Tag Archives: vacation

We Are Still An Ampersand

It was Spring of 2010 when my mom surprised us with Switchfoot tickets. I was going to Cincinnati for a conference, and Dave was tagging along. Dave’s mom kept a baby Graham.

It was our first and last trip away without kids. We sang and danced through the concert. Strolled hand in hand through the art museum. Meandered through the farmer’s market. Toured the Creation Museum. Drove the bridges. Talked architecture. Just Dave & Lyndse.

This weekend will be our very first trip away without our three kids. And our first time away together since that lovely time in Cincinnati. We are headed to the place I was raised. Where Dave proposed. Where we honeymooned. The land of Graham’s first vacation.

No washing diapers, pouring bottles, cutting food, giving seizure meds, unloading a wheelchair, folding tiny laundry, singing/signing Old MacDonald, wiping poop from a 5-year-old’s bottom.

Just the two of us. A man and his bride. Reading books. Making love. Blasting our favorite music. Touring a castle. Talking about anything and everything and nothing. Enjoying one another with no distractions.

Of course we’ll miss our kids. We’re parents. We will talk about our three blessings. Wonder how they’re doing. Call our moms and ask to hear little voices.

But ‘The Ballews’ were a couple before they were a quintet. Dave & Lyndse. Just Dave & Lyndse. And we are going to hoard this time together like a dragon with his gold. Selfishly wrapped up in one another’s arms and gaze. For ninety blissful hours.

After we pack.

Someone pinch me as I include my honeymoon lingerie and leave the Transformers toothbrush…


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Some of November’s Gifts {from that time I traveled across the state with a newborn}

I was never able to finish uploading November’s 1,000 Gifts {remember that Joy Dare with Ann Voskamp?} photos. I am in my second year and love it. Some of them are very private, others I shout from the rooftops. Here are some of last month’s highlights {taken from our trip across the state to see family}…



Cousins. Smiles.


“Mama, I JUMPING in Jasmine’s pink ‘cwocs’!”


“Mama, it SO heavy!”


Elizabeth Mae’s first time picking watermelons.

Sweet, Salty, Sipped


Garden Watermelon




“Mama, vacation juice is yummy!”



Elizabeth meets her Great-Aunt Dana


Elizabeth meets her Great-Granny


Cousins playing ‘Toy Store’ {Graham’s very first time playing store.}




Lizzy’s first time watching P & P.



Cousins hiding in a sheet tent. Over a register.


Shhh. Baby is sleeping.

Made, Shared, Passed On


Aunt Dana’s first Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts



IMG_3744View From Window


Feeding Buddy

IMG_3770 Handmade


A seven-year-old scribe for his four-year-old cousin.



Home Sweet Home


Our first time seeing the engaged couple. And the ring.



First time making a 4. From a used coffee stirrer.


I did not know they still existed.

The Ugly-Beautiful






Snoring in the Car

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A Post About Matching Clothes {way more fun than one about matching principle…}

Today, we shopped a $1.99 summer clearance sale. And I basically bought everything in the girls’ {predicted} summer 2014 sizes. (Let’s be honest, I also bought some stuff for summer 2015.) Here is just a little glimpse into the wonderfulness {yes, it is a word} that is shopping for sisters…


Just a handful of our Carters goodies… $8 {love}


Adelaide and Elizabeth’s very first matching outfits. Just one set of many… {love, again}


Just one set of the many coordinating outfits for Miss Adele and Lil Bess… {love, again and again}

About 90% of the pieces are also mix n match, so I basically love that more than freezer chocolate…

We saved an average of 84% off the retail prices. {I had to throw some math in there, since I made an accounting jab in the title…sorry, accountants.} And the girls have a complete vacation wardrobe. Oh yeah, that’s the best part! We are thinking about going on vacation next year! We haven’t taken one since Graham was a baby. We went on an adventure to Colorado in August of 2010. This time, we may travel east.

Even if we end up spending the entire summer in Missouri, these girls are going to look adorable! And it was nice to buy them new things. Our children rarely wear new clothes. It’s just one way we make this ‘one income and raising a toddler with special needs/undiagnosable disabilities’ thing work.

And I am officially *that* mom. The one who matches and coordinates her girls. And I love it!

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