In March, we passed the huge milestone of 10 years from the night I said YES by sharing our engagement story on the blog (part 1 and part 2). The boys got to play soccer for the first time and enjoyed being on the “Green Slime” team together. And for the first time we celebrated “Pi Day” at our house with circles galore. Two highlights for me were a super fun girls’ trip to Florida to celebrate the upcoming marriage of a dear friend. And getting to cross the finish line of another half marathon, this time between by husband and my Momma (her first 1/2 marathon).
But most of the events of March and the following five months are blurred by the fact that mid-month our two nephews and a niece came to live with us for a while, filling our home with 6 children under the age of 5!
During the month of April the shock of our little crew was wearing off and we began settling in to a routine as a party-of-eight. We even took the whole gang camping one night and also enjoyed an afternoon at the museum with Uncle D, who we were so thankful to be welcoming home from deployment. Our continued adjustment got a boost with a bit of break by splitting the team up to celebrate Easter. And just our little team of 5 enjoyed some time at Nonna and Papa J’s house where I also got to be part of one of my best friend’s wedding day.
In June, Princess Lou turned two and we had a small celebration with some friends, some cousins and ELMO! We also celebrated Father’s day, went to Summer Spectacular and shared here about some of our everyday adventures with six kiddos in tow, including a super sweet party at my work for our party-of-eight.
For the fourth of July, we got to visit Nonna and Papa J again, and were so excited that Uncle M and Aunt S were there, too! The kids loved getting to see Cars 2 with some of their favorite people. We celebrated one of our favorite holidays (Cow Appreciation Day), the five big kids took swimming lessons, and all of the kids got to go bowling for the first time. RRL and I enjoyed an awesome retreat with some new friends and some incredible mentors and I got to go to LA for a quick work trip. We also had one of the hardest weeks of the summer when all 6 kids and I got strep…and RRL escaped with a yucky stomach bug instead. I was busy on the blog in July, sharing about our quite imperfect family, the beginning of my journey through Nehemiah and adventures at the grocery store.
After 152 days at our house, we said goodbye to our nephews and niece. If trying to rearrange our routine to include them in our home was difficult, saying goodbye was a million times that but we knew this was only a piece of the story. While it was time for them to go home and the right thing to happen, it was still sad. I again leaned on the book of Nehemiah as we started trying to wade through what the months of having them with us would mean for us going forward. But before they left, I had to share a bit more about life at our house and some tips like Circle Time. our Assembly Line and freezing PB&J sandwiches. In August we also had meet the teacher night where some teachers got to meet my cherubs (cough cough).
This month was filled with continuing traditions, like Pumpkin Patch pictures with some of our favorite photographers and having soup and grilled cheese on Halloween. We also continued a tradition of NOT carving pumpkins when we made pumpkin people. My kids dressed up like characters from Lou’s favorite story, Sleeping Beauty, and we captured one of my favorite pictures EVER of them. We enjoyed our 10th reunion at the Homecoming of our Alma Mater. I celebrated my birthday by helping raise money for Teen Lifeline (thanks so much to many of you that participated in that celebration) and also with a Barbie birthday party (my very first) at our house.
RRL started the month by taking the boys at midnight to buy Cars2 on DVD, a super fun memory for all three of them. We received the proofs from our most recent family photo shoot by Three. They were INCREDIBLE. A highlight was our little family get-away (in town) to GWL. We also counted our blessings on leaves and turkeys all month and we enjoyed family fun during Thanksgiving with RRL’s family at Grammy’s house. But not until after RRL and I finished our half-marathon that morning, no small feat for me at 18 weeks pregnant but I really did love getting to run it with him! We found out, at the end of the month, that we were having a BOY! at a super fun gender-reveal party with our family and friends. I also described some of the emotions of expecting our fourth baby.