Friday, June 27, 2014

Happy Birthday Grace!

10 years ago - a whole DECADE ago- this amazing girl made me a mommy. I couldn't ask for a better 1st child- she has made the transition into motherhood a wonderful experience. She is beautiful, smart, talented, helpful, and so kind. I truly lucked out when Heavenly Father made her mine. 

Happy Birthday Grace.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Moira and Violet's Room

One promise I made when we moved was to paint Moira's room blue.  Lucky for us all, Violet doesn't care what color her walls are yet, so we were saved from an argument that the older girls had to have.  This is one of the most drastic changes so far.  I wish I had taken a picture in between these two- they were both sleeping in a navy blue full sized bed- so imagine that ;)

 Dark red room
So much lighter now!  And most important: both girls love it!

Toy Room

This is the Mess that was the basement playroom. 

After assembling some storage solutions and organizing the toys, this is what we get:

Happy 3rd Birthday Violet!

This girl is hilarious!  She has an uncanny comedic timing for her age- and what's better is she KNOWS that she is funny!  She has a concrete sense of right and wrong, even if it is skewed, and will often be found yelling at her daddy about whatever he is doing at the moment.  Actually you can often find her yelling, period- happy yelling, mad screaming, sad crying, etc.  The decibel level is very near her father's, much to her mother's chagrin.  She loves the colors orange and pink, My Little Ponies, Minnie Mouse, wearing dresses, following her sisters around, and snuggling with Mommy and Daddy.  She keeps us on our toes, and we love her for her.  Happy Birthday Miss V!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Living Room Transformation

Look at my Adult Hang-Out Room! 
Wall pictures aren't done yet, but one step at a time!

Luca 5-9 months

So the poor boy has been neglected on the blog, so here are some shots of him since the last pictures I posted at 4 months (so sorry buddy).

5 Months

6 Months

His first flight- to Oklahoma!

7 Months

Pictures by PoultonPhotography- didn't she do a great job?!

 8 Months

hmmmm hopefully Kaylon got some on his camera that I can fill in later... 
it was a crazy month...

9 Months

Turns out he loves the outdoors and will watch the girls play for quite a while.

Luca has struggled with some strong eczema from a young age, and we're trying to get it under control.  It seems that just when we make some progress, it roars back stronger.  This has made us parent him completely differently than the girls- his scratching is so bad that we still swaddle him in order to keep his hands away from his face- if we don't, I usually find blood spatters in the morning.  He is just now starting to sleep for longer periods.  We have tons of cremes and ointments for his skin.  I fear a food allergy is partly to blame, so I will be requesting some testing this week with his new doctor. Hopefully we can get some answers.

This is my momma's boy.  Kaylon has been so busy with the job search/interviews/switch that I got to do most of his care, resulting in some major clingyness.  He is only happy with someone else if I am not in view and haven't been for at least 5 minutes.  Sweet, sometimes frustrating, but we're hoping that will change now that Kaylon is home more.  He is starting to say Mama, which I am loving.  Overall he is a very sweet boy who loves his mama, sisters, and even his daddy.  I'm so glad he is part of our family!

Dining Room Transformation

When we bought the house, I knew that this would be the first room that I painted.  It was very... yellow.

This is our new dining room- including a dining set that fits our family!

New Job!

Part of the reason that I went silent on the blog is that I had to keep Kaylon's job search private and that was hard to do because it affected everything we did.  We sat down in December and decided that we were ready for a change.  We listed out our priorities in a new job and prayed that we could find something that matched:

-Shorter commute (it would be hard to make it longer than the 3 hours he was already doing)
-A step forward in Kaylon's career, with growth potential
-Hopefully lower cost of living
-More time together as a family

He started applying before Christmas and started getting phone interviews soon after.  Things were taking longer than we wanted and we got discouraged.  Then things picked up quickly- two places had scheduled on site interviews- one in Dallas, TX, the other Stillwater, OK.  Stillwater was even flying me out as well so I could look at homes and get a feel for the town.  And then WV called and scheduled an on site interview for the same week.  Three interviews!  We were thrilled and excited.

WV went well, though Kaylon was weirded out a bit by the old town, crummy roads, and twisted routes on hills.  It seemed like there were no flat yards anywhere.  Oklahoma was the exact opposite- flat as WV was hilly, with the added excitement of tornado shelters.  We both loved it- especially being only a days drive from family.  Dallas we discovered would not really help our commute problem, so it slid quickly to the background in our decision-making.

In the end, WV offered us everything that we had prayed for: a 15 min (1way) commute; a title bump, a lower cost of living; and a set 8am-5pm work day.  I struggled since I had really been looking forward to being closer to family, and was not looking forward to worse winters on crazy roads; plus our original house search did not reveal anything I had any desire to own.  But I had told Kaylon that I would go where it was best for our family and where the Lord wanted us, and after a day of mourning the idea of Oklahoma, I got on board.  That week a new house went on the market which we saw that weekend and put an offer on 3 days later.

So at the end of April, Kaylon became the Director of Investments at West Virginia University Foundation.  We are so proud of all he has accomplished and can't wait to see how well his does at this new job!    


This beautiful house on a giant hill is our home!  We moved in May 3rd after a week in Virginia without Kaylon.  It was an awful week that I think I will not recount here, but instead forget.  Let's just say I will never move again with 5 children by myself.  I just might never move again, actually.  Or if I do I will hire a moving consultant who will deal with all the moving/cleaning/yard work/unloading while I go on vacation (with or without my family).  It was that bad. 

But it's over now and I finally own a house.  Or as Kaylon would say, I am finally living in a house owned by the bank that I can change however I want to.  Life with an economist, sigh.

More pictures to follow of our home transformations- they're amazing!

I Am a Horrible Blogger

Seriously.  Most momentous couple months of our lives and I blogged NADA.  I am ashamed, and sad, and a bit overwhelmed at the thought of backtracking the past couple months.

But I will do it!

Because like I said, it was a crazy couple months.  Maybe a few months?  Lots of months.

To sum it up:

Kaylon got a new job.
We bought our first house.
We moved to West Virginia.

Yup.  Stuff happened.  Now we need to write it all down.  Bear with me.

Here we go....