Life on Cottage Hill: PAGES

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

ecuador, take 1.

I arrived home from my first mission trip earlier today after nearly two days of travel. Exhaustion doesn't even begin to describe how I feel, so for now just a few pictures while I continue processing all that I heard, felt saw these past several days. I've never felt so many emotions and so deeply in such a short amount of time. It was unreal. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

for hire: 3 little movers.

Yesterday we MOVED. Well, we moved our things anyway...

We hired a moving company to come and move out all of the furniture except beds, a desk and one chair. We close on our house three days after I return home from a mission trip which I leave for tomorrow so we knew we had to move this weekend since there will be no time when I get back. So, I spent yesterday taking care of the 3 monsters while directing traffic with the movers while Dan made progress on moving his tools and cleaning out the barns. Thankfully my parents have helped make several trips with additional boxes and totes the past few weeks so we are 95% of the way moved at this point.

So, if you happen to come over in the next week while I'm gone you'll have to fight for the one chair left to relax in. 

Monday, March 9, 2015

dear, emme.

Dear, Emme-

This morning on my commute into the office I couldn't stop thinking about YOU. For some reason you dominated my every thought. It felt like God was telling me that things are crazy right now- crazy busy, lots going on- and that this intensity is just preparing us and making us stronger for when our journey to you begins. I know God probably finds my over-detailed life plans and checklists amusing in that "oh sweet girl of mine you are so funny thinking you can control all of that..." way, so I don't know when exactly we'll be able to wrap you in our arms and bring you safely home, but there was just something about today- something that weighed so heavily on my heart that I can't help but believe that today was an important step, an important milestone, in your journey. 

When I started to visualize the timeline of when we plan to bring you home and worked backwards I realized that now might be when your biological mom and dad are meeting or maybe starting to plan for a family or maybe even conceive you. I don't know, but I did want YOU to know that on this day, even before you came to this world, you were LOVED. You were PLANNED for. You were WANTED. 

As I sat in traffic and all of this swarmed through my mind, I was so emotional and full of love for you and a song came on the radio with the lyrics "bring you Home" playing over and over. 

Chills, absolute chills. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

jackson at FIVE years!

I'm a little - or maybe a lot- in denial that our little handsome butt just turned five years old. That's a whole hand full of years! And honestly sometimes it feels like Jackson is even older because if you ask anyone who knows him well they would agree that he's wiser beyond his years. He is kind, sweet, generous, patient, loving... I could go on. This little man of mine makes me proud every single day and I have no doubt that will continue for all of time. A little bit of Jackson at FIVE years old:

-He's a smarty pants. That is for sure. My biggest worry for him going into Kindergarten next year is that he will be bored because he's already mastering 1st grade material with Mrs. Mansfield. He absolutely has his daddy's engineer mind, endless curiosity and the focus and patience to figure out any thing. He has a love for learning that is so rare and so valuable. I continue to check in with his preschool teacher and she continues to have absolutely no concerns to discuss- with Jackson it is just smooth sailing. 

-He is overly protective of Jonah in the sweetest way. He is always the first to notice if Jonah is playing or getting into something he shouldn't be, constantly taking things out of his mouth. If Jonah is upset Jackson will distract him with a new toy or a song and it's not uncommon for him to say to me that he thinks Jonah is tired or hungry... he's so in tune with his needs. 

-He adores- ADORES- Audrey. They certainly have their moments when they've spent too much time together and will argue or hurt each other's feelings, but the vast majority of the time he is the sweetest with her. He knows what she loves- all things girly and Princess- so he is constantly humoring her with playing make believe Princess games, helping her with getting into her dresses, spinning her around our makeshift "dance floor" and just loving on her constantly. I'm certain there is no other relationship in this world that makes me smile more than the one between Jackson and his Audrey. 

-Speaking of Audrey, we always called him "Jackson" or sometimes "JP" until she came into this world and began calling him "Jackie" so I often catch myself calling him this as well. Just the other day I asked him which name he likes the best and he replied "Jackie." So, Jackie it is!

-Our picky eater has made such progress this past year, thanks in large part by us just not giving him the choice to turn new foods down completely. His acceptable menu of options has slowly grown and the fits become less dramatic each day as he is faced with new foods to try or foods that he has had many times but still claims to dislike. Honestly, if this is the biggest challenge with Jackson I will take it. While sometimes frustrating it's really not a big deal at all. 

-He LOVES school, loves going and loves his friends. He continues to claim Grace and Canaan as his best friends, but also loves his time with all his cousins as well as all his classmates, friends he met in soccer, friends from church and others. Jackson is somewhat of an introvert when it comes to completely new places and faces, but has such a good time once he feels comfortable. 

-While Audrey can busy herself all day long with very few needs and requests, Jackson definitely wants and needs to be kept busy with new challenges. In a span of one day it's incredible how much he will get through. His favorite activities are definitely anything outside, he LOVES riding bikes and has mastered doing this with no training wheels, he prefers helping daddy with work/projects over playing, he is a big time pretender with Audrey and the games they make up, he loves to build with blocks and legos and is always up for learning by reading, doing worksheets, doing projects, etc. 

I know I'm missing so many things... Jackson, when you read this some day I hope you realize how much we LOVE you, buddy, but just as importantly how I pray that you will never change because Jackie, your heart is so pure, so full and in such the perfect place. It's refreshing and breathtaking all at the same time and I couldn't be more thankful to have been chosen to be your mom. All my love, little man... 

Stats: 45" tall (87%) & 42lbs (59%)
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