The goings on

Some of my favorite moments since we last spoke…

We’ve been getting lots of bonding time with my nieces and nephews. Dailah, ever the little mama, takes it upon herself to walk the babies when they need it.



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Before it became common to experience -45 degree windchill here in the ole’ Ioway, this was how Trysten chose to shovel our drive. Good ole’ Iowa born and bred, baby.



The kids got to meet a few Santas. The first was just after I was asked if I was a daycare provider. Good times.






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The theme for the big 3’s Christmas was definitely sports. They each have their favorite teams and will argue to do the death on which is better. Surreal that they know stats and game times. Aren’t they still 3-years-old?!?!?

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We toasted to Jesus, each other and joy.



Speaking of sports…



I was also able to capture this priceless reaction when they opened their new Xbox One.



Dailah was more interested in Nutcracker goodies (she was able to go to our local dance company’s production with her grandpa) and American Girl Doll accessories.



Even more than that? Hanging with her bestie (and cousin) Elihu.

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We got to visit friends from California when they were back in town. Kyle’s niece was born 1 month before Trysten. They’ve spent time together through the years. If they ended up married it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. 😉

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We hosted Ethiopian Christmas at camp. Tariku helped me make loads of Doro Wot, shiro and the like. This is how we combat teary eyes from cutting so many onions. Love my special time with him!


Have been spending lots of time with good friends. Dailah can’t get enough of sweet Lucy and we can’t get enough of sweet Lucy’s parents.



Camp hosted it’s very first winter camp. All 5 kids went (and stayed 3 nights) which meant we had our first New Year’s Eve together sans kids for the first time in 10 years. Man, I just really love this guy. Editor’s note: let’s just take a moment to thank the dear sweet baby Jesus that Zach has shaved off his ‘stache. 



Basketball season is upon us again. So much fun coaching both teams. These 4 constantly ask to be benched at the same time. Best friends, cousins and siblings. Doesn’t get much better than that.



We had a wedding! Zach officiated the wedding of one of his oldest, dearest and best friends. I was honored to serve as a bridesmaid. The kids made us proud on the dance floor that night and then Zach and I got to spend the night in a hotel room by ourselves thanks to his parents. It was a spectacular night!

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We got to celebrate the 4th birthday of this little Princess Sintayehu. Hard to believe the little one in which Jake and Leslie yearned for so many years is already 4 years old. She is hilarity and spunk and energy and joy and I just couldn’t possibly love her more if I tried.

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The days pass quickly and yet each one is marked with enough love and life to make me the happiest mama/auntie out there.

iPhone photo dump

Do you guys only remember what’s happened the last few months by looking at your phone pictures? No? Just me.

Binyam is the slowest at all of the things. But eating? Eating quite literally takes the cake. Probably I’ll die waiting for him to finish dinner. In the below picture all of my other cherubs were finished eating, showering and brushing teeth. They are quietly reading in their beds. If he weren’t already skin and bones I’d give up. (Note: it’s not always this bad but it’s pretty bad).



My boys turn all activities into wrestling. Soccer, basketball, walking-it all ends the same. And everything is done shirtless.



I love road tripping with our animals, I love our animals. There, I said it. They make me so happy.



I mean, I might love them a little too much but come on! Look at those faces when they smell my peanut butter toast!



My niece Landry is so. stinkin. cute! I also might love my nieces and nephews a little too much, it’s true.



Zach and I are coaching the kiddos in basketball. The games are early Saturday mornings. If you ever see me before noon (and sometimes after) I will have a coffee mug in my hand-coaching or not.




Did I mention we were Siegried & Roy? Mmmmk.



The day after we were S&R we were godparents of this amazing boy, Elihu, who happens to be our nephew. I pretty much cry every time I look at this picture because I love him so much. And I can’t help but think those two bow-tied men are the best.



I’ve blogged so much about these two cousins who look like twins and act like best friends but it must be said again-I LOVE their relationship. I love how much they love each other.



My almost 11-year-old still lays on my shoulder to read his books. The day he doesn’t do this is the day I will disappear under my covers and not come out for weeks.



Tomas and I got to be on a radio show (to air this Saturday) to talk about Wine to Water. I sometimes take for granted how unbelievably kind this child of mine is to everyone but most especially to me. Afterwards he said simply, “You were amazing mom! Everyone will want to come to the party now!”



The ladies I got to hang with in celebration of Wendy’s almost baby. They were first my sister’s friends in high school and, mercifully, they are now mine as well. What a blessing.



Love these cats too. They snuggle together all day err’day, how great is that?



I mean, seriously, it’s a little ridiculous how many pictures I have of my animals.



I love this man. I love that he lets my crazy flag fly on the daily.



Zach was a pretty amazing athlete in high school (still is truth be told) and is on his high school’s hall of fame. The kids were beside themselves when they saw his picture.