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Home Again

Let me tell you that nothing feels as good as coming home from nearly 6 days away.

I missed my babies like the desert misses the rain.  I even may have had Brady check to see if we could move our flights just a day or two earlier.

But in the end, I was brave, and so were they. (They actually had so much fun without me, Harlo admitted she didn’t even miss me that much!)

I DID talk Mr. Miller into driving the last leg of our layover to get home 3 hours earlier than we would otherwise – so I could kiss my four children and rock my baby to bed.

He agreed.

We rented him a convertible Camaro because it was Father’s Day, and we drove through the Arizona dessert to our cozy little home, where the hot terrain kisses the beautiful red mountains.

I loved every minute I had with Mr. Miller ALL TO MYSELF for more days that we’ve had together in ten years, but I’ve also loved every minute of being back at home in the life we’ve built together.

There is so much good sprinkled in to every bit of our lives when we sit back and really see it.  Time away always brings that perspective right to the surface. ♥

The girls thought it would be SO FUN to go to starbucks in a convertible, so early the next morning before we had to give it back, we made it happen! (It was pretty fun!)

Mercy me, it’s good to be back!

 

 

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last days and bittersweetness

The last day of school finally came for my two oldest Miller babes.

This specific last day brought on a lot of feelings – we are making some changes to our schooling next year, and facing the last day at a school we’ve loved, proved to be a lot harder than we had anticipated.

This year has been such a good one for my little girls.  They have had wonderful teachers again, and we are so thrilled about that.

Stella enjoyed all of 2nd grade with her best friend in her class – what little girl dreams are made of.  Harlo also blossomed this year – she received the “Kindness Ninja” award at the end of the year, and that fit my girl well.  I’m so glad that she shows as much kindness at school as she does here at home.  Both girls worked hard on their own to receive their school’s academic award – the Radiant Roadrunner, and both girls got their metals.  We have had a YEAR here at home with moves, and grief, and all the usual chaos that comes with a family – but our girls are strong and resilient.  I’m so proud of what they accomplished this year – and it really was ALL them. (Because mama had a rough year too!)

By the end of the day, we all had truly learned what the word “bittersweet” meant and felt like, but still decided that the direction we have been praying for, and talking over, and thinking about all these months, is in fact what will be best for us – even if it’s hard to say goodbye (for now!) to friends and teachers we love. (You have been the best Mrs. Thomas and Mrs. Bastian! My girls were so lucky this year!)

We know and believe that the future is as bright as your faith, so even though we don’t know exactly what this road ahead will look like, we have FAITH that as God brings us to things, they will always be what is best.  We do know that, and we are reminding ourselves as often as we need to.

We are still getting some ducks in a row for our next year, but I’m sure I’ll be sharing more about that as the story unfolds – you know how I roll. ;)

To my darling girls, I say to you:

You teach me every single day.  I have loved watching you go to school, learn new things, step out of your comfort zones, make friends, help people, show kindness to others all around you.  It has blessed my life to see how you both are flourishing.  I am so grateful for  happy healthy daughters who love each other, as well as everyone around them.  I couldn’t be luckier to have you two at the head of my children, and because you are the ones leading,  I know every little thing is going to be alright.

You are my favorites of all the kids in all the schools!

Next year is going to be a fantastic year – I know it.

-Mama

 

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a word from the mother

I am finding myself in a whole new season lately.
I have FOUR children, a whole family all of my own.  My dreams came true, and it’s surreal to be living it.
I have passed many of the infant/baby stages with no real promise of more coming our way, so that is also really different for us.

Major, my baby, is gaining serious momentum toward full-blown toddler hood.
I don’t think it’s any secret that having a boy changed my heart (some may say it grew 3 sizes that day), but mercy me, I see very clearly why God sent me 3 little girls ahead of him.
This boy of mine is busy, busy, busy, busy.  I am turning around to clean one mess up, and he’s on the top shelf of something else.  I get him down and he’s running off to find the next bit of mischief he can find.  He is into my cupboards, drawers, pantry, baskets, bathrooms, any pile of anything.  I am on my toes and busy literally chasing him most of the day, besides his glorious glorious nap time – bless my heart.
He snuggles me, he adores me, he lights up when I walk into a room.  He will hang on the couch with me forever, never fights me (except when I’m changing his diaper!), and keeps me and his sisters swooning our days away.  I get it, guys.  Baby men.. nothing quite like ’em. He is talking more all the time, and is 100% boy in every single way.  His pudgy little feet stomp around, constantly snacking on something, car in one hand, ball in the other.  He loves me to sing to him and sings along with me to ‘twinkle-twinkle’, ‘you are my sunshine’, and giggles when I begin his night time lullabye.
Even if he does refuse to stay my forever-infant, I am still just as head over heels in love with that son of mine.

HOWEVER, don’t let that get you mistaken.  My girls are the girls of my dreams.

Harlo is just effortlessly cool (I felt her distinctly pass me up at age 8), she is stunningly beautiful and doesn’t even realize it.  She is tender and kind and gentle and good.  She is getting so mature and I’m loving this new layer to our relationship.  We often stay up way too late chatting in her bed, she’s my right hand planner, and she’s in charge of all the organization in our home and doesn’t get annoyed with me yet.  I love her! Harlo is also made up exactly like her father, and (almost) nothing  like me, so she keeps me busy working on how I communicate with her, paying close attention to whether she gets enough love from me, worrying over our relationship because of our differences, and appreciating so much how much she’s opened my soul and changed me, and how I look at people, forever and ever amen.
Because of our differences though, we find this deep understanding with one another.  I can clearly see when she’s at her limit, and she can see when I’m at mine.  We have a certain respect for one another, and we help calm each other rather than rise tension with one another.   We seem to balance each other.  She more than anyone else I can see the reason she came to my life.  Because she is the only one who could have changed everything for me, and keeps changing everything for me.  My love for this girl runs deep.

Stella is just the funnest.  Picture a skipping, twirling, giggling dress-wearing, baby doll-loving 7 year old, and you’ve got Stella.  Stella is the best server in the family.  She is always getting drinks or snacks for someone, assisting Harlo with this, or helping Grae with that.  She’ll keep Major entertained while I cook, and thinks up games for everyone to play.  We all often say “Stella’s the best!” because she’s always leveling up the love around here.  Stella marches to the beat of her own drum and is completely not bothered by what anyone else thinks – exactly what I adore in her father, I love this about her.  I find myself praying for protection over this about her.  I hope she always marches on and never bends to the pressure of the world.
Stella, like me in so so so many ways, is also like me in the sassy-mouthed, loud-mouthed, no-hard-time-expressing-her-feelings kind of way.  Because of this, she’s always the first one to stick up for one of her siblings against me, the one I’m reminding most to watch her mouth, and reigning her in from emotion-overload.  I cringe at myself inside when I have to get after Stella because I can feel the internal smirk of my parents.  Oh mercy.  When they said “I hope you get a daughter just like you!” (in both good and mad ways) I surely did in my Stella. :D It’s because of this though, that I don’t worry about our relationship (aside from her teen years! Bless.).  We speak the same love language and sort through things the same way.  I know this will be such a blessing for a life-long relationship, especially in her adult years.

Grae.. Oh man, what can be summed up about that girl?  She is finally moving on from ferocious toddler moodiness that started around age 1 and we’re hoping now that 4 is around the corner, we’re seeing the end of it.  She is communicating so well and beginning to understand how to cope through her rather complex emotions. :D The very unexpected surprise of Grae is how much of a lovey girl she is.  She is very affectionate, so snuggly, always telling me she loves me, or Major, or anyone else, out of the blue.  That girl can take you from 0-60 and back in absolutely no time.  With my older two I was like “They’re darling, but in order for them to develop properly, we mustn’t give in to every whim..” with Grae I’m like “So sue me, I give in to every single whim.”
Grae has me wearing out the pages of “the strong-willed child” in The Child Whisperer, and boy does that fit her to a T.  One tip that has been so helpful in that book has been to read “Let them do what they want to do with your set boundaries, because they’ll likely find a way to do it anyway.” Switching that idea in my head has made a world of peace between Gigi and I.  She is an excellent little artist at her age, and now I see those years with the sharpies all over my (damn) house were just her inner creativity yearning to come out!
Grae girl is a total tom-boy.  Obviously this is not anything she picked up at home with me and her two very girly sisters.  She just likes what she likes, and what she does like is blue and green and cars and reptiles and superheros.  She looks like a real-live tinkerbell and is usually dressed in a gecko costume. Ha!  She is the best thing on the planet.  Seriously.

My life is completely full as a mother and wife, and I’ve had to be intentional about shaving a bit of time for me and my passions.  That is soooo okay with me though.  These are the years.  The full and fleeting family years.  Even though it can sometimes feel consuming and overwhelming, these are the years I’ve dreamed of, and I am going to soak them in every last drop.

Some things that are necessary for my sanity:

monthly cleaning lady, writing (making a priority after months of slacking), weekly date nights, church on Sundays to refill my cup, late night chats with friends after kids are in bed, boundaries from the world and outside pressures, Maskcara makeup, and my happy planner.

 

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Catch us Outside

If you follow us along on instagram (which I KNOW you do – right?!), you know that the Miller Manor welcomed a swing set to the backyard collection this past weekend.

I had dreamed of a swing set in our backyard since we moved in – our last rental house had one, and I loved looking out my kitchen window out back to see my kids playing on the swings.  The swings were my favorite as a young girl, and I always envied the friends I had with swings in their yards.

Swing sets can be pretttty pricey, and with all the work and projects we always have going on at this house, I didn’t want to fork out a few thousand dollars on a nice one.  So, I put the word out and kept my eye out for one that would suit our needs. (and pinned a bunch of DIY versions on my backyard board on pinterest!)

But on one fateful Friday night, the stars aligned with my mom found the PERFECT SWING SET on the local yard sale page.  I made an offer, they accepted, and we picked it up the next morning.

It’s an old schoolhouse swing set and it couldn’t be more perfect for us and our space.  We can swing as high as we want – and we do for the majority of our day!  (The best part of having your own swing set is being able to swing in your skivvies… just ask Grae.)

And just like that, this second-(or-third-or-fourth)-hand swing set became a staple part of the life we’re living here at the Miller Manor.

It really is the most SIMPLE things, y’all! ♥

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friday wrap up

Friday:

12:24 : Stella writes her teacher a letter, “You are the best teacher EVER! Stay cool this summer.” (we love you, Mrs. Boshard!)

12:31 : I think of the lucky teacher who gets her next year (we’re ready for you, Mrs. Bastian!).

2:49 : The Miller ladies (me included) enjoy a cold popsicle on our 100 degree back porch (the misters were a nice touch, Mr. Miller).

3:17 : Stella dubs Grae “Sassy Frances”

That sounds about right to me!

5:05 : Offer of a SECOND date night this week comes in

5:06 : Decide to GO FOR IT after the day week I’ve had.

6:14 : Mr. Miller whisks me away to my favorite quiet country.

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stalling

Today I woke up to a swift blow to the mouth by Mr. Major Miller’s giant noggin.

Good thing that boy is cute, because after squishing his freshly diapered bod I wasn’t even mad.

After that, Mr. Miller climbed back in bed and fell to sleep.. because it is his day off.  I was sort of thinking it was my day off, too, but I guess not. ;)

I went to find my dog that is usually at my feet in the morning, but was missing.  Turns out he slept the entire night on the bottom bunk – bursting my heart right open.

Today I want to:

  • Hang Major’s mobile
  • Paint the laundry room
  • Find organizational bins for my pantry
  • Do the 12 loads of laundry from our cabin weekend
  • Finalize my plans for tomorrow’s “mom school” (more to come on that).

I have a big ol’ day in front of me?  Think I can do it all??

Right now I’m curled in bed besides a sleeping Mr. Miller and Finn (who came to find me after all) with my laptop.

I better get rollin’.

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Last Day!

Today is the girls’ last day of first and second grade!

At Harlo’s end of year program, as she beamed at me from the front row, standing up to accept her achievement award, I couldn’t keep the tears from falling.  She is such a good girl.  I am so grateful for her, and for the great example she is to the others.  She is truly golden.  The whole program melted my heart, and made it well worth the sore arm I had from lugging around my 30 lb baby for an hour (stroller wasn’t in the back of my car like I had thought!)… let’s not even talk about the wandering, fit-throwing threenager I was dealing with, too. Yikes!  I’m sure I looked like a real hot mess there without my husband to help, but alas, my heart was just as full as my hands.

It has been a fantastic year for both of our girls.  We are feeling all the bittersweet feelings as this year comes to a close.  I for one, love summer and having all my children at home during the days.  I feel like I can finally breathe!  But they have both had such good teachers, and we will miss them dearly!  Harlo has been dreading the last day for weeks now.  She has loved every single day of second grade and being in Mrs. Scott’s class.  For Harlo especially, we have seen her blossom this year.  It is amazing to me how impactful these teachers can be.

Stella also has made the sweetest connection with her teacher, Mrs. Boshard.  She especially loves Mrs. Boshard’s hair and is always asking me if I can curl her bangs the way Mrs. Boshard does. ha! I love that girl so much.  Each time I see Mrs. B, she is always telling me how much she adores having  Stella in her class.  As a mama, there is just really not much more you can hope for with kids in school.  Sending them off for hours of their precious days with teachers that love them as their own.  We have had that with Mrs. B and I am so grateful!  We feel like we hit the teacher lottery this year, and I’m hoping next year can live up!

 

 

Happy LAST DAY to my precious big girls.  Tomorrow you are ALL MINE for the summer and I couldn’t be happier!! :D

 

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basket beds

There is a Miller Manor favorite that magically appears every single laundry day.

Basket Beds.

As I fold and empty laundry baskets that lay unoccupied on the floor of the living room, my little Millies find their way into them making up cozy little beds.  Each of the Millies have their own “mama boo’s” now.  (Mama boo’s are the cozy fleece blankets I love to snuggle under on the couch at any given time.  Except it’s hard for me now to find my “mama boos” since they are usually being snuggled with else-where by one of my little Millies… I finally got wise and got them their own “mama boo’s” to sleep with so mine could be freed up!)

Anyway, they place a couch pillow and a mama boo in the empty laundry basket and there they stay all cozy for hours.  The girls spent the whole afternoon cozied up in their basket beds yesterday and now as I sit writing this, Stella is cozied up in a basket bed right behind me.

It really is the simplest of things that brings joy and hours of entertainment.

 

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Stella Tidbits

Since I have so many kids now, it’s hard to get each of them in one tidbits post.  Now i’ll be taking turns spotlighting each one, hopefully once a week.

Stella has always been our Sunshine Girl.
She truly feels like the sunshine to our family – consistently bright, happy, and loving.
No matter what is going on in our lives, we can count on Stella to bring happiness to our day.
Stella is always thinking of others, truly.
At any given time, you can find her crafting up something for her teacher, friend, or family member.
She is constantly offering to do something for someone without being asked.
She is always the one Grae goes to for anything because she knows Stella will say yes.  Grabbing a snack, playing another round of hide-and-seek, turning on a show.
I really needed one like Stella.
Stella gives the most and asks for the least.
Which means I stay up at night wondering if she’s been given enough.
A couple months ago, Stella forgot her lunch at home and when I dropped her off I told her I’d bring it back to her.  And then I forgot.  So at about 2pm, lunch had well passed and I felt sick in my stomach thinking of her at school, expecting me any minute, and I hadn’t come.  I begged Brady to come home from work to sit with the babies so I could go make it up to her and check her out early.
When I got there, she wasn’t the least bothered – in fact she was elated to tell me she got to eat school lunch for the first time and “IT WAS AMAZING!”  I asked if she wanted to come with me to get a treat and she shrugged and said “sure.”  When we got in the car I told her she could pick ANY PLACE in the whole city to get a treat, and she thought for about 2 seconds and then said “A gas station.”  Sure thing.  We went to the gas station around the corner (after I asked several times if she was absolutely SURE that was the place she wanted to go – it was) she got herself a drink and picked a treat, and then she said “Mom, I’ll just get a drink so I can get a treat for Harlo.” (cue the heart burst and the fighting back tears).  I told her she could pick something for herself AND something for Harlo, and she quickly picked  Harlo’s favorite candy out – she knew just the thing!  On our way back to the school to pick up Harlo, Stella said “Mom, this was the best day I ever had.”
I tell this story because it is just SO Stella.  Easy going, grateful, thoughtful, and the sweetest soul you could ever imagine.
If she’s ever been mad at anyone it’s only lasted 5 seconds.
On the rare occasion we need to get after her, it’s tough because she’s so easy going, she really doesn’t mind being grounded from the ipad, tv, etc.  She’d be just as happy to curl up with a book and snuggle in on the couch.
She continues to soar in school.  Her last SEP, her teacher just sung her praises and got a little teary over how much she enjoys her in class.
The only thing Stella requires is snuggles.  Snuggling is this girl’s love language.  She will take it from whoever is willing to dish it out.
Stella has a special place in so many hearts, but especially her Papa Guitar’s.
Stella has such a sweet connection with my dad – they are total pals.  Stella asks often if Papa will pick her up and they go about the town on his errands, they stop by the park and he’ll push her in the swing for hours.   They’ll go on hikes, and to the pet store.  My dad adores this time with her, and says it’s just like having me back as a kid.  My heart bursts thinking of them out and about doing the same stuff my dad and I always did together.
Last week she came home from school and said “mom, I talked to my teacher today about Papa coming to play to my class.” She had arranged the whole thing. (my dad goes to her class to play Christmas songs for the kids each year – just like he did for mine).
Stella loves in the largest capacity and each of us who receive it are so so lucky.
Her favorite past time right now is browsing Target online looking for gifts for her siblings.  My goodness!  I couldn’t make this stuff up.
My family says she’s just like me, like I was at her age, and I love hearing that.
She is a treasure to us, and I am grateful every day for her place in our family.
We needed her like the earth needs the sun.

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To my girls

What will I say to my girls?

This is a question I have been asking myself over the last week as our country goes through a confusing transition.  There have been issues brought to light for me that I haven’t seen before, and I think it’s important to clarify some things.  So, to my sweet girls:

I realize that now more than ever, I must show you how I value myself as a woman.  Even (and especially) when the world doesn’t value me the same way.  I will teach you that the standard of respect I expect is far far more than the standard this country, and this world has set.  I will show you how I expect to be treated by my husband, my equal partner, and I’m grateful that he is able to show you that he values me and my worth over anything else in this world.  I will also show you that I do not feel “less than” in my marriage, in my position in our family, in my life.  Ever.  I am the lucky one, my precious girls.  You’ll see.

I will show you the value I place on motherhood.  That I believe with every ounce of my being that the greatest work I will ever, ever do is my work as a mother.  That choosing motherhood is not the lesser choice – ever.  That the value of what I do is not based on a dollar sign.  That at the end of the day (listen closely), it’s an overflowing heart that matters, not an overflowing bank account.  As I show you my love for motherhood and the purpose I feel in the everyday tasks, I will also show you that I am still a girl inside here, with big dreams.  I will follow them.  I will stumble sometimes, I will succeed sometimes, I will be shocked and surprised and frustrated and thrilled at times, and I will roll with those punches, my daughters, because life is as colorful as it is wonderful and I will not be afraid to feel all the feelings as I do what I love.  I will lead you to follow your dreams, to chase after that pull in your hearts, no matter what it is. Did you hear that, my girls?  NO MATTER WHAT IT IS.  You do not have to love all the same things I love, you do not have to feel the same things I feel.  That is the trick, sisters.  To chase after that thing that pulls you, that thing inside that God created that is only yours.  That is your purpose, and if you can still feel that, you are doing it right.

I will lead by love, and that does not exclude loving myself.  I will prioritize myself.  I will honor my body, my values, my talents, my mind.  I will take care of myself physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  No one will do that for me, my sweeties.  We must figure out how to do that ourselves.  “Life loves the liver of it”, my darlings, have you heard that?  I will live and I will love and I will serve and I will be happy.  The world is very confused about what it means to be happy, but I’m not.  It is possible, and I will show you each day as I make that choice, so you know.  Most of all, my precious girls, I will follow God – and I don’t mean that “mystical being” there are so many questions and arguments about – I mean the real God, The One who created us, The One who has an infinite amount of time for our thoughts, worries, needs.  The One who knows our hearts and fears and hopes.  The One who will walk us through every single trial and make us better for it.  If you never lose sight of God, my darling daughters, you will be okay.  Actually, so much more than okay.

I am not whatever the world wants me to be.  It’s important that you know that, my sweet girls.  Neither are you.  That’s not the way you came, and that’s not what you’re supposed to be.  So do the hard thing, ask the tough questions, stand up for what you believe in, trust yourself.  I trust you.  I am on your side, always.  Did you hear me?  That part is important.  I am on your side today, tomorrow, and every single day after that, too.

Be confident, my lovies.  You are already greater than you could ever know.  Don’t you forget that.

xoxo,

Mama ♥

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family pictures 2016

This will be the first year with our family of six on our holiday cards, and I don’t know if I’ll ever get sick of seeing my whole (big) family squished into one frame.  Going through these, I was so amazed that we have built this life together, that we have created all these wonderful people together.  We are all doing life together, and loving, and learning, and living.  There is no greater blessing in this world than family, and I am eternally grateful for mine.

 

Thank you always to Ashley Flowers Photography
See our family video HERE.

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Life + Style

It’s been a while since I have posted in my life and style series, and I have had a serious case of the post-partum frumps, so I will be making the extra effort to take care of myself, and touch base with myself once a week in this series!

Life :

We are feeling the slowness of fall wrap around us like a big cozy blanket.  I am a summer girl, so saying goodbye to summer is a bit bittersweet, but I do love these cozier days at home with my little ones.  I have gotten used to our new routine with school, homework, piano, chores.  I was dreading the girls going to school full day, but I seem to have found a rhythm to our day that works for us, and I have really enjoyed the mornings with my two littlest ones.

The weather has been so beautiful and I have been taking the babies for a long walk in the morning.  Major sleeps in the stroller, Grae is content and still for the first only time of the day, I listen to uplifting books or scriptures as I walk, and take in the beauty all around.  I have really grown fond of these morning walks.  They set my intention for the day and give my brain time to reset.

In the afternoons, when the babies wake from naps, we take to the porch and wait for the bus.  This is the happiest time of my whole day.  I love seeing my children miss each other and be reunited happily day after day.  We chat for a bit on the porch, then come in and as I start readying the kitchen for dinner prep, the girls do their homework, chores (tidy their room and living room), and practice piano.  After that, their time is free to play and rest to their little hearts content (ie: screen privilages…;) ).

We have crossed off the last bit of our summer bucket list, and will be creating a new holidays bucket list for the upcoming season.  First thing was dressing up our porch with pumpkins and mums.  We were lucky to have my best girl Ashley Flowers join us to snap a few pictures as we prepare for a new season.  When I see these pictures of myself out and about with my four little ones, teaching them to embrace the new season and to stop and smell the roses (or mums in this case), I feel such a sense of pride.  I never knew I would be capable of being a mom to four, but here I am.  Life is full and happy.

Style :

I get lots of questions of where we shop, so I’m trying something new to make it easier to shop our looks (or similar) when I post.  Let me know if you find it helpful!

My cute top is local from Scout & Cloth, the girls dresses aren’t new, but I’ve linked similar below…
Shop Similar –


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utah, nature journaling, and adventures

We Millers can’t stay still for too long.  On our weekends home, we still like to come up with little adventures.  Road tripping is our family’s favorite thing to do, so a few Saturdays ago, we took a little road trip up to Enterprise Utah to take in the beautiful changing of seasons in one of Utah’s most beautiful areas.

We stopped to pick up some corn from a road-side stand and then stopped again for a little nature journaling.  We broke out into a little family shoot as the girls played and took pictures.  They are getting more interested in my big camera and their little hands are now big enough to reach the buttons.  This has been so fun for us to enjoy together.  These pictures were mostly taken by my sweet big girls, and because of that, may be some of my favorites.

One of the girls snapped this pic of Mr. Miller and I think it might be my favorite photo of him ever taken.  This is the man I love, adventuring with his family, mini van overflowing (literally) with children, happy eyes and full of love.

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some thoughts on family

Last week I was out of town for a womens retreat (I hope to chat more about later).  I was amazed by how much organizing needed to be done for me to be gone for 2.5 days (and I even took the baby).

This week Mr. Miller is out of town for a men’s retreat (deer hunt).  I was amazed by how little organizing needed to be done for him to be gone for 2.5 days (and he didn’t take the baby).

Ha! I kid….

My girls of course missed me terribly while I was gone, and I missed them.  They are already missing their daddy this week as well.  Last night I was telling them how lucky they were that this isn’t their normal.  I told them when I was about their age and my parents were divorced and I spent each week back and forth between two homes.  It was a chaotic time and a lifestyle so so so many kids live.  Life holds no promises, but I want my girls to know how important Mr. Miller and I believe marriage is, and how we work hard to keep our family together.  This means date nights are prioritized, trips away are necessary sometimes, therapy to work through things we need assistance with, and above all, God at the head of our lives.  We talked about how family is part of God’s plan and he helps us and blesses us as we look to him for guidance.

We do work hard for our family, but I also feel really lucky to have found someone who I love deeply and who loves me back, and that we see the important stuff the same way.  I know first hand that it doesn’t always look like that, and I have all the compassion in my heart for families who face those very real struggles in today’s world.  In my own experience, coming from a broken family has given me such perspective of the importance of family and I hope to spread that important message to my children.. and to anyone else who will listen.  I hope I am living that example.

Family, and especially being a mom, is the very very best.  After we had that chat, I put the babies to bed and let the big girls stay up and taught them the indulgences of girls nights.  We wrote “no boys allowed” on the chalkboard, made ourselves oatmeal + honey face masks, painted our toes and watched an episode of Liv and Maddy before we piled into my bed (an hour past bedtime!!) and snuggled ourselves to sleep.

This life we’ve made is sure a happy one.

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so we bake

When I was pregnant and sick and aching (like pregnancy looks for me), I hated the most just not feeling up to being the kind of mom I normally am – and want to be.  It makes me feel like a good mama when I have something yummy being made in my kitchen with happy little girls surrounding me.  Months went by without me baking or cooking with my kids, or doing anything fun with them.  When I got down on myself, I would try to remember a time that I was better, and look forward to a time when I would do those things again.

Since Major was born, and I am feeling about 200% better, I’ll write little notes to myself in my planner to remind me to be a good mama and enjoy my kids. “Bake with the girls today,” or “have a treat ready for after school snacks” or “be a fun mom”.  It feels so good to feel alive again, and I want to take advantage of that.

On this day, baking cookies with my girls, I felt healing my heart needed from all those months of being sick in bed or lounging on the couch.  We weathered the storm, and sunnier days did come.

If you are in a stormy season, I hope you will be easy on yourself and wait for the sun to come again – because I promise you, it will.

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