May (just pics).

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4 Months, sweet girl.
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Ivy’s Dedication.IMG_5096

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Having 2 boys close in age is fun:)DSC_0426_2

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Tucker’s first time on Dutch.  Last summer he was a bit too scared.  DSC_0467_2

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Tucker’s 3rd Birthday Party.  DSC_0393

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I asked Tucker what he wanted to have for dinner on his birthday.  He requested Indian food.  Ha!  Well, I had never made Indian food before, but with the help of Joel and my parents we came up with Tikka Masala.  He loved it:)  Silly boy could have had pizza.

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4 month well visit.IMG_5013

Awhile back Jackson was asking me questions about college.  He said he only wants to go for 3 days.  I asked him why 3 days and he said so then he can try cotton candy and watch as much tv as he wants (but then come home to mom and dad).  Alrighty then!  So the next time we ventured out to the zoo, I of course let him try some cotton candy.  He was impressed:)
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Speaking of college…Jackson graduated preschool!  My heart hurt that whole week.  So very bittersweet.

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The very best teachers.

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Trying out some tennis lessons.  Fun, but not as fun as t-ball, he says. 
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What Tucker, Ivy, and I do during Jack’s t-ball practice.  Find small spaces of shade.

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Tucker’s 3rd year.

Tucker,

When you were born and your Grandpa Gary met you for the first time he called you a “little lover”.  And you really are.  Your 3rd year of life was the best yet (for us anyway).  You smile easily, make us laugh without even trying, and have a silly and care free spirit about you.  Your goofiness is the perfect addition to our family.   I thank God each night for making you, YOU and also pray that you don’t let anyone squelch who God made you to be.

Life is fun alongside you little boy, and loving you is definitely not hard.  You hate getting in trouble, and still love and ask to be held.  I try to say yes as much as I can-pretty soon you will be too heavy for my hip.

Today you ran from me at the mall and hid inside one of the racks of evening gowns at Dillards.  That was fun:) So you do have your moments and act very much like a just turned 3 year old, but the moments in between are what I think we will remember.  The moments where you make up your own songs in the backseat of the car or start dancing in the middle of a restaurant.  They bring us so much joy.

I love you and will always be proud to say that you are mine.  My son.

Love,

Mama.

3 months, sweet girl.

Ivy at 3 months.
addtext_com_MTY1MzU1NTQxNjAThis month she started sleeping much longer stretches and is eating well.  Her brothers want to play with her like a football, which really freaks me out.  They love her so much, but they don’t understand just how fragile she still is.  I rarely leave her in the room with them alone:)  But she loves them and smiles at them more than anyone else.

She learned how to squeal and copy noises this month also.  Most days she is pretty quiet and sweet, but if you catch her at the right moment she will coo and even laugh.

Im having so much fun putting dresses, bows, and headbands on her.  Many people like to warn me that she will probably be a tom boy with 2 older brothers to keep up with.  That’s fine, but for now, pink dresses and flowers are what she gets.

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And can I just say one thing about trying to get the perfect picture?  I’m done.  I went over our Easter pictures and was laughing so hard at how miserable my boys look.  They really hate taking an endless amount of pictures and I crossed the line a bit.  In my defense it’s SO hard to get 3 kids to look at the camera without one of them frowning.  But still.  It’s not worth sacrificing memories and happiness for a good photo-especially on Easter!

 So I’m over it.  Except on family picture day:)  Then I will bribe them with suckers and ice cream.  Below are just few of my favorite outtakes from the day.
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fun times:)

2 months with Ivy.

I know it wont be too long before I’m writing Ivy’s 3 month post, but I don’t want to give up on documenting her little milestones just because she is the 3rd child.  Speaking of third child.  Joel and I often joke about how different Ivy’s first year of life is from Jackson’s.  Napping in the car on the way to preschool, listening to her brothers have very loud roaring contests thanks to their favorite monster movie and nursing while playing board games while persuading Tucker to go poop.  It’s just different and much louder :) , but not in a bad way.   Jackson, as a baby,  had my undivided attention and naps were always in his crib, but Ivy gets a mom who is just a bit more laid back and brothers who smile at her all day long.  I don’t think she minds at all.

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And sister can sleep anywhere no matter the noise.  for 30 minutes anyway:)  no longer.DSC_0421_2

This was taken on one of the first real warm days we’ve had.  All the neighbor kids started to emerge and our backyard was full.  Glory.DSC_0358

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the past few.

I’m a little late on this, but still wanted to have it on here:)  It’s been a busy few weeks.addtext_com_MDAxNjE2NDEwOA

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Jackson also had a birthday party a few weeks back.  I knew with Ivy being so young that I wouldn’t be up for having it at our house this year:)  So we had it at a kids gym near our house.

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life with ivy.

 

 

Things are going really well with this sweet girl.  Each day a new normal sets in a little deeper and we feel just a bit more rested.  I’m *almost* to the point where I don’t have to nap every afternoon just to survive:)  She usually wakes up 2 or 3 times a night to eat, but just last night we moved her to her own room.  It was kind of blissful.  One month must be the magic number for us.  Shortly after that I’m always itching to have some of my own space.

The boys are getting used to her as well.  It took Tucker some time, that’s for sure, but he’s warmed up so much to her even just this week.  His most common phrase when we got home from the hospital was, “leave her there.”  Meaning come play with me and set her down:)  Jackson loves caring for her and we have to watch him like crazy to make sure he’s not picking her up without help.  Last week Jackson told me he didn’t think she would be as pretty as she is and multiple times a day he tells her she’s beautiful.  I love watching them love her.  Best part, by far.

My sister in law usually does our family photos, but she doesn’t shoot newborns so we used my talented friend,  Kim.  I’m so happy with how they turned out.

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Jackson’s 5th year.

(video below)

Jack,

5 years seems like so much time.  I’ve loved every minute, buddy.  Each time I watch your 5th year video I’m reminded what a big year you had.  You learned to do so many new things.  Seeing you with your “baby sissy”  though has definitely been the highlight.  You are so good to her and often call her “babe”.  It’s to die for cute. You want to hold her all the time and often ask when she will be big enough to throw up in the air:)  Please not yet, buddy.

I love your laugh and how incredible it makes your dad and I feel when you laugh so hard you can’t breath.  The most common person to make you laugh is dad.  You are very much a daddy’s boy right now, which might have a little to do with the fact that I was pregnant this year and not quite as mobile as you would have liked:)  You love being active.  Going to the bike park, skiing, and swimming are your favorite activities.  I may not have been able to participate in those with you this year (as much), but I’ve loved watching you and cheering you on.

You still have such an innocence to you and are so vulnerable.  I’m praying you don’t lose that.  Lately we’ve been answering a lot of your questions on God and faith.  Your latest was, “How do we know God is really real if we’ve never seen him?”  We answered that you can see God in other ways, through people’s lives and by watching God change us and others.  I am praying the questions keep coming and that you want to know more of Him.

We love you Jackson Joel.  Forever and ever.

Mama.

 

 

 

 

Ivy Jean.

Our sweet daughter was born January 5th, 2014 at 10:06 in the morning.

Ivy Jean Schulz

We are completely in love with her.

She weighed 6 lbs. 8 oz.  Our smallest baby; she feels so very fragile.

We are thankful- for her health, her easy delivery, and that she is exactly who God created her to be.  Birth is pretty miraculous and so are newborns.  I wish I could stop time so I can remember every piece of her story.

It started with a snowy Saturday, playing outside and sledding with the boys-in hopes that labor would start:)

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My last picture with her inside me. 39 weeks.IMG_3959Later that night we had a sitter to try and get one last date night in before she arrived.  During dinner contractions started.  Instead of going to a movie we went and walked the mall.  At this point I knew.  But Joel was still skeptical.  We got back home and I tried not to be too sad that I wasn’t home for the boys the night we were going to have to leave for the hospital.  Around 3:30 am my awesome brother came over to stay with the boys.  We were admitted to the hospital by 4:30 am.

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I forgot just how painful childbirth is:)  I got the epidural at 7 cm.  We rested for a few hours while she turned and dropped, then it was time to really try for another VBAC.  About 2 easy pushes later and she was in my arms.  Those first moments won’t be forgotten.  I just kept thinking and saying to Joel, “We have a daughter.  She’s here.  She’s crying and perfect and SO tiny!”

The daughter we prayed for, for 9 months, was finally in my arms.
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And that is the start to her story.

Her place in our family continues to amaze us.

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The boys came to meet Ivy a few hours after she was born.  Jackson was smitten, Tucker was timid.  DSC_0271

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We left the hospital 24 hours later.  Loading her up for the first time was quite the event.
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At home.  My favorite picture of the last 12 days, below.
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The first few times Tucker held Ivy he would try and hand her back and say, “She’s too squishy.”  IMG_4005

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Lots of time has been spent just getting to know her.
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And I cant end this post without my mom in here somewhere.  She did everything for us the first 9 days of Ivy’s life.  Laundry, meals, cleaning, playing with boys….I’m so thankful.  DSC_0323_2

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She is doing so well.  She has yet to be very fussy, eats good, and sleeps…..enough ;)

We are over the moon in love with her.

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the summer of 2013.

 

 

I needed a little summer break from the blog.  We found out in May that baby #3 was coming!!!  BUT, soon after that all I could do was take care of my kids in between frequent puke trips to the bathroom.  It was quite the summer and honestly, even looking at these photos makes me nauseous all over again because I can remember exactly how I felt.  But still…we did have a good summer and we got to see lots of family.

Way back at the beginning of the summer Joel found the swing set we had been wanting on Craigslist.  I was pretty much elated and so were the boys.  But poor Joel.  He spent an entire weekend disassembling it in someone else’s yard and then transporting the wood to our house, then put in back together.  The money saved was entirely worth it.  I think anyway:)

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Tucker saying “hi” to cousin Mason.  This was at Grandpa and Grandma’s house in Nebraska.DSC_0613

And some time spent with Blake before another goodbye.
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We took the boys camping for the first time.  We went with 4 other families from our life group, which the boys thought was pretty much heaven.  Friends around all day and all night:)
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So sad his marshmallow caught on fire.DSC_0859

 

 Mille Lacs Lake up in Minnesota with family.

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So cold it made him laugh:)
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We tagged along with Joel on a work trip to Moab, Utah.  Jackson said it’s his favorite place.
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We got to see real dinosaur footprints just outside of Moab.  And to top it off there were a few paleontologists there working and tracking exact locations of all the prints.  A dream come true for me to be able to watch the boys see real life paleontologists as we had just checked out a bunch of books from the library on this.
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And we also got to hang out in Okoboji .  Always a highlight for me.
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Tucker’s first roller coaster ride at Arnold’s Park.  After the first lap he loved it.    
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And we finally got bikes for the whole family.  Jack learned to ride a bike without training wheels this summer, but for longer rides he does the tagalong with Joel.
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The day we found out that baby is a GIRL.  Such a fun day for all of us.
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Jackson’s first day of preschool.  Thankfully, he is loving it.

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Phew.  I finally got the dreaded summer recap over with.  Now I can get back to every day pictures.  Happy Sunday.

 

Tucker’s 2nd Year.

 

Tucker,

Whoa little man.  2 years and we love you so much.  A few things we love about you right now…

-You are the silliest member of this house.  You act goofy a lot of the time and often will say “fuuuunny!”  after showing us something or doing a silly dance move.  The rest of us are a bit more serious natured so God totally knew we needed someone like you in our family to keep things fun:)  You are a breath of fresh air.

-You talk lots.  From pretty early on in your 2nd year you started telling us what you want.  Mostly a good thing:) It has been so fun and cute to see you try and figure out how to say new words and sentences.  You still call oatmeal “ee-ohm” and we have no idea why.   We finally quite correcting you and just started calling it ee-ohm too.

-You could sleep the day away.  I think we are kindred spirits in the sleeping-in department and the fact that you can sleep till 10 (some days) makes me love you just a wee bit more.

-If I had to pick I’d say you are an introvert.  It’s not that you don’t enjoy people, you do, I just think you get your energy when you ‘ve had some chill time.  Every morning after you wake up you sit in your crib just looking around and playing with your blankets for about 45 minutes.  If I didn’t have the video monitor I would have no idea you were awake.

-You have great hair.  Im serious.  I don’t think I will ever give you a short hair cut.

-You want me to watch everything you do.  This past week we had the song “10,000 reasons” on in the car  you asked me to watch you.  The next thing I knew you were belting out the words “ohhhhhhh my soul.”  and trying to sing along.  Sweetest moment yet, sweet boy.  I love you, I love you, I love you.

Mama.