Thursday, March 26, 2015


Kendra has been a pretty great big sister since the arrival of her first younger sibling almost four years ago.  And while she was pretty happy to get two little brothers, by the time we were expecting her third younger sibling, she was very, very much hoping to get a girl.  If, by "hoping" I mean, "had her heart totally set on it and had already decided that it would be from the moment we told her I was pregnant."

So, it's been very sweet to see her get her wish.

From my first pregnancy, I have been astounded by the love that comes to a child even well before it is born, and I felt so much love from so many sources for each of our children.  And with Bridget, I could feel the love that her siblings had for her, long before they met her.

Four kids five and under..

...are super hard to photograph at the same time.

But I'm pretty sure that God sent us the four best kids to have in five years.  Or maybe just the four best kids.  They are pretty fantastic people, each one of them.

New Skillz

Kendra got bit by the dress-up bug very, very suddenly.  And during the summer, I hit the garage sales to build up her wardrobe, but this particular interest intersected with a new hobby of Grant's; sewing.

Yep, that's not a typo.  Grant totally gained some mad, mad skillz with a sewing machine this summer and he used his knowledge to whip up a little something for his daughter.

She was one satisfied customer.

Monday, March 23, 2015


Bridget's middle name is Ruth, and I wanted to take a moment to compose a post about the women in my line with whom she shares this name.

Ruth, me and her husband, John.  Ma and Pa.

Ruth was one of my great-grandmothers (my father's maternal grandmother), and she was a very special person.  Her home served as the meeting place for many, many extended family gatherings and no matter how many people were around, she had the ability to make you believe that you weren't just her favorite person at the table, or in the room--she made you believe that you were her favorite person in the world.  And honestly, I think she made you feel that because that's what she felt when she was with you.  That kind of Love has a remarkable impact on a child and I am so wholly convinced that the world would be a better place if everybody had someone in their lives like my Ma.  Her family was a great pillar in her life but my great-grandmother was an absolutely fascinating person who enriched her own life and many others by pursuits outside of raising her family.  She played the piano at silent movies.  She was an accomplished seamstress.  She was vibrant and intelligent and so much fun.  One of the most difficult circumstances of my adolescence was watching her die, because it wasn't an event, it was a slow process over several years.  Many times, I sat by her and held her hand and wished nothing more than to be able to somehow pour my own youth and health into her and hear her tell me stories I'd heard a thousand times just once more.

I hope to be able to learn to live my life so that I can be remembered as Ma still is and to give my own posterity what she gave me and my many relatives.

And then, there was her third daughter, Jonnie Ruth.

Me and Jonnie Ruth, about 3 meters away from the other picture.

My paternal grandmother passed away 15 years ago this summer and I still actively miss her almost every single day.  I wish I could play back the memories in my mind for my husband and my children so that they could know her, too, because her voice is still so clear even though I haven't heard it in so long (I don't have any videos of her).  She had a very similar effect on people that her mother did, as her family was her passion and her purpose, and she devoted herself to it.  She was wonderful.

And so that brings us Ruth's great-great-granddaughter and Jonnie Ruth's great-granddaughter, to our own Bridget Ruth...

I don't know what my grandmother or great-grandmother were like as infants, but Bridget is a remarkably sweet baby.  And I promise, I'm not just saying that because I'm her mother, even though I know that it makes me biased.  She has such a sweetness about her and is so affectionate, she's a brighten-your-day baby if there ever was one, and I think she is right on course to keep up with her namesakes.

I have said many times that I feel incredibly blessed to have such a wonderful family of my own--my husband and our children, this fleeting time they're our immediate family before they grow up and leave to have immediate families of their own.  But I also feel incredibly blessed to have come from wonderful people, too.

Friday, February 27, 2015

The Cuteable

Life sure is hard when there is a brand new baby in it.  Then finally, slowly but surely, here and little and there a little, things start to get easier.  And after a couple of months things are still pretty crazy and chaotic, but then you have a fully interactive tiny person on your hands, and that can be soooo much fun!

Bridget came to us with a lovely face and a lovely personality to match.  She is genuinely one of the sweetest babies I've ever handled...and I'm totally not just saying that because she's ours.  :)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Hair and Makeup

At some point this summer, Kendra became aware of face paint.  Lucky fur her, she has a doting father who picked some up at Wal-Mart when he saw it there.

And she also came fascinated with hair styles as well.  She is typically resistant to actual styling and her signature look is to wear a headband (there have been tears recently upon the discovery that headbands are usually made of breakable materials).  But when she did see a style in an episode of Bubble Guppies that she liked, once again doting Daddy fixed her up.

It feels like we waited a very long time to get the point where our children were old enough to do things like this.  It was well worth the wait.  Raising kids is pretty dang fun!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Big Brother Obsessed

Elliot was definitely enthusiastic when Paxton was born, and his interest in babies did not diminish when Bridget arrived.  He has to be near her.  All the time.  In fact, it didn't take me long to figure out that she's really his baby--I just grew her for him.

Most of these are actually parts of other series of pictures but when Elliot became aware of the situation, and that it involved Bridget...well.  When I was growing up, I always wanted a big brother and I'm so happy for Bridget that she has one of her own.  I think that being a terrific big brother is just a precursor to being a really amazing father, and that will be pretty fantastic to witness, too.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Splashing around

I think these pictures speak for themselves pretty well...

It was pretty muddy out there for a long time from all the traffic.

It was totally worth it.