Monday, June 26, 2017

Happy 9th Birthday DD

Dear Sweet DD,

Happy 9th birthday my beautiful girl. My baby is 9. What in the world? 9 years of loving you and being amazed by you and living my life with such a wonderful gift. I am so so so blessed.
8 was a year that you handled like a pro. You amazed your dad and I on many occasions as you managed the challenge of all the change presented to you. When Daddy and I told you we were moving, you jumped up and down...so excited for the adventure. When we moved into our rental, you made friends in the neighborhood within days, and the doorbell was ringing constantly with kids lined up ready to hang out with you. When you started another new school, 2 in 2 years, you walked in with your head held high, outfit picked out by you, hair done by you, backpack picked out by you. And my hand was left hanging there without yours as you walked in to your new school as a big shot 3rd grader. When we moved into our new house, you embraced your new room and the rest of it...playing outside and all about constantly. When third grade became a bit challenging, you kept at it...not giving in. When all the change finally caught up to you, you came to us and explained and we tried our best to listen. And we continue to listen. And will continue forever and ever.
This is the first year that you have had such a large group of friends - Lucie, Zoe, Angeline, Chloe, Clara, Sadie to name just a few. You girls are such a sweet group; supporting each other and laughing with each other. And being little girls. Just enjoying pretend play and running around outside and hanging upside down on the monkey bars.
This is the first year you have shown an interest in gymnastics and running. I am not sure what the future holds for either activity, but you did them and stayed determined to do your best at all times.
This is the year your nanny taught you how to hand sew and within minutes you were creating a mother's day gift for me and things for your stuffed animals. Your little imagination was working hard.
You continue being my most limited eater, enjoying waffles and oatmeal and edamame and fruit.
You love to watch experiments online and then recreate them wreaking havoc on my kitchen. Your little mind is constantly creating.
I remain amazed at how your brain works; so differently than mine. I love watching how you think and come up with creations and solutions. It completely blows my mind.
You are such an amazing little sister and big sister; squealing at your brother one minute but defending him the next and telling your sister to get out of your room one minute but snuggling her like a baby the next.
Dylan, I could not have hand picked a more amazing daughter if I had to. God designed you in the most spectacular way. I cannot wait to see what the next year has in store for you as a 4th grader and your last year of elementary school. It is going to be great!
Happy birthday my baby girl. I love you to the moon and back.

Love,
Mommy

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Raising Kids Is No Joke

My mom used to tell me when my kiddos were babies that those were the easy days. I had no idea what she was talking about. Sleepless nights. Babies crying. Bottle refusal. Toddler tantrums. I stubbornly (yes, mom, I admit I have issues with being stubborn....wonder where I get it from;)  disagreed. Those were the tough days. The hella hard days.
I now understand what she was talking about. Those were the easy days in comparison to now and what is to come. Those were the days that I could fix what was wrong with my children. Baby isn't sleeping, okay, fine, sleep on my chest. Child is crying. Let's see if it's the diaper/hunger/boredom/etc. They won't take a bottle. Okay, I will only be gone for 2 hours instead of 4. Toddler tantrum going on. I will leave the room. I am not saying those days weren't extremely taxing on my nerves and sanity. I am just saying that I had more control and could actually view the situation my children were experiencing.
These days, not so much. Your kid is upset. Let's talk. They won't talk. What do you do? Your child despises school. There are options. Which one is the right one? Your kid is having anxiety attacks. What do you do? Friend issues. What do you do? Won't eat. What do you do? Can't sleep. What do you do?
It's mind boggling. And so frustrating. And even more overwhelming and heart breaking. It's like God put a little piece of their heart right in the middle of mine. Their pain is felt deep inside my chest, and I ache for their little spirits. For their hardships. For the trials they are going through and have yet to go through. I ache.
I cried so much last week. Buckets and buckets of tears. Because the pain was felt so intensely right in the middle of my heart for my childrens' struggles. So many tears were shed, that I am afraid there are no more tears to cry. I will have to build up reserves again.
This is the part where my husband reminds me I have to have faith. Not faith with a lowercase f, but with a big fat capital F. FAITH. This is the part where my husband reminds me that we went through similar struggles as children, and we are better for it. We are more empathetic humans. More wise. We are shaped and molded by our trials. God allows these heartaches to refine us, and to grow us closer to Him. These are the opportunities for our children to see that life isn't always fair and perfect. That we are not the center of the world. And that our awful situation one minute does not have to define the rest of the minutes of our day.
I am grateful for my husband on so many levels. One being that he is the constant steady reminder of FAITH. And another that he is the calm to my emotional rollercoaster.
My mom was so right though. Parenting is tough. Raising kids is no joke. It is definitely not for the faint of heart.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Surviving and Living

Surviving. Living. Those are the two things that I am currently doing. I feel like moving strips away pretty much everything from you. At least it did me. All my defenses. And comforts. And security. I think that can happen in any move; not just a move 2000 miles away. However, it might be a tid bit worse when you move out of your community into a different state with a whole different culture. Not that I am griping about that; I am merely stating an observation.
How do I know I am merely surviving? Let me tell you why. B/c any oomph I once had has been depleted. All the extras are going by the wayside. Extra extracurricular activities are nixed. Kids don't feel well and can't go to school. Fine. Stay home. The yard looks like a weed threw up on it. Oh well. I guess I am taking the path of least resistance. And that isn't really me. Or at least it hasn't been me in the past. Maybe it is the new me. Who knows.
So, even though I am merely surviving...I feel like I am living as well. Breathing the crisp Washington air. Smelling the ocean water. Listening to the wind through the enormous trees. Meeting new people. Being involved with a new church home group. Attending Bible study regularly. Having play dates for the kids. There is evidence that I am coming up for air now and then.
I am just ready for summer and a fresh start to next year. Starting the school year off with my head screwed on and some knowledge of the workings of this new area. That is what I am wanting.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Happy Birthday to My 5 Year Old

Blayke,
Happy 5th birthday dear sweet girl. I can't believe you are already one whole hand. It seems like just yesterday I found out I was pregnant with my 3rd baby; the precious child that would complete our family. I am so blessed to have you my blue eyed girl.
You are such a sweet girl. So loving and carefree. Super tender-hearted. Your teachers told me the other day that you have completely come out of your shell. They called you "free-spirited" saying that you play with everyone (boys and girls) and just love to smile and laugh. That makes me so happy. You adore school, and (gasp) can't wait to start kindergarten. We will save that discussion for a later date. Mommy is a bit in denial about that one. Your dream is to one day become a ballerina and live in Paris with a poodle. I should also mention that you have told me you would also like to be a doctor, a nurse, an animal doctor, and a famous star. So, you have a few options to choose from.
You have enjoyed taking ballet, tap, and gymnastics lately. I am not sure which you like more, the activity or the socialization. Every night you like to ask me what we are doing tomorrow. You are not content when I answer clean the house. You would much prefer to have playdates or be out and about doing something. I would say that you are not a homebody like your big sister. You are still having troubles falling asleep at night, and like to snuggle every single night. I happily oblige b/c I know that these moments are fleeting. And snuggling you is one of the best things ever. You usually end up in mommy and daddy's bed some time in the night every single night. But that is okay as well. You've had a lot of change lately with moving and whatnot. You are SO NOT a morning person, and usually whine and carry on until you get food in your belly and wake up a bit. So, mommy has to put on her patience pants and pray a lot in the morning (lol). Your fave foods are chicken of any kind. You love chicken. You even asked if I could bring it to your class on the day you had to bring a snack (I denied that request by the way, sorry). You also enjoy broccoli and spinach and bagels and you absolutely LOVE to steal your daddy's frappacinos from Starbucks. But I think you fave food of all times is chocolate. It must be b/c I had an intense craving for chocolate all through my pregnancy with you. Yum! You are a super smart girl, already trying to read and you love math. You count and add up everything you see. It is super cute. You have recently set two goals for yourself out of the blue - to swim and to ride a bike with no training wheels. So, we will get on that.
You are a precious gift to this family Blayke Alexandra. I love you to infinity and beyond to the moon and back.
Happy 5th birthday precious girl.
Love,
Mommy

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Updates

Well, I obviously haven't blogged too much since October. Life just kind of turned into this mass of chaos and emotions and wildness and a little of this and a little of that layered on top of everything. Here is a break down of our life in a nutshell:

1) We closed and moved into our new house on Bainbridge. That in itself was a bit much for this ol' gal. I guess the whirlwind of moving to Washington and unloading a truck and a half full of my life only to pack it all up again in a different truck and move it across the island was just a little overwhelming for me. It was as if I used up all of my mental and physical and emotional endurance during the first move. It took a huge pile of willpower to even get up in the morning much less unload box after box after box. After a lot of prayer and support from family and friends and even the barista at the local coffee shop, the boxes are mostly unpacked. My mother-in-law was a huge help during that time, and really helped to keep me on track and lighten the load by unpacking and cleaning and grocery shopping for us. I can't even begin to express my gratitude to her and the immense amount of love she showed us.

2) We had a revolving door of family come to visit us from the end of October to after Christmas. There is something about family staying with you for a longer period of time that is super sweet and different than living in the same area and just visiting for a couple of hours. I guess it is just shared moments in the morning when everyone has just woke up, and quiet times, and rowdy time, and cooking together. I don't know. I just really really enjoy it.
So, who came to visit. It all started with my mother-in-law who came to help us move. She got here a couple of days before Luke's birthday and stayed with us until after Thanksgiving. So so awesome. And then Marc's dad and his sister and her family came for Thanksgiving and Marc's 40th birthday. That was so great to have family here for such special events. A couple of days after that whole crew went home my sister and her family came to stay with us. Oh my goodness. I so loved having her here, and holding sweet baby Coco and seeing the cousins play together. It felt so comfortable and so much like home. My parents came a few days after my sister left and we had the best time. The day we celebrated Christmas together it even snowed. How awesome is that? It was like God was saying, "Here you go. A little snow for your sweet family time." I was so so so sad to see my mom and dad go. So sad. And then a week after my parent's left, my mother-in-law and father-in-law came back in town to celebrate Christmas with us. I will forever be grateful that they came and spent that time with us during our first ever Christmas away from family and home. It eased that heartache a bit for me to have a piece of Texas right here with us. We had such a great time with them from shopping and present opening to cooking and sledding. Our lives are all lengthened a bit due to the amount of belly laughing that goes on when PopPop is involved with things. My heart was so very sad to see them go. So sad. I got a bit down in the dumps for a bit after they left. Truth be told, I always get a bit sad at the end of a break. Just getting back into the routine and everyone going back to work and school. But this time there was that added layer of all of our family leaving to go back to Texas. I don't know. It just made it a bit tougher. But things turned around since then. I will blog about that in a later post.

3) Life has been a bit tough for my little guy. The friends he had made around his birthday didn't end up being who they had hoped they would be. We had a mini-crisis the second day back to school after Thanksgiving. I pulled into the parking lot of his school that morning, and he refused to get out of the car. He was crying and pouring out so much that had happened with these boys. I had no idea what to do. Do I make him go into the school or do I whip my car around and pull out of this parking lot? I decided to take my baby home. I called his teacher and spoke with her and the counselor, and things got a bit better. I definitely wouldn't say they were great. However, after some wonderful happenings I think we have turned a corner. More about that later. And continued prayers for my boy.

All in all, those are the big events that occurred during the past few months.  Obviously there are a lot of little things in between, but overall I feel like we are finding our way. A new friend told me that she feels like there is no such thing as "settled" when someone moves. It is more a process of "settling" and different phases of that whole thing. So, we are settling, one day at a time.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

No More Fingers

Dearest Luke,
Happy 11th Birthday my big guy. I am a little sad this year because I can't capture my picture of you holding the age you are with your fingers:( We have definitely turned a new page. 11. Wow. I have been a mom for 11 years. Seems almost surreal. But here we are.
You are such an awesome kid Luke. You have this huge sense of what is right and what is wrong - always exercising that moral code out of the house but not so much in the house. I guess that is the norm for kids though. You have been begging for a dog for over a year now...and maybe just maybe we will give in to your request soon. Shhhh....don't tell your dad. You are such a protective big brother; only allowing yourself to be the one that torments your sisters. You have such a soft heart, always comforting those that are sad or anxious. You have been such a trooper with this huge move to Washington - absolutely brave in my opinion. You have decided to give flag football a go, and I have really enjoyed watching you enjoy a sport of your choosing. You have even taken up watching some Cowboys with your dad (I know dad has been waiting, patiently I might add, for probably over 11 years). You seem to enjoy exploring the island with your dad - checking out trails and tide pools and beaches. Your fave home cooked meal continues to be chicken pot pie, and you could eat almost anything if a restaurant is involved (especially calamari). You are not a fan of breakfast before school, but if it's the weekend you can eat some food. You are wearing a size 8 1/2 shoe, an adult small in most everything clothing related.
I think the toughest thing about being 11 so far is school. 5th grade at an intermediate school has been a big adjustment for you. It is basically like middle school. I am frequently reminding myself that I was in normal elementary for 5th and 6th grade, and there are many more expectations scholastically of students at this new school. I am hopeful that you will find the place that you fit and friends that are amazing. That is my prayer.
We love you so much Luke. I am so thankful to you for making me a mom 11 years ago. Please know that no matter how big and old you get you are always always always going to be my little boy.
Happy Birthday!
I love you to the moon and back to infinity and beyond.
Love,
Momma

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Adventures of The Davies 5 #9

Finding a house to buy has been less than stellar. It has been down right crazy. After the housing crash in 07/08, Seattle recovered fairly quickly I would say. Especially with all the big name companies located right here in the heart of it all - Costco, Microsoft, Amazon, Google to name but a few. So, not only do these companies and their constant influx of employees keep the housing market booming, so does the general draw of the PNW. Namely the amazing weather for a good portion of the year, the abundance of outdoor activities (anyone want to surf and snow ski in the same day? If so, this is your place.), and the coffee. Well, maybe that was a stretch, but the coffee gets a point for me.
We obviously were familiar with the DFW housing market, and figured it would be similar with a bit of crazy added on top. Well, it wasn't even close. For example, we found a house that we were super interested in a couple of weeks after we moved here. It was adorable. Built in 1978 on a little under an acre of land, partially updated in a great neighborhood here on Bainbridge in our price range. So, we decide to put an offer on it. Our realtor told us the scoop. The home was a local real estate agent's home who was relocating over to the Seattle side of things. And he knew how to play the game. And boy, let me tell you he sure did. He listed the house low on purpose, hoping to cause a bidding war with what they call the "escalation clause" here. The escalation clause is basically an amount that the buyer is willing to go over asking in whatever increments they wish in order to beat out another buyer. Furthermore, the seller has the option to have a review date added to their sell meaning they will not look at any offers until the date of their choosing. On that date, they review all offers and pick one. Additionally, sellers pick the most appealing offer meaning financing and inspection contingencies don't make the team. Crazy, right? We were not comfortable putting an offer on a home with no inspection. So, in that case, Realtors suggest potential buyers request a pre-inspection to see what they are up against. We went ahead and did that. And going into the buy with our eyes wide open caused us to not budge when our Realtor called to tell us if we wanted to make our escalation even higher, we could potentially beat out the forerunner. Well, knowing the maintenance the house needed, we decided to let that house go to the highest bidder. And that was not us.
So, we continued to look. I had my filter set for our price range and only would peek at higher priced listings here and there. I noticed this super cute red farm house, and just loved it. Unfortunately, it was over our budget. And with escalations we definitely could not afford to look at barely anything in our budget much less over it. So, I continued to look. And one day, the cute little red farm house appeared in my filter. The seller had lowered the price. Our Realtor called to tell us she thought we would like it, so we went to have a peek. The house was so super cute with a lot of potential over the years for us to make our mark on the property. Furthermore, it was the end of the selling season and the seller really needed to sell it to finish off a house she was building. There was no review date, no need for an escalation, and we could ask for an inspection after the offer was accepted. Praise the Lord.  And further praise when the seller accepted our offer with no counter offer.
Truth be told, I was a little (meaning A LOT) nervous on what would come of our rental. I had never broken a lease before and was freaking out on what that meant. Marc was afraid that if we continued to wait the market was going to continue to be fast and furious next summer when our lease was up, and we would end up having to resign. I guess God was in on that too because literally the same day the rental was listed, they found someone to lease it. Praise the Lord again, and good thing I am not in control. He is.
So, we are in a roll. We are in the final leg of the inspection fun. The appraisal has been ordered, and we have requested a close date of ASAP due to the fact that we need to be out of our rental on the afternoon of the 31st. No rush or anything. But let's go.