day underneath the comfort of the sheets and play like we were in a tent.

And, John Paul wasn't too happy when I pulled the cover off of his face.
Needless to say, they don't love to leave these sheets either.

John Paul even wanted his little Giraffe to have a turn.

Finally, Sophie spends part of her early morning in here for a real treat.

We are in love with these sheets, and the best part of it all...
...you can be, too!  Peacock Alley is offering one of you lucky readers a set of your own Soprano sheets!!!  It's a 100% Egyptian cotton, 420 thread count sateen sheet finished with a single blanket stitch.  Plus, it comes in five colors (you get to pick which one you'd like):

Don't waste a minute.  Get to entering!  A winner will be picked next Wednesday.  Thank you, Peacock Alley!

a Rafflecopter giveaway