Breakdowns Amidst Progress

Yesterday, Brady and I spent a good chunk of time out in the garage. There was purging, rearranging, organizing, box flattening, and and donating involved. We didn’t in any way go through every box, but we were able to make the space WAY more useable! Spoiler alert, at the end of the day, the van drives into the garage better than it did last winter! Its still tight, but its better than ever, and I’m SO grateful for all the work put in to make it possible. Taking all of the kids to school in the morning will be so much easier without having to haul them through the snow and wind and ice in their jammies and jackets.

We found out that Jamin had passed away two full months ago now. As you can probably understand and relate to in some way, at least, time changes things. I can confidently tell you that while our losses aren’t “easier,” they’re more normal. Those boys are part of our family, and have changed my life in so many ways. Thats a post all on its own. But as I’m sure you can also imagine, there are things that trigger my pain just out of nowhere and can send me into a tailspin.

I had a pretty good cry in our garage yesterday.

We had our usually contained heap of storage stuff spread all over the garage, and were trying to put things where they fit a little bit better. Stacking boxes with boxes, and sticking the things that didn’t fit anywhere very well (ie: tonka trucks, a lap pool, hoses, chairs that don’t stack, etc) either into little spaces or all into one big pile. The big pile was growing quickly, and moving towards the garage door. It seemed fitting, since the stuff by the door would likely take the biggest hit weather-wise and dust-wise, and it was mostly outdoor stuff. It was fine, until I realized our baby cradle was in that pile.

To be fair, nothing dirty or gross was in it or anything. But it was RIGHT up against the garage door. I’m positive I’d seen it there before, unconsciously, but let me tell you. A switch flipped.

I’ll pat myself on the back here, because I didn’t completely lose it. I went over to Brady and asked if the cradle could be moved. I pointed out how it would likely get worn and dirty where it was. He agreed right away, and said he’d find a different place for it, no problem.

I should’ve just left it there, but the tears just started flowing, completely out of my control. I blubbered something about how that cradle should never have to be in the garage in the first place. It should be up in our room, beside the bed, and it should have a baby in it. Brady came over and held me while I shook and sputtered and back pedalled. He asked me if I wanted it inside somewhere, like maybe even in Solly’s room, as it has SO much empty space. But I didn’t think I could bear to see it so often. On one hand, it would be a good hopeful reminder, and on another, it would just hurt.

Brady promised to deal with it all, and he delivered. It is still in the garage, but stored totally safely, in a place where it won’t take a beating, and is easily accessible for when we finally need it again.

Crisis averted, for the moment, anyway. It’s always the little things that catch me off guard and send me reeling. I know I’m not the only one.

Yikes, little boys, how I ache for you 💙💙

Productive in a Different Way

Our plans changed last night in regards to today, so instead of framing the end of the basement, Brady was itching for a way to be productive around here. Thanks to all of his efforts with Reid yesterday morning, there were things that he could do today that wouldn’t be loud while the kids napped! Nap time makes construction in the basement so tricky to get to, but we were so thankful when we put the days plans together and found some helpful jobs we could do during the afternoon.

With the tub downstairs, there is more room in the garage, making us closer and closer to getting the van parked inside! This is one of the bigger goals we have. We did add the big freezer to the freezer, but while that does take up a bit of space in there, it is now out of the furnace room!! That means we can finally fit some of our storage from the garage into the furnace room where it belongs!! As I write this, Brady is hauling all of the tubs of kids clothing into the basement to store them under the stairs. The reality is, they probably won’t live under the stairs for long. I’d like them on shelves, and they aren’t built yet. But I know they will live in the furnace room, so I don’t really care about having them in their exact location right this moment. And with the clothing tubs out of the garage, Brady should be able to reorganize our garage well enough that the bus will fit inside comfortably! I’m so happy thats coming 🙂

We spent a chunk of time this morning learning a new song for Sunday morning offertory. The reorganize will probably take a while this afternoon, and from there, we’ll pick up Dekker after school and run to the city for a quick grocery shop! I don’t know about you guys, but we ran out of milk and bananas in the same day, and that is pretty serious business around here. Hopefully we’ll take care of everything we need in just a short trip, and then I’m heading out for the evening to a meeting with a bunch of girls from town.

So its turned into a pretty busy day, but it feels good to know we’re getting a bunch of jobs done in place of the one big job we were expecting to do.

However, before anything else, lunch is next on the list! Work will commence once again once boys are in bed for naps 😴😴

Heavy Things and Big Muscles

I couldn’t be more grateful!! This morning, a friend of ours messaged me and offered to help move our tub from the garage into the basement! If you read a few days back, I was lamenting about how many things there were to do that were dependant on either other people or other jobs taking priority. But this morning, a couple of BIG things were taken care of!!

Reid came off a night shift, after working outside in the crazy wind, and drove out of town to our house to help. It was both unexpected and totally appreciated! Brady, he, and I visited for a while before they actually decided to start moving the tub. The kids were eager to witness the process, though Solly was less than enthused.

Regardless of his joy or lack there of, the three of us headed into the garage and got set up. Reid was far more prepared than we were, and brought out gloves and even a hard hat, just to keep it corny 😜👷 We can always count on you! The started to work right away, and what should have only been a ten minute job became a task that hijacked over an hour of time!

The tub needed to come in the front door rather than through the man door from the garage, so the guys carried it through the crazy wind into the entrance. Who knew that would be the easy part?

They tried everything! The tub went up and down the up side of our stairs, back out the door, and turned around 180. We took off the front door altogether. We pulled chunks of the lumber off of the bathtub that were making it more sturdy to haul but took up space. They. Did. Everything. And it was sooooo close. WAY too close to not go forward with it.

So, we bit the bullet and took the hit. Hits, I should say. And they were pretty sizeable.

Oy. Right? But really, it was too stinking close, the tub was perfect, and these gashes are nothing we can’t putty and repaint fairly easily. It looks a mess now, but I am SO relieved to have that tub downstairs!! Not only that, but we abused our guest just a liiiiittle bit more and he and Brady hauled that big chest freezer out of the basement into the garage!!

Both of those jobs were HUGE, literally and metaphorically, and I am SO thankful to have them DONE! Brady will spend tomorrow working on the framing in our basement, which was also once again made easier by someone lending him a framing nailer that fit the nails Brady had from a previous time he had borrowed a nailer from someone else. So we literally have all of the materials and hardware we need at no extra cost! At least for today, haha! You never know what will come up tomorrow! But for today, I am SO thrilled for the amazing amount of help that Reid willingly offered us, and the amount of work they got done. Brady and I couldn’t have done those jobs without help, and now they are DONE! Hopefully we never ever have to move that tub out of the basement ever again. 😳 And by “we,” I mean “them.”

Seeing My Mom

I am extra fortunate to get to spend time with my mom more often than many. I know this. Yet sometimes I just ache to sit and spend time chatting with my mom. I miss her, even though I see her often. Just making up for lost time when we lived in Radisson 😉

She offered to come over this morning so I could take Dekker to school and then Laela to school without having to bring everyone with me. We visited and caught up during the hours of preschool, and then she hung out with the little boys again while I picked Laela up. It’s always so nice to have some help, though I can swing it all if need be, but the treat was just to have my mom around <3

During our chat, we covered kids, Christmas, plans for the week, etc. Its not as easy to talk when there are two needy little dudes roaming around, though, haha! Rowan wanted Grandma to read him every book we own (exaggeration, but still) and Solly was working on a poop that he just couldn’t get and therefore went back and forth from crying to snuggling and back to crying. The snuggles couldn’t be beat. Its like he knows I need to be cuddling a baby, so he’s staying a baby for a bit longer. Which I appreciate. Thank you, son.

I’m so happy we’ll get to spend yet another day together this week!! The kids and I are going to her house on Thursday and Brady is going to spend that day at our house, working on the basement framing! I’m SO excited that we’ll get a bit more done on the house, and I know Brady feels the same. The only flaw in the plan was that we need the tub down there!! We’re having friends over for brunch and Saturday and had hoped to rope one of them in to helping Brady get it down the stairs, but ideally it would already be in the basement before Thursday. Sooooo if anyone with BIG muscles wants to come carry a bathtub downstairs with my husband tonight or tomorrow, please let me know, haha! It needs two big muscly guys, or three pretty muscly guys. Brady is pretty dang muscly but cannot lift a tub/shower combo on his own. At least he’s a start!

I’m so excited for any and all of the work to begin!! I had so hoped to have our basement done before the end of the year, but I’m letting that dream go for now. It will get done as soon as it can.

Until then, I’ll continue puttering away at the small things I can control, and organizing the more reasonable areas of the house. Our kids toothbrush drawer won’t even know what hit it! Boom!

Settling Back In

Its so nice to be back home with our beautiful children, in our house, with our own beds, etc, food, etc. Yet today feels so scattered and off kilter!

Brady is at work, feeling fairly low, and I’m feeling quite heavy hearted as well. We’re both making a point to stay busy, he with his job and me with lots of messaging with friends, researching a few things, and playing with Laela while everyone else naps. Its a strange day, where it feels like its going fast and slow all at once. My mind is positively racing.

I think, no matter how hard I try, today’s post isn’t going to make sense. I don’t know if we feel so off because we had such a quiet, slow paced break and came home to the busyness of family. Is that a thing? It was only one night, but Brady and I are both reeling today.

It is only 1:00 and I am SO ready for bed! Oy!


Our Staycation

Brady and I are officially home again! We celebrated his birthday well, and are now completely tuckered out.

My parents came over Saturday afternoon and Brady and I left for the city. We checked in to our hotel (eek!) and spent a good chunk of the afternoon and evening Christmas shopping. Yes, I know, its October. But we are ahead of the game and very happy about it. We got lots done, ate some quick supper, and eventually made it back to our hotel.

I should just tell you guys, we took advantage of a deal I’ve been anticipating for months! I booked us the couples staycation package. It scored us the executive king room, which overlooked the river, the bridge, etc., and the fall colours in all their glory. With that, we also got two movie passes along with popcorn and a drink, and a nice late checkout at 2:00pm the next day. It. Was. Perfect.

Now, if you’ve been trying to go to a movie recently and you’re anything like us, nothing looks interesting. I’ve looked a couple of other times in the last couple of months and I just don’t like anything. However, lucky for us, the movie “Stronger” was playing. It was based on the Boston marathon bombing, and I liked the actors in it. The showtimes looked reasonable, until the Friday before we left. When the showtimes rolled over, there was only a single time for this movie, and it was at 10:30. We are old and crotchety by that time of night, but we decided to go for it. And it was worth it! The movie wasn’t the best I’ve seen, and there was a scene or two that were pretty unnecessarily indecent, if you ask me, but all things considered, it was a good choice. It wasn’t as gruesome and gory as I expected it would be, which was a relief.

It was so fun to be out, intentionally dating, holding hands and making memories, but we were solidly tired when we got back to our hotel. We cuddled up in bed and watched Big Bang Theory. It was pretty perfect.

We slept in this morning, and killed some more time watching our show and eating treats. Eventually, we wandered out for our free breakfast in the restaurant. Brady had a meat lovers skillet and I had eggs benny. We grossly over ate and went back to our room to lay in food comas in our bed. Eventually, we surfaced and decided to hit the pool. We had time, and it was deserted, so we went and enjoyed a quiet swim and chat. It was good to actually talk without wrestling a child or having to shout “what?” over the din of them playing or fighting or just generally living. After our swim, we packed, grabbed a coffee, and came home to party at my parents place with them and my brother’s family. It was busy and happy and celebratory. We have good people here.

I LOVE our life with kids, but I also love Brady, and our marriage. This weekend was so great, and I think Brady would agree. Everyone needs a weekend like this.

Brady and Hailey Turn 29!

Technically, my birthday was in July. But I choose not to make decisions based on a technicality. So Brady and I both age on his birthday 😂 Its ok, he accepts my terms.

That being said, today is the day to celebrate BRADY!

Brady is the ultimate husband. I want to say he is the BEST husband, because he loves his family unabashedly, he puts us first in every way he possibly can, and he works HARD. He is the best dad, husband, and friend. He is 100% involved in our life, meaning he cooks, cleans, does homework with Dekker, reads stories, plays on the floor, disciplines, challenges, and celebrates the little things alongside us. Nothing is just “a woman’s job.” He is in. And we appreciate him SO MUCH.

Since losing our baby boys, my love and appreciation for Brady has only gotten stronger. It may sound small to some, but Brady is 100% emotional available and emotionally involved in our family. That means the WORLD to me. I can cry, and he can cry, and we have each other. The safety and comfort in that cannot be beat.

On one hand, I say that Brady is the BEST husband. And on another hand, he really shouldn’t be. He is the example of how a husband should be. It shouldn’t be unheard of that a man participates in his family in these ways, and I am SO thankful my husband is one of the ones who does! I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Brady, I love you all the way. I hope you feel it. Through thick and thin, hubs. We’ve got this. ❤️

How I’m Feeling About Our House

With Brady being home so much this summer, we’ve both been itching to do projects around our house. However, the trade off with him being home so much means there isn’t much money to actually take on the projects. I blame the project planning on Brady’s regular routine of being busy with work, and with my natural ache to be nesting and preparing our home. Yet, we’re basically sitting ducks. We have our basement framing package from earlier in summer, and that is mostly done. As the seasons are changing, though, there is more conversation flying back and forth between he and I.

Beware, because what is to come will make very little to no sense. “Jumbled” doesn’t begin to describe it!

A big priority is getting the garage empty enough to park the bus inside for winter. At this point, we have room for the bus, but it’ll be pretty stinking close. We purchased the tub/shower combo for the basement a few months back, and it remains in the garage because we just never think to ask for help when a big strong man is over! So once that thing is gone, we’ll have a decent chunk more room in there. A small chunk, anyway.

We have a big beast chest freezer in the basement, and recently noticed that it was about to kick the bucket. So we ate as much out of it as possible before buying a smaller freezer off of a buy and sell page, and putting what was left in there in our garage. We’ve since defrosted the big freezer and it seems like it might work again. Might. We’d like that one to the be in the garage, so we moved the little one (along with a mini fridge) down to our furnace room, but we can’t move the big one into the garage, because it’ll take up too much space in there.

Before we can move the big freezer into the garage, we need to clean out more storage stuff from the garage. Except that most of our storage will go in our furnace room. So that ALL has to happen on the same day. Which isn’t ominous at all…

We could just move the big freezer into the middle of the basement, build some shelves to store things in the furnace room, and then once things are rearranged, move the freezer into the garage. Thats probably our best bet. And I think its our next logical move.

“Is everything in your garage expected to go in your basement??”

Heck no. SO much of it will be purged when we finally start moving it, I am certain. But a HUGE chunk of what’s in our garage is also outdoor stuff. Bikes, tools, outdoor toys, beach stuff, outdoor Christmas stuff, etc. That stuff all needs to go in either a shed, or we need to enclose underneath our deck, which I think we’ll eventually do. But we can’t do that this season at all. Therefore, we definitely need to build some storage options in our garage. Except that everything is already in our garage, and it’ll all have to be moved around in a pretty big way to get the job done, if its even possible.

So. We need to finish framing our basement, build shelved in our furnace room, remove our freezer, store a bunch of the garage in our furnace room, put the freezer in our garage, build shelves in the garage, store everything else on them, and then maybe some of the mundane, daily life projects can go forward. It seems like, with every project or every job, we can’t go them without doing something else. They all overlap and roll into each other, and while I’m trying not to think too far ahead and set unrealistic goals, its super difficult to organize my thoughts! I don’t want to make a list, either, because I know it’ll be a list that takes YEARS to finish. All of these projects feel so important, and like they need to come before pretty much everything else, but what about the daily stuff??

We have a HUGE mess in one corner of our counter. Its ALWAYS been there. Its everything we would put in a desk/office area. We know where that area will be. It’ll be in the basement, next to the bedrooms. But that place isn’t finished, obviously, and we don’t yet have a desk for it because the one I want is specific, and its not a priority to spend our money on. So it waits, and that towering pile of paper/notebooks/cards/etc stares at me every single day.

I want to reorganize the pantry and two cabinets that have no real rhyme or reason. We have a beautiful abundance of cabinets, and a couple of them are just messy with things we never use. Our pantry is a cross between holding food and holding small appliances. I want to decide what stays in the pantry, what moves to the cabinets, and what goes downstairs in a little storage area of bulk items. Except that the stinking furnace room isn’t done, so I can’t actually visualize what space I’ll have down there. And anything I set up temporarily in our basement will eventually have to move back out when we actually get to finish finishing it. So instead, spaces in my kitchen are either overfilled and disorganized, or unused and dusty.

Besides all of these reasonable projects in my mind (yes, I’m going as far as to call them “reasonable”) I have a sad mommy ache that desperately wants to make a baby room. Trust me, friends, when I say I know that one isn’t reasonable. Not only have I not at all pregnant, but we have four kids in two rooms at the moment, and even if I decided to put a baby room together for our hypothetical next baby, we need our basement done so we have an extra kids room. Its just not even something I should be putting any brain power into at the moment, but I can’t help it. I’m not saying I’m going to do anything about it, but I do think about it, and it makes me want to get things moving around here even faster.

I’m just so ready. But reality also tells us that when Brady is busier back at work (Its already picking up a bit, thank you, Lord!) he’ll be gone! So there will be far less time to get these projects done.Its all logical. It all makes sense. But for some reason, today, its driving me bananas. I promise, I’m not ungrateful. My mind is just going a mile a minute, and I needed to get some of this out.

I told you this post wouldn’t make a lot of sense, didn’t I? You were warned.

When Crazy Isn’t Too Crazy After All

Brady got a call yesterday for some work for him today and tomorrow, so I was spontaneously left without morning help. Now, I’ll preface this post by saying I’m more than fine in the mornings. I can handle my kids, and they’re familiar with the routine. But in the recent past, Brady is often home in the mornings, and when he’s not, my mom sometimes comes for a bit. It has made it possible for me to leave the three at home when I take Dekker, and then often to leave the little boys at home when I take Laela to preschool on her days. I am SO thankful for the help I’ve received. I know that many aren’t as fortunate as we are in that way. I’m definitely not complaining!

This morning was the VERY FIRST MORNING where I had to take everyone along to both elementary school and preschool. I was expecting a pretty difficult time, but it actually worked out surprisingly smoothly!

Getting everyone dressed and out the door always takes longer than I expect, so we were all in the van on our way out probably about ten minutes later than usual. Dekker is a kid who likes to be at school nice and early so he can play outside with his friends, and we couldn’t swing that today, unfortunately, but he wasn’t put off at all. He’s such a good kid. We got to school and as usual, I asked him if he wanted to just run from the van or if he wanted me to go with him. He asked if I would go with him. He always does. And I always do. I know that if I told him he needed to go on his own, he’d be more than fine, and wouldn’t even be super sad about it, but I know he won’t always want to walk to school with me, holding hands, so I take him up on it! We walked to the boot room and had a big hug and kiss before he bolted off to play.

I got back to the van and checked the time. We had about a half hour until preschool started. Its such a strange time frame, because if I went home and unloaded everyone, took of their jackets and shoes, and let them play, they’d play for maaaybe ten minutes before I’d have to get them all dressed and ready again. Not worth it. There’s not enough time to drive to a neighbouring town for Tims. Its WAY too early to drop Laela off, so that’s not an option. And we don’t have a dvd player in our van, so watching a show is out of the question. Honestly, this morning was the first time I really wanted one of those systems!

We drove to get the mail, but that killed all of two minutes, and we drove home. Twenty five minutes left. We sat, idling in the driveway, and I decided to put on songs that the kids like. Well that really helped, and we had fun with that. All three kids were pretty content, which was awesome. I realized after just a few minutes that it was Laela’s day for show and tell at preschool, and I had forgotten! I told her right away and she knew immediately what she wanted to bring, so I ran inside to get it. If not for that time of waiting, I’d have forgotten completely! Win! Sort of, haha 🙂

After about fifteen minutes (five songs) we drove to pick up another little girl, and we drove to preschool. I always allot five minutes for picking her up and we arrive roughly five minutes early. And it turned out! I got everyone inside, out of jackets, into shoes, and that was it! I drove the little boys home and we spent the next couple of hours just the three of us!! I think they play the nicest together when its just the two of them, rather than when all four kids are around. Just a different vibe. Its nice.

So what I expected to be a pretty hands on morning was surprisingly smooth! Its far from a perfect system, and I truly don’t know how people coordinate that strange 45 minute interim. Scheduling is hard! Eventually, I think it’ll be easier next year, when Dekker is in full time and Laela is in kindergarten. They’ll be able to walk together at least some of the time, and I won’t always be driving to school in the morning. I’m just not sure at what age its good to let Dekker walk on his own, or how that all works, so for now, I juggle and whine once in a while about it 😉 But for the most part, I just put on my big girl panties, or pull on my sexy big girl thigh boots (because, fall) and drive the whole clan. I’m so fortunate such a relaxed, accepting group. They make it easy to have four kids.


Another Gooder

Because yesterday apparently wasn’t enough, I was fortunate enough to spend today out and about with my mom. She had a short list of things she was on the hunt for, including new glasses. I’m sure many of you can agree that its just nicer to have someone with you to bounce ideas off when it comes to stuff like that, so we went together!

Our morning was extra successful, and we accomplished a lot in just a couple of hours. I practiced a great amount of restraint and only purchased one thing – a Halloween costume for Solly. But that was it! I resisted everything else, and we headed to lunch right around noon.

Post-lunch, we hit another area of the city but had no luck in finding what we were searching for. But we rolled with it and began the tail end of our shopping day – groceries. We hit up Walmart for a handful of things, and then finished off at Costco. It is shocking how much quicker it is to shop with my mom than to shop with all of the kids!! I’m a bit of a strange one, I think, because I genuinely enjoy shopping with my kids, but I couldn’t have accomplished all we did today with four beautiful little goobers in tow. This was a wonderful breather, a positive time with my favorite mom, and a productive day! Brady’s schedule has filled with work for the next couple of days, and we were planning for an errand day, but now we don’t have to! What a win!

Thanks, mom, for the beautiful day out. I love you all the way.

I feel like my cup is being actively filled, and for that, I am SO thankful.