The kid-related milestones and changes have been coming fast and furious lately, and unlike teething and potty training these are all of the soft-focus, eye-wellingly-awesome variety. The first big-kid, no-pictures, reading-for-pleasure book for Riley (The Lightning Thief). The first cafeteria hot lunches, which means less sandwich-making for me (yessss) and more variety for them. The first school classmate social challenge that we were able to talk about with Riley in such a positive manner I’m still fist-pumping our blue-ribbon parenting teamwork two weeks later. The first year I’ve been able to volunteer in their classrooms, and all the incredible benefits I’ve seen from doing so. The first visit from the Tooth Fairy for Dylan. The first year where they just absolutely rocked Halloween and we all enjoyed it so much I wanted them to stay awake so the night could go on and on. The first school year of seriously thinking-intensive homework for Riley and how much he enjoys us working with him to get it done (I take the spelling/reading stuff, John’s the math guy). The first year I’ve thought on more than one occasion, all this parenting stuff just got real.

It’s so so much greatness, so much sweetness, so much amazing-glorious-wonderful-fantasticness. I wish I had more time to write about it all, but god, it’s also so busy. It’s just so much, and I love it.

Ducks game

Who you gonna call?

family pumpkins

class field trip


dickie joe's





32 Responses to “More and more and better and better”

  1. Jeanette on November 4th, 2014 12:36 pm

    The years do fly by! Great pictures!

  2. Maureen on November 4th, 2014 12:38 pm

    This is so, so sweet! The Lightning Thief is one of my favorite kid’s books, I love the Percy Jackson series-so glad that Riley is loving it too!

    The boys look so grown up, I just can’t get over it.

  3. Kris on November 4th, 2014 12:38 pm

    The picture of you & Dylan on the bus? It’s the happiest I’ve ever seen you look in any photo. Ever. You have such a genuine smile, and it’s so wonderful to see you filled with joy and light again.

  4. Barb on November 4th, 2014 12:55 pm

    You know, Linda, I have been following you and your beautiful family for many years. I’m probably (for sure) old enough to be your mom and though I have three amazing daughters of my own, I feel almost proud of you! Like, right now I’m a bit teary reading this post and seeing how genuinely happy you are. Crazy, right?

  5. Diane on November 4th, 2014 12:57 pm

    I LOVE seeing kids with their noses in books!

  6. JMH on November 4th, 2014 1:15 pm

    The elementary years are the BEST! They are old enough to do more independent things, yet young enough to still want to spend time with their parents. Enjoy will fly by :)

    Also-how adorable are your boys!!??

  7. Emily on November 4th, 2014 1:22 pm

    I am convinced that 8 through 12 is the golden age. Not teenagers, not babies. Mostly independent but they still hug. They’re pretty reasonable and fun. And everyone is getting some sleep.

  8. Em on November 4th, 2014 1:55 pm

    I have a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old, and while I am trying to enjoy my time with them and not wish it away, reading this made me so excited for the years to come! (Although right now my 3-year-old is making me want to tear my hair out with all of the NOT LISTENING.)

    Glad things are going to so well for you all.

  9. Alison on November 4th, 2014 2:54 pm

    Ghostbusters! Adorable.

    I have a 1 and 2 year-old and this makes me excited for the future.

    Also, you look great. So happy.

  10. lori on November 4th, 2014 4:57 pm

    You look so happy! By the way, if those Ghostbusters would have come to my house trick or treating I would have been unable to let them leave with less than all my candy and and probably my wallet too.
    . Adorable!

  11. Jessica on November 4th, 2014 5:03 pm

    I have a 6 year old and a 9 year old and I’m thinking I may have screwed up – because I think I may not have had enough kids after all. Halloween was amazing this year. And our summer vacation was a delight. And reading and music and basketball and they still like to cuddle and be with their mom. This is being the best years of my life. And I truly loved them as babies but could not enjoy them like I do now.

  12. Erin Baebler on November 4th, 2014 8:02 pm

    So happy for you all! I remember reading your blog a few years ago when we were fully in our lovely time of parenting and I just knew you’d get there, too, and relish it. Our daughter is only 8 so we are still there with her but our son is almost 13 and man, it’s getting complicated. I’m not saying there aren’t still great times but the problems are bigger and school is so real (read: intense). Enjoy this time–I think it really is the sweet spot.

  13. Angella on November 4th, 2014 9:54 pm

    Right there with you, friend.

    I want to document so much more, but we’e just busy living it. :)

  14. Beth on November 5th, 2014 8:26 am

    I’ve been a long-time reader but probably never commented. I love reading your blog, and you’ve helped me in more ways than one. When I first had my son, I was completely overwhelmed and pretty much hated the baby stage, but around that time you wrote about how much you loved the older stages, and it’s something I held onto. We all love our babies, but that stage isn’t everyone’s forte, and that’s okay. My son is four now, and I’m loving every single minute (okay almost every single minute), and it’s awesome to see you delight as the years go on as well. You all seem so happy and healthy these days, and I’m happy for you. Thanks for shepherding a hopeless mom who’s coming behind you.

  15. Eve on November 5th, 2014 9:41 am

    Awesome! I’m looking forward to these days! Still have 3-year-old twins and a 6-year-old, but I feel I’m right on the edge of the fun kid years :) I admit I’m not a baby/toddler person. Grade school kids are where the fun is at!
    And you look really pretty!

  16. Ali303 on November 5th, 2014 12:11 pm

    In the middle of the post-Halloween-pre-Thanksgiving-Christmas craziness, your post gives me hope that some day, I, too will know the joy of the hot school lunch.

    Kudos, lady, on recognizing awesomeness when it surrounds you.

  17. Annie on November 5th, 2014 12:28 pm

    So stupid that I tear up at this !!! And the picture of the four of you hiking just screamsI don’t even know you but am so happy for you.

  18. Annie on November 5th, 2014 12:28 pm

    should be screams HAPPY !
    I’ll go now…

  19. Kristin on November 5th, 2014 3:29 pm

    You sound. So happy. That makes me so happy.

  20. soobooo on November 5th, 2014 4:59 pm

    Your love and dedication to your family is so beautiful. Thanks for sharing it.

  21. #6 on November 5th, 2014 7:00 pm

    How is John and his family handling you
    raising a DUCK fan? It is not all it’s quacked up to be….

  22. Sian on November 6th, 2014 11:38 am

    My life is currently an undefined circle of hell, but it brings me a lot of comfort to see someone who has been vocal about life being hard finding so much joy and happiness. Keep sharing it, please. It’s always darkest before dawn, etc.

  23. Anais on November 6th, 2014 1:03 pm

    I love the picture of Riley buried in his book. He looks all grown up. Also, Ghostbusters costumes= total cuteness!

  24. Jennifer on November 6th, 2014 2:09 pm

    The fifth photo down – of the 4 of you – gives a view into exactly what Dylan’s face is going to look like as an adult. He looks so grown up and handsome there!

  25. MEP on November 8th, 2014 6:04 am

    Oh my gosh, Dylan is starting to look so much like Riley! I loved the ages four through eight or so… nine through eleven were challenging. Now my daughter is twelve and everyone says it should be terrible, or “just wait,” but I LOVE this age. Now that she has a phone, we’re able to share funny videos, send sweet texts during the day, and it’s a conversation prompt for stuff going on with school and friends. Glad you’re in a good spot too!

  26. Jen on November 11th, 2014 5:48 pm

    The photo of you and D….I just saw it for the first time right now and it made me get all teary. So much beautiful love and light in that picture!

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