Cottage-ing with kids

As much as I can't wait to get pregnant and welcome a new little Burden into our family, I am cherishing our time as a family of three. Having just one kid is so much fun and, comparatively, it looks pretty simple when I observe the lives of my friends with multiples.

Arie's arrival has definitely changed our lives, but we have found a fantastic new normal where he fits in so nicely into our lives. We love taking him places. We love having the evening to ourselves once he's in bed. We love that he fits easily in our room or in our bed at home or on vacation. We love that we can trade off when one of us needs a break.

Having just Arie is pretty great. We spent the past three days with our friends at their cottage "up North" and loved it. They have a daughter who is 6 months younger than Arie and another who is a tiny 7 weeks old. Arie and his buddy Josephine giggled together continuously while baby Clara snuggled in close to her tireless and peaceful mama. John and I spent a few days at this cottage with Paul and Lindsay before any of us had kids and I have to tell you: in my mind, with kids was way better.

Maybe it was because our family sizes are still so small, but it was joyful and peaceful. The children played together enthusiastically, giving us dozens of reasons to smile and laugh each hour. They jumped in the kiddie pool and swung on the swing set with endless energy while we watched with our eyes, sipping wine and carrying on separate conversations with our mouths.

They made old activities like boat rides and campfire s'mores new again with their curious wonder. They went to bed late and when John and I joined Arie even later we were filled with gratitude to know that this precious little person sleeping between us was ours to grow and guide.
"Too hot!"

They woke us up earlier than we would have chosen our own, but gave us other gifts like seeing the morning sun stream into the windows and making that first sip of sumatra just that much better because we needed it so.

Parenting on vacation is so much fun because of all the new experience, but you know what is even better? Parenting along side dear friends. Having company is such a wonderful gift for both children and adults. We were so blessed over the past few days to give Arie the gift of a playmate and connect with two of our precious companions as well.  I love the give-and-take of it all. The I'll make dinner while you watch the toddlers in the pool and the Can you hold my baby while I get this done? I loved watching Arie's face broaden with a grin as another daddy helped him on a slide or another mommy hugged him tender and close. Friends with whom we entrust our child; the closest bond I can imagine.

As we begint our journey to adding another Burden, we are treasuring both the new experiences of family life and the days of the three of us. I'm discovering again how gratitude for good gifts and a cheerful heart- both in my own chest and beating out loud in the lives of others- is truly good medicine. Thankful to be blessed with generous friends, thankful for the sight of my little man running with a friend, thankful for community, laughter, late nights, coffee in the morning, and the simple way of my family of three.



  1. Jillian, I was adopted from Russia as well :) and I absolutely love reading your blog! The pictures of Arie sucking his thumb are adorable and remind me of my brother when he was younger {he's 14 now!} It really warms my heart that you got Arie before adoption was closed :) such a blessing!
    xo, Meg

    1. Meg that is so cool! I am going to check out your blog. How old were you when you were adopted? Thank you for leaving a comment! xo

    2. Hey! Thanks for commenting back ;)!! I was actually adopted when I was 14!! haha, yeah it's kind of old to get adopted, but I lucked out :)

  2. This post really opens my eyes (even more!) to the fact that I only have a couple weeks (days?) as the mother of a singleton. Our baby is due on the 6th and my days are sweet and precious with my son. Thank you for the perspective and the timely post. Your family of three is so beautiful.

    1. Oh wow congratulations!! What an exciting time of anticipation for you. Cherish these last days with your baby boy. I hope the transition to a family of four is filled with joy and happy surprises.

  3. Good review! Thank you for the great post,It is really a big help.thanks for sharing nice blog.


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