Friday, March 17, 2017

My Lucky Charms

Mischievous. 

A little unruly. 

Attracted to shiny things.

Very protective of their STUFF.

And always up for a drink, morning, noon, or night.

I could be describing your everyday resident leprechaun...


...or it could be the Robert kids. :)

Aw, man. Another minor holiday with a theme, and you know what that means. Moms get to dress their kids up and torture them take pictures of them for posterity. I've certainly done my share of it around here. Don't plan to stop that...any time soon.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Linc. :)

This also means that you get a post full of family bloopers, cause that's really what these attempts are all about. One hundred shots of crazy all in the hopes that maybe one or two pictures come out kinda sorta okay!


Charlotte was...not really interested in taking a seat with her siblings on the steps.




But that's okay, because it allowed me to capture one of my all-time favorite kinds of pictures of my kids...the one where the baby of the family looks like they have finally realized just what they've gotten themselves into belonging to this clan. Oh, we have many of those photos. :) Yes, Lincoln. Take it in, buddy. Take it all in. You won't remember many of these days, and that's probably for the best!


Charlotte much preferred to roll around on the hardwood floor, and after about ten minutes of trying to persuade her otherwise, the big kids just decided if they couldn't beat her...well...they should just join her!

(Good call on not beating your little sister, kids.)



A blessed mess!

There seem to be two types of people in this world. The type who believe that everything is by chance and of little real meaning, and the type who believe that circumstances happen and certain people come into their life for a reason. I'm a reason gal myself, so the word "lucky" admittedly makes me cringe a little bit in some contexts. Luck is random, but blessings are purposed. 

Last night the girls and I had a "slumber party" as we like to do sometimes. I was quite entertained by their pillow chatter as some of us were trying to fall asleep. It started out with The Magic School Bus, followed up by the importance of friction and our ability to walk, then talks about Heaven and why those people in the bible were so dumb to have tried to build a "staircase" to Heaven, because I mean....they would have had to go through space where people can't breathe (duh), then somehow the conversation shifted to easter eggs in Pixar films, and finally they giggled themselves to sleep quoting Big Hero Six.

I remember many many nights of obscure conversations before bed just like those with my friends. I didn't have a sister close enough in age to relate to like that when I was growing up. They have no idea how blessed they are. And I felt so blessed just sitting there listening to them. It was late, but I didn't care. It wasn't a school night. I just let them talk. I can't even tell you how great it feels to have kids old enough to have conversations like that. To be able to be a fly on the wall and peek inside the way their minds work. I love it. Blessed, indeed.

I wasn't about to call this post "My Blessed Charms" though, because that's weird and it reminds me of one night Eric and I spent cracking up when we were dating over some Christian tv station working really hard to sell magical prayer blankets, and well...okay, maybe you had to be there. :)

Alright you kids. I'm going to leave you with a little Irish Blessing for your day.

May the raindrops fall lightly on your brow. May the soft winds freshen your spirit. May the sunshine brighten your heart. May the burdens of the day rest lightly upon you, and may God enfold you in the mantle of His love.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Spring Updates!


We are on spring break this week, which means it's that time of the year once again! We knew when we moved in to our new house last summer that some of the renovations we wanted to do would be done in phases...and phase two is slowly but surely revving up around here.

We are mainly continuing to furnish areas of our home that need it, and we have spent the last several weeks debating which projects we should tackle this year and which ones we should save for the future. Hardwood floors or a fence? New kitchen cabinets? Windows? Carpet upstairs? I think we have reached a decision...I think. :) We have some landscaping projects that are going to be getting underway soon, and we may just focus on the outside of our home primarily this year for the "big" things and work on getting a functioning office and buying furniture on the inside. We'll see!

Just last night we did something that we had hesitated to do for quite a while, and you can see it in that picture right behind me.


The kids are certainly enjoying it! We put a TV in our living room. 

Now I know this isn't strange for most people, and some households may have a TV in nearly every room...but we resisted this one! We purposely put one television upstairs and one in our basement, keeping the main level of our house a more quiet space. But Eric saw a great deal one day and couldn't pass it up, so we ended up with a third TV set, haha. We are trying it for now. And it's NOT going to be on all of the time. But we couldn't resist a little Fuller House this morning while some work was being done in our office. :) I need to find some long baskets to go underneath the highboys that we bought for either side of the fireplace. If you know a great place to find some, let me know!


Before we can finish off our office we needed to have the GIANT HOLE that was in our ceiling patched up from a bathtub leak upstairs. (Ay yi) We are currently on day two of three in that process. I snuck under the plastic to take a picture....


No more hole! And it will look good as new once the paint is rolled on tomorrow. 

So yes, that is what we are presently up to. Enjoying some time off of school and working a bit on the house. I am super excited to get a swing set for the kids soon so that we can get outside and enjoy the weather...when it finally decides what to do with itself! Finally...a real yard with a real place for a swing. Took us nearly a decade. :) 

Now to swirl through time a bit....

A couple of weeks ago Eric and the big girls had a night out with some princesses. I couldn't not share a few pictures from the evening. They all had a great time!


They had been looking forward to this for quite a while!



We are loving Moana right now! Watching her nearly every day. :)



Nothing like a little daddy/daughter time. I'm sure the girls will never forget it. :)


It wasn't exactly Disney World...but...that's for later this year. ;) We owe the kids one cancelled vacation, haha! 

There is always good to be found in life. Always. Always blessings to be found, even when things are nutso. God's mercies are new every day, and well...it's a new day! So have a great one, friends.

Love!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Thanks a Half Million!

Well if you are a friend of mine on Facebook then you may have seen that we rolled over a fun milestone here yesterday. It took us SEVEN years to do it, but slowly but surely we reached 500,000 visits to our little corner of the internet!


The blog threw itself a party. ;) 

Now for a "serious" blogger this might be pretty unremarkable, but considering we have purposely kept this place small as a way to share our life with family and friends it's kind of unbelievable to me that we EVER reached this point. 

Seven years ago, my husband and several friends kept insisting that "you should blog!" and it took a little bit of time before I finally took the plunge and did it. I didn't actually think anyone would care that much about checking in on us, but I did think it would be a neat way to document life for our kids someday. It has also been a fun space to share my thoughts on certain issues from time to time and to highlight things that are important to me. If I were to check out of here tomorrow, I know that my children would always have a place to come back to where they could remember life and revisit it all through my lens. I think it's a pretty special gift and good reason why YOU might consider blogging, too. If for no one other than your own family. It's a priceless labor of love. :)

Because I'm not going to lie. It's not easy to keep up with. It's a commitment. And if you've ever tried your hand at blogging then you know exactly what I'm talking about! There have been times where I have had to step back for a while and take a break. Usually for just a month or so, and typically when I was in the throws of morning sickness or something like that. When life gets hard and I become super stressed, this is unfortunately the first thing to go. It's necessary sometimes. But I always keep coming back. It's like a scene from a cheesy love movie. "I can't quit you!"

To celebrate I whipped up a (very quick and raw!) video documenting some of our life over the last seven years. Some of it might look familiar to you if you have been with us for a while! It's set to a couple of my all-time favorite songs from one of our all-time favorite bands. It begins right about the time we started here and runs all the way through last fall, before our life started riding off of the rails a bit. I had to keep the music upbeat and fun or I would have LOST it trying to put this thing together, haha. Don't blink or you might miss something! It's hard squeezing seven years into about five minutes. This doesn't even scratch the surface of all we have shared. Let's take a little ride through time, shall we?



It's been an imperfect, crazy, yet amazing life! 
I wouldn't trade it for anything

I owe a really big thanks to Eric for being my biggest cheerleader always in anything I've ever wanted to do. I definitely would have never started blogging if it weren't for him. And he's always been so encouraging and excited to share our memories, too. Our life has been just plain stupid lately with some just plain stupid things. I'm sure most of you can relate on some level. Life is messy and it doesn't always go the way you ever planned. That doesn't mean you give up on it. Sometimes it means pulling on some gloves, stepping in the ring, and fighting like hell for what you've got. Might it leave you with some scars to show for it? For sure. 

But scars prove a life lived, a battle fought, a time of healing, and moving on to live some more. Scars tell our stories. And each of us has a story worth telling. I hope to continue telling ours for quite some time.

Here's to a half million more? :) 


Monday, March 6, 2017

A Birthday for Charlotte Rose


It took us a really long time to decide what to name our third baby girl two years ago. There were several names that we liked...we just couldn't pin down just the right one. From our list of "classic" favorites there was Caroline and Scarlett and Vivian and Eloise...I'm sure if we decided to have infinite numbers of children we would continue to choose from that pool. :) Even though it took months to decide on Charlotte's first name, we always knew that her middle name would follow tradition in our family and have a floral flair. Rose was picked from the start.

Our little Charlotte Rose lived up to her name, being born a red head and with all of the beauty and sass of a southern belle, which is exactly what her name reminds me of! When it was time to think of a theme for her party this weekend, roses were an obvious choice.


We make our own cakes, and we are not professionals. And by we, I mean me. But you can see what we were going for, right? Haha.



The kids helped me to roll up a little bouquet of napkins! We didn't go over the top (who me?) this time, but there were some themed touches here and there. It turned out super cute and it only took a few minutes to clean up the next day which is, of course, the best part. :D 

Charlotte had been napping just before her party, and when she woke up she was out of sorts and wondering what all of the people were doing in her house, haha. Soon she was catching up with grandma. Char is a hand talker....



 Cracks me up!


It was a super low-key party with grandparents and aunt Jamie who made the trip up with my mom...hi, aunt Jamie!


Oh, Gracie girl. :)


Pardon me while I swoon for a minute here. ;) 


As you can imagine, I don't see my mom these days nearly as much as I used to, so any excuse to get together is a good one! It was a nice day just to catch up.

As always, my most favorite pictures are taken while we're singing "Happy Birthday." You can usually get a little glimpse of a kid's personality when all eyes are on them, haha.



Charlotte had been sung to for days by this point, and she's just about got the whole song down herself! She is at that lovely parroting stage where she will attempt to repeat just about anything you say...which can be a little dangerous when you have older siblings that think it's hilarious to say really goofy things!


Cutie!




It was a good day that the kids had been looking forward to. I needed it! A day to just be in my element for a little while. :)

Family is such a special thing. I'm super thankful for mine, and for my extended family too...which reaches out much further than people I am related to. Everyone says this, including me ALL of the time, but I seriously have the best people surrounding me. Good, solid people who understand the importance of real love and of encouragement and who lift each of us up in prayer...people who check in when things get too quiet around here...people who just don't go away no matter what. ;) Thank you. Thank you for not going away. You're going to get a special blessing someday, you just wait and see. 

It's easy sometimes to get caught up in the past. To get super sentimental and lose yourself for a minute as the flood washes over you and the realization that this is all going much too fast temporarily takes over. As each of our kids turn another year older this year, we will quietly treasure the past and look forward to all that the future will bring us. And we will pray to the only one who has already been there. He knows what we do not know and sees what we do not see.  He gives and he takes away. In the end, he promises his kids that he only wants the best for them, so I'm convinced that is just what we'll have. I don't know what that looks like, and I don't know what further trials we will have to go through to get there, but I do know that everything is going to be just fine. :)

Happy Birthday, Charlotte. I pray your future is full of love and wonderful memories with your family. We love you so much!




Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Happy Birthday, Charlotte!

Our baby girl is two today!

 She would not relinquish the pepper and spoon for a few pictures this morning. :)

When God opened up the great recipe book of personalities for this one, he didn't have to dig very deep for an original concoction. Charlotte is half of Evelyn and half of Gracie all rolled up into one little fiery package. She is goofy and sometimes over the top, and she has a pinch of Grace's strong will and a dash of her temper. She swings fluidly between one extreme to the other...sometimes within just a few minutes of time!


Would you like to see an example?


"Oh, wait a second. This was your idea not mine."

Tell us how you really feel, Char. :) 

Charlotte was awoken this morning by a bed full of family singing her Happy Birthday. I think it's pretty safe to say that she enjoyed her special wake up call! If there is one thing the Robert girls love, it's being the center of attention. This little red head quite often demands it, so when it's lavished upon her freely, well..."For me? Oh, you shouldn't have!"

Gracie insisted on hopping in a picture with little sister before school this morning....

It's pajama day. :)

We love our fourth born. She keeps us laughing, and she keeps us on our toes! She's a little spice in our life. And like the proverbial box of chocolates, you really never do know what you're going to get with this one. 

One second...next second.

It's a good thing that by the time you are baby #4, your family is already used to crazy. You are free to be whatever you please to be, and it's totally accepted as normal. Nobody is questioning, "Is she supposed to do that?? Is she ever going to do that? Is this just a phase?" Haha. She does things in her own time and marches to her own drum, and that's why we love her so dang much! Strong will and all.

It's also why we don't sweat spoons and peppers in birthday photos.

Choose those battles wisely. ;)

(Do you remember Reagan and his pizza? Oh my gosh, it STILL cracks me up when I think about it.)


Tonight there will be a little singing, a little cake, and very soon we'll have a get together to properly celebrate Charlotte turning two. It's going to be a "Rosy" sort of affair in honor of our pretty Charlotte Rose!

Now it's time for me to brave the store with the three smallest ones so I can fetch that cake. I don't even want to talk about the last time I took all three little ones to the store just a few days ago. Pray for me. Motherhood can be a seriously dangerous line of work. :)

Happy Birthday, Charlotte!! We love you!



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