Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Emersyn's 5 Year Letter

To my dearest Emersyn Grace...also known as Emmy Lou, Emmy Lou Whoo, Lou Lou Magoo, Lucy, Lucy Lou, Ems, Sissy, Sister Bear....{did I miss any? there's definitely a Lou theme going here},

I was looking over this sadly neglected blog and realized that I owed you a letter for your 5th birthday!! Better late than never, right?


You are my sweet little angel girl, the best of your mama and sometimes the worst of her too. I marvel watching you with your brother and am so impressed with the loving, nurturing and caring big sister that you are. You protect him like a mama bear and he often runs to you for comfort when he hurts himself or needs extra lovin's. You are so helpful to me with Everett, always quick to help me when we get home from somewhere and I need to unload groceries or something...you will take Everett upstairs to get him ready for nap and read him stories. You make sure he has water in his sippy cup, you will sacrifice what you are watching to change it to something he likes better.....you are a giver. This morning you were looking at a scrap book kit that you got from Santa at Noni's house on Christmas Eve.....a scrap book kit that you told your Sunday school was your favorite gift from Christmas. You got a wistful look on your face and said, "I think I'm going to give this to someone". I asked you why and you said, "I just like giving more than getting". Oh sweet girl, this made your mama's heart burst with thankfulness. You really get it sister....I'm so so proud to be your mama.

 

You love your babies something fierce. Hair Baby is your beloved daughter and you recently acquired Dora, a present from Nana. You are equally hardcore with Dora and sometimes it makes me a little crazy how intense you are! We can't leave until you get your babies dressed, you get mad if I'm loud upstairs when they are sleeping, you give me very long detailed instructions when you ask me to babysit and then quiz me afterwards (I wish I was kidding), you refer to me as Grandma when you talk to the dolls....oh Ems, you are just too silly. I love how nurturing you are and I have to think that you are modeling behavior you must have seen somewhere, maybe in the way I treat you and your brother. Oh the desire of my heart is to be a mama worth modeling after!

 



Your imagination is amazing! The world is one big Starbucks or restaurant to you....not a day goes by where you don't take my order and bring me food from your play kitchen. You are hilarious with the way you play server and you know far too much about being a waitress than any other 5 year old I know. Perhaps we eat out too much? :)



You are an incredible helper. You realize that if you want to hang out with Mommy instead of having quiet time upstairs, you need to be a helper. You can totally help me clean up the downstairs, you put away all of the plastic dishes and cups, you empty the silverware tray, you bring me your dirty laundry, you can sweep and dust better than your dad (ha!) and it's a joy to work along side you when we're cleaning up the downstairs together. Cleaning up your room is more of a challenge because like your mama, you get distracted VERY easily. :)

 

You love to *be healthy*. Your favorite foods (as of right now, I just asked you) are pistachios, cheese and crackers, cucumbers, carrots and broccoli. Not bad for a 5 year old. I sometimes offer you a snack and you say, "can I have something a little healthier"? You have amazing self control...you stop eating when you're full, even if there's half a bowl of ice cream left. Your Nana took you to a movie last week and I packed you a few special treats to enjoy while watching. Nana got you an ice cream before the movie and you only finished half of it, saying that I had packed you some treats and you didn't want to eat too much sugar. You are amazing little girl!!

 

You are doing so well in school! You are in Kindergarten at your preschool and then will go to Kindergarten again in public school. Because of your age, your preschool wanted you to be in the Kinder class and your daddy and I prayed about it and agreed. This will hopefully give you a great advantage in Kindergarten next year. We call this year Preschool Kindergarten and next year it will just be Kindergarten. You love all the projects that you come home with and you are a delight in your class.



Oh Ems, there are a million things I could say about you and I will try to be better about updating. But more than that, I will try to tell you out loud all that I love about you each day and have you grow up knowing that I am your biggest fan in life.


You are brave, strong, hilarious, kind, loving, nurturing, you love the Lord with all your heart, you can sing on pitch {for the most part}, you're helpful, sweet, beautiful and I'm so so so glad you're mine.

Love,

Mommy

Monday, January 6, 2014

My word: Brick {by brick, by brick....}

Happy New Year!! 

I suppose one of these days I'll get around to doing a holiday recap. Or maybe I won't. I'll keep you waiting on the edge of your seat in suspense. 

Today what I want to talk about is my word for the new year....last year's word was "progress" and I feel indifferent to how that word played out. I suppose there were some areas in my life that had progress but still so many failures. I am learning though.....and when I'm tempted to throw in the towel and give up goals and desires, I remember grace.....grace that will pardon and cleanse within. My failures are just a constant reminder of how much I need Him.
 

My word for this year can't be really summed up in one word....but if it had to be a word it would be *brick*. I think your word for the year is supposed to be more of an action word? However, this is my word and I will tell you why. 
 
In Lysa Terkeurst's book, "Made to Crave", she says this....
 
"I paved my victory path by imagining every good choice I made was like settling another brick into place: bricks of prayer, wise choices, closeness to God, closeness to others, confidence, energy, and focus. Each and every time I conquered a temptation by making a healthy choice, I became stronger and stronger. And, brick by brick, prayer by prayer, good choice by good choice, my hope soared. I’m making positive physical changes, but even more importantly, I’m making wise spiritual changes. As Proverbs 24:14 reminds me, walking in spiritual wisdom secures my hope that this healthy journey will not end in defeat:

Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off."

 
I love a good visual. A brick path or brick wall is a very good metaphor for life, especially my life right now. 

Patience isn't something I possess much of. Sometimes I feel like I was born without whatever gene it is that helps you work hard at something with a goal in mind. Sometimes I feel like I never stick with anything and it's because I'm impatient! I want results NOW! It's our microwave society mentality and I am guilty of being a member. 

I went to Home Depot today with Everett and bought two bricks, one for upstairs and one for downstairs. The one downstairs will go where I spend most of my time, in my kitchen. The one upstairs will go in my bathroom as a visual while I get ready and am often lost in my thoughts as I blow dry my hair. 

As I held one dirty heavy brick in my hand, I realized how daunting it must be to build a brick wall or path. The bricks are so small in relation to what they are designed to build. And yet, there are brick walls, houses, and paths everywhere you look because a mason knows that if you take the time to lay each brick, you WILL create something strong and functional. I remember laying our wood floors last year and thinking it would NEVER END. So many pieces of wood needed to create one floor. It was torture for this fast paced girl.
 
Yes, I am forever on the quest to lose weight and I know I will get there eventually. And that is specifially what Lysa was addressing in the above quote. 

The brick means so much more to me than losing weight though.....it represents my children, my marriage, my ministry......

Mothering doesn't come super natural to me sometimes. Sure, I'm fun and know how to be silly and enjoy my kiddos. I'm not great at the slower paced stuff, the story times, times of pausing and listening, showing my kids how to do things like keep their rooms cleaned, etc. Again, I want the instant gratification and it's hard to do the tedious things that seem like they won't add up. 

Oh but they will! Everyday with my children is a day that I can lay one more brick in their foundation. If I envision my children as brick walls, they will someday be strong and powerful and if I look closely at them, I'll see they are made up of all the little moments, the little investments that I made in them that eventually added up. 
 
And so this year I vow to treat each day as a day to build.....a brick on my path towards a healthier lifestyle, a brick on my daughter's future and my son's too.

"And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up" Galatians 6:9

The desire of my heart is to raise happy, healthy, God loving, world changing children.....to be an example of a wife and mother worth admiring. I long to serve my family, bless my husband, and nurture my children.....brick by brick. 




Thursday, September 12, 2013

Me

Fall 2013 has brought some different variables into my life.....for one, Emersyn is in school four days a week and from 9-1. Love the *late* start compared to a lot of other schools and also love the extended day that includes her eating lunch at school. I've enjoyed packing her healthy lunches in the mornings.

I'm enjoying the quality time with my boy in the mornings, whether is be spent drinking coffee, watching Sesame Street and playing or me catching up on emails while Everett has some independent play time. Emersyn was so great at entertaining herself, I want Everett to have that skill as well even though he often has an older sister playmate around.

Bible Study started back up on Tuesday mornings and Wednesday nights are up and running again with classes for the kids and choir for mama.

I'm no longer babysitting the two kiddos that I once was...I can't remember if I've already talked about this in my blog but if I haven't there you have it. This came as a shock in a way, happened almost overnight as the mom decided it was time for her to stay home. I'd watched the little guy since he was 6 months (so for two years) and then his little sister had just joined the party. I never thought I would be a day care provider per say but I really enjoyed having the kiddos around and REALLY enjoyed the freedom that the income provided to accomplish certain financial goals and have some guilt free Starbucks money.

Not babysitting anymore has thrown me for a loop which surprised me. Babysitting days were like *work* and then the days off were just that...days off. Now I'm always *off*? Yet as every mama knows, there are never really days *off*. ;) I'm trying to make the best of this situation. Yes, I still do real estate but that doesn't take up enough time to feel like a work day. I can do that here and there throughout the week.

I liked having defined days off and now having every day off like I said before is just interesting.

I'm not complaining. Lord knows I prayed for these days to come back when I was working for an insurance company and longing to be home with my baby girl. I can truly look around and say, "look what God has done!". However, it's a thankless season at times.

Brett is starting school up and will be physically in class two nights a week, plus the kids and I go to church on Wednesday. Not only will he be gone on those nights, but then when he's home he will be busy with homework from his other two classes. I'm somewhat dreading the start of Brett's school but excited for him too. I want to do the best I can to support him and be an awesome mama to his kids. The days are just long when Daddy doesn't come home for dinner.

I've determined that the Lord has given me a gift in this season and I might be mistaking it for something else, something like a burden. For the first time in my life as a mother, I actually have time. I have time to clean. I have time to read to my children. I have time to meal plan. I have time to make healthy recipes. I have time to play. And yet, it is tiring! I have had a very productive week so far around the house, yet when I look around certain areas are still a mess. It feels impossible to keep up with sometimes.

Something else I have time for is ME. On the evenings when Brett is gone at school I will have more than enough time to read, pray, and just hang out with the Lord. I can read magazines. I can pursue other hobbies like maybe even busting out my sewing machine that I got for Christmas a few years ago and have yet to use....sad face. I am back on my TSFL program and need to concentrate to be successful at that. And I have the time to do that. It's a strange feeling.

This post is probably a whole lot of rambling but I just needed to vent and process. I have such huge expectations of what I think a *successful* SAHM's house looks like and my house is no where near that standard. But my children are happy and healthy, what more could I ask for?

I'm praying that this unique season wouldn't be wasted by me feeling sorry for myself and wishing Brett was just done with school and into a higher paying job. God has me right where He wants me and there are lessons to learn along the way, lessons I wouldn't want to skip if I knew how important they were.

Emersyn's 5th Birthday Party

For Emersyn's 5th birthday I knew I wanted to have a dance party. We LOVE music and dancing around our house. I was at a lost for an affordable and fun venue to host this sort of event and then a friend suggested just doing it at the park, brilliant! 


I booked Magnolia Park in Hillsboro back in March. It's a more popular park in our area. We've had four parties there and they are always a blast, minus a few factors like the crazy breeze (which is nice on a hot day) and the bees. We got some traps this year for the bees but they will still crazy around the food. Boo. 

I decided to make all the baked goods for Ems party this year. Normally we get an amazing cake from Lambs Bakery but I was pretty sure a rainbow cake like I wanted would be spendy and I am slowly getting over the need for perfection. I figured I would give it a shot and crossed my fingers.

 I made the cake the morning of the party which was slightly risky but I wanted it to be fresh. Worst case scenario, I run to Costco and pick up a cake. Birthday cake stress is just too much of a first world problem to justify. ;)

I am normally TERRIBLE at frosting cakes but this turned out okay actually! I bought a new spreader and also decided to frost the little balls on the bottom to cover up any perfections along the plate. I was really happy with how it turned out considering.
 
 I also did rainbow cupcakes for the kids which turned out great too! A little time consuming but cheap and cute.


I loved how the fruits and veggies turned out. These are all some of Emersyn's favorites and I put hummus in the middle part once we got to the party.  Amazing how bright and colorful these things are that come straight from the God's creation, no artificial colors needed. Side note: the cucumbers and cherry tomatoes came from my garden!




My talented friend Rachelle did the invite for me and her husband is the one who took pictures at the party. We are thankful for the Polits family and their talents. :) 




The kids had so much fun dancing and I loved watching their happy faces. We bought a little mini sound system on Amazon and it will be sure to get used again in the future. Music is always fun at a party. 


I knew I wanted to do a dance wand of some sort, as a favor and to add to the fun. I messaged my super creative friend Carissa and told her my vision. Not only did she give me an idea for a concept....she went out and bought and prepped everything for me so all I need to do was assemble them and she stayed under budget! I paid her back but the amount of time that she saved me was priceless.  Carissa has a super cool blog, check it out HERE!!




I love the balloons that are strung up on twine. Kind of look like a poor man's paper lantern. ;) 
 
A few kiddos has already left at this point so this isn't quite all of them but we had a fun bunch! 


The happy birthday song is like the highlight of Emersyn's year. She LOVES it and loves being sung to. 
 

I can't believe my sweet girl is FIVE! I love you Emersyn Grace!!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Emersyn's 5 Year Old Interview



This is a repeat from last year. It will be fun to see some answers change and some stay the same. (last year's answers in parenthesis) :)

1. What's your favorite color? yellow and pink and orange (purple)
2. What's your favorite toy? my new double stroller (Loving Family doll mini van)
3. What's your favorite show? Taylor Swift music videos (Little Einsteins)
4. What's your favorite holiday? My birthday!!!! (Christmas just 'cause I do!)
5. Who's your best friend? Ellie and Stella and Ben and Everett
 (Stella, Isabelle, Katharine, Emery, Ellie)
6. What's your favorite song? "Red" by Taylor Swift ("Baby you're a firework" and "Nothing is impossible" {Priority Album})
7. What's your favorite book? King Bidgood's in the Bathtub (The Napping House and prayers book)
8. What's your favorite animal? dogs, kitties, horses (pigs because they are pink)
9. What's your favorite food? pizza (peanut butter and jelly)
10. What's your favorite snack? hummus and crackers (Pirate Booty)
11. What's your favorite ice cream flavor? vanilla (chocolate vanilla swirl)
12. What's your favorite restaurant? BJ's Pizza and OSF (Old Spaghetti Factory)
13. What's your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Oatmeal (Shredded Mini Wheats)
14. What's your favorite game? Yahtzee (Chutes and Ladders)
15. What do you want to be when you grow up? the same as Everett, a Dr!  (a teenager) 
16. What is your favorite thing about Mommy? playing with her, cleaning up with her and cooking with her and helping her (playing with her, loving her, painting nails rainbow-y, watching mommy sing on stage)
17. What's your favorite thing about Daddy? He's so handsome, I love going on dates with Mommy and Daddy (going on dates to Lowes, playing cars, snuggling in bed)
18. What's your favorite thing about Everett? He's so handsome and I love it when he pretends he's a super hero (Playing with him, waking him up in the morning)
19. What was your favorite thing to do this summer? Going on our beach trip! (Go to the fountain)

Everett's 2nd Birthday

Dear Everett,

You are TWO years old, I can't hardly believe it!! I'll never forget the day you were born...hardest thing I ever did was push out that giant head of yours and you were worth every bit of that agony. ;) Everett David, your name means strong and dearly loved and this sums you up in a nutshell. You are the joy in our family's world and your mommy, daddy and sister just adore you!

You are happy from the minute you wake up. You like to wake up slowly. Often time when you sleep in I will go check on you and you are sitting up in your crib, sucking on your bink and cuddling with your blanket, a happy little clam. You go to bed around 8-8:30 and wake up between 7:30-8. You love going to sleep and sometimes will start singing, "niiiii niiiiii mommeeeee" when it's late and you're ready for bed. You very rarely fuss when going down for a nap but quickly stop when you realized that fussy boys don't get to sleep with their blankies and binkys. :)

You aren't a huge eater, despite your healthy size. Your favorite thing to eat is fruit. You ate an entire personal sized watermelon this summer at the fountain and I'm pretty sure it was the best day of your life. I cut up the watermelon in slices and while your sister and friends were playing in the fountain, you were sitting on the sidelines eating up all that delicious sweet goodness. You also love blueberries, mandarin oranges, apples, bananas and peaches. You don't care for meat much like your sister, although I think I remember her liking steak at your age. You are a pickier eater than she was. You like waffles (wakkles), crackers, cheese, bell peppers, spaghetti, pizza, Burgerville cheeseburgers, tater tots, kids Clif bars, applesauce pouches, mac and cheese with peas, oatmeal, greek yogurt, pizza.....hmm, maybe you aren't that picky after all. ;)

Your favorite show to watch right now is "Jake and the Neverland Pirates". We got you little pirate plates and napkins for your birthday and you were so proud of your "yo ho" plates. It was really cute.

You also really like "The Lorax" right now. It's a cute movie and Emersyn loves it too which is partly why I think you like it. You aren't a big tv watcher but one thing you will watch forever is country music videos, especially if there is a guitar being played. You love love LOVE music and love dancing and playing your guitar. In fact, for most of the summer you would run back inside yelling "GUI-YAR!" whenever we would leave and you would come back out with your beloved guitar. I have to admit, it's the cutest thing ever. I definitely see music in your future little man. 

This year for your birthday we decided to hold off on the big party and get away as a family. The Lord totally hooked us up with an AMAZING beach house rental. It was the nicest house we've ever stayed in and it was so so so special to be together as a family and celebrate YOU! It was just the four of us for the first night and most of your birthday and then Nana and Papa joined us.

We made you a special breakfast of birthday french toast. You loved it. You pretty much love any kind of sweet carb. 


There is something about the ocean that reminds me of how big God is and how little I am, and yet He has blessed me SO much. I am so blessed to be your mama Everett!!! 

We decided to open some presents early in the day before Nana and Papa got there so we could FaceTime with Mimi and Grandpa and also so you would have some toys to play with! You were more interested in your pretzels than you were the presents so big sister helped you out. 




This picture made me laugh...you literally were more excited about the pretzel than the presents! Ha! 



Your last guitar wasn't really a guitar....nor was it really even yours. It was a ukulele that was your sisters. Mimi and Grandpa bought you your own real country guitar so you can properly jam now. You LOVE it! 


For your birthday lunch we went to Mo's, our favorite restaurant in Lincoln City. Turns out, you are a HUGE clam chowder fan just like Emersyn. I don't know very many two year olds that like bell peppers and clam chowder. You are a silly boy.





I adore you in TOMS and jeans. You're so handsome like your daddy.



We had so much fun, just chillin' around the house and enjoying each other. I cannot wait to go back!!!









Everett, when I think of you I think of your contagious little smile, your love for all things sports and music, how you always declare "I wanna RUN!" or "I wanna WALK" before we've even gotten outside or out of the car. Your kisses make me swoon and you so freely give them out. You love saying "goodnight" and "goodbye" and will give bye bye loves and night night loves to pretty much anyone. You love your grandparents, especially your Papa and Grandpa.

You wear a 3T shirt, 2T pants and weigh about 28lbs. Your favorite shoes are Crocs and Keens. You love wearing clothes that have balls on them, footballs, baseballs. You also love your Buzz Lightyear jams. You show no interest in potty training and I am okay with that.

Here is a message from your big sister: "I love Everett and I love that he is so cute and he's so handsome. He eats so cute. I love to go play at the park and get energy out with him. We like to play house together and restaurant. I love when Everett wears his superhero shirt and his cape. I think Everett is going to be the same as I am when he grows up, he will work at a hospital and he'll take care of people who are sick.  Love, Emersyn".

Everett, I love you so much and pray that I would be the best mama to you that I can be. You bless me more than I ever thought possible.

Love you baby boy!!!!!

Love,

Your Mama