5.15.2015

This Week







Finished reading Night by Elie Wiesel. What an intense, sad and thought provoking read!  And I am two chapters (and one bible study) away from finishing 1,000 Gifts.

Thought for this week:

"Joy doesn't negate all other emotions-
joy transcends all other emotions."
--Ann Voskamp

Grateful for Josh taking the boys for several hours on Mother's Day to give me a break.  They went to the school and hung out while I devoured my coffee and some quiet reading time; took a long, luxurious bath; watched a movie and enjoyed lunch by myself; as well as got some chores checked off my list. It was the perfect Mother's Day.  (I also enjoyed two of the sweetest cards from the twins!)

Laughing at Josh telling me I smell like an old lady wearing fancy perfume from Nordstom's when I put on the Japanese Cherry Blossom lotion from Bath & Body Works.

Drowning in dishes. They are my nemesis.

Hating the crummy weather we've been having. Day after day of rain.  Three boys stuck inside with a very exhausted mother.

Struggling with parenting.  My patience is thin, my to do list is long, and my positivity seems to have left the building. This morning seems better than the rest of the week, so there's hope for a turn around, but mostly I can't wait to get home and go on some fun, new adventures with these sweet boys of mine.

Reminiscing about being a working mom.  This post and this one nearly brought me to tears this week.  Rereading about my struggles leaving the boys has helped me find bright spots during an otherwise tough stay-at-home-mom week.

Wrapping up our school year.  We finished all 140 Saxon reading lessons, completed our history book and have just one lesson left in math. Wa-to-the-hoo!!!

Starting a puzzle.  Because when you're overwhelmed and have a million things to do, starting a 700 piece puzzle just feels right.

Celebrating my parents' 33rd wedding anniversary today!

Relieved to be done shipping things home for summer.  Now I am perfecting our packing list and making sure everything has time to get done before we go.

Baking bread so we have something to eat while our food supply dwindles.

Still crying about the lack of baby in my belly.  May 25th is my due date. Was my due date.  Praying peace and relief from my grief comes soon.

Also Praying for the family of an elder who tragically passed this week.  She was a beautiful soul and the anchor of her family.  Lifting them up in hopes that peace will surround them as they say goodbye.

***

5.08.2015

This Week












Finished reading Sister. It was so good, I couldn't put it down!  I am still working my way through One Thousand Gifts along with our bible study guide, and I am telling you, every.single.page has inspiration for seeing God in our days.

Working on my 1000 Gifts list.  I'm on 799 currently and I think I'll be sad when I hit 1,000.

Eating through all the food in our fridge & pantry that will expire over the summer.  This makes for some interesting food combinations in our days!  #wastenotwantnot

Missing blogging everyday.  I think I am going to try to get back to it.

Loving the kindness of the people in Marshall.  The boys and I ventured to the post office (about a half mile away) one afternoon and came back each carrying a fairly large box.  At least three different people stopped their vehicles on the dirt road as we headed back home, offering us a ride.  What they didn't know was that the boxes were filled with toilet paper, and light as air!  I filled them in, and gratefully declined their kind offers.  It warmed my heart though to be extended such kindness.

Dying for Screen Free Week to be over.  It has been the most challenging thing I've done in a long, long time.  I'm tired, I'm overwhelmed and I'm grouchy.  Can I be honest here?  TV time is the only break I get.  With no family or friends here to help out, screen time is my crutch.  Need a shower in the morning? Turn on Doc McStuffins.  Need to make an important phone call?  Hand out the tablets.  Want some quiet time to blog after lunch? Pop in a DVD & enjoy the serenity.  Going without has pushed my sanity to the brink.

Looking forward to a break from my beloved children.  Have I mentioned that I'm ready to be surrounded by family & friends who will gladly take them off my hands for a few hours?!?

Laughing at Wyatt's tongue sticking out when he's super focused.  He was cutting earlier this week and the whole time that little lizard tongue of his was hanging out of his mouth. It cracks me up!

Proud of those big brothers for reaching 160 Accelerated Reading (AR) Points this month, and excited that they got to be part of the end-of-the-month assembly at their Daddy's school.  In the whole school only two kids read more than them. #mombrag

Shining with my new cell phone case!  For months I've had Josh's old cell phone case, a lime green Seahawks case, and finally my new cover came. It is sparkly and girly and I love it!

Choosing to not overdo it this week.  I gave up my daily workouts to make room for quiet time in my day.  I wanted to make some time to delve into God's word without the children running about, and if we're being honest, I am too pooped at the end of the day to give Him my best.  So I have been getting up at 5:30 every morning in order to have 45 minutes to myself before the boys wake up.  I'm still deciding whether the alone time is worth the trade off of less sleep.

Feeling Guilty for not making "real" dinners these days.  We're trying to get outside and stay outside as much as possible, so dinner is often chicken nuggets or fried eggs on toast.  I feel bad about it, but I'm not sure it can be rectified.

Crying about my upcoming due date.  If my pregnancy had stuck in October, I would have had a baby May 25th.  Instead here I am, nine months later, still not pregnant and not sure if I should be.  Not knowing what the future holds is really hard for me, and knowing that a pregnancy could be challenging out here makes me hesitant to try again.  Not to mention I'm not sure my heart could stand a third miscarriage.  What set me off was sorting through the boys' closet in preparation for our trip home for summer.  Folding baby clothes into totes, choosing what to store, what to ship & what to give away, tore my very heart in two.  Sometimes I just wish I had a glass ball to look into.

Grateful that despite my sad emotions, my anxiety has not reared its ugly head lately.

And lastly,

Enjoying Jack reading his first chapter book.  (Junie B. Jones!) It makes my mama heart so proud!  If nothing else came of screen free week but that, I consider it a win!

Happy Weekend!

***

5.01.2015

This Week






Loving having creamer for my coffee (Amazon came through!), cheese for my children (thank God for Uncle Samuel!) & snacks from my sweetest friend Kori.  #iamsohappy  #itsthelittlethings

Accomplishing big things in school.  Like finishing all 140 lessons of Saxon First Grade Phonics.  It feels good to look back and see all the progress we made this year.

Craving girl time with my mom & sister.  Soon & very soon!  I can't wait!

Enjoying all the time I have for reading now that my boys are older.  I finished Orphan Train yesterday and am excited to pull something else off the shelf for the weekend.  Also enjoying brainstorming ideas for a summer book club with my blogger friends Ashley & Tabitha.

Prepping for our three month vacation.  It is a lot of work to be away from home for so long.  I have about six lists going currently-- Things to Ship; Things to Pack; Things to Buy...  This is when my Type A organization comes in handy!

Blessed by my amazing marriage.  That husband of mine was hand picked for me, and I adore him.

Happy to have Jack's glasses fixed (again) by the amazing Karen.  She fixes glasses, loans cheese to those in need, and inspires me daily to live closer to the Lord.  What would I do without her?!?

Rereading One Thousand Gifts as we begin our Ann Voskamp bible study.  This book.  Every page has something underlined, and I walk away inspired every time I pick it up:

"In naming that which is right before me, that which I'd otherwise miss, the invisible becomes visible... This dare to write down one thousand things I love.  It really is a dare to name all the ways that God loves me."


Looking forward to going home! I can't believe it's May, you guys!  We did it!!!

Grateful for a care package full of avocados & raisin bread.  Yum.  Joan knows the way to our hearts!

Loving the boys playing with their stuffed animals and the clothes from Build-A-Bear my Aunt Linda buys them for every birthday.  They discovered their car seats in the playroom closet and are loving playing with them.

Working on a plan for Screen Free Week which starts Monday.  Lots of outside activities planned, along with games, puzzles, reading and a slew of Pinterest ideas I have pinned but not yet completed.

Struggling with going to bed.  The sun is rising at 6:35am and setting at 10:56pm.  It is bright before we wake up, and staying that way until well after Josh and I are in bed.  It makes it hard to want to go to sleep when it looks like it's 3:30pm!

Laughing at Wyatt pouting.  He gets so mad when I tell him no.  He'll kick and growl and stomp.  Then when I put him in timeout, he folds his arms, furrows his brow, and sighs dramatically.  He cracks us up.

I hope you have a happy weekend.  
My goal this weekend is to slow down.  
Because as my Ann reminds us, 
"The hurry makes us hurt."

***

4.30.2015

Church

Every Tuesday evening I go to church for bible study.  It's one of my favorite times of the week.  A time for prayer and fellowship and learning.  I'm so grateful for those couple of hours away from my house, and in the presence of other ladies who understand life out here.

My last church experience ended badly, over a decade ago, and the pain for a long time was raw and unhealed; a wound.  But coming to this church and making time for me, has healed that wound into what is now a painless scar.  I still bear the marks of what happened, but the pain is gone.  And I am so grateful.




***

When I show up, the kids are still leaving Truth Seekers, and I love the opportunity to visit with them.  I adore these girls.


***

And on the walk home, I love contemplating how I'm going to apply all that I've learned to this life that I'm living.  The thought for this week:

"The most important aspects of our lives cannot be rushed.
We cannot love, think, eat, laugh or pray in a hurry."
-James Bryan Smith

4.29.2015

My Greatness




"Your greatness 
is not what you have,
it's what you give."

Parenting is on my mind tonight, and as I was contemplating how best to explain what I'm feeling, I came across this quote (with no author) on Pinterest.  I feel that while I may not be a perfect parent, I am definitely giving this job my all, and what I give is what makes it great.

***

4.28.2015

Then I Close My Eyes... A Twin Post

Life with twins is always interesting.  Maybe it's just my background in psychology, or the fact that my entire life has been surrounded by twins (I met my first pair, & best friends, when I was only two), but I find everything about Logan & Jack's interactions completely fascinating.  That said, as their mother, I also find a lot of their interactions frustrating.  They can love & support each other in ways I can't fully understand, but they can also cut each other down and hurt each other in ways that no one else could.

There's the constant comparison-- both by themselves and by those around them (myself included) and the constant refrain that "life's not fair" when one twin has an opportunity the other doesn't.  Josh and I vacillate between thinking we should introduce them to the idea that not everything is equal and equal doesn't always mean fair; and the opposite thought that, as twins, we should really try to treat them the same and make sure they have the same experiences.  It's exhausting.

The obvious truth is that life is not fair, but as twins they face so many obstacles (their friends not knowing who is who, constantly being confused for each other, and always, since birth, vying for attention) that part of me wants to make sure they feel treated fair at least occasionally when I can control for it.

On the other hand, along with the struggles they face being identical twins in a world that either fantasizes twins or makes them seem evil, they are blessed beyond explanation to have each other.  When I have talked to them in the past about Wyatt being a singleton, they both expressed gratitude for having been born twins, saying that being born alone would be sad and lonely.  Instead of opting to be a singleton themselves, they both agreed that Wyatt could be their triplet.  They know that what they have is special.  And I'm so glad.  It makes the hard times a little easier to swallow.

The other day Logan was telling me that his friend kept calling him Jack.  We aren't sure if it was on purpose or not, but it really hurt Logan's feelings, and by the time he got around to telling me, he was crying about it.  I told him that that is going to happen to him for his whole life.  There's no sense beating around the bush or pretending that the future is going to be any different than the present.  But... but, I told him, the plus side to having a twin is that you get to experience life together.  You get to always have a friend by your side.  Sometimes that is pretty awesome, and other times it might be pretty hard.  

They can drive each other crazy, but they also have empathy for each other when having consequences or when they are injured.  When Logan was struggling with his fear of mummies, Jack agreed to trade beds with him, moving to the bottom bunk himself so Logan could have the top bunk and no longer fear mummy hands grasping at him from under the bed.

The other evening Josh had taken Jack with him on an airport run, leaving Logan home with Wyatt and myself.  That night as I tucked Jack in bed he told me, "Sometimes when I am gone, I think to myself, "I wonder what Logan is doing right now." Then I close my eyes and I can see what he is doing."  Josh and I looked at each other across the room and shared a set of goosebumps.

"There are two things in life 
for which we are never truly prepared: twins."
-Josh Billings  






4.27.2015

Kids of Marshall

As the weather gets nicer we are spending more and more time outside.  Nearly everywhere we go, there are friends who accompany us.  I have such a heart for these kids.  Kids who play alongside my kids, who've watched Wyatt grow from a tiny babe, and whom I've seen grow over the last four years.  They are all so beautiful & I love having the opportunity to be (even a small) part of their lives.










4.26.2015

Insta Update + a few fresh pics

I've said it before, and I'll say it again-- I love instagram!
I'm alaska_babyham.  Find me & send a follow request. 
I'd love to have you.
Here are some instagram pics as of late.

Wyatt had his first independent play date.  He was SO excited! Krista said he did really well and I was proud of him for being such a big boy!

Wyatt loves stacking things.  Cars are his specialty.

This was last Sunday morning.
I love when they can play cooperatively & imaginatively.
Especially while I drink my coffee & read.

Wyatt fell asleep one night, sitting upright on the stool by his bed.

Here's a better picture.  He was completely asleep.
Josh scooped him up & put him back in bed.

 So, I have a thing for Orange Koolaid.  We went through the last of it a few weeks ago, and Josh bought me more at the co op.  I love that he gets me.

 The sun came back this weekend!  We spent each day playing out.  Wyatt prefers digging in the dirt to playing at the playground.

This moose hoof is on one of the rock piles just outside our front door.  People give the bones to their dogs so they end up strewn about town. 

 This is a reflection of water from a table outside our window.  It reminds me of my bestie, Julie, whose backyard pool makes the same reflection on the ceiling in her kitchen.  I miss her.  And I miss that kitchen.

Spring in Alaska is a confusing time.  So much sunshine, sweet peas growing on the windowsill, but still the occasional freezing temps & morning visits from Jack Frost. 

These two.
My heart.
I can hardly contain the love.

Piggy back rides are his favorite.
Love this little monkey! 

 I have a thing for pens.
Sorting through them is like choosing my favorite child--
Impossible.

 We have no dishwasher here.  That means when things like this happen, the task feels daunting.  On the other hand, nothing makes me smile like an empty sink!

My dad took this picture on a recent hike & sent it to me.  He said the birch trees always remind him of me.  This is what I posted on Instagram:


THE ROAD NOT TAKEN
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood

And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair

And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear
Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same. 

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no steps had trodden back
Oh, I kept the first for another day
Yet knowing how way leads onto way

I doubted if I should ever come back. 

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I
I took the one less traveled by

And that has made all the difference. 

-Robert Frost

My dad sent me this picture from a recent hike of his. Birch trees are sort of my thing. I love them. Growing up, we had some in our front yard. I love to peel the "paper" off the trunk, find aphids on the bright green leaves, and catch caterpillars falling out of its top branches in late summer. As an adult they always remind me of this poem by Robert Frost. I feel that we've taken the road less traveled by, and while it's made for a challenging journey, it's also made all the difference.


All bundled up, but outside & happy(!) earlier this week.
His eyes as well as his brothers seem to be changing from the brightest blue to green, 
just like me & Josh.

This is the view from my spot at the kitchen table where we homeschool.  I moved my "Linger" sign to the back window so I could meditate on it during our learning time.  I'm so blessed to be able to homeschool my kids and spend my days lingering with them.

The boys love painting, especially Wyatt.  Last time they painted their chubby fingers and made handprints.  I love them so much!

I have taken up reading with a new vengeance and it makes me so happy.  When I was struggling with anxiety, it was hard for me to stick with a book and enjoy my favorite hobby.  Feeling better and being able to enjoy it again is cause for celebration.

Read:
The Paying Guests (Could NOT put it down!)
The Last Letter From Your Lover (It was okay...)
Hands Free Mama (Changing my life!)

Currently Reading:
The Well-Trained Mind (A giant read, 800 pages, but so awesome!)
How To Be a Woman (Just finished yesterday!  It was vulgar, but hilarious!)
One Thousand Gifts (re-reading and loving it even more than before)

To Read:
Orphan Train (I can't wait!)
How To Fall in Love (I adore Cecelia Ahern)


***

Happy Sunday!