Wednesday, October 30, 2013


It's only Wednesday and it's been a long week! You know the saying "it never rains, but it pours?" Well, so far this week we lost the contract on the house we have been trying to sell back east (the DAY before closing! I mean!) Which meant we also had to give up the contract we had on a house we loved up here in MI. And on top of that, our furnace went out and our washing machine kicked the bucket! I always think it's kind of funny when multiple things go wrong all at once. Sometimes you just have to throw your hands in the air and laugh.

The good things that happened this week:

A dinner with new friends.

Matt found my lost wedding band which had been missing for months!

Silas finally broke his "no-nap streak" and took good, solid naps two days in a row. (Poor boy has been breaking in his molars and it has been no fun for anyone.)

A new (to us anyway) washing machine that works. No more laundromats!

I experimented in the kitchen with a dairy free/gluten free quiche and it came out edible!

Pretty trees everywhere. Michigan does autumn right.

A break in the cold snap, bringing a warm breeze and much needed sunshine.

Good progress in physical therapy. I'm amazed at how much better/more flexible I feel since starting a few weeks ago. It's also nice that my therapist is a sweetheart and when I go for my sessions it really feels like I'm working out and having fun with a girlfriend.

You have to take the good with the bad and roll with life's punches. I have so much to be thankful for, that it really makes no sense to get pulled down by disappointments. Here's looking forward to entering a very busy November with an optimistic spirit!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Sunday Drive

After a week of really cold rain, wind (and even some snow!) we really needed to get out of the house this weekend. Luckily Sunday was sunny and mild. 

Matt has had covered bridges on his mind for a while now, (?) and has been trying to get us out of the house to explore a couple he had read are in the Grand Rapids area. Our weekends have just been really packed lately, and then we were all passing around an annoying cold, so this was the first real chance we've had to go check them out. 

^ The first bridge was almost an hour away, in a weird little village called Fallasburgh. It was very pretty. You can actually drive over this bridge (very, very slowly - 5mph or you pay a $5 fine, haha.) ^

^ The second covered bridge was in downtown Ada. We kind of fell in love with this little town, it was super cute! This was a walking-only bridge. (And the reason that handsome son of mine is crying is because he had tripped a couple of minutes before and his feelings were really hurt.) ^

^ Matt took some pictures of me and the kids and I didn't know whether to laugh or cry looking at myself! At just 30 weeks I look ready to pop, and gosh I feel like it too. Pregnancy is just not kind to shorties. ^

A sunny day and a country drive do wonders for the soul. I'm so glad we were able to make some time for a little exploring before the weather gets really nasty.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Trick or Treat!

I kind of liked that our downtown did a morning trick or treat time where the local businesses passed out candy. It was mostly younger families and kids out at 10AM, and the scarier costumes weren't quite so startling to the kids in the daylight as they might have been in the dark. (Our kids are kind of the wimpiest about anything "scary" so that's always been a concern for us taking them trick or treating.) 

^^ This picture kills me. He hates being told where he can't go! ^^

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Rapunzel & Yoda

Halloween has been too much fun this year. Mostly because our kids are hysterical and they're exponentially more hysterical when they're dressed up in costumes.

We took the kids trick or treating (first time ever!) downtown Saturday morning. Even though it was freezing, we all had a good time. Olive could not stop "princess twirling" and Silas looked a little too convincing as Yoda. (He looks miserable in all his photos, but I promise he had a good time!)

I have to talk about my girl for a minute. Olive was way into it all this year. From being totally determined that she had to be Rapunzel, despite my trying to convince her to be something a little more unconventional (she would not be budged,) to making her own crown and waiting patiently for a good 20-30 minutes while I curled her hair (good Lord this kid has a lot of hair!) she really enjoyed every second.

When her whole look was completed, she twirled in ecstasy for at least 5 minutes and then solemnly declared that I was to call her "Princess" all day and not Olive. To which I replied "absolutely not." To her credit, she got over it rather quickly.

Hard to believe that next year we'll be doing this with THREE! Eeks.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Hello Third Trimester

Today I am 30 weeks pregnant! Hard to believe in some ways (this has seemed like the fastest pregnancy ever.) On the other hand...

I am so very ready to be done. (Isn't that what everyone says when they hit the third trimester? But seriously, I really mean it!) This pregnancy has been hard. Since the 24 week mark or there about, I have been extremely uncomfortable. Somewhere in the last 3-4 weeks the discomfort turned into "ouch-can-barely-walk-or-sleep" pain. My pelvis is tilted forward to the right, and with the weight of the baby on top of it, my right S.I. joint is majorly pinched.

I'm seeing a physical therapist now, twice a week. She does a deep tissue massage on my hips for about 30 minutes, (these massages are actually really painful, but gosh when they're done I feel so much more flexible that I just want to go climb a mountain or something!) and then she leads me through a series of exercises to strengthen the weakened muscles that are causing me issues. I have to do the exercises 2-3 times a day at home. I'm starting to see some small improvements. Hopefully the extra work will keep things bearable until the baby is born.

The baby (who we think has a proper name now, we just can't commit to it 100% until we meet her) moves all the time now. She's our little gymnast/contortionist. One day she managed to turn herself sideways, in a pretty high position. My stomach looked disturbingly ridiculous, and for about 3-4 hours I just wanted to die. I couldn't get a full breath and was extremely nauseas. Finally I had what felt like a major contraction and she flipped back down and: instant relief. She better not do that ever again!

Braxton hicks haven't really been an issue, but last Sunday I had to work in the nursery and overdid it picking up kids and toting babies on each hip. I had contractions that were actually painful for a good 3 to 4 hours. I should have called my doctor, but it was a Sunday afternoon and I wasn't bleeding, so I held off. Finally after tylenol and a hot bath they settled down. It made me realize (1) we're getting so close to the end of this pregnancy, and (2) my current state of mind feels very unprepared to enter into labor and delivery. Yikes.

We actually have very little prepared yet for this baby girl. We've had several major things going on the last couple of months and baby prep has been left on the back burner. I'm hoping to take advantage of some good Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales next month and get the items that we really need, like a carseat, a carrier and infant clothing. Hopefully she stays put through the holidays so we can everything done!

I still feel anxious whenever I think of labor, delivery and adjusting to life with a newborn + 2 young children. However, the excitement of meeting her face to face and getting to know a new personality is growing for all of us.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Winter Comes Early

This is what we woke up to this morning.

I would have been more excited about it if I didn't have a physical therapy appointment at 9AM.

I guess if we're going to have snow before Halloween, it's acceptable to start listening to
Christmas music before Halloween...right?

Friday, October 18, 2013


1. Fall flowers 2. We have eaten so many honey crisp apples this autumn! 
3. One of those rare moments when my kitchen table is clean and pretty! 
4. Rainy evenings call for indulging in computer time. We are big fans of "The Wiggles" here.

So, yesterday. It wasn't my best day. I woke up with a bad attitude from the start after a restless night of sleep, (which I'm guessing is just the new norm until baby is born.) It was rainy, I had a 100 or so errands to run, and my first session of physical therapy (for a pinched S.I. joint/out-of-whack pelvis) was a lot more painful than I expected. I finally came home to a house that looked like a tsunami had rolled through, and the realization that we were out of diapers. And wipes. 

I was so tired, and hungry, and just mad. I took it out on the kids. It wasn't fair. I felt horrible. I ended up running back out for the umpteenth time later to buy them each a little toy (which probably isn't a great parenting model, buying conciliatory presents for your kids to appease your guilt and whatever, but it was the first [and probably last ha] time I've ever done such a thing and it was a pretty fun, spontaneous thing to do.) And then I went to bed and cried and everything was a lot better this morning. Oh, life!

Childrens' latest achievements: Silas has learned to open door knobs. Do you have any idea how much crazier this makes non-napping hours? Also, Olive has taken to scaring the living daylights out of us by waking us up at 3AM with something random to tell us, or to ask for a cup of water. There is nothing so frightening as waking up abruptly to a little four year old, nightgowned child staring solemnly at you while you're sleeping. Obviously I have never fully recovered from seeing "The Ring" as a teenager. 

I am so very relieved that the government is back OPEN, simply because we have a contract on our old house back east and we were starting to worry that it was all going to fall through! Say a prayer for us that it will all go through smoothly from here. It will be a huge relief to be rid of that house. 

We're rapidly approaching that time where our lease here is almost up and decisions about next year need to be made. Having our house sell opens up a lot more options, though I have felt hesitant about buying again. Matt is feeling a lot more motivated than I am, (probably because he's not pregnant.) All I can say is, it would have to be a really special house to convince me to take on moving before January. 

These brownies. Oh emm geeeeee. Don't be intimidated by the strange ingredients! They're so good! (I have a batch in the oven as I type.)

2 things that have made me feel a lot better in the last month: this moisturizer and this hair treatment. Just a couple of drops of the oil diffused through my hair make a HUGE difference. These will be life savers as the weather gets cooler and dryer.

Tis the season to cuddle up on long dark nights and... veg out in front of a screen. Right? This documentary was so interesting, though I'm always a little let down when I learn how strange/dysfunctional many of the artists/authors I admire so much were! This was another fascinating documentary. The human ability to adapt and survive in such extremes amazes me! Both documentaries are on Netflix right now. (Also, Netflix just added this, which makes me a very very happy girl.) 

I think we're getting closer on a baby name. I recently fell in love with the name Oona though Matt wasn't as keen. (Somebody name their baby girl Oona for me please!) I'm still in no way shape or form prepared to have a newborn in less than 3 months. Need to start working on that. This item is high up on my wishlist! I am determined that baby girl will learn to love being worn, because I don't see how I'm going to survive three under the age of 4 without wearing the baby and having my hands free. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Last Day of September

I really am having a hard time believing September has passed already. Our lives this month went from being predictable, slow paced and rather lonely to suddenly being so full, busy and full of lovely people. We've recently started to settle into a really warm, loving church family (thank You Lord, what a huge answer to prayer and great encouragement to our hearts!) In September I joined a women's Bible study, a Friday playgroup, and we had the sweet privilege of sharing meals/coffee with a few families. On top of all that, we're full-swing into homeschooling Olive, and I'm doing morning daycare for a friend's 2 year old two mornings a week. We've been having a lot of fun, and I'm sure that has made the time pass so swiftly (a little too swiftly for my liking!)

We witnessed God shaking up our lives in more than a few ways last month, and we are excited to see what He's going to do in the near future. More soon!

We've been enjoying a really beautiful, mild autumn in west Michigan. Evening walks at the park are a real pleasure, especially when we time it around the sunset. I'm trying not to think too much about how fast another long winter is coming, and am really attempting to just soak in all the colors, smells and beauty of this favorite season.