Thursday, May 19, 2016

Help me become more fit on


wants to get more active with you on Fitbit.



"Hi, let's be friends on With a account, we can see who can walk the most steps per day, run the farthest, or be the most active daily and weekly. We can support each other and take our fitness to another level. Fitbit on. Game on!"

friends icon
Fitbit users with at least one friend tend to be more active than the average user. Are you ready to step up to the challenge? Learn more.

From the Fitbit Zip to the Aria smart scale, Fitbit's family of advanced products makes it easy to track your activity and control your health, every day.

spacer Tell friends and family you're on the path to fitness

Let's be friends
Facebook     Twitter     LinkedIn     Pinterest     Google+

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Jillian's Sophomore XC Season

Jillian experienced leg pain (injury) this summer towards the end of her summer training camp. She rested during her trip with Babsons and returned to start the season in good health. However, her coach has runners returning from injury ease their way back into running distances, and until last week, she was "not up to mileage" to compete in the meets. The first one back was hosted by a local school and was against many teams. Everybody went and enjoyed it. 

First lap

Final stretch

Andy is proud of his big sister, and his big stick (from the forest preserve).

Yay, Jill! We love you!!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Christmas and Twin birthdays 2014

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Sorry for the long hiatus. It's hard to get much done when you're working full time and have 5 kids running around. And now that Garr-y Houdini can escape his crib despite many efforts, we are spending more time in the nursery making sure they go to sleep. Thankfully, new toys (and old ones returned!) and beds have brought excitement and a little less arguing. Yay! Here are some highlights from Decemeber and our Christmas Break.
Dancing in the kitchen in costume. I love it!

Birthday roses for me from Brooks. He did really well this year!!!

This one was on Facebook, too, but I thought I'd put it here as well. How time has hastened and they have sprouted!

We took the twins to 2 Toots for free birthday dinners. Aunt Gail and cousin Lauren came, too! There was a face painter there. Elliott is a ninja turtle and Jillian is a butterfly. 

Garrett and his birthday cupcake!

Andy loved it!

Opening presents was fun!

Aunt Gail made us each a construction Birhday cake. Fun to play with, then eat! Jillian lights candles for Garrett, and Aunt Gail sits with Andy and his cake. 

Erin received a lot of puzzles this year, which she enjoys. And her new fleece. 

Andy was interests in opening gifts, but Garrett preferred to play with his, and was not as interested in opening more. Andy (and Garrett) got some trains from their siblings!

Our early risers and not-so-early risers all waited so patiently for gift opening time. 

It was nice to have a full house of family again to celebrate the birth of Jesus. So thankful for all who brought food to share for dinner!

After Jillian and Elliott went to visit grandparents in OH, we took the littles to ride the train at the mall. Andy and Erin loved it, Garrett cried and clung to me, refusing to go. 

I have more pictures, but they are on my regular camera. I hope to share more pics later. For now, this one is for Grandma Locke, who gave the boys sweaters for their birthday but we didn't get the boys in them on Christmas. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sharing Erin's Special Needs

I'm sharing about something that I haven't told most people. It's a sensitive subject in some ways, but I need to get it off my chest and let you all know these struggles so you can pray as you feel led.

Our 4 year old daughter, Erin, has a neurological problem called Sensory Processing Disorder (or the old term, Sensory Intergration Disfunction). It is often misdiagnosed as ADHD or Autism because of the symptoms (also the cause is unknown in all of these). Erin looks normal on the inside, but her brain's neurological pathways don't always connect like ours. This has caused apraxia, or lack of motor planning, resulting in problems with her speech and language development. She was diagnosed with apraxia in December 2012, then diagnosed with SPD in February 2014 after her teacher/therapists first expressed concern in November 2013 at our fall conference. Therapy, especially OT, has helped her progress in her speech as well as other areas she struggles with, although she will never be cured. She will learn to adapt and cope to function in life, but hopefully she will speak more normally someday. Right now, it's a steeper hill to climb for her than the average kid. 
     Super cute smile and dress, both took time to put on. :) "Thank you, Aunt Amy!"

For Erin, she struggles with different senses that most people don't even realize they have, like vestibular (, and proprioceptive ( She has overcome her fear of tilting her head backward and enjoys spinning and swinging; in fact, she craves them now. Sounds are often too loud, but recently too quiet. Erin thrives on routine and melts down easily when things don't go as planned or not her way. Holding her hand to cross the street is painful for her, but she craves deep pressure input, like big bear hugs. Clothing must be snug and comfortable for her to want to wear it. Dresses are also hard for her to wear, both because of material and because it's not fitted. Putting her in a dress is like trying to put a cat in a bathtub full of water. She needs to boss others around and be in control because she's not in control of herself. She is the most stubborn person I know and it's almost impossible to reason with her. She can't carry light things, like her backpack, because "it's too heavy", but she can lift a twin into the wagon no problem, or lug a heavy grocery bag into the house, no complaints. Bath time is another torture for her. Erin screams like she's being scalded when I pour any temperature of water on her head and hates shampoo on her hair. She's ok with having it combed or brushed, though. Weird things that seem to contradict each other is just another normal day in her world, and therefore in our home. And she requires a parent stay in her room until she falls asleep every night, and she doesn't always sleep well. 

It's crazy, stressful, waring, exhausting, mind boggling. It is a challenge that I'm not prepared the deal with everyday, and yet I must. I'm thankful that it's nothing more than this, that someday she may lead a mostly normal life. For now, Erin demands more than I can give, especially during the times when I'm taking care of her mischievous baby brothers, too. I love her and her curls, I nearly melt when she smiles, when she actually listens, responds, or obeys. I love her sweet snuggles that she needs so often, and her bright, brown eyes. I love hearing her sing along with the songs from Frozen, because it's something new to have her sing and verbalize in that way, even though it's more of approximation than actual words. Erin is so precious, yet can be such a burden to care for. I spoke with a dear friend recently whose daughter is a little younger than Erin but is smaller than the twins due to an unknown eating problem which requires the use of a feeding tube to her abdomen to get nourishment to her. I could tell she felt similarly to me in the care of a child with so many needs. "I'm tired of being her nurse. I just want to be her mom." Well said. I'm tired of being her speech therapist and occupational therapist and social worker. I just want to be her mom for a while...God had entrusted her to me for a plan that is greater than my understanding, so we continue on. I pray for patience, endurance, wisdom, contentment, rest, for change in myself. I pray that she would come to know Jesus as her Lord and Savior. I'm still weak and weary and worn out. Having nearly 2-year-old twin boys doesn't help either. ;) It's honestly hard to love a child when they behave like she does so much, disagreeing with everything and saying no, just because.  I'm still learning how to discern between defiance and disfunction. 
Here's a link to a website that gives more detailed information about SPD if you want to know more. 
We appreciate your prayers and compassion as we parent a child with SPD. May we "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." James 1:2-4 ESV May I be as our precious friend, NoƩ, who says "Thank you, Jesus", even when it doesn't seem like something to be thankful for.

(I'm trying not to complain; more inform, maybe even find other parents of kids with the same thing. I know others who are dealing with far more intense and severe things with their children, whether it be an unknown disability that causes significant physical and cognitive impairments or their child s battling cancer. It doesn't make Erin's stuff less challenging, it makes me thankful she's as high functioning as she is overall and that I'm not the only one who has atypical struggles with their children. I pray for these precious families and share in their frustrations and have compassion for them, wishing there was more I could do. I'm just sharing our journey, too. Thank you for understanding.)

Friday, August 29, 2014

Summertime, Summertime

First ice cream cones
Garrett likes his. 
Andy is ambiguous. 

Play date with friends!
Going for a drive. 
Wearing brother's rain boots. (Andy)
Look who's in the back seat with us!
Climbing my favorite tree. 
Erin's birthday, actually opening gifts, willingly! Yay to 4 year old progress! And she didn't hate the gift bags this time, either!
Grad school silliness at Orchestra Hall. 
Graduation for class of 2014. I'm class of 2015. 

Graduatin friends (Anna, top, Emily, middle) and retiring professors (Prof. Krupa, music theory, accompanist, and musical theatre genius extraordinaire!)
Another present for Erin. 

Playing at the splash pad. 

Dining outside. 
More gifts for Erin!
Garrett getting silly at Nana's house.