Wednesday, December 28, 2016

........We took the time to move the last of our personal items from our NYC apartment this past week. There wasn't a ton inside, as we had rented the big stuff; but there was enough to make a full morning of it.........

.......When we moved out 4 years ago and rented the place to a tenant, we were leaving life as we knew it. We said goodbye to friends and our urban life that we had known for a decade and headed for suburbia. The decision to move has been great and we love our life in CT. However, there was a part of us that still considered ourselves "city people" since we still owned our place and knew we always had the option to go back. However, our family isn't at a phase we can go back, so when we left the apartment this week; we left it for good.......

.......This time, we also said goodbye to all of the memories those walls held. That was our home as newly weds. It was the place that housed reunions when Stefan moved to Europe for 6 months and we each took turns commuting for bi-weekly visits. That was the apartment that held tons and tons of flowers after we lost our first baby and we were the saddest we have ever been. That was the apartment that housed hundreds and when I say hundreds, YES- hundreds of visitors that came to stay with us over the course of 10 many feasts and dinners and tons of laughter with old and new friends......the apartment walls are where I brought home my first three babies and learned how to be a parent on the fly.....sleepless nights, playdates, birthday parties, potty training, also reminds me of bedbugs, lost mice and dead rats inside the walls, too......all NYC commonalities I can never move far enough away from........

......I pray that the new owners have as much love and as much fun in the apartment as we had. It truly is the end of the an era and we are so blessed that for the last several months, we have had a place to take our kids as a staycation and experience some fun weekends in the city! The timing is perfection, as God's timing can only be.......old doors closed with the hope and possibility of new roads to be year ahead, new chapters to be opened, new pages to be long, NYC. You gave us an experience we will forever be grateful for...........


Monday, November 7, 2016

.......Mae, oh Mae......she's three!.......

As mamas I think we can all agree that with every child comes growth, change and our hearts are burst wider, taller and deeper than they were just seconds before we placed our new baby on our bare skin......, my Mae is three......and I really must attribute the growth I have had in my walk with Christ the last few years to her......she is the baby that I prayed for before we were really even sure if we would be expanding our family.......and she is the one who reminds me every day that God is good and His love endures all things.......she is the one who taught me more about faith and hope than anyone else probably will in my lifetime......

.....the last three years have been fuller, more joyous, happier (and busier) than I ever thought has been a gift to watch your siblings interact with you and you with them...... are the one who watches and takes everything all in so that you understand your surroundings.....and you never want to be left out...... want inclusion in everything and you demand's one of the things I love most about know what you want and you fight for cherish the times that our entire family is together and it makes sense because you completed us the day you were born.....

....each of my children are uniquely special to me for their own reasons, but today we celebrate Mae......joyful, bright, boundless, thoughtful, Mae.....and because of you, this family is complete.....

We love you to the moon and back, sweet Mae! Xx

Friday, May 6, 2016

.....A tribute to mamas........

I found this picture that was archived on my blog and had to re-post considering Mother's Day weekend is ahead of us. This picture was taken on our honeymoon, somewhere off the coast of St. John's in September of 2004. I love this picture because I love the day that we had that lead up to this sunset cruise. I loved the way our life was back then. Easy. We had great careers, we traveled a ton, and we had endless nights of quality tim. We had lazy mid day brunches on the weekends after rolling out of bed whenever we wanted. It was what we refer to now as "our old life" and back then; we couldn't imagine anything better than what we had.
Fast forward 11.5 years. We have 4 children that all love to wake up early. We don't go to brunch or have endless quality time. On the contrary, there are some days that we don't really talk much due to scheduling. We still roll out of bed, but not in a way that you do when you know you're going to brunch. It's more of a roll and stumble to the coffee maker, all while listening to 4 orders of what the littles want for breakfast 
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I am sure tons of you can relate to the life before and the life after children. Here's the truth.
In this picture, I had no idea that my heart could grow so big. I had no idea that I would gladly stay up all night with a sick child or that my heart would break on their first day of Kindergarten. I had no idea how much work being a parent is; no clue about the amount of things you have to remember when they are babies and toddlers. I was clueless to the amount of laundry that comes with each child, had no idea that being a parent also means that you are a doctor, activities coordinator, mediator, maid, chef, driver, comedian, negotiator, judge, crafter, actor, singer, hair stylist, and a human pillow for many nights of child hosting in our bed. 
It never even occurred to me that getting out of the house as a married couple would sometimes mean moving boulders in order to escape; and in the earlier years, screaming children would be pounding at the door after our departure because we were in a phase of severe separation anxiety. In fact, I didn't even know what the term "separation anxiety" meant when this circa 2004 picture was taken. 
I didn't know that little girls start to have boy crushes at the age of 7 or that they would start slamming doors at me this young either. I also didn't know how much it would hurt my feelings, but now I fully understand why my Mom took my bedroom door off the hinges as a teen. 
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 I didn't understand the special bond a mother and son have, nor did I understand the special one a mother and daughter can have too. I could not have imagined inconspicuously recording my son talking about his day during bedtime, only because I want to have a permanent record of the way his 5 year old voice sounds. It's the only way I know how to capture it before I forget what it sounds like. 
I had no idea what it would feel like to will time to stand still, but also experience so much joy to see my children growing. I didn't understand so much back then, but it all becomes clearer to me every single day.

To my own mama on Mother's Day weekend, please know how deeply I love you and how grateful I am for every single memory we've shared in 41 years. You sacrificed so much for us and now I understand how much joy we gave you. Your encouraging words ring true in my heart every single day. 
To my other mom on Mother's Day, you raised a son who is a treasure in our home. He is everything I want Brody to be and I thank you for all of the love and devotion you put into raising him. I can only hope that if and when Brody marries that I can love his wife as beautifully as you have loved me.

Happy Mother's Day to every mama out there who cannot even imagine what life was like before becoming a mama. And here's hoping that you get a small glimpse this weekend of what life was like when you weren't one. 
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Cheers to pampering and not lifting a finger, mamas! 
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Enjoy your Mother's Day weekends!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

......Fall for Math and Raz I love you or hate you?

I am fully aware that the future of our children's homework is moving to the computer. I'm not against that notion, but I think old fashioned ways of learning are being ruled out too quickly. 
With that being said, I have a love-hate relationship with the family laptop that our children use. As much as I think there are beneficial programs and do reinforce class lessons, the laptop causes a lot of arguing in our household. Here's what usually goes down:
Mae butts in and pounds the keyboard for a turn, just as you'd expect a 2 year old to do. The sister trying to do her assignment is frustrated and nudges (pushes) Mae away and she immediately starts screaming and wants to be held. 
Brody is frustrated because he doesn't have a log in or password for "Fall for Math" or "Raz" and whines that ABC Mouse is for babies. I am pretty sure he throws some "it's not fairs" in there and a "I'm never gonna get to Kindergarten." I am not sure what he's saying because Mae is still screaming in my ear. 
Both of the big girls will count the exact minute on how long the other sister got to use the computer and if one gets more time than the other, there is an argument. Usually the sister who is spending time talking to me about how we treat others in our home (not pushing Mae) gets the least time on her homework since we are re-visiting the family rule of keeping our hands on our own body. So now she's upset because I wouldn't "let her do her homework."
Today, we shut down the laptop for the rest of the week and our math homework was finding and counting all the loose change in drawers and odd places. 
Mae has no interest in what the big girls are doing, Brody played with legos and the big girls found $17 in change while doing their homework. They may have even smiled at each other too 👭
Win for the Balderach house tonight.