I started typing this one handed on a rainy afternoon with a sleeping baby girl in my arms and two little boys in the room next to me watching Peter Pan and having their third bowl of apple chips. It's taken a few stop and starts but I'm finally finishing this first new blog post with a baby girl who's a couple months older than when I started, and two big brothers still asking for another snack. I have this desire to write now as we are yet again on the cusp of a lot of big life changes. We're settling in to life as a family of five and there's this stirring in my heart to make a record of this season of big growth, big moves, big dreams. But I also just want to remember the extraordinary ordinary days of mothering lots of littles and homemaking and living out this calling on my life alongside my family. So let's catch up!
Will is now 3 years old. He also goes to the same morning preschool as big brother but just 2 days a week and sometimes not even that if we're just not feeling it and he wants to hang with mom instead. He keeps his BIG emotions right on the surface like all good threenagers. But after an unpredictable whirlwind meltdown about Pirate Booty for instance, he is quick to turn around with a full body hug and a big kiss on the mouth and an "I love you more than bacon!" He is so articulate, his language is truly beyond his years that I often have to stop and remind myself that he is only three and readjust some expectations. He is wild in the best way surprising us with crazy faces and silly dance moves or... you know... a swift headbutt while he shouts "it's buck time!" Red is still his most favorite color but he's eased up a little bit. He used to worry whenever his hands got messy and only hold his food by the teeniest corner. Now he goes marching off in his American flag cowboy boots, plops down in a literal pile of dirt to make mud soup and dig up rocks. The other day at the playground he ate a stick pretty much on a dare so his teenage years should be fun. He's less cautious than Tommy but they both watch each other to judge what is fun, what is scary, what is good what is bad. Their brotherhood is beyond my wildest dreams. What a privilege, an absolute honor to raise these little men.
Sweet Daisy baby is nearly 6 months old somehow. She is an absolute ray of sunshine in our lives. Any fear I had about the transition from two to three went right out the window when we brought her home. Relatively speaking it's been the easiest. The boys (all three of them) are simply head over heels in love with our girl. They tell her how pretty she is all day long, knock each other down to bring her a toy or fetch a clean diaper for her, and will perform any number of tricks and silly faces and songs to make her giggle. She's a little peanut with the sweetest rosy cheeks and the most precious tiny little tongue that pokes out at you. She's so content even with the loud chaos around her and being constantly on the go shuttling the boys here and there. She is along for the ride and very little ruffles her feathers. We're not sleeping through the night and I wont lie, I'm worn out, but she wakes up happy, goes down happy so it could be worse. I know all too well that these months of little sleep will be over in a flash so I search for the sweet spots in the dark and doze-off in the rocking chair with her nursing in my arms, her little fist tangled in my hair. She loves bath time, and being outside, and her little bunny lovie. She rolls herself into every tricky corner and even right under the couch. She has started to find her (loud) voice and pulls hair and and grabs your face to pull you in. We just eat it up! She is so loved and we are so lucky.
Well not quite... but hey this is our real life! It's chaotic and transitory and made up of seemingly fleeting seasons of hard and good. So in the midst of all the swirling whirling moving what am I up to, you wonder? Well, I'm hunkering down, organizing, purging closets and drawers (my favorite part of moving every couple years) and trying to just let go of all the stress about logistics because I know it will work out. It always has so why should this move be any different? I'm also really thinking about intentional rhythms and routines I want to establish for our family that we can take with us wherever we go. But consistency and familiarity can always be found in the laundry waiting to be put away, the snacks demanded around the clock, the books pulled off of shelves and read curled up in laps, the foreheads kissed and little ones tucked back into bed sometimes a couple of times in the same night. With our time in Tennessee ending and our time in Ohio so short, and our next stop even shorter (more on that soon), the only things that matter are the little hearts within the walls of our home. Nurturing them, helping them feel safe and secure, teaching them how to bloom where they're planted. Most importantly showing them what it looks like to trust that the God who created the whole world, who created them and loves them, is our rock and our fortress, the stronghold of our life. No matter where we call home, for however long we're there.