Snapshots and a Few Stories from Lately

9.28.2016
Life has been humming along this September.  Levi and I enjoy our {mostly relaxed} days together doing laundry and reading stories and just getting stuff done: like making caramel apples for lunch!  We've gone to regular doctor appointments and followed them up with little dates together.  We saw Pete's Dragon in the theater one day, ate a picnic lunch at the historic Stricker Station another day, hit up the Herrett Museum last week, and of course, have gotten some ice cream.  From the backseat Levi said, "Mom, you're the prettiest!"  It made my day.  I think he's the cutest!  My four-year old companion is the best.  And I am so glad I have him.  We're really soaking in this one-on-one time together while it lasts.

However, once Jed gets home at 3:50PM, it feels like life all of a sudden speeds up to 100mph.  We scramble to fit in all that needs to be done before bedtime: homework, dinner, soccer, showers, ukulele practice, and mutual for me...  It's exhausting!  Both Jed and I are still adjusting to this new schedule.  (Ohhh, the tantrums!)  As fun and good as soccer is, we're both looking forward to mid-October when it's all over and Jed can have some time to unwind and just play like a kid--well, for an hour or two.  And don't get me started on school and homework.  Sooo much homework for a little guy!  Jed has come a long way since school started and I see progress weekly and even daily in his schoolwork and behavior, but wow has it been a stressful few weeks working with his teacher trying to figure out what works best for our first grader. 

This new journey into big kid territory has left me feeling helpless at times!  BUT it also makes me all the more grateful that I get to return to newborn territory in less than two months. Then I can fix all of someone's problems with a fresh diaper and my boob.  :)  Though I'm nervous the combination of exhaustion for caring for a baby and helping my first grader just might kill me.  However, a friend reminded me that if it isn't one thing, it's another.  So I'm trying to roll with the punches and just enjoy the ride!

A few pictures and stories from around the house to document:               


Teamwork!  Backyard apple picking with Kyle.  These two four year old neighbors have become inseparable (and mischievous) peas in a pod since school started.  So I put them to "work" for me one afternoon. I think this picture tells the whole story!  Hehe.  ^^Look carefully in the tree!^^

Third Baby Bumpdate: 32 Weeks

9.27.2016
^^The bump at 31 weeks^^

It is approximately a mere eight weeks (maybe less!) until we meet baby boy number three! I have so many thoughts and feelings about this pregnancy floating around in my head. Although this has probably been the hardest pregnancy physically, it has actually been the easiest in every other way.

Part of it may be because mine and Bron's relationship usually takes a dip during pregnancy, but this time, it hasn't.  We've met in the middle this third time around with lots of communication and understanding.  Plus, we understand that pregnancy is definitely temporary!  It has helped morale a lot.

However, I think the real reason this pregnancy has been so great is that we're truly thankful to be bringing another baby into the family!  This pregnancy isn't being taken for granted.  We prayed two long years for this baby; two years of tears and emotional lows... which is why this pregnancy feels so so incredibly sweet.  He is so wanted. This baby's kicks and rolls inside my tummy mean the world to me. They're like little Morse code messages telling me he's all right from the inside.

I am really enjoying this big 'ol bump out front.  I'm wearing it like a badge of honor because I know I am really going to miss this one day.  No, I won't miss the pains and awkwardness or exhaustion, but I will miss being a part of a miracle that is much much bigger than myself.  How amazing is my body that it's facilitating the growth of another human being?!  I feel like pregnancy is a special privilege.  And if I'm really being honest, the anticipation of meeting our son is half the fun.  It's exciting and life-altering.  I really cannot wait to meet our baby boy!

^^There's nothing like seeing teeny tiny clothes all freshly folded in a drawer to make Baby's arrival feel real!^^

Now to document some details...

A Family Afternoon in the South Hills

9.19.2016

This weekend left me feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.  I think we all needed a little mountain air and family time!  It's been a little different this year, modifying the way we explore and adventure together.  Being so pregnant, I'm just simply not able to be on my feet for long periods of time. So the four (and a half) of us spent all of Saturday afternoon together in the truck meandering down new-to-us dirt roads way up in the South Hills.  We periodically stopped to hop out and wander down some short trails and especially enjoyed soaking in the first of the Fall colors.  We rounded out the evening around a campfire roasting hot dogs and marshmallows for s'mores.  Pretty dreamy, right?  Exactly what I call a good day.

Take a peek at what we found!
 

Flying Airplanes

9.13.2016

Flying airplanes! I think I needed this more tonight than the boys did. I feel like there's so much to squeeze inside those precious hours between 3:45 and bedtime: snack, homework, sports, dinner, shower... there's just not enough time to play! Well, today homework went quickly and smoothly, so we headed outside with some new toys.

Levi's First Day of Preschool

9.07.2016

 Dear Levi,

This morning was your very first day of preschool!  You've been anxiously waiting for this day, asking over and over again when it's finally your turn to go.  Well, today was your big day!  You'll be attending our local private preschool three days a week for 2.5 hours.  I think we're both going to love it.  You'll get a chance to learn and play with friends and be accountable to another adult, but we'll still get to spend most of our time together; I like having a little buddy to keep me company during the day.

You dressed yourself in a new t-shirt and jeans this morning and couldn't wait to get out the door.  However, you suddenly became nervous and clingy when we got into your classroom.  Luckily, your friend Rhett sat down next to you at the table and you were all smiles from there.

When I picked you up, you came out wearing your backpack on one shoulder and strutted out like a pre-teen stud, except you had the biggest grin plastered to your face.  I think I died of cuteness right there on the spot!  I held your hand on our way out to the car and asked what your favorite thing was that day.  You exclaimed, "EVERYTHING!!!" And then promptly told me in detail what you had for a snack.  Yup.  You're totally ready for this.  It's going to be a good school year.

I love you so very much, Levi!  Thanks for putting a smile on my face and making me happy every single day.

Love,

Mom

Labor Day Weekend

9.06.2016

I always look forward to Labor Day weekend: summer's last hoorah!  And somehow, it always gets swallowed up with extended family.  But I don't mind.  That's half the fun.  So let me briefly recap what we did all three of our free summer days.

Friday:

We visited the Twin Falls County Fair!  It just isn't Labor Day weekend if we don't visit the fair.  I love the crazy atmosphere, the dust, the barns, the exhibits, and watching my little boys enjoy all the 4H animals like they're at the world's largest petting zoo.  (I mean, it kind of is, isn't it?)  The boys' favorite part, however, is the model train exhibit.  The joy and excitement!  We sat down and let Jed stare in awestruck bliss with his jaw on the ground for a solid twenty minutes.

However, hands-down, the most exciting part for me was seeing how well my prints did in the photo competition.  I nervously entered four photos into the county fair in the professional class and two won ribbons in their categories! My black and white photo came in second. And the group of boys on the tire swing won first. But not only that, I was pleasantly surprised to see a giant purple and gold ribbon hanging on it as well for "best fair theme"!!! I came away feeling pretty happy about that.