Never Too Late

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.

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Brother

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.

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So much Love

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.

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But sometimes the love can just be too much for one little girl…

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6 Months!!!

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!!!

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Thankful

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.

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My Date “WITH” my Boy

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.

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Sleep

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!!

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