Friday, December 21, 2012

These ARE the Christmas Memories

The closer it gets to Christmas, I've been thinking a lot about what traditions from Matt's and my childhood are important to us enough to keep doing with our kids, and what traditions they will remember or what will be important to them. There's a lot of pressure to think that Matt and I will almost single-handedly shape the memories and traditions of the way our kids celebrate a holiday so important to our faith as they go into adulthood.

I'm finding as a momma it's easy to feel like the buck stops here with traditions... and it's even easier to get wrapped up in the to-do lists and the worry that we aren't making enough/good enough memories for our children. Caught up in the decorating (and protecting the tree from the littles' occasional destructiveness), sending Christmas cards, shopping for and wrapping gifts, planning menus, making ornaments and cookies, and even trying to keep memories of my mom alive in our traditions... and all those other 'traditional' necessities that you forget to make memories in the process. Not to mention on top of all our extra responsibilities that are new this year as a senior pastor's family to a church and town that are new to us, new traditions to learn and navigate. And hold still... Mommy wants to take one more picture of you guys being so cute and Christmas-ey. Sometimes it feels so much easier to decorate the tree or make the cookies at night after the kids have gone to bed instead of putting up with the tantrums and cleaning up the epic messes and dealing with the 'over it' after just getting started just to claim it as a tradition/memory.

In the car with our marshmallows and hot chocolate, well past bedtime, ready to see some Christmas lights:

Christmas card outtakes:

Kenna and Mommy making ornaments together:

Eating Christmas Tree cakes in the kitchen:

Mommy and Kenna watching a Christmas movie (photo by Kenna):

There's a lot to remember and it can get very stressful, as we all unfortunately know. I remember vividly the Christmas that Kenna was about 2 years old (I was pregnant with Finn) and there was so much 'hustle and bustle' that what she came up with completely on her own was the phrase "ho ho hurry." Funny yes, but I don't think I will ever forget it because it's so terribly important to me that that's exactly what the Christmas season is NOT about for our family. That it is not about Santa or reindeer or shopping or hurry up or gimme gimme or even good traditions, but of hopeful and excited expectation of the birth of a baby that changed the course of the world... the only savior, the only one who can bring peace on earth, God incarnate. Oh come, Emmanuel.
So today as Finn napped in his crib and Kenna fell asleep on the couch by the light of the tree, with Christmas carols playing and me trying out a new Christmas recipe in the kitchen, i realized that these are the sights and sounds and smells of Christmas that she will start remembering this year. Yes, there will be some talk of Santa and viewings of Rudolph, riding in the car to look at Christmas lights and hot chocolate, and even some spoilage when she unwraps all those presents, but these will be her memories, and they are good memories. They are safe, happy memories of a warm home with parents and siblings who love her, and whose home hopefully exudes the love of Christ that we work so hard to celebrate and remember in the season. And that's the most important memory to me for our kids.
We have lots of blog stories to catch up on after Christmas (and hopefully after the baby comes I'll be able to keep up so that his little babyhood doesn't blink by as quickly as I'm sure a third child's does. But, until then, we wish you all who may be reading, a very Merry Christmas and a home full of the joy and peacefulness that comes not from perfectly behaved children, perfectly executed traditions, or perfectly arranged plans, but the love of that one little baby, Emmanuel, Christ with us.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Big Changes

We have moved to Eagle Springs, NC, which is near Pinehurst, NC! On October 26th, we loaded all of our earthly possessions into a U-Haul and headed down to our new home. There was a wonderful group of friends from our Sunday school class that came to help us load the truck. My dad, both of my brother-in-loves and so many others made sure that it all happened efficiently and that it all got down here in one piece. On this end, our new church kindly showed up with food and help. The truck was unloaded in just under an hour and then we all collapsed with thankful hearts.

Since March of 2012, I had been interviewing with Eagle Springs Baptist Church, having preached once for them in July, there was a vote to extend the offer to us to come and become their new minister over Labor Day weekend. I was able to preach Homecoming weekend in mid-September and then finish out his time at UNC by the end of October.  

This beautiful historic church is over 100 years old with some of the nicest believers we have ever met. We are so grateful for the church and their love for the people of Eagle Springs, NC.

It is a bit overwhelming to see my name on the church sign as the new pastor of Eagle Springs Baptist Church. I feel very blessed and a bit overwhelmed by the great honor and privilege of pastoring these very sweet people.
We were very blessed that not only did they have a parsonage for us, but the parsonage was brand new! Our new address is 522 Eagle Springs Road, Eagle Springs, NC 27242. The parsonage was particularly a blessing as we were not ready to buy another home just yet and were very thankful to not have to go out searching for a place to rent. 
There is a wonderful unfinished walk up attic that the church has allowed me to set up as a home office. While we hope to finish this space out eventually, it has already been a HUGE blessing to be able to have a home office and storage area. Lindsey even has a great deal of room for her crafts. Sometimes, I even get visits from my sweet ones!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Packing. Moving. Changing.

October 7th, 2012 was Matt's first Sunday morning preaching as the full time senior pastor of our new church, which we wrote a little bit about here. But before that could happen, several weeks of planning, packing, and praying went into getting ready to make a completely new place our home.

While Matt was still working the evening shift at UNC hospital, a lot of the physical packing fell to me and the kids at home during the day while he took care of lots of the logistics like forwarding our mail and bills, and pretty much anything that could be done online during his breaks.

Packing this time around was extra tiring and emotional for me with two littles underfoot and being pregnant. Thankfully, we had lots of family and friends nearby who helped us out in a myriad of ways. Matt's parents had clients who had just moved who sent over at least two pickup truckloads of boxes for us to use! This was a huge help and provided lots of laughs to see how someone else had labeled their packed stuff... some of them were just plain funny. There was one labeled simple "parts" but we didn't know parts to what? And "dragons:"
Kenna and Finn thought packing up everything we own into a box was the most fun idea ever. It was really adorable and sweet to see the ways they wanted to help. We found lots of oddly packed little boxes full of Kenna's treasures:
and Finn mostly just thought it would be helpful to take things back out of the boxes as I put them in. We made sure to stock up on lots of snuggles and talk about all the exciting new things about our new house to ease the transition.
Because the parsonage was move-in ready (and brand new and beautiful!) we were able to take a few weekend trips when Matt first started preaching every Sunday, and "camp out" on our mattresses and a futon and Finn's pack and play.

We also made more than one load with a moving truck and a trailer. It was really great to break up the work this way- we had 2 brothers, one dad (Matt's), 2 neighbors, and Sunday school members/friends and a partridge in a pear tree helping us pack up the Wake Forest house. I couldn't believe how fast it went! My precious neighbor Jenn came behind us as we worked, cleaning the bathrooms and vacuuming. I'll never forget sitting in the living room, Matt and I both in tears over leaving a 'borrowed' place that we had made home... where our babies were babies... leaving a town we thought the Lord would allow us to stay... headed out into yet another completely unknown major change. Simply exhausted.

We spent the night at Matt's parents and then drove the big truck down the next morning. Just about every member of our new church helped us unload in some way- the guys lifted furniture, teens carried in boxes, and the ladies brought food! My Dad even drove up from South Carolina to spend the night with us and help unload. It was great and we felt so welcomed, despite the chaos of all our stuff! I couldn't wait to start getting things unpacked and arranged in our new place.
Here's a photo of our new living room, things have come along! We've really tried to paint and hang things to make it feel homey right away! Of course, I don't expect it to stay this way for long, as I am a chronic furniture re-arranger.

The church held a really lovely welcoming and parsonage dedication, and we have been so touched and thankful at their provision of this house for their pastor. We are so honored to live here and be the very first stewards of it!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Big Kid Well Checks!

We decided it would be a good idea to take both kids in to the pediatrician to buy us some time to find a new pediatrician after we move. These were just well checks, but both kids did need to get their flu shots (and Finn additionally got one of the hepatitis rounds).

I'm always grateful when going into the pediatrician at how healthy our kids are and how much I've been able to take that for granted. We haven't had to deal with any asthma or breathing treatment stuff that seems so common in our little friends. Just a well check costs $30 per child in co-pays, and I can't imagine how much more expensive it would be if they needed ongoing care- I'm extra grateful we've never been desperate to figure out how to financially get our kids the care they need! It's so humbling.

This was the first well check where Kenna really felt like a big kid- she got to sit and get her blood pressure taken, her height and weight, and did a whole eye exam of recognizing shapes that the nurse said she did really well on! I"m so glad I quickly snapped this photo with my phone of her looking so big and proud of herself!
She even got to wear the special paper robe that she said was like a "toilet paper dress."
We had talked to Kenna about the flu shot beforehand- about how it would pinch and hurt for just a minute, but then feel better, that the doctor would be very nice, and that we would hold her hand and get her some special stickers for being brave. She informed us that she would be getting the shot "all by herself" and that she would hold the doctor's hand if she needed to. It turned out she was super brave! The doctor had her give Daddy a big hug, and while her arm was up high, she gave her the shot in her shoulder. I think Kenna didn't even realize it was already over and done! She did such a great job, we were so impressed and proud.

Kenna and Finn both ran around the office and the exam room the whole time we were waiting, and Finn did not appreciate it when we made him sit still while sister got checked. In fact, this is before he even got his shots:
He didn't appreciate the shots either, and cried just as hard when I had to hold him still so the doctor could look in his little ears. He hates to be forced to sit still! We came home after lunch and crashed out hard for a long afternoon nap.

So, so thankful for my healthy babies, and soon we'll be three!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Baby B, 3rd edition!

So, we have a monstrous amount of things going on the past few weeks, and I feel like if I don't get caught up on them now, suddenly I'll be thinking "I should make a Christmas post on the blog... just kidding, it's New Years... oh, the baby's due any day now, I probably should update."

That's right... BABY.

Remember how I was all proud of myself for posting a picture every day for the month of August? Well, one of them, right around August 13th, was of the classic pregnancy test variety. And, it goes without saying, that test was positive! We had to wait until after the Labor day (haha, ironic) holiday to get our ultrasound done, so we posted this fun picture online to show everybody the news:
So here is Baby Brogli, 3rd edition, due March 13! Just a few days shy of when his or her big brother will turn two. And yes, that's a tad terrifying considering how wild and active big brother is already.
We are already just past 16 weeks, and I feel like I can take everything anyone's ever told me about how fast things speed up with each child and multiply it by a hundred. We're already in the second trimester. We're already finding out the gender in just two weeks. I'm already feeling huge-er and feeling stretchy pains and trying to watch my weight and thinking I should be walking more because my body knows what's coming. As my sister in law said when she was pregnant with their third, I keep thinking it's "too soon" to be feeling whatever... and then I realize I'm already past 16 weeks. That is close to halfway! Insane.

Kenna is thrilled that a baby is on the way, and every time she calls it a "she" I remind her that we don't get to pick what kind of baby it is and it might be a boy, and won't that be lots of fun too? She has reconciled by telling me that the baby in my belly might be a boy but the one in hers is definitely a girl. I've even been told that she announced to her Sunday school teacher (a friend of mine who is also expecting!) that our baby is a girl. While she's stopped asking daily if our baby is "ready yet," she did lean in close to my belly and tell the baby sorry when she jumped a little too hard on me today. So sweet.

This wee one was such a fun, unexpected surprise, that even the belly pictures have gone the way of denial- I keep thinking I can't possibly be showing yet, I'm not that far, etc. Then I see other friends who are due a few weeks behind me posting theirs and I have to admit, yes. I have a baby belly already!
This was not meant to be a super sensitive backlit momma-to-be pose, I'm looking down at Finn trying to photo bomb me and the only part of the room not filled with moving boxes was right in front of the door.  I'm even "sucking in" my stomach for that picture... number 3 pokes out big and fast!

So here are a few fun quick notes, before I forget them, about the quickly-gone first trimester, as we are already starting strong into the second:

-Cravings have been anything mexican/nachos/tacos (I had the best homemade guacamole of my life around 13 weeks thanks to my friend Jillian), pickles, extra mayonnaise-y sandwiches,jersey mike's subs, salty things like soy sauce, and most recently red gummi bears. My cravings seem to last a week or two and then change which I'm thankful for since they're obviously not very healthy.

-This time around is reminding me how taxing even a healthy pregnancy is on the body. I've had much more ligament pain and even heart palpitations than with the other two. I've been extra tired and occasionally queasy, but not sick, just like with the first two. Midnight seems to be my magic number- if I'm not in bed asleep by then, I'm mostly worthless and trying to catch up the next day.

-For whatever reason, this pregnancy feels much more mysterious. Maybe it's because our kids have such huge personalities, but I feel like this little stranger is living inside me. I spend every day with his or her siblings and know so much about them and am learning new things and watching them change every day, but this little one is still a mystery to me. I'm sure at the very beginning it was like this with the other two, and maybe finding out the gender will help!

I have to include something funny my Dad said when we told him: when you announce your first pregnancy people are thrilled for you... when you announce the second they're very excited your first will have a playmate... the third is more like, well if you want to take on that life choice...

I had to laugh because it's a little true. But we always knew we wanted more children and are thrilled with the surprise! We can't wait for your arrival, sweet new baby, and we especially are on pins and needles to find out what gender you are!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

History Repeating

So I've wrapped up the month of August where I managed to blog one photo each day (almost!) for the whole month! In taking photos and sorting/archiving them on the computer, so many photos I took of Finn were reminding me of older ones of Kenna at his age. I had to laugh when I found this entire post of uncanny photos where almost every one I'd taken of Kenna back in March of 2010 had a current "matching" sibling one of Finn!

I already blogged about the first one here:


And then literally, throughout almost the entire post I wrote about Kenna at least two years ago, I realized I'd  taken one just like it of Finn! Here are the rest:







And here's one more that I previously blogged about:

How funny is that? I'm not sure what that says about me or my photo taking (is something in my brain stuck on repeat? Hah!) but I'm perfectly happy for history to repeat itself a little bit with how quickly these sweet little ones are growing up. I love how everything is fresh and new and exciting with each baby, but also the younger ones remind you of such happy memories of their sibling at the same age. What a precious gift for God to give mommies in the quickly fleeting baby days!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Photo A Day- August 29

Kenna asked to take her nap on the couch today, a little special treat we usually do on Sundays afternoons instead of having her stay in her bed. I took Finn upstairs to his room and came back about 5 minutes later to find her like this. She's not sleeping nakie, just wearing her big girl underwear (yay!!!) and has to have that pink "flower blankie" with her at all sleeping times, of course.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Photo A Day- August 28

I never thought it would be my little girl leaving little cups full of acorns and snail shells and dead bugs around the house, especially after we had a boy! But Kenna is loving all these things recently, including picking flowers and leaves. So our afternoon project today after she found a bunch of tiny acorns on our morning walk was to make them into a "fairy garden" for her little tinkerbell. Daddy added the huge (dead) dragonfly that Kenna was fascinated with all morning. Truth be told, I think she's most interested in just digging around in anything dirty!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Photo A Day- August 27

Finn really hates to sit still in his car seat, but if he's super tired it is always a great way to get him to fall asleep. It's pretty funny to watch his wiggles and squalks quiet down, and then his eyes get real heavy, and then he just kind of can't resist it anymore. Such a cutie pie!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Photo A Day- August 26

On Sundays, we usually get the special treat of having lunch with Granddaddy and Nana after church. Today we went to get soup... the super delicious crab chowder at Nantucket Grill! We always forget that Kenna loves soup, and don't order her her own, and then she ends up eating someone else's entire bowl. Thankfully Nana was willing to share! We're thankful for how frequently we get to see Granddaddy and Nana in this stage of our lives.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Photo A Day- August 25

Today we spent the afternoon at one of our favorite little traditions- walking around the Lazy Days festival in Cary, NC. We have gone every year since Kenna was born, except for the one year it was canceled due to the threat of a hurricane! Right after we ate our traditional cupcakes (from the bakery where our wedding cake was from) Daddy and Kenna saw some kids that had really cool face paint! Kenna picked this "butterfly princess" that was pink and green on the picture, but when the face paint lady offered to change it to match her shirt, Kenna was all for that. She even added some orange "lipstick." Look how much fun $10 bucks can buy!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Photo A Day- August 24

Today I gave Kenna her first little haircut! She had cut herself some bangs a few weeks ago (more about that soon) and the back was starting to get long and scraggly and weighed down to where it didn't curl anymore. So I cut two little layers in the back to make it curl up- she was so proud of herself! Love this little cutie pie.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Photo A Day- August 23

Our two precious kiddos in the bath- I took a picture because I am determined to keep up with my photo each day this month, but also because clean children are the only thing I accomplished today.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Photo A Day- August 22

Today I told Kenna I had a special treat for her. While she was eating dinner, I went down to the basement and brought up this one little Barbie that was mine when I was little and the handful of my favorite clothes. I saved this Barbie for my own little girl one day... she was always my favorite because she was a "gymnast" Barbie, and so her arms and legs bend in ways normal Barbies' don't. Kenna is thrilled with her new favorite doll, and told me that she is "not a baby doll. she is a big girl doll." Kenna loves to change her clothes over and over, and picks out her favorite dress each night for the doll to sleep in. (We have been told her name is not "Barbie" but "Doll").

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Photo A Day- August 21

We've had a lot of rainy afternoons here recently, so lots of times we lay low around the house especially when the kids take long naps and wake up almost at dinnertime! This afternoon we decided to go with it- pop some popcorn to munch on and watch a favorite movie (Kenna loves Beauty and the Beast right now). It's super sweet to see them both snacking out of the same popcorn bowl, one of the times they share really well! Finn loves popcorn and movie afternoons too. He's gotten three if not four molars in the past few days, so I think he's a fan of anything crunchy- not to mention if sister is eating it, it must be good!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Photo A Day- August 20

Daddy surprised us with a special treat that Mommy and Kenna love, and Finn just didn't know yet that he loves them too- mini powdered doughnuts! This silly boy ate something like five of them- the sugar high probably explains the goofy grin. He's such a cute stinker I can hardly stand it!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Photo A Day- August 18

We ran some errands on Saturday, and while Mommy and Finn were at Target picking up a lamp shade, Kenna and Daddy took Pontouf to Petsmart to get her nails trimmed. They looked at the fish, the frogs, the birds, the hamster, and… the puppies! I thought for sure Kenna would ask to take this little guy home, but Matt said she gave him back and asked if "our puppy" was ready. Pontouf may drive us nuts sometimes, but she is our puppy!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Photo A Day- August 17

Every day after lunch, Daddy heads to work. We're so thankful that about a year ago, he was able to switch from third shift (overnight) to second shift (roughly mid-afternoon to midnight). It has made the biggest difference from barely seeing him at all on third shift, to having him here with us all morning until lunch time! It's always sad when Daddy has to leave, but especially because it usually also signals nap time. Waving Daddy bye-bye to work (with the dog's help, of course):