Tuesday, June 28


we survived.

have you ever had one of those weeks where e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. went wrong?
of course you have.
That was our week in a nutshell.
Have to say, it was one of the most difficult weeks we've ever had. Towards the end of the week, we were really, really weary. thinking, what is going on? and what possibly could go wrong next.

God is in control. One day at a time. His mercies were new.
Great is His faithfulness.

don't let him fool you...he wasn't that helpful. =)
At the beginning of the week, we had 2 volunteers available to help. It wasn't looking good. So thankful that a lot of people ended up being there to help. Everyone worked so hard & long, we give big thanks to Matt, Micah, Titus, Ben, Micah, Todd, Kristin, Wes, Dan, James, Dave & Dennis.
Especially thankful to Wendy, for being at the new house with me & the kids. It was a huge help to have another pair of hands there! And she brought lunch for everyone. Also amazing.
And then our friends, the Lesters, dropped off Subway for us that night.
I don't know that I've ever thought about it too much, but if you hear someone if moving, providing some meals on that day is a huge blessing! I'm going to remember that. =)
Also a huge blessing was that we have friends that now live across the street from us and she watched G while the truck was being unloaded. Thanks Val! 

Andrew was in Director mode all day. :)
And now, we are just loving our new place! The home is a much, much better set-up for our family and I am really thankful for that. Most of all, we love our new backyard. Andrew & I looked at each other the first night and said at the same, "I feel like I can breathe." We didn't even realize how confined and closed in we were feeling. We love the breeze flowing through our house and seeing trees & grass out our windows! We have been seeing beautiful sunsets out our back windows. We are very thankful.
Graham is in outdoor heaven!
We can't wait for many backyard BBQ's with friends this summer! 
Kristin initiated our new guest area for a couple of days. (I think she gave it a thumbs up.) We were so thankful to have her here and I was able to get so much done that I wouldn't have been able to with the kiddos (mostly G!) running circles around me.
Every morning that breaks
There are mercies anew
Every breath that I take
Is your faithfulness proved
And at the end of each day
When my labors are through
I will sing of Your mercies anew
And Your mercies, they will never end
For ten thousand years they’ll remain
And when this world’s beauty has passed away
Your mercies will be unchanged
I will sing of Your mercies anew.
© 2001 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI).

Friday, June 17


Amidst all the craziness that is going on right now....
Happy Sixth Anniversary to my hubby!
We are thankful to still be able to sneak in a date night,
yay for a friday night {and a babysitter}!
6 years that have flown by. We've had so many good times. It's been so fun exploring Pgh together and the past 2 years have been quite interesting and different than we expected.
But it's the journey we've walked through together.
Thanks, babe, for your continual leadership in our home, your Christ focus, being such a great daddy and always loving me so well.
 I love you.

Wednesday, June 15

the move

well, you may have heard the buzz....we are moving {across town}. Our current lease ends June 30th. We had hoped to re-sign, but several factors kept that from happening. A big one is that Andrew's job, which is currently about 10 minutes from us was moving out to a suburb. Because we only have one car, he takes the bus in the morning and then we pick him up in the afternoon. With his new location, a bus ride would take over an hour. We had hoped to negotiate a few things with our landlords on our current place, but couldn't come to an agreement with them. So that being said, we had started looking for a place out near where Andrew's job will soon be located. It was pretty discouraging to think we were maybe going to land in a 2 bedroom apartment for a while...my biggest fear - no laundry of our own. And where would we put our current appliances, bikes, you name it....but just when I was about to despair, God provided in an amazing way. Oh me of little faith. :-/
He has provided us a full house with a HUGE backyard!! We are so thrilled. We currently live in a cement jungle, and while we LOVE our location, something about having little ones running circles around your kitchen table, makes you really, really, really wish for some grass. :)
We are also excited that it has a separate guest area, complete with a full bath & balcony over-looking the yard. We typically have quite a few guests and most of them have very politely put up with the fact that you have to walk through our current bedroom to get to the guest area! So now, guests will have their own space & privacy. *Make your reservation....dates are already being taken!
So, we currently have less than 2 weeks to pack everything. Thankfully I am married to super-packer himself. :)
Our move date will be next Saturday, June 25th.
You might not hear much from me...............I'll be packing. :)

Friday, June 10


Happy 4 months, Eden Hope!
Eden is such a happy & peaceful little girl. We love to see her smiles! She gives them to mommy, daddy & G the most readily, but others can sometimes coax it out of her. :) I've heard a few short giggles. Baby laughs are the best!
Her newest favorite thing that she has discovered is squealing!! She can let out some piercing ones and she loves it! She also likes to have "conversations" with me and can be very chatty. 
 I love our chats.
my sister's idea...why didn't I think of this before?!
G & E are starting to interact with each other a lot more. He will now stop and try to play with her in passing. She usually is quite amused by him! I still have to protect her somewhat. He likes to squeeze & poke her, I don't know why!
She just started sitting up in the exersaucer. I love when they move to that because it keeps them so fascinated! She's gotten to that stage where she doesn't enjoy her playmat as much because she wants to be UP and seeing all the action! Graham likes to spin her & pull her around in it. Sorry Eden, you're in for lots of action with this big bro. =)
She is a snuggler!
 I'm not complaining. =)
with her cousins, Livi & Lexi
with aunt katie
{and I can't get enough Babylegs!}
Very excited that I got 6 free pairs thru a promo with Snuggle Luv!
She chews on her hands & fingers (and anything else she can snag!) nonstop.
Lots of drool & bubbles. :)
She is a very easy & laid back baby by day and her nights are getting much better! I just looked up Graham's 4 month update and it was funny that I had written that his night sleeping had just clicked for him too at this point!
I finally discovered that I needed to make her skip that 4th nap. She doesn't always like it and sometimes if we're taking a walk, she sneaks it in :), but overall, that seems to have made the difference in her sleeping longer at night.
I decided that after vacation we were going to try very hard :) to drop that 5am feeding. I tried one morning and only made it to 5:30, but the next few days she decided to sleep till 7 on her own. Oh blessedness!! To have a full night's sleep back after 4 months is a wonderful thing! I know many moms have to go much longer, so I am very thankful.
You are our sweet gift from God, baby girl!

photos courtesy of my sister!

Thursday, June 9

my siblings

{I did warn that I have a lot of new pics, right?}

It is very rare for all 5 of us siblings to be in the same place in the same time. It was so great to see them all!
And random that our outfits all coordinated. =)

Tuesday, June 7

I thought this pic needed its own post.
{taken by my sister, Katie}
the cheeks....the EYES...the little tongue....the rosebuds....
I wish I could freeze time.

road trip

Yep, 2000 miles and 35 hours in the car later and we have been to Minnesota and back! What a great time it was. We went back & forth between flying or driving. Flying is quick and easy. However, we have 2 carseats, double stroller, not to mention a gazillion other baby/kid items. Plus, we would need a car for the week anyways. So we decided to go for it. We left on a friday at 3pm. Arrived at friends in Illinois around 1am. On Saturday, we drove to MN. The kids did awesome. I figured Graham would be ok because we could bring things for him to play with, plus he could watch movies on the dvd player. Eden, I wasn't so sure about! I knew if she got fed up with riding and decided to start a scream-fest there wouldn't be much we could do about it! But, they both did great. A few minutes of fussing here & there...but not bad at all.

First stop was at my brother & family's house. We had such a fun weekend with them! Their cousins are so sweet with them and they all love to play together. Aunt Katie, the great family photographer, was hard at work. :)

Every time I turn around, this child is in to a new sport!
Next, we spent the rest of the week at my grandma's house in Minneapolis.

I love how snuggly this girl is!
Rainforest Cafe in the Mall of America with my brother and his girlfriend!
The thunder & lightening startled Graham and after it went off the first time, he spent the rest of his meal plugging one ear. Crazy cat!
If you notice, he still has one ear plugged after we're long gone. =)
Some pics at one of our favorite spots in Minneapolis
With Grandma & Grandpa

my sister's favorite subject :)
Heading home.
As we prepared to come home, I figured we would really be in for it. Eden had let us know several times during the week that she did not want to be in the car anymore. :) As we hit the road Sunday morning, we knew the kids really needed to be home. So instead of stopping at another friend's home as we had planned, we decided to just go for it.
Best decision we could have made, for sure! It took us 17 hours total. We had to stop about every 3.5 hours for Eden to eat, Graham to potty...all that fun stuff. {Speaking of pottying....I knew this week would be the big test for Graham. He did great, no accidents, and though he wore a pull-up in the car - he stayed dry the whole time!}
Halfway thru the trip, Eden started getting a little fussy and wanted someone to sit in back with her. So I spent much of the trip scrunched between 2 car seats in the back seat. so much fun. :-/ But in the end, it didn't matter. We arrived home around 1:30 am and everyone was very excited to be back in their own beds!
Good thing we have the monk....gps. :)
Seriously, if you don't have one of these gizmos, it might be the best money you could ever spend.
Talk about taking headaches out of travel!

trying out big brother's seat at a rest stop.
I think she wants to stay.
I'll be so glad when she can be front-facing!
thankful for a great trip. Wonderful to see all my family & a few friends.
I'll have more pictures to come!