28-29/365

28/365: Yesterday was the perfect weather. 70 degrees and sunny. When I saw how nice it was going to be, I scheduled a dog park date with my friend Amanda. A trip to the dog park is always more fun when she’s along.

We played on the round bales again. Here is Gus, asking for help jumping across from bale to bale.
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Then he started to throw hay at me. And, I encouraged it.
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That is one of those iconic bits of a Midwestern childhood for me, at least seeing it through my kids’ eyes. Playing on a hay bale with a big blue sky above.

“Can I carry Margo, please?” If you bring your tiny dog to the dog park for exercise, make sure Reed is not around to baby them. :)
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I don’t think Margo minded, though.

Then, we found another set of hay bales and this happened.
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Until Gus decided he was done and started pulling on my arm. “Mama, it’s time to go!”
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But, I’m not sure it’s ever time to go when the sun is still shiny and it’s 70 degrees out.
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Yesterday, was just gorgeous and even once we came home, the kids play outside until it was totally dark and I called them in for dinner. How I love days like that.

29/365: Today, the winter temperatures were back, still a mild 40, but we also had the bitter wind. The wind made being outside feel brutal.

I barely left the house all day, and realized at about 7pm that I hadn’t picked up my camera all day either. Gus said, “Mama, is it dark outside?” “Yes” “It’s spooky out dere.”

I don’t know if I’d call it spooky. The stars are lovely.
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Copying my photo from Saturday. This is my ideal for a day like today. Curled up in bed, reading. I finished the Hardest Peace over the weekend and I decided to do a bible study. I wanted something really simple and I ended up downloading the Bible in One Year app. I love how the scripture is right in the app and the commentary is short.
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27/365: Stuck

I’ve been feeling kind of stuck. Literally stuck, because 2 years ago, we really though we’d be moving soon and yet we’re still here. My wanderlust is real. But, I also feel stuck in other ways. Stuck because we struggle to break out of the pattern of being late for school every morning. Stuck because I couldn’t find a preschool that matched up with my schedule better. Stuck because there are a couple of milestones I’m eager to see my kids hit and they haven’t reached them as quickly as I hoped.

I’ve also been feeling stuck creatively. I actually think all of the above adds into how I’m feeling creatively. Stuck routine = no inspiration for creativity. And, the thoughts start… if only it was summer, if only we lived somewhere more interesting, if only the days were longer, if only I had more time to devote, if only I had xyz gear…

I am trying to break myself out of this thought process of making up excuses. I am trying to challenge myself to make interesting photos, even if I feel a bit… bored. To just keep pushing through the stuck feeling.

Today, I was happy with what I imported to my computer.
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Challenges of being the youngest child.
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My little mama’s boy, with my camera strap in his hands.
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Shoes started coming off.
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Another beautiful day behind the camera.

25-26/365: Outdoors

25/365: We had to run some errands yesterday which took us into Kansas City. Being the perfectly normal family that we are, we did a geocache at a castle.2015-01-26_0004

I’ll admit, when we pulled up, this place looked more creepy than cool to me, but I reminded myself that castles always equal adventure.

Kansas City. Kansas City generally just makes me miss the bigger cities I grew up visiting.
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26/365: Speaking of the East Coast? I’ve been texting my mom our weather forecast and her own, asking when she’s booking a plane ticket. They’re in that part of the country currently getting slammed with snow.

Us?
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60+ degrees and sunny. We usually have a few days like this throughout winter, but it’s actually supposed to get up to about 70 on Wednesday.

Of course, we got out and enjoyed it.
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So while many of you are shoveling snow, I’ll be trying to figure out how to best spend our 70 degree day. (Sorry. Not really. Come visit us.) Gus is pretty sure that going swimming is an option.

23-24/365: Seasons

Our weather is quite interesting here right now.

23/365: Cold enough for frost some mornings.
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24/365: But, it’s also been unseasonably warm most days. Pleasant to be outside.
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Aaron took the kids out bike riding and to the park today. And, I read the entirety of Kara Tippett’s book, The Hardest Peace. I’ve been following Kara Tippett’s story for a few months. She is a young mother dying of cancer. As Glennon Melton would say, her story is brutiful– brutal and beautiful. It left me with so much to think about. I recommend reading it, or at least her blog Mundane Faithfulness.

22/365: Gifts

Lena’s teacher definitely goes above and beyond. In addition to the two conferences a year, she also does phone calls to check in part way through the trimester. Ours was earlier this week and our conversation was mostly just chat, nothing new, but it’s always good to touch base.

Then she said, “Maybe we talked about this last time, but Lena really adores you. She’s always telling me things you’ve said, in the morning or when we have lunch together… ‘My mommy said..‘ Little bits of wisdom you’ve told her. One day, I think some kids were being mean to her and she came in, in her soft voice, and told the class, ‘My mommy says, I don’t have to listen to anything that anyone says about me.'”

Oh my goodness. I think that I melted into a big pile of goo right there. She heard me. And, my sweet, quiet girl told everyone that truth. She owned it. 

I have to admit, first, that I hadn’t realized that those conversations were really sinking in, let alone did I have an clue that she was parroting them right back to school. Second, wow. What an honor and also what a scary, scary thing to be responsible for. It was a big wake up call to me to be that role model she needs.

So, I’m working on the investment, in all of my kids, but especially this little one who seems to be soaking up my words like a sponge. Yesterday, I heard her call Gus “little man”, something I call him every once in awhile. Today, I heard her say, “I’m proud of…”, something I wrote to her yesterday in a note.

I had told her that I am so proud to be her mom. And I really am.

We were goofing off tonight, and we had a lot of fun taking these photos. 2015-01-22_0012 2015-01-22_0013 2015-01-22_0015 2015-01-22_0014 2015-01-22_0016 2015-01-22_00172015-01-22_0022 (photo bombs by little brother) 2015-01-22_0019 2015-01-22_0020 2015-01-22_0021 Sometimes, parenting feels like such a hard task and I feel so way over my head. But, on days like today, I’m reminded that it’s a great gift to be a parent to Reed, Lena, Gus, and even a parent figure to Big L, too. I whisper a prayer of thanks to God for them and for the beautiful journey that is adoption, and also to the 4 women who brought these treasures into the world. 2015-01-22_0018

16-21/365: Hello Again

Well, I didn’t plan to neglect my blog for the past few days, but I’ve been busy. Blogging every day isn’t a realistic expectation for me, even doing a Project 365, but a more realistic goal would be 3-4 times per week. However, this last week got away with me.

16/365: This was a gorgeous day, but I was mostly stuck inside! Working for a good part of the day and then I had a language lesson in the evening. I did sneak outside for a few minutes here or there to soak up the sunshine.
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17/365: What has taken up most of my time in the last week is that Aaron built me a desk– a really awesome desk deserving its own blog post. This day, we went to Home Depot so we could buy the materials we needed.
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18/365: We also finally saw the third Hunger Games movie. I heard that the reviews were mixed, that perhaps some people thought it was too dark? I thought it was well done and enjoyed it, but I could see how it would be a bit dark for the young adult crowd. Perhaps I should also mention that we rented Gone Girl on Friday night, and Mockingjay could seem light in comparison.
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19/365: My camera says I actually took this on the 20th, but it is off an hour because of Daylight Savings Time. This is one of the colors used on my lovely desk. While my husband did an awesome job building it… the finishing part was left up to me, which was a rather time consuming process.
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20/365: Those eyelashes.
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21/365: Our weather has been warmer, so the trampoline has been getting a lot of use.
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My new desk has a window that is very close to the trampoline, making it easy for me to work, while keeping an eye on and listening to the kids. These two spent a lot of time just laying on the trampoline together, looking at the clouds.
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20 Birthday Questions (Reed – 8 years old)

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Sticking with our tradition, we also did birthday questions for Reed. He was ready to do his at the same time that I did Lena’s, about a week before his 8th birthday. This is the fourth year that we’ve done these questions with him:


1. What is your favorite color? Orange

2. What is your favorite toy? Legos

3. What is your favorite fruit? Bananas

4. What is your favorite tv show? Ummm… (you really like Wild Kratts. You watch that all the time.) Oh, Wild Kratts!

5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Quesadillas

6. What is your favorite outfit? I don’t have one.

7. What is your favorite game? Angry Bird Starwars

8. What is your favorite snack? An ice cream cone (Lena’s birthday treats from school)

9. What is your favorite animal? Josie (our dog)

10. What is your favorite song? Can it be a song in front of a movie? (yes) The Wild Kratts song (The Wild Kratts theme song?) Yup

11. What is your favorite book? I have two favorite books– my ninja books and my Spiderman books

12. Who is your best friend? Sam

13. What is your favorite special treat? Um… cupcake. (What kind of cupcake?) Vanilla cupcake with sparkly sprinkles

14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Stare at squirrels

15. What is your favorite drink? Um, well… let’s see… favorite drink, favorite drink, favorite drink… water

16. What is your favorite holiday? Um… Halloween

17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? I don’t take anything to bed

18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Applesauce

19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Um, well… I want… (this is a hard question, huh?) Chicken nuggets… chicken nuggets, french fries and lettuce

20. What do you want to be when you grow up? Police officer