I will be the first to admit I have a horrible memory. Horrible. Like really horrible. And for all those beautiful moments handed to me from above, I tragically forget so many of them. Enter: this blog. I write, I capture, and hopefully forget less. But, there are perks to being forgetful. Joe has it good. If we get in a tiff, even a big one, I can wake up the next day and not remember a thing. Really. Not a thing. If you’ve wronged me, you’re lucky to have me as a friend, I likely won’t remember. But I likely won’t remember our amazing trip to Disneyland either. Memory just isn’t my strong suit. So if, by God’s sweet mercy I actually remember something, it’s truly a miracle. Here’s my point. I read something a long time ago and I still remember it. “You have enemies? Good. That means you stood up for something, sometime in your life”— thank you Winston Churchill. This month, I am happy to report I don’t have enemies— but I did stand up for something. I stood up for Me. And if I may add— I felt great doing it. I felt articulate, I felt empowered, I felt proud, and I felt certain of myself. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that the mean words pushing me into a corner must be met with my voice. From the corner, I pushed my fear of “what will others think” aside, and stood up for myself and made wrong hear right. Girls, I pray pray pray that you learn this quicker and better than Mommy. Stand up for yourself. Stand up for those you love. Care more about doing right, than being liked. Remember this, Winston and I will always be in your corner, whispering in a big bold English accent, “If you make enemies, good, that means you stood up for something.” Juliet Mae (3 months): *You’re darling. You smile easily, especially for your gawking sisters. They just adore you! Mommy has put your adoring sisters in time-outs for smothering you with their “love.” *You’re sucking on your fingers! *You laugh! Daddy is the best at getting you to cackle! *You roll over both ways—- and surprised us by rolling from your back to your belly first! *You love sleeping on your belly. You are such a great sleeper— with 7/8 hour stretches at night! *You are drooling so much, your clothes are drenched. *Your clothes, they are getting smaller and smaller for you. I can’t stay organized fast enough. At the end of 3 months, you are in 6-9 month clothes! *You’re finally a sweetie in the car. Aria Ellen (2.5 years): *You walked right into a wall and said “Oh sorry wall.” *As we drove away from a big party, it was obvious your little self was completely and totally energized— you announced “Eh wah so muh fun! My fay-vet paht wah my frehns! (my favorite part was my friends)— then you clutched your hands under your chin, curled up your shoulders and smiled so big your eyes disappeared into your face. *You’re fearless. You dive off the couch and roll into a perfect somersault. It’s really pretty amazing. People often ask me if you’re in gymnastics. I wouldn’t be surprised if you grow up to be a stunt double. What surprises me is your timidness in water. You are happy to sit on the steps of a pool, you have no interest in leaving your steps. *Have I mentioned how easily and sweetly you go down for a nap? It’s precious. “Blow kisses at the door?” And we do. Just before I close the door for your nap, we exchange 3-4 air kisses. I close the door, and you put your head down, close your eyes and go to sleep. At night, you finally finally figured it out— you sleep through the night, until the green light (this is a way bigger deal than this reads.) To reward you, we took you to Target and let you pick out anything under $10. You were delighted with your treasured bouncy blue ball. Blue is your favorite color, and you tell us that everyday. *You tripped over a pillow and your face went full speed into the corner of the door. The result was not pretty– a crazy black eye for nearly a week. Naomi (almost 4 years old!!): *As Ama was leaving, you stopped her, took her arm and pulled her to the couch. You climbed up, stood on the arm rest, and with your arms squaring off her shoulders, you looked deep into her eyes “Bye Ama, you don’t need to be scared, God is with you.” My heart melts at your instinctive kindness Naomi. *Hey Dad, hey Dad, excuse me Dad! Play a little quieter, my caterpillar is sleeping.” That’s right. Dad caught you a pet caterpillar. You loved on your pet caterpillar. Until, you couldn’t find it. It remains in our house somewhere. Everyday, I’m waiting for a butterfly to emerge. *You’re a natural cheerleader— “Go Daddy go! You can do it! Don’t be scared! You can do it!” (As Daddy was smashing a spider). *When I asked you what you want to do for your birthday, you said “There’s a sky full of stars in the country! I want to go to the country to see the stars.” You are so incredibly cute. *You are reading and sounding out words!! You read HAT, CAT, CUP and HAM! And you (roughly) spelled all the Winnie the Pooh characters by sounding out the sounds— You amaze us. *My heart fluttered as you picked up a guitar at Ama and Papa’s, sat on the fireplace, and took song requests! *You surprised me and wrote and said— “Look mom I wrote 100!” You sure did. Maertz Family Memories: *November 4th is another long afternoon with nothing to do, so I get you girls dressed up in your Halloween costumes, and we cruise our neighborhood and go Trick-or-treating! *Finally replant two orange trees! *We enjoy a fun night with friends at the Lehmans’. It’s pretty clear we are all in the weeds with kids! When you throw a bunch of sleep deprived adults into one room together at night, everything quickly becomes very funny. *I surprise myself and tackle an outing at The Children’s Museum and EscoGelato with all three kids— and it was kinda fun. *Family dinner at our place, and everyone dresses up in green and gold to watch the Baylor game together! *A long creative Sunday— Kearny in the morning, Suhonen Studio in the afternoon (collaborate with GCB guys for Joy to the World track), and leading worship again at Flood Church’s Kearny in the evening! *Sisters night out at Vinz— a solid 3.5 hours of genuine sister time. *Spontaneous breakfast with Beck kids at Snooze! *GrampBill airport pick up and playground on Shelter Island. *Enjoy big friendships and bigger laughs at Prep Kitchen Del Mar. *Say goodbye to the Heinrichs. Final farewell party at their amazing home in La Jolla. *Andy Stanley’s “When Gracie met Truthy” rocks my perspective in a very good way. It’s not the balance between— it’s 100% Grace and 100% Truth. So good. *Monday Costco trips with Papa. *Joe submits some potentially life changing essays. *Joe still hits up Basketball at EFCC. *Girls and I do Operation Christmas Child together— it is a bit messy trying to buy items for the “poor friend” with you little ones at Target. The next day Naomi says “Is this for the poor friend in the other country who doesn’t have anything?” *Mommy still enjoys Tuesdays with EFCC ladies and Thursdays with MOPS, it is just wonderful having consistent support. Support that is there when I need it, and support that I can guiltlessly abort if the morning just isn’t working. *Cold rainy days have inspired yummy Tortellini Soup! *Joe and guys say their final farewell to Brad Heinrichs at some pubs. *Joe and I lead worship at ICF Thanksgiving with a guitar and a drum. Girls steal the show singing Jesus Loves Me with darling white fancy dresses! You girls sing on microphones in front of 100+ people, and neither of you bat an eye of bashfulness. You both are very comfortable on a stage! *Leading worship at Hillsdale, and Christmas practice at Kearny in the afternoon. It’s not easy balancing creativity, a lot of people’s opinions, and a clock. *Another GrampBill airport pick up with the girls, and enjoy a gorgeous day at the playground on Shelter Island. *Enjoy an intimate Thanksgiving with the Maertz family, the five of us and GrampBill around our table, a sweet moment. *Thanksgiving day: ultimate Frisbee at Kit Carson, I forget to bring my Sweet Potatoes to the Paschalls’ (oops!), family pictures with Anjuli, and a big Thanksgiving of family and friends with the beautiful backdrop of the Paschalls’ backyard. *Maneevone Thanksgiving, a cozy Friday evening with family and the laughter of little cousins!