The Lingering Race

My heart was moved the other day.
I rarely make heartfelt posts on facebook.
Usually, I save that for this space,
because that is what I have made it... a place for my heart to be able to be open up.

But, the other day I decided to allow myself to be vulnerable.
This past week has been a week of odd reflection for me.
A week of looking into the past and separating what has mattered from what has not.
A week of realization-
Of what our real purpose for living is meant to be.

I have such a blessed life.
I spend it with the most precious works of His.
He made no mistakes putting our family together.
It is His perfectly, imperfect masterpiece.

Sometimes it is messy.
It is full of fussy attitudes, bickering, and disagreements.
Then, it is redeemed by warm smiles and sweet giggles while cuddling together on the couch.
Perfectly, imperfect.

"I try to live most days being truly present, but there are those days that slip away and all I have done is race to the end. I don't want to spend my days racing. I want the memory of what it feels like to cradle the warm little bodies God has blessed me with to really linger. I want to listen to the witty jokes and realize how lucky I am God made him my partner for this life. Life is too short to being racing through." 

A mama lost her child this past week.
I cried- big, sobbing tears.
I cried because for that mama, there is pain.
And, even though I am not the one who lost... the Lord put something in we mamas to connect us.
I felt the most minute amount of her pain as I imagined being in her shoes.
And it was unbearable.

Then, I prayed.
I rejoiced for the baby girl who is now nestled in the crook of Jesus' arm-
safe and warm.
I prayed for those left behind- healing, comfort, peace.
I thanked God that I was placed in their life for this short time
 so I would have the opportunity to pray on their behalf.

We say life is short,
but in God's reality...
Life is just as it's supposed to be.
His timing is perfect timing.

Things for Today

The weather keeps switching up on us here in the midwest.
I am sure we have a couple more months to enjoy the warm-freezing trend going on right now.

January and February just seem to creep along.
I love a slow paced life, but these two months move a little too slow for even me.
When a warm day hits- we throw on our coats, hats, and gloves and dash outside for some fresh air.
When the cold fronts arrive, we are hunkered down for days on end.

During my first trimester, I got out of the habit of including the kids in chores.
Actually, the entire house spiraled out of control and now I have a heaping mess to get back into order.
This last week, I enlisted my mini-helpers once again and we are back into training.
They cleaned the chalkboard for me and have been tackling the dishwasher and
dinner table area for the last few days.

This weekend, they once again were put in charge of putting their clean clothes 
back into drawers after I washed them.
Tooth paste.
Need I say more???
Kids and tooth paste equal disaster for the bathroom sinks.
They now have the distinct pleasure of cleaning up their own tooth paste splatter and residue
three times a week.
It's amazing how those few simple things make my life a little easier.

Goat's milk soap.
Have you tried it?
I have been using goat's milk soap for about six months now,
and I love it!
It moisturizes so well and my favorite scent is eucalyptus.
It clears my sinuses and wakes me right up.
It's like a little trip to the spa.
I have used a few different brands, 
but right now I am using the Zum brand from Hy-vee since I ran out and needed more.

Target helps me in so many ways.
Although, it usually does not help me to NOT spend money.
I am sure I am not the only one who has a difficult time walking out of there without spending $50 more than I had planned on spending in the first place.

And, it's usually the tempting dollar section that gets me.
I can thing of a way to use everything in the little dollar bins.
Sneaky marketing...

I recently bought Liam some opposite and rhyming cards from there and they
have proven to be quite good investments.
He loves them and can do them all on his own while Ella and I do school.

My last little tid-bit is for the foodies out there.
I have been making these oatmeal balls for several weeks now and we LOVE them!
They are a much healthier alternative to sugary snacks and cookies.
I posted this on instagram and got several replies from other moms
who always keep them on hand,
so we aren't the only ones who recommend them!

1 cup dry oatmeal
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup chocolate chips (mini)
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix, roll into balls, keep in refrigerator!

Moccasin Craze!

Have you noticed the moccasin craze going on?
I love them... just love them!
I got to review a pair for She {hearts} It and am also giving away a pair to a reader.
I recently took Guinnyth to a basketball game in her moccs and got stopped 
numerous times by people doting on the adorableness of them.

Go get'cha some!!!

Bittersweet Beginnings and Endings

Can you ever have enough pictures of sleeping babies?  
I mean, really...
what is better than warm, sweet cheeks and poochy lips?
Nothing in my book!

I watch her sleep during her *occasional* morning nap
and wonder how I will do it all over again.
I am not worried about loving another baby,
or how he/she will fit into our family.
I am worried how I will handle watching my sleeping baby for the last time.
I get to relish in her sweetness and watch her little tummy rise and fall,
all the while knowing that I will experience this all over again.

But, this next time...
is the final time for us.
It will then be time to move forward and enjoy the season ahead.
I am mentally and emotionally preparing myself because I know it will be a difficult transition for me.
The last three times we had babies, I knew there was a significant possibility 
that we would be blessed with another baby to love in the future.

I know it's good to move forward.
I was just talking with some women the other day
 and they discussed taking notes 
of all the funny and sweet things my kids do/did when they were young.
Just for memories' sake.

I don't do that.
I don't jot down all the things that I am sure I am going to wish, 
twenty years from now, I had taken the time to jot down.
If I do,
I will never be able to move forward.
I will read all those things and beg for the past because it was such a special and fleeting time.

One day, I will regret it.
I am sure.
But, it is a coping mechanism for now.
It is what I have to do to move forward.

The Daily Dose

Life has been pretty good around here the past week.
We have *fingers crossed* managed to stay fairly healthy this winter,
and I have been praying that it would stay that way.
I have been the not-so-happy recipient of the flu with all three of my past pregnancies,
and I am banking on this being the one pregnancy to break that tradition.

Yesterday, I packed up my crew and left the house at 7:30 for dentist appointments.
We are certainly up by then, but not quite ready to put on shoes and jet out the door.
As I was signing us in, the receptionist asked if there were any medical conditions preventing me from
getting my x-rays.  I, with a smile, told her we were expecting a baby!
She smile and congratulated me.

Then, she asked if I was babysitting the kids I brought with me!
I truly laughed out loud and said, "Nope, they're all mine!"
Her mouth dropped and it is a moment I hope I never forget.
It was so funny to see her reaction.

Mornings are starting to feel normal again.
I am feeling more energized and the kids are getting back into the swing of things.
It is so nice to feel like I can accomplish even small tasks.
I have cooked every night for the past week and it has felt so refreshing.
We are still waiting on warmer weather,
which is still a ways away, 
but we have bundled up and gone outside some this week to get fresh air.

Happy Tuesday!

Pregnancy Blues

Being a momma is one of the most special gifts we are given.
I love that I am blessed with the gift of healthy pregnancies.
It is so often taken for granted.
I have seen multiple people go through infertility and loss,
and I never want to be ungrateful for this journey.

With that said, there are some really difficult things that sometimes go along with this blessing.

This post is written to all the mothers who are on this journey with me and feel alone in the process.

For me, I feel completely unphased by pregnancy for the first few weeks.
Then, about week 7, the sickness and exhaustion hits.

I was chatting with my mom and we were saying that it is the craziest feeling.
It's an exhaustion where you wake up tired, go to bed tired, and actually feel tired while you are sleeping.
I am simply tired- all of the time.

Couple that with feeling flu-ish for weeks on end,
and one can get a little depressed.

I love being productive.
I run a tight ship and have certain expectations for myself.
It is mentally and emotionally hard to daily not meet those expectations.
Gotta give myself some grace.

Now, we are into week 14 (whew, a long way to go!), and the last two days have been such a blessing.
I have had great mornings.
Productive with playing, laundering, schooling, and even cooking.  
It has felt so good.

So, this is written to those of you who wonder if you will ever see the other side of this ickiness.
Will you ever be able to cook a meal again that doesn't come out of a box?
Will you ever be able to sit upright for more than five minutes without feeling nauseous?
Will you ever have the energy to run around and play with your kids?

There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
It will feel so good to finally get there.
I promise.


Designs by Romy- Giveaway!!!

I have raved before about the carseat swaddle blanket I used with Guinnyth.

I am so excited that Designs by Romy agreed to host a giveaway

The back opens so the straps can tighten and loosen without any hinderance
to the five-point harness system, while the front swaddles your little one.
They are stylish, warm, and convenient!
Go enter to win!!!
There is also a discount code for those that just want to snatch one up today!!!


A Winter Break

The Quick Journey has been dark for a few months.
I have wanted to post, but life has been, well- life.
I love blogging, but sometimes it is too much with everything else going on.
I have good reason for being absent, though, and I hope that my posting can be more predictable again.

December was exciting in so many ways. 
We stayed home- a lot.
We had quite a bit of snow which meant that we did some sledding and snow angel making.
Guinnyth liked being outside, but preferred being in momma's arms.
The boots she had on were a little big and the snow was fairly deep,
so it made it hard for her to even walk.

We managed to stay on track with school,
 but we definitely slowed things down since life was so busy already.
I fully intend to get a vlog done about our homeschool morning, but just haven't been able to get it done.
Anyone who has done a vlog- pointers??? video editing tips???

Here's to my back-to-blogging comeback! 


Our New Years News

December was rough.
It was good in so many ways, but rough for me.
In early November, we were blessed with the news of a baby #4!
We are so excited and anxious to meet our sweet baby.

If you follow me on Instagram
then you found out a few weeks ago (when I was actually 12 weeks) 
that we were going to have another baby.
I am having some good moments in between the sickness and exhaustion, 
so for that, I am grateful.

December was a month of survival for me.
Surviving the sickness and simply providing for my kids what I could.
This month is going to be better. I can just tell, and for that I am really excited.

All you momma's of four, or more... I could use some encouragement!
I am excited and nervous for this journey.
Four is uncharted territory for me and it is a bit scary at times.

So, here's to Happy New Year and a fruitful 2014!