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  • Welcome to Counting My Kisses!

    Counting My Kisses is all about finding that silver lining, even on our most frustrating days. It’s about cherishing my little girls and enjoying being married to my best friend. It’s about taking a minute to stop & remember what’s really important in life—and to discover that each & every experience gives us something to be thankful for.

    I’m a daughter, sister, friend, writer, and most importantly these days, a wife & mother. My life is full of fun chaotic moments, and this blog helps me to capture the laughter and love that fills our house every day.

    Thanks for joining me on this adventure!

The unexpected gift

Dear sweet Baby J,

A whole week has gone by since we welcomed you into the world. 

the unexpected week 1
A week of moments, both big + small.

A week of our hearts growing in love + gratitude with each passing minute, hour, day.

A week of looking into your blue-ish eyes and falling in love.

A week of watching you snuggle up with your daddy and falling more in love with him, too. It’s pretty sweet to see how you already have him wrapped around one of your tiny, adorable little fingers. 

the unexpected week 1.5

And watching you with your big sisters? My heart is a overflowing with joy.

With love.

Happiness.

And a feeling of peace.

Because you being here makes everything feel…complete.

the unexpected week 2.5

Life at our house is even happier with your sweet baby noises joining into the symphony of your older sisters’ laughter + imaginative play + occasional meltdown/temper tantrum/fight. It’s the music of life over here, sweet one. Your little voice is in perfect harmony.

You have snuggled right into our hearts + our lives, and we couldn’t be more thankful. 

the unexpected week  2

This week has been a gift to us. An unexpected gift, since you were set to arrive today, September 20th. We’re so happy you decided to make a slightly earlier appearance~ because this week has been full of amazingly beautiful moments that I will never, ever forget.

Thanks for bringing something special + unique to our family, sweet Baby J.

We love you to the moon + back + back again, baby girl. And we couldn’t be prouder or happier or feel more blessed that God gave us you to be a part of our family. 

the unexpected week 3

Counting My Kisses: I can’t believe it has only been a week since Baby J decided it’s go time + arrived in this world! A wonderful week of holding her+ kissing her + smelling the top of her sweet little head. We’re overcome with gratitude over here~ and looking forward to introducing Baby J to more family + friends this weekend! What’s on your agenda? Hope it’s wonderful!

P.S. a HUGE thank you for the outpouring of love + support! Our family is so appreciative of all of the congratulatory messages, emails, etc. Thanks for sharing in our happiness!

Siggie-21

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I love the way you write. I can almost feel how happy you and your family are.

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Diann

So beautifully put. Family is, and should be love. You have it all. Hugs to everyone.

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What a gorgeous little lady- and family! I LOVE that pic of the sisters…and you look impossibly pretty. Yay you!!

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Welcome to the world, Baby J!

She’s here!!!! 

baby j 1

6 pounds, 7 ounces of sweet, spunky baby-ness.

20 inches of absolute cute.

A pair of bright blue-ish eyes and tufts of light blonde hair.

And the most darling little newborn squeaks you’ve ever heard.

baby j 3

She’s settling into her brand-new world quite nicely. Tolerating her doting big sisters with a lot of grace. And filling everyone’s hearts with joy, joy and more joy.

baby j 2

Many more pictures + stories to come in the next few days. In the meantime though…please help us welcome Baby J to the world! 

baby j 4

Counting My Kisses: We in such awe of our sweet Baby J. She has already captured our hearts so fully & completely after just a few days! We are heading home from the hospital today + so excited to get home & get settled into life as a family of 5. Thank you for all of your good thoughts + well-wishes!!!

Siggie-21

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Corinne

Baby J is just beautiful!!! Cannot wait to meet her, get some rest :)

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Congratulations! Such a beautiful family you have!

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She is so darling! Congrats!

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Mimi

Welcome to the world Baby J!!!!! We are so thrilled that you are here with your adorable sisters, and the best mom and dad!! Lots of love coming your way from Wisconsin and cannot wait to get you in my arms and kiss and hug you. God is good!!! XOXOX

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Laura

Welcome Baby J!! You have joined a most amazing family and you are one lucky girl!! Cannot wait to meet you and introduce you to Baby B soon too!!

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Congrats to you guys. She’s so precious. Love the smiles on both big sisters faces!

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Congrats! She is absolutely gorgeous!

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Congratulations on the beautiful bundle! Wishing mamma and baby J well!

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Amy, she is wonderful! And you look terrific! And that pic of the girls is perfection! And and and!!!

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Congratulations! She is beautiful!

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Indian Summer

Oh, Indian Summer, how I love thee.

 

Every hour in the gloriously hot sunshine feels like a bonus gift. 

The crisp fall air is on its way, and that will be lovely too.

But for now…

we’ll take 93 degrees + sunshine. We’ll take it all.day.long.

Because there’s nothing sweeter than running through a sprinkler on an unseasonably warm September evening.

Except possibly listening to your children shriek with delight as they embrace these last few days of Indian Summer. 

That’s pretty darn fabulous, too.

 

Counting My Kisses: In just a matter of days {or hours?! who can tell with this weather!}, we’ll be getting out the leggings + long sleeve dresses for the girls. It was a gift to watch them enjoy the sprinkler~ just looking at the pictures + seeing their joy makes my heart soar. Happy Indian Summer, friends. Let’s enjoy it while it lasts!

Siggie-21

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I love the pictures, we are enjoying a few hot days here too. Though I have to say I’m looking forward to the cooler weather.

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Diann

I’m so jealous. Kris and Johnny will be seeing all of you so soon. Such beautiful pictures. Love to all.

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These pictures are INSANE! Gorgeous! Those expressions on the girls’ faces make me want to go play, too.

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Happenings

Hello, friends!

 

So. I totally promised myself that I would not pull the I’M EXTREMELY PREGNANT card when it came down to sticking with my blog schedule. Structure is good!, I told myself. Stick with it! You love writing so just make the time

 

Riiiight.

That was before I remembered JUST how looooong these last few weeks are. Exciting? You bet! But OMG. So, so tiring too. Add in the fact that I’m still a little emotional over Little O’s pre-K milestone + completely distracted by semi-important topics {such as: do we have batteries for the baby swing?!?! and how many newborn diapers do we need?!?!?} and you have a mental place that isn’t exactly breeding Awesome Blog Post material these days.

Many apologies. Stick with me a little longer, I promise there will be oodles of baby photos/adoring big sis photos VERY soon. And at some point, we’ll get things back to normal around here. Thanks for embracing the chaos with me!

 

In the meantime~ a few happenings at our house:

 

H-Berry is starting Mommy & Me preschool

H-Berry’s first day is Thursday {and I WILL be there, provided Baby Nug cooperates!} and she is so so SO super excited! We went to meet her teacher + visit her classroom last week and she was over.the.moon. She wore her little backpack with such pride, it was absolutely adorbs. I can’t wait to see what this year has in store for our sweet H-Berry!

 

Little O starts fall soccer

We’ve graduated to the big leagues!

Er… U-5 rec soccer, that is. This adventure includes {but is not limited to} a pre-game practice + two twenty-minute halves, lots of small children flocking around the ball, fast-breaking towards the wrong goal, using hands when it’s easier than using feet & stopping the game to wave at airplanes overhead. 

Add in the fact that Little O’s uniform looks like a dress when it untucks & we’re winning all across the board. Super cute & so much fun~ love our little soccer girl!

 

And last, but certainly not least:

Baby Nug is full-term! WOO!!!!

At her latest ultrasound, she was looking cute & spunky & all sorts of comfy in there. The Hubs & I are finishing up on the last of our Nesting To Do’s {more on that asap!} & getting SUPER excited to meet our sweet little baby girl!

Also: Little O & H-Berry may or may not ask if TODAY IS THE DAY WE CAN MEET BABY NUG at least once an hour. So soon we’ll be able to say yes!

 

So, friends, that’s what’s going on around here. What’s happening in your world these days? Share in the comments section & have a GREAT one!!!

Counting My Kisses: I’m so thankful for our sweet girls~ the two on the outside that are making our world twirl with happiness + excitement, and the one on the inside that is chock full of personality + wonder already. Such blessings! Thanks for hanging in there with me~ we’re in the home stretch now, friends!

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Your girls just slay me with The Cute. That backpack? That soccer shirt/dress? Awesome. And I can’t wait to hear ALLLLLL about the newest bitty baby gal! (Take care of yourself, you!)

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Our school girl {a love letter}

Dear Little O,

 

This has been a milestone week for you, sweet girl.

A milestone that you have embraced with courage + excitement + a big smile.

A milestone that I have thought about + prayed about + had second {and third, and fourth} thoughts about for many, many months.

 

You started pre-K on Monday.

It was a big day for you. A HUGE day for you! And for your daddy & I, too.

 

I took you to visit your classroom late last week. We carefully unpacked your school supplies into your cubby. The things you had so lovingly picked out at the store made me smile, for they were so quintessentially you: a Minnie Mouse folder. A hot pink binder. A Hello Kitty notebook.

You met your new teacher & assistant, who both seem lovely. You met the only other girl in your class, who also seems lovely. You checked out the toy situation + the different learning centers + the art supplies. Fun, fun and more fun.

And you requested to come back tomorrow.

 

Soon, I gently told you. Just a few more days until school starts.

Inside, my heart was aching.

 

You are my baby. My sweet little four-year old baby. We have been together every step of the way for your entire life. At what point did your daddy & I think that four mornings a week away from us would be a good thing??

 

I held on to the sweetness of our last weekend of summer. I even insisted on a last-second photo shoot to ease my crushing need to capture everything, right now, just like this.

Sunday night, I was still awake at 3am. Worrying. Wondering. Hoping. Praying.

I prayed this would be a good fit for you. A positive experience. I prayed you’d stay safe + that your daddy & I would have enough faith to let you try this experience on to see if it fits. To give it the gift of time. To give you the gift of trying something new.

 

Monday morning came so, so soon. You were awake early and smiling when we came in to get you out of bed. Breakfast, teeth brushed, hair done, clothes on, pictures + then we were off to school.

 

The drop-off line seemed both impossibly long + entirely too short. Before I knew it, we had pulled up to the drop-off zone.

Be good, I told you.

Turn your listening ears on & have fun!

We’re so proud of you, added your daddy.

Be kind. Be nice. Be a good leader.

And of course: We love you so much. Always.

 

And with that, sweet girl, you touched the necklace that you were wearing {my family heart necklace, on loan so you could feel our love anytime you needed to}, took the hand of a teacher & hopped down to the sidewalk to join the rest of your class.

Then, too soon, the only sound in our car was the van door quietly clicking shut.

And me sobbing.

And not letting the Hubs drive away until we could see your sweet little blonde head walking into the school with your class. My heart, embarking on her first solo adventure.

 

It’s impossibly hard to let go.

 

I know you’re ready for this adventure, this challenge.

I love seeing your excitement + enthusiasm + hearing all about your day, your new friends, your teacher, even your snack and recess time.

I’m just going through some growing pains in my heart right now. You’ll understand one day when you’re a momma.

 

But~ I want you to learn. I want you to grow + explore + challenge yourself + be a good friend + a great leader + show others how to be kind, compassionate and full of love.

That’s my wish for you as you begin this new school year.

It’s a little scary for you & a LOT scary for us.

 

But you are rocking it, sweet girl. And we couldn’t be prouder. 

We love you to the moon and back~ and back again, school girl.

Also? You running straight into my arms after your first day was one of my Favorite Moments of Mommahood thus far. Just thought you should know.

xoxoxo

Counting My Kisses: Oh, my heart. It is pretty tender after this week {and let’s be real: being almost 9 months pregnant is NOT HELPING the emotional situation whatsoever!}. It has been a week of adjusting for all of us, but all things considered, I think we can chalk it up to a big success. And for that~ I’m so very, very thankful. And also so ready for a nice long weekend! Have a great one, friends!

Linking up with Shell for Pour Your Heart Out {because I may or may not have sobbed a little more writing this…}!

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What a sweet love letter, Amy. She’s so big, yet so little.
And look at you, you’re glowing!

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She looks so excited!

Such an emotional time- and especially with the pregnancy hormones kicking in. xo

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Stacey

Beautiful Amy! This will be such a great keepsake for O. (You made me cry)

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I LOVE the look of sheer joy on her face- throughout the entire photo session! (And you look darned rockin’ too, Mama!) Also? I may or may not have cried throughout this piece.

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M o r e   i n f o