Summertime in Northern Michigan

We’ve been home from our annual Michigan trip for over a month now but am only now getting my photos uploaded. Not because of a lack of time or enthusiasm – I just wasn’t able to make it through all of them without crying! 

There are SO many photos that I want to share so I’m going to divide them into several posts. 

These are some of my favorites from around Grandpa K’s house (AKA the Chassell Castle) … 

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A Pink Birthday Party

Our biggest girl turned three! 

For weeks leading up to her birthday, the only thing she asked us for a pink birthday party – so we delivered 😉 We started the morning with a pink breakfast – strawberry banana smoothies, cinnamon rolls (with pink icing for the birthday girl), fruit, bacon and eggs. Her presents were wrapped in pink paper – one of which was a pink bathing suit to wear to her party at the beach. 

We met friends at the beach and enjoyed each other’s company, pizza and birthday cake. (and the unexpectedly cool weather was very much enjoyed by this heavily pregnant mama)

Simple was the name of the game this year. No Pinterest-worthy crafts were made. I used artificial flowers on our breakfast table. The cinnamon rolls came from a can. We had pizza delivered to the beach. We ordered her cake from Safeway. I brought Lyla with me to Party City to buy her party favors and I let her choose the cheesiest pink & purple leis and plastic birthday crown.

She was happy, we were happy, it was a great day all around. 

 

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I’m a Better Mom When I’m Not Pregnant

Dear Lyla and Simon, 

We are about five weeks away from welcoming your new sibling into our family and your mama is basically counting down the days (and hoping the countdown is a littler shorter than that). 

Man, do I feel guilty admitting that.

I really don’t want to wish away the last few weeks that we have together as a family of four. We are in a great groove right now. We’ve figured out schedules that work for us. We’re happy. 

But, babies, I’m a much better mom when I’m not pregnant.

As we near the end of this pregnancy, I find myself feeling guilty all the time. 

Like when you ask me to chase you around the coffee farm and I can’t. 

When all you want is to be held but my swollen body is just too tired to hold you for another minute. 

When I skip out on family trips to the playground so I can have a few minutes in silence with my feet up. 

When you tell me your belly hurts and my initial thought is “oh no, I don’t have the energy to be up all night”. 

The bigger my belly gets, the shorter my fuse becomes. My nightly prayers are filled with cries to the Lord for more patience. 

I start each day with the best intentions, and I almost always feel like I come up short. 

It’s those times when I feel like a terrible mom. Like I’m failing you both. 

But, somehow, you both know just when I need you to crawl into my lap for the extra snuggles. When I can’t break up another fight in the car so, instead, you hold hands. Your sweet little hearts are so loving and forgiving and I am beyond grateful for that. 

I know I’ll have hard days when there are three of you running around the house. With each new stage there will be an adjustment period. I will never be a perfect mom, but with the complications from this pregnancy behind me, I know I will be able to do a better job than I am doing now. Because, babies, I’m a much better mom when I’m not pregnant. 

Thank you for loving me always. For reminding me on a daily basis what sweet, loving beings you are. I can’t wait to see you in your new roles as big brother and sister (again!).

I Love You,

Mama

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Happy New Year

Well, here we are. My first post of 2017. What in the world took me so long?

Things in a word have been…busy. 

Did you notice the new blog layout? I’ve finally made the switch on my social media accounts to “Bringing up Byrds” and have been updating the website mostly on my own. [I am so thankful that I have a computer literate husband that can fix all my tech mistakes ;)] If you notice something that is broken or in the wrong place or something like that – please let me know! 

Mid-January, I took off for my first weekend away from the babies. I met up with some friends in Los Angeles and we spent a few days at Disneyland and participated in the Star Wars Half Marathon – The Light Side! I say participated instead of run because, well, let’s just say I seriously underestimated how much harder 13.1 miles would be at 22 weeks pregnant. But! I finished! More on this later 😉

Back in Hawaii, Alex and the kids got to spend the whole weekend with Papa! We passed each other in the air (literally) both ways so I didn’t get to see him but I really enjoyed all of the photos and videos that Alex sent to me while I was gone and I’m so glad that they all got to have some quality time together. 

I’ve been making an attempt to get us on a better schedule as far as naps and housekeeping goes. Slowing down, being more intentional with our time and soaking up as much of Lyla and Simon’s sweet little personalities as I can. 

Mid-February we took our first family vacation to the Walt Disney World Resort and had an amazing time. While there, we were lucky enough to see more family who was vacationing at the same time and got to catch up with great friends who live there now. It was dreamy and just what the doctor ordered for these Byrds. 

Speaking of doctors, we all caught something nasty on the way home from vacation and it hit me especially hard. So hard that I earned myself an extra “vacation” in the ICU for 6 days. It was scary, and obviously not ideal, “…but the Lord stood by me and strengthened me” (2 Timothy 4:17) and I am beyond thankful for that. 

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