wife to Jake, mommy to my 3 crazy munchkins, Lily (7), Jonah (5.5) and Kate (4). Taking this crazy blessed life one day at a time.

7.29.2013

Lily.

Lily, 

You are almost 7. 

You are extremely excited for your birthday and you remind us daily that it is almost here.

Yesterday, you told me "After I am 7, I will be 8! I can't believe how big I am!" 

I sort of can't believe you are going to be 7. 

I remember thinking, when you were a baby, that in no time you would be in 1st grade. Well, here we are. I blinked and now you are going to be starting 1st grade in less than a month! 

Here are some of your favorite things right now: 

- You love your friends. All of them. Even though you love all of your friends, you have a special place in your heart for Max, Grace, Jacob and Emma-Jean. 

- You love to write. And I love this about you. You have been writing since you were 3 years old and now you are on to writing stories that are pages and pages long. I can't wait to read more. 

- You also love to draw. You work so hard on your art and you love to illustrate your own books. 

- You are extremely athletic and so far, have done amazingly well in every single sport you have tried. You are great at soccer, baseball, gymnastics, swimming, running and biking. I have a hard time choosing which sport to sign you up for because there are so many you like! This fall, we are continuing with soccer, because that seems to be a wonderful fit for you, and you are VERY good! This summer you have been working on your diving, back flips and back dives in our neighbors pool!

- You love to sing and put on plays for us, although you are still a bit shy to do it in front of other people. 

- You love babies. So much. And they love you! I think you will be a great babysitter someday. 

- You absolutely love your yellow blanket that Aunt Beth made you when you were 2. It is pretty much falling apart, and smells kinda weird, but you insist it's your favorite and you won't let Aunt Beth make you a new one. You even love how it smells. 

-You also love Twinkle. Your pink stuffed bear you made at Build a Bear with Sara. You can't sleep at night if you don't have Twinkle and your yellow blanket. 

- You are very smart and a great student at school. I love how much you love learning and love school. 

- You love to read. This past year you have taken off with your reading and now can really read anything on your own. And you love to read to Jonah and Kate, which is always so nice to see :) 

- You love being outdoors.

- Last night you told me that your three favorite foods right now are couscous, yellow rice (curried rice) and zucchini. 

- You call Lily Pads/Lily flowers your "sisters" 

- One of your favorite movies is How to Train Your Dragon

- You still get pretty upset when you don't get your own way, but you are working hard on that, and Daddy and I are really proud of you.


There are many more things that you love in this life, but these are the ones that really stick out. 

I love you Lily! 

Last day of soccer!

Ready for a beach day with Max

Last day of Kindergarten (and field trip day, hence the yellow shirt)

At Tim and Ginger's wedding with just Mommy and Daddy.



7.14.2013

My Village.

Everyone always says "It takes a village to raise a child".

I don't think you truly understand what this means or how true it is until you have children. 

Ever since Lily was born, I have had a really hard time asking for help with my kids. I felt like I should be able to do it on my own (with Jake, of course).  Any time someone would take the kids, I felt really guilty about it.  

I would say that this past year or two, I have really started to embrace my "village", accept the help, and be grateful for it. 

Since we moved into this house, our "village" has grown a lot. 

Neighbors have turned into friends and then turned into family.

This is just a glimpse into our village:

Friends, family and neighbors will occasionally ask to take the kids to their house for a while, just to give me a break and give the kids a change in scenery. 

Sometimes someone will ask to take them to the playground for a while.

Some of our closest neighbors watch the kids for me if I need to take one kid to the doctor. Or on rainy days they will come over and stay with the kids so I don't have to drag them all out in the rain to go pick Lily up from school. 

Sara has been our #1 babysitter for the past 4 years and I don't know what we would have done without her. She is absolutely a part of our family and we love her so much.

Today, Grandpa and Cyndi took the kids all afternoon. And now that they live so much closer, we get to see them much more and it is so nice to have them nearby.

Aunt Mariah is now close to us too!! And she is amazing and wonderful and we all love her dearly. 

Grandma Jan takes the kids one by one for special overnights with her. She also takes 2 or all 3 of the kids if Jake and I need it. She took Jonah and Kate the other week while Jake, Lily and I went to a wedding. She is so wonderful to us. 

Our friends are incredible and I LOVE that we have seen each other almost every week for the past 8 years!  It is so fun seeing our families grow. We went from all being young single college kids to being married and having babies and our group keeps growing! You all mean so much to our family and we are so thankful for you.

There are many  more people that are a part of our village and without each and every one of you, we wouldn't be where we are today. 

I guess what I am saying is that I appreciate my "village" so much and am so thankful to all of you that help look out for my family. I am fairly certain I would lose my mind if it were not for my village. 

I am starting to be more comfortable accepting the help of my village, because it is oh so good for me, but it is also great for my kids too. 

If you have a hard time accepting help from others, I urge you to do it anyway. It really does take a village to raise a child, and that village is also what shapes them into the people they are becoming. 

Thank you, village, for saving my sanity, but also for loving my family so much.


7.09.2013

Lately.

So far, summer has not been terribly relaxing.

In fact, I feel like we have not really started summer yet because we have been so busy. 

We've been working on my new laundry room and new half bathroom (pics to come! It's looking great!), we went to the Poconos, we went to a wedding, I had jury duty, Jake's been working lots and lots of hours at the fire station, we've been working on our garden (but honestly, it looks a bit unruly at the moment...), I started watching a new full time 13 month old, Lily and Jonah are going to our church's music camp this week, we've had doctors appointments, we've had family visiting, I won Red Sox tickets (Woohoooo, date night! Can't wait for August 2nd!), we had a bit of a plumbing emergency, and we found out that Jonah is having surgery on August 13th- tonsils and adenoids (if you have any advice on this, please share with me!). 

All of this, and more, just in the past 2 weeks. 

I am at that point in my life where I wish there were more hours in each day. 

Things have been good, just really busy. I keep waiting for life to slow down, but that just isn't happening.

But back to Jonah. 

After visiting an Ear Nose and Throat doctor a couple weeks ago, it was decided that it's best if Jonah gets his tonsils and adenoids removed. He gets so many throat infections every year. His adenoids are enlarged and his tonsils "look like golf balls". The funny thing is that Jonah is actually looking forward to his "injury", as he calls it (he means surgery, though). We've been reading the book "Goodbye Tonsils" and he is VERY excited for all of the ice cream, popsicles and gum he will get after. He also thinks he will get presents thanks to that book. 

My plan so far is to take him out shopping, just him, for things he can have after the surgery. He needs lots of fluids and only soft foods for a while. Then he will need lots of time on the couch resting. I am praying that recovery will be okay for him because 2 weeks later he starts up with his kindergarten visit day and screening at school. His first day isn't until Sept. 5th though, so he will have a bit more time to lay low if he needs it. 

So, I suppose summer is going well so far, it's just been non-stop so far. And it's flying by! At Target today they were already setting up the displays for back to school. 

I am sort of in denial that at the end of next month I will have a 1st grader, kindergartner, and preschooler. Where does the time go?!?






7.02.2013

Heroes.

Jake has been a firefighter for just over 2 years now. 

He honestly never ceases to amaze me with the dedication and hard work he puts into firefighting. 

Now, don't get me wrong. If you know Jake at all, you know that he gives 150% towards everything he does. 

But there is something about firefighting, he makes the extra effort to give even more. 

And I must say, he is one amazing firefighter. 

And he loves it. 

It's different being on the other side of things. 

Like most everyone else, I never thought too hard about our everyday heroes. I respected them and thought they were incredibly brave and selfless. And you just know that in an emergency, they would be there helping and saving lives. 

But now that I am on the other side, I can see that it's so much more than that. I can see the sacrifices they make, how hard they work, how much training they go through, the sacrifices their families make, how they are ready 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to run out the door when that tone goes out, and how certain calls can really take their toll, emotionally and physically. 

Last night, there was a bad car accident, not too far from our house. The tone went off and Jake was out the door. He came home nearly 2 hours later- that's how I knew it was a bad accident. 

He comes home and I can tell that it was a hard call for him.

He came and sat down next to me- it was late, but I wanted to say up and wait for him.  He tells me a bit about the accident. How he was the one that had to crawl into the mangled car to check on the guy that was crushed and trapped inside. How he was holding the man's head still and talking to him the whole time, keeping him calm and still while firefighters outside the car cut and sawed pieces of the car away to free them both. How the injured man squeezed Jake's hand when he was scared and thought he might die and how he finally helped get him out and loaded into the ambulance after being trapped for over an hour. 

These heroes experience so much on these calls, and then they come home and sit on the couch with their wife, just like any other person. 

When Jake was talking to me about the accident, I couldn't help but think " You honestly just did all of that in an hour and half, trying to save a man's life, and now you are just sitting here on our stained IKEA couch sipping your drink. Something about that seems off."  

It seems like after doing something that heroic and amazing, it just seems strange to be doing something so ordinary. 

These men and women at true heroes. Not that I didn't know that before, but now that I can see the other side of it, now that my husband is one of those heroes, it is just so obvious now. 

If you see one, just say thank you to a fire fighter or anyone else that works in public service. I promise it will make their day and they will feel so appreciated. 

This is the accident- pray for the man that was injured- we don't know if whether or not he made it.