Review

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So, yeah, been a while since I blogged. We’ve been busy. And enjoying the time together we had through the holidays. Anyway, this fellow turned TWO YEARS OLD back on December 11. We went to the zoo with the family that day, and he loved it. He loves all animals. Especially all the different “big cow”, “horse”, and “dogs” there were. Oh, and fish. He also loves fish (he even got a betta with a wall-mounted tank for his birthday).

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Most of all though, Ryan loves his people. “Mom-mom” (That’s me. Usually said while whining, crying, screaming, or any combination thereof.), “Dah-y” (Occasionally said “daddy”. Sam. Obviously.), “Ma/Mom” (Grandma/mom. Either of his grandmothers, and any other mother he has reason to address.), “Pa/Am-pa” (Grandpa. Both of them.), “Dace” (Grace. He loves his Grace.), “Vi” (Levi.), “Diah/Deh-diah” (Jedidiah. Probably his most begged for person after me, Sam, and Grace.), “Ace” (Faith. That’s not quite how he says it, but I’m not sure how to type it out phonetically…), “Nahs” (Jonas. Took me the longest time to figure out what he was referring to with this one. It can be very hard to distinguish from his “Nurse”. -_-). He had a name for Jacob too, but hasn’t really used it regularly lately, so I’m not sure what the latest version is. Oh! And every time he sees a picture of himself he says “muhse”. Yeah, he calls himself Moose. lol! My family, unfortunately, isn’t really here often enough for him to have names for everyone. He knows and loves them all though. He often looks up at their picture and points at them excitedly.

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Over this past month of festivities, Ryan discovered M&Ms, and Sam and I decided he should not be allowed to have soda of any sort – at least if we expect him to be anything but laser-beam-focused on that for the next 2 days. :P Meat is his favorite food beside chocolate. He forces us out of bed in the mornings with his pleas of “Me! Me! Me!” followed by “Deese?” (Cheese). But, he’s pretty much eating all the things these days. He can down a plate of food twice as big as I usually think he will. He weighs 30lbs now, and caused my back to spasm over the past week. Still trying to recover from that, which means I’m convincing him to walk for himself more. Thankfully he doesn’t usually mind too much.

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Ryan’s learned to love bringing me my morning coffee (always in a travel mug), and any evening drinks (wine, water, w/e). Sam calls him a glory-stealer. lol! He loves playing trains, and I’m unashamedly encouraging his OCD. Anything I can cultivate in him that will help me keep our home clean, right? Speaking of, he loves vacuuming and would wash dishes all day long if I let him.

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We recently did a huge second bedroom overhaul, and it’s now set up more as a room for Ryan/guest room, and less as a dangerous storage room. We’re all really pleased with how it turned out, and Ryan’s slept in there a couple nights already. I know transitions of any sort are difficult, so we’re not pushing him too hard to do anything before he’s really ready. I mean, he’s generally weaned except for once or twice in a 24hr period. He’s making regular (if slowish) progress with his potty training. We’re adding a baby in June. I’ve been… exhausted and less attentive. He’s going through a lot, and I don’t want to make this hard time any harder for him than necessary, or put any unnecessary stress on myself of Sam. We’re making visible progress, and that makes me happy, and we’re content with that. :)

So that’s all about Ryan. Sam and I just passed the 3 year mark of marriage on December 28. It’s been a crazy 3 years, with this past year being one of the hardest either of us have ever lived through. It caused us to want to hole-up and hide. We allowed ourselves to do it off and on, but have deliberately tried not to allow that to become a defining part of life. It takes a community to raise a family and accountability to sanctify a marriage, so we’ve pushed ourselves to participate even when we didn’t necessarily want to. It’s been a journey. I don’t regret anything, but it’s not been easy.

March was our most difficult month this year. It started out great. We enjoyed visits from family and friends, and celebrated Sam’s 22 birthday. Then Ryan came down with what we now think was rotavirus (aka, 48hrs of hell). Immediately following that we found out that I was pregnant. But we found out because I miscarried. I was about 5 weeks along, and everything went smoothly, so, thankfully, we didn’t have to go to the hospital, but it was still such an emotional time! It tested our communication, and made that easily the worst two weeks of blackness I’ve ever experienced. Things didn’t end there, but they slowly started getting better. Or our perspective did. Not sure which. It kind of feels like we’ve been scratching our way out of that canyon ever since, and that 2016 is a chance to put that difficult year behind us. Each day we had to refocus more deliberately than I’ve ever had to before. “It’s a new day. Thank You, Lord, for Your Grace! Please give me strength to make it through today.”

So, here it is. 2016. With all it’s ideas of new beginnings and fresh opportunities. Kinda scary actually. By 2017 I’ll have a 3yo and a 6mo! For whatever reason, that’s terrifying to me. :) So my prayer is still “It’s a new day. Thank you, Lord, for your grace; please give me strength to make it through to day.” On new years day actually, Sam and I both got to feel strong, regular baby movements throughout the day. I am really happy to be feeling things a bit earlier this time. We go in on Friday morning for an ultrasound. We’re hoping to find out the gender this time, and I’m getting kind of excited about it. I’m only afraid I’ll be tempted to go out an buy too many things over the next 20-22 weeks we still have left! :P

We’re already busy this year. Friday evening is Jacob and Victoria’s wedding! Later this month is another good friend’s wedding, for which we’ll be travelling to TN. Sam is in both of those. Then we keep hearing schemes for a beach trip sometime in the February/March timeframe. The end of April is CLAIRE’S wedding (WHAAAAAAT?!?!?!)! I’m in the wedding party for that one, but thankfully have been relieved of the normal maid-of-honor duties (I have a 2 year old; I’m 8hrs away, and I’ll be 8 months pregnant. While sorry I’m not doing these things for my sister, I think it’s less stressful and logistically nightmare-ish for both of us.). May and June and maybe even July we’re trying to keep fairly clear. New baby in June is plenty to consume our attention. And who knows, we may have a move shoved in there somewhere. We’ve been tentatively looking to rent a house in the area, but they’re out of our price range. So, for now, especially since we’ve redone the second bedroom, we stay where we are, taking each day as it comes, looking to God for more grace, and thanking Him for giving us the strength to make it through in the end.

Evans Family Vacation, Part 3

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On our way home the next day, we stopped at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum!

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Ryan really enjoyed all the exhibits that were on his level and he could touch!

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Of course, he was REALLY thrilled when we ran across another, even bigger coin roller!

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He’s also recently developed a love of fish!

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<3

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All the boys loved the water works! :D

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The funny mirrors! lol

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He’s such a ham!

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His first time playing Pacman!

And then it was time to get home. It’s nice to be back! The next morning we found out that we are expecting!!! Due sometime early June! We’re excited and terrified at the same time. The morning sickness hasn’t kicked in too much yet, but I’m definitely starting to notice the signs more and more every day. Your prayers are appreciated!

Evans Family Vacation, Part 1

Last week we all went to the Kentucky/Ohio area to spend a couple days at the Creation Museum, and spend fun, quality time together as a whole family!

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Ryan was captivated by the animatronic dinosaur exhibits!

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One of the most fascinating exhibits was, I though, the one on “Lucy”; I really liked this display where they showed how the Lucy bones we have actually work much better on a possibly now-extinct species of small gorilla than a human.

It was so wonderful to be able to walk through a museum and not have to mentally transpose every plaque into a correct worldview!

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<3 I love him.

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I’m always surprised by how narrow the allosaur’s skull is.

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The gardens outside the museum were gorgeous! I’d love to walk around them at the peak of each season just to see how they change!

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There was also a petting zoo, and Ryan loved feeding all the different birds!

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This is a 7-8 year old miniature Jersey steer. Still very big, but more the size of a shortish normal Jersey cow.

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Faith and the Zedonk!

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A Zorse and a Zedonk. I’ve seen zedonks before, but, as far as I can remember, I’ve never seen a zorse. They’re a bit bigger, but still beautifully striped!

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He’s become such a character! I think this 18-24 month period we’re in with him has been my favorite so far. It’s so fun!

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Despite having colds, we had so much fun getting to see new things and spend time together!

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Last picture from our first day at the museum!

SMI Staff Picnic

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Catered by the always-delicious Alwans!

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Saw this little cutie for the first time in about a month!

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The giant inflatable slide was popular with Moose.

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Well, at least until he decided there were too many people, and, unless we wanted to hold him the rest of the evening, we really should go.

20150814-DSC_0193So, we did.

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The puppies have all gone to their new homes now. Kind of sad for those of us who didn’t have to live with and care for the adorable little fluff balls!

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