May Snapshots

May was a weird month of the in between stage. Our house was sold but we still had time before packing/moving. Tying up lots of loose ends with rental things and new house things. And working through annoying inspection stuff with our house sale. It kind of felt like a long month, to be honest.

Ira got a weird fever for several days so we were stuck at home a lot. One gorgeous Sunday Devin volunteered to stay home with sick Ira so Henrik and I could do a zoo date. We had so much fun together. One-on-one time with Henrik is kind of rare for me and I realized how much we both need it.

Henrik started t-ball. Just a low-key program once a week through the Y. He has really seemed to enjoy it and it's a good experience for him to be on a team for the first time. Though the word team should be used loosely. 

We went to a benefit walk for my cousin's little guy and Henrik and Fiona held hands through part of the walk. It was insanely cute. Love these two cousins so much. We're really going to miss seeing Fi when she's in Africa this next year!

Mother's Day was really special to be at my mom's house with some family. Being a mom is super hard and I know I'm doing a million things wrong, but these boys are so incredibly special and I love that I get to watch them grow up as their mom.

We finished up a great year at BSF. We're all missing our Tuesdays and Wednesdays at CATC. I wish I had a picture with my awesome co-leader, but our 3 boys will have to do.

I've tried to be fun mom as much as possible and let the boys have their reign of things outdoors. It's created a lot of laundry but so worth it. Henrik and Ira are playing together more and more and sometimes I don't even know where they are for awhile and I love that. It often includes fighting and Ira crying but I'd say they get along more than they don't so that's a win.

We're down to about a week until we close and move out. Packing is in full swing and I'm starting to feel a bit melancholy about leaving this place. But I'll save that for another post. Bring on a crazy June where we are homeless for most of it. :)

Another Move

the boys had just eaten loads of frozen berries, if you're wondering why their mouthes look blue. :)

It all started with a news article last Fall about a builder downtown doing very small, modern homes. The article mentioned something about the homes being for minimalists who would rather spend the weekend exploring the city than doing yard work. Devin and I were both like, "yes, that's us". We've both disliked the notion that as you get older and make more money, you acquire more stuff and have a big house. Stuff actually stresses me out, so the fact that we're downsizing makes me happy. Also, neither of us grew up in diverse areas/families/churches. We want that to be different for our kids, both racially and socioeconomically. So with these things in mind, we started discussing what we wanted for our family's future and began exploring various options over the last 7 months.

We never intended to be suburb people. We loved our 'sort-of-urban' neighborhood when we lived in Fort Wayne. We planned to live in a more urban setting when we moved to Indy, but it just didn't happen, for lots of reasons, but mainly our timeline to find a house, our price range, etc, landed us is in Fishers. Also, I'll be the first to admit that I was interested in testing it out. There were things that sounded really nice about an attached garage, larger space, extremely low crime rate, and a neighborhood pool. In a lot of ways, I'm glad we gave it a try or I would have always wondered if there was something we were missing by foregoing the suburban life so many are drawn to.

We haven't necessarily been unhappy in our current situation, actually we love our home and have wonderful neighbors, but we have continued to not be able to see ourselves here long-term. There was/is just too much about our house, location, neighborhood, church, etc that just doesn't quite fit who we are at our core. I don't think we have unrealistic expectations of finding the perfect life, but just knew that we needed to attempt a situation that we could see ourselves in longer term. Whatever long-term means for our generation, right? :)

When a couple of Devin's co-workers / friends told him about a new development on the west side of downtown we started looking into it and loved so much about it. Just a month later we signed papers to build there as part of the creation of a new neighborhood within a struggling neighborhood. We're actually building along with 3 other couples (and a couple people we don't know) who we will also go to church with and be in community with. The community aspect was a huge piece that was missing in other options we explored.

We sold our current house in less than two days and will have to be out in June. In the meantime, we are renting until the new house is ready. It will be an interesting year!

I know that this new life we're heading into is going to have challenges and some definite inconveniences. But I have to keep coming back to the fact that this is something Devin and I have been on the same page about and feel called to. Adventure and a huge step of faith!

Life in the Spring

The fact that it's 10 AM on a Thursday and I'm still in my pajamas drinking my smoothie can only mean one thing: my kids are with someone else. I met Devin's mom yesterday and she took the boys for a couple days. Devin and I will go get them tomorrow and spend the weekend in FW so he can play a hockey tournament with his cousin. Devin and I had a couple events we needed a babysitter for, so it sounded nice to send the boys to Grandma's and she was gracious enough to say yes. From the reports we've gotten so far they are having a fabulous time. Ira didn't even cry when he saw me on FaceTime...that's a first.

I enjoy being in my house alone, because it's such a rare thing. However, whenever I'm going to bed and walk past my kid's empty bedrooms, I can feel a bit sad. It's a good reminder of the joy we experience having bedrooms filled with sweet little boys. I seriously love having boys. It's not that I wouldn't want to have a daughter ever, but somedays I just want a family full of boys because I think they're just so awesome. Though right now we're really happy with two boys and aren't feeling the need to put any plans in place for more (just in case you were suspicious about why I'm talking about future children).

Sometimes I can't believe how normal life has been over the past year. There are, of course, everyday frustrations with kids or finances or work, and difficult times (like sitting outside in the frigid middle of the night with poor Henrik who can barely breathe from croup), but overall life here has become fairly predictable and even kind of easy. Maybe the ease we've felt is due to coming out of a couple years that had been hard and honestly, kind of sucky. It's funny to me that we were married for over 4 years before we had a "normal" year.

When life is normal, we tend to spend a lot of time talking about what's next. You know, just to keep things interesting. And while our everyday life has looked really stable these past few months, there's been a LOT of discussion about the future. We've found ourselves in a nice spot, but not somewhere we can stay. Too many things about our life....our home, location, church...just don't quite fit who we are. I've been trying to make lists of things that make me feel alive, because while our current state of life is very happy and God has blessed us abundantly, there's an element of my spirit feeling regularly like something is missing.

At first glance, I can easily dismiss feelings of restlessness as discontentment or some sort of spiritual need. This is definitely the case at times, but when you have the same stirrings over and over I think it's good take note that maybe there's something in need of change. Last Fall Devin and I, separately but simultaneously, started having some of the same questions about our current life and the same dreams for our future. This could make me cry, because its one of the many ways that God has answered my prayer over and over again for Devin and I to be on the same page. Anyway, we started dreaming and discussing and from time-to-time we would explore avenues that seemed like they could accomplish what we desired. Each time we explored, it was a clear 'no'. Sometimes we pushed despite knowing it was a stretch, but God would mercifully shut it down. It was sometimes hard to take, but deep down I always knew it would work when the time was right.

We're once again in a time of exploring and I think I'm finally in a place where I can be really confident of how God leads us and know there's no point in me frantically trying to make something happen. What a relief. What a freeing thing to calmly walk down a path knowing that my part in it all is really so small.

I write this post mostly for the future. I want to be able to look back at this process because I've been through enough change over the past several years to know that it can be exciting at first, but then get really hard. So here's to whatever God has for us next, the good and the bad, knowing that thriving in this short life is worth having times that are not predictable or easy.

Ira, age 2

Oh sweet Ira. He is just a delight. Of course he's a normal child, with bad days or weeks, teething, sassiness, but overall this child has been a complete joy to parent. I've been waiting for his sweet disposition to change now that he's two, but mostly he's just an easy and fun kid to have around. He's been taking off in language development over the past 4 months or so. I've been impressed with his verbal skills for his age and while I know all kids get to the same level eventually, it's been a relief to me that both of our boys have developed good verbal skills at a young age, it just makes life a little easier.

Ira is sensitive. A stern look or word can often send him into tears, which is very new compared to the older brother in the house. At the same time he can hold his own with Henrik, has strong opinions, and isn't afraid to fight for what he wants. He mimics Henrik in any way possible, sometimes even standing next to him and just repeating every single thing that comes out of Henrik's mouth. I love the bond they're developing. I love that Ira has learned to play and be independent at an earlier age because of his brother.

Sometimes I wonder if this is because I didn't really leave him at all for the first 11 months of his life, but Ira still struggles with separation. It ebbs and flows in severity, but sometimes even me leaving to run and get groceries will send him into tears and a plea to "come with mama". Since day one, he's always been happiest in my presence, which I find very endearing. Of course he loves his dad a lot too.

Ira's stats:

Height: 2'11" (81%)
Weight: 31 lbs (81%)

Food: He's gotten a bit pickier these last couple months. Until recently he'd eat anything I put in front of him. This is mostly still true, but isn't doing quite as well with vegetables. He could live on protein and fruit if I let him. His absolute favorite treats are fruit snacks and suckers.

Likes: Wrestling, cars, chasing, tickling, monster trucks, singing (especially Good Morning God), outdoor play, any time Henrik will include him, going to the 'climbing place', snuggles and 'rocky byes' before nap and bedtime, giving side-eye glances to make us laugh.

Dislikes: Hunger (if this kid wants food, watch out), Henrik gets too rough with him, transitions (when it involves leaving mom or dad), when I tell him he has to have water instead of milk, loud beeps or "scary" noises, when I tell him it's bedtime, and his ultimate dislike right now: the childcare at the Y...he totally loses it, which is why I rarely make him go.

Florida 2017

We spent 8 days in Jensen Beach, Florida with Devin's parents and grandpa. It was warm and sunny and beautiful and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. We opted to drive this year and go through the night. I was definitely apprehensive about how it would play out but both drives through the night went incredibly smooth and the boys slept well. Really thankful for that.

Our first photo after arriving and changing into our warm weather clothes...

Each day our routine would basically be beach, back to the house for lunch and naps, pool time, happy hour, dinner out or at the house, evening hanging out and bedtime. Some days we got really crazy and did the pool in the morning and then stayed at the beach until the latest hours of the afternoon. :)

We mostly went to the beach right across the street from the house but one day ventured 15 minutes up the island to Bathtub Reef which was a beautiful and fun day.

Devin's dad was great at bringing a shovel to the beach and creating a fun tunnel or hole or fort for the boys. They loved it. And one day we caught a crab which provided much entertainment. 

Sweet Ira Stephen turned 2 while we were in Florida. We had a fun day celebrating with donuts, a children's museum, and ice cream cake in the evening. He was happy to let everyone know he was two.

A random shot of Henrik with his "new friend Vicki" in the pool. Classic Henrik to find an adult he likes, charm them into being his friend and playing with him in the pool. His ability to make people feel loved is one of his best qualities.

I am sad to report that I very much failed to document some fun dates that Devin and I had thanks to his parents keeping the boys. One lunch date and one evening. Both times we went about 15 minutes away to "old town" Stuart, Florida. Which has some very quaint brick streets and buildings a definite French feel combined with coastal town. I really like it there. The one photo I did get (above) was our appetizer at this quaint little Oyster Bar we ate at. 

We laughed a lot this afternoon when we realized how similar Devin and his dad looked. Like father like son, I guess. 

Ira very proudly ran up to me holding my favorite lipstick with a very red mouth...."hey mom, your ipstick", he said.

On our last morning before we left we let the boys hit the pool for an hour before taking off around 1PM. Poor Ira was pretty worn out, probably due to getting up around 5 most days of vacation, which was less than ideal for all of us.

I took this picture about in the middle of the night when we were doing a quick stop to switch drivers. So sweet. They really were great little travelers. We made so many great memories on this trip!