"Raising Souls"

"Raising Souls"

Friday, June 26, 2015

Naming and Saying Goodbye

It wasn't until I picked up the casket at the funeral home I could picture her. I felt like I was holding her body. I was but it felt like there was an instant physical connection. It was overwhelming and very moving.

I had no idea what to expect. I went in alone since picturing a heard of small children into a funeral home seemed overwhelming. The director took me to a quiet private room and instantly my eyes fixed on the candle lit table with a simple box and a crucifix. It took my breath away. I had imagined who Avila might be (our future hoped for girl) but I didn't know who this baby was until I saw and picked up that box.

Noel Elizabeth Stanbary

She is beautiful. Lovely. Hear-wrenchingly adored. I always knew I loved her but then when I held her in my arms it hit me like a ton of bricks.

I stood there staring for a while as if time stood still. Then I reached out to touch the box.... and I pulled back hesitating. Was I ready for this? He wrapped the box in a red velvet bag and gave it to me. ...and now I just walk out the door? With her? And then I can just keep her forever, right?

When I walked outside I felt like the whole world MUST be staring at me and know EXACTLY what treasure I held in my arms... I couldn't look around since my eyes were completely blurred with tears.

Jeremy comforted me in the car and the kids wanted to know why I was crying. Augustine immediately wanted to hold. "My baby sister."

All the kids held her except Becket and he did his obligatory pat-pat on the box acknowledging this new competition. It felt like that first moment you bring your baby home from the hospital and all the kids are fighting over holding the baby and the youngest is squaring up their new competition.

They kissed the box and held it close telling her they love her.

The day before we told the kids that Noel Elizabeth died in mommy's tummy. They didn't quite get it until I showed them the ultra sound picture of her. And then Augustine was overwhelmed with emotion... breathing fast he said, "I am feeling not good. I am feeling very sad and anxious. Let's stop talking about this..." It took him a while to calm down but it was the first time I felt bad I couldn't protect or do anything to save our baby. I know it's just a natural thing and I did nothing wromg. But when your children don't understand how a baby could die inside mommy-- you feel weak... like I failed them and Jeremy.

I want to write this because I want to share this feeling this journey and I want to remember it but I also want to let it go.

Gianna said she wished the baby could be in her tummy. She had the reaction I expected. Bummed but it was ok.

We brought Noel Elizabeth into St Joseph's and all knelt down outside adoration.

 I started thinking that we wouldn't get to bring her to church again. The kids wouldn't get to hold her again... and I started crying really hard.

Augustine's love and tender care for her and his sense of loss was SO close to my heart and how I was feeling. He said everything I wanted to say. He shared his devotion for his littlest sister and it was so beautiful and painful. 

We went into mass it was just us, Father Andre, and three of my dear friends who felt like angels siting behind us. We didn't really invite anyone officially but the presence of friends was very comforting and I was so touched. How blessed we are to have such a WONDERFUL priest who thanked US for doing the mass. I was SO blessed by HIM (in persona Christi) to walk us through this in love and prayer. His face was total compassion and love. The mass was beautiful. Simple. About halfway through Augustine sunk in his seat (still holding Noel) and said "I am not feeling so good anymore." It started to hit him the loss of baby Noel. He sobbed for the rest of the mass.

"I can't stop thinking about my little sister. I want my baby sister who is born Christmas Day! I just can't stop thinking about her. I love her... I want her. My sister Avila who is born Christmas Day."

I held him and cried with him.

I felt like the mass enveloped us and our sadness. Jesus enveloped us. We didn't feel better but Jesus held us and we held each other. I said, "it's going to be ok"... But he said, "No, it's not ok... I want my baby sister Avila." I can still hear him crying. It was so pitiful and beautiful.He is so young and feels love so intensely especially for his siblings. His love for Noel and if she had been born at Christmas... Avila.... was no different.

It was a full hour mass and the homily was a conversation with the priest about how we were doing and his words of comfort. Jeremy read the readings I had picked out,

"Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the holy spirit, who has been given to us." Romans 5:3-5

"Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, 'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.' ..."
Jeremiah 1:4-8

I almost thought he wouldn't make it through but he did great and it was beautiful having him read scripture.

We headed to the burial at Guardian Angel's in Oakdale and the location was beautiful. Becket who is just starting to talk more said, "Jesus" and pointed right to the crucifix. It was kind of amazing, since I didn't think he knew the connection and he has never said anything like Jesus before. We all set her in the grave together and seeing the box there... was. really. hard. Really.

I don't even want to elaborate except that I knew I would be ok but I knew the final goodbye would feel like the final goodbye and I was ready to start dwelling on the eternal hello and the life of hope that we live.

Noel Elizabeth, my little dear daughter. I picture you in heaven as a little girl not as a baby. You are so sweet and so beautiful. Thank you for dwelling within me... for letting me share in your gift of life. I am so in love with you and am thankful for the precious gift that you are for all eternity. For your prayers.

"Before you were conceived, I wanted you.
Before you were born, I loved you.
Before you were here an hour, I would die for you.
This is the miracle of life."
-Maureen Hawkins

Friday, June 19, 2015

Our 4th Child : Celebrate her life!

April 23rd: I found out with GREAT joy that I am pregnant with our fourth child. I am elated!

April 25th: I can't hold in the excitement any more and I tell Jeremy, He is super excited too! We LOVE our children and are HONORED to welcome one more into our hearts! Christmas Day is the due date!

May 10th: Mother's Day we video taped the kids hearing the  news about their LONG awaited and prayed for new sibling.

Augustine was kind of like... "I knew it. I prayed for a baby and we have one. We have TWO babies. Two baby girls. I want the baby to be named "lizzie"....

Gianna was like... "I am so happy. For the baby in mommy's tummy."

June 1st : I was preparing for my 12 week Dr's visit. It was a beautiful day. Like a day you just want to bottle and drink. As I was getting ready I was preparing myself for any bad news. I always do this. Not to be morbid but I like to mentally be prepared. With three pregnancies and virtually no complications. I wasn't too worried. However, I was reflecting on what we would name our baby if they didn't live. The name Elizabeth popped into my head. That is her name... if she doesn't live. Augustine's prayed for Lizzie. I felt so good about that. And didn't give it another thought.

On the gorgeous drive to the Doctor's with the windows down and music blasting I was caught up in a special song... "Be Blessed... Be Loved... Be glorified!" (Anyone know it? I can't figure it out.) Caught up in an emotional and tearful worship of my God who I love with all my heart. I said,

 "God I give you everything my whole life! If it is your will this baby doesn't get to be my baby to hold they are yours and I am HAPPY to give you this little life to glorify you all eternity."

On a total high and feeling love from God I happily head into my appointment excited to hear my baby's heartbeat.

My weight was 123... feeling good about that. Check. My blood pressure is terrific. Check. Can't hear the heart beat? No problem.

We head to ultra sound. I was really not concerned and neither was my Dr.

Little sweet baby pops up on the monitor. Immediately I see no heart beat. I've seen enough ultra sounds to know that heartbeat is pretty easy to spot.

My Doctor said she is now concerned but would like to try the internal ultrasound. I change and frantically (and now very insensitively text "Miscarriage" to Jeremy.) My baby is not alive and I know it. But emotionally it hasn't hit me.

2 more ultra sounds later and we have a confirmed miscarriage. I started crying when my Dr started sharing... what is next. It's a blurr until that moment. And I wonder if I can pull it together enough to leave. Rhogam shot. We decide to wait 2 weeks to see if the baby passes naturally.

I drove teary eyed to a park in White Bear to take a few minutes. Called a friend and cried. Called Jeremy and cried. It was like God prepared me for this moment. He is so kind so gentle so loving. So good. And yet... my heart still was aching to know this little child. To love this little baby. To KNOW this baby, my child.

I came home and cleaned my disaster living room. Now I know how I respond to pain. At least something in my life can be in order. Jeremy and I eat watermelon with the kids outside and I kept watching him tear up watching our kids. That was heartbreaking, knowing he was hurting to.

A wonderful friend  watched our kids while we went together to see our baby in an ultrasound for final confirmation. There she was. I could see her little limbs, head, butt... She died at 8weeks and 6days, which I calculated was May 20th. Jeremy and I cried as we talked about the baby's name and we decided to see if we would be able to find out the sex before naming her. I say her because we don't know and we won't "know" but Augustine prayed for a girl and I want to refer to a gender.

My little sister my mom miscarried about 25 years old, Mary. She is holding my baby in heaven. My little sister who I have thought about my whole life is my baby's auntie in heaven. Makes me cry with love to think about.

Jeremy and I talked and cried for quite a while and I wanted to go home and just curl in a ball and sleep. But my husband encouraged us to go out... where? I don't even care. And then I remembered that when we found out I was pregnant Jeremy rejoiced because we get to go to Buffalo Wild Wings before the baby is born. It's a weird tradition of ours... but I then felt a lift in my spirit and felt the desire to celebrate her. CELEBRATE HER LIFE! She lived inside of me and she lives eternally! I even got a beer. Because I could. And we actually laughed and reminisced. It was another amazing God moment!

The weeks that followed were filled with such unimaginable grace, love and support by our friends I can hardly contain my heart when I think of the kindness and generosity we have received.

Of course, I would remiss to say I didn't cry and feel down. When the Aidan and Anias baby blankets I bid on became mine. When Gianna told me how much she loves and misses our baby. (This is before they were told.) When I would eat and Augustine said, "You are eating for the baby in your tummy!" When I brought up the idea of a baby dying in their mommy's tummy to Augustine and he got so sad he asked me to stop talking about that. I found great comfort in God's promises and even joy at the thought of our baby in heaven.

The thoughts of passing our baby terrified me. It was described as a mini labor. Painful. Risk of an ER trip. Seeing the baby. Finding the baby. My brave husband truly comforted me and said he would help with taking care of the baby and I could face it as I was able.


A panicked trip to get supplies.

More waiting.


Joy in my own living children.


Fear. Worry. Anxiety.

Comfort, Friendship. Support. Love


June 18th : Almost 3 weeks of waiting and Jeremy is in crunch mode with opening and lighting a show. We go to meet with the Surgeon/Doctor. The much feared D&C it's inevitable and despite the bad timing I want to get it over with. Our surgeon prays with us... I mean who gets that everyday?! Amazing. I know I am in great hands.
As we head home I just want to just curl up in a ball again... but Jeremy hints at going for a walk, coffee and food. I'd rather eat a sand pit. But, ok. He is a wise man. When I see Cosetta's up the hill.... I get excited. How have we never been here? We talk and laugh and enjoy piles of sweets, Gelato and Italian food. I am so thankful for my wise loving husband.

Back to reality... Jeremy heads off to rush hour traffic and a missed day of work to catch up on, which means an all nighter of no sleep. Everyone is stressed and kids are cranky. I get a call from the clinic I can get in at 7:30am I need to be at the hospital at 5:30am. Jeremy is pulling an all nighter working-- 5:30am. I can't do this. I don't have grace. He can't do this. It's our only option.

Ring. Ring.

A friend calls and has no idea what is going on but she asks if she can pray with me. I tell her in about 1 minute and she starts praying for me on the phone. God is amazing.

The kids need to sleep over and I'm thinking I can't do this. I need to pack food, clothes diapers, medicine... get the kids sleepovers figured out. Feed them all. Feed myself before my 8hr fast starts. Get them dropped off... and Becket didn't nap, he is a crying mess. Augustine is getting a cold and is a crying mess and doesn't want to go. Gianna is threatening no more hugs and kisses for mommy. Jeremy is stressed to the max, work doesn't relent. But literally my friend prayed into me the strength I needed. That we are a witness to life. That basically swimming upstream isn't easy. If it was we would all do it. Sacrifice is a beautiful and a gift. I'm not sure if those are things she actually said but God put them in my heart. Suffering is powerful and redemptive! I have some seriously HERO friends who have blown me away and yet I knew the kids would do best for a sleepover with Jeremy's mom. Jeremy's mom is a wonderful woman and cares for us deeply but we hadn't told her yet because she does not respond positively to us having more children. We know we are wild trust walkers who do crazy things like start theatres with Christian values, pay our bills with no money in our account, and are open to having as many babies as God wants to BLESS us with. So now I have to face that... and God reminded me the ONLY person I need to please is God. No-one else. So she might even read this and if she does... we love her and we know she loves us. But she said nothing to me. Not even a fake condolences. But it is ok... because God is who I am accountable for and he has given me a tribe of friends and other family who are lifting me up as the arms of Jesus.

On the way home I had a horrible stomach ache like I've had for weeks. I just wanted to go home and go to bed. But I stopped in at adoration. I felt Jesus calling me... and all I wanted was His consolation. So I curled up in a ball at His feet. Good thing He is so strong. Because I am so weak.

I tossed and turned in my sleep but my poor husband barely had that opportunity. Maybe he got in an hour of sleep? He sacrificed time the day before to be with me in my struggle... and had to work all night to attempt to catch up. It's for these reasons maybe some people think we shouldn't have more kids. It sounds hard. It sounds like suffering. It sounds like stuff you can't handle. Is it? Yes. Is this the life the saints led? Yes. Do I want to be a saint? Yes. Am I a saint. NO. Do I know living a sold out life for God my best chance of being a saint? Do I know that life is not comfortable? Do I know that I can be purified through suffering AND experience JOY!? YES!

June 19 : The D&C... The morning was rough getting into the prep room but I actually felt tremendous peace and joy before and after. The nurse started tearing up when she shared her own loss years ago. No one else saw it but me... but she was so sweet. With one call our church started working with a funeral home to get the baby's remains for a burial. I had family and friends praying. They blow a heater in your hospital gown. I know that sounds weird but seriously, the little things! A woman from the hospital came to pray with us. I felt so loved and taken care of. From March 19th to exactly June 19th... All four of our kids were birthed on Friday. The anesthesia I feared was actually very helpful and peaceful. No scary flashbacks. No Small talk. No Pain.

Another friend dropped off flowers, chocolates, a meal and  a card. I know -- I am blessed BEYOND compare.

I write all this to remember God's faithfulness and our child's story. Our baby's LIFE and DEATH and LIFE a-NEW! We aren't sharing the name yet and we haven't told our kids yet. Probably in the next day. For me sharing my baby's life gives me the greatest joy. I thought it would be so hard to then tell everyone the bad news of a miscarriage. But with each person I tell I feel I want to shout it from the roof-top! I love my children ALL four of my children. In my womb or in my arms. They have a life and it has value! Souls for all eternity! What a gift to have and to give and to partake in. For some people these words don't help them because grief is real. ... but this is where God has me. Rejoicing in our baby's life and honoring our baby's life. And I can't promise I will have rainbows and jumping jacks everyday but... that's ok too.

Gianna (3yrs): 'I love mommy. She's my best friend. I love Jesus. I love Jesus in mommy's heart. I love the baby. I love the baby in mommy's heart."

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid." - Jesus

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."   James 1:2-4

**Non-graphic pictures to be posted in a later post**

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Healthy Eating at $65 per week : Meal Plans and Update

It's been a while since I've updated on this series. January was an especially difficult month to stay on budget. Mostly because Becket can't eat the same as the rest of the family and I weaned him and he is consuming TONS of food. That kid can EAT and EAT and eatandeatandeat!!

Boys are SO different than girls in the eating department.

I'm watching this very sad Superbowl game and if you know me ... you know WHY it's SO sad. Hint: No Packers. But my FIL is in Seattle so... I guess it makes it a little interesting.

So, I figured I need to seize this moment and get back on track with my budget for February. We were over by $60 last month! YIKES! I mean its actually only an extra $15 per week which sounds about right for Becket's food needs but... it can't stay that way. So... I just need to be a bit more careful and cut in other areas. I'm also thinking I may need to pull back on some organic splurges... We shall see...

I did buy these at Mississippi Market Co-op for 0.30 each! Since they are generally over-priced there, 
this WAS an awesome deal! On sale for $2.30 and I found them with sticker coupons for $2 off each!

I'm pretty pumped about this weeks menu, thanks to Pinterest. Feel free to check out my pinterest for recipes. I will put a star by each recipe on Pinterest... but of course I will not follow them exactly and I will swap some ingredients for others or omit them. I basically look to recipes for ideas and ingredients. But I look at them as spring boards ONLY for my own creations.

Sunday: (beware NOT healthy) Homemade Alfredo/Mac 'N Cheese, Broc/Org Green Beans, and Organic Apple Slices
Monday:Thai Coconut Lime Curry Soup*
Tuesday: Pork Egg Roll in a Bowl*
Wednesday: Chicken Cordon Blue Quinoa* and Frozen Peas
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Homemade Goat Cheese, Veggie and Artichoke Whole Wheat Pizza
Saturday: Egg Broc Quiche
Sunday: Homemade Falafels with Greek Yogurt and Whole Wheat Pitas
**Baking: Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Breakfast: Wild Blueberries and Maple Syrup Oatmeal, Banana/Orange/Berry Smoothies with Flax Milk, Cereal, Peanut Butter Toast and Oranges, Granola Bars and Kiwi

Lunch: PBJ and Leftovers

Becket: Ground Turkey Patties, Salmon, Rice, Quinoa, Veggies, Fruit, Oatmeal, Pastured Bacon, plain Pork, Tillapia (I set aside parts of other meals I've made last month just for Becket so I have single servings for him only. He would eat Oatmeal every meal if I let him... I try to focus on healthy fats as well. He just finished off the last of my last Costco trips Organic Beef.)

And, of course, Fermented Cod Liver Oil for everyone... Except me... It's nasty.

Because we were sick and our nanny was sick I saved $45 in childcare money and decided to put it, temporarily, towards some stock up items, My plan is to pay that money back to our nanny budget from my grocery budget this month. So I just went to Costco yesterday and took $40 cash and refused to spend a penny more!

Costco: $37
Frozen Organic Green Beans
Organic Strawberry Jam
Organic Maple Syrup
4lbs Frozen Wild Blueberries (I decided to not get them organic since my Dirty Dozen list says only Domestic Blueberries. Not going Organic gave me a whole extra pound and they are delicious and so nutritious!)
Bunch of Bananas

Trader Joe's: $15.50
Organic Celery (FREE, I got a bad bunch last week and asked if I could exchange it. I used some of the good stems for meals and broth last week, so I feel pretty good about it not being a total waste.)
Rice Milk (Costs slightly less at Costco but I'm hoping to get him nutrition tested again soon and don't want to get stuck with a bunch of rice milk if it's a problem.I'm also planing on taking this and the salmon purchase out of my "baby supplies" budget.)
Brown Sugar/Maple Shredded Wheat (Jeremy's cereal) x2
Wild Caught Salmon in a can 
Can of Coconut Cream
Olive Oil (According to my parents Consumer Reports magazine Trader Joe's sells the best value Olive Oil. We've been going through a lot since Becket's only safe oil is Olive.)
Chocolate Chips

Aldi: Goal Under $40

Cabbage 2
Frozen Peas x3 2.70
Swiss Cheese 2
Lime .50
Broccoli 1.50
Eggs 2
Garlic Powder 1.50
Goat Cheese 2.50 (TJs is 2.50 so I'm hoping Aldi is same/cheaper, if not I'll get Mozzarella)
Kiwi 1.50
Oranges (4lbs) 1.99
Chkn Breast 1.79lb (I buy non-org chkn breast once a month since organic chicken breast is too expensive!)
Brown Sugar

If anyone is still reading this, I'm sorry, I'm kind of doing this for my own processing tonight while my two year old is on my lap coloring my receipts with markers. Hee hee. :-)

Wish me luck!

Oh, and I forgot, I'm picking up rice noodles with a gift card at Cub this week too! And I bought 2 items at Walgreen's last month that, with coupons, were "money makers" so I have $12 in "gift receipts" that I'm hoping to get a good deal on diapers with to help offset my baby supplies budget this month. Sometimes you give to get. :-)

Wow! Close finish to the game! I hate watching a close lose/win. :-(

Monday, January 26, 2015

Happy 1year Birthday Becket!

 Small Birthday celebration this year. Cards from the kids and a gift and card from Grandma Risa.
 I Love you Becket! Oh, how I love you! You make me so happy! I still get up with you throughout the night because my heart goes out to you and your itchy little body. You are such a trooper. You are such a smiley happy baby when mommy is near and you melt my heart over and over. You are so playful and love to be silly and get tickled. You love to share your food and eat with a fork (with help!) You crawl and stand with strength and you will be walking soon, I think. Your skin has improved since we cut out nursing and allergens. You eat almost the same thing everyday because you seem to have reactions to everything new I try.

Breakfast: Oatmeal with maple syrup, flax and wild organic blueberries
Lunch/Supper: Brown Rice/Quinoa and Green Beans/Broc or Peas and wild caught Salmon/Grass Fed Beef /Pastured Pork/Bacon/Beans and Apple/Raspberries

You are officially allergic to:

  • Eggs
  • Bananas
  • Soy
  • Milk
  • Peanuts
  • Coconut
  • Latex
You also have problems/reactions to:
  • Citrus
  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Corn
  • Allergy Free Toddler Formula 
  • Avacado
You REALLY want to eat what we eat. 

 You flip carefully through pages of books and I have not seen you rip a book yet! You LOVE to imitate. I love your clicking communication noises. You say, "Dada" "Mama" "Ga (Gus)" "Naaahh (GianNa)." You prefer not to share mommy and will push siblings away if they get to close. You love and get a kick out of Augustine and Gianna.
 I can't wait to watch to see how you keep growing. EVERY morning I LOVE seeing you anew and loving your beautiful body. I give you baths every morning and love our quality time together. I find it's the best way to start my day!
Success! Gluten Free/Dairy Free/Nut Free/ Egg Free/ Everything Free cupcake!

I choose this moment...

I have a hundred things I could be doing right now. As I'm sure you all do to. So, thanks for stopping to read my post! ...that being said I choose this moment and I live in it. I've been doing a lot of that lately.

I've been on an organizing and cleaning kick lately. But, don't worry, know one could tell. Because, well, I DO still have kids that destroy everything they touch. I can't even tell you how often I catch myself wondering how everyone else is doing it all. This is what I've come up with:

1. They have help.
2. They don't sleep.
3. They have older kids to help.
4. Something gives.
5. Their husbands are around more to help.
6. Their kids aren't as needy.

Number 4 is what I'm focusing on. I'm not looking to compare I'm just really trying to figure out a system. A magical system. A place of peace and contentment. I'm finding I must find it in the mess. All three of my kids want me. ALL. THE. TIME. They want to be held and loved constantly. I truly LOVE that part of my job! But I want a perfect home to... Can I have both? Some moments are picture perefct. I have laundry going the whole house tidy, floor vacuumed, main room dusted, dishes done, dinner in the crock pot and scones cooling and I'm rolling on the floor laughing with my kids. And some moments, like this morning, I was curled up on the couch with Gianna and Augustine watching Tinkerbell Movie on the big screen licking suckers. No one had eaten breakfast, I didn't have the dishwasher emptied yet, I had no plan for supper, let alone having it started, We were in our PJs. But Augustine was sick and Gianna was in desperate need of being held (like she is all the time). So I let it all fade away. I kissed cuddled and enjoyed my cuties until Becket woke.

And then...

They all started crying and screaming for my attention. Just ask Jeremy, he still has ringing in his ears. I know I do. At one point all three were begging to sit on MY lap. While Jeremy sat on the couch with a perfectly lovely lap, wide open. And if you must know... I AM still in my PJS. There, I said it.

So what sometimes happens is the flurry of crazy quickly whisks away my sweet moment. BUT I reflect tonight and remember, in that moment, in each moment, I was present. At least I think I was. Hee hee. :-)

Tonight I frantically was memorizing lines for the play I'm in.

 It's about the third hour total I've been able to put into memorizing and I have to be off book tomorrow night. Yikes! I am not a night person so having the only available memorizing time be  at 9:30pm is painful for me. But it's all good and I am SO pumped to be in this show. My mommy brain appears to be leaving me alone when it comes to memorizing and I hope that bodes well for my chance of avoiding Alzheimer in the future.

I am SO thankful for this day. I loved watching Gianna and Becket bond through playtime while Augustine was on the couch all day. I love putting Augustine down for nap last and reading our chapter book together in his sun-shining room. We finished "Grk and the Poletti Gang" and are now reading "Grk Smells a Rat."

My kids have a lot of various personality traits but one of the traits they all share the most is affectionate and loving. They love each other and me SO much. They eagerly are giving kisses and hugs to my leg or knee or nose. Becket is experiencing some serious smothering by Gianna right now and it is adorable.

We literally had a fight about who's baby Becket is. "He is MY baby brother. (kissing him affectionately) But he is MY baby. (me tickling his tummy). etc. etc.. You know she, the two year old with chocolate-eyes-you-could-melt-into, won. Augustine steps into the doting and caring older brother role quite perfectly. He is often sweetly reminding Gianna of the house rules and comforting her when she is an emotional wreck. He also smothers Becket as well and loves on him dearly.

I can say all that because I also shared how I'm still in my pjs and I let my kids have suckers (although they WERE organic AND it was only after Gianna took her fermented cod liver oil) for breakfast.

I know I will keep striving for perfection but I also know I need to have peace in the imperfection or I won't love my life.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Christmas 2014

I have so much to share on this blog but for the sake of feeling overwhelmed and not writing or posting anything I'm going to check something off the list... Christmas pictures!

After not being home for Christmas Eve/Day in 3 YEARS! I got to enjoy my wonderful family and our dear held traditions, the Wisconsin way!

I re-arranged our furniture and can't believe we haven't done this sooner! I love how our red wals glow in the light!

 I tried to focus on advent with the kids using advent chain links, candles and prayers. Not all I hoped but I hope as the kids get older it will be more meaningful.
 I LOVE watching my kids LOVE eachother!

Christmas Eve Ham Dinner before going to Mass at St. Johns in Little Chute 
with the priest that gave me my first communion!
 The best I could get of just the three of them.

 The four oldest cousins on the Preissner side.

 I love these family pictures!

What a ham!



She's the only girl of 8 cousins/brothers and she works it!

Gifts after Mass exchanged between siblings and to my mom and dad.

 Merry Christmas Day 2014
We did 3 gifts for the kids this year with this theme:
Gold: A gift for their hearts desire.
Frankincense: A gift that glorifies God.
Myrrh: A gift for the body.

Gold: Tool/work Bench and Ninjago book for Augustine

 Gold: Baby and Baby Bed for Giana

 Becket was mostly along for the ride. I made him a cute photo book he will appreciate later.
 Mommy and Baby matching outfits!
 My Boys Christmas Day Eve

Green Bay Botanical gardens light show! LOVE this place and the kids did too! Gorgeous decently warm night. (Not quite worthy of the guy in shorts in the below pic... just noticed that!)

Home in MN and we opened the gifts I managed to forget!

Frankincense: Saint Gianna Doctor Kit