I'm sitting here in my gorgeous new home listening to some Dave Matthews on our excellent whole-house sound system and my amazingly good, handsome, patient and smart husband Jared is downstairs putting together some of the exciting new furniture that just arrived today. The kids are sleeping and they looked like such little angels when I just checked on them. Life is good. And life is crazy. A couple hours ago, as I left my job of putting together a new chair to clean up poo off our brand new carpet thanks to one of our 1-year-old twins somehow taking off his own diaper and six-year-old Ashton was reminding me that he needs to bring a special poster to school tomorrow since this is his spotlight week and 3-year-old Eliza was having one of her regular tantrums about something I can't even remember now and 4-year-old Isaac was whining about how we never made the cookies I promised to make today, things weren't seeming so rosy. But that's just how life around here is - great moments, hard moments, great moments, hard moments - and a lot of stuff that needs to be done, some of which just doesn't happen. I'm learning to be OK with the eb and flow of a life that involves five very young kids, long lists of projects that still need to be done on this house, three fledgling businesses we're trying to get off the ground, the CareerMothers organization I helped start that has a conference coming up and the orphanages I'm supposed to be helping in Bulgaria.
Ashton and I worked on his poster for a couple hours and he finally begged to go to bed at 10pm. He did a great job helping with the poster, coming up with some very artistic additions. It was fun to focus just on him for a while and go through some great old pictures of him as we selected photos for the poster. He's a wonderful kid. He's been giving me random unasked for hugs lately which is something new and great coming from my non-cuddly big boy. And he's been making me valentines daily which is always nice. He's reading just about everything and he's always writing things these days and it's amazing to find papers around the house covered with his blocky handwriting. It's so fun to pick him up from school and see all the kids gathered around him and hear all their "bye Ashton's" as he leaves. It's so fun to see him so well-liked. He's such a mature and bright kid. Sometimes I feel bad that he has to shoulder such a load as the oldest of so many kids. We really expect a lot of him - we really have to! But he shoulders it well.
I can't write about all the kids right now becuase it's just too late so I'll try to write somethign special about a different kid each time I write. But I do have to say this time that our babies just keep getting more fun and they're growing up way too fast! Silas is walking all over the place these days on his cute fat little legs. Oliver can take steps but prefers to stand in one spot and survey the scene, then crawl when he wants to get somewhere. They both have these awful colds right now, but they hardly complain, sweet things. The snot everywhere is somewhat annoying but no bit problems. They both just got their first top teeth and do these snaggle toothed grins that melt your heart. They're full of hugs for me when I got to get them out of bed in the morning and there's nothing like their cubby little arms around my neck (and their snot all over my shoulder and their super sharp fingernails grabbing my face!).
Our house really is amazing - more than I ever even dreamed of. I wake up every day to the most gorgeous red mountains and lava rock and wild vegetation right outside my bedroom window. The views from every room in this house are breathtaking. And all the paint colors and cabinet designs and flooring choices and light fixtures and so many other things I spent forever researching and deciding have turned out wonderfully. We're still missing some backordered and sadly discontinued lights here and there, there are baseboards still to be done, we're missing 6 doors that had to go back because they had too many knots, there's paint touch up to be done, there are a couple boxes to unpack still, we're missing some of the furniture we've ordered and some we've got yet to order, and there are still pictures to hang, but really, we've come a long long way since we moved in two weeks ago. And we've come a very very long way from 3 weeks ago when we were freaking out because we had to get out of our rental and there was so much still to be done on this house! We've had way more than our share of problems and setbacks on this house, but we've also had many things turn out even better than expected and we've had wondeful help from my parents, my brother Jo and his wife Aja who live by us here and some great friends and neighbors as well as our new and very wondeful babysitter, Ashley.
We're doing an open house this Friday and Saturday to show off the hopefully finished house and it should be a good marketing opportunity for our new design company. It just feels like the right thing to do and it's nice to have a deadline for getting the house pretty much done - but it's pretty stressful and crazy trying to finish building a house while we live in it with our many little kids. But mostly the kids are loving playing in the basement and have been getting along surprisingly well without all that much attention from us.
Got to go to bed!