Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Rilynn's 1st Birthday Party {sweet shop}

We celebrated Rilynn's birthday a few weeks late this year so that my parents could fly out from California and be here for it. I was inspired by a cute bakery we visited in NYC last summer as well as the pattern of my nursing cover I have (I know strange?) which was also coincidentally called "central park west" ;) I had so much fun planning her party! I found so many cute things too since it's close to valentines day and cupcakes are a popular valentine decoration. I was able to get all the kids goody bags stuff at the target dollar spot! The party was a success and I think Rilynn had a lot of fun ;)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Summer Flasback....Trip to NYC!

Ever since I was a kid I have always dreamed of going to New York City. I'm not sure where my love for the big apple came from? Maybe it was the from the countless times I watched Muppets take Manhattan or my love for I Love Lucy? whatever the reason was it stayed with me through high school where I started planning out my college future which involved school in New York followed by a job at a fashion magazine ;) God obviously had other plans for me. Paul and I had planned on spending our honeymoon in New York City with some free airline vouchers we had received but once again our plans were foiled. So FINALLY years later the opportunity presented itself for us to go through Paul's work! I of course never envisioned my first trip to New York would consist of taking along three kids five and under but I figured I would take whatever chance I could get. So, we packed up our minivan and hit the road for a very long car trip to the big city! We had SO much fun! I'm very eager to return but this time without kids even though they did awesome! There is only so much you can do with small children though ;)

Boy oh Boy!

We found out a couple of weeks we are going to be having a baby boy this June! I still can't believe it and it's so strange knowing what we are having this time around instead of being surprised like the other three. I will admit that I still prefer being surprised and I'm a little sad that we found out early but since this baby was very much a surprise to us and the news came to us just a few weeks after I had sold all our baby stuff, we decided it would help to know this time around so we could prepare. We also need to buy a new bed for Micah and now we know to buy bunk beds for the brothers to share in a couple years ;) Ella and Micah both guessed it was a boy just like they guessed baby number three was going to be a girl. It was really cute when I was having the ultrasound and the tech announced it was a boy, everyone burst out in cheers! Part of that may have been because we promised the kids donuts if they guessed the gender right ;) We are so excited to be having another sweet boy in the family! Now for the fun part, trying to think of boy names......

Celebrating with fresh BLUEberry donuts from Krispy Creme

Monday, January 16, 2012

Happy 1st Birthday Rilynn Joy

I can't believe my baby is already one! It seems like yesterday we heard those three wonderful words "It's a Girl!" This year has flown by us. I don't think we could have picked a better middle name for her because she is the most joyful baby! She will burst into the biggest smile when you look at her and usually laughter and squeals are soon to follow. She's usually pretty content especially on long car trips which she has done quite a few of in her first year ;) She is such a blessing to our family and words cannot express the love we have for this sweet baby girl. We are so thankful to God for this precious gift and praise Him from whom all blessing flow :) Happy Birthday Rilynn Joy! We love you so much!
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Here is a slideshow of Rilynn's first year.

Friday, January 13, 2012

I miss you!

I spent a good hour last night pouring over old blog posts. I reread all my pregnancy posts and Rilynn's birth story and it made me sad I haven't updated it in so long :( So much has happened and I often forget all about it unless I write it down. These lasts few months have been nuts to say the least but I'm going to try and update this more (I know, I know, I have said this before!) Obviously it continually gets harder with the more kids we have but this really is a journal for us and I love being able to go back through and see all the things we have been through. I forget so much of it so quickly! So I will put "keep up on blog" on my long list of 2012 New Years resolutions and hopefully it won't end up in the failed category ;)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Why we decided not to move...

This week Paul and I had to make an extremely hard decision: should we stay in Ohio or should we continue on with our plans to move back to Santa Maria? We ended up deciding to stay in Ohio and forgo the move back home to California. This has been such a hard week and I know we have disappointed many people who were excited about us moving back. Instead of sending out emails and calling people and then letting word spread around we thought it would be best to explain the whole story here. So here it goes...

A few months ago Paul heard about an opportunity for a job promotion with his company covering the West region. The more he expressed interest and looked into it he found out that we would be able to live back in Santa Maria. This was a job title he had applied for before in the East region (where he currently works) but at the time they wanted him to relocate to Atlanta and since he didn't want to they moved on to another candidate. Paul was very excited about having an opportunity to finally get to try this new management position and was excited about being able to live back in California. Things were continuing to progress and they were putting together relocation packages for us. We started telling our family and breaking the news to friends and family in Ohio. I definitely wasn't as excited as Paul was about moving. Although the thought of being by family and friends again, not having long winters and being back at our old church were HUGE bonuses there were many great things here that we would have to leave. I was really sad about the kids leaving their wonderful preschool and leaving my sister and her kids. I also have loved all the great places we have been able to to travel since we have been here. We have loved being able to visit many places like Chicago, New York City, North and South Carolina and Tennessee. I was happy to be back in California but sad to be leaving the life we had created here in Ohio. I was however, very happy for Paul and his job promotion and wanted him to take the wonderful opportunity that had been offered to him.

Last month after the decisions were made Paul got a call from his boss letting him know that the East SE manager job was going to be open because the current manager was going to be taking another position in the company. This is the position we were moving to California for so basically he now has the option of moving into the new position with or without relocating. We were now really torn! Paul had a week to think it over and still felt like California was where he wanted to be. So we proceeded with our plans...

When we came out to California for Christmas our intent was to find a place to live and figure out what school Ella would be attending in the fall. We looked at a few homes while we were there and nothing really was working out. We would find a home we really liked but it would be out of our price range. If we found something in our price range it would be pretty small or just plain scary looking inside. We started thinking about purchasing a home instead of renting which then led to a whole bunch of other things we needed to start looking into. We weren't hearing the most positive things about the school either and we knew we had to stay in a certain area for Ella to attend the schools we wanted which then narrowed our home search down even more. We basically left California not really making any progress and being a little bit more unsettled about what the plan was. Another reason we needed to find a place was that we were planning to have another home birth in June when the baby arrives. I had met with some really nice midwives while we were there and I at least had that part figured out we just weren't sure where we would be having the baby. I was uneasy about moving out and just hoping a home became available that we liked. I was starting to worry that everything was "up in the air" we didn't really have anything nailed down and we were supposed to be moving back in a month and a half.

As we drove back to Ohio we started discussing the move and some of our hesitations. I was worried that things were too all over the place and trying to pack up and move with three little ones and another on the way while Paul was spending the month in California starting his new position as SE Manager was going to be very tough. Paul had also gotten a call on our drive back that he had lost some more guys in the West that he was going to have to replace. This basically meant his first few months as the new manager of the West were going to be spent in Omaha, Seattle, Phoenix, and Livermore. So we would not only be moving across country hoping to find a home but Paul would also pretty much be gone for a few months traveling. I had started looking online to get quotes for moving our cars out and was getting literally a call every 2 minutes from different auto moving companies giving me quotes. I started feeling even more overwhelmed! I first of all didn't realize there were so many auto moving companies and second of all I didn't realize there were tons of things you had to look into when you were selecting an auto mover. I talked to Paul on the phone while I was driving to meet with my Ohio midwives and I told him how overwhelmed I was by everything. He then told me that he had just gotten a call that the East manager position was open again. The candidate they had offered it to had declined it. So now we are faced yet again with the option to stay in Ohio. After my midwife appointment I was feeling even more sure that staying in Ohio seemed like the option we needed to take. We prayed about it and discussed it some more and both felt like God was calling us to stay. It just seemed with nothing working out and the continual bad news regarding Paul's new job territory that God was making our pathway clear.

So Paul made the call and the next day he was announced the new SE manager of the East. We have since been making hard calls to everybody letting them know the sad news. Even now it's still really hard! We really feel like our hearts are in two places! There were so many great perks to being back in California. We were excited about our kids being close to their grandparents and great grandparents! We were SO excited about being close to great friends again and being back at Grace Baptist. Along with that excitement though was the realization that we were leaving behind, great schools, a great affordable area to raise a family and leaving behind some great friends and family. Ultimately we had to do what we felt God was calling us to do. We also had to do what we felt was best for our family. This doesn't mean the door is permanently closed to California. If we feel like California is where God wants us to go then we know He will make it happen. We hate feeling like we have let people down though and hope people will understand why we made the decision we did and know it was extremely hard. Will we second guess our decision when it's single digits and there is a few feet of snow on the ground? Probably! Will it be hard to see beautiful pictures of the central coast and hear about the gorgeous weather when we haven't seen the sun in weeks? Definitely! Will it be hard for us during the holidays and during the kids’ birthdays with most of our family thousands of miles? It always is!

In conclusion for those in California: we’re sorry; we won’t be able to be with you more. For those in Ohio: we’re sorry; you’re stuck with us for the foreseeable future.