Thursday, April 10, 2014

Taking it all in.


This is my baby. Most likely forever our youngest.

He likes to remind me that next year he will go to kindergarten.  Today he was staring blankly into space at lunch and I asked him what he was thinking about. He replied ..."I just can't wait until I'm 14 and can go to the Statue of Liberty and go up in his hat. Ay, yi-yi.  It will be so cool."  He started piecing together sounds to read small words by himself. He loves to have conversations at the breakfast counter and is curious about everything. He loves to help and have a job. I let him sleep in my bed at naptime, mostly because I can look at him and he looks smaller in a bigger bed. He would wear shorts and soccer socks pulled up every single day of the year if we let him. He's a snuggler. He loves puzzles, games, and creating art. He dresses up daily in a knight or doctor or football costume. He gladly goes out in the cool morning air to drink coffee and cider on the porch with me. He leaves me notes and drawings under my pillow all the time. He is easy going and funny. He prays. He hates to be away from his family. He loves his brother unconditionally and wants to be just like him. He is unique and loved. He is our miracle.

 They keep growing and changing so fast and it seems the time is slipping through my fingertips. They have transformed into these amazing little people. And I love it and love each stage of teaching and growing them. But I just want it all to slow down.  I know I've enjoyed it all to the fullest...but its never enough. I suppose moms always feel this way, at every stage.

 Like most things. Bittersweet.

This photo was submitted to the I Heart Faces photo challenge – www.iheartfaces.com

Thursday, February 27, 2014

February Reflections



February is by far my least favorite month of the 12. 

Everything in Laramie is cold and dead and brown. Its hard not to let that trickle in to my mind. My thoughts. My words. My actions. My parenting. My spousing. (ha, made up word!)

Throw in spending the first half of the month worrying about an upcoming surgery. A testy preschooler. A stir-crazy dog. Loads of unexpected bills. Feeling homesick for family. This has just not been a fun month. 

I grew up in this state. I should be used to February. But I think I've been displaced my whole life. I long for a place where the grass is greener. Literally. Or at least less brown.

I long for that warm California sun, where people ride their bikes and sunbathe on Christmas. 

The good news is we are in the last week of this forsaken month. Thank you, Jesus!! 

Soon it will be March. Even though we have a good few months of snow left. March just feels different. It includes spring break. It leads to April, which leads to puddle jumping and bike riding. The random snowstorms are melting faster. Yesterday I felt warm in the sun. I registered for the BolderBoulder. I went on a photowalk around town. I went for a walk around our favorite pond. I am consistently working out again, which has helped everything. We have been able to go outside for short amounts of time to play. 

I guess...with the closing of February. I'm starting to feel a bit more alive. A bit more like myself.
Hopeful. 
Refreshed. 

Looking back is always easier. And although I've been in a funk. I realize I have been blinded by so much good. A husband who loves me endlessly, even when I can give little in return. Kids who draw me amazing pictures every day of stick figure families and love notes that say "You're awesome."  And they love each other deeply in a way I recognize from my own childhood.  A community of friends that are real true friends, that are more like family.  Friends and family that step in to love and help when we need it. An amazing school for my boys to go to, with teachers who truly care and invest in them. That scripture still speaks to me. That God loves me, even with all my junk.   A warm home with tons of space to run around and get our energy out. Good health insurance and doctors. My parents are just a phone call away and always willing to talk and listen to me anytime. The opportunity to teach my kids about honesty, kindness, and being brave. Boys that want to cuddle every night and ask me to sing despite my terrible singing voice. That I can be with them so often. A husband that works so hard to take such good care of us. Who always comes home with a smile and energy to give for all of us. Good coffee. Good books. Good friends. Good food. Lots of laughter. 

...And when I list all that...the list of things that have me worried. The things contributing to what a friend called "The February Funk." Some Big and some small. Well, they all seem small compared to the richness of a life full of things that matter. They will work themselves out and we will be okay. 


Colossians 3:12
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility,gentleness and patience.

Friday, January 24, 2014

A month past Christmas Eve.

That month went by fast.

We had a lovely Christmas season this year. We prepared well and really celebrated for a month. We had a homemade Advent calendar, baked, wrapped, shopped, read our mountain of Christmas books. The entire season was a delight. And I hope I remember the magic that comes with a childhood Christmas.  These years of having excited boys and overflowing hearts.

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The kids loved the singing Christmas lights on the courthouse. They loved their Christmas parties at school. Sim recited Luke 2:11 in his preschool program. We froze through the tiny Christmas parade downtown. We went to the tree display at the art museum. Matt hung Christmas lights on the house. We didn't make it to the mountains, but found a cute little Christmas tree lot. We bought new ornaments and made a few homemade gifts. We baked several times. Our home was filled with family and we loved having the space to host those we love. We loved waking up to happy boys excited to open their stockings.

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We followed Christmas up by taking a trip to California just the four of us. We bought very small Christmas gifts for the boys, in exchange for giving them memories and experiences together. It was well worth it! Being away with my three guys was so refreshing. We loved the time at the beach and Disneyland. It was fun to be completely out of our element and basically be "yes parents" for four days straight. We were beyond blessed to get to do this and are so thankful.

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And it was warm and beautiful. We swam and loved jumping in the big waves. The boys had never seen the ocean..they loved it and were so happy to play there for hours. 

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So...Disneyland really was the happiest place on Earth. We were prepared for meltdowns and tired kids. They never had a meltdown and walked the entire way both days. I was amazed at how beautiful and clean it was. The California Adventure park was definitely my favorite of the two parks. But they were both amazing! I was bummed I didn't bring my real camera...but I know it was the right choice and kept me hands free and my attention on my kids. But everything in California is just so beautiful...I did miss it. :) 
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And like that...its 2014.

Back in the routine of school now. Excited for what this new year will bring. Thankful that the daylight is getting a bit longer with every passing day. Hopeful of beautiful things in this new year.

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Recalibrating




The last couple of weeks I have just not exactly felt like myself. So many great things have been happening. I've been having so much fun with the boys. New opportunities. Exciting times preparing for Christmas.  But the house gets quiet at night. I lay in bed and begin worrying a little too much about stupid things that don't matter...and not putting the time and effort into the Life-Giving Relationship that does matter. I don't know why I let myself get to that point. Of worrying about things I don't have control over.  The point where I feel out of control of the consuming thoughts that are frustrating and destructive. Instead of focusing on my relationship with Jesus and my family...focusing on what matters. 


Its amazing what a few minutes with youtube blasting in my ear can do for me. 


Like that...I turned to the right place. And once again I'm recalibrated. Reaching for my Jesus...instead of the things of this world. Freedom.


Thankful for songs ...that double as perfect prayers when I don't know where to start. 



I will stand on the solid rock
I believe it if i feel it or not
Word of God come and fill my thoughts

I am Yours, take control

I will stand on the solid rock

I believe it if i feel it or not

Word of God come and fill my thoughts
I am Yours, take control 

The enemy defeated
Living in freedom
Hope of glory
Living inside my life, in my life
(Desperation Band)







Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A sad day is coming...

I think my littlest man is outgrowing his nap.

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This makes me want to cry.

Seriously, ya'll.

Third day in a row with no nap. I hold my ground and he stays in his room for an hour...but no sleeping is happening.

I've spent the last six years of motherhood maintaining my sanity with the beloved naptime.

And I was considering trying to wean myself off of Diet Pepsi. That may have to wait now.

This is how he feels about it.

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Oh yeah...I may have to rename my blog too. ...sigh!




Stream of thoughts. No edits.

Most days I forget that I'm 31. Not because I'm in denial of it. Because really I have everything I have wanted...and am really happy with where we are in life. I just honestly forget. I don't FEEL 31. And when I think about it, its truly just very strange. I remember when my mom was my age. And it just doesn't seem real that Matt and I have now known each other for over half my life. (met him when I was 15, didn't date until 18)

So besides feeling like I'm still 24.

I really don't understand how these boys are as old as they are.

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 I stand back and am amazed at this. The other morning I went to wake up Eli and found him sitting up straining his eyes with a big old smile on his face as he was reading in the dark the poetry of "Where the Sidewalk Ends." How can that be? Seems like just yesterday I was reading him Duck Soup about 25 times a day. Now my shy Eli, who never talked to anyone, is Mr Social at school and is truly a kind and compassionate friend to everyone. And Simeon who seems to have grown in leaps in bounds over the last two or three months. He is Mr Confident at school and runs in there like he owns the place. He amazes me daily with his words of wisdom and love. Today he told me ..."I prayed for Eli to spread light to all his friends at school." and the other evening out of nowhere he says..."God wants me to pray for Dakota and Maverick." These are friends that we never see.  ...Well okay, son! So we pray. And I cling to this beautiful child, knowing he is only mine for a short time.

And my dear husband. My best friend. I honestly love him more everyday. And how can he be 34? 12 years of marriage later...and I love him more than I ever could've imagined. He is strong and wise. And the most selfless person I know. He continually loves and serves and takes care of us all. Especially when I'm stressed ...and he is really good at making me laugh. I had no idea the prize I was getting when I married this man at the age of 18.

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Time marches on.

I know I've enjoyed every season so far. And I continue to enjoy the current one. It's a pretty amazing one.

Wish I could stop it for just a little longer,  to breathe it all in just a little more. To hold and love and have a bit more time.

But I can't. And I know that. So I'm striving to live every day to the fullest. To kiss and laugh and forgive and truly look at these loved ones. To look and see and keep my perspective. The little things don't matter. The phases come and go. Keeping my eyes on Christ who gives me eternal love and grace...may I be a blessing of this to my family.

May I find more peace in time continuing to pass. Knowing each stage is a gift!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A "Yes" Person

Last week I was talking with a group of ladies...and one of them said something like this.

"I'm usually a YES kind of person with my kids. Sure, try something new...see what happens. ..."

She was talking about  a weakness she had (cant remember what)...but all I heard was a huge strength of hers. 

A yes person.

A book I read this summer talked about being a "yes" mom. It really impacted me at the time and I was determined to change and say yes to my kids more often!

How quickly I already forgot about that book.

Friday afternoon rolls around. I'm scrambling to throw dinner together. The main dish was in the crockpot. Hadn't planned sides. I rarely plan sides...usually grab some fresh veggies and call it good. I had plans of getting fancy and maybe making some noodles or rice or something with it. (total sarcasm..I know Minute Brown Rice is far from fancy...but I never claimed to be a gourmet cook)

When Eli comes upstairs with this adorable little mispelled sign he made and says..."Mom, I was thinking today would be a good day for a lemonade stand."

 
My thoughts: What? Right now? NO! I want to get dinner ready and on the table before Dad gets home. (why, there is no rule that says when we have to eat). I want to clean up the living room and the mound of toys you just dumped out in there. I want to sweep this floor and get the dishwasher unloaded. I want to just sit and not do anything. We need to stay on schedule so you get dinner, bath, book, and to bed on time. These thoughts are flooding my mind and about to come out as an energetic Oh, I don't think today is a good day for it. 

Then I looked at his face covered in excitement as he started to rattle off that we needed a table, and chairs, cups, and balloons, and quarters for change ..."and please, Mom. Its going to be so fun. I bet there are tons of thirsty people that will come."

And my friends voice came to my head. And I knew it was a good chance to lay my selfishness down and be a YES mom.

And it was so much fun. We worked together to make the lemonade (twice, got completely spilled on my foot once). Eli made another sign. Sim dragged the table and chairs to the sidewalk and carried out the cash register. I blew up the balloons...Eli hung them.

We met 12 new neighbors...and had 17 customers. (5 friends stopped by thanks to FB advertising).

And the boys and I laughed and talked and enjoyed one another so much.

Dinner still got served. (thank you fresh veggies, applesauce, and a hidden can of baked beans) We had a nice evening together...and really a much better one than if I had said NO. I know I can't always say yes to my kids...but I know I can say yes a lot more than I do. Sometimes I say NO out of nothing but selfishness and inconvenience for what I want to be doing at that moment.  I'm working on it.

There have been several more instances that I've caught myself leaning toward saying no, for no reason.

So...like I said. I'm working on it. Working on being more of a YES person. :)

I'm a work in progress. Aren't we all? :)








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