the Christmas musical

By Moriah on December 15th, 2014

“The Miracle on Bethlehem Street” – so funny and cute. Loved watching all the kids and they did a great job!

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(Madeline – a Roman herald & Drew – hotel staff)

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we went to CO

By Moriah on September 8th, 2014

Our entire family jetsetted to Colorado last week for my baby sister’s wedding. We have never flown with all 5 and it was so fun! Kids loved the adventure and we loved not spending 23 hours squished in a car.

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(I’m totally jealous of my parents’ grass.)

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So obviously the first several days were spent prepping for the wedding, my mom was just a *little* busy. Tons of trips to the cabin, where the ceremony and reception were. Which, just for the record, was in a pretty remote location. 551A9572

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There was no plan B (otherwise known as a tent) for rain. And tho it started sprinkling while guests were starting to arrive, by the time the mothers and grandmothers were seated, the sky was clear and beautiful.

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This is the ONE shot I got of the newlyweds, I’m very sorry to say.  That’s okay because their photographer got approximately ten thousand fifty.

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aaaand, the obligatory twin shot: (so cute!)

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Such rustic venue and beyond gorgeous, the stylist did an amazing job. And my sister is just slightly addicted to pinterest.

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I love night shots with no flash. They had lawn games, stuff for s’mores and a bonfire. So fun.

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Only downside was the coffee, it was not decaf.

And I slept in a camper.



{wrapped}

By Moriah on August 23rd, 2014

So, Adelaide had a little run in with the trampoline and a mis-landed trick and fractured her arm. We are both glad that it happened the last week of the swim season and not the first.

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It will be 2 weeks on Tuesday. I took her to her 2nd follow-up appointment on Friday thinking they’d take the splint off and put a cast on. He just cut more of a notch for her fingers and left the splint. Whatever, I’m over it now. The nice thing is she won’t have to have it sawed off when the time comes. She is such a good sport (although we both have our moments).

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Taking good care of our patient.

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And using up all the bandaids.



just another Thursday

By Moriah on July 17th, 2014

So, this is a rare occasion. It’s the middle of the afternoon, I’m sitting with coffee at the dining table, and it’s completely quiet. Ethan fell asleep in the van on the way home and miraculously transferred to my bed. Our neighbors just came home from Germany and so my girls are over there, excited to finally see their friends again. And Drew is quiet upstairs.

My mom was here this week but left today. We got some of my to-do list knocked out, which always makes me happy. (I am not a take-joy-in-the-process kinda girl, I’m a let’s-get-that-sucker-checked-off kinda gal.) Swim season is over and so now we are going to say no to everything and just enjoy the rest of the [unscheduled] summer.

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(Don’t mind the gaping hole in the net, she was dying for me to watch some of her tricks.)

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love that face.



{swim}

By Moriah on July 9th, 2014

I was showing Adelaide all of her photos from the time she was a teeny baby to the ripe ol’ age of 7 under her tab on this blog.  It made me want to start fresh.  So much life recorded here!

This summer is, unfortunately for me, flying by.  I hoped we could enjoy it at a snail’s pace.  We’ve been REALLY busy with swim team.  Their last meet was this past Monday and all that is left is the city-wide meet this weekend, and then the team party.  I made myself bring my big camera to the last home meet so I’d have some good images of this season and I am just now getting around to putting them on here.

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They’ve done really well their first season. Madeline’s been in the newspaper (high-scorers list) for almost every meet – girlfriend can swim!! Drew has been bumped up to swim with the 11/12 boys (he’s 10) quite a bit, which means a lot tougher but good experience. I feel like this is only just the beginning of the pool for us.

(BTW we were without hot water only 9 days, which seems like ages ago now. ;)



gettin’ a little stinky in here

By Moriah on May 28th, 2014

This marks the 8th day of no hot water in our house.

Last Tuesday my brother had stopped by to hang out for a bit, and we kept hearing this beepy noise.  But I couldn’t tell where it was coming from… it was the weirdest thing.  Finally we realized it was coming from the basement!  The alarm unit over the water heater was chirping “warning! carbon monoxide! warning! carbon monoxide!”  I’m super thankful Micah was there and knew how to turn the gas and everything off.

Basically the venting system on a gas heater is supposed to be vertical; we discovered ours was horizontal (have I mentioned we live in an old house?).  The first plumber that came to check it said the vent was probably full of soot, which had filled up over the years making it so the unit couldn’t ‘breathe,’ and then the pilot had lit itself on fire.  A little scary.

I have to admit that the first three days (Adelaide also started running a random fever over the weekend and we had to take her back to the ER for more tests, none of which were positive for anything, most likely viral) I was really struggling with despair and anger.  We have a home warranty plan for home systems and initially they denied the water heater claim.  Those were some very low moments.

On Friday a friend shared some of her family’s struggles with me and it really helped pull my thoughts off of my own problems and get some perspective.  I knew we were heading into a long holiday weekend and the water heater situation was not going to be fixed any time soon.  I knew I just had to get over the nuisance that surrounds a lack of hot {sanitizing} water in a household and move on and make due.  I pulled out my year-reading plan and spent some time in the Word and in prayer and seriously guys, Jesus’s peace surpasses any circumstance.  I have thought over and over and over through this process that I just know one of the lessons for me in this has been that too often I let my circumstances determine my attitude and my happiness, and I allow them to take away my joy.

I’m still waiting for hot water and that is ok.  I feel like we’ve been camping, boiling water and just generally overlooking the dirt and the pool hair.  I’m so very thankful that we are in the summer season and we have a pool we can live at use.  Drew and Madeline are on the swim team and I’ve already given up on her straw hair.  I’ve washed my own hair twice in cold water, which as it turns out doesn’t really get rid of the grease (who knew?).  Of course I have sweet neighbors that would let us come over in a heartbeat, but we’re talking a 3 minute process vs. a 35 minute process and sometimes I would rather just grit my teeth.



the things I want to remember

By Moriah on March 7th, 2014

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I snatched these photos yesterday afternoon when these two were playing on their brother’s bed. These are two that don’t often play one-on-one together. The times they do, though, are pure sweetness.

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Ari exclaiming over the “bazanya!” we had for supper tonight (lasagna, thanks, Amy!). Ethan telling me he had “four, five, six, seben, eight peppamints” when he was at the church with Andy last night. Pretty sure it was just two.

Kicking Madeline’s behind in ten frantic games of Blink, although she did cream me once. No I am not the kind of mother that lets her kid win.

Drew, very concerned where I was going to get marbles for the new reward system we are gonna try, and digging out all the plastic Marbleworks for me to “use.” Thanks but not exactly what I had in mind. (I was gonna link where I got the idea but can’t find it now.)

And eye winks from my 2 year old when I tuck him in.



growing tired of old man winter

By Moriah on February 19th, 2014

My mom has been here for two weeks, helping me and giving us a fun break. Kids were off school Monday and Tuesday (along with the snow days last week) so it was great to have Grandmommy around for all the free time. You know, someone to make the rice-krispie treats and help with the wet mittens. And we’ve been watching a whole lotta Olympics. Again, good timing. We’re all big fans.

Today the big kids and I finally went to the LEGO movie. Big treat under current circumstances and Arianna was hilarious, her feet barely hanging off the end of her chair, with her little stash of popcorn. Every once in a while I’d look over and she was drooping just a little bit lower. I finally asked if she wanted me to hold her and the next thing I know she’s draped over me and snoring. And also, she’s hot when she sleeps.

Mom being here has also freed me up to do a couple of photo sessions. You can see a few highlights on the other site: sudden movements, including one of the cutest babies I’ve ever seen. I had a blast taking my friend Becky’s family photos yesterday, those will be up sometime this week. I’m finding it a little hard to know what to do with THIS space, since a whole part of me feels like it’s outgrown blogging. I love posting photos, but this isn’t a photog blog, and now I have that one… See? Dilemma.

Tonight on the radio the host was talking about the encouragement she got from a little note her dad recently gave her, telling her how they got her name. So that started the mental rabbit trail about remembering my own name, and why my parents chose it. Moriah is the mountain where Abraham was commanded to sacrifice Isaac but then right at the last moment, God swooped in and told him to stop — it was a test of faith.

I know it’s hard to relate a swirl of feelings in type but it was a moment of clarity for me. It’s easy to struggle through the Christian life, wondering if my relationship with Jesus is just all in my own head. Maybe I’m the only one. But to remember that chosen of God – it’s not up to me, I’ve already been redeemed… such a moment of freedom and a timely reminder after struggling thru the winter.

Spring is on its way.



hi there

By Moriah on January 16th, 2014

I know I know I know. FOREVER. I don’t even know where to start except to say that yes, my life is wonky and upside down for the time being but we’re all still alive and mostly good, so we’ll just go from there.

Some quicky updates… Drew and Madeline are doing well sharing 3rd grade this year, it’s FABULOUS to have two kids doing all the same homework. I am enjoying them more and more each day, as they grow and mature, and as their personalities develop. Drew is still his easy-going self, but he’s become more tender and sweet – often asking about me and always wanting to make sure I’m okay.

Madeline is a complete hoot. I have no idea where she comes up with this stuff but she can blast out one-liners at the most hilariously perfect moments. Funny, funny girl. Mostly helpful. And not above bribing baby brother with ‘pretend candy’ to get him to eat his veggies. The girl will do anything for sugar herself, so of course that makes perfect sense.

Adelaide, I don’t even know how to describe her. She’s neat and orderly and likes consistency and routine. Her handwriting knocks the socks off the other kids’ at this age. She lives for verbal affirmation, (with the flip side being super sensitive to even sorta kinda mentioning something critical about what she might maybe have sorta kinda done and/or said). She’s my tough cookie, the one I’m gonna have to have my ear on during the teen years.

Arianna, well she just kinda dances from one thing to the next. She will do this 4th kid thing that if she’s talking to you and you happen to look away, she’ll put her hand on your cheek and turn your face back to her. Her accent is super funny, and it’s enough entertainment to simply listen to her talk about things. She notices lots of detail though — stories can take a while (you’ve been warned).

Ethan… He will WEAR YOU OUT. He’s currently out of his bed because HE BROKE THE TODDLER GUARD RAIL. Busted his lip in two places, and may have done something to a top front tooth. He’s adorable but man, there is no break with that kid. He also happens to know he’s funny. Ethan, say ‘football!’ (grins) “SOCCER BALL!!!!” Ethan, how old are you? (grins) “I SIX!!!” No, you’re two.’ “No I SIX!” ‘Ethan, what’s your name?’ “I Arianna!” TOTAL TEASE.

And me, I’m just trying to keep my head above water. I started doing photography on the side and that site is here: sudden movements photography. Would LOVE for you to spread the word, click like on FB here and if you’re local and wish for photos of your kids, I’m your girl. It’s rewarding and intimidating all wrapped up into one.

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back to school, happy parent edition

By Moriah on September 5th, 2013

Adelaide’s first day of 1st grade, and my two 3rd graders. (We decided at the end of last year to give Drew one more foundational year, and so he is doing 3rd grade again.)

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I just kept snapping pics, Drew was cracking me up. The girls picked out their clothes last night, and chose to match. (Who are you and where did you put my girls?)



happy Labor Day and also

By Moriah on September 1st, 2013

This has been a super fun weekend, a perfect way to say farewell to the lazy days of summer. We took the kids to a water park again Saturday and had a blast. The littles can do so much there, it really was fun for everyone. We decided we’re a lazy river kind of family. We met some friends at a Mexican restaurant afterwards and I just had to laugh at the sticky dessert tornado we left. We tip well for a reason.

Anyway, this afternoon Drew had his daddy date so the girls, Ethan, and I lazed around the house after church. (Surprise surprise it also rained.) Tomorrow we say goodbye to the pool for now, with a neighborhood picnic and then it’s back-to-school night Tuesday.

Also just wanted to pop in and say I am hosting a virtual trunk show for the MJ fall Collection 2 release on Tuesday – leave a comment here or use the ‘contact’ tab if you would like to place an order and I will be in touch about where we go from there. The new pieces won’t be up on the site until Tuesday. You can order previous lines then too.

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a thought or two on summer

By Moriah on August 20th, 2013

First, I feel like it rained 60 of the 80 days. That may be an exaggeration, but only slightly. It put a serious damper on our Funtimes. We totally missed the 4th due to rain. (I’m still grieving over it.) I wore my FLEECE robe yesterday morning, and it’s the dang middle of August. I hope this doesn’t mean we’re in for an Alaskan-type winter. I mean seriously – a high of 73??! Where’s our 98 and sunny?

So yeah, WEATHER FAIL.

Also, we have been home a lot. Didn’t get out and/or see as many friends as I had hoped. Although I did sit with my friend Lisa for almost 3 hours straight, talking and laughing together in chick-fil-a while our kids pretty much dominated the play area last week. Food for the soul.

Which is striking to me because I’m currently reading this:

desperate

right on the heels of reading this:

spin cycle

Both of which talk extensively about women raising their kids in community with each other; American individualism “[accustoms one] to lonely living that God never intended us to experience. I often felt the keen sting of modern culture’s unfamiliar and hostile isolation.

‘God made us for community and accountability and close friendship. He also created family, so that no one would ever have to be alone or bear the burden of life by themselves. Families were designed by God to include moms and dads, grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles, and a whole host of people who would walk alongside you, committed to you through the passages of life. Young moms were never meant to be without the advice and care of multiple women assisting them and advising them in their lives.

‘Yet we have become so used to living without support that we often lose perspective on how much we need intimate friendships with other women. This deep need sometimes puts pressure on husbands to fulfill needs that they were never designed to fill….” (goes on) pp. 19-20 in Desperate.

So yeah. Trying to be more intentional about fighting the bored and lonely. And even though I’m not super thrilled about starting school again – after Labor Day for us, (lunches and homework, ugh) it will give us something to DO.



front porch

By Moriah on July 29th, 2013

Andy and I have been getting up at 6am almost every day for the last 3ish months. We have coffee, talk about our day and any financial decisions, dream about our lives and long-term goals, and then we do some sort of spiritual reading and pray. It was hard at first but the benefits have been so amazing that it’s become a top priority.

We just can’t have good conversation at the end of the day when we are exhausted and fighting to get the kids in bed. Much better to be hanging out when we’re fresh, with no distractions, and no kids vying for attention.

Anyway. These pics were taken last week when we were wrapping up and the Sleepyheads rolled on down. I always sit on that blanket so I let them have my chair and they snuggled up together. These two usually get a long really well and they are so cute and funny together. Arianna makes a hilarious 3-year-old “mother.”

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(Also, this post is kind of an experiment. I posted these photos straight into WP without re-sizing them first. Could you let me know if they loaded slower than photos in older posts? Thanks!)



drifting

By Moriah on July 16th, 2013

I haven’t blogged because I’ve been feeling lost.  Like, I suddenly forgot how to be the mom.  The 2,384 days of rain sucked the creativity out of me and I still haven’t recovered.  And I spend way too much on groceries because I just. can’t. think.

I’ve been reading Jen Hatmaker’s Out of the Spin Cycle: How to Lighten Your Mother Load which is AWESOME. But convicting too.  Like shouldn’t I be running a soup kitchen?  I feel like laying face-down on the floor crying a lot as it is, and I only have one two-year-old.  How do you get past that?

I think I need my friends more.  I am constantly surrounded by people (granted, usually 9 & under), yet still feel pretty lonely and I am sure I’m not the only one.  It’s hard having your soul sister live on the other side of the planet.

Anyway. Today I’m going to scoop about half of the playroom into the donation pile. I need to make space to breathe. It’s too overwhelming to pick up right now, a sure sign there’s too much stuff. So, cranking up the music, coffee, and Storybook Bible today.



summer playin

By Moriah on June 17th, 2013

We signed Drew up for extra reading practice over the summer with one of my teacher friends who tutors on the side. We met at her elementary school for the first session last Friday and it was the perfect set-up for him (use of the library) and for all the other kids – PLAYGROUND!

It has a few vintage pieces that were really fun to photograph. I hadn’t really picked up my camera in weeks, but luckily I had tossed it into my diaper bag that day.

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I had promised Drew some play time after he was finished. And he got candy, so clearly reading is fun.

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And then took them to exchange meal toys for free ice cream at CFA because no summer outing is complete without a little dose of sugar!



halfway to sixteen. (oh, no!!)

By Moriah on June 10th, 2013

So, Saturday was Madeline’s birthday and now she is eight. She had requested Six Flags White Water (Atlanta) so that’s what we did. We were still about 40 minutes out and our van got a flat tire. Yeah that sounds exactly like us! The kids were really good for having to wait so long for roadside assistance and Andy and I read various things to each other. Lemons – lemonade.

(I think I mentioned a while back that we are doing a parenting small group together and it’s been interesting. We are arguing – I mean discussing – a lot of things :) We decided the difference between us (generally speaking) is that Andy is a lot more open to learning a few things from an opposing viewpoint and throwing out the rest; I tend to want to agree with (most? a lot of?) something or I tend towards dismissing it. At any rate, it’s been a great conversation.  Intimacy building.)

Anyway, Andy’s parents drove down to meet us. We had a great day – the kids loved it, which was the main thing. I think Madeline had a special birthday and that’s what we were going for.

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The 3 older kids are in FL with his parents until Wednesday. It’s rather quiet around here! I closed up the legos and put them in Drew’s closet. Nice to not step on any for a few days at least!



{roll call}

By Moriah on June 5th, 2013

We’ve been out of school for a week and a half. The end of school is always chaos, I’m utterly glad to have it behind me.

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I’m looking forward to a more relaxed pace and a hopefully slow and lazy holiday. Last week the stomach bug cycled through our house and this week the big kids are in Music Camp. But we did get out for an evening on the lake!

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And, we now have a neighborhood pool, only one street over. I’ll go ahead an apologize in advance for the quantity of pool photos you will likely be hounded with over the next three months.

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I haven’t pulled out my camera in weeks, most of the above pics are from my phone. I did take some shots of Arianna blowing bubbles this morning, one of her favorite things. (Until Ethan notices, anyway. Little brothers can be so grabby and tiresome.)

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Madeline’s birthday is Saturday, and Andy’s parents are coming down for it. We’re hitting up a water park and then the big kids are going on a little beach trip with the grandparents.

Not that Andy and I are jealous or anything.

*****

Hey so Google Reader is almost no longer. I think I’m gonna try Feedly – have any of you switched already? Is anyone still reading blogs? ha



It’s the Weekend!

By Moriah on May 3rd, 2013

Soo, my mom is here. Happy dance on that one! I cried when I picked her up, just so emotionally spent. We hit up Sonic and the dry cleaners on the way back from school and then she and the kids helped me clean up a bit. Andy and I started this little neighborhood small group parenting study and it started last night — heaven forbid I have people in my home with it looking like a train wreck.

We are doing Loving on Purpose and I’m not sure where Monique found it but I really enjoyed the intro. Looking forward to it.

Another thing I’m LOOKING FORWARD TO is THIS WHOOOOOOOOLE WEEKEND! Two of my aunts (maybe three?) set it up so Andy and I could attend a Family Life marriage conference this weekend two hours away. Hence the reason for my momma coming. The sessions are Friday, Saturday, Sunday, with a built in date-night Saturday. So fun, can’t wait. The new white jeans may just get busted out since there will be no ketchup packets in sight.

Still hard to believe it’s already May 3. I feel like I’ve been living under a rock of sickness since January. (Right, G?) I’m so looking forward to summer, this one probably more than ever.

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