Thursday, September 15, 2016

Sugarcoated, Golden Pictures

Burl and Fern are old enough to ask for "no pictures," and Ridge is strong enough to grab at the camera and push buttons. I've finally come to the realization that I can't point a camera at them constantly. Growing pains. 

Last weekend, John took us out for ice cream. The sugar rush and golden hour were the perfect combination to allow me to grab some fun pictures of my sweaty, rowdy children. It was a good night. 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Beach Vacation, 2016

This year's beach trip was much like my failed picture above, blurry. Ok, not really, but I  liked that little trick. It was our busiest vacation yet. 

Our vacation was nearly three months ago, but I looked through the pictures tonight and it reminded me that I never did a blogpost for my future self to remember. 

We just found out that we were expecting our fourth child, Ridge was barely mobile, and Burl got several rashes from the ocean floor, stung by something, and a horrible ear infection. It wasn't the worst vacation scenario, but it had us chanting two things. John and I kept saying, "next year we're going to need one of those boxes for the top of the car," and "we're bringing a babysitter with us next year." We were trapped between big kid world and baby world. We wanted to do all the naps and chase all the dolphins, but ALL and vacation don't go well together with 3.5 kids in tow. 

Thankfully, John and I were able to laugh at it all (for the most part). We've been on enough vacations together to know that expectations will make or break a trip. Specifically, lowered expectations make for a better trip, and that's what we did. And we always had fun snacks on hand!

This is how the week went: there was usually one adult and child on the beach, another inside watching TV, and one child sleeping. 

Mama took pictures the whole time. 

By the time that we left, the kids decided that they like camping better. "There's so much more to do when we're camping," then they went on to list all the things to do camping. It was much more endearing than it was whiny. They were kind about it, and I don't mind hearing about it because camping is WAY CHEAPER. WAY!

On our last day, we packed the car, locked the condo, and went for one last goodbye photo session. We left it all on the beach, but still had enough to smile. It was a privilege to take another family trip to the beach and put a deposit in the [memory] bank of good times. 


Thursday, September 1, 2016

Ridge Time

I can not say enough about how happy Ridge is. He's the smiliest baby that I've had and I want to eat him up! Recently, I realized that most of my pictures of Burl and Fern were taken with a real camera, not an iPhone, and many of them were from ordinary days doing nothing special at all. I love going through them and am hoping to get more of Ridge. (However, I have a larger video collection of Ridge than I do of Burl and Fern.) Here's an effort to post about the ordinary days of Ridge. 

Last week we had our roof redone, which could have sent our family to Alaska, and Ridge was running from window to window watching the workers on the ground. They were kind and always waved or spoke to him, so sweet! I couldn't help but remember a similar event with Burl when he was almost the exact same age

Another non-notable but still special Ridge moment was taking him to the playground by himself. With Fern away two days a week and Burl in school time, I have some precious one-on-one time with Ridge. 

Sometimes we run an errand. Sometimes we snuggle. Sometimes we play. Sometimes we just look at each other and laugh. It's great!

The challenge that I have with having multiple children is the divided attention. I wish each child was my first so I can have a good base of one-on-one time, but that's not how the Lord planned it for us. Any time like this time is invaluable. 

My love for Ridge is changing from baby adoration to fun, toddler interaction. He's really becoming one of the big kids in the way he plays, and not just in his man-child size. I love this little buddy and hope I remember what it feels like to be his mom in his early life. 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Simple Pace Of Blueberries

Harvesting was never a part of my childhood. Besides that one time that Lauren and I picked blackberries on the side of the road and her grandmother made us a pie, I have zero experience with picking and plucking. 

For years (even without the kids), we have been picking blueberries in July at my in-laws'. It's almost tranquil. Being out there in sporadic conversation, bucket sharing, searching and picking, and a chorus of insects make me extremely nostalgic for my childhood. 

The slowness of it reminds me of summers as a child. We watched a lot of TV, but I still remember a quietness that was in childhood. Maybe it's the difference between being a growing person and a grown person-I'm thinking about more things these days. I'm sure it's the difference of what's coming on TV and let's watch a DVD or Netflx or YouTube or videos I made on my phone. I'm not cynical enough to think that it's *just* a change in times. 

When I get right down to it: Picking really delicious blueberries outside with my children and family is utopia. Food + family + outside = few of my favorite things. Simplicity is shift in pace that has stood the test of time-we've always craved it. 

Plus, there's this precious picture of Ridge. His fine motor skills and focus are captivating. 

We only picked blueberries once or twice this year, but that's another part of the blueberry buses that's special. We can't do it anytime we want, we have to wait. Until next year, we will eat frozen blueberries and anticipate late July 2017. 

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