Making these books is hard. I know it sounds silly to say it's difficult to keep up when it's just putting some pictures and words together, but it is extremely time consuming and I don't have much (if any) personal time to sit and work on a project like this. Why do I bring this up? Because I want to remember later that I was working on this in the wee hours of the morning. For example, it's 1am right now and Russ is in Dubai, but I'm sitting in our bed trying to document our amazing lives so we can always remember how unbelievably blessed we are. I've said it before and I'll say it again...the days are loooooong, but the years are short. At this point we have a 7 year old, a 4 year old, and an 16 month old, but it truly seems like just yesterday it was just Russ and I getting ready to move to DC. I have to force myself to keep up our family journal for my mortal mind won't remember these precious, heavenly experiences well enough on its own.
When meeting new people I have been asked - so what are your hobbies? What do you like to do for fun? And honestly - I don't really know. I don't remember what it was like to be me prior to kids so my interests (and the amount of time I have to focus on myself) have changed so dramatically that I don't always know how to answer that question. Sometimes it's hard. Like when we meet new people and I'm asked to introduce myself and I say "well, I have 3 kids and I've been married for 10 years. My hubby works for the DOE, my 7 year old is a competitive Irish dancer, my 4 year old loves art and is in speech therapy, and my baby is trying hard to learn to walk in physical therapy. My hubby travels a lot for work and my older girls are both in school...." yadda - yadda - yadda. Nothing anything? When I introduce myself I don't really say anything about myself. It's all about what my husband and kids do but nothing is mentioned about what I do. That's because I don't really do much of anything "Cori" based. Over the summer my time was spent trying to help plan Dallas' wedding or spent trying to manage the care of my grandmother and help my mom out while she watches her mom prepare to pass from this life. There's not much I can do from afar, but I do spend a fair amount of time on the phone and internet setting up nurses, apts, etc. So anyway, it's been an interesting year with Russ' job being so crazy busy, the family wedding, my grandmother being sick, and now having 3 kids. It's a lot to juggle. It's a lot to manage. It's the reason I'm so unbelievably tired by 9pm. And I don't mean I'm just worn out. I mean it's utter fatigue. Not just drained. More like empty.
With that said, I feel pride and honor to introduce myself as Russ' wife. I feel happiness and joy when I talk about my kids. I don't remember ever feeling such joy, happiness, peace, or pride when I'd talk about anything I did in my prior stages of life. No schooling, career, travels, or hobbies brought me as much fulfillment as being a mother and wife. I laugh more, I smile more, I love more. It's pretty great.
I guess the best way to describe how I feel about my limited personal time and stress and sleepless nights in exchange for my life as a mother and wife is simple: "it is well with my soul."
And I make these books to remind myself of how I spend my days. Sometimes after I spend all day cleaning and it still looks like crap, or I spend all day driving the girls around to school, dance, apts, etc I think "what did I even do today?" - I want to look at these pages and see the sweet little faces and dimply little arms and hands and remind myself that I spend my time caring for God's children. I am living a blessed life and have been given the most important job ever - to mother 3 beings. To love them while they are on loan to me from Him. Seriously, my life is so, so full. And I am blessed.
I snuck this picture of Russ. He let me sleep in and when I woke up I came downstairs to this. He's curled up in front of the space heater asleep sitting up! Macey obviously had a blast making the basement/playroom into an absolute disaster area while daddy napped. Hahahaha.
It had been a pretty stressful few months so we woke up one morning for school and said "forget it - WE'RE NOT GOING!" So we put our jammies back on, ditched school, and spent the day cuddling.
I went pee. I was gone for about 60 seconds. Macey used that time wisely and wrapped herself up in ribbon, flipped over the dog food bowl - and ate it.
Grammy came out to visit this month! It's always so great when she comes to stay.
I think she confuses my neighbors though.
She built some fun forts when she wasn't dressed up like a goldfish box robot.
She also let Russ and I go on dates and when we came home we arrived to a cute decorated table with love notes from the girls - too cute!
This is just a cute little note Jayda left for me one day. Oh my gosh melt my heart!
This is what happens to poor Bailey when Macey wants to cuddle and snuggle but I'm cooking dinner. Macey climbs right up and yawns and nearly falls asleep on her furry buddy.
We went to some museums this month.
Daddy even met us for fry bread at the American Indian Museum during his lunch break.
And this little baby took her very first steps!!!! These are actually her second steps. I saw her first steps and grabbed the camera in time to catch her second steps. So happy!
While Grammy was visiting we took the girls to the Wizards Game since they were playing the Lakers. It was the girls first Lakers Game and we were representing LA!
Lilly and I spent a bunch more time in the car during Irish Dance lessons.
The girls came up with some pretty great Christmas Wish Lists.
and have I mentioned how much I love having a baby to snuggle?
We drove out to Middleburg for the first time and loved it. It is such a charming little town. It's an extremely wealthy area where people still actually go fox hunting and play polo. Weirdos.
We stumbled upon a little popcorn shop called Popcorn Monkey and it is like heaven on earth for Russ. He's such a popcorn junky that this place was perfect!