School Girl

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The girl’s clearly got more style than her mama

A Couple of Firsts

This has been a big two weeks for us.  Kierian started Pre-school, Cora started kindergarten and Quinton started, well, life.  I thought I would do just fine with everything, but Cora starting kindergarten cracked me.  I didn’t cry in front of her, but as soon as I made it to the car, I cried all the way home.  When I got home, Luke hugged me and asked: “Was it harder for her or harder for you?”  I sobbed.  Harder for me.  She was all smiles.

But it was like her tiny life flashed before my eyes in that moment.  I remembered the day she was born. I remembered the hours I spent looking at her, singing to her, bathing her, taking her to music.  No more will we have lazy days together at home doing crafts, baking or hanging in our jammies (or much less frequently I should say), no more will she be my lil errand monkey.  She is off to have a life of her own.

Of course, I am happy for her.  But cannot believe her time at home with me has come to an end.  I feel so thankful I was able to spend those fleeting five years at home with her.

If anything it makes me remember to appreciate the time I have with my boys (crazy to pluralize that-ps).  Cliched, but this time goes way way too fast.  Before I know it they’ll be marching off to college.  I suppose this is just one of many firsts.  I guess a mama’s biggest job is learning to let go..again and again.

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Little brothers

Poor sweet Cora.  And now she’s got two.  Lemme tell ya, I can relate.  This video kills me and perfectly exemplifies who my two big kids are.  Lil bro’s sure know how to keep things interesting…just when you thought you had everything perfect.  Enjoy (watch the whole thing if you can).

Introducing Quinton Jack Vernon!

We are happy to announce the birth of our baby BOY!  Quinton Jack Vernon was born August 11th at 8:28 am with the full moon high in the sky.  Here are a few pics with our new lil lover boy:

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More to come…

Remembering what this weekend is about

memorial day 1I saw this picture yesterday and it gutted me.

I think sometimes when we say we oppose war we inadvertently create a comfortable space for ourselves between our lives in our bubbles, and the men and women who give up everything on our behalf.  And it isn’t fair.  War is complicated and involves too many to be so black and white, so distantly privileged and self-centered.

Here’s to remembering who this weekend is really about and what courage truly means, despite our personal stances on war.

Deep gratitude, love and honor to all those who serve and have served our country, including our own Grandpa Vernon.

I am proud and lucky to be an American.

Happy Memorial Weekend.  May our hearts send strength to those who need them this weekend.

3rd Trimester, y’all

28 weeks baby 3

28 weeks and counting…all black everything at this point, folks…

One day…

One day he’ll be so big, he won’t be swallowed by his backpack anymore…

 Kierian backpack

One day he will walk out the door and won’t waive goodbye anymore.

Kierian waive

And I’ll wonder how something so tiny can grow to be so big.

 

One day she’ll roll her eyes when we talk about the Easter Bunny coming to visit…

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One day she’ll be too cool to wear princess clothes to eat dinner and to the grocery store…

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One day, pigtails and pretend pets will be a thing of her past…

Cora n penguin

And when that day comes, I will remember these days and treasure them.

Ode to Mama

Happy Mother’s Day to all this weekend!  I feel so thankful that I get to be a mother to Cora and to Kierian and to Baby #3.  Luke and I actually strongly considered not having kids.  Man, I’m glad we renig’d on that one.

I am one of those lucky women who had an incredibly present mother while growing up.  She and I haven’t always had an easy relationship.  I was a tough teen who, as the eldest daughter, believed I knew it all.  (I still think I do).  And she was there to tell me I didn’t.  We butt heads at times.  This was our song for each other when I was growing up:

She Drives Me Crazy, that’s right.

But looking back now, I am so appreciative of how involved she was in every degree.  I remember some of my friends saying they wished their parents would just play with them more, be around more and have fun with them.  I never once felt this as a child.  My mother gave everything to us kids.

She was a super mom, one that I’m not sure I’ll ever live up to.  She was our classroom mom, our girl scout leader and team mom.  She was always baking and crafting and coming up with fun ideas like the Summer Circus (which became famous in our neighborhood).  I had the kind of house kids always wanted to come to.  We always had yummy food, fun things to do, and someone to help us go after those things.

My mom instilled in me a love of the outdoors.  She took us camping all the time.  She modeled creativity herself in how she decorated our home, the clothes she wore, her paintings and more.  She took us to Shakespeare Festivals and plays starting at a very young age and taught us her coolest dance moves to Tina Turner while she exercised in the living room.

She created traditions, like making Christmas candy while listening to the Muppets Christmas and drinking eggnog.  Like breakfasts in bed for special occasions…like neighborhood talent shows…like renting cabins in the mountains with no TV allowed (there were no cell phones or any of that other crap to have to limit aside from TV then)…like nature walks and Santa neighborhood visits around the holidays.

My mom taught me about the big lessons when I needed them the most, lessons she’d learned as a girl.  She’d rarely indulge me in telling me how beautiful she thought I was when I asked during those really insecure years.  She’d always remind me to focus on the right things–”what’s inside that counts” was beat into my head.  And so I became a woman who learned to appreciate my beauty, but not be obsessed with it.  I learned to dig deeper, to develop who I am as opposed to what I look like.

In middle school at my first pool party I was terrified to be in a suit in front of the boys.  She told me that people will remember how I act more than what I look like.  And she was exactly right, in the pool and otherwise.

And in college, after dating douche bag after douche bag, my mom reminded me to believe that I deserve to be treated like the best there is and I’ll find a man who will be a prince.  Not too long after, I met Luke.  I have yet to meet a better man in the world.  Thank goodness I listened to her advice.

The things my mother gave were immeasurable.  She cooked meals for people who needed them, helped us set up volunteer hours as kids in churches and old folks homes, she watched my friends for mothers who didn’t have time, and created a loving and stable environment in our home.

In my experience, this is one of the hardest parts about being a stay-at-home-mom: what I give is not tangible and measurable as it was when I was working.  And as one of Luke’s friend’s mom’s said “no matter how smart you are, how many volunteer hours you log and how much you do to bolster others, you’ll never get the respect you deserve as a SAHM.”  I no doubt, didn’t appreciate all my mom did for me until I had kids of my own and decided to stay home with them.

Well, this weekend I feel grateful to have the mom that I have.  Love on a mom this weekend, even if it isn’t your own.  She definitely deserves it.  Love you, Mom.

 

Bears in da hood

Last night while taking out the garbage, Manali chased a bear from the yard into our tree.

A little hard to see but notice the glowing eyes!

A little hard to see but notice the glowing eyes!

Here is the hero, himself:

Happy to have this guy around..

Happy to have this guy around..

Guess those guys are coming out of hibernation!

It’s the little things

Sometimes having wee ones makes my heart melt….

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  • This is what happens when I ask Kierian to put his shoes away.  He always places them right on top of mine.

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  • Sometimes when I go to bed at night, Cora leaves a special piece of artwork on my pillow as a surprise.

It’s the little things that make this journey so sweet…