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Every. Single. Day last year, I would drop Lane off at preschool and Bethany would cry “It’s my turn!” Baby girl waited (somewhat) patiently and finally last week she got her turn! Bethany started school the Wednesday after Labor Day. She woke up so excited! Her backpack and lunch box were ready, clothes ironed perfectly and she even sat like an angel and took first day of preschool pictures!

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So excited!

It was almost the perfect morning. Look closely at the precious little dress she is wearing – cute, right? My mom gave Bethany that dress for Easter or her birthday. She has HATED that dress since the moment she laid eyes on it. Hated. Trust me when I say I am not exaggerating AT ALL. Every time I have tried to get her to wear that dress, she has turned into a crazy Hulk Hogan wanna-be and tried to literally tear it off her body. But the dress has remained strategically in her closet.

If you have a daughter, you know the joys of getting them dress. You iron the 5 million ruffles and then they try to refuse to wear the dress. So, being the gracious mother that I am, every time I pick out something for her to wear that she refuses I give her two clothing options: 1. the dress I picked out and iron 2. that flamingo dress. EVERY single time she choose the dress I picked out. Everyone’s happy. Off we go.

Well, that morning she threw a fit over the dress I picked out. So, I gave her the two options and she actually chose the flamingo dress. She loved it and told everyone it was her zoo dress! Haha. What a stinker! So, thanks Gigi for the first day of school outfit. ūüôā

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Baby girl got to school and had an amazing day. She came home talking about her new friend Audrey. For over a week that was the only friend she mentioned. Finally this week she has started talking about another friend at school, Benjamin. Her teachers are Mrs. Mindy (or as B says РMrs. Minnie) and Mrs Holly (Mrs. HoYee). She loves them. School and the end of naptime are really wearing her out though!

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She also started gymnastics this week and loved it. Well, as long as you don’t actually call it gymnastics. She is very adamant that she does NOT want to do gymnastics. She does want to flip, swing, roll and walk on a balance beam. Oh the drama.

When she is not being dramatic, she can do some of the sweetest, most precious things. Here is a video of her singing a song she learned in Spanish class at preschool.

Here is a video of her “reading” her Jesus Storybook Bible in carpool.

…and finally here is a video of her saying Psalm 4:8 (We say this verse before bedtime most nights)

Her teacher’s described her well: “Smart as a whip and such a ham!” Right now she is obsessed with Cinderella and Paw Patrol. She daily asks if she can be either Cinderella, Doc McStuffins, or Skye (the pilot on Paw Patrol). A Princess, A doctor and a Pilot.

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That is my girl: glitter and adventure. Pink nail polish and dirt. Beautiful and fearless. Pure happiness.

Called me higher

Music has always played a huge role in my life. I may not know the name of any song or of most artists but I can tell you the songs that meant the most to me during each season in my life. It’s as if the artist knew my very thoughts and emotions but expressed them in a much more beautiful way than I could have ever imagined.

With that in mind, I love to play worship music while I pray. Small groups launch this weekend (have you found yours?) so I have been praying over all the groups, and over each girl’s name¬†that I know¬†is coming to my group. I noticed that I turn my playlist on but seem to only let one song play.

Called me higher by All Sons and Daughters

As the song played I realized that usually what we think is the easiest thing to do turns out to be the hardest and the hardest thing usually turns out to be the easiest.

In the church, it seems that the easiest thing to do is to show up on Sunday starched and polished, smiling and talking about how very blessed we are. I can easily give the impression on social media that my life is perfect, my kids never misbehave – everything is wonderful all the time. But see that is really the hardest thing. It’s hard to keep up appearance and never let anyone into our real world. Wearing masks is exhausting.

On the other hand letting out walls down seems to be difficult, if not impossible. But I’ve learned that when I take the chance and develop relationships and finally let down my guard and share what I’ve struggled or am struggling with I’m usually met with an amazing response: I’ve been there. Or we are dealing with that right now too!

What?? You mean I’m NOT the only one with issues??

My pastor often says all God’s children have issues and if you don’t think you have issues, then THAT is your issue. Haha

But truthfully satan wants nothing more than for us to live life isolated because then we will buy into his lies. I love 2 Corinthians¬† 1:3-4. Here’s my version of it: So you’ve got issues (sin, addictions,¬†pain, disappointments) come to God, Let him heal you and restore you so that you can walk it out with your friend, co-worker, or neighbor struggling with the same junk.¬†But see the hard part about that¬†is that two people have to take their¬†masks down and show their wounds. So this semester, be brave. be real. step out of your comfort zone and watch what the Lord will do. I’m excited and expectant because…

You have called us higher
You have called us deeper
And we’ll go where You will lead¬†us Lord

Friday Five

It’s Friday!! It’s the first Friday after school started which means my brain is scattered in many different directions – several if which I thought I’d share with you.

1. Bethany has developed a HUGE fear of toilets that flush automatically. So, my new mom role is to get her on and off the potty while standing just right so that it does not flush until I can get her out of the stall. I wish I could video this process but that would just be highly inappropriate. If I fail to get her out before it flushes, one might think someone was chasing her with a chain saw. It’s pitiful. Anyway I have developed a particularly unique skill over the past 2 weeks. Whenever I rejoin the workforce, I may even add that to my resume. Automatic toilet flushing preventer. Very impressive.

2. On a completely different note, my friends Catherine shared on her blog a couple weeks ago some ABC scripture cards she made for her kids. I love, love, love these! She got the idea here, but her cards have some shorter verses perfect for little ones. I am just now printing these out. Bethany especially loves learning verses and soaks it up like a sponge! Up until this point our scripture learning has been at best random. I’m excited to have some sort of plan to start. So, go check out this free resource if you’re interested.

3. Are you one Pinterest? I obviously am. Somehow I stumbled across this board My imaginary well dressed toddler daughter. It cracks me up.

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4. Lane started soccer practice this week. It was hilarious and awkward.

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We have some work to do this season. Our two focuses: personal space (he met the coach and within minutes was literally hanging on the mans leg. Not sure coach Billy knew what to think about all that love!) and follow the ball. Bless his heart. The coach would say “go to the goal!” And he would but not with the ball. But boy was IN THE GOAL. Maybe I need to let coach know my child takes everything literal.

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5. Small groups launch this week and I’m so excited I can’t stand it! Small group launch is like Christmas to me because every semester I meet new friends and make new relationship that push me closer to Christ and challenge me like never before. I get excited because I know it’s somebody’s first small group semester and their life is about to change in ways they were not expecting! So, if you go to highlands register your group or join one!! Your life will never be the same. If you don’t go to highlands, do whatever your church does. Join a Sunday school class, a cell group, a Bible study – get in relationship!! You won’t regret it!

Kindergarten!!

Somehow I blinked my eyes and now my baby has turned into a “big” kindergartener. Last night he was so excited he kept asking to try on his backpack “just ONE more time!”

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We skipped naps yesterday hoping that he would be tired enough to fall asleep. Sometime around 9:30 pm we had to fuss at him to go stay in his bed and go to sleep. But in my heart I remember well how exciting the night before school is and I couldn’t help but be thankful that my “big boy” chose his only pair of footie pajamas to sleep in last night. It was such a sweet reminder that though he thinks he’s all grown up, he really is still a sweet baby boy.

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Early this morning I woke him and he happily came out to eat breakfast. Then in his sweet groggy voice he said “it’s just SO early and SOOO bright!” Then it seemed like seconds later her was running circles around me ready to help pack his lunch and go to school!

He took the traditional first day of school pictures!

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Then we took a picture in his class of 2026 shirt. I can’t wait to watch him grow into this shirt year after year. (Chris may have told me I was crazy while I was making this shirt. I assured him that I was allowed to be a little crazy, after all, I am sending my first born child to kindergarten!)

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Today was early release and this momma was ready to pick him up at 1! I loved hearing him talk about much he already loves his new teacher and made lots of new friends (but he doesn’t know any of their names!). He loves everything about his new school and can’t wait to go back and do it all over again tomorrow!!

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And bonus: He ate his entire ham sandwich at lunch today. That’s pretty huge in our world! Woot woot!!!

So tonight, we will go to Lane’s favorite restaurant, Don Pepe, and celebrate a wonderful first day of school! Tomorrow Lane gets to go back to school, then has a party for a new classmate, and he starts soccer too!! (Pray for his sweet teacher on Wednesday morning. Not sure if she’s taught a little zombie before, but I’m sure I will be dropping off one for her. I may need to send some more chocolate!)

Welcome to my crazy

All summer long, I have genuinely been excited about Lane starting Kindergarten and even more excited about Bethany starting pre-school. Lane had THE BEST preschool experience last year. I know beyond all doubt that he is ready for kindergarten and I was honestly probably a little too excited about 12 WHOLE HOURS a week kid-free. I was starting to feel a little like a heartless mom what with all my planning and dreaming of reading a book without interruption, or cleaning a house and it actually staying clean for more than 15 minutes. Maybe I could even make a phone call without someone tapping on my leg or go to the bathroom with out someone squeezing their little fingers under the door to say hi! Just as I thought, this sending kids off to school for a couple hours a week will be nice –¬†that’s when I noticed it.

See at some point during the past two weeks ago, I realized summer was almost over. I needed to start getting organized, buy backpacks and lunch boxes, sign Lane up for soccer, decide if Bethany would do gymnastics this year, iron the first 2 weeks worth of school clothes, get the house cleaned, figure out what I need for school lunches, decide if Lane would ride the bus or be a car rider….Is your head spinning? Mine was. At some point when I was frantically scrubbing baseboards, because you know you can’t start school without sparkling baseboards, I realized that I had jumped on to the crazy train.

Then, the next day I went to Lane’s school and got this precious little letter on cutesy little paper.

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I was standing there listening to one of my sweet teacher friends tell me what a great teacher Lane had. I was smiling and nodding but my stomach was dropping lower and lower. I realized how real this whole kindergarten thing is. Blah. Then the roller coaster started. My best friend and I talk daily. Her daughter is starting big school this year too.

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One day we are encouraging each other and reminding each other that they are ready. The next day we are telling stories about our babies when they actually were babies (though they will always be our babies). Yep this is my crazy.

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babylane    cheflane

I never realized until this week how hard it is to let go even if it is just the tinies bit. I am daily reminding myself that as a parent my goal is for my kids to move from being 100% dependent upon me to being 100% dependent upon the Lord. and in order for that transition to take place I have to let go some, As I let go some, my faith and trust in the Lord grows because I’m trusting the Lord’s protection over one of my most prized possessions.

and yes I do know its just Kindergarten and I’m not sending him off to war. Go back to the title. This is the crazy train I’ve been on the past week. Stopping between knowing kindergarten is a good thing and stopping the crazy station where I just want to keep him home with me forever and ever.

Change is good. and our new season starts in exactly 4 days ready or not.

Bethany lately

Bethany, I am loving you at this age and there is so much that you do daily that I never want to forget. Since I can’t video your every move, I thought I’d share some of my favorite things right now.

You love some British sayings. Perhaps we watch too much Peppa Pig?

Instead of saying ready, set, go! You and Lane both actually, say ready, steady go!

You never say the word “can’t.” It’s always “con’t.”

A couple of weeks ago, you were looking for some panties I set out. You had a hard time finding them, so when I showed you where I put them you said, “you cheeky little panties!” You have started using the phrase “you cheeky little …” quiet often. It cracks me up!

The other day Chris and I took you to the playground. You asked to play on the “climbing frame”. It took me forever to understand what you were saying and even then I didn’t get it. Then Chris translated it for me: monkey bars! ūüôā

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You sings ALL DAY LONG. Literally. This months songs of choice are B-I-N-G-O and The B-I-B-L-E. Sometimes you forget which song you are singing at the moment and blend the two.

You REFUSE to admit you have red hair. It actually makes you mad if I say you do. You will quickly tell me “NO, I have bown hair!”

You have started noticing words on signs, in books or trucks driving down the interstate. I’m not sure if you are actually reading a couple of words or if you have just fully grasped environmental print but you have “read” several words lately. The two coming to my mind right now are beach and school.

Speaking of, you are so ready for school to start. You are convinced school will be playtime, snack and bath time. I hope you still love school after you realize there is no bath time.

The Dewitt Twins

For months, my family has talked and dreamed and guessed what my brother and sister-in-law were having. They decided not to find out the gender of their twins which might have driven me a little crazy. After all, how can a first-time aunt fully spoil these babies…There is only so much yellow and gray a girl can buy, right! But the time passed buy fairly quickly. Sara had a pretty uneventful pregnancy (exactly what everyone wants!) She made it until the twins were considered full term and went in Friday morning for a scheduled C-section. Perfect pregnancy!

I wasn’t able to go down Friday to be there when the babies were born, so I obsessively checked my phone for text. Then, FINALLY, a little after nine I got my mom’s text! My brother had just come out to announce the twins…

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TWO GIRLS!!! EEEk!!! The overwhelming majority of us thought the twins were going to be a boy/girl combo. Several thought 2 boys, but almost no one thought two girls! Everyone was surprised. Both girls are perfectly healthy and beautiful.

Here are some pictures of Audrey Harper Dewitt. She is the older, wiser sister by all of 1 minute. She was born at 8:48 am at 5 lbs 12 oz and 18 inches long.

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Next came Eva Lillian at 8:49am! The baby (but bigger) sister with the sweetest little cheeks. She weighed in at 6 lbs 14 oz and 20 inches long.

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Lane and Bethany adore their new little cousins! (I can’t wait to watch these four run around and play together)

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Here are just a couple more pictures of the beautiful baby girls!

gigi

chris

me

jon

sara

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e&a