Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Babies Everywhere!

I think it's probably pretty clear that we love babies around here. Can't get enough of them. (Okay...that is a little bit of a stretch. We definitely have enough here!) But now we can focus our attention on OTHER people's babies, which is great! Haha.

There are some new faces to add to the cast of characters that you might see around here from time to time. My sister Shannon recently finished up her time serving in the U.S Marine Corps. Yay, thank you for your service, sister! And it was just in time for her to welcome her first baby into the world. Meet Mr. Tyler Ortiz.

He is cute. Like, seriously SO cute, I cannot get enough of his little face.

Shannon and her husband Tyler moved from South Carolina back to Illinois JUST in time for baby Ty to make his arrival. There was no time for celebrations beforehand, so soon we will be having a little post-baby baby shower for the little man. As you might guess I am knee-deep in all things blue around here getting ready for that. Fun! I think these types of showers are becoming more popular anyway so that people have a chance to actually MEET the baby when they arrive. So see Shannon, we aren't late, we're trendy. ;)

On the other side of the family we will soon be welcoming a baby GIRL into the mix. Eric's brother Denny and his wife April are expecting their first child in early September. Just like with my sister and her husband, Denny and April recently moved from Arizona back to our neck of the woods. It's so crazy how all of our worlds are converging all at once, haha! From opposite sides of the country back to the good 'ole middle. I am SO GLAD to have all of these faces back in my life on a regular basis!

Over the weekend we were able to have the shower for baby girl Robert. My sister-in-law Amy was a total rockstar in pulling everything together for the day. There is a reason why we all get along SO well...we have extremely similar interests, haha. And I have to say, April has become one of my very best friends since they moved back. We talk every single day...it's fantastic. :) We have way more in common than we ever imagined we would. April is my prayer partner and most trusted confidant. We share devotionals and check in with each other all of the time. I love these girls!

It's a family joke that we all have "A" names. We're missing cousin AMANDA who completes our crew on this side of the family!

We cannot wait to meet the new addition!

April keeps dropping hints that she would love for us to squeak out one more baby so that their kids will have cousins very close in age. HA! :D I think Lincoln will have to do there!

On this side of Heaven there is simply nothing better than family. I love mine and I'm really happy that it's expanding. So...who's next? Roger? Amy, you were just saying your kiddos wanted some more siblings, right?! Give me all of the babies!

I'll be excited to share Shannon's shower a couple of weeks from now. Hope you have a happy day, friends!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Recapping the 4th!

This year our family had a great Fourth of July filled with special memories. I couldn't let another holiday pass around here without at least documenting a bit of it!

We loaded up the family and went back to Red Bud as we do with so many holidays. My mom and dad barbecued for the whole crew which included lots of other family, too. The weather was awesome, and the kids had a lot of fun!

If I had to sum up our afternoon it would be: bottle rockets and BB guns!

I walked outside and found my darling second daughter sitting on a bucket with a big bow in her hair and a gun in her hands, haha. Did not surprise me one bit that it was Gracie paling around with the boys all day! All of the kids love hanging out with their uncles. Maybe their uncles possess some kind of mystical pull that they gravitate towards...or maybe they just let our kids get away with things mom and dad might raise an eyebrow at. :)

Gotta love the old "light and run!"

Haha. Independence Day: The day it suddenly becomes acceptable for your children to play with fire.

This is Charlotte telling me to "Go away, mom." She was just fine. She did not need to be supervised.

(Here's to first piggy tails! She didn't keep her bows in all day, but I was happy that our youngest daughter finally has enough hair to pull up into some teeny tiny pony's!)

After lots of fun and filling our bellies with yummy food (thanks parents!) we came back to O'Fallon to enjoy the evening. I don't know if I will ever get used to the craziness of living in suburban Missouri during the week of July 4th. All week long our kids were clamoring at the windows watching the world explode right outside our front door. 

Sure enough, as the sun was setting last night the Revolutionary War began once again with more pops and booms than I've ever heard. We were surrounded on all sides with every other house in the city putting on their own fireworks shows. This year we decided to check out O'Fallon's official show, so we popped our popcorn, grabbed some juice, and stayed out WAY passed our bedtime!

We had front row seats to some of the best fireworks I have ever seen outside of Disney World! And much to my surprise, not a single one of our kids were scared. Big thanks to Eric for suggesting we do this! We promised the people sitting next to us that we would be back at this same spot next year. :)

I love my family so very much, and it was great having this time together!

It's been one year now since we made the move from Illinois to Missouri. I have changed so much in this past year. So so much. The priorities in my life have completely shifted. We moved further from family and I moved closer to God. Our family is not the same as it was when we left. When you are in a time of flux sometimes things just feel foreign and uncertain. So I am thankful for days like these when everything just feels okay in the world again. A little normal. A little familiar. It is well with my soul. :) 

I hope you all had a great holiday as well. Happy week! 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Adventure is Out There

Well I have a confession for you today. I have been cheating on this blog. My time and attention has been diverted elsewhere (if ya hadn't noticed!) and it has caused me to be very unfaithful to posting here as often as I would like.

It's not like I haven't been writing - quite the contrary. I have been a WRITING FOOL for the past several months, although it's not all been clicking keys around here....

I've been journaling like crazy, sharing a lot of my thoughts with a notebook instead of unleashing them all on the internet.

And then there's this whole cheating business....

I guess it's time for me to tell you all that there is a new blog.

It's a different blog, with a different name, and a different purpose. And it's been eating up a lot of my free time lately as posts keep coming to me and I keep writing and writing and reflecting on all of the things that I want to share. I had NO intention of ever starting a new blog, but one day God said to me...

"Adrien, start this new blog."

So I said, "Okay, God. I will. Later."

And he said, "Nope. Now. Now is the time."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, Adrien, I am God."

It literally did go just like that. Yes, God speaks to me, and maybe you'll find out how...on the new blog! Haha. The truth is I'm going through a lot of crazy things right now and I had been thinking that, you know, maybe I should wait until life settled down or I had a few more answers to things before I jumped right in to start sharing the things that have been on my heart lately. But God. He wouldn't leave me alone about it, so here we are.

To clarify, the new blog which is called Standing Still (for many reasons that I'm sure will be explained over time) is in no way a replacement for this blog which I dearly love. This will still be the place where family-oriented memories are shared. This blog has been intentionally kept very small and shared with family and friends.

The new space is open to anyone, and while the content is DEEPLY personal to me, it won't be plastered with pictures of my kids quite like this one is. :)

My plan is to consistently upload at Standing Still on Tuesdays and Thursdays. So while there isn't much there today, by tomorrow there will be another post to read and share!

Whether or not you're a fan of this space or that one, both or neither, I hope that you will occasionally pop in and see what's going on! If only because we're pals, right?  Haha. Here's to new adventures. Thanks for checking in with us, and happy reading!


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