Declan has been doing Tae Kwon Do and really enjoying it. 
I love this captured moment. 
He was in awe of "the big kids":
 Taking the littles to Tae Kwon Do usually means distracting them after 4 minutes 
(that's their attention span when watching Decs…ha!):
 Another preschool mama sent this to me. Cutie!!!
 I hate early morning but a sunrise always renews my spirt. 
 A little early morning drumming. More coffee, please:
 Declan was SO proud of his "Plants Vs. Zombies" mask. 
I cry-laughed when he declared that he cut his own eye holes:
 Wednesday my bestie and I went to see Jillian Michaels live. SO FUN.
 "Take a pic and send it to Uncle Erik. It's Honest Abe's"
(Mark's brother owns an Abe Lincoln themed burger joint)
 Visiting the animals at the Humane Society:

Big Bro

I can't believe I thought Declan would immediately be on cloud 9 with siblings. 
{Hey, a girl could dream}.
I learned quickly…his adjustment is one of the biggest of all.
I can't be more proud of him. 
It's taken many weeks of growing pains but I can confidently say he is loving his role as a big brother
Thank you, Lord. 
Tonight, after the littles went to bed he had a major meltdown. It was about watching a show. Daddy said no…cue the drama. 
I scooped him up on my lap, dried his tears and we talked about 10 things he was grateful for.
Numbers 6-10 had something to do with his brothers. 
Neat things ahead for my 3 pack. I'm sure of it. 

45 Days

I've never gone 45 days without blogging before and I've never had more to write about. Every time I considered opening up this webpage and typing, my mind went blank or my eyelids got heavy. Our lives are so different now just 11 weeks after two little boys walked through our front door. I'm not going to sugar coat things: it's been rough. The honeymoon stage is over and I'm glad. Let's lay it out on the table and start working through the hard stuff. This isn't a stop through spot for them, this is home.

Lowlights, oh they are a plenty: attitude/behavior/defiance (see above…honeymoon over), ER trip, several urgent care trips (constant sickness basically), desperate call to respite for a weekend, sudden dismissal from daycare, frigid weather = stir craziness. 

Amazing how exhausting just the logistics of 3 can be. Much respect for those with bigger families. I am a chicken with my head cut off 79% of the time. Thankful for such an awesome teammate. Mark does not skip a beat and he has been my saving grace many times. 
Yep. Every day:
Now, with the nitty gritty out of the way, the beautiful can shine. I just left my 20 month old's room. He gave me the longest, tightest, melt-in-to-you hug I've ever gotten from him. This is significant because, even though he has always been affectionate, it was quick affection…especially at bedtime. He likes just to lay down and be left alone. I learned quickly our way of putting Declan to bed at that age (basically rocking him, stroking his face, lots of eye contact) was not going to work. I put "K" sideways to rock him the first night and he climbed me like a tree. So the long, sleepy embrace tonight was precious progress to me. 

Today in the car almost 3 year old "J" kept saying "daddy, mommy- remember_______". He would say things like "remember when we rode bikes…..remember when we threw rocks in the water….remember when we went down the slide." My heart swelled with joy because I know the majority of the memories he brought with him are not good. He saw/heard/experienced things no child ever should. I'm not naive to the fact that we will replace all his memories but what an encouragement that the memories on the forefront of his mind are happy. 

God is at work. Big time. These boys are worth every moment of frustration, inconvenience, doubt, resentment, struggle. Every day there is growth. When people tell us how great we are for "doing this", I always try to respond by saying they are an answer to our prayers too. 

We will keep advocating. We will keep working hard to be the best parents we can be even in the "what now?!"moments. Above all, I promise to pause in awe of God's workmanship knowing there is major redemption going on.