Today I’m telling myself, “It’s never too late to pick something back up again.”
The reality is that with three little kids, a husband who is starting his own companies and me writing part-time… Life is FULL. It’s been almost a year since I last posted here, but I want to pick it back up again as I can. Which might look like fewer and shorter posts, but something is better than nothing.
Since Harper was born, our family blog truly became my modern “baby book” for my kids. I’m especially sad I’ve missed so much of recording Kensi’s first year so here’s fair warning: I may do some flash backs 😉
Most recently, our family celebrated Harper graduating Kindergarten!! I really can’t believe how fast the year went. And even more unbelievable is how much she has grown up and learned – socially, academically, spiritually and interpersonally. By the end of the year, it was amazing to look around the school at the kids and families and realize the school feels like one big “family”. So much love and care and heart is there (as is true with so many schools;)… and I was in awe to feel it and see it so clearly at the end of the year.
I am overwhelmingly thankful for Harper’s teacher, Mrs. Wilson. She was the perfect first experience for Harper with “big kid” school and I think she just might be the “Kindergarten Whisperer” 😉 She is so gifted at what she does, she is the perfect blend of strict and fun and the kids (and parents!) ADORED her. Harper and I talked about her this weekend and both agreed we are going to miss her A LOT and we’re not sure why the school hasn’t employed the policy that your teacher moves up with you each year as you go?!?
On Thursday night, Jeremy and I got to take Harper to her school’s award ceremony. Harper’s class sang a cute little song in the opening of the program. We then were humbled to watch her receive both the Spanish award and the “Keeper of the Faith” award for the kindergarten class. The faith award was especially meaningful and touching as a former Rock family was able to present the award on behalf of their daughter (who was a former student), who died this past year in a car accident. I’m not sure there was a dry eye in the room by the time they finished talking and Harper got to be the first one called up to look those parents in the eyes and shake their hands. It was beyond tender.
It’s been such a blessing to watch Harper thrive this year in an environment we couldn’t have imagined possible.
We are grateful, grateful, grateful.
Bentley, you are just so tender…
You have always been a fan of both of your siblings.
But lately… you have been ever so sweet to your sisters. Not a day goes by that I don’t thank God for the brother you are to Harper and Kensington. You adore each of them.
You love holding Kensi and making her laugh. You shower her with hugs and kisses often. Lately your big thing with her is to sit next to her and force out a huge belly laugh. Kensington then lets out a huge belly laugh. And the two of you continue back and forth in a forced belly laugh contest. Anyone in the vicinity can not help but join in laughing!
Your relationship with Harper is beyond close. You guys are buddies, with a Capitol B. You guys do most everything together and for the most part, play wonderfully together. And lately you’ve been using your heart so well with her. Your dad and I have observed many unsolicited hugs from you to Harper… And sometimes even a kiss on her cheek (or shoulder, or back, or wherever you can quickly show her your affection), Coupled with you saying “I love you Harper, you’re the best sister ever.” These moments melt our hearts, as we glimpse into the tender soul God has given you.
One if the things I have loved watching bloom recently is your protectiveness of your sisters. You want nothing more for them to be ok. If you sense any one is wronging them, your fierce, justice spirit comes out. The other day you and Harper were on the playground and a little bully wasn’t leaving Harper alone. He was enjoying “the chase”, but he also was using hurtful language… You immediately put your body between he and Harper. You put your hand out in front of you and sternly said, ” Stop! That’s not nice! Leave my sister alone!” My boy, I loved this scene. Not because you guys were having to deal with a bully, but because I love seeing you care, love and protect your family. Every sister needs a brother who will be on her team. I’m so proud of you.
You continue to bless our family beyond measure, Bentley. You are the best. Brother. Ever.
I am so thankful for how Harper and Bentley have welcomed Kensington into our family with hearts wide open. They ADORE their sister! In fact, it isn’t uncommon for Kensi to become a source of arguing between the two older siblings – about who gets to hold her or be the first to snuggle her in the morning. And I’ve decided: There are definitely worse things to have your kids fight over.
But sometimes the love can just be too much for one little girl…
Harper has been emerging as our athlete lately. About 6months ago, Jeremy and I made the observation that almost everything in life for Harper is a competition. It’s been fun to see this part of her personality. If we ever need to motivate her, we just turn the task in to a competition and our girl is immediately on the move.
For a handful of months she’s been doing swimming lessons and a tap/ballet class. She’s loved both of them. On the first day of swimming, Harper asked her swim instructor, Miss Molly, if she would let her swim the length of the pool – easy there sweetie! But since she is self-motivated, she’s already doing exactly that.
Her dance class performed at the San Diego Kids Expo last month and Harper loved the experience. Their performance highlighted Harper’s inner “actress”. I’ve had multiple teachers and friends ask me if I’ve thought about putting her in acting classes… She is unafraid of performing and sparkles at the same time. Her dance class continues to confirm this.
About a month ago, she and Bentley joined a little soccer program on Saturdays to expose them to the sport. Both of them have been beyond excited to go each week! Today, Harper came home and told me Coach Katie asked her to play with the “big” kids (the 6-10 year olds). The competition side of Harper causes her to be beyond focused when someone is instructing her. She was so excited and exhausted after today’s practice that she took a 2+ hour nap today (which never happens)!
Fortunately (and perhaps unfortunately) she has inherited her mother’s killer competitiveness. I think Jeremy and I are going to have to hold on tight with this girl!!
Bentley has been going through some big, yet below the radar, transitions.
First off, Jeremy and I have been discussing more and more just how difficult it is to remember his age. He’s three. THREE. We’ve been reminding ourselves that Bentley is NOT an immature five year old. He IS a very mature and capable three year old. Pictures like this epitomize why it’s hard to remember…
Bentley is constantly complaining that his knees hurt. He is already so tall for his age that it’s hard for me to believe that he is continuously growing like he is! Wherever he goes, people have high standards for him because he looks so much older. I’ve been convicted that I need to affirm him more and more for being exactly where he’s at.
About three weeks ago, Bentley gave up his paci for good. At three and a half (just like Harper). He had a serious love for it, so I was expecting to navigate some rough waters in his transition. He has done fabulous – clearly he was ready to be ushered in to big boy hood! I am beyond proud of him and am enjoying his constant chatting and ideas 😉
Bentley has been refusing to take naps since shortly after Kensington was born. For a while it seemed like it worked. But with all the growing he’s been doing… We’re back to naps! He has had such a hard time with this, but it’s a MUST when suddenly we have HUGE melt downs mid-day. And once he goes down, he sleeps for two hours! Our growing boy wants to be so big, but rest is still required.
Bentley, it is so fun (and challenging sometimes) to see you emerging into big boy hood. Your tenderness and spirit inspire and melt our hearts and we couldn’t be more proud of how you’re growing!
In an effort to eliminate the word “overwhelmed” from my daily vocabulary… I’ve decided to try to post pictures and tid-bits to our blog more often. That means smaller, less OVERWHELMING, all-inclusive posts. I feel like I’m missing capturing so much of our kids’ lives recently due to the fact that long blog posts encapsulating THREE kids just requires too much time at this phase of life.
At this moment Kensington is sitting next to me in her high chair. Big girl business is happening in our house these days! She loves sitting in her high chair with a couple toys and some puffs to practice grabbing. It’s taken her about a month to catch on to the solid food thing – she sealed her lips shut for the first couple of weeks (clearly not ready). But now she’s realizing it’s pretty interesting. She’s sitting up like a total pro and loves rolling all around the house. This week I watched the beginnings of her pulling her tummy off the ground – watch out! Crawling is around the corner in the next few months!
She ADORES her older siblings and when I hold her in my arms, I can feel her body trying to lurch forward in efforts to be WITH them. Amazing to think that in about a year she’ll be chasing after them!
She is absolute JOY in our family and I often look at her and am in sheer amazement. I was so unsure about getting pregnant with a third baby… And I know that she was a pure LOVE GIFT from Jesus. We are so grateful for her!
I can’t believe that Kensington is 6 months old!! Sometimes I think she’s been in our family forever. Other times, like today, it seems we just had her. How is she already rolling around and sitting up?!?
This year, our family has decided to celebrate our half-birthdays in an intentional effort to celebrate life. We don’t do much – no presents or parties or anything. Just a round of “happy birthday” with a candle in a cupcake. But we tell that person they are special. That our family wouldn’t be the same without them. That we notice how they are growing (internally and for the kids externally too). It’s an opportunity to remind them of who they are – they are loved, accepted, unique and important – to us and to Jesus.
It’s if course a little difficult to do some of these things for Kensi with her being so little, but we talked about how she is special, what we love about her and how our family is sweeter because she is in it.
We celebrated, not with a cupcake, but with Kensi’s first tastes of brown rice cereal. And what a perfect way to celebrate it was!!!
I have been thinking a lot about what really matters in this life. As a mother to young kids, it’s easy to allow the “shoulds” and the “oughts” to rule the day… To let life’s busyness and impossible standards to completely steal my joy.
This past month, I found myself being carried away with all the things I “should” be doing, especially now that Kensington is 5months old (I mean really!). Shouldn’t I be making dinner every night? Shouldn’t I be giving the kids stimulating activities every day? Shouldn’t I be back in shape by now? My daily lists were long and often left me feeling like a failure.
I’ve gone through seasons like this before (how about after each child arrived?!?) where I press to be at a place I simply can’t be at yet. So as soon as I realized it, I slowed down and knew I needed a shift in perspective.
I’m so thankful I’ve been reminded recently of a few things that really matter: that I love others like Jesus would, that I live with meaning, that I practice surrendering my plan to Him, and that I stop and breathe and say “thank you”.
I got to hear Donald Miller speak relatively recently and he said “deep meaning feels like gratitude.”
So this is where I’m starting… By saying thank you to God every single day (in a journal so I can be reminded). By trying to love every person God brings my way that day. By practicing surrendering my plans before Him with open hands.
I’m far from having it together, but I’m incredibly thankful for the space to slow down and refocus. For the reminder to simplify.
I am beyond thankful for my husband and kids who love me endlessly and who make my heart overflow with joy. And for my sister who has brought a light from her heart to San Diego with her.
I cherish any time I get one-on-one with each kid these days. I got some quality time with Bentley today and it was a sweet reminder of what matters most: being WITH each other.
Our time together was all about going on an adventure and building things.
The adventure he wanted entailed going on a hunt through the neighborhood to find a cricket. We prepared a glass jar with dirt and leaves and then set off on our hunt. We didn’t end up with a cricket but I wound up with a full heart getting to listen to him process the world around him. Bentley finds so much joy in the little things!
We then came home and built different structures with his play stix and had lunch together. By the end of our time he told me I was “the best mom ever”.
It was such a simple reminder that he gets filled up when I’m just WITH him.
Oh dear sleep how I needed you! The night before last marked a big milestone for Kensington… And for me. She slept in her big girl crib in her own room!!!
Kensi has been making me check my sanity as of recently due to her waking up through out the night as if she were still a newborn. I was feeling desperate for sleep – still getting up every 3 hours – when I realized this girl needs to be gently ushered into “big girl” sleeping patterns – for everyones sake.
It has taken some small crying sessions, some reassurance and some breathing… But for two nights in a row, Kensington has only gotten up once and gone 8 hours between feedings – calming herself to sleep AND sleeping in her own bed!! This is a milestone worth celebrating for any new mom! Hopefully we can keep this up.
Along with feeling a sense of healthy transition and much needed sanity returning to me… I also felt a sweep of sadness wash over me – knowing that I just transitioned out of the last time I will have a newborn sweetly sleeping next to my bed. Every new and exciting milestone for Kensington is a bitter-sweet last for me as a mom. This realization, makes me have a pinch-myself-moment wondering when I got so old 😉 I never thought we would reach that stage of life when we’re done having kids.
Kensington just had her 4 month appointment. She is 12 lbs 8 oz (20th percentile) and 24 inches long (50th percentile). She checked out healthy other than the fact that we now have an appointment to get an ultrasound done on her hips to see if she may have hip dysplasia like Harper had.
We shall wait and see.
Kensi you are all smiles and loves right now… And I literally can NOT stop kissing you! You are an easy, predictable baby and happy to be wherever I’m at. You have a little sparkle in your eye that oozes spunkiness and adventure! You are unsure of anyone new and burst into tears quite easily these days if anyone tries to hold you or makes you feel overwhelmed with their newness. You want to interact more with the world, now wanting to face out on my hip to see everything going on. You have found your feet and I quite regularly find them in your mouth. We ADORE you Kensington baby and love every new stage and surprise with you!!