There is a reason sane parents do not take on the task of tearing up carpet to paint subfloors…in the middle of winter when paint & stain don’t dry as fast…with 4 kids….and an entire room relocated to the living room. Sane parents should have stopped me before I took that box cutter to carpet and crowbar to trim. I say that now, but in a week or so I will be happy I did this. In a year I will totally forget and will find some other room to attack with my box cutter and crowbar. It is the vicious cycle I live in and Chris did not grasp the reality of it when he asked me to be his bride.
1.13.11-01

Since the floors aren’t drying fast (one more reason for me to continue my disdain for cold weather) I started bleaching and dyeing fabric for pillows. My house now not only looks like tornado hit it, but it smells like a health club swimming pool.
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Once I got the dye mixed for the fabric I liked the color so much I ran through the house grabbing anything white I could dye. I now have an apron, 3Β  0-3 month onesies, and 1 random stripped pillowcase…all in a beautiful shade of dark green/teal. What I am going to do with all that teal? I have no idea. I’ll figure that out later, but I didn’t want to waste my dye.
1.13.11-03

The mess of my house is really starting to wear me down. Some people cope with stress by sleeping, reading, shopping….I cope with it through photography. Photography has been a gift in so many ways to me. It helps give me perspective and focus. When I pick up my camera I can focus in on what I want to and block out everything else.

My girl would live on apples and oranges if I gave her that option. It was good to pick up my camera and spend a few minutes observing her enjoy her favorite snack.
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Looking through my camera I see a beautiful brown background to compliment her white shirt and green bowl…when without my camera I just see my headboard propped against the stairs in the middle of my kitchen. Perspective.
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Photography is so much about light and so much about angles. What I chose to capture depends on the angle I am taking the photograph. It is a matter of what I am choosing to see. Photography helps me to take time to focus on my girl and forget for a few minutes that I am sleeping in the living room…sandwiched between the couch and my dresser.
1.13.11-08

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  • Jenny Joy - I loved absolutely every word of this post. And this morning, I’m needing perspective and a little focus. So, thank you, lady. :)

  • amanda torres - I bet the floors are going to turn out super cool. I can’t wait for the finished product.

  • Tess S - she looks a lot like your oldest in these photo’s. gorgeous.

  • Deb @ PaperTurtle - We re-tiled several rooms in our house this past year so I can appreciate the disarray you are dealing with right now. And what a sweet little cherub you have to distract you! Super cute shots!

  • Sadie - Can’t wait to see the new floor! I am sure it’s worth every moment of sleeping in the living room! She’s one gorgeous little girl. She looks like so much fun!

  • andy - love it
    love trying to find new perspective
    i need to remember to do that more
    thanks for the reminder

  • Jen - I really need to get better at blocking out some of the things I don’t want to see. My house is making me crazy! But what a sweet distraction you have…

  • Lauren Klouda - Hang in there. Last year starting in February and going until May my house became a construction zone as we ripped up the floors in ever room downstairs. That included my kitchen, main bathroom, and living room. We pulled up the old flooring, the sub floor, and even had to straighten some floor joists. The best part, I was pregnant due in June. It was a long and frustrating 4 months with no kitchen or living room to sit in and no where to cook but so worth it. My floors are warmer and beautiful and perfect for baby to start crawling on.

  • kate o. - hmmm…i spy a little girl shirt that could be dyed teal, too…

  • colleen - I love how the Lord uses a variety of things (including your blog) to reiterate things He is teaching me…these past few days i have been having “teaching moments” with my 8 yr old son and 10 yr old daughter about focus. “Instead of being disgruntled with the fact that they have to make their bed, lets focus on the fact that we have a bed at all”, “instead of frustration over having to pick our clothes up or fold them,lets be thankful for all the fabulous clothes we have” you get the picture. I need desperately to remember that I am ALWAYS blessed and with blessing comes responsibility and many times it neccesitates being a little uncomfortable. Thanks for saying the same thing in a different light… :) Thanks Lord for using Ashley Ann, I hear you!

  • Laurie J - I love how photography helps gain perspective. You were able to capture what is important in the midst of…..well, it sounds like you’ve got a little chaos over there! (temporary, just temporary) Hang in there, sounds like it will be worth it and I can’t wait to see :)

  • Heather - you crack me up…health club swimming pool!
    i love your angles and the view you found.

  • the whyte house - way to not waste that dye!! so pretty.

    so i’ve decided that you should pitch an idea(because you could get to big people before i could) about a new show. i think we should call it ‘modern day macgyver’s’. it can focus on people all over living life macgyver style…through the way they cook, sew, remodel, fix vehicles, etc., etc. i think it’ll be a hoot. :) and then when you’re big and famous, all i ask is that you take me thrift/vintage/antique store shopping for a day. :)

  • Rebecca S. - Would you consider doing a post on SOOC shots and how you crop them? I always edit my photos for color, light, etc. but I don’t do such a great job of cropping to invoke the emotion your photos give. I’d love to see what comes out of your camera and how you decide to crop them.

  • Candice @ ChiaSeedMe - I absolutely love this post. I’ve only started getting into photography in the last 8 months or so, but sometimes I feel it’s crazy what I’ve discovered about myself. I’m not very good still, but getting behind the camera does so much for me. It blows my mind how spending just a few minutes snapping away with some good lighting can help relieve sadness, frustration and so many other emotions.

    Cute pictures of FireCracker!

  • Kara Paslay - Oh my goodness Ashley! I am so excited to see your master bedroom- that painted pattern looks gorgeous! I share your distain for cold weather. Let’s move our families to Hawaii. You still have friends there, right? :)

  • Gussy - you are amazing :]
    love this post & your positivity-ness. xoxo

  • JΓΌrgen - the appearance of the soil is very promising. I can not wait to see

  • giozi - I love the two pictures with the chair. I have my new lense :) Is a 50mm 1,4. I have to practise a lot, and move, and how you say looking for better angles πŸ˜‰

    Could you teach, when you have time, about lenses, when use some of them.

  • Jenny - You’re one brave Mama! It is a wonderful feeling once the project is all done though… I’m sure it’ll be darling!

  • Amy - i can not wait to see this room when it is done. i also love the pictures of firecracker, she looks like quite the little ham bone πŸ˜€

  • sarah - Your pictures are making me want to redo SOMETHING-doesn’t matter what. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Getty Images Philippines - Photography is very interesting to do. Doesn’t matter if you are a professional or not. But see how elegant the photos you have here. Great shots.

  • Becca G - teal is my favorite color! definitely going to try the bleaching and dying thing.

  • Yanet - She’s such a cutie!

    I’m so excited that we got a little sneaky peek at your floors!!

  • melissa - My camera is like therapy to me also. I love the challenge of capturing time in a creative and beautiful physical memory. Love the contrast also of her white shirt and the green bowl against the dark background and table. I have learned so much about photography from reading your blog. Thanks!!!

  • jessica h - me, too! I get that :) She looks just like Chris in that last shot.

  • Elizabeth - I recently starting reading your blog and absolutely love it. I’m a photography major and I love that you take so many pictures of your children. I hope to someday be like that. I’m also taking a textiles class and learning how to dye fabric! Keep up the awesome work!

I really love this picture of him. He’s not looking at me. He’s not smiling. He’s not moving. He’s just sitting…staring off…serious…handsome.
1.12.11-01It reflects a side of him that is sometimes hard to capture with my camera. He’s my oldest. Not one day have I ever missed the days when he was a baby. Not for one day do I wish I could go back and relive that time. Not because he was a rough baby. He wasn’t. I just think that if you really live in the present, you don’t miss it when it becomes the past in regards to loved ones that are still with you. I love seeing who he is becoming. I remember and cherish the days he used to lay swaddled in my arms and fall asleep. As fond as those memories are…I don’t want to go back in time. I want today with him. Not yesterday. Not tomorrow. Today.

I was almost so distracted by his younger siblings that I nearly missed what he said as he slipped something in my pocket on the school playground.Β  “Will you hold this? I got it from the Treasure Box today.” And he ran off to play. I stuck my hand in my pocket to pull out a little cardboard box with funny little snowmen on it.
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I knew the minute I saw it that the puzzle was not for him, but for his youngest brother. He had earned a reward at school and instead of using it on himself he picked out a little puzzle for his brother. I asked him about it and he responded, “I knew he liked it, so I got it for him.”

Simple as that.
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His little brother did like it. It was a thoughtful and generous gift.
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“I knew he’d like it, so I got it for him.”
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He is a normal 6 year old who can be selfish and fights with his brothers. I often wonder if he is getting anything I am trying to teach him. I’m grateful for a little Treasure Box puzzle that reminded me that he is listening when I don’t realize. He is watching. He is learning. He is getting it. Somewhere along the way my oldest has learned generosity and thinking of others before himself…and if I wasn’t paying attention I would have missed noticing.
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“I knew he’d like it, so I got it for him.” Simple as that.

Makes me wonder what do I know that someone in my life would like…and what is keeping me from doing it or giving it?

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  • andy - that is so sweet
    thanks for sharing your son’s heart

  • jessica h - :) such a great reminder to live in the moment, especially with my kiddos. I will be sure to do that today!! thanks.

  • sarah - I read your post and because of the beautiful gesture of your son’s, today I will give something to someone just because I thought they would like it. What a sweet brother! I love the lessons we learn from children.

  • Lindsay - So Sweet. What a great big brother!

  • Erin Lee - Ahh!! I love this entry : ) What a testimony to the joy of giving and the patience of an amazing mama to notice <3. I love how the simplicity of children releases powerful revelation!! And Littlest brother is so smart when I was his age I ate puzzle pieces not solved them! Great post!!

  • amanda torres - The heart of a kid is so amazing. When I hear stories like this it makes me think of God’s love for us. Thanks for sharing!

  • Danielle - seriously. the sweetest thing.

  • Sarah Frost - such a sweet, sweet thing….out of the mouths of babes

  • Ana - This post got me to tears…not tears of sadness but tears of joy…educate a child is a very complex task and as they do not come with instructions for us to follow, we got to always use our intuition and we can only hope that in the end everything will work out … small demonstrations like this are the proof that you are in the right way and doing an excelent job… Congratulations.
    Love your post….Love your blog…

  • dawn - raising boys is an extra challenge since you are raising future husbands and fathers.

    he is well on his way.

  • Diana - Photos, feeling, beautiful words …

  • Fee - This lightened up my day :)!

  • Sadie - Precious. Love when your children think of others. Makes you feel like you are doing something right. Well done Ashley! Your family is precious! I really appreciate your words when it comes to living in today!

    (Oh and we have that same puzzle, and I thought it was a pain to put together! Maybe it’s just me, but some pieces looked like they went together, but they didn’t! HAHA!)

  • Allison - I got chills and tears in my eyes as I read this post! I pray my boys grow up like this too….always thinking, loving, and caring for others!!!!

  • danielle - Oh goodness, now I am crying again from reading one of your posts. Our second child did this in SK. They had a reading sheet and once filled they were able to choose a prize. Well he came home with an orange plastic necklace for his little sister. It hit me then, like hit you recently that yes, they do listen to our teachings and follow our examples… I melted that day with all the love I felt. :-) Wonderful wonderful story and images… thank-you for sharing such a special moment.

  • Ranee - one of my favorite posts…thanks!

  • annie - I think you nailed it – enjoying the present. I love my kids, but I love who they are becoming. I’ve cherished the milestones – but I wouldn’t go back. I love now. I love the person my almost nine year old is becoming. I love his heart and his compassion. He and his 6 year old brother and almost four year old sister are all so different in so many wonderful ways. I think it’s healthy to live in the now – I’ve never been one to wish I could go back to college or high school or my twenties or whatever. I appreciate the time and move on. Kudos to living in your moment!

  • Debbie - I love the picture of Biggest Brother. I think I recognize the spot for the photo. Is it Behind the coffee shop near the shore of Kialua Beach? I was there this past June to visit my nephew, we spent alot of time there. I loved the Birds at the Coffee Shop. Small World!

  • Debbie - Was the shot of biggest brother taken at the Kialua Coffee shop?

  • Debbie - Sorry for the double post. I thought my computer was acting up, I got an error message after the first one. Have a great week, I am wishing I was at Kialua Beach right now. I have been snow bound in NC for 3 days now. Starting to get Cabin Fever!

  • lindsey - Ashley – I love your blog! And this is the sweetest post. I feel the same way about my 14 month old. People are always saying “she’s so big! don’t you wish she was tiny again?” and I tell people no, because I really love knowing her right now.

  • Andrea - I couldn’t hold back the tears. I think recording this story and your amazing photos will always be a treasure.

  • Kristin - Thanks for sharing. I think all of your giving to others is making a profound effect on your children to be always mindful of those around them – so nice to see siblings love each other like this.

  • ashley jensen - Dang I love moments like that. Helps me not doubt myself in parenting on those not so great days.

  • Lori - seriously , made me cry. thanks for a glimpse of wisdom, insight and a big dose of live in the present.

  • Jen Helbert - this was truly beautiful, ashley. well done.

  • Amanda - perfect. :)

  • Tess S - incredible

  • Caroline - awwwrrr. that makes my heart melt. he’s such a sweet boy!
    His siblings are so fortunate to have him as their biggest brother! :)

  • LeAnne - What a sweetheart! I’ve got a smile and tears at the same time. It really gets me when the little ones do something like that. There are no other intentions behind the giving, just simply to make someone else happy. Others should take note. If a six year old gets it, why don’t most adults? Thanks for sharing that moment with us!

  • anne c - this made me tear up….so sweet. you are doing a great job ashley…and thanks for sharing this!

  • Nori-R - Truly beautiful and moving. Brings tears to my eyes and must make you very proud. What fine men you’re sculpting.

  • amber - Thanks for sharing posts like this. It’s so nice to come here & be reminded of real matters. I love what you said about not wanting to go back with him. That you just want to live in the now. I’ve been working on that…it’s good to be reminded:).

  • emily anderson - we have some good kids.

    πŸ˜‰

  • giozi - I Think that this is one of your most beautiful post. It was really tender.
    I miss the past. I would like to have my chubby as baby again, because the first month when I have my boy was hard to her, and I feel guilty.
    Then you said, your boy is learning about you tell him.
    My chubby only fight with her little brother :(
    I told you this before and I tell you again. You have a BEAUTIFUL FAMILIY.
    God bless you Ahsley. :)

  • giozi - Me again. I forgot. I love the picture where you little boy has the puzzle over his nose :)

  • Noel & Ben - Thanks for sharing, Ashley. He is a very sweet boy. Very often, we concern how much our children have learnt intellectually. However, most important of all is what kind of person he will be. I hope my son Caleb will be kind and loving too.

  • gina - Beautiful.

  • Krista Lund - love this post. reminds me that i need to pay closer attention and jot it down.

  • Melanie - Beautiful…tears coming from my eyes. Love the point about ” I just think that if you really live in the present, you don’t miss it when it becomes the past in regards to loved ones that are still with you.” Cherishing the time with my 3 and 8 year old is so important!!

  • Gevay - So beautiful. Those are the moments to remember in the not so wonderful moments!

  • ria - Sweet. I love it when my girls think of each other, it warms my heart. It makes me feel like I have accomplished SOMETHING. Thanks for sharing.

  • Hannah Bunker - That is absolutely precious.

  • Justine - what a sweet post, it got me emotional and i don’t have have kids!

  • Heather - what a wonderful big brother! love this post and his generous heart.

  • Shelley - This is my favorite post yet!

  • Liene - Wow, beautiful!

  • CharlaL - Love,Love, Love this!

  • caro - i’m crying, i hope my oldest boy be like your oldest.
    Thanks for sharing

  • Brooke - oh wow. i teared up on that one. what a sweet, sweet gesture from one brother to another.

  • Natalie - What a great heart on that kid’s sleeve! Thanks for sharing this post…worried about how my eldest is going to transition to being the oldest of 3…wondering if I’ll have enough love to go around because I already feel spread pretty thin. I appreciate your mothering/perspective!

  • Cassie - Precious. Simply precious. Makes me want to give my kiddos more siblings to love on. xx

  • kristi - LOVE this! That is what this life is all about. Great job, mom! Keep up the good work!

  • Denise - I don’t know him, but I want to! What a special young man. I hope you continue to recognize the simple things!

  • Heather - i want to be like him. simple as that. :)

  • Moriah - Ok, this definitely hit me this morning (as I sit here crying). Yes, they are listening and learning, a great reminder to listen for the little details. Thank you

  • Rebecca - Sounds like you’re doing really great work bring up your kids. Your son will be quite the gentleman some day. I know you are very proud.

  • Alice H - I cried. What a sweet brother. I love seeing tender moments between my 3 kids that make me realize that I am doing something right. And that no matter how much they fight, they will always have each other.
    Love the picture of him sitting and focused on his thoughts.

  • Cherish Stockdale - That is so awesome! So nice to see little reminders that we are doing good as mothers! Love this!

  • Heidi Stukenberg - LOVE this post! I have followed you for years and you always hit me where it hurts (in a good way!). Sometimes it’s easy to live in the past with my girls instead of pouncing on today’s opportunities. I needed this today!

  • Joyce - Your children are so beautiful. Mine are grown, I want my babies back. Sigh.

  • Tina Smith - Thank you for making me cry :o) Simply beautiful…..

  • Melissa Perea - Beautiful post. Brought me to tears. Your life is utterly sweet.

  • Carrie Rosalind - Aww…so, so sweet. What a good older brother!

  • Heather - aww that is just so sweet.. it kinda made me a little teary eyed. what a great big brother!

  • Brittaney - This made my heart smile.

  • Courtney - totally made me cry…wow…
    oh, this parenting thing. it’s HARD on our hearts!

  • Dacia - Ok I’m all choked up. Drugged and in pain from wisdom teeth extraction… and now sniffling. But because this post was so sweet, like so many others of yours! Thank you for sharing.

  • Kirra Sue - what a sweet, sweet story. loved it. thanks for the challenge & encouragement.

  • Abigail - GREAT post…great reminder! I’ve been struggling with loving this time so much and wondering how the days ahead could ever be better, you gave me some super perspective today! Thanks!

  • Ang - Ah! I am sitting here with tears in my eyes after reading this! So needed this today. We are in the throws of potty training and I’m feeling worn out, exhausted, and disheartened.(The potty training is not going badly, I’m just in a funk.) Anyway, thanks for sharing. Loved this!

  • Krystina - Thank you for this post. It is officially one of my favorites. This was such a pure and simple moment.

  • Elisabeth - Thanks for sharing this sweet story. We’re iced in here in Atlanta now, and my boys are both climbing the walls and constantly at each other due to their cabin fever. This post was a good reminder to look for the little ways that they are loving each other, rather than blowing my top!

  • Jennifer - you make me want to cry. so sweet. thanks for sharing.

  • Megan - Brought tears to my eyes! Absolutley precious. And how I appreciate your insight on living in the present! Thanks for a beautiful post.

  • Shannon - That is so sweet, and I love how you live in the moment.

    My oldest is 8 and I often wonder about him too, but he thinks about his brother and sister all the time. They all do, not so much baby girl but she’s still little yet. I loved when they did Santa’s workshop at school because even though I wrote down that they had to get their siblings something, the boys took the time to really pick out a present that they knew the kids would like. Sometimes I don’t even do that, and I feel bad. Sometimes if it’s too noisy/messy/big/ugly I don’t get it and choose something they would still like, but that I like also. I need to stop that and just let them be kids. Although I might wait until one of them actually starts to help me clean up after them all!

  • Kim - I.LOVE.THIS.

    so much, so true… as a mom whose oldest is in her first year of college, a whole new dimension, but peel the outline from your story and lay it on mine, and it fits as well. Enjoy each of these moments and look forward to the ones ahead! Sooner than you know, you will be admiring a piece of art you helped God in making, priceless…

  • Jenny B. - MAN! I am all choked up now.

  • Leanne - what a sweetheart..

  • Katie - so sweet Ashley – love this post!

  • Georgia - your joy will continue…it is so wonderful to see your children (child in my case) grow up and turn into what God created them to be…sounds like he is well on his way

  • Maria - beautiful.

  • twirling betty - This moved me to tears. One of the things I treasure most is the relationship that is developing between my two little girls – a close and thoughtful bond of a kind I never had with my sibling. Like all kids they fight and act selfishly (unlike their totally perfect in every way mother, ahem) but more often than not they’re loyal supporters of the other. And your little fellow’s thoughtfulness towards his brother is heart-achingly sweet and kind. Pass me the tissues please!

  • Brooke Leigh - holy crap. this post is touching, seriously. I hope I’m as good at teaching my kids the values that you have successfully taught yours.

  • Denise - Thank you for sharing.

  • Carissa Miller - I cried not once, but twice. Sigh. I needed to hear that about living in the present. I am crying daily right now because little momma starts pre-K next year. I need to live in the present and not wish for the past.

  • jessica b - So cool. Wish you had a “Love it” button… simple as that πŸ˜‰ tee hee. Again, such a touching example of the kind of childlike love I wish to be reminded of more often. Thanks :)

  • katherine - For the first 3 months of my eldest daughter’s life I listened as many people said to me “make sure you don’t miss a thing…they grow up so fast”. I started to really worry that I couldn’t remember every little moment. Until I decided that I liked the stage she was at. And I liked the next stage she fell into. And I began to look forward to seeing her grow and develop in stature and in character. I didn’t miss the past because I was enjoying each day and anticipating the years to come. It’s a great, fun way to live! Well done to you for smiling at the future and to your son for making the future a little sweeter with his kindness!

  • Just what I needed, but not what I deserved. |Just Us - […] then I read this. I realized how there are a lot of times that I’m not listening to the good stuff. The loud […]

  • nori - i don’t think i’m pms-ing, but i totally cried when i read this.

    ashley, i love how you capture the most incredible moments with your children.

    there is so much beauty in every day… thank you for seeing it, reminding us of it, and writing and illustrating it in your uniquely beautiful way!

  • Amber - What a beautiful post! I feel like you wrote this specifically for me since I’m having a hard time with my youngest growing older so quickly. Thanks for the reminder about living for today.

  • libby - this post makes my heart very happy. what precious kids you have. you’re doing a great job momma!

  • Deborah - What a very sweet post. Your little guys are indeed handsome, and what precious little hearts. thanks for sharing. :)

  • Lacy M. - I just love, love your blog. I love looking at your pictures especially. I’m wondering if you use any kind of photoshop on your pictures before you post them??

  • trauma « Smalltown Lovin - […] this really moved me today! […]

  • ~abi~ - just beautiful! what a sweet guy. :)

  • Kat - Wow, the same thing happened with me at Christmas time. My In-Laws took my three boys shopping and gave them each some money to spend on themselves. My two 6 year olds did just that, however my sweet, sweet 11 year old came home with a gift wrapped up for me for Christmas. It turned out he had bought me some turkish delight, which I absolutely love, but I did not know that he knew that. I was so touched. The gift to me was not the turkish delight, but the unselfish act of spending his money on me and not himself. I was very touched by this and still get emotional when I think about it. Having 3 boys is crazy at times and you wonder if you are getting through to them. These little gestures helps reassure you that you’re on the right path… and I think my hubby was secretly jealous too!!!!! PS – Hello from Australia.

  • Ann - So often your posts are so delightful that my heart feels like it could burst and a tear comes to my eye. thank you so much for these moments. Ann

  • Debs - its such an amazing moment when our children do that one small thing that means the most, touches the most and shows the most…the precious thing is….they don’t realise the impact on what they have done.

    i have a 6 yr old son who is just that way. innocent. loving. smart. funny yet he can be brattish at times towards his 14 yr old sister!!

  • Rachel - What a wonderful little boy! My daughter, who is 6 as well, did something similar last month. She won a little game from a prize box at school and her brother loved it. The next day she was able to pick something else and instead of choosing a new prize she picked the same game to give to her brother. I was proud of her for thinking about him :)

  • Jenn from The Mustard Seed Blog - oh, I just love this! It’s moments like this in teaching that keep me going, too. A moment where I see that through all of the teenage-ness, they do get it!

  • Brooke Whitis - At the end of the day, that is the joy in parenting….right? The character of your children! Good job, Momma.

  • Jodi - What an incredible story. Precious.

  • Amanda S. - Why am I CRYING? Ah, the life with boys. The simplest gesture of kindness towards one another makes me weep.

  • Janmary, N Ireland - New to your blog, but delighted to “find” you.

    I love how precious this is, and in the busy-ness of life this sweet gesture could have easily been overlooked. But he wasn’t doing it to get praise, he was just doing it for love :)

  • hearttypat - this post makes me cry!!

  • eva - congratulations for the great work your doing: raising your family and blog.

  • Mallorey - That was a very sweet thing for him to do. Very touching to read that.
    I bet you are very proud.

I remember when we bought our very first highchair. I was beyond excited thinking about when the day would arrive that our coming boy would sit in it. The first time we used it we had the video camera and point & shoot ready to go. It was an exciting moment.

It didn’t take long for me to realize all those little spindles were a pain to clean. A few months later my mother-in-law gave us a brand new Eddie Bauer highchair…that was easy to clean. For nearly 7 years it has been in my kitchen. Day after day after day I have cleaned it, swept under it and ran to rescue babies trying to crawl out of it.

The newness and excitement wore off several years ago. Now it is just bulky with food in crevices for who knows how long.
highchair-1highchair-2highchair-3

My 18 month old is a climber…as in she will scale the side of the highchair to get in and out…dangerous. So for the sake of getting that big thing out of my kitchen finally her safety – we said ‘goodbye’ to the highchair. It got deep cleaned for the first time in 7 years. The fabric cover that was only used a couple of times was returned. It now has a new, happy home with a new mom. It feels loved again. It hasn’t felt love from me in a long time. Can you believe it cleaned up so well after so many years and so many kids?!
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For those concerned about how FireCracker eats….she stands up at the table just like her 2 year old brother. Yes, I know there are special chairs for this kind of stuff…we are good this way.
highchair-001

And a little room update: I am painting the subfloor because it will become our actual floor. One day we’ll probably cover it with hardwoods, but for now I am experimenting with something. The base coat is porch paint (concrete gray, not white). I’ll share more specifics on the flooring later. My allergies convinced Chris to part with carpet under his toes when he wakes up. I’ve never been more happy to be allergic to cats (previous owner had them).

It is going to take me a long time to finish my room because I just have too much help.
highchair-002

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  • Corey Moortgat - Yeah, we abandonded the high chair after our first child- took up too much room on the floor and was always gross! My next two were in bouncy seats for the first couple months, then moved directly into the booster chairs with trays at the big table. It’s worked out great- they’re still pretty gross with food in the crevaces, but at least they don’t take up extra space on the floor!

    I’ve been keeping my eye out for some of those vintage school desks/chairs- love the look of them in your house!

  • Shannon - Thanks for the paint info! I may consider that with my bedroom. We want to do the wood floor that we just put in our diningroom and will continue through the rest of the living areas in here too, but our room is 12×26 and we have a limited budget.

    I have a nice wood highchair that my daughter only uses when we have too many extra guests and there’s no room for her in a chair. Any other time she uses an ugly old plastic booster that was handed down to us that is 2 different bright blues. I just bought some spray paint for plastic in a very neutral color so it doesn’t stand out so much. I will enjoy the day the highchairs can leave, but the wood one will stay close by. I am the oldest of 5 kids and a couple of my siblings just started having kids, and they visit a lot. I also plan to pull it out in the future when I have grandkids!

  • Loren - I’m sure you hear this all the time.
    But your babies… are adorable.

  • amanda torres - You state the truth about high chairs!

  • Jen Helbert - i just have to say, that all your babies are just darlin’.

  • Katie - This is the first time I am commenting! I just wanted to say we have a 2 year old who stands up to eat too! He was out of the high chair by 1 year old because he was always standing up in it. I too have 4 kids close together. So my third born who stands is no big deal you know?! I am just happy he is so capable!

  • Yanet - Ha! We have a little monkey in our family too so I had to take the highchair out of the kitchen. However, I couldn’t part with it. I took off the cover and the tray, painted it a bunch of bright colors and distressed it. It’s now a fun accent piece in the living room. It does get moved around a lot.

    I love the photos of all the kids in it. Precious!

    Yanet of 3 Sun Kissed Boys

  • andy - boys II men
    hilarious

  • Brooke Whitis - I am dreading the big, bulky highchairs that will occupy my home. But, I guess knowing who will go IN these highchairs will make it worthwhile :) So, by you getting rid of the highchair, are you signaling that you are done adding to the family? hahaha :)

  • Sadie - I am ready to get rid of our highchair for the same reasons! Randy could probably just stand as well! Love the photos of your kids in the chair though! What great memories!

  • Miss chris - Love so much about this. The often overlooked high chair, visible in so many shots for years… Boys2men….the school chairs. My littlest and your firecracker would have a ball climbing everything. And the floor?! You are so ambitious. So good, but so ambitious! Best of luck. xoxo

  • Melissa - We have that same highchair. It’s on our fourth child now. I’ll be a little sad to see ours go but cannot wait for more space at the table ;)Thank you for sharing!

  • Ruth - You are brave to give it up so soon! I would LOVE to say goodbye to ours but I still need something to lock my 19 month down. She’s a climber too, so that is beginning to become a problem. I love that you used Boys II Men lyrics. Hilarious.

  • danielle - Oh yes, the freedom of NO MORE HIGHCHAIR! I was very glad to see ours leave after our fourth no longer required it. For someone who had a lot of difficulty having children and wanting those baby items in our home so badly for so long it was strange to me that I began yearning for those items to leave! lol.

  • Sarah - I bet that is a freeing feeling! Congrats. I love your blog so much that I am currently reading it sans pictures… hope to see those kiddo’s faces appear back on the blog soon πŸ˜‰

  • bekki - I am excited to see how you will finish off the floor in your room. We can not afford to replace our carpets with wood and my son has allergies that make carpet a bad choice. I have been thinking of doing this same thing but am having a time convincing my husband! Hopefully when I show him the photos of yours he’ll be convinced.

  • Nicole - What a great life the high chair served while with your family. My sister has that same chair, and she loves it. She too took off the cloth cover. But it is so much nicer than the plastic chairs/covers that hide food in different creases, and eventually crack and rip.
    Good luck finishing up your room!

  • karen brown - i painted our subfloors in the kids’ playroom for the same reason…gross hot pink shag carpet and a tight budget. we used three coats of porch and floor paint and it turned out awesome! can’t wait to see the bedroom!

  • Mary - It is nice to know I am not the only one with a 2 year old that LOVES to stand on her chair when she eats! Thanks for sharing! :)

  • Sheila - Just last week I set up my very first high chair. It’s exciting times, but I am rapidly realising what you (and all these comments) mean about taking up lots of space. And I’m afraid mine is very plastic and not photo-worthy at all! Luckily, the Lil Guy is very photo-worthy :)
    And… today he napped in his cot for the first time since newborn, so I got some me-time to catch up on all your blog posts I’ve not been able to read. I missed my daily fix…

  • Erin - First a post that involves Umbros now Boys II Men lyrics…are we feeling a little nostalgic?!

  • Andrea - We had this same high chair and I loved it at first but I couldn’t wait to get rid of it! We never used the cover after the first time it had baby food smeared all over it! Yours looks really good now, mine never did look that clean…

  • racheldenbow - I was just plotting how to get rid of our Eddie Bauer high chair this morning. It’s just so big! R isn’t big enough to stand on her own chair so we may have to seek out an IKEA option. πŸ˜‰

  • lauren - we have my husband’s highchair from when he was a baby… it begs me everyday for a makeover!! :) i can not WAIT to see the floor! :)

  • MGF - Hello to new stuff………
    Goodbye to old stuff

  • julianna richman - If someone didn’t know those were boyz to men lyrics- then they have business being here. Classic. Loved it. You are talented and funny? Don’t ever stop.

  • Nickki - Love, love, love the baby toes shot!!

  • Lisa~ - I’ve done lots of painted floors. It’s a fabulous idea when you need to transition from carpet to wood. You’ll love it! Lisa~

    P.S. I never used a high chair with my kids…like you said, can’t get them clean. Ick!

  • Heather - piper and firecracker sounds like two peas in a pod! my girl is the same. sometimes i think she might actually scale the wall. πŸ˜‰

    we used gray porch paint in our house (dining/family rooms) and i LOVE it! we used a base coat of nasty smelling primer and then a couple of coats of the porch paint and it’s held up like a charm.
    which is saying something if you knew how much furniture i’ve dragged across it. :)

  • Leanne - we got rid of our highchair when we finally moved out of tiny apartments where we could have more than 2 chairs! We use a booster seat, which can buckle in my little climbers, and it fits right at the table on an existing chair. love it.

  • Veronica - I love your high chair story, and the pic of your daughter standing up at the table. What a classic! Thanks for the chuckle!!!

  • Kristy C - Boyz II Men — Awesome!

  • Kristin S - My word your helpers are adorable.

  • Lisa - Seriously, how do you really manage to do all this re-decorating while you have all the kids around? I have 5 wee ones and dream of getting some furniture sanded and painted and a quilt for our bed sewn. It just falls to the wayside, bc well, there’s so many other things to do. And you always are taking time to play and be with your kids? How does this work in your home? Seriously? what does a “DIY Home Week” look like? :) You’re a rock star mama!

  • Kelly - Thanks for explaining the floor. You said you were painting the subfloor, as if another was going over it. I really like the way it looks!
    I’m surprised someone as creative as you doesn’t have a plan – to paint a checkerboard or something on it!

  • Kat - Needless to say with twins I was very happy when we finally got rid of our two highchairs …

  • Carolyn - oh my! the highchair cuteness is almost unbearable!
    Can’t wait to see the room makeover.

  • nori - those pictures are A-mazing!!!

  • Neva - I’m so glad to finally meet someone else whose kids stand on chairs at the table! Mine have all done it – the 9 year old still forgets himself occassionally and pops up on the chair. He had to sit on the floor a couple times last year to break the habit. Our youngest (3) loves to wait until his Dad has finished, climb in his lap, tip his food onto the big plate, and eat from there. Only the youngest can get away with tricks like that!

  • Nicole Ridella - This post made me laugh – I too have an 18 month old climber and while she doesn’t scale the high chair (yet) she does scale the television stand where she leaves little hand prints all over her daddy’s big screen tv. :)

  • Lory - Do you plan on more children?

  • Getty Images Representative Philippines - The pictures are nice. The baby are very charming. Good shots here.

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