Saturday, April 23, 2011

Tomorrow is her birthday.

Tomorrow, Grace will turn two.  It is her first birthday with her forever family, and is an occasion of major celebration!  But there are so many things that go through my mind when I think about Grace's birthday, and everything it means.

Two years ago tonight, her mother was feeling the last kicks and stretches of the baby girl in her womb.  Two years ago tonight, she was anticipating seeing the little face of her daughter.  HER DAUGHTER. 
Two years ago tonight was the last night her heart wouldn't have a Grace-shaped hole in it.

I can't help thinking of this woman tonight.  Our lives are forever linked in the life of our daughter - Grace YeoJin.  I wonder what she looks like.  Did Grace get her gorgeous full lips from her?  What about her long fingers?  Her dark brown hair that shines red in the sun? 

I wonder what she is thinking tonight.  Is she missing her baby girl?  Does she want to see her?  Hold her?  Whisper sweet mommy things into her ear?  I can't help but imagine that she wants these things - that she longs to hold her girl in her arms. 

Our daughter.

She is just that.  Ours.  She has two mamas.  One who is lucky enough to hold her every day.  To hear her laugh, see her smile, and kiss those sweet cheeks.  One who holds the memory of the sweet newborn smell, the baby sounds, and the first breath of the daughter she brought into the world.  

Neither of us will ever be the same.

Happy Almost-Birthday, Peanut.  We love you. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The family.

We are so blessed to live close to the majority of our extended family.  Our children have grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and even a great grandma that they get to spend time with on a regular basis.  We do birthdays, backyard barbeques, Friday lunches, and lots of "just because" dinners.  The big boys love to sleep over at Grandma and Papa's house, and I'm pretty sure Gracie will love it one day too.

James is so addicted to Grandma that he cries if he doesn't get to see her when he asks - which is often.  Yesterday, the highlight of his day was when Grandma showed up at soccer practice with hugs and strawberry limeades!  :) 

I love, love, love that our children are growing up with so much extended family.  Grace will have her birthday party on Sunday, and our house will be packed to the gills with just the family.  The big boys think their Uncle Matt is THE coolest guy on the planet, aside from daddy.  Grace isn't so sure about Matt yet, but she thinks Papa hung the moon.  I tell my mom that she is "the other woman" in our boys lives, and I hope that is always true.  I can't wait to see great big gangly grandsons lovin' on their grandma!!!

Here we are, in all our glory.  The Family. 

Yes.  Those are moustaches.  It's probably better if you don't ask.

Ethan, James, Grandma (holding our nephew, Ryder) my brother Matthew and his wife Amber, Sam (with sign) Benjamin, Papa, Me and Grace

****We are missing Ethan's dad and his brother Calvin - but they already have mustaches, so you aren't missing too much!!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

NIne months home!

It's hard to believe that nine months ago (minus one day - I'm late... Heck.  I have four kids!  What more do you want from me?), we began a journey as a family of six!  We arrived home on July 15th, 2010, and jumped into something scary and wonderful.  The last nine months have had a steep learning curve, and have been anything but easy.  I have had many, many days of asking myself, "What have we done????"  

But as I look at my sweet girl, I know exactly what we have done.  We have added a blessing to our family - with everything that implies... 

The comments about how I "have my hands full" and the funny looks that linger a little too long when a stranger registers that our fourth child is, in fact, Korean.  The tantrums.  The extra diapers.  The massive grocery bill.  The mountains of laundry that now include a girly colored pile.  The multitude of sleepless nights.  The worries about raising another child, and doing it well.

The amazingly sweet kisses and hugs.  The giggles.  The princess that refuses to leave the house without a hairbow.  The lover of shoes.  The biggest and most entusiastic eater ever.  The animal fanatic.  The perfect pink answer to all the testosterone that floats around this house.  Our baby girl.


and this:

 and this:

 and this:

Blessing after blessing.  An amazing journey that has led us to more love and more silliness than we deserve.  Love that isn't depleted, but is added to exponentially.  A family that is so very much better for the nine months we have spent with this wonderful girl.  A future that is more promising because of the chance to love her.  Lucky us.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

This is how it's done.

This, folks, is how the big brother job is properly done...

...just in case you were wondering.  Why limit yourself to just giving a piggyback ride?*  How about dragging one around the front too?  That's 60 pounds of toddler there!  It's no wonder the littles adore the bigs.  They are an endless source of amusement.  Or WWF opportunities - take your pick. 

Lately it's becoming very apparent that although there are hard things about having a "large" family, there are always more than enough wonderful things that offset them.  This is just one!

*James calls it a "piggy backpack ride".  I don't think I'll ever correct him.  It is just too darn cute!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Wuh Wuh Woo.

Nightly routine with Grace is super important.  Everything done the same way, at the same time, and in the same order.  My favorite part of the routine has become when I lay her in her bed and tell her, "I love you!"   Because, just recently she began saying it back.  "Wuh wuh woo!"  Music to my ears, and my heart.  The last nine months have been anything but easy for either of us, but we are getting there.  One "Wuh wuh woo" at a time.
Wuh wuh woo right back atcha, kiddo.  Big time.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

New Glasses.

Samuel happens to be an awful lot like me.  "Me" being the mama.  Poor guy got my gene for fabulous eyesight, too.  Now he's sporting some awesome new specs.  Call me biased, but I think he just got cuter...

 He is really enjoying seeing everything clearly!

The camera in his face is another story...

What did I do to deserve this amazing kid?  Seriously.  See those perfect little freckles on his nose?  Be still my heart.  

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The circus returns...

You thought your lives were complete without a daily glimpse into our lives.... You were mistaken.

In this blog, the Circus returns.  Bigger.  Wilder.  Probably less sane.

We invite you to enjoy a view of life with four kiddos aged seven and under.

It's loud.  It's messy.  It's absolutely nuts. 

And we like it that way. 

Meet the crew:

 Samuel: 7 years old.   The ringleader, inventor, and all around smart fella.

 Benjamin: The middle child extraordinaire, tender hearted loverboy, and funny man.

 James: Sassy, spunky, snuggle-lovin' little man.

Grace: The only girl, drama queen, bosses the boys around, silly and sweet little princess.

Mom and dad occasionally enter the picture too, but aren't these faces so much sweeter?  Life is about to get crazy again, (no more babies, YET...) and we can't wait to share the journey.  Check back often, and I'll do my best to share a little slice of life - Circus Style.