Tuesday, September 4, 2012

my heart is blessed

What blesses my heart more than anything else? When someone takes time out of their busy life to pour themselves into one of my children. It overwhelms my heart!!!!

My sister Jessica, known primarily as "Aunt Chica" in our house, is one of those special people who truly LOVES my kiddos like her own. She promised Will a date before her 1st baby is born this Friday...little did Will know his date with Chica would also include "Uncle Tater" (her husband Nate, and yep we're kinda funny about nicknames in this family).

So to set the stage I guess I should go back to the part about their 1st baby being born....They found out this morning that they'll go in to the hospital on Thursday to be induced. Which means Jess & Nate have 2 nights left as a couple without any distractions. And what do they do with their free time? They pour love, time, attention & teaching into my sweet son. I don't really know how to communicate to them how FULL this mommas heart was tonight. I am SO BLESSED to have such amazing siblings...

Will has always wanted to learn how to golf. Neither Billy or I know the first thing about it...but Will's "Uncle Tater" is a golf STUD (see I don't even know golf lingo for "really good"). So Chica & Tater surprised Will and took him out to the course tonight for his first private lesson.
I love this shot my sister captured of Nate getting down on Will's level to show him how to do it. That's just my brother-in-law for you... taking time out of his crazy busy week and spending the last few hours before his first child is born loving on my little guy.
This picture might be one of my favorites from their outing...Nate is gonna be such a great daddy!!!
Jess sent me this one towards the end of their evening. I can tell Will is standing a little taller than normal here...he feels like "one of the boys" when he's with his uncles. My brother-in-laws and hubby are great like that. They create this amazing atmosphere for my boys and nephews where they include the boys and build them up. I'm overwhelmed tonight at what a gift this is to my boys. They are surrounded by GREAT MEN...men who not only talk the talk but more importantly walk the walk...
and tonight Nate invited Will to walk beside him for a few hours.
What a gift.
Finally, this is my precious sister Jessica. A woman whom I have the utmost respect and love for. We joke that we should have been born twins - we really do share the same heartbeat for the world. She is no doubt going to be the best momma ever. She's full of love & grace and it spills over onto everyone she meets.
I know I am blessed by a rare group of siblings that I get to call "mine". Outings like tonight are not that uncommon. It's a weekly think for us to "trade kids" and spend time loving on all our nieces and nephews. We know what pain is, and we know the sweetness of having someone to "walk in the rain through the storm" with. I guess you could say we've been refined a bit by the fire. We're not perfect by any means - but we love each other, and most days that's more than enough.
 Maybe it's my "twin-ness" with Jessica that is making me extra emotional tonight, but my heart is SO SO FULL. I can't thank God enough for the some of the richest blessings in my life.
As I lay my head tonight I'll be praying a special blessing over each one...
Aunt Stephie, Uncle Eric, Aunt Chica, Uncle Tater, Aunt Emily, Uncle Rossi, Uncle Adam, & Aunt Vern.

Monday, September 3, 2012

12 adults... 19 kiddo's


I love sitting around a campfire and this Labor Day Weekend we spent every evening under the stars around this fire. We were invited to camp with 5 other families at Twin Mills...that meant 12 adults and 19 little ones...not including the 2 infants on the trip. To say we were outnumber was an understatment!

One afternoon I found all the kids sitting in a circle in our camper. It was so sweet to watch as the older ones organized a game of "would you rather"... I was so impressed with the way they kept the little ones attention. It was neat to see the next generation working together and including everyone. I was a proud momma!!!

I snapped this pic one day after we biked down to the lake for a swim. 12 adults & 19 kids equals a lot of bikes!!! :) Love being part of a big group of families committied to living life together and raising our kiddo's to love the Lord.
At the lake the kids had a sand-castle building contest....boys vs. girls. Ella loved getting to spend the afternoon in the sand with GIRLS!!! So often she's surrounded by all boys and to have all these girls to play with was pure bliss for my sweet little Ella-Bella.
As were were packing up the kids took it upon themselves to "put out the fire"....which as you can imagine turned into a water fight. It was the perfect ending to a relaxing weekend with some great people. I'm not sure my kids have ever been dirtier than they were this weekend... but the smiles on their faces and the endless giggles were so worth it!! 
It was a weekend of simple moments....my favorite kind. :)

Saturday, September 1, 2012


Our friend Glo (Gloria Hsu Pirotte) celebrated her birthday in heaven this week. Happy Birthday Glo - thank you for your beautiful voice, your contagious laugh, your challenging questions, and your committed friendship to April. I had no idea how much you challenged me until you were gone. I know with confidence I will see you again...until then I promise to hug and kiss Kelissa & Karinna for you everytime I see them, and remind them how fun their momma was.
I don't pretend to understand God's plan right now...but I choose to trust.
Just as you did.

mexico 2012

The longer I blog the more I'm finding that it's easier for me to give words to the simple moments in my days than the life changing moments in my years. Trying to explain how special our family vacation this summer to Mexico was seems overwhelming. I took the following pictures thinking they would add a fun touch to a beautifully written blog post detailaing our trip when we returned. And I just can't start. I can't find the words I need to share my heart.  The challenge of communicating the preciousness of that time with just the 5 of us is to big. So for now I will just share the pictures - and hope that they will be enough to remind me of that beautiful week of no computers, no laundry, no stress - just those I love most in the whole world.

Maybe my writers block has to do with the fact that these memories are so special to me I don't want to share them...I'm not sure. I'm just gonna pray that in the years to come the kids will look at these pics and remember all the special moments we shared... ordering chocalate ice cream from room service (every night!!), early morning walks on the beach, searching for shells, trying new foods, playing games in the room, bubble baths that overflowed with bubbles, and more...and may they know how much they are loved.
Mexico 2012 - I'll hide your memories in my heart and thank the Lord for that week. It was such a gift!!!
Hoping a picture really is worth 1,000 words...