Saturday, January 25, 2014

before she's 8 months

Since she turns 8 months old tomorrow, I thought I'd post her 7 months pictures first!
 Savannah Grace turned 7 months the day after Christmas...

 At the time she was just discovering she can move!

 As in a lot.

 She seems to be taking after her biggest brother and a bit ahead on the physical end of things.

 I suppose thats expected of a lady with 3 big boys to keep up with.

 She loves scooting around the house and eating anything too small for her mouth. Luckily our home never has that stuff laying around. (note sarcasm here :) 

Despite digging things out of her mouth 20 times a day, she keeps entertained on Mama's hip, watching her brothers, chasing the dogs, playing with a few toys, or sitting sweetly on somebody's lap. 7 months came and went. So goes these days with my babes :)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

the sights & sounds of Christmas

Sometimes when you try something new, it goes terrible. And sometimes, it goes better then you could have dreamed.
 I went into Christmas day this year with an open agenda. 

 Meaning, my only expectations were that we'd be together. The rest...I had given myself no expectations so it could just happen.

 I knew I wanted to spend the day together and give our family a place to just "be", instead of "doing".

 I set my alarm to beat even the earliest tot out of bed to create a place for being...

 And the children led the day. It's amazing what you see and hear when you are focused on being and not just doing.

 Savannah had her first Christmas and to no surprise, her best gift was the crinkly paper left behind.

 And our second born babe never gets caught off guard by the latest trinket or toy. His favorite gift? A Dollar Tree puzzle he's already put together a dozen different times.

 Of course Carson loved the baby toy that he never wanted as a babe.

 And Jaxon decided we weren't that lame after a tablet found his hands.

 Of course, a little day before prep had some tasty things ready for the event.

 The smell of Christmas came from the oranges, cloves, and cranberries simmering all day.

 The only thing we did in the kitchen was bake bread together.

 Because before dinner was meant for the real prep work of Christmas...

 Like realizing that the years go too fast and soon they will be hanging their own kindergarten kids on their trees.

 And guess what I saw when I chose to say we're staying home today? 

These faces...
 These eyes...

 This couch full of big ones and little ones and their true being disguise.

 Because for many reasons we stayed home on Christmas. We saw the real sights of each other, heard the real sounds in our own voices and the laughter that found us, felt the slow moving of the day as we ate and sled and napped and played and were just being. No expectations. Just together.

The real sights and sounds of a holiday are found in the ones you slow down to notice. And this no expectations kind of a Christmas filled with lots of being and little doing, doing, doing was the perfect new tradition to add to our season.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

and so it began...

Every year we have to reevaluate where are family is at. Many traditions stay and some go. Changes. It's what life keeps showing me is the only thing consistent this side of heaven. We knew last year that our days of running around over the Christmas holiday were coming to a hault. If we wanted to grasp any sort of family tradition of being together in a way that created space for our connecting, we had to let up in some places as our kids grow older, jobs crowd closer over holidays, and the pace of life tries to speed up. So we chose to stay put over Christmas this year. Our little family of six all huddled together for the celebration of Jesus birth, family, and life. A couple days before Christmas I started to feel sad to miss out on some extended family gatherings and almost threw the towel in and said never-mind...lets just go! But, I had a nudging that this is what we really needed this year and in the near future as our kids spread out, grow up, and the years go quick. So it began...a whole new tradition for us of just being home over Christmas. All day, the 6 of us...together while we can. And it was more then I thought it would be....

Thursday, January 9, 2014

traditions: best found at home

I have said for years that I love traditions. Something to look forward to, something to build on, something to link us together as we go through seasons, and I hope to someday pull us all back together once we've gone our own ways...(sniff, sniff).

 It doesn't have to be elaborate or over the top or too far thought out before it happens...

 Actually, I think as the years go by it is really the very simple things that we love.

Whatever it is, easy or small or simple...the point is to just do something. And do it together.

I'll say it again. I love traditions. :)

Monday, January 6, 2014

more than a game

I knew I married a football loving man when I said yes over a decade ago. I knew I married a Vikings loving, yell at the TV, and plan everything around Vikings games man. From our first face to face encounter with him in his old grey long sleeved Vikings t-shirt, getting down on one knee in that same shirt, and hiking in it on our honeymoon... I was well aware that the Vikings were closely linked to my forever man.

Once baby boy #1 came I assumed this Vikings obsession would slightly start to fade a bit. But it seemed Someone had bigger plans for this family of mostly boys and their love of the game.
We took Jaxon to his first game by the time he was two. And they both loved every single minute of it.

By the time Jax was 4, Dave had already planned a weekend up in MN to treat his football loving boy to a boys weekend of hotel and NFL game fun. Let the tradition begin.

Every end of summer/early fall Dave plans a weekend up to the city for each boy...some love the hotel stay more then the actual football, but either way... they go for the game and this always brings them together.
 We've followed the men who sweat it out in yellow and purple at training camp and made family time include yelling at refs, chasing down players for autographs, and singing along to the Skol vikings song in the same way you sing along to Sweet Home Alabama when it comes on the radio.

 Jax especially has found his Dad's love for this team. This game. This way of living.

Even Mom gets included every few years...

So to write a post on the last ever game at my guy's beloved Metrodome is a little sad. Seems a little weird that its over.

 Dave found himself with the chance to buy season tickets 10 years ago. The seats weren't great, but they were seats and he jumped on them.

 At the time, I didn't know what that small yes would turn into for our family...

 I know we are each crafted with a passion for different things. And for many seasons, I did not accept the value in having a passion for football. The people it gathers and the lives that it effects is gigantic though. Huge. And I will be the first to and boys has a lot of value.

 If having boys has taught me anything, it is this...Boys, as sweet and gentle as we may want them to be...are made for action. They love through action. Action is the love language of boys. Whether you are playing the game or hiking down a hill or swimming across the lake, boys know you love them when you move with them.

 I've watched my boys drive mile after mile back and forth, season after season to experience the thrill of this game.

 They've worn the colors, yelled the cheers, sang the songs, and even when they returned home with a loss... they get suited up again and head back up there.

 We tried to count all the people Dave has included in this yearly event. The beauty of having cheap seats is that he always was able to sell a couple games and totally pay for his season...often times more then pay for his season tickets. 

 He also was able to usually bless a few people by taking them along for the ride...around 100 we think. 100ish different people Dave has invited for one of his most favorite places on earth. Vikings games in the Metrodome. Consider yourself lucky if you were one of them. He's been known to ban Vikings haters from coming back with him :)

 Whether it was one of you or one of my boys, my husband shared his passion for this game and this team like no other.

 The seats have been a good excuse to build my son's relationship with their Dad. 

 The players have been a good reason to yell and scream and cheer together in a way only boys do over a game.

 My husband has shared his passion with many by simply saying yes to the cheap seats...him in his sweet spot, leaning against his wall, season after season... hearts being poured into while my boys all found a love for the game and each other.

 I'm super thankful for my Vikings loving husband and his heart for sharing his seats.

 I'm super thankful these seats have served my boys well over the years. 

The final play went down last week as the Vikings prepare to tear down the beloved old Metrodome for a "better facility". I don't know... this facility has served many well. This Mama has been taught to let boys be boys and to give into the love of the game...

Because behind all that traveling and cheering and scheduling around and playing is the hearts of a Dad and his boys. Forever changed by a game they love together.Where the action goes, the boys go...and I know this old tradition will find it's new seats and some familiar looking faces to fill them.