hi! I miss you!

Friday, December 12, 2014

hi.  I've missed you!  I wish we could grab a cup of coffee with our kids running and laughing in the background while we each sighed about the gifts we have yet to buy and the Christmas cards that still need sent.  Maybe we could slip a little bailey's in the coffee and eat a cookie or two without letting the kids know.  Let's pretend that's what's happening?

How are you?  What has been keeping you busy and feeling so happy and grateful?  What's been wearing on your mind?  I've been thinking of you.

In case you've been thinking of us too -
Here's the skinny on what we've been up to.
First, YAY!  It's the holidays!  And yet, we are not even close to being ready!!  hahha, but I'm still laughing about it so that's good, I guess.  Our Christmas cards just arrived yesterday and I got them all addressed and then looked at the stack yesterday and knew I wanted to get them in the mail asap but between bathing the baby, making the kids dinner, and getting to B's basketball game - they were definitely NOT going to get stamped, sealed, and return label'ed.

And so I called in my elves who were overjoyed to help "do some hard work."  Which is why for those of you who receive our christmas cards - you'll see that they've been closed up by two little darlings...which would explain why most of them have double-stamped return addresses, kid stickers on the back closing them up, and the stamp is sort-of in the right place.

Besides Marco and decorations - we haven't done too many holiday traditions, except celebrating St. Nick's day on the sixth.  But lots of our traditions begin this upcoming week with our annual Polar Express party with the Fiores, Santa and pizza with the Stahls, and Christmas with my parents and sisters in a week a day (gulp.  must start shopping).

It is also basketball season and I am so happy we are back into the swing of the season.  I love Coach Daddy.  He is passionate, time efficient, and a major hottie...hah, but seriously.  

The team just had a big win last night, so we are all feeling proud and excited for more games to come.  Our whole family is so invested in these boys and watching them try their best and work together.  They're like an extension of our family during the season and it makes me so glad to know my kids have role models to look up to.  While watching Reindeer Cam yesterday, Santa said that "Cody" was on the good list (also the name of a player on B's team) and Grey looked up with a huge smile and said, "Cody!  I have to tell him he's on the good list!"  And yesterday Gem put stickers all over a piece of cardboard and told me she made it for Coach and I asked "Coach Daddy?" and she said, "No, Coach Furman." (our assistant coach).

Our kids LOVE basketball season.  Grey has attended a ton of practices with the team and both kids ride the bus home with B and the players from away games - which have meant Mum&Violet home alone for a little while after away games - which has been wonderful.  They use the game time to practice sitting and watching (keyword being Practice; we are pretty antsy-pantsy in our seats) and then can hardly wait for halftime and the end of the game to get out on the court and run around like wild animals.

Brandon was on vacation last week and he and my dad got to work remodeling our upstairs bathrooms (the kids/guest bath and our master bath).  Both of the rooms had old linoleum floors and my dad (also known as The Tile Master) ripped them up and got to tiling them both.  (Hello, clearance tile racks at Home Depot!)  The guys worked tirelessly (thank you!!) while also being patient with the kids occasionally during the day when they escaped me and snuck up to "help Daddy and Chum."

The kids' bathroom is now almost done (needs painted) and looks beautiful.  Our bathroom still needs the floor and side-tube tiled, grouted, painted, and put back together.  Full update to come when everything is done.  In the meantime, our bedroom looks like this -

Grey has been attending "Ninja School" (also known as Karate) with Pappy for the past few weeks and loves it.  He is really doing well in the class and comes home so proud to show us his new moves and how he is learning to count in Korean.  Such a big kid these days!  He is really very sweet and patient with his sisters 95% of the time and wants to be helpful to us.  It's baffling to me that he was ever a baby at all; he has always seemed like such a boy trapped in a too little body and now he's really hitting his stride being 'big enough' to do all the things he wants to.  He makes us very proud.

He and Violet are absolutely obsessed with each other.  He is madly in love with her and regularly says "She's so cuuuuute!  Sometimes I feel like biting her!  But I won't Mum, because I love her, but she's just so cuuute!"  If he comes near her she start smiling and talking like a little maniac and it's so sweet I could faint.

Gem has been her regular, ridiculous self.  The girl does not stop talking which is both hysterical and exhausting.  She has been trying to use "Actually" and "Also" this week.  I had to go through the heartbreaking talk with her this week that people only grow bigger not smaller - as she wants to be older than Grey someday.  (it's heartbreaking to me, not to them).  She seamlessly plays wrestling with Grey while holding a purse and wearing princess dress-up clothes.  Have I told you all yet that she no longer calls Grey "Booboo" (which she used exclusively for the first 2 years of her life), and now she only calls him "Greyson."  Sometimes Grey will say, "Call me Booboo, Gem."  And she flatly says no.  She takes nothing from nobody and it makes us feel both proud and terrified.  She's a force to be reckoned with, our Miss Ro.

On Wednesday before Ninja school, Gemma dived into a 30 minute diatribe on how there should be a girl ninja school and she doesn't care if she's not old enough yet, it's not fair that she doesn't get to go too.  So, I figured, if she can eloquently argue the situation, it's time for her to attend a class and so the girls and I headed to her first class of gymnastics.  She was shy at first and then got comfortable and took to it like a fish in water.  She's in with the 3-5 year old girls and since she is fearless and already wild, it's really a perfect fit.  Also, her little butt in that leotard; I could die.

Grey and Gem together are like a little tornado blasting every corner of our house with destruction and roughness.  I'm so grateful they have each other to play with though, especially with all the cold weather.  Having a new baby in the house has been infinitely easier since they have a playmate.  Not that they don't fight (THEY DO), but they mostly get along which allows me to run through the house getting small cleaning/cooking/bill-paying/organizing/phone call/newborn tending tasks completed without having to entertain the two of them too.

For part of the day they get 'gated' in their room with the understanding that they can do whatever they want, but they'll need to clean up the mess after.  The other day, I was folding clothes when they both came sneaking in my room.  I asked how they got out of the gate and they showed me...they used the bunk bed ladder to escape.  Also, that huge pile of pillows/blankies are for a landing spot when they cannonball off of their dresser.  Welcome to the Studer Zoo Crew, folks.

And then, we have this girl.  She just slays us all.

It already feels like she is growing too fast and getting a little bigger after each naptime.  I can not overstate this next bit - she is the best baby on the whole planet in the history of babies.  Seriously.

The only thing she really doesn't like and screams about is getting boogies sucked out - but I mean, come on - who doesn't hate that?  Other than the boogies, she is an angel.  An absolute angel and I think a hundred thousand times a day what in my life have I done good that lets me get to be the mumma of this baby.  I know it sounds over the top, but this girl is honestly heavenly.  Sleeps so good, hardly cries, sits for long periods of time and occupies herself, sleeps right through the two loud, crazy ones, and gives her smiles away generously.  

Gah, I am in serious love with this child.

Violet loves to chat, she just wants to coo and talk all day long.  If you look at her face and start talking she acts like you've just given her a million dollars.  She just wants to talk, talk, talk and it's with the sweetest sounds in all the land.  Grey and I have started calling her Little Goo (as in baby talk "Ah Goo").  The other night, I was getting ready to put her to sleep and I whispered, "I love you"  She made a little humming sound that sounded like she was trying to repeat me, so I started giggling a little bit.  Well, that woke Violet right up and she got to her talking and cooing like we were going to grab some coffee real quick instead of bedtime.  Oh, this girl makes me so happy.

Brandon and I have done only a few of our adult advent calendar items, but we've mostly been fondly calling them "the tasks we probably won't do tonight."  HAHAHAHHAH.  We have on multiple occasions both passed out at night to wake up in a panic to lock the doors, turn off the lights, set up Marco, and barely make it to bed before falling back asleep.  Between the kids, basketball, work, and the holidays - we are running low on energy.

But that doesn't mean we aren't squeezing in quality time together and giggling over things that are so dumb but we both think are hilarious.  (Most recently laughing and using the young person fad of commenting with the use of "dem" and "doe" in place of "them" and "though".  #weareoldlosers

Overall, it is a daily whirlwind over here, but one that feels steady and comfortable somehow.  So far, having three under five has definitely been exhausting but also so full of love and hilarious personalities that I am truly loving our little family of five.

Last night at the game, someone with three grown kids asked me if I had gotten 'to the point of giving up the idea of perfection yet?' and it was such an accurate description of what it feels like that I heartily laughed and exclaimed, Yes!  That is what it feels like with three; like somehow I have let go of this pressure I've been putting on myself for things to be perfect like I did with only one or two kids.  And now, our days are so full of movement and loudness and giggles and things that need done - perfection has been removed from an item on a goal list.

It is finally like I've realized perfection is not something we are striving towards, but rather perfection is the sum of all of us all together.


In short, inside my bones, I feel like this Story People One of Us from Brian Andreas*, (of which had me in tears the other day) explains exactly how I feel.

Happy holidays to you!  I hope you are remembering to feel the joy of the season right along with the hustling and bustling.  xxox

*If you are not familiar with the work of Brian Andreas, I would strongly suggest discovering him.  His words make my heart float.  We have a print of his (No Words) in our bedroom.  He is magnificent.


  1. Hi Tab! I've missed you too! I am so glad we caught up :-). I ate a few Hershey kisses while I read your update - I would love to actually sit in the same room with you and have coffee (or an adult beverage when you can) and catch up.

    May you and yours have a blessed Christmas season and a wonderful start to 2015. Time sure does fly! While I was baking cookies today, the song "Don't Blink" came on. I wept. Then my iPod (on shuffle) played "Your Joy" sung by my Amanda for the father-daughter dance at her wedding. Then the tears came in buckets. "Turn around and they're tiny, turn around and they're grown" is truth!

    With much love,

  2. Tabitha, I love reading about your day to day life. It sounds like you are busy, but settling in nicely to this new season as a family of five. I'm so glad.
    I am working to let go of perfection as well. To focus on the fun I have with the kids, not the crumbs collecting under my kitchen table. To focus on the characteristics I am instilling, not how many toothpaste blobs are in the bathroom sink. But boy howdy, it's not easy!
    I love reading about how much you love Violet. That's how I felt about Wyatt. Like how in the world could I get so lucky to have this absolute perfection in my life?!? And those sibling relationships? Oh, they are the best!!!
    Happiest of holidays to you & your beautiful family.
    Love & hugs,