Subpar photos in a hard week.

After a dear friend lost her daughter yesterday, after another friend lost her unborn baby, after a hurricane, after all the heaviness lately, I needed a few photos that sparked happiness. They aren't in order. They aren't sized right. They're not even that great, but the one blessing that comes from photography is the gift of perspective- to see your kids and family with an acute awareness for how precious they are. 

Our announcement.

I've written and unwritten this post so many times. One time we had pregnancy announcement photos taken and later had to email the photographer, telling her that we no longer needed them. Instead of a cute baby bump picture, our lives were looking more like this: 

A few months later, when the nurse called us 5 minutes before we left for our movie date night, and told us to "Google it" when I asked one too many questions about our diagnosis of hydrosalpinx, and I cried through Deadpool, that sucked. We were finding ourselves in the gray of infertility. Crap. 

I still don't understand the weeks that followed. We had just been told that I wasn't pregnant and that it couldn't happen. We had one more pregnancy test left and I wanted to waste it so that I wouldn't have any left. 

When the sonogram technician told us that she thought it was a mistake that we were on her list that day, that it probably wasn't a baby, that it would probably miscarry, that sucked too. 

But here we are.

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And we don't really look like this picture (minus the reaction to crappy sunscreen on my leg, that was real). Our journey didn't look this. We aren't the Pinterest of pregnancy announcements. We prayed prayers of anger and frustration. We weren't hopeful all the time. One Sunday, every pregnant woman ever in Johnson County sat in our row at church and I totally ugly-jealous-cried. The blessing given to us (clearly) isn't because we were great Christ followers who deserved it. Absolutely not. But I believe that God delights in us. I know that to be true. 

So we're pregnant! Our sweet baby will be here on November 2nd (haha....due dates....). 

Photo Credit- Bumblebee Photography in Destin, FL 

Forced Family Fun.

It's a special kind of fun when we travel with our kids. We're either eating, screaming, or trying to figure out what that smell is. For 32 hours. We drove through snow, sleet, fog, flood, and sun. Because southerners get their seasons right and skip all but sun. 

In between all the sunburns and sand and ocean tides, was just us. 

And iPads because no one has time to take unoccupied kids to public places.  

My little family is my world, but the piles of work and everything in the day-to-day make me forget that. It's not so much that you get to relax on vacation (because no one relaxes on kid-vacations, ever....anywhere.....at all), but your priorities become just family and food. I love that. It reminds you of your blessings and your overflowing cup. 

Except Sela. She got in some relaxation while I went and fetched her towel, sunglasses, and drink and whatever else a relaxing person needs. #momservant 

On one of our beach days, we came upon this little gem of a playground. The kids and I went through this list and broke every single rule because of the disclaimer at the bottom. We had a fun time doing it too. 

We stopped in Arkansas on the way home and found a duckurkey (a duck that looks like its mom might have been a turkey).

I don't think it so much matters where you take your kids. Their memories are focused on what time we spend with them. Discovering a duckurkey together....that's family time right there. 

 

 

Turning 5.

We left birthing class because we got bored.

We fell asleep after her birth. 

She was born 11 months after her brother.

For a solid 6 months, we thought her birthday was a different date. 

I sent out her birth announcements with the wrong year on them. 

I cried to her pediatrician that she cried too much.

Despite our less-than-stellar parenting, we somehow got the sweetest girl ever. 

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When your littlest isn't little anymore, it's weird. On one hand, you're all sad because they can do all these big kid things without you. 

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But then it's awesome because we can do things like spend a whole afternoon driving to all of the gas stations being the Blue Sucker Bandits and buying up all of the blue suckers.

Except for the gas station at 103rd and Mastin. That crabby guy doesn't support our venture. 

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So, I've decided that turning 5 just means that you're a big-little. 

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She's too little to reach all the things, but too big to ask all the time. Want the fruit snacks that are hiding on the top shelf? You're going to have to let me hold you like a baby until my hip falls off. 

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So happy 5th birthday, Sela Kate, Selly-Belly, SelleBelle, Little Momma. You have my heart.

Embracing messy

When you aren't a blogger or a writer and you start a blog, it's a hot mess.  A big fat one. What do I have to share? Cooking? Nope. Mothering? I'm a solid B+ that needs to be reading the self-help blogs, not writing them. I can't fit in with the Pinterest'ers or the inspiring mom bloggers. So, I'm running with it- embracing the less-than. 

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The less-than-clean apartment that shows that my kids have been here. I can embrace that. 

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There's good in the mess if you look for it.