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the situation with the laundry is this:
it’s everywhere.
and Belle thinks it’s just fantastic to take all the clean clothes…
…and make them not so clean anymore.
she is my not-helper.
cute, adorable, completely kissable…
but a not-helper all the same.

PicMonkey Collage

PicMonkey Collage2

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so guess what I’ll be doing tomorrow?

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hello april.  hello sunshine.
I thought you’d never return.

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I think the last time I posted was in the Fall.
What a shocker.
I keep saying I want to get back into blogging,
but it just hasn’t been in the cards lately.
I’m hoping I can carve out some time for it in the future.
BUT, it’s been a good break for me.
I would say I’ve been in a season of weakness lately.
Not in a bad way,
but in a way that makes me realize my dependence on Jesus.
I used to feel like I had a large capacity to get things done.
For whatever reason, that capacity seems to have shrunk.
Maybe it’s the two little people that live with us.
It could also be all the time I waste on facebook
I do have a love-hate relationship with that monster.
ANYWAYS,
I’m trying to learn what God has for me in it,
and rest content with whatever I can get done in a day.
and learn how to be more diligent with my time.
It really is good.

A little rambly update on the girls.
my biggest job is keeping them in pants that are long enough.
my girls may as well be walking on stilts. 
both are in the 93rd percentiles for height.
Julia is well above the max height for all 2T sizes. 
I’m serious – I can’t find pants that stay long enough for more than 3 months.

Julia is a chatterbox. 
Sweetest thing ever, yet has quite the temper.
I blame her father Winking smile
she has a very vivid imagination and loves to play with her Entourage.
what is the Entourage? you ask:
all her Hello Kittys, Minnie Mouse, Cinderella, Birdie, Person, Other Person, Elephant, Baby Moses, Red Man, Red Lady, Chickie, all the people who live in her pink castle, donkey, Mr. Cow, and I could go on and on.
the Entourage started with 5 characters.
It’s gotten out of control.
She loves playing games on the Kindle.
she’s become a bit of a picky eater, but we’re making a lot of progress in getting her to try new things.  but don’t worry, she’ll still let you know if the food you just spent an hour preparing is “GROSS.”

she keeps us laughing constantly.
we can’t imagine life without her and her infectious joy,
despite her crazy antics.

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and then there’s Isobel.
already 9 and 1/2 months.
so many things I could say about this girl.
sweet, cuddly, happy, excited about EVERYTHING.
above all, she is my snuggler.
Julia slept through the night at 9 weeks old and never looked back.
Belle waited until 7 months to do it consistently.
Definitely defied my expectations (sorely),
but it has forged a special bond between the two of us.
many hours in the rocking chair will do that. 
Just last night she was up most of the night with a cough
and could only be soothed by coming to bed with us.
I don’t like sleep deprivation,
but I will always love that memory of having her snuggle up with us in bed.
I keep trying to remember that these days don’t last long. 

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She is different from her sister in practically every way.
But they are already best friends.
I’m really excited to see all that lies ahead for them.

And that’s it for now.
Hopefully I’ll be able to post more and update less.
Happy Thursday and happy SPRING!

I don’t even know where to start.

Clearly I’ve been neglecting the blog.
BUT – my kids are still alive and clothed.
So I consider it a victory.
I know I only have 2 kids…and lots of people have 4 or 5 or 6…
but somehow going from one to two has really given me a run for my money. 🙂
It’s also taken all our money…but that was a given, right?

SO,
here’s an abbreviated update:

June 17 – Isobel was born.
7 lb. 5 oz.
19.5 inches
2 weeks early and healthy!

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She is the sweetest thing ever.
4 and 1/2 months old now,
and I couldn’t be more in love with her.
Looks nothing like her sister,
and she acts nothing like her either.
It’s really funny how different they are.
We are so grateful God added her to our little family.

July – I don’t really know what happened in July.
Oh wait – Julia turned 2!

julia turns two

August – 2 weeks vacation.
1 in Bethany Beach with the Smiths.
1 in Ocean City, NJ with the Sharps.
And I don’t have any real pictures.
Here’s are more Instagrams to make it interesting though.

beach 2 beach 3 beach 4 beach 5 beach 6 beach

 

September – I turned 26.  This is sad because I’m now almost 30.
Mike is rolling his eyes.

October – we are finally settling into a more predictable routine!
And I am digging out of all the laundry that has been piling up.
Mike went to England.  Again.  Without me.  Again.
But I went to visit Jer and Ange and Ally!

colbs and Jbelle and ryder 

Interesting fact:
Isobel and Ryder are 1 week apart.
Julia and Colby are 2 weeks apart.
Clearly we planned for them to marry each other when they grow up.

And Meg and I went out to Springton Manor to take some pictures of the kids.
Which brings me to the first real pictures I’ve taken since Isobel was born.
They’re mostly of Julia and Chloe.
Who wanted to:
jump
pick up sticks
pick up stones
throw stones
not pose for pictures.

Enjoy.

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And there’s my long abbreviated update.
When you’ll hear from me next is anybody’s guess.
We’re hunkering down to brave Hurricane Sandy for the next few days,
so it could be months!
But that’s ok.
Life changes, and it’s not all bad. 🙂

Everybody stay safe out there!

I have been a slacker at blogging lately.
I hope to get back at it soon.
Because life is sure to only slow down from here on out 😉

As far as baby news,
I had my 20-week ultrasound this past week,
and we are praising God for a healthy report!
An added bonus –  we’ll be adding another GIRL to the mix this summer!

Isobel Rose

And this girl has a name:
Isobel Rose.
Isobel means “God’s promise,” or “Pledged to God.”
Now, in the interest of full disclosure,
we didn’t look up the meaning of the name until AFTER we had picked it,
but once we did,
we really couldn’t believe how fitting it is.
Before I got pregnant with Isobel,
I had a very early-term miscarriage.
I only knew I was pregnant for a week,
but it was heartbreaking,
and I struggled with a lot of fear afterwards.
I still do at times.
During that time, I clung to the truth that
if God wills, He absolutely can.
”Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Genesis 18:14)
It’s a truth that God continues to teach me about Himself.
He is good in all that He does,
even if we don’t understand His ways.
And if God makes a promise, He will be faithful to fulfill it.
It is comforting for me to know that Isobel is first and foremost His.
She is a gift from God, and we pledge her to Him.

Now, she has a name…
but I am a little less certain she has a nose.
(though Mike assures me she does and that I am ridiculous)
I went back and looked at Julia’s pictures from 20 weeks,
and she also appeared to be lacking in nasal features,
but has quite a nice nose now…
so I am hopeful 😉

The day after we found out we were having a girl,
Julia and I went out on a mini shopping spree.
I am typically not big on the matchy-matchy sibling love,
but these dresses were too cute to not swipe two of them.

 julia & isobel

Half-way there!
We cannot wait to meet you, sweet Isobel Rose.

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A few weeks ago, I wrote about my cranky lovey
Through much prayer and patience, we got through.
We always do, don’t we?  Even though it seems we never will 🙂
Because God is faithful.

And this week has been different from that week – a good different.
I’ve been enjoying my girlie in such a refreshing way.
I am sick (yes, again) and so my mom took Julia for a few days.
But starting yesterday, it was just me and her.
So I threw out the strict TV rules, and we set up camp on my bed.
I can’t tell you how good she has been!
We’ve spent the past two days watching Elmo and Mickey
(and perhaps a bit of Top Chef),
reading, and yes – even jumping on the bed.
(her, not me.)

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When we go downstairs so I can throw something in the crockpot,
or try to tame the disaster that is what I call “the sick house,”
she plays happily with her toys and “reads” her books.
She runs around pointing out letters on things,
ecstatic when she finds an “H.”
(it is her favorite)

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And as I watch her, I realize how very blessed we are to have her.
I read stories all the time of mommies losing their babies,
stories that break my heart.
Just yesterday I heard of parents who lost their second baby to a heart condition.  Absolutely heartbreaking.
It brings me to prayer like little else does.
I pray for their comfort,
because I can only imagine the anguish that must grip them.
I pray that in this world of trouble,
where trials come and little ones go to be with Jesus,
we would know that He has overcome this world of trouble.
And I pray out of gratitude.
Thankful that my little one is so healthy,
thankful for the light that she brings to our home,
thankful for the joy that God’s given to us in her.

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I went to put lunch away today and couldn’t find my chip clip.
Why?
Because ten little fingers had stolen it from the drawer
and stashed it only God knows where.
And I was filled with so much praise for those two little thieving hands.

So I’ll keep talking about the cranky toddler days,
because they can be challenging in a very real way.
But I want to remember that I am blessed;
blessed to simply have my baby,
whether cranky or joyful.
And I’ll keep on praying for all those mamas who have had to place their babies in Jesus’ arms.
For He is near to the brokenhearted;
He has promised to be.
And I think every mother can relate to that kind of sorrow.

So, that’s it really.
Just had to share how grateful I am for God’s blessing to me in this little girl.
Thank goodness the cranky days are not the only kind. 🙂

Happy Wednesday.

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Last week was a challenging week.
Yesterday was a challenging day.
And this Tuesday morning, I found myself fearful of another challenging week.
Julia was miserably sick all of last week, and just as she’s getting over it, I’m getting it.  Oh, and I just discovered she’s getting all 4 incisors to boot. 🙂

I have a cranky toddler.  The temptation is to then be a cranky mama.
I don’t want to be that for her.
I want to love her with patience and kindness,
to remember that she has been alive in this world a mere 18 months.
I want her to grow up knowing her boundaries,
but also knowing that her mama’s arms are always open to her.
As you can imagine, I need a lot of help with this.

I’m grateful to say that yesterday I felt a lot of grace to be patient with her. 
I went to bed feeling both victorious and exhausted.
And yet when I woke this morning, there was fear instead of faith.
Fear that yesterday’s grace was gone and nothing was left for today.
So, in case any of you are in a similar boat, here are some verses and book quotes that have really helped fill me with faith for cranky toddlers today 🙂

Lamentations 3:22-23
”The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.”

 

Rachel Jankovic (“Loving the Little Years”):
”Christian childrearing is a pastoral pursuit, not an organizational challenge…
…So, while your children are little, cultivate an attitude of sacrifice.
Sacrifice your peace for their fun,
your clean kitchen floor for their help cracking eggs,
your quiet moment for their long retelling of a dream that a friend of theirs allegedly had.
Prioritize your children far and away above the other work you need to get done.
They are the only part of your work that really matters.”

 

“You have to open your heart to the tumble.
As you deal with your children, deal with yourself always and first.”

 

“It is no abstract thing –
the state of your heart is the state of your home.”

 

Proverbs 11:25
”Whoever brings blessing will be enriched,
and one who waters will himself be watered.”

 

I’m holding onto that last verse quite dearly this morning.
Praying for all you mamas out there that need that encouragement too.
Happy Tuesday. 🙂

Boxes make great toys.

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And great forts, also.

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It took me an entire week to decorate my tree.
But it eventually got done.

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I was tired of the garland we’ve had for the past 3 years,
so I decided to do some bunting instead.
I used plaid flannel and fleece and hot glued it onto twine!

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I like it much better.
And so does this little monkey:

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Thankfully, the monkey has resisted swinging on the tree.
Both I and my decorations thank her.

In the words of Dan Smith:
”It’s a good thing you’re having another baby, because Julia needs another friend besides Bruce.”
(Bruce is her pink ladybug. 
And, no, I don’t have time to go into why he’s pink and named Bruce.)

So, yes, it’s true!

Baby #2 is on the way.

I’m 6 and 1/2 weeks and feeling rather nauseous,
which I am grateful for 🙂

This baby is an answer to prayer,
and we couldn’t be more excited!
We would LOVE your prayers for a healthy pregnancy and baby.

More to come on how Julia feels about being a big sister.

For Halloween, I took my little scarecrow on a modified trick-or-treating tour.
She’s still too little to do the whole neighborhood
(not to mention eat all that candy)
so we did a driving tour to grandparents and aunts and uncles.
Our last stop was at Sean and Mary’s (and Mich and Alex were there too.)
They fed her so much candy she was running around the apartment like a nut.
And when I put her in bed once we got home,
she just laid there saying “hi!” over and over again to herself.
Sugar rush?

It was a lot of fun, though – so glad we did it!

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And, yes, no Halloween would be complete without
SNOW!
Everyone knows snow in October is the best thing ever.
😛

Trouble is a friend, but trouble is a foe, oh oh!

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Mostly a friend, thankfully 🙂

Collective Reminiscings

The Smittys

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