Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Pictorial update

January came and went in a whirlwind. We made a significant life change, which is good (more on that in another post), celebrated Curren's 4th birthday (will have to put that post up later), sickness started at month's end in our home, and we walked through some difficult days with a friend who was deeply struggling through life.  It was a really heavy month, but we found moments of joy in the daily routine.  Thankful for friends and family who have loved us well and supported us during the last several weeks.  

Here's a quick look at what we've been up to.  
 Plenty of time lately to love on little bro.
 We started Whole30 (a dietary restart if you will, or a highly restrictive Paleo diet) on January 7 and made it to the end.  The food was delicious, we were satisfied at every meal, we feel better, sleep better, and look better.  I lost 7 pounds and a couple inches from my waist and hips and Aron lost 27 pounds and more like 4 inches from his waist and hips and is down 3 pant sizes! I started running again too.   It's such an incredible feeling to really be enjoying food and not counting calories or eating only x-size portions.  We eat to fulness and aren't finding the need to snack throughout the day.  Now, I'm continuing to cook a Paleo diet.  And we are bringing the kids on slowly (in case you are wondering how they are doing).
 Plasma car fun (a freebie I scored from redeeming Pampers diaper points I've been saving for oh, like 6  years).
 Her hair is finally getting longer to do some fun little pigtails.
 Trying to get out and enjoy the sunshine in between rainy & cold days and days of illness.
 Been digging my Starbucks $1 reusable cup; paired it with a handmade, crocheted cup sleeve my friend Casey gave me a couple years ago.  Perfect.
 Such a happy boy, I tell you.  I just love this pic I was able to capture in between tickles as I tried to make him laugh.
 This pic made it twice on the blog; it's just too cute not to show, primarily because while these two *can* be really sweet together, man, they also go at it like the best of them. Our times together always end up with alot of tears and needing to ask for forgiveness.  The girls are only 6 months apart, so hopefully, their friendship will be one of genuine fondness as they grow older.  This pic was also taken before Kate (purposely) clocked Stella in the head with Stella's new toy guitar.  Awesome (not).
 Time to celebrate cousin Stella's 3rd birthday this weekend.  Love living near family so the kids can enjoy such moments!
 Sick big bro; lots of sickness for the past 2 weeks in our home.  Trying to find joy in the middle of such seasons because let's be honest: being sick sucks.
Baby's first cold which has induced asthma symptoms and need for a breathing treatment.  We've got good genes here in the McKay family.  Big sis was a good entertainer for Gav while he got his treatment.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Christmas 2012

Our Christmas this year was almost exactly how I pictured and hoped it'd turn out: relaxed, focused on the true meaning of Advent, and not overly indulgent.  We enjoyed a variety of activities including Maggie and I seeing The Nutcracker ballet at the San Diego Civic Theater (on the 2nd row nonetheless, thanks Groupon), several family drives to see lights (with cups of gingerbread lattes and vanilla steamers in hand), a tree-lighting ceremony in our neighborhood square (where there were easily 500-600 people and at one point I thought we lost Curren--it was a stressful 10 minutes), an outing to our local Botanic Garden where they had a sledding hill (1 1/2 miles from the Pacific nonetheless), crafts, hot chocolate, sleigh rides, live music, and marshmallow roasting, baking Christmas treats for ourselves and neighbors and hosting friends several times for dinner, Maggie singing in her Kindergarten "holiday" performance (come on, why aren't there ANY songs about the birth of Jesus?? Why can they sing "Dreidel, Dreidel" for Hanukkah, and sing about Kwanzaa, but not say anything about the King born in the manger, instead only signing about Santa??  LAME), and lastly, my sister and her family spending the night Christmas Eve (we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast together and watched the kids open some gifts).  

We kept gifts simple this year for our family; it's something I started last year. They get 3 gifts: something to wear, something to read, and a toy they want. We did the whole scooter/skateboard/bike thing this year and they loved it! And we did new Christmas Eve jammies.  Yeah!

I enjoyed our home decor and listening to Christmas music all season.  And I loved how the Advent calendar turned out below; we read a passage of the Christmas story daily and talked often about what this season is truly about.  Our pastor in Texas, Matt Chandler, had a powerful sermon last year about the Advent season and encouraged us to "focus on the Substance and not the shadow" (Col. 2:17) of the holiday.  I *loved* that and pondered it last year and daily this year.  The fun activities and gifts and decor and parties are all but a reflection of what this time of year is all about: the God-man come to live and redeem mankind.  If you have 15 minutes in the coming days, I HIGHLY encourage you to read his sermon (click on the link above).  It was life-changing for me for the Christmas season.  Maybe think about incorporating it into one of your morning quiet times soon.  


Look at this sweet baby! He has the best smile at this age of all our kids--it just lights up his *whole* face.  I love that! I love those big jowly cheeks.  He is one content, happy boy.  He started sleeping through the night right about 3 1/2 months of age. Don't hate me. I really didn't do much to help him. I think it's his personality; mellow, chill, go-with-the-flow.  He reminds us alot of Kate at this age.  Mema bought him these soft, Christmas jammies, so I decided to have them be his 4-month pic.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Happy 6th birthday, Maggie!

6 years ago this week, I became a mother.  Thank you, Maggie, for that privilege.  You are a joyful, playful, creative, kind, helpful daughter.  You love people, talk easily with adults, and have wonderful stories to tell!  You do a killer Scottish accent and continue to grow in your love and God-given talent for art. I absolutely delight in seeing you create new pieces.  You are fun to be around, give me awesome help around the house and with your siblings, and have really big emotions, just like your mama. You don't like to disappoint, have a tender heart for those who are hurting, and love to read books. Daddy and I have been encouraged this year by your maturity as we see fruit from our labors to train your heart to love Jesus more and others well.

Happy 6th, baby.  We love that you are in our family.  xoxo

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Almost 3 months old

Gavin is one of the most sweet and mellow babies I have ever been around.  He is so content most every day, eats and sleeps well, and is having the best time responding to his siblings' shows of affection.  He gives us the best smiles and is starting to laugh.  What a delightful season of life it is with this little man!

Beach babies

I think the beauty of being back here once again has yet to wear off on me--I hope it stays like that.  I LOVE living near the Pacific and taking the kids often.  Some of these pics are my favorite I've taken.

Life Lately

I'm really loving life with these sweet kiddos.  They keep me laughing, active, tired, joyful, prayerful, and always looking for creative, new activities to try.  Kate is officially potty trained; we started in mid-October and she caught on immediately, though there were still accidents almost daily. The last couple weeks have seen a marked decrease in the accidents, for which I'm thankful.  Maggie continues to love Kindergarten and all-things art-related.  She started an 8-week art class through her school, drawing characters from storybooks, and loves it. Curren still loves all things music and has a natural ability to drum; we are looking for lessons for him.  He is overall so sweet with his sisters (though he and Kate, more than any other, like to aggravate each other daily), loves his brother, and is reading books along with Maggie!  Here are a few snapshots of life lately. 
 Can't believe I only have 1 of 4 in diapers! So proud of her.
 Pigtails--the epitome of a little girl
 Date morning at Panera with these two
 Halloween with the cousins (a first and hopefully not a last).  Kate's face kills me--everything about this pic is *so* her.  And yes, Gavin does not have a costume. You all have no idea how much I loathe buying costumes that they only wear once.  However, this year, I did invest in a couple, knowing the kids would wear them for dress up.
 Park morning with my sister and the cousins again. Have loved them living close!
 Getting his stitches on (hit by a pole during church tear-down one recent Sunday)
 Birthday celebrating with two of my best friends, Lindsey and my sister (of course the babies came along and were totally mellow the whole time, so cool).  Felt loved and cared for; can't believe I'm officially in my mid-30s.  What?!
 Lots of drawing, lots and lots.  LOVE her eye and gift.  She amazes me.
 "I'm not done!" he frequently tells me while holding baby bro.
 Daylight savings--the bane of my existence; up at 5:45/6am most mornings.  However, I do think they are starting to sleep in a little longer.
Sibling fun on the bunk bed.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

First stitches

It was bound to happen, right? I just didn't expect it to happen to one so young and to her of all of my kids. Curren is the crazy one, jumping off everything, boundless energy, so very boy.  Little Miss Kate got 9 stitches in her forehead on the eve of our 10th anniversary after her brother pulled her blanket out of her hands, let go, and she went flying into the corner of a wall.  She only cried briefly and not once at the ER. Aron said the doctors and nurses were so impressed and every time someone new walked in the room, Kate would ask, "What's your name?"  She kept saying, happily, "I'm so BWAVE!"  And she loved the hospital ID band on her ankle, calling it, proudly, her "bwacelet."  

Love you, sweet girl.  You always amaze me with how easy-going you are.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The big cut

Maggie has been growing her hair out for quite some time, maybe a good year and half, in order to donate it to Locks of Love, which requires 10 inches of hair.  I also heard about Pantene Beautiful Lengths from my friend Lindsey, which only needs 8 inches of donated hair.  Maggie's hair was right about 10 inches, not quite, so we will see if it will work for LoL and if not, we will send it to Pantene  She did great and loved getting her hair cut and styled.  I'm so proud of you, Maggie!!