Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Gibson Getaway 2015

Another Gibson Getaway is in the books.  

Year Six in St. Germain.

Like last year, the weather was not ideal.  We did lots of this.

Every year, we've had a beach area for Carter.  This year, we tried a new house without a beach.  Carter didn't mind one bit - he spent most of his time playing trucks by the 'hot fire' :)

His beloved whistle {annoying and loud, but so good for building his oral motor skills}.

Whistle on, dude.

Little eyes that disappear when he smiles.  It's been so long since we've seen these smiles.  Glad to have them back.  I pray they're here to stay.

While Carter spent his time whistling, Macy spent her time showing off HER skills - like eating.  Macy has been eating veggies for about 2 weeks now, and she tried avocados while on vacation.  It was a hit, and soon she'll be eating chips & guac with the rest of her mexican-loving family!

Please, Macyn Joy...don't ever lose your joyful spunk.

There were a few days that allowed us opportunities to squeeze out the last drops of summer.


I may have a fleece on, but we're still on a boat.  And it's not raining.  So it counts.

And when all else fails, we put on our matchy-matchy vacation shirts and head to Cathy's for ice cream.  Because you don't need nice weather to eat ice cream.

Uncle Ben, learning the fine art of juggling kids.  Welcome to my life.

And then there's this.  The sibling relationship, explained in one photo.

"I'm touching him!!!!!!!"
"She's touching me......."

That about sums it up.  Gibson Getaway 2015.  

This year was so different from years past.  A different house, a second kid, dreary weather.  But there was something else.  

I think it was us.  We are different.

We've had one of the most stretching years of our lives.  We've seen more growth in the last nine months than we had in our first 8 years of marriage.  

Yes, it's been that good.

If you told last years Gibson family that in just a few months their world would be turned upside down in the best and hardest way possible, they would have laughed at you.  

This years Gibson family can look back, see the hard stuff, and press on with joy and excitement for what's to come.  

It's been hard.  But so, so good.  

And I'm reminded for the umpteenth time that there is nobody else I'd rather have by my side than Jake.  We are a great team.  We always have been, we just didn't really know it.

The primer & the paint.  

One Thing I Know For Sure: 353 Days until the next Gibson Getaway!

Want more?

Gibson Getaway 2011
Gibson Getaway 2012
Gibson Getaway 2013
Gibson Getaway 2014

Friday, June 26, 2015

{Here We Are}

It's been a long time since I've done a family update.  Anyone remember why I blog in the first place?  Because ain't nobody got time for scissors and stickers and tape and markers and glitter strewn all over the kitchen table (aka - scrapbooking).

So this is it, Gibson kids.  This blog is your scrapbook.  You're welcome.


It was discovered at her six week checkup that Macy has some loosey-goosey hips.  Otherwise known as hip displasia.  Which basically means that her leg bones (obviously we're using very medically accurate terminology) weren't in the right place for her hips to properly form.

Enter: the Pavlik Harness.

You can tell she is terribly upset by the whole ordeal.

For six weeks, Macy wore this little contraption to hold her leg bones in place.  We made multiple trips to Delafield (about 1.5 hours away) to get x-rayed and ultrasounded :)

During those six weeks, we were allowed to take it off for an hour each day.  I think she had it off a total of 3 hours for the entire six weeks.  I knew that if we ended up having to wear the harness another six weeks, it would be easy for me to blame myself for not using it enough.  So we just used it all the stinkin' time.

When I brought her back in for her last ultrasound, her harness was filthy.  Like, really, really gross - because while it IS washable, it has to air dry.  So how do you wash it, and let it air dry...and then get it back on baby within an hour?  You don't.

The doctor was pleased to see a dirty harness...it means it got used.  And guess what?  It worked.  Her hips look perfect, and she is now harness free :)

Hanging at the pool with friends to celebrate our 'harness free' baby!

Macy was dedicated to the Lord sometime in late May.


First kid - I would have documented this the day after it happened, and I would have noted the date.

Second kid - 'sometime in late May'.

But I'd say it really doesn't matter when.  The fact is that a bunch of people that love our Macy came together and declared that they would do everything in their power to point Macyn to Jesus.

And our Pastor (known affectionately as 'Poppy' around these parts!) cried as he prayed for our sweet baby girl, asking God to walk with her all the days of her life.

That's what really matters.


We've been enjoying the extra tiny feet running around this place.  And I don't mean Macy :)

Mable, Madison, Carter, and Macy.  Four peas in a pod.  Sort of.

Even though Carter says "Nooo Bable! Nooo Badison", he secretly loves them.  He talks about them when he eats his ice cream and takes walks to the lake.

It has been so good to spend time with these families.  Know what I love?  Seeing our friends love our kids.  Know what else I love?  Loving our friends' kids.

It's pretty awesome.


We've got something else pretty awesome happening around here.

Love.  The seeds we planted when Macy first came home are finally starting to grow and bloom.

We would tell Carter "Give Macy a kiss" or "You love Macy!" or "You are so gentle!".  He didn't know how to act, so we had to tell him.  He didn't know how to show love to this tiny little bundle of sweetness, so we had to literally show him how - hand-over-hand.

It felt awkward at first.  Like a baby taking its first steps, we were all a bit wobbly at this sibling thing.

But now.

Carter regularly chooses to lay by Macy on the floor.  He chooses to tickle her feet when I'm changing her.  He chooses to bring her a paci when she's crying.  He chooses to see her - smile at her - love her.

Love is a choice.  And Carter loves Macy well.

This little story reminds me of this little story, when Carter was learning how to be held.
Here's a secret: At 7 years old, Carter still loves to be held by his Mama.
I know that soon, he'll reach an age that he won't want to, or won't be able to.
So, for now, when he says "Mom, Carry!"...I carry. 

Carter started his second season of baseball 'sometime in June'.


He has the same teammates, but a new team.  He thoroughly enjoys running the bases, sitting in the outfield, running his hands along the fence, and hitting the ball.

But mostly, he loves the ice cream afterwards :)

This means Macy attended her first game, and did a great job charming everyone in the stands :)

You can read about Carter's 'First Ever' baseball game here :)


That brings us to today.

Our little boat landing at the end of our road never disappoints, and we spend many afternoons there with a baby sleeping away in the stroller while a big boy plays with his trucks and boats.

This is my view 724 times a day.  And I love it.

Little Baby sleeping or pacifying or bottling or snuggling while Big Boy looks on, waiting for his turn to have my undivided attention.

Before Macy came, I spent many busy days wondering how I'd possibly make time for two needy kids.  Now I know.  It doesn't just happen, like some told me it would.  

It takes intentional work to say "That can wait" or "I can finish this up tomorrow".  At first, it felt a little like losing control of my well-manicured, tidy life.  

Now, it feels like freedom.  I don't have to be all things to all people all the time.

I just have to be mama to these little people, and wife to my favorite guy.  

Everything else can wait.  


One Thing I Know For Sure: This post brought to you mostly by iPhone pictures.  Another area where I'm learning to let go & say "It's okay" :)

Tuesday, June 02, 2015


So this is 7.  

Seven is birthday-morning giddiness over donuts with candles.

Seven is having the control to have a donut and candle in front of you without grabbing the donut and candle.

Seven is yelling "Cha-cha-cha!" while your adoring classmates sing 'Happy Birthday'.

Seven is understanding the concept of opening gifts, and being able to do it all by yourself.
{The concept of cards and money are still lost on you, seven-year-old.  Maybe next year!}

Seven says "No bath. Shower!".
{This makes your mommy cry a little.  The bath-season of your life is over.}

Seven is filthy feet, because seven-year-old feet don't stay on patios or in kiddie pools.  They run in fresh grass and search hard for mud.
{This makes your mommy so happy.  You run, little boy.  It's what you're meant to do.}

Seven is big, brave, and independent.

Seven says "Hi, sister! Nice baby! Baby cars? Yes!".
Translation: Can I drive my matchbox cars on your belly? Yes!
Translation: Love.  It's happening, right before our eyes.

Seven is new and different, as we leave 'cuteness' behind and head toward boyhood.  The looks in the grocery store might change from adoring and curious to pity and annoyance.
{This scares your mommy a little bit, because she wants everyone to love you as much as she does}

Seven says "I vuv-oo Daaaad!".
Translation: I love you, dad.  And the best part?  We think you really mean it.

We are so excited to see where seven takes you, Carter.  There are so many good things ahead.

One Thing I Know For Sure: We vuv-oo, Carter.

Read about Carter's 6th birthday here :)

Monday, May 04, 2015

1,242 Days + 1

Carter was an orphan for 1,242 days.  Three years, four months, and twenty-four days of not knowing the love of a family.

That's 1,242 bedtimes.  All done without mama's kisses.
That's 3 birthdays. All gone un-celebrated.
That's countless milestones. All met without being cheered on.

But today.
Today, Carter has been a son for 1,243 days.

He's been a son longer than he's been an orphan. 
He's been loved longer than he's been neglected. 

This life of Carter's is pretty perfect. He's growing and changing in new ways each day.

He has an amazing team of professionals at school who celebrate his many abilities.

As I type this, I'm watching him work with our team of at-home therapists who are so patient with our busy boy.

He has grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins who love him for who God created him to be.

He has parents who think he is the most amazing, incredible, beautiful kid.

We see you, Carter. One thousand, two hundred and forty two days of being seen.

No longer an invisible orphan, but a cherished son.


We will always be in awe of how God put together the pieces of your life, Carter.  

Treasured baby photo, given to us at our SDA appointment
The first time we met
Your first goofy smiles during our first orphanage visit
We'll never forget the look on your face the first time we met, or the way you smiled so cautiously on our first visit.  Once you learned that laughing was encouraged, we couldn't keep you quiet.  

You've been our sweet sunshine-y boy ever since.


1,243 days of being kissed up by your mama.  Wrestled up by your daddy.  Hugged and squeezed and loved like crazy.  

(60 days of being tolerated by your sister.  It's okay, she'll come around.)

It will only get better from here, sweet boy.  

I'm reminded of the lyrics to one of your favorite songs.  Let's sing them, shall we?

"If what I am is what's in me
Then I'll stay strong, that's who I'll be!
I will always be the best me that I can be!
There's only one me - I am it
I have a dream, I'll follow it
It's up to me to try
I'm gonna keep my head up high
Keep on reaching high
Never gonna quit!
I'll keep getting stronger!"

So much good stuff ahead, little boy.

One Thing I Know For Sure: We see you, Carter.
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