July 2016 Update

I had good intentions to write this post early in the month, but it’s summer in the Midwest, and we are living life to the fullest while the weather is warm. Maybe it’s better, because I have more to say than I did 26 days ago. When you’re raising tiny people, a lot can happen in the span of a month.

Josiah has been equally adorable and hilarious this month, as he continues to grow into the role of big brother. He insists that he loves his sister more than anyone else, and that she feels the same about him. I know that their bond is sacred, and I’m content to take a backseat. They both still know who to come to when they’re hungry <snicker>.

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Hosanna is precious and sweet and laid back. She is a go-with-the-flow-unless-she’s-hungry kind of girl. Also, she’s officially a thumb-sucker, and the cuteness cannot be handled by anyone around her.

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Truth be told, I’m thriving in some ways and struggling in others. This raising two kids thing has lived up to the challenge other mommas foretold. I feel like I’m in need of twice as much grace now. Apologies abound as I find myself struggling to keep our home a peaceful place for my family to live. However, I’ve been reflecting on my role as wife and mother and have come back to the conclusion that my relationship with my people is what makes life worth living, not a clean house or a sparkling demeanor.

Earlier today, I grabbed a bag of peanuts, and Hosanna let out her very first belly laugh, because apparently a crinkly bag is hilarious when you’re only months old. Everyone gathered around to watch, because who can resist a baby’s laughter? Please excuse the goofy laughs going on around her. We couldn’t help ourselves.

Tonight I was scratching Josiah’s back as he prepared to sleep, and he sighed deeply and said, “I love you, Mom.” The moments worth living for surprise me in the mundane. I’m learning to put down the laundry basket and pick up my babies more often. These moments are fleeting and so worth soaking up.

This month included a lot of planning and DIY creations for my little sister Alainie’s wedding, several nights at the county fair, and our very first camping trip as a family.

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Josiah conquered all sorts of fears, as he rode all the big kid rides at the fair (except the Star Trooper, because I couldn’t handle letting him, ha!). His excitement filled my heart, and I ended up letting him stay up until 10:45 to ride again and again.

Our camping trip was a spontaneous decision, but well worth it. We bought a few supplies, gathered some clothes, and borrowed a tent. We camped among our church friends at a “family camp” (revival meeting meets church camp), and learned the ropes. Dustin was Mr. Outdoor Chef, tent builder, and all around provider of our needs, and I got to spend most of my time loving on my babies. We discovered that you can successfully camp in a tent with an almost three month old baby and an almost five year old boy. It was a newfound joy.

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They both slept great in the tent. I don’t know what I did to deserve good sleepers, but it’s a gift I don’t take lightly. Watching them snooze while listening to the sounds of nature was so refreshing.

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We’ve discovered that camping simultaneously fulfills our deep desires for adventure and simplicity. We can’t wait to plan our next trip, and start showing our babies that they can see with wider eyes.

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I’m thankful for every moment of this month. July 2016 was learning from trials and breathing deeply in moments of bliss.

2 Comments

  1. Brittany Von Rissen

    August 16, 2016 at 2:10 PM

    Oh man! Nothing quite as heart-warming as a baby giggling. I’ve never been “actually” camping, I slept in an RV once. You make it sound so fun. Corey and I don’t take many trips so camping might be a nice alternative. It seems like Jo just turned 4, time sure does fly. Gonna miss you guys tonight at group!

    • felishajoyce@gmail.com

      August 17, 2016 at 7:12 AM

      Yeah, we were never big on camping until we realized it would allow us to show our kids more of the country! It was fun, but definitely more work than a hotel! 🙂

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