Well, Hello.

What do you post when you haven’t written in over a year?

I hope that somewhere in Ohio, Dana is wondering the same thing, because I miss her blog updates.

I will randomly get the urge to write here and then the time seems to dwindle and I never really get the chance. I’ve come back to start the conversation so many times but then it feels awkward to start over each time.

Writing was my first love. It was my outlet. At many points in my life I felt like it was my only voice. Writing healed me.

I hope to keep coming back here and jotting things down, though my thoughts are almost always scattered and never completely finished. I recently was with a friend and we laughed because we hadn’t finished a single conversation we’d started throughout the day. Between the interruption of our children and total brain fog I feel like we didn’t get to catch up at all. Please tell me we aren’t alone?

Tonight my thoughts are mostly of Hayleigh. She’s starting Kindergarten next month and every day leading up to it feels like a gift. I am so excited for her and the new experiences ahead, but I also know that it represents a whole new phase in her life, welcoming in a new set of worries and concerns as a parent.

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Here is my prayer for Hayleigh for kindergarten. May she always be kind and brave. May she be the one to be friends with the friendless. May she always be respectful to her teacher and to her peers. May she always know that education is a precious gift, one that she is lucky enough to receive.

I am doing my best to not be overly emotional because she is so, so excited about this transition.

If you’re holding a little one reading this and you think you have all the time in the world before it’s your turn. . you’re wrong. It goes by so fast and pretty soon you’ll be the one getting ready to send your child off to Kindergarten. If you remind me of this post I will gladly bring you all the wine and we can sit and cry together because I’ll be sending mine off to middle school by then.

Life – it sure is beautiful, but man does it all go by so fast.

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Finally some warm weather! 

We’ve had a busy spring as I’ve started my new adventure in Real Estate and as we are heading in to summer things are not slowing down.

Hayleigh finished up her first year of preschool and I was an absolute mess when I dropped her off on her last day. 


I’m thankful that I have one more year with her before she heads off to Kindergarten. 

We’ve also been spending our time working on home projects outside of the house. We put up a trampoline in the back yard for the kids. We added a small pool to the back yard too. Hours of outdoor fun are finally happening after what seemed like the longest winter. 

When we moved in to our house there was absolutely no landscaping. We’ve been slowly working on that over the last year. 

Brian cut down a couple of trees around the yard earlier this spring and that jump started our lawn projects. As we wait for the city to bring new trees, we’ve been busy planting and spurcing things up. 


These photos were taken a few weeks ago and we’ve already made much more progress since then. I need to take some new photos! 

I’m working on a summer bucket list of things to do with the kids. Since I’m home with them more now it will be fun to pack in as much as we can! 

It’s the weekend again. . 

It’s supposed to be Spring, but the snow is falling outside right now. I’ve been swallowing my complaints all week, although each night as we climb in to bed I do whine just a little bit to Brian.

Anyway, this was my first week on our new schedule and it went very well! 

I had mentioned briefly that Hayleigh had been struggling, so last weekend I made an effort to put in a lot of hours of quality time with her. 

I offered to take her to the movies on Sunday, but she asked to go to the pet store at the mall instead. Her favorite past time is looking at all of the puppies and then getting Garret’s Popcorn or a chocolate covered strawberry from Godiva. The girl knows what she likes. 

Part of her struggles had to do with me leaving each morning and it had become a lot worse after we talked with her about me changing jobs. 

On a whim I decided to take her in to Build a Bear workshop and let her scope the place out. She asked if she could make a bear and I was surprised when she chose a care bear. She said it could be her special bear and I offered that maybe it would help her feel better when I left for work. 

   
    
I also had invited Stephanie to join us which totally made Hayleigh’s day. She was in heaven. 

When Monday came around there were some tears when I left, but nothing quite like the week before. She grabbed our babysitters hand and asked for “Tender Bear.” A few quick sniffles and she had a great day. 

Being a Mom is hard and I think one of the hardest things is helping my kids navigate through all of their feelings. My gut was telling me that she needed some time to feel loved on and extra special. Secure. 

We also spent some time at the fire station this week visiting our favorite hero. 

   
I spent today with the kids and since it was cold outside we went to our favorite place on earth. Target. 

Quick side note: Did you know that The Cutting Edge is on Amazon Prime? Adulting was awesome today because I watched it during nap time. Since Brian was at work I couldn’t feel his eye rolls while I watched it. 

The kids are asleep now and I’m still laying next to Hayleigh in bed while I type this. I am lazy and too cold to move at the moment. 

We’re in this season of life where I constantly find myself thinking about how grateful I am. Because I lost my mom I think a lot about death and cancer. The if’s and could be’s try to swallow me whole some days and I’ll admit I’ve had it on my mind a lot lately. 

Now more than ever before I want to keep that at the forefront so that my complaints don’t come out as naturally as the tend to. Ok, so the weather stinks. . But my kids are healthy and happy right now. And when all else fails. . There is Target! 
  

Now what?

Thursday was my last day of work at Raymond James. It was a very bittersweet moment and I’m not sure the reality of it has hit me yet.  

 
When I took this step, the goal was to spend more time with my kids and have more of a work life balance. 

Friday was a rough start to that balance. Hayleigh’s behavior has been extra challenging this past week or so and Easton (the power sleeper) refused to nap or lay down in his crib. After an hour of on and off screaming I surrendered and called the day a wash.

#mommyshome!

I think the hardest thing for me in this next chapter is going to be letting go of any expectation. I’m not type A, but I definitely appreciate routine and knowing what is coming next. 

In the meantime, I’ll be putting my efforts in to spreading the word that I’m a real estate agent and looking for people to help buy or sell their houses. 

I even got some fancy head shots taken for my business cards! I had a great experience working with Crista at Deneau Photographic

 
I know it will take the kids a quick beat to adjust to having me home more during the week. I don’t ever put Easton down for his nap and Hayleigh struggles every time there is the slightest change. I’m focusing my effort on setting a new routine for them and giving Hayleigh the confidence that Mommy will still come home at the end of her working days. 

  

I’m signing off to go show some houses today! Can you believe it’s snowing in Michigan today? Ugh. 

Easter. 

We had such a nice Easter weekend! We juggled both families on Sunday, but the kids were troopers and we all had fun.

We went to church on Saturday, which was AWESOME! Such a powerful service.


We hid Easter baskets for the kids on Sunday morning and it was fun to watch them find them and got through them.

They actually cooperated for a quick photo shoot. Happy mama!

Brunch. So good.

The kids had an Easter egg hunt at Brian’s parents after brunch. They each had a specific color egg to look for which made it fun!


The cousins cooperated for a quick group photo. . And a silly one too!

  
It’s so fun to watch them grow up together. I’m thankful for how often they get to see each other.

After the egg hunt it was off to spend time with my family. A trip to my aunt and uncles is not complete without an encounter with THE squirrel.


I think he might just join us inside next time. .

My aunt is the best at putting a family dinner together. She makes it look effortless and everything always comes out so good. We can always count on a great ham or turkey, mashed potatoes and pasta salad. For dessert she always makes at least three different pies, sometimes four. All by herself. I seriously don’t know how she does it.

Would you look at this beautiful plate? I ate every single bite.

We’re all still in an food coma today. The kids had a rough day back to our week day routine after a few days off combined with way more sugar than usual. Bedtime was early tonight and I’m heading there myself.

So thankful for this beautiful LIFE I’ve been given and for those I get to share it with. My heart and belly are full.

Easter traditions.

In our devotional book recently I read a passage about Easter and how our culture embraces Christmas more than Easter. I had never thought about it as we celebrate both the birth and the resurrection in our household and speak to our kids about the significance of each. The truth is though as an adult I do get swept up in the magical anticipation of Christmas. 

I thought about that this weekend and realized I have many fond memories of Easter from my childhood, more so than Christmas. We always travelled down to Cleveland with my grandparents to visit family. I am the youngest cousin by a landslide and my older (awesome!) cousins would always hide easter eggs for me to find. I would spend time decorating eggs with them. Waking up in our hotel room on Easter morning was magical for me and I always remember looking for my Easter basket. I even remember the year I got quacking duck slippers. . . 

We spent some time this weekend decorating easter eggs in our house and the kids had a lot of fun. Hayleigh had done this before, but this was the first year she really got in to it. I loved watching her delicately handling the eggs and patiently applying the stickers to her egg.

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I’ll admit that sometimes I’m not too sure we are getting this parenting thing right. Hours before this Brady Bunch moment we were at Blaze pizza and Hayleigh was sitting underneath the table refusing to listen and sit in her chair. I tried condemning her to listen and when that didn’t work I tried threatening her in to listening. When that didn’t work I asked for a take out box so that we could hit the road. 

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When we got home she did apologize and she was able to list (in order) all of the bad choices she had made since we’d left church. She wanted to play outside of course and figured giving her apology would be her best attempt at getting a yes instead of a no. 

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 I was proud of her for apologizing and for knowing the ways in which she had done wrong. I explained to her that we did forgive her, but that wouldn’t get her out of a consequence for her bad choices. Later that night as I tucked her in to bed and sat with her as she fell asleep I thought a lot about parenting our kids. How do we get this thing right? 

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How do we help them understand and embrace the significance of what Christ did for each of us? The easter bunny is all well and good, but he’s not the reason we celebrate Easter. 

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I love these memories that we are creating together and I wish that every moment could be as perfect as this one was. The trouble is I know that it is not going to be. I want my kids to grow up and feel the freedom to make mistakes, but be humble enough to know when they need to ask for forgiveness. I want them to look back on these days, these traditions, and have fond memories and traditions that they can pass down to their own children. 

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Most importantly, I want them to know and understand that Jesus has already paid their debt. On Easter we celebrate the victory of His resurrection and the gift of life that he has given to each and every one of us. 

That’s way better than a chocolate easter bunny! 

More changes. 

Apparently the only time I find a minute to post something is on the weekend.

I thought I would take a minute to share some of the current happenings in our lives. We’ve had a lot of changes in the eight years that we have been married. I already covered that by talking about how much we’ve moved. Those moves also mean that we’ve switched jobs a lot. 

Brian has finally found his place at the Fire Department and while I have been happy at my current job it felt a little bit like going to work with my shoes on the wrong feet every day. Could I do it forever? Probably. Did I want to?

I kept thinking about that over the last 6 months or so. My job brings me a lot of perks and I also genuinely like the people I work for. Still, I found myself wanting to be with the kids more and also thinking about something I had always wanted to do. . Real estate. 

I’ll spare you the long version of the details (though I’d love to grab a cup of coffee with you sometime and tell you the long version!), but between December 19 and now God has thrown many obvious signs my way that if I wanted to give it a shot then now is the time. 

So, here I am. Leaving my current comfy job and starting something terrifying and new. 

I studied hard over the last month or so and was pleasantly surprised to pass my test the first time around. I am signed up with a broker and will still have a short commute to the office. I have a mentor (Hi Vickie!) who has been and will continue guiding me along. 

We’re definitely not new at this whole change thing. In fact not much in my life has ever been consistent! I can tell you though I am incredibly excited to jump in to this! 

Today I took a drive out to Ferndale and had some head shots taken. I’m excited to see how those turn out. Before I left I had Brian take a few test photos on my phone. The kids had fun getting in on the action too.

  

 

 
Whenever I start something new I’m always anxious to know what’s ahead and while I am anxious this time I am also excited for what is to come. 

I want to help others find the home of their dreams. I want to hold hands with the family who have to let go of an old family home even though it’s hard to do. I’ll hug them and bring them coffee and donuts because that’s what helps me. I want to help the newly-weds who have diligently saved every penny for the deposit on their first home. We’ll look for that charming fixer-upper in their choice neighborhood and I’ll roll up my sleeves and help them paint and move in boxes. Perhaps there will be ship lap involved? 😉

I know to some people it’s just real estate, but for me it’s been the whispering dream in my ear for many years. 

I’m just finally getting up the nerve to answer back and say “Here am I, send me!”