Simply beautiful...

Simply beautiful...

Saturday, June 8, 2013

We Have a New Blog!

Due to our blog having issues with being sent off to spam sites most every time you visit the page, we have created a new blog on Wordpress.

We hope you'll check it out and keep in contact with us via our new site.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sibling Love

I just got this short little video while on our recent vacation to Maui.

This one minute clip gives a little glimpse into the sweet, sweet relationship and bond Harper and Bentley have right now as brother and sister.  I feel cheesy saying so, but Jeremy and I have countless moments where we just look at each other in awe over how much these two enjoy and adore each other.

Right now Harper's in the phase of asking me if she can marry Bentley some day.  And anytime Harper is absent, Bentley's crying for his sister.  It's truthful to say they are best friends.

On a funny side note, we've been getting the question almost regularly about whether these two are twins... they are 21 months apart, but the same weight and almost the same height.  Jeremy and I agree with the strangers who ask: they do look like twins!  I don't have a clue as to what typical twins act like... but if I were to imagine or guess, the bond would look something like Harper and Bentley.

Of course, they have their typical sibling spats over who gets the blue fork or who gets a turn first.  But right now their bond is beyond precious.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

One Exciting Week

This past week, we finally made our move to San Diego. It was one crazy whirlwind.

Jeremy & his dad drove one of our cars down. The kids and I stayed w/ my parents a few days (to wait while my car was shipped down). I think I had a constant headache for three days due to too much crying and emotion. The leaving is ALWAYS the most brutal side of a move as far as the tears and sad good-byes are concerned.

The kids were flying rockstars (it was also a very short flight;). And we were all ready to see Jeremy when he picked us up at the airport.

Since we landed, we've enjoyed seeing amazing friends, playing at the beach, REAL Mexican food and getting back on the exercising track.

We've also experienced emotional exhaustion. Sunday found both Jeremy and I virtually lifeless. I told Jeremy, for so long my eyes were just so focused on getting on that airplane and making it down here with the kids. I put very little thought into the days in San Diego following. I'm trying to give myself some grace to come out of the haze of the last few months. Then we'll figure out what this new life stage looks like.

One of my favorite moments thus far, came after playing all afternoon in the Heinrich's kiddy-pool. I had to run to Costco on our way home. About 5 minutes into our shopping adventure, Bentley was falling asleep sitting up in the cart!!! The picture I got is worth a thousand words. Bentley continued through the store hunched over on my arm while I pushed the cart. I DID get many strange looks ;) He remained completely lifeless through me taking him out of the cart to check out, my putting him into his carseat and all the way home! He was wiped!

Perhaps the MOST exciting news this week is that I CAN feel our baby in my tummy!!! At just 16weeks! I just love that. The whole thing gets that much more real. Yesterday at my baby appointment the Dr couldn't find the baby's heartbeat for the longest time. When she finally did, I think the baby literally did a flip for her, as if to say here I am, because she said she could see the baby move! That's kinda crazy so early on!! Jeremy hasn't yet due to timing of our little one moving around... This morning I told him "quick! Put your hand right here", but the baby decided to snooze instead. Soon lovie ;)

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Few Lasts

Today is the kids and my last day in Portland...

I can say it has all been surreal. Mostly because we've been saying good-bye for over a month now.

I've had a few cry-my-eyes-out sessions. Not because I'm not on board with our move. Amazingly, I shared with Jeremy the other night (as we laid in our bedroom for the very last time) how I feel an immense amount of peace about the entire thing. I know that the Lord is going before us and has much for us to do, grow in and learn about down South.

No, my crying has come mostly because this move marks the end of an era of pure sweetness: Jeremy working from home, our kids being home (not in school), having ALL of our family in the same city for 3years. All of these sweet, sweet gifts.

I'm also laughing to myself this morning because this move will clearly mark a giant change in Harper. Over the past few days, she's definitely changed her phrasing and tone with Jeremy and I. Think a little more attitude from a girl who's really had none up until now. I'm not completely decided if its ok or not... but I definitely don't love it since it feels like a glimpse of her teenage years! I've been getting a lot of "Mom!" (insert teenage tone). "Mom, I'm not being selfish!", "mom, I'm not talking about that!", "mom, I want my space!"

I suppose it all falls under the adventures of change... I'm just so thankful for God's grace as we try to sort through it all!

Here are a few "last" pictures: our last visit to our favorite park, our last time hunting for tadpoles in our neighbor's pond, our last day playing outside with our favorite neighbor kids, our (first and) last morning in our house eating doughnuts together, the kids' last slumber party at Mimi's house...

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Little I've Learned About Loss

Below is what I wrote this week for the blog I write for, Standing on Peace.  Every year, on the anniversary of my brother's death I am compelled to write.  Some years it's been full of memories, others full of anguish and questioning.  This year, was tender like every year, but I did feel like the Lord gave me some very clear things He has taught me through experiencing loss.  I am grateful for what God has done in and through me and my family since then.  He is so incredibly faithful...

This past weekend, I was more thankful than normal for our family get together.  It's a blessing when all of us can physically be together on such an important anniversary.

It's been eight years since we lost our brother, since my parents lost their oldest son, since so many lost their friend.  Eight years.  Yet I am amazed how loss is a continual process of learning, growth and healing.
Counter to what I thought eight years ago, when it comes to loss, there's never really this "arrival" to a permanent place of acceptance and peace.  Every year something slightly different strikes you sad, brings you hope, comes to memory.  It's fluid, raw, heartbreaking and beautiful, all in the same breath.  Yet the one constant we rest upon is the promise and hope we have in Jesus.  We will see my brother again.

My learning, growth and healing continue to show up in new ways.  And it happens when I am least expecting it.  But I'm forever grateful for how my brother's loss has changed me, shaped me and continues to impact me deeply.  The things which have impacted me may look vastly different from your own experience with loss.  I want to share a few pieces of my healing process.
  • I Don't Have to Explain or Understand Everything.  My brother's life story is a complicated one.  One that resembles a Prodigal Son story from the Bible (Luke 15:11-32).  There were a lot of painful and hard to accept moments in his life.  Many that left us wondering and questioning.  My brother's story had a beautiful redemption in that he came back to his faith in Jesus before he passed.  Through the years, I've come to rest in this fact: it's ok to not be able to explain it all.  I can trust what I know and understand: my brother had a beautiful heart and he is with Jesus.
  • My Process is My Own.  How we respond to loss in our life is as unique as we are.  There is no "one" way or even "right" way.  Some may want privacy, but I found I wanted an army of friends to rally around me.  Some may deal with the emotions of loss quickly, but I have processed these emotions slowly over time.  I've seen a vast array of responses even within our own little family.  Between us, we've done it all: lit candles, shared memories around a fire or table, written letters to him, looked through pictures together, sat at his graveside and talked to him, cooked his favorite meals.  I came to realize, whatever the process of remembering and healing looks like: It's ok. It's my own.
  • It Will Come.  At various points since our loss, I've experienced moments of enormous pressure and guilt over not being able to adequately remember and share my brother's life and legacy.  My husband and kids will never know him.  And I long to be able to do my brother justice in how I relate and share who he was.  After crying many frustrated, hot tears over this and praying about it, I received peace.  Jesus simply reminded me it will come.  The memories of my brother, qualities of his heart and impact he had on me will come out over time. I don't have to force it all at once, I don't have to be the most eloquent and I don't have to carry the burden of passing on his legacy perfectly.  Our love and experiences together were real, as is our loss. The story and impact of his life will come out in time.
  • Loss Makes People Uncomfortable.  This was one of the biggest surprises to me through our experience.  Of course, so many responded beautifully to our family.  But many people stayed away or did not fully acknowledge our loss.  Some gave unwanted opinions or advice.  It taught me alot about grace in this simple fact.  It's wasn't because they didn't care.  They simply did not know what to do.  I'm not entirely sure I know what to do either.  But eight years ago I learned a couple gems: it's important to show up, listen and be willing to sit in the loss with others, no matter how uncomfortable it may be.
This year, I learned that my mom has clung to a verse through the years.  A verse I've not known well and it's beautiful.

"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his godly ones." Psalm 116:15

Have you experienced loss in your life?  How have you changed or what have you learned through it?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Week Under the Weather

This week found our family knocked out by a nasty virus that seems to be going around in our area.

It began with Bentley, then took out Jeremy and I (of course on the same day) and then finally got the best of Harper...

Thankfully our family has been the healthiest we've ever been this year with our incorporation of DoTerra essential oils into our natural health "bucket of tools"... But I guess you can't win them all ;)

Today is the first day I feel semi-normal and so begins the checking off the list of cleaning up and catching up: cleaning/sanitizing, laundry, phone calls, cooking, bill-paying, and still child-snuggling.

As Harper is trying to get better today, she began crying and said to me:

"mommy, my tummy is upset with you."

"Upset with me or with you, sweetie?" Was my response...

"With you..."


"Because it wants you to hold you me."

(I just love the things that still come out of her mouth at four!)

I'm thankful for health. Plain and simple.

Monday, April 8, 2013

And Just Like That... It's Not.

Last week our house was set to sell...

This week, it's back on the market.

We were extremely disappointed when our buyers rescinded their offer last week.

Thankfully it was not due to a failed inspection or problem on our end... It appeared to be buyer's remorse, as the wife never seemed to be on board with their offer.

Once Jeremy and I got over a gamete of emotions due to this news, we are back to the drawing board... And back to staging, open houses and appointments.

We are continuing to trust that the Lord is in all the details and that His plan is perfect - not ours.

We are continuing to pray for the right buyers to come along and for all the details in our move (in less than 2 weeks!) to come together.