Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Jed and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary this June.  It seems like a big milestone...that's 1,825 days!  I thought I'd share 5 reasons why I'm thankful for Jed and our marriage...

1. I think one (of the many) reason God gave me Jed was to loosen me up a bit.  I'm naturally a little high strung, a little bit of a worrier/planner/stresser, etc.  I've got some preferences (that are, just that) and I take some things a little too seriously.  Enter Jed.  Jed is laid back and Jed can roll with the punches.  Jed trust the Lord and Jed knows how to surrender his preferences to follow God's lead.  I'm really thankful that I am growing in these areas because of him.

2. Jed loves me as I am and where I'm at.  He doesn't care what I make for dinner or what I'm wearing or how crazy the house is when he gets home after a long day.  He doesn't judge how I spend my time during the day when the laundry isn't put away or when I want to order pizza for dinner because I wanted to rest in the afternoon.  He has loved and cared for me through 3 pregnancies, 3 deliveries and 3 post partum time periods and not even batted an eye (and you all know that is emotionally and physically hard and gross stuff!).  Seriously.

3. He is our kids favorite and he has their hearts.  He works hard to love them and play with them even though he spends less time with them during the day and they ALL adore him.
4. I'm thankful for marriage in that it has revealed so many things that I didn't even know I struggled with or was bad at.  God has and will continue to use Jed and our marriage to refine me.  I just need to stay humble.

5. Jed is really fun.  I know this isn't one of the 5 love languages, but I think if it were, having fun and laughing would be one of his.  This goes back to #1 a little bit but I feel like especially after having 3 kids, my mind is exhausted from mentally multi tasking all day and I have a hard time winding down.  I'm constantly thinking about who needs to eat, who needs to sleep, what time we are doing this or that.  It's not bad to be organized but it is bad when it takes away your joy and you can't enjoy life with the person/people you love.  So Jed, one of my goals for the next 5 years of our marriage is to have more fun with you.  Laugh more.  Stay up late and talk more.  Smile more.  And be more thankful.

Instead of gifts, we decided to try and take a trip for our anniversary this year.  This went from an idea to reality in the matter of a couple hours thanks to about a million emails exchanged between me, Jed and my parents and Expedia.com.  Since my sister and Bud just moved to the Washington DC area and Jed is a huge history nerd buff we thought that would be a great place to go.  We drove to Minnesota, dropped the big kids with my parents and hopped a plane with Miss Tiegan tagging along.

Tiegan was the best and I mean BEST little traveler.  A lady across the aisle from us told us she was the cutest baby she had ever seen.  Ever.  I must agree.

Excited to see Auntie Em at the airport!

Claire and Will were soooooo excited to see us.  Well, maybe mostly Tiegan, but us a little bit too.

We did lots of sight seeing that Saturday!  We tried to take as much in as possible!
Washington Monument

I tried to do a panoramic picture of the World War II memorial.  I'm not a great iphone photographer.

The White House!
If you can't tell from the beads of sweat on our foreheads, it was hot.  Really hot.

We also did the Museum of American History.  That was our last stop of the day.  Between the heat, the walking and nursing a baby, I was feeling a bit dehydrated even though I tried to keep up with water.  It was impossible.  But I recovered once we got home.
The next day we went to the National Marine Corps Museum.

Tiegan wasn't impressed but we were!  Jed would have read every single caption on every single artifact in every single exhibit if we had all day.

It was fun to watch Em and Bud love on Tiegan.  

She really is the sweetest baby.

She even fell asleep DURING take off on the flight back to Minnesota.

A great little traveler!

I can't forget to mention that the trip would not have been possible without our beloved Ma and Papa.  The big kids had the best weekend ever and are still talking about all of the fun things they did and places they ate, etc.  We will gladly go on a trip annnnnytime if they want to keep our kids again!  I did miss them terribly but I knew they were in great hands.

Our Dancing Queen

Lainey finished her first year of ballet this spring.  Her class, for 3 year olds, is appropriately called "Dance To Your Own Tune" as most kids her age do just that.  She loved her class, loved her teacher and the assistant, came to really enjoy meeting a few new friends and REALLY loved her sparkly pink costume for the recital.
I was a little nervous all year about how Lainey would handle the chaos of the end of the year recital.  Even though she ADORES dancing and dances all of the house all of the time, I just wasn't sure but I was hopeful.  It's one thing to dance in the confines of a studio with a mirror and your teacher right in front of you but for recital, there's a huge stage and a huge auditorium and bright lights!  I remember the butterflies of performing so well.  Thankfully, there was a dress rehearsal so we could try it all out and get comfortable before the big day.
I'm not even that good at doing my own make up, let alone attempting to modestly apply make up to my wiggly 3 year old.  Mascara was the hardest (girl has some serious lashes!) and I didn't even attempt eye liner.  She thought it was so fun and I thought it was so weird (and also pretty adorable in a way).

These are a few of the little darlings Lainey danced with.  It was fun to meet and get to know a few new moms.  We had good conversations every Monday for 30 minutes while the girls danced!

The girls were "Carnations" and looked sooooooo tiny on that big big stage!

The big day finally arrived!
Papa drove down and stayed one night, came to the recital and then left right from the show to head back to Minnesota for my cousin's wedding.  What a sweet Papa he is!  Lainey loved having him there.

There is no doubt.  She is a Daddy's girl.

I have yet another new appreciation for my mom as I began to learn the ropes as a dance mom this year.  When I was young, I never really took the time to consider what a sacrifice dance was for my mom or our family.  The time commitment each and every week (multiple times a week as I got older), the gas to drive to and from, the tuition, the shoes, the tights and costumes... all for 2 minutes on stage at the end of the year.  Was it worth it?  I think my mom would say yes... dance was a huge part of my life growing up and into adulthood.  I have no way of knowing if it will be that way for Lainey, or Tiegan, in the future, but I am starting to understand that as a mom, I will gladly spend some of my time and energy on activities they enjoy and learn and grow from.  It's been something so special to watch Lainey do something independent from me and to begin to navigate that in her own way.

You can see, she really was excited! I was so thankful for that smile and that there were no tears (for her, but there maybe were for me!).

We reluctantly brought the whole clan but it went pretty well!

If I remember correctly, we often would go out for treats after a recital or performance, usually Baker's Square for pie if my memory serves correct.  We took the kids to Smokey Row for ice cream.
She felt pretty special waltzing around in that get up all over the place.

Wyatt will do just about anything for ice cream so it worked out pretty well to use that as some motivation.

Overall, the first year of ballet and the recital were both a huge success.  We have Lainey signed up to dance again this year and we are looking forward to watching her learn and grow even more!