Sunday, December 17, 2017

The Christmas List

 We knocked a few items off Kate's Christmas "to do" list this weekend. Countdown chains, hot cocoa by the fire with Christmas music playing and some baking. Erin came to help which cut down the time investment considerably. Next up? Reindeer food bar and decorating cookies with a scavenger hunt competition against friends seeking specific Christmas lights. Christmas is coming and we are ready. Even Layla got in on the action as the only family member who said hello to Santa this year, even if a little white lie about being good was involved.  Our eight year old is seriously analyzing the jolly old elf and isn't convinced he isn't being duped but still holds onto a memory he has of seeing Santa by our stockings. The magic of the season has held longer in our home than most.....with fourteen years between Erin and Ty but the idea we are hanging on by a thread breaks my heart a little.

Not on the festive list, but fun sibling togetherness they created a massive tent for a Friday night sleepover. And on Saturday night we found ourselves home alone with Ty. He cracks us up with his on-going banter about all things Star Wars and views about life in general.

He says he isn't getting married because kissing is gross but still wants to adopt babies.

Monday, December 11, 2017

2017 Christmas Card


I had firmly decided we weren't going to make a card when Anne came over for a cup of tea and shared this idea. A few hours later, I had text the girls and asked for their opinions. It was unanimous. The card would be made. It needs to be noted all the children cooperated for these images. 

In his defense, I didn't ask his opinion.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Baughman Christmas

We made a quick road trip to celebrate Christmas with the Baughmans today. As usual, everyone was spoiled and eventually made their way outside to play on motor bikes and tractors. Simple gatherings are the best, especially with our growing family.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Stockings were Hung

On Friday we decorated for Christmas. Kate was on the couch for most of the day recovering from a violent stomach bug that lasted only one long night. It was a day at home for most of us and the sun was shining so setting up trees by the front door and working in the attic wasn't uncomfortable. After analyzing our decorating, the vast majority of the Christmas items I had stored in the attic were donated to a local charity. It has been four years since I last drug out the large Christmas tree. Kate was the only one requesting it and she only wanted it so she could hide the pickle ornament more effectively! That darn pickle brings about a whole lot of simple joy so now we hide it throughout the house instead. The tree and all it's trimmings will make another family happy this year despite my friends campaigning on #teamkate in hopes of saving the big tree I no longer care to make space for in my living room.
We have decided Layla has two personalities. Unconscious or obnoxious. But she is sweet. Photo credit: Makenna

Kate and Ty have their own trees. There were light issues with every small tree in the house and both of the urns that flank the front door. This was Greg's first year assisting and some grumbling took place. This is fun, they say.

At one point on Friday, Ty figured out why Kate was vomiting. He was pretty excited about it too. He believed we were going to get another baby! I would have taken some time to educate our little philosopher who knew how sick Lauren remained throughout her first 16 weeks but I was busy talking his father out of a minor coronary episode! As it turns out, Kate, Makenna and I all ended up with that nasty little bug before the weekend wrapped. Oh and there is still just the one baby on the way.

Taylor is a  rock star! I have begged Ty to cut his hair short for months. I spend good money at the salon every five weeks and he looks like an orphan because he won't style it but now he has experienced a bonding experience with his brother-in- law and loves the results. Short, manageable hair like a real Army guy is what he ordered. I like that Taylor Baird.
Makenna picked up the camera when she saw who was about to interrupt some snuggle time tonight. I am glad she did. This is our world in a nutshell; chaotic and loud.
Greg missed work on Monday for a root canal because we Baughmans know how to make a great first impression. He is finally comfortable after two very long weeks.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thankful, Grateful and Blessed

This was not the Thanksgiving we planned but this tends to be the theme for 2017. My mom was sick and so was my brother-in-law so extended family did not join us. Greg is swollen, sore and in need of a root canal. He has had a rough week, including a trip to the emergency room for an abscess to be removed from a tooth. This was not the first week in a new job he expected. He made a comment about not being able to keep a straight face and I quipped back, "Obviously. Your face is lopsided". As it turns out, dental humor is not appreciated in these parts.

There was a point, I felt nothing but sadness as I thought about the changes this year has brought and the challenges we have faced as a family. I had a choice to make. Either focus and the joy around my table or think about those we were missing; balancing praise and pain authentically. With the banter and laughter this group brings, joy wins just about every time. Thank God.

Lauren is 24 weeks along in her pregnancy and our little grandson is supposed to be the size of a cantaloupe. Some argue he is actually the size of Thanksgiving dinner.

Sunday, November 19, 2017


The days are long; the seasons short.

Lauren celebrated her twenty-first birthday nine hours away from us this week. She was then in an accident Friday afternoon. Everyone is okay but she was taken to the emergency room to make sure the baby was unharmed. He was. However, there was a moment the nurse was unable to locate his heartbeat and it terrified her. The same nurse then located two heartbeats and she was again terrified! In the end, they had her doctor check her out. Her son kicked the doppler so hard, they saw it bounce and realized her ONE strong little man is just fine. Praise God. But I fell apart after hearing that update from her. Nine hours is much too far away when moments matter. I cannot wait to hug her Thursday.
Lauren and Taylor finished painting the crib and got it placed in the baby's room this weekend. They have done such a great job executing their paln for a fun shark themed nursery.

The fact we are preparing for Thanksgiving this week seems rather unreal. How is it possible? This has been a very long, hard year and the days daunting but at the same time, it is almost over. I am not ready for the upcoming season but then this appears to be the theme for 2017.

One evening this week, my son decided he couldn't take it anymore and ran away. Narrowing down his original two suitcases and two backpacks wasn't easy but the walk to Aunt Theresa's is long; like a three hour drive long. He ultimately walked out just before bedtime in the cold, dark rain with one rolling suitcase and one backpack. I honestly thought he would only make it to the edge of the driveway before losing his nerve so I helped him pack. As I peeked through his closed blinds, I watched him head down the street toward the neighborhood's exit. It was so dark, his little body was out of sight quickly and I found myself following him from a safe distance wondering how far he would go. Much to my surprise, I screamed for him to stop just before the bridge that lead to the dark, curvy road he will never have permission to walk along because it is too dangerous. This child had a plan. He had his wallet and he aimed for the gas station in town where he planned to get a drink and directions to the bus stop that would take him to Aunt Theresa's house. He scares me a little. In his defense, the green beans I insisted he eat were in fact green.

Greg wrapped up his 22 year career with the shipping industry Saturday morning. He slept for the final time  during the day on Saturday! We are looking forward to seeing him for Christmas and he gets to investigate this thing most people call a lunch break! He is excited to be following his passion and I am praying how I can support the changes that are pending.
Kate and Ty spent the night with Erin and had a blast getting to know Aida Jane. She is Erin's baby and already spoiled rotten. We think she is pretty sweet. And since we were taking the kids across town to Erin's anyway, we also took burgers to share. Erin bribed Ty into eating his dinner with promises of decorating the Christmas tree. I suspect this will be a blast for Miss Aida!

Jake was baptized today. He has been researching and speaking with Erin's pastor for months trying to understand her relationship with God. He actually set out to prove himself right and confirm there is no God. He surprised himself. We are obviously pleased with his profession of faith.