Wednesday, November 14

Little Miss 5-year-old

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wearing: Lydia's whole outfit is from Target kids, and my dress is from Bohme
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She had her birthday last week on the 6th, but the treats and gifts and special little family activities kept going for the rest of the week or so like they normally do, and she certainly deserved it!

I tell ya, I never knew that I could feel so much joy from simply watching another person experience it, but it's my greatest gift as a parent I think, and my heart was so happy seeing Lydia's excitement as she enjoyed every big and little thing we did to celebrate her and her big day.


     I never want to forget the shy smiles you always give and your little giggle that is almost too perfect to be real. The day you were born was a day I'll never forget. Even though you already had 3 older siblings, it felt like a fresh new beginning to for me as well to hold you in my arms and imagine who you would become as I watched you grow. My heart is forever coated in an extra layer of happiness because you are mine.

     You're the only baby I've ever had who has used the pouting lip, and you do it so well! haha It's hard to keep a straight face when I'm trying to explain or teach something very serious to you when you've made a mistake, but oh how I love teaching you and being taught by you. Yes, you teach ME! We do have our little struggles here and there, but no matter how sneaky you may be sometimes, you always have a pure and bright heart through it all, and everything in my life is sweeter because you are my daughter.

     You are precious in every way, you are a little ray of sunshine no matter the weather, and you are a wonderful little and big sister to your siblings. You're blessed to have your daddy in heaven watching over you, and a bonus daddy here at home who guides and protects you and loves you so so much.

     I can't wait to watch you this next year and see where you go, and I hope you'll let me hold your hand through it all. <3 and="" back="" darlin="" i="" little="" love="" moon="" nbsp="" p="" the="" to="" you="">
                    Love Mama

Wednesday, October 3

My word for October


           Happy October loves!!

     I'm just gonna come right out and say that I've had a few more rough days than usual lately, but thanks to a big day of R&R mingled with some family rock climbing and dessert pizza and singing together, I'm feeling pretty peaceful and inspired:) So this seemed like a great evening to share a few thoughts with you guys about something that's really been great for me this year in hopes of inspiring you to do the same!

     Around the start of December last year I started seeing so many people sharing their 'word of the year' choice for 2018 that they were going to focus on, and I loved that idea of having a theme of sorts! The problem was that when I started putting together my own list of favorites, I couldn't decide on just one. So I saved my list in a draft, and instead I've chosen one for each month on the first day of that month, and it's been such a great way to really keep focused on my word and the 'why' behind each one.

     Here's the list of words that I've been choosing from each month:
     I haven't been sharing my words so far, but I want to share my word for October, and it is: REACH

Influenced greatly for sure by the rock climbing I've been doing nearly every day the last week or so since we bought the family membership. The metaphors for life right now in climbing have been so good for me mentally and spiritually, emotionally, not to mention physically (my arms are killing me.haha), and watching the kids excel at it too is so incredibly rewarding to watch!

     I want to go into it more about our new family obsession sometime soon, but I just love every part of the climbing process from planning out the route from the ground, then as you take steps up the wall and shift your weight and change directions, etc. When you feel all your muscles kicking in to help you stay on course, and when your next hold is just out of reach and you know you may fall if you take the leap, but no matter how hard it gets, you keep going up towards your goal. And at our gym there's an actual hold that says FINISH on it, which is so satisfying to grab and know you did it!

     Anyways, I need all the help I can get lately in convincing myself to just take that leap and reach for the hard things even though I may fall. I need to plan better to help increase my chances for success, but the real progress happens only when I actually start moving towards my goals. I want to keep trying for bigger and better things, but I also need to be okay stopping and taking a rest so my muscles don't give out completely and I have to start over. 

     So! If you feel inspired to choose your own word for October whether it's on my list or not I'd really really love to hear what you choose and why, so please share in the comments!! I wait till the first day of the new month to choose my word because it needs to speak to me based on where my head and heart are right in the moment. And if you do choose a word, I encourage you to print it or write it down and stick it on your mirror or fridge or bedside lamp (or all three), anywhere where you'll see it frequently and be reminded to get back on track with your focus and keep at it. Just promise to let it be something that inspires and encourages you through whatever may come this month.


Monday, September 17

A Yellowstone Sunrise


     Hey there fam:) It's been a long while since I've woken up to watch a sunrise, but even though I can't remember specifics of the last time I do only have good memories and feelings associated with them. This particular morning was a special one. We were boondocking (living in campers without electrical or water hookups) outside of Yellowstone National Park, camped high up on a hill above a beautiful valley and a bright blue lake. Richard and I had been woken up by something outside the trailer, and after about 20 minutes or so of talking softly to each other (so as to not wake up any babies), I pointed out that it was starting to get lighter outside and suggested we go out to watch the sunrise. Richard volunteered to build a fire, and we began pulling on layers as quickly as we could so we wouldn't miss it. 

     Besides my pants, I had on a tank top and a t-shirt as well as a long-sleeved shirt and a sweatshirt but was still shivering. Richard gave me one of his beanies to wear and also helped me put on his hooded sweatshirt and one of his coats too. I couldn't believe how cold it was outside when we left the trailer! There were little patches of snow here and there on the ground, and I felt the cold air hit me in the eyes and they started to water. It was still so beautiful though. The smell of the air was pure and clean, and the whole sky was glowing.

     Richard set to work bringing logs around from behind the trailers and soon had a warm fire going for us to sit by, meanwhile I walked around a bit taking these photos while Deisel bounded around happily in the tall grass and kept bringing me sticks to play fetch with. The sky started as a soft greyish blue with the morning haze, but as we watched the tiniest slivers of yellow and then orange began rising up over the edge of the hills by the water. I used to love to watch the sunset a lot when I was younger, often with my older sister. We'd climb out the bedroom window together and sit precariously on the slanted shingles talking about boys or friends or ideas as it grew darker. This was different though, the sunrise meant a new day was dawning, a fresh start, a bright beginning, and I realized that I liked the symbolism of the sunrise better than the ending of the day, even if it meant I was getting close to bedtime.haha

     We'd come to visit Yellowstone for the first time after receiving the unexpected news that the kids had a 5 day break from school. We had some new friends staying with us that live in their RV full time (The Elmers, you can find them on YouTube and Instagram!), and so we all decided to hit the road together with their Rv and our Camper trailer and play it by ear! It was fully in the spirit of the kinds of trips that our summer had consisted of, and so we felt right in our element again.

     The whole area was beautiful and rugged, but the park itself had a sanctuary type feel about it. We loved our daily visits exploring, taking the walking paths around the guisers and pools and trying to spot as much wildlife as we could. And then in the evenings, we enjoyed so many great talks and different games back at the campsite, with the kids running around playing 'Harry Potter' and lost boys while we cooked dinner by the fire and passed out hot chocolate. Those late-night talks with Matt and Molly Elmer are some of the best memories from the whole summer, and the things they shared with us about their family and their adventures have already had a lasting impact on us. 

     Here's to good friends and spontaneous little camping trips, and bison spottings, and hot chocolate:)
Can you remember the last time you got up to watch a sunset? or stopped to enjoy one for a minute or two?

Take care,

Saturday, September 1

Kicking off September - I need you!

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          Hey loves!

   I really hope that you enjoyed some beautiful weather today and that your September is off to a good start:)

     We wrapped up our first week of school yesterday and everything is starting to run more smoothly at home already. It was a pretty fantastic Summer, the 'best ever' as the kids had been saying with every new trip and activity we introduced.haha Thinking back over the last couple of years and how incredibly hard and complex our last few Summers have been, this year is really the first one that the kids will remember doing Summery type things! I mean the last few months have been full of so many firsts for them, for me as a mother, and Richard too of course. Going camping for the first time, teaching them how to make their first-ever sand castles, visiting their first amusement park, using the heck out of the scooters we got them all for Christmas last year, our first time in a camper trailer, first homemade ice cream, and so much more.

      I already miss the older three and as I said it's only the first week, but they're so excited about seeing their friends again and meeting their new teachers, and now it's time to open my email up again and to dust off my keyboard haha, and I'm just feeling really stoked for Richard and me to get back into a more steady and organized rhythm with home and with our work.

     And this is where YOU come in!!

     I shared on my Instagram recently that I put together my first ever reader survey for you guys, and if you can take a quick minute or two to fill it out (if you haven't already), that would help me help you so much moving forward! I've been working on tons of new and awesome projects and content for you guys, and your answers to the few simple questions will help me put them out in the best order and to also help me narrow down my overflowing list of ideas:)

     Thank you in advance for those of you who take the time to fill it out, and for the thousands of you that have already, I've LOVED reading your thoughts! I really have the greatest community here on my corner of the internet. Truly.

     Talk soon!