Settling In

We have officially been homeowners for one month now. We are far from finished settling in, but we have made a lot of progress.

We first focused mainly on getting the kids rooms set up. Initially the older girls wanted their beds debunked, but this arrangement really did not allow for a lot of living space. We had decided to store their clothes under their beds in an effort to save space, but this wasn’t nearly as convenient as we thought it would be. It took a little convincing, but we got Abigail and Sarah to agree to bunk their beds again. We also purchased a real set of drawers for their clothes. Now they have all sorts of room to play around.

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Lily and Levi’s room is pretty simple. For the first week Levi was sleeping in his pack-in-play because we had misplaced the crib hardware during the move. Once we got his crib set up we were able to put the furniture where we wanted it.

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Our kitchen is pretty big when you talk square feet. As far as counter space and storage however, it seems to be lacking. Jonathan and I decided we wanted some sort of island to add extra work space and storage-plus it would serve as a table for breakfast or the occasional lunch for the older girls. Off to IKEA we went. They were sold out of the island we originally wanted, so we opted for a bigger one instead and I LOVE it! I feel like it was made for our kitchen. Despite it’s size it really hasn’t seemed to take away from our larger kitchen. Here it is before and after we added the island.

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Jonathan has already started a bit of landscaping work. Last weekend he tackled a large flower bed in our front yard that was taken over by lilies. It was just too much. We’ve also got a ton of them in the backyard-but that will be a project for another day. We still need to figure out what to do with this flower bed, but I think it looks so much better when it isn’t overgrown with plants.

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Finally, the girls love living here. The best part would probably be the 7-year-old grand-daughter of our next-door neighbors. She has already been declared Abigail’s best friend. Once I told Abigail that they couldn’t go out to play with her (for whatever reason) and she said, “but we never leave a friend behind!” They were disappointed to learn that she doesn’t actually live next door, but she is at her grandparent’s quite often. I’m sure the girls will know her schedule by heart by the end of the summer!

So that pretty much sums up how things are going in the abode so far. We are looking forward to continuing to make this house our home. And we thank God for the blessing to be able to do so!

Blessed…

It’s times like these-big family transitions-where I clearly can see just how truly blessed I am (we are). Whether it be in the quiet of the night when its just me and Levi, or in the middle of a busy day when receiving a text offering help, it is apparent that God has put just the right people in our lives and I am truly grateful for everyone!

God has blessed us with the opportunity to be a part of an amazing church community, GENESIS. I am blessed to know many fellow moms who have encouraged me, loved me, and have offered to help out (both before and after Levi’s arrival). The girls are often surrounded by wonderful volunteers on any given Sunday for Sunday school who love them to pieces. We have also been blessed by many volunteers who have taken time out of their busy schedules to make us yummy meals so I can focus on taking care of Levi and the girls. We¬† have met many lifelong and special friends at GENESIS and are truly grateful for them.

We are also blessed with an amazing family. While we were at the hospital I didn’t worry for a minute about the girls, knowing full well that they were being cared for by their Nonna and that they got to play with their cousin Bridget. A big thank you also goes to Papa, Auntie Laura, Uncle Nick, Grandma, and Grampa who also got to spend time with them when Levi arrived. The girls spent pretty much ALL day at Nonna and Papa’s house. Not to mention the fact that my Mom doesn’t bat an eye when I bring laundry with me when we visit. A nd just the other day we went to the mall so my mom could buy Levi clothes (and so she could treat the girls with soft serve). We have a wonderful and generous family who are happy to help. This includes family near and far. Boy are we blessed.

Finally, I can’t write a post about being blessed without talking about my girls and my husband. Abigail has been a huge help. She often gets “stuck” having to get things for me. Sometimes she asks why, but other times she just helps out without saying a word. Sarah isn’t as willing to help, but she loves holding her brother and saying how cute he is. Having a new baby in the family is easily the hardest on Lily. She is especially unhappy when she finds me feeding Levi when she gets up from her nap. But, overall, I think she is handling things rather well.

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Labor and delivery affected me this time around more than it did the three times before. Once I got home I was not content to sit and relax (I know, bad idea). I ended up making dinner my first night home-not because I had to, but because I wanted to. It wasn’t anything strenuous, but after I settled down for the night I noticed my feet, ankles, and calves were quite swollen. After a call to the Doctor I learned I would have to really take it easy. Jonathan quickly took over. He did tons of cleaning, feeding the girls, and even took on the big task of doing 6 loads of laundry at the laundromat twice!). Whenever I told him I needed to take a break or take it easy he completely understood and took over. And, just like with our other former babies Jonathan gets up in the middle of the night whenever Levi wakes. He’s actually been the first to notice when he wakes. Jonathan will pick Levi up, hold him for a bit, and then gently let me know its time for a feeding. He goes right back to bed after that, but just being up with me for those first few minutes just means so much to me.

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Actually, here is the “finally”. God has blessed us greatly. Without Him I would have no content for this post. He has blessed us with our great family, friends, and church. Without Him my life would be filled with worry and anxiety with each addition to our family. Because I know God I also know hope and peace. He provided us with four children so He will make a way for us to be able to take care of them. Don’t get me wrong, I do not live a perfect life completely free of stress, anxiety, and worry, but I do have a Heavenly Father I can look to and trust with every aspect of my life.

Hospital Visits

This may just be me, but right after having baby #’s 2-4 I was ready to go home. I did not look forward to my two day hospital stays. With my husband primarily at home taking care of the other kids my time at the hospital feels way too quiet and very lonely. This time around I was pretty desperate for visitors.

My parents were the first to visit. They asked me if I wanted them to bring anything. I told them I just wanted to see people! They came with coffee and chocolate, which I did not turn down.

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Jonathan and the girls arrived 30 minutes or so into my parents’ visit. Abigail and Sarah were very excited to finally meet their baby brother. Lily wanted to leave pretty much when she came in the room. She looked at Levi a few times but was not interested in doing much more than that.

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My great friend and her husband visited as well. She’s expecting a boy in May, so we’re hoping our boys will be best buddies. They stayed until visiting hours were over-giving me a chance to eat my dinner and have adult conversation.

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Needless to say I was up and at ’em on my last morning at the hospital. And as messy, crazy, and loud as it may be I was happy to finally get back home.

Mini-Golf Mayhem

Ok, it wasn’t exactly mayhem, but we did go mini-golfing this weekend with our Community Group. This was the girls first experience and I think they did pretty well-though 18 holes may have been a bit much to start with. The course wasn’t nearly as busy as I expected it to be on a Saturday afternoon, which worked well because we didn’t have the added pressure of quick performance until we hit hole 16 and another group had caught up with us. Plus while the adults were golfing the girls went ahead a hole and took many practice shots.

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