I love Sundays with my precious family. This morning when we all got up we had breakfast together downstairs. Watermelon, cereal for John, and yogurt parfaits for the rest of us. Clara has been sick the past few days and her sweet cheeks are chapped and rosy from us wiping her little nose every 5 minutes. Church was great. We had a beautiful service on personal revelation and conversing with God and listening after we pray. I needed to hear that message today. ❤️ When we got home we all shared what we learned in our classes at church. The afternoon consisted of naps (for the parents) mine was riddled with questions from the children and a baby climbing all over me but I got a few good 6 minutes stretches here and there. The sleeping was to the tune if Mandolin Orange and Brandi Carlisle. Clara was so cute all afternoon. The noises she makes now with her incoherent babble are heartbreakingly adorable. The kind where John and I just look at each other and smile without saying a word but we know we are both dying inside with her cuteness. Those are the kind of looks that are some of my favorite moments in our marriage. Tonight we did Come Follow Me with the kids followed by a family wrestling match (in which John roughed us all up,yes there were tears) and then we initiated the kids into the Oooga Booga club, Evie had been asking to do it now for many days. We went around and did family goals like we do every Sunday. I told everyone that the next two weeks I really need a lot of extra support for all of the work I have going on and everyone agreed to pitch in and help out more. I love these people. I can feel our hearts knitting closer together with special simple days like today. ❤️
Tonight John and I got to go out on a date to a wedding! I’ve felt pretty busy lately and I considered staying home to be with the kids but I think I needed to be with John and take a breather. I needed to shower and get out of my leggings and t-shirts with a MESSY bun. I’ve been so submerged in a heavy work load lately (so excited about what this is!) and I’ve been hard pressed to take breaks. I’m up most nights until 12 or 1 working on this project and we’ve ised babysitters a lot more this week, and my amazing mother has stepped in to help too. I’ve felt really proud of what I’m doing lately and I’m really excited to shout it from the rooftops once everything is in place.
Tonight with John was simple. But he is my best friend and simple with him is exceptional anyway. I love that he makes me laugh and that after almost 9 years of marriage I’m still on the edge of my seat waiting to hear what he will say to make me laugh. We watched the most beautiful sunset on our drive home.
Posted by Tunes & Spoons at 11:20 PM
It sure has been a while since I’ve written in this blog. I miss writing and want to make an attempt to catch up on a few things in our lives!
We are all just trying to love each other through our imperfections. The kids are both in school and Clara and I hang out together all day until they get home. A few weeks ago I went to Targetand got some treats for the kids and came home and wrote them love letters so they would have something bright and lovely to come home to. I love making them feel loved.
Posted by Tunes & Spoons at 9:48 PM
You have changed so much so fast this year. I feel like with each passing week something in you matures just a little bit more. I think you have found a new independence since Evie has gone to school. I am so proud of how you can find one small thing and it can occupy you for hours! When ever we go to Momomee's house you fill up cups with water and carry them to a bucket back and forth until you've filled the entire thing. Some afternoons I'll send you and your sister outside to play so I can I finish the dishes or what ever house chore may be ailing me. You find your spot right in the sand box and you talk to your self and play until you either have to pee or I call you back inside for a bath.
You still love me so much. I've grown accustomed to your clockwork smooches and hugs and snuggles. You need them as much as I need them now. Thank you for loving me like you do despite my flaws and shortcomings, I want to be more like you.
I love who you are and who you are becoming. You are everything I ever hoped having a daughter would be like. You love to exclaim, "I wouldn't ever choose any mommy but you. You are the best!" Well I certainly feel the same way about you. Gosh, you are growing. Kindergarten this year, really? I'll miss the heck out of you but oh how you are ready. Here are a few things about you lately.
Smiling in Daddy's lap at a bonfire at momomee's. I swear those flames got to be 40 feet high! Biggest bonfire we've had out there ever!
You appreciate the value of family just like I do. You love to ask questions about our family ties and who is related to who and how. I've always done that too. It is so important to cherish your heritage and from whom you've come. Thank you for loving Nanny the way you do. We are so SO lucky to still have her and I am grateful you will have memories of her. I remember my great-grand mothers and visiting them, it is what binds generations together. Weeping willow tree in the front yard, Grandmother Curles old weathered skin and the way her eyes reminded me of Papa, and the secret garden across the street from Grandmother Shepphard's. Grandmother Mallonee's high rise apartment in Asheville. Always make an effort to see your family. Always.
You were so good at General Conference this past weekend. You took it in and were attentive and echoed words and phrases you knew.
I hope you never stop wanting to get dirty. Explore, roll in the mud, pick up little critters, be curious about the bird noises you hear, and walk barefoot, make believe. Those sorts of things were the foundation of my childhood. It makes me feel so proud to see you do the same.
Oh boy. This was me asking you about Will. A boy from school you've come home talking about for months now. The range of your emotions go from joy to embarrassment. But I think its getting serious. He held your hand during quiet time at school today. Oh my goodness I couldn't figure out how to process my thoughts and emotions as you told me that. I asked you, "Did you think 'what is happening?' or 'huh that's nice.'" You said, "Huh, that's nice."
A few other things you said to me about him today, "Guess what? Our birds played together. Mine and Will's. His bird's nest was like a hot tub because they were all laying down."
"Will got a hair cut today."
"He has brown hair, blue eyes, is taller than me, and was wearing a brown shirt today."
"Guess what? Will knows everything. Dinosaurs were in the 90's and 80's. That was a long time ago when dinosaurs were here."
"Will said I could come over to his house."
Ok, I'm going to go put some books on your head now so you stop growing up! But actually, I love seeing every single stage you go through and THANK YOU for talking to me about it all...please never stop.
Speaking of talking to me, you came home from school Tuesday so chatty and you and I sat on the swing at momomee's house for 10 minutes while I just let you tell me every detail about school. I couldn't get enough. It was like I was parched and I just soaked in every word you had to offer. I love you so much.
Last night while I was doing bedtime solo I asked you to read a book while I put Avett to bed. I came in and you were reading Madeline, a favorite since Lindsey gave it to you for your 1st birthday. You started looking for your Madeline doll Grandmaw gave to you for Christmas and then you "read" the whole book from memory and each time Madeline was on the page you had her point to her self.
You are lovely to watch, to take in, to study and cherish. I'm so glad I am your mom. Our life is so so good.
Avett and this frog may be one of my favorite pictures. He is all boy, interested in creatues and curious and doesnt have a care in the world to get dirty...or peed on. He discovered this little frog while we were at Herman C. Michael park for a playdate this week. He was quite gentle and wanted terribly to bring it home as a pet. The frog looks very unimpressed with the whole idea.
Today was the opening day for the Athens Farmers Market. I don't know why I feel so fancy walking out of there with fresh pastries and cut flowers. Today we went home with Poppies and Ranunculus. I love the sense of community in Athens and it feels good to be apart of it.
Just a little example of running errands with these two crazy ones. They were giddy about these tiny carts. I love that Evie's hair is getting longer. She is so beautiful. We bought orange chicken, which Avett thinks is too spicy, and some Indian food, and some cocoa batons which were all gone with in an hour.
This past week we went to my mother's and Evie came in baring this birds nest as a great outdoor prize. She asked that we put it in a bag for her to bring home. She copied "birds nest" and I couldn't be more in love with the fact that some of her letters are backwards.
Playing in the barn, climbing hay bails, getting messy, my allergies are going crazy.
Rode BOB with mom across the street to return a shovel. We stayed a while to look at the flowers and then rode BOB around with the perfect amount of wind in our hair and faces. I love big tulips.
Avett got the giggles SO hard for a good 10 minutes at Fresh Aire Barbeque when we went with our cousins last week. I never figured out what it was but I suspect he thought it was funny that Mason was being a little naughty ransacking the restaurant.
Evie has been writing her fairy friend, Ella, through a door on the wall in her room. They are great friends. She anticipates every single correspondence. That last letter she got (which took quite a while to get back to her, apparently fairy mail can take a lot of time) Ella told her she was sorry it took her a while to respond and that she was busy preparing for a fairy ball! Well Evie decided that we must make her a dress for the ball so she designed it, picked out the fabric, and then we sewed it right up! I love her creative soul.
Well I just had no idea she loved this log so very much. When she found out that part of it was going to be cut and given to a friend of ours to make some things she was devastated. She went in to full on sobs and went and sat on the log in tears. After Momomee gave her best shot to comfort her I went down and we hugged and she cried some more. We decided to take a picture of the log and she took it. Then we edited a picture where she circled the log, put a heart on it, and then pecked out every little letter to spell "This is Evie's favorite log."
A very tender hearted soul. I wouldn't have it any other way.
We haven't had family pictures taken in so long! It feels great to have these beautiful shots of our family to cherish for years to come! I am so thrilled with how they turned out. I spent a lot of the day prepping the kids. I told them that we were taking pictures so we could capture how our family loves each other. Then we google image searched examples of family photos and I let the kids pick out poses they thought we should do. The first one on this post was Evie's idea. Avett picked one where everyone was holding their own gun. Then we came across a picture of a family of six completely nude and they were all laying on top of each other (no worries, all parts were somehow properly covered) We all got the giggles and Evie made me reassure her several times that we would not do that pose.
I am really grateful to capture our little family at this stage. Just the 4 of us. We've grown a lot together and learned a lot from each other. We are all being refined by each other every day. I'm so grateful that grace is something I really learned a lot about last year and that it is something I apply to my motherhood as often as I can.
We love our little children and pray for them every night and express our gratitude to Heavenly Father for trusting us with them.
photos by Kristin Benton Photography