Thursday, September 18, 2014

Wessels fall birthdays!

We got together Sunday to celebrate the Wessels fall birthdays.  This group is clumped together within a couple weeks.

We went to Wilder Park in Allison.  We had never been there, but it was so nice.  The kids played and played, rode bikes, climbed the big rock, we had pizza, opened presents, and ate cake.  It was a fun afternoon together!

Happy birthday Elena, Linde, Charlie, & Liam!  You are all so wonderfully created!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Monday, September 8, 2014

Good morning!

I know you won't believe me (and after all these years, I really don't blame you...), but I am becoming a morning person!

In my old age {hardy har har!}, I am finally appreciating morning time.

It used to be I didn't care if morning started at 10am or 6am.  I didn't like it.  10:00 was definitely better, but either way, waking up wasn't my forte.

I am in a good rhythm of getting up on my own terms, rather than when the kids need me.  I have felt convicted over the past months and years against laziness.  Part of this was my kids coming down the stairs to a mommy who was still too tired to deal with them.  I want to be ready for my kids.  I want to greet them for the day.

So, I have started waking up 6:00 twice a week and 6:30 the rest of the week.  I know it's not super early, but it's enough that I get to go outside and get some exercise in, clear my mind, see the beautiful sunrise, and feel ready for the day.  As my sister put it, there's something about stepping into the home (my work place).

I never thought I would see the day where I actually preferred mornings.  I am not a morning person. I am not.  However, with discipline and practice, I am getting there.

Now, because of getting moving in the morning, by nighttime I am worthless.  But that's okay, because morning is coming.  A new fresh start, every single day.  What a gift.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Happy Birthday, Charlie!

Oh, my Charlie boy.

I remember the night I took the pregnancy test with you.  I'll be honest.  I sobbed.  The girls were so young, Alisa was going through baby heartache, I was exhausted and now sick, and I just couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel.  It took me weeks and months of feeling horrible about my pregnancy, guilty, and even resentful, until your wise Daddy reminded me that I was letting Satan steal my joy.  And oh, the joy.  You are my absolute ray of sunshine.

Four weeks before you were born, I broke my rib.  It was a terribly hard last month.  Daddy had to do everything for me; wash my hair, get me situated in a recliner chair every night, and the list goes on.  The girls traveled between friends, aunts, and grandmas.  I felt like the worst mom ever.  Yet, I felt like the most fortunate mom ever.  Our support system was outstanding, and the time I had to do nothing left it just me and you, my boy.  For three weeks I memorized your every move, every bump sticking out, and your every pattern.  The sadness and fear from the beginning had now turned to dancing.  I couldn't wait to see you.

Your birth was so relaxing and calm.  You came with ease.  Your life brought immediate redemption. You are a gift.

When Alisa and the boys came to visit, they were so excited and happy for us.  Still, I felt guilt and sadness for my sister.  I didn't want my son to be a constant reminder of what she didn't have.  But, as God always does, he redeemed this story for His good.  In her tummy that very day, he was knitting together Canaan Dean, who would be born nine months (minus one day) later.  Only God can orchestrate miracles like that.  Charlton, your life gave me a new perspective of hope, contentment, and waiting well.  You had no idea, and still don't.  You just live a full life, showing us to do the same.

Today, you turn four.  You are still cute as a button with your gorgeous eye lashes and one adorable dimple.  You love the color orange, to eat pizza, and to work, work, work.  You talk constantly and laugh really loud.  You wear work boots everyday, and park them right beside Daddy's in the garage.  You know what pins hook up certain things to the back of you bike.  You rode your bike without training wheels at age three because you get after it.  You are shy in certain situations and with certain people, yet gregarious around the people you know well.  You are teaching me about all things boy, and though I was always worried about how I would mother a little man,  I am eternally grateful for the opportunity I get to raise you.

First birthday.

Second birthday.

Third birthday.

Fourth birthday.  You got an orange Carhart coat this morning.

My birthday boy.
You tell me every night, "You are my best Mom," and wait for me to respond, "And you, my best boy."  Every.single.night.  Your daddy is my number one man, but you Charlie, are my very best boy. I know I am always a pile of mush on your birthdays, but truly, I love you more than you'll ever understand.

Enjoy YOUR day, Charlie boy!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Triathlon + the weekend

I crossed an item off my bucket list this summer: complete triathlon.  I'm glad I did it.  I can't say I feel the need to do it again, but it was fun while it lasted.  :)

We decided to get a cabin for the weekend at the park where the race was.  It worked so well.  The morning of the race I could get up without bothering anyone else, and sneak out the door bright and early.  They were able to eat breakfast there, get ready on their own time, and literally walk about three minutes to the race.  The running part of the race actually went right by the cabin.  We didn't know any of that going into it, but it worked out perfectly.

We spent the entire weekend doing not much.  And interestingly enough, our kids were happy as clams!  There were times of just sitting and looking at each other and around, doing absolutely not a thing, and never once that weekend did they say they were "bored."  It was just what we needed - to unplug and connect.

We biked.  We think the kids put in around 10-15 miles on Saturday, and on some big hills.  Charlie boy doesn't use training wheels, so that little boy's legs were just a motoring away on his little bike.  We were so proud of the kids.

We swam and played at the beach.  Old fashioned fun with sand and water never gets old.

We ate s'mores and ice cream.

We fished.

We relaxed.

We enjoyed.

As for the race, I did about half (maybe) of the training.  It's a time commitment, and while I was committed to doing it the best I could, I wasn't willing to sacrifice all sorts of family time for it.  I'm just not in the season of life for that.  A lot of unforeseen stuff happened this summer, so I put in the time I was able and was proud of what I was able to get done.

The swimming part I hated.  I love swimming - in.a.pool.  I'm not a lake person to begin with, combined with a mob of people kicking in your face, and I'm not a fan.  I ended up flipping over and doing backstroke most of the way, because mentally I felt less claustrophobic.

The biking part got long.  It was so nice going out, and I was actually having a ton of fun.  Turned around, and bam, there was the wind.  The ride back in got a little long (boring) and was harder.  Still, the bike portion was enjoyable.

By the time I got to running, I was had.  I just felt tired.  The beginning was in grass and more like trail running.  Fun maybe.  Harder yes.  But, the running part went faster than I anticipated.  At the two mile marker I had thought it had only been one.  Nice surprise there!

My goal was two hours, and I finished at 1:45.  I was really pleased with how I did.  Of course, after the fact you wish you would have pushed more here and there.  However, I honestly felt the entire time like I was doing the best I could.  It was something I just wanted to be able to know I could do, and I did.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Over the (school) years...


1st Grade...

2nd Grade...

First day of School, 2014.

The girls started school on this past Wednesday, August 20th.

Maleah could hardly get to sleep the night before.  She was very excited.  She loves school, learning, and routine.  She is so responsible, and school is a place that feeds that desire to do well into her.

Layla was very unsure.  I have been grieving (yes, grieving) her going to Kindergarten, so I thought maybe she was catching onto that.  As soon as she started the, "I don't think I want to do Kindergarten, actually," I tip topped my attitude into one of excitement and anticipation of great things for her!  I cried in secret, and jumped up and down for joy with her.  She wanted to sleep in that morning, and when we got to the school thought she maybe didn't want to do this.  But, thankfully she isn't one to fuss or throw fits, and just did it anyway.  She had a great day, but was fine to not go back the next day.  This morning, however, she was downright giddy.  I think it will turn out to be an alright gig, after all.  We have discovered that Layla doesn't like to do hard things.  She is a super fun kid with personality plus, yet isn't up for adventure or anything that will push her.  School might be hard for her, but that is okay.  We look forward to fostering some work ethic into that girl.  If it were her way, every day would be a party.

Now, onto the photos...

It has been a weird couple days.  It always takes time to get used to the new way again.  The kids and I are together a lot, so having them gone feels odd.  We feel so confident in our school.  I've been sitting through staff meetings, and wow, that place is remarkable.  My children are prayed for by name, by more people than just Dallas and I.  I have no doubt God has His hand on our children's education.  Still, when they ride to school everyday, so does a piece of my heart.

We are excited for another great year.  It's always so neat to see them flourish (a theme at TCS this year) over the school months.  Watching them grow and learn is a treat.  Here we go, girls!