Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pumpkin Patch Season Concludes

I wanted to get to the pumpkin patch 5 times this fall.  This week hit & I realized we'd only been there twice!  So despite our allergy onset & my pounding headache... we braved it.  Honestly, the kids were fighting all morning & it was nice to sit back & watch them burn energy & have fun.
Strong men & women ready to take on Graveyard Golf.
 I told them all to find black pants to wear with their shirts.  Try not to notice that Hayden & Olivia's are Navy... my head hurt too bad to notice until later.
 Its all blacklight lighting in here... pretty fun putt-putt golfing.
 Logan gets quite the stance... but he's actually good like this.  Almost always honestly gets it in, in 2!
 Hayden.... well... at least he has his size going for him in the sports arena.
 It was a windy day!  But when you're wearing short sleeves in October in Nebraska- you can't be upset about a little wind.
 We of course did the Big Slide  The bags are pretty tore up from the season & they didn't seem to fly down quite as fast as in September, but fun always!
 And of course the new sports arena.
 And one final trip down the slide.
 A break for cotton candy... because, why not?
 I tried to get a good picture of them in the pumpkins & didn't do so well.  I wasn't sure why... but this kind of sums it up.  Busy bodies!

 Hope you have a safe & happy Halloween!!

Life Changer

I just had a big weekend in my adult life.

This wasn't an event I would have ever foreseen me sitting & stewing over.  Or something I would have ever imagined I would get teary over.

It wasn't over turning 32. 
Or even my babies 5th birthday party. 

Shortly after our wedding we joined a new Church.  We loved the pastor & the small town feel.  I cried tears in that Church, during his sermons, as we walked the gauntlet of infertility.  I prayed hard there, during his prayers, for a long healthy pregnancy.  He visited our little miracles in the hospital.  And baptized them when they were a few months old.  We sat during his sermons with 3 infants, wondering why on Earth we were even there.  But decided though we heard just snippets of those sermons, they were worth it.  As was exposing our children to that Church family of acceptance.  His wife, along with 2 other women from Church babysat one night early on so Jeff & I could get out for an adult dinner.  We moved, tried a new Church once... and went running back.  His messages to us were worth the drive.  We encouraged our oh-so-shy toddlers up to the front of the Church for his children's sermons.  He understood when our eldest rudely ducked & ran from his blessing during communion.  And carried our momentarily too shy to march around the church in song youngest child in his arms while we sang "Marching in the Light of God." 

Sunday October 19, was his last day serving our congregation.  He is moving forward with caring for his & his wife's aging parents, serving in yet another way.

And while he preached for weeks leading up to that day about how HE was not the Church, that WE were the Church... my heart still can't fully believe it.  I mean- it took Logan months to realize that pastor & God were in fact not the same being. 

I think this one is just particularly hard, because its our "first."  The first Church we chose as a married couple, to bring up our children.  We chose it over & over again, for years.  And while Pastor Ron is right, the people are the Church together, a leader serving for 9 years surely has a huge impact on that Church... and his impact is one we love.  This is my first big girl, pull up your panties when the road gets rocky & see it through to a new just as beautiful tomorrow.  And I never imagined in a million wildest dreams I would feel this sad about it, but I do. 

The people who brought us our seemingly only hot meal of the week on Wednesday nights for months when our babies were first born.  Who prayed with us & for us.  Who called in concern when our 2 year olds were hospitalized with RSV.  They are still there.  Sunday School continues.  Songs continue to be sung.  The Trunk-or-Treating still went on.

But what makes it harder I think, is that our kids remember him.  And things about him.  They said tonight, "I sure wish Pastor was at Trunk-or-Treating handing out toys again."  In lieu of candy last year he gave out trinkets.  Logan almost 2 weeks & a birthday party later still says "Remember how we gave Pastor lots of hugs on his last day & how he said he remembered visiting us in the hospital when we were born?  That was cool.  I miss him."  Followed by Olivia & Hayden's echoes of "I miss him too."  "He was my favorite pastor ever."

I asked him that last day how he was doing & he replied, "Oh, Ok."  He took a deep breath & said, "I've done a lot of baptisms in my life, but your children's is one I will never forget.  It was something special."  I smiled & said kind of nonchalantly, "Yeah triplets don't come around all that often."  To which he replied, "Just once, it was a once in a lifetime."

So Thank You Pastor Ron.  For being exactly who we needed as we walked through all of our once in a lifetime moments.  For praying for us.  For baptizing our children.  For being part of a congregation welcoming young parents, whose children spill on the floor & walk aimlessly up & down the aisles.  For leading a congregation that helped grow me into the adult & parent in the current state that I am.  For keeping a small congregation alive, despite the draws of large Churches in the metro.  For encouraging me to BE the Church.  And not live in "Monday's world."  For showing me its ok to wear Hawaiian shirts to Church services.  That its ok to sit, in your PJs in an empty sanctuary and cry on a morning when you just need to cry.  And for giving, to this day, the only sermon about increasing your giving to the Church, that didn't make me want to get up and leave.  For building up  the faithful, adult version of me that knows we will be ok.  For existing, in all your passion in the place we needed you to be in this moment in our lives.  You were to us, a once in a lifetime.

My children are right, you will be greatly missed.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Last Week in October

Its officially the last week in October... meaning I officially feel awful.  I mean awful, awful.  I vividly remember in college being at the doctor days before Halloween each year for a strep culture.... year after year.  Finally they said to me "You might just want to start up on the hard core allergy meds about Oct 15 next year so you don't have to come in."  I'm kind of a odd allergy duck I think, I mean, there was frost on the ground this morning!  I get late-late fall allergies.  I'm not one who likes taking a bunch of meds, but in order to survive, I'm taking Claritin (which I've been taking since September to be prepared for this week), 800mg of Ibuprofen at least every 6 hours & probably OD'ing on Flonase (which I have leftover from a Hayden allergy stent, because you know I wouldn't be at the Dr's office myself unless I was near-death.  And given the current insurance debacle that is NE Blue Cross, it would take me 6 weeks to get in anyways!).  My throat KILLS!!  In fact, if my nose wasn't so stuffy I couldn't breathe or taste, if I couldn't literally feel my post nasal drip causing my throat to get so red & inflamed, I would again, 8 years post my Lincoln-college days think maybe I had strep.  I can feel my swollen, throat swell & ache all the way through my ears every time I swallow.  And trust me I've looked, several times, no tell-tale white strep pockets deep in this throat.
Liv's throat bothers her too.  She actually has asked for glasses of water...she hates water!  (We force her to drink enough daily.  She's a milk girl!)  She even let me give her Flonase!  She also has a cough.  Logan's does too.  And his eyes itch.  Hayden, who typically is our worst allergy offender has cough, but seems way better right now than I expected he would given how I feel. 
I do also know that there were confirmed cases of actual strep in both Olivia & Logan's class about 1-2 weeks back.  If we had fevers, or if we didn't have coughs, runny noses & itchy eyes & a history of major allergies, I might line us all up for throat swabs.  But I think we'll tough it out with Claritin, Motrin & hot chocolate & see how we feel in a few days.  
The last week in October also apparently means, Olivia's eczema season is in full swing.  Her little legs this week looked like she got in a fight with a package of sand paper....and lost.  A few good days of frequent Aveeno Eczema applications (expensive lotion!) & the tears that accompany rubbing lotion onto fresh wounds... and she's looking much improved.  So we're on to maintenance eczema status from here- to probably April.
Despite it all, we managed to drag ourselves out to Church for the Trunk-or-Treat tonight.  Between Olivia being the slowest eater on the planet Earth & the boys thinking its appropriate to act as though they are ADHD boxers post dinner.... we arrived just late enough to grab candy from the last 2 trunks still treating, & head inside for games.  Oh well, plenty of candy will be in store for Friday.
We decided on sporting our new birthday jackets for costumes.  {More on the party later, I'm eternally behind on blogging.}  Olivia is Pinkie Pie (My Little Pony), Hayden is Optimus Prime & Logan is Bumblebee (Transformers).

They will also be sporting this attire Friday at school.  And have different costumes for Friday night (Which will remain clean for Friday night since these were worn instead!  I call that a win.)
The kids also too Preschool pictures at school today.  I let them have a hand in picking their outfits, with the stipulation for the boys that their usual choice of track pants weren't worn.  I know they took some of them together & some individual.  I'm anxious to see how they turn out.  We've not done school pictures before- but I thought a real Preschool picture is one I would want.
We've also managed to sneak in one last trip to Valas, celebrate me turning 31-again this year, & have a birthday celebration for Hayden, Olivia & Logan's upcoming 5th & Analeigh's 3rd birthdays.  We got some pretty sweet stuff & managed to recruit the uncles into hauling my great grandmother's huge upright piano into my evolving dining room- with no damage done to our new floors.  Hooray!  So many house projects winding down & so many seemingly endlessly on the horizon.
Pretty much life's busy.  Which is good.  It means we're living life, because we can.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Photo peek!

Just wanted to share our 2 sneak peeks at our family & almost-5 year pictures.  Taken by the amazing Erika with elizabeth rose photography.  Or her Facebook page is HERE.  Though Erika, you may have to change it to elizabeth rose parker photo!
{Next year someone remind me to put on lipstick... I think about it after the fact each & every year.  I'm such a minimalist in my own fashion & beauty products on a daily basis in my old age I forget things like that.  In fact I'm surprised I own any at all!}

Can't wait to see them all!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A few weeks 'til 5!!

We took 5 year pictures this past weekend.... 5 years!  How on Earth did that happen?

We went to the park one day that week before & "practiced" smiles.  
 We are having a streak of such wonderfully warm October weather!!

The boys are going to be Ninja Turtles for Halloween & they have been practicing with their swords.  They are just so amazingly different beings these two.

An early birthday party is just a few days away....

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.  October 15, specifically, is Remembrance Day.

I am fortunate to I have never lost a pregnancy, or a baby.  But I know many, many of my family & friends have.  And I have stood beside & behind many in my career path as they lost their precious children.

My heart is always with them.

As we journey through October may we journey together & support one another.  

May this month encourage you to speak out.  Remember.  Not hide.  

May your voice & your story bring comfort to someone else walking in your shoes.  And may you find comfort in not being alone.

May you continue to celebrate those too special for this Earth.  For once a life, always a life.  As valued as any other.

Please know, I am inspired by your strength, heart & grace.  

This month, and every month, I stand with you.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Girls vs Boys

Today Olivia showed me she has learned the Pledge of Allegiance.

Logan showed me he has learned to fart on command.

I will spare you a video of Logan ;)

The difference in boys vs girls is just so black & white.  Sometimes I think my house is a living experiment in nature vs nurture.  Girls are girls, boys are boys.