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Summer lovin’

We ended up in California for the 4th.  I was worried about the crowds but it wasn’t busy at all.  We had a blast!  We watched fireworks from the golf course at our hotel.  I love starting new traditions.  We planned on staying until Monday, heading home for a week and coming back the week after.  I decided to just stay for the next two weeks instead of battling that long drive three more times.  Ivan went home and flew back for the last week.  He ended up surprising me and coming three days early.  I love surprises and that was one of the best!  We lived at the beach all day and the kids slept so good at night.  The older kids are so brave they love the ocean, they could never leave and Jack is a dream at the beach.  He wanders around like a little drunk man falling in the sand.  I can’t believe summers almost over.  School’s around the corner.  I’m not ready.

^^^ Lost my sunglasses in a killer wave
^^^ Shake Shack, a favorite
^^^Cousin time
^^^I put the same sunscreen on these two
^^^We missed him
^^^Ragin Cajun from Big Belly Deli
^^^I love her free spirit
^^^Balboa
^^^Lucha Libre in San Diego
^^^Visited friends in San Elijo
^^^Disneyland
^^^Henri’s sunflower, hes so creative
^^^Sleeping on the beach
^^^First frozen banana
^^^Santa Barbara.  La Super-Rica Taqueria. Get the #16.  The best Mexican food I’ve found in California to date.
^^^Our last night.  One of the best nights I’ve had.  We made a last minute stop at the beach right after sunset.  The weather was beautiful, we had the beach to ourselves. These crazies went for a swim and had the time of their life.  Summers been good.
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This Week

^^^ Fever all week.  The time we actually left the house he went naked.
^^^ Swimming at Grandma’s.  Pre fever
^^^ Another shot of Jack’s room.  I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.
^^^ Sometimes you just need something new.  This dress made it into my bag.  Its super comfortable and since its 10 million degrees outside this keeps me cool.
^^^ Pearl got a haircut.  This is the shortest we’ve ever gone with her.  Not sure how I feel about it.
^^^ Celebrated Ivan’s birthday two days early.  Just the two of us.  It was pretty great until he started throwing up 6 hours later.
^^^ Walked in the sweltering heat.  Anything to get outside.
^^^ Realized I left our leftover out over night, yeah that sucked.
^^^ Burning this candle everyday.  I know it sounds weird but really its good if you like that woodsy smell.
^^^ Spending summer break rotting our brains.
Teething, it sucks.
^^^ This outfit on repeat.  Every.  Single.  Day.  Along with do I look like Elsa?
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Mothers Day

This may be the most random mix of pictures but I can’t let this day go undocumented. This Mothers day Ivan’s mom was out of town so we ended up going to Pine to be with my family.  I never imagined what a blessing motherhood would be.  I love seeing these babes change and grow into their own.  The days can be monotonous.  Wiping rear ends and picking food out of the rug can get old.  But I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Raising these amazing little babies really is amazing.  They’re funny and witty, they crack me up and bring me to tears all at the same time.  I could have a baby in the home for the rest of my life and be completely happy.  I love being able to stay home and raise them.  I am so grateful to Ivan for that.  The days are long but the years are short.  I’m trying to cherish these long days.  Happy Mothers Day to all the mommas out there.
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OREGON / SEATTLE 2014- CITY GUIDE

We love going to Oregon to visit Grandma and Grandpa Raile.  Their house on the coast is so relaxing.  This year Grandma had to fly back to Az last minute so we had her house to ourselves.  We stayed in Oregon half the week and then decided to head up to Seattle the other half.  Man I love that city.  A big city will a small town feel.  So much good food and so fun to wander around.

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7/52

^^^ This little lady helped me make cupcakes.  I’m still on the hunt for the perfect white cupcake recipe.
^^^ We go to the new house everyday after school.  The kids are outside all afternoon and are always bummed to go home.
^^^ This sass talked her dad into letting her get a bikini.  I have no idea how since Ava has never been allowed to wear one.  Oh how she loves it, she wants to wear it everyday and can’t stop saying she can’t believe her dad let her get it.
^^^ Not the clearest picture, but I just love that gap in his teeth.  Ive never had a baby with a gappy smile until now and I sure do love it!
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Farm livin’

Ive dreamt of living in a little bungalow, surrounded by big trees and the sound of nature.  The middle of nowhere, just me and my little family.  Away from all the noise of the big city, the ballet classes and soccer practice, the tumbling and after school activities.  Chickens in the yard.  A pot of stew on the stove.  A garden and a tree house.  A big yard for the kids and their imagination.  A swing hanging from the big tree that we carved our names in the night we got the house.  Today we got that house, the house my kids will grow up in and call home and I couldn’t be more excited.

The house is still in the city, but feels like our own little small town.  Its going to be an adventure.  There’s a lot of work that needs to be done to call this little and I mean little (think 1800 sq ft after we close in the 1 car garage) bungalow home.  For now it will be taking down walls and opening up rooms, new floors, cabinets, lights, windows and adding a pool.  Eventually we will add on, but for now we are going to be bring this old beauty back to life.

She was built in 1975 and hasn’t changed much since.  We will be raising the ceiling and painting the brick.  Wood floors throughout.  All new bathrooms.  White cabinets and some all around updating.  Ill post progress as we go.
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Here’s to a new year

2013 I say you were a terrible year and Ivan disagrees and says it was the best year of our lives.  I say I’m glad to see you go.  I had the hardest pregnancy of any of my pregnancies.  I had debilitating anxiety.  I don’t know how I made it out alive.  I have never and hope to never feel that way again.  I am sad for anyone who suffers from anxiety on a regular basis.  It is very real and very emotional mental and physically exhausting to live in a state of constant fear and worry.  My midwife told me I had the  pregnancy I did to prepare me for what was to come.  I think she’s right.  I’d say this year changed me more than any year, possibly all other years combined.  Jack was born with a sick heart and its been a long recovery.  Not long in terms of chd but long for what I thought was a healthy baby.  I am so blessed and the last half of the year really was amazing.  I have a whole new respect for the amazing man I married.  The father he is to our babies.  The babies we have and all the happiness they bring to this family.  I really do enjoy every single day.  Maybe its come with age maybe its come with grieving what I thought would be the loss of my baby.   I emotionally prepared myself for Jack’s passing.  I hardened myself in a way.  I knew Id have to be strong.  I stuffed down those feeling of not thinking I could move on and live without this baby.  The baby I loved more than life itself.  The baby I wished over and over I could change places with.  I imagine a piece of a mother dies when she loses a child.  I didn’t lose him and I thank my heavenly father everyday for that but I think that part of me is still fragile, still trying to come back.

//This year I’m going to focus on my family all the other stuff can wait.  My house doesn’t need to be spotless.  I know someday Ill miss those filthy hand prints on everything.
//I’m going to make sure my kids know how important they are to me and how much I love them.
//I’m going to date my husband.  Marriage is something you always work on,  you don’t take it for granted.
//I’m going to work on raising money for hospitals and families in need.  Something as small as a blanket or toy or someone letting you know its okay to be sad and angry when you are in the hospital can make a world of difference.
//I’m going to be a good friend and be there for friends that need me.
//I’m going to work on finding my strengths and talents.  Ive got to be really good at something besides diaper changing.
//Most importantly I’m going to enjoy myself.  Happiness is what you make it.  Its not a place or a thing.  Its a decision you make and I chose to love every minute or at least most of them. To laugh off the hard ones and cherish the good.

A year in pictures

^^^I laugh every time I see this picture of Ava this is the look of a child whose being tossed from family member to family member while her parents are in the hospital.  I can only imagine what the photographer thought when she walked in looking so disheveled.

Here’s to 2014
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PCH Ignite Hope Walk

PCH has done so much for my family I want to give back in any way I can.  This year we did their annual Ignite Hope Walk.  We walked 1.7 miles to the hospital with battery operated candles and sang Christmas songs to the children inside the hospital.  They came to their windows and looked down on us singing to them.  It was so emotional.  There was a time when we were up there looking down at the street.  You feel so isolated in there.  I remember sitting in that hospital room and the nurse saying “you need to open the window or turn a light on”  I hadn’t even realized I had been sitting in the dark for an entire week.  It can become very depressing.  I hope we brought some joy to those little faces.  They surely brought the spirit of Christmas into our hearts.

PCH Hospital

They spelled out the word HOPE in the window and you can see all the faces looking down
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I have such mixed emotions about being at the hospital.  I love it, it saved my sons life.  Im so grateful for modern medicine.  At the same time its so hard to go there.  It was the darkest, hardest period in my life.  It changed me forever.  I faced death and a second chance at life all at the same time.  I think the more time passes the easier it will be for me to visit.
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Jacks Birth

Monday April 15 2013, I remember it like it was yesterday.  Tax day, the day of the Boston bombing, the day I brought my 4th sweet angel into this world.  Im not normal, I don’t go into labor on my own.  At least not until I had Jack.  I had become somewhat of a joke to those who know me.  Ive gone all the way up to 14 days late with my second baby.  I wait as long as my midwife lets me then she strips my membranes and finally a few days later I get to hold my newborn baby.  I was 8 days late with Jack and started to have labor pains Sunday night but couldn’t believe they were real.  This has never happened.  Sure enough they were.  When I got to the hospital I was a 6 1/2.  I move quickly and before I knew it I was ready to push.  This was my first time without an epidural but there was no time for one so pushing this baby out was my only option.  It was truly one of the most amazing experiences of my life.  My midwife told me to reach down and pull him out and I did.  I set that baby right on my chest and instantly fell in love.

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I knew from that moment something wasn’t right.  It wasn’t anything I could see.  It was what I felt inside.  I kept thinking this is just my hormones.  I hate the baby blues.  I couldn’t shake the feeling.  I felt like I didn’t have time with this baby.  I enjoyed every second of him feeling like he wouldn’t be mine for long.  I remember telling my husband to sleep, Id take care of him.  I didn’t want visitors.  I didn’t want anyone taking away the time I did have with him.  He was such an easy sweet baby.  Slept the day away in my arms.  That first week home from the hospital is one I will forever cherish.  Its the only newborn stage I had with him, the only memory I have of his beautiful little body before the scars.  The next three weeks were taken from me.
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