Growing up in a desert I never imagined that fall could be so beautiful. I thought that the beauty of the southern Utah red rocks couldn't be beat, but because the weather stayed so warm and there wasn't much vegetation, I never appreciated the full beauty of changing seasons.

This last week Dave's sister (who is also expecting twins!) came to visit us with her little boy for a couple of days. The weather was heavenly and we decided to head up to a local farm and orchard to let the kids do some apple picking and walk through the petting zoo. 

It really was the perfect fall day. The kids got to see animals, explore a darling wooden playground, play in the "cereal bowl" (an enclosed area filled with a foot deep of corn kernels), and run through the pumpkins. 

Miss Tillie was in heaven seeing the animals for the first time

And to top it off they had some amazing desserts that we all ate more than our fill of. (For you locals, do yourself a favor and go to Silverman's and get an apple dumpling. And do me a favor and bring me one back!)

Tillie Rose in the "cereal bowl"

As we wandered through the country store filled with everything from fresh apples to country home decor, I came across this little sign:

And for me, it was a little answer to my prayer that week. 

Being home with three kids under 18 months is great and crazy and exhausting and fulfilling, and sometimes at the end of the day I finally understand what all those mothers were talking about. Motherhood (and probably fatherhood, and work, and service, and really anything worth doing) sometimes leaves you wondering if you're really doing any good, or making any difference. 

But reading this sign made me remember that there is a time and a season for everything. Sometimes the season is one of investment and sowing, and not yet the harvest. Just like planting seeds, there may be days and months and maybe even years of planting and sowing before the seeds ever produce fruit. 

But I think that is how it is supposed to be. There are times and seasons for everything. And in the end I think that is what makes life full of joy. 

As I came home I looked up the scripture from the sign. And realized again how much divine wisdom there is in the scriptures. 

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8


Welcome Home Clara Mae

Friday morning I got another call from the NICU, letting us know that Clara Mae was ready to come home.

Dave was travelling for work (which of course made me sad that we couldn't have a picture perfect family pick-up, but let's be honest, we are probably going to have many moments as a family of 5!). So thank heavens for good friends that could come help out with the two other girls under 18 months at home. We left Jane with one friend, and then the other came with me and Tillie Rose to pick up Clara.

 My oldest and my youngest daughter. (Still pinching myself when I say I'm a mother to 3 daughters)

 These kisses are not posed, this girl seriously just can't get enough of her sisters. 

 My angel friends who helped me get through the first feedings before Dave got home. (Oh and ps, the friend on the right, she's about 8 months pregnant here and looking awesome right?)

 After their feed I laid them down together, side by side, with space in between so they wouldn't wake each other up. Within an hour or so I came in to find this, somehow they had moved to find each other. 

It looks like we're all glad to have Clara Mae home.

Welcome Home Jane

So the day started like this. Tuesday morning came and I was trying to get everything put together after a fun weekend away for Labor Day (we took one last trip as a family of 3 to see my brother play football in Virginia). As far as we knew the earliest Jane would be home was Wednesday, but likely it would be Thursday or Friday. So on Tuesday morning I knew I had one last day to get everything done on my list and be ready for our new arrival.

And then the doctor called. And Jane was ready to come home.

So Tillie ran around with her hair in her eyes and no clothes on while I got the last things put together, and then when Daddy came home it was finally time to bring Jane home. 

We waited for a minute in the family room outside the NICU. It's crazy for me to think that when Clara gets home we will be done with hospitals, waiting rooms and doctors for a while.

Then Jane had her last diaper change in the hospital (I love that she's still drowning in the size 1 diapers), and we got to finally unhook all the monitors.

Tillie was so excited to see Jane in a carseat, and it was all we could do to stop her from giving kisses and pointing out everything on Jane (hair bow, eyes, nose, mouth, fingers). We're going to have to work on the pointing and smothering. But I couldn't be happier (and more relieved!) that she adores her like she does.

And then just like that, we were ready to go home as a family of 4.

I have to admit that a part of me stayed in the hospital with Clara. But gratefully she should be home any day now, and so I'm just trying to take in time as a mother of 2 in the small window I get it.

And so on Wednesday we did just that.

Doesn't Tillie's face just say it all here?

Our biggest welcome to our littlest Jane. Lucky for you, you have a sister who will slip you toys and be your friend, parents who will do all they can, and a whole support team of people who love you and have prayed you  here.

Welcome home baby Jane.
Design by Kelly Brito