Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Dear Marley Wren { 6 years old }

Dear Marley Wren,

Today you turned 6... six amazing years with you sweet girl... they have been some of the best years...   the very very best.

Little bird... you never cease to amaze me, with the way you melt our hearts. You have this way about you... that anyone who crosses paths with you, delights in knowing you. You're sweet and kind, and always including others. You speak your mind, and do it with such honesty.... you know, like when you kindly tell me that my breath smells like coffee... or when you tell Charlotte that her outfit doesn't look right. You know you're doing us a favor... and are confident while doing so.

You are crafty and clever and always ready to make a mess (and not clean up after yourself). You are obsessed with anything unicorn... or magical really. I wonder, if I painted a unicorn on a piece of broccoli if you'd eat it... hmm. I might have to try that.... still not a fan of broccoli... but you've grown to love many vegetables, so long as they're served raw. You also love hummus and pickles, and asked for it all school year long (you said some of your friends would snicker about the smell of your lunch, because of the pickles... but you didn't care, because you loved them so much). You could eat yogurt after yogurt, and the way you figured out how to pull your string cheese down... instead of eating it bite after bite, is so cute. You have a sweet tooth like no other... and sushi... you can pound some spicy tuna like the best of them.

You lost your two bottom teeth just a few short weeks ago... it just made your growing up, all that more real. We knew it was inevitable... but you can slow down now... please. You're doing so well as big sister to Finn and the twins. You know what they need, and how to comfort... and you also know how to push their buttons... but boy do you love them dearly. Your relationship with Charlotte has changed so much in just this year alone. You know you're a "little" sister to her... but you want to lead and take charge, and that often times has you two butting heads. Watching you two come to decisions together, and figure out how to get along... it's awesome. When you two get along... you're like best sister friends.

Your love for the great outdoors continues. You're amazed by anything and all around you... plant life, wild life... wanting to know every detail about it, all the interesting (and not interesting) facts. You always volunteer to water my garden. While doing so, you talk and sing to the plants... You love the entire process. You love picking out the seeds to planting them... you love cutting bouquets and arranging them... and help with dead heading and digging them up for the winter (if it's tubers) and planting the bulbs to winterize... a true gardener. You still love listening and looking out for birds, rabbits, deer and anything else that crosses through our woods.

Marley, continue loving life sweet girl... continue being you, the one we love so dearly,

Daddy, Mommy, Charlotte, Finn, Josephine and Mable.

Marley's birth story here
Marley's 1st letter here
Marley's 1st birthday here
Marley's 2nd birthday here
Marley's 3rd birthday here
Marley's 4th birthday here
Marley's 5th birthday here
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Monday, July 15, 2019

Guest House { weeks 45-53 }

It's been two months since the last update... and there has been SO much change on our little guest house. Since the last update, when electrical and plumbing passed inspection... my hubby got straight to work on the insulation stage. That took a little longer than anticipated... we needed to make sure every place (on a wall) that we wanted to hang shelves had some sort of blocking on it, to make drilling into the wall, a lot easier when the time came. The moment he was done, we called the inspector out, and he passed the insulation stage... so right now, we have ALL inspections (other than the final inspection) passed... and that is a huge relief.

Onward we moved along to the shiplapping stage. SO many trips to Home Depot... but worth every trip. The place looks so much lighter with the boards on the wall... and the hubby planned it all out so well, that the lines matched up SO well. It's impressive the amount of detail who put into it, because my brain just doesn't think that way. The loft was done, and the main living space... the bathroom will have to wait until we get a valve in the mail, to finish plumbing out for the bath tub that arrived.

Along with the shiplap, came trim and window framing... he did it so wonderfully, it matches the inside of our home (with the doorways and the windows). I think convinced the hubby to let his littles help me patch up all the tiny nail holes... I mean, their little fingers could get the job done, right? RIGHT. They went to town, and had SO much fun while at it. I helped get all the holes they forgot, and the ones too high for them (which was still a lot)... and then I spent a few days sanding the walls and trim, to a nice smooth finish. Sanding... is such an important step... and if we're going to do this well... I figured I needed to spend a good chunk of time doing it well.

While the hubby has been at it, I finished building the wall to the right of the guest house. There will still be rocks stairs that'll lead the way up to the pavilion... and a natural hot tub is in the future for that space... all with natural landscaping. It's one of my favorite places right now in our yard.

Paint and a good sprayer were purchased... I taped all of the windows, and then left the painting for the hubby... that's where we are at currently. A few coats have gone up.. and a few more will be needed, especially to get those beams as white as they can be (without any yellow-ing showing through). It's exciting to know that lights/sconces/ceiling fan/and the like can be hung soon...

In the midst of it all, we hunted down our flooring. We wanted to match what we had in our house... so I took it on as my challenge, and to save time, by calling our builder in hopes that they had all the information on file from our build. After not hearing back from them via emails and calls for over a week, I finally got a call from the owner, who directed me to his partner that would for sure have all that information on his computer. Just moments later... I had the name of our flooring, what store it was purchased from, the invoice number, the person to talk to at the store.... and a few days later, my hubby brought home all the square footage that we'll need to cover the main living space and the loft. The bathroom will be all tile. Right now the flooring is sitting in the space, getting acclimated.... but I can't wait for it to go down. It's going to pull everything together... make things look more neat and tidy.

Take a good look at the outside the way it is now... by the next update, it'll look totally different...

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Friday, June 14, 2019

Settling In and Growing Deep

Dear Charlotte,

And just like that, we've hit 8 years... 8, 8, 8 is great... Happy 8th Gotcha Day to you precious girl. It has been a year of settling in... Settling into our lives here in Washington, settling in as a family of 7, and settling into what you enjoy doing and how you spend your time... figuring out now that we're planted, how to let our roots grow deep. 

This was a year, where you've begun figuring out "who you are"... and "how you fit/belong". Lots of emotions have come and gone, blowing through in and out like a quick tornado. It can be intense, but we know that it happens as you navigate your way through it all. We're figuring this all out together.

Your love for others is apparent... it is a beautiful, wonderful thing to witness... especially as you age. It looks a little differently year after year... less selfish and more "others before self". It's beautiful to watch with your siblings, and even more so with those around you that you don't even know.

You are heading out of elementary school in a few days, and into Middle School. Just as you settled down into knowing your surroundings and how things "work", it's time to move you along to the next phase of schooling. You have absolutely not one fear in your bones about it. Your excitement, gets us excited for you... Your'e brave and bold, and we can't wait to watch it all unfold.

You've grown to really love singing alongside your choir. You moved from soprano to alto this year, and just like any change that comes to you, you welcomed it. Your voice is maturing, but it's still as wonderful to listen to, as it was the first time we heard you hum a tune.  Loving music has also evolved into you learning how to play ukulele and the xylophone in school... ukulele club was one of the things you loved most about school this year. You even played "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" for the talent show.

Every year that passes, brings us closer and closer to you, and we are ready for another one.

You are such a blessing to us... keep on celebrating life precious child,

Daddy, Mommy, Marley, Finn, Josephine and Mable.

Check out Gotcha Day 7 here
Check out Gotcha Day 6 here
Check out Gotcha Day 5 here
Check out Gotcha Day 4 here
Check out Gotcha Day 3 here
Check out Gotcha Day 2 here
Check out Gotcha Day 1 here

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Sunday, June 02, 2019

How 37 feels

37 trips around the sun... what a wonderful adventure... 37 still feels like the beginning. I feel excitement over it, ready to explore more and more and at the same time, settle into a rhythm. A rhythm of a little less "unplugged" from noise (being weighed down by too much on my "to do list" or that something needs to be a certain way, etc.)... knowing and believing that I am beloved... what a beautiful, freeing feeling.

"Let the King of my heart
Be the mountain where I run
 The fountain I drink from
Oh, He is my song
Let the King of my heart
Be the shadow where I hide
The ransom for my life
 Oh, He is my song" - King of My Heart, Bethel.

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