Tuesday, September 20, 2016

to California

We took a rather long detour on your way to Tucky, by way of Southern California. I knew that making it back to the west coast wasn't in the near future for us, so I asked Caleb if we could please visit California before we moved to see our family. The drive across country is the same distance starting from Southern California or Boise, so it really only added a day of driving for us. We had a two week gap between when Caleb ended one job and started the next which gave us plenty of time to see our family and make it to Kentucky.

We spent the first couple days my sisters in Santa Clarita and then headed to Bakersfield to see Caleb's family. We surprised the kids with a trip to Disneyland and had a wonderful time there. I know, Disneyland is way too crowed and way too expensive, and I think a day in nature with my family is almost always better than a day at a theme park, but I was excited to share it with my kids. My parents took my sisters and I to Disney before my mom died and it's one of the few memories I have with my mom outside of a hospital so I think I'll always have soft spot for it. All my sisters and I love it there. This trip only Debbie and Abigail couldn't make it and they were missed! But we made the most of it and Yiayia and Papa made the trip down to go with us too! Taking Everly wasn't the easiest and I ended up going home early with her, but knowing the kids had such a great time was good enough for me.

The girls highlight was seeing the princesses. They loved it. I was also surprised that Vanessa has a bit of a daredevil in her and she enjoyed the fast big rides. Although, she didn't like Splash Mountain I felt terrible taking her on it, until I found out the only reason she was crying uncontrollably was because she got a little wet. I even put a sweater over her so she wouldn't get too wet, but she felt the water and that was enough to put her into hysterics. Elijah was thrilled going on the rides with his cousin and all things Star Wars was his favorite. He was even picked as the Rebel Spy during Star Tours and had his face on the big screen. He'll remember that forever. 

After our fun filled day I woke up and our plans changed a bit. I wasn't feeling great and I was having a hard time keeping my left eye shut. Katie came in the room and with one look thought I should go to Urgent Care. I saw a doctor who spoke very broken English and told me I had facial palsy and it would never go away. I was in shock. First of all, I didn't have a clue what facial palsy was. And second, in the time I waited it had only gotten worse. I couldn't close my eye at all and I lost control of the left side of my mouth. I started to cry and he abrubtly left the room. I went out to my car to call Caleb and tell him the news. Caleb said not to worry, (he never worries about anything) and we'd get a second opinion. After spending the day on the phone talking to a number of different doctors offices and trying to get into someone I finally connect with a doctor who gave my a more hopeful diagnosis. He said I had Bells Palsy, but the chances of it being permanent were extremely small. He explained the virus to me and wrote out some prescriptions. It limited me a lot over the next couple weeks and was terrible timing for moving across country, but I'm much better now. I still have some side affects, but the more time that passes the better it gets.  

From there we spent a couple days in Bakersfield. It was short, but we got to see all our family, including Caleb's sister and brother in law who were home on furlough. The cousins played like they had never been apart and Everly was passed around and kissed on the whole time. I'm thankful that even though it was busy and short we had the time together. 

Sunday, August 28, 2016


Our move to Kentucky felt (actually still does feel) like such a whirlwind. Although, the talk of moving had come up and we knew there was a potential for a job change, it didn't seem real. It felt like a far of, never going to actually happen, conversation. So, when Caleb was offered a job at Southern Seminary, the same day Everly was born, it shocked me a bit. I'm actually still in shock. But here we are and even though we were a bit surprised by it all God was not. This was part of his plan for our family all along. That's so comforting. 

Between Everly being born and Caleb not having time off at his old job before we moved, we weren't able to come to Kentucky to look for a house before we moved. My parents very graciously offered to come look for us. I really don't know what we would have done if they hadn't come. So much of this move and our new house was made possible because of their selflessness and generosity. We are incredibly thankful for such wonderful parents! They flew to Louisville and looked for three straight days, but didn't find anything. My dad knew how important some land was to Caleb and didn't want to give up looking until he found it. I didn't want to be too far away from Caleb's work and those two desires made finding a home pretty challenging. When they boarded the plane to come home and we had no options for a place to live I really wondered what we were going to do. God has always provide amazing homes for us with incredible stories of how we got there and I knew this would be the same, but I was anxious for us to have some answers. Well, when my parents landed they stopped by a place to eat on their way home and my dad pulled up his computer to look and see if anything popped up while they flew home. It was right then that he found the house. They drove right over to showed us the house they thought we should get. After spending three days looking for homes, they had a good feel for where we might want to live. It wasn't too far from work and had a gorgeous big yard. My parents said that the location was ideal and we weren't going to find anything like it. 

When I saw pictures of the house my heart sank a little. It was a real fixer upper. We were moving across the country, starting a new job, and had a baby. I really didn't know about taking on this house. But when Caleb asked me what I thought, I knew there wasn't even a question. We were going to get it. My feelings were all over the place, but God gave me a peace and I knew this was where we were supposed to be. We only saw the few pictures online, had no idea of the lay out, and knew there were a number of things that needed work, but we put our offer in and it was accepted. 

Now here we are and there are days I want to cry, and do cry, cause there is so much work. I'm exhausted, but it's our home and we are so excited about making it our own. The kids love it and I haven't ever doubted this is exactly where God wants us. We are taking on projects and the first major one is the Master Bedroom and bath. We've already painted almost every room in the house, pulled up some carpet and done a lot of cleaning. It's helped make the place more livable while we start taking on the bigger projects one at a time. I love a good before and after and I love see what people do with their homes, so I thought I would invite you all to follow us while we take on our own fixer upper. 

Our focus during this process will be to create a home that is centered on glorifying God in all we do. We hope the home we created is a joy to our children and each other and a place that will be used for serving and blessing others. We want to enjoy the process and not just long for the result. Of course we will be working with a budget and that will influence much of our decision process. We also want to update the home without completely changing the feel of the home. 

Here is the major reason we bought this house....the land.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016


When we told the kids we were moving to Kentucky Amelia started telling everyone we were moving to "Tucky." Elijah and Vanessa tried correcting her, but it didn't work and Tucky stuck. We've finally made it here. We arrived about 6 weeks ago and it's been a blur. 6 weeks ago feels like a yesterday and a year ago all at the same time. 

We've gone non stop since we arrived. Caleb started work at one of the busiest times and had a fast approaching deadline for 10 projects when he started. I've been trying to stay afloat working on getting the house in order, taking care of Everly, and all the children as they adjust to living so far away from everything that is familiar. As you can imagine we've had our fair share of hard days, but when I look at all that's taken place in the last couple months since we took the job, had a baby, and moved across country, I'm really in awe of God's kindness to us and know it's His strength that sustains us. 

I have some catching up to do, but I want to remember all of our adventure so I'm going to work writing back from when we first left our home in Idaho. We stayed with my parents our last week there. It was a week full of good and hard. Caleb worked tirelessly to pack up the pods and most nights didn't get into bed until 1 or 2 in the morning. Elijah finished his last week at school. I was busy with Everly and the girls and tying up loose ends. Emotions were high with so many good-byes and little sleep. I didn't realize how hard it was going to be to walk the children through all of their feelings while dealing with my own. When we walked Elijah out from school on his last day (we left school a week early) he slipped his hand in mine and quietly cried the whole way down the hall. We had an incredible first year of school and it's left a huge hole in our hearts. I worked hard to be strong for the kids and not let them see how hard saying good bye was and is for me, while also showing them it's okay to be sad and cry. It's not an easy thing to maneuver in the midst of it. I was reminded continually of my weakness. It kept me humbling relying on God. 

As hard as our last week was, it was also a very precious time to me, that I'm very thankful for. My mom and I worked hard together and laughed a lot as we got things done. She was and is always encouraging me in my walk with the Lord. She was always giving me bible verses and knew exactly what to say and when to say it. We talked a lot about grieving well and not sinning in the midst of our sadness. 

Caleb had the opportunity to officiate his first wedding. It was a great night. Caleb loved being apart of such a special time in our dear friends lives. Vanessa and Amelia were flower girls and thought it was the greatest thing. All three kids couldn't wait for the dancing so I stayed later with them and Caleb took Everly home. I really enjoyed some time with the older three since most of my time was going to Everly. They danced and danced. Elijah came over on his own and asked me to dance with him. It as precious. On our way home they asked if we could go to the wedding again the next day. It was a great night. 

We made sure we had time to say good bye to our close friends and even though no one loves good byes, it was good to see them all and let them know how much we loved them. 

We tried to get in as much time with my grandparents as we could. And the kids made lists of things they wanted to do before we left. Favorite restaurants and parks were visited. It was interesting to hear the places that mattered most to them. 

Someone shared with me Acts 17:26 "having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for in him we live and move and have our being." I've thought on this verse so many times, that God determined the amount of time for each place we will live and the boundaries for where we will live, and the purpose in it...that we might seek him and find him. It has carried me through times of second guessing what we are doing. 

On our way...

Friday, May 20, 2016


It's our last night in our first home. It feels surreal that we'll be saying goodbye. We've loved this home. We first moved in as renters. When we started to look to buy, every house we looked at didn't compare to the one we were already in. We contacted the people we rented from and offered to buy the home and they accepted. Once it became officially ours, we started making it more our own. Caleb's worked hard putting up wainscoting, crown molding, and a gorgeous wood wall in Elijah's room. We've painted every room, finished the patio in the backyard and worked in the garage. There's hardly a place we haven't touched. And with each improvement we made it became more "ours." I was fun for Caleb and me and drew us closer as we worked together to make a home. 

It's much harder leaving this home than I thought it would be. It's made me think about how attached we grow to places and how important home is. We find safety, comfort, and security there. It's a place we can be vulnerable and totally ourselves. As I've thought about this love for home it's made me realize that all the joys we find in it are reflections of my relationship with God. He is my unchanging home. I find my safety, comfort, and security in Him. And unlike our earthly home, He is constant and goes with me wherever we go. It's brought great comfort as we pack the boxes.

Well, a couple days have past. The busyness of moving, a new baby, and the children have left little room for writing. We're staying at my parents for the rest of the week while Caleb finishes work and then start our journey. We're making a rather large detour to California before we make our way across country to Kentucky. Caleb's never had two weeks off of work and we thought we'd take the opportunity to see our family. I love road trips and am looking forward to our time together. 

Each child is responding uniquely to the move. Elijah and Amelia are more outwardly emotional. Elijah is old enough to understand and explain some of how he's feeling and comprehend the consequences of moving so far away. Amelia doesn't have a category for what's going on so she just cries and wants me to hold her a lot. Vanessa hasn't shown any emotion about moving. She says she's sad, but in a very matter of fact way. I've learned she usually doesn't show emotion until after the fact. She is acting out more and strives to be in control. It's interesting to me the way each one is handling it and how they naturally react to hardships. It's stretching my parenting. I'm learning how to walk them through this road and trying to help carry their burdens. It's pushed me to be in constant prayer. I am relying on Christ to meet needs that I cannot. I am often under the delusion that I can meet all my kids needs and this season is showing me that I cannot. I must rely on Christ moment by moment and entrust them to his care.

I've been making a mental list of all the ways we've seen God at work during this process. I never want to forget all that He's done. This time is building my faith and will always be a time I can look back and be renewed in my walk. 

These are a few of the things on the list....

Caleb was offered an incredible job. It will combine his gifts and passions together and provides well for our family. 

We've had an enormous amount of help and support. We could not be doing this move with the help we've received. A huge portion of the help has come from my parents. They were the ones that first put Caleb's name in for the job and since that time they've helped carry us through. They have sacrificed time, energy, and money to make this possible. 

We put our house on the market and it sold for over asking the first day. It was a lot of work getting the house ready to show and difficult being out of the house all day with the kids. Having it sell the first day and us not having to go through constant showings was a great blessing!

We also found home in Kentucky and they accepted an offer well under asking. On our wish list was land and a central location to school and work. Our new home sits on an acre and a half in one of the best locations in the Louisville area. Its a fixer upper, which is something Caleb and I are excited about. We get a blank space to work with and Caleb and I have always dreamed about something like this. 

We needed to sell both our cars and we did. We sold both of them within 2 days of being ready. In fact we've had a number of items that we've needed to sell/get rid of and it's been a very easy process.

Everly is sleeping so well which is giving me the strength and energy to get things done. In fact, even though this has been a lot on the kids, they're all doing well and trying to be helpful. This time is drawing our family closer together and I know that in the months ahead as we need to lean on each other our bonds will grow tighter.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

slowing down

It's a day that Everly needs a little more attention and I've found myself holding her for the last couple hours. She's peacefully sleeping on me now. I feel slightly guilty sitting here and not working. There's so much to be done, but I can't get myself to lay her in her crib. I keep holding her, partly do to the fact I'm afraid she'll wake up again if I lay her down, and partly because I've never regretted holding my children. The times goes by so quickly and being the forth, she gets less rocking time than any of the others. So, even though I have plenty to do, I'll cherish this time. 

These last five weeks have absolutely flown by. I think on top of regular business, packing the house up and working on all that requires a move across country has made things move even faster. I look at my baby and the newborn stage is already over. I'm thankful that she's a great sleeper and mostly very easy. It's helped with the transition of everything else going on. The other children are as in love with her as ever and Caleb and I are pretty taken with her too. What a gift this new life is. 

Her baby book is packed up, so this is a good place to record the little things I don't want to forget. She's the smiliest baby. I love the way she looks at me like she knows exactly what I'm saying and smiles. She moves her hands all the time. Is starting to sleep 8 hours a night. Does not like the car or being alone. All of the kids like to hold her and fight over who's turn it is to be next to her. They sing lots of songs to her and hate to hear her cry. Elijah wishes she could sleep in his bed with him. I love the attention they give her. What a blessed girl to come into the world so loved. It's made me think of the hundreds of children that that's not the case. I ache for them and hold Everly a little tighter. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016


I just finished rocking Everly and laid her down. While I was humming a lullaby to her I listened to Caleb and Elijah in the kitchen talking about their day, and the girls giggling the most genuine giggles in their room while they put on their nightgowns and the moment felt close to perfect.

Slowing down to recognize those moments are important for me. So much comes from a new baby. Even though the kids are completely in love with her, my time is more divided and they're  not getting the attention from me that they're used to. I'm trying to figure out how to do it all and mostly I'm failing. But I'm seeing God's grace cover us and I'm humbled by all the help we've received. I don't think I've ever relied on God more to meet my kids needs than now. It's been a sweet lesson learning to pray more, and with greater earnest for each child, knowing now, like never before, that He will always be who they need to rely on.

The great lesson of faith put to all parents is that of learning to trust God for their children. They love them as they never imagined they could love anyone, and it takes an ever enlarging faith to believe God loves them more. 
Elisabeth Elliot

I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. 
1 Samuel 1:27-28

I know that this season is good for them, and me. It's stretching us all and teaching us to sacrificially love one another. 

Change is on the horizon for our family. At the end of May we'll be driving across country to our new home in Louisville Kentucky. Caleb accepted a job at Southern Seminary and starts the beginning of June. I'm thrilled for Caleb and this opportunity. We made the decision to move after much prayer and advice and I'm certain that God is leading this change. But leaving the known for the unknown is hard. It's hard thinking of saying good-bye to family, friends, our home and life here. We really love Boise and I'm afraid we might have a bit of culture shock as we plant new roots in Kentucky.

Our home sold yesterday, the same day we put it on the market. Caleb and I are amazed at how God has been working out every detail of this move. We're in awe of His kindness. I was reminded again, that our heavenly Father is the giver of good gifts. Last night as I was feeding Everly, I couldn't help but cry though. It probably has something to do with postpartum hormones, but thinking of saying goodbye to our first home and another family living here brought a wave of emotion. We've loved this home and poured a lot of love into making it our own. Now, it's time to say goodbye. I thought about all that's happened in within these walls over the last 5 years and the comfort that this place called home brought. It made me think about how God is preparing a place for us, a forever home where there will be no good byes. I long for that home. 

Friday, April 8, 2016

One week.

We've been home for a week now with Everly. It feels longer than that, and like we drove home with her yesterday, all at the same time. It amazes me how a baby comes into your life and suddenly it seems like they've always been there. Life without them would be incomplete. Everly certainly has taken a huge spot in all our hearts. 

 Moments after she was born. 
Watching Caleb love the children is one of my favorite things. 

I've had a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions since she was born, but the overwhelming feeling is my love for her. 

We had our first three in three years and now a four year gap and we're back to midnight feedings and diapers. I loved the baby stage, but I was really enjoying this new stage with the kids. Going back scared me. Those precious little years took a huge toll on me, physically and emotionally and I didn't know how I was going to do it again. I found myself detached from the emotions and excitement that came with the other pregnancies. I think part due to how busy the other three kept me, as well as fear of the unknown. I prayed a lot about her and for her and tried to take it one day at a time. It was a good practice to live in the grace God provided for that moment without worrying about tomorrow. But the void of emotions were hard and I felt guilty because they weren't there. 

Now that she's here all those thoughts, fears, and guilt are gone. All I know is love for her and how God created her perfectly for our family. I'm still unsure how it will work out meeting all the children's different needs. This week proved I have a lot to learn in how to do it well, but I'm continuing to rely on the grace given for the day and not to worry about tomorrow. 

When I look back I see how God taught me knew lessons about his character with each baby. With Elijah, God overwhelmed me with how He is the author and creator of life. He used Vanessa to teach me about gratefulness in the midst of trials and to trust him in all things. Amelia was a taste of God's joy and how he redeems the broken. Now, with Everly, I am seeing God's love in a way I've never known before. God's love for me is probably the hardest characteristic of his for me to grasp and believe. And I'm seeing his love for me in a hundred different ways in Everly. He is the giver of good gifts. 
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights."
James 1:17

Caleb welcomed Everly and I home from the hospital with the most gorgeous flowers. I've loved looking at them while I feed and rock her. 

Elijah wants alone time with Everly everyday. He usually finds his way to her before bed and sings to her.

My sister was able to come up and meet her this week. 

Both of the girls are in love and want to be little mama's.

Just some snapshots of our week. 

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