Beauty in the Mess,  Ezra,  Family

Beauty in the Mess ~ Edition 2.13.14

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It’s been a LONG 5-6 weeks since my last Beauty in the Mess post. January took a lot out of me and February has been no different!

There’s been a lot of cold weather, some bouts of snow. (As I write, we are currently snowed in and tomorrow will be our third day in a row stuck at home with nothing to do!) These weeks leading up to Ezra’s 3 1/2 year mark in March have been very very tumultuous for him. His behavior has been really difficult to manage (which you can read about in this post from my perspective and in this post from my husband’s perspective).

But there have been a lot of positive things going on.

My husband and I are actively pursuing starting back up professional counseling both as a couple and individuals through the local vet center. We’ve only gone through intake so far and haven’t gotten quite into the actual sessions but that will be happening soon!

We have enrolled Ezra in a three-day a week, full day preschool program to give us some much needed whitespace and to give him interaction with other children and the ability to form relationships. I’ll be talking about this in an upcoming post because this was a very emotional decision for me. (I’d like to share some of my thoughts about it, especially when I was very vocal in an earlier post about how he wasn’t in preschool.)

There have been some other positive changes going on that I’m not quite ready to share as of yet, but hopefully soon I can share some good news with you all. There’s a lot of things we are waiting on that will hopefully offer us a little better financial and every-day life situations in the near future, but for now we are in a holding pattern waiting for those things to take off! (Sorry for the crypticness here, and no, I’m not pregnant in case your brain was going there…)

I feel like our family is headed in a very good direction, coming out of a very complex and difficult year as we have transitioned out of the Army.

So yes, there is beauty in spite of the mess!

There is beauty in daddy-son selfies:

01 daddy son selfie

And there is beauty in a gluten-free chocolate cake, decorated and eaten “just because” (especially when it followed some other culinary disasters in the kitchen)!

02 cake just cuz

There is beauty in seeing our first ever movie as a whole family!! And even though I have very conflicted thoughts about the movie Frozen, I’m so glad that we went! Great memory for me!

03 frozen

04 frozen

There is beauty in snow, even though right now I am really wishing that Ezra’s third day of preschool wasn’t already cancelled! These pictures were taken a few weeks ago when we had an inch or two to play in!

And these pictures will give you a peek into some of what we’ve been dealing with behavior wise with Ezra – it’s like he’s being ornery, on purpose!

05 snow grouchy

Purposely ornery face, and piles of laundry. #storyofmylife

06 snow grouchy

07 snow

08 snow

And there is beauty in friends who let us borrow their backyard and their sleds for some mommy-son sledding fun!

09 snow sledding selfie

There is beauty in a boy who tries to be helpful and a daddy who encourages him in helpful endeavors (even if they put him in precarious positions!)

09 helpful boy

There is beauty in a family date night – complete with smooth jazz, candles, and gluten free pizza. The candles were a huge hit with Little Man!

10 family date night

There is even some beauty in bathroom selfies on good hair days. Because you need to remember those moments when you feel beautiful!

11 selfie

There is beauty in this little man who treats playtime at the mall like the next olympic sport!

12 mall olympic sport

There is beauty in date nights when the boy is at grandmas and we grownups do grownup romantic things like get Chinese food, Cheerwine, and watch totally romantic date night movies like Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2. Of course.

13 date night

There is beauty in making myself Mommy Sanity Baskets with a Bible, journal, reading material, pens, nail polish, and chocolate. Sometimes when I’m overwhelmed I sneak into my room to have a visit to the Mommy Sanity Basket!

14 mommy basket

15 mommy chocolate

There is beauty in Ezra improving his prewriting skills and moving up to tracing letters! I love seeing him grown and get better at his skills!

16 writing letters

There is beauty and a lot of humor in taking your three-year-old to the library and having the one book he takes off the shelf to read be the encyclopedia!

17 encyclopedia boy

There is beauty in taking photos at the photo booth, for free, of course!

18 photo booth

19 photo booth

Grocery store trips with Ezra are never what I would consider to be fun, but I try to find beauty in them regardless and remember that he won’t be this little or this difficult forever!

20 grocery store

There is beauty in putting in a few days of serious work into fine-motor skills at home! (Thank you Pinterest for the fabulous ideas!) He called this one a “tomato porcupine.”

21 fine motor

22 fine motor

23 fine motor

26 fine motor

There is beauty in finding new outfits…in your own closet. Thanks to cardigans and scarfs for some extra mix-and-match!

24 new outfit

There is beauty in this little boy being a Macky-roni buggy!

25 macaroni bug

There is beauty in this little boy asking “Can you take a picture of us?” right before bed!

27 selfie

There is beauty in Sunday mornings off. We stayed home because Russ and I had been fighting a bad cough and cold. I made bacon and orange juice, we had coffee and Craisins, and we watched a bit of Olympics online. Ezra liked the “sledding.”

28 olympics

There is beauty in so much pretending going on in the house these days. On this occasion, Ezra was being a pirate!

29 pirate boy

And then an elephant, in Mommy’s shoes. (Not sure what that says about my feet!)

30 elephant boy

And then, over the past 24 hours, there’s been beauty in this snow. The news says we’ve gotten about 6-10 inches and I believe it! I don’t own a pair of boots because my feet grew after Ezra was born and I never got around to buying more because, well, there was never need! (Note to self: buy boots.) So I ended up wearing Russell’s boots instead.

31 army wife

Then I bundled up in an infinity-scarf-turned-burka!

32 burka

After our short walk last night, I think Ezra had had his full of snow and sleet in his face and did NOT want to go out in the snow today! So I brought the snow inside to HIM!

33 snow inside

35 snow inside

The world’s smallest indoor snowman!

36 indoor snowman

36 snow inside

And some snow cream. I made mine with half-n-half, honey, vanilla, and some sugar-coffee-chocolate shaker stuff from Trader Joes. I have also heard some great things about this recipe, if you want to use an actual recipe!

34 snow inside

So there you have it. Our winter beauty in this mess of snow and cold and exhaustion and cabin fever!


  • Meg Melnik

    Aprill, I adore all of your pictures and all of your creativity with your son. Also, I would strongly encourage you to get help, counseling, therapy, pre-school. I think I’ve told you in the past. My daughter, Hope is 14 years old and hi-functioning autistic. She does sooo much better , when she can get out and interact with others. Our therapists have been specifically trained to work with autistic children, so they don’t mind the bumps in the road. (although they do seem like mountains) Does your state have an Autism Waiver, I signed Hope up for the waiver when she was three. We had to wait 5 1/2 years on the waiting to get funding. But it was worth it, as now all of her therapies and prescriptions are paid for. Lastly, You seem to have an endless source of love and patience for your son. May God continue to bless you through and to bless us through your blogs.
    Happy Valentine’s day. Meg

    • Aprille

      My son is not autistic – but we are pursuing help through preschool, counseling and therapy (personal and individual for both my husband and I). Thank you for reading and for your encouragement!

        • Aprille

          Meg, I do talk about it some because three of my closest friends have sons the same age as my son with Autism! Encouraging them and building bridges between moms of neurotypical children and moms of children with special needs is heavy on my heart and there will be more to come on the blog about this topic in the future. We are collaborating together to create resources but it just hasn’t happened yet!

          • Meg Melnik

            Oh yes, I remember now. I look forward to your collaborations with your friends. It is rare for me to find folks who know God and who know autism. The church that we’ve been going to for the last 4 years doesn’t really understand my daughter when she is overstimulated, they just think she is misbehaving. It breaks my heart because now she hates church and doesn’t want to talk about God. Currently, we are looking for a new church, but as I said it is rare to find folks who both know God and know autism. I look forward to your posts. Thank you

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