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Sunday, May 17, 2015

I'm Back!!!

Wow.  I have let way too much time go by without posting.  What can I say, life has been busy!!! There is so much to catch up on I don't even know where to start.  My boys have grown and changed so much in the past year that it will take tons of posts to get caught back up on what we have all been up to.  I guess I will just start where we are now and go back and fill in some gaps when I can. 
The biggest thing we have done in the past year is to finally give our boat a home, and we could not be more excited!!  We bought a cute little lake house with my parents in Cherokee Village last June and have had an absolute ball making memories as a family.  It has been one of the best decisions we have made and we have all enjoyed the time spent there.  It will require multiple posts on its own just to share all the fun we have had, as we have been able to enjoy it during every season this past year.  We are gearing up for our second summer season this weekend with Memorial Day coming up.  The boys are so excited and can't wait to get out on the water!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Springing Forward

I am going to go ahead and tentatively call winter over.....finally!!  We had another crazy ice/sleet storm 2 weeks ago that kept us out of school for the entire week.  This winter has been crazy!!!  But the sun is now shining and there are pretty flowers starting to bloom and I have packed the heavy winter coats away for good (hopefully).  I am excited to be able to get outside more, and so are the boys:)  There has already been a lot of bike riding this past week.

I will do an official 6 month old post on Knox after he goes to his doctor's appointment.  How in the world is my baby going to be 6 months old this week?!?!?  He is growing up way. too. fast.  Here are some things about Knox at 5 months old.   He started eating solids about 3 weeks ago and LOVES food.  I have only given him veggies (sweet potatoes and carrots) so far, as well as oatmeal cereal, but he is pleased with everything and scarfs it all down.  I am making his baby food at home, and have really enjoyed it so far!  It's been easy and I feel good about it.  I will start him on fruit soon, and we plan to try avocado this week for something green:)  He continues to nurse daily and take bottles that I pump for him.  To be honest, there are definitely days where I just feel "done" with pumping and ready to quit.  It is very time consuming and I feel like I am tied to my pumping schedule.  I also have to pump at work, which can be tricky and challenging at times, but so far I am making it work.  Despite all the challenges, I am not ready to give up and will continue on as long as I can.  I know it is so good for him and that is the most important thing to me:)  Little man has gotten FAT and I love it:)  He has lots of rolls on his chubby little thighs that I adore.  I am anxious to see how much he weighs at his check up.  He is wearing mostly 6-9 month clothes as well.  He has been rolling over both ways consistently the past week or so and has been showing off his new skills in the middle of the night!  He rolls over in his crib and gets stuck on his back and fusses until we put him back on his tummy.  He did sleep better last night so hopefully he is finished showing off:)  Just like his brothers, he is busy busy and loves the jump-a-roo.  That thing has been a life saver for all my boys!  He is also sitting pretty well unsupported.  He tumps over, but it doesn't seem to bother him too much.  He will be crawling before I know it.

The big boys are doing great.  They have been taking swimming lessons at my gym and are doing awesome!  Tyson is learning the basics for stroke development as well as rotary breathing.  Jace is still learning how to swim in general but has already come a long way in just a few lessons.  He is fearless in the water and very bent on "doing it on his own."  That boy!!  Hopefully we will get some good pool time in this summer and they can show off their new skills.  We had parent/teacher conferences this week and they both got fabulous reports from their respective teachers.  I know my kids are smart and funny and I adore them, but it just warms my heart to hear how well behaved, helpful, kind and smart they are in class as well.  Jace misses the kindergarten cut off by 3 weeks because of his birthday, so he has to go another full year of pre-k.  His teacher this year said it was such a shame, because she feels he is completely ready both academically as well as socially, even being one of the youngest kids in her class.  Hopefully he will have another great year and it will provide him a great foundation.  They both love school, their teachers, and learning.  I am so very thankful!!  We have a magnet school system here in town where we are able to choose out of 5 elementary schools for our kids to attend.  We went to several of the preview nights and it was a very difficult decision, but we finally picked the school we felt would best meet the needs of our boys.  Silas had to stand in line at 6:30am to make sure we got our first choice!  We haven't heard officially,  but feel pretty confident we will get in:)  Tyson is really excited for the 1st grade.  I'm trying not to think about next school year.....I will have 3 boys at 3 different schools.  Just thinking about the drop offs and pick-ups wears me out!  Thank goodness Silas is awesome and helps with all that!! 

Well this has turned into a much longer post than I anticipated.  We are busy but good!  My running is going well and I was finally able to get off the treadmill and run 8 miles with my old running partner outside last weekend.  I met her at 6:30am and we chatted the miles away before breakfast.  It was just what I needed and I have missed running with her so much.  Between us both having babies the past 2 years it has been about that long since we have run together....crazy!!  My half marathon is coming up in 4 weeks and I am excited and a bit nervous.  Pretty sure it is going to hurt but I will be glad to have my first race back post-partum:) Now just to decide what to tackle next!!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Missing The Sun

Baby it's cold outside!!  I've said it before and I will say it again.....the winter is tough on me.  I need sunshine to thrive, and by the time February rolls around, I am barely hanging on!  We have had a lot of snow, sleet and ice this winter, as well as really cold temperatures.  Knox and I hang out at the house all day when we are home together.  I am really looking forward to Spring and being able to get outside with him:) 

I feel like we have settled into a pretty good routine for the time being.  I know it will all change soon, as it always does:)  I am still loving work and enjoying my schedule.  I have been running regularly and am actually training for a half marathon in April.  I have good and not so good days running, but I am trying to just hang in there and do what my body will allow.  I am consistently running 3 days a week for now, which includes 2 runs of 3-5 miles and then a longer run on the weekends.  So far my body is hanging in there with me and I have been able to push my speed a little on my shorter runs.  It feels good to be seeing my times inch down and be able to get my short runs back to miles in the 8 minute/ low 9's. I am hoping to have them stay under 9 minute miles for my average soon.  I really have no major goal for this race but to just finish it.  I sort of feel like I did when I started running a few years back.  My goal for this year post baby is just to get back into the fitness groove and have some fun along the way:)  I don't have a big focus other than overall health and fitness, so I am planning to run/race all kinds of distances and events as they come up.  I am kind of excited about doing some shorter races.....it has been a while!! 

Knox is 4 months and 3 weeks old.  His personality is getting bigger by the day and is just precious!  He is such a happy baby and I love his big slobbery grin.  He jabbers a lot like Tyson did when he was this age.  He adores his jump-a-roo and just bounces around like crazy in that thing.  So cute:)  He has been sleeping through the night since about 8-10 weeks and takes two big naps during the day, and usually a small cat nap in the evening after dinner.  I continue to do a combination of nursing/pumping and it is still going well.  I am hoping to make it to a year with breastfeeding him, but like always, we just take it one day at a time.  Little man has recently become very interested in food so starting solids is next up on our agenda.  I am trying to wait until he is at least 5 months old to start him on any food, and even longer if I can.  I am not in a hurry.  I am hoping to make his baby food too, but there are a few things I need to get before I can get started with that.

Speaking of making food, I have started cooking a lot more recently.  One thing the winter is really good for is making big pots of soup, and I am having a great time trying new recipes.  We have eaten a ton of chili, vegetable beef soup, chicken and rice soup, and beef stew the past few months and I love it!!  Silas and I are making a renewed effort to get rid of our debt, and eating at home has been one of the areas we have been cutting back with our spending.  I know it is a lot healthier for us, and I haven't missed eating out much at all this month.  I have done pretty good with our meal planning and grocery shopping which definitely makes eating at home easier:) 

We had our Parent Commitment Ceremony/Baby Dedication at church this past Sunday, where all the families that have added babies the past year take part in a little ceremony during the service.  2013 was a big year for babies at our church!!  Knox was one of 22 babies born in our congregation.  They take a picture of all the babies for the hall in the nursery wing.  Let me just say, taking a picture of 22 babies is no easy feat my friends!!  The parents were worn out and there were lots of crying babies by the time it was over.  We got it done though, and apparently photo shop will come in handy for the final picture!  Tyson and Jace were so excited to watch us up on stage with Knox, and were very well behaved while we participated in the ceremony.  It was a special day and I am glad we got to take part in it.

Everything else is going well.  I am hoping the worst of the winter weather is past and am dreaming of being able to run outside in the sun sometime soon:)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Busy Busy, and Changes

Well I have tried to sit down and write a post several different times recently, but it is not allowing me to upload any of my pictures to the blog again.  Stink!  I know it is so boring to post without pictures, but I didn't want to let too much time get by!!  Hopefully I can go back and add pictures from Christmas and all of our fun holiday activities soon!!

Anyway, I last posted when things were a little overwhelming and I am happy to report things have perked up quite a bit since then:)  The boys got well just in time for Christmas and we had a wonderful time celebrating together at home.  Knox has stayed healthy so far, for which I am extremely grateful as well.  We had a great time at our annual trek to Oklahoma to spend several days with the Orbison side of the family.  If you ask my older boys what their favorite part of Christmas is, they will always say, "Going to the lodge!!"  It has been a great tradition and one we all continue to look forward to year after year.  Knox was an amazing traveller and everything about the trip was nice and uneventful in that department:)  We had a great holiday, but were all excited about getting back into a routine once school started back.

The big boys have been doing so well in school and I am always so proud of them.  Tyson just loves school and enjoys learning so much.  He is starting to read and constantly surprises me when he reads my grocery list or the words to the songs at church.  He is able to read simple books to Jace at home, which they both enjoy:)  Jace loves his pre-k class and teacher and they do so many fun activities that keep him engaged as well.  He was recently the student of the week which made him so proud!

I guess the biggest change since my last post is that I have returned to work.  I have been back for 3 weeks now, and I have to say that it really has not been much of an adjustment!!  I can't talk about work without recognizing the amazing ways God continues to work in my life and thanking him for all the ways he blesses us.  I knew that I would not want to work full time after Knox was born, but I struggled with the thought of completely letting go of a really good job that I have enjoyed.  I talked with my boss while I was still on maternity leave about the possibility of coming back part time.  At first I did not think it would be possible, but after a few weeks of discussions we were able to work something out.  I was not able to return to my former position, but I was able to move to the intake/marketing department of my same company and take on a newly created role.  I am now the Clinical Intake Specialist....sounds fancy!!  Anyway, I work two days a week, and they aren't even full work days. Knox is attending a Mother's Day Out at a church in town.  I am able to drop him off at 9:15 and make it to work by 9:30, which is really nice!!  I have really enjoyed learning my new position, and the day goes by super fast.  Knox is adored at "school" and has one teacher that can't wait to get her hands on him the moment we arrive:)  He goes to the same Mother's Day Out program that both Tyson and Jace attended, so we have had our kids there for years and love it.  I feel happy knowing he is being loved on for the few hours he is there, and am glad he is able to spend some time with other babies.  There are only 3 or 4 babies in his room so he gets lots of attention:) 

I finally feel like I have found some sense of balance in my life again, and I am continually thankful for that.  I never felt like I had any margin when I was working full time....everything was always rushed and a bit too "survival mode" for me.  My weeks now involve a fabulous mixture of lazy days at home in my pj's loving on my sweet baby boy and taking care of the house, as well as a few days of dressing up and getting to use my brain, be around adults and work for a few hours.  And of course our crazy weekends of family time and church activities:)  I cannot even describe how blessed I am with getting to work and stay at home!  I love it so far and pray it continues to be a good balance.  We are in a good place right now:)  We are all hanging in there during this freezing cold weather and looking forward to spring when we can get these boys outside more!!  I am definitely ready for some sunshine!!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Crazy December

 This month has proven to be both exciting and exhausting so far, and we haven't even gotten to the holidays yet!  We had a crazy ice storm come through which was mostly ice and sleet, and it was enough to cause schools to be out on a Friday, Monday and Tuesday.  We had ice on the ground for about 8 days solid as the temps never got above freezing, and there are still patches of it in places today...2 weeks later!  Of course it is going to be in the 60's tomorrow.  The boys tried so hard to play outside, but it was frozen solid!!  They still managed to stay outside for hours and have fun in the mess:)  I am thankful that Silas has a big 4 wheel drive work truck which got us out and about and all over town when many others were iced in.  We loaded up the boys and got out of the house almost every day, and it was fun to go to the grocery store and pick things up for friends who were not able to leave their homes.  Church was even cancelled on Sunday for safety, so we headed to a friend's house to spend some time with others and enjoy the company that day.  It was fun for the first few days, but really got us off our routine with school being out so much.  I was very thankful we never lost power, like we did in the ice storm back in 2009.  Of course Silas kept us with a blazing fire in the fireplace and we had stocked up on food, so it was fun to be at home for a few days together.
 The boys made it to school 3 days last week following the ice storm, and this week has just been a total bust.  Tyson had a fever on Sunday so he stayed home Monday.  It went away so I sent him to school Tuesday, only to have the nurse call me to come pick him up that afternoon.  Then Jace came down with a bad fever and they can't seem to shake the sickness.  I have had all 3 boys at home all week, and it has been exhausting trying to take care of the sick kids as well as the baby, and try to keep the baby well.  The big boys fevers come and go, so they are going from running around stir crazy and fine, to miserable, whiny and just not feeling well from hour to hour.  I think Tyson may finally be better, so he may get one day of school in tomorrow.  I was so sad that they ended up missing all of their fun school Christmas parties and activities this week:(
 I just feel like we have not had a chance to recover at all from travelling at Thanksgiving, to the ice storm and now sickness.  I am very routine oriented and this craziness wears me out!!  Especially with all the extra activities for the holidays mixed in!  I usually LOVE Christmas, and this is the first year that I am just ready for it to be over already.  The boys are excited and ready for Santa to come. I wrapped some gifts and put them under the tree and poor Jace asks every day if its Christmas yet!!  He is so excited and is having trouble waiting!!  We have an elf at our house too, which the boys have fun with.  He is not the real Elf on the Shelf, but a big stuffed elf named Eugene.  He moves to a new spot every night and leaves the big boys candy in the "elf house" which is our fun house that counts down the days to Christmas.

What a difference a month makes with my running and feeling better physically.  I still only run about twice a week, but have been able to increase my speed and distance in the past few weeks.  I have enjoyed getting back to the gym and am slowly starting to see some progress and feel a bit like my old self:)  That has been encouraging to say the least!!  I am looking forward to the new year and hopefully getting back to some sort of a routine around here!!
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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Doll Baby

 I seriously cannot put into words how much I adore this baby boy.  I am just wrapped around his little finger, and honestly I am enjoying spoiling him rotten:)  I am such a different mom than I was with my firstborn, and second for that matter.  I think age along with experience have helped me to realize just how fleeting these infant days are, and how to truly soak up the moments while they are little babies.  He is already growing up so fast and some days my heart hurts just knowing the months are already flying by.  Can you tell I am still a bit emotional/hormonal too?!?!
 Precious baby is already 10 weeks old!!  He is so laid back and a happy and smiley little guy.  He always looks so serious in his pictures but I guess the camera is just too slow to catch those smiles I see all the time:)  I have had the best time staying at home with him these past 2 months. We get the big boys off to school and then settle in for our nice quiet days together at home.  That gives us plenty of time for snuggling, rocking, cooing and eating together.  We have a great routine down already.  He is very flexible though and we just go with the flow when extra activities with the big boys come up and we have to be on the go.  Silas and I have a regular lunch date on Tuesdays and he loves to go with us:)  We are regulars at the restaurant, so the waitresses always have to come check him out and see how much he has grown since the week before!  He gets a lot of attention with those big blue eyes!!
 We still have not had any jealousy issues at all from either Tyson or Jace.  They both think Knox hung the moon and that every single smile, burp, dirty diaper, or coo is the cutest thing he has ever done:)  They are so sweet to him and only fight over who gets to hold him or get upset when he is still napping when they get home from school and can't play with him right away.  The first question out of their mouths every time I see them is, "Where is the baby??" I wish I could just slow time down a bit and keep him little a bit longer, but he is growing and changing so much.  My heart is so full with this house full of boys.  There were so many things and phases that I wished away with the big boys, or things I really just don't even remember.  I am so thankful to have one more time around with a precious little one so I can finally savor the moments of "baby ness."  There are many, many days where I realize how many hours I spent sitting in my big brown chair, rocking and loving on this little guy, and instead of being upset that I didn't get "anything done," I can honestly say there is nothing else I would rather have done.  Life is so hectic and chaotic at times with 3 boys in the house, and I cherish the blessing God has given me of time at home alone with this baby just to rock:)
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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

 I am humbled by the number of blessings I have been given in my life, and am being reminded lately how important it is just to take the time to reflect, be present in the moment, and have a grateful heart. We celebrated Thanksgiving this year with the Hensley crew, which is increasing in size every year!  There were 2 new babies added to the family this year, bringing the total number of grandchildren for my parents up to 10:)
 Memaw and the Orbison grandsons.
 The big boys.
 Cousins enjoying every  moment of playing together for a few days.
 Uncle Silas and precious Ada and Tyson.
 Sweet baby Gwyn whom I got to meet and love on for the first time:)
My mom and I. 
 The Hensley girls:)  I sure do love these ladies!!
 Precious Emily.
 Uncle Ricardo getting some baby loving from little Knox.
 The 6 big cousins!! Minus Kia, the oldest of this crazy bunch:)
 All 8 of the youngest cousins.  You cannot even imagine how difficult it was to get them all standing in one spot for just a second!!  Always an adventure with the little ones.
 The Thanksgiving dinner.  My adult cousins and Uncle were able to celebrate the holiday with us, making it even more special.  It was good to catch up, spend time with family, and enjoy some good food!  I loved watching all the cousins play and just enjoy being together.  I am so thankful for this crazy group of people I get to call family, and love every single one of them so much:)
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