we’re still here….

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recovering from a busy summer.  a really busy summer.  and i hate to admit it because when zach left his job to stay home… i was silly enough to believe that things might be ‘less busy’ and it just hasn’t been the case.  constantly looking for ways to simplify and slow things down and i wonder if i’ll have it all figured out by the time i’m ninety.

i have so much to share and so many pictures that i need to get to and it’s all so incredibly overwhelming right now. we’re in a weird season here…. if i’m being honest.  we’re grateful and we’re anxious.  we’re looking ahead.  we know that change is coming but we’re not sure exactly what kind of change or where.

marriage is so good.  the babies are so good.  we’re thinking about maybe moving out to the country… having some ducks and chickens and a barn… or maybe even living in a barn.

there’s a lot of what if’s and how about this’s and what do you think’s going on in our house.  we’re just not settled quite yet here and we’ve been here for five years already.  the place is so beautiful but it doesn’t quite feel like us.

i’m praying that God will help us to be joyous and filled right where we are and that He’ll ease any anxiety we experience when it comes to moving on from here. i know this: He knows what’s in store and He knows where we’re headed and it’s far better than what we have imagined so that’s that.

i went on a recent trip to washington state… just me… to visit a friend.  and what i thought was going to be a long week filled with tears and missing my babies ended up being a long week filled with laughter and soul-filling conversation with a beautiful friend and i came home feeling refreshed and well-rested, something i haven’t felt for quite some time. it was so good for all of us.

the unfortunate thing is that since i’ve been home (two weeks or so) it’s been pretty crazy…. non-stop…. and i’m not even sure, to be honest, if my bags are completely unpacked.

it’s hunting season, aka ‘jamie is a single mom for three months’ season…. so things aren’t going to slow down any for the fall.

somehow, i’m adjusting to the busy-ness that is three babies and a husband and a house bigger than i’d like it to be.

i’ve wished for so long that life would slow down and it. just. doesn’t. maybe someday. maybe when i’m eighty and the kids are grown and my little crochet bag sits by my side table and i watch nature shows on the weekends while zach messes with stuff in the garage.

and well…. i think i’ve just decided that i’m in no hurry for all of that. i’ll take the busy-ness.  i’ll take the disaster of a house and the never-ending to-do list.

i’ll take the precious little girl who followed me last night with her little vintage fisher price camera.  i tried to tackle taking all three kids out by myself to take some pictures of them.  ‘just ONE good picture’, I told myself.  i thought i’d feel super accomplished if i could just get a picture of the three of them suitable for framing.  and at the last minute, just before we piled into the truck- she grabbed her camera and announced, “I wanna be just like you Mommy.  and when I get big… I’m gonna take pictures of my babies too.”

and so she and i did a photo shoot of the boys.  she took a few, i took a few.  it was perfectly imperfect.  and fun.  and these days…. the crazy busy days of three babies five and under- fun is really all that matters.

and look what happened…. i ended up with one of my favorite photos of her ever…. and oh, the memories that are attached…. are innumerable.

here’s to being busy and saying yes to my babies more often…. especially in this particular season. good things are coming. i can feel it. DSC_6152

currently….

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Everyday Musings

Making : a quilt for Emerson.  that I started on when I was just 4 months pregnant with him in hopes of having him wrapped up snug in it in his first few weeks home from the hospital…. well obviously- that didn’t work out.  but it’s ok…. it’s coming along really well.  just a few more hours and it’ll be ready to throw in the washer.

Cooking : a lot of rice and mashed potatoes and hot chicken broth.  I had my wisdom teeth removed last week and it’s been dreadful.  I’ve been extra whiney about it and pretty miserable and I’ve taken more pain medication in five days than I ever thought I would need to take in my whole life.  I’d rather have a baby with no pain medicine again than endure another day of this discomfort.

Drinking: hot tea and of course coffee and never enough water.

Reading: Hands Free Mama by Rachel Macy Stafford and it makes me want to cancel my cell phone and burn it afterwards.  It makes me want to hug my babies all day every day and take in every bit of them while they’re tiny and growing so fast.  It’s really really good and I wish I had read it sooner….

Wanting : more Jesus.

Looking: pale.  and wishing that there were more hours in the day so that I could justify going to the pool for a couple of hours by myself just to lay there, soak up the sun, and read the rest of my book.   

Wishing: that there were more hours in the day (did I say that once already?).  And that time wasn’t moving so quickly.  our babies are growing so fast and I just go to bed some nights feeling like I am just watching it all fly by while I’m scooping up toys and pouring glasses of orange juice and reading stories.  I wish that I could just bottle up this special time and come back to it anytime I want to later in life…. when I need a reminder of how incredibly blessed I am and how much God loves me. 

Enjoying: these warm weather days with my sweet outdoor loving babies. Trying to savor every last bit of it.

Waiting: for Friday… we’re waking up in the morning and piling in into the car with our favorite clothes and our favorite books and our favorite things…. and taking a road trip.  I. can’t. wait. any. longer.  so excited.

Liking: taking pictures.  more than usual.  I’ve been practicing some new things with my camera… and taking way too many pictures… and I’m so thankful for the ones that I’ve taken that are beautiful.

Wondering: what God has planned for our future.

Loving: opening our windows first thing in the morning…especially the kitchen windows while we make breakfast and coffee.  I love the crisp smell of spring mornings and the sound of the birds.

Hoping: that the babies are on their best behavior all weekend so that our little mini-vacation is as incredible as I have it all pictured in my mind…. I really think it will be special….

Marveling: at what a blessing it is to have three little ones under our roof….. and at how naive we were to think that stopping with two was ever a good idea.  Emerson has added so much to our family…. not a day goes by that I don’t wonder what on earth we would do had we not welcomed him into our family in November.  He has been the perfect addition.

Needing: more grace for myself.  more patience.  more confidence.

Smelling: the lotion on my skin.

Wearing: rain boots.  almost everyday.  they’re easy to slip on and off and if I wear them a lot…. it helps me justify how much they cost.  ;)

Following: a lot of very inspiring women on Instagram that I thank God for all the time.  I’m not big on social media.  In fact- sometimes I loathe it…. but IG is different.  I never leave my IG feed without feeling inspired.

Noticing: how sweet and grown up my Clover is becoming.  She just doesn’t seem like a three-year-old anymore.  She is so inquisitive and well-mannered and her personality is starting to shine through like never before… I love getting to know her.  I love being her Mommy.

Thinking: about this next school year. goals and plans and curriculum and how blessed we are to be homeschooling.  Carter is really into Ancient Egypt right now and it’s pretty awesome getting to teach him about it knowing that if he were in public school- his teachers would never have time for catering to his interests in this way.  I love spending time learning about the different things that interest him. 

Opening: a bottle of wine tonight.  which never happens.  but I’ve had a very long and crazy day at work and I think it may make a great addition to the hot bubble bath I plan on taking.

Feeling: blessed.  So much to be thankful for. yesterday, today, and every day.  It’s a good feeling knowing that God really does love me… and it’s evident that He loves me…. all I need to do is open my eyes.

so…. what week is it anyway? :)

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Everyday Musings

 

I have no idea what week of the year it is. My 52 weeks project was a fabulous flop. It’s ok though. I’m learning to accept that being a Mama of three sweet babies means having a LOT of great intentions. :)

If I only achieve half of what I set out to do in a day…. I’m really doing very well.

So since I’m a HORRIBLE example to bloggers everywhere- here are a few snapshots from the last couple of weeks:

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just a little trip. just some special snapshots.

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Everyday Musings / Outdoor Adventures / Vacation

 

well.

my 52 weeks project isn’t going as planned.

some jerk unhappy person hacked into my computer and infected it with some horrendous virus. and before he left…. he packed up photoshop and took it with him.

so I’ve spent the past two weeks making sure that all of my photos are backed up as not to lose thousands of precious memories…. and I’ve had to re-install photoshop in the past two days so that I can get back to working on pictures. I’ve also learned way more than I ever wanted to about virus protection programs and online backup file storage and I just feel like the world can be such a mean place when things like this happen.

what if that miserable person had stolen my pictures too?

why do people do such things? I just don’t get it.

so I’ll step down from my soapbox for a minute and tell you that I desperately needed time away from the house this past week.

I needed to get away from the dirty floors and doors and windows and the dust filled carpet and breathe some fresh air. I needed to focus on my babies and my husband and my Savior and not my house.

so Zach used his saved up pennies and whisked us away to the southern part of the state where we played, explored, and had three days worth of adventures. and it was every bit as magical as you can imagine it would have been….

even without showers.

we played in the dirt and threw rocks in the creek and ran through fields and explored an abandoned little cabin and went on four-wheeler rides and picked flowers and got our boots stuck in the mud…. and I took so many pictures that Zach got mad at me on multiple occasions and asked me to “PLEASE PUT THAT CAMERA AWAY”….

…. and then when we got home, he looked through all the pictures with me on the back of my camera and said, “I’M SO GLAD YOU TOOK ALL OF THESE!!” and gave me a kiss and I forgave him for telling me to put my camera away fourteen times.

we came home early from our trip on thursday night and I missed the wilderness first thing Friday morning. it was so nice. no electronics except the phone & the camera. no running water. no house to clean. no patients to care for. no stress. just another opportunity for me to want to sell the house, buy some land, build something little to call home, and add some chickens and goats to the mix.

we keep talking about it but we’re still in the same neighborhood…..

not sure what God has planned but I am listening….. and I’m pretty sure that Zach is listening too.

because despite his imperfections- I am seeing so much growth in him.

him leaving his job was such a good decision. we were so unsure at first.

while it hasn’t been perfect because nothing is- we are closer as a family. the kids have developed a closer relationship with him and it has been just beautiful to witness.

he’ll leave for the day and they are both asking where daddy is multiple times.

So our trip this week….

here are a few snapshots I took with my cell phone camera- hopefully I’ll get my computer back to normal as quickly as possible and post more:

I wish the fun that we had and the love that we shared showed through these simple snapshots…. it really was a very magical little trip for us.  I know they’re cell phone pictures…. they aren’t super special technically…. but they are so special to us.  Precious moments frozen in time of our awesome little ones.

We feel more blessed than ever.

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4 photo 5

 

 

week 1/52

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52 weeks project

ok.  I’m the queen of unfinished projects.  I wish it weren’t true but I’m not getting any younger.  It’s time to embrace reality.

I have a quilt that I’m trying to finish up this week.  I started it three years ago.  I wanted it to be a first birthday present for Clovie.  Well…. I’m hoping to give it to her for her fourth birthday now.

pitiful, it’s true.

so don’t hold me to it…. but here goes…. I’m editing images from this year for a family year book.  I have this brilliant idea to compile a book at the end of the year of one picture per babe per week.  Not necessarily favorite pictures or pictures that are great technically…. but just everyday snapshots even.  whatever I feel like sharing.  whatever seems appropriate to put in the family year book.

and I’m FOUR months behind but I’m aiming to catch up quickly.

no more time wasted….. here’s week 1/52:

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cloverweek1blog

carterweek1blog

“fishing for esophagus’s”

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Clovie / Homeschooling

anatomywe were doing our school lesson this afternoon and Clover was using her forceps to pull the esophagus out of their human body model when she asked me if I could please get a “bid-e-o” (video) of her “fishing for esophagus’s” to show at her birthday party.  And then she promptly ran off to hide the brain in the gas tank of her cozy coupe.

never a dull moment here.

unplugging.

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Carter / Clovie / Emerson / Everyday Musings / Homeschooling

so it’s been 16 days since I posted last…. which seems VERY hard to believe.  But in order to not make this a blog where every blasted post goes on and on about how quickly life goes…. I digress.

we’re still plugging along.

and well…. kind of ‘unplugging’ along.  I’ve not had a phone for two full days and it has been so wonderful.  we’re having some serious conversations about doing away with the TV once and for all which is nice….

sometimes I feel like I need to post something here just for the sake of posting something and I have to remind myself that I am a Mama who would rather be with my babies than writing about being with them.

we’re still very much in the adjustment phase of all being together so much.  it’s been two months since he came home from work for the last time.  we’re learning everyday.  what works and what doesn’t.  it’s truly awesome getting to parent right alongside my best friend and husband.  there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t consider this portion of our lives an incredible blessing.  we feel very blessed to be in the midst of such a wonderful season in our lives together.

watching Zach grow as a man, a husband, and a parent has been really rewarding.  he impresses me more and more all the time.

we still have such a long way to go on simplifying.  we’re de-cluttering and talking a lot about where we’d like to be a few years from now….

I’m reading some really great books every chance I get and Zach is planning for golf trips with friends and giving golf lessons to Carter this spring.

we’re preparing this week for some more serious homeschooling.  we’ve been just doing some things here and there each day for the past several weeks…. figuring out best times of days, best place in the house, curriculum that works and doesn’t, different learning styles between our two biggest babies…. there is so much to learn with homeschooling.  for us and for them.

and so we both think we are ready to really make school a much bigger part of our everyday routine and we’re looking forward to it.  I ordered some things we need this previous weekend and I was just researching a few other topics for more suggestions and ideas.

we have a lot to look forward to with this spring…. and I’m thankful that God has blessed me with the realization that I need to be very careful about my expectations.  Our babies are still babies…. just barely five and three…. learning is fun and adventurous for us right now.  it’s so exciting.  the moment that it seems hard, rigorous, or boring…. out with it.

today we talked about St. Patricks day.  we learned about the true meaning of St. Patricks Day and we talked about Patricus while we painted rainbows on paper plates.  We related the clover leaf to the trinity (just like the real St. Patrick) and Carter asked some big questions about the Holy Spirit.  We looked at pictures of Ireland….. which led us into other books on the shelf about animals.  We learned that the largest mammal is the blue whale, the largest fish is the whale shark, the tallest animal is the giraffe, and Carter giggled so much when we read about Opossums playing dead when they think they’re being preyed upon. We learned that “blind as a bat” is just a silly saying because bats aren’t really blind and we learned that Gorillas are angry in captivity but very calm and friendly in the wild.  Clover and I read poems and a little storybook from the early 1940’s about a little witch named Dorie.  We spread out blankets in her bedroom floor, had sliced apples, read Peter Rabbit stories, and took care of her babies.  We all looked at a nature book- specifically the pages on different types of tree bark and we talked about bird migration.

We prayed together and ate our meals together and we read a lot.

And there were those moments too where household chores needed done and that meant that the baby napped and the kids watched an animated movie of their choosing so Zach and I could jump around like chickens trying to get the house to look suitable again.

It’s amazing- we thought we would have so much more time when Zach was here all the time with us… and we just don’t.  Having three little ones equates to living in a house where it’s an accomplishment to finish a full sentence in a grown-up conversation sometimes.  Zach will be folding laundry in the living room, I’ll be scrubbing pots in the kitchen, the baby is cooing, the kids are laughing and talking, and the music is playing…. and we are trying to plan for the rest of the day in the midst of it all.  It’s a beautiful mess.

Emerson is getting so big so quickly…. he rolled over for the first time last week…. he is letting out real live giggles as of last week…. he holds his bottle for Zach by himself now….

and the kids are still in love with him.  I’m so grateful after being worried that their infatuation with him was only just a phase.  They are both still very much involved in his care…. and they are looking for him/trying to please him constantly.

we are so excited about spring finally making it’s appearance.  more park trips, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, outdoor exploring, puddle jumping, kite flying…. we enjoyed the snow but we are so thankful that warmer weather is on it’s way….jan26dDSC_1094fb feb16jan10jan15DSC_1052fbDSC_1055fb feb18h crackingeggs feb16c feb16d feb18a feb19cbuildingfeb19fbjan23dfeb16b feb16g feb18 feb18ckaleidoscope

I’ve got to get back to my reading and researching while I have a few minutes before Zach is ready to watch a movie.  We have to take advantage of our time together as much as possible…. these early bedtimes for the kids work out well for us on most evenings.  I love snuggling with him and talking about our day when it’s all said and {almost} done.

I’ll be back soon…. sooner than later….

just a few of my favorites.

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Vacation

just a few of my favorite people in this whole wide world…. you know…. they are more than incredible.

how blessed am I?

I can’t possibly thank God enough…. that’s how blessed.  If every breath that I breathed uttered thank you…. it still wouldn’t be enough.

So thankful that it may have taken me 31 years to get here…. but I’m getting it.  To know Him and to make Him known.  That’s why I’m here.

To look upward and not inward.  That’s my daily goal.

Life is good.  It’s heart-wrenching and confusing and hard sometimes…. but to know that tiny little insignificant me is part of such a beautiful plan…. at the end of the day- that is really good.

To know that God is faithful even when I am faithless…. that is really good.

To know that in my weakest, most awful, and most regretted moments…. that He looks down on me with intense love and grace…. and He says, “NO MATTER WHAT, I will walk with you, I will treasure you, I will love you.”

That is good.

God is good.

These four…. oh my heart…. I just know they are to thank for it’s beating.

Thank you Lord, for my family so sweet.  Thank you for the food we eat.
Thank you Lord, for the songs we sing…. Thank you Lord, for everything.

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xoxo, J.

and just like that…. that sweet little baby that introduced me to motherhood was five.

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Carter

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five.  it seems like such a big number.  he seems like such a big boy.

he rubbed the side of my cheeks tonight, look right into my eyes, and told me that he was going to marry me when he turns 68.

and then he whispered, “Mama…. I have an idea.  Let’s all sleep in my bed tonight so that when we wake up on my birthday, we will all be right here to celebrate together.”

I can’t imagine a sweeter boy.

so very thankful that God trusts us to raise him.

What a beautiful five year old we have….

our new normal

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Everyday Musings / Thoughts on Life

the typical morning scene in our house.   jammies in the playroom, scattered toys, music up loud in the adjacent rooms, Zach and I scrambling around cleaning up the breakfast dishes, trying to keep up with the laundry scattered in the laundry room, the smell of coffee in the kitchen….   

pure heaven on earth really.  even when it’s absolute choaos and we’ve told Clover four times to get out of the refrigerator and Carter is asking fourteen questions and Emerson needs a diaper change….. and it’s only 8:30 am.

I wouldn’t trade this life for anything and there is no place I’d rather be than right here watching them grow and learn and thrive.  

People at work look at me like I’m mad when I tell them that I have three babies and my oldest is four.  I couldn’t imagine life any other way.  It’s a crazy kind of beautiful and it works so well for us. 

Since Zach has been home- we’ve been trying to de-clutter in major ways and honest to goodness…. I think we have hauled at least twenty trashbags of things out of the house.  We’re not even half way through yet.  It’s the best kind of therapy, minimizing is.  But it’s also time consuming…. and getting through major projects is hard work when you’re surrounded by three very needy little humans.  If there’s anything that has been a little stressful for us it’s learning to accept that somedays- nothing gets done.  I’m trying to learn how to embrace that reality rather than wish it were different.  The kids have to be a priority.  Our marriage has to be a priority.  So as much as we’d like to put them to bed at night and sort through kitchen drawers- we also recognize that we need adequate sleep to care for them and we need time to care for one another. 

balance.  finding a healthy balance between it all is a learning curve.  we’re getting there.

We were just talking today at lunch about how time is passing us by so quickly…. and how busy things are.  You would think that if the two of us are home at least four days a week together- we’d get so much done.  That isn’t so when you have three little ones, two of which you are homeschooling. 

We are busy folks.  Busier than I would like to admit. 

Sometimes- I just want to shut everything down and pretend that all we have to do is sit and play all day long.  And sometimes…. even for just a few hours…. that’s exactly what we have to do.  Otherwise- I’d lose my sanity running here and there all day, every day. 

The other day I turned off the computer, left my cell phone sitting in a quiet room with the door shut, and I snuggled with the babies on the couch and read books for a couple of hours.  Out with technology and interruptions and in with quiet snuggling time.  There are days that I get to just relax and breathe and take them in…. and on those days- I am so overwhelmed with how blessed I am to have three healthy babies. 

I am guilty for wishing that I could do that everyday.  Just ignore my responsibilities and snuggle all day long…. but that would be…. well, irresponsible.

So we set aside time each day to forget about the world and focus on eachother and we can appreciate that there is so much growth happening in all of us right now.

God works in such mysterious ways.  I can clearly see and hear His reminders that we are right where we should be right now and I just wish I could physically give him a big hug.  I am so grateful for these days. 

It’s not everyone’s idea of perfect and it’s certainly not perfect all day, every day…. but I have never felt more at home on earth.  I have never felt more loved by my heavenly Father.  I can almost hear Him somedays whispering… “I have such good plans for you….”

And so here I sit.  Just trying to take this all in.  Trying to be grateful in all circumstances, trying to relish in the present, and thanking Him daily for where He has led us.  I’m clinging to His promises for a good future and I’m praying for His grace to get me through the days I’m in…. asking for His forgiveness and understanding in the tough moments when I am anything but graceful. 

He is surely pruning us all right now for some lovely fruit to come…..Image