If There Was An Award For Packing and Unpacking Stuff, I Would Win It

Just a quick post to say hello! Since the middle of June, I have packed up all of our earthly belongings and prepared this family of four to move up to camp for the summer.  I then, after 4 days at camp, packed myself and the kids up and went home for a few days. I then packed Ellie a suitcase and sent her to her grandparents for 8 days, and packed Zeke and I a suitcase and headed off to BC for a soul-filling vacation. I then arrived home from BC, unpacked said suitcases, did laundry, spent a few days at home, and then packed everyone BACK up one more time to head back to camp, where, after 18 days was reunited with my husband. Can I just say that I am SO DONE WITH PACKING AND UNPACKING 4 DIFFERENT PEOPLE??

It has been a whirlwind of a month, and there is SO much to say, but life, for now continues at a break-neck speed as we readjust to camp life. I think things will settle into their own routine shortly, and I will learn what pockets of time I have for things like blogging, but until that happens, I at least wanted to check in let you know that yes, my pulse does still exist.

Observations from Camp

I am a NINJA at catching mosquitos in my hand.  They don’t see it coming and I am like a sniper, picking them off out of thin air.

Even though I am a mosquito ninja, the score is still probably mosquitos: 57 Karmyn: 4

I could reeeallllllyyyy  get used to not having to cook anything.  Oh sweet dining hall.  Ask me again in 2 months if I still think camp food is so awesome.

When it rains, the options of things to do with small children is reduced by about 200%.  Good thing I brought those 2 small bins of toys and books. That should last us all summer right?

When it is NOT raining outside, the options of things to do with small children are endless, and I love this.  Even if by the end of August I am not so fond of the camp food, I am positive that I will not tire of the beautiful outdoors that my kids (and I) get to be in.

I have titled this entire summer Throwback Thursday, because we are living in a residence that is much like our university days.  Except the ratio of people to bathrooms is worse here.  (And yes, I realize that the entire summer does not happen on a Thursday, but just work with me here people)

I have also titled this entire summer “The Time My Husband and I Slept in Bunk Beds For 10 weeks”.  Mostly because Ben and I will be sleeping in bunk beds for 10 weeks.  (I suppose an alternate title could be, The Summer We Made No Babies)

I am realizing, even after just a week, that having “camp kids” is going to be awesome.  Ellie just loves living at camp, and this makes my heart happy.  (Zeke, is kind of just really happy no matter where we are, so he doesn’t count).  I am SO thankful for this chance for our kids to meet tons of people who will love them, care for them and pay them attention, and I am so thankful that our kids will be a part of a culture that loves Jesus and nature.

I am also realizing that having camp kids pretty much just means they will be perpetually dirty.  Its amazing how right after a bath, even, the dirt just kind of reappears. (and truthfully, I kind of love that too)

We’re a week in, we have settled well, and are thankful for this opportunity.  Here’s a few pictures of our digs. (2 bedroms, plus a shared living space) I took these the day after we arrived, so clearly we hadn’t unpacked yet.  Don’t judge the mess – I can assure you the situation is much better by now.  It’s amazing how much stuff you really can fit into 2 bedrooms.

 

image_1 (2) image_2 (2)image_1  image_3

Ch-ch-ch-changes

As I’ve mentioned on here before, there are changes ahead in the Bokma house.  And well, those changes are coming kind of quickly, so I figured it was time to fill you guys in on them.  I wrote previously that Ben started a new job at the end of April, which has been such a refreshing change in our lives.  He is the L.I.T (Leaders in Training) Director at a Christian camp here in Ontario which means that he leads all facets of this program. (Recruiting, hiring staff, giving oversight, interviewing all camp applicants, implement changes, etc) 
One of the best changes of this job is that he gets to work from home.  (Other than the odd meeting with other directors).  I can’t even begin to express what a good change this has been for our family.  We went from maintaining the craziest work schedules, with both of us working odd hours, me being 10 months pregnant (at least it felt that way), keeping Ellie alive and thriving and hardly seeing each other (just read any blog post from January to December of 2013…I’m sure I whined about it frequently), to having me be on maternity leave and Ben working from home. 

While yes, he is still working, he certainly hasn’t been opposed to a certain 2 year old coming up the stairs to our office area to say “look Daddy! Look what I can do!”.  And that, my friends, has been wonderful.

The OTHER change with this new role is that while for 9 months of the year he works from home, for 3 months of the year he lives at camp (obviously.  It’s kind of hard to direct the camp if you’re not there when it’s happening).  That means we will ALL be living at camp this summer, and well, holy crap, we leave in 2 days.  I have lots of thoughts to share about this, but the most important thing to note is that we leave in TWO DAYS and I have WAY MORE THAN 2 DAYS WORTH OF STUFF TO ACCOMPLISH.

If this job change had happened three years ago, it would have been a lot easier to fathom moving somewhere for 10 weeks, but now there are 2 tiny humans in the mix, and you know the rule right? The smaller the human, the MORE STUFF THEY REQUIRE.  

We are beyond excited (and a little anxious) about what the summer will hold, and you can believe that I will keep you guys up to speed on how it’s going!  And just in case anyone was planning on breaking into our house over the summer, don’t bother – I’ll be home from time to time, and there is someone currently living in our house, so you would be SO BUSTED.  

But now, I must go and wander around my house.  That’s what I do when I have way too much stuff to do.  I just putter around from task to task being way more inefficient than if I just slowly focused on one job at a time.   

 

 

Milestones

Zeke turned 6 months old today.  And while I SHOULD be posting a whimsical 6 month post, it would be pretty out of character for me to actually do things on time wouldn’t it?

So instead of that, enjoy this.  I know there will be days that are harder than others.  And some days that make me weary of parenting.  But then there are days like this.  And they make it oh so worth it.

DSC_0174

Eight.

Eight whole years married.  8 years ago on this day I woke up, after very little sleep (I’ll blame the pre-wedding giggles that overtook me and my bridesmaids at 2 am), and realized I was on the brink of something wonderful.100_0780 Exif JPEG

Today I woke up to before any kids (they are sleeper-inners!), with just a little more sleep than what I got that night before my wedding, and didn’t really think that today would hold much wonder.  Not that today is going to be bad, and in fact, I am very much looking forward to the celebrations that today will bring for Ben and I – but it’s a pretty ordinary Tuesday in June.  Especially with 2 little ones.  Their needs, demands and routines don’t leave much room for the wonder that comes on a day like a wedding day.

But, on a day like today – eight years into the making of this marriage – I spend more time thinking about our wedding, and all of the days that have followed since.  And although not every single one can be as full of incredible moments as that first, there truly is wonder in so many of the days that have come after.

That first day is forever imprinted in my memory, as I hope your wedding is too, if you’re married.  Oh how wonderful and incredible that day was – to spend with everyone we love so dearly – and to make vows to the one I love so dearly.  To laugh, and cry.  To eat, drink and dance.  And to submit ourselves to the One who loves us so dearly.

But so many of the days that have followed are also etched in my mind.  Obviously the big ones – like the birth of our children, the day we bought our first house, the first days of our many jobs, and the moves we’ve made – but also the days that just held ordinary events.  The days we’ve spent on road trips, eating Spitz and talking. The times we’ve tried to eat healthy, but one of us really wants to go get an ice cream cone.  The times one of us has gotten SO frustrated at the other for doing the same annoying thing over and over…and over again. The times we would rock paper scissors over who had to do a mundane chore or task.  The time our basement apartment flooded (ok, so that day wasn’t so ordinary).  The days we’ve played Ultimate Frisbee.  The many nights we’ve prayed together before falling asleep.  And as I reflect today on what it means to be eight years married, that word “wonder” keeps swirling around in my head.

Image 302 

It is wonder-full to do the ordinary with someone that you love.  It’s wonder-full to know there is someone who knows you so deeply and has spent so many days doing life by your side.  It’s wonder-full to know that whatever comes your way, you won’t be facing it alone.  And it’s wonder-full to know that I am who I am today, because I have chosen to do life with someone else, and inevitably that shapes who you become.   Just stop and think about that.  Isn’t that amazing?  That fact is filled with wonder.

I am proud to be 8 years into this.  It’s not a memorable milestone.  I’m not even sure when we’re old and gray if we’ll even remember the 8 year marker.  But today, it means something.  Being a wife is not a task to be taken lightly, and truthfully, it’s not a task I would succeed at were it not for God’s grace. And that – that is the most wonder-filled fact of all.

Image 163

So to Benj,
Happy EIGHT years.  I can still remember the days even before I started counting the days.  The days before we were married – when we had no idea what these years would bring.  They’ve been pretty good to us haven’t they?

I don’t have much to say to you today that I haven’t said so many times before, but I did want us to remember that this year was by no means an easy one for us.  Man did we ever have a rough patch in there didn’t we? Those days sucked. But I love that even in those moments where we were looking at each other with such anger and weariness, we both knew that there was no despair.  We were burnt out from our jobs, weary from months of overworking and under-resting, and for a little while in there put some blinders on to what it meant to be servants to one another.  But deep deep down we knew that our love and commitment to each other was far stronger than any circumstances that were causing us strife.  And that is the kind of thing I mean when I talk about the wonder that fills our marriage.  That we are together through the great and the terrible.   And yes – I am so thankful to be through that time, and thankful for friends and family that were loving enough to pray for us, but gracious enough to know it wasn’t a dire situation and to treat us with love – but I truly am also thankful for the days where it seemed like we were going to argue one.more.time.  Even then I could see how in love I was with you.  You so often chose humility and grace and loved me in times when I know I didn’t deserve it.  And on days when I didn’t want to show you love, those were the times when God would nudge me and remind me that this is exactly why we made vows to each other and washed each other’s feet. 

And oh how I love our ordinary, but wonder-filled days.  I love sharing a knowing glance across the dinner table when Ellie does something SO RIDICULOUSLY CUTE we can hardly stand it.  I love playing cribbage with you, even though winning all the time gets a little old :) I love when all four of us climb into our bed and have a slow start to the morning.   I DON’T love our monthly budget meetings, but hey – you can’t love everything about each day now can you?

You are my partner, and I couldn’t ask for a better one to look for wonder with.

Image 197

I love you.
K.

 

5 Months

Zeke,

DSC_0073

You are 5 months old. Truthfully, you are much further on the downward slope toward 6 months than I care to admit, but you aren’t there yet, so this post isn’t that late.

There are lots of reasons for my tardiness Zeke.  One of them being the fact that I just don’t seem to have the time to write much these days.  By the time you and your sister are sound asleep (and lately, it’s kind of a crapshoot to predict what time of night THAT’s going to happen), I’ve been so fried that all I have the capacity for is an episode of Suits on Netflix.  (or Happy Endings, or House of Cards – our current go-to’s these days). (Zeke, you’ll learn quickly that your dad and I binge watch shows on Netflix. But then again, so does everyone else our age.  By the time you read this, you and your friends can take notes on how lazy your parents all were when they were younger).

Another reason is that life has actually been VERY BUSY.  We have a lot going on in our world these days, and you, my sweet boy are so content to go along for the ride.  Between long weekends, projects I’m involved in outside of this house, your dad’s work schedule, a youth retreat, company and visiting people, there hasn’t been a lot of downtime.  You continue to prove that you are a go-with-the-flow kind of baby, and for that, I am thankful.  

My final reason for this post coming so late is that I’m having trouble knowing what to say.  These days with you go by so quickly that there is a blur.  And I’m sad about that.  I know it’s just a reality of life with multiple kids, and that I’ll never have the luxury of the time I had with Ellie to take in her every move, but kiddo – you need to know that I try.  

It hasn’t escaped me that this month, you started making the “ba” noise.  And I once again, was reminded how unbelievable it is to have you growing and developing before my eyes.  I can’t tell anyone else what an achievement that is (well, except your grandma, who is gracious enough to care when I share the minuscule milestones), because it’s so minor no one else could care, but Zeke, you had better believe that even though you first started making that noise at 3 am when you were having a little party-for-one in your crib, that I lay awake in my own bed grinning like a fool.  I could have cared less that it was the middle of the night.  

DSC_0749

I press the mental pause button everytime I feed you and you look up at me with the biggest brown eyes and just lock them with mine while you eat.  You are so content to be near me, and while you take your eating very seriously, I still know what to do to get you to smile while you nurse away.  (Ellie would just grin and grin, and the milk would come pouring down her cheeks, but you, my boy, have mastered the art of carrying on with your task while you smile at me.  Perhaps that’s why you’re currently the size she was at 10 months)

You continue to tease us with the ability to sleep through the night, and the desire to keep being fed, and truthfully, all I can say is, take your time.  You’ll get there.  I know you will.  And while having 8 solid consecutive hours of sleep is a fantastic luxury, you know what else is pretty sweet?  Nuzzling you under my arm while you feed and I just fall back to sleep.  You aren’t going to fit there much longer, so I’ll take what I can get.  We also finally made the room switch this month, Zeke, so you are a full time resident of your own room.  I’m almost embarrassed to admit how much this tugged at my heart as I laid you down in your own bed for the first night.  But it’s been good for all of us.  I don’t jump to your every beck and call, which has taught you how to put yourself back to sleep without feeding, and you have a bit more freedom to have a middle of the night party, which you seemed to enjoy doing for an hour or so quite a few nights this month.  

As blended as these days may seem Zeke, and as sort-of-sad as I am about not having the crispest of details about each of your days, it doesn’t change the amount of times I try and soak you in.  I have lost count of the number of times I peek on you sleeping, and just resting my hand on you, so I can be as close as possible to you without you waking.  I will never ever ever tire of the all consuming smile that takes over your face as we interact.  And quite possibly my favourite thing about you is how you reach out to grab our faces.  I’ll put my face as close to yours, for as many times as you’d like little boy if it means feeling your chubby little hands against my cheek.  

You are etching yourself onto my heart daily, sweet boy.DSC_0765

Happy 5 months.

Love, 
Mama

Writer’s Block

Except for not really.  I don’t have writer’s block at all.  I have what I like to refer to as “I have so many things I want to write about but the guilt of not writing Zeke’s 5 month post OR his birth story are preventing me from moving forward” block.  

YOU GUYS.  My baby is 5.5 months and I STILL haven’t told you how he entered this world.  I will. (because it was awesome) My goal is to have that post up here BEFORE June 20th.  Because something else happens on June 20th.  Which I want to tell you all about, but I can’t until I write Zeke’s 5 month post.  

I realize that it’s kind of irrational that I have self-imposed blog rules, but that’s just how my brain rolls.  Welcome to my world.  

ANYWAY – some of the things I hope to tell you all about in the near future:

  • Our vacation WAAAAAY back in April.  
  • Ben’s new job and what that means for our family these days
  • Ellie.  Just Ellie.  Oh you guys she is beyond awesome.  And I’ve totally neglected her in this space, and I need to catch up because there are SO many things she does, says and is that I just don’t want to forget.  
  • Finding balance in these days where that word is a rarity
  • Things that have made me laugh- one of which was a night out with this lovely lady
  • Summer Plans

So, I realize I need to pull up my socks a bit and get some things done.  But until that happens, enjoy these pictures of our life these days.  I will be back here soon! (Just keep telling yourself that, Karmyn)

DSC_0090 DSC_0102 DSC_0106 DSC_0109 DSC_0724