Friday, March 9, 2018
I've got 20 minutes to spill all my not-so-secret secrets here about a few people in my life that are STEALING my heart more than ever -- my precious little family. I say "20 minutes" because if I don't set a time limit here, I could be at this gushing for a long while. So the timer is on, and so is the challenge to spill my beans on these people. My dear, dear people!

We took these photos one stunning evening back in January at a favorite SD spot, the Torrey Pines Gliderport. Ry needed photos for his office, and we needed an updated family shot for the house, so off we went one day for our own photo shoot when we all happened to look a little decent. I knew I wanted to share little updates on everyone for this post after the shoot, since we didn't send Christmas cards last year, and as much as social media allows you to share what you're up to, how can you really share the meat of your life within a caption? Not enough. Not enough for this mouthful-mama, at least. I always have way more to say than Instagram can reasonably handle, so yes, here's a hearty update on us SD Awerkamps. ๐ŸŒž

First off, our MISS OLIVIA
She is brilliant, this beauty. And bored. ๐Ÿ˜‚ She is as cutout for kindergarten as the best of them, but her late September birthday sold her short. As much as she wishes she could go to school, though, that independent, creative soul loves running her own show around here. She reads and writes more and more every day, comes up with all the games for all the friends, cruises on her bike, pulls out tricks on her scooter, fiercely protects her sisters, and cherishes her parents. Per usual, her inquisitive self still asks for how-and-why explanations about everything (electric eels, blenders, languages, scabs, angels -- to name some of the latest Q's). She tells me every day, "I like and I love you, Mom," and her latest phrase when she feels grateful is, "Gosh I cannot thank you enough!" She is amazingly f forgiving. She knows God and she loves Him. She is light, that girl. Both in our little home and in this big world.

I love you, Olivia Joy. You mean everything to me!
She is a picture-perfect three-year-old: sassy, hilarious, and sweeter than honey. What would we girls do here every day without Claire? She gives more than she takes, adores everything Olivia does, understands Emmy's language perfectly, and comforts us all with the heavenly peace that has always bursted from her soul. She has the alphabet down, does her daily "homework" (a gigantic sticker book with colored pages), and has an incredible command of the crayon (Sis is an artist)! Her favorite song is "Halo" by Beyonce (like father like daughter), she is a lightning-fast runner, and she uses the best big words ("Mom, that is fancastkick!"). She talks about Jesus every day and is the first to remind me that He has an eraser for us when we make mistakes -- "big ones and small ones, Mom, it doesn't matter!" She is an absolute angel.

I love you, Claire Noelle. You are precious to me!
Olivia may be a bursting-for-kindegarten girl, but an incredible gift of her delayed entry into school as been the unending time these sisters have had together. They are together all day, every day. I'll forever treasure this little season for them. They are best friends. As close as two sisters can get.
She is my newest hero, this unbelievable baby. If Emmy's first year of life showed me anything, it is that she is one strong woman. I had a tough year, and she - ever so patient through it all - literally adored me all the way. Emmy is a lover. She is also a talker: "Dadh!" "Dogh" "Hot" "Hiii!" She crawls, walks along the walls, and dances. She cries whenever we are outside and have to go inside, and when her Daddy leaves for work. My mother-self five months ago would have never believed this, but Sis sleeps through the niiiiight! ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜‰ She lives for the beach, dogs, playing in the playroom, kisses from her Mama, snugs from her Dadh, and being apart of the action. She makes us laugh every day. And she makes us full. Between eating those scrumptious cheeks, and giving our whole family a sense true sense of joy, Emmy still provides our family a heavenly presence that fills our souls. We were absolutely incomplete without this cherub in our arms.

I love you, Emmy Eve. You are my angel!
The TRIPLE THREAT. I love so much that I had three girls right in a row. They will carry and cheer each other on for forever. I can feel that. Oh I love them. I love them!
Our dear DADDY
He is an incredible man. When I look back at last year and how much it changed for me, two constants through the chaos are unbelievably clear, and one of them is my Ryan. His steadiness comes from his confidence, both in himself and in God that's got life covered. Never ruffled, never afraid, Ryan is incredibly strong and then so sensitive -- a duo that a girl crew like ours will forever need. He loves his roles. He gives 110 to his girls and his work. His law firm fits his personality and goals like a glove (we are sooo grateful for that)! He currently gets his kicks out of running, hiking, beaching, Tennis Tuesdays, UVA basketball, keeping tabs on old friends, and smooching his woman first-thing when he walks in from work every day. ๐Ÿ˜Œ

I love you, my Ryan. You are everything to this eternally smitten woman.
 And for the caboose, MAMA/MOMMY/ME
I am stronger than ever. Sleeping soundly (!!) and genuinely smiling. I feel so good after being drained to nothing last year and I am grateful. I'm running, designing, and friend-ing. I am growing. With a job like mine, I am always, always growing. On the hard days, I look ahead into the future, envisioning when I'm out of the baby stage and my girls are grown - I'm rocking my schedule every day and getting things done - and my head longs to be that lady now. But my heart YANKS me back to my perfect present: I pull these beautiful girls into my arms, I hoist them in the air, I toss them on the couch. I see their every thought, hear their every cry, and wipe their every tear. I realize so quickly that mothering them is all I want. Being needed is being loved, and being loved fills every need. Everything in the world pushes me to believe otherwise, but I look at these girls and their incredible dad and I cannot fall for the distractions for long. Mothering my family fills me. I am so, so grateful that they are mine.
We are growing, we are grateful. Our roots are in this San Diego sand, and our sights for life are pointed toward the blessed, constant coastal sun. Life is so good.

All is well! ๐Ÿ’›


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