Dekker’s Name

I was feeling a bit stumped for a blog post, and it was suggested to me to share another post about one of the kids names, and how it was chosen. Its good to mix it up, right? So today, I figured I’d hash out where Dekker’s name came from!

Dekker should’ve been the easiest kid to name, because he was our first, but I will stand behind what I always say – BOYS ARE SO HARD TO NAME!!! Brady and I were 22 when we found out we were pregnant with a little boy, and the name game began.

We learned a couple of things pretty quickly. One thing was that we really liked talking about baby names! It was a fun thing to think about and plan for us. Not stressful. Another thing we learned is that we had VERY different ideas of what we thought we’d name our children. Brady had never really thought too far beyond common/traditional names, and I wanted to push as hard against that as I could! I had boatloads of ideas and he would veto and veto and veto.

I had read the name “Dekker” in a book during the first summer after bible college. I’m not much of a reader, but I was working at the lake and struggling through some big loneliness, and I TRIED to read to keep my mind busy. I can’t tell you what the book was called, but it was traaaaash. Just a crappy book that involved a cop falling in love with someone who actually was a alien, but then wasn’t, but actually was, or some kind of garbage. I truly don’t know the details. I think the cover was purple. 🤷 It doesn’t matter. But there was ONE character that I liked a lot. He was a good guy, and remained honourable through all of their circumstances in the book. Clearly, it wasn’t life changing enough to care about what the book was called, because again, it was crap. But he was a good character that stood out to me. I realized by the end of the book that Dekker was actually his last name, but thats what he was called, for whatever reason. This wasn’t surprising, because Dekker is not an uncommon last name. But it grew on me as the characters first name. It wasn’t that weird at all, but it wasn’t common at all, either. I don’t know anyone named Dekker. And it sounded strong enough for a man but sweet enough for a child. It met my requirements.

It was one of the first boys names I threw into the mix when Brady and I started talking, and honestly, Brady didn’t like it. He said he’d make fun of a kid named Dekker, and call him Deke. I took offence to him making fun of a name I loved it, and obviously swept it off the table as fast as possible. It was still early in the game. We had time.

Except that time kept on trucking, and a name did not come. I was learning through these naming conversations that Brady was quick to veto but things grew on him pretty quickly, too. So months after I mentioned Dekker to Brady, I tried again.

“Oh! I like that! Why haven’t we thought of that one before??”


We have, dear.

I told him what his first response had been, and he seemed kind of surprised by it. He was considerably more on board the second time, and I blew any other maybes out of the water! Nothing stood even close to Dekker in our list of names. It was pretty obvious at that point that his name was picked.

Since Dekker wasn’t really a “real” name at that point, it wasn’t to be found in any baby name books, online, etc. I’m not suggesting we made it up or anything. People are naming their kids last names a lot more often these days 😉 But towards the very end of my pregnancy, I discovered his name in a book!!! Its meaning was “A prayerful man.” We LOVED that! It sealed the deal for us, for our beautiful first baby!

Our first baby, who was supposed to be one of two, maybe three 😜

When Dekker was born, in ALL his humungous glory, he was very popular during our stay. People from different floors were coming to take a look at the big baby that had been born to the little mother, haha! They’d come in and ask his name, and everyone commented all of the things we had hoped for!

I love that! We’ve never had a Dekker before!
I’ve never heard of that! Its such a strong name!
I love that its juuust different enough, but not too out of left field.

It was so reassuring, and just grew our confidence in our choice.

And as the boy has grown, the name continues to fit. He is a prayerful little man, my Dekker. Just today, in his prayer for lunch, he told Jesus that he hoped Jamin was having a good day in Heaven, and asked him to take care of baby Bambino, too. 💙

I’d say it was a perfect pick!

A Busy Morning of Christmas Presents

It is a LOUD morning up in here!! The kids are elbows deep in their Christmas gifts, and they really hit the jackpot this year. They were gifted so many fun activities, and they have been enjoying them fully over the last few days. So far this morning, Laela and Rowan are playing PlayDoh, and Dekker is working on a Smithsonian kit, chiselling away for dinosaur bones. Solly is thrilled to have the freedom to play with EVERYTHING else, with no interruption, though he occasionally joins the group and watches the palaeontologist at work. There is a LOT of hammering but we have a happy group, and that makes me happy, too.

I don’t anticipate Dekker will recover any full dinosaurs today, so likely the hammering will soon be done for the moment, and the kids will trade out their PlayDoh for their kinetic sand kits. They have been having SO much fun with all their new games and activities. Thank you to our wonderful friends and family who gifted our kids amaaazing gifts that they love!! Very thoughtful, all around.

Its been such an active morning of Christmas presents and working together that I just realized I haven’t eaten. No wonder I’m feeling kind of gross and sick. Its been too fun of a morning to notice. Whoops!

Off to get some breakfast!

Appointment Day was SUCH a Gift

I’ve been anticipating today for a while now, and it definitely measured up to my expectations! I know not everyone likes doctors, but you guys know I like mine, and my regular appointments have been very effective in helping me keep my head above water. Today, I had an ultrasound in the morning and a doctors appointment in the afternoon. My mom lovingly offered to watch our kids so Brady and I could go just the two of us, which happens so rarely. This way, we could focus on the appointments better, and could even enjoy lunch together. It was SO nice.

We started at our ultrasound clinic, obviously, and the receptionist was super on top of it. She had us checked in before I even had my boots off! I had brought a gift for our tech, and I asked if I could just leave it on the desk for her to get later. And she wouldn’t! Lol! She was very sweet about it, but said I should give it to her myself, and that she was sure it would go over well. Turns out she was right, and our tech was so happy to receive it! She exclaimed that we were spoiling her, and gave me a big hug. (I say again, we LOVE our tech!) She gave us an amazing scan, showing us every little detail she could find. We went through it all very slowly, and examined fingers and toes, arms and legs, a belly and a face. Our baby moves SO much, which is just so amazing to see! The heart rate was nice and strong and in the 160s, and the baby actually is measuring a few days big. It has been for the last 2-3 scans, but the due date is already chosen, so we’re just happy to see the consistent growth. A few days one way or the other doesn’t matter too much. We had a really nice time together, but it had to end eventually. She said she’d bring out some pictures for us in a minute or two, as usual, and we headed for the waiting room. Turns out, she opened her present in those minutes! She came out and met both of us with big hugs, and thanked us, and said how perfect her gift was 🙂 She just warms my heart. I’m so thankful for her.

Lunch was next, and would you believe that it was SO hard to figure out where to go?? We rarely go for lunch, just the two of us, and especially not into a restaurant! It took a very long time before we settled on Chianti for lunch 🙂 I don’t remember the last time he and I went there, but it was definitely a date spot years ago. It was so nice and quiet when we got there, so we got a booth and got our food nice and quick. I’ll admit, though, that old habits die hard, and we wolfed our food down, as is often the case now that we have kids. We were in and out of there so quickly, lol! Even picking up coffee on our way to our doctors appointment, we were an hour early!! Yikes!

Luckily, we still like each other a lot, so time passed fairly quickly as we sat and chatted and sipped our incredibly weak coffee 😒 Honestly, its a small problem, but a bummer. We’ve cut back greatly on coffee this winter, in an effort to save money, and to finally get a coffee when I’m REALLY thirsty for one, only to have it be sub par at best, was SO disappointing! But alas, life goes on, and the coffee will be better next time.

When we did finally go into the clinic for our appointment, they were ready for us. We only waited a few minutes before it was our turn. It was my first real prenatal appointment there this time around, so they checked my weight and blood pressure. As expected, my weight was a tad higher than I would’ve liked, but not unreasonable of course, and my blood pressure was right around my normal, just a tad below their standard “normal.” No big complaints there 🙂

We went on to have a really lovely LONG appointment with Dr. Guselle. I had also snuck a present to a nurse, who slipped it into her office, and she had opened it before meeting with us, so it was a nice starting note. We appreciate her SO much, and I really hope she knows it. Our appointment covered all the beginning family history stuff, as well as my long-winded list of questions. I had WAY MORE than I have had previously, but there is just so much more going on in my head and heart these days. She understood, and happily answered everything and went along with my crazy. We discussed everything, from the flu shot to pelvic pain to new nausea meds to the other kids’ health to schedules to the fact that they show a key party in the Jim Carey Grinch movie!!! I truly enjoyed the whole thing. We finished the conversation off with making a plan for our upcoming appointments. The current plan is to see each other and find the baby’s heartbeat every other week, and schedule an ultrasound in the weeks in between. TRYING to stretch it out a little bit, so I’m not quite as high maintenance. My words, not hers, obviously. She is very understanding about the whole thing, which I appreciate.

The last thing we did together was go searching for the baby’s heartbeat with the doppler. I lay down and right away she commented on how surprised she was at how prominent my little uterus bump was! I love being able to feel it, and know that its been growing. It didn’t take long at all for her to find the baby and get its little heart rate on record. But it took even less time for the baby to swim halfway across my abdomen in protest of the doppler poking at its body. I loved that 🙂 I love that the baby seems to have an opinion on the matter, haha! Toady specifically just felt SO real. That is SO exciting, but it also adds a pressure that scares me. As I said the other day on here, I work hard to talk myself around those scary thoughts, because I cannot live in constant fear, but its almost impossible not to go there at all. So I’m trying to focus on the excitement and joyful side of today and think less about how much worse its all going to hurt if it ends too soon again. God be with us.

We closed off our date with a quick stop at Walmart, for milk and a few other groceries, before heading home and relieving my parents of their babysitting duties. Its good to be back with family after a special uplifting day of what felt like celebrating the baby in my womb. I am so grateful for today and all that went on, and for the fact that I am currently carrying a seemingly animated little person, a WHOLE PERSON, who I very much hope joins us here at home this coming summer. But, one day at a time, right? Today is upon us, and tomorrow will worry about itself. TODAY is an amazing day!!

Reflecting on 2017, and Wishing I Wasn’t

Since about mid-December, I’ve been reflecting on the year. Its a very natural thing to do around this time of year, as one measured year comes to an end, and a fresh, new time is upon us. Or, me, I guess. Maybe of us want to open the new year as a clean slate. This year, its been really difficult to keep my reflections rational. I’ve been putting in the effort, aiming to be very logical and self aware, but it is HARD.

I don’t have a clean slate coming in 2018.

I like to come out of a year, looking past the hard times, and picking out the victories! The wins! The positives! And gains. And while I KNOW there have been those; I choose to BELIEVE there have been positives this year, I cannot pinpoint them for the life of me. I am struggling hard to see past our losses, and our grief. It has clouded over everything. What else have we accomplished this year?? Nothing. We have simply survived. Barely, it feels.

I have to remember that, just because this year is ending, it doesn’t mean that everything of this year has to come to a close also. Thats been the trickiest part of these reflections for me.

Just because 2017 is ending, it doesn’t mean I have to be done grieving my sons.

I remember who I was last Christmas. We were all sick, but I was happier. I was coping better with our illness. I was ok. I feel like I am so much worse of a person now than I was then, and just typing it out breaks my heart and has me in tears. Because I don’t want to be this way. Yet, I have to remember that I am not really on the other side of this yet. I’m not at all done grieving. Life has kept moving forward, and I am coping, but I am not finished. Maybe I truly am a worse person right now, but maybe once I’m through a little bit more of this, I will slowly improve again. I hope so, anyway.

When Laela was born in the fast, scary way she was, people told me I was so strong, and so brave. And it would actually make me angry, because I knew I wasn’t. I feel the same way now. I am not brave, and I am not strong. If I had actually been given the choice, I would’ve chosen basically ANY other outcome than what I ended up with. Not ONCE did I make the choice to be “strong” or “brave.” But I was just stuck with what I got. I HAD to push through and go forward, whether I was brave, or scared shitless. Whether I was strong, or I was so weak I couldn’t keep my eyes open when doctors and nurses were talking to me. I LOST, guys. And I HATE that.

Brady has been able to talk me off my ledge a little. If this whole year was offset by, say, six months, would I feel just as crazy? No, probably not. Because I wouldn’t be reflecting on this all so hard, expecting my emotions to be in better shape. If it wasn’t December, I wouldn’t be analyzing this all so hard. But the natural year end paired with the Christmas festivities have been quite challenging on my heart, as my arms positively ache to hold my Theo, or to feel Jamin kick me in the ribs as I try to be helpful putting Christmas together.

I would have delivered Jamin in just a few weeks from now. Instead, I grieve HARD for two little boys I lost this year, while consciously working around the clock to NOT live in anxiety, waiting for the little baby in my womb to die. I question “when” rather than “if.” Its not a good mindset, I know. I try to talk myself around it, but it is literally impossible for me to not go there at all. But like I said. I’m weak, and I’m scared. I can’t take much else.

I’ve said it a million times. Its been a big year. Please be gentle.

Christmas Day 2017

We spent the day are my parents house, eating huge meals, opening presents, playing toys, reading stories, and generally enjoying each others company. While things were always moving at full speed with the kids, it was a relatively relaxed day.

We headed over first thing in the morning in our comfy clothes, as usual. The kids were in some of their new jammies, as tends to happen. We were greeted by yummy smells and friendly voices. We ate ourselves silly, devouring scrambled eggs, bacon, hashbrown casserole, croissants, sliced up oranges (did everyone else notice the serious lack of Christmas oranges out this year? We didn’t buy a single box!!) and we topped it off with chocolate milk! And coffee, of course. My goodness, it was SO good. I could’ve eaten all of the hashbrowns on my own, my goodness.

We moved from brunch to presents pretty quickly, and we all cashed in pretty smoothly, I’d say! Once their gifts were opened, Brady set them up downstairs to play with some of their new toys, and then us adults opened our gifts together in the quiet. Solly slept through the whole thing! Post-presents, the kids cracked out their new puzzles, along with some coloring, and spent a good chunk of the afternoon at the table. It was nice and relaxed and really felt like Christmas.

Solly eventually woke up and whined like a big ole baby (fitting) until it was time to eat. And when it was time, WOW did he eat!!! We had the whole Christmas feed, with turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, honey carrots, gravy, cranberry sauce, and our traditional orange jello loaded to the gills with peaches 🙂 Now, for a quick (but very well deserved) brag moment, if you think you’ve enjoyed a turkey dinner before, you would be blown away by the feast my mom prepares seemingly so effortlessly! Never once has her turkey been dry, or her gravy sub-par. Every time, she hems and haws about “Well, this isn’t my best gravy” but she’s always wrong, because it usually is. Seriously, her turkey feasts are a thing for the record books. We, for the second time of the day, ate ourselves silly.

Now, I am humungous, and the kids are weirdly energetic. Tryptophan, I was counting on you. I guess even turkey magic can’t take away the delight of Christmas!

We are home, kids are in bed, and a bath is run for this tired couple! It was a super great day, though! Sadly, Brady is working tomorrow, which isn’t my favorite thing, but will be ok. We’ve had a few really lovely days all together, and we will still have more. Tomorrow we’ll just keep low key and cozy, with lots of new toys to play with!

I hope you all had LOVELY Christmas days with your loved ones!! <3 And if your celebrations are still to come, I hope they’re exactly what you want them to be. Have a blessed season, friends!

Christmas Eve Christmas 2017

We had our family Christmas this morning! While I know gifts aren’t what Christmas is all about, its not a secret that they’re fun and anticipated. Also, if you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you probably have picked up on our method.

We follow the “something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read” method of gift giving, and while I LOVE the system, sometimes its tricky to be creative when coming up with gifts for each category, so I’ve done my share of blog searching to find ideas. That is a big chunk of the reason why I’m putting out kids presents on here 🙂 Ideas for whoever might want to try this down the road. I like this system because it forces you to get creative and really think about what you’re getting your people rather than just going into a store and coming out with armloads of random toys and clothes that you happen upon. Thats fine, too, but I love the planning that goes into this, and the way it leaves room to watch for sales and such just for those specific items. (So, just for records sake, this Christmas, Dekker is 6, Laela is 4, Rowan is aaaaalmost 4, and Solly is 1.5)

Ok, rant over! We’ll get to gifts in a minute, but we started the morning off with fresh cinnamon buns brought to us by, once again, our rockstar neighbours <3 (Solly was still sleeping at this point, sorry!)

After breakfast, the kids were just itching to open gifts. We decided to do a quick read of the Christmas story, and to pray together, to bring the whole gang back down to earth and remember the reason for Christmas in general. It was cute. They were all actually solidly interested.

Until Solly had to poop, of course. He picked a good spot for it. Riiight next to the presents.

Everyone prayed very patiently and then it was time to crack open the gift!!

I’m going to write about what they got out of the order they opened things in, just so its a bit more concise. We’ll start with their “wants.” The kids are still pretty young and don’t express a ton of wants, so I went forward and found some AWESOME stuff on local “buy and sell” pages. Dekker and Laela both got swing/plasma/wiggle cars. Rowan got a balance bike. Solly got a cheap little plastic scoop chair, which doesn’t really compare to the new ride-on toys, but those are all pretty over Solly’s head, so this worked too 😉 (These are probably the worst pictures I have from this morning, because they were moving so much, haha! I promise, quality will go up from here!)

Too bad its so cold out today, the kids couldn’t be out in the garage playing with their new stuff for long. Hopefully another day soon, because waiting for spring just seems WAY too far away!

Next in line are the kids “needs.” I found this one a really tough category in the past, because we are fortunate enough to have all of our needs met throughout the year. What do my kids NEED for Christmas? So rather than taking “need” perfectly literally, we settle on a more practical gift for this category. So for this, Dekker got new socks and underwear, which seems lame, but he was beautifully grateful for! His socks and underwear are so ragged, and I went against my grain of buying him all the same socks and got him “cool” socks that he will like more than I will. So, win! Laela got a full sized backpack to replace her bitty one that fits nothing but a water bottle and a snack in it. Rowans “need” was by FAR Brady’s and my favorite!! Rowan got BEDDING!! He got a new duvet and pillow, with a cute Ikea cover for both, and a big, soft, stuffed grizzly bear that he has tentatively named Snowman. Amazing! Solly got a pillow for his need, since he doesn’t have one yet.

Not the best picture of Dekker’s gift, obviously :/ I almost missed a few gifts being opened!


Smooches for snowman 😗

The third category was “something to wear” and for whatever reason, I was most excited about these gifts! They ALL got slippers, and we searched high and low for very specific ones for each kid. They all LOVED what they got! Win!!!

Old man slippers for Dekker

Soft pink girly boots for Laela

Red fuzzy slippers for Rowan

Blue character slippers for Solly (mostly because we knew his siblings would love them, lol! He didn’t try to take them off once!)

The slippers were wonderful, and they actually all opened them first, so that worked out well. The last category was “something to read,” and they all scored two “Pete the Cat” books. Our kids currently LOVE Pete the Cat, and as Dekker gets better and better at reading, he can actually read through the early readers, so thats what we got!

Let’s be real. Solly just wanted the box.

Lastly, we got each kid a few pairs of fresh jammies, because everyone is sizing up, or in Dekker’s case, his are ragged and in pretty desperate need of replacing. Everyone was super happy to have new pjs 🙂 I’ll spare you pictures, because they’re not super detailed or anything. Just four pairs of jammies each. Laela and Dekker changed into new ones on the spot. Solly would NOT have his slippers touched, so he’s in the same sleeper, and Rowan decided to “wear naked,” and has been in a diaper most of the morning.

Our kids also pulled names and bought each other a little gift.

Dekker bought a mini duplo set for Rowan. Sadly, I missed a picture for that one 🙁 But its a tiny little set that makes a school bus. Laela bought game of “Go Fish” for Dekker. Missed that one too :/ Mom fails. Rowan bought Solly a bucket for pouring water over heads in the tub. I know, it sounds SO lame, but our kids all fight over who gets to hold the bowl that we use to wet their hair, and now Solly can have his own 🙂

He spent the rest of the morning sticking his face into it, making noises, and laughing. It was pretty much adorable, actually. And Solly bought Laela pencil crayons, which was stoked about, but of course, I didn’t photograph. Sigh.

The last gift WE got the kids was the movie “Storks,” that I’m likely more excited to watch than they are. And I made a brave move (in my books, anyway) and bought our baby Bambino a stuffed toy. Rowan has taken it upon himself to guard it with his life until Bambina joins us here at home <3

(I’ll clarify here that I did NOT ask Ro to kiss his stuffies for the pictures, or do anything sweet at all. I just asked him to bring them over and show them to me. This boy melts me.)

Our kids each opened one more gift this morning, and they were from our amazing neighbours, who once again, hit it out of the park and blessed our children. It seems we’ve been somewhat adopted into their family, and its quite humbling, to be honest. The kids LOVED their gifts! Dekker got some new Lego, Laela got her first ever batch of Play-Doh, Rowan got a big case of Duplo, and Solly got some cute toys that stack on top of each other, or inside one another. All perfect for each kid.


They kids hit the jackpot this morning, in my opinion and theirs. They were so thrilled about the whole thing, even though we definitely didn’t break the bank or get them anything especially extravagant. I asked each kid over lunch what their favorite present was.

Dekker said he was just happy to be home. That was his favorite. I pressed a little and asked what had he liked unwrapping from under the tree best, and he said his favorite thing was watching Solly unwrap his gifts. I LOVE those answers because, he obviously wasn’t super concerned about what he himself got, and also because Solly unwrapping gifts was a total disaster, and he screamed whenever the paper would rip, as though we were ruining the gifts. It was hilarious 🙂 But he would NOT pick a favorite present. He just liked it all, he said.

Laela said she also liked everything. I told her I was so happy she liked it all, and did she have a favorite? “Everysing! Maybe my wiggle tuck is my favorite?” Lol! Her wiggle “truck,” apparently.

Rowan said his favorite present was Bambino getting a stuffed puppy, and his second favorite was his bear. I’m not surprised by that at all 🙂

All of the kids decided together that Solly liked his bath bucket thing the best, which I agree with completely. He LOVED that thing, and was incredibly possessive of it! But hey, its his, and its his first day playing with it, so he’s allowed.

I want to say I’m sorry for the ridiculously long post, and the absurd amount of pictures. I know some of you mix up our kids sometimes, and with them dressed the same, its possible all of these pictures look the same 😉 But I love them, and I wan to document this all here for us down the road. And I also really hope that anyone wanting to break Christmas gifts out into categories in the years to come can gain some ideas from all of this as well.

I hope you all had a really lovely Christmas Eve, however you spent it! My parents are on their way over to spend the rest of the day and evening with us, and tomorrow is Christmas at their place!! Its such a fun time of year, and I’m breathing a little easier than I expected I would be. Those of you who are clearly keeping us in your prayers, please don’t stop! It is bringing significant relief and joy to our holiday <3 Have a VERY merry Christmas Eve!! I hope you’re finding yourself blessed in your circumstances, whatever they are.

The Time That Hailey Forgot To Write Her Blog

So today has been an odd day. It started out relaxedly enough with a yummy breakfast for the kids, Frosty the Snowman playing in the background all morning, coffee and jammies and cuddles. A lovely neighbour brought back a slow cooker we had lent her the other day and repaid us with cinnamon buns, and chocolate and treats galore. We had a really nice chat with her while the kids finished their movie. Lunchtime could have gone smoother but all in all it was a really lovely morning. 3 out of 4 of the kids went down for naps and slept a good couple hours and just as they were waking up Hailey had to head to the city for her hair appointment.

No, this is not Hailey typing this. This is Brady.

I’ve written twice before if I remember correctly. And I’ve typed as Hailey dictates a handful of times as well. But as my battery power is dwindling I will get to the point.

Through a series of events since Hailey left for her appointment at 2:30, she completely forgot to blog and is now drifting off to dreamland beside me. Her hair appointment started at 3pm and with the plans she had previously discussed with her stylist, it lasted all the way til 7pm. And from what I can see in the dark, you guys are in for a treat. 🙂

But as the kids bedtime was approaching the power here in our area of the world went out. It’s been out for nearly 4 hours at this point and we’ve been nervous to use our phones or laptop too much in an effort to save batteries. So, needless to say, blogging was forgotten about until 10 mins ago when she realized it through her state of slumber and asked me to write it for her tonight.

So please forgive the choppiness and lack of writing style that you all know and love so well. She always says to me ‘I just write the same way that I talk!’ and she’s absolutely right. And it’s fantastically entertaining. Hopefully the way she talks has rubbed off on me a little over the years. 🙂

So enjoy your evening and if you live anywhere near us, it’s probably been filled with candle light, board games, and blankets. Stay warm everyone!

The Last Shop

My mom and I drove to the city today with the goal in mind of officially completing our Christmas shopping! The last weekday before Christmas. I know, it was a bit ballsy, but we did it, and WOW did we accomplish a ton!

I’m nervous to list the places we hit too specifically, so I’ll be a bit vague here and there 😉 We did some quick stuff downtown first (getting glasses adjusted and the like) first, and then got into the shop! We hit one of the malls, and I picked up a handful of gifts I’ve been putting off getting, because malls this time of year are bananas.

It might’ve been after that when we went after lunch. It kind of runs together in my head at this point. But say we went to lunch next. We went to Red Lobster, which we LOVE, for their clam chowder, shrimp caesar salad, and unlimited cheese biscuits. Our server was a total peach and the food was ridiculously good. We ate well and enjoyed our chat, without any rush. But eventually, time had to move forward, and we paid and left.

We hit SO many stores in that part of the city. A second mall, Winners, a couple of other little stops, and then we both needed groceries at Superstore. We even stopped at Part Source for an oil filter, since Brady was already elbows deep into an oil change before realizing he had oil but no filter. Shooooot!! But, we got it and kept moving!

We ventured back to towards the north end of the city, and hit a THIRD mall, that we perused in its entirety. So. Much. Shopping.

It wasn’t over. We both still had Costco lists. I know, our family was just there on Wednesday, but there were a few things that popped up on our list of needs, as well as a couple of things I wanted to buy as fresh as possible. So when my mom needed to go anyway, it worked out perfectly. We did our Costco shop together and found all that we needed, and didn’t even wait in line! The cashiers and cart loaders were fast today!! It was awesome.

Now, we’re both home. I think I can safely speak for my mom when I say that we are both WIPED. It was a huge day of shopping, but we accomplished so so much, and I’m SO glad we went. This was our last chance to get our last things, and we did it! I have in hand every present I’m going to give this year. I have big bags for the things I cannot wrap in paper. I have food for gatherings. I have plans! I’m really really happy today went so smoothly. Brady even managed to duck into the city with the kids and get Dekker’s glasses replaced on warranty. Did I tell you guys yesterday that Dekker’s glasses broke? Well, if not, Dekker’s glasses broke, and Brady crazy glued them back together to make it through today, but they quickly popped the lenses out of the old frames and into the new ones, and boom! They were done. Easy peasy, lickety split!

Time for supper!! Neither Brady or I know what we’re hungry for, so we’re settling on big crunchy salads, with lettuce, cucumbers, celery, tomatoes, chicken, cheese, seeds, and honey mustard salad dressing. THAT makes me hungry!!

I hope you’re all feeling ready for the Christmas season, no matter what that looks like for you 🙂 I am so anticipating tomorrow being a day spent in jammies, with movies and treats and just being full on lazy and cuddly. Though I do have the wrap the end of these presents sooner or later, and tonight is NOT the night!


I have SO enjoyed today!!! Last year, Dekker was rocking the flu around this time (as was everyone else) and ultimately ended up missing his Christmas concert altogether. Yes, yes, I know there will be many more ahead of us, but it was pretty disappointing for me. He didn’t care too much at the time, but he’s been getting more and more excited about this years’ Christmas concert as the date has crept up. Meanwhile, I’ve been praying hard against sickness, and I am SO thankful that everyone was well enough to make it to both Dekker’s concert, and Laela’s preschool concert this morning.

I don’t have many great pictures on hand, and the few I do include other’s kids faces of what I have no ownership. So, sadly, no pictures for this one 🙁 But, try to picture it along with me.

Laela’s Christmas concert was terribly cute. There was a LARGE group of children, the three year old class and both four year old classes. They rang their bells and sang and did actions along to a few different songs, and Laela actually participated! It was a bit of a bummer at first, because she was tucked so tightly behind a couple of kids, and it was really hard to see her with our eyes, much less cameras! A loving mom helping out moved her to a more visible location after a song or two, which I really appreciated. I could FINALLY stand up in my back bench and take a video. Apparently, this was the moment Solly chose to make his escape. I didn’t even notice because he had been so calm and quiet and charming up to that point. I took a video while Laela stood still as a statue and smile at Brady, who was also taking a video of her, which she clearly thought he was taking a picture. I recorded the group for about 30 seconds before a friend got my attention and said “I think your son is up there.” Shoot!! Solly had stealthily crept his way up there and was hunting for Laela. He made it onto the stage before I caught him and hauled him back to our spot. He had a little cry but was consoled by watching from my arms.

When the program was over, Laela’s teacher gave each kid a gift, and we headed to the gym for treats. There were two tables full of fruits, veggies, crackers, and sweets. We loaded up two tiny dessert plates for the family to share, and commandeered a table. My parents joined us for the whole thing, and we had a really sweet time as a group. Laela was feeling very proud, and the whole place was just bustling. The snacks were good and the energy was high. But eventually, it was time to head out, and after I held up the show with visiting for longer than I should have (as usual) we made it home.

We napped Solly right away because our window was small, and Laela and Rowan had a bit more lunch. About an hour after getting home, we woke Solly and reloaded everyone into the van. We headed off to Dekker’s school and met my parents there, once again, for Dekker’s concert!

Dekker’s was more in depth, with the whole play, and each class singing a special song or two. Unlike their school assembly last year, Dekker sang and did actions and participated well! He did not like when the spotlights spanned back and forth across the group and hit him. It seemed to really bother him, actually. But by the end if it, he was a bit more used to it. He really liked singing “Marys Boy Child” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” I just LOVE that his school still points to the birth of Jesus as the reason for the season!! That is so rare in schools, and while his school is technically not a Christian school, it does not shy away from the message of Jesus! Amazing job!!

Dekker was pretty thrilled to have such a big group of us there to see him, and we were happy to have made it there too 🙂 Can’t speak for Solly, though. The little boys are just BEAT, but it was completely worth it! There is ONE MORE concert to attend tonight, and thats a second showing of Dekker’s. People aren’t technically supposed to attend both, for the sake of seating, which makes perfect sense! However, either Brady or I will go on our own, just to be there watching him, and taking him to and from, mostly. We won’t even steal a chair, I promise!

Whew! Its been SUCH a cute day! Only one more day of school before the kids are off for TWO WEEKS and we can be alarm-free!! I’m so looking forward to it!

A Peaceful Morning

Once again, I was able to sleep in this morning. Its amazing how much faster I’m getting better compared to my usual sicknesses. Sleep makes ALL the difference! With that, we’re going to bed nice and early, too, so Brady is still very well rested even though he’s getting up with the kids each morning. We’ve both greatly enjoyed the layout of this week, save for the sickness, of course. Its been a real treat to sleep in each day and heal from my cold so much faster than I normally do. Especially considering my pregnancy, and how there is far less I can do to manage my sickness! This has turned out pretty well 🙂 I still sound terrible, but I could breathe while laying down yesterday, so I’ll take all the progress I can get!

Brady left around 9:00 this morning to get to work, and its been a pretty lovely morning since then. Solly was fighting the power pretty hard to begin with, crying on and off for quite a while for seemingly no reason, but after some snuggles, he wandered off to find a blanket, and he’s been fine ever since. Meanwhile, Laela and Rowan have been sitting at the island, reading books, all morning. I love that. They’re currently reading through an alphabet book, and while they occasionally ask for my input (Is “S” for lettuce? Oh, salad, oops!) they’re doing a fabulous job on their own! I’m super proud of my little bunch of smarties.

In a little while, we’ll all have lunch and everyone will lay down for a rest. Then, we’ll pick Dekker up from school and go to an ultrasound all together. Its been almost two weeks and I’m pretty twitchy and anxious to see that little babe in there. I’m trying to remind myself that my symptoms are still present, and that should be reassuring. But guys, it just isn’t. Not for me. I felt at least some degree of nausea until the day I delivered Jamin, even though he had passed roughly two weeks before we found out. My boobs hurt the entire time. All of those little reassurances that so many people carry, I just can’t carry them anymore. I can ONLY carry Gods promise, which I believe to be the best answer! But its a hard answer, too. Trust me, I understand why people who do not believe in God think those of us who do sound crazy. We just have to let go of everything, and trust some “God” to take care of things. It sounds crazy, but WOW do I believe it to be truth! None of this is under my control. None of it. And if God wasn’t in control, it would be a far less hopeful situation. I would likely just give up. But THANK GOD FOR GOD!!! His eye is on the sparrow, and I KNOW He watches me.

If we can make it through lunch without any yelling or fighting, this should all roll out to be a pretty great day! Wish us luck!!