Sunday, February 22, 2015

Some news...

Have I mentioned our news?...

We have decided to move on in our ministry and will be moving to Mobile Alabama in March! Jeremy will be preaching for a wonderful congregation there starting mid March and we are preparing for the heartbreaking goodbyes here in Tarzan.

We are thrilled, anxious, excited, and hopeful for this new ministry opportunity! We are looking forward to so much about it all... But, with the anticipation of the new comes trepidation about saying goodbye to our family in Tarzan. 

I've tried a dozen times to filter my feelings about it all into words, and I just can't. I think the challenge I'm having with it all is trying to find words worthy enough to describe how amazing this place and these people have been to Jeremy and I, and our family for the past 8 years (8 years! Has it been that long?) the people here that make up this body of Christ are our family. They are our moms, dads, brothers, sisters, grandmas, grandpas, (and maybe a crazy aunt or uncle too ;) They have grown us. Taught us. Challenged us. Counceled us. Encouraged us. Welcomed us. And now, with tears in their eyes they are embracing this new transition with us and pushing us out of the nest, reminding us that they will love us from afar, and that this will always be home.

Looking back, I am so thankful that one Sunday we took a trip to a tiny little country church 100 miles away. My life is forever blessed because of it. 

Please pray for us as we make this exciting transition! Thank you all for your loving encouragement and support. 

Until next time,
Brit 




Chicks and ducks

This weekend we went over to some of our most favorite peoples home to see and play with their baby chicks and ducks!

We had the best time playing with the fuzzy little guys and watching how excited Ry and Jackson were to be there.




We had the best time! I don't think the chicks and ducks felt the same ;) 

Until next time,
Brit 





Friday, November 21, 2014

this week


playing with: Our front yard is covered in big crunchy leaves so we've been running in them, throwing them and even bringing armfuls into the house to crunch into millions of pieces all over my floor...(That last one was not mom approved.)

listening to: Trying to hold out on Christmas music for as long as possible! My fingers are dying to click on that Christmas Pandora station!

reading: still working my way through my book. I am adding books to the kids' Christmas list, I could make that there whole list and still not get all the books we want! Those kids love to read. Happy mamma!

eating: We've had the joy of having friends over for dinner this last week. I've missed it so much! Towards the end of my pregnancy and the first couple months with Layton, hosting is not something I like to add to my plate... but I LOVE it. So I am so glad to be up to having people over to share meals with us again.

ups: Family time! November has been a great month for time with family. We love our families and are so thankful to have them near and get to spend time together. We also have had time to play and relax with just the 5 of us.

downs: sick and doctors. I feel like we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel on the cruddy yuckies going around. Fall is awesome, but the sick that gets shared around, no thank you. And along those same lines: doctors offices, pharmacies, and insurance hassles. I'll take being sick over calling the insurance company or walking into a pharmacy for a prescription.

funnies: Jackson has started doing the cutest thing with Jeremy and I. If Jeremy and I are hugging or standing close to one another he will run up to us, wrap one arm around each of our legs in a giant hug and say "I love you cuties!" haha! Its the funniest, cutest, most heart melting thing ever and I have no idea where he came up with it. Oh that boy makes us laugh!

A couple weeks ago Jeremy, Layton and I made a day trip to the Guadalupe Mountains to see the beautiful fall colors. It was amazing. We did an easy 7 mile hike enjoying God's amazing creation. It was the perfect way for us to rejuvenate. Of course pictures can never do scenery justice, but here are some from our trip...










until next time,
Brit

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

halloween 2014

What a crazy week it was! Monday night we went to the Fall Festival at the school. I forgot all about it, and my plan to have costumes ready by Wednesday was bumped to having them ready by that night! We got what we needed in town and made it home 2 hours before the Festival giving me enough time to get their costumes put together and make a big mess of the house.

Rylee had a hard time deciding what she wanted to be this year, everything from a chef to captain hook, we settled for a pirate, and she was the cutest little pirate. Jackson was very clear that he was not going to dress up for Halloween... and we just allowed him to keep thinking that he was not dressed up, haha! It was so funny when someone would ask him what he was for halloween, or say I like your costume, his response was "I not dressed up!" or "I'm Jackson".

On Wednesday night we had our Trunk-or-Treat. The best turn out we've ever had! Again another hurried day trying to get our trunk ready, kids ready, and all the other details that go into planning and organizing those fun events. It was all worth the effort. We had a great time, made a great impact, and got a lot of candy!

Thursday Rylee had her school party, she got to wear her costume all day and then go trick-or-treating AGAIN after they had a small parade of costumes! so cute! and more candy to bring home!

Finally on Friday we went to 2 different trunk-or-treats. We finished at one pretty early so we decided to hop over to another we'd been to before. Both were so much fun and the kids were full steam the entire time. Jackson actually kept his hat on for a lot of the night (the no candy threat works...ha.)

It was a busy whirlwind week. Now we have bags and bags of candy we don't know what to do with (That's a lie. Obviously we are eating it!)

As the kids get older it is a whole new level of fun doing all these festive things with them! I just love it! I love getting to dress up for Halloween, and now with kids, I feel like I have a more acceptable reason to as an adult!


 Daniel and his lion (Bear)

There are some super creative people in this community! All the trunks were spectacular. 

 Costumes this year weren't coordinated... we have a construction worker, Daniel, a pirate, Rosie the Riveter, and little Clark Kent (who ditched his work shirt and tie earlier in the evening) and Bear the Lion.
 Ready for round 2.



Christmas will be here in a blink! I just love this time of year!

until next time,
Brit

this week

Well I would LOVE to start these again! You know me though, it will probably succumb to a quarterly posting of "our week"... who cares, my blog, my rules, here we go!

playing with: duplo blocks, jenga blocks, wooden blocks, you get the picture. The big kids love building and creating everything with blocks! and this teacher mama loves seeing my babies creating with open ended play!

listening to: we just bought an imagine dragons album and we've had that on repeat around house for the last week.

reading: Jackson loves all his car books, he has his favorites memorized, his newest one Demolition he nearly knows by heart already. Rylee reads everything, but is very particular, when we ask her to pick out a book it takes her forever, but she knows exactly what she wants (or doesn't want really). I started One Thousand Gifts a couple weeks ago and get through about a page a day, maybe. If I sit still to long trying to read, I'm out. My list is long, so I am eager for time in the future when my eyes aren't quite so heavy and I am a bit more rested.

eating: horrible. ugh. our eating habbits have been so ugly the last few weeks. I think its a combination of the busy, the picky, and the no appetite. The kids are all over the place with eating, it creates such a challenge for meal planning and healthy eating. Time to make a plan and clean out the fridge!

ups: sleeping. Layton sleeps great through the night, from 7-7 he only wakes up twice to eat. The big kids are in a great grove for bedtime too, they are typically in bed by 7 and asleep by 7:30. Everything else can be a disaster, but a few hours of sleep in a row, bliss. for real. Sleep, I love you.

downs: daytime. Still searching for that sweet spot. I know it will be months before we finally find a happy grove, and then it will all change again, but its so tiring right now trying to tend to the big kids while nursing every 20 minutes and bouncing, burping, or bathing Layton. I feel massive amounts of guilt for hearing myself say "I can't right now I'm feeding Layton" or "Try to play quietly I'm putting Layton to sleep" Ry and Jackson have dealt great with this new transition, I am so very proud of them for their patience and eagerness to help. They are great big brother and sister. I am trying to live joyfully in the messy and remember that though those moments can be soo very stressful, they will be soo very missed.

funnies: Some of the things Rylee and Jackson are saying are totally cracking us up lately... that's one of them! Jackson started saying "You crack me up!" at anything he thinks is funny, haha! Rylee has started repeating the phrase "Oh, sorry about that!" whenever she make the slightest offense, like bumping into you. SO. CUTE! The way her 4 year old self says such grown up words and phrases is hilariously cute. Another one is "To tell you the truth..." and Jackson uses "Well, actually" before everything.

The weeks seem to speed by faster and faster with each one. A few pictures below from our trip to the Monohans Sand Hills!





until next time,
Brit

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Layton Michael

It seems as if our boys are taking after my tendency to be a bit late. Rylee, like her daddy, was punctual and exactly on time. Jackson, like his awesome mom, decided to take his time and show up a week after his due date.

Layton was due August 29th, and that Friday came and went without any sign of him being ready to introduce himself. The weekend passed by with everyone watching over their shoulder for any sign of me giving a hint I thought the time was near. I didn't. 

We spent Monday in town doing our normal errand running and grocery grabbing. The next day was Rylee's first day of school, she was thrilled, and I was glad I didn't have to figure out how to take a newborn with me into a pre-school to drop her off for her first day. I was determined to drop her off for her first day!

Late Monday night as I was packing lunches and tidying the house before bed, I noticed my back was more uncomfortable than normal. I didn't think anything of it. 

Around 3 that morning I woke up with some really uncomfortable braxton hicks, I willed myself back to sleep but I knew what was coming. 

I woke up again around 5 with things becoming more painful than just uncomfortable. I was very aware that today was the day we would be meeting our baby, but I decided to try to rest and sleep for as long as I could, knowing that things don't typically move along too fast for me, and I wanted to be rested and ready for the workout ahead. 

At 6 I could no longer sleep through the pain. That was fine though, I needed to get up to prepare Rylee's first day of school breakfast! I was absolutely determined that I would be walking Rylee into school that morning... and once I kissed her goodbye then we could just stop at the midwife have this baby and be on our way home. (HA!)

As I was getting all of the first day of school things squared away I was having to stop for each contraction that was getting stronger and stronger. I then decided to wake up Jeremy and let him know what was going on. 

With the contractions getting stronger I decided to take a bath before we left for the midwife. It didn't take long for things to get totally serious. Jeremy came in ready to leave for the midwife, and I was convinced we should just stay home and have the baby, there was no way I was getting in the car for a 30 minute drive...

Jeremy wasn't crazy about the idea of a last minute home birth and definitely not a car birth so he gently encouraged me to get out get dressed and get to town. We eventually did make it to the car, though without my shoes.

We made it to the midwife around 9:30, I was dilated to a 7-8 (Hallelujah!) I spent a little bit of time in the tub and then decided to get onto the bed. Just before I was ready to push Jeremy got a text message saying Rylee had made it to school just fine and was thrilled to be there.... (Definitely no way I was going to walk her in for her first day!)

Having done this before I felt I had so much more control over what I was doing. And after several minutes of pushing, at 10:16 we had our baby, our baby BOY! our BIG baby boy. After holding him and nursing him for those first precious moments we weighed him, measured him and cleaned him up.

We knew he was big, but had no idea he was 9lb 8oz big! He was the our biggest baby, as well as the shortest, only 19.5 inches!

It was an overall great experience. We ate a little bit of lunch and then we were on our way home. We made it back just a few minutes before everyone else got home from getting Ry from school. It was so fun for Rylee, she still talks about going to school and coming home and having a new baby brother! Jackson wasn't too impressed at first, but he warmed up quickly and is now buddies with his little bro.

Our house is loud and messy and chaotic most of the time but we are so thankful for our sweet little Layton who has added so much more joy to our home!

hehe. those little T-Rex arms!  



moments after he was born 


oh this boy. my heart is overflowing. We love you Layton Michael.

until next time,
Brit 

Friday, June 20, 2014

cupcakes, waterparks and a happy birthday


For Jackson's birthday we asked him what he wanted to do and after a list of several things Jeremy said Water Park and he said "Nes!" (I never/rarely correct the kids on the cute ways the pronounce certain words, its sad for me once they finally start saying them correctly! Rylee said "Ok" for "Off" and "Moonie" for "Movie" I miss hearing those sweet words now...)

So it was decided, we would go to a water park for his birthday! Jeremy (the master of google searches.) found a great kid friendly water park in Dallas and we booked the boy his party. 


We are so thankful our whole family was able to come to celebrate his day! We always have so much fun on those rare occasions when we can get both sets of parents together in one place at the same time. I know our kids especially enjoy those moments! This mama also got to enjoy spending the day with her best mama friend, and her 3 sweet kiddos! 

The water park was perfect. It seriously was the most kid friendly water park I've ever been to, and there was still plenty for the big kids (aka the dads...) to do.


We ate lunch, opened presents - Jackson opened one thing, and it was a car, so he didn't need to open anything else, he just wanted his car to play with. So he got to drive his new car on the bushes and Rylee opened the rest of his gifts and told him everything he got, everyone wins! 


We sang happy birthday and Jackson blew out the candle sitting on top of his sad little melted cake, haha, always take a picture before. The cupcakes kept their shape at least.



We didn't spend too much time with the cupcakes and gifts, everyone was ready to get back out and play!







Both kids were exhausted. Jackson fell asleep sitting in the wagon on the way back to the car, and Rylee fell asleep in Mimi's arms. I think we all felt the same way.


We all had a great time celebrating our little mans second birthday! We love you little mister.

until next time,
Brit

ps: check out the tiny little farmer tan, ha! I love it!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Jackson is 2

Finding it so hard to believe our sweet little guy is now 2! A glimpse of his second year:


Oh this boy. I can't begin to describe what he brings to our family. He is so sweet, so bashful and so much a boy! He also is the chattiest little 2 year old I've ever met! We are so thankful for all that he is. We love you bud.

until next time,
Brit

Monday, June 16, 2014

Happy Father's Day!

We are pretty lucky to have such awesome men in our lives who have taken on their role as Dad. Jeremy mentioned in his sermon this morning that they have found that children form their first views of God after their view of their father.

I am thankful for their spiritual influence and guidance and above both, their example that has taught and is teaching their children, and grandchildren what it means to be a follower of Christ.

Love you guys.







happy father's day to the best dads around. we love you! 

until next time,
Brit

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Tutus and Tap Shoes

Last week Rylee started dance class. She was sincerely thrilled about getting to go to dance class... until we got there. Our sweet and nervous little girl just about changed her mind until she made a new friend. And I still call her our little girl, but man oh man, she acts like such a KID! I cannot believe she will be four in just one month. 




Once she warmed up a bit she took control of the class!  She came out beaming from ear to ear and ready to tell us about everything she learned and all she can now do (After one class!) "Heel, Toe, Heel, Toe..."

So excited to see what our shy little girl is going to gain from this!

until next time,
Brit

Thursday, June 5, 2014

camping

We managed to go camping 2 and a half times (The half was just in the back yard ;)) this month despite our crazy calendar, you make time for what you love right? Sleeping in a tent in the mountains is so very good for you me... I've met plenty of crazy people who think its nuts. But for me, it feeds my soul so breathe in mountain air and be completely unplugged.

Ry and Jer putting up our tent

Blueberry pancakes for breakfast!
Jeremy signed up to run a half marathon trail race in Los Alamos, NM so we drove up a couple days before the race to camp and play. We stayed near the Bandelier National Park and spent a day exploring the monument.

I gave Ry one of our small cameras to use and she loved taking pictures of all the cool stuff we saw on our hike. We hiked a little over a mile with both of them, Rylee did the whole thing on foot and Jackson hiked the second half once he was awake from his nap :)



 

We climbed steps and ladders to check out the cool cliff dwellings, I was so proud of her for going up and down those tall ladders without hesitation (I was pretty nervous, but she did great!)






















The day before the race we drove into town to the packet pick-up for Jeremy to check in and get his bib and to get all excited about seeing awesome trail runners like Anton Krupicka (He really is so awesome! A celebrity of trail running!)

I forgot to mention it was very rainy while we were there, the first night there were two huge thunderstorms that came through; thunder and lightning storms seem way more intense when you are in a tent! The kids slept right through it though and we stayed dry. The second night it poured all night long and made for a very cold wake up call at 6 the next morning when we got up to head to the race.

Jeremy did great and had an awesome time. Me and the kids played at the park for the couple hours Jeremy was running and then we waited anxiously to watch him finish! I am so very proud of Jeremy for following through and doing this race, finishing the race and for his renewed mindset on health and running. He just blows me away at his enthusiasm and passion for running and completing these races.


14 miles later! (The race was technically longer than a half, because trails won't accommodate perfectly to our racing distances.) Probably the hardest race he has ever done but definitely the most joyful finish I've ever seen from him!






 
 
Doing the things you love with your kids is the coolest thing ever, watching them get excited about the things you get excited about is just awesome. It is so fun to see Ry and Jackson's excitement over the things we love to do.
 
On the way home (8 hours...) Jackson woke up from his nap and kept asking (and asking, and asking, and asking...) if we were going back to camp. The first few times we told him we were on our way home, but he was not ready to be done camping, so the next 5 million times he asked we just changed the subject or asked what his favorite thing about camping was. It worked for a little bit.
 
Hoping this summer we find ourselves sleeping in the tent and breathing in the mountain air a lot!
 
until next time,
Brit