LET LOVE BE SINCERE

LET LOVE BE SINCERE

Friday, June 16, 2017

7 QT Fancy galas, adorable kids, and the weirdness of postpartum bodies



I'm linking up with Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum   to give you this week's quick takes.  Are you ready?

(one)
Aaron and I celebrated 7 years on Monday.  
and I still like him a whole heck of a lot. 
Every day I feel blessed to have him, and my resolution and prayer is to be a better wife. 
Tonight, we are going to a fancy Gala the Archdiocese of Detroit hosts as a fundraiser for seminarians.
Then we are spending the night at my favorite local hotel while my parents watch the kids.
It's an anniversary celebration/babymoon/I REALLY need a good night of sleep adventure.
I am excited.

(two)
\
I got my hair did.
I get my hair did about once a year at the same salon.
It's embarrassingly pricey, but such a lovely experience.  It takes 3 hours!  WHAT?!?!?  But that includes a hair wash/scalp massage experience that I live for.
It's the best.
I took off five inches and lightened it.  Enough change to make me feel a bit refreshed, not too much that I get scared of maintaining it.


(three)
I will never stop living for little kids in overalls.
Never.

(four)
This picture kind of freaked me out.
Because he's going to be a teenager before I know it.
Like, a young man.
And then a man.
He's so proud of his muscles.

(five)
Wanna know what happened to us on Monday?
We went grocery shopping as a family around lunch time. The kids were kind of well behaved.
We go to this cute little market.
As we were leaving, a woman walked up to our family and gave my husband $20.  She said, 'please take your adorable family to lunch, on me'.
Can.you.even.believe.that??

You guys. people say nice things to us and about us all the time.
I've thought about this all week, because a few weeks ago, a relative stranger, in an environment of faith, told me (not asked me) that I should get my tubes tied.
It was a horribly awkward conversation.  Probably the most awkward I've had. And it's rolled around in my head and enraged me ever since.

But comments like that come like MAYBE once or twice a year.

People are saying nice things about my family, complimenting my boys, trying to get my girl with RCF (resting cranky face) to smile, etc...ALL THE TIME.

People are really really awesome in real life aren't they?
I'm learning to let the sting of rare
mean comments fly away, in favor of cherishing the constant comments of affirmation from strangers/family and friends.

(six)
Oh gosh.  
Personal Take Warning
I shared this video on facebook. If you didn't watch it, or missed it, you should watch it right now.
(it says bull sh@#$)


When I was telling Aaron about it, I started crying.
The changes to my body after having four c-sections and five pregnancies in such a short time have been really hard for me.
The issues she describes in this video are my exact issues.
The concept of how crazy it is to try to achieve a pre-baby body after one has had babies, was really powerful for me. 
Aaron constantly affirms how attractive he finds me, both in word and action... but I'm finding it challenging to believe it for the first time. 
which is kind of craziness. 
This video has helped me frame some of my feelings about my body lately... and I am grateful for it.

(seven)
Happy Father's Day to all you good daddies out there (even to the okay-ish ones).
We will be doing some celebrating this weekend.
Aaron's gonna go on a man-date with the three boys to see Cars 3.
I have a couple surprises planned (or at least will by Sunday).
It should be a fantastic weekend!


The reading doesn't have to stop here, head on over to http://thisaintthelyceum.org/ to read more quick takes!

Friday, June 9, 2017

7QT no sleep, hurt feelings and DISNEY edition



I'm linking up with Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum   to give you this week's quick takes.  Are you ready?

(one)
Being a parent is amazing. 
I still cannot believe what has happened to my sleep.
Two nights ago, I slept through the whole night, with the exception of getting up every 1.5 hours to use the restroom (#pregnancyproblems)

It felt like a dream
And I still got up 5 times during the night.

Let's just say the other days this week, in between getting up every 1.5 hours to use the restroom, I was also up pretty much every hour tending to one of my four children.

...I can't find my blanket
...I can't find my pillow
...I wanted to have a midnight party for 2 hours
...I need snuggles
...I had a bad dream, I don't want to talk about it, but I don't want to be in my room.

It has been A WEEK.

(two)
\
Ugh. Gestational Diabetes be workin' my nerves.
And my fingers hurt from all the pokes.  So.many.pokes.
For those of you in the know, I have the trigger on the lowest setting, but it's still kind of really hurting.
I already do it on the side of my fingers.
I even resorted to watching youtube videos to make it less painful.
It's all worth it... but man, four more weeks, four times a day?

(for the record, Jesus just mentally slapped me and reminded me people deal with this much longer than 4 weeks, some, for a life time and I should probably just ut-shay up-hay).

(three)
ahem.
I have a kid who likes to take off her pants and diaper... all the time.
This is becoming a real problem for a lot of reasons (I will leave it to the imagination).
I have already found her without her diaper twice today.

How shall I deal with this?
Seriously?
Besides buying onsies and having her wear one always?

(four)
I like to get personal occasionally up in here.

In the last year, I have really been trying to work on my emotional reactions to situations.
(I have a tendency to be WAY too reactive)

a) Locating the correct emotion (i.e. anger is easy, but often a distraction)
b) analyzing where the emotion came from
c) determining what, if anything, I can do about the situation causing the emotion
d) If I can't do anything, wrapping a boundary around the situation until I can properly respond emotionally.

That's what my process has looked like.

I've had my feelings hurt a couple times this week, pretty intensely.
I have worked my system.
It's been good.

That is all.

(five)
I had some plans this week.
I've had to cancel them.
Between doctor appointments, being a kick butt summer mom (because, I kind of have been) and exhaustion, I just don't have energy for anything but the daily grind.
I need to remember once I get near full term, the energy I've got is reserved for my kids and pretty much nothing more.  I hate canceling plans, so I need to not make them, or I end up canceling them.
From this point until August, no plans shall be made, as much as I might want to make all the plans.


(six)
Scenes of an awesome summer mom

Our favorite Detroit City park

A safety town we got to bring our bikes to!

Joey and Malia at the'fire station'

My adventure crew...we've decided to name our van 'the adventurer' in case you were wondering

(seven)
And, the best news from this week...
We booked Disney!
Disney at Christmas time, here we come.
Art of Animation.
Six Nights.
And I get to make dining reservations today!!!
Woot woot.


The reading doesn't have to stop here, head on over to http://thisaintthelyceum.org/ to read more quick takes!

Friday, June 2, 2017

7QT- It's summer, ya'll



I'm linking up with Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum   to give you this week's quick takes.  Are you ready?
(one)
Summer is here, summer is here! #PTL (that means Praise the Lord).
Seriously.
We are quickly approaching full term status in this pregnancy, and it's been more and more difficult to manage everything that comes with two kids in school at different times, along with two kids at home.  Not to mention wake ups, quick breakfasts, making lunches, remembering forms (So.many.forms), etc...
I am so excited about the freedom summer brings us.

(two)
\
We made a summer bucket list.  We kept it VERY realistic (ten items and one bonus item).
We would like to go to 3 splash pads.
one family picnic
family movie nights with pizza
sprinkler twice a week
Greenfield village/Henry Ford once every two weeks
And maybe, as a bonus, legoland.

A few other things round out our list, but I do so love how simple my kids wishes are!

My number one list item...
Have a baby.

(three)
We also are putting together a chore chart for the oldest two. Keeping it very realistic. My sister Theresa had the best idea.
If the kids do their chore every day without being asked, at the end of the week they get a certain number of American dollars for allowance.
If the kids need to be reminded, they get less.
If the kids complain, they get even less (in our case, if they complain, they won't get the 'sticker' for the chore, so they will get nada, and still have have to do the chore).
Isn't that a cool idea?

I am keeping the chores very realistic.

Little A will have to 'watch' his brothers/sister downstairs for fifteen minutes, twice a day.
#mombreak
Wipe down the table and sweep the floor at the end of the night
#gross job
and something else...

Joey will empty the bathroom garbage in the morning.
Clean the toys that creeped up into the family room at night
and something else

(four)
Gosh, Malia has been hard for me lately.
I love her so much.
But two things.
Not only is she clingy, but she is climby.  If you would have told me prior to having kids, how hard it would be to have a kid who needs to climb on you 24/7, I would have said you were CRAZY.
But it's very hard.
And it's very hard when they insist on climbing on your stomach.

Plus.
She is a sassy little character, and acts so naughty, or 'strong willed'.
Someone reminded me, she needs to be tough to handle all these boys... but omlowercase g, it might end me.

(five
)gushy take to follow
Today is the 8th anniversary of Aaron and I's first date. This day is really important to me because it changed the course of my life.  I sometimes still can't believe where I'm at in life and how God's hand in it all is crystal clear. 
I've told you this before, but I've really married the best.
(six)
Two of our nephews and one of our nieces are being Confirmed today.
Aaron and I get to be Confirmation Sponsors for these two fine young men.
And they really are fine young men.
A couple of weeks ago, we got to take them out to dinner.
Frankly, it's so hard to spend time with our older nieces/nephews because we are usually trying to manage our own crew.  It was so nice to spend time with them.
Please say some prayers for Ralph, Warren and Adeline receiving the fullness of the spirit tonight.
(seven)
It is 9:16 am and no one is dressed. All of my kids are in diapers or underwear. It's time for me to get a move on and bust out of this joint for a bit, so that at 3:16 pm, I don't want to hide in a corner and cry!
Have a great weekend.


The reading doesn't have to stop here, head on over to http://thisaintthelyceum.org/ to read more quick takes!

Friday, May 12, 2017

7 QT Marriage Debate, Clean ups and kid sports...



I'm linking up with Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum   to give you this week's quick takes.  Are you ready?
(one)
Marriage debate...
And I know you guys are going to be on my side.
This morning, I said to Aaron, 'they live in our neighborhood', I was talking about people from the school my son goes to.
He HOTLY debated me.
He says our neighborhood is only our street and MAYBE 1 or 2 streets away from us.

I say our neighborhood is all the houses in a 1 mile square.  So, east to west (1 mile) and north to south (1 mile).  If you're familiar with Redford, we are in one of those very square areas, all the houses are right next to each other, no land in between.  

Who is right?

(two)
\
This is my last week of work until the baby comes, and I am going out in style.
1 Confirmation Evening of Reflection tonight.
2 back to back school retreats next week.
1 Confirmation Retreat next Saturday...
And then... maternity leave.
The break will be nice, I have no talks/retreats or workshops scheduled until September 23rd. Plenty of time for cocooning leading up to the birth, and recovery after the birth :)
(three)
And so it begins... Sports.
I gotta tell you moms of older kids, I don't know how you do it. I am so nervous about the addition of sports in our lives.  Not this year (obviously) it's only once, maybe twice a week, for five weeks.  But we had a practice till 7:00 pm on a school night, and I had to bring all the kids because Aaron was at a meeting. And we didn't get home till 7:30 pm, then we needed showers, and everyone was muddy.

I had a moment of almost panic, realizing, if we are going to have our kids in school, this is going to be our lives.
YIKES!
BUT MAN.
Aaron was excited playing football.  Seeing him so happy, made us so completely happy.  He was 'nervous in my stomach' (his quote) happy.
LOVE. 

(four)
For mother's day, Aaron is cleaning out and organizing our laundry room.
You would be appalled at the shape it's in.
It's bad.
Real bad.
like, can't even really walk in it bad, cobwebs, spiders and gross stuff bad.
I will do a before and after, you will freak out.
Once the laundry room is done, we will only have one more room (the work room) in our basement to totally clean and our whole house will be whipped into shape.
So Excited.

(five)
Speaking of Mother's day.
I went to my first, 'mother's day breakfast' this morning with Little Aaron.
He was quite excited to take me.
They made muffins, sang songs, and made each mom a super thoughtful gift.
I cried because I am pregnant.
Aaron gets really concerned when I am crying.  It makes him cry too, which would be disastrous for this kindergarten young man.
So I quickly wiped my tears away and told him pregnancy does weird thing to you, like make you cry when you are happy..
And we moved on.
set to go to breakfast
love my little guy
The muffins he made and the coffee he promised me :)
(six)
Ugh.
All my boys are in big boy beds. John Paul made his official transition last night.
He loves his new bed.
It's crazy how quickly they are growing.
It's also crazy how much bigger a twin bed is than a toddler bed.
Let's just say the boys room is about filled to capacity.

(seven)
I started Iron Infusions this week.
And I only have one thing to say about that...
GOSH do I love hospital crushed ice.
Nothin' like it. Where can I buy it? Besides Sonic and the Hospital?


The reading doesn't have to stop here, head on over to http://thisaintthelyceum.org/ to read more quick takes!

Friday, May 5, 2017

7 Quick Takes with all the outrage...

...just kidding outrage about dumb stuff is silly and I'm over it.

I'm linking up with Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum   to give you this week's quick takes.  Are you ready?
(one)
 Aaron's sixth birthday was great fun.
I once again went with the semi-homemade cake reality.  I bought a frosted cake and made it into a dinosaur landscape as per the kid's request.  The only problem was some people thought the boulders were dino droppings... what are you gonna do?

(two)
\
I've been thinking a LOT about how the culture of outrage is changing us as a society.
EVERYTHING has to be the BIGGEST DEAL
EVERYTHING must be a SOCIAL JUSTICE ISSUE!!!!
I could give you nine million examples, but you are smart enough to know what I am talking about.
I am very much over the hysterics of headlines and people who play into them.  VERY.MUCH.OVER.IT.
Especially when real issues get ignored.
That is all.

(three)
Remember how I was all like, 'this pregnancy has been so awesome, zero problems'.
This pregnancy is awesome.
But I did find out I once again have Gestational Diabetes
and once again, I am severely anemic...
So, it's back to 2-5 appointments a week starting in next week.  This should be fun.
  Good thing we don't have three different school drop offs/pick ups daily to content with when arranging appointments/sitters/etc...

(four)
That said, my gosh, I am getting excited for the kid part.  We can't wait to welcome our fifth.
I find myself day dreaming about the quiet hospital stay.
Although it's a bummer to use most of my husband's vacation right out of the gate, I am so excited to have two weeks at home as a family adjusting to a life of seven people.
I can't wait for the bassinet to be right next to my bed, glancing over at a sleeping newborn in the middle of the night.
I find myself day dreaming about all of these things and more.
I'm nervous about going back to the work of a newborn, but gosh, I am excited for those first few weeks.

(five)
I've told you about the minimalism challenge right?  This week our family room and the boy's room got the 'deep clean'. I took EIGHT TRASH BAGS TO GOOD WILL.  Can you even imagine how much stuff we had that we don't need? 
While I was cleaning the boys room, deep in the corner of a closet, wrapped in a tube of cardboard I found this.
Our dear friend, and Aaron's godfather, gave us an Apostolic Blessing for our wedding day.  Right after we received the gift, in the chaos of getting married, we lost it.  It's bugged me since, because I want to frame it and hang it above the bed in our room.
YOU GUYS
I AM SO EXCITED I FOUND IT.
For our anniversary this year, I will get it framed and hang it up.  What a blessing this gift is.

(six)
If you follow me on any type of social media, you know we had our first kid's first sport's practice this week. Little Aaron is starting flag-football and the whole house is excited for it.
But, just as we were about to leave for the practice and jersey pick up, I realized Aaron took the wrong van, and left me the wrong keys, so I couldn't take his.
We were stranded at home and had to miss the practice and jersey pick up.
Is this the saddest picture ever?
That's the kids, looking out the front door, willing daddy to come back with the van so we could leave, complete with football in hand.

The good news is, we will get his jersey before his first game on Sunday...
... and the practice was canceled apparently
... and it's kindergarten flag football, so it's not like all his dreams are crushed.

(seven)
Yesterday, was Star Wars day at a local public library.
I thought it was at the Redford Library, because the internets said it was at the Redford Library.
So, being the kick a$$ mom that I am, I dragged all the kids out in the rain and we went to our library.
After running through the rain, soaking wet we entered the library, we realized there was no Star Wars happenings...
I pulled out my phone and realized the event was at a Detroit Public Library, Redford Branch (wth).
Discovering it wasn't that far, the kids and I ran through the rain and drove to the Detroit Public Library (which is VERY hard to find, so I circled around several times) Redford Branch.
Running through the rain to get into the second library, and soaking wet, it appeared this library also had nothing for Star Wars day.
Epic fail.
Right before we left, I thought to ask at the front desk.
She told me Star Wars Day was in a conference room.  Whew, there was something.
Turns out the something was two crafts my kids couldn't do (too complicated)
a bucket of broken crayons and coloring sheets
and a game of tic tac toe.

HOWEVER
the library workers (maybe librarians) were awesome and dressed up.
Even though I promised the kids snacks, books, games, and other surprises...
They were totally content with the storm trooper.

#winning

The reading doesn't have to stop here, head on over to http://thisaintthelyceum.org/ to read more quick takes!

Friday, April 28, 2017

7QT about lyfe this week

I'm linking up with Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum   to give you this week's quick takes.  Are you ready?
(one)
Tomorrow is Aaron Christopher Wilkerson II's 6th birthday.
I've decided it's all down hill from here.
5 was awesome.  As I told the pre-k teacher yesterday, 'they can wipe their own butts, dress themselves, put on their own shoes, it's awesome'.
But from this point on, he just begins the process of leaving me :/ #dramaticmuch

(two)
\
Why, hello 3rd trimester.
I am officially in the 3rd trimester.  Woot woot.
And, check it out...
...as of today I do not have gestational diabetes.
...for the first pregnancy ever, I do not throw up every day
...I have only gained 7 pounds
I know it's about to get rough, as only the 3rd trimester of pregnancy can, but for right now, I'll take it.
(three)
I know you've all been on the edge of your seat wondering what we are going to do for vacation next year.
After the feedback I got from those who read this blog, we decided against Europe. It's just not time yet.  The kids are entirely too young.  Five more years.  I can wait.
We've also decided against the Disney cruise.  It's an incredible amount of money and two of our kids won't even be able to use the pools- we are going to wait a couple years on that too.
SO.
It's back to Disney for the Wilkersons.  This time during the Christmas Season.  It's just the perfect place to go when one has five children who will be six and under.  The whole darn place is directed towards children, and right now for us, that's priceless.
We are excited!

(four)
Yesterday, Aaron started talking to me about Catholic High Schools and if they are on the table for us.
You guys, it will be such an incredible amount of money $$$$ and all at once, because our kids are so close in age.
But in six years, our little house will be paid for, so, in theory, if we stay here, we could do it.
And so, we will start planning for it now.

(five)
I told you a few weeks ago about the Minimalism Game I am a part of.
On day one, you get rid of 1 thing.
On day two, you get rid of 2 things.
On day three, you get rid of 3 things.
It's changing my life.
I have donated bags and bags of stuff to goodwill.  If we haven't used it in a year, we get rid of it.
Wanna see something embarrassing?
Here's the before and after of our bathroom sink drawer.  I seriously don't think I've emptied it since we moved in #gross.
The whole house is being whipped into shape and I love it.

Let me know if you want me to add you to the group on facebook for May. I promise, if your home needs organization, or just has too much 'stuff', you will LOVE it.

(six)
 Part of this challenge is helping me deep clean our bedrooms for the first time in a long time.
I leave the rooms to the weekend. Aaron has taken the kids out of the house, and I have busted butt to clean.  I have our room sparkling and Malia's room sparkling.
This weekend, the boys room is on tap.
The boys room is disgusting.
There has been sightings of at least 6 ants.
I hate ants.
But I'm gonna put on my big girl pants and get 'er did.

(seven)
Malia is old enough to reach into our kitchen drawers.
And do things like empty them.
And take out markers and write all over things.
And run around the house with scissors when I'm not looking.

We've never had to child proof the drawers.  I, intentionally, do very little child proofing in our house, and usually it involves duct tape vs. the fancy gadgets meant to keep kids out.  That said, I might just have to, because it is SO annoying.

That's all I got for this week.
Have a great weekend.

The reading doesn't have to stop here, head on over to http://thisaintthelyceum.org/ to read more quick takes!

Friday, April 21, 2017

7QTakes give me your play advice and travel advice

I'm linking up with Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum   to give you this week's quick takes.  Are you ready?
(one)
The kids have been on break all week.
I seriously can't decide if I am the mom who loves the kids on break, or prefers the kids in school :)
I am somewhere in the middle.  Probably more of the loving the kids on break type though.
However.
Our van is in the shop. Which means we are grounded at home today.  Someone give me some suggestions of fun things to do to pass the day?  Not complicated or messy ones either. k? Thanks!

(two)
\
For some reason, I keep thinking 5 is going to be SO MUCH HARDER than 4 kids.
Not in practicality or our day to day tasks... I think we kind of have life figured out in that way.
But definitely in going places.
I don't know if it will be, but i keep thinking it will be.
And I figured out why.
You know how when someone has three kids, the joke is they are outnumbered?
I realized last night, at five, we will be hand out numbered.  We only have enough hands to hand hold four kids... and we are going to have five.  I think it's going to make travel tricky.

(three)
Speaking of travel... I am all starry eye'd thinking about travel in 2018.
To review.
We live in a small house (for 2017 standards) and we do so intentionally.  It allows us to do things we want to do, like travel and send our kids to Catholic schools.
Our travel budget is bigger than most families, but our house is smaller than most families... so don't judge :)
Okay, I feel better writing that.
Back to the starry eye'd planning.
We were saving this year to, in theory, take a 6 days Disney cruise as a family.  It seems like it would be so fun, and almost even relaxing, which is quite impossible with our kid's ages.
But Disney Cruises are CRAZY expensive, because we would need two rooms.
like, crazy expensive.
We realized, we could actually go to Europe for LESS THAN what we would pay for a Disney Cruise.
So then we started thinking, maybe we should bite the bullet and take our first European trip (on the list, Rome, Fatima, Ireland, Spain).
BUT THEN, we were thinking we could also go to Hawaii.
OR, we could do two pretty major USA vacations (several things on the table).

So we are trying to decide what to do. And it's so fun.  What would you do?
(four)
Aaron (husband) quote this morning...
"Don't start off cranky, you get one cranky day a week, and that was yesterday, so no cranky today"

(five)
We are late the party.  But Designated Survivor????  SO FREAKING GOOD.
It's got me thinking all kinds of 'what would I do?' type of things. HIGHLY recommend.
(by the way, we are only 7 episodes in, so if it ends up being a flop I will be seriously sad).

(six)
 This girl. God has been so good to our family.

(seven)
If you're not familiar with the Rosary, it's a meditative prayer that helps the faithful move through the mysteries of faith using the intercession of the Blessed Mother.  No, it's not praying, 'to her' that would be silly, it's asking her to pray with with you.  And we ask people to pray with us all the time, and I think, sometimes, we specifically ask people of faith to pray with us.  So it makes total sense to ask the Blessed Virgin Mary to pray with us right?!?!  SUCH an amazing prayer.
You guys.
I've believe with my whole heart praying the Rosary is a crazy tool of protection for the family.
I believe it.
I know it.
And yet, the Rosary with my crew?  Um. No
I know some people who do it with little people (shout out Rakhi), but there was just no way I was going to attempt a 15-20 minute memorized prayer experience with my kids.
They'd be bonkers
I'd be yelling.
I just kept waiting for the 'right' time.
AND THEN
My friend Erin created this...
Now, here's the thing.  I've seen the concept before, but never geared towards children.  The 'Easter Bunny' brought one for the kids and this week we completed our first family ROSARY!  AND it was completely painless.  The kids enjoyed praying and moving the beads, and it's something we are easily able to add to our bedtime routine (just a decade, I ain't crazy)!

Check it, you need you to get you one.  Seriously.  First communion gifts, baptism gifts, family gifts... it's perfect. I HIGHLY recommend it and not just because Erin is my friend, but because I can't believe how awesome it was to pray the Rosary with my crew.
Comment on this or in social media if you want Erin to message you info on it!

The reading doesn't have to stop here, head on over to http://thisaintthelyceum.org/ to read more quick takes!