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Office work got a little side tracked when Sarah asked for Stephen to help her with some letters. She loves doing ‘school work’. We printed off some worksheets and she loved having him watch and help her.
This girl. You guys, she is so much fun. So inquisitive and adventurous but also quietly observant and gentle. She so love projects and art time together. For her birthday her Aunt Valerie got her some project boxes. They come with instructions and all the materials needed and while usually I end up doing quite a bit of the work, she is so proud and excited over the completed projects. I still have several hanging on our fridge that they made months ago. They like to grab them and tell everyone that visits what they made. After making this little paper crown she wanted a photo with me. We set the camera up and grabbed a shot. She loves when we use the timer on my camera :)
On Saturday we had a get together at our house to celebrate Sarah’s 4th birthday with our family.
The weather was absolutely perfect and like last year we spent the time relaxing and playing outside. Sarah is similar to me in that quality time is one of her biggest love languages. Having all her family together to talk and play with is a gift in and of itself.
Today we celebrated Sarah’s 4th Birthday. To commemorate the event we had a small get together at our house with a few of her sweet friends. We had 4 of her closest little girl friends over for a craft and playtime. What was going to be an outside painting activity turned into homemade cloud dough inside because the weather flip flopped on us and turned really cold yesterday.
It was sweet and simple. We had goldfish, apple slices and oranges and one of her friends brought some cupcakes and a birthday banner that they made for her. We did snacks, craft and had a short stint outside while we pushed them on the swings. The girls did so wonderfully together. The idea was pretty last minute and I was thrilled to hear both families were available when I asked them earlier this week. 6 little girls, 3 moms and an almost 3-month old boy who smiled and napped almost the entire visit :) It was such a nice way to celebrate our little girl turning one year older.
Here are some photos I took during the morning. I even got a group shot at the end which I’m so glad for because it is real and a beautiful memory for me as Sarah’s mom. Trying to get 6 toddlers and a baby to cooperate for a photo is always an ambitious goal and I love how it shows how crazy that can be :)
The past few months have been kinda weird. Weird and hard. And possibly a tad tiring.
Today Sarah came and excitedly told me she and daddy had a surprise for me. She told me to come see right away. I took a moment to finish up the cups I was washing in the sink before I followed her back to my bedroom. A few minutes later I walked back and she was beaming while standing at the foot of my now-made bed.
Acts of service is my biggest love language. Stephen knows that and today I witnessed him teaching our children that method of loving me. Seeing her face, so pleased and proud with her work, was a beautiful moment.
While we stood there I pulled up the comforter to fix the bunched up blanket underneath that she probably couldn’t reach and told her how special she made me feel. I asked for some crazy big hugs and she happily complied.
Just a little while later I went back in our room for something. When I got in there I stopped. I just stood there and starred at my bed. My brain escaped from me, reflecting on that moment. I re-bunched the covers and undid my bed “fixing”.
There’s something amazingly beautiful about seeing my children love. Learning love. SHOWING me love in a new way.
It’s a far cry from what you see in a magazine or store front, and in this moment I couldn’t be more proud.
This is the most beautifully made bed in the world, and it’s in our home.
We have a street down the road that I’ve always enjoyed walking. A neighbor (and his extended family) have a pasture that keeps getting new animals. When we moved here it was cows. Next they added some horses, then some goats, and most recently, donkeys.
I’m an occasional runner (in training). I practically have the couch to 5k program memorized. Or at least the first 3-4 weeks of it, I never seem to finish. One of my favorite strips to run is the area with these pastures. One of the best purchases I’ve ever made was our jogging stroller. It’s saved my sanity on probably 100’s of occasions. The girls learned to moo, neigh, baaaaa, and he-ha pretty early in life because we practice each time we go out. It’s a fun addition to our days.
I now keep extra carrots aside to take with us because we’ve learned cows don’t like gold fish, animal crackers, or cranberries. Apples and carrots though, big fans :)
I met the owner a few years ago when Sarah was a baby and we were out walking. He told me they loved the things mentioned above and sugar cubes. I don’t carry around sugar cubes, so we stick with the others. We’ve also learned that if your kid is eating a snack while standing at the fence, goats and cows will lick goldfish right of their hands and then look at you disapprovingly bc it isn’t what they wanted. Silly animals.
Here are a few photos from our visits to our four legged neighbors.
and going way back to the start…
When I started this photography adventure I honestly had no idea if it would go anywhere. I’m not a self-marketer and a pretty big introvert, so putting myself out there was and is not natural to me. Far from natural, really. I will say that being an associate pastors wife has made that a bit easier on me, I have had some major crash courses in social skills in the past 2-3 years.
All that to say, things are going well. I am on call right now for a sweet momma that is due anytime in the next 2 weeks. I am on a constant learning curve with the business side of things, but thankfully I have had a few friends take me under their wings and it has helped drastically with goal setting and marketing.
With all of that going on I have had to learn to become a night owl in order to get job related work done. If you knew me in years past, I have always been an early bird. In high school I went to bed at 9, and earlier in the winter. The sun setting and moon rising were like my natural clock. Not anymore though. That changed a bit when we had kiddos, but has changed even more since starting this new venture. It’s been like body training, only not the workout kind that gives you muscle tone, but more of the late night snacking and sitting kind… thankfully I chase kids around during the day so exercise exists whether I want it to or not.
Speaking of chasing kids around, these girls of ours are growing at a rapid pace! They are both so much fun.
Sarah has become such a little girl, loving art projects, playing in dress up clothes, and anything that has to do with cooking and baking. Elanor is talking up a storm, learning new words all the time. She is my independent player, loving to just do her own thing (minus when she’s teething, then she reaches human-leech status). I am so glad that I get to be their mom. Stephen’s new job has made for a lot of changes, and thankfully one of those is that he gets to see them a bit more. With him traveling he does a lot of his computer/office work in the morning, so he gets to have time with them before he leaves for the day. It’s so nice seeing them have morning-play time rather than just before bed time and post-work Stephen during dinner/bath rush time. They all love it, and it’s a joy for me to see and watch their relationships grow.
Okay, Elanor is waking up from her nap so that is the end of computer time.
A photo of each before I sign off…
A few weekends ago we celebrated Sarah’s 3rd birthday. We had a fun get together at our house with family over. It was on a Sunday, so after church we picked up some pizza’s and made a few pitchers of lemonade. I made peanut butter cookies the evening before, Sarah’s favorite, and to entertain the kiddos I busted out the bubble machine. It was the perfect way to celebrate.
While we were all outside watching the kids my mom had an idea. One of our neighbors recently offered us a swingset they no longer used, but it was wood and it was heavy. There was no way Stephen and I were moving that thing. Given we had all our local family over, which included 6 adult men, mom thought to see if we could get the swing set moved. They all walked over and next thing we knew they were coming back across the street carrying a large wooden frame with swings and a slide.
When Sarah turned around and saw her daddy, grandpas, and uncles carrying a SLIDE she flipped. What’s funny is that it happened the day we were celebrating her birthday, so I think she thought it was the ultimate present, when really it wasn’t a gift from any of us, just a friendly donation from some sweet neighbors.
“It’s a SLIIIIIDE!”
As you can imagine, if the sun is out the girls are wanting outside on their new swingset. Elanor now loves to slide, and I’m pretty sure Sarah asks me to push her on the swing 875 thousand times a day.
It was a great birthday party followed by a wonderful night. An evening spent enjoying our two daughters in the backyard listening to them laugh and squeal over the joy of a swing and a slide. It’s always the simple things. The experiences that are everlasting in our minds. Moments that, as parents, are quick, temporary, and forever our own to cherish.