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

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