Wednesday, December 07, 2016


A friend told me the other day that she pops in here often to see what's new. I haven't posted since September, and life is full. And new, in so many ways.

Here's what's going on lately. Grab a cup and cozy up.


Macy got her first little haircut two weeks back. We watched some videos of 'big girls' getting haircuts, and explained that soon Macy would get a 'big girl' haircut, too.

Carter went first, to show her how it's done. He was a champ and a trooper, like he usually is. But I think he was extra good, for his baby sister.

Macy was climbing out of Jake's lap and couldn't wait for her turn. She was so excited - and sat in the chair so nice. Such a big little girl.

Bye, wispy baby locks. Bye, long goofy curl in the back.

Hi, big girl.

Thanks, Leslie, for a super fun and easy first haircut!


Carter has been talking about 'Christmas Tree Saturday' for at least two weeks (since Jake put the Christmas lights outside). We woke up on Saturday morning and told Carter that yes, finally, it was Christmas Tree Day.

We found a fun little spot in Wild Rose - the tractor and wagon ride was a fun bonus for Carter :)

The weather was decent, the kids were happy, and the morning was perfect.

As you can see, Carter is beyond happy, actually.

He has no problems tapping into the Christmas Spirit. Dude will be 110% Christmas Cheer from now until January 1.

It was fun for me having two kiddos who could walk with mom and dad, hold hands, and listen to directions. This has never happened before.

What am I supposed to do with my arms? Nobody is hanging on me!

After choosing our tree, which took about 6 minutes because every tree was 'just right', we headed to the little shop for popcorn (for the kiddies) and pepsi (for the parents).

Popcorn on the table. Popcorn on the floor. Popcorn in jacket pockets. Popcorn in mittens. It's okay. It's fine. They're happy.

It really doesn't get much better than this.

{and also, let's enjoy these days when some popcorn makes them this happy. may it always be so.}


Yes, this is new :) I realize I haven't said anything about Baby Boy here.

Sorry, third child. I love you dearly. Really, I do.

Actually, I love you SO much that I'm taking the time to prioritize and take direction, and sometimes that means the blog has to wait. It's good stuff, I promise.

Hi, third trimester!

Baby Boy - coming in March 2017. Due two days before Macy's second birthday.

We talked in late May about adding another babe to the family, and after waiting two years to get pregnant with Macy we knew we might be waiting a while.

Not this time!

Max, Silas, Joel, Sawyer, Jude, Sam...while we're having fun thinking about what to call you, we know you already have a name, and you're known by it.

You're known. You're seen. We can't wait to meet you.


What I really mean is that we sold the fun, sporty, lux Lexus for a minivan (because #threecarseats #holymoly). This was harder for me than I care to admit. It's just a car, right? It's no big deal. I don't care about stuff! Or...wait...

The Lexus was for a short, fun season. But the season that's coming will be good, too. Different. But good.

I told Jake I will drive whatever he picks for me. I didn't even test drive it. "But, maybe we could just stay away from red. If it's red, that's okay! But it wouldn't be my first choice. Just in case you were wondering."

The minivan is red. Dark red. Maybe I'll call it wine. But really, I know it's red.

Hardy har har har.

Giving up control, another area I need to grow in.

But Carter is beyond thrilled that he now can push the button to open and close his door. This is livin' large, for our eight year old boy. I'm embracing that perspective.


There have been many changes in Carter's life - and maybe I'll dig into those in a post after the New Year. Big changes deserve their own post :)

We have had amazing, loving, excellent people come into our life over the past 6 months and all of them have told us the same things.

Popcorn everywhere. Drinking the sisters juice. Sitting down and READING A BOOK. What the what?!
Reading is fun when you aren't being made to do it. 

Carter needs a better way to communicate. Give it to him.
Carter is not benefitting from therapy. Cut it.
Carter's brain works this way. Learn it and embrace it. 
{It's actually not that different from yours or mine}
Carter is an eight year old boy. Eight year old boys need to play. 

Yes, yes, yes, and yes.

Freedom, in the most unexpected ways.

This is where we are today. Our lives - hands - hearts are full, in every sense of the word. Embracing this full season, and enjoying every little part.

One Thing I Know For Sure: This is the good stuff.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Bye, Summer.

This morning, I peeked in on a little 8 year old and rousted him from his sleep. Eyes barely cracked open, arms stretching big - and then: "SCHOOL!". 

Yes, Carter. Today is school. The first day of second grade.

Our morning was practically from a fairytale.

Breakfast as a family  - pancakes and bacon, of course. Everyone was happy and cheer-filled as we got ready. There were so many hugs and kisses, I lost count.

It was a perfect morning.

Just kidding. Our morning sucked.

To make a long story short - my car battery died, and Carter was sent to school covered in green glitter powder.

Don't ask.

It was actually the perfect way to end this summer season.

Guys, summer was rough. I'm just being real. I cried to Jake last night that maybe I wasted our summer. I think I spent most of the summer wishing it was over. Fail.

Jake reminded me of all the things that Carter accomplished this summer. His list was long, and it was filled with things I had not thought of. It wasn't a waste, at all. It was full and stretched us all in ways we hadn't anticipated.

Summer didn't look like I thought it would. I've learned some things, and this hard season has helped me to develop a plan for next summer.

But until then, we'll enjoy second grade.

After we took our first-day-pictures: "Driveway Dancin?"

Yes, Carter. Let's dance.

Our first day of second grade was a little different than I had expected. But Carter handled all the changes beautifully. I pulled up to school in someone else's car - with a boy happily covered in green powder glitter (think eyeshadow, in powder form) - to an aide who thankfully thought it was pretty cute.

We got out of the car, and as I brushed the green powder off, it only rubbed into his skin more. Poor kid was making his first impression in second grade, looking like the incredible hulk.

But he was happy. So as I hopped back into someone else's car, I thanked God for a happy boy.

That's really all that matters.

Back home now, and this little sister has called her 'bruddow' at least 12 times on her play phone. I wonder if he's thinking of us as much as we're thinking of him.

Bye, summer. You were kind of a jerk, but you taught me important lessons.

Hi, second grade. I think I like you already. Be nice to us, though. Mmkay?

One Thing I Know For Sure: Change is good.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Gibson Getaway 2016

Here we are again. Another Gibson Family Getaway has come and gone. Spending my morning with coffee (thanks, Panera!), a quiet home (thanks, NaNa & G.G.!), and clean floors (thanks, me!). Between working on projects for our soon-to-be Second Grader & doing laundry, I'm taking a 'get energy' break.

Scrolling pictures & remembering St. Germain, 2016:

Remembering this independent, brave boy. Last year, he was afraid of the floating dock and was extremely hesitant to go on it unless someone was holding him.

This year, he owned that dock.

Duh, guys.

MiMi was smart and brought a kiddie pool - thanks to the hot and humid weather, Carter spent the rest of his vacation here :)

Water. Carter's happy place.

I hope Nozar and Linger have a place for the kiddie pool in the classroom.


Remembering this dolly - who spent her vacation with dirt under her fingernails, chocolate on her face, and joy in her heart.

Happy Boy, happier every day. This is Carter.

Remembering quiet moments in 'MiMi geen boat!' with two kids who love the water and their mom.

Remembering hot afternoons spent with campfires (because, it's camp) and bubbles.

We discovered that Carter is an expert at catching bubbles on his hands. As much as the rest of us tried, we could not catch a single bubble without it popping. We got our hands good & wet, even...thinking that must be the trick.

Nope. It's just Carter's special touch.

Or maybe it was Giraffe.

Thankfully remembering so many moments with my people.

There's much good to reflect on. We don't just vacation, we fellowship. Tension & release.

This vacation had profitable tension.

Here's some of the tension:

Doesn't look tense, does it?

It was.

In the middle, you'll see a little boy smiling so sweetly. What you don't see is that before and after this picture, we had a nervous little boy telling us "Noooo! No sea plane! All done sea plane!".

The backstory: For Ben & Carter's birthday (in April & May) we combined their gift and gave them a certificate for a sea plane ride in St. Germain! We knew we'd have some work to do to prepare Carter, and we have been rehearsing this moment with him for months. Literally, since May.

Over the past 3 months, Carter's feelings toward 'sea plane' went from ecstatic to terrified, and everywhere in between. We really believed that if we could just get him ON, he would love it.

So here we are. On the dock. Waiting for 'sea plane' to pull up. Trying to reassure a nervous and scared little boy. He pauses his nervousness and takes a smiling photo for his mommy.

And then the sea plane pulls up to the dock. This is the moment of truth. This is the culmination of three months of preparation.

Major tension.

Can he do it? Will he even try? Can he be brave like he says? What if he doesn't? Will he regret it? How will his mommy feel if he doesn't do it?

What if? Then what?

Grabbing on to his daddy so very tight. His safety.

Saying 'nooo sea plane' but wanting to jump in so badly.

So much tension. Everyone is quiet, watching in anticipation.

Carter CAN.

Big smiles, birdie whistles (his happiest sounds), 'SEA PLANE!!!" exclamations from the backseat.

Big smiles and thumbs up from dad, too :)

As we watched him take off, conquering his great big fears, there were so many tears. Jake sent us excited videos and texts during their 15 minute flight. Carter owned that sea plane.

What excuse does anyone have to sit stagnant? What's holding me back from growing?

After the ride was over, we met the plane in the middle of the lake with our boat. Carter crossed the threshold from plane to boat in the arms of the pilot, Mr. Bill.

I'll never forget the celebration that took place on that boat when Carter's feet hit the boat.


Carter CAN. Carter will.

Since we were on the boat anyway, and Carter definitely earned it, (and Tom probably would have thrown a fit if we had just gone home) we decided to head to Cathy's for ice cream.  On the walk from the boat to Cathy's, Carter was levitating.

This is fellowship.

Laughter, ice cream, family love....all part of our release.

To add to it, we hit a rain storm on the way home.

We were all soaked from head to toe - all of us laughing so hard our sides hurt. Even the kids.

Gibson Family Getaway, 2016. Possibly the best one to date.

This was the first group picture I took. Normally I have to take at least 25 to get one good shot.  I guess we get better every year.

Understanding each other, understanding ourselves, embracing the tension & enjoying the release.

This is family.

One Thing I Know For Sure: Gibson's CAN.

If you're bored and have several hours to kill:
St. Germain 2015
St. Germain 2014
St. Germain 2013
St. Germain 2012
St. Germain 2011


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Summer Day.

Some day, I will long to go back to these lazy summer days with two needy, smooshy babes. So I'm documenting it. Embracing it. 

Thankful for:

...a boy who knows he can. He says it every time he climbs up into his bed.  

Yes, dear one. You can. You will. 

...a little sister who loves her brother deeply. Sitting in his big boy bed is a thrill and a half. Made even better if he's actually in it :)

...garbage day. Sometimes, it's the little things. For Carter, garbage day is a big thing.

...our patio. AKA 'the summer family room'. We spend 98% of our time out here each summer, and as August nears I always wonder how we will survive the next 7 months without this 'room'. who can keep themselves occupied, in stretches that are lengthening daily.

...this view - my favorite. Siblings chillin' with their ma.  I love sibling love.

...the depth of this boys soul when I look into his eyes, like this picture below.

Just kidding. He's looking at his ice cream cone.

...a daughter with the biggest, sweetest, fiercest, sunniest personality of anyone I know. People frequently tell us she is 'pure joy'. We agree.

...the spare time that I've had to keep these alive. I'm actually doing it!

....the post-nap sillies. Carter likes to help me 'wake up sissy'.

Actually, he runs through the door and screams "HIIIIIIIII!!!!!!!!".

It seems like a pretty horrible way to be woken up. But she likes it.

...this boy and his blossoming personality. We've made a few changes and they have made all the difference for this boy - less anxious and closed off. More friendly and curious.

The smiles are real, folks.

...afternoon snacks and swims and snuggles. So many snuggles (from Carter, not Macy).

...a little girl who wears her mama's swimsuit (only 30 years old). Having a son is great. Having a daughter is transforming.

...summer. I'm thankful for summer. When the days drag on and September seems like it will never come, I think about the future me. The one who has grown kids with summer jobs and college plans.

I think about her and wonder if she's thinking about me. I bet she is.

Instead of wishing I was HER, I'm going to embrace ME.

Choosing to embrace my smooshy babes now, while I can. This is the good stuff.

One Thing I Know For Sure: Thankful for summer!
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