December 17, 2014

lately: little moments


So many little things I never want to forget. Those little moments that seem like nothing but make up their childhood. I guess that is one reason I blog...



I don't want to forget  our Sunday afternoon family park trips. Pushing Elle on the swing, chasing James around on his bike, watching them show off their climbing and jumping skills for Lane...



I don't want to forget the way Eleanor stands up in her chair at the table, turns around to where I am in the kitchen, and declares "I yove you mommy!"...




I don't want to forget the middle of the night snuggles with Judah, or the afternoon couch (or bed) snuggles in which I am balancing Elle and Judah on my lap while trying to keep two binks in two little mouths and attempting to keep James entertained  all at the same time...


Or nights like last night, when we finally got our little night owl baby to sleep at eleven thirty, and Lane remarked that he hoped no one else would be in our bed that night. It was maybe three minutes later that Elle started crying for me. To exhausted to rock her back to sleep, I swooped her out of her crib and put her in bed between us. About two minutes later we heard James shuffling down the hall. Lane lifted up the covers on his side to let him in. So there we were: James, then Lane, then Elle, then me, all snuggled up in our queen size bed. At this moment Lane exclaimed "Well, I may as well get up and go to work." And I started giggling. Like, uncontrollable giggling. In a bed where there was hardly any room to breathe.

Those moments when you either laugh or cry. I try to always pick laughter.


Thanks for reading and allowing me to share these moments with you,
Ashley

December 12, 2014

lately: Christmas for the win


Last week was a little rough.

It started with a short (praise the Lord) flu bug for James and ended in a nasty case of mastitis for me. In between there was lots to do and lots of busyness, lots of messes piled on messes, exhaustion, and some frustration.


Nothing horrible. Just a little rough.


It is all a sacrifice, which we moms know, of course. The sacrifice of our bodies with so many little people constantly needing it- needing to be fed, to be held, to be carried, to be cared for. The sacrifice of our time, when there seems so much to do, but no time to get anything done. The sacrifice of our home being clean and orderly and beautifully decorated.


You more experienced mother's don't have to tell me. I know: it is a season, it will be gone in the blink of an eye, I will look back on these days and miss them...


And so I sit down in the middle of the mess to play dolls, or build Legos, or read one more story. I ignore the dishes, the laundry, the clutter to have a wild dance party. I give another hug, have another snuggle at five'o'clock with no dinner in the oven and two children laying on me. I wake up to the cries of three littles wanting to get into bed with me, or eat, or go potty, or needing a drink of water, or their sheets and jammies changed due to an accident.


I throw open the Christmas decor boxes and let the kids go to town, resulting in a very busy mantel, lights everywhere, and a tree that was clearly decorated by people well under five feet tall. (I told a friend recently: "It looks as though our house got in a fight with Christmas, and Christmas won.")


I know that there is no better use of my body, my time, and my house. The Lord gave these things to me to give to my family. And despite the lack of sleep, the frustrations that may come, and the disorderly state of the house, my family is the greatest earthly blessing and joy I could ever have.

Happy second-to-last-weekend-before-Christmas!
Ashley


Some posts from a year ago:
our Advent activity calendar
wonders of His love
and (what a nerd) trying to decide what to wear for date night

December 06, 2014

the thankful garland: a kid craft


During Thanksgiving time for the past two years I have made a thankful tree with James.  This year it was so fun to have Eleanor participate also...


They painted brown paper bags with fall colors to make the "leaves".

While they were painting, I left the room to change Judah. When I came back out to the table, they both proudly held up their arms, covered to the elbows in orange, purple, red, and brown paint. So, that was the end of the painting (and the beginning of bath time), but there was enough paper painted to cut out the leaves.


I never got around to writing what we were thankful for at home, so we wrote on the back of the leaves once we got to Grandma and Grandpa's house in Corvallis.

We sat around the fire eating popcorn and drinking apple cider and talking about what we are thankful for. As a result, many of the items written on the back of the leaves are things like "popcorn" and "fire in the fireplace".


Then Grandma Shirley strung a twine across the fireplace and we clothes-pinned them up. I think it turned out pretty cute.

November 26, 2014

lately: thanksgiving eve + just a tad christmas


It has been another fun, busy week hanging out with this peanut butter and jelly face girl and these sweet, smiley boys:


Since it is Thanksgiving Eve, I decided I should capture my fall mantel before it is not seen again for twelve months:


The vase at the far left in the photo above was made by Lane's brother, Ross, and is filled with sticks from my favorite tree in our yard- an aspen right off our back deck.
We always have family photos up, of course, and I added an extra one of the newest member of our family! The small stack of books (C.S. Lewis and Thoreau) and the old camera are mantel staples as well.
The adorable turkey candle holder was just given to me by Lane's mom. My favorite part are the dangling turkey legs- so awesome.


Behind everything is one of those cinnamon-scented stick brooms from Trader Joe's. It smells amazing. I also decorated with pumpkins and some wheat- how harvesty.

.

The little elephant is from Lane's trip to India when he participated in YWAM in college.
My favorite thing about our mantel is that my kids add things that they find very important and needing to be displayed. Case in point: the ceramic triangle that James painted and the random piece of wood with barnacles that he found at the beach. It makes me so happy that he sees our home decor as something to which he can contribute.


We did cheat, however, and started to decorate for Christmas just a tad in the basement. First, Elle's new doll house got some lights:


Then we built Zoo Lights out of Legos and train track. Unlike the Portland Zoo Lights, James decided ours needed a boat and a gas station.


Have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving!


PS: a Thanksgiving kid craft and, in case you don't get enough pumpkin tomorrow, pumpkin muffins and a pumpkin latte

November 15, 2014

lately: icey outside, cozy inside

Brotherly snuggles:


 I love how sweet James is with Judah. He is always wanting to hold him, giving him kisses, and talking to him in a funny baby voice. A bit different from the last time we brought a baby sibling home to him.

Hiding:



These two. They are always making forts or hiding in big piles of pillows and blankets they have collected from every room of the house. It is so fun to see them become buddies.

Construction James:


As we headed down to the basement the other morning, I told James he had to help pick up all the toys before we started playing. For some reason, he began meticulously organizing his work bench. It looked so nice and well organized that he didn't want anyone to play with it for the remainder of the day.

Story time:


James in long underwear. Eleanor picking her nose. But still so sweet. And might I add that this allowed me to get the dishes done before the kids were in bed. Miracles do happen.

Serving Tiggy:


Play food is one our rotational toys, so when I got it down the kids immediately set up a bakery/fruit stand/restaurant. Tiggy, Pooh, and Bear were just a few of the customers. Also, Elle served me coffee all day long.

Frozen:


We had a minor ice storm at the end of the week. James didn't go to his Thursday morning preschool and Lane worked from home Friday. It was so cold in the morning that I barely opened our back door just to snap this picture, then didn't venture out again until the "big kids" and I went for a walk in the afternoon. We slid all over the sidewalk and threw chunks of ice onto the street. We also visited the ducks who were sure we had brought them lunch. "No bread!" Elle hollered at them, "Jus' ice, duckies!"

I am so thankful for our warm cozy home on cold days. I am even more thankful for the people who live in this home.



November 10, 2014

a second year, a second go

One year ago today, Katie and I started this blog. 

We were not completely sure what we wanted it to be, but we were okay with that. We liked the idea of it evolving. But then, with my morning sickness and pregnancy exhaustion, combined with her becoming a doula and moving about thirty five times, posts became more and more sporadic.


During our blogging break (also known as "all of summer and part of the fall season"), I have thought a lot about what I want this blog to be. I have decided that I want it to be a family blog.

I am terrible about keeping up with baby books, or scrap booking, or anything like that, but I want my kids to be able to look back and make some sense of the three million digital pictures they have of their childhood. I want to remember vacations. I want to do posts about our home that they can look at and remember where they grew up. I want to honestly document the tough times, and the lessons that the Lord is teaching me through these three little munchkins.


Basically, I want it to be for them.

Katie will hopefully pop in every now and then. But mostly, if you decide to read this blog, you will get the boring details of my amazingly blessed life.

So, there you have it. From Cup to Cup, year two. Go.

October 16, 2014

three kids, week one

I realize that I am about one hundred and forty seven posts behind, but I really want to document life right now, even if it means typing one-handed in the middle of the night while I nurse the baby. Someday I will fill in the gaps... well, maybe... but here is now:

Holy smokes, I have three children.


Judah Red was born last Wednesday, October 8th. Judah means "praise to God" and Red is the name of my dear uncle who went to be with the Lord in 2010.


When I was expecting I had people telling me all sorts of things about number three (including many people who don't actually have three children, funny enough). Half the advice, if it can be called that, was explanations of how busy I would be, how number three "tips the scales" and how wild and crazy my life was about to get. The other half basically said "You've done it twice, what's one more?" And you know what?

They were all correct.


There are moments it seems overwhelming because everyone needs something at once, but overall it has been an easier transition than going from zero to one or even one to two. James and Eleanor have each other to play with while I nurse and care for Judah. Also, we have done the newborn stage before. We may not be experts, but we have an idea of what we are doing, and we certainly do not get as stressed or frantic about things like we did with the first two.


In addition, we have been blessed with a very chill baby. We have decided Judah is going to be our calm, easy-going baby and so far he has obliged.

Judah is a night owl, like most babies, and so we are blurry eyed and going through coffee at an alarming rate. But things are good. We have so much to be thankful for.


PS Behind the scenes on the photo shoot: I decided to snap a few photos when I realized that I had put them all in blue and white stripes. Eleanor had no pants and her shirt was actually covered in yogurt. Judah's onesie lasted an entire half hour before he peed on it during a diaper change. Ha.