Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Happy 4th Birthday Tigue Guy!!!!

We can hardly believe it! Our MIDDLE child is 4 YEARS OLD! This light guy has rocked our world for the past four years as he travels across his wide spectrum of emotions (hourly). He is the yin to Levi's yang and man has it been fun. He challenges us daily on issues we rarely ever considered, like today he wanted to confirm that the Flash is faster than a cheetah (of course). Thank goodness for the easy one! He is full of energy, love, and always thinking. You just never know what is going to come out of that little mouth. Thank you GOD for our Tigue guy! 

More on his birthday later, but let's get you caught up on the rest of the month of May and early June leading up to this past Monday...

Jumping back to the middle of May (only 3 weeks since my last post - a step in the right direction), here's our kindergartner Levi in his first play. He took it easy and was simply one of the choir birds. The play was in Spanish... so, even if he was in a lead role, sadly my Spanish teachers (going all the way back to middle school) would have been disappointed in how little I could follow it.

Where Levi really comes alive is the soccer field! For those of you that are not following us on Facebook, Levi is a little goal scoring machine. I believe he has 12 goals through the first 4 games of the season... time to move up a division son!

I've met my match on face painting... I cannot create a Levi-approved Octopus.

And this is why we needed a bunk bed

Finally! There's that happy new baby. This is a picture of the fun side for Atticus' life. He's being loved on by his Mama and his Dad is making silly faces. We'll get to the "other" side of being the newest addition to TheJonesPod shortly.

Tangent Alert - our Whole Foods is up and running at the end of our street AND it has a bar with a really good beer selection. This was a local IPA brewed here in our neighborhood.

One of the "joys" of having your kid be kind, enjoyable, and in a large public school class is...


Tigue and I were invited to stay too, and yes, those are our boys in their soccer uniforms.

This is that other side of Atticus' life... 
can you see how much Atticus is enjoying the communal bath?

"What the H-E-Double Hockey Sticks Mom and Dad... get me out of here!"


"Ok, I'm over it."

All better.

"No, I don't look funny in Mama's glasses, Tigue!" 

Levi and his posse

Getting some Dad snuggles after work

Herding cats people, herding cats

Another Levi-tastic scoring fest!
(and overall good playing by the rest of the team)

Tigue - I am sorry for the lack of soccer praise in your direction, but you have to stop pulling yourself from the game for not being able to catch up to the other kids - just give it your all dude! You'll get there!

Lakehouse hangout with my cuz over Memorial Day weekend!

After the lakehouse, we took a little side trip to Manitowoc on our way home to Chicago AND yes, it appears I took all of one picture all of Memorial Day weekend. Sorry, Atticus, you're the third. There will be less picture of you, but they will ALL be more meaningful... (I'll tell myself to get to sleep). 

Anyways, back to that Manitowoc place - we got to spend a lovely day with Horst and Barb AND their amazing grand-daughter Sonja. We went to the local zoo, oddly enough, it was called Lincoln Park Zoo - go figure (same zoo name as the one in Chicago for those that have no idea what I find funny about that). It was a great time and our hosts were incredible! It was wonderful seeing you all! 

Back in Chicago I found myself with the boys one day while I was working from home. I decided to try an experiment as I had a client call that I was praying wouldn't get interrupted (though yes it was my own fault for even having one on a day that I knew I was working from home and had the boys). Well, the cinematography of A Bug's Life held all THREE of them in check... for about 15 minutes. Just enough time for the call!

If I was better about posting at this point I would have given this next milestone it's own post, but sorry dude, we're just not back there yet. Without further ado...

(again old news to our FB friends)

Another fun visit this month was from the New 52 Wally West as The Flash! To the one or two of you that get this reference... thank you! No, it's our friend Tyler in Levi's Flash costume. He's a very sweet kid and it was great to have him over for the day!

And back to this cutie... just being cute.

Somehow we've made it to June and man does it actually look like June! Another great friend visit was from the Benner kids this past weekend. Nothing gets the energy out like a trip to a well laid out city park!

 The looks we got walking around town with six kids under eight were priceless!

One of our stops on Saturday was Levi's school's main fundraiser - Fiesta Cultural. This is one of our friend's daughter's Lemonade stands - benchmark set. Do you see that tap and cup dispenser - goodness! 

Back at home just giving Tigue some lessons on loving his bro

AND WE MADE IT! TIGUE'S BDAY 2015! THE BIG 4! And no, I'm not talking about the Big Four accounting firms, I'm talking the little man of the hour - who started out breakfast under the table because he was upset about the amount of butter on his toast... good start! 

Present opening went a lot better and he loved his new "cooker-man" costume!

Which meant he needed to help with second breakfast, but without the costume. Ha!

But he'll wear his apron

Birthday Mama LOVE!

Yeah, that pancake is a winner!

If it wasn't his birthday this eating style would NOT fly!

Got some cards in the mail!

(I asked him to make a smile again as the first picture was fuzzy)

Alone bath time on his birthday

Now, Tigue's day also consisted of a trip to the Magic shop, with two new illusions to share with you all, a lot of cake, ice cream, pizza, paninis, and basically anything else he asked for within reason, but most of it is covered in videos and just us experiencing it. So, my apologies on the lack of photos. You'll have to visit to see the videos, which includes someone's toddler crying for the entire happy birthday song (I won't call anyone out here).

And this brings us to tonight - a little selfie action and hair gel

And some much needed Mama snuggles!

Once again - Happy Birthday to our sweet Tigue! You are an awesomely unique (but slightly clone-tastic version of me) little guy and we are blessed to have you as our son! We look forward to seeing what GOD has for you and promise to help you along the way. Have a great rest of the week everyone and congrats in advance to Laura and Neal on TIGUE-ing the knot this weekend! 

(I know you like what I did right there) 

"As a prisoner for the LORD, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the SPIRIT through the bond of peace." ~ Ephesians 4:1-3

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Where do I pick this up... 

It's been nearly 18 months since our last post and as many of you know the catch-up from then to now is a hard one to tell. We lost a brother, an uncle, a musician, an artist, a pillar, and a contagious laugh that has no equal. Drew Benjamin Dwyer was an individual, a unique soul, a true friend and he is dearly missed by many. We take comfort in knowing we will see him again when we are reunited in Heaven, but it doesn't take the pain away of the "what ifs," the life we thought we'd have... with him. 

But GOD is good and the story doesn't end there. Lutrosis... which is Greek for redemption or deliverance. And that's where HE has us now. We've been reminded that GOD is present and that HE cares. Shortly after the loss of Drew, with the tears still fresh on our faces, Jenny and I found out we were pregnant. Something we had just considered a couple weeks earlier, but definitely weren't quite planning for so quickly. Of course, as any new mother does, Jenny did the math and determined that she would probably be due sometime in late March... huh, Drew's birthday is March 19th. Wouldn't it be crazy if we had a boy on Drew's birthday? Was it possible GOD would grant us such a bold gift and blessing? 

Over the next nine months we would go back and forth on what we thought GOD's plan was for this little baby. Mentally preparing ourselves for a girl, who would not be born on March 19th. I mean, we already had two boys, statistically there was only about a 12.5% chance of the baby being a boy and Jenny's due date ended up being March 23rd, not the 19th.

Fast forward to near the end of March and it was a surprisingly warm morning given the weather that had become common for us this time of year... and Jenny was starting to feel last night's contractions coming on quite a bit stronger. No.... could it be, let me check my phone again, yup, March 19th. Ok GOD, this is YOUR show, but I'll keep my expectations in check for now. Even if this baby comes today, I'm still sure it's a girl - that's just logical math!

Now it's 3pm and Jenny is on the verge of pushing.... minutes feel like hours for her and same for me really, because all I want to do is turn on the TV and get caught up on March Madness... I mean I'm so excited to meet this little girl that will rock our world. 

3:04... ok, Jenny, start pushing... 3:05... KEEP PUSHING.... 3:06 - ONE MORE PUSH! 3:07...


And just to sweeten the moment, in the delivery room, was our beautiful friend and sister (from another mister) Brittany... who lost her loving husband just four months before we lost Drew. Jenny and her had made a pact to be present at at least one of each other's children's births. It just wouldn't have been the redemptive moment that it was without her there... GOD, YOU are good. 

So, welcome Atticus Drew Jones to the chaos that is our life! You have no idea what you just got yourself into little man!

This is the first time Levi and Tigue are meeting Atticus... a moment I will never forget. Levi's hysterical giggle, Tigue's endless questions, their faces, the instant attachment, unconditional love. Simply precious - we were made to have siblings, we were made for community.

The next day was a bittersweet introduction to his Uncle Johnny....

 And his Nani and Papa... This little grandbaby would never replace their Drewber, but we could see GOD's heart for us in this new life.

Back home... Atticus was a breath of fresh air. We needed that little man and as you can see Levi is a loving parent in the making.

By now you should be familiar with this tradition - theJonesPod sunglasses pic!

Well, soon after the welcoming of Atticus, weather was back to normal for March - snowy and cold, so we made do.

 And then you blink and it's like this...

Despite the fact that I was in busy season, I was able to take about a week and a half off... now before you keel over in shock; it's because I took a new job with real life expectations. More on that later, but back to the cute boys! Here Tigue and I are taking Levi to school. He's hanging with his buddies.

Here's that 5 year old fill-in parent we hired again.

Not a fill-in parent yet - he's just loving childhood.

But, he's working on parenting too :)

My little city living, train taking, public school attending chic kindergartner

They found Mama's and Uncle Johnny's glasses AND they are the best brothers EVER!


Yeah... we clean up pretty well for EASTER

Thanks Nani for coming and sleeping with Atticus

Just an early evening at TheJonesPod


 OVER and cozy.

I think they call this a family bed or something

Still silly bath buddies!

More family snuggles


Free Comic Book Day 2015
(Sadly that is not me in the Boba Fett outfit)

A job well done gentlemen!


Make-up Easter at Goggy and Bompa's

New haircut - Mini-Papa

Grandma Lucy knit Atticus an epic carrot outfit - it is super cozy!

Happy Boy!

So, there you have it - a look at the last two months through the pictures of our little men. Yes, this does mean we are officially back. The first one back is always the hardest and now it's behind us. I'll give you little glimpses into the last 18 months, but mostly we're going to more forward and document the first year of this new little man's life. Thanks for jumping back into this with us. I'm excited to get back to it and share with you all that GOD is doing through and around us!

"Therefore you too have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you." ~ John 16:22