Eliana is seven!

Eliana has turned seven!  I am amazed that she has already completed kindergarten and first grade.  I am grateful that she enjoys reading and didn’t struggle learning like I did.  She stuns us with her artistic ability.  She loves organization and knowing what the rules are. I wonder where she got that from???  We are blessed to have Eliana as part of our family.

 

 

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Rachel and Ruli Visited!!!

IMG_6118Rachel and Ruli are such awesome people, and they are going to make amazing parents!  They haven’t been in living in our city for nearly three years, and yet when we see them it is as though time hasn’t passed.  I love that about them!  The laughter and joy they bring is comforting.  Seeing them spend quality time talking and playing with my girls is such a gift to them and me.  It only took Lydia about five hours to warm up to Uncle Ruli yesterday, but she clearly remembered him today.  I am so glad we are family, and that I remembered today to take a picture.  Yesterday I remembered to bring the camera to a family gathering, and then I forgot to get it out.  My pregnancy memory is causing all kinds of glitches these last few weeks.  Since Rachel is pregnant too, she understands that pregnancy memory is a real struggle.

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Things I learned in having a puppy for 9 days…

On a Sunday, Kyle and I noticed that as we were waiting to turn onto our street something unusual was happening.  A man was outside of his vehicle and looking under it.  Then I saw a small, dark furry creature running from under that car to a parked one.  We pulled into the driveway, and Kyle rescued the tiny puppy from the street.  My first response to Kyle saying “my puppy” was to ask what the plan was to find her another home.  When we looked her over, we found she had ticks.  So we worked together to remove them and then bathe her.  She was so vulnerable and needed love and care.  Our neighbor gave us some dog food and loaned us a crate his dog had outgrown.

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Kyle put up signs in the neighborhood about the found puppy, but we didn’t hear back.  She seemed well taken care of minus the ticks, so we figured she had a home.  We were surprised when no one called.

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The longer she stayed, the more I tried to figure out if it was really possible to keep a puppy and be expecting a baby in a few weeks.  She was absolutely thrilled to see us.  There was just something comforting about having her fall asleep next to me while I read or worked on the computer. She was getting the hang of crate training.  She even was doing well with figuring out that outside was the best place to relieve herself.  Food time was delightful as I never heard “I don’t like this. Can I __ instead?” Nor did it take her over an hour to eat since she wasn’t happy with the food I made.

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The things I struggled with were being up in the middle of the night since she needed to relieve herself.  Sometimes she wasn’t ready to go back to her crate straight away, and her cries kept me up.  Pregnant women struggle with sleep as it is, but being up with a puppy really wasn’t helping.

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So, although we had grown quite attached to this bundle of joy, we realized the timing wasn’t right.  After seven days of very interrupted sleep, I didn’t see how a puppy needing my attention and a baby needing it too would be healthy for our family.  A puppy is like a baby in so many ways.  I didn’t want to resent the puppy once the baby came.  I also didn’t know what it would look like to have a baby who is often on the ground a lot of the time until she learns to walk and to have a puppy wanting to be in that same space.  Plus, a puppy has to learn not to bite, and I was not up to having my baby endure bites from a puppy.  My girls found they could run and jump on a chair when they’d had enough or the puppy was in an extra playful mood, but a baby doesn’t have that luxury.  Some may wonder why I wouldn’t just put the puppy outside.  Well, as we tried to figure out what kind of dog she was, we found that we think she is a Chihuahua.  She often shivered moments after being outside in the morning and in the middle of the night.  She isn’t suited to being an outside dog all the time.   Then there was the question of what to do when we traveled.  It can be challenging to find child care, but how was I to ask a friend to care for a puppy who might pee on her carpet and wake her in the middle of the night?  We travel to see extended family several times a year, and boarding her wouldn’t work well with our budget.

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So, with many tears shed on my part and Natalie’s, we found a loving family to care for the wee pup.  She is being showered with love by her new family.  I miss her dearly and think of her often.  I am thankful that she is bringing joy to her new family, and they have had experience with Chihuahuas.

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Maybe one day we will have a dog, but that day is likely to be a couple years out.  IMG_6104

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Lake Adventures

 

Since I am in a reminiscing mood, I continued to look through last months photos.  Several of these are inspired by my friend and fellow photographer Kari.  She encourages those of us who are often shy of taking pictures of ourselves to do so.  She loves taking pictures of paths and encourages people to go outside and enjoy nature.  And finally, when I visited her in the Midwest, I saw some brilliantly purple flowers.  May you be encouraged to go outside and do the same!

 

 

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Friendships are Worth Talking About

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When dear friends move away, and you keep finding yourself missing them… you go through your recent photos.  When you go through your recent photos… you remember how awesome they are.  When you remember how awesome they are… you want others to know just how awesome they are too!

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There are times when you connect with a friend on so many levels that it is hard to count them all.  That is how I feel about April.  We met when we were pregnant the second time.  Each of our kids came within a few weeks of each other; although this time around it is just me expecting.  I remember going to April’s after Natalie was born and being so relieved that her house looked as crazy as mine, and she had the same struggles in parenting that I was having.  I truly believe being able to connect to her during that season after Natalie’s birth helped me steer clear of the blue seasons I had after Eliana was born. I love that she loves to walk and pray.  Her ability to shower me with grace showed me more about God’s love for me than I often show myself.  Over the years April and I have shared adventures, tears, laughter, prayer, food, and so much joy.

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One of the blessings with having the girls close in age is that they have such different personalities.  So, they played well together and allowed April and I to catch up.

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And these two… Our double date before they moved was filled with laughter because of these two.

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How can you not chuckle?

 

 

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Beauty Unfurled

IMG_5843There are moments that make me stop and soak in the beauty.  Then there are moments I realize the beauty continues to unfurl.IMG_5870This is the same rose over a couple days.

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Holding the Sunrise

I am amazed at the beauty God displays in roses.  This petal is holding the brilliant pallet of a stunning sunrise.IMG_5853IMG_5847

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