the trees will sing for joy!

"let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;

let the sea resound and all that is in it;

let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them.

then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy;

they will sing before the Lord, for he comes...."



6 kids and 2 mommies

i just got back from a fun, wild, funny, exhausting, not funny, beautiful, tiring, delightful, dirty, amazing little get away with my pal, Joy and her three kids.
just mommies and kids.
little ones.
it was really really great.
i'm so glad it's over.
there was delicious light, turkeys, harmonica playing, twister, mommies wanting to put harmonicas in the garbage disposal, jello shots that never gelled, watermelon, snugly babies, time outs, a photo booth and much more.
i'll share more when i no longer feel like i'm loosing my mind.
for now, here are some favorites....



perfect for them

i remember the moment 
almost ten years ago
when i saw that plus sign on that pregnancy test.
and then thought, wait.....plus means yes, pregnant?
...or yes not pregnant....(can you say denial?)...
or....oh my gosh....oh....my....gosh!

i can't forget  those first few minutes when i was realizing that my cute reedo was a daddy
...and he was completely unreachable.
i mean really.
he was in another country, and i wouldn't see him for days.

yah, that was torture.
i didn't know what he'd feel.
i knew he'd be...not ready.
that's how i felt too....not ready.
but are you ever REALLY ready for this journey called fathering?
and if you think you are, aren't you maybe an idiot?

but, ready or not, this guy has become an amazing dad,
his children love him.
they can't wait to be around him.
he's not perfect, but i know he is just the dad that God will use to draw Jake, Ty and Ella to Himself.
the strengths and the weaknesses of my reedo will have a part in our kid's lives.
With God's help, he is perfect for them.
and i am blessed to have him as my children's father.

and by the way, 
when i did get to tell him 
(i pulled over the car before i could even make it home from picking him up from the airport)
he did just what he was supposed to.
he stared at those tiny little baby socks that i handed him as a clue.
and then he hugged me while i cried.



bittersweet: lean into the pain.

as i have time to really think over the experience i had on sunday,
with my two sons competing against each other in their very first tournament...i have thoughts.

it was one of the most heart wrenching times of my parenting career, so far.
now for those of you who have had children get sick, or more serious life threatening things happen, you might think i'm silly.
but i can only share what my experience has been in this life.
and this day was very emotional.
the large hall was PACKED with hundreds of people and the tension and competition was high.
we had to squeeze to find out where we were supposed to be and then sort of stressfully keep our three kids together as people pushed all around us.

the boys each won their first round against their peers and as people were eliminated there were fewer options to be paired with.
when they called each of my boys name for the same match, all the parents started looking at each other nervously.
(they are both named reed?)
(are they brothers?)
i looked at the boys' sensei, who was standing on the sidelines, to see if there was anything he could do, but as the leaders looked at the names they realized there was nothing left but to put my sons together to spar.
Jake looked around.
Ty jumped up and down, ready to run at his brother.
Reedo called Jake's name and gave him the warning "you better have super control over yourself" look.
so did i.
so did his sensei.
and then, on command, they just went for it.
ty is fearless.
he just runs at people.
and he did.
he fought hard.
jake controlled himself.
ty got a punch to the head that sent him flying and he popped right back up.
but the emotion was just so high the whole....3 minutes that it took for Jake to win.
by the time the last point was called, ty was ripping off his helmet and leaping into my arms with tears in his eyes.
he was not hurt.
he was just so tense.
his body was wrapped around mine and he began to cry, as Jake was being ushered over to the "winner" area.
one of my sons was winning and the other was losing to his big brother.

now, some may be thinking that i should not put my kids in this position.
and part of me wants to agree.
i mean, eliminating this experience would've been easier for everyone.
but, as it think back, easy might not be the best way on this one.
my boys, who play legos, together, all day and who sleep in the same bunk bed every night, had to learn how to accept the outcome of this situation.
ty was disappointed.
but he will most likely be disappointed again, in his life.
what if this is in preparation for other things that happen in Ty Reed's story?
things that he may need the skill of overcoming disappointment for?
what if this is Jake's opportunity to learn how to win gracefully and still figure out how to be encouraging to his brother?
what if he needs an opportunity to learn humility as a winner?
what if he needs that one day for something bigger??
i can't keep these hard experiences from these boys (that will be men someday).

and as for me, it gave me an incredible TEEEEENY tiny peek into how the Lord must feel when he allows sorrow for our own good.
Our father must feel so torn when he sees pain inflicted on us, his little children, and knows that it will draw us closer to him with each hard experience.
he allows some of us to have things that others don't, and others to have things that i'll not get to experience.
bitter sweet.
the difference is, that HE sees the whole story
how long will we fight against His, well thought out, loving, kind path until we surrender?
how long will i be afraid of His story to unfold in my life?
do i need to be able to stop and realize that the thing i thought i wanted wasn't really best for me?
that my father knew that, all along, and that i can just lean back on his strong arms and trust His ideas.
whether it hurts or not.
it goes against what some may think is common sense.
leaning into pain, instead of avoiding it at any cost.
but, its for my good.
and for HIS good.

i pray that these boys learn to look to their heavenly father for courage and purpose and their life story.



did you think i'd posted my last paris photograph?

well, you were wrong.
here are a few that i have been trying to get to for a while.
they are from the top of the Eiffel tower and along the river.
i just love looking at reedo in these.
(the one where he is on the phone is him talking to Ty from the top of the tower! so amazing!)




well, i've been caught up in life these days.
this time of year usually takes on a life of it's own and all i can think about is getting from place to place.
and i dream of a slower pace of life in a big breezy house with a wrap around porch and a tree with a swing.
and lazy summer days just rocking on a chair and watching my kids run in the sprinklers.
that's just a dream
and i have to decide to want what i have.
and so i do.
what i have isn't so bad.
but these busy, pre-summer days try to make me think otherwise.
one thing i have been doing is looking back as often as possible at my snapshots that i take each day.
maybe as a way to remember?
maybe as a way to prove to myself that i did something besides get frustrated and snap at my sweet/naughty children.

so, in the name of good old fashioned "proof", here is my life right now.
and i can either love it or be whiney and complainy....

warm water

purple rainbow sherbet and fancy nails

i am the public restroom QUEEN.
i swear i probably visit an average of 5 a day.
i hate it.
and then i just have to decide to take picture instead of whine.

strawberry watermelon lemonade (its slushy! and makes AMAZING popsicles)

a morning date.
what a treat.


a lunch date!
another treat!

i am just starting to like baking with my kids.
i wish i was the mom that has always just loved throwing handfuls of flour around with her kids.
the idea of being that laid back really does appeal to me.
but I'm just not.
i like to do tidy projects that get cleaned up right away.
judge me if you must.
but my kids are finally getting old enough that baking cookies isn't an all day, from start to clean up, project... and i love that!

this is one of my new favorite photos.
the rule at our house is that you MUST have braids at the beach ( if you have long hair) otherwise i won't take you.
believe it or not the sand comes right out.
it's the tangles that make me want to run away to paris by myself.

i seriously LOVE taking black and white photos of my first born.
he is so perfectly contrasty.
( can you see me in his aviators?)

i liked this ring that ella picked out.
but she lost it in one day.

my favorite coffee shop also has a few very yummy flavors of ice-cream.


reed kid huddles are very good.
it means they are not fighting.

every tuesday and thursday, after karate, we drive by doho to check the waves....
its a "reedo" thing.

obsessed with blueberries.

guess what!?!?!
i got new carpet.
it is so so so special.

do you remember my old carpet?

i memorized this this week.

i said it to myself as i filled out this paperwork at my yearly check up.

we are in charge of my dad's two dozen little lady chickens this week.
and ella loves them already.
they aren't laying eggs yet, but we were practicing...

i'm thinking this summer is gonna have a sprinkle theme.
so i had to get little jars for all the different kinds, right?

the new carpet came with a new vacuum.

maybe we need one of these in the backyard for when they have been naughty?

this ride was a favorite at legoland.
we went to celebrate ty's birthday.

my first born got 3rd place in his sparring competition today.
i am very proud.
iam also exhausted, since my second born was in his same division and did not place.
that took some serious counseling.
can you believe that they even had to spar each other!?
it was pretty awful.
next time i am going to split them up, even if i have to lie about age.
it was just too much.
i felt like crying the whole time.
and Ty DID cry the whole time.

at least we have this happy moment to look back on!
legoland water park!
( ty's faces kill me)

this is the only chicken that actually returned ella's love

and this is the kind of pointless projects that i sometimes realize i just spent an hour on...
i'm pretty sure that there is no nor hula in this hoop.
but it's super cute.

and finally, the kids and i decided that this red wall and the cute little spot by the mission is our summer hang out.
summer's here in a few more weeks.
we can not wait.