And I'm so glad I took time away. Leaving Facebook, not committing to many social gatherings, being selective on what I shared (I'm a total over-share-er by nature). I needed to do all of these things to recover from the craziness of the last few years, as well as take time to discover our new normal without all the noise.
My little sabbatical was quite fruitful, and we are slowly gaining capacity for more. Which is why I wanted to take a second and fill you in on the last few months. I also want to record what's happened, because while blogging takes a lot of time, without it I don't record our family's memories or take as many pictures. I have no idea if I'll be able to maintain blogging, I'd at least like to try for the sake of memory keeping, though.
As for the last three months:
God's faithfulness and kindness has overwhelmed us, both in his presence and how he's worked out the details of our closing renovation. We still have projects to finish, but we expected that and we're not unfamiliar with living amidst undone work (hello, no kitchen cabinets for 3 years). It will likely be years before we have the time and money to finish these projects, but I really can't complain when 90% of my interior has been redone to my liking.
Exterior work began on the house this week (exciting!) and at this point (there are still a few question marks on some of these) we are getting our porch rebuilt, exterior painted, new driveway, and new windows. The grants we're getting won't cover our detached garage, so it'll continue to look gross, but again, I can't really complain now can I?
As for life. Well. Brooks continues to refine my soul with his constant crying. I mean really, kid. GIVE IT UP. The other two are having a hard time adjusting to sleeping in their own bed which, in large part, is our fault since they've been in the same room as us for the last year and a half. In fact, there's not been a night in the last three months they haven't started or ended in our bed. No amount of spanking, conversing, reassuring, or bribing has kept them in their bed, because they're genuinely terrified. So until they mature a bit more, or we gain some awesome new tactic that helps them feel safe and unafraid, we will continue walking through their fear with love and gentleness the best we know how.
Other than sleep habits and Brooks' crying, the kids are doing well. Their growing friendship is adorable and they love to mimc snakes and panthers that slither and prowl about the house. No one goes upstairs by themselves, which is quite cute and equally as annoying. Avery continues to perfect her made-up songs skills, and Brooks has discovered a love of dance. Bray is obsessed with Jurassic World, though he will likely never see the movie, at least not until he knows how to sleep in his own bed.
Most meals happen around our kitchen island which has been so fun. And the most significant benefit to this house has been the space. Oh my word. I didn't realize how quickly a house becomes cluttered when you're doing most of life in one room. To have bedrooms upstairs, bedrooms large enough to play in, and to have the dining/kitchen/living rooms be their own space has made such a difference!
As a family we are loving our neighborhood. The kids frequently play in the yard and field across the street, and we have some amazing friends nearby. Bob takes the kids for walks often, usually while I'm working, and in doing so he's built lots of relationships with our neighbors. Who knew he'd be such a social butterfly?
I absolutely love living in the city and could not think of a better place to raise my family. The culture, the coffee shops and restaurants, the parks. All of it is so enjoyable and refreshing. It's also pretty awesome to be in Kasnas City, specifically. So many great things are happening in the way of craftsmanship. People are really taking back their city with loads of care and investment.
Thank you to everyone who has encouraged us throughout these crazy years. We feel loved and supported and are excited to see what God has planned for us in this place.
Now for a gob of grainy iPhone pictures. I'll have more photos once my iPhoto is able to import my camera's pictures again. I'll also have a few catch up posts to follow this one, that chronicle some of the bigger events from my non-blogging months.
|Oven mits as boots? Awesome.|
|She yelled, "I LOVE MY PEOPLE" right before tackling me.|
|My goodness these two are snugglers|
|First Valentines Day basket|
|Just another amazing outfit choice|
|Cousin trip to the vintage markets. We had so much fun!|
|One of our first weekends in the house. My mom took the kids for the night, so Bob and I got pad thai and a movie and LIVED IT UP.|
|Welcome to the neighborhood gift from the Beans and their chickens. We also were spoiled with a fresh loaf of bread from the Janis' and tulips from our housing association. I love our neighborhood!|
|He actually put a toy in his diaper and that "look" is when he went back to retrieve it. |
Still hilarious, though.
|Basically what I looked like for the first month in our house. Unpacking, organizing, and decorating with three littles takes a toll. Clearly.|
|We found our beloved scone recipe that had been in storage and this was our first batch in the new house.|
|He can't keep his hands off her|
|Sisters are the best|
|I had a hott date that night|
|Lunchtime conversations over chips and salsa. Our fav.|
|She looks so tiny out there|
|Her first Royals Game|
|Dinner out as a family! We are just now doing these types of things. Still a bit risky with sir cry alot, but at least this dinner went well.|
|My first handmade Mother's Day gift. swoon.|
|He insisted on wearing brother's underpants over his diaper|
|Their attempt to "multiply" the bacon.|