Featured Slider

Baby Sullivan | Week Fifty Two, 1 year old!!!




Folks, we have made it. Sullivan James Hollen is officially one year old. Technically he's now 369 days old but we aren't focusing on technicalities. I was hoping to ring in this one year post with pictures from his birthday bash but unfortunately that won't be happening quite yet....

Marin picked out these birthday toys for Sullivan. 


Most of last week over his birthday the kiddos and myself were are very much under the weather. The sickness presented itself last friday and has stuck around in one form or another until today. We are still coughing a bit and our noses are still red and running. Being sick over your birthday pretty much is the worst. Being sick and having to take care of two sick kids is also pretty much the worst. But, we are slowly on the mend and have rescheduled his big birthday bash to next week. I know he probably won't remember the fact that we celebrated his big day ten days after the fact. Oh well...





He is one. He is one! Our little man, our last baby, our wonderful son is one years old now and every time I look at him lately he seems to be turning into a little boy right before my eyes. Everyday he gets longer and his pants get a little more snug. Everyday he starts babbling different sounds and little almost words. Everyday he gets a little bit more excited about food and shakes his little fists in the air in pure excitement because just loves to eat that much. Everyday he inches closer and closer to getting mobile and I'm just praying that it's sooner rather than later. He is stronger everyday. 





It's hard to believe that a year ago today we were just bringing him home from the hospital. The new baby smell and sleepless nights have slowly worn away and now I welcome any little cuddles that I may get from him because he wants to be doing something at all times and is fascinated so much by the world around him. 





Sullivan made me a boy mom and I'm sure we have many years ahead of us of peeing all over the toilet and around it, fart noises, and rough housing. Maybe he will want to play sports and pick up the guitar. Maybe he will love to read or just prefer to be outside in the mud. Maybe he will love music as much as we do, maybe not. Whatever he goes after in this life there's one thing I know for sure, I will forever be his mama and I wouldn't have it any other way. 



He's growing up so quickly and that does make me sad but at the same time I am loving seeing him grow up into the little boy that he will be. I'm thankful that we are getting past the little baby stage and into the little boy stage. This is when it starts getting really fun. We are finding our groove as a family and it's only going to get better. 



Happy Birthday, a few days late, Sullivan James Hollen. You were made to be a part of our little family and we cannot imagine living life without you! 








Baby Sullivan | Week Fifty One





We have one more week of posts before Sullivan is a one year old! Technically, in two days, he will be one and I still can't believe it. I say that every time, in every post. But, it's true! Where did this year go? Please tell me. My baby is becoming a little boy ever so quickly. He will be a little toddler before we know it. 




Since we got back from Montrose, life has been pretty much nonstop. I played keyboards at church the day after we got back and ran without practice. Monday was spent trying to get our house in some sort of order: scrubbing the tub and toilet, doing loads and loads of laundry, and mopping the floors. I worked my normal three days this week and try to cram in as much as I can in those three days. I led worship for prayer, solo on an acoustic, on Wednesday. It's been a while since I've done that and it wiped me out. Thursday night I had worship practice for Sunday. Friday night was pretty much the only evening Ryan and I were able to have some time to just be with each other. 





I don't like those days when I go to the office, leaving at 7am after kissing my sweet family good bye while they eat their waffles and bananas at the breakfast table. I then work my hardest all day at the office, consumed with quickbooks and billing. Then there are the evenings where I get to run home real quick, grab a bite to eat, kiss those babies again, and then run off of to church for one thing or another. The nights that I don't get to help with baths and tuck in the little ones are not my favorite. Somedays I only see our children for a half hour. I am not okay with that and would like to not have many of those days. 



Sullivan is still not crawling. He will be one on Tuesday. In my mom brain I'm trying to not freak out entirely about that and know that he will in due time. But, it's so hard to wonder about the whens and what ifs. That is not a good rabbit trail for my brain to go down. That's really the only milestone that he isn't fully hitting yet and I'm ready for it. I was ready for it months ago. 



This weekend was a rough one. Marin started to feel under the weather on Friday. Running nose, cough, feeling icky. Then around 1:00am Saturday morning, Sullivan woke crying and was burning up. We haven't had to deal with a lot of fevers with our babies and this one was not fun. Just today, I feel like it finally broke and he is slowly becoming himself more. Of course, all of this happens when our pediatrician is not open. Luckily, we have a support system around us to come help me out when I am exhausted and can't get Sully to cool down. We have taken a lot of sponge baths and he has hung out in his diaper only for the past two days. It's always horrible to watch your child hurt and you can only do so many things. His body was obviously fighting off something and the fever is part of that. I even ended up staying home from church this morning and I was supposed to help lead worship. My kids come first over all of that and I'm glad we have all gotten to rest today. I feel a sore throat creeping in in my throat and I need it to go away like yesterday. 



This coming week should be a good one as long as everyone is healthy. I'm only working Monday and Tuesday. After that, I have six full days off because we are closing the office for the July 4th holiday. Hallelujah. I am looking very forward to some time off. No work. No band practices. Wednesday is the 4th and is always my favorite holiday aside from Christmas. Last year I spent it in the hospital because I had just had Sullivan. I'm looking forward to hanging out with family and watching fireworks. A few days after that, we will be celebrating Sullivan's birthday and I'm excited to be with family once more. It should be a full and refreshing week as long as we all get healthy. 







Baby Sullivan | Week Fifty


At some point in this process of documenting Sullivan's first year of life, I have fallen behind. I am posting week fifty when Sullivan will be a one year old in a week. All of those weeks of not posting until pretty much the beginning of a new week have gotten us to this point. I will catch up as he turns one and the fact that I've kept this up with two kiddos is nothing short of a miracle. 


Ryan and I went to Montrose, CO on Thursday to celebrate the life of my grandfather. He passed away on June 11th. I am very glad that we were able to make the trip there and be with family as we looked back upon his life. He was an amazing man and I'm sad that he is gone but I'm very glad that he is no longer hurting and is at peace. I was able to honor him by singing at his vigil on Thursday night and I'm very glad I did. It felt like the best thing I could offer. 



The week prior, we were away for our anniversary trip and then a week after that we were in Montrose. I feel like I haven't been home for weeks. I am very glad that I don't work Mondays because I was able to finally catch up on a bunch of laundry and scrub the bathtub. The house was feeling pretty gnarly and it feels good to have stuff picked up again for the beginning of a new week. 



We are planning Sullivan's birthday bash which will include barbecuing and hanging out with family. He already enjoys both of those things and I'm looking forward to celebrating him. I cannot believe he is nearly a one year old. Where has the time gone? I was just pregnant, uncomfortable, and awaiting his arrival into this world. So many things have happened in his first year of life and I love seeing how he has grown and how we have all grown in this year. 



I'm looking very forward to him being more mobile and no longer having to buy formula. Now if we could just get him out of diapers, then we would be golden. Granted, we have a bit more time before that happens, I'm sure. Buying diapers and formula...that will be something I won't miss someday. But then I will look back and wish our children could be little like that once more. I need to soak in all of this while I still can because he is our last little babe and he will be in high school before we know it. 



I don't have much else to say this week because we were gone for most of it. The Hollen's took the kiddos again for two nights and I'm sure they were living their best lives. Swimming in the pool, trolley rides downtown, trips to Culver's. I would be fine with all of that. We are very thankful that they were able to have the kiddos again. We know they were in the best hands. 







Portrait Nine



As part of my 32 Things Before 32 List, I am attempting to take one self-portrait per month. This one is for the month of April. Yet again, just like the months before, April is a ways back in the grand scheme of things and honestly feels like a life time ago. Here we are, behind per usual, but here nonetheless. 

I feel more at ease in this photograph than I have in a very long time. This was from the weekend we spent in the mountains, away as a family. I still look tired, yes, but behind those tired mom eyes, I see a woman that has found the other side of a decision that was a big one to make. Leaving my job at the church was not an easy decision, not one that I ever took lightly. It hung on me for a very long time and being on the other side of it still feels foreign. I breathe in and out differently than before. The air seems different. My view of life and family seems different. 

My father in law mentioned to me a while back that I seemed so much more at ease than I was I before. At first I didn't think so but then when I began to look in I realized that he was indeed very correct. I am different. I feel whole and at peace. I don't feel nearly as stressed as I was before. The act of going to work, working hard, and then leaving it all at the office has breathed fresh air into my lungs, into my life. 

Yes, I still have moments where I wonder how the team is doing, how scheduling is going, and realize that I'm missing out on many things. But, you know what? It's okay. My daughter is always surprised when I tell her that I get to spend the next few days with her and our son. When she realizes that mommy doesn't need to stare at a computer screen or be attached to my phone, excitement fills her eyes and she plans out our day of doing puzzles, playing with play dough, and swinging on the swings. That is what matters. I am no longer overworked and ragged by the time I come home to my family. I am still tired after work and I'm still tired after a day with the kiddos, but it all feels different. 

At ease is great place to be. I like it here.