Lent / Boys

For the season of lent I'm adding in some extra quiet space in my mornings. I'm also off of Instagram, which is, of course, a very typical thing to do, but always worthwhile. I love Instagram and the people I connect with there and the inspiration I get, but a couple times a year my brain needs serious space from other people's social media lives.

Here are some things I would have posted lately...



Glimpses of the sun! Outdoor time! Granted we spent 10 days of February in the Florida sun, but it's lovely to get the first taste of winter coming to an end...



Sweet Soren...getting scary close to being one. Already acting way too old, trying to do things his brothers do, and is a little too brave for his own good. He's going to be so much fun and such a liability this summer!




I'm trying to take more pictures WITH the boys...even if they are just selfies. These are the people I spend my days with right now and I want to capture that, even if the pictures don't always show the reality.


So far I'm loving 2019...I finally feel normal from postpartum stuff. I've done some hard work for brain health and spiritual growth and I'm seeing some of the benefits of that. And have been dreaming and making plans for the future. This might not sound like much, but after last year, it feels very good and energizing.


Seven Years In



I wrote this last week on our anniversary...kind of a random thing for a blog I never post on, but here it is...

A wise person I see on a weekly basis (aka counselor) was telling me that there's something in our brains that has to reset every seven years in a relationship...like having to fall back in love with that person you're with. Hence the concept of the seven year itch. This resonated with me. I feel like year seven required some fight. Some reorienting to each other. Some harder work in our relationship. Maybe a reality check that you can't really coast in a marriage and expect it to be good.

The wise person I see also pointed out to me that in every area of my life I'm not really okay with things just being "fine"; I want them to be great. This can be detrimental in that I don't always handle disappointment well, but it's a good quality because I fight for relationships (that matter to me) to be great, not just okay. I could say more about this, but that's not the point of this post.

Seven years of marriage,
three kids,
three houses,
two cities,
a career change,
job changes,
and so much more.

Seven years is not long, but it's been long enough to experience some ups and downs and understand that choosing to love someone unconditionally is a very, very hard thing. Actually it's an impossible thing.

Devin is a very good husband. He's not perfect and has pride and selfishness that come out as anyone does, but I'd say overall he's easy to be married to (with the exception of his OCD about sheets, comforters, etc). He's patient, willing to learn, willing to apologize, and works really hard to be the stable provider of our family.

My favorite thing about being married is having that one person who cares as deeply about your family, children, success, growth, future, etc as much as you do. The person who wants to hear all the little details about what the kids did that day. It's so nice to have someone to be just as engaged in these things as you are. Devin's engagement and energy as a father blesses me every single day.

Our hardest years of marriage have always coincided with the addition of a child to our family (which means that 3 kids in seven years of marriage hasn't always been easy), so I'm happy to look forward to year 8 knowing that the third kid adjustment is behind us and hopefully we can enjoy a bit more time to focus on one another.

2011

























2019


Postpartum Brain

I'm kind of missing the days when I unloaded my thoughts or opinions on to my blog. Though, I'd be so embarrassed to go back and read those posts...which is why I never do. And you shouldn't either.

My brain is so full right now. I'm sure most women can relate to this. When do our brains ever stop?!

I've noticed that in the Fall I tend to be more contemplative and reflective about life. I also tend to be this way in postpartum, so my brain is on overdrive right now. Speaking of postpartum, how long is that phase? Like how long can one claim postpartum rights for everything that's screwed up about them?

A few months after I have a baby lots of things tend to surface. It's happened every time and tends to last until I stop breastfeeding. It's not a fun time but it allows me, or rather forces me, to work through some things that I might otherwise be able to push aside.

I can tell there are people in my life who think I should stop breastfeeding. But I just can't bring myself to do that - at least not yet. Though I have found myself pulling back my goal from nursing for one year to nursing for nine months.

This isn't something I'm unwilling to be open about. If I were talking to you in person and you wanted details, I'm an open book. But being an open book on the internet is a whole other thing...I think it has the potential to lead to insecurity and hurt with how people do or do not respond. I think for the most part people are great and empathetic, but you're always going to have someone who just doesn't get it.

Anyway, a few pictures that bring up some warm, happy feelings about this season...

Glimpses of the three brothers. Soren is too small to engage in most of their activity, but I love to see them all together and enjoying one another.



Somehow Soren is closing in on six months, which makes me feel sad at the speed of things, but happy to have such a thriving little guy. More on him in a six month post coming soon (hopefully).



Our local park is gorgeous most of the year, but was especially charming Saturday morning. You know the lighting is great when pictures from my old iPhone don't need a filter. This morning reaffirmed to me that I need to be out in nature more. It's so good for my soul.











Summer, Soren, School

Pictures from July and the first half of August...



As I was moving pictures to this post I realized there is a LOT of Soren. :) But I love to document the lightning speed growth of a baby. Seriously, I cannot believe how fast he's growing up. As I write this post he is almost four months. These pictures are from around three months though.



Soren sleeps just like Ira did. Although he's a much better sleeper than Ira was, at least so far. Soren started sleeping long stretches around two months and by three months was even sleeping all night sometimes. He's regressed a bit lately, but typically eats between 2-4 AM and then is back down until anywhere between 6:30-8.





Mid-deck build... The company building our deck had a time slot open earlier than they thought, so our deck was done by mid-July instead of mid-August, which was really fun.



Many Saturday mornings you'll find us at the farmer's market. The boys get popsicles, the parents usually get brunch, and sadly we're always too late for the good donuts. One Saturday Devin and the older boys biked (Henrik rode and Ira in the bike trailer). It was so fun to have a kid old enough to bike all the way downtown. A little scary having him cross streets but he did so well! I'm excited for next summer when Soren will be big enough for the bike trailer and we can all go together.





Devin is still loving his grill. He's smoked some incredible ribs a few times this summer along with many other good meats.



Henrik and I went school supply shopping together. It was so fun to be alone with him and talk to him about my elementary school experiences.



The boy's love and interest for Soren really hasn't wavered. They really do enjoy him and have never been jealous or annoyed he's here. So thankful.



Zoo trips. :)



For the last day before school started, Henrik asked to swim at Blair's pool (Devin's uncle) and have dinner on the deck. So that's what we did. Dinner being naan pizzas and root beer floats.







Not quite ready to be involved in pool time.









Henrik started school on a Friday but Kindergarten was just a half day. The next day on Saturday morning we made a last-minute decision to run up to the lake cottage. It ended up being such a fun day with beautiful weather. The boys really enjoyed jet skiiing, tubing and playing in the water. Soren enjoyed lounging with mom in the shade and mostly refusing to nap. This kid is making it clear he likes to sleep in his crib at home, which is funny because I made zero effort for that to happen.













Ira's favorite new picture face. Sigh. I took this one day when I was feeling pretty sad that he was eating lunch alone at the island. He and Henrik are always sitting there together. It's definitely an adjustment having Henrik gone and there have been times I've wondered if we should have had him do one more year of preschool, but I know that would be silly when he's very capable of being in Kindergarten. He's had a few tough mornings of feeling nervous and I know the days are big and it's asking a lot of him. Overall I've been so shocked with how well he is doing. I also have to keep going back to how sure I was of this decision. His teacher and really all of the adults that he's with during the day are really wonderful, Jesus-loving people and that brings me a lot of comfort. Already the feedback I've had from his teacher is so reassuring of how he's being nurtured there.





Sweet Soren LOVES baths. He smiles and practically laughs as soon as I lay him in the water. This kid is just too much fun. He smiles and laughs so easily. I love his personality so much already. This week a couple times I've gone into get him for a nap and he has rolled over from his stomach to his back. When I go in he's just laying there on his back smiling and so proud. I've yet to see him roll over because he keeps doing it in secret.

We still have some late summer fun coming up and are definitely using our weekends as best we can now that our weeks have to be more structured. But I also like the structure. I don't mind that after dinner we have to stay on track for bedtime, packing lunch, etc. I also know I'll really look forward to breaks and long weekends!

Soren, Summer Vacation, and The End of an Era


Soren is a couple weeks past two months by now. He is such a sweet baby. He's rarely fussy and rarely cries. When he does get upset it seems to be randomly in the car or evenings and usually I attribute it to being over tired. He smiles so easily and loves to "talk". At his two month well-check he was 13 lbs, 5 oz, which put him around 85th percentile for weight. Even with all his spitting up, he's gaining weight like a champ. He's well into 3-6 month clothes which is new for my babies. The other boys always wore whatever size clothes of the age they were. 

Around two months old he started sleeping longer stretches and dropped a night feeding which was a welcome surprise. I try not to have any expectations for sleep so it caught me off guard when suddenly 5-6 (sometimes up to 8) hour stretches became the norm at night. Although I don't think two weeks can be considered "the norm". So we'll see... We love Soren Devin so much and are really enjoying having him around, even if he makes our (my) summer a lot less flexible.

MICHIGAN

We spent the week of the 4th up at the lakehouse with mom, dad, and Betsy's family. Such a good week. Unusually hot weather, lots of fishing, beach time, ice cream...the usual.















Now we're home and enjoying our last month of freedom before Henrik starts school. It's hitting me hard that we're about to have a kid in school full-time. I really cannot believe how quickly 5.5 years have gone with Henrik and that we'll be sending him off to Kindergarten, ending the era of having all our young kids at home. So weird. 

Deciding where Henrik would go to school was not an easy decision. We considered all the options...public, private, and homeschool. Homeschooling and private ended up being the final two that we deliberated about for months (public isn't a great option for us because of our current school district). It was really good for me to pray through and consider the option of homeschooling because it revealed a lot about who I am, what I value, and what type of needs Henrik has. Ultimately I was able to confidently say homeschooling was not right for Henrik and definitely not right for me and my interests. It was freeing to be able to put that to rest even though we liked some of things that option offered our family. So Henrik will start his school years at the private Christian school where he did preschool. I am super confident in this being a great place for him for this year even if the adjustment to 5 full days a week is hard.

But for now, looking forward to a few more weeks of summer!