A Familiar Place

 

We recently returned to a park that we hadn't been to in over a year and a half. We used to walk here almost every week with a friend during the pandemic. Back then it was just two little ones in the stroller. This time we had no stroller, three big kids, and I carried the littlest. 

I decided I liked the idea of coming back to an old familiar place after some time. Seeing them run off into the woods together made me realize they sure are growing up fast. 

I used to always be about wanting to go someplace new. Now I like the slower pace of the familiar. Sure, I still like new places and adventures. But there is also something special about coming back year after year with my kids and seeing them and the place grow a little. Maybe even a chance for me to self reflect on how far I have come as well.

It is easy to get swept up in the go, go, go of our society. But motherhood has taught me to step back and take it in. Wisdom of time has proven that the days pass quickly. So I hope I will look back and know I savored it the best I could.



Fall Things

This past fall was a whirlwind. I was having a really hard time managing our routine with two kids in school along with a toddler and a baby. I had to take a step back and do some serious reevaluating. I stopped using social media, stopped going and doing any extra activities, let go of a lot of things at home, and poured into my kids and myself as we were all struggling. 

I am happy to say things are getting better and all the details of the past few months shall be saved for another day. But I started this post around that time where things were getting difficult and never got around to finishing it. The following intro was written then and the rest was put together currently. I felt it worthy to include as a reminder of where I have been as we move forward to hopefully a just slightly easier season. :)

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My life feels like a blur most days. I have never been so tired! Baby girl is sleeping great at night but being a mama to four is exhausting. Managing the routine and schedules of school with a baby and toddler in tow has proven to be quite tiring. I know that this is a season and that it won't last forever. But I feel like I can barely do much more than the daily necessities of feeding my family, keeping up with laundry, getting two children off to school, and caring for my two little ones. 

I longed for a simple and slow paced life for many years. If you have read here pre-kids, it was a lifestyle I continually sought after. Never before have I had to strip away everything and just be. I do it out of necessity now but have learned that this slower pace takes some serious discipline. I hope to learn from these seasons. That when it is time to come up for air, instead of filling it with more things, I hopefully can better savor it all (and perhaps feel a little more rested!).

All this to say, I am grateful for the camera on my phone. As I whisk from one thing to the next in this busy season of motherhood, I can at least capture my days to look back on. Proof that in the midst of tiredness are some wonderful moments. One day I will look back and remember how special these days were.

Packing school lunches has been a fun new creative activity even if it is in the early hours of the morning.

I am soaking up my days with my three youngest at home (besides preschool) as each year brings new changes in this new school age season.

We recently gave up watching shows (another topic for another day). But there was a small window where it entertained everyone while I cooked dinner. It is always so sweet to catch my children have a quite moment (even if it is in front of the television!).

They made their own tea party with a cardboard box and tissue paper!

I have been waiting for years to start getting rid of clothes. Now that we are finally here, it is heart wrenching. Many of the toddler boys clothes I remember my two nephews wearing! It is hard to let them all go but I am grateful to gain just a little more closet storage space.

My daughter is in pre-k so we were in need of some long sleeved dresses that weren’t too pricey in case they come home messy. I found the cutest dresses that we both love. Here are links to the the flower ones and striped ones. They are great quality and are holding up well.

When you are the fourth child and you get to watch TV as a baby!

Fall means indoor smores at our house! Always so fun and yummy. I personally like to have mine on a white Reese's peanut butter cup with two marshmallows. YUM.

Seeing them create together always gives me a full heart.

Cue all the hot drinks in seasonal mugs.

Pirate baby!!!

Bus stop walks can be magical or pure chaos. Either way, it is still always good to get outside.

Brent is in charge of pumpkin carving otherwise we wouldn't do it. Too messy for me. They love it though.

It was time to rearrange my closet to accommodate my postpartum breastfeeding body. It is always good to only have out things that I can wear. The rest gets stored away to reevaluate during a less fragile body season. ;)

Some pretty clothes to get put away for now. They will be a treat when the time comes that I can wear them again. I did purge a few items and bagged up maternity clothes I no longer needed.

Ice cream cones with monster eye candies. They were so pleased.

I finally printed out and used my own Boo banner I made two years ago! It was perfect for our fall mantel. I am also loving my natural fall star banner.

The weather is changing and I love it.

I got myself a larger Letterfolk tile mat when they were on sale. I love it but it takes some time to figure out my old designs on a larger mat. I now am intentionally documenting them better so they are easier to follow in the future!

These battery powered candlesticks are so good. I love them so much.

These bats I made many years ago keep bringing all sorts of Halloween joy.

Our oldest wanted to pray and ask Jesus into his heart! It was the sweetest moment for my mama heart. I found these free scripture bookmarks that I printed out and laminated for him to remember this special day.

Festive leftover waffles breakfast.

Bath time is usually pretty psycho at our house. But for a moment also so sweet.

Trying to get creative with a mini bagel for lunch. He told me he didn't like it because it was not toasted and cold! ;)

Pumpkins on the playhouse! They end up getting thrown down our hill by the children. But for a brief moment I try to enjoy them.

When you are the two cart family! We are the crazies in self check out. The looks we get!

When both kiddos are at school, I just have these two and I am getting some serious flashbacks from when it was just my first two. I really have loved the toddler and baby years (even though I realize they are also so tiring and hard). It seems like such a blessing to be able to live it all over again. Next year my two oldest will both be in school full time. I am looking forward to this special season to come where I can pour more into my younger ones.

Brent and I celebrated our 14 year wedding anniversary! We were able to get away with the baby for a weekend trip. But on the actual day we celebrated with Olive Garden at home and watched an updated wedding video I put together (it is long but you can watch it on youtube if you'd like!). It was so fun to be able to talk about our wedding with our older kids who now understand it and have all sorts of comments and questions.

Note to self, don't buy black frosting again. Yikes, it was a mess. But so yummy and fun!

A fun and crazy Halloween carnival at school!

Brent's latest hobby is riding his e-bike. Here he is pulling all four kids! People were impressed! It has been a lot of fun and a great family activity.


It is hard to believe, looking through all these photos, that the fall was also full of a lot of anxiety, chest pains, melt downs, and toddler difficulties. I am so grateful for what I have learned and that I hopefully can work through. But know, life here is hard too. But as I slow down and focus on my priorities, even the hard seasons can have some beautiful moments.