It was around Christmas time last year that we received the news that my mom most likely had breast cancer. There were so many unanswered questions in those first weeks, and I felt as though I was sort of walking around in shock. This just couldn't be happening to my family. It was something I had always dreaded, and it was no longer a "what if," it was reality. When you don't know what you're dealing with, your mind fills in the details, and usually those details are the worst-case scenarios. Once we had more information about what the extent of the cancer was, and what the treatment options were, I felt a little more at peace with the situation. But, we knew it would be a long, hard year. Intensive rounds of different types of chemotherapy drugs (one of which we were told was the most difficult chemo a patient can take), followed by surgery to remove the tumor, followed by radiation. Still reeling from the shock of my mom's diagnosis and treatment plan, I answered a phone call from my mom one morning in January while on my way out to my son's basketball game that my brother's barn had burned completely to the ground in the night. The barn contained most everything he and my dad needed to run their ranching operation. I rushed over to my mom and dad's home and just held my mom while she cried. There were just no words. The only thing that went through my mind was to "Remember His Faithfulness." This was based on this passage of scripture in Psalm 77 " 11 I will remember the works of the Lord; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old. 12 I will also meditate on all Your work, And talk of Your deeds" Psalm 77:11-12 Many years go, I began journaling God's specific works in my life as a way to apply this passage of scripture. I have a short memory, and am prone to feel sorry for myself, wondering where God is in the midst of difficulties. During those times of trials and trouble, it is so helpful to remember the times God's hand was so evident in my life. Earlier in the fall, before all of this had happened, I happened to pull out my old journals (something I hadn't done in quite some time) and read all of those things again. I felt the Lord impressing that instruction onto my heart once again to, "Remember My Faithfulness." He knew I would need to remember those times of His specific intervention in my life in the face of what would seem like his apparent absence. Mom began her treatment shortly after, and throughout those winter, spring and early summer months, there were so many ups and downs. I'm sure during that time my mom went to dark places most of us never even knew about. I cannot imagine how difficult that time must have been for her, but I know how difficult it was for me and my family. One thing I realized about this time is how very much my family loves each other. My boys love their grandma and papa so much. Explaining to them the different phases of her treatment was difficult, but they were such little troopers and loved their grandma no matter how many questions they had. My brother and his family were also there for every moment of this journey, even though they were in the midst of starting over after what had happened to their barn. I remember being amazed at one point to just consider how God took my mom and dad, myself and my brother, and knit together a family in a way only He could do through the blessing of adoption. It really is a miracle. (And yet another one of those things to write on my "Remember God's Faithfulness" list.) Now, it is nearly ten months later and my mom completed her very last radiation treatment this morning, bringing it all to a close. No more chemo. No more surgery. No more radiation...and God brought us through it. I prayed for a verse to give to my mom as she completes this phase of her life. This is the one I believe He gave to me: 1 I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. 2 Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live. 3 The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came upon me; I was overcome by trouble and sorrow. 4 Then I called on the name of the LORD: "O LORD, save me!" 5 The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. 6 The LORD protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, he saved me. 7 Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you. 8 For you, O LORD, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, 9 that I may walk before the LORD in the land of the living. 10 Psalm 116:1-10 I pray that my mom, my dad, and our entire family can once more "Be at rest" for the Lord has been SO good to us.
It's been one of those days...I woke up grumpy, a little on the depressed side. I'm not sure why. Usually, I can pinpoint these things...trace them back to a single occurrence that affected my mood in a negative way. Today though, I can't. Something has just been "off", and I am not sure how to fix it. On my way to bed, I peruse my dear friend Shannon's blog (click here) and happen upon this great video about "how to be happier"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHv6vTKD6lg#at=407 and it strikes a chord. So, taking a cue from the participants in the video, I want to tell you about the person who has made the biggest impact on my life, my mom. I have always been close to my mom. In my growing up years, and my teen-age years, she was always the person I wanted to spend time with. We had so much fun together, and we had so many great talks. Moving 13 hours away from her when I went off to college was difficult, but we made it through. We talked every.single.night on the phone. Yes, every one. As a newlywed, I remember my first night in my apartment with my new husband. It was then that I revealed to him that I had this "thing" where I called my mom (or she called me) every night before bed to say good-night. At that point, there was no going back on me (the vows had already been said), so I felt pretty safe in revealing this quirky little tidbit to him. At that moment, he realized my mom and I are a package deal. Throughout my years of grad school and learning to be a wife, she was always there for me (like she had always been all the years before), and our relationship deepened and changed, but only in good ways. After the birth of my first child, something happened to me. I'm not sure what it was...stress, hormones, trying to master the most important role of my life, who knows? But, it was during this time I experienced the most conflict with my mom that I had ever had up until that point. Now don't get me wrong, there was little drama, and what conflict we did have was usually resolved peacefully. But, I think we started to pull away from each other a bit. Maybe this move was necessary, or maybe it was just a reflection of what was happening in our life, but we made it through it. When I moved with my little family to Iowa, we experienced another little separation in our relationship. She was still the first one I wanted to call when I had good (or bad) news. She was still the one whose advice I counted on most. But, I think I needed this time to invest a little more of myself into my husband and my family. Fast forward a few years. We are back in North Dakota. In fact, she lives (most of the time) within a minute of my house. There are days we see each other or talk on the phone several times a day. There are strings of days in a row where we don't talk at all. I feel like our relationship has hit a "sweet spot." I know so much more now. I love my mom so much. I knew I loved her deeply, but when she went through a very serious health issue this past year, I was confronted, face-to-face, with the reality that I could lose her. And it was then that I realized that my love for her is similar to the love I have for my children...it is deep and limitless. Nothing she could say or do would ever make me stop loving her. I can't imagine my life without her, and I am so thankful God was Faithful to bring her to this point safely. She is the person who has made the biggest impact in my life. And now, I end my day, and I am happy.
One subject I am passionate about is pro-life. I feel that every Christian should make this a subject they are passionate about...it is a travesty what is happening to countless babies on any given day in America. And, being adopted, I also feel a personal investment in this particular issue. I often wonder if an abortion was considered when my biological parents found out about me. In Fargo, we have an abortion clinic that everyone knows about. There is much attention given state-wide to the only so-called "abortion clinic" in the state. However, many people probably do not know that abortions are performed frequently at our major health providers in Fargo--Sanford Health and Essentia, but are just termed "early inductions." This is a much cleaner and less offensive way to term a procedure that is taking the life of a baby before it is viable outside of the womb. The "early inductions" can be done for many reasons...the detection of fetal abnormality (the severity of the abnormality, however, remains to be seen), maternal health issues (which is probably another "gray" area), etc. When it comes to fetal abnormalities, we all can probably cite personal examples of people we know who were told their baby in utero would possess some sort of abnormality only to find out it was perfectly healthy upon delivery. How many of these "early induction" abortions are being performed on perfectly healthy babies? And, should that even matter? I guess I am one of those "right wing extremists" that believes abortion is not acceptable under any circumstance (except maybe in the dire emergency to save the life of the mother...and how often does that situation actually arise, statistically?) I know I have a VERY small voice, but if I can shed any light onto this subject through this blog and raise awareness in our community for what is happening under our noses, it will be worth it.
It has been such a long time since I have done any home updates...I have been too busy to even keep it clean over the past year and without the time to actually make it pretty! This summer started out with me having surgery, but once I had recovered, I was ready to do some much needed updating of our basement. I feel like the clock starts ticking the moment we are done with school for the summer, and I feel like there's a race to get everything I want to get done until school starts again in the fall. It's the only time mama has any time for her personal projects around here.
First up is the family room/school room. I really wanted to lose the school-ish look to our family room and reclaim a little of the family room area for relaxing, watching movies and spending time together as a family. Here is my office area where I do all of my editing and school-related work. I found the desk on the curb during spring clean-up. I painted it and did a little fixing on it, and it's (almost) as good as new.
I love my canvases above my desk. The vintage camera and "smile" sign is a little nod to my love for photography.
Here is the half of our family room that serves as our homeschool area. It is complete with a new worklight for Isaac's school table, which I love.
Here is the half of our family room which is the true "family" room portion. Love how cozy it is! We love hanging out down here now. The new paint color really brightened up the room. We moved the big cupboard out of Isaac's room and it serves as a great storage area for all of our homeschool stuff. The big basket on top of it houses a giant collection of lincoln logs for building together.
I LOVE that my Christmas present from Dave last year, my popcorn machine, has a permanent home now. This cupboard ALSO houses homeschool stuff. Gosh, you have alot of stuff when you homeschool.
Isaac's room went from "big boy" to "bigger boy". Along with a darker and more sophisticated paint color...
He got a more "user friendly" LEGO play area...
as well as a desk (my old desk painted white) with his laptop ready to go. The only problem is, now he doesn't ever want to leave his room.
Graham didn't want to be left out with all of the changes to big brother's room, so we rearranged his room and gave him a new LEGO area...
and just did some freshening up to his room in general...
I love his mason jars which house his bottle cap collection and his rock collection. He loves that they are proudly on display now and not hidden in a drawer.
A couple of summers ago, my dad went through a very serious illness. There were many things that I learned during that time, but one of the most important was how very much my parents love each other, and how blessed I am to have them (and the example of their relationship) in my life. They are two halves of the same whole, and I cannot imagine one without the other. My whole life I have watched them argue at times, yes, (particularly during family vacations) but there have been more times I saw them laugh and tease each other, or kiss and hug in the kitchen. I remember watching my mom take care of my dad during the time he was so sick, and I remember wondering if I could be that strong. Would I have it in me to love that much for that long? Could I do what she did if it came to that?
A couple of weeks ago I had a fairly major surgery. The first night I was in the hospital, I was scared and in a lot of pain. I had a realization that night. The realization was this: I love my parents. I love them more than I can even express. But my parents were not who I wanted in that room with me that night. I wanted my husband, my Dave. It was then that I realized that our love, although it has not endured as long as my parents, is similar in that we are one. I cannot imagine my life without him. In my worst moments, and in my best ones too, he is who I want with me. There is so much we have been through together in the almost 15 years we have been together. And, I am sure there are many more triumphs and heartaches to come. When I think of every memory in my adult years, he is there. He knows me probably better than anyone, and loves me anyway.
I didn't know what a good dad I picked when I said "yes" to the question he proposed to me so many years ago. I didn't know I would have someone to worry with me in the middle of the night over fevers, or someone to wait in the emergency room while the doctor put the cast on. I didn't know watching him teach our son to ride his bike without training wheels would make me fall in love with him all over again. I didn't know my love for my children could be matched exactly, and that there would be one who would share in every lofty dream dreamt for our boys. I didn't know any of this, and I am so glad it's true. He is the best dad I could have ever picked for my sweet boys.
I don't know what the future holds, but I do know who I want next to me through every uncertainty, every decision, every bend in the road. And if, at the end of this, it is I who is taking care of him, making sure he has what he needs and is comfortable in his sickness, I know I could do it. I love him that much. So, this Father's Day, I wanted to remind him how much he means to me and how much I love him. I am so glad I am walking this journey with you, in sickness and health...for richer or poorer...for as long as we both shall live. I love you.
I have a few quiet moments before heading off to bed. These moments are rare and they are precious. I decide to peruse some of the decorating blogs I used to visit daily. The photos I see are of such beautiful homes. They are pristine and perfect. Every pillow is perfectly fluffed. Every wall color picked to perfection. Even the laundry rooms I see look more like a boutique.
Then I look around my house and want to cry. The basement carpet is so badly stained I don't even want to have people over anymore. Despite my best efforts at cleaning and picking up, it looks like someone has ransacked every room. There are toys scattered. Schoolbooks piled. Dishes in the sink (and on the table). Laundry spewing out of the laundry room. A boutique it is not.
I think when I started my motherhood journey, and later my homeschooling journey, I didn't realize how these decisions would impact every part of my life, even how my house looks (especially how my house looks). I am someone who loves perfection, particularly in my home. It is far, far, far from that. And sometimes (OK, alot of times), it really gets to me. Having a beautiful, always clean and organized home is something I have had to sacrifice for this lifestyle I have chosen. There are lots of homeschooling moms out there who will tell you differently. They will tell you that they have come up with a ten point chore system for every child in the family, and they are able to maintain a perfectly clean and organized home, do school, make delicious and nutritious meals for their family, run a successful and profitable home business, juggle knives that are on fire, stand on their head and sing the national anthem while brushing their teeth, and have their children perform a musical number that would rival the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. I am not that homeschooling mom. I live in reality. There are days I am exhausted (most days) and all I want to do is sleep. My children seem to have a real knack for messing up a room as quickly as I can pick it up. I often let my toddler watch television just so I can clean the bathroom or do the dishes. I am lazy sometimes, too. Those dishes in the sink will just have to stay there overnight...I am too tired to deal with them.
I have a few more moments before I head off to dreamland. Today was our last day of school for the year, and I take a moment to read over the goals I set for our homeschool last fall. I realize that every single one of them has either been met, exceeded or is very close to being met. I thumb through Isaac's Language Arts workbook, and look at every line filled in, every page completed. I take in just how much he learned this year and how far we have come. And Graham...in so many ways he far exceeded my expectations of him academically. And best of all, he asked Jesus into his heart this year. That is more important to me than any perfect house you could hand me the keys to.
This messy house will not always be messy. Maybe someday I can have my perfect house. For now, there are three precious boys to raise and to love. This life...this one I have... in it's imperfection, it is perfect.
In 65 minutes from the moment I started composing this blog posting, I will officially be 37 years old. I can hardly believe I am this age. It really does seem like yesterday that I was 16 years old. I can remember SO many things, down to small details, about my growing up years. I am not sure when I became this woman when I really just feel like a girl.
A few weeks ago, the boys and I headed over for a quick visit with my mom. She sat on the couch, looking beautiful with her bald head and cancer body and we loved on her for a few moments. When we left, she called out her frequent reminder to me, "Remember, these are your best years."
They don't feel like it sometimes. Often I am bogged down by the stress and constant demands of family life. There are moments I want to be 16 again, and have few cares in the world. And then when I truly do immerse myself in a moment and enjoy it, I worry if I am enjoying it enough. Or I worry I will forget it. I keep a computer file of precious or funny things my kids said or did that I want to remember. I start to panic when I think I have forgotten some things before I was able to get them recorded. Those moments are gone now. They are forever lost to me.
I rocked my baby two nights ago. He sat on my lap with his cup and blankie, and I sang to him. He turned his head into me in such a way that he was nestled perfectly in my arms. I asked God if I could relive this moment in heaven someday. These are the moments my mama is talking about. I am the queen of their world. I look at the handful of dandelions on my window sill that my precious Graham brings me almost every day, and I want to freeze this time. It's going too fast already, and I know that someday soon I won't be their queen anymore. This time will pass as fast as my window-sill dandelions wilt.
Of all the things I have done in my life so far, of any accomplishments I can call my own, my best is being a mother. It is my life's work, my divine calling. Everything else pales in comparison to this one role in my life. I love my boys with a fierce love that I didn't even know I was capable of. So, would I turn back the clock to be 16 again if given that choice? No, I would not. I want to be their queen for as long as time will let me.
A few days ago, my boys and I visited a local museum as part of a field trip with our homeschooling group. Because I had understood the description of the field trip to have something to do with the history of electricity, I was completely unprepared for the experience that I had once we arrived. The first exhibit the guide took us through was on women pioneer artists of the Red River Valley. The exhibit primarily featured two women, one whose name was Annie Stein. As I began looking through the photos, paintings and historical artifacts, something about Annie Stein's life seemed eerily similar to my own. Annie did not view herself as a "professional" artist. She never received formal art education, and anything she learned about her art (which started with oil paintings and morphed into photography, among other things), she learned on her own by trial and error. While other, more notorious artists were gaining experience and inspiration from classically trained master artists, Annie was being trained and inspired by The Master. One of her quotes was,
"Do not criticize me harshly, for God is my Master."
Annie began her career by painting portraits of her family members from photographs. Eventually, she became interested in portrait photography and set up a studio in her home (at the exhibit, there were even photos of her makeshift home-studio, as well as a display of some of the furniture she had in her studio!). She was inspired by the things around her in her world, and by things she saw in magazines and books. She would keep a record of the things that inspired her in scrapbooks. I felt like Annie and I were kindred spirits, separated by 100 years. I have never considered myself a "professional". When it comes to my photography, I have always felt like maybe I ended up here through some circumstances I did not provoke.
I will never forget the story relayed to me by my Isaac. At church one night, he heard about a recent missions trip some of the attenders had went on to Nepal. One of them told a story about a woman who had children and whose husband had left the family. She had no way to support herself or her children. Unable to become employed, her and her children would surely die in poverty. One night, this woman described that Jesus appeared to her in a dream and taught her how to weave. After this dream, the woman was able to put this skill to use to support her family by selling the items she had woven. Somehow, this woman, too, is my sister. We are not separated by years, but by an ocean. I know I am not living in poverty. I know I am blessed to live here in America, surrounded by family who can help us when need be. However, like this young woman in Nepal, I needed a way to help provide for my family. God gave me this gift. So many times I look at the portraits I create and think to myself, "I shouldn't be able to do this." He has made me better than I would be without Him, I know this is true. Truly, "God is my Master."
(double click photos)
Right now, you are 15 months and 10 days old. And you are busy. Very, very busy.
You love the dog. You hug him and yank on his beard and follow him around all day long. He doesn't mind. He loves you, too. With all of his heart.
Sometimes, you make me come undone. You are so beautiful and soft and I love every, single inch of you.
I love those baby cheeks. I know they won't be that way very much longer. Your pudgy little hands will look like those of a big boy before I even know it.
You love The Wiggles. I am not sure what it is about grown men dancing and singing in brightly colored shirts, but you adore them. You also love Elmo.
I am not sure if you ever play with your toys. Your favorite things are the remote control, mama's cell phone and the plastic cups and bowls in the kitchen cupboards. You love playing basketball with your brothers in the basement, and will carry a basketball around the house everywhere. Lately, I feel like I am constantly rescuing you from some dangerous situation you have found yourself in. On top of the kitchen table. Climbing onto the stove. Finding some sharp object (sharpened pencils are your current fave) to poke yourself in the eye with. Your guardian angel is working overtime these days (and so am I).
You love your big brothers. You adore your Papa. After Mama, he's the next person in line you want to take you. Sometimes, you get mad. And when you do...watch out! You like to pinch and scratch anyone in your way.
You love crackers. You found a bag of your brother's infamous cheezits one day, and you were hooked. You have stopped loving anything healthy for you. But, I persevere. I keep putting it on your tray. You keep dropping it to the floor for the dog (no wonder he loves you).
I look at you, and can't believe you're mine. I love this stage, as busy as it is. I fall in love with you more each day. You are the absolute love of my days.
I'm not sure when it happened. Maybe the shift was subtle, or maybe it was like pulling off a bandage. But, somewhere along the way things in our country changed drastically. All of a sudden, right is wrong and wrong is right. And I am constantly surprised at who is on what side. Nothing is constant anymore (except, of course for God and His Word), everything is evolving and unpredictable. I think there are alot of factors involved in the shift...churches who don't preach the Word of God anymore (they're too busy entertaining everyone and keeping everyone feeling warm and fuzzy), social media spurring on debate and giving everyone a virtual sounding board (making us feel "connected" with one another and completely isolated at the same time), parents not raising their children and allowing daycares and school systems to determine what their children's values will be, the constant bombardment within the god of entertainment of evil things, and a government who has completely spiraled out of control and left us longing for true leadership. But, here we are, and I am exhausted. I want off of this carnival ride called American Culture. I guess I am longing for my Heavenly Home these days...where all is right and good. Where life makes sense. Because frankly, it doesn't make much sense to me right now. I'm not sure why there is any debate at all surrounding ending the life of a human being that God breathed into life. How is that even possible? Of all the things to choose sides on, of all the things to "go to the gallows" over, this is what you are going to pick? Killing a precious human life? Really? And now there's yet another thrust to end the traditional definition of marriage. The people have voted time and time again...this is not what the majority of Americans want, yet here we are. And the church, for fear of offending anyone and appearing "hateful" is either silent, or burying what God says in His Word under so many suffocating blankets of "love." I am not for hate. I believe in loving others. It is what the Word of God tells us to do, so that is what we should do. Yet, can we deny that the Bible states that homosexuality is clearly wrong? And I don't want any scriptural acrobatics done to show me I am wrong. I have learned in my life that the truth is always simple. If God wanted us to understand something, he wouldn't make it complicated or convoluted. I'm tired of what is going on around me...the constant struggle to figure out where I stand in this tsunami of change. I want the "good old days" again...maybe they were articifically contrived, but they felt good to me. I was small, and I had my mom and dad and brother who loved me...I felt safe and secure, and didn't have to think about much beyond my world of Barbie dolls. And I didn't have to think about how on Earth I am going to raise my three boys to fear God, and protect them from all that is going on around them. I want them to have that same world of safety and security, but I'm not sure if it's even possible. God Help Us.
Shortly after Grayson was born, I went through a time of anxiety related to SIDS. I was so worried about finding him gone in his crib that I could hardly sleep at night. The anxiety seeped into my daily life, and I found myself getting anxious over other things too, but I knew the basis of it came from the worries I had over my Grayson. I have always tended to be a worry-wart when it comes to my children, but this fear was almost debilitating. When Grayson was diagnosed with a hole in his heart a few weeks after his birth, my anxiety intensified. I prayed, I knew my children were all in His hands, but I needed to find a tangible way to sleep at night.
That is when I found the Angelcare monitor after doing a search online. This wonderful invention is a sensor pad that you place underneath the baby's mattress and will go off if it does not detect movement within 20 seconds.
The first night I hooked it up was the first night of restful sleep I had experienced since Grayson was born.
It was then that God planted a thought in my heart that when I was done with the monitor, I wanted it to go to a mom like me who needed some peace of mind and a little rest.
Fast forward a few months. I am done with the monitor now, those weeks of anxiety have now passed. I still have the thought that I want my beloved monitor to go to someone who really needs it, but I am just not sure what to do with it. I eventually just list it on Craig's List.
I got the phone call today from the mom. Through the course of the short conversation I had with her, I came to find out she has just lost her 2 year old to an apparent SIDS type of death. She has a baby too, and just can't relax at night and is fearful something will happen to him.
God sees her, just like He saw me. He put the two of us together. I gave her the monitor as a gift from me. As a gift from Him. God is alive, he is moving every day. Every day a million little miracles are unfolding all around us. It is up to us to stop and listen. He isn't in the fire or the wind. He speaks in the still, small whispers within your heart. I confess, I don't always hear it. I am too inundated with noise and activity to hear Him speaking to me. But this time, I did. I knew he would move, and He proved himself faithful. Once again...faithful.
Mostly, our days are filled with the mundane. Then, I glance over to where the two of you are playing by the window. There is so much love in the way you look at him. "Hey buddy," I hear you quietly say, "how much bigger is my hand than yours?"
And someday, when you are all grown up, and your manly-man talk consists of the weather, or politics, or your grown-up life, you won't remember this. But, I will. Because it's locked inside my heart.
I look at your little face at age 3 on the screen, preserved for a lifetime to see. And I want to make myself jump through the screen and join you, and live that life for just a few moments. I hear your little voice and I can't believe you were ever that small. I hear it now, talking to your brother downstairs, and it is that of a nine year old boy. When did that happen? And just like that, the video I am watching stops, the battery is dead.
Life is that short, we are here for a moment and then gone. The moments of today cease and become the history of yesterday.
And I haven't quite figured out how to live in the moment of today. I am always wrapped up in the past, or dreading the future. Meanwhile, around me life is unfolding, and I am not really enjoying it, not really feeling it.
I want to. I look at little Grayson, now a year old, and I want to tell him to "STOP!" Stop growing so fast! You are toddling around the house, and soon you will be running. You are speaking your baby gibberish to me, but soon you will be giving me your opinions about all of the things you think are important.
We are living our life, doing mundane things like laundry and dishes. Once in awhile something extra-ordinary happens, and we think the ordinary will stop, but it never does. Even though something you have always dreaded happens, life goes on...the sun rises and sets, kids need to be taken care of, bills need to be paid.
But, I want to hold my babies closer for a moment, for today. I want to love my family members with all I have, today.
I remember posting about my tree last year (click here to see last year's post) when I was about 3,495 months pregnant and talking about how it was a subdued year for Christmas decor because of my enlarged state. This year was even worse! Having an almost-toddler in the house again does not lend itself to doing what you want for Christmas decorating. On top of that, I just have been SO busy and decorating has not been on the top of my priority list. Someday, I will go back to my love for all things decorating, but right now I am in a season of life where I am lucky if I can just get my house moderately picked up! Anyway, I wanted to post some quick pics of my tree before I dismantle it for another year. I was halfway done assembling our tree when I realized it was the teeny tiny tree from when we were first married. I think it was $15 at Kmart 14 years ago. If I put this tree up now, it is usually somewhere other than our main living space. I was too tired and lazy to try to find the other tree and take this one down or move it, so I just went with it. I don't like the bottom of the tree, so I found a nice big basket to put it in. I like it, and it really helped to protect it a little bit from tiny, chubby, exploring hands.
We made salt-dough ornaments for the tree this year as part of our Advent activities (thank you Pinterest!). I think they turned out so cute and I will love putting them up every year (as long as they don't break!)
This year, I put up the nativity I made when I was little. She just found it stashed away and gave it to me. I put it up in our school room and I think it is super cute!
"Sons are the anchors of a mother's life." -Sophocles
Isaac is 10 and is a fourth grader this year. He is the laughter of my days. He is dramatic, hilarious, smart, creative and has a great sense of humor. He loves LEGOS, Minecraft, Making stuff out of polymer clay, Taekwondo and music.
Graham is six years old. He is a kindergartner this year. He is the excitement and color of my days. He is obliviously hilarious, independent, snuggly, sweet and totally boy. He loves LEGOS, minecraft, eating, playing basketball and doing projects with mom and dad.
Grayson is 18 months old. He is the pure love of my days. He likes to do whatever his brothers are doing, he loves to snuggle with mama and get into stuff around the house. He loves his papa.