Simply beautiful...

Simply beautiful...

Friday, May 25, 2012

San Francisco, Friends and Fun!

This past weekend, Jeremy and I got to fly to San Francisco and meet up with our dear friends Eric and Kara Jung.  In my mind, the weekend was about combining running, friends and a bit of business in the city for the boys... but the Jung's know how to pack it in and what a fun weekend it was!

Ever since the Jung's moved back to the Bay area a couple years ago, they have told us how much fun it has been to run the Bay to Breakers 12k race in the city.  It took a couple of years and the right timing until we could finally join them this year.  Jeremy and I got our booties in shape to run the 7.5 mile race (the farthest I've ever run!) and we finished just a handful minutes behind the smoking shoes of the Jung's.

Even though we were only in the city for two full days, (our first evening was spent at Eric's parent's house so we could see Annika and Audrey... I was SO thrilled to see AJ again and finally meet Audrey!) Once we were in the city, I felt like I got to see a lot of what so many people love about San Francisco.  I hadn't been there since I was a kid, so the Jung's were happy to show me some classic SF.

Amongst my favorite moments were riding the trolly car (touristy I know, but so fun), walking around Ghirardelli square and fisherman's wharf, dinner at the Jung's favorite spot, biking across town through presidio park and across the Golden Gate bridge, seeing just what exactly is so quaint about Sausalito... barely making the ferry ride back (!), and then ending the trip with a glass of wine, some delicious olives and great conversation for just Kara and myself while the boys were off doing their work thing ;)

I loved this trip for so many reasons, but spending intentional time with such dear friends is a gift... one that we are so incredibly thankful for... more and more, as growing a family can make these moments fewer and farther between.  So, a BIG thank you to both grandparents who made this weekend a reality for us!  We love you Jung's... your hearts are pure gold.  Thanks for making it such a special memory.

(I admittedly got a little picture happy and was intent on capturing a bit of everything... I usually get so busy enjoying that I don't have any pictures to show for such wonderful memories!)
Miss Annika... was too cute in her princess attire! (Audrey was in bed already)

Our running crew


And After... we somehow manage to stay friends, despite my competitiveness ;)

Lunch after the race at the ferry landing

The boys... waiting for the girls - they had no idea they were so picture perfect sitting there!

Taking advantage of the brick wall for a photo

Yummy, yummy dinner with my love

Our beautiful bike ride through San Francisco... the fog was enchanting.

Foggy SF behind us... which of course you can't see

My love... and the Jung's... leaving us in the dust :)

Beautiful Sausalito


Ferry ride back to the city from Sausalito... Alcatraz is in the background!

One last girl picture before catching Bart to the airport.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mama Love

Is it at all possible to love these kids any more?!? I love the time I get to spend with them... And I'm fully aware that this time with them is fleeting and precious - especially since Harps will be in preschool 3 days a week this fall.

Harper and Bentley, you guys are my favorites... Right behind your amazing daddy ;)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mothers Day

I am so unbelievably thankful to be my kiddos mom! I felt overwhelmingly loved this past Sunday by my kids and especially by my husband. The thoughtful gifts, cooking, and running time he gave me made my heart full and grateful.

I think back to mother's days past, and even though I did little things for my own mom and thanked her each year... I didn't appreciate her then like I do now. I didn't realize the heart and intentions behind it all. I look at all the years she prayed for us, corrected us, rooted for us, and loved us no matter what and my heart aches with overwhelming gratitude. Both Jeremy and I have so much love and respect for our moms... Especially realizing how much we put each of you through ;)

Being a mom is THE hardest job in the world... One where you are literally pouring your heart and soul into every moment... Every decision... Every prayer.

But being a mom, I can already see, is the most rewarding and beautiful job there is too. To be shaping the hearts and character of your children and to see God's grace in and through their lives is an irreplaceable experience.

So thank you to my husband for the gift of our beautiful children... That i get to be mom. And thank you for always making me feel appreciated and supported as we create this story called our life.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Time Never Slows Down

Our kiddos are growing up before our eyes... and it seems we've turned another corner when we look at our little ones and wonder how in the world they got to be so tall and grown up in just a few short months.  I often find myself not knowing where to begin when I sit down to write about Harper and Bentley.  How can a simple blog post sum up their giant personalities and precious little hearts?

It can't... but I'll always take a shot at it.


You are one amazing and beautiful little girl.  Little girl. Yes, I do have to pinch myself every now and then to remind myself that you are a little girl now, not a baby.  You'd think I would get that after you've been acting more grown up for a while now.  The truth is, your mommy and daddy will probably always view you this way - even when we are dropping you off at college, walking you down the aisle, or there with you when you have your first baby... you will still be our little girl in our minds eye.  I used to think parents were overly sentimental and too attached when they said those type of things... but I think my perspective has changed.
 Sweetie, your personality continues to amaze us and make us smile - you are joyful, caring, expressive and sensitive. How you've changed is more in your awareness of other's emotions and actions, what you say and how you communicate and how you are fully aware of your "big girl-ness".  Just the other day, we were throwing rocks into the pond and you said, "Mom, someday I'm going to grow up..."  You didn't finish it with "... and be a ballerina" or "... and go to the moon".  No.  It was a statement... and it made me pause and want to cherish every single second I have with you and Bentley.  
You are very into your gymnastics class these days.  We took a little break for the winter and I wondered if you'd still be excited about it when you started up again... and YES you are!  You make me laugh, because you quite often come off the gymnasium floor, during class, because you need a drink of water or a hug from your mom or are just looking for an excuse to do something other than stand in line ;)  But then, when we are home, it is so much of what you are pretending.  You are the teacher and all your stuffed animals and baby dolls are the students and you take them through different circuits of activities... cheering them on along the way saying, "I got you" or "good job"!

Very recently, you starting telling elaborate stories to us.  You often say it's "story time" and we need to pay attention and listen... and you are not shy to "shhh" us during the process.  Often the stories start with, "and once upon a time..." and include something about Beauty and the Beast and the Beast not being kind.  Last weekend, you stayed the night at Mimi and Baba's and Mimi was lucky enough to get a session of your story time in the middle of the night for quite some time, as far as we could tell (Mimi is always so nice to your mommy and daddy and makes us think you guys slept more than you probably did).
My girl, you are VERY in tune with your emotions and are constantly curious about the state of others emotions as well.  You often wonder if someone is grumpy if they're not smiling, you pick up on the tiniest hint of someone's sadness and ask if I'm frustrated if I grunt or groan during a task or during a major child melt down (a true look in the mirror moment for me every time).  Not a day goes by when you have not told us exactly how you are feeling in many given scenarios - sad, frustrated, scared, nervous, silly, etc.  The recent expression has been seeing more and more that you love, love, love your daddy and when he has to travel... you miss him SO terribly much.  He is such an amazing daddy and you guys have such a sweet bond, that your daddy and I are in the middle of trying to come up with solutions and strategies to help you through this the best we can.  The Lord is so good to provide support and wisdom when we ask!  Seeing that you're an emotional girl, I think your dad has made it his mission that you are able to express and communicate clearly how you are feeling... thanks to his polar opposite experiences with your mommy ;)  I can write it out... but talking... not so much.
One of my favorite moments came just around Easter... During the weeks leading up to Easter, I was talking to you a lot about how Jesus died on the cross for our sins, and how after 3 days he rose from the dead so that someday we can be in heaven too, if we believe in Him.  I had been feeling slight discouragement, because every time I began talking to you about the Easter story... you'd always appear to be not listening... at all!  Over Easter weekend, Mimi had the chance to ask you what you thought we were celebrating at our Easter party and you responded by saying, "It's a Jesus party... because he died on the cross for us..."  Mimi told you, "I know... it might seem like it would be sad, but we are really happy because he rose from the dead so we can be in heaven with Him someday."  Your quick and enthusiastic response was, "(gasp) Good job Mimi!  That's right!" (as though you weren't quite sure if Mimi would have the right answer).  Lesson for mommy: You really are listening to every single word I say.  

Precious girl, we love you!


You are one amazing and spirited dude!  My heart just overflows with so much joy as I watch you getting bigger, your personality getting stronger and your uniqueness evolving... all of these things enrich our family more and more everyday.  You are my little man.  I can't explain the mother-son relationship... it used to be so foreign to me.  Mostly because I only knew the mother-daughter relationship I have with my mom and then the relationship with Harper.  But, wow my little man... my heart just skips little beats for you all day long.  It continues to amaze me when I look at you two, how God allows a parent's heart to be absolutely stolen by each child, in a completely different way and both are an inexpressible joy.
Bubu, you are so much fun to watch as you are learning about the world around you.  You adore being outside... you don't need toys... just rocks, sticks, water and bugs.  When we are at the park... You want to swing (you still love this) and climb for a bit, but then you could care less about the play structure... it's just about running and the dirt and the flowers and the sticks.  I think you would live outside if that were an option.  Right now, your three obsessions are bugs, cars and dancing.  It is so cute to hear you say "bug" and scream and laugh when you see one.  You love most cars, but of course the one you really love is the expensive one... Ours.  You beg by the garage door, multiple times a day, to go out and play in the car.  You just love pretending to drive (I love the sound effects - I'm pretty sure that came natural to you being a boy), honking the horn, and crawling back and forth between the driver and passenger seats.  (You may or may not have gotten a fat lip from the car... when I left you alone to desperately get dinner started one night. Oops.)  We think you may love music more than your sister did... and back then, I didn't think that was possible.  Any time you hear any sort of music, you shake your head back and forth and move your little body.  I'm thinking... future Justin Timberlake?  :-) You are SO physical, able to climb just about everything and anything (so very often the things that give me a heart attack).  I wish I had a tally record of injuries from 12-18months for both you and your sister... you are definitely smoking her dude!  You are in your first month of gymnastics, and though you are still quite little (the youngest in the class), this has already proven to be great for you.  Not only are your gain coordination skills and listening and waiting skills... you are drop-dead tired after each class!  This, I'm learning, is a necessity for you my boy... you contain so much energy each day and you do so much better when you get it out.

Speaking of your sister... you ADORE her.  Wherever she goes, whatever she does, you want to be right there experiencing everything with her.  She loves you too, and only really doesn't want you around when you hit her on the head or pull her hair.  At this point you are always happy to be whatever character she thinks you should be: she is Beauty, so you are the Beast; she is Lady, so you are the Tramp; she is Rapunzel, so you are Flynn Ryder; and so on and so forth.  So often, I think you actually believe you are the same age as her... completely not understanding why you can't walk through Target like her (you would run any direction except where mommy needed to go) or why on earth you can't play in the upstairs playroom at our friend's house while the mommy's meet downstairs (I'm convinced you would jump off of something and break a bone).  This misunderstanding has lead to quite a few tantrums and screaming fits.  Which I do have to mention is your unique trait ;)  You are very talented at throwing yourself on the ground and acting completely miserable... until you realize mommy and daddy won't allow that kind of behavior.

You are such an amazing blend of being tender and sweet one minute, and then intense and determined in the next.  Your smile absolutely melts our hearts constantly.  You keep us guessing and on our toes all the time with your enthusiasm and love for life.  We just adore you and are thankful every day that the Lord gave you to us!  We love you!