Sunday, July 28, 2013

Who we are.

I am fascinated with the concept of introversion/extroversion. I'm working my way through the book "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking". It's helping me understand my very introverted husband more (what a gift he is to me, and to the world). And although I used to think of myself as an extrovert with some introvert tendencies, I am realizing instead how very introverted I am, with some extrovert qualities. It's helping me understand myself more - why certain things drain me, why I shouldn't feel guilty for the margin I need in my life, why I structure the relationships that I have and keep the way that I do, etc.

Highly recommend the book, but if you want a summary of life as an introvert, this was hysterical (and spot on).

Monday, July 22, 2013

The end of March 2013

March this year almost killed me. In the best way possible.
So many birthdays to celebrate... Easter... a visit from family from out of town... the beginnings of Kindergarten orientations/meetings for Robbie... the start of the end of the school year... all great stuff but I got as sick as I've probably ever been after it had all passed. I'm learning what times of the year are going to be typically full and busy for our family, and I see the pattern now for March and it's not changing anytime soon. So I'm practicing my disciplines and trying to stay aware of my commitments, especially around these hot-zones on our yearly calendar.

And now a whole slew of nearly-forgotten pictures.

We celebrated Maddie's 2nd birthday on Easter Sunday! Poor girl was so exhausted from the morning's activities that we pulled out her cake after our Easter Brunch, she blew out candles, barely finished her slice of cake...

...and fell asleep in her high chair for the first time ever. We hardly noticed her dozing off until her head started to bob! (I'm not a fan of the look-at-my-baby-asleep-in-her-high-chair/food pics. It usually means a mama isn't paying attention to the (sleep) needs of her child. In this case, I was aware she was tired. We were just trying to cram in too much fun/partying in one day.) 

Didn't get a family pic this Easter. No sweat. The girls and I will have to do. :)

Experimenting: methods of eating dinner...

Like I mentioned in the last post, we lost my sweet Grandpa Bob this year right after Easter. We were thankful to be celebrating the death, resurrection, and empty tomb of Jesus just as we mourned Bob's death. We are glad that my grandparents are reunited in heaven - and that they know Jesus face to face now. We will miss him so much, but it was amazing to see how parents really do leave a legacy in the world through their children. My dad and his sisters all carry a piece of my grandpa (& grandma, for that matter) with them - in their memory but also just in the people that they are. The way they choose to live their lives. It's sobering to attend a funeral. It's sad when it's for someone you love, who has known you since the day you were born. But it's also a good reminder of what life is about, and how short it is. I'm thankful for my grandpa Bob, for what he meant to our family, and for what he taught us in his death. I'm most thankful that he is waiting for us in heaven. 

flowers a sweet friend brought over to me just before we left to travel to the funeral

Grandpa at my wedding

my favorite picture of my grandparents - so THEM

meeting Ellie for the first time

this sums up my childhood whenever we would visit my grandparents in Indiana

celebrating grandpa's life - each grandchild and great-grandchild released a balloon at the burial

grandpa's (& grandma's) legacy - the "Armbruster" grandchildren

The beginning of April brought more birthday celebrations... first up: Rob's 33rd birthday!
We couldn't wait to celebrate the most important man in our lives. 

And then April brought a little bit of calm after the (happy) storm!

 Visits to our favorite lunch place - Blackberry Market

Park weather!

My mom gave me portraits of the girls she painted in oils! Can you believe it? They're gorgeous. 

A dear friend suffered a tragic loss, and as a close girlfriend who shares in her great joys as well as deep sorrows, an unexpected season of grief (again) was upon us. I would say it still is. This particular loss is not one we will move past quickly at all. It's so hard to not live especially (geographically) close to a sister of the heart at times like this - so one of her other close friends and I compared notes as to how we were coping with our heartache for our dear friend, and managing the added weight of not being able to be there for her as often as we wished we could be, physically.

There was a lot of this.
(stress eating)

The pressures of March coupled with the grief of March and April wore me down. I developed a sinus infection that a few days in became resistant to antibiotics. It was such intense pain that I went through two antibiotics and finally called the doctor and begged for pain medicine until the antibiotics could kick in. 

Rob and my mom took care of the kids for a few days until I could get back on my feet. Shout out to my mom who literally subbed in as mommy-to-three-littles for many exhausting hours!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Daily shenanigans

Nothing fancy, just us... doing what we do, day in and day out...

The kids sneak my phone on occasion and take pictures of each other:

(Thanks to the kid who drew a tic-tac-toe board on the kid's chair)

I honestly don't even know... desk chair in the bathroom with headbands on. This is probably called "what mom does to buy 5 minutes in the morning to finish getting ready". Or "let the kids do whatever they want."

My errand buddy.

Robbie and his soon to be kindergarten classmate Calla. Dinner at Portillo's one night with my friend Carly and all of our kids while our husbands worked late.

Sending out the Dos Equis vibe, perhaps?

We took a little road trip to see my parents' new lake house, even though it was freezing outside. We brought winter coats, and although the lake was frozen over it started thawing out the day we were there.

Back at home... Hanging out with our sitter's baby chicks!

We lost my sweet grandpa Bob this spring, but not before he was able to mail birthday cards to both Robbie and Maddie. Literally days before his passing. Such a treasure. We miss him so much.