Thursday, August 17, 2017

The first day of school . . . for TWO!

Ever since Brianna began public school two years ago - and we discovered we were happy with the school and the situation - we have anticipated that this would be the year Brenson would join her. I spent the better part of last school year preparing Brenson for this big transition by talking about all the details in depth, spending time at the school, and attending the school's morning program "Rise and Shine" frequently. He has been so excited all summer to start school for the first time! 

At the end of July, I took Brianna and Brenson shopping for a few necessary clothing items and school supplies. We ate a Chik-Fil-A, hit up about five different stores, and had a great evening together. Both kids were hardly able to contain their excitement about school!

Even with all the prep work we did to prepare Bren for school, he decided about two weeks ago that maybe he wasn't so excited after all. Every time I would mention school, he would act like he didn't want to talk about it. There were a few times that he even said he wasn't going to go! I had worked so hard to help him mentally gear up for school, so this behavior was a huge disappointment to me. However, two days before the first day the school had an open house. Bren was able to see his classroom, drop off his school supplies, and meet his teachers. He was once again so excited and full of smiles about school. In fact, he said that night that he wished he could start school the next day instead of waiting two days!

Checking out Bren's KINDERGARTEN classroom!

Meeting Bren's teacher, Mrs. T

During open house, we also went to see Brianna's 2nd grade classroom, drop off her school supplies, and meet her new teacher. Before going up to the school that night, Brianna was so keyed up about it all that I had to tell her multiple times to find her self control. There wasn't an apprehensive bone in her body!

Meeting Brianna's 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. C

We love our elementary school and are thrilled that we were able to stay there when we moved last fall. 

Brenson

Brianna

My two big kids . . . ready to start another school year!

School was scheduled to begin TODAY (Thursday, August 17th) bright and early. This has been a very strange August for us weather-wise, as we've had lots of rain, thunderstorms, and even tornadoes! Last night around 9:00pm. a large thunderstorm rolled through our area, and many houses and businesses (including ours) ended up being without power for several hours. I was concerned that the school would not have power and therefore not be in session for the first day. However, the power resumed around 1:00am, and everything was good to go for school this morning!

Brianna, my BIG second grader


She was so ready to get things started!



Brenson was also very eager this morning. 


I can't believe my little man is starting Kindergarten!



These two were quite the pair of excited kiddos this morning!




Brooke and Brecklyn were even pumped for the new school year. They begged to be in a photo, too. You know I'm not going to turn that down!

TWO kids in school!

We all went to the school to wish Brenson and Brianna well this morning. I had to choke back the tears watching them walk in . . . I did cry later, but I held it together in that moment!

I love that our school has a morning program that we can attend any time we want. Of course, this morning it was super crowded (and HOT . . . the school had been without power as well, and the AC did not come back on when the power did), but I wouldn't have missed it. I stood by Bren and his class with Brecklyn, and watching him be so big and try to do all the motions and follow directions just made me SO emotional! I wasn't sure if I was going to make it without a break down, ha!

Chris stood over by Brianna's class with Brooke, and she immediately found her friends and her groove! 

Our neighbor's granddaughter, Charley, is also a second grader at our school. Charley spends a lot of time at our house, and Brooke was super excited to see her at school. She ran over to give her hugs!

After Rise and Shine, parents were invited to walk their students to class. It worked out perfectly for us. We walked Bren to his class and got him settled for just a minute. He was all smiles and excitement (which made this process so much easier on me!)


Just as were walked out of Brenson's classroom, Brianna's class walked by on the way to her room. I loved seeing her so confident and comfortable and ready to go!

Of course, she didn't need any help getting settled. She was thrilled to have some of her friends from last year in her class again!

After walking out of the school, I got pretty emotional. I thought it would be easier this year since we are so familiar with the school and teachers, but I was wrong! I was still super hard to leave them both. Brecklyn cried when we got in the van because we "forgot Anna and Boogie", so she and I just had a little moment together! I think this will be a great year for everyone, and I'm looking forward to watching the changes and growth in all my kiddos.


Saturday, July 1, 2017

Instagram Dump 2017 (January - June)

I post a lot of our day-to-day life and feelings on Instagram, so I feel that it's important to include all of those posts in my blog. This year has already been absolutely full of unexpected twists, turns, and surprises (both good and bad), and I love that you can really see a snapshot of that in my Insta posts. These are all the posts I put on Instagram from January 1 through June 30, 2017.



01/01 - Even after four years, the grief is heavy this time of year. This is an anniversary that passes quietly, but is felt to my core. We weren't ready to say goodbye, and we'll always, always love our B3. #miscarriage #babyloss #grief

01/06 - When it's 20 degrees outside but Momma has errands to run . . . #twinbies #allbundledup #Oklahomawinter #lovemydoublestroller

01/08 - Sometimes I still can't believe that I get to wake up to God's glory on display like this in my backyard! #sunriseonsummittrail #nofilter

01/10 - Birthday month is coming soon! I hit up the Dollar Tree to stock up on some fun and festive supplies to celebrate my February babies. #myfavoritemonth #fourfebruarybabies #partyallmonthlong #sevenfiveandtwo

01/11 - I love watching this little guy play. He's creative, smart, cute, and so imaginative! #BrensonCharlesJacob #mommasboy #mylittleman #oldsoul

01/12 - One loves fixing hair and the other loves having her hair fixed. Peanut butter and jelly! #twinbies

01/14 - A slumber party with our cousin means we get to sleep in a tent upstairs, watch movies, eat popcorn, and stay up waaaaaay past our bedtime! #cousinlove #slumberparty #icedin

01/15 - "The Lord is on my side; I will not fear." Psalm 118:6 #Sunday #lovemylittles #praiseGod

01/16 - Kendall and I became friends in college, bonded through our struggles with infertility, and now get the privilege of experiencing motherhood together. Watching our families grow and grow up through the past seven years has been nothing short of amazing! The sweet friendships our kiddos are developing are so precious, and I pray that their love for the Lord and each other just continues to thrive. We're about to need a bigger couch!!! "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think . . . " To God be the glory!

01/19 - I took my kiddos (minus Brianna) on a little road trip today to visit my college town, campus, place of employment, and "mom" Lena. As soon as I turned into town, I was overwhelmed with allll the nostalgia and alllll the feels. I love my memories of college days learning about life, love, who I was, what I stood for, and who I wanted to be. Oh, and all that academic stuff, too ;-). #memories #collegedays #nostalgia

01/23 - Yep! Pretty much truth! #momlife #lotsoflittles

01/25 - Bren and I are practicing reading today by making words and sentences out of Play-doh! I love having a fun and willing little pupil. #BrensonCharlesJacob #Nelsonhomeschool #learningthroughplay

01/26 - I picked Brianna up from school today and surprised her with an outing to go get pedicures. She was super excited and talked non-stop! Love this rare time with my big girl! #BriannaElisabethJo #mommydaughterdate #prettytoes

01/28 - One of our favorites! #pawpatrollive

01/28 - In effort to have fewer toys but more experiences with our kiddos, one of their Christmas gifts this year was tickets to Paw Patrol Live! It was a special and fun day! #pawpatrollive #experiencesnotthings

01/29 - Just the girls today . . . Triple the cuteness with matching dresses as a bonus! #sisters #matchymatchy #cuties

01/31 - Bren is practicing beginning letter sounds while the girls take a break from puzzles to do a bit of coloring (which they LOVE). #Nelsonhomeschool #learningathome #preschool

01/31 - The lighting on this pic is terrible, but it's hilarious to me. Brianna wanted to curl her hair for school tomorrow where she's dressing as a 100 year old woman to celebrate her 100th day of school. When the twins saw her with curlers in her hair, they insisted I put curlers in their hair, too. So, here are my three little old ladies before bed 😂. 

02/01 - #sunriseonsummittrail #nofilter

02/01 - For her 100th day of school, Brianna dressed as a 100 year old woman. She was a hoot playing the part! #littleoldlady #BriannaElisabethJo #firstgrade

02/02 - Two years ago, I was 38 weeks pregnant with twins. I was huge and achy and SO anxious to meet my baby girls! All throughout the pregnancy, I had my mind set that they would be born on February 2nd, but we had to wait one more day! I'm still amazed when I look at this picture . . . It almost doesn't look real. It's incredible to me that God created my body to stretch enough to accommodate and grow 13 pound of baby! #pregnantwithtwins #reminicing #amazed

02/03 - Happy 2nd birthday to my sweet Twinbies! It's been a wild, wonderful, crazy, blessed, precious, tiring, amazing ride so far! #twinbies #birthday #celebrate

02/06 - Each year around their birthdays, I write a special post about each child on my blog. Today's post is all about my sweet, spunky, mischievous, and energetic Brooke Ellie! Link in profile. #BrookeElianaMae #birthday #twoyearsold

02/07 - Today, it's Brecklyn's turn to be showcased on my blog. These posts are lengthy, but I love writing them and sharing about my kiddos! Link in profile. #BrecklynSarahFaith #celebrate #twoyearsold

02/09 - Hanging out at my old stomping grounds cheering on the Hillcats tonight! #RSUHillcats #basketball #memories

02/10 - My little man is FIVE years old today! Happy birthday to our precious son! #BrensonCharlesJacob #fiveyearsold #celebrate #littleman

02/12 - I got home from church today and pulled my hair back (because apparently I only wear my hair down when I go to church these days) only to discover I was wearing two distinctly different earrings. I knew this morning was a bit on the hectic side, but seriously how did I not notice this? #momlife #hotmessmom #easylikeSundaymorning #whichisneverevereasy

02/14 - I admit that although I'm pretty much a Valentine's Day hater, my four Bs almost make me want to jump on the V-day bandwagon. Love these little sweeties! #valentineshater #butilovemylittles #thefourBs

02/18 - For SEVEN long years, we tried, prayed, longed for, and begged God to bless us with a precious baby of our own. After surgery on my reproductive system, numerous cycles of fertility treatments, and a complicated pregnancy, that treasured baby was born SEVEN days early, weighing SEVEN pounds and SEVEN ounces, and the SEVENTH grandchild on my side of the family. Today, that sweet baby turns SEVEN years old! Happy SEVENTH birthday, Brianna! #BriannaElisabethJo #birthday #celebrate #seven #sevenyearsold

02/18 - We had so much fun today celebrating our four February babies with a Lego party. They are my favorites! #celebrate #birthdaybash #lovemylittles

02/21 - We went without a TV for over five months, and in many ways it was fantastic. However, I'd by lying if I said that using the TV to help these two be still for 10 minutes isn't really nice! #twinbies #tvisanovelty #andtheydontcaremuchaboutit

02/23 - The view is the best thing about our new house! God paints the most beautiful sunrises! #sunriseonsummittrail #Godsmajesty #nofilter

02/25 - Back to where it all started . . . 20 years later! #highschoolsweethearts #reminiscing #nostalgia

02/25 - We had fun showing our kiddos around the town where our romance began. It had been over 10 years since we'd been back to that small town! #thesamebutdifferent #reminiscing #nostalgia

02/27 - Seeing this lady yesterday was the highlight of my day! What a great surprise!

02/28 - TimeHop is pulling at my heartstrings tonight! Brianna was the most precious, easy-going, and sweet little toddler. I adore her 7 year old self, but a tee-tiny part of me misses the little one in this photo! #BriannaElisabethJo #reminiscing #mylittlesweetie

03/03 - My oldest sweetie said, "Mom, I don't feel good one bit." Her fever and scratchy voice confirmed that her body is fighting some sort of bug 😢. #BriannaElisabethJo #mylittlesweetie #biggestgirlsnuggles #sickiesgoaway

03/07 - Lego Club! #welovelegos #lego #legoclubcreations

03/08 - It's been a crazy 24 hours with lots of appointments for my crew, and as of this morning this guy is officially enrolled in Kindergarten for the fall! Eeeeeep! It's hard to imagine that I'll have two kiddos at school and only two kiddos at home. 😢 #hesgonnarockit #BrensonCharlesJacob #mommasnotreadyforthis #thankfulihavefivemoremonths

03/11 - Wednesday night, Brooke tripped and fell into a metal door frame resulting in a badly split lip. We took her a nearby ER for stitches and were quickly transferred to a pediatric ER. After waiting for hours, Brooke received 5 stitches in her lip. We made it home around 4am on Thursday, and by noon all but one of the stitches were out! Per the instructions of our doctor's office, we took her back in to have the stitches replaced, only to be told there was nothing that could be done and the wound would have to heal on its own :-(. We were told to keep the wound clean and dry, but that proves reallllllly difficult when Brooke contracts a stomach bug (probably from the ER), and spends all yesterday afternoon and evening vomiting. She's doing better today, but Bren and Brecklyn are both sick now. We were supposed to leave on a Spring Break trip this morning, but obviously that is not happening. We are all sad about that! These past few days have been full of tears, disappointments, and frustrations, but we pray things are looking up!

03/14 - When a family of six has been sick with the stomach bug and the flu for five days, the only laundry being done is the necessary stuff (AKA - the stuff that has puke on it). It's amazing how quickly the rest of it builds up! #sickies #momlife #endlessloveandlaundry

03/15 - #sunriseonsummittrail #nofilter

03/16 - We're out of the house! #springbreakday6 #firsttimeoutofthehouse

03/17 - Momma loves her lucky four! #saintpatricksday2017

03/19 - "The goodness of God endures continually . . . " Psalm 52:1 #sunday #praiseGod #lovemylittles #lotsoflittles

03/20 - Happy first day of Spring! #SAHM #wearingthemoutfornaps #springinOklahoma

03/23 - Spending time outdoors as a family on this blustery but beautiful day is so refreshing. Yay Spring!!! #springinoklahoma #lifeinthesudocountry #lotsoflittles

03/24 - What a fun, quick zoo visit we had today! #springinoklahoma #lotsoflittles #sahm #wearingthemoutfornaps #tulsazoo #thetigerdidntmakethephoto #butatleastigotthekids

04/11 - Bug hunting, playing on the swings, butterfly catching, enjoying our playhouse and our neighbor's granddaughter . . . All in an afternoon's play! #springinoklahoma #wealwayshaveanextra #andweloveit

04/15 - Who doesn't love a man that can cook?!? 😍😍😍 #myboys #Eastercooking #bondinginthekitchen

04/17 - The "perfect" family picture seems to elude us, but I love the photos anyhow! Someday, a family photo will be much easier to capture (right?!?), but for today we have a houseful of crazy littles and heart full of love! #lotsoflittles #memoriescaptured #lovemylittles

04/19 - Silly, sweet, twinbie sisters 💗💜 #BrecklynSarahFaith #BrookeElianaMae #twinbies

04/21 - This cool, rainy, spring evening is perfect for a rare movie night, and this couch full of cuties make my heart happy! #rainynight #movienight #lotsoflittles #lovemylittles

04/22 - When it's rainy and wet outside and you have naturally curly hair . . . #bighairdontcare #BrookeElianaMae

04/25 - Little Miss Ready-for-action! #BrookeElianaMae #lovemylittles #mischiefmaker #mischieffinder #twoyearsold

04/27 - Brianna has been sick with strep throat all week. She was well enough to go back to school just in time for us to participate in "Pastries with Parents". What a fun and special morning with our girl! #BriannaElisabethJo #firstgrade #lovemylittles

04/29 - We have many things that we really enjoy about our house, but our Book Nook definitely ranks in the top five! This under-the-stairs space is typically used as a closet, but we use it as a fun and quiet place for our kids to sneak away and enjoy books. It's perfect for when someone needs to cool their jets a bit or just take a breather and compose themselves. ALL of our kiddos love this space, and it's one of the most used "rooms" in the house. #booknook #quietspace #read #BrecklynSarahFaith #bigfamilysolitude

05/08 - 💜💙💜💗💛 #lotsoflittles #growingfamily #seven

05/11 - When nap time is abruptly interrupted by tornado sirens, you sit in your "safe spot" and read books instead! #springtimeinoklahoma #twister #sadgoodbyetonaptime #rainydaysarethebestfornapping

05/13 - Road trip stop number 1! #roadtripwithlittles #graduationweekend #tennesseeorbust

05/13 - We made it to Memphis! #roadtripwithlittles #graduationweekend #tennesseeorbust

05/15 - Waiting for graduation to begin. We farmed all the other kids out to family members, but feisty pants wasn't having it! #graduationweekend #roadtripwithlittles #watchingthenephewwalk

05/16 - These baby girls partied hard during our time with family! They're catching up on some ZZZZs while we make the 10 hour drive back home. #roadtripwithlittles #graduationweekend #headedhome #homesweetoklahoma

05/16 - I think it's safe to say this crew is exhausted! They had such a good time spending time with family this weekend! #graduationweekend #roadtripwithlittles #headedhome

05/19 - Proud of this girl for running 25 miles and earning her running medal this year! #BriannaElisabethJo #littlerunner #firstgrade

05/20 - She's fierce! #BrecklynSarahFaith #fierce #twoyearsold

05/23 - Brianna has just a few days left as a first grader, and I so enjoyed joining her at school for a little program today. Her teacher read a beautiful little book and presented a slide show that had me in tears (and not just teary eyes, but full on tears streaming down my face!) Watching Brianna continue to grow into an amazing little person is a great blessing and privilege. It's been a great year! #BriannaElisabethJo #firstgrade #allthefeels #emotionalmomma

05/30 - We enjoyed a zoo visit today that we capped with a visit to the splash pad! No pics at the splash pad because I was too busy making sure I didn't lose a kid, haha. #summer2017 #tulsazoo #mommamustbecrazy #orifinallyhavesomeenergyagain

06/02 - I am truly at a loss for the right words in this moment as my heart is overwhelmed. We learned this week that our precious gift - our unborn baby we love so much - has passed away just shy of 16 weeks gestation. We are all devastated, and there are many things about this that we just can't understand. However, we do know that we have a good, faithful Father who loves us the same as He did yesterday and as He will tomorrow. We know He will carry us as we attempt to navigate the waters of loss and grief. We know that without Him, this would be impossible. We praise Him as the giver of life and healing and peace. 

06/05 - I'm going to take a moment to be really real. After a loss, just about anything can be a trigger. Big things . . . Little things . . . You never know what will set your heart off, and life can feel like a mine field. For me this time, mail/email has been a big trigger. From receiving a package with maternity clothes I purchased last week to an email with my weekly "bump date" to a pamphlet from our insurance regarding a maternity program, it's been one thing after another. Everything seems to be a stark reminder that our life has changed drastically from five days ago. #miscarriagejourney #grief #seven #babylosstriggers

06/06 - I adore my future chiropractor! #BrensonCharlesJacob #chiropracticforkids #chiropracticadjustment

06/08 - Post nap snuggles are the best! #twinbies #armsfulloflove #snugglytwins #ignorethebagsundermyeyes

06/11 - It's been two weeks since I've put on make-up, fixed my hair, been to church, or been out to eat. It feels so much longer than that with everything that's happened in the past two weeks. Here's to baby steps and putting one foot in front of the other. #miscarriagejourney #babyloss #reallife #grief

06/13 - I promise not every post will be about this, but for today it is my life and I want to share. There are so many women and families going through similar experiences, yet few are talking about it. Today, I had a miscarriage follow-up appointment with my OB. Walking back into the office where less than two short weeks ago we found out our baby had died was not easy. There was some anxiety. There were some tears. There were many prayers. Then, I was taken to a weird office/room where I had never been to meet with my doc and talk about my baby's death. That's tough stuff, but I survived. I survived another step in this horrific journey. Every day feels like a fight of its own right now, and I'm thankful to have this appointment behind me. #miscarriagejourney #babyloss #reallife #grief

06/16 - These twinbie sisters melt my heart! #twinbies #sisters #builtinbffs

06/17 - My twins are growing like weeds, so I spent some time yesterday unpacking bins full of the next size in clothing for them. In one of the bins, I came across these adorable Big Sis shirts that belonged to our sweet, generous friends, and my heart just clenched. Everything in me wishes my girls had a reason to wear these shirts come November, and sometimes it feels like the pain of it all will never quit 😦😢💔. #grief #miscarriagejourney #babyloss #reallife #triggers

06/19 - Some days just call for super salty snacks! #9am #supersalty #hitthespot

06/19 - There's just something about a grandmother's love 💓. #grannytiger #grandmotherslove

06/21 - Sweet dreams, my darlings 💗💜. #twinbies #sisters #sometimesmommaneedsanaptoo

06/22 - I'm finding joy, peace, and comfort in the majesty of God's amazing creation . . . My happy place. #grief #Godsbeautifulworld #findingpeace

06/24 - Fresh mountain air, incredible views, and my sweet babies . . . Just what I needed! 💓

06/27 - Littlest sister had the best view! #BrecklynSarahFaith #Godsbeautifulworld #gardenofthegods

06/28 - "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork." #Godsbeautifulworld #royalgorge

06/29 - Manitou Springs is always a hit . . . Especially when accompanied by a 10am ice cream treat! #roadtripwithlittles #vacaymode #Godsbeautifulworld

06/30 - The reality of traveling with lots of littles . . . When you're half-way up a mountain with only snow, rocks, and a few mountain goats in sight, and one of the littles HAS to go potty RIGHT THEN, you put them in the back of the van and let them take care of business in an empty water bottle (which will be completely forgotten about until you find it three days later). Special memories 😂. #lovemylittles #roadtripwithlittles #specialmemories #forgottensurprises


Talk about a good post to end on, haha!