Harlo being 7 years old now just blows my mind.  We are half way to 14, and 1/3 of the way to 21.  I mean…
No one could have possibly prepared me for how fast it would go by.
My dad sits on my couch and tells me the same thing, “It was like yesterday this was you and your sisters.”
Talk about heart break.
But the tender mercy God put in with His quickly passing time is making sure each and every stage comes with it’s own sense of magic and fulfillment.
I love having a 7 year old.  Just as I loved having a 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 year old.
Harlo is becoming so mature and aware of things.
Her questions and interests are much more complex.
Her body is lengthening out with these long legs and arms that are so strong and capable and coordinated.
She can help me with things – all things.
She can get her toddler sister out of her crib with ease.  She can even get her and feed her breakfast in a pinch.
She can watch over the littler girls while they play and alert me if anything is going awry.
She can clean her room, by herself, and do a great job.
She can get herself mostly ready for school in the morning.
Of course, the majority of these things I still insist on helping her with, but she can do it herself.  She really really can.
I meet her at the bus every day after school.  We jump up and down, scream, and wave “Harlo is here! Harlo is here!” with every bit of excitement we can muster.
When Harlo is home for the day, our home feels whole again.
Last week she asked me when she’ll be able to just come off the bus and walk home by herself because “I can mom.  I really could do that! It’s not far.” and I told her “I know you can, but that it is my right as a mother to greet my child off the bus and there will be so much time to do things by yourself later.  Please let me hold onto these things a little while longer, okay?” and she sweetly nodded like she understood just what I was feeling.
Harlo loves minecraft.  This makes her really popular among little 7 year old boys.
She can also school anyone with her minecraft creations.  For fun, Brady got into minecraft to take a peek at their “world”.  He couldn’t believe all the stuff she had created.  Houses and farms and fully functioning roller coasters and sky houses… Girl has her dad’s brain, through and through.  Brady and Harlo are wired just EXACTLY alike.
She will also sit on an electronic device alllll daaaaaay looooong if I let her.  We have to keep a close eye on that.
She is definitely a little book worm.  She has recently started reading chapter books.  She has been reading some Laura Ingalls that we had around, but we got her some Junie B. Jones for Christmas and she’s been loving those (and flying through them).  Reading has opened up a whole world to this little girl.  It’s been so fun to watch.
Harlo loves school.  Loooooves school.  Hates to miss it and can’t wait to go back after breaks.
She doesn’t mind math, but writing is her favorite. (She’s got a little of me in her too, I guess!)
She is my home body girl.  Would usually always rather be at home than anywhere else.  Oh I love her.
She has such a funny, quirky little sense of humor.
She has gotten way less picky about food and is finally starting to realize it doesn’t have to be your favorite thing to just have a few bites.  Hallelujah!
Harlo is just a sweet little angel.  She really is.  She has taught me so much about gentleness, and I really needed that.
I just love her so so so much.


Oh Stelly.
Where do I even begin?
Stella is probably the funnest kid you’ll ever meet.
She is 100% FULL OF IT.
She says more funny things in one day than I could possibly keep track of.
Stella is always willing to help.  I can ask her to do anything, and she’ll skip off to do it happily.
She is the second person Grae goes to when she needs anything, because she knows Stella will get it for her.
When it comes to cleaning their room, Harlo is really good about seeing what needs to be done and doing it.  Stella gets overwhelmed by things, but does really well with direction so I have started having Harlo tell Stella what she can do (pick up the dirty clothes off the floor, put the dress ups away..).  So far that is working and keeping Harlo from cleaning the entire room while Stella whines she’s tired or bored on the bed. Ha! (If you knew me and my sister Ali growing up, you know this is EXACTLY how we were.) I am raising us as sisters.
Stella is such a sensitive little thing.  Not a lot gets her down from her happy-go-lucky self, but recently we have found that she is quite emotional and sentimental.
I mentioned how she had cried during The Good Dinosaur which I thought was so sweet, and last week for family movie night we watched Father of the Bride (I’m trying to introduce my girls to some of my old favorites.) and during the last scene, Stella got all teary.  Oh my gosh, that precious girl!
She also can’t let anyone cry alone.  If Harlo gets hurt or in trouble, Stella is surely to to shed a tear for her as well.
On the flip side, if she does have a minute of moodiness or throws a little fit, you better believe in 2 minutes she is completely over it and back to herself.
I love this so much about Stella and try to be more like this myself every day!
Stella is currently obsessed with dolls.  And she is such a good little mama.
She changes her doll (Mayla’s) clothes every day, gets her ready for bed, feeds her, loves her, plays with her, puts her to bed at a decent hour.
I love that she’s like that, because I was just the same at her age.
I know she is going to be so excited when the new baby gets here (we all are) but Stella is going to be a great little helper/mama to this sweet baby.
She is also absolutely certain we’re having another girl.  (Harlo thinks we’re having a boy.)
But I’m absolutely certain that no matter what this baby is, Stella will love it with her whole entire heart. ♥
Stella continues to be a great little kindergartner.
She is one of the best readers and testers in her class.  We had gone back and forth a bit on if we should put Stella in this year or wait since she has a late birthday.  At our last SEP, her teacher said we had definitely made the right decision for this girl.  She said she usually always recommends waiting, but Stella was definitely ready on all levels.
Definitely good to hear!
Stella is always down to have a good time.  She loves it when we’re on the go and doing ANYTHING.
Last week Papa Guitar’s (my dad) stopped by to see if the girls wanted to go on a hike.  Harlo didn’t, she had just gotten home from school and was “too tired” so I figured Stella wouldn’t want to either.  Nope! She piped up immediately “well I do!” and ran for her shoes.  They had a great time and she was glad she went.  When she got home she said “Harlo you should have come, Papa Guitars was so hilarious!”
My dad loves taking her and says it’s just like jumping back in time with me.  I love hearing that. 🙂
During Stella’s blessing, Brady blessed her that she would let her little light shine always, and I must say, she does just that.


Oh mercy, Grae has gotten so full of personality lately.
You really could just eat her right up.
She runs this prancey run everywhere she goes.  EVERYWHERE she goes.
She sings and hums all day every day.  At church during the songs, she is just singing right along – loud and proud!
She says “mom” at least 12,000 times a day.
I tease that it’s her nervous tick.  It’s never just once either to get my attention, it’s always “mom-mom, mom, mama, mom?”  (exactly like this)
She is still absolutely attached to me, but I feel like she’s getting just a LITTLE bit better.
She still gets unbelievably anxious if she can’t see me for one second.  She hates if a closed door is between us (privacy? what’s that?).
Last week I was cleaning the kitchen while she played at my feet.  I walked around my island to wipe down the side of it, and bent out of her view for maybe .5 seconds and she immediately was struck with panic “mom-mom! Are you?!” I mean, she would have absolutely seen me walk out of the room, she was RIGHT by me.
She also hates if I close my eyes for any reason.  If we’re sitting on the couch and I want to “rest my eyes” (which I always want to do because I’m 7 months pregnant) she will panic “mom-mom, mama, mom?” until I open, or she tries to pry them open herself with her little fingers.
Needless to say, mama can’t get a SECOND to herself through the day.  More days than not, by the time Brady gets home for dinner I am quite fried. (But I still miss her every night after she’s gone to bed…)
Even though she is still a stage 5 clinger, she has gotten SO so so much fun to be around all the time, so I don’t even mind.
Her little vocabulary is just exploding.  She asks “why?” about every. single. thing.
Yesterday at Target she kept dropping something so when I gave it to her I told her “no more, or you wont get it back.” and she said “Why mom? Are you kidding me?” 😐
She has also started a few weeks ago saying “are you talking to me?” when you tell her not to do something.
She is a spunky thing, I tell you what!
She loves pushing the buttons on the alarm before bed, but she calls them “Tuppins”.
She loves Curious George right now and calls it Monkey Show, but pronounces it “Gumpy show”.
She loves all “gumpys” (monkeys).
I am just seriously happy she’s taken a break from watching Caillou.
Every night when I rock her to bed she makes me tell her all the people who love her, starting with Daddy and working our way down.. We say “Daddy loves you, mommy loves you, Harlo loves you…” and so on.  But she’ll tell me who she wants to hear and asks “auntie luh you?” “yes, Auntie loves you.” “Willow luh you?” “yeah, Willow loves you too.” This little nightly routine just makes my heart burst.
She still will have next to nothing to do with church nursery.  She did make it through about a half hour last week before she started crying and then just hammed it up for me and Brady in young men/young womens afterwords.
Home girl owns us.
Right when she opens her eyes in the morning, she asks for “brepast?” and when we make it to the kitchen she says “Ogurt?”
She loves bananas and crackers and cheese.  She’d live on that.
She’s in size 4 diapers now and has finally outgrown her 9 month clothing.  12-18 months fits her with plenty of room to grow.
People ask all the time how old she is when she’s walking and talking the way she is.  She looks like she’s barely a year old, and they’re shocked when I say she’ll be two soon.
Of course, if they hang out long enough, they’re not at all surprised to hear she’s almost 2 because she sure acts like a 2 year old. 😀
As busy and sassy and spunky and attached she is, I wouldn’t trade this girl for the world.  I absolutely enjoy every last ounce of her.
As happy as she is to have me, I am double as happy to have her!