Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Raising Grace

DSC_0189

There is no formula for parenthood.  There is no supreme guidebook that tells you exactly what to do.  There isn’t  magic potion to drink at night that will give you all of the answers.  (although sometimes wine works)

You are just IN it.  You LIVE it every day.  You figure it out day by day.  You make mistakes.  You fall down.  You try again.  You have the highest highs.  You have the lowest lows.  You try your best with the tools you have. 

Raising Grace has been a test of everything I thought I knew as a mother and then some.  She has worried us.  She has made me feel sick with concern.  She has had such hard moments.  She has had tremendous growth.  She has re-learned how to sleep, learned how to talk in less than a year, and surprised us with her observance of the world around her.

Grace has tested everything I “thought I knew” about early childhood and development.  Children have set-backs, and those same children can have amazing growth and progress.

DSC_0191

I have been almost hiding from my blog.  I am not 100% ready to share our most recent journey with Grace yet.  I have debated sharing our struggles in such a public place.  But, the other night I sat down and read every post I had written about Grace since she was born.  It was so cleansing.  After reading all of the posts I felt that this is still the best place for me to write from my heart.  Just sharing sweet pictures of our family at the beach isn’t the full story of my life right now. This is my little place to share our journey.  And currently our journey is rocky and hard. We still have some more hills to climb and mountains to conquer in the next few weeks.  If you have a moment say a little prayer or send some positive juju our way.  My little world of motherhood has been turned on its head this past month.  It isn’t life altering, it is just hard stuff.

Parenting is hard no matter what journey you are on.  We all LOVE our children with a fierceness that is scary.  This littlest one with the sweet blond curls holds the key to my heart. 

I love you my fearless Gracie girl.

Your sweet little sunflower swim suit jumping into tide pools this summer.  I will think of this when we are climbing our mountains together.

DSC_0242DSC_0243DSC_0244DSC_0245DSC_0246DSC_0247

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Beach Adventures 2014

IMG_4523

I am finally getting around to organizing and posting all of our Myrtle Beach pictures from this summer.  We are lucky enough to have a free place to stay when we go to the beach with my parents.  My mom and I handled the kids for the first week at the beach.  It was fun, but I think she may be requesting her own space next year.  Five of us in a three bedroom condo was nice and cozy!

IMG_4525

Things I LOVE about Myrtle Beach:

1. family time 24/7

2. the shore is really wide and the waves aren’t too big, perfect for little people

3. there are a million things to do

IMG_4536

My parents own a few different condos at Myrtle Beach, in the Cherry Grove area.  It is a great spot, not as busy as the city of myrtle beach, but still fun things to explore nearby!  I took the kids down to the pier twice the first week, and Chris took them down the second week.  We saw a sting ray, and Chris said they saw a shark…yikes!

IMG_4527

Ellie is frightening, where did she even learn to stand like that?

IMG_4543

IMG_4545

Beaching it with little people is a ton of work.  Grace like the beach a lot this summer, and I know each summer will continue to get easier and easier with all three of them enjoying the water.

IMG_4546

My Mom and I were really adventurous and took the kids to a water park one afternoon.  It wasn’t the most taken care of water park, but the kids thought it was the best place ever!  I guess I can’t blame them!

IMG_4553

We even attempted to eat out with all of the kids, Steak and Shake is fine dining when you have three children in tow.

IMG_4561IMG_4562

My Mom made the girls these hula girl dresses.  Aren’t they so cute?!

IMG_4559

IMG_4567

Ellie got her hair wrapped, which may have been the highlight of her entire beach vacation.

IMG_4569

My children love these head cutouts now!  Every where we go we have to take a picture inside of them!

IMG_4571

DSC_0106

But, we spent most of our time by the gorgeous water.  Digging, playing, scooping, swimming, jumping, and just enjoying the sunshine as much as possible.

DSC_0107DSC_0111DSC_0120DSC_0126DSC_0133

After the beach, always came time for a dip in the pool!  I saw Ellie grow with her swimming in leaps and bounds while we were at the beach.  She was jumping off the side and swimming under the water to my mom and I.  Proud mama!

DSC_0135

DSC_0156

DSC_0158

And this little one has no fear at all!

DSC_0141DSC_0151DSC_0152

Bradley seemed to enjoy cheering on his sisters and just playing around in the water.  He would make up elaborate games, and get my mom and I to join in the fun.

DSC_0160

DSC_0145

DSC_0163

There are still some more pictures from Chris and I’s week at the beach that I need to sort through too!!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Summer Fun from the Bucket List

I finally wanted to sit down and recap some of the fun summer adventures my little crew went on this summer!  We started our summer with lots of ideas and inspiration.  I listed most of their plans out on our chalkboard wall…

DSC_0268

We were probably a little over zealous with our plans and ideas, but I was surprised how many things we were able to check off the list!  I am thinking the left over items we can save for next summer!

Here are some snapshots of our summer adventures:

IMG_4372

Life sized portraits

IMG_4409

Summer journals: we would draw a picture and write about our adventures in our journals

IMG_4429

Bakery Day:  We went to our favorite cupcake shop and I let the kids pick any cupcake they wanted to!

IMG_4431

Night swim:  We stayed at the pool really late one saturday night and ordered pizza poolside

DSC_0079

Peach Picking at Chiles Orchard

DSC_0195

Adventures at Myrtle Beach this summer!

IMG_4276

Busch Gardens

IMG_4437

Painting with Fly Swatters in our bathing suits

IMG_4435

Water Play Date with our new Car Wash

IMG_4443

Visit our buddies at Virginia Beach for the 4th of July

IMG_4465

Ellie and I made mermaid peg dolls together

IMG_4485

Huge canvas art with my two littles

IMG_4486

Play dates to say good bye to wonderful friends

IMG_4391

Visiting our best buds in GA

IMG_4416

And a lot of the summer was spent potty training this wild beast!

There are probably more things that I didn’t capture on the camera, but all in all it truly was an AWESOME summer!