Governors Island

I’ve heard it said that living in New York City one can never get bored.

I would have to agree. We have been here exactly eleven months (as of the day I’m writing this) and we haven’t even scratched the surface!

When Anna’s friend invited us to go to Governors Island for the day we couldn’t pass it up! The whole time there I was thinking how much my family would love it! WE NEED to get over there.

The history of the Island is fascinating, and while in Hawaii I met a person who was one of the last people to get to live there when Governors Island was a military installation. So neat!

Now it’s a purely recreational spot with majestic views of the city as well as “The Statue of Liverty” as Anna calls it.

There’s a huge hill you can climb and once there you are rewarded with an amazing view. Click through the slideshow below to get a taste of what we saw. There are a few pics my friend took of me taking pictures of the city. I was making crazy faces but I decided to include them anyway because I’m rarely in pictures!

The crazy tall slides were a hit! The playgrounds were really fun!

Do not let my incredibly expressive daughter fool you. She had a BLAST on this ride (doing none of the work, of course).

I took this picture because it was proof that NYC is waking up! The crowds were wonderful! Rarely do I rejoice at the sight of crowds as I prefer to have the place to myself. I’m a homeschooling mom conditioned to doing all our field trips on week-days to avoid the crowds, but it is SO GOOD to see New Yorkers moving around.

I really wanted that ice cream. I wanted to dump the whole scoop into my coffee, but I was a nice mama and let Anna eat (almost) all of it. {Again, it’s weird to have pictures of myself from outings with the kids.}

A military wife is always thinking about the next move. It’s impossible not to. We’ve been here eleven months now and I’m already dreading moving from this place. I love NYC, even the less-than-shiny parts. I’m so glad someone got a picture of me in the subway, doing what I do… check email, upload pics to the socials, text people to make sure all are where they need to be. The extra kiddos in these pictures are moving soon and the grief has already begun. Anna told Amber that she’s moving with her. Oh, dear Lord, my baby girl is going to be so sad. This will be her first Army-heartbreak.

So very much not looking forward to that.

This day was a treasure in that it showed us a new part of this incredible city and we got to spend it with some special friends in their final days as our neighbors.


Posted on 6-13-21 and backdating to 5-22-21

Posted in friends, NYC/Brooklyn, travel | 4 Comments

Hawaii – Part 2

Solitude is hard to come by in a house with seven people, especially during a pandemic. We even converted a hall closet to a mini-office/reading nook. It has come in handy on a regular basis. One of my main goals during the trip to Hawaii was to spend some time with just myself. Reading my notes from a year ago I was recording how stressful the “all of us together all the time” was – and that is for a homeschooling family who is fairly used to togetherness. I can only imagine how difficult the lockdowns were for people not used to that.

Part 1 of this two-part series documents many of the activities I enjoyed while in Hawaii. This part is about resting and relaxing.

Solitude

Each day I did some type of exercise. One day I ran to the base of Diamond Head and then FaceTimed Parker, as he is doing C25K and we normally do it together. I decided he deserved to see what I was seeing, since he had already completed his run for the day!

Another day I biked to the hotel where a monk seal and recently given birth. The city had blocked off the area so that she and her pup could have privacy but there were dozens of photographers taking pictures.

A different day I ran the opposite direction and walked throughout Ala Moana Park.

Most of my activities on days of solitude were exercise and reading by the water. I didn’t take very many pictures, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Our housekeeper learned my preferences pretty early on and quit leaving decaf and began leaving an abundance of regular coffee. (Hotel Hint: you can fit two packets into the slot where one is intended to fit to get coffee closer to the right strength, making in-room coffee tolerable.)

In life you are sometimes placed with people whose impact lasts a lifetime. This family is one of those families! I was thrilled when I found out they had moved to Hawaii because it meant that we were going to get to see them. We met for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory… wonderful dinner and great company. I just don’t think there are words enough to convey how special they are to us.

Desserts

Planned splurges on this vacation included cheesecake (I mean, we had dinner at The Cheesecake Factory!), gelato, and Hawaiian Ice. So. Good.

Hike #2

Christina is a part of our Army Chaplaincy family we met at Fort Hood. She took me on a stroller-friendly hike on the Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail. I was almost as excited to do this hike as I was to meet her new little guy! And Red Spoon, of course. We dropped baby Geoffrey on the way up and I happened to spot him taking in the scenery as we walked back down the trail. Someone nice and made sure he was highly visible.

Pearl Harbor and The Punchbowl Cemetery

We hadn’t seen a full rainbow on our trip and I didn’t really know I needed to until I saw this one. We sat down to watch a video about Pearl Harbor – no rainbow. A minute later, FULL ON DOUBLE spanning right over the memorial we were about to visit. It was breathtaking and lasted at least five full minutes.

The plaque has one of my favorite scriptures on it.

HeiHei from Moana is a THING! I had no idea! I just thought he was a fun character but no… chickens are everywhere!

On the way home

I wasn’t sure I’d ever be quite ready to head back to the real world and Saturday I got a call from Bailey to let me know he couldn’t find Anna. I frantically texted neighbors who confirmed they did not have her. Once I knew Bailey had checked the front and back yards it hit me: she was hiding. This isn’t a frequent activity of hers, but occasionally she finds it funny to “trick” us. I called Bailey and told him to go look in every room and, sure enough, she had climbed into the top bunk in Hayden and Carson’s room and was hiding from them.

That got me ready… at that point I was ready to head home to see my kids!

Matt left early Sunday morning for Alaska while I headed off to have another açaí bowl. Then I sat by the pool for one last 90 minute reading session before heading to the room to prepare for my flight.

Last pool session: My selfie game isn’t strong, but I had to take one of myself by the pool and with Diamond Head! I am so glad I started my healthy-journey in November! I felt great wearing a bathing suit for the first time in my life!

The flight from Honolulu to Charlotte was the longest ever in large part because my seat refused to recline and therefore my head couldn’t really relax.

But I had just spent a week in Hawaii without responsibilities so I decided not to make a fuss.

The flights were just fine and I got home to find the house only moderately destroyed (it didn’t look like I had been gone a week… just 3-4 days, I’d say).

Everyone was happy and had a fairly good week, and we celebrated our reunion by having pizza delivered, as I had no desire to cook. (I’ve been home for three weeks and I’m waiting for that desire to return, but I have been forcing myself to do the task. I got really spoiled on this vacation!)


Posted on June 7 but backdating to May 18.

Posted in family, military, travel, weight/health | 1 Comment

Hawaii – Part 1

Hawaii really surprised me. I have seen the pictures and movies and assumed that the magic of film make it look incredible, but from the moment we landed I was blown away by the beauty.

On the way to Hawaii

But first, Chick-Fil-A. We have been on a journey to change our behaviors regarding eating but we decided in advance where we would “splurge” while on vacation. This meal, fries and all, was part of our planned splurge. It was as good as I expected.

Our flight from Charlotte to Honolulu was long. Funny story… While planning the trip I didn’t really give the distance much thought until I sat on the plane the map of our route appeared on the screen in front of me. I had a moment of panic: “What was I doing – leaving my kids for eight days, this far away!?!?” I hadn’t processed that I was going to be farther away from them while in Hawaii than I would have been had I gone to visit friends in Germany! Like, a thousand miles farther from them!

I got over it, eventually, after reminding myself I had spent a week preparing them and planning for every eventuality. Also, my bigs are pretty amazing and even Parker, who is sliding into the ‘Bigs’ category, was going to be a big help in entertaining Anna for the week.

While in flight I read a third of a novel. A “just for fun” book that I purchased on our date a few weeks ago. Heavenly.

Arrival in Hawaii

After we landed we were amused by the bathroom signs, but give us a break… we had been traveling since oh-dark-thirty and were very glad to be in Hawaii!

THEN we were impressed by the beauty… and we were still in the airport!

We were picked up by some friends we met at Fort Hood and surprised with a Orchid Lei and Kukui Nut Lei. For three days I kept wondering where the amazing smell was coming from (lotion? perfume? shampoo?) and I kept being surprised that it was my lei that I had hung in the room. I’ve never had a bouquet of flowers smell that good, that strong, or for that long.

Military life has been challenging the past year (moved and haven’t met a lot of new friends) but this trip reminded me of just how much family I have within the Army. Jill is a fellow Chaplain Spouse and is part of the adoption family as well.

The sun was out in full force… I look mad but really I was just struggling to keep my eyes open.
Checking in. The lobby is as breathtaking as is Edelweiss’, with a totally different feel. You can tell they’re sister hotels with the level of welcome and peace you feel there.

First evening

We had dinner at a restaurant with a view of Diamond Head. Spoiler… it was our favorite meal we had while there. We ended up eating the same dinner there our last evening! RumFire (or Rim Shot, as the guys kept calling it) had the best fish tacos in town. We tried fish tacos at three different restaurants!

In the picture below we were waiting for our table to be readied. 30 minute wait? No problem, with a view like this!!

I would follow him anywhere. (If Texas didn’t prove that, I don’t know what will! But he has more than sufficiently made up for that!)
Diamond Head

These two have way too much fun on work trips. (They’re currently on another work trip as I write.) I teased that I felt a bit like a third wheel!

That first night at dinner I kept thinking, “Was it really just this morning that I saw the Statue of Liberty on the way to the airport?!?”

Sunrise

It was cloudy but we had been up for a few hours anyway so at least we didn’t intentionally wake up early to see it. Also, the location of sun was behind that tall hotel so it wasn’t a magical experience, but we were just happy to be in Hawaii, together, and we had the whole day to ourselves.

Next stop: Coffee. We had passed a coffee shop the night before called Big Wave Dave and decided we’d try it. After we walked to a Starbucks to buy my mugs (both a Hawaii and a Waikiki mug) we walked to BWDs to have coffee.

While ordering the barista asked if we were in town visiting and if we had tried some bowl. I didn’t catch the word she said but she promised it was absolutely worth trying. We were game, and when she delivered it to our table I thought it was absolutely beautiful. We had no idea what to expect. We DIDN’T expect the purple stuff to be frozen… almost like ice cream but crystaly-ier. (I just made that word up.) It took us only a few bites to decide we loved that bowl… whatever it was called.

Turns out it was an açaí bowl. I had seen that word written but had never heard it spoken. Huh! Now we know! (Though I did have to have google pronounce it for me every time I wanted to order one because I just couldn’t remember how to say it!) Ah-sah-ee. (Right?)

I couldn’t help myself… I took a picture of every single açaí bowl we ate!

From the coffee shop we headed to the beach where we rented an umbrella and two chairs for the day. Worth every penny! In the slideshow below you’ll see my view as well as pineapple seasoned with Li Hing. Has a salty kick.

Mother’s Day Treats

This was my first Mother’s Day spent without my kids. At 2:00 I had a pedicure appointment that I had made for myself (thanks, kids!!) before I ever left New York. I had also made dinner reservations at our hotel so that I could avoid thinking about what we were going to do for dinner. A a beach day with a pedicure break, concluding with a dinner with absolutely no thought required. Perfection!

Hike #1

Matt was on a work trip and I had two goals for how I spent my time. My very first goal was solitude. As much solitude as I could possibly take without losing my extroverted mind. The second goal was to see some of Hawaii outside of the central tourist spot where the Hale Koa is located. Jill took me on this hike and it was gorgeous! I love looking at the mud stains on my shoes that remind me of this hike!

I very intentionally repped my Garmisch shirt while in Hawaii… I’m a ‘mountains girl’ at heart! These pictures do no justice at all to the beauty of this trail. This is one of Hawaii’s pillbox trails.

Poolside Reading

Due to covid, the only way to sit by the pool was to reserve a 90-minute block on their website the day before you actually wanted it. It was annoying at first, but by the end of the week I was pretty sure it was brilliant. This ensured that no matter how crowded the hotel, I was going to get a chair once a day. Chair hogs had to leave and let others have a turn. I could honestly see some long-term benefits to the format.

Anyway, I document that because one day I’ll read this and will have forgotten that this trip occurred during the tail end (dear LORD, please let this be the tail end) of COVID. In fact, while there, the new mask mandates were announced that allowed us more time outside of our masks.

Many of my poolside lunches were salads because I found it pretty hard to get enough “greens” at dinner in restaurants.

Aimee got several inches of snow while I was poolside. She’s going to get me back next year while I’m in NY getting snow and she’s at the beach in Wilmington! I know I’m asking for it! (Really, I am. I love snow!! ❄️ ⛄️)

This concludes Part 1. Stay tuned for Part 2!


Posted 6-1-21 and backdated to 5-17-21.

Posted in marriage, military, travel | 4 Comments

20 just sounds grown-up.

I have a 20-year-old. Weird.

Hayden is amazing, brave and kind, thoughtful and helpful. He may be messy, but his artistry makes up for it.

2020 and 2021 has been harder on him than anyone else in our family. Imagine having to move overseas, finish college, find a job, change jobs twice, become an adult, and prepare to launch from home in a brand new city during a global pandemic! All of those things are hard enough to do without facing the challenges of COVID and yet, those in the 18-25 year old age bracket are having to transition to “on-their-own-hood” during a season we are all completely confused by.

In spite of the struggles, Hayden continues to be a great son, a fantastic big brother, and a joy to know.

On one hand we dread the day he heads off on his next adventure, but on the other, we are eager to see him do his thing. We know he’s mature enough. He’s saving like crazy to be financially stable and prepared for the fun adventure ahead of him. I have treasured every day of the past two years having him home beyond his high school graduation. I wasn’t ready to see him launch then, but I can genuinely say that, while I will miss him, I feel more ready and at peace with the timing.

He has big plans that are still being worked out and I’ll share those once things are finalized, but we do covet your prayers for him to have wisdom as he makes really big decisions over the next few months. I specifically ask you to pray that God would reveal to Hayden what the next few years of his life should be spent doing. I would love for Hayden to know “what he was put on the planet to do” but I also don’t think that’s always the first thing God reveals to people. Matt definitely didn’t have Army Chaplaincy in mind, but he did know the next step was youth ministry and a Master’s Degree. We’re praying for Hayden to know with certainty what he’s supposed to do next.

To celebrate turning 20 Hayden traveled to Pennsylvania with his friend, Maddie, and they had a great time being in the country and meeting her family. When he got back we had dinner at a local German restaurant and then went home for dessert. I made his favorite kind of cake for his birthday and we celebrated him at home.

I still can’t believe I got picked to be his mom. Truly humbled by what an honor that is.

And in case you were in need of come cute baby pics:

You may not believe me but I remember each one of those days. I physically feel these pictures. I think it’s because this was the only season I had only one child and I was able to devote all of my attention to this gorgeous baby boy. I can almost smell the sunscreen in the picture of Hayden playing outside. I can still feel his feather-soft hair that literally disappeared when wet, it was so blonde. I know the texture of the toboggan and outfit he wore that year to get Christmas trees. He was the happiest kid at church that Easter! All of his pictures show him with that exact smile. I. Feel. These. Pictures.

I didn’t cry when he turned one. I haven’t cried at any birthday, at least that I can remember. But 20 was sort of a big deal. It is a big deal. And I did cry. He’s really an adult and he’s really about to launch into his own life and I couldn’t be more proud of him!


Written 5-30-21 and backdating to 5-4-21.

Posted in brothers/boys, family, Motherhood Musing | 4 Comments

Girlfriend date: it’s been too long!

I’ve gone on exactly two girlfriend dates since I moved here. Both were with this new friend and one of those dates was with an additional friend we share. Moving during a pandemic is hard, and making new friends during a pandemic is unfathomably hard.

I’m thankful for this sister, a fellow homeschooling mama-of-five. Her family also moved to NYC during a pandemic so we have much in common.

I have mad respect for this woman and envy her career! She’s a writer! As in, she gets paid for it! One day…

I have started multiple paragraphs but keep deleting them because the thoughts are just too much for paper… but I’ll briefly say that Jamie and her family have loved our family during one of the hardest seasons we’ve faced, a season I have’t written about here because the stuff I’m referring to is not my stuff to share. It affects me, definitely, but it is not my story. But let the record show that this friend and her family have been there and are still here. They are the real deal and I can only pray the Lord extends the time we are in the same place at the same time so that we can share our love of NYC and coffee in person many more times.

Ordering our coffee at the walk-up window at Butler. (We noticed the bridge behind us!)
My favorite bridge behind us: The Brooklyn Bridge
Date in DUMBO
Our view while we chatted… And a quick review of Butler Coffee… YUM!
Stopped on the way home to get a picture in a famous spot… Jamie’s favorite bridge, the Manhattan Bridge.
Tulips and the Manhattan Bridge.

Posted on 5-26-21 and backdating to 4-28-21

Posted in friends, NYC/Brooklyn | 3 Comments

Girl Date: Roosevelt Island

I told Anna all about the pretty pink flowers Matt and I saw on our Roosevelt Island date and mentioned that I would love to take her on a Girl-date there next year. She missed the “next year” part and got all excited about it so we went!

First we attended an art exhibit with a full-size room from the book Goodnight Moon. That was really neat, though my men were underwhelmed. (Is it just one room? they asked? Yes… the story is set in a child’s bedroom.)

Funny story: I wanted to see what captured Anna’s attention about the room so I gave her my phone to take as many pictures as she wanted. She took five of me (and none of the room)! Be still my heart…

After parting ways, Matt and Parker headed back home, and Anna and I headed out on our Girl-date.

In the station waiting for our train:

Riding the tram:

Just to the right of the bridge’s pillar you can see the row of pink cherry blossom trees we spent our time playing in/near.

Girl Dates = Cake pops (for Anna) and coffee (for Mama). Note the green peeking through the pink blossoms. Almost at the end of their blooming period.

Anna loves to climb!

While the trees were just past peek color on Roosevelt Island, our trees at home were just entering their peak.

On the way home:

Those eyes looking up at me! (Sometimes I am surprised my my new reflection. I hesitated to post this picture out of self-consciousness… then thought that was stupid. I’ve been not posting pictures of me my whole life for that reason. I have to get over myself and just post. LOOK AT HER FACE! I think she had a fun time on her Girl-date with mommy! – Oh, and her mask refuses to stay over her nose. )

Our date didn’t end when we got home. We had time for me to put up the hammock beside our little backyard playground and chill before I had to make dinner.

Here are some pictures of her in the tree just in front out our house the day before our date… in full-bloom. It’s so fascinating that less than 10 miles (as the crow flies) the same trees can bloom at different times. Look how vivid that pink is against the blue sky.

I love my Girl-dates and how they are getting more and more fun as Anna gets older. She is such a fun person. So unique and strong and independent and confident. I’m so thankful I get to be her mom. Well, one of them.

The more to love the merrier…

April Dinwoody of Born in June, Raised in April: A podcast about what adoption can teach the world

Posting on 5-26-21 but backdating to 4-27-21

Posted in adoption, family, Motherhood Musing, NYC/Brooklyn | 2 Comments

Roosevelt Island Date

New York City has blown me away with its seasons.

Summer is my least favorite with it being a million degrees; our air conditioner is spotty, and our house has HORRIBLE insulation.
Fall was breathtaking. The colors changed slowly so it wasn’t a big burst all at once but more of a slow and steady revealing of the colors.
Winter, bless, was exciting with lots of snow to make this Southern girl happy, though I was hoping for one more big storm before we packed away our snow gear.
Spring has been absolutely gorgeous. The cherry trees are in bloom and showing off.

I’ve wanted to see the cherry trees since the beginning of April but wasn’t able to find any in the part of Central Park we went in. We had gone to the Museum of Natural History and just crossed the street to see what we could see. No cherry trees, but did see a lot of daffodils (my favorite flower).

We have podcaster friends (it’s a stretch for me to call them friends but we have hung out with them once and ran into them in the city twice, so call me local and give me a break… I’ll call them friends) who just moved from the Upper East Side to Roosevelt Island and they constantly post pictures of RI’s Cherry trees.

It was my turn to plan our date so I hired a sitter (Parker, with one of the bigs as the “adult in the house) and Matt and I took the day to explore Roosevelt Island. We could have taken the F-train all the way to the Island but we wanted the full experience.

We took the R-to the F-to Lexington, then walked to the Tram, which crosses the East River from Manhattan to Roosevelt Island.

You can see that my phone was ready to record behind my head.

Once there we rented Citibikes and took a little bike tour of the southern half of the island.

My family got me the Vera Bradley backpack for Mother’s Day… I’m already using it. Don’t they have great taste?!? How’d they know what I wanted? (I ordered it.) I LOVE it. I’ve never had a backpack that is specifically designed for a woman’s shoulder-width. SO. COMFORTABLE.

There’s a CREEEEPY abandoned 1850’s Small Pox hospital near the southern tip that is hoped to be opened as a beautiful park. I hope we live here long enough to see that accomplished. Be sure to go to that website and scroll down to the second picture for an amazing arial view of the Island.

We spotted the green mermaid and hit her up for Americanos once we returned the bikes. We sat by the water and talked, uninterrupted, for about an hour. While sitting there we recognized the podcaster I mentioned before and chatted with him and his daughter for a few minutes. Even in New York City we run into people we know! So neat!

We took the tram back across the water to Manhattan, walked to Barnes and Noble to buy books for an upcoming vacation sans kids. (Most of my books are on audio these days. I plan to read some with my eyes during this vacation!)

Dinner was an impromptu visit to a Greek place I’ve been wanting to try. Hands down, best Greek food we’ve had since Wiesbaden! (And we’ve been searching!)

SomethinGreek
That meat was so delicious! I had it for dinner last night and could easily have it again tonight!

Dates are awesome!

Posted in family, marriage, NYC/Brooklyn, travel | 2 Comments

Health Journey

I have been pretty private about my journey over the past few months because I’ve done it before. I’ve lost weight before. I’ve blogged the journey before. I’ve read the books, hired the trainer (she was amazing… it was horrible). I’ve even succeeded using the plan I’m currently using only to regain the weight.


But this time is different. I know it is. First, my sweet husband joined me mid-way and is on board as well. Second, my Health Coach is my aunt and we’re kind-of in it together for the long-haul.


It’s also different because I am doing the second phase of the program… last time I just sort of got to my ideal weight and stopped. There’s more to being healthy than being a healthy weight!


I’m happy with where I am at the moment. I like the number on the scale but I love the non-scale victories the most:

  • Having more energy
  • Enjoying buying clothes 
  • Feeling confident in those clothes
  • Buying new bathing suits 
  • Not being camera-shy anymore
  • Bouncing up the stairs rather than slugging up them
  • Getting better sleep
  • Changing my mindset about food
  • Having kids (and a husband, for that matter) who are proud of me
  • Being proud of myself
  • Making healthier, delicious meals for the entire family, not just myself

There are plenty more that are too silly to share, but I make this list to show it’s not only about the number on the scale.


If you are interested in learning more, I’ll happily point you in the right direction. If you know how much I love the principles in Financial Peace University, you will understand why I love this particular plan. Throughout the entire journey I’ve noted instances where the two plans are almost identical. I have dozens of notes in my book that say, “this is just like FPU!!” The plan works if you work the plan. 

Also, my kids have learned from watching their dad affirm me. He’s left me these post-it notes throughout our entire marriage, regardless of my weight. Our boys have become like him and that’s the best I could ever dream for my kids!

Posted in family, weight/health | 9 Comments

March Miscellaneous

Some things don’t need a whole blog post but they’re pretty fun and deserve to be included.

Here we go:

Anna pointing to a bird, an airplane, or Superman, I don’t know, but I was mesmerized by my cutie with the sunset and our bridge in the background.

Sometimes you just miss your old bed so much you fall asleep on it under your new bed. (What? You’ve never done that?)

Oh, my little dancer-girl:

Hayden trying his artistic skill at making things out of clay.

Looks so real!

Walking to our car after a birthday party… a view of the Empire State Building. It’s my favorite building in NYC and I can see it from so many places. It’s weird to just be heading to the car and BAM… there it is! (And no matter what I do, it always looks way smaller in pics than it does while I’m actually looking at it.) In case you’re not as familiar with it, it’s the building just above the center of my head.

I love that my phone shows me a tiny memory every time I open it. Sometimes I have to laugh at what it picks… pun intended:

I wanted a place to set my computer in the kitchen without it taking up counter space or being near water so… Amazon to the rescue! (Unrelated… we didn’t like the knives there so we have since moved them.)

My little butterfly loves the rain.

When you’ve been to church and then to the city for the brothers to get their first COVID shots, the ride home is for napping.

(And I matched my backpack perfectly.)

Anna loves the dentist as much as I do!

First fire of the season!

Getting a “tattoo” from the artist.
Who lives in NYC, has a backyard, and a water view?!? We are counting our blessings!!

That hair… that face…

We’re in love…

Written on 4-16-2021 and backdating to 3-31-2021.

Posted in family, NYC/Brooklyn, Probably only interesting to the boys' grandparents. | 2 Comments

Bailey’s 17!!

My first surprise kiddo is now 17!

What an absolute joy Bailey has been to raise. His musical ability in the past year has grown tremendously and in some ways he’s surpassed Matt’s guitar ability. He has been creating music on Garage Band (plus some other kinds of software) that sound radio-ready.

We can’t wait to see what he decides to do with his skill… it’s definitely something he can use to make a living if he wants to.

As of Bailey’s birthday our bigs are 19, 18, and 17. What a wild ride it is to have three adults in the house. I recently had to prepare a meal for just myself and four kids who were all 11 and under and I prepared double what I needed. I’m very much used to preparing a meal for seven people with four of them being adult men! Eh… we had leftovers so it was a win for me!

I made Bailey’s cake and tried out making it three layers. It was SO MUCH CAKE and delicious. He was kind enough to let Anna blow the candle out, something she’s not very good at doing. It always takes her multiple attempts… and yes, we walk on the wild side eating cake after she’s blown out the candle.

I’m soaking up these last months as a family of seven and while I am thrilled to see what my grown kids will do when they launch, I know I will be sad to see them go. I recognize the treasure it is to have them here under my roof more than ever before and I’m just so honored I get to be their mom.

Just a little throwback to my ‘baby’ Bailey:


Written on 4-16-21 and backdated to 3-18-21.

Posted in brothers/boys, family | 1 Comment