We've had one pretty amazing summer! As you know, it all began with God surprising us with 2 beautiful (we can't take the credit), healthy, funny, adorable children to call our own.
So it started out with a bang!!! :D
Since then, we've plunged right into lots of quality family visits with grandparents and great-grandparents. Those have involved new and fun things for the kids including introducing them to "country life" on the farm.
Tractors, moo-cows, huge yards to just run and play in, and good country cookin' that only tastes right outside the city and around a farm table.
With grandparents come lots of snuggles, tricycle rides, story books, cousins, and more fun adventures in West Kentucky!
We had a big time during the Fourth of July as we celebrated at my hometown's parade and street fair with the family. I've dreamed for years of dressing my children in red, white, and blue and taking them to the parade! I had such good, wholesome memories as a child sitting by the street, catching--and devouring--candy, and waving my flag!
So that's just what we did...
That weekend my family threw us a huge shower/ party in celebration of the new lil blessings in our family, not to mention making my parents, first time grandparents! It was held at my parents beautiful home.
It was PERFECT!!!
Gorgeous summer day, a lovely old fashioned setting of tables, quilts, and tables and chairs scattered around the front yard under the shade of their huge trees.
The kids had an outstanding time playing with their cousins!
Everybody graciously brought gifts, and the food was over the top amazing!! I forgot how well my family cooks... I think it's in the blood.
The other "big" blessing this summer was our getaway to the beach! Heath and I needed one, and he just happened to have a few days off in a row. Thanks to Jesus for our family vacation that we originally didn't think would happen this year!
The kids had A BLAST!!! That could be a blog in itself!
Those are only a few memories from our trip and summer! It's easy to remember and be impacted by those amazing 1st we get to cherish with our children.... Parade, the beach, tricycles, crawling under bushes at Nana and Pa's chasing a frog, celebrations, and so much more.
But there is also the every day life. The things that may not be as grand, but will be remembered as (hopefully) treasured, consistent memories. Playing in our own yard, Popsicles in our kiddie pool, book and blanket time on the couch, and decorating cupcakes to name a few things. These everyday things are what build a child's life, I think.
For us parenthood is a life full of blessings, but truthfully it doesn't always come easy!
It doesn't come with a manual the way my organized mind would like. (No, as much as books and blogs may help they're not a perfect fit for any of our shoes... Right?!)
That's why we have had to be even more reliant on the grace of God to sustain, His wisdom to guide, His strength when we're exhausted physically and mentally, and His love to keep me full when my human heart has limits.
Just as a new mommy of 3 months, I can say that it's similar to a wife's love (at least in my marriage). I would do anything at all for my Heath. I would die for him-- really--I'm not being cliche here. But since we're human of course, marriage does take work. I have a tainted flow of love without Christ. We need His being in our marriage, and His presence is why we have an incredibly wonderful relationship even after so many years! My ability of being wonderful, gracious mommy can only go so far without the Lord! I LOVE my children down to the tiny fibers of each part of me. How can I do that when I never knew them in my womb, but they were literally just little strangers only 3 1/2 months ago?!
So when it's the time of day when they're ravenous to eat (me included), tired of playing and nothing satisfies, in the all out whining or "let's bug my sibling to pieces" kind of mood in that bewitching hour that I'm learning to cook a (decent homemade) meal while keeping a somewhat calm house for Daddy to come home to, I have to .....
Take a breath.
Ask Jesus for help.
And then I step up to the plate of being a Mommy to my precious little monkeys.
Lol... I just had to throw some "real" in here so I'm not just posting a lot of adorable pictures of my beautiful kids! (I can't take the credit!)
Our life is a miracle, it's so much fun, and also a beautiful mess.
Here are some pics from the past week and a half. It's been a beautiful week of growth and quality family memories being made! I can honestly say that we have more and more fun with our sweethearts every single day! They are the sunshine in our home and our hearts!!!
Wahoo, Little Bear has become our little man now that he is potty trained. He chose toy story and Sesame Street ones, so cute. We really couldn't be more proud! (Oh my. Potty training is the pits.)
Waiting for a table at Chuy's... Yum!
Daddy's workin the new grill with an amazing summer supper.
What a doll face...
We adore Pioneer Woman's Comfort Meat Balls. I mean, what's not to love?? (Recipe provided soon.)
My friend, Kathy Rose, shared a recipe for this scrumptious homemade butter pecan cake, and it didn't last long! Heath even took some to his co workers. He's always been thoughtful like that.
They wanted to be like Mommy and Daddy:)
Heath surprised me with a few hours of playing with the children, so I could get out by myself for a little while. It was a first in over 3 months, so I'm so grateful to him! I really enjoyed mommy time and even found this lovely Lily Pulitzer dress at a local consignment store! I love a really smart buy! I also had some soup for lunch at Panera and grocery shopped alone at one of my faves, Trader Joes. I love to grocery shop! I'm weird.
I missed my family but came home feeling refreshed!
My gifts from God are in all different sizes and packages. It's just about seeing them at all. Thank you all for reading my epic-long blog post!
The Cates family hopes you have a wonderful and blessed night. :)