Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Halloween {2015}

I've never been one to get overly excited about Halloween. I'm not a big costume person, I usually eat all of our candy before the first trick-or-treaters grace our door-step, and I spend a majority of the night swearing at our dogs because they freak out every time someone rings our bell. 
I guess you could say that I'm a bit of a Halloween Scrooge - or at least I was.

In 2015 my opinion of Halloween did a complete 180 as I was able to experience the magic of the holiday thru the eyes of 3 little boys - "Hulk Smash," Ironman, and the cutest little fisherman in Omaha.

While Matt and I love our own neighborhood, its not ideal for trick-or-treating. All of the homes are on 3+ acre lots which translates into a whole lot of walking for our little boy's little legs. Lucky for us, Matt's sister lives in an amazing neighborhood filled with beautiful old homes and lots of Halloween spirit. With costumes and goody bags in hand, we made our way to Aunt Krazy's house for what would turn out to be the perfect evening.




Junie was a bit "ho hum" when it came to the night's festivities....but she was by far the cutest little mermaid ever!
I was a little concerned that Max, the youngest of the boys, would struggle to keep up and have a trick-or-treating meltdown. Boy was I ever wrong. He insisted of doing everything "by my-elf" and would have kept going well into the night had we not made him stop for dinner at 8:00! Well done Ironman. Well done.


Harrison (3), Max (1), Benson (2)
Watching these 3 grow up together makes my heart so incredibly happy! I secretly hope that they'll recreate this picture for me when they are adults.

I keep replaying this scene over and over in my mind. Three little boys. The chorus of "Trick or Treats," "Happy Hayoweens" and "thank you" as they ambled from one house to the next.  Their wide eyes and eager hands as each house presented them with bowls full of sugary goodness. 
I'm smiling so big my face hurts!

After every single house Hulk flashed the BIGGEST grin and sang/screeched "We need to get MORE candy!" He was in Halloween Heaven.




Oh Halloween - I think that I love you.





Saturday, October 31, 2015

Two Little Pumpkins

Two boys. Two Pumpkins. One giant mess.
But the smiles we get in the end make it all worth while.













Monday, October 12, 2015

A Fall "Venture"

Last weekend our two little adventurers headed off to Nebraska City with their NamNam, PopPop, and Uncle Abe for a day of fresh air and Fall fun. The weather was unseasonably warm for October in the midwest and was perfect for exploring (and for giving the grown-ups a run for their money!)
Harrison is an old pro at this whole "venture" thing, but for Max it was a first. I was worried that he would run out of gas early, but from the sounds of it was go, go, go from start to finish.

Three "little" birds. Tweet! Tweet! Tweet!
Budding musicians
Text of the day - 
 "Is a lunch of caramel corn, french fries, and apples enough?"
 1000 feet up in the trees...and one baby brother who insists on doing everything by his self. 
Thats a lot of steps for little legs!
These two boys make my heart explode.
Apple picking
 "Mama, I eated my own big apple off that tree. It was green and it was yummy."

Lovin' on Uncle Abe. That Maxo can be pretty sweet when he wants to be.
 Skinned knees, sticky face, dirt under his nails, and a leaf in his diaper...I'd say that this kiddo had a successful first adventure!

  Thanks NamNam, PopPop and Abe for treating our boys to a fun-filled day and for helping create such special memories with them! We love you so very much.




Saturday, September 26, 2015

Happy

Over the past couple of months I have shared a series of photos that our family had taken earlier this summer. Harrison as a 3 year old. Max at 18 months. Two sweet brothers together. And lastly, our family...my everything. I had considered stopping there, but as I scrolled through all of our images from that night, there was one that my heart told me that I still needed to share. My words won't do justice to what this image speaks to my heart...it is absolute perfection.

...

Approximately 3 minutes after Ashley left our home on the night of our family session, I started stalking her Facebook page, anxiously waiting for a sneak peek at our images.  Don't judge...I've never claimed to be a patient person! Three minutes turned into 3 days, and just as I was getting ready to turn in for the night my eyes were treated to the beautiful image and caption below.

"I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery - air, mountains, trees, people. 
I thought 'this is what it is to be happy'" ~Sylvia Plath.


As I lay in bed, choking back tears as to not wake Matt sleeping beside me, I could not stop repeating those words to myself. "This is what it is to be happy." Such a simple phrase, but in that moment it took my breath away. You see, for the past 4 years 'happy' has been somewhat of a balancing act, and for awhile it left me feeling more guilt than anything else. Grief can be a jerk like that...robbing you of good moments and making you second guess everything. After Charlotte died I had to learn that it was OKAY for me to feel happy again - to smile, to laugh - even though I was so incredibly broken. Happy didn't have to mean that I didn't hurt. It didn't mean that I had forgotten or moved on. Its been over 4 years and I still ache for that little girl every single day, but in my heart I know that she wouldn't want me to walk through life with my head down. She would want to see my face lit up with a grin, to hear the sound of giggles coming from deep in our bellies, to feel the love that fills our walls. 

This road has not been easy. There are times where I still feel lost, broken. I am awkward, introverted, and often insecure in my own skin. But I look at that picture and I see a smile that looks much like one from the 'old' Kristen. Whole-hearted. Genuine. Happy. Our trials have changed us, there is no doubt, but this little family of mine...sigh...

How could I be anything but happy?


But there will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.
~Mumford and Sons; After the Storm