When your daily activities are in concert with your highest priorities, you have a credible claim to inner peace. – Hyrum Smith



I smiled to myself as I descended the stairs.  I was watching Aaron head down the hallway toward the kids' rooms with some beloved items in tow.

Teddy, Strawberry, and Bink.  They are our family's must-haves right now. 

Teddy is a raggedy old bear I won for Parker in a Red Robin claw machine years ago.  Since that time, he has moved cross-country with us, always safely tucked under Parker's arm (or sometimes hidden away in his school backpack).  Teddy is his faithful sleeping companion and playmate.

Then, of course, there's Strawberry.  I believe I've posted about this particular blanket before.  She used to be a beautiful, fluffy pink thing, embroidered with strawberries.  Maddie has had her since birth.  Any attempts at buying a back-up Strawberry would surely be met with disaster, as she is now gray and holey.  Strawberry is the secret-keeper.  She is the fort-maker, the make-shift doll, the best friend, all in one.  A night without Strawberry is incomprehensible.

Finally, Bink.  What a love-hate relationship this pacifier and I have!  I tried to get rid of it too early, I'm afraid.  Then the thumb-sucking began.  So, I brought it back from the dead (or rather, the baby bin in the basement).  Now, when it falls out of Jack's drooling little mouth in the middle of the night, oh the wailing that ensues!  If I were to take it away now, Jack's frantic cries of "Bink!  Bink!" might just send me over the edge.  So Bink is here to stay...for now.

My heart is filled with pure joy at the thought of the importance of these simple, little items in our world right now.  I know that one day they'll be replaced with other things, cell phones, Ipads, who knows what else.  So, for the moment, I'll enjoy the simplicity of our treasured creature comforts and pray they don't change too soon. 


Slice of Life

It's one of those evenings...Nothing out of the ordinary, yet everything miraculous.  I just want to document a small slice of life.  Because I'm sure I'll forget.  I'm sure as the days blend into months and years, I won't remember these precious little moments that make up my existence right now.

I just came downstairs from giving Maddie a breathing treatment.  She has Reactive Airway Disorder (kind of like Asthma for little kids) which flares up with a bad cold or during allergy season.  Right now she's on an Albuterol treatment every 4-5 hours, even through the night.  One might assume this is a burden, and to be honest, it kind of felt that way the first few evenings.  Then there was tonight...

She didn't even stir as I lifted her into my lap.  My enormous 4 year old girl, all arms and legs and long, stringy hair.  I placed the mask over her face and kicked the On button with my toe.  She leaned into my chest, and I just reveled in her.  In us.  Cuddling as if she were still my newborn baby girl. 

This weekend we learned she would be our only girl.  We had a gender reveal party with our friends and family to learn the sex of the new baby.  It was so exciting to cut into that cake and see the blue crumbs on the tip of the knife.  While I was absolutely elated, my heart went out to Maddie, who so wanted a baby girl.  I hope one day she will recognize the blessing in being our only daughter.  She will forever be my favorite girl in the world, our one and only princess. 

As I headed downstairs, I stopped by Parker's room.  I tiptoed up to his newly constructed castle bunk bed [more on that fiasco later] and peered over the turrets.  Out like a light.  I kicked myself for not making the top bunk more accessible.  How I miss kissing his angelic face as he sleeps!  "Goodnight Parker.  I love you," I whispered. 

(I skipped Jack's room.  Sorry, son.  You're still a pretty light sleeper.) 

Even as I type, our sweet baby boy is rolling around inside of me.  It is the most wondrous feeling in the world.  Nothing compares.  I can't wait to meet this little guy and see how he fits in with the rest of the circus. 

We know he's our last baby, as my husband stated, "As long as he's healthy and happy, we are shutting this operation down!"  It's truly the end of an era and so bittersweet.  Knowing this is my last pregnancy, I am treasuring every single moment and sensation.  (I won't even let the varicose veins get me down!)

So here I sit...dishwasher running, fetus rolling, blessed beyond belief.  God is so good!  Thank you, dear Father, for these quiet, lovely, love-filled evenings.