Oh my goodness.

April 2017 may have posed the biggest life challenge we've had since we were racing to move out of our house almost three years ago. :) 

In the last 27 days, we decluttered the entire house, held a huge garage sale, went to two midwife appointments, hosted a birthday dinner, had lots of friends over every week, finished Classical Conversations and a few huge assignments with the kids, made food for school events, went to the CC end-of-year celebration, attended an Easter family get-together, sold our truck (we're down to one car now!), and then as usual, I taught my bootcamp and kickboxing classes and subbed a few more. I was thankful to see a happy goal accomplished I'd been working on, and then there were bigger life things happening in the midst of that.

I'm finally taking a deep breath now that it's all almost over! :) I don't want to be that busy again any time soon. :D hahaha!

For the garage sale, I had the kids bring every.single.toy and item they owned downstairs. We went through EVERYTHING and cleaned out and organized what we kept. They made a train from the back door to the den:

The Lord helped me so and gave me strength to do what I needed to do, because I have no idea how we went through the entire house/cabinets/drawers/storage bins and cleaned out everything in about two days while regular life was still happening.

The week after we had the garage sale, we did the same thing with almost every clothing item we owned. Every single drawer was emptied and brought downstairs. We sold our three stand-alone dressers so we downsized and donated a large portion of our clothing as we don't intend to replace them:

I have three bins left to go through of baby items, but we finally let go of the up to 13-year-old baby clothes we had in storage. :) (And yes, we still hope to have more children ;)

Each child still has two drawers in our closet system, and we have our master hang-up closet and three drawers for each adult. Even with the major purge, I'm amazed by how many clothes we still have left!

One weekend we celebrated my dad's birthday:

The kids made their own presents (without my help or knowledge, ha!), and Isabella cross-stitched this paperweight while Noah hand-copied the papers he wrote in Essentials and the poems he wrote into a book for him. :)

Then we had the most lovely Easter morning with sweet friends. My mom sent all the kids a special outfit for the day. They were so thrilled to get a package in the mail. :)

Looking back, we have had a refining month and really, a refining year. God is moving our hearts in a way that is completely changing our lives. 

For the last few years, I feel like the Lord has been pulling on me, drawing me away. Over and over, I feel more and more of a need to keep my head down and focus... to be quiet, get away from the noise, to cover my ears to the world's opinions. I've lost the desire to do many things I used to love doing, and lost interest in the things that used to make me happy. I don't have many words to say anymore.

I'm not really the same person I used to be. And it's a good thing, I'm sure.

It's crazy how when you walk away from the fleshly things you love, how the truth becomes so much more clear. Sin blinds us so. Our hearts deceive us in every way. The natural things that feel so right and good to you are actually killing you. And you can't even tell because you are addicted to them, and you're living under their spell. Leaving them behind will give you withdrawal pains for a while, but once you're free from them you see how they were only full of death and destruction.

I'm becoming more and more convinced that true joy is only found in giving up our entire will, our entire lives to the Father. 

The problem we have is that we think we are, when we're really not at all. 

Abraham could have "believed" Isaac belonged to God, but doing God's will looked like putting him on the altar and raising his knife. 

Moving obedience. 


God wants everything. Every single thing.

Though my hands are shaking, and my knees feel weak... I want to give it all to Him. 

And I trust that He will supply the strength I need to relinquish all of it.

So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.

Luke 14:33

baby #7: pregnancy update 27+ weeks

I feel so behind on sharing this update, but a week isn't so late, right? ;) With two ultrasounds and a super early positive test, I'm pretty sure my due date is ahead of my actual "date" but I'm happy to keep that padding when it comes time to be two weeks late. :)

Feeling: I'm feeling really wonderful! I had a midwife appointment today and this little lady is growing right on schedule. 

Craving: I'm in LOVE with cucumbers and tomatoes, veggies, and fruits, and when hunger strikes I eat a Oikos yogurt. Coming home from Sam's and filling the refrigerator drawers is always a treat:

Maternity clothes: I pulled a couple of shirts out of my stash and I've been enjoying the length of those.

Looking forward to: Summer and the end of a few weekly commitments! Kind of, anyway. I know the weeks will slow down in May and June, and even more so when we have less happening. But I'm excited to have some time to get a few things done before the baby comes.

Something wonderful that happened: I bought a perfect watermelon! I think the first ones of the season are the best of the entire year. I ate two huge servings in one day and I couldn't exercise that night because I was so hugely bloated. I couldn't bring myself to eat any more after that, but I really enjoyed those first two bowls. ;)

Aches or pains: My hips have started separating, and I feel it the most in the hours after I do lunges or lunge jumps. Other than the occasional rib soreness from sitting, I have been feeling great. I can tell my round ligament is stretching too!

Belly: Varies dramatically during the day and week! Sometimes it's smaller and feels high and tight, and sometimes it's super low and round! Maybe it was because of her position, or what I had eaten, but one day last week I came in after break (that day after eating my first huge bowl of watermelon for breakfast!) and my belly was a hilarious-looking huge ball! I asked Rob if it looked funny and suddenly very round to him too, and apparently it was because he drew back in surprise and pulled out his camera to document it! ha!

Exercise: Still working out and teaching like usual- rebounding after weeks of sickness made me feel like I have lots of energy again! :) Pushups, situps, and planks are leaving my range of ability now with a uterus protruding. ;) It's disturbing more than painful and I'm trying to lessen any diastasis recti by not pushing it, especially if it feels weird. 

Morning sickness: It showed up again in the last couple weeks, and I was gagging on my toothbrush all over again. :( Must have been a growth spurt? It disappeared thankfully! :)

All in all, I'm so thankful and delighted to have made it to the 3rd trimester! :) It's fun to think that it is already April and she's due in June! 

I love looking back at my old posts to see how similar this pregnancy is- here's my 27th week update for Ivy (#6):

And 26 and 28 weeks with Zane (#5):