Snow Bunnies and Babies

Annual ski trip was so much fun!
(Michael and Caroline and Presley had to stay home to keep her from getting sick right before her big surgery so we missed them so so much!)

 Do not be fooled  by these beautiful photos- the twins cried the whole way down this run that we stumbled upon while we were out.  They did so great but because it was a blue they got a little freaked out and panicked.  I cant wait to keep trying and keep pushing them because they are really improving.
Also, kids in ski suits are the cutest.
Everyone loved sledding!  We had so much fun with Kai and she is always up for anything.  Shea would get nervous but then Kai would bust it out and it definitely encouraged shea to do it.  I love those cousins and cant wait until Presley is up there and all three of the youngest girls are best friends.

Jeff encouraged Patrick to try out the stache, too.  I think they look so handsome.  I dont think it lasted a lot longer than this trip for Patrick though...
We missed Presley and Michael and Caroline so much and were so glad they shared updates on that smile and sweetest laugh.  Cant wait until we can all go together again!


I'm Tired.

That's really all.
I'm just tired.
Let me get this straight, Lu is super cute.  And I am definitely a dog person.
I knew this was coming.
But it doesn't make it any easier.
Also, Shea gave up naps with the big girl room.
 And most of the time, unless I carry the carseat in with me, that is sticking.
I know that happens with kids.  I know they give up naps and I know dogs pee everywhere and wake up at night and eat your chickens.  I KNOW THAT.
But man, its wearing on me.
Tonight we found out Avery has lice again.
And, I don't know.  It just kind of put me over the edge.
I cried and prayed and I know that the family and friends and just the whole life that I have is so incredible and I am so thankful for it.
I just am tired.
I dont want to be this busy, and I don't really know what to do.
I do try and keep us only involved in  things that are directly serving other people or is something that one of the kids or Jeff needs at that time.
But there are a lot of us.  And it adds up.
And did I mention that I'm tired?
I am not writing this to whine and I am going to hide it a few posts back where I hope no one will have to read it, but I wanted to post it here just in case anyone is under the illusion that all of this comes easily for me.
Or my kids someday.  That when they are parents, or just adults, they know that I got overwhelmed and tired too, and that its ok.  
I am terrible at time management, saying no, and conflict.  I am also desperately in need of alone time.  Pretty much as much as I can get.  Right now there is zero of it.  Shea can not be in the other room from me without a panic attack.  If she cant see me or hear me when she calls she immediately starts crying and screaming and that lasts for a little bit after she finds me...in the kitchen. or bathroom. Or sitting next to her on the couch.  (She is a little dramatic.  Luckily I know where she gets it ;) 
I also have been suffering with some depression for the past 8 months or so during my period (or after, or before sometimes), and it has taken a toll on me.  It has left me in the bathroom crying for no reason at all and unable to stop.  Or crying on walks, or in my car or  not being able to get out of bed at all.  I feel so much guilt for this when I know I should just be thankful for the life that I have.  I struggle so much with the sadness and then the guilt for feeling so sad but not being able to reconcile that with all the good in my life.  It has taught me so much about depression and I am so thankful for what I have learned, but it has been hard.  I am so thankful that it wasn't caused by something terrible, but at the same time feel so much guilt because it wasn't.  My brother and his family (and our whole family) and so many close friends are battling real obstacles and struggles in their lives that are so difficult.  Mine is absolutely nothing.  It is not even comparable to anything that they are struggling with and I want to make that completely clear.  My depression is hormonal or chemical or situation, I dont know yet, but it is not even close to the things they are struggling with.  I hate SO MUCH that they are struggling. I hate it.  And it has been so encouraging seeing how incredibly strong they all are, and how they teach me what it means to rely on the Lord during any hard time.
Over the holidays it lifted for a couple of months and I almost felt the opposite- on a complete high. I was so thankful and grateful to feel good, that I basically jumped out of bed every day.  I felt so good that I could not stop smiling. That wasn't every day, but it was such an amazing feeling to not feel down, that it made me so grateful and I wanted to use every second I felt good, almost wiling the sadness not to come back.
This month it has come back a little.  I dont feel the need to hide, and I think its not the chemical depression it was.  It feels so much more manageable and just situational overwhelmment.  I know I will get through it.  But it does scare me to be at this point again.  I want to get to a place where I can manage my time and manage Shea so that I will be better for everyone else.
Right now Shea is signed up for school in the fall and Jan is helping me out on Thursdays so I can get the orders done that have come in that week. I am so incredibly thankful for her willingness to do that. Its only been once but it was life changing.  I can never tell her how thankful I am for Thursdays. 
All that to say, my life is incredible.  My kids are healthy and wonderful and my family is doing well, and I have so many amazing friends.  I am so, so thankful for all of it.
I know I will feel better in the morning after I get Avery to the lice people (where do I go for that? Worry about that tomorrow) and all of the bedding and everything washed and hopefully tomorrow will be the day that the dog will learn to go to the bathroom OUTSIDE.
Here's to hoping.
And lots of praying.


From Thanksgiving (to almost) Christmasish

We went to go see Michael and Caroline and Presley's, of course, new house and they had the sweetest Christmas party and the kids had a blast.  Shea was obsessed with the train and loved every bit of it.
 Jan hosted the sweetest gingerbread house making party with all the kids friends.
 I put my cookie recipe on a tea towel for the teachers and gave them some cookies to go with it and it was so much fun.  I even got it to them on time.  Christmas Miracle.

 We went to the park with Hannah and we have been scooting around the neighborhood a little when its on the warmer side of the cold/hot weather swing.
 Avery won 3rd place for 5th grade and Sawyer won 1st place for 3rd grade Science Fair! and Ben got student of the Month for December.  I had pretty much nothing to do with any of those, but I am so proud of them.  And shea doesnt take off her troll jommies.  Especially when her siblings are being honored!

 And this year we got our tree for free.  
I desperately wanted to go cut one down, but jeff was working a ton so we didnt get to.  I relinquished my desire to keep the tradition going and we went to home depot to buy one from the parking lot.  While we were there I remembered that Becca had told me about the free trees that they have that maybe have a little something wrong with them, but aren't really all that bad.  So we looked and sure enough this one was perfect.  It looked great and we had no idea why it was free, so we grabbed it and put it in the truck to decorate.  So now maybe our new tradition will be to find beauty where it is overlooked.
 We love secret life of pets.  We now watch it all the time for family movie night.
We went to a christmas party in our neighborhood with the Masters that had the most beautiful acoustic singers.  It was such a magical night.  To say that I am thankful for their friendship is an understatement.  They mean so much to all of us and being able to walk with them through her cancer diagnosis and treatment has been the most humbling thing.  Their attitude of peace and trust in God is just beyond what I could ever imagine.  They are joyful and patient and just peaceful.  They just radiate peace.  They have shown me how I want to be under trial and I hope that they know how much they have influence everyone around them.
Frost on our windshield one day and shorts and t shirts the next.
 We celebrated the last day before school by going to Dave n Busters with Tiff and her kids.

 And spent a day at the Heard Museum.
Where the kids shot their next album cover.
 And cooked.
 And watched iPads.
 And colored.
And slept.
Overall it was an amazing holiday and break and I am always so so thankful to have this time with my kids and family.
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