Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Ellie is FIVE!

Five! My baby is five! Where did the time go? Well, technically she is not five for another six days but it's going to be a crazy week with summer ending, a mommy whose working all weekend and school starting. I was just reading back on a post I wrote when I found out that I was pregnant with Ellie. I remember that day so vividly. We were NOT planning on adding a third child to our family. In fact, I remember standing in the family room, positive pregnancy test in one hand and the phone trembling hand in the other, as I called Jeff. We felt so overwhelmed at the time with the two and three year old we had. Six years ago I wrote, "We feel very ill equipped to be adding another kid to the mix". Five years later, I can say we can not imagine a world without Elizabeth Jane Simpson. She is sweet, she is spicy, she is creative, she is a snuggler, she can be a stinker, she is a daddy's girl. Ellie says the funniest things and loves to act much older than she is. Her favorite show is Lab Rats or Doc McStuffins. She loves food, especially junk food. Corn dogs top her list of favs. She likes to stay up late and sleep in! This summer Ellie learned to swim and dive off the diving board. She tried her hand at tee ball and was not a fan! We are waiting another year and then might try soccer! Ellie adores her big sister and brother but definitely knows how to drive them crazy and aggravate them:) Ellie was headed to Young fives ,but after they change some things we decided kindergarten would be a better fit. We think she will do well and she can't wait to have all of the kids in the same school. Truth be told, this mom can't believe after nine years, there will be no more babies at home. There truly are seasons to life and especially parenting. Time and time again Jeff and I say to each other, "When does it get easier? When will we not feel overwhelmed all the time?" We are starting to see glimpses of that world. But, we also realize that every season has its challenges and it will never get easy! This fall all of the kids are involved in tons of activities and sports and it will be a busy year. Jeff and I are often passing ships, with one kid needing to be here or there and a third shift worker needing to sleep, life can seem like a blur.  We're looking forward to a new year, new teachers and new adventures! Happy Birthday sweet Ellie Bellie! We are so thankful that God knew that we needed a little spitfire girl in our lives!

Sunday, August 10, 2014


I have never hidden the fact that I struggle with nearly every aspect of parenting on this blog or in my life. TRANSPARENCY is my theme:) I also have been fairly candid about my struggles with parenting Caroline. I love my middle girl with all my heart. She is driven, passionate, artistic, caring, sweet, smart as heck, athletic and the list goes on and on. But, she has tested every fiber of my being. Parenting her has taught me some very ugly truths about myself. I am inpatient, quick to criticize, I speak without thinking, and react in anger when dealing with her. Many times my interactions with Caroline have brought me such shame. Most days I struggle with parenting and feel so defeated. I realized earlier this summer that my struggles with parenting were impacting my life in a variety of ways. When you know you are messing up majorly in one area of your life you can't help but wonder how that affects the rest of it? But, for a long time I have struggled with how to handle it, where to turn to get help. I have gone to counseling in the past but it didn't seem to have any lasting changes on my parenting. I literally didn't know what to do, so I basically have just ignored it.
Well, last week we discovered through some pretty horrible circumstances that our girl is struggling more than we ever thought. We are devastated. We have always had the goal of shaping Caroline's spirit, not breaking it. I am afraid that right now, our sweet girl has a very defeated and broken spirit. We have decided that rather than bury our heads in the sand through this crisis, we will fight to help Caroline rediscover all the wonderful things that make her the fantastic girl we know and love. We have enlisted the help of a counselor who will work with our whole family to become healthier and stronger. We need to learn how to communicate better, discipline more effectively, love more unconditionally. We are so sad that it took a crisis in our child's life to get us to this point, but we are moving ahead optimistically and enthusiastically. I pray that Caroline never again doubts the love we have for her. I debated whether this was appropriate for my blog. But, like I said earlier, I am pretty open about my struggles. We are struggling. We covet all the well wishes and prayers you can send our sweet Caroline's way!