Things To Remember

Thursday, February 18, 2016
Things I don't want to forget about the kids:

*How she says "all aboard the Hannah express!" and bends down and Lucas climbs on her back and she runs around the living room with him. He loves it. I love it.

*How she's always coming up with ideas and plans on how to catch a fairy. She woke up the other morning all excited because, "today is the day I am going to catch a fairy!"

*How she has turned into such a little tomboy. She played in a soccer game with a bunch of boys last weekend.  She was mixing it up with the best of them. She scored two goals and was so proud of herself. Afterwards, she came up said, "I won, I won!" I told her, "well, your team won." 
"But I scored the goals, so I won."
"Okay, I see where you're coming from, but we still say your team won."
She looked at me like I was crazy. She is my mini-me.  

*How she loves Math flashcards right now.

*How she always says words like "laughed-ded" and "eat-ed." I never want to correct her grammar because I know these little idiosyncrasies won't be around forever. 

*How much she dotes on Olivia. She is always kissing her and saying, "hello there wussy, pussy." I have no idea where that came from, but she says it all the time. 

*How much she loves drawing pictures. How much I love her drawings. They always make me laugh. 

* How precocious she is when it comes to her schoolwork. I have yet to sit down and teach her how to write all the letters from the alphabet, but somewhere along the way, she learned them.

*How hard she can be on herself. If she doesn't get something just perfect, she can sometimes have a mini-breakdown. 

How much she loves it when we pray for her at the dinner table. Afterwards she'll always say, "thanks guys."

*How he says, "thank you" in a very high-pitched voice anytime we give him anything. 

*How he carries around his little ABC book with him everywhere.

*How he says "mmm, that's good," to any food he likes. Except when he says it, it sounds like he has a German accent, so it sounds more like, "mmm, das gut."

*How much he loves roughhousing with his sisters. 

*How sweet he is to Olivia. He's always bringing her his toys and giving her kisses. 

*How he beginning to love spending more time with Matthew. He wants to be with his Daddy more than his Mama sometimes.

*How when he sees older boys at the park, he runs around with them like he's part of their gang. He swears he's 12 years old.

*How ticklish she is. Anytime I zip up her pajamas she giggles as if I'm tickling her.

*How she is constantly chomping on her fingers. 

*How easygoing she is. She will sit in her bouncy chair just bouncing away. It's as if she knows Mom and Dad are busy right now, they'll get to me when they're ready. 

*How much everyone in the family just adores her. 

Trying to catch a fairy. She had her plans all written out on the paper. If you can make out the jar, that was going to be where she trapped the fairy.

"That's me and Hannah and a cross because we love each other."

Sledding. Notice how one of the sleds has the speed behind it? I just love Abby's artwork.

Mom, a lot of these pictures are on Instagram too. I try to update it daily, so you should check it out!

A Few Household Items I'm Loving Right Now

Tuesday, February 16, 2016
1) Target Threshold White Plates. I am loving white table items right now. They look clean and timeless. 

2) Cloth Napkins from Green Little Nest on Etsy. Although a bit smaller than your typical cloth napkins, these are only a dollar apiece. Plus, they go beautifully with the white plates.

3)  Ana White ToyStorage. Ana White offers free designs and how-to instructions for building your own furniture. I may be slightly ambitious and incredibly naive, but I intend to build this toy box myself.

4) Wal-Mart Rolled Top Club Chair. Demi at House for Six tipped me off to this lovely little item. For $249 it's a pretty good deal. 

5. Ana White Farmhouse Table. Another Ana White design. I love this table and think it would be both sturdy and large enough for our little, not-so-little, family. I also plan to build this myself! Am I a carpenter, you might ask? No. Am I completely deluded as to my woodworking abilities? Yes.

6. Rugs USA Moroccan Trellis Rug. I've been in love with this rug for a while. I think it's beautiful and will be perfect for the kids' playroom.

A Few Pictures from Christmas

Tuesday, February 2, 2016
It was our last Christmas in our little apartment. Most of our Christmas decorations were already packed away, but we dug them out and enjoyed a simple family Christmas. Each of the kids received one "big" gift and a couple of smaller gifts. Hannah received what she had wanted her "whole life," a Woody doll. Abby received The Little Mermaid Roller Skates. Lucas got a little ramp for his cars and Livy received Sophie the giraffe. We also gave the kids some group gifts, a basketball hoop, a few audiobooks (Winnie-the-Pooh and Frog and Toad) and some sleds. 

Every year I tell Matthew that we do not really have to get the kids anything because they are completely spoiled by their grandparents, aunts, uncles, godparents and friends. Our children are so blessed! 

I felt like we did a really good job this year in terms of maintaining a peaceful December and Advent. In past years, it's been hard for me not to get caught up in the hustle and bustle. This year I really wanted to keep our focus on the Nativity and the Holy Family. We celebrated the feasts of St. Nicholas and St. Lucia. We baked cookies and mailed Christmas cards. We watched lots and lots of Christmas movies and listened to endless instrumental Christmas music on Pandora. We were eager for Santa's arrival, but also, and more importantly, for Jesus's birthday. It was the right balance between excitement and peace. I am hoping we can manage to do it again next year

A Recap of 2015

Thursday, January 28, 2016
For posterity's sake, I thought I'd write a recap of our past year. It was filled with a great deal of change and upheaval, but also a lot of grace. 

January: We learn Baby #4 is on her way! We are planning to move to California, so learning that baby is on her way puts the home buying process into high-gear. Hannah turns 5.

February: .Snowmaggedon hits Massachusetts. Our area gets record amounts of snow. As a result, we spend most of February inside watching Netflix. This bodes well for me with my first trimester nasuea, I don't feel so guilty.

March, April, May: Matthew travels to California for work nearly every other week. While there, he also visits a thousand and one potential houses and tours several prospective schools for the children. I stay busy holding down the homefront. This kids and I spend our time visiting the Boston museums, playing with friends, baking, painting and homeschooling. It becomes acutely clear to me why God gives families two parents. I survive with plenty of coffee. 

June: We get ready to move to California. We have a house picked out, our bags are packed and all our affairs are in order for a cross-country move. We are nervous, but excited about our new life ahead. I am especially looking forward having my parents and sisters close by.

July: Days before we are to leave for our big move to California, Matthew gets an exciting career opportunity. We are unsure what to do. We pray a lot. I sleep not a lot. We agree that this path is one that God has laid before us and that we must take it. Despite our trust in divine providence, I am fearful to tell my family of our changed plans. I know how excited they are for us to move closer and I am afraid to disappoint them.

We travel to California to visit with family and are forced to break the news that we will not be moving to California after all. It is heartbreaking, but my family takes the news better than I expect

We return home. I quickly find a new doctor, so that I can deliver at the hospital where Lucas was born. There's a lot of last minute hospital and doctor shuffling. Baby's arrival is weeks away.

August: Cry, stress, pray, try to discern where to go from here. We also spend every day at the pool, swimming and grilling and enjoying the summer. We try to get ready for baby, despite the fact that all our earthly goods are packed away. Try to figure out a name for baby. Write to Sancta Nomina for help.

August 28th morning: Miss Olivia Rose is born. Best day every. Best baby ever. We know whatever trials we have been through and whatever trials may come, God is on our side. Olivia is proof of that. 

August 28th evening: Matthew attends a nearby fundraiser for Donald Trump in order to secure an interview with him for his webzine. You know it's the fourth baby when...

September: Adjust to life with four little ones. We are rockin' it, with a little (a lot) of help from my mother-in-law. We decide to move to Cape Cod. We've always loved it there and we figure we would always love to have a home there, regardless of where we may end up in the future.

October: Make an offer on a house. Offer accepted. We are so excited. We start to plan and dream about life in our new home. Matthew starts his new job. He is enjoying it and we are adjusting to new routines. Life is good.

November: Days before we are set to move and close on the house, the sellers back out. Our plans for our new home are dashed. Panic attacks ensue (on my end). More tears, more plans, more prayers. Lucas turns two.

December: My parents come to visit! We rent a house down on the Cape and feel certain it is where we should be. We love having Bumpa and Zsa around and spend our time making lasting memories. We are so grateful that our children have such wonderful grandparents. We are blessed. 

January 2016: Start looking for homes to rent on the Cape until more homes come on the market. Prepare to move, again. Pray a novena to St. Joseph to help us find a home. Trust St. Joseph will come through for us. 

And now we are here. This past year has been a tumult of plans and changed plans. As a choleric, type-A planner, this meant I did not fare so well. Perhaps it was good for me, I don't know. I trust in time the reasons for it all will become clear. I do know that amidst all the chaos, we were brought together in prayer. If nothing else, that in and of itself, is a victory. 

St. Joseph, pray for us. 

A few pictures from 2015:


Science Museum with friends
Children's Museum

Indoor playtime with lots of wires.

More Children's Museum
First haircut

California roller coaster


Thursday, December 3, 2015
Making a funny face.
Hannah is at such a fun age. She says something every day that makes me laugh out loud. I want to remember a few Hannah moments from late:

The other night when she was supposed to be in bed, she was bouncing a ball on the floor. "Hannah!" Matthew yelled. But she bounced it again. I went in there and gave her my Kindle. "Why don't you read some books in bed?"
"Oh good," she said, "this will keep me out of trouble."

Yesterday we were talking and I was telling her, "well, you could do this." She replied, "well, on the better hand, I could do that."

We were lying in bed late one night (I let her sleep with me) and  she was chatting away. I kept encouraging her to go to sleep and she kept talking. Finally, she was quiet for a bit, she sighed and whispered, "I love talking." I burst out laughing. She is such a little sanguine. 

Bringing me a bottle of medicine. "Now, how much do I give to Abby?" 

To the lady at Trader Joe's who said hello to her, "wait, I want to show you how pretty I look" and she proceeded to take off her winter jacket and hat to show the lady her dress. 

When discussing the Santa at the mall. "Well, I know that's not the real Santa." 
"How do you know that?"
"Well, the North Pole is far away and I learned it from Elf. The Santas at the mall smell like cheese."  

Watching the end of Sleeping Beauty, she smiled and twirled around, "I just love happy endings!"

A Time of Advent

Wednesday, December 2, 2015
So...last we spoke, I was stressing about our move. Since then, the sellers backed out at the last minute (WTH?) and lo and behold, we are not moving, at least not yet. I am trying very hard to be patient, but I'll admit, I've cried many frustrated, sad, angry tears.

Yet, the more I reflect upon it, the more I realize how appropriate it is that we are being made to wait for a house during this season of Advent. As the whole world anxiously awaits the birth of the Son of God, we are asked to be a little more patient in finding a home. It kind of puts things in perspective. Regardless, waiting is so very hard, especially when we know there is a great good at the end of the waiting. But wait we must and we must try to do so with grace.

I'll admit, I am not entirely sure what we are supposed to be learning with all these moving false starts. I can reason that God is good and that ultimately, He has our best interests at heart. But it doesn't always feel that way. I also know that God's plans for us might not necessarily mean getting an amazing house at a deal of a price. It might simply mean that through this whole ordeal, we grow in holiness. And although not as visible as a home, holiness is ultimately in our best interest.  

One positive thing about not yet having our own house is that I am reminded of our relative wealth. We have a home, a roof over our heads and food for our family. So many people and families throughout the world do not. And I am incredibly grateful to have what we do. It feels almost greedy to wish for more. 

It is a good lesson for me to not always get what I want. It reminds me that this world is not my home. I will never be truly satisfied here. If all my wants and desires were already met, I would have no need to anxiously await the birth of a Savior. St. Augustine said it best, "Our hearts were made for you, O Lord, and they are restless until they rest in thee."

This period of waiting will not last forever, this much I know. Eventually, we will have a house and eventually it will be Christmas. However, I want to remember what this feels like, if only to appreciate what is to come and to grow in compassion for others. 

Plus, it's hard to be too depressed when I am surrounded by these guys all the time. I mean, seriously.
Is it just me, or does Olivia have a far off look of contemplation? I swear that child is a genius.

A Few Happenings This Week

Monday, November 23, 2015
A few happenings around here this week, or subtitled, a few reasons why I'm stressing out this week. 

1) We are moving! Woo hoo! Finally! We are moving to a great little town that we believe will be a wonderful place for our family. I cannot wait. We have been preparing to move for the last two years and ready to move for the last six months. There have definitely been some unexpected twists and turns along the way, but we really believe God has been at the helm the entire time. 

As excited as we all are to move and to have a new home, the actual moving part is starting to stress me out. Although we probably own a lot less stuff than the average family of six, we still have a bunch of things that needs to get from point A to point B. It's a bit overwhelming. Matthew is more the "it will all work out" type and I'm more the "let's make lists and lists of exactly how we're going to make it all work out." I'm sure I'm really fun to be married to.

2) Matthew has been really busy with work lately, which is a good thing, but it also means longer hours for me. I've given up drinking wine during the week in an attempt to lose weight, so yeah, the longer days have been rough. 

3) The story Matthew has been working on has been really all-consuming, for lack of a better description. I suppose I can't really say more than that, but it's been emotionally draining for both of us. But interesting!

4) It's Thanksgiving this week! I love this time of year. We usually reserve a turkey from a local organic farm, but this year, between the move and the new baby, we've decided to resort to good old Whole Foods. We'll be picking up our turkey and I'll be cooking our usual Thanksgiving feast that only Matthew and I will end up eating. Although, Hannah assures me she will definitely be eating turkey and cranberry sauce this year too. We'll see.

We have a little tradition where after our Thanksgiving dinner we watch the movie Elf and eat pumpkin pie. Last year was the first year where the girls watched with us and they really enjoyed the movie. I'm looking forward to doing it again this year.

5) Olivia is being baptized on Sunday after Mass. I'm so excited. I feel so anxious to just have her baptized already. She is actually going to be baptized in the extraordinary form. We have a new priest at our parish who is trained in the Latin Mass and all things old school. He was talking with our Moms' group and mentioned how he recently performed a traditional Latin baptism. I mentioned that Olivia was scheduled to be baptized soon and would he mind performing the rite? He was more than willing, so it's scheduled for Sunday. I'm not entirely sure how the baptism will be different than our other children's, so I've been reading up on the Shower of Roses blog on what to expect. I believe all her children were baptized in the extraordinary form. You can read about it here

6) Amidst all the goings-on, the children still need to be fed, laundry still needs to get done, and life continues on. It's been a busy year for us and I'm looking forward to simply getting settled into our new home and enjoying all of our many blessings, namely this little love. 
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