Sometimes things have to go wrong, so something better can go right

The other day, I was trying to get Chapel down for her nap and Shep runs in my room and says he hears water running. I got up to investigate, and sure enough, our HVAC unit was making a gurgling noise and leaking water. We turned off the a/c and it started spraying water at me. 
I got a guy out to fix it and luckily it was an easy fix, it had just gotten clogged. But when he was working on it, he had to go in our crawl space. When he came back out, he said to me that it was a good thing he went down there, because we had a steady leak coming from our hot water heater. He told me that would make our water bill sky high. Then it clicked, literally for almost the entire time we've lived here our water bill has been so high, like last month it was $70. I've called the water company and asked and they just said if we don't have a leak they didn't know what to tell me. I thought we must just do a lot of laundry. The leak was on the opposite side of the entrance to the crawl space, so we never would have noticed it. So, I told Joey and he said he'd look at it when he got home.
Well a few hours later, in a crazy coincidence, I look out and a truck from the water company pulls into our driveway. A guy get out and asks if I have anything running, I tell him just the dishwasher. He's basically like, what the heck are yall doing. He said so far this month we've used 26,000 gallons of water. I told him that just a few hours earlier we realized our hot water heater is leaking. 
So Joey tells me to just call a plumber and get him out there. I get a guy to our house within a few more hours, he literally fixes it in like 5 minutes and charges me $50, $30 for the part and $20 for labor. I said thats the best $50 ever spent because our water bill should go down that much!

I just thought that was the coolest thing. I know some people could look at that and say "ugh a/c and water heater mess up on the same day" but I am so thankful that a/c went out! I told the boys, sometimes things have to go wrong, so something better can go right.
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Life Giving Days

A few weeks ago, my parents took the boys for a few days.  Every star in the galaxy had to align to make it happen, but we made it work. I think in 6 years, its only happened 2 times, that I've been at home alone. Usually if anyone is watching our kids, they do it at our house. 
I love to be alone. I crave it. I never get bored, I could piddle around my house all day long and never leave and it just makes me happy. 
Anyway, my parents had the boys, we obviously kept Chapel with us, she's too young for me to leave her. But she still sleeps a lot, so I had a lot of the day to myself, then it was nice to be able to give her my full attention when she was awake. Joey still had to work, so I just had some time to myself during the day, home alone. 
I planned ahead to use my time wisely. I had the house clean before the boys left, so I could enjoy it and not spend my time cleaning. I can't relax if my house is a wreck. I didn't sleep in, I wanted to enjoy every second I could of solitude! I only did things I couldn't do if my kids were home. My own little introverted paradise.

Both times I've had these few days home alone, I come back to the same realization. 
I love to create. Its my soul, it gives me life, it makes me happy, it makes me feel most myself. I love to paint, I love to decorate, I love to blog, I love to take pictures...
But for me to be creative, I have to have some space. I need to unwind before I can be in a creative head space. 
Right now my little kids take up all of my time and energy. 
This time in my life will be the shortest. I know when I look back on my life, this time with allll of my kids at home all day will feel so fleeting. It is a split second of time and as time passes I'll forget how hard it was/is and my memories will only be of how good it was. 
Right now, I know I'm right where I'm supposed to be. My focus is my young kids, who still rely on me for every single thing, from pouring them a glass of milk, to sitting with them until they fall asleep. I think eventually, maybe once they're all in school, I'll find some creative outlet I can put more focus into. But right now this is right where I'm supposed to be, and where my focus should be.

I've given up an entire decade to having babies. I've been pregnant every other year since 2011. Pregnant for half a decade, infants for half a decade.  I've given up my time, my body, my sleep...but there is nothing else in the world I would give those things up for. Nothing else would be so worth it, the reward is so much greater that nothing feels like a sacrifice. 

I will get myself back. I remember awhile back...the boys were outside with Joey, the baby was sleeping, and I thought, "how peaceful" and then in the same breath, "how sad." I loved my life giving days, but as soon as my boys barrelled in that door like a tornado, I thought "This is IT." This is what my life is supposed to look like. I literally lose my mind all the time, I yell at everybody to keep their dirty feet off my couch, I threaten to throw away every toy we own, I banish them to either upstairs or outside so I can have 5 minutes of silence to eat lunch...
One day I'll have carpet lines and clean toilets and peace and quiet and I'll probably love it and hate it at the same time. I know these are the good ol days.
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Shep's Pre-K Graduation/Last Day

Let me start this post with a tale of surviving, not thriving. When I dropped Shep off for school on the morning of his graduation, they had sent home a note informing us to make sure we sent them with their cap and gown so they could get dressed with their teachers before the ceremony. So I pull up and get in the car line to drop him off that morning, and realize the mom in the car in front of me hands hers out ironed and on a hanger. Shep's was stuffed in his backpack, still in the bag it came in. 
When we got to the graduation, we were of course running late, so we didn't get the reserved seats for his class. We sit down and literally Chapel immediately has a blow out diaper. I was just like, sorry girl I cannot miss Shep walking in, and sorry to everyone sitting around us. Then Joey leans over and is like, "Major stinks." That kid has the stinkiest little feet ever. Even when he was a baby he had stinky feet. Then I am holding Breaker in my lap and I'm like, "why am I wet?" Upon inspection I realize Breaker's diaper is so full, he has peed through it onto both of us. I hadn't changed his diaper since like 8am. 
Seriously, yall. Four kids, surviving not thriving, my standards are so lowwwwww.
But you know what, we were all there, cheering Shep on, and I have pictures to prove it ;)

Shepherd had a great last year of preschool. He was so nervous to walk across the stage and accept his diploma, we were so proud watching him go!


On Shep's last day of preschool, his class invited the parents for a little party and they handed out awards.
Shepherd won the "Train Master" Award.

I could just cry when people post their kids first/last day of school pictures side by side. How do they grow so fast!! :((
Talk about low standards...Shep's last day of school outfit, I'm like please just get out of this house. Pretty sure those shorts are like size 18 months.

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Old Train Depot Day 2018

Our second annual "Old Train Depot Day"!!! I could have sworn that was the official name of it, but maybe we just made that up because I've never seen it anywhere. This year we were kind of lame parents and phoned it in, on account of our itty bitty baby and it was about 100 degrees outside. So we skipped the trolley tour of town so we wouldn't have to cart a stroller on it, but the boys still got to pick out a new train and they love looking at all of the booths set up with train collections. 

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Easter 2018

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What Chapel Wore - Month 5

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5 months with Chapel Raines

Some of my favorite pictures from this month:

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