4 months with Mr. Smiles

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12 months of Noah / Noah Phillip

I couldn’t even get any more faces cause he wouldn’t stop smiling! He sleeps, he smiles, he smiles, he sleeps. He drools. He rolls over. He coos and chatters and squeals and smiles and smiles and smiles with those lil moon eyes. He thinks diaper changes are hilarious. He’s all sorts of wonderful. I had the hardest time tearing myself away to put him down last night cause he was cracking up over everything! But I laid him down and he fell right to sleep. WHO IS THIS CHILD!?! Lil Noah, I don’t know where you came from but we sure adore you! Happy four months little man!

The Kitchen Post

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Oh boy, where to start, where to start? Alrighty, I will do my best to not be a grumbly old lady, nagging about this and that because honestly, as hard as this project was, I am so thankful for it. I walk in and remember so many miracles that happened and see His hand everywhere – where things just happened to work out or where He provided money at just the right time when we had long run out and I can’t help but smile! We have a space that WORKS and that we love to be in and all is good. He is good. And I am thankful. But for a while there, it was real hard. Long story short, we needed a new kitchen. Rephrase. We needed a working kitchen. She was cute at first glance, but was extremely difficult to cook in, and well, just wasn’t workin for us. Which really just translates to the ever occuring scenario of me face down on the floor crying I HATE IT HERE WE NEED TO MOVE WAAAAAAA every day sort of thing. Let me just show you some tid bits so you can sympathize with me ;)

Ohhhhh aint she cute?! A little cabin kitchen in an old victorian farm house. I’m sure it made sense to someone. It actually smelled all nostalgic and I was so sad that part would be going away but mmmmmm yup. Don’t miss it. Here you are looking at the only cabinets in the entire kitchen, the only counters, and the only time it was ever this clean. This was the week we moved in.

Here we have our one three prong outlet in the entire kitchen. ONE. This small first world problem became quite annoying, quite fast.

Just a little example of how all the things excelled in cleanliness.

Oh hey fridge in the middle of the room. Whose idea was it to put the fridge here? To make half of the only cabinet wall completely inaccessible? I’m confused. Oh wait, there was another outlet behind the fridge. Hence the very very very high microwave.

And then the brick, oh the brick. I actually thought it looked sorta cool the first time I saw it… but it took up a ton of space and again, no counters… cooking without a place to put things is really hard, turns out. And then there were the rats. We saw so many go up the brick and disappear into the vent above. And despite the rodants… brick never feels especially clean, you know? But then especially with the rat poop. That makes it extra fun.

And then the vent was really just a fan… that vented into the attic.

Not to mention if it got smoky, just open the slatted windows that could never fully close. Winters were cold. Our heating bill was high.

But back to this situation. The stove. Oh the stove. Start heating it up when you get home cause it took a full 10 minutes to get hot. You’d be sautéing something and it would just turn off.. but you wouldn’t know because it was electric and you couldn’t tell until all the glowy red had gone away and it was stone cold again. Things would just stop sizzling. Only the back two burners worked and they were so close to the back wall, you couldn’t fit a whole pan on it. Meals had to be timed with expert precision especially if you had to boil water and sauté two different things.

There was a lot of this. So much juggling to try to find a surface that was hot when you needed it and cold when you needed to put something down. Maybe it doesn’t seem that hard but add two screaming babies in and you might begin to see why I was always a crumbled ball of misery by the time Greg got home. Ohhhh little stovetop, I do not miss you.

Luke loved to open these doors incessantly whilst I was barefoot and cooking. Curses.

We got a couple IKEA islands to try to have a bit more counter space and storage. Open shelving on the bottom cabinet is SO much fun with children. My neighbor told me Bentley doesn’t get enough exercise and told me I should get him a treadmill since I clearly don’t have time to walk him. Naturally I figured this was the best place to store it. This is me giving up ;) Anyways, we decided that despite not having all our ducks in a row, we needed to do something about this and fast. So I quickly drew up some plans amidst the ever screaming children (apparently they scream a lot… I remember a lot of screaming) and spent the following months up all night wondering if we would hate it and if we are about to just throw away all our money and so on and so forth. Although I did work in design for three years out of college, embarrassingly, no one that commissioned me on their own had ever actually used my ideas and my goodness when you’re about to spend everything you’ve ever worked for, that gets in your head a lot. Greg was so sweet the whole time, reassuring me it’s just money… if we hate it, we’ll just save up and try again! Whattaguy. Seriously he’s the only sanity in my head. So! I tried to think of it as an opportunity to be my own client and design something for how we wanted to cook and use the space. And ohmygoodness I love it. I’ll go ahead and skip over all the drama that ensued to make it happen and introduce our pretty and oh so very white kitchen that we love so very much :)

One of the big problems in our old kitchen was the opening to enter was so narrow – I knew I didn’t want a full on open kitchen cause I’m still the messiest and also sorta like being alone in the kitchen, cooking away :) It’s my happy place. So we widened the entry which made it feel so much more open and is great for party flow etc. Now you can just walk right through to the backyard and not get in my work zone :D I like to make zones so things are near to where you might need them. How thoughtful of me.

Here’s our baking zone. I love baking here with the kids. The marble is great for rolling out dough and it’s especially cozy on rainy days because the skylight is above :):) plus I wanted to have our every day plates close to the dining room for easy access to setting the table. PLUS guests don’t have to look through a million cabinets to find a glass. See, I thought through these things. THANK GOODNESS we don’t live in earthquake country.

Here’s an example of the Lord helping us out. I wanted a new skylight cause the one we had was all corroded and had that grid pattern on it and anyways, it was ugly. We tried covering it up to see what that was like but it was SO dark. So I ordered a new one that should have only been a few inches bigger but when it arrived, MY GOSH it was huge. Do you see the sandwiched beam above it? That is our deck. It literally could not have been an inch bigger but miraculously, fit perfectly… and when they put it in… it was centered exactly with the open shelving! I LOVE THINGS LIKE THAT. I’m so weird. I know, I know. But little things like that make me inexplicably happy.

So this wall had the sink and a giant unusable closet/ pantry situation on it. Now it’s our baking area, coffee station, and Greg’s bar area on the far left.

I love this because Greg used to be mixing his drinks right where I was cooking, people were getting jammed in the narrow door/ brick/ fridge situation and I would be trying to throw something together AND NOW everything flows so nicely! Zoning man, I’m telling you it helps out a lot.

We started out with an ice maker and a wine fridge here but after so many repair trips for that dang ice maker we ended up with a beverage fridge WHICH I LOVE. So happy about that. Not to mention those ice makers are LOUD. We could hear it from our bedroom. I could go on an on about that stupid ice maker but we’ll leave it with how thankful I am it’s not there anymore :D Our pantry moved to the free standing cabinet which I also love cause it’s narrow so things don’t get lost in the back, I can easily find anything in it, and honestly we tend to buy what we need when we need it so we didn’t need a giant pantry. Plus it adds a little bit of character to a pretty stark space. I really wanted to get an antique cabinet and be all authentic and such but Greg hated the smell of all of them haha and they were pretty short! So I was so happy this one fits pretty perfectly… oh lookie lookie there. I’m tellin ya… this was a hard project but there were so many things like this – things that just happened to work out, that I can’t help but smile and be grateful.

We ended up popping this wall out to line up with the rest of the house which allowed us to have a more cohesive flow and a nice kitchen island. I went back and forth on whether or not we should touch it but in the end, the other layouts were still so funky and not really what we wanted so everything just fell into place when we did this. That door is now our hanging pan wall and where Abbie is standing used to be where you’d exit the kitchen to go onto the patio.

Immediately it felt SO much bigger even though it wasn’t a huge patio… but anyways, my biggest thing was, I spent so much time doing dishes in our old kitchen, looking at a wall… I just wanted to have the sink looking outside. And I LOVE doing dishes now! Honestly, it’s so lovely! AND we have a dishwasher AND trash that’s nearby so you don’t have to drip drip drip all over the floor. These things were huge game changers on the dish doing front.

We had a hanging rack for pots at the first place we lived and I loved it. It’s just so convenient! Plus my parents got me those gorgeous copper ones for my birthday and you can’t just hide those under a bush no no! I thought it would be weird to have it so far from the stove but I honestly don’t notice it at all and love how it looks. Plus it makes me want to keep them semi niceish looking and not in the sink so the wall doesn’t look bare hehe. I need all the incentive I can get.

I clearly wanted to get as far from having a giant fridge in the middle of the room as can be so I stuck it in a wall. It was a nightmare but I love it.

^^When they go to put it in and it’s 2″ too big. No one trusted my measurements. I’m not bitter at all. I’ve almost forgotten how it fell on me twice cause no one believed that it needed to be screwed in. I apparently need to work on my believability.

And here is my dream work zone complete with my stove I have dreamed about since I was five and each thing! I used to sit in my car at work and calculate how long it would take me to save up for it. It was a long time. So I have no idea how it got in my kitchen but it makes my heart sing every time I use it :) I’m a lucky lady.

If I had one critique, believe it or not, I’d say it was too white. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!? ME!? I’ve thought about painting the pantry cabinet black or something but then again, I love how airy it feels in there and it gives me an excuse to always go foraging, no matter the season, to find a big bouquet to put on the counter so as to break up alllllll the white. And come on, trend or no trend, if someone is supposed to have white cabinets, it’d probably be me. So I guess I won’t complain :)

Oh little house, we sure do love you. Even if you’re more work than we ever could possibly imagine.

She’s a joy to fix up <3

This year thus far

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the daily life

I suppose all my posts from here on out will be catchup posts ;) I’m currently trying to find activities that can be done from a lying down/ hacking up lung position. My voice left me last night and has been replaced with something that one might expect from a demonic man, causing Greg to beg the question, “tell me truthfully, have you welcomed Satan into your heart?” Not kidding. He’s so freaked out by me right now. So, we type and leave the newly discovered super deep voice to those in my immediate presence. Greg went back to work on Monday so naturally it would make sense for our entire family to be sick on this here first week of me soloing this mother of three business. And so life goes… But BEFORE I explored my vocally masculine side, Greg and I celebrated six years of married life and TEN years since the day we met! He surprised me with the most-gorgeous-rings-that-I’ve-totally-been-coveting-for-probly-forever-but-never-thought-would-happen-splurge-gift-but-he’s-the-most-amazing-spoiling-sort-of-man-and-I-should-never-tell-him-my-splurge-gifts gift.

There was so much wine… so naturally so much sleeping.

At one point the accents came out but we couldn’t seem to commit to one so our server must have been mighty confused. Aren’t we special to think we are actually that convincing…. even WITH varying accents?? Special indeed.

I finally had a moment to celebrate my sisters ENGAGEMENT! We got to have the most fun sister day and got massages and stayed at a fun hotel and went out to dinner and all the things! I thought it would be brilliant to walk into town for dinner with a baby, during the biggest storm of the year – everything that could flap was going sideways! I got the giggles and a cramp in my side. We both got severely soaked. But there were cordials and little glasses of port and tea so we could embrace our elderly selves by a fire when we got back to the hotel. And the breakfast the next day was SO good! I had the best time.

Unfortunately our leisurely morning was cut short because we were hosting Superbowl that day and Greg was trying to wait till morning to deliver the bad news that our whole garage had flooded the night before and could you please come help shovel and such cause everything smells like sewer and people will be here any minute!!! Last time we had a football party, a rat died in the wall and stunk up the whole house. It must just be a thing. With football comes a strong smell. Anyways, it really makes me feel for people who lose everything in floods or other sorts of disasters… this wasn’t even our main stuff or our house but I still cared about everything out there and so much of it was ruined :( ah well… stuff comes and goes, eh? Could probably do with less of it anyways :)

This was after hours of shoveling sewer filled mud out – it came up a foot and was literally a centimeter away from flooding Greg’s new car! So despite loving the rain normally, ever since then, we both get major panic attacks when we hear it coming down hard in the middle of the night… but hey! about this rain this year… it just keeps coming eh? Oh no, I’m becoming one of those people that complains about the rain we so desperately need.

But then Superbowl!!! Thanks everyone for humoring us and coming to our silly parties… I just love when our house is full :]

These are the things I’m discovering about three kids. Never nurse the baby when you just got the second out of the tub and dressed and there is still a full tub of bathwater. I’m learning.

He’s cute :)

Kitty snuggles <3

The kids saw me give Noah a bath in the sink and thought it was the coolest thing, so…

These kids sure love Mr. Mark. They are gunna be so sad when he’s gone! Abbie will sit out there and talk to him for hours, call his wife, eat his lunch… He’s pretty sweet with them.

Her outfits, man. They are my favorite.

This kid always jumps into the room with a HIYA! He’s all boy and I love him!

When your siblings KNOW you’ll love this toy if you. just. look. at. it!

She da bess Gummy. I just think my momma is the prettiest :)

We finally finished our deck upstairs!!!

I LOVE being out there! I invite everyone to come see it. Oh thanks for delivering my mail, would you like to see my deck!? NOW IF IT WOULD ONLY STOP RAINING SO I CAN DO NOTHING AND JUST SIT UP THERE ALL DAY!

^^Pretty typical things – Noah on the counter, fast asleep… Greg being the best dad… and all the baby smiles!!!

Just your basic dog pile :)

His little tuft <3 The only place his hair actually grows :)

^^not so typical but cute nonetheless… gotta remember the times when they weren’t screaming and violently tossing things at each other ;)

When he smiles in his sleep <3

Bentley’s still the best dog! Are these random enough yet?

Lory finally got to meet her newest grandbaby!

Abbie and I went on a little mother/daughter date to go see Bella in the Lion King! Wore the tall shoes, paid the price. We arrived huffy and puffy but she hasn’t stopped talking about it since!

Sat like this in wide eyed wonder the whole time :) precious girl.

There were ice cream days!

And ocean days!


I wanted to wake up early to surprise the kids with those sneaky leprechauns turning all our breakfast green but Abbie got so freaked out by the supposed leprechauns, Greg had to eventually spoil the fantasy. He also told her about Santa. Just kidding.

Look how giant our kitchen is ;) thank you again to everyone coming to MY FAVORITE PARTY OF THE WHOLE YEAR! I just love St Patricks day but mostly I just love being with you all :)

And thank you to my dear mother and sister in law for flying all the way out here to visit your lil CA family! We miss you!

My aunts threw Taywhad the most spectacular shower!

I can’t believe she’s getting married in just over a month!!!! Josh sure hit the jackpot, lucky sonofagun.

Guess what!? Naps are still oh so fun. This guy fights me till the cows come home, whatever that means, and then always ends up crashing right before dinner. Exhibit A. Ah the bliss of childhood.

Exhibit B.

Abbie saw the sweetness and wanted to join in ;) He’s so lucky he’s cute :):)

Oh look another sleeping baby picture. I still think she’s the most wondrous human. She’s so beautiful with those rosy cheeks!!! I must be her mother.

My future looks bright with all these sneaky babies and their can-get-away-with-anything smiles.

Always helping where needed ;)

I mean seriously. Their faces. I just can’t get enough of them!

She wants to be a dancer so bad. We picked careers for our kids the other day.. Abbie was obviously a dancer or artist of some sort, Luke was an architect, and Noah was a high school guidance counselor, bless his soul. ;)

I can always tell whos mess it is.. Luke is surprisingly neat and orderly for having all that energy and Abbie’s stuff is sort of just strewn about. Something about seeing that boy play so carefully with his trains just melts me <3

S U N please come again!!! Also, why does Bentley look so photoshopped?? He’s lost his shadow. Just call him Pan.

And that’s a wrap! Thanks for following along with our simple little life :)

Three Months!

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12 months of Noah / Noah Phillip

Oh little man, how we love you so. Abbie and I were, oh you know, having a little musical listening party to Les Miserables the other day, and there’s that part that says, “to love another person is to see the face of God!!!!!” all dramatic and such. And me and my hormonal self thought OH HOW TRUE. If you only knew the thoughts I was having when I was pregnant with him – I was so dang low – but this lil guy! GOD IS SO GOOD! He gives you exactly what you need, right when you need it. When you think you can’t take on any more, he gives you a little man that lights up with the biggest grin whenever he sees his momma and LAUGHS and coos and does all the things she needed to heal her lil broken heart… I can’t say it enough, he’s just such a gift to me. And I don’t know why I always revert back to thinking God is out to get me or will pay me back for whatever I’ve done or thought or whatever but seriously… this kid is just one big smile of grace from Him and I’m so very thankful. So now that I’ve placed him on THAT pedestal, (I really do love all my kids equal… PROMISE! ;) ) this month was such fun! Little man started laughing and I cannot get enough! So far it has happened when: blowing in his face, biting his hand, and trying to fit his head through a shirt hole. We sound like great parents. But he gets the giggles every time and it’s the best. He loves being on his tummy and has rolled over a couple times! He found his hand to everyones cross eyed delight… and his foot.. and his tongue. He just quietly lays there and seems to take in the world around him. Loves being held up to look out the window, loves anything with some sort of contrast – his eyes get so big and he stares at it with such intensity :) he’s just the dearest! However, this month we did forget we had him… the kids were down for their naps and Greg and I could not figure out what was making that sound. We just figured Bentley was dreaming, but he never goes on for that long! haha sorry Noah! We did remember we had another child eventually! But ya! Still winning the most mellow baby award! Chins are still going strong – I’ve picked him up several times and looked and looked for where his binky went only to look down and find it was lost in his chins :D He’s the best. Happy three months Noah! So sorry we are celebrating it with a sick party… you’re still such a champ! We love you!!!

Two Months!

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12 months of Noah / Noah Phillip

THIS BOY THIS BOY!!!! I can’t get over it… he’s just the sweetest! I had the flu last week and Greg took the older kids and I got to just stare and giggle with and smile at this little man all week and it was FLU HEAVEN! I’ll be working on my computer with him on my chest and feel someone looking at me and sure enough, I’ll look down, and there’s little man, doing his best to hold that little wobbly head up, looking so much like the sweetest little worm, with the smiliest moon eyes. AHHHHH! It’s just the cutest thing to look down upon. The smiles! The smiles! He gives them out freely and it is bliss! He loves when you whistle, or sing to him, or help him stand, or you know, blow on his face. That’s a new discovery but it gets a big smile every time. He did learn to spit up this month but still baby boy, you got nothing on your siblings so can’t complain :) He’s still so snorty, and has the deepest grunts when he’s mad. Ha! he either wakes up so happy or with one loud deep bellow! Either way it’s the funniest thing and he’s still so easy to calm down when he’s mad at you so know, although I see him perhaps approaching more normal baby status with the occasional fussiness and such, month two man… he was still dream baby status. He just has the sweetest temperament… hates being left alone but if you just place him in the room everyone else is in, he calms right down and goes to sleep. I just love him and love how he compliments our family so well. The kids are still over the moon in love with their new baby brother and are learning ALL about sharing and the happiness and hardness that goes with it ;) This kid is a trooper and just calmly lays there as they loudly work out their space and time with him. So many kisses on the head. SO many faces a millimeter away. He has signs of being very ticklish, he kicks when he’s happy, he HAS YET TO PEE ON ME bless his soul. Anyone with boys knows this is a big deal. He has major hand jam.. and toe and finger jam too but man, those suckers never get aired out and it’s so hard to pry the contents out of them! The hairs get wrapped around each finger and they start going blue and ahhhhh. CLENCHED. FISTS. But we are so in love with you baby Noah! Lucky family over here :)

Hey February, remember Christmas?

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the daily life

Oh look who’s behind again! Christmas was just so lovely, I just don’t want to forget! So here’s a few hundred photos from then till now ;)

Something about this Winter was just so magical! I don’t know if it was the expectant feeling of welcoming a new little one any day or just the Christmas spirit in the air but it sure was lovely! The kids and I baked almost every day. I gained 30 pounds. It was fantastic! There was much heater sitting and giggling and yup, plenty of fighting but for some reason I forget to take out my camera in those moments ;)

I just love their little friendship. They have their fair share of screaming and fights, but the moments where they play together nicely are worth the whole lot! They are so protective of each other and seeing them love on their new baby brother is just the best. Kids man, they sure are great.

This kid channelled his inner boy band and all of a sudden felt like a little boy and not :'( my :'( baby :'( anymore!

And if you only knew how much he talks about his Papi. It’s all he asked for for Christmas “Papi” …every time he hears Bentley bark at someone at the door, he goes screaming towards it “PAPI!!!!” When he was getting a hang of whispering, Abbie would almost always whisper to watch a “moooooovie” and Luke wanted to join in so he comes up and whispers ever so softly “Papi Papi Papi…” It’s the dearest thing.

I mentioned we baked…

Like, so much. Definitely made up for not having a kitchen last season :)

My floors will forever have crumbs ;)

There were naps

And surprise little gifts from Mr. Mark!

I kept getting bigger and bigger. I missed the bump when Abbie was born. I do not miss the bump with toddlers around. I think they thought it was a trampoline this whole time… I’m really shocked he didn’t come out with a dented head…

We took our last family picture as a family of FOUR!

And then there was Christmas :) I just loved walking in the door to all those twinkling lights… never actually captured by camera but it brings me joy to remember nonetheless!

The night before Christmas… and a visual reminder of why we always vow next year we will only give the kids one present each… still, is there anything more magical than all the glowy lights and all the presents under the tree the night before Christmas? I dare say not. These are excellent sentences I’m putting together. We have a newborn. Also, you know your brain is fried when you’re missing all your emoticons to describe your actual feelings and are left to search for words. When you start thinking in pictures, we gossa problem.

What is Christmas without Apple Sam!? :)

How sweet is my aunt on the floor with my kids? I swear, I have the best most loving family :]

The first year I got Greg to put up lights on the side of our house instead of just on the front. It was a big deal :D

Goggles: the best gift they received? ….or the worst… cause I find myself putting them on them at least 17 times a day.

And then the panic set in cause the baby was due any day and poor Lukie all of a sudden spiked a 104 fever! I just hate when my babies are sick and you don’t know whats wrong. So we prayed that baby would wait till the Lord’s perfect timing and this sweet busy little man would heal quickly and by His goodness, everything worked out. Those rosy cheeks though… and the cuddling… didn’t hate that part ;)

I was a disco ball for New Years. Oddly enough, I thought this would be a good, festive look… until we were headed out the door and I glanced in the mirror and noticed I was dressed in an unintended costume.

And then!

And then!

And then!!!!

I just noticed the other day, his hands aren’t wrinkly anymore :'( IT ALL GOES TOO FAST!!!!!!

Just lookit those beautiful lil eyes. AHHHH I can’t get enough of this lil guy. If that wasn’t abundantly clear.

It’s sort of a fight between me and Abbie on who gets to hold him the most ;) She keeps asking and I think… mmm…. nope. MINE! Just kidding but actually it is kinda hard to give him up hehe I never want to but her massive love for him is pretty irresistible too. And just in case you think it’s this sweet scene all the time and where is Luke? Well,

This is how the majority of my pictures turn out these days ;) Luke gets so excited to hold him, he clenches his little fists and shakes and all the pictures tend to turn out blurry ;)

And then, this sweet girl turned four! Oh I can’t wait to see what she becomes… because this is all her. She came down in this ensemble and began to pose.

and pose

and pose

and you can bet Luke didn’t pick out that outfit.

the godmother there did.

because she’s the best.


I asked her, if she could have anything for her birthday breakfast, what she would have. Blueberries, pancakes, and blueberry muffins :D so a carb breakfast it was.

And then we went to paint pottery and experience the downfall of missed naps ;)

Plus first time making that poor stroller work for three! Just wish I could remember where I put those attachments so Luke didn’t have to be crammed quite so tightly in that seat ;)

But aren’t they the cutest little concentrated souls :) They carry their proud creations down every morning and Luke calls his truck his “RAH truck” which of course means monster truck. If speaking Abbie was hard, Luke is a whole nother ball game.

And then this guy <3

And then it was home again to celebrate with the rest of our family! I so wanted to throw her a proper birthday party with actual friends but I keep repeating my moms words of “life is not a Hallmark card” and figure, a week after giving birth might not be the right year for such an event. Plus, next year is the big FIVE! I might as well start my weeping now.

Luke :) hehe these kids are my favorite :D Abbie asked for steak, asparagus …and broccoli. Always throwing me surprises, that one! Oh and the night before, she decided she wanted a chocolate mermaid cake. … … … ok.

I should be winning all the Pinterest awards ;) again, life is not a Hallmark card. Plus she saw it before we could bring it out and ruined any chance of a surprise. Me and my hormones might have excused ourselves to sulk because the silliest things get me down these days. Sigh. I’m so good at adulting. However, the most fatal error we made on this here day was to let her slip away after dinner and go lay down on the couch. There was still cake and presents to be had! And three kids in, we should KNOW: never. ever. wake a sleeping child.

She did not like her cake.

She did not like her presents.

She did like her scepter. But you know? Some birthdays just don’t turn out perfect with joyous dancing and a wonderfully happy little child… and that’s ok. It’s your birthday and you can cry if you want to, they say. I added some gold stars to my excellent parenting skills as shown by my tantrum throwing overly tired kids and called it a night. I’m winning so many parenting awards these days. So many.

Luckily, with a solid nap, the extreme new baby smothering commenced.

And we continued on with our smitten-ness of this little lad.

We sure love him <3

But basically we are back to heater sits, and cheersing our apples. Can’t complain :) Sure love this little family of mine!

Happy February!

The dreamiest month

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12 months of Noah / baby #3

one monthone month-4one month-2one month-3Cause clearly I can’t pick just one ;) THIS BOY. I can’t even describe to you how in love with him I am. I don’t know if it’s because we had more time between Luke and Noah then we did with Abbie and Luke but AHHH the newborn phase just seems so sweet this time around. I completely forgot about the quick little breaths and the sweet little noises and how much they sleep and all the things! Plus it doesn’t hurt that he’s the most mellow little soul I ever did meet! His siblings will be screaming around him and he’ll just calmly lie there or keep on sleeping. He’s just the sweetest! Have I mentioned he’s sweet? ;) He is the first of our three kids to take a pacifier and MY GOSH is that a game changer. He’s the piggiest little eater… loudly snorting and grunting his way through all his feedings. It’s so funny! Probably the biggest, most wondrous difference of all is ….he doesn’t spit up… I never thought I’d see the day. I’ve had to wipe up like a tablespoon of something curdy mayyybe two or three times since he was born but that doesn’t even begin to count. Let’s remember how both Abbie and Luke spit up so much that a normal burp cloth did squat. If I left the house, I’d bring at least 4 kitchen towels and arrive home with them all fully drenched. And if they spit up on you, you’d have to change your shirt… and pants… and probably your undergarments. There was so much! And it was so sour and awful and so I mean… not naming favorites but… ;) this has been a lovely change in babydom. Oh! And not only that! HE BURPS! I’ve never been able to get my kids to burp on command or at least when I patted their backs. E-VER. He’s like a textbook baby. “When fussy, pat back to get out bubble.” This has never been the case. Before it was something like, “when fussy, let nurse for extended period of time and then run around shaking baby vigorously till child falls asleep. Repeat cycle every twenty minutes for four more months.” Seriously I think God knew my overwhelmedness and was being extra nice for at least month one. THANK YOU! My appreciation is through the roof! Anyways, little Noah, we are SO happy to have you in our family. Everyone remarks what a calm baby you are! You don’t like diaper changes but as soon as they are over and you get picked up, the crying stops immediately. There have been several situations where strangers ask to hold you. And for some reason I let them. And they keep holding you …and holding you… and holding you. One waitress held you and took you all around the restaurant to show you to all the guests… then back to the kitchen… wasn’t quite sure what to make of that but the point is, you’re such a sweetheart that people just can’t get enough of you! We sure love you little man! Thank you for making this month the absolute dreamiest!

Noah Phillip: Our last birth story :)

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baby #3 / Noah Phillip

I’ve been in such a baby haze lately. I don’t know if it’s because he’s my last baby or what but I can’t stop staring and sniffing and doing a whole lot of nothing! I just love this lil guy! He’s such a little dream boat. And I’m already forgetting all the things about that magical day he came into the world so here’s my attempt at remembering. Even his birth day was such a gift cause I was just so worried about the holidays and Abbie’s birthday and all the things surrounding it. And there he was plopped right in the middle so that this momma doesn’t have to throw two back to back birthdays or holiday/birthday celebrations. I’m sorta weird about only celebrating birthdays on the actual day so this was a special gift to me ;) I had been getting contractions fairly consistently for a couple weeks prior – about 5 min apart every night from about week 36 to 38. They’d disappear in the morning and reemerge the following evening. Then at 38 weeks they disappeared completely and we were left thinking oh you know, that he’d never come. So when I woke up at 3:30 with some pretty strong contractions, I just figured here we go again! I got up and walked around, drank some water, bounced on my ball, sat on the heater, made a pie. Just kidding but they continued to come so around 5, I decided to go take a bath. Everyone says that baths help you to relax yadda yadda. I forgot mine will always, no matter what time of day or night, come with a chatty child. This morning was no different and before I could inhale one deep relaxing breath of contemplation, the sweetest little girl plopped herself on the stool next to me and started in with her questions about life. She was in the bath, she was out of the bath, in, out, in, out, in, out. It was 5, 5:30, 6, 6:30 and finally I convinced her to go tell daddy “momma is in waiboah”

The kids have been… mmm… challenging lately so with these contractions or whatever they were, continuing, we thought it best to ask my parents to take them and see if they’d amount to anything. The contractions that is ;) I wanna say they were anywhere from 5 – 7 minutes apart but getting sorta uncomfortable so my mom came and sooooo sweetly picked up my hooligans around 9:30 and we all wondered if this was for real or not.
This is my early labor face. Can I just say how much I love early labor!? It’s uncomfortable enough to be like HEY SOMETHING’S HAPPENING!!! It’s totally manageable with just enough work to feel like you’re doing something. I’m pretty sure this is what labor felt like before the fall ;) Greg whirled around and cleaned up the whole house – we are talking vacuuming, sweeping, heck he probably even dusted which is something men NEVER do ;) He was amazing! Our house was sparkling and spotless and it was such a glorious day and it was q u i e t and things magically stayed in place and man, it was just the most lovely early laboring environment. So I bounced around on my ball and tried to keep moving to speed things along but if you know me, if I’m not actually doing something like a project or chore, I preferably like to be in a sitting down or laying down position so this sporadic movement became old rather fast. Naturally I found myself in said preferred position and we watched a show to pass the time, causing all those contractions to disappear completely. So up I hopped again and started to roam my very clean house once more. Greg made us some lunch, I took one bite and thought, I need to be alone. I think that’s when things started to shift and I start concentrating through them. So I hopped in our ant infested, mold riddled shower and began the real labor part. They still weren’t that close together but getting very strong so I wasn’t sure what was happening. I didn’t think my water had broken yet and I dunno… it’s just not always all that clear! After a couple hours in and out of my favorite grungy laboring place, I started getting sorta discouraged and weepy and asked Greg if we should just call the midwife to see what she thought. I didn’t think I was very far along and didn’t want to get even more discouraged but wasn’t really sure what was going on except that it hurt and things weren’t getting closer together. So she came around 2:30 and said “you are very serious” which I guess is a good sign? We decided to have her check me and found out I was at a 5 and she could feel the water bag which was such a relief because being GBS+ AGAIN, I just wanted it to stay intact as long as possible to reduce the risk of infection. Both Abbie and Luke’s water broke early on so I knew I was in labor so this was a new experience that actually offered me a lot of relief! Seeing how I was, she ended up staying which made me think this was the real deal!

I tried so hard to just stay present – not looking backwards or forwards but just taking each contraction as it came which I really feel like helped things progress pretty quickly. Also, not obsessing about how long previous labors have taken but just taking this one as its own unique experience. I actually lost track of time and things seemed to move pretty fast which was so nice! Eventually I got the chills and sorta nauseous and Greg said, “not to get your hopes up, but the last times you’ve felt sick and got the chills, you’ve been in transition…” I sorta laughed at him cause it seemed way too soon for that but sure enough, the blur came, things started getting really strong, she checked me again and I was at a 7! and then a 9 and then really felt like pushing! It all seemed so fast but it was like seeing the finish line. With Abbie, she was obviously my first and I knew I definitely wanted more kids so being in so much pain was so discouraging knowing I’d have to go through it again.. and then Luke I felt like “you’re still only half way there!!! ahhhhh” so this time, I just kept repeating to myself “this is the last time! you never have to go through this again! you can do this. you’ve done it before and you’re almost there!” My gosh that made all the difference ;) One push and that water burst all over my poor midwife haha But seriously, it was such a relief to know he was protected for so long! And then I think it was 9 minutes later, he was born! MY GOODNESS I forgot how much work pushing is! haha. But seeing that head. I’m smiling right now. I cannot even begin to describe the intense feeling of relief when he was born. I DID IT! He was here! All my fear just melted away and I was left with the sweetest most mellow infant I’ve ever laid eyes on. He didn’t fully cry for over 24 hours. He just started nursing right away and snuggled right into our family like he was always meant to be. I’m still just so in awe at how good the Lord is to us. I feel so abundantly blessed I could cry. And I do. Often. Because hormones. Those are fun eh? And here’s a healthy dose of horrible iphone pictures to document the most joyous day :)

It had been on my to do list to take one more proper belly picture before he came out. It didn’t get done. So here’s the last picture of me pregnant ever ;) I was trying to see if he’d dropped or not to see if we were ACTUALLY in labor ;)

But I should have known by the fact that Bentley was always there whenever I looked down, bless his lil doggy soul <3

Ohhh I love this picture and I wish it was bigger but that guy. He stayed behind me the whole time and held me and it was the most comforting thing to have him there for that last hard bit. He kept trying to make me laugh by talking about how much pain he was in from hitting himself in the face with a medicine ball the day before but really, he’s just the best. I sure love him.

The sweetest moment with the worst chills I’ve ever experienced! They didn’t stop all night – I was shaking so hard I could barely hold him! Again with the hormones. Them be crazy! GOSH!

The picture we sent when mom asked if the kids would be sleeping over and if she should feed them dinner… and we asked her if she’d make some extra for all of us :D I’ve always been slightly delusional about the optimal labor. One it wouldn’t hurt. Two, we’d just put the kids down for their nap and when they’d wake up, they’d have a new baby brother. So this was a close second to get to sort of surprise my family since we weren’t actually sure we were in real labor. Sorta wish I could have been there when they saw it cause I heard there was screaming :)

The best dad <3

It’s just one of my favorite parts about home births – those little feet sticking out! <3

These two women have been there for all of my kids and I couldn’t be more thankful! They are amazing!

Meeting their new brother!

Ohhh the screening test :'( what a lil trooper!

Meeting Minnow!

I can’t even describe the joy and pride and perfection of everything and I know I’m already forgetting so much but man am I thankful. Little Noah, welcome to our family. You complete us :)

May I please introduce my son!?

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baby #3 / Noah Phillip

I have Christmas and Abbie’s birthday and a whole bunch of life lately to catch up on BUT CAN I PLEASE FIRST INTRODUCE MY SON!? Oh my goodness he is the most precious gift and I seriously can’t believe he’s here and he’s ours! This pregnancy was so hard on me – I know whatever you are currently going through probably always seems like the hardest thing but really, everything seemed so amplified – the sciatica was outta control, and leg cramping every night, and ear popping was just one of those annoying things that wouldn’t go away. I got so itchy and uncomfortable at the end and I have no idea what he was doing in there those final weeks but man it hurt. There were so many stop and go contractions that made me think for sure he was coming way early but week after week we waited and waited… and waited. Most of all, I struggled with so much depression this pregnancy which in my mind would have produced a horribly tormented nightmare baby but …*insert all the happy tears*… he is the calmest, sweetest natured little boy. His labor went amazing, he’s a champion nurser. He’s just such a dream and such a gift to my weary heart. So, please allow me to introduce to you:

Mr. Noah Phillip Nettles
Born January 3rd at 4:59pm
7lbs 12oz, 21in

^^those lips though!^^

Welcome to the world Little Noah! We are so thankful you are ours!

It’s Christmastime!!!!

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the daily life

Can you hardly even believe it!? Did anyone else think that last week in November was the looooongest week ever!? It just went on and on…. but now December is here and we can officially celebrate all things festive! Greg and I even got to sneak away for a mini babymoon before our last little one gets here! I realized there is a reason they say don’t go on such trips in your last month… there was much restless leg syndrome and so much sciatica and all things pain but it was still so nice to get away. We even got most of our Christmas shopping done! We were looking at one of the books in the hotel room of castles in Europe and were thinking how nice it must be to live in such a gorgeous place.. and then started looking around and realized here isn’t so bad ;)

Really, can’t complain.

The festiveness!!!! It just makes me so happy! So much good food and games to mimic our kids cause my goodness we are nerds and apparently don’t know what to talk about anymore. Greg had me cracking up so hard over his Abbie impressions. Just thinking about it makes me smile. Anyways, it’s always good to get away with that guy :)

When we got back, we decided this was the year we should chop down a tree. I’ve never actually chopped one down and it sounded all sorts of fun.

Just look how fun. We should have come for the swings and seesaws and left for the lot tree ;) both kids were so tired and whiny and I kept finding them strewn about, resting their supposedly aching muscles.

Ha! I had no idea how big that place would be and how much of not the type of tree I wanted there was. That was a good sentence. So we walked and walked and dragged and carried and hoped no one would get lost in the forest of green and eventually just decided this year would be the year for the sad but sweet tree and started to saw the next half decent one we laid eyes on.

Greg keeps telling me it’s the saddest tree he has ever seen but I have grown quite fond of it. All in all, we got at least one tree chopping experience and the memories are already starting to warm in my mind ;)

And then came the decorating. Bless those children.

Luke was SO proud every time he got one on the branch. The same branch. Every time. I tried to wrap my head around each and every ornament getting broken and despite dying on the inside as they were flung here and there, I’d say it was rather successful!


We’ve been doing lots of baking and snuggling and have pretty much burned through every Christmas movie possible and it hasn’t even been a week but my body is done with the moving at this point so it’s been so nice to slow down :)

^^When you are just done with the holiday baking ;)
I hope you’re all having a wonderful holiday season so far! We are officially 37 weeks next week so I have all sorts of reasons to be excited and expectant :D cannot wait to meet this babe! and drink that Manhattan ;)