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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Brother to brother

The other night, Thomas and John Paul were finishing up their baths (much needed after the muddy, muddy day on the farm and some little kid messes).  I was in the kitchen cleaning up dinner and was listening to them talk in the bathroom.

Most of it was Thomas, with John Paul responding a little.

It was one of those moments that I immediately wrote down because I never wanted to forget it.  I love having boys together, so close in age.
Thomas: "Did you know that you will need to work hard in preschool and pre-k? You will need to focus on getting green and blue stickers because red and yellow are not ok. You might have a sticker chart and get prizes!  You will have a new teacher and you can ask them their name and they will tell you.  And they will be happy to see you and be nice to you at school.  And you can tell me about it at the end of the day.  THEY WILL HAVE PUZZLES!"

John Paul: "WOW! I DID NOT KNOW THAT, THOMAS! I LOVE PUZZLES!!"

Thomas: "You will have your own cubby and it will have your plant and it will be yours and you will love it.  You will make friends.  Don't worry about that.  I was afraid when I started because I didn't know my new friends but now I know them and they are my bestest friends in the world besides you and Alexander. And you will make new friends too.  You don't have to be scared.  I will protect you."

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

An oldie but a goodie... December Daily 2011


In November, I reminded myself just how much I love seeing how much the boys have grown...in something tangible, not on Facebook or online...so I committed to doing the December Daily for our second December together.  As last year's December was a bit more "exciting" than anticipated with Alexander's early arrival...I was excited to refocus and spend a few minutes each day documenting what is happening.

My last full December Daily was in 2010...when we had just one Wee Ski (here are a bunch of pages from it).  I looked at my 2011 files on my hard drive, and realized that I had about 10 pages to finish...and I decided to do just that.  I took my first "free" evening in weeks (since my time at my computer has been nonstop editing and designing for Finian Road)...and made this just for me.

I sent it to Shutterfly, and last night the familiar orange box showed up on my doorstep.

AND I LOVE IT.

They offer lay-flat pages and I upgraded again to the padded cover, and the boys were thrilled to go through things, page by page.  They were pretty confused by how it was John Paul as the baby and not Alexander...so maybe by 2015, I will have last year's done too.  :)  I had read the quote "perfection is the enemy of completion"...and it couldn't be more true than here.  I chose to not worry about missing a day or detail. I just wanted to have it in hand.  I AM SO GLAD I DID. 

This should be a link to the full album. 

It's now a little "blast from the past"!  :)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Quick Takes: The First Day of November Edition

Seven snippets of life right now.




  1. Thomas went indoor skydiving.
    His buddy Mic turned four, and so Mic, Thomas, Zac and Alicen headed north to iFly at Southcenter.   I was flying home from Atlanta at the time...so I LOVE LOVE LOVED touching down and opening this video that Amy shot for us.  He loved being Peter Pan and did even better the second time. 
  2. I think fall will always be intense.
    Even with a relative few travel dates for me (just Anchorage and Atlanta this fall), the entire season flew by.  Thrilled to have nearly a dozen major design projects all finished up and sent to the printer, and working like mad to get my latest shoots out before a full day of mini sessions tomorrow.  Things are crazy until Thanksgiving, and then the day after Thanksgiving, our tree farm opens for business through Christmas.  I LOVE IT.
  3. I've lost ten pounds in the last two weeks.
    Apparently, there is something to the "eat less, move more" theory.  Who knew?  What also helped?  Jonathan bought me new boxing gloves for our gym in the mancave.  Autumn came over and we had an incredible hour with the speedbag and punching bags...and even headed out into the night for a starlight walk (which you need a lantern for on the farm).   It's helped balance out the crazy office hours I have right now (yesterday, they were 3:15 - 9:30 am and then switching gears to 'mommy mode').
  4. Love fall cooking.
    We've had lots of soups (chicken & rice or turkey & rice are my faves right now), fresh italian baguettes, and I made an awesome turkey, swiss and apple panini. 
  5. Love my Silhouette cutter.
    Working on wooden projects for the tree farm, awesome vinyl lettering for cars, made sweet mustaches for The Mauss Group's hilarious Christmas shoot for Dad's last official ML Christmas card before retirement, a sweet skull & crossbones eye patch for the Wee Ski 1.0's pirate costume, and cool custom pumpkins for the farm and Relay.  This thing is ridiculously addictive.
  6. Clutter.
    The bane of my existence.  Working on getting rid of things and touching things only once.  So incredibly tough. 
  7. Alexander hit 17 pounds!
    An awesome milestone.  Yesterday, he ate two eggs, a banana, and half cup of cheerios for breakfast.  He's got cheeks and giggles and babbles and LOVES his older brothers.  I will upload some photos soon.  He is ridiculously awesome.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

I'm a Pre-K-er!

We welcomed with open arms the first day of Pre-K. A return to routines, getting up early, and schedules from the crazy laid-back theme of summer.  But the beautiful summer weather changed the first day of school, and this is what we started with:

Ridiculous amounts of pouring rain.  So we held off for a bit for this "school picture". 

Thomas is so proud to be in Pre-Kindergarten.  There's a lot of structure this year, lots of new friends, and two fantastic teachers whom he adores (Mrs. Lembke and Miss Meghann). 

And this is the classic image of his face right now:

And his first day "record" of the important things right now:

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Quick Takes: The Quiet Saturday Edition

Seven snippets of life right now.  Seems like my blog posts of late resemble the length of time of the Wee Skis' attention spans.  :)
  • John Paul is becoming a crazy hoarder.  He can now find anything on top of the fridge and no shelf is too high to discover treats.  He has been banned from eating from the big containers because I find the insides EVERYWHERE.  I couldn't help but take this photo of the visual evidence that he broke this rule...he was sound asleep with his hand right inside the container of white cheddar baked cheetos.  And he is still in the 40th percentile...seems like keeping up with Thomas keeps him little!
  • The Art of Saying No.  This was an excellent and timely read for me.
  • A beautiful story about a priest who died from cancer, just two days after ordination.
  • Our local school is on the cutting-edge of technology with an app (the first of its kind in the nation) that can lockdown the school within seconds.  Seriously love the forward thinking of our school district!  From the Olympian
  • It's Christmas in August.  I have been crazy busy with the Sprouffske Trees farm marketing as we gear up for the fall and Christmas season.  We launched our first formal wholesale sales campaign, and are gearing up for increasing our nonprofit sales.  And while feeding the Wee Ski 3.0, I began our Pinterest boards for the farm.  You should follow them for great Christmas ideas!!
  • We are all looking forward to school starting.  Thomas will be going five days a week, three and a half hours a day.  John Paul is starting a tumbling class, and Alexander is working on keeping up.  :)  I'm looking forward to the return of routines and schedules and cooler days.  
  • The last one is this photo.  I just love it.  This was the conversation just before it:
    Thomas: I am going to sleep on the floor tonight.
    Me: Are you sure? It's not as comfy as your top bunk.
    Thomas: John Paul was scared last night. I think the kids want me to "ratect" (protect) them. I'll just sleep in the middle of them. Pope Francis will watch out for monsters for us.

    I just love how he calls his brothers "the kids".

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Seven Quick Takes: The Alexander Edition

In no particular order.
  • Alexander is eight months old now.  His hair is fine and blonde...and gets curly on occasion.  When that happens, I hold him up like the "Lion King" and let him know that he's definitely my son.
  • He's 13 pounds -- still on the "little peanut" side, but a crazy big eater like his older brothers.  The other morning, he had half a cup of peaches and pears and an entire banana.  Right now, he eats: bananas, sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, green beans, avocados, yogurt, apples, chicken, fish, and butter.  Gotta add some poundage somewhere!  I am still making all his baby food, and the Vitamix is amazing for doing it in bulk.  I usually make a week's worth over the weekend and just take what we need throughout. 
  • He sleeps through the night better than his older brothers.  No kidding.  Every morning around 4, I hear Thomas going to get a drink of water in the kitchen before coming to check on us.  Alexander sleeps through everything.
  • They are all sleeping in the same room.  Thomas on the top bunk, John Paul on the bottom bunk, and Alexander in the crib.  It actually works really well. 
  • We found amazing sleep again.  Last Saturday night, we all got home from Gig Harbor around 10:00.  When Jonathan and I woke up the next morning without a single Wee Ski in our bed and neither of us woke up the entire night...we both agreed we hadn't slept that well in 5 years.  IT WAS HEAVENLY.
  • My little peanut is still in 0-3 and 3-6 month clothing.  We definitely got incredible use out of the newborn clothes and the tiny 0-3 ones.  His 6 month size "Sprouffske Trees" sweatshirt should fit just in time for tree season.
  • He popped two teeth within a week of each other.  His sweet little smile has two tiny little teeth rising from his gums. 
  • A bonus one:  He is such a chill baby.  I thought John Paul was laid back.  This kid is crazy calm.  I took all the boys to see Planes last Friday, and as long as Alexander was fed, he was happy and content to sleep and watch the movie.  He plays with his brothers, giggles at what they do, doesn't mind when Thomas drags "the kid" all over the house (as Thomas calls him), and is happiest in the backseat of the car right next to 1.0 and 2.0.  It makes the craziness of 3 boys under 5 so much easier.  I love it.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

"You choose your 'busy'."


One of my very awesome friends, Autumn, said this to me a while back and it's pretty much become my mantra. 

She and I are both very driven women and have a heart for many of the same things in our lives. 

She's continued to challenge me to "choose my busy" and to say "no" to things that are not where I should be spending my time.  Being able to own the times that my heart would not be in them, the times that I really don't have the time but still want to say yes even though I shouldn't, and the times where my saying "yes" would not give others the chance to challenge themselves and grow...because I was doing something for them that they could do themselves. 

I love having friends who can hold you accountable.  I love that she loves me enough to be able to speak openly and honestly about things...and that I can hear her and listen to what she's saying from her heart. 

It's always good for me to be able to prioritize my life and have it in front of me:
  • My faith
  • My family
  • My friends
  • My vocation right now: wife, mom, daughter, photographer & graphic designer
  • My ability to give back from what I've been given
It's been during the moments of pure frustration that I focus on bringing myself back to these priorities.  It isn't easy.  There are times that I need reminders.  Living my vocation isn't always fun:  from endless diapers to crying babies, to dealing with people who frustrate me to no end, being the person that frustrates others to no end, to remembering that "being right" isn't always as important as "doing the right thing"...but every single moment is needed to help me truly live out who I am supposed to be.  Without struggles, there is no progress. 

Today, I spent five hours cleaning out the boys' room in preparation for 3.0 to move in with his brothers.  It's part of our house-wide master plan of making all the rooms part of our "home" not simply our "house".  It definitely wasn't fun...but looking forward to seeing the boys' expressions when they get home will be priceless. They will love it.

So grateful for Jonathan who took them out for an awesome papa-son day and is bringing them back full of stories, joy, and dirty feet that will need to be washed.  I happen to know a mom who is getting much better at washing others' feet.  :)

And I hear their footsteps on the deck...

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