First road trip with ma' three chicklets. STG 👉 PROVO. Dad's just kiiiiind of busy with the Bar Exam, so it was either this way - just them and me - or the highway regarding a weekend of reuniting these girls with their cousins. This drive was big for me. As in intimidating. I feel stretched enough with a 20 minute ride around town, let alone a 4 hour drive up an interstate. Mothering, man...right when you think you are at your limits, you're pushed, and you learn that you can do yet another hard thing. Turns out your limit wasn't back there - it's up here, at another new, uncomfortable place - and look at you, you're here (so just smile and wave, boys! Smile and wave 😎👋🙌) (And then stop for suckers b/c a toddler's growling b/c she thought that the bathroom stop was the final stop, so you need a bribe since you have 2.5 hours left of the driiiive! 😅🍭🤘)
Stroller runs. Kicking my fanny since 2k12. There is almost 90 lbs in that package, which is why when I want to complain that I rarely go running by myself (these days, especially) and never for longer than 20 minutes, I can't complain because pushing that much weight for even one mile gets the job DONE. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. (👆the phrase of Life, right? If somehow you're pushing a bajillion pounds in your world, too, which [my gut tells me] you are, 👊. GOOD JOB. And keep going. The weight hurts but, all in all, it helps. 💛)
DAD OF DREAMS. Just swimming in little women and ever so calm. Ryan doesn't stress. Ever. He's as cool as a cucumber. Always. He is strategic and smart and he makes things happen. If you were stranded on an island, you'd want him with you because he'd find a way to get you outta there on a private jet for $0.00 (how? I dunno, but he probably already does). He is spiritual and steady and humble and happy. What'd we do without you, Ry? HFD to our guy!👨🏽⚖️ (and your guy!! 🙌)
M'baby Love. 💘 She will be 3 months old this week. How'd that happen? Wasn't I just pulling another all-nighter with her -- feeding, burping, soothing, wiping up her entirely spat-up meal, and repeating (literally all night long)? I looked up to heaven tonight with tears in my eyes when after a totally peaceful feeding, Emmy burped once (on her own!), sank into my chest, and with one deep, baby breath, she fell into a deep, dreamy sleep. I was so grateful. I AM so grateful. We made it, she and I. We are on the other side. I can turn and look back across that low valley now. And while so many prayers to understand her + to know how to make our life easier felt unanswered down there, I can see from atop this little vista that we were helped in simply special ways: I stayed hopeful, she stayed sweet (sooo so sweet) and we stuck together, becoming too close for words. Sometimes growing pains can't be prayed away. And you know what? That's okay. Let your heart be not faint Now the journey's begun There is one who still beckons to you So look upward in joy And take hold of His hand He will lead you to heights that are new. 💛
On top of the world looking down on CREATION. ☀️ Hiked with the girls yesterday to get a view of our new town from the top. We get to live in St. George through September, and then we are off to root down in San Diego. IE we are majorly in limbo and while I totally love this country, I'm unsettled about how we aren't settled and how for the next while we can't settle. Feelings = 🎢 Optimistic Jeni is on my right shoulder, at least (she's working hard to win this transition!!), and she is singing the praises of the chance to be SO saturated by family, the sun, and Mother Nature's red wonders. I'll just look her way, not the unsettled devil's to my left. Baby steps! We'll make it. How bout I ALSO look down next time I'm wearing these newfound hiking shorts (thank you, old closet) and zippity zip that fly?! 🙊🙌😌
STG. 🙌 Traded a lotta green for a lotttta red! Feels good. Being back in the saddle again - back out in the world with my babies! - feels soo good. Something about the independence of adventuring as our squad - just them and me, a Mama and her girls - cancels out the insanity of adventuring as our squad. Not sure why that is, but it is. Actually... Maybe it's because walking them across gappy cattle guards on the trail, running them to a private spot to pee, holding them up to pee (girl life 💁), coming up with the answers to their 1000 questions about everything -- it's a challenge. Play in this season of mothering is actually just work and, eeesh, it is so much work!! So when we conquer a day like today, I daresay we won you, Life. AND, since the win feels so good, thank you, Life, for the stellar challenge to play. 🤘☀️ PS, Bless Emmy, the lil newbie. She rocked today (even though she's like, what's going onnn?! 😩😂😉)
Currently -- missing my Virginia. 🌳🐿😭 We're two days into our life away from law school, which is apparently two days too long for me. I know I'm just in that change phase where all the new is too new, so your head and heart want to turn back. I know, I know - I know I'll adjust. I also know, though, that I'll never get life in law school out of my system. How it changed me. In every way for the better. Country road, take me home to the place I belong... 💚 I wrote a few vignettes in a blog post to memorialize our last three years. They're written in third-person because that's where I am now -- an onlooker at that former, beautiful life. Link in profile there (pull up a chair! 🍻) And one last thing here: thank you, friends and fam, for sharing this adventure with us. One feeling can beat out my current longing and that is gratitude. Feeling so grateful that the last three years just happened + that they happened the way they did. A loving God ultimately deserves all the credit there. My greatest thanks goes to up Him. 💛 All is well!
Blurry pic from the back a' the BOAT. 🛥⚓️ Oh this day!! I'm relishing in it. This was yesterday. Our last day in Virginia. We were given the chance to squeeze out one last adventure and we took it. We saw this blessed state while cruising the Potomac with dear friends. Doing so meant that we'd be packing up our lives to move away to the West all night long (no joke there - we were up all night long), but Ry and I both agree that it was 1000% worth it. Some days (and they're always the best days!!!), the yellow in us wins: being with our people, present in our place. That's where the happy lives. ☀️ (PS, that cradled, bouquet of roses = my snoozing Emmy in a @saranoniblanket. Baby Girl gets compliments every time she goes out in that one!)
Yesterday found us adventuring through the District for the last time in a long time. After all the memories we've made in ol' Washing DC! as the girls call it - you gorgeous Capitol City! - we pledge our love. 💙🇺🇸 PS, I can't document this day w/o including that at one point somewhere along that grand Mall, after what felt like a GAJILLION comments and unabashed stares about how many kids we have (didn't help that Emmy wanted to be in the wrap, so I pushed around her empty car seat, slash our fourth baby 👶), I came to a mental crossroad and had to choose to either 1) shut down a little with all of the aghast attention or 2) OWN IT. I could either cower, or I could be confident about who we were - a young family trekking through that town. Thankfully I got gritty and chose the latter. Actually, it's more like thankfully I got a little angry and chose the latter. A piece of me wanted to toss the shock right back, so with a big smile that blared Yes, World, I have three kids!!! Yes, we look haggard. And yes we are HAPPY! I smiled at every last stare and tossed the shock RIGHT back. Not only was this woman pushing a stroller while wearing a baby while corralling a toddler - she was SMILING?!? 😱😉 I believe that the spirit of the family is still universally strong. But for those that don't feel its magic, allow me to shock you with my smile. Character comes from conquering its chaos + sweet joy comes from the juggle. Trekking through life with my family --- 😊☺️😃😄😆 No place I'd rather be.