this week has flown by, which is good because i'm counting down the days until we can close on our new house (14 from today!).

as i mentioned earlier this week, we spent saturday moving most of our big stuff and unloading it, sunday moving most of our smaller stuff, and monday unloading our smaller stuff into storage and returning the u-haul.  i have never been so exhausted in my whole life.  the kids took a hit with it all, too, seeing as how they basically went feral on tuesday for some otherwise-inexplicable reason.  it was seriously like their nervous systems were shorting out.

eating their last meal in this house.  we have pictures of them eating their FIRST meal in this house, also on the floor.  i wish i could put them side-by-side for comparison, but the other photos are on a different hard drive.  also it would probably make me cry.  so i'll avoid that.

this photo really communicates nothing specific about our week, but he's just so stinking cute, right?!

i got to spend time hanging out with friends, getting to know our new connection group, and cooking dinner in a microwave.  (i have a whole new range of culinary skills, as apparently must be developed when you have no oven, and no cooking knives or scissors other than plastic disposable butter knives.  i seriously maimed myself trying to cut an apple the other day.)

i turned 33 weeks pregnant and had a bit of a meltdown when the heat, exhaustion and moving-induced delirium had me convinced that all the packing and lifting i had been doing had caused the cord to get tied into a knot and that my baby would be born prematurely with all kinds of problems.  cheery.  also in preggo news, we chose a name for the baby.

and lastly, we're closing on our story city house today!  it's such a relief that, after these many months of waiting and drama, we will be closing that particular chapter on this whole moving debacle.

happy friday everyone!


we decided on a name for the baby!  at 33 weeks, it's about time.  i think the process probably gets harder with each kid, because you don't have these names just waiting in the years-long queue, and you have to weigh anew whether each possible name is worthy of your kid having to tote it around for the rest of their life.  which is why it took so long.  (that, and i hate the naming process and probably procrastinated more than i should have and was more trigger-shy than i could have been.)

anyway.  on to the juicy part.

our daughter's name is lauren schaeffer van voorst, and we'll call her schaeffer.

lauren is my sister's name, and if you know my sister at all, you'll know she's the awesomest human on the face of the planet and definitely worthy of a 'junior.'  and we just knew that she's humble enough not to name her own offspring in her honor, so we wanted to be the ones to get to preserve the legacy.  lauren is one of the most godly, servant-hearted, intentional, compassionate, creative, funniest people i have ever known, and if our daughter grows up to be anything at all like her, we will be grateful.

schaeffer is the last name of edith schaeffer, wife of francis schaeffer, who was known for being incredibly hospitable, creative, and family-oriented.  her grasp on doctrine and 'the true truth,' as she called it, was incredible and inspiring.  i wish she was my grandma.  and what do we do with our grandmas?  we name our kids after them.  (and also play scrabble with them and steal their past issues of 'country living.'  but that's neither here nor there.)  so here's to hoping that schaeffer takes after her great-grandma edith.

so there you have it.  babygirl now has a name to call her very own!

the movingvan voorsts.

last thursday the kids and i headed down to the old house to finish packing up.  my friend kristy took the kids to the park for a couple of hours thursday morning so i could focus.  (she even packed lunches and water and sunscreen for them!  she was more prepared for their survival than their own mother would have been, but it's good for them to be spoiled every once in a while.)  i buckled down and started packing and cleaning out the garage.

after two very full days of packing and wrangling the kids, todd came down, and on saturday morning he pulled the moving van up to the house.  and we, along with some awesome friends, got ready to move our lives out of that house

holy hot steamy chaos.  first of all, it was like 95 degrees.  (that's not one of my typical exaggerations.  i'm being dead literal.)  second of all, we had tons of stuff to move, including a fifty-million pound upright piano that i couldn't bear to part with and an embarrassing number of boxes labeled 'decor.'  and third of all, it was like 95 degrees.

they CARRIED this down two sets of deck stairs.  insane.

i'm not going to dwell on just. how. long. it took to pack that truck, or how i became a swollen-footed, back-spasming, useless lump of a human about halfway through the day, or about how i forgot to leave out drinking cups for the selfless and languishingly thirsty movers. (i found some mason jars for them to drink from, so at least that upped the ambience of the day to that of 'pinterest-worthy moving party.')  i'm also not going to ruminate on the fact that we couldn't fit all of our stuff onto the truck in the end, so we had to go back sunday (with the kids!) to load up the rest of it by ourselves and how it took us close to five hours.

all i will say is that, after a very, very long stretch of exhausting, emotional days... after todd and i both cried on the way home out of sheer discouragement and utter defeat... after leaving our old house and old life entirely behind for good... i watched as a tiny baby raccoon got run over by a semi, and also i got a bug bite between my butt cheeks.  and that is how our weekend moving saga ended, and i think that pretty much sums it all up.

what (was) up (last) weekly.

in last week's news:
atticus found a dime.  it is the first money that has been entrusted to his care.  he takes the responsibility very seriously.


i turned 32 weeks.  pregnant, that is.  coming down the home stretch.  i'm a bit terrified, as i have done virtually no planning or mental prep.  we still don't have a name picked out for her.  this is all very fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants, which if you know todd or me at all, you know this is not how we prefer to roll.

we had our first opportunity to worship with our church body, which right now is a house church.  which means kids were there.  which means finneas was glued right here, at the feet of thaddeus, our worship pastor:

also, we moved out of our house for good.  which made me want to die.  not because of sentimentality, but because i'm pretty sure that moving is somehow involved in the bag of tricks used iranian prisons.  i'll talk more about it later this week, but i will say that we have some amazing friends.  friends who loaded our crap into a stifling hot truck on a 95-degree day.  it kind of made it harder to move, just having that one last reminder of how great our friends are.
on that cheery note, HAPPY MONDAY. 

nonsports-related injuries at the softball game. part two.

so, to pick up where we left off yesterday...

i just stood there all mute and panicked until the softball guys saw that something was up and came over. (i should mention here that the girl who was holding penelope, claire, was twelve and it never occurred to me that i should take penelope from her because claire might be freaked out too. poor girl.) todd took penelope and got her to come to, but she was still woozy and whiny and sheet white. so we left the game early to take the kids home. (todd had worked with clients with seizure disorders before and didn't think it was a seizure, so we decided that going to the hospital wasn't necessary.)

on our way to the car, this guy rode up on his bike and said he was a certified athletic trainer and asked if we wanted him to take a look at her. as it turns out, he lives across the street and saw a commotion, so he busted out his binoculars to find out what had happened then booked it over on his bike. i have to say, it was the most comforted i have ever been by the news that someone was watching my kid through binoculars. (this has been the only time i've gotten that news, btdubs, but it was comforting.) he also seemed to think she was doing okay at that point.

so we got home and i passed the boys off to my friend jenni so that todd and i could see if we could get penelope back to acting like her normal old self. we gave her some water and ice cream and pointed the fan at her to cool her down. for a while she just sat there all blank and whiny and half-responsive.

then it was like a switch flipped. she started giggling about 'breaking' her ice cream and telling jokes and generally just being normal. (normal for her, anyway.) so it seemed like she was in the clear, and we brought the boys down and started getting everyone ready for bed.

 then finneas barfed on me. and i was all like, do you have a concussion?!

with all the craziness happening with penelope, i had kind of forgotten about finneas' injury. so we spent extra time checking on him through the night, though he didn't throw up again and woke up the next morning acting normal. so who knows if it was a concussion or not.  we're just glad he's fine now.

holy. cow. it was a really eventful evening, and i'm glad it's over, and i'm glad everyone seems fine and didn't require any more trips to the E.R. we're still reeling from the bill for the last trip.

nonsports-related injuries at the softball game. part one.

oh my word.  get this.

todd plays on a rec league softball team on tuesdays, and on the nights that games start at a reasonable time, the kids and i go to watch.  this week, as we were watching, finneas was walking around the end of the bottom bleachers, hitting sticks with other sticks and doing other things babies think are the awesomest.  i'm not really sure why, but it was at that moment that penelope decided to push him, and he fell over the bottom bleacher, head first onto a bit of pea gravel.  he started bleeding immediately.

i'm not talking about a trickle of blood.  i'm talking about bad-horror-movie-makeup amounts of blood.  it was pouring down over his eye, onto his clothes and my hands and my clothes.  it poured onto my purse and the ground.  it was even in his ear.  it was everywhere. 

so my friend michelle ran and got some tissues to wipe it up, and the concession stand lady who saw it go down brought us a bag of ice, and it all seemed to have resolved itself after a bit, except penelope would not stop crying.  i wasn't sure if it was the sight of all that blood that freaked her out, or the guilt of having pushed him, or what, but she would. not. stop. crying.

i handed finn over to michelle, and another friend tried comforting penelope, while i went and washed all the blood off my hands.  i got back and penelope was still crying.  i tried asking her what was wrong and suddenly her eyes rolled back in her head and her whole body just went limp.  i freaked. out.  i didn't know if she was having a seizure or what.

this story is surprisingly long, so i'll let you dangle until tomorrow.  yeah, i know.  sorry.  but seriously, this story has an annoying amount of juice left; it just doesn't fit into a single blog post.  i will at least assure you that everyone is fine now.  so hang around until tomorrow to find out what happened.  (or go do other stuff in the meantime and come back tomorrow.  whatever works for you.) 

van voorsts in the house. (well, not yet. but soon.)

i've been waffling on whether or not to post photos of our new house, since we don't actually own it ourselves yet and i don't know if that's creepy and/or inappropriate.  but then i decided that being creepy and inappropriate has never stopped me from making pretty much any of my life decisions in the past, so without further ado, har she blows:

cute, right?  and i'm seeing some big, bushy white hydrangeas in her future, planted where those cute-but-tiny hostas and peonies currently are (which breaks my heart a little, since i love me a good peony, but there are some in the back yard, so i have a bit less guilt about it than i would otherwise).  and the removal of that aluminum screen door is priority #1.  and the painting of the front door an awesome-though-tasteful color is priority #2.  and also, an american flag.  isn't she screaming for an american flag?  she's a regular betsy ross, all 'gimme a FLAGFLAGFLAG!'  then some planter pots with geraniums on the front step?  oh yessirree, i've got some plans for this little lady.

your turn to weigh in:  should i have not posted this since it's technically someone else's house still and it could technically make me some kind of low-though-still-real classification of criminal?

and here's what was up.

last friday night we drove down to drop the kids off at my mom's, and saturday we left for my friend jeska's bachelorette party, which was in kansas city.  (to clarify, todd didn't go to the bachelorette party, which involved playing mariokart, eating nachos, and giving ourselves manicures; he hung out in the basement like a bro, listening to mark driscoll sermons.  we each had an awesome time.)

on sunday, we drove a couple hours west of kansas city to manhattan, KS, where her actual wedding was.  we did the whole rehearsal/rehearsal dinner/wedding setup thing.  we then ran to target so i could buy some last-minute girly-girl supplies (it was a makeup-buying heyday) and go back and gave myself a pedicure and tested out my new makeup (which was a good thing, since the brand of liquid eyeliner i bought apparently doesn't ever dry.  so like two hours later i rubbed my eye and it smeared errrrwhere.  not wedding material: noted).

monday was the actual wedding day; we got over to the site in time for breakfast, and learned that the bride herself had gotten like two hours of sleep and was spending the morning barfing.  sad dinosaur.

the wedding went off without a hitch and we stayed for a bit of the reception, but then we hightailed it out of there, since a) we wanted to make the seven hour trip back to my mom's yet that night, and b) a karaoke contest was beginning and wants me around for the likes of that.

tuesday we visited my grandparents, where FINN TOOK HIS FIRST STEPS! (finally! at fifteen months!) then we drove the kids back home.  the kids and i conked out for a few hours in the afternoon and i made popcorn for their dinner.  i ate cereal and chocolate ice cream.  no shame.

wednesday i had a doctor's appointment in the morning, then our home inspection in the evening.  GREAT NEWS! our house is solid and not crumbling down and most of the important stuff (mechanicals, roof, etc) is new-ish and in good condition.  the guy even said the foundation, which was poured in 1937, is as solid and square as that of a newly built home.  hallelujah.

yesterday we did NOTHING.  nothing at all.  walked to the park, gave the kids desperately-needed baths, but that was it.  all three kids took three-hour naps and i pinterested the afternoon away.  it was glorious and low-key and exactly what i think we all needed to recover from our crazy week.

oh, and here's the latest pregnancy photo, in which i'm staring into the sun and therefore looking about as dead behind the eyes as a kardashian.

so there you have it.  if you're still reading this, i should buy you a soda of gratitude or something.  good job; you have proven yourself a dedicated and faithful friend.

happy weekend.  i wish you all much vegging out.

my best friend's wedding.

as you might suspect from the title, the wedding was exactly like the movie.  only i didn't have an inappropriate crush on my bestie, or try to sabotage anything, or think i stood a chance in competition with cameron diaz.  i did not end up dancing with a gay guy or finding myself at any point referencing dionne warwick.  but other than that, it was a dead ringer for the movie.  mostly just because i'm a dead ringer for julia roberts. 
see?  i look just like her.
(if you disagree, you obviously haven't seen her playing any awkwardly frightened characters.  because this is what she looks like when she does that.)

and i'm pretty sure i was the only one who knew that this photo was being taken.  why i still chose to make this face is beyond me.

another testament to the fact that i'm generally clueless regarding what's going on around me.

actual laughing.

crazy fake-laughing.

so happy for her!  also, i suspect that guy in the back is not taking our picture, he's actually taking a picture of todd, who was taking our picture and looking might dapper in his j.crew pants.

jeska looks cute and cute-tough.  i just look shapeless, and a little angry, but kind of sad.  (really, my ability to conjure complex emotions on film is just another indicator that i'm julia roberts' doppleganger.)
(as a reference, we took this photo on my wedding day:)

todd and me at the reception

clearly super happy to be a part of her big day!

video vednesday: and one of his eyes are down, and one of his eyes are up, so he's derp...

hey all, sorry about the silence the last couple of days; i was matron-of-honoring it up at my bestie's wedding. i thought today's video would be appropriate given the circumstances.

weekly 'what's up'

this week has been cah-razy.  on saturday, we moved from our old transitional place (the condo) to a new transitional place (our pastor's basement apartment).  we bought a house.  we watched 'the fantastic mr. fox.'  we learned how to play killer uno.   i bought two more maxi skirts since my jeans now officially cut off my circulation and make my legs go numb.

we got our sickening bill from our emergency room visit, along with bills for all kinds of labwork and ultrasound charges for the pregnancy, so i almost faked my own death to avoid figuring out how to pay it all.  (one thing i know for half-sure, my fake funeral will be lovely and there will be peonies and tea roses and ranunculus(es?) everywhere and michael buble will personally sing that 'i wanna go home' song as a photo montage of my most beaming, ethereal moments plays silently behind him.  and then maybe he'll do an encore of 'just haven't met you yet,' not because it's fitting or appropriate for the occasion, but because it's catchy and people will be thinking about my funeral for days afterward as they hum that song under their breath.  that's a memorable funeral, people.)

now i'm getting geared up to pack again, since we're heading to a friend's wedding over the weekend.  we're leaving tonight and will be back on tuesday. 

next week, i will refuse to do anything but hang out on the couch, watch the office and not cook anything.  and i will not get in the car, regardless of what you try to bribe me with.  i will refuse.

also, i look like this:

i think the level of desperation is obvious.

video vednesday: although there are hundreds of smoothie franchises available...

...we found that in rural africa, there were exactly zero.

and we're not stopping here.  pretty soon, TIMS is going to be releasing one-for-one ab rockers...

(thanks for the video, lauren!)

it's tea time, ballers.

we've recently instated 'tea time,' a time of the day where, well, most of us drink tea together.  simple but profound.

here's the deal:  naptime had been getting crazy-late.  some days i wouldn't even lay everyone down until 2:00 or even 3:00.  (in my defense and excuse-making, finn had still been taking a morning nap, which meant he wouldn't lay down until later in the afternoon for his second nap, and i am HARDCORE about naptime.  all kids nap at the same time unless one of them has been kidnapped by someone who puts them down at a different time.  mama needs her quiet nacho time.)  it was so crazy because then they'd sleep until 5:00 or 5:30, get up super grouchy, the house would be a wreck, i'd have to start making dinner, todd would get home, we'd eat at like 6:30 or even 7:00, and then wonder why the kids weren't ready for bed by 8:00.  they'd dink around in their room until like 9:30.  ridiculous.

but lately, finneas has been only taking one nap a day, which has been wonderful.  i shoot to get the kids down for nap much earlier, which means they wake up mid-afternoon.  on many days, i let them play a little, then set aside an hour where we get a handle on the sorry state of the house and then snack/drink tea.  the house is cleaner when todd gets home, and i'm in a better frame of mind for having to begin dinner.  win-win.  i'm not able to do it every day, but i'm always glad for it on the opportune days.

one thing i didn't anticipate was how much the kids would love tea time.  i make them weak, low-caf tea that's mostly just brown water with a bunch of honey in it (and half-and-half in penelope's), and we sit around and eat granola bars and i get to ask them questions about their favorite parts of the day, their current interests/dislikes, etc.  it's refreshing for everyone, plus i feel like i'm getting to know my kids a little better than i did before. (i realize i could have been asking these questions during lunch, but lunch time is super chaotic as i throw pretzels at them and beg them to hurry and eat so we can all proceed to naptime.  after all, those nachos are calling my name and aren't getting any younger.)

we're at the point where penelope regularly requests tea time.  then the other day, she asked todd, 'did you know your name is like an english afternoon? both begin with 'T(ea)!'  i thought it was super clever until i realize she had lifted it right from the Letter Factory video, and it was purely coincidence that todd's name starts with T.  but whatever.  she likes the Letter Factory, she likes todd, and she likes tea time, which is all that really counts anyway.

turning into seasoned house-buyers. (or, i bet you thought i wouldn't post today, but i fooled you, sucker.)

we bought a house! we bought a house!  i shall sing it from the rooftops, we bought a house!

it was seriously such a relief, since we probably saw over thirty houses over the two and a half months we spent hunting around.  the houses we had been seeing were either too run-down, too expensive, or too you're-going-to-get-murdered-in-this-basement.  i was losing steam and losing hope we'd find anything.

we scheduled another 'tour of homes' for friday night - seven houses.  three hours.  heeby jeebies.

the first one we saw was super duper cute - all retro and wonderful with this actually-really-awesome vintage spring-green linoleum in the kitchen, glass doorknobs, a half-acre yard, huge bedrooms.  but it was next door to a methadone clinic.  and i mean like, rightnextdoor to a methadone clinic.  so...that was a bit of a bummer.

after that, we saw this one house that smelled like old wet dog and spoiled dreams.  and another house that was ridiculously cute and old and huge but so slanty and wonky and uneven that todd and i both felt physically ill walking/stumbling through it, not to mention it was rightnextdoor to a mcdonald's.  as in like, you could sit on the deck with your after-dinner coffee and simultaneously hold hands through the car window with the people waiting in the drive through.  and then we saw this other house that probably had some kind of antique skeleton positioned fetally behind that freaky door in the basement.

and then the clouds parted and the angels sang and that frozen coke just showed up in my hand out of nowhere (just like i imagine will happen when i reach those pearly gates): we found Our House.  it's cute and grey and Second World War-y.  (not in like an atom bomb kind of way, but in like a, i want to hang an american flag on my porch and plant hydrangeas and wear a gingham apron kind of way.)  it's tinytiny, but i'm looking forward to having less to clean and allowing my decorating budget to go a little farther. 

and best of all, it's not a fixer-upper.  the basement is completely and totally dry, even after all this rain.  the roof is new.  the mechanicals are pretty new.  the carpet is new.  it comes with all the appliances, including a gas stove!  it already has a garden and peonies and fruit trees.  i am in heaven.  we're planning on finishing the basement at some point, but i am LOVING that nothing has to be done right away.  especially since we close on it july 12, barely a full month before i'm planning to pop this kid out.

so anyway.  we put in the offer saturday at lunchtime, and at dinner we had finalized all our negotiations and were locked in!  amazing.  totally a gift from god.

anyway.  that is our exciting, burden-lifting, wish-i-had-a-maypole-to-dance-around news.