over the last several days, i have questioned my qualification to homeschool my babies, changed my mind about choosing the right curriculum about eighty-five times, and have been overwhelmed with thoughts of inadequacy as their mama. a.k.a, we've been sick. 

it started the thursday before last with kendall bear, two days later.... it hit cam and I've been pushing through for over a week now. i keep reminding myself that it hasn't been THAT long and that this too shall pass but, its just been one of those times. 

is it just me or do all the sweetest moments with your kids happen at times where you have to fight to savor them??? you know, when you try your hardest to listen to their laugh in slow motion? i can't be the only one that does that. this time around i, basically, felt like i was near death and this sweet little lady baby insisted on staying right next to me. she wanted to "do mommy's hair"( which is NOT as sweet as it sounds). she kept grabbing my face and climbing on top of my head to check my temperature. it was like heaven and hell all at the same time (i kid, i kid...but not really). #realmotherhood


at any rate, i did everything within my power to try and savor the precious moments amongst the mess. and, these photos of my lady trying to read a few doc mcstuffins books to me to help me feel better... GOLD!

p.s. this TOO shall pass.

from syreena, with love 


a few weeks ago I went to visit my mother for a week, with the kids. I haven't been to visit my mommy in so very long. she lives far from me and between the lack of transportation and brian's minimal time off, it hasn't been possible to make the trip. that is, until brian's sister and her husband called to ask if i would like to ride with them to see my mom?!?!???

just so happens, she had to take a board exam around the area that my mother lives and they rented an air bnb near the lake to stay for the week. wait, what???

so the kids and i packed up and headed off to spend the week with grammy :)

the week leading up to our trip i experienced one of the most difficult anxiety attacks of my life. it lasted for days and was pretty hard to push through but with each day that passed, i pressed on. while my mother was still working the first couple days of the week, we spent the night on lake norman with tia and tio to relax until grammy was free. i rolled our suitcases back to the two rooms we would be sleeping in and was met with this message of truth the carried me through the remainder of my fight...


Psalm 121 (NKJV): "I will lift up my eyes to the hills--From whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore."

and with my painted nails chipped, my lips swollen from a terrible anxiety attack and rocking my visionary tee that was a major reminder to me that i am to chose to see what it seems impossible for me to see in this very moment.... i was reminded to look to HIM and HIM alone. 

despite any of my feelings, we had such a great time. we stopped by to pick up a fishing license and i convinced the boys to take a few pictures with their mama :)

^^^ my biggest boy heading out for his very first time fishing at the lake :) ^^^

^^^ my baby girl getting ready for her first trip in a canoe ^^^

"It is well" by Bethel Music...
Grander earth has quaked before
Moved by the sound of His voice
Seas that are shaken and stirred
Can be calmed and broken for my regard
Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
Through it all, through it all
It is well
Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
It is well with me
Far be it from me to not believe
Even when my eyes can't see
And this mountain that's in front of me
Will be thrown into the midst of the sea
Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
Through it all, through it all
It is well
So let go my soul and trust in Him
The waves and wind still know His name
It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well it is well with my soul
Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You Lord
Through it all, through it all
It is well with me

we had such a great time on our first day at the lake!!! Of course, I filmed as much of the day as i could. we made such beautiful memories and the only thing missing was daddy :/

from syreena, with love


i don't go out on sunday's. after church, we head off to pick up a few groceries and then head home to prepare dinner and spend the rest of the day getting ready for the week. at the most, we grab the kids pjs and head out to the grandparents house for dinner. this normally gives them a little time with their grands, we get a few moments to catch up and then back home, already in our pjs by now, to tuck everyone into their beds for the night. we don't go out on sundays. 

but, this particular sunday was a tiny bit different. i, reluctantly, said yes to our dear friends to help them celebrate a birthday and, although extremely tired, i wouldn't have had it any other way. 

we headed off to the city to walk, talk, grab some hot chocolate, apple cider and a candy apple in my case. then we found ourselves at an ice skating rink in the city's center square. my very first time... ice skating... with one of my favorite of friends. 

and, of course i bought my camera along! i, now, wish i had chosen to bring my big camera along. somehow, i always regret not bringing that camera of mine. i could have gotten some pretty incredible shots of the buildings, the rink, etc. oh well. for sure, next time. 

basically, i went out on a sunday. and, I'm so glad i did! happy birthday my beautiful friend. i love you two tons and 3 bunches girl!

from syrena, with love


it is a shame i am just getting around to posting these pics from thanksgiving. my babies had so much fun spending time with their cousins and love to see that so very much. i have been so consistent with my posts on my vlogging channel and even our homeschool channel, but i haven't done the best job keeping up here :( .


thanksgiving weekend was so much fun. my babies got a chance to hang  out with their cousins and there is nothing like being with your family. we headed off to jumpology on our last day together for a fun filled early celebration of their cousins 4th birthday. 

^^^ this kid is so very special to me ^^^

i got to hang with my mommy, my bestie and my niecey-pooh (i just missed her birth by an hour) ...

afterwards, we headed to get pizza with all the kiddies. kendall bear got the chicken fingers and fries and had a blast listening to all his cousin's chatter.

I'm pretty sure we should just go ahead and call this day "national cousin day out" from now on. smells like a tradition to me. :)

from syreena, with love

{LIFE & LOVE THROUGH THE 4x5, 11.30.16...}

well, i haven't done a life & love post in a while and its well overdue. i ,actually, haven't been taking as many photos with my phone lately as it seems I've traded it in for  my "big" camera a lot these days. i still always end up with lots of gems that bring back such beautiful memories. memories of moments full of joy and laughter and even memories of all the "hot mess" moments that i am just glad i have picture proof that i made it through, lol.

tomorrow will officially be the first of december, the last month of 2016 and it seems so crazy to say. this year has FLOWN by and i must say that i am glad to see it go :) here are just a few things that i would like to remember from the last couple of months...

1. i decided to do a better job caring for my hair which has meant a couple of homeschool mornings at the salon with mommy. 

2. cams soccer season came and went and although i love to see my baby play, sunday afternoon travel soccer games are for the birds. after every game i would ask him if he did his best and if he had fun. the answers were always yes, yes and I'm grateful for that. he did tend to fall a lot on the field and it was so hilariously painful to watch. heading off to a game i heard his sister say to her big brother, "don't fall this time, ok"! that girl :))))

3. morning. snapchat. selfies. FAMILY FUN!

4. regular trips to the library to return mounds of books, such a fun walk just a few steps outside of our front door. 

5. date night selfies with my dear husband.

6. another year of walking for  a cure for juvenile diabetes with our dear christian.

just a little life & love through the 4x5...

from syreena, with love


tonight, we put up our christmas tree and i have to admit, I'm sad to feel fall pass by so quickly (sorry, no christmas pictures yet, I'm just not ready) !!! i am pretty sure that time is flying by and I'm having trouble figuring out how to slow things down a bit. my dear husband has been on a new job for three whole weeks now and i snapped a few photos for old time sake. it was his first saturday OFF in a VERY LONG time and we spent it doing "normal things" with BIG gratitude. 

the gratitude that I've felt since that first saturday OFF is most certainly a result of a change in perspective. he has had saturdays off on jobs in the past and i had no clue how much i took them for granted until they were taken away. i know that may sound bratty. i am aware that there are plenty of people that have to work long hours and through the weekends etc. but, its just not something that i want for my family. and, to have our weekends back again is pure GOLD in life right now. 

my perspective changes when i think of them... i often say to myself. what would i say to him/her if they were in our shoes...  experiencing the same challenges that life has thrown our way.... I've been thinking this way a TON lately. 

i want them to know that purpose is where the prize is and that perspective and progress mean so much during challenging times. this is random, i know. but, so key. troubles don't last forever. just keep moving forward, just keep walking, one day at a time. 

everything we did that saturday was so basic and i loved it! my dear husband washed the cars and the lady baby tagged along. 

she is getting so big so quickly and i don't have another baby to buffer the sadness of all my babies growing so very quickly. it sucks. 

there is a tree right outside of our front yard, that turns the most beautiful shades of fall and sheds all its leaves within a week. every year i get pictures of my babies jumping, laughing and playing underneath that beautiful tree!

every year this beautiful tree lets go of its gorgeous leaves with certainty that next year will bring new beauty. i want to do the same. i want to give out the best of me, all my love, all my gifts... with certainty that these beautiful parts of me will never dry up and always produce new and better each and every year. 

as hard as it is to watch them grow so quickly, i have to adjust my perspective, they are were my purpose lies and it is in them that i find my prize.  

i promise you, this average, basic, normal saturday... was the best thing that has happened to us in such a long time :) 

from syreena, with love