These pictures make me smile. We had a fabulous summer! Can't believe it went by so fast....


July 7th our sweet Brooks turned 3. This little boy has my heart. When he was first placed with us he was so unsure, so disconnected. He was quiet and his smiles few and far between. Now, though he's a little shy around people he doesn't know, he's a different kid. His temperament is chill but he is also super strong willed (I swear we get no break in this department). He settled in to his three-nager status quickly but I wouldn't change his little fiery streak for anything...he'll need it some day. 

Thanks for never letting me miss a single piece of construction equipment we drive by. Thank you for busting out the garage door and greeting me at my car (sometimes giving me a heart attack....at this point I shouldn't be surprised you are there). Thanks for making sure our water maker is working on the fridge by playing with it 100 times a day and also turning on the hose every time you go out back though you know it's not allowed.  Happy 3rd to my little white haired, blue eyed, precious little man. 



We had a fabulous 3rd and 4th this year. Back to back parties: friends, family, swimming, yummy food, fireworks, late nights. Seriously the best. Yesterday we all took multiple naps and tried to recover.


6 years!

This never got published and here we sit just celebrating 12 years! Time freaking flies.....

Tonight Declan will be with my parents (woot woot) and I'll be celebrating 6 years of marriage with this hottie:

A boy and a ball.

For some reason this cuteness never got published. You're welcome. ;)

The hats I wear...

Still cleaning out my drafts folder. This is from at least 3 years ago. Had you told me I could handle an even more thriving career plus a few more babies, I would laugh. But our capacities increase...what a beautiful thing.

From 2012:
There is no doubt that I thrive on borderline chaos. I like a lot of irons in the fire. I like challenges and the feeling I get when I overcome them. I joke that my life as a mom and career woman can be best explained as spinning plates. I have a lot of things (plates) spinning in the air that need careful attention. If I let one plate wobble too much, the others will start to wobble too. Let one plate fall and they all come crashing down.

I have to be completely honest and say that I don't think I could be a full time stay at home mom. I'm not patient or creative enough. I feel so blessed to have the best of both worlds. I stay home with Decs M-W-F and have childcare Tues/Thurs. There is A LOT of tagging in and out with Mark and I. If someone would ask me how I maintain a busy career and mommyhood (and sanity), I would say- hands down- Mark's steadfast support. I'm gone a lot of evenings and weekends (did I mention my other career is photography...another profession that is done in "off" hours) and Mark hardly ever complains.

My tips and tricks:
-Multitask, multitask, multitask. Throw in a load of laundry in between errands or appointments or 3 year old shenanigans. My iphone is my brain and I set alarms for everything from mundane activities (give dog's heart worm medicine, take out recyclables, etc etc) to important appointments. I even put my work outs in my phone so it's blocked out time. Whenever Decs and I get out during the week I try to think of what area of town we'll be in and knock out a couple real estate related trips. He even accompanies me to appointments from time to time.
-Be intentional with the time that you do have as a family. I try really hard to plan out activities that we can all do together. I want to make the most out of the time that the 3 of us have together. I try hard to be intentional with Declan. I ask him randomly during the week what he wants to do that morning (if we aren't on a play date, at the gym, etc). Wednesday he wanted to go to Trader.Joes so he could push the little cart. Um, okay, TJ's it is!
-Know your boundaries. I get to "flip out" stage during peak busy times. I try to communicate to Mark when the train is heading off the tracks. Sometimes I need a 3 hour block to go to Panera and edit photos. Other times I need a couple uninterrupted hours at the office to catch up. These aren't specific appointments but just extra time to get on top of things. I know my boundries decently well and try to stay within them and say "no" if something doesn't fit in my world.


Clearing out old drafted posts that never made the blog. What a great reminder of where you've been. We've now built our dream home, Mark went back to school and is now in a career he loves (with a couple more layoffs after the one spoken of in this email) and we have a full house of 4 kiddos...God is funny but He's good. Now enjoy this early 2011 post.....

I feel like I've let my blog slack a bit. We've been busy and, honestly, there hasn't been too much to really write about. That's a good thing I think?! 2010 was a hard year for us between layoffs, renting our house and buying another to have it fall through (after packing), a slow season for my job and the financial stress that followed, etc etc.

So it's not surprising that 2011 was welcomed in happily. So far, it truly has been a new breath in our world and we've been having a great time as a family. Declan is getting more hilarious by the day. He's such a negotiator right now. "Decs, do you want some milk?" D: "Ummm...how about juice?". We're finally adjusting to his new wake up time around 8am (after many months of 9-10am). I feel like an idiot whining about how early 8 feels but it really does.

Our house is finally on the market. Yes, in all my realtor experienced goodness we did indeed listing in January. Pretty much the worse time of the year in Nebraska. I accidently stumbled upon [what I still believe to be] our dream house. We competed with 3 other offers and lost the battle. So now we're listed and have zero prospects if our house would magically sell. I'm learning a lesson in empathy to my clients because I'm a bitter woman after cleaning for 2 hours for a showing yesterday to only have the buyers not like it. We are trusting God knows our buyer and, more importantly, our next home. (That sounded good typed out but I have to remind myself of this daily since I'm impatient as heck).

Mark just celebrated 90 days at his new job. He is finally feeling settled back in with a work family. Praise the Lord! We have a whole new view of "job security" and often have conversations about the lessons the last year taught us. More than anything, he likes what he's doing, likes who he's doing it with and they like him. What a trifecta of goodness! This past weekend we attended a 10 year anniversary for his company. It was fun to make some bonds with his new co-workers and some memories too. I'll leave those off my blog. ;)

On the adoption front, we're moving at turtle pace completing our 2nd home study. Papers were submitted last May and we have to complete classes before any further steps are made. Classes are not until March. Hopefully things will pick up after we take the classes. In the mean time if we win the lottery we'll be adopting internationally. This is another area where God is in control but it's hard to not be impatient. Hopefully Declan's not 8 before he gets a sibling. He'll be such a fabulous big brother!