27 June 2013

heat wave

This is going to be/is already a hot summer.
Can't believe it's almost July and perhaps this weekend heat will bring next week monsoons. I love those summer monsoons.

This summer has already been full of trips down to the "town square" as Jack calls it, playing in the pool, eating otter pops and dinner outside. It's been covered in sunscreen and red, sun brightened cheeks. Late bed times, early rising and late night breezes with popcorn and my man.

I'm trying to love the heat and the summer weather and so far, I do. I love seeing Jack's dirty, rough feet after playing barefoot out back and Zoey's contagious love for the sandbox and water table. She loves being outside and could live out there if I let her. If Jack goes out alone she stands at the screen door screeching "ball! ball!" until I open the screen door and she can totter out to gather her favorite balls. 

These two have found their little friendship. They giggle, they cuddle, they fight, they chase and they love. They really love.

But when time is still for a few minutes and big brother is distracted by a train set or matchbox cars, Zoey bird loves to sit and read a book, look at designs on a blanket or cuddle with her baby and bear on her rocking chair. She's very contemplative and will take intentional breaks to take in the world around her. Pretty precious.

And man, does this girl love to eat her grub.

Physical therapy is going really well. I am so encouraged each week as I see her grow and change and in the last week she has discovered more words and sign language and a way to better communicate what she wants and needs. Her words of choice are ball, baby and bee-bee (that's what we can pacifiers) She always loves to shout da-da and mama and a whisper of "jjj" for Jack. Pretty cute.

She's a trooper. She never fusses about her braces and since Monday has taken many strolls around the house on both feet, hands mid-air to help catch her when she topples. She sometimes gets frustrated, but she perseveres and has great drive.

The physical therapist works so well with her. She is encouraging and patient and so good at what she does. So thankful for her and the help it is to our little one. Jack has adapted to share the attention (mostly) and his character is changing, especially his empathy. He doesn't mind giving up some attention for Zoey during PT and is discovering the beauty of what boundaries can look like. Today he announced to a room full of a people when Zoey started walking "look everyone! did you see Zoey? She's walking!"

My heart was pretty full.

These shots were from Father's Day. We went to a car show downtown. It was a beautiful day, just perfect for an early morning stroll around the square.

We're ready for you. Please bring lots and lots of storms with you. We love watching the sky change and the rain fall. Plus we need some rain, bad.

22 June 2013


This was a pretty wild n crazy week.

For those of you that know me well, I love a good 'ol fashioned weather scare. When I was in elementary school I would carefully watch the weather before school to see what kind of weather the week would bring. I would watch the as the Ohio sky turned dark and windy right before a big storm and ride quickly home on my bike to beat the downpour. When there were tornado watches I would quickly gather my most valued toys and take them to the basement "just in case." Only once can I remember actually waking up in the middle of the night in the basement during a tornado warning. It was an exciting thrill that most often turned out okay, but there were definitely ice storms and tornado watches and blizzards and flash floods. There was a whole lot of weather excitement in Ohio and although Arizona's beauty and mountains have captivated me it has left me a longing a little bit for the excitement and diversity that vast weather changes bring. 

I got my dangerous weather fill this week when a forest fire came about 9 miles from our house. 
It's windy this week and we live on the edge of the national forest. Perfect recipe for a forest fire, apparently. I had just changed two serious blow outs and given baths to both kids. It's safe to say there was poop everywhere. Lunch was still covering the kitchen table and counters and nap time was in the wings. I had a meeting at church I had to be at at 1 and John was going to come home to work while the kiddos slept. 

I got three phone calls in a row from friends around the neighborhood and listened to the message before calling them back (cause I was still partially covered in poo, ya'll.) One friend simply said, "Mel, just wonderin' if you're keeping an eye on the fire out there? It's gettin' a little close." I ran back to my bedroom, threw open my curtain and saw this.

Poor John. I don't do so well in stressful situations. Especially when it's slightly exciting and all I want to do is laugh and squeal at this dangerously exciting weather change. I kept running back and forth from the window to random areas in the house to see what I could grab besides my kid's and some pictures. I found myself gathering random (kind of pointless) items and calling my friend back to ask what she was going to do. She seemed calm, so I calmed down and gathered the things that couldn't be replaced, which took me back to my childhood which reminded me how truly nostalgic I am. I need to slim my "irreplaceables" a lil, I'm afraid. haha.

We gathered up photo albums and family videos, important documents and other things that couldn't be replaced. We packed our cars full and watched out the window in awe. The fire was powerful and the clouds were unbelievable. It was my first up-close forest fire out here in the west and although it can't quite compete with funnel clouds and lightning bolts, it has it's own captivating power that compares with nothing else I've ever seen.

We watched it closely as the wind directed it north away from us and our little abode.

Pretty incredible.

Though some of the pictures that friend's took of the view when the sun set were even more amazing!

So yeah, natural disasters really fascinate me. Is there kinda weird?
Maybe a lil bit.

Thankfully now it's about 15% contained and we haven't seen smoke all day. Thank You Lord that it's getting under control and the winds have slowed down. Pretty incredible the power of fire in itself. Pretty amazing that Jesus can contain it. 


15 June 2013

most valuable possessions

Father's Day is tomorrow and I really want to take a quick moment to dote on the incredible daddy to my kiddo's. i don't brag about him often enough on here, but tomorrow is free game.

john with jack when he was first born.

john with Zoey when she was first born...

looking through these pictures my heart melts with how much this guy loves his kiddos. there have been numerous occasions when we've talked about the huge responsibility and constant attention it takes when kiddos are this little. we try to laugh at most of those moments because we know they'll be gone before we know it, but also john will always say. "they're our most valuable possession. we gotta take care of 'em." (referencing a track on a ben folds album) fills my heart with love and thankfulness every time he says it.

John works hard. he is an old school hard worker, i think. he gives 110% and doesn't think a second about it. he comes home exhausted somedays, often needing to work more after they're asleep. but as soon as he walks through that door and his voice rings out "hello, hello?" the kids squeal, i squeal and he greets us with hugs and kisses.

He is so intentional. Whether its teaching them about how a car works or life lessons through a bed time story he tries to have purpose behind the things he tells them. he is often filling their little heads with Truth and Grace. He is intentional to be an example of Jesus to them and is quick to say sorry to them when he needs to. he can often be found on the floor with them, creating little stories with cars and trucks and making jack giggle. he puts them down most nights and if i walk close enough to the door i can hear him singing them "their" song and cuddling and kissing on their little cheeks. since both Jack and Zoey were both babies they would hum along with him as he sang. so precious.

he throws away the "schedule" of the day, if need be, and will spontaneously do something he knows one of them will love. he loves them differently yet equally and tries to remind them how he loves them often.

he doesn't waste much time. he knows they grow so fast and he's trying his very best. 

it's not that it comes easy or second nature to him. he is a driven planner who thinks strategically and factually. he could easily work until they were in bed and leave before they woke up if he had to. but he doesn't and every day he makes that sacrifice for them. every day he doesn't complain, but rather pushes through because he loves them.

because he loves you two.
jack and zoey, you guys have an incredible daddy. 
you really are his most valuable possessions.
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