13 years

July 16 Facebook post

2 grown-ups + 2 kids + 1 baby in utero + 2 pints Ben and Jerry’s ice cream + 2 toppings + biking 3 miles to get the ice cream + 1 85-degree house = 13 years of marriage. Happy Anniversary to the best hubby and father, Jordan Linville!



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Pen pals

Elliott’s best friend is at camp all summer. He wrote E a letter. Awesome mail!

E Wrote back.


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i loved higlights magazine as a kid and my mom has been getting Nat and Elliott High Five (the younger version) and/or Highlights for years. The kids made their first submission to the Magazine today.

Elliott’s is called Break Out (the top is the purple part)  it has something to do with transformers I Believe  Natalies is called Moon and shows a girl on a bunk Bed gazing at the moon

I have to cut this short. Kids are sneaking out of their bedrooms to see if I am awake and I’m pretending to sleep.

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Steep Falls Fighting

From our trip in Maine, I made a gif montage of Elliott and I fighting infront of the Steep Falls.  You have to click the photo to see it.  Be sure to check out Natalie’s face.  Hah.  Enjoy!

Click the photo below

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Our 3rd Annual Trip to Maine for the 4th of July

We’ve timed our trips to Maine for the 4th of July much better now – no more 7-hr trips that were supposed to only be 3.5 hours.  We left around 6:30am on Sunday to go to Sebago, Maine, to visit Elliott’s best friend Ethan and his family at Camp Micah, an overnight Jewish camp.  This place was top-of-the-line!  My personal fav – they spray for bugs and ticks, so we left unscathed.  The kids loved playing at the waterfront, which basically had an inflatable obstacle course in the water.  The super kind campers would help our smaller kids when needed.  Jordan and the kids also tried a Ninja Warrior obstacle course (on land) – led by someone who has legitimately been on the show.  Elliott’s fav, of course, though was just seeing his bestie – which I appreciated b/c they could discuss and perform Transformers (Elliott’s favorite show), which gave me a break from doing the same.  Then, 3 out of 4 Linville’s wanted to camp, so we spent two nights in a borrowed a deluxe tent, including cots for the adults.  I still think camping is an every-other-year excursion for me, preferably 1 night and no more than 2, assuming that in either case, the cooking is extremely limited.  The kids are heavily swayed by the s’mores (somehow, s’mores for breakfast has gotten to be a “tradition”) – and the mosquitoes (which unf, love Elliott – he has my sweet blood) aren’t deterrent enough.

Then, we headed to the Portland area to meet up with 3 of my college roomies – Daniele (CT), Dina (CO), and Tricia (NC) and their families.  Kids ages were: 7, two 5’s, 3, 1 and 9 months.  It wasn’t nearly as relaxing as our last girls getaway (in NYC two Novembers ago) but there was a lot more cuteness.  Natalie loves holding Cormac (age 1 – Daniele’s son) and Caroline (age 3 – Tricia’s youngest) somehow took a liking to Elliott by the end of the week.  Tricia’s parents always host a 4th of July party at Higgins Beach, but the best way to beat the heat (90’s!) was to be in the ocean.  On subsequent days, we went to Old Orchard (think: the Jersey Shore of Maine) and Ogonquit (think: the Cape Code of Maine – it was very crowded but quaint).  We toyed with the idea of going another 3.5 hours north to Acadia (we went 2 years ago – an extreme favorite), but decided against it.  My prego self doesn’t like long car trips – and we were afraid to run into terrible traffic on the way back.

No pics right now – Jordan downloaded them all off my phone, so here’s a public plea to him to really sweeten the blog post with cute pics.

Happy Independence Day/Week!

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Last Saturday

We were lucky to have a lazy Saturday morning last week…. a Jenga game with Optimus prime, while Natalie read a book about a red head with freckles.  So lucky to be their mama.

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June 13th email: “And baby makes 5”

Hey family,
We have some news from New England…. Baby Linville #3 (nickname Blueberry) is due on Christmas!
See attached for a pic of Natalie and Elliott with the ultrasound.  They just found out Monday and are very, very excited.  Natalie: “I’m going to be a big sister times 2!”  Elliott: “I’m not the littlest.  I’m a big brother!”
Thanks in advance for prayers and well wishes…. which includes no early arrivals.  I don’t think Nat would be too keen on sharing her bday (Dec 19th) with a sibling!

We love you all.

I feel so lucky the kids have taken the news so well, as Natalie has been telling us (and Elliott) for at least 1.5 years…. “4 is the perfect number family.  If we would have 3 kids, then we wouldn’t get as much time with Mom and Dad.”  So, I didn’t know how she’d take it, and we figured Elliott would take Nat’s lead.
After breaking the news, she even told me: “I totally thought I wouldn’t be excited but I was!  I was like WHAT?  Whoa!”  and later she says…. “I’m going to get to cuddle and kiss on the baby all the time!”
Elliott’s reaction was basically…. “I’m not the littlest!  I’m a big brother!”
They have also done lots of talking at my belly so that the baby can learn their voices.
As my stomach has grown larger (I’m still only 14 weeks but it definitely popped out sooner than it did with the first), Elliott and I have had some more difficulty snuggling.  His favorite snuggle position is me laying flat on my back, and he laying flat on his back on top of me.  As we’ve attempted to find a more comfortable position, I said sorry…. he sweetly goes: “You shouldn’t.”  I said, “I shouldn’t what?”  He continues… “You shouldn’t feel sorry.  You just have a baby in your tummy.”
He has also always loved the story about how, when Natalie was two, I used to read to her on a rocking chair, with her on my lap, but as my stomach grew bigger, she would try to push it to the side to make it more comfortable for her.  Elliott has this image of himself inside me pushing back, saying “Nope, I’m here.  You have to move.”
Jordan came up with the name Blueberry – based on the size of the baby in one of their earlier weeks.  When we told the kids around 12 weeks, the baby was the size of a lime, so Elliott wanted to call the baby Lime.  But Blueberry has stuck – which conveniently, is one of my fav foods these days.
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Church Camp

St. Mary’s church camp is awesome!  4 different bouncey houses – two that are water slides – greet the kids everyday and I think they get to go out 2x/day on them.  But there’s been some other nice highlights too….

Day 1 – Elliott gets to stay after with the neighbor girl & counselor (10th grader) who brings him home.  He gets a free counselor-only watermelon and a piggy back ride part way home.

Day 2 – At dinner, “Mom…. do you know who the King is?”

Me: “Um, no.”

Elliott: “Guess.”

Me: “King Edward?”

Elliott: “No:

Me: “Prince Henry? Prince Charles?  Prince William?”

Elliott: “No… those are princes, not kings.”

Me: “Who is it?”

Elliott: “JESUS!”

And then goes on to sing “Hallelujah, hallelujah, we’re going to see the king.”

Day 3 – He proudly shows me the sign of the cross.  (Woo hoo!  He’s learning more this week than in the past 450 Sundays.)

Day 4 – Elliott is like a rockstar with the kindergarten bible camp counselors.  Every time I go in to pick him up, multiple counselors (all teenage girls) ask Elliott for extra good-bye hugs.  Today, the hugs took so long that we missed the freezes on the way out (which Elliott doesn’t like anyways).

Then, when he got home…. “Mom, I’m so hungry.  I didn’t get to finish my lunch.  Can I finish it now?”

Me: “Sure bud, why?  Was it a short lunch.”

Elliott: “Well, there’s this thing called shout outs and I got called up for shut outs and ran out of time.”

Me: “Wow – cool.  What’s your shout out for?”

Elliott: “I don’t remember. ”


Elliott: “Do you know about the 9:30 choir?  I want to be in that.”

(I’m thinking…. whoa, seriously?  It’s almost all girls.  You’ve never shown interest in it before.  You like to eat O’s and play with cars… and what about when you “help” me be Eucharistic minister?)  but instead I say…. “That’s awesome bud; let me check into it.”

Meanwhile, Natalie is at basketball camp, which she apparently doesn’t like, even though she apparently likes basketball.  And she’s requested pick-up 1.5 hours early b/c she doesn’t like the 0.5-mile walk from the high school to the cold park pool.  Did I mention basketball camp was more expensive too??


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Fathers Day

We celebrated a hot Father’s Day at a college summer league game.


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Pre-summer vaca kick off

Nat has one more half day left but we got a jump start on the kick off to summer vaca!

Swimming with some of our first Longmeadow friends – and a hot fudge sundae and chocolate Oreo shake at max burger!  Nat can def swim and is working on her freestyle stroke  the head turn is the biggest challenge  elliott can dog paddle for about one arm length but can still kick his way to the edge  needless to say, we signed up for another eight week swim lesson session

How can these two cuties be entering Kinder and 2nd grade?!?

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