Things I Don’t Want to Forget (and 2022 Family Photos)

– David loves to tell me that I’m his “sweet baboo” and John is his “best pal.”

– When Drew gets sad, Brooke looks at him and says , “It’s okay, buddy. You gonna be okay, buddy.”

– Drew loves dancing. Every night before bedtime our family dances to “Better When I’m Dancing” by Meghan Trainor. Drew bounces to the song and says “Yeah Yeah” on cue when it’s said in the song.

– After attending a Christian sports camp, we were at the lake, and David was having a hard time getting on his float, but he kept trying and said “legends don’t give up” because he had spent the week learning about “legends” (disciples) from the Bible.

– Brooke says “me three” instead of “me too.” If I say something like, “I want ice cream.” Brooke will respond with, “Me three.”

– Drew loves Amber. Whenever we bring her into a room he’s in, he says, “Amba.”

– David likes to look at the Wayfair catalog and find things to make his room warm and cozy. He’s all about things being “warm and cozy.”

– Brooke likes to lay out tomorrow’s clothes on the edge of her bed before she goes to sleep.

– When one of his younger siblings gets in trouble for something, David will stick up for them and say “he/she is learning.”

– Brooke often says “I’m having a hard time” and “it’s okay to feel disappointed.” She’s very in tune with her feelings 🙂

– When Brooke forgets an item, she says she “forleft it.” She combines the words forgot and left.

Last fall, we had family photos taken. It’s quite an adventure to try and get four kids ages five and under to smile and look at the camera, but it was important to me that we capture this stage in our family’s life. The photographer we used was great. She has grandkids around the ages of our kids, so she knew how to engage them well and was very patient with our family. Below are some of my favorites.

Family Snapshot

Life is always moving forward. It’s Sunday afternoon and everyone is either napping or having “quiet time.” I thought about taking a nap myself, but I want to take a moment and record a snapshot of our family’s life at this time. I know there are a lot of little memories that will slip away over time as life moves on.

Drew (7 months)

Drew is so lovable. We recently learned he loves the water. We bought him a baby float he can sit in when we go to the lake near our house, and he loves it so much. He likes to kick his legs in the water. For the most part, Drew is a very go-with-the-flow baby. The two times a day he can get a bit cranky are before lunch (if I’ve made him wait too long to eat) and when he’s ready to go to bed. He loves to smile, laugh, and screech. He also has started spitting, and he thinks it’s very funny.

Brooke (2 and a 1/2)

Brooke is so fun. She loves to be independent. She likes to pick out and put on her own clothes. After she does something on her own, like get dressed, she’ll raise both hands in the air and in the cutest voice exclaim, “I did it!” If I’m trying to do something for her that she wants to do on her own, she says, “No. Brooke’s turn.” She always has to have a bow in her hair, even when it’s time to put on pajamas. She is always so excited to see Drew. If Drew isn’t in the same room as her and she can’t see him, she’ll come up to me and say “Shhh. Drew sleeping.” She loves to sing “I Am A Child of God” and “Do As I’m Doing,” which she simply calls “Do As.” Her favorite show is Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. She likes to wander when she eats (if she’s eating at her kids table and can easily get off her chair.) This is a habit we’re trying to change ha. She is potty trained (yay!). That experience was so much easier than it was with David, and I think part of that is because I learned from potty training David techniques that were helpful and techniques that were not. I also just accepted the fact that accidents are just apart of the process and that’s okay. That mindset made potty training not feel so heavy. Right now, Brooke doesn’t like going to nursery at church on Sunday. She likes people and likes playing with toys, so we’re not sure why nursery is so hard for her. She loves going to the playground and is quite adventurous and willing to climb and try almost any slide. When we go to the lake, she likes to wear her puddle jumpers (floats), walk out to where she can’t touch, lift up her legs and float. Then she loves to have someone pull her back to where she can touch the bottom. Brooke loves McDonald’s chicken “muggets” (as she calls them). She can spot a McDonald’s from a mile away it seems like. Randomly in the car, she’ll yell “Donald’s!” in the happiest voice, and sure enough, I’ll look around and see the gold arches somewhere on the horizon.

David (Almost 4)

David is a great oldest child and big brother. He’s patient with me as I work through different parenting strategies. He is currently in a phase where he loves to use his imagination. His “quiet time” toys were taken away one day this week because he wouldn’t clean them up. I thought he’d really miss the toys the next day during “quiet time” but instead he happily told me that he used his imagination to play. His favorite show is probably Curious George. His favorite thing to watch though is the Muppets movie, the one with the song “Life’s a Happy Song.” That is his FAVORITE song. He also loves the song “Peace in Christ.” We alternate between those two soundtracks when we’re in the car. A few months ago, he went through a phase of watching the Peanuts movie every time he was allowed to use my iPad after quiet time. One day, he came up close to my face and said, “Are you trying to hold my hand? You sly dog.” This is a line from the Peanuts movie that I think Peppermint Patty says to Charlie Brown. The funniest thing is instead of saying the word “dog,” David said “dar.” After months of trying to convince him Peppermint Patty was saying “dog” not “dar,” he finally has relented. David loves people and calls everyone his “friends.” He has an amazing memory. He loves building with quatros (legos that are 4x the size) and mega blocks. He loves wooden trains and wants to look at them each time we go to Target. He likes taking pictures on my phone and then looking at all the picture he took. I love hearing him pray. The way he slowly says “Heavenly Father” and emphasizes each syllable is so cute. He is also pretty independent and can do so much on his own. His favorite restaurant is Spelunkers – he LOVES their grilled cheese and ice cream. For the longest time, he simply called Spelunkers “restaurant” (as if no other restaurants existed haha).


I’m enjoying this stage of life with three little kids at home. Our schedule is our own because we don’t have commitments outside of the house, like school, since my kids are so young. It’s nice to have this time with my kids without feeling like we’re rushing from one thing to the next. I like being able to do fun things like go to the lake or park with my kids any day we want. I also like that every afternoon they have nap time/quiet time, which enables me to have time to focus on other household items or projects. While I LOVE this stage of life, it can be exhausting. I don’t have a lot of down time. I’m trying to be more proactive at carving out time to sit, relax, and reflect. About six weeks after Drew was born, I started a gratitude journal. Each day, I set a timer for two minutes and write down whatever comes to mind that I’m grateful for. I feel like this really helps me to have a strong mental mindset. I’ve also found some YouTube workout videos that I enjoy doing. Each day, I either do a workout video or I go on a morning walk before it’s too hot and before my kids wake up. My calling (service role) at church is so fun. I’m the primary music leader, so I get to sing songs with the kids (under 12) during Sunday school. It’s awesome.


John is a great husband and father. He stays very busy with work. He does a good job of making sure to carve out time for me and the kids in the evenings. He recently got a kayak. He loves being outside, and since we live near the “canoeing capital of Virginia,” we thought kayaking might be the perfect hobby to help him decompress when he needs to. He’s also starting to camp more. Sometimes he takes David and other times he goes with guys from our church congregation. We live by so many great camping spots, that it’s an easy hobby to pick up and enjoy out here. He still enjoys cycling, but we don’t live close to any good cycling paths anymore. So a few months ago he bought a mountain bike, since we do live really close to some mountain biking trails. However, right after he got it, he injured his knee pretty badly so he hasn’t been able to use it a lot.

Well, that’s a quick glimpse at our lives right now. We’re happy, healthy, and grateful.

Quick Kid Update

I try to post at least once a month, but I realized I never posted in the month of November. I’m hoping to post pictures from Halloween and Thanksgiving shortly. Our new house has MUCH slower internet, and since John is working from home full-time during the pandemic, I try not to use up bandwidth during the day. In the evening, I like to spend time with him. So, my blogging has taken a back seat. We may have a new internet option come January. If it pans out, I’ll hopefully post a little more frequently.

It’s Sunday morning. John is already at church for a meeting he has before our church service begins. I need to get the kids up. I can hear Brooke making noises in her room. But I wanted to write a quick kid update first.

Here’s a picture of our family from earlier this year up in the Shenandoah Mountains.

David – I love his 3-year-old logic. For example, my brother Blake, who lives in Utah, drives a motorcycle. David has seen videos of Blake’s motorcycle on our family messaging app. The other day, someone drove a motorcycle into our neighborhood, and David looked out the window and said “Hi, Uncle Blake.” He thinks anyone on a motorcycle is his uncle. David also thought Thanksgiving was the turkey’s birthday. I’m not sure where he got that idea. I think maybe because his birthday was in October and we had a small party with family for that, and he knows Christmas is Jesus’ birthday and we’ll also have a party with family for that, he then extrapolated that our small family party on Thanksgiving must be because it’s the Turkey’s birthday ha!

Brooke – Brooke’s vocabulary is constantly increasing. Her first official phrase was “What happened?” Whenever she drops something, she says “Uh oh. What happened?” She is very good at saying thank you and please (which often sounds like “nease”). A couple days ago, she said “no thanks” for the first time, instead of just “no.” Side note: I think she hears David say “no thanks” a lot whenever I ask him if he needs to go to the restroom haha. For a couple weeks, she started waking up at night again and screaming. Thankfully she’s slept peacefully the last three nights. I’m hoping this continues.

Baby #3 – I’m getting more and more excited to welcome this baby boy! This pregnancy seems to have been physically more draining for me than my previous two. I’ve struggled with low iron (something that I didn’t have previously), which has caused fatigue, and I’ve had contractions every day for the last couple of months. With Brooke, I didn’t have any contractions until my labor actually started. With David, I didn’t have any contractions until after my water had broken and I was in the hospital. My hands are also super swollen. I can’t take my wedding ring off haha.

We’re so excited for this Christmas season, and it’s been especially fun to look at Christmas through our kids’ eyes. It’s brings back the magic!

Life Lately – Spring 2020

I figured I’d write a post with some pictures from the spring. The pandemic is keeping us close to home. We were supposed to go to Iowa for Memorial Day Weekend and to Utah in July, but like most people, our plans have changed.

We feel fortunate to have moved to our new home right before everything shut down and people started quarantining. We have more land and there are only five houses in our new neighborhood (two of them are under construction). So, we haven’t felt too confined. I do miss being able to take the kids to the library, the pool, and Chick-Fil-A (although we don’t live that close to a Chick-Fil-A anymore). I know restaurants are beginning to reopen, but I think we’re going to place it safe a bit longer and keep doing take out orders.

One of the positive aspects of this whole quarantine experience is I learned how to cut David’s hair. His hair grows so fast. I used to take him to the hair salon once a month (which meant we spent $20+ per month on a 2-year-old’s hair haha), but now I think I’ll just cut it from home myself. I also cut John’s hair during quarantine. It didn’t turn out as well as it does when he goes to the barber, but two of his co-workers did ask him if he had it professionally cut, so I think that’s a win! (Below is a picture of David after I cut his hair. He didn’t want to smile at the camera, so this is the best picture I got).

Most mornings our living room is filled with toys. Here’s a picture of Brooke smiling with one of her favorite walking toys. She just started being able to walk on her own without any help this past weekend. About a month ago, she started taking a couple steps on her own, but not more than like five. On Sunday, I watched and counted as she took over 30 steps in a row.

David and Brooke got a number of new toys for Christmas. Since I knew we were moving, I kept most of them packed away. We’ve slowly started bringing them out. David and John found a creative use for David’s John Deere lego truck haha.

We bought a splash pad off of Amazon. We tried it out a couple weeks ago, and I think we’ll end up using this a lot this summer since we’re not able to go to the pool. David loves it and Brooke is warming up to it.

I took the picture below from my sister’s Instagram stories. John got me a fire pit as an early birthday present. On Memorial Day Weekend, we tried it out. David had his first ever s’more. I don’t think he likes how messy s’mores are, but he had a fun time staying up late with the grown-ups after Brooke went to bed.

David “helped” John put up ceiling fans in our family room and living room. This was David’s first home improvement project 😉

We’ve gone on a lot of walks over the last few months. I used to take the kids on a walk every day. Since the weather is getting hotter, I normally go for my daily walk before they wake up. We’ve gotten a lot of use out of our Burley stroller and thankfully Brooke and David love it.

Well, that’s a wrap for now!

Life with Two Kids Under Two

Life right now is fun, tiring, silly, loud, sweet, and chaotic all at the same time. I feel so many different emotions all in one day. Some moments of the day seem so hectic as I try to feed a crying, hungry baby while I simultaneously teach my 21-month-old that he needs to wait for me to get him out of his high chair and not try to climb out himself. Other moments seem so serene as I cuddle with my sleeping baby while watching my favorite HGTV television show or as I lay next to my toddler in his bed and read him books before nap time or bed time.

We just switched David to a normal bed a couple weeks ago. We kind of did it on a whim. He was sick for a couple of days prior to the switch, and we let him lay on the bunk beds in his room and watch Under the Umbrella Tree on my iPad (we normally don’t allow him to watch anything on our iPads). While he was sick, we still had him sleep in his crib. After he got feeling better, we decided to see how he would do sleeping in the bed. So far he’s done great! He’s excellent at staying in bed, which was a concern of mine. Previously, David loved playing in his crib before he fell asleep. So, I was afraid he’d struggle to stay in the bed since he was no longer “trapped” by crib walls. But so far so good. We have a baby lock on the outside of the door, so he can’t come out until we come into his room to get him. He’s been great about waking up and looking at books in his bed until we come get him. Unfortunately, I accidentally locked myself in the room with David and my neighbor had to come undo the baby lock to let us out ha! Thankfully Brooke was napping at the time it happened.

Poor sick little guy.


In the spring time, we loved going on walks. Now that the weather is hot, we don’t go on quite as many walks. Thankfully the playground in our neighborhood sits up on a hill (which is a doozy to push the double stroller up), so there is always a nice breeze there. I’ve taken the kids to the pool twice. There’s a pool about 25 minutes from where we live that has a great section for toddlers and is open in the mornings. There are two pools closer to where we live but they don’t open until the afternoon, which is nap time at our house. David seems a little tentative when we’re there and likes to stay right by me. I’m hoping he’ll get more comfortable as the summer goes on. Yesterday, we almost left the pool after being there for only 20 minutes because it was one of those times when both kids were crying. Brooke was tired and hot, and David didn’t like wearing his puddle jumper. Thankfully, Brooke fell asleep and David got over his discomfort.

David loves the swings.


The view from our neighborhood playground.

Sleepy baby at the pool.

Our poolside set-up

In the mornings, I try and focus on kid stuff 100 percent of the time. Afternoon nap time (approximately 1-4:30 p.m.) is my time I try to clean, organize, meal plan, do volunteer work, do consulting work, and anything else I need to do. The evenings are our family time. It seems our dinner time has become “whine time” for at least one child recently. I’m not sure what is up with that haha. Bath time is around 6:30 p.m. and the kiddos are generally in bed around 7 p.m. This gives John and I time to connect in the evenings, which I appreciate.

One of my favorite things about the stage of life we’re in right now is watching Brooke and David grow and interact. Brooke loves watching David wherever he goes, and David will come over to Brooke and say hi (which sounds like “hi-eee”). David also treats a lot of his stuffed toys similarly to how we treat Brooke. He likes to hold them on his shoulder and pat them on the back like he’s burping them. He also likes to put them in Brooke’s car seat or bouncer.


I’m really grateful for life right now. As I said in the beginning, I can feel so many emotions all in one day. Even in the hard times though, I would not have it any other way.



David loves looking at books.





Here and Now: January 2018 Edition

Periodically, I want to write “here and now” blog posts and record a little bit about what everyday life is like. This is for my own remembrance so I don’t forget the different phases of life (no matter how mundane).

November was when I first had the desire to do a “here and now” blog post. Even though that was just two months ago, so much has changed since then. In November, my life was full of late nights and late mornings. Truthfully, I often wouldn’t be dressed and ready for the day until about 11 a.m. or noon. I normally went to bed shortly after midnight (which is late for someone who faithfully went to bed between 10 and 10:30 p.m. before having a baby) and got up in the middle of the night to pump and feed the baby. The entire pumping/feeding process would take an hour. Then I’d go back to bed and sleep as long as the baby would let me. While getting up in the middle of the night was hard for me, I relished the slow, quiet time I shared with my baby. This picture captures one of those middle of the night feedings from November.

John has kept very busy with work and church service. Consequently, baby David and I spend lots of time together just the two of us. Normally, 2-3 Sundays a month, David and I attend church alone because John has other church responsibilities that take him to neighboring church congregations. When church is over, we like to put on comfy clothes and snuggle in the basement on Sunday afternoons (like pictured below).

December was when David first started sleeping through the night (hooray!). He went to bed about 9:30/10 p.m. after being bathed. I would wake him up to feed him at about 11:30 p.m. And then he would sleep until about 7 a.m. or 8 a.m. I am so grateful he learned to sleep through the night at such young age. December was still a slow month for us as life still revolved around feeding the baby. I had no idea before having a baby how all-consuming the feeding of a little one can be. It rules my life. In some ways it’s nice though because it forces me to live life at a slower pace. In December, I was able to get some projects done around the house, like organizing our master bedroom closet (a task that before having a baby would have only taken one day, however, it took me a whole week.)

Now that we’re in January, we’re trying to adjust David to an earlier bedtime. He now goes to bed around 7:30 p.m. This allows John and me to have some time together after baby David goes to bed and John is done working. We’re only one week into this new schedule. There’s a book I’m using to help me train the baby to sleep for 12 hours at night. The goal is to have him sleep from 7:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. He did this successfully once last week. During the other nights, he woke up between 2 and 4 a.m. When that happened, I fed him only 2 ounces to hold him over until 7:30 a.m. This normally took about 10 minutes, and he went right back to sleep. However, I had trouble falling back asleep. I’m considering adding a small feeding at 10 p.m. to help him sleep through the night again.

David generally eats 6-7 ounces at each feeding. He eats 4 times a day (about every 4 hours). The sleep training has been a bit challenging because we’ve had to adjust napping schedules. He used to take an evening nap, which is part of why we put him to bed so late. We’re trying to eliminate the evening nap so he’ll go to bed earlier. Every day last week he fell asleep in his jumper while I was doing the dishes.

Right now we’re also focused on transitioning David into his crib from his bassinet. His bassinet has a slight incline, so lying flat on his back in the crib has been an adjustment. In the beginning of last week, he’d cry when I put him into his crib. But throughout the week, he’s acclimated to the feeling of the crib. The night he slept 12 hours straight was in his crib, so that made me very happy and made me feel like we’re making positive progress.

I love being a mom and I love spending time with baby David 🙂 He grows so much each and every week. I can’t believe how much he has changed since he was born, which was less than three months ago. He is a bright shining light in my life.