little miss chapstick {& her obsession}

 ever since we brought emery home, she has maintained a solid love affair with a particular item.
pink, sparkle, chapstick to be exact.

she has also added a slightly severe shoe obsession to her list of love affair items.
she changes shoes several times a day because she loves each pair so much.

these little puff-ball ditties are my personal favorite...

as well as these little sunglass spectacles of perfection....

but no obsession is quite as charming or long standing as that of her brothers.

she studies them more than any other...
their every move is memorized

big brothers are awesome. 
plain and simple. 

and thus, i give you...

a lot of pictures :)

we can't quite get enough of this little lady and these big brothers.
these three amaze me with their love for each other...even when they have not-so-loving sibling moments...they bounce back, forgive and show compassion in ways i didn't know they knew.
it's a beautiful thing, this thing call family.
hard, chaotic, busy, exhausting, challenging...
but beautiful.
and totally worth every hard, chaotic, busy, exhausting, challenging day.


wild boys {and the best thing about today}

imagination + couch = wild boys

cheetah babies diving into a mud swamp
penguin brothers karate chopping a polar bear
warriors saving their sister from a burning building

while the stories change, they all look like this:

and while wild boys were couch jumping...
i caught little lady getting into her favorite pastime...markers and paintbrushes.
she takes them in and out 1,000 times a day...and is sure to color on every scrap of paper (and finger) within reaching distance.

i've been spending spare (sparse?) free time packing.
did i forget to mention we are moving??
it's finally official...we bought a small twin one block from where my brother and sister-in-love live.
i couldn't be more excited! i can literally see their house from our house!
perfection, i tell you.
if you know my brother and his wife, you'd want to live on the same block as them, too. think of the most beautiful and most generous people you know...the sweetest, funniest, cleverest, stylish, creative people. that's stephen and lauren. perfection i tell you. neighborhood perfection.

so i'm packing.
closing is in 2 weeks and since it's a foreclosure property, we have at least a month of rehab.
so i'm attempting to pack everything 1 month ahead of time so i can spend every spare second painting and helping clint fix up the new house.

oh, and in case you were wondering...packing with 3 kids running around?
it's horrible and distracting and annoying.

today i gave them markers and let them decorate the newly packed boxes with foster as my labeler. it was fun to see how much they love helping, even if their "help" makes more work.

the rest of the day was a wash. because we started couch jumping and i realized i forgot all about dishes and dinner and laundry and photographing the apt for our landlord.

and by photographing? i mean "shuffling clutter from one side of the room to the other" :) 

we live on the right side.
the left side is occupied by the sweetest, most wonderful neighbors.
i have a secret plan to pack them inside one of my boxes. i love living life beside them!
i had the pleasure of snapping a few quick pics of them in the fall.

and their daughter, miss Gia?? she will forever live in infamy. the boys play in the backyard daily with this delight of a girl. they play princess and kings. flashlight tag and water guns. they play tag and eat freeze pops. my kids wait all day for Gia to come home from school. 
clearly, she is awesome. 

i realized today that we are moving on the 2 year anniversary of when we sold and moved out of our house in 2010. i would have gasp in horror if i had known in advance we would be a gypsy family, moving 3 more times over the course of the next 2 years. but somehow, someway, we have.
we all groan at the thought of packing and setting up house again. but we will. somehow, someway.

i'm trying to learn what God has for me during all of this.
at the moment, it's contentment.
our new house is small by the standard of homes in chester county, pa.
and if i constantly compare, i'll never see the beauty of contentment.
i'm letting go of my expectation that we have "arrived" when we have a huge dream house.
i'm letting go of wanting new furniture and the ability to buy new clothes.
i'm letting go of all of the many things i want to decorate with and create and spend money on.

i believe contentment is closely associated with living within our means.
for us, a small twin will allow us that freedom, amidst the sacrifice of the things i want.
and you know what?
contentment feels awesome.
it feels better than new stuff and the stress of wanting more.
and i'm also allowing myself grace, knowing it isn't easy to stop comparing
because let's be honest...we all compare

"she's a such better mom than i am..."
"their house is sooo beautiful!"
"i wish i had her body...long legs, long hair, perfect skin..."
"their family looks so perfect. i bet they never have dirty dishes piled a mile high in the sink."
"her kids are so well behaved. they must be perfect parents."

comparing is dangerous.
and i hate myself when i do it because it never leads to a positive thought process.

we each have such incredible, beautiful, creative qualities.
embracing what God has given me and letting thankfulness outshine my natural desire to whine...well, thankfulness makes my whole house lighter. we all smile more. i can hear my children's laughter echoing through the house because mommy isn't stressing over every little thing. and i can see clearly that being content is one of the keys to success in life. it's how God designed for us to live.

and that's the best thing about today.


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