Motherhood Vulnerability

My first babes are 4. 

Which means for 4 years I’ve literally HATED my body. Every bit of it.
Do you know how hard that is for me to TYPE that let alone admit out loud to someone? My entire life I’ve been fit. Like SUPER fit before getting pregnant. I could deadlift over 200lbs! And then I had a swift and forever changing smack in the face of a triplet pregnancy. 

There were so many things I didn’t know I would mourn.
I mourn the fact that I never got an initial normal pregnancy. I mourn the fact that I was so scared to MOVE let alone exercise in their pregnancy that I literally lost 70% of my muscle mass. I mourn the fact that I’ve been SO OBSESSED with these children that I have literally not given my personal health a second look until this year. (The list goes on and on but I’ll spare you)

NOTHING in my life has gone according to plan. I’m ok with that (now...) because it is LITERALLY a more beautiful life than I could have ever imagined, but I’m a PLANNER! IM A PLANNER, OK? It’s NOT EASY to just “be ok with that” when you’re a PLANNER!

I’ve been on another level of anxiety for LITERALLY 4.5 years and I’m finally coming down to a normal level and breathing for once.  

I’ve dedicated 2018 to self discovery. I need to pour into myself. I need to figure out what I really want and who/what I really want to dedicate my time to. I need to find my happiness outside of kids.  
 *dont get me wrong. My kids make me crazy -do irrational things - scream real loud - embarrass myself in public - HAPPY and I’m legit obsessed with them and every stupid little thing they do every day. 
But I think it’s crazy important to be someone outside of your kids. And I think I’ve lost a lot of that in the last 4 years.

And I think a big part of that is because I don’t FEEL like myself. 

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I had the triplets when I was 25. I was still in the mindset that weight and muscle tone and thigh gaps were the identifying factors of self worth and identity. That may sound super vapid and vain to a lot of people but 🤷🏼‍♀️ it is what it is. That’s where my mindset was. 

Since then... 

I spent a year panicking about the triplets’ health. 
I spent the next year moving to another continent and having another baby.
I spent the year after that adjusting to a HARD reality in a difficult place to raise a large family and attempting to find balance at work and at home.
I spent this last year having another baby and trying to plan our future.

We now have a beautiful healthy family. We have a plan. We have a future.
and I’ve lost myself. 

SO, after a lot of rambling I get back to the fact that I’ve dedicated 2018 to self discovery.
I spent January kind of deciding if I thought that was weird or whiny or crazy or worth it.
I spent February figuring out how to pray intentionally. (DO YOU REALIZE HOW HARD THAT IS? Because I didn’t. I spent a month LEARNING and I’m still just kind of figuring it out)
I’m about to spend March celebrating the vessel that spent 4 years creating 5 amazing humans and learning to love it. Taking a trip for myself with friends, learning how to run for joy again, learning how to love my job again —  so many things.

The funny thing about love - it doesnt have to be perfect to love it. Because nothing is perfect. There is only 1 perfect human and I’ll hopefully meet him someday, but until then I need to learn to love the imperfect. 

I could write another 47 blog posts about living perfectly imperfect. About constantly striving for a more perfect house, wardrobe, photos, for more followers on instagram, for more time for fun and less time for reality, wishing I had different/better talents that what I have - silly silly things that just aren’t attainable. REAL LIFE: I can barely see through my incredibly teary eyes right now, so I’ll save all of that for later. 

So, here I am.   

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Somewhere between 133 and 142lbs of squishy stretch-marked abdomen (did you know that at my height, the army considers 140lbs+ to be OVERWEIGHT 🙄), living in high waisted pants, trying to fit in more squats than donuts because I know that health is crazy important but NOT trying to beat myself up if I indulge in ice cream Fridays with my kids.

Here I am NOT mourning the fact that I have to buy weird bras to fit my mom boobs that have fed five kids because YALL. I’ve fed FIVE KIDS with my body.
Here I am shopping for new bathing suits because I’m determined to wear a two piece this summer and ROCK IT with confidence no matter how weird it feels to be a lot more flabby than the last time I wore one.
Here I am, learning that strong is more mental than it is physical in this season of life for me. 

Here I am. Ready to love myself again, love my family more, and find some peace in self discovery + relearning self worth. ❤️ 

EJG | lucky seven

As most people know, we welcomed sweet baby Ellis James to the world 08 August 2017.

We are so blessed by this chunky little bundle ❤️
and you could say that Stella is fairly thrilled (to put it lightly)

He lovingly goes by "Alice," "Baby Alice,"  "Elvis," "Squish," "Bubs, + "Ells bells"

Happy Two Weeks Ells!!

You fulfill the #fifthbabe role magnificently 

 

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Mumbo Jumbo and #alltherandomthings

Our new favorite game in this house is trying to learn to blow up balloons. My favorite part of this game? The way Jack says Balloon

Phonetically: "Balloolololola-nnns" September 2016 balloon collage

IT'S THE GREATEST. and obviously Yaya didn't partake in the balloon blowing, so she just sat around with crusted food on her PJs that she was in all day and chewing on sissy's sunglasses. #thelife

Also, my favorite new phrase to use is "this season of life." haha, I think I saw it in a movie recently, and I now use it everywhere, all the time. "Well, we are in a season of our life where sleep just isn't in the cards." "In this season of life for you, you're allowed to eat 2 creme brûlée a day." " In this season of life, having pee on your hands 50% of the day is just normal." "Luckily this season of your life means that having wine (and only wine) for dinner is absolutely appropriate."

Y'all, I don't know why I'm so obsessed with it.

ANOTHER RANDOM THING. I'm pairing up with @thewhiteoakshoppe on Instagram as a Brand Enthusiast. Home of the "Don't be a Bully" shirt, I LOVE LOVE LOVE her style. First of all, my Mom and Sister are teachers and I've heard one too many bullying stories that literally break my heart into pieces. I just cannot freakin' understand it and the concept that my kids will be going to school in three years (WHAT?!) and that this is such a serious problem scares the crap out of me. It LITERALLY scares me to death.

So, join in on it and grab your "don't be a Bully" shirts and DON'T BE A BULLY. Like my Mom (and your mom, and your mom, and your mom) have always said, "If you don't have anything nice to say, JUST SHUT IT." (ok maybe it goes a little differently...but I JUST GET SO ANGRY WHEN PEOPLE ARE BULLIES)

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You can shop here

AND, bandaids. can we talk about BANDAIDS? I CAN'T DO IT ANYMORE. so many bandaids. I mean, I do it because I can't handle the meltdowns x3, but GAH we are spending more money on bandaids then we did on diapers. 😂😂😂 I feel like it would be different if there was a Costco here, but there just isn't. So we are buying 6 boxes of bandaids a week.

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Another terrible thing about bandaids, some leave Liv with THE WORST RASH. At first I thought it was an eczema flare, but its in the perfect shape of bandaid ends. So, the Russian Roulette of bandaid picking drives me nuts.

Anyways, that's been our life these days. Traveling around, pooping on the potty, being big kids, destroying things faster than you can blink, coloring on stuff with clinique chubby sticks, loving us some Peppa Pig, Curious George, and this weird German calymation show called Shaun das Schaf. Oh, and never giving up our wubbs. HA, but even if they go to college with them, then they'll be out of my damn house. SO WHO CARES.

I've decided that in this Season of my life(😂😂😂), I have no time or need for caring about the useless things. Ok. going to bed because DAYSHIFT TOMORROW! All Hail the life of NOT BEING A VAMPIRE! 🙌

WAIT! One more random thing, on the 10 day kid free cruise in the Mediterranean we went on at the end of August (I just like saying it out like that because it sounds just as luxurious as it was and GAH IT WAS SO GOOD), I read two books and realized how much I seriously miss reading books NOT about potty training. So, LAY IT ON ME! your book picks!

Also, if you havent tried the #icedcoconutmilkmochamacchiato (for people like my Mom who will never be able to decipher that hashtag: Iced Coconut Milk Mocha Macchiato) from Buckies...WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU. freakin' go now. GO. gah, GET UP AND GO.

<3 Happy September!

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Trip to the States

In May we took 2 weeks vacation and flew the crew to the States! The task was daunting. Packing, traveling, arranging transportation for all of us (aka 4 kids 2 and under) was unnerving. BUT, we did it! We survived, and now two weeks later I think I can revisit the subject  Here was our itinerary:

Fly to Atlanta Tuesday (staying in my parents 2 room condo downtown) Tuesday-Sunday we spent time in Atlanta prepping and attending my best friend's wedding Sunday we drove to North Augusta (my parents house) and repacked Monday we drove to Folly beach, SC Thursday we drove back to North Augusta Friday we celebrated my Dad'd retirement (more than 30 years with the same company) Sunday Stella and my nephew (and now God Son) Charlie were baptized! Monday we drove to Atlanta Tuesday night we flew back to Germany.

It was NON.STOP. gogogogogo. We couldn't have packed more activities into 2 weeks if we tried. (and we tried). We saw SO MANY friends and family and celebrated so many great things. It was fabulous.

Ok, so how do we get through an airport with 4 kids (who are too unpredictable to walk) and only 2 adults? GOGO Babyz Travelmate. We took three. Two had a carseat and a kid on it, and we strapped two carseats onto the third. Child 3 and 4 were in front carriers (beco and toddler tula in this case). We carried on carseats because we figured everyone would sleep better on the plane. oh and STRAPS. we could strap those suckers in and not worry about chasing kids around a plane who managed to figure out the clasp of the airplane buckle within hour 1 of a 10 hour flight.

tmd_angle IMG_0643IMG_0644(don't worry, we didn't leave Stella at home. She was strapped to me HAHA)

The flight from Germany to Atlanta is 10hours nonstop leaving around 11am and getting in at 4pm (i think...) It was miserable. No one wanted to wear headphones or watch movies, no one wanted to be strapped into carseats OR walk around. they just wanted to be held. and when you're outnumber by 2, that's fairly difficult. But, we can do anything for 10 hours, right?? :/ haha so, the last hour and a half of the flight consisted of two crying and yelling "no airpwane NO AIRPWANE" and two crying themselves to sleep. It wasn't as great as I was hoping, but also wasn't the worst. What else can we expect from a bunch of two year olds?! The Delta Crew was AMAZING in handling us.

To get ONTO the plane, we roll everything to the side of the plane and Brandon just makes runs back and forth, kid after kid, carseat after carseat. A Flight Attendant stood by our seats as he just loaded everyone and their seat one by one. I stood on the walkway unloading and folding carts until everyone was on. By the time we were buckled in we were both profusely sweating. IMG_3942 This was our set up going there. all 6, all the way across. Not ideal but it was the only way they could fit us together.

IMG_0648We had to do a couple of seat swaps throughout the flight to keep random passengers from murdering our children HAHA. IMG_0650 Delta offered us Toddler meals for the kids that they were willing to bring whenever we asked. Overall the logistics worked out great. We also packed two snacks per kids along with 5 diapers per kid in a carry on book bag.

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everyone had a blast in Atlanta. It's interesting what you come up with as "games" to keep 2 year olds entertained in a small 2 bedroom apartment, but we figured it out. Lot's of runs down the hallway and trips on the elevator.

IMG_3955 View More: http://abbywallerphotography.pass.us/mary-anna-wedding IMG_0653Our first Saturday in Atlanta my best friend Mary Anna got married. I was a bridesmaid and the triplets were her ring bearer and flower girls! (Jack is her God Son)

As far as how the kids did walking down the aisle... Jack made it all the way down, Clara made it halfway and Olivia laid on the floor in the back SCREAMING until the wedding planner pulled her into the back. HAHA so 2/3 is a HUGE success in my mind.

We then spent 2.5 days at Folly Beach in South Carolina. Can I just say, each year we go to the beach with the kids gets easier and easier!! This year was AMAZING!

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My best friend from college, Johanna, lives in Charleston and she came to see us and it was THE BEST. I've missed her so much, and am so lucky to have her as a friend. Wherever we are, she makes the best effort to come to us. Those are the kinds of people to keep around!

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These babes are DEFINITELY beach babes.

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We used this time as a dry run for future "cousin camp" with my parents at the beach.

From there we went back to North Augusta to celebrate my Dad's Retirement and Stella and Charlie's Baptism. We got to see Brandon's parents, Beth and Bob, our great friends The Bontragers , and sooooo many others who made our trip fabulous! Katie (Bontrager) and Patrick McGlade flew all the way from Colorado to be Stella's God Parents. <3

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all 4 kids were together for the first time since 2013 with all of their kids, so LOTS of photoshoots took place. Some successful, some not so much...

IMG_3975 IMG_3979(these were missing baby Rose, the youngest of 9 Grandkids 5 and under)

I chopped all my hair off:

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and half my camera's memory card is filled with pictures like this:

IMG_5177where every one is stuffing their face and rarely are they all looking in the same direction.

Overall we had an amazing trip, but It's safe to say these kids are staying on this side of the Atlantic until we fly back for good!

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Oh, and they made up for the flight over there by sleeping 6 of the 8 hours on the flight home. So, I didn't completely lose my mind, but there is still time.

 

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Muttertag Volksmarch

Happy Mother's Day!We spent the daying Volksmarching from town to town drinking beer & wine and eating bratwurst & brotchen. It was amazing.

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We started in the little town of Glan-Münchweiler, walked two towns down eating and drinking our way through each one, ended at an awesome park that served wine and beer, and then took the train back to our car--the kids' first ride on the train!

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We enjoyed dinner at Berg Nanstein (Landstuhl Castle) overlooking Landstuhl and the surrounding towns. We are JUST hitting that age where before and after dinner the trips can play (still mostly supervised--someday we can just let them roam!) It was an amazingly relaxing day.

IMG_4773 IMG_4776 IMG_4778Liv's CHEESE face

IMG_4779Jack's CHEESE face

IMG_4781Clara saying "NO CHEESE NO CHEESE"

IMG_4785Sitting at dinner with the three who made me a Mom! (With my super annoyed fake smile since the people behind us wouldn't stop talking about how they couldn't believe they are triplets and taking pictures of them.)

IMG_4788 IMG_4789 IMG_4796And this is how everyone enjoyed their water tonight

Overall, it was more than I could have asked for on a day to celebrate my favorite accomplishment thus far. Hoping everyone has just as amazing of a day! <3 Schönen Muttertag!!

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