FOUR the love.

IMG_4439 FullSizeRender 2IMG_4421IMG_3797 IMG_4042IMG_3890 IMG_4043And just like that, we’re adding another little G I R L to our family!  F O U R   G I R L S !!! When I saw those girly girl parts dancing all over the black and white screen, the tech had to stop measuring, I was laughing so hard— it’s my childhood all over again! I am one of four girls! And to top that, my Grandma was one of four girls too! You could say it’s a legacy I’m tickled pink to carry on. But, oh wow, the comments. People just don’t know how to respond. So let me start with what not to say. Here are actual reactions I’ve gotten to our pregnancy announcement…

  1. “I’m sorry.”
  2. “You’re seriously having another one? My mom had five kids, she didn’t have a life.”
  3. “Whoa, you guys don’t know when to stop. Let’s hope it’s a boy. Don’t get me wrong, I mean, your girls are darling. But you have more than enough girls.”
  4. “Another girl? Are you going to have another one, try again for a boy?”
  5. “Your poor husband.”
  6. “Oh man, all those weddings.”
  7. “Whooooooaaaa.”
  8. “Another one?”
  9. They tilt their head, not sure what to say. They wait for my cue to know if they should offer condolences or congratulations.
  10. (Before we knew the sex) In response to my enthusiasm for a girl, the mother turned to her teenage children, and said directly in front of me, “What she’s doing right now is a defense mechanism. She’s trying to prepare herself for a girl, so she’s not heartbroken if it is.”

Listen up(!!) … when there’s life, there is celebration. And we are celebrating!! When someone tells you they’re pregnant, here’s your word—  “C o n g r a t u l a t i o n s!”  For the love, it’s as simple as “Congratulations!”

IMG_3824 IMG_4219 IMG_4218IMG_4015 FullSizeRender 3Naomi Mariam (almost 6 years old!!): *See that fancy hair style, top left, that was all your idea! You are so creative! And each morning before school you are choosing your outfits, and I’m constantly impressed with your style and coordination! *You are gobbling up everything we teach you on the piano. This month, you learned your first two handed song, “Joy to the World!” You conquered it so quickly, and most of the songs you’re playing is just you sitting down and figuring it out by ear. Sometimes, your melody will land you on a black note, and it doesn’t even phase you. So impressive! *At Legoland, you and Daddy had some time to roam the bigger coasters together, and you showed no fear, you loved the rush of the big kid roller coasters!  You’ve also found a love for Legos! Daddy and Mommy are so impressed with your ability to follow the directions on your own, and you’re creating some pretty complicated structures with ease! *At the beach, you continue to charge the waves. They will be high over your head and topple you over, but you stand right up again, and charge another wave with a giant smile on your face! Again— fearless!IMG_3853 IMG_1291 IMG_4252IMG_4343 IMG_4254Aria Ellen (4.5 years): *You are our sand girl. You are just fine and happy to hang with mommy on the sand, building castles, fortresses and tunnels. You’re just not interested in the waves much at all. Which makes it easier on mommy— so thank you! *You discovered mommy’s lipstick this month. *Whenever there’s an outing, you are always first to pop up “I want to come!” Whether it’s a trip to a park to play tennis, an errand at Home Depot, or a walk to Starbucks, you’ll run to your shoes and be ready before anyone! I love your eagerness to join us on outings! *You’re still a lover of long skirts. It’s your go-to choice of apparel. *At night, you are almost always the most compliant with bedtime (going to sleep, not necessarily staying asleep). And more often than not, you’ll be snoring yourself off into dreamland faster than anyone. You wake up early, play hard, and pass out quickly! *At Legoland, you were very focused on a specific ride, and you “have the gift” of persistence. You would not stop talking about that ride until it happened. Well, as we walked towards your ride, we were passing tons of really decent ones. So as a family we decided to stop and enjoy other rides too. This did not sit well with you. On one particular airplane ride, you refused to ride it. You watched as your sisters rode it— you only had eyes for the car ride.IMG_4007 IMG_4306 IMG_4214IMG_4303 IMG_3902Juliet Mae (2 years): *You are a riot. You’re hilarious, fun, and so eager to hang with your big sisters! At one point you ran into the room and announced, “Hey guys, I’m back!” *You see yourself playing guitar? You have a knack for music! I hear you sing, and I’m not just impressed by your pitch, I’m impressed by your tone. You have a pretty voice! *I must share a bit more of the story about Aria at Legoland, because her story greatly affected you, and you took the moment and shined. When Aria refused to ride the airplane ride, she was actually standing at the turnstile in a puddle of tears. She did not want to ride, but she also did not want to be all by herself. With three kids and only two adults, we had a problem. In quick efforts to make things work, I ran to Aria’s side at the front of the line and, unbelievably, these words came out of my mouth “Is there another adult who’d be willing to ride with our 2 year old?” Just as they fell out of my mouth, I wanted to stuff them back in. What was I doing? In an instant, a very kind looking mom stepped out of the line and took me up on my crazy. And sure enough, she walked to your airplane, sat down next to you, helped you get buckled, and accompanied you on your ride. I was in awe. You didn’t flinch, you didn’t get upset, you just smiled your way through the ride. (Jaw on the ground) You amaze me, Juliet. Thank you for having an easiness to you, a confidence about you, and an ability to go along with your mom’s crazy.IMG_3976 IMG_4084IMG_4130 IMG_4179IMG_4193 IMG_4230IMG_4288 IMG_4264IMG_4282 IMG_4291Maertz Family Memories: *Joe’s birthday celebration got slightly postponed this year as Juliet got hit with strep throat over Halloween. Belated anniversary too. After a productive Sunday of painting the back deck and sawing down a dozen plus palm branches, we both got dolled up and headed downtown for a movie (007, SkyFall) and some fancy Indian food. And just like that, with zero exchange of presents, we called it a celebration! *Investigated options for expanding our house. Called contractors and architects only to discover we seem to have zero options because of a decision we made in 2011. We should have connected to sewer. *Playdate with Amie/Tins at their new home! *Tuesday gymnastics with Paschalls. *Ballet on Wednesdays with Mrs Dean. *Celebrate Auntie Malina’s 40th! All 20 of us packed into a huge home in Hidden Meadows! You girls braved the polar bear conditions and plowed down the huge hillside waterslide! We celebrated Thanksgiving, cheered on Baylor, and spent hours together conquering a puzzle. *Mommy led worship for ICF’s Thanksgiving Dinner at EFCC. *We celebrated a Maertz Family Thanksgiving at Ocean Palms in Carlsbad. In the dreamiest sun-soaked days we frolicked in the waves and pool. Walked the neighboring streets for everything you’d hope for on vacation. Cheered on more green and gold football, and enjoyed a perfect Thanksgiving at fancy Italian! *This was the month of Go Fish, you girls love that game! *On November 24th, 2015 at 6:30pm, we discovered the perfect make up of our family. FOUR GIRLS!! It was clear as day on the ultrasound, the tech needn’t say a word, we knew. Afterwards, we celebrated at The Bellows. I could barely stop laughing and giggling over the news of a fourth baby girl! Daddy celebrated with two glasses of whiskey!IMG_6196IMG_4474 IMG_4550 IMG_4577IMG_4083 IMG_4329IMG_4613 IMG_4061