Monday, November 3, 2014


it's been a peaceful morning here for me. jake took the big kids to school and i've had pandora on with my coffee and bailey gray roaming around. 

she likes to be close to wherever i am. i was sitting in the recliner by the window with the bright sun shining. she crawled up to me and sings along to the music with me. i started to kiss the inside of her neck which made her break into this loud, heartfelt, beautiful, deep laughter. and all i could think was, i don't ever want that sound to end. 

jake and i have had a tough year. some things have been hard because of our choices or decisions, some things have been hard because of others, and some things have been hard because we live in a broken world. the thing that has made my heart the saddest this year was losing our sweet baby last may. it rocked me in many ways. 

in my journey of miscarriage, one of the hardest aspects was "so do we try again for another one?" i absolutely despised even thinking about that. it became a reality for us, though. we needed to decide to "try again" or not. it was so painful. i didn't know the right or better choice, or if there was one. i was talking with my dear friend lara about it and she said, "well, i don't think the Lord wants you to be sad forever, you know?"

and i realized in that moment, that sometimes that's how i view my heavenly Father. i act like he wants me to suffer or be in pain or hold on to heartache. i am not sure where i came to believe that. i surely would never tell someone else God treats them that way, but for me, for me i thought God wanted me to hurt longer. silly me. 

this morning as i sat in our recliner with my lovely 17 month old little girl and i listened to her laughter, all i could think was, "my God LOVES when i laugh." he loves when i am uninhibited and full of life and joy. our God laughs. and he delights in us. and he loves when our mourning turns to joy. 

this truth might seem to conflict with the reality that sometimes there is still pain. i feel like he could have done something to prevent pain and he didn't. sometimes i feel forgotten. if he did love it when we are happy, we wouldn't suffer, right? all i can really say is, there is purpose in the seasons of drought, mourning, suffering. sometimes we see it this side of heaven, and sometimes, the only true healing and joy and laughter will come when his Kingdom reigns. and that is when we have to choose to sing. we choose to trust, to hold onto him. to rest in him because he will comfort. he promised he will. and we wait. and we take the next step. and we let the laughter errupt when it returns. 

i am thankful, humbled, and delighted to say we have a sweet, little rainbow baby growing healthily so far at 15 weeks along. there are still no guarantees we will meet and hold this baby this side of heaven, but for now, it is good news. and my sweet Jesus is happy with us. 
for any mamas or ladies who hear one more pregnancy announcement and want to hit, kick, or scream, i am so sorry. that pain is so real. i am with you. and i hope and pray you have a redemption story soon. his love for you is mighty and so tender. 

today, i am thankful for laughter. and really, just so thankful. 

love to you.

Monday, September 22, 2014

round here

as keeping with my blogging trend, it's been a good few months since my last post, so i suppose it's time for another. i've wanted to do a "currently" post for a while. i enjoy these because it helps me remember the little details of where we are at as a family. without further ado....

oh, my sweet man that he is. he's smack dab in the middle of wedding season craziness. the man has a ton on his plate, but manages to balance it with grace and thankfulness. he is sad when he doesn't see the kids much for a few days in a row. he brings me home little (big to me) gifts when he's been working a lot. he makes time to take me on dates. he lets me and the kids come take over his lunch break when possible. he's just really the best. i will be thankful when october is over and the weddings slow down and he can breathe a little bit more. until then...we will keep walking, doing, remembering to praise.

my nearly FIVE year old. hold me....
is into all things lego, hotwheels, and monster trucks. he is in the 4 year old class at preschool on monday/wednesday/friday, which he is loving and rocking at. he is getting good at writing his name. he does still write the "n" in it as a "u", but i sure don't want to correct him yet :) finley is thoughtful, analytical, and takes his role as protector of his sisters very seriously. he is trying hard to learn his right from his left. today in the car he held up his right foot and asked which one it was, when i said his right, he said, "nah...i think i want two left ones"...i just laughed. he's truly so sweet and is soaking everything up right now. i want to be a learner like him. 

is every bit 3 right now. she is always pressing and pushing and testing. she likes to give her opinion on any possible thing like wearing a pony tail or not (which she is thoroughly against at the moment), which outfit to wear, when to go to bed, etc. she LOVES art of any kind. drawing, painting, writing. if i just sit down with her and color she is on cloud nine. she thrives off of one on one time which i love about her and is just like me, and it's also challenging to give that to her as often as she needs it. when jake or i do, it is sweet, sweet time. she is hilarious. she makes the funniest faces and has such a colorful way of talking and describing things. she is also in school with fin on M/W/F and loves it. she just makes me smile. she also calls "tomorrow", "tomollow" and "thirsty", "sirsty" :) i also don't correct that yet. 

oh bails :) she is so much fun right now at 16 months! she follows her big bro and sis around like she's just like them. she loves chairs! ha, she loves going up and down and being able to do it on her own. she screams so loud whenever she sees jake. like, so much joy when her dada is near. heart melting i tell you. she also really loves finley. they're still bff. she waves at everyone and every car she sees. she says ball, book, mama, dada, water, uh oh...maybe a few more. i am not in a rush for her to talk though :) my M/W/F mornings with her are so fun and i love having one on one time with her. bailey gray brings us so much joy. 

oh, i'm just doing my thang. trying to take good care of everybody and love Jesus too. i am excited for a few things the Lord has led me to do lately. church is good and am still loving serving in the high school girls small group. i make sure i take a nap most days or at least rest some because i'm just a better wife and mom if i do. also, i'm a better mom when i get a pedicure every now and then. ha! i am doing well. just taking life day by day. drawing near the Lord when my heart hurts and drawing near when i feel good. i have to work at this, as i usually just want to retreat inward in either circumstance, but it's good work. i love my man. love my babies. i have a lot to be thankful for. 

thanks for checking in. i am thankful for you. hoping all is well in your world.

love to you.

i didn't really need all those words. these pretty much sum up my life.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

it was thursday

it was thursday morning and finley's last day of preschool for the year. something to know about my boy finley...he's a perfectionist. something i cannot easily relate to, but true nonetheless. that morning, his beloved lego man had a tragic accident and somehow, half of his right hand broke off. he was very upset because his lego man was no longer perfect and that is hard for him to cope with. he started talking quickly about when we would go to target to buy a new one and asking if we could go before school, etc. 
i got down on the floor with him. i started gently explaining that "just because his hand is broken doesn't mean he's no good or that we need a new one". explaining "when things break or aren't how we want them to be, we have to give thanks."
"how can we still be thankful for our lego guy when he's like this?" he was still struggling because it is really hard for him to accept things that aren't how he likes them to be. that i can relate to.

that thursday was day 3 of unusual bleeding during my surprise 4th pregnancy. i was 8 weeks along. the day before, the doctor had told me "everything looks great. you don't have anything to worry about". but i knew things weren't normal, yet i didn't truly have anything to worry about yet. i was a wreck. those 3 days of waiting were agonizing. i wrestled with God as tears were falling telling Him how much i wanted that sweet baby, that i would love and care for it, that i was so thankful for this gift. simultaneously, deep down i knew the baby was already with Him. still, i pleaded. 

i dropped fin at school and my girls at a good friend's house. and i went home and layed down and cried and waited. 
in the early afternoon, my body started aching and cramping and doing what my body knew it had to do. i called jake home from work and he layed with me in the recliner and let me cry. several hours later, our little baby was born. and i felt relief that the waiting and worrying and questioning was over. and i felt so deeply sad and empty. 

being my fourth pregnancy, i had already developed a significant "baby bump". so even though it was early, everybody knew i was pregnant. i couldn't deny or hide it. during those 3 days of waiting, i had wished that wasn't the case and that nobody really knew i was pregnant yet, that it would be easier that way. less messy. less embarrassing. 
now i know, that baby bump was God's merciful grace to me. because all our family and friends knew, they showed up. they brought meals, watched our babies, sent loving texts. they sat in it with us. and i am SURE of this: that was God's merciful grace to me. i can't imagine suffering such a loss alone or in silence. His kindness is so real. 

none of this was my plan. jake and i didn't try for this precious baby, who would have been due christmas day. after learning of this life in me, we wanted him or her to be with us for lots and lots of years. instead, our little baby christmas flew to the Maker and we pray is rejoicing and singing the very loudest of praises. you guys, i am so sad. i think about that baby every single day, multiple times. it is so weird to be heartbroken and at peace. to be angry and at rest. to wish the outcome was different and trusting His wisdom. only He can do this in us. and i give thanks. i look at my 3 healthy babies who are currently throwing clean laundry all over the house, and i give thanks. i thank Him that He uses pain to illuminate Himself. 

how can i rejoice? because this dark situation doesn't change God's identity. He is our hope and stay. the only constant. because of this, i rejoice. and i also wait in anticipation for the day i get to meet my son or daughter on the other side. 
also, by listening to this song on repeat. 


oh, and i did go to target and get my boy a new lego man. sometimes i just want to bless my kid. 

love to you.

Monday, March 10, 2014

the gritty stuff

some real life going on around here.

bailey gray has been sick since tuesday. she's had really high fevers since thursday. activities and plans get cancelled. we stay in jammies. hair doesn't get done. not sure how meals get prepared. and the house is no where near clean. thankfully, i think she's on the mend. 

last thursday, finley was at school and bails was down for a "nap". i turned daniel tiger on for audrey. i went in my room to try and retreat and get some alone time with the Lord while i could. i knew my attitude needed it. sick babies have a way of making their mama's heart hurt. i was reading proverbs about keeping loving-kindness and faithfulness bound around your neck. i heard her footsteps. and i was annoyed. audrey comes in and asks to climb on the bed with me. i really wanted to be alone, though, Lord. remember? i lifted her up and told her to stay quiet cause mama was reading. she asked to color in my journal. but it's MY journal. it's my life with you, Lord. remember? 

and then something happened. i realized it won't be much longer that my baby will want to crawl on my bed and be with me. she won't always color in my journal. my journal that represents this season of my life. the one where my feet stumble on legos and hair bows and squeaky toys. the one where i am dressed in real clothes much less than not. the one that smells like syrup and dirt. the one where i am journaling prayers about being a mama and so desperately wanting to do it well. how silly that i felt annoyed. what will be sweeter in 20 years than looking at this journal and seeing my 2 year old audrey's doodles? not much, i realized. and i breathed deep and i embraced, rather than fought, this season of mine. i know it goes so fast. all those seasoned mamas say that. and now some pages are filled with her art and i pray, again and again, that my mind and heart will remember that those moments ARE THE POINT OF THIS WHOLE THING. relationship.

i was washed with grace in that moment. He knew just what i needed. i thought i needed to be alone. i thought i needed a break. really, i needed my little girl to come be with me for her sake and mine. how kind God is to teach me and lead me in gentle ways. even when i feel like i need a gigantic billboard just telling me what to do because i hardly ever know.

it is not always like this, of course. sometimes you go to target on saturday with all 3 kids and literally feel like you are going to fall down dead because of the anxiety due to a mix of circumstances. you are sure you, or one of the 3, will not make it out alive. one child is yelling the whole time. the popcorn treat you got at the beginning is, literally, trailing you all over the store (sorry target). the baby's fever is rising. you really should leave the cart and walk out, but you already opened the baby's snack and you probably should pay for it. and then the two potty trained kids HAVE TO PEE RIGHT NOW. so you keep walking and don't make direct eye contact. and then you text your husband tell him you are definitely ordering pizza for dinner. 
oh the graces. 

hope all is well in your world. tell me something. 

love to you.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

when i didn't blog for 3 months

well you guys, it happened. 

snow-crazy-blizzard-life has hit the carolinas. i've seen it hit texas. illinois. oregon. and sat in my snow free home happily. no longer. there is full blown snow/sleet/freezing liquid happening in mass quantities. 
you see, my friend Lara was telling me why EVERYONE down here FREAKS out about this kind of weather. the freezing liquid builds up on power lines and PULLS THEM DOWN and tons of people lose power for long amounts of time. in the blizzard. good times. 

don't worry, mom, we are with power for now. 

in other greer news, it's only been 3 months since i last blogged...not sure how that happened. we had thanksgiving. christmas. a trip to sweden. the usual. 


we went to visit our oldest, dearest, couple friends Jonathan and Trista Miller. they have lived in sweden for 4 years. they work at a Bible school there and are doing awesome work for the Lord. we had the.best.time. jake's mom came down from illinois to stay with our big kids at our house. my previously mentioned good friend, Lara, volunteered to keep bailey gray here at her house. oh.my.sweet.service. our sister in law, joy, and sweet friend, alyssa helped out tremendously too. it was amazing going kid free. getting to just be a wife for 2 weeks. loving on our friends. sleeping in. staying up late. reading books in the middle of the day. all luxuries in the life of parents with little ones. it was so refreshing and encouraging and FUN. we loved it. and we were so ready to get home to our babies and kiss and snuggle them for days. best of both worlds. 

we also got to see jake's sister, jenny, who we love so incredibly much, for a couple days at the end of the trip. jake traveled to Copenhagen and Prague, where jenny lives, and then they met us in Stockholm. 

other than that, we've just been in the daily grind around here. fin is still loving school. poor kid is missing his valentine party today. maybe we will make some heart cookies or something. audrey is her funny self. she's an awesome helper. loves her baby sister and is a very good talker. she's also becoming quite the singer. bailey gray is NINE months old now. she's "crawling"... ya know, when babies drag themselves along the floor as if the bottom half of their legs aren't there. she's mostly sleeping through the night and is overall much more content and happy then she used to be. she is, for real, such a joy to us. she has such a sweet spirit and is a major cuddler. and she can be stubbbborn! hopefully that quality is used for good in this world :) 

church life is good! we've had exciting things happening in student impact and i'm still loving being a small group leader for the high school girls. they are precious to me. we are doing the "one thousand gifts" study in women's group on wednesday mornings and it is such good stuff. 

we are happy. healthy. enjoying life. and enduring the crying and fits and discipline and "listen and obey mama" moments. which happen all.day.long. we are curious about our future and don't really know where God is gonna take us, but for now, we are seeking to be faithful today. some days we are better at that then others. 
gonna wrap it up now. jake's outside in a t-shirt figuring out how good of a snow man we can build. and asking, "i just wanna know if i can drive in this!" always up for a challenge, that guy. 
don't worry, mom, he won't be going anywhere.

love to you.

Thursday, November 7, 2013


it's been too long since I've done a kid update on here, so here we go.


  • is loving preschool! the two days a week schedule works out great for everybody right now. he has learned the "elbow cough" which is a good way of not spreading germs and Audrey has caught onto it, so that's nice. he makes pictures or crafts everyday. eats his whole lunch. plays hard on the playground. and ms. Ingrid says he always has good days, is a good helper, and is very well behaved (phew!) lol!
  • is FOUR years old. and very much not a baby anymore. all the things that kept him a toddler are totally done now. his speech and talking has matured a lot and he just "gets" things now.
  • loves curious George
  • doesn't nap
  • still loves all things construction related. he actually got to ride on a skid loader at the homestead with daddy, who rented one for some projects. that was a cool day!
  • is bailey's bff. for real. he loves her. she loves him. if she's fussing, he almost always takes the initiative to walk over and talk to her and make her happy. it works. happy momma here.
  • wears size 5 clothing.
  • has a tender heart and likes to know the rules.
  • is sometimes a follower when he's around bigger kids.
  • is awesome.
getting his birthday gift from meema and gpa steve on skype!

  • is 2 1/2
  • is very familiar with the time out corner, ha!
  • gives the best kisses and hugs
  • LOVES her daddy
  • sings entire songs all by herself
  • still loves baby dolls and is always carrying one around
  • cheers her bubby on when he does something good. "yahoo! yay! good jowb, finney!"
  • is potty trained (!) without much effort on my part. gotta be my reward for the torture that was potty training finley, hahahaha!
  • talks.all.the.time :) (I did ask God for a talkative daughter)
  • her favorite song is "no more monkeys jumpin on da bed!"
  • is very funny and animated. and bossy. don't know where that came from. do YOU, aunt Katie?!?!?!
  • is such joy and light to jake and me

  • "oh, bails"
  • (we say this at least once a day) :)
  • will be 6 months old on Saturday! SAY WHAT NOW?!?!
  • eats some solid food before bed. i'll gradually increase this.
  • she only woke up once last night from 6:30pm-7am! thank you, solid food.
  • so she is not sleeping through the night yet, lol
  • can be distracted by toys...such a blessing to be in this stage. but don't think about crawling anytime soon!
  • is a big, chunky, wonderful chub of love!
  • we all adore our bails. even in the tough days, which we still have.
  • and she has these unique, sparkly eyes.
so there you have it. jake and I are doing great! October was out of control busy for us and the wedding venue, so we are now entering the quiet season until about feb/march. we are all so ready for this. there is a lot to look forward to coming up. thanksgiving at a lake house with my mom and steve, Katie, liz and danny! YAY for grandparents and aunts and an uncle. I plan on only nursing bailey, and letting them do everything else! hahaha! but for real :)
Christmas in Illinois this year with jake's family. all great things.

 a typical afternoon outside
 fin's bday party!

 pumpkin patch...they were all actually happy, lol!

 halloween with cousins!
daddy and his youngest (he's so hott)

thanks for checking in! hope all is well in your world.

love to you.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


i just feel the need to write right now. i'm not quite sure what will come of it so if you wanna come back another time, i understand :) you see, i was just processing some stuff with jake about the new women's group in our church that I've been a part of. it's been a huge joy and i love going on Wednesday mornings. here's my thing...

i am a taker.

i'm the 4th of 5 kids in my family. do you know what that means? my big sisters and brother took care of me. always. especially my sisters. my mom and dad were great parents and very much helped me along the way. i'm not a leader by personality. i am shy. quiet. introverted. i am this on the outside. that's what most people see. but. there is a truly out of control, loud(er), ridiculous mere that some people get to know. and i am honestly both. both are true representations of me. 

the quiet me is a taker.

it's easier to sit back and let others be in the spotlight. to listen and not contribute. to read blogs instead of write them. to expect others to be prepared instead of preparing. this is the curse of being a younger sibling (in my case). i am in no way making that an excuse. i am just saying that it has contributed to my taking. i am one of the small group leaders of our Wednesday morning group and i did a bad job this time through. i'm not having a pity party or beating myself up. it's just true. i didn't prepare week to week the way a leader should have. sure, i have 3 small, insanely busy and needy children (who i adore with all my being), but there is always something(s), right?

i think i am just wondering what would happen if i stopped taking so much. what if i was truly intentional? what if i planned ahead? what if i took certain things more seriously? what if i gave with all my heart?

yikes. all those things scare me. i feel anxiety in my stomach. by default, i am laid back. i don't plan too much. i am not a control freak. i don't usually put socks on my kids when it's chilly outside (i know, i am working on it. i ran back in the house this morning to get Audrey some-which she took off as soon as we got to church!) i don't worry all that much. i can wing it. i just assume things will be taken care of.
and these can all be good things.

they can also hinder God's work. in huge ways.

deep down in my heart, i want more. i want more responsibility. more entrusted to me. more opportunities to give and serve and lead. but i'm terrified. and i can easily hide behind all my babies and be super busy and exhausted (yes, true).
but what if? what if i gave just a little bit more. and then a little more than that. i wonder what would happen.

love to you.