Wednesday, January 22, 2014

30th Birthday

On Monday I turned thirty. THIRTY!! 30!!!! As my sister-in-law, Robin, said, "Well, I have four kids, drive a minivan, and I'm finding gray hair. I may as well be thirty." Except that I have three kids, not four, I ditto what she said!

Still, just 10 years ago, I was in college and planning a wedding. Since then we have gotten married, finished college, Clint finished his masters, I have worked four different jobs, made two big moves, we had three kids, and fostered three more. It's been a full decade, to say the least :) I'm hoping the next decade will be a little calmer....but then again Jack and Sydney will be teenagers by the time I'm forty, so maybe "calm" isn't the word.

My family really spoiled me for my birthday! They took me out to eat on Sunday and gave me the afternoon to work in the yard (my favorite). On Monday Jack was home from school, so while Clint was at work the three kids and I hiked on Kisatchie. We didn't intend on being gone so long, but they were having a blast, so we ended up hiking for 2.5 hours! Monday evening Clint brought home a king cake and cooked supper.

Clint gave me a beautiful necklace. He did good, y'all. I couldn't have picked out anything I love more.

With birthday money from family, I bought some new running shoes and workout clothes. It's time to get serious about losing baby weight. The third kid + turning 30 = no joke.  I love Asics, but they are so darn expensive. I found this LOUD pair for $60...I need some LOUD clothes to go with them!

This Friday my mom is keeping the kids, and Clint and I are going on a real, live date. Like, dinner AND a movie. WHAT!!

I'm looking forward to my thirties. I'm am enjoying these kids more and more as they get older. Everyone talks about how much fun babies are, but no one prepares you for what a BLAST big kids are. I can't wait for the years to come!!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Home Life Lately

Over Christmas break, I got tired of the incessant snacking around our house! The weather was bitterly cold for several days, so we were stuck inside especially with a new baby, so what do we do when we are bored? EAT! Haha! One night, after the kitchen was all cleaned up, Jack asked for a snack and I told him the kitchen was closed. He took that idea and ran with it! He posted this sign on the refrigerator. Now, if I could just get Clint to go along with it....

The cold weather has eased up a bit this week. It's still getting to freezing at night, but during the day it is warming up to 50-60 degrees. Ellen enjoys going on walks, so we have been soaking in the sunshine!

I've been getting ready for an appreciation banquet at church next month for our Sunday School teachers. I have enjoyed spending some legitimate time on Pinterest and Etsy! I found a budget-friendly, but super cute Valentines theme place setting. I love having a project!

The kids are currently obsessed with picnics. Thankfully, the weather has been great for impromptu lunch dates on the driveway. Doesn't Jack look so old in this picture?

Story of Ellen Elisabeth

I'm still catching up from the Great Blog Neglect of 2013. I have to document the story of our little Ellen!  She was due November 12, but we went in on November 5 for an induction. We got there at 5am all ready to go! We were so excited! However, when we got there, the hospital didn't have any rooms in L&D. They had so many walk-ins during the night that they couldn't induce. I was given the choice to come back the next day, or have a c-section at noon that day. I decided to go ahead with the c-section that day. It was likely that I would end up with a section anyway, and I was ready to meet my Ellen!

Last pregnancy picture!!

                                                            Right after she was born!

                                                             Daddy and his new little baby girl

                                   Jack holding her for the first time, and Sydney waiting on her turn!

                                                One of my favorite pictures of my girls.

                                                       One of our first days home...she looks so skinny!

              At one month, Ellen was sleeping for four-five hours at night, becoming more alert during the day

At two months, Ellen is sleeping 6-7 hours at a time at night, smiling all the time, and loving to play on the floor. She smiles very big at her siblings, and stares adoringly at her daddy. She is taking Zantac for some really bad reflux, and still having to sleep in her Rock and Play to help keep the formula down. I'm hoping in the next month we can get the reflux under control and she can learn to sleep in her crib. I started back to work at the beginning of January, so Ellen has been going to the church nursery. It has been strange letting someone else take care of her, but we have wonderful nursery workers!

I'm not going to lie and say that everything has been rainbows and butterflies. It has been nearly 4 years since a newborn was in this house, and those first few weeks were pretty rough! We are adjusting to life with a new baby, and I'm already amazed at how quickly our little baby is growing up!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

2013 ReCap

I got hopelessly behind on the blog in 2013, so I finally just gave up. It was a busy busy year, but I would like to recap so I don't forget it!

1. Clint's parents left for Uganda. I have missed them so much lately. We are thankful for Skype, emails, Viber, and all the other wonderful technological/social media connections we have!

2. We bought another house! Yay for more square footage and a better yard for kids!

3. We worked on the house. For months. Until we thought we would die. Not really, but it was kind of awful. We have made lots of changes and we are content to just leave it be for a while. Although it wouldn't hurt my feelings if an appliance or two went out and I could usher 1986 out of my home  :)

4. Foster care placement and heartache. We got a baby girl foster placement in October 2012 - July 2013. She came to us as a preadoptive placement, but we knew fairly quickly that we would not be able to adopt her. We loved her very much and I miss her so!! The kids miss her, too. We were able to see her on Saturday for the first time in almost six months. It was so good to see her. The kids miss her so much! She is now in a home with her sister, and being well taken care of. This is the main reason I didn't blog last year. Everything about her case was in turmoil, and I just couldn't bring myself to write about anything in our lives, because she was such a big part of it.

3. We found out we were pregnant in March! We were thrilled. We had hoped for another baby for a year or so, but we didn't know if Baby #3 would ever be a reality.

6. We had a baby girl - Ellen Elisabeth Iles. She has been such a blessing to us. The kids adore her, and Clint and I think she is just the sweetest thing.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

One Word 2014

Today I read a book.

That statement itself is monumental considering the intense newborn/preschool/grade school kid fog I feel like I have been in for weeks upon weeks. The mere fact that I read anything other than a Facebook status is cause for a celebratory cheer.

So, here we go: HIP HIP!

I digress.

The book, suggested by Clint, is One Word That Will Change Your Life.

It's a very quick and easy read. I read it on the Kindle on our way to Lake Charles and was done before we got there. The basic point of the book is to do away with New Years Resolutions and instead pick ONE WORD for the year. Hence the title. This one word should be your driving force in all aspects of your life: emotionally, relationally, spiritually, physically, you get the point....

So, my word for the year, at the risk of sounding like a cliche' Jon Acuff obsession.....


Every day. Digging in and working hard. Waking up and setting goals for the day. Living with intentionality (spellcheck is saying this isn't a word....oh, but it is). Working with purpose. Family life with meaning.


Running off baby weight. Planning a Family Worship Camp. Getting our yard under control. Making new friends. Discipleship. Preparing lessons that convey truth to preschoolers and children.


What's your word? Let's do this.