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Thursday, January 27, 2011

thursday thoughts

been working all day.  long day - full of surprise patients and patients who were all new to me.  who all needed to be re-evaluated and have reports sent to doctors and insurance companies.  all amazing people with amazing stories but still makes for a long day.  glad to be home.  glad to tuck every member of my little family into bed - yep, even pete who's not feeling so well today.

so it's quiet and i can hear my thoughts and i'm not sure i like all of them right now. (just being honest) i'm jealous today.  i don't like that ... but it's true.  i'm not jealous of a car or a house or a style or an outfit.  it's not over finances or jobs or status.  it's not something normal at all.  i'm jealous of a trip.  well, actually of several of them.  i have friends who are going.  i have a husband who is going.  and i am staying.  and it's hard for me - despite how excited i am for them.  some friends leave this week, some leave in a few months.  my husband leaves in four weeks. 

they are going to africa.  they are going to see the babies.  to love the littlest and the least.  to bring hope to the hopeless and care for His people.  and this time it is my turn to stay. and i am jealous.  see there is something that remains undone in me from my last trip.  to hold those little ones.  to pray over them, sing over them, tuck them in and then to walk away and leave them there .... it does something to you.  or at least it did something to me. i am forever changed.  my eyes are open to more of His heart. i can not think or speak of them without tears in my eyes and desire in my heart.  i am so very grateful to be home with my own little ones.  to get to hold them and cuddle them.  so grateful for this moment in my life.  for this moment with my precious little ones.  but knowing that there are so many without a mama's love, without enough to eat, without a family of their own .......

so for now i pray.  for the littlest and the least.  for my friends (they are amazing women and you can read them here and here and here).  for my husband.  for myself and His direction for me.  sometimes i want relief from the dreams of children, of their faces, of myself standing among them all.  but i know those dreams are leading me somewhere.  so i continue to pray. to press in. to wait for His timing and His direction.  there are days i am not so patient but i am trying. and though i may be a little jealous i am so excited for what He is doing and where He is leading each of these people.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

oh so tired today.  ethan is teething again and so he and i are seeing each other much more often in the middle of the night then i am used to now.  poor mister.  but it does make for a tired mama.  wanted to be offended by the lack of listening, the constantly repeating myself for the thousandth time, the fact that we were late to meet a friend.  but i was reminded and i chose to love instead.  to relax.  to remember that this time is short.  that this day is precious and will never happen again.  to take a deep breath, forgive myself for the bumpy start of the morning and ask my kids to forgive me too.  and then we went on with our fun day.  refreshing chat with a dear friend.  playing and wrestling with three giggling nonstop movers.  cuddles with a sweet little one who loves to grin. school day done on the floor together. watching my kids take care of each other and their love for each other.  pancakes for dinner - just because we can. and valentines for an orphan in kenya. (more on valentines later)


hope you got some love today too and that your day was full of little moments that made you smile.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

picture learning

so i have been trying to take more pictures lately.  trying to capture those moments in our life that are really just us.  not staged, not posed, not planned but still intentional, true, real.  over the past several days i pulled out the camera and tried to do just that.  i have a lot to learn.  i am hoping to take some steps in the next few weeks to begin that process.  in the meantime here's what i got....

thoughts - he grins and you have to grin with him.  he giggles and you have to laugh too.  i love that his eyes light up when i come in the room.  that he finds joy in simple little things.  may that always be true.


thoughts - this one was taken right after naps.  i love his quizzical look at me.  i love when he first wakes up.  the way his hair goes every which way and does it's own thing.  the tired little eyes that are just waking up and beginning to focus. that sleepy far off look that lasts a longer then he thinks it does. the way he wants to snuggle close for a little bit.  i will enjoy that for as long as i can as i know soon enough he will be taller than i am, bigger than i am and no longer fit in my lap.


thoughts - feel the need to comment on both pictures of my sweet asher.  how amazingly i feel this picture captures his spirit. quiet, contemplative, compassionate, so very very sweet.  introspective and mature beyond his years.  


thoughts - and then there is his smile.  he grin that melts your heart. just awake and ready for the next thing.  ready to play, to learn, to just be and enjoy.  oh how this picture makes me want to find him in the house and squeeze him and kiss him and grin right back at his sweet, sweet little face.

Friday, January 21, 2011

quote of the week

i have always tried to write down some of the funny things the kids say.  i have been somewhat successful but for the sake of ease and my sanity i am going to try to do it here instead.  it's just one less thing to try to keep up on.  so for our first installment here's the quote this week....

pete: what do you want for lunch?
eli: mac and cheese
pete: sorry buddy. can't make mac & cheese. we are out of butter.
eli: make it!
pete: i can't make butter.
eli: mama does. =)

and this is a true statement.  i've been reading the little house books to mia and we made butter one day to get an idea what it was like when laura was a little girl.  so, be careful what you do as a project.  it may come back to haunt you =)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

a day in the life

hello friends.  so today is just a day in the life.  nothing on the agenda today.  no have-tos or gottas.  so here's what we did.  headed to the YMCA and got to walk a little, catch up with friends and play in the gym. home to see more friends, catch a little movie, relax, get some lunch.  a little wii action for the big kids while the little boys were cuddled and tucked in for naps.  more friends (oh how we love that). school was had, giggles ensued as mia decided that a game of "war" was in our math curriculum for the day.  eli needed to help me and up into my lap he climbed.  the silliness escalated as cards began flying.  he was flipping cards over her head, across the table, on the floor and every once in awhile actually landing one on the table where it belonged.  his little hands couldn't get to the cards fast enough.  she was laughing as she called out who won each hand.  so while asher protected us all from those pesky bad guys and ethan played happily at my feet eli and i took on mia in a game of war that finally had to be called on a count of dinner.



oh and by the way.... mia won, dinner was great and an impromptu dance party afterwards was the perfect end to our day.  hope you enjoyed your day too!

Monday, January 17, 2011

cuddle spots

it is old.
it squeaks. terribly. 
it is stained and worn.
it is faded and the side pocket has been torn. both of them. 

at times i am frustrated by this.  
having to hunt down the WD40...again.  
and then try to find that silly little straw thing so the stuff doesn't make a mess everywhere.  

but then i remember.  
i remember sitting with mia when we first brought her home.  
holding her close and being in total awe of my precious little girl.  
staring down into asher's sweet little face 
and realizing that my heart was expanding beyond what i thought was possible.  
singing to eli the way i had to his siblings and cuddling him close.
and now i sit with ethan and treasure the way he drifts off to sleep in my arms.

and i realize that this chair ... with all its imperfections
has been in constant use for over 5 years now.
everyday.
multiple times a day.
helping me cuddle my little ones,
love them, protect them, 
soothe them.

and all thoughts of a replacement chair are pushed aside
as sentiment washes over me 
and we squeak a little more.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

sunday silliness

so today was one of my favorite kinds of days.  off we went to church.  worship is always amazing and i'm sure i will post soon on the things that are going on during worship.  God is amazing and His presence is so sweet.  we are on a fun ride and i'm not quite ready to discuss all of it but it's sooo good!  then we headed straight to pete's parents house to hang out with the family and watch some football.  it was perfect and relaxing and fun ... and our team won!  the uncles and grandpa got loud.  the kids reminded them there was no yelling.  the adults got to watch the game and talk.  the cousins played together.  and though not everyone in the family was able to make it it was fun .... and silly. 


i love the sound of the kids laughing.  the adults chasing them.  the nerf guns came out and the volume went up.  bullets were flying, everyone was laughing and the "dead" could only be revived by kisses.  as we were all getting ready to leave eli and daddy began to get silly.  pete was twirling eli around and the sound of his giggle was making the rest of us crack up.  he was so busy moving and swinging off his daddy that he is literally a blur in all the pictures.


 hope you had a wonderful sunday too!

Monday, January 10, 2011

my knight

welcome to a completely vulnerable and honest post.  so what a wild day.  a wonderful morning with my little ones.  laughing. playing. puzzles. crafts. off with my entire family to meet my brother and mother for lunch.  my baby brother is moving to colorado tomorrow. so excited for him. to watch him continue on his amazing journey.  watch him run after the things he wants and after the Lord. but soooo going to miss him!

time to leave. babies all packed. check to leave. check again.  back out. SMASH!  out of nowhere is a delivery van.  have no idea what happened or where he came from.  i mean this van is huge.  how could i have missed him?  my brother jumps right on it.  we get it taken care of.  i head home. i am stressed. i get the little boys to bed.  asher goes and wakes ethan up.  i break and yell at mia and asher ... and then promptly burst into tears apologizing.  i hold asher and cry.  my sweet boy tells me he loves me and will protect my heart.  my sweet mia joins our hug and tells me that she's so glad i'm her mom.  that she loves me so much it makes her cry.  oh how my heart needs to hear this.

but above all this is pete.  when he first hears the news (he had to leave lunch early for a work appointment) he is immediately my cheerleader.  there is nothing negative or even concerned about his response - well i mean once he knew we were all right.  he tells me he loves me.  he tells me i'm amazing.  he tells me he's lucky to have me as his wife.  and i immediately start to cry.  no one was hurt.  the damage was minimal but my knight has arrived and i'm undone.  i feel terrible. guilty. sad. bad. he immediately jumps in.  he knows me and knows my defense has always been to be hard on myself to protect myself from what someone else might say.  (just being honest) thankfully that defense is deflating but it leaves me in this weird space where i no longer beat myself up but also am not sure it's okay to be okay when something less then ideal happens.  he's amazing and reassuring and comes home and holds me.  he tells me wonderful things all over again and resets my feet on a firm foundation reminding me that my God is waaaaaay bigger then a little bump in the car.  he is amazing.  he is wonderful.  i am lucky to have him as my partner and my husband.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

mystery solved

so for the last few meals ethan has been unhappy.  really unhappy.  we thought it might be his teeth....he just got his second bottom tooth.  we thought it was just because he didn't feel well.  maybe it was because i was gone at work and he was just not happy about it.  but today we figured out the mystery.  it was none of the above. 

see he's my baby.  he's my littlest one.  i think of him like that.  he loves to be cuddled and close and he is always content.  he doesn't seem to be in a rush to grow up.  it will come.  we are both content.  i mean look at his sweet face peeking out from his carrier....


but the picture below is how my little man sees himself.  independent, growing, and learning something new everyday. and so today we learned that ethan is DONE with baby food.  as in will NOT eat it.  so we put on his tray what we could from our plates and his little face lit up.  he was beaming and so proud of himself.  and he ate and ate and ate.  and when we tried to sneek in a little baby cereal or baby food he would purse his little lips turn his head.  so my baby is growing up.  whether i'm ready or not.

but thankfully he's still content to snuggle and be close.  he likes to let me carry him and adore his littleness even as he works to move away from it. baby feet and snuggled in.

Friday, January 7, 2011

photos

so i really want to do a 365 project.  you know the one where you take a picture everyday for a year.  of course it's only the 7th and i'm behind.  so perhaps for me it will be a nearly 365 project and we'll just see what happens.  (it's amazing how that working thing gets in the way).  i know we'll still get lots of fun moments and my goal is to improve my photo skills along the way.  i'll share some from me tomorrow but for today just want to update you on the recent ones we've had taken.

mia - 5
asher - 4

eil - 2

ethan - 5 month (now he's 8)








us

our friend volunteered to take some family pics for us at a local park this fall and we gladly took him up on the offer.  here are some of our favorite shots.  i'm not really into pictures where everyone has to look at the camera.  it's not that i'm really opposed to it.  it's just that they always come off looking so staged most of the time.  i much prefer the ones that capture our family as we are....playing, laughing, just being us. 

us - just as we are

i love ethan's face here!






the photos that capture the true emotion of our family.  the love that is here.  the laughter that is here.  the spirits of my children.  you can see mia's grace, asher's caring heart, eli's love of adventure and ethan's emerging personality that still loves the safety of loving arms.  the pictures below are some of the ones that are just more of my favorites.  i love, love, love the one of mia and asher. 

best friends

no words ... just love!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

the week

so i really want to take more pictures.  i really want to post more here.  i really want to combine those two things.  i'll be working on it.  we'll see what happens.  right now though, i'm temporarily back at work.  filling in for another therapist who hurt her back.  i like that i can help out.  i saw the look of sheer relief on the director and other therapists' faces when i said i could help out for the next several weeks. i have been where they are and being short a therapist is not fun.  i love that i can help out.  but, the whole way there i was thinking of my little ones.  the whole day i was aware of what needed to be done and when so i could walk out the door at 5.

didn't happen. we got a new system and the office staff was stressed and needed a patient therapist while they worked it out.  i had the sweetest little lady and she needed me too.  so i stayed.  i brought patience with me and gave it away as often as i could.  and i listened ... to an amazing women whose enormous spirit hides inside a tiny, frail body.  she's a lady they would make a movie out of.  a little italian women who lost her husband and child during the nazi invasion.  married an american soldier and moved here to have a family.  a lady who, with a twinkle in her eye, told me to "watch it" because she could get me in 4 languages (italian, french, german and english) and i usually hear at least three of them while she's there. a lady who pats my hand, calls me dear and lovingly talks of her great grandchildren and how they can her naana.  she has a story.  it's amazing.  and she wants to share it with me.  i am lucky to be able to help her heal after surgery.

and when i got home 20 minutes later then i usually do it was okay.  it was worth it.  i was still met with hugs and smiles and stories of the day.  i still had little arms reaching for me and kisses to give out.  and they learn that people are important. each and everyone of them.  that they all deserve honor even when we have other things we think we want to do. that people are the priority ... especially the priority of God.  or maybe i'm the one that learns this lesson more each day and hopefully is passing it on a little more each day too.  for now my sweet ones are all snuggled and sleeping.  and there is nothing more peaceful then peeking in on sleeping little ones.  especially when they are mastering the "big boy" bed. 

Monday, January 3, 2011

newness

 hi friends.
it's been a little while since i've been here.
welcome to a new year!!
we started something new this year ... as a family

 inside this red book 
(which i want to design on later)
we have begun a list

from the past year...
what are you thankful for?
what were you favorite things?

and for the future year...
what are your goals?
 not really resolutions ... just things you want to happen
to be a part of
to experience

want to know some of mine??
thankful
the birth of my sweet baby ethan
to be home again with my little ones
God's amazing provision and presence
favorites
those little quiet moments when a child snuggled in
getting rapid fire kisses from asher
eli's little grin and athletic stance as he runs around the house
watching mia dance, create and share her compassion for others
listening to them all laugh together
goals
improve my photography (and share it here)
speak less, listen more
visit my brother and his family in colorado (finally)
see my grandparents .. every chance i get!
to pour out love
to give of what i have extravagantly

what about you??