Thursday, September 11, 2014

Happy Birthday, Mattias!

Mattias, sweet boy! Happy Birthday!

I hope you know on your birthday just how loved you are. This video was so fun to make because it so perfectly captures who you are. You are my fun-loving, silly, energetic, athletic, musical, sweet boy. You are both easy-going and nonstop energy. You make me crazy and fill my heart with joy. Our day are filled with more laughter, more cuddles, more messes and more awe because of you.

Every night, as we flop on to the couch, exhausted, we can't help but marvel at what an amazing little boy you are becoming. My prayer for you is that you always use your many talents for the good of others and remember that your gifts have come from God. You have the ability to do a great many things in this life- so much comes naturally to you- and I can't wait to see where this life takes you.

I could not be more proud to be your mama. I love you so much.



ps. I know this is a super long video but since I hardly blog anymore, you can also pretty much consider this a year in review :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Big Sur

Yesterday I thought to myself, if Big Sur doesn't get me to blog, ain't nothing gonna get me to blog. So here I am.

Big Sur has been on my must-visit list since we got here nearly three years ago and we only just yesterday finally managed to make it happen. The best part was that it lived up to and exceeded all my expectations. It was gorgeous, powerful and peaceful.

 At one point during the day, Chris mentioned that he remembers the first time he saw the Pacific Ocean. He was in college and remembers feeling like he had waited so long to see it and here is was. The vast Pacific. I too remember seeing it for the first time. I was in high school visiting LA with a friend. I remember noticing its power. It dawned on me that our kids won't have that moment. They'll never remember the first time they saw the Pacific Ocean. Meredith was about 18 months old and Mattias must have been tiny. Every single time we visit the beach here, I can't help but laugh to myself because these kids are living a dream and they have no idea how good they have it.

 And yet, I can be the exact same way. Yesterday after we hiked in to a beach, I sat while the kids played and felt overwhelmed with the beauty. I spend a lot of my time fretting over what the future holds for us. How long will we live in California? For another year? Two? Five? Forever? I want so badly to know where we will eventually call our forever home, but in that moment, I was reminded to worry less and be grateful more. No matter what our future holds, I am incredibly grateful for this chance to live in California and see some of the most beautiful pieces of the world.




























A few of Meredith's gems:



A pose for dad:





Friday, January 10, 2014

16 months.





Tomorrow you are 16 months old. Not really a huge milestone, but a certain marking of the rapid passage of time, nonetheless. I realized yesterday that you are now at nearly the exact same age Meredith was when we moved to California. Not really all that interesting, except that your sister seemed so old to me then. Not you, you are my little baby. Except, HA!

Except for your lack of words and endless babbling, there is nothing baby-like about you. Oh, wait, you also don't sleep through the night. Ok, so you still have some baby qualities, but as much as I think of you as little you are a increasingly my big boy on the go. You run, run, run everywhere you go. Your every move seems to be in an effort to show off your strength. You are forever picking up and handling things I think are far beyond your strength abilities.

You are a daredevil. You climb without fear and depth perception. Constantly falling, hitting your head and hopping right back up as if nothing happened. Those things people warn you about, safety-wise, baffled me with your sister. Now, I'm like, "Oh. I get it." You grab at the stove. Poke your fingers in sockets. Linger dangerously near edges.

One of your only words is "Hi!" and just like your sister, you use it generously, endearing strangers to you immediately with the high-pitched, cheerful way to exclaim it. While you don't have many words, you manage to communicate effectively. You grunt and screech and gesture wildly for food, to be picked up, to go outside, to breastfeed again.

Almost daily, I am thankful that you're a cuddler. Two cuddly kids. How can one mom be so lucky? You give the best hugs. Tight and bursting with love. Everytime you wrap your arms around my neck I can't help but think of the little ditty,
"I love you a a bushel and a peck, 
A bushel and a peck, and a hug around the neck."

Earlier this week as we flew home, we sat in front of a tween-age boy who was flying solo. He spoke with his mom on the phone before take-off, repeatedly telling her he loved her. My heart hopes so much our bond is always as strong as it is now. It can tiresome having a mama's boy. Always leaning over to pick up a rather hefty little man, always being touched and needed. Except, it's also an honor. A privilege. My little buddy, I'm so glad you're mine. 

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Best of 2013



My three month long absence here feels like it deserves some sort of explanation. The short of it: I have two kids. That's not really a great excuse, but it's all I've got.

I somehow managed to put this (not so) little video together, though. And while the pictures aren't all of the greatest quality, they capture our year. It was a fun year full of adventuring and memory making. It was also a year that stretched me as I adjusted to life with two busy children and holding down the fort as Chris travelled more and worked some longer hours. The negative things try so hard to buzz more loudly in my ear than the good, so making this video is always the most perfect reminder. I have a life that is good.

This one is especially long (you can see some of what we've been doing since September), so if you make it all the way though, thank you.

Happy New Year!

Monday, September 23, 2013

adventures.

People are always telling us that they can't believe how much we do. How many adventures we've had since living here in California. It always surprises me because it doesn't feel that out of the ordinary to me.

For starters, when Chris is home and providing parental backup, I think it's more fun and often more manageable to be out of the house. Everyone is happier and occupied without TV and boredom snacks. Chris is the opposite of a homebody so over the course of our relationship, I've gotten used to being out and about with him.

Mostly I think it takes a willingness to be spontaneous. The vast majority of our fun outings happen when we're leaving church and trying to think of what to do or once we're already in the car and need to pick a destination. What I love about kids is that it doesn't take much to make them happy.  This Sunday, all we needed was the beach toys and blanket I always keep in the trunk, a few snacks and little brother's extra onesie. With those things, and the perfect beach spot, we had the most relaxing afternoon. The beach is my happy place. Isn't it everyone's? I love the mountains, too, but I think with little kids the beach is the best. I'm not sure I've ever seen Meredith as happy as she was this Sunday- chasing waves, gathering rocks, rolling in the sand and even eating it in imitation of Mattias.

Seeing my kids happy. Watching the tightness in Chris's shoulders lighten. Sitting in front of a huge ocean with powerful, crashing waves. The sight of the Golden Gate Bridge. It gave me peace and perspective. Getting out of the house can be stressful as can be long car drives, but being out in nature, soaking up God's creation, with the ones I love most, truly can't be beat.

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Neither can the post-beach exhaustion:
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