{Moments}

Do you ever get caught off guard by a moment?

Overwhelmed with its beauty or wonder?

I often do.

Whether I’m hiking to the top of a mountain in Canada and am taken aback by the beauty of creation, or I’m watching my daughter drink a bottle in the fading light of day, I see it.

I’ve always been that way.  The way the sun sparkled on the asphalt after a rain would always dazzle me as a child.  Moments and images have always touched me.

And for that reason, this post spoke to me.

I have a fairly nice camera, yet I don’t quite know how to use it well (I took photography classes before Digital existed . . . ahem).

I have a desire to capture moments, yet I let so many pass me by. I focus on capturing perfectly posed images rather than the beauty of our everyday lives.

So, today, I took out the “big” camera and captured some moments, both good and bad.  Because these moments are real.  They are life.  They are the moments that will create memories.  Memories that I want to cherish forever.

After all, this life I’m living as a wife and mother, is exactly what I aspired to as a youth.  Only now, I realize that this time of mothering little ones-which I longed for my whole life-is going to slip by in a blink of an eye.

So, I’ll try to capture it and cherish it. That way, these moments that move me so much? However simple and unposed.  They’ll be mine to keep and to share with my children when they are grown.  A legacy.

 

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{insta-love}

It’s friday.

I spent pretty much the whole day running errands, which is big for me.  I usually don’t go anywhere!

My kids were troopers, but it has been a long day and I’m not feeling well, so I’m ready to drink cocoa, eat carrot cake, and watch Once while I grade and work online.

Hubby is working late and then working all day tomorrow, but then SUNDAY!  Sunday is church and fellowship, and the Thanksgathering!  I’m so looking forward to it!

How has your week been?  Are you prepping for Thanksgiving yet?

Here’s a peek into our week via instagram photos (I’m jenanninga if you want to follow).

 

There was a PRO-AM golf tournament over the weekend that hubby really wanted to go to.  We loaded up the girls and went out to the local country club.  Addie was enthralled and soooo well behaved.  The weather was beautiful, and there were trees, and everything was green!  I loved that part of it.

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Hubby has been on a roll with projects around here!  He brought this piece of wood home from work awhile back and I stained it.  My friend Ashley (who has an awesome sign shop on etsy) made me the vinyl numbers.  Now, all that is left is hanging it!

 

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I really regret not rocking this one to sleep more, but with a crazy toddler running around it hasn’t always been an option.  So, I turned on a cartoon for said toddler and rocked the wee one to sleep.  It was heaven.

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Speaking of the toddler.  She had a rough morning of dropping a heavy stool directly onto her big toe.  So, we made cake.  Then, as it was baking, I realized the date was her exact half birthday!  So, I stuck a candle in the mini-cake I had made her and she blew it out.  It was such a simple way to make her happy.

I also love the gallery wall behind her that we recently finished.  The last piece was the number 5.  It represented our family and despite my miscarriage, I can’t bring myself to take it down.

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We’ve been cruising in the Mustang lately, which is always fun.  Inconvenient with kids, but fun.  Like, the guy at Costco gas knows me:

“So you have two kids now!”  and then a five minute conversation about Mustangs.

Or the cart pusher at Michaels- a teen-aged boy – “Nice car!”

I will admit: it makes me feel cool . . . and young.

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We host a growth group every Tuesday and this year we have been doing potluck style dinners every week.  This week was mac ‘n’n cheese week. A few of us made mac ‘n’ cheese and the other brought veggies, salad, and dessert.  Oh, and I made cider.  It was delish! Also, autocorrect annoys me to no end!

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Little blondie turned 11 months!  What?!  Invites for the first birthday are out.  I can’t believe it!

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Lastly, this moment.  I think my caption was something about my heart almost bursting.  But truly, it was one of those perfect moments.  It was cloudy, grey, and cold outside.  I had the netflix fire on.  I was drinking tea.  Addie was still napping, and this one was quietly looking at books. It was just A. MOMENT.

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Did you have any great moments this week?

{11 Months}

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How is this happening?!  11 months?!

Our sweet one’s personality is growing every day and she is such a fun bundle of energy and a total love bug.

She will snuggle and pat your back and clap for your successes!  We love her!

I am so curious to see who she will develop into during the next six months as walking and talking become more of her reality!

Happy 11 months, little one!

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{Thankful Tree}

Thanksgiving is almost here!

What are your plans?

We are in that stage where plans fluctuate as old traditions change and new ones are created.  This year we will be at Thanksgiving with my husband’s family.  The family we join with consists of second and third cousins that we only see once every couple of years.

As a shy person, this is a challenge for me.  This year, however, I am trying to be more proactive.

So, I miss my Thanksgiving?  I would do it differently.  Ok, then, quit being a bystander and DO SOMETHING!

I decided that I want to be more of a presence (as much as my shy and awkward personality will allow), so I am planning some activities for the kids, bringing the focus of the day to Christ, and hoping to offer to take family photos of the relatives as well!

All that to say: Here, I made these thumbprint Thankful trees.

HA!  If you know anything about Pinterest, you know that the thumbprint tree is old news.  However, I thought using it in place of a thankful tree would be fun.  I’ll have everyone add a green, red, yellow, brown, or orange thumbprint to the tree and then I can take it home to scan and email to all of the families.  They can then print it and use it as fall decor is they want.  I will send the original to the matriarch of the family.

It’s simple, it’s fun; and it reminds us why we ought to be thankful (thanks to the scripture at the bottom).  Feel free to download and use these printables for yourself!

How about you?  Starting any new traditions this year?

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{insta-love}

It has been a strange week and I was so ready for Friday.  I just kept telling myself, “Once 5:30 hits, my husband will be home and he won’t be leaving me all weekend”.  I just need him right now.

In fact, I burst into tears just before posting this.  After all, my first ultrasound was scheduled for this coming Wednesday, and we were planning on announcing my pregnancy.  Instead, I am, “monitoring” my healing and calling the doctor back next week for an update on my miscarriage.  It’s a hard thing. I am really wanting my healing to be complete, so I can move forward.

But, my daughters have brought me such joy this week and so many people have sent kind words, prayers, food, texts, cards, and cookies.  We have felt so loved and encouraged.  And, it rained (A California miracle)!

My life is so full of blessings that I feel as if I shouldn’t be sad, as if I’m not allowed to be sad.  I know that’s not true; that God knows my pain.  But, I also know that I do have much to be grateful for. So very, very much!

A rare rainy day called for her first hot chocolate.  She was so proud!

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Also, she is apparently fearless. Python?  King Snake?  Gecko? Bearded Dragon?  Begging to hold them.  Giggling at them.  Didn’t want to give them back!  She amazes me.

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Friends and breakfast for dinner is always a good idea.

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This scene.  It’s one of my favorites.

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At two-and-a-half, she has become an awesome helper.  Give her a task and she is ALL over it.  Helping Daddy fix the tail light was the high point of her day!

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She also “helped” Daddy make these amazing shelves.  Plumbing pipes and fittings and stained wood.  BOOM.  Oh, and the tags still on because I hate peeling sticky tags off!

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The little one’s personality is coming out in full force these days.  When Addie saw the yogurt on Ellery’s face, she declared, “Oh, baby is a kitty!” It cracked me up.

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Like I said, people have poured out love on us.  My friend Aimee called on Monday and said, “Just calling to let you know I’m driving to your house to being you dinner right now.”  It was the sweetest.  Then, my sister-in-law brought dinner, snacks for Addie, treats, and flowers.  Another friend volunteered to make food.  Another friend stopped by with cookies and a card.  We are so thankful for our church community and our family.

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So much grading!  sometimes I get frustrated and bitter when I think of moms who don’t have to do this and everything else I could be using this time for, but this job is a major blessing to our family and we absolutely need it, so I am trying to stay positive! Plus, middle school writing is always hilarious to read.

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Her new favorite: Puppet shows.  I literally took five minutes to {crookedly} sew some curtains and place them on a tension rod.  Then, I grabbed a pair of my socks and gave Addie the fabric pens to make her “Puppets”.  I named them Poppy and Boppy and she requests shows all day.  It is fun, but my forearms are exhausted!

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Today we are going to watch a PRO-AM golf tournament.  I know, we’re cool.  What are your weekend plans?

{The One I Lost}

On Monday, I had a miscarriage.

I was 7 weeks pregnant.

I woke up and immediately knew something was wrong. It was intense.

It was painful: physically and emotionally.

The tears come here and there, but there are two little girls who need me. And, although I feel deep sadness, I also feel hope.

I know that God has ordained the size of my family and the timing of its expansion, should that be His plan.

So, even though I ache when I think of the bump I should have had by Christmas and the baby that should have been in my arms in June, I know that God is in control.

How I wish I could have kept this little one.  I wish she (because now I feel certain it was a she) could have called me “Mama”.

I pray that someday, I will blessed with another one to call me “Mama” and I thank God for the two who already do.

I’m praying now, that my body will complete the miscarriage naturally and I can avoid a D&C. I’ll know in a day or so.

For now, I’m trying to rest and I’m trusting God in this hard place.

{10 months}

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How have ten months passed already?!

This little one is seriously a delight and such a charmer.  She is pretty much happy all the time although she has started to voice her opinion: when we don’t feed her fast enough or a large enough amount, when her sister takes her toys, or when we remove a dangerous item from her clutches!

It’s been fun to see how much more she and her sister are playing together and how Ellery just think Addie is the most hilarious person ever.

I do believe our little angel is teething, so maybe more than two teeth are in her future!

All in all, it has been a wonderful 10 months and I am so thankful for our little blondie.

 

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I didn’t take a comparison photo this month, so this adorable shot will have to suffice!

 

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