:: where am i headed? ::

i’ve been taking a breather, taking a step back to figure out where this blog is headed.  it’s been really nice having this blog – especially since i have never been very good at keeping up the kids’ baby books.  this will be fun to look back on in the future.  for that reason alone…i’m keeping it.

i’ve been thinking a lot about the direction of my blog, the design, the content and general feel of it.  i’m not bored of it, really.  i have just felt a little lost lately.  however.  i think i’m back in the saddle again (or else i’d LIKE to be, anyway), and while i’ll still be hunting for the perfect layout/look, i’ll just keep plugging away for now.

i have liam’s letter almost finished (i’m so bad lately) and will be posting that soon.  these kids are keeping me so dang busy!!  here are some things i’m in the middle of these days:

– exciting changes in our church (more on that later)

– weightloss (this could be a whole new blog in itself…which i haven’t ruled out)

– raising my 3 beautiful babies, who challenge me every day

– planning some fun vacations for this spring/summer/fall- (portland, hawaii, camping, idaho, california).

– loving two new (yay!) babies (yay!)  Colson Gage Lowery and William Hudson MacDonald (my boyfriend)

– being a friend to my lovely lady friends and figuring out what that all means (grace, love, compassion and, of course, a whole LOT of laughter…i am so blessed!)

– extra-curricular activities (yee!) – ballet for Gia and Aidan just started tee ball

– taking lots of photos.  i love photography and learning!!  i have my eye on a couple lenses….maybe someday?

– weaning Liam from his pacifier, potty training and soon…a big boy bed.  you can usually find me curled up sobbing and wishing for another baby (ryan says no).

i hope this finds all of you well.  i hope to see you more regularly here from now on.  i still have to finish the mean girls’ story, after all.

beautiful ballerina

liam's 2nd birthday!

gia putting makeup on cami


gia and marissa = love

gia and her scott

michelle reading to liam

:: elementary. and also, I Hurt Myself: Part 1 ::

When I was a kid, I attended my neighborhood elementary school.  It was within walking distance of my house for a couple of years.  We bussed it the rest of the years, even though it was close by.  It was a small town…I rode bus 17.  The driver’s name was Jill and she was mean.

I have many memories of us kids, standing at the bus stop, my wet braids frozen by the time I got to school.  As they thawed, water would drip down the back of my shirt and down my back all morning, startling me.

I remember the anticipation at the end of summer, when we’d all head to the school on that one, warm, Sunday afternoon.  The one Sunday afternoon when they posted The List.  We’d frantically run our fingers down The List until we’d spot our name….and our teacher for the new school year.  Now, being the youngest of three to attend the same elementary school, I had a pretty good idea of who I wanted for my teacher…but mostly, who I didn’t want.

5th Grade:  The teacher I prayed daily that I wouldn’t get:  Mrs. S.

Checked the list…the teacher I was assigned to:  Mrs. S.

I cried and sobbed and cried and sobbed all the way to Sunday night church and kept crying on the front row.  One of the deacons tried to console me, apparently the only way he knew how, which was, “STOP CRYING AND BEING SUCH A BABY.”  I stopped crying.  Until I got home.

Mrs. S. had a reputation.  She was tall, thin – gangly, even, with a curly mop on the top of her head, a pointy nose, thin, almost non-existent lips, and wee, beady eyes.  I’d heard she was rude, mean, sarcastic and not at all witty.  Totally the opposite of what I wanted in a teacher (minus the sarcastic part…that doesn’t bother me if it’s not excessive and annoying, which…with her, it was).   I’d encountered her a couple of times in the hallway and immediately felt like cowering against the wall as she passed by, glaring at me as if I were out without a hall pass or something.  I’d heard her talk to her students and saw how she would belittle them, curse at them and make even some of the toughest boys cry.

And she was mine.

By the time the first day of school rolled around, I had decided to make the best of it, do my work, not raise my hand, and essentially stay under the radar.  It worked for a little while and it might have kept working, if it wasn’t for…the mean girls.

To Be Continued…

**side story:  one time, I was playing alone on the parallel bars.

you know...these things. and i almost looked as cool as this little girl in the picture. except with way cooler early-80's clothing.

They were located discreetly in the back field of the playground, away from the other equipment.  I was probably in 3rd or 4th grade and they had taunted me for awhile until I finally got the courage to give ’em a go.  As my confidence grew (cringe), I liked to pretend that I knew how to do all the little tricks and flips that the older girls did, usually almost killing myself in the process, then standing up and dusting myself off before anyone noticed how I’d just gotten my shoelace stuck in the zipper of my jacket as I was attempting a double half turn somersault with a full pike (true story) (where were my friends?!?).  One particular time, I fell underneath the bars, and as I tried to quickly recover and stood up as fast as I could, the back of my head connected with one of the bars, making a sound much like the one a metal bat makes when it is tossed to the cement after a homerun hit.  Everything went black, and I went down.  Knocked out.  Cold.  (This would not be the last time I would knock myself out on a metal object on school grounds, but that’s for Part 2).  The good part?  Knocking myself out exactly when the whistle blew for the end of recess and students ran inside, not noticing the Mary Lou Retton wannabe gonging herself on the head and laying out cold in the back field.  The bad part?  Knocking myself out exactly when the whistle blew for the end of recess and students ran inside, not noticing the Mary Lou Retton wannabe gonging herself on the head and laying out cold in the back field.  It took them awhile to notice I was missing.  It took them even longer to find me.  By that time, I was awake with a ginormous goose egg on the back of my head, and was stumbling around the playground, trying to find my way back, all the while trying to act as normal as possible so no one wouldn’t notice what a dork I was.  I’m a pretty bad liar apparently, because the school nurse called my mom to come get me with instructions to not let me go to sleep.  My sweet mom never told a soul.  As far as the other kids’ knowledge?  Molly Murray just went home sick.  😀

:: babies, snows and things ::

Happy 2012!

We’ve been enjoying our new year so far, especially the current snowy days!  A couple of weekends ago, we bundled up the kids and joined some friends up at Snoqualmie Pass for some sledding and snowball-throwing.

aidan, dragging his sled for another run

gia's all smiles


i think ryan was having more fun than the kids


my buddy nancy!


nancy and bennett


aidan, heading down the hill...(bonus points if you can spot liam)


ryan, sending gia down the hill. she needed convincing.


this is how she went down. every. time.


cute liam


christopher and bennett

Part 2 coming soon…I need to go make lunch now.

:: delia’s 4 ::

Dear Delia Mae,

I have to start right off the bat by saying something.  It might sound kind of weird to some, but it’ll make sense to others.  Here it is:

You remind me of grandma.

Not surprisingly, you are named after her (Delia Mae).  You share the same personality.  Your sense of humor matches hers to a T.  Your quirkiness, silliness, and ability to look at everything so lightheartedly, yet feel things so emotionally.  That’s her.  That’s grandma.  On Christmas Eve, I was picking the meat off of a chicken for my tortilla soup, and I remembered back to when grandma taught me how to pick a chicken til only its bones showed.  She knew how to get every single itty bitty piece off, not wasting anything.  For the first time since she died, I found myself sobbing over a chicken carcass.  Awesome, huh?  As I was telling myself to get a grip, I realized I still have a little bit of grandma with me.  In you.  In my own mom, your Nana, who shares so many of the same characteristics.  You stand just like grandma did all of the time (and Nana does), quiet and upright with your hands held together down in front of you.  You’re obsessed with chickens like she was.  When I was little, your Uncle Billy, Uncle Joey and I would go through grandma’s kitchen and house counting her chickens.  She had chickens on EVERYTHING.  She loved them.  When you were 2, you deemed your blanket your “chicken” and it has stuck ever since.  When choosing a knit hat for yourself, you didn’t want the cute pink kitty or the fluffy white lamb.  I couldn’t talk you into the funny gray mouse or even a handsome horse.  You chose the chicken.  And you wouldn’t budge.  You proudly strutted through the mall with your chicken hat on, turning heads the entire way.  That’s you.  And I love it.  I love how grandma lives in you.  How she would ADORE you if she were with us.  I have a feeling you two would be kindred spirits.  You’re such a little gift to me since I miss her so very much.

You’re four now.  Your confidence ASTOUNDS me.  You know no stranger.  You’ll talk to anyone and you love everyone.  You’re friendly.

You’re always laughing, singing, dancing…you love sitting at the piano, picking out a little song and singing along.

You surprise me every day with things that you know.  You’re very smart.

You love animals and puppies.  You’re so very tenderhearted.

You’re in your first year of preschool and you LOVE IT.  When I asked your teacher how you’re doing, especially the first few days, your teacher looked at me funny and said, “Seriously?  There are no problems at all!  From the first day, she walked in like she owned the place.”  I expected nothing less after you’ve watched your brother go to school for 2 years and begged me to go too.  You have a confidence and awareness that is unique for your age.

You adore Adele.

You love your brothers.

You’re so silly.  Always saying the funniest things and laughing your head off.  You have an amazing laugh that comes up right from your guts.  You’re really so funny.  Like the other day when you had an accident and you told daddy you think Jesus made your pants warm with his magic.  Or how you called the golf course a golf “corf”  I need to start writing things down so I don’t forget the funny things you say.

You’re beautiful.  SO gorgeous!  With your dark hair with your big sparkly blue eyes, you turn heads wherever we go.  People stare at you.  They talk to you and tell you how pretty you are and how much you look like your momma (smile).  You like your ponytails tight and get very upset if your “hair is moving” (loose).  You don’t like messing up your pretty hair.  You love getting your hair done and anything else that goes along with “getting ready”.  You’re such a girly-girl in some ways, but always ready to pick up a Hot Wheels car or soccer ball.  You love your babies and dollies and dollyhouse.  You love your kitties and stuffed animals.  You have no interest in video games.  You’re not a huge fan of coloring or playdough, but you LOVE helping in the kitchen.  You love baths and playing in the water.  You did awesome at your first swimming lessons this past spring.  You love playing outside.  You hate nuts.  HATE HATE HATE nuts.  If you even get a hint of a nut, you will puke.  Full on puke.  But you’ll eat peanut butter.

You’re sassy. You have this thing you do with your eyebrow when you’re feeling sassy.

You’re sensitive to smells.  You cover your nose and mouth with one hand when you smell something you don’t like.  You’re always smelling everything and everybody and you remember things and people by their smell.  You’re just plain ol’ quirky.

We’re so lucky to have you, Gia.  You’re such a joy and a wonder to have around.  I love everything about you. You’re a light.  And we love you with our entire beings.

Happy Birthday, Gia Mae.