Saturday, March 30, 2013


"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013"

Cambria: Her hair is getting long. 
Ezra: When we're outside he often wanders off to play quietly by himself. 
Avett: His smile is getting cuter every day.  

My Grandpa Griswold

Two weeks ago, on St. Patrick's Day, my Grandpa Griswold passed away in his home of 60 years surrounded by many of his children.  It's fitting that he passed away on St. Patrick's Day because he was the biggest Notre Dame fan I know. He loved those Fighting Irish!  I have so many fond memories of my Grandpa and will miss him very much in the years to come. Hornell, the town in upstate New York where he and both of my parents grew up, will not be the same without him because he did so much in his lifetime and touched so many people.  You can read about his life in his very long obituary found here.  I knew my Grandpa as a jokester first and foremost, but also as a person who told the best stories and gave lots of advice about life. I loved sitting and talking with him and listening to his memories from his childhood, of my Grandma, and of my mom and her siblings when they were growing up.
Summer 2010 Cambria and I went to visit Grandpa with my mom. 
Summer 2011 our family drove up to New York for a week long visit with my Grandpa.
47 Bennett Street is a special place. 
It would've been too much stress and money to drive or fly our whole family, so Avett and I flew up by ourselves last weekend to be there for the funeral.  The trip was easy and for the most part stress-free.  Despite the circumstances, it was wonderful seeing so many of my extended family members I don't get to see often. My mom comes from a family of 13 children and my dad 10, so I have lots and lots of aunts, uncles and cousins. 

Avett was an amazing travel companion on our journey there and back. I don't recall him crying at all either time! We flew out of Savannah, had a layover in LaGuardia where we met up with my sister Amber, and then flew into Rochester. In Rochester we met up with Ashley, Casey and Raya and stayed in a hotel for the night before driving to Hornell Sunday morning. 

Waiting for Aunt Amber in LaGuardia. 
Waiting to takeoff to Rochester. 
I was excited to have Amber on the flight with us! 
Avett Patrick <3

Got to spend some quality Raya time on the drive to Hornell.  It was nice having smiling faces like hers around. 
Our stay in Hornell was busy with viewings, family time and my Grandpa's funeral. It was an exhausting and sad few days, but it was also a very peaceful visit for me. It was nice being able to focus solely on Avett and to slow our pace a little bit.
Mommy and Avett.
Can't give him enough kisses. 
My mom snuck a picture of us before we woke up on Monday morning. 
On Monday we had my Grandpa's funeral and then went to the cemetery where all of my grandparents and great-grandparents are buried. It is such a beautiful cemetery, especially when there is snow on the ground. Afterwards my mom and all of her siblings took a picture in my Grandpa's backyard.  In the background you can see the 13 trees my grandparents planted years ago in the back of the yard, one for each of their children.

My mother with her eleven {living} siblings.  They are in birth order from right to left. 
Avett with Aunt Amber. 
With my Aunt Margaret. 
With my cousin Jennifer, her son Caden, Ashley, and Raya. 
All of the Griswold children having a family meeting. 
On Tuesday morning my Aunt Bobbie drove us to the airport and within a few hours we were home.  We were all so happy to see each other again! 
On our last flight home. 
All my babies together again. 
I am happy I was able to make the trip to New York to celebrate my Grandpa's life and to say my last goodbye. I will make sure my children know about him and what he meant to me. Death is sad, but it is also the thing that all of us have in common, so for me it's a reminder to live life in the best way possible now because tomorrow is never promised. My Grandpa lived a full life and left such a beautiful legacy! 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013" 

Cambria: She decided she wanted me to make her a tutu for St. Patrick's Day this year. 
Ezra: If he is outside there is a stick in his hand. 
Avett: He loves looking at our colorful art in the hallway, it {sometimes} calms him.  

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013" 

Cambria: Crazy girl, crazy hair. 
Ezra: First day in big boy undies. Hoping it's an indication that potty learning will begin soon! 
Avett: Mr. Fancy in his tie onsie. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

My life now

We're just over two months into having three kids and if I could sum up the transition from two to three in one word it would be hard.  Completely manageable and very enjoyable, but also hard. 

Having a baby for the first time is a shock. You go from sleeping when you want, eating when you want, and generally only thinking about the well-being of yourself, to having to care for another tiny person 24/7.  Not to mention this huge life change {usually} begins exactly after the exhausting and painful work of labor and birth. It's a huge shock. When I had Cambria I felt like my life went from 0 to 100 in a matter of hours and it really hasn't slowed down since.

When Ezra was born everything was easier. I knew what labor felt like, I had experience breastfeeding,  I wasn't in school or working, and I already knew how to care for a newborn.  I was already used to the constant demands of a baby/toddler.  It was difficult at times learning to balance them both when I was by myself, but generally, it was a smooth transition. 

Transitioning to three has been much more confusing and difficult. Kyle and I are now outnumbered. And when I am by myself with them I am completely and totally outnumbered.  I have a child with or on me at all times.  Avett sleeps next to me in bed at night and I get out of bed in the morning when either Cambria or Ezra wakes.  Avett is a HUGE fan of being worn so he's in the Ergo or Moby pretty much whenever he's not nursing. That means I have NO time to focus on myself or much of anything else. I love my children more than anything, but there have been moments over the past two months when I just want my space.  I'm beginning to realize how important it is to take time for myself.  Since having Avett, my mind has been so fuzzy and I've had difficulty focusing and staying present, but I find that when I do take some time for myself {running, blogging, showering, reading}, those things improve. I had the idea to initiate a "quiet time" for Cambria for 30-45 minutes everyday and it's been a great change for us both.

Our families have been a huge help these last few months. My mom, Kyle's mom and my sister Casey have all been amazing. They've babysat Cambria and Ezra for us while we run errands, run races, or just enjoy a meal by ourselves...and Avett of course.  Casey is GREAT with Cambria and Ezra. I joke that they like her better than they do me. :) Having three children so young and so close would be much harder without help from our family.

Being home with my children is the only thing I would want to be doing with my life right now. I don't have to remind myself often that they will only be young once and this precious time in their lives will pass so quickly, because that's already happening with Cambria.  But over the past two months, I've had many moments where I've almost resented Kyle for being able to wake up on his own, shower, and leave the house to associate with other adults and focus on something other than our kids. But then I snap back to reality and realize that I truly love and enjoy my daily life. I love cooking for my family, I love doing art projects with my kids, I love teaching them things,  I love the pace of our days, and I love devoting my self to them everyday. When I have moments of despair, I try and remember these things.

I want to organize our house and clean more often, I want to read more, I want to blog more,  I want to make more time for myself, I need to maintain my relationships with friends I really care about, I need to figure out how I am going to "homeschool" Cambria for Pre-K, I need to focus on my real life more instead of the online world, I need to focus on my relationship with Kyle more, etc. etc. etc. So many things I want to do and so little time to do them all.

I am trying to simplify our house and our life. I am trying to stay focused and present.  Life is happening and my children are growing before my eyes and I don't want to miss it.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013" 

Cambria: Waiting for her little brothers to be seen during their well check-ups. 
Ezra: Dinosaur on his shirt and bandaid on his head. Both very typical of him these days.
Avett: He weighed in at 12 pounds even. That's a weight gain of exactly 4 pounds in exactly 2 months. Dr. Ramos nicknamed him "fat boy" :) 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Ezra's 2nd Birthday

Ezra's birthday fell on a Saturday this year, so we decided to make the entire day a celebration!  After waking up to balloons and decorations, we headed off to the Savannah Children's Museum. We had an awesome time with family and friends playing despite the "cold" weather.  It was only in the upper 40's, but the wind was brutal.  Once we all got reeeeeally cold, we found some shelter to enjoy a few cupcakes and presents before heading home as it started raining.

We came home, Ezra napped, and we prepared things for a little family birthday party for him. Grandparents, aunts and uncles, and the cousin came over that evening to celebrate. We enjoyed food, opened presents, and ate some strawberry Spiderman cake. Of course I have pictures to share....!

Birthday door! 

First glimpse of the birthday boy. 

This is a huge model train exhibit that the kids really enjoy. Raya looks cold already :) 

Searching for the trains.

My cutie two year old <3 
I made his ribbon by painting a 2 on a wooden star, gluing the ribbon on the back, then attaching a pin. I love how it turned out!

Ezra with some of the attending peeps.

Dressing up as a birthday donkey!

Enjoying cupcakes with his friends and family.

He loves all his aunts so much.

Family picture -Cambria.

Dylan, Ezra, and Mia eating cupcakes. 

I had a little photo session with him while he was eating.

 The Dashevskys.

 The banner I made for him. 

Party guests mingling.  

 Kyle decorated the cake while Cambria helped by licking the frosting. 

Ashley and Ezra had what looks to be a very serious conversation. ;) 

Opening presents in his new chair from Grandma and Grandpa. 

At some point Cambria told Ezra he should have a Spiderman cake...and so he did! 
Props to Kyle on the decorating skills. 

"Whoa, FIRE!"  

Blowing out his candles. 
After it was over he said "I want to do it again!" So we did. 

We ended the day playing with all his new stuff. 

Overall I think it was a great day for Ezra. 
He was a happy 2 year old little boy for sure.
I love you sweet son!