Friday, November 30, 2012

Five on the 5th {September edition}

 I know it's almost Christmas but I have some posts to catch up on.  This is one of the first times we were able to enjoy our new back yard.  We found this slip and slide during the move.  I think I bought it on sale post season a couple years ago and then forgot about it.  The boys were more than happy to throw on their suits and and dive in.  

I love this photo because they are all together having so much fun
Such a fun way to beat the late-summer heat.

And I can't help but show you the rest of the sequence.

Because sweet Joseph...

He's just so darn cute.

Thank you for all of your kind comments and emails about my last post.  I'm working on writing more, but it's a slow process.  Right now, I'm enjoying these five little guys immensely as we slowly begin our Christmas traditions.  God has been so good to us.

Tomorrow is December 1.  Can you believe it??
Happy weekend!

Monday, November 26, 2012

That Day

I'm not sure how to begin this post.

A couple weeks ago, at 15 weeks, we lost our baby.

Growing older is a bit sobering.  Lately, especially in the past couple of years, I've been viewing life from a slightly different lens.  I firmly believe God is sovereign over all things, that "all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."  In my more youthful days, the everyday pain and trials of life seemed very far off.  You don't sit and worry about your health when you're 25.  You don't worry about the fact that you may be the 1%, that something at some point might happen unexpectedly that might change your life forever.  My very close friend found out she had cancer when she was 36.  I held my babies and cried with her from afar.  I thought about that day.  That day which starts out normal and then ends with something like a cancer diagnosis.  And I've sat and wondered how I will handle that day when it came.

[Before you read the rest, read this ***]

My day went like this.  It was a Thursday.  I woke up nauseated, like I had every morning for at least two months.  I choked down some breakfast.  But I felt grateful that my mornings weren't as bad as they were a couple of weeks ago.  Mornings were always the worst, and now they were tolerable.  I didn't have to eat three breakfasts to not throw up, only two.  Asher broke his arm on Monday.  Chris took him to the orthopedist to find out whether or not he needed surgery.  I got a text that he didn't.  He would just need a six-week cast.  Praise the Lord.  Really.  Who wants your kid to have surgery?

I was looking forward to some girl time that night.  I'd been in my house nauseated and was feeling lonely, and was thinking about a nice, hot meal on a chilly night in the company of girlfriends who I had known for over a decade.

It was a routine appointment at 3:00.  I didn't want to get a babysitter.  It's just not how I wanted to spend $30.  So I brought the kids with me.  We had already heard the heart beat twice.  In past pregnancies, I had always brought my kids to the appointments.  I didn't for the first three appointments in this pregnancy just in case something was wrong.  But we were in the clear now.  And I was still feeling so sick.  Even at 15 weeks.  So I expected nothing eventful.  Except weight gain, because I felt huge already.

I dropped off Asher and Samuel at Chris's office, so I wouldn't have quite so many kids at the appointment.  We stopped on the way to get me a snack and a Sonic happy hour drink.  I usually wait awhile at my doctor, and I knew I would need food while I waited.  She's wonderful so she has a lot of people who want to see her.  I don't mind waiting.  And there's a movie playing for the kids.  I ate my SmartFood (popcorn) and Diet Cherry Coke while the kids watched Despicable Me and drank their slushes.  Pregnant women came in and out.  I remember feeling proud and confident.  I was sporting a cute belly.  We were finally over this miscarriage thing, and continuing our family. 

They called my name.  Graham chose to stay and finish the movie.  Joseph and Nathan were excited to hear the baby's beating heart.  So we walked back.  I got on the scale.  I had gained 10 pounds.  Yikes. I laughed and told the nurse that I always do this.  Gain my weight up front and then slim down at the end.  She got the doppler out and I laid down on the little bed.  Nathan said in his cute and already impatient voice, "I want to hear the baby make a noise."

To be continued...

[***In writing this, I fully realize there are a lot of people who have deeper problems going on in their life than I do.  I know my life will throw me greater curves than this; this is only the beginning of a long line of things that will be hard... "In this world you will have trouble."  I know I have five blessings in Graham, Asher, Samuel, Joseph, and Nathan.  I know this trial is not the end of the world.  But that doesn't mean that I'm not deeply grieving.  I'm writing this because I feel such loss.  I'm writing this to validate others' losses.  I'm writing this because I believe this tiny life matters to God.  I'm writing this as a part of our family's history.  I'm writing this because I didn't know miscarriage was so difficult to experience until I had one. ]

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Interior Paint

I'm back (sort of) in the land of the living.  So I'm going to try to wrap up this house building thing.  Then maybe I'll share some pictures of the big mess we are living in now.  Imagine moving into a new house, unpacking for about 2 weeks (among which we had company most of the time) and then feeling  like you're going to throw up for 2 straight months.  Then picture what our new house looks like :)

But on to happier things.  Like paint.

By the time paint decisions came upon us, we were definitely out of steam.  After living in a dark beige rental for 2 1/2 years, I was ready for a change.  I wanted bright, white and cheery.  But I was nervous about it.  Chris and I have done a lot of painting in our day.  We remodeled our first 2 houses, and painted every piece of trim and wall.  But we did it slowly, taking weeks to analyze paint swatches we had up on our wall.  Our painters just wanted our paint colors.  There was no, "Hey, can you paint one wall so we can see if we like it?"  It was all or nothing.  Another thing that limited us was that it was around $300 every different color you picked.  That made me not want to change colors just for the heck of it. 

I did a lot of research on whites and grays, mostly on the internet.  How did people do things without design blogs and pinterest?  I also asked friends who had houses painted with colors that I liked.  Here are the links I found most helpful.

I Went White by The Nester 
The Best Off-White Paint by Apartment Therapy
The Best White Paint by The Inspired Room
Off White by Frugal Farmhouse Design

Here is a sample of our white swatches.
See how different they all are?  And they all look so DARK next to the stark white mudded walls.

See the grays.  Some are a true gray.  Some look so green.

Isn't it amazing how different they all look too?  All under the gray description?

And I wish I could remember the sites I looked at concerning grays.  There is so much written about the color gray.  And everyone has a different opinion.  We were looking for a gray that turned a little blue, but not too blue.  And NOT green.  My husband is not a fan of greens.  Enough blogs swore by Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore.  So we went with it.  And we love it.  It's a nice safe gray.  It's in the BM white's collection.  It's definitely a neutral, and very soothing, and not too masculine or too feminine.  That was perfect for us since it was going in the boys' rooms and our bedroom.  We also put it in our laundry room and the mudroom.

The white wall color we chose is Gorge Water by Kwal in eggshell.  Eggshell because we have 5 boys and our walls get very dirty.  I wanted to be able to wipe the walls down.  We had flat wall paint in our rental and the walls were dirty looking in months.  Our builder had used this color in the model home they had.  It's a great white.  It doesn't turn pink or yellow.  It's soothing.  It's not stark white.  It's a great color.  And I can say that because it's painted on nearly every wall in our whole house.

Our trim color is White Dove by Benjamin Moore in semi-gloss.

That's it.  Boring, huh?  

This was my first look at my all white house.  I was scared to death to see it.

This is at sunrise so the white looks a little different.  Depending on the time of day, the shade varies.

This is the kitchen in the morning.

The mudroom.

White, white everywhere.

This is our bedroom painted Gray Owl.

Such a great, soothing color.

The rest of these are just because my boys look cute next to white walls.  

Don't they?  Say cheese, Asher.

I love it when they all gather around, even if it's only because of technology.

I spent half my childhood playing puppy.  He likes to do it too.

And his brothers like to humor him.

That's the end.  Yay for white.  And gray.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Ode to Justin and Rebecca

We met Rebecca during our first year at Kamp.  Joseph took a special liking to her, saying things like this to break my heart, "I love Becca more than you, Mommy."  She attended Baylor at the time, and we saw her every so often when we would go to a game, or she would come home for the weekend, and drop by Fort Worth to say hi.  So sweet.

 Pics from the Kanakuk days.

He LOVES her!

Dropping by one of his baseball games.

This particular day we got to meet Justin.  We were unsure at first whether anyone would be good enough for Rebecca, but Justin quickly won us over, like in 5 minutes.  Over the next couple years, she and Justin would always call when they came home from college for the weekend.

Or we would see them at Baylor events, like at this football game.

Go Bears!  (And where did that toothless grin go?  I miss it).

Rebecca is a servant.  Like one day she called and asked what I was doing that day.  We were in the middle of house building and I didn't have a free moment that day.  So she offered to take all 5 of the boys to the museum while I was getting my stuff done.  Who does that?  

She later kept the boys over night at her apartment so I could get some packing done and then helped me pack another day.

And THEN... have you heard enough yet?  When our moving weekend was going south, I made a SOS call to Justin and Rebecca, and they came over and helped me move the final stuff over (a lot of stuff) in 100 degree heat.

This was our first meal at the house.

Loved that they were there with us.

Thank you, sweet friends, for serving us, for being our friends, and for loving on our boys.  You are a blessing and I can't wait to see the rest of your lives together unfold.

And in another post, coming soon, their wedding day, and Joseph, the adorable ring bearer :)