My Happy Pills

Tuesday, July 31, 2007 12 Comments A+ a-

I made a bad decision…

First some history. About six months post-partum with Devyn, Jon realized that I was sleeping constantly, to the point that I wasn’t even getting out of bed on my days off. He informed me that I needed to see the doctor. I’ll be honest, I really didn’t think I needed to go. After all, I wasn’t having suicidal thoughts; I wasn’t thinking ill thoughts towards Devyn or Jon. I was just tired! I was a new mama, surely that was explanation enough for my exhaustion, right?! But to appease my husband, I made the appointment and saw the doctor. She listened to Jon’s concerns and then asked me a few questions. Sure enough, I was diagnosed with post-partum depression and put on anti-depressants. It was the lowest dosage possible, I was still able to breastfeed Devyn, and I was off them by the time she turned a year old.

This time around, my doctor put me on the same medication, the same dosage at my two-week post-partum check-up. “This is purely for precautionary reasons Jenn,” she told me. “I’m sure you’ll be off them soon.” And oh, what a difference they made. There were no overwhelming thoughts, I had energy, I just felt good. And then I got cocky.

A couple of weeks ago, I was patting myself on the back for all I was getting accomplished. My attitude was good, Jon knew he was loved and respected, I had the new “mommy-of-two” thing down pat, we had a great routine, my quiet times were going well, etc. You name it, I had conquered it! I thought to myself, “Jenn, you’re doing well, you don’t need those anti-depressants anymore.” So I started weaning myself off the pills; I started taking one every other day until I took my last pill last Thursday or Friday.

It was a BIG mistake! Almost instantly I was picking fights with Jon, I was getting overwhelmed easily, my sleepiness returned, and my anxiety level rose, threatening to overtake me. This was not a good idea so close to closing on our house and needing to pack up our belongings. Yesterday I realized that I was premature in this decision and had my prescription filled, much to my chagrin. I realize that I shouldn’t feel weak or incompetent for needing to take anti-depressants, but I can’t help it. I was fine with taking them post-partum with Devyn, and I was even ok with taking them thus far after having Hudson, but for some reason this is a huge pride-swallowing issue for me right now. Then again, this could be the depression talking too. Ask me again in four to five days, I should be feeling normal by then.

Meme and Pictures

Sunday, July 29, 2007 9 Comments A+ a-

While Jon and the kids are sleeping, I'm taking this nice, quiet Sunday afternoon to slip online for a little while. I wanted to write something that would take very little thought, so I decided to tackle the meme from Rachel's tag. It was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be...

Four Jobs I Have Had:
  • I’ve been at my current job, Human Resources, for 8 years!
  • Retail Associate at Things Remembered
  • Server for Perkins Restaurants
  • David’s Bridal

Four Films I Can Watch Over & Over:

  • How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
  • Lord of the Rings Trilogy
  • 13 Going on 30
  • Sweet Home Alabama

Four Places I have lived:

  • I have lived in only 3 cities and towns my entire life, all in Colorado.

Four Favorite TV shows:

  • Grey’s Anatomy
  • Gilmore Girls
  • What Not to Wear
  • Jon & Kate + Eight (Hysterical)

Four Favorite Foods:

  • Salad at Olive Garden
  • Asian Sesame Chicken Salad at Panera Bread
  • Chicken and steak fajitas at Chili’s
  • Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger and fries at Wendy’s

Four Websites I visit Daily:

  • Google Reader
  • Yahoo
  • Google News
  • My Job's Internal Website

Four Places I Would Love to Be:

  • On a beach, preferably Mexico.
  • Camping in the mountains.
  • On a ski slope, preferably a non-black-diamond trail.
  • In my house, with the children asleep, sharing a glass of wine with Jon.

Now, I get to tag... whoever wants to participate.

I thought I'd leave you all with a darling slideshow of my kiddos. After all, I have to share just how adorable they are! Enjoy.



When You Come Back Down

Friday, July 27, 2007 6 Comments A+ a-

Both Amanda and Amy have got me thinking about songs and what they mean to me. My sister, Christine, is into music way more than I am, but music still plays an integral part of my life. Like Amanda and Amy have both said, a certain song will bring me back to a place or time in my life and I’m reliving those feelings all over again. There are three songs, in particular, on my player that mean a lot to me. The first is “When You Come Back Down” by Nickel Creek. I’ve gotten a lot of comments and emails about this song. I love it because Dad and I danced to it as our Father-Daughter dance for my wedding.

Now, Dad and I haven’t always had a good relationship. In fact, during my teen years, the relationship was pretty volatile. I won’t go into details out of respect for him, but suffice it to say, there were many times I wasn’t even sure I wanted him to walk me down the aisle. [My family comes with a past, a history, and an amazing story; one that I would LOVE to share with you all. But there are family members that aren’t ready for it to be shared; those same family members can’t see past the failures and mistakes we made, to the victory that belongs solely to God. So, join me in praying that someday I can share our story with you.] But through years of counseling, we finally were able to heal and a beautiful relationship grew, and continues to grow.

Fast-forward to six months before my wedding, Dad was panicking because we had yet to pick a song for our dance. We were looking at everything; all of the common dances like “You Look Beautiful Tonight”, “It’s a Wonderful World”, “I Hope You Dance”, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, etc. And then one day, my sister, Courtney, giddily came to me with this song. I fell in love with it and so did Dad. We played that song over and over for the next six months; Dad begged for practice sessions at every opportunity. Now, whenever I hear this song, it’s a bittersweet feeling. I’m transported to the time where I’m dancing around my parents’ family room with my dad, all while preparing myself to leave his house, his protection, and be joined to my husband.

Go on over to my player, click on this song, and read along. It’s truly a beautiful song, one that my dad and I cherish immensely. In fact, I just bought him this CD for Father’s Day.

When You Come Back Down
By: Nickel Creek

You got to leave me now, you got to go alone
You got to chase a dream, one that's all your own
Before it slips away
When you're flyin' high, take my heart along
I'll be the harmony to every lonely song
That you learn to play

When you're soarin' through the air
I'll be your solid ground
Take every chance you dare

I'll still be there
When you come back down
When you come back down

I'll keep lookin' up, awaitin' your return
My greatest fear will be that you will crash and burn
And I won't feel your fire
I'll be the other hand that always holds the line
Connectin' in-between your sweet heart and mine
I'm strung out on that wire

And I'll be on the other end, To hear you when you call
Angel, you were born to fly, If you get too high
I'll catch you when you fall
I'll catch you when you fall

Your memory's the sunshine every new day brings
I know the sky is calling
Angel, let me help you with your wings

When you're soarin' through the air
I'll be your solid ground
Take every chance you dare

I'll still be there
When you come back down
Take every chance you dare,
I'll still be there
When you come back down
When you come back down

Winner of Pretty Panties

Friday, July 27, 2007 4 Comments A+ a-

Ok, first of all, wow! I am absolutely floored and in awe at the number of comments I got for this contest. I was not prepared, in any way, for how popular Victoria's Secret is. As one commenter wrote, what does that say about the state of all of our underwear?! And now on to the winner... Devyn was able to help me pick a winner, check out the video below.


#332 is.... One Mother's Love from the blog "What's He Up To Now?" So, One Mother's Love, I'll be waiting to hear from you. Please email me your full name and address, so I can get this little package on its way.

Thanks again to everyone for participating! I had so much fun and will probably participate again in the fall. Happy Friday!

Excitement in the air!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007 12 Comments A+ a-



Can you sense it? The excitement in the air? We are in countdown mode as our closing date is two weeks from today! In two short weeks, we’ll be holding the key to our very first house and I’m in absolute shock. As I was telling a coworker yesterday, up until now it’s been a dream; something we fantasized about for years. We had no idea how we were going to do it; not with our credit, or the fact that we didn’t have rich parents or obscure relatives leaving us a nice inheritance for a down payment. But now, 14 months after moving in with my parents and living in a dark, dim basement, we are facing the very real reality of owning a house!

I am in a decorating mood, wanting to pick out color schemes and d├ęcor for each room. But the only room I have completely done is Devyn’s room and part of the kitchen. I am WAY open to ideas, so please feel free to share. We’re doing a butterfly theme in Devyn’s room; butterflies are her current obsession and she often flaps her arms and runs around the house saying she is a butterfly. Every time I find something for her room and I show it to her, she gets the most enraptured look on her face. It’s adorable! My mom has even found a butterfly nightlight that is just perfect. I can’t wait to see it all put together!

These are pictures that I found in a magazine; they fit into the theme for Devyn’s room. Not to mention the fact that I just love what each one says; every idea that I want Devyn to grow up embracing!

We have so much to do! Pack up everything in the basement; empty our storage unit; build a fence and dog run for our dogs; landscape the front yard; buy a fridge, washer, and dryer; put in a service door and garage door opener; get all the bills and utilities transferred into our name; put in address changes at work, with the bank, postal service, etc.; and help acclimate the kids (especially Devyn) to a new environment, away from the grandparents and aunts. Whew! I get a headache just thinking about it! We’ll just have to tackle one thing at a time.

Ack! In two weeks we’ll be homeowners!! Ready or not…

Dog Days of Summer

Monday, July 23, 2007 409 Comments A+ a-

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Ok, so I was going to wait until August to do this but since EVERYONE is jumping on board with the Dog Days of Summer give-away, hosted by Rocks in My Dryer, I thought, I’d better get on board too. So here we go ladies…


I’m offering a $30 gift certificate to Victoria’s Secret (hey, we can all use some fancy-schmancy underwear, right?), a Bath and Body Works lotion set, and some candles, to one lucky winner. Hey, trust me, the hubby is going to be down-right happy about this little gift.


So, leave me a comment, along with your email address, by 6:00am (MST) on Friday, July 27th and we’ll get everything together for your prize package. And please, go check out some of the other prizes being given away. At last check, there were almost 300 participants, including a free blog design from Susie at Bluebird Blogs!

Edited to add: I'll just be drawing the name out of a hat (probably with my 2-year-old's help). Please remember to leave a way to get in touch with you! Thanks for playing!

Water Park Fun

Monday, July 23, 2007 4 Comments A+ a-

On Saturday, a whole gaggle of us went to a local water park to celebrate Sarah's daughter, Emma's 3rd birthday. We had an absolute blast! We zipped down water slides, played in the toddler water park, and lazed around in the wave pool. It was wonderful!

We got to spend time with Sarah's side of the family; her sister, Amber, and her two boys, her mom and step-dad, and grandma. Her friend, Katie, and her family. And my big family! (Yes, all three sisters, brother-in-law, and two cousins came too!) We soaked the children with sunscreen, took turns watching the babies, and had a wonderful day in the sun!

Happy birthday to sweet Emma too!

Mommy Moments

Friday, July 20, 2007 12 Comments A+ a-

“Hey Munchkin, whadda you want to drink?” I asked from the open fridge.

“Juice!” was her exuberant reply. I did a quick assessment of the contents of the fridge, no juice.

“Ummm, babe, there’s no juice. Do you want milk or water?”

She thought for a minute and then gave me her answer. “Pop!” I burst out laughing!

Devyn’s cries for Mama at 4:00 in the morning woke Hudson; it was now 4:38am. Hudson was lying between us babbling and talking to himself; occasionally a foot would find its way into his mouth and then we were subjected to suckling sounds. Devyn was still very upset with us for not climbing into bed with her and would occasionally cry for Mama or Daddy, depending on whoever would answer her.

I turned on my side and threw a pillow over my head. Maybe, just maybe, if I couldn’t see or hear them, I could pretend they didn’t exist. No such luck. I turned back around and locked eyes with an equally bleary-eyed husband. “Do you think it’s too late to give them back?” I wondered.

Devyn was sitting on the kitchen counter “helping” me clean up after dinner; although her idea of helping involved eating the chocolate-ship cookies out of the cookie jar. So there we were, talking and laughing our way through cookies and dishes, stopping for an occasional tickle-war or a quick swirling-dance through the kitchen. She told me about her day (I think… it’s still a little difficult to understand toddler-speak) and I nodded along, doing my best to convey my understanding.

Finally, I snapped the towel on its ring and announced that we were done. Devyn lifted her arms to be put on the floor and instead wrapped her arms around me, kissing me full on the lips. “You,” she shouted on her way out of the kitchen. (“You” is how she says both “thank you” and “I love you”.) I licked my lips and tasted the left-over chocolate she had left behind; my heart constricted. If only time could freeze right now!

"Oh my son, here we sit. You have no idea how much I look forward to these times; just you and I alone in this moment together. I love that my body can still offer sustenance to you; I love this connection that only you and I can share. In these moments, time no longer exists and I am able to just focus solely on you. I love the way your eyes lock with mine, as though you’re trying convey some important message. I love the way you smile behind closed lips, as though thinking about a funny joke. I love watching your hands search for my hair, wrapping your fingers up tight. Or the way those same hands search for my face, caressing my skin to soothe yourself to sleep. Oh Hudson, you are growing so fast and time is marching on, but these moments are such a blessing to me!"

In His Name

Thursday, July 19, 2007 8 Comments A+ a-

Please keep Marianne, her dad, and her family in your prayers. I previously mentioned him in this post, and I’ve talked about her before in this post, so she shouldn’t be that much of a stranger to you. I’ve been getting updates from Marianne in Germany and the news is NOT good.

First of all, they’ve received more information as to how the accident happened. Apparently her dad, Jay, was crossing the street, while a cement truck was stopped at the light. The driver did not see Jay and pulled forward. The good news is that two bystanders were able to yell at the driver to stop before the last five sets of wheels (the last five axles carrying the heaviest part of the truck) rolled over Jay. It is certainly a miracle that Jay is even alive at all.

However, on to the bad news. The doctors will not make a guarantee (how can they?) that Jay will keep his legs, let alone if he’ll ever gain use of them again. There are several breaks in each bone of his legs but the doctors don’t even care about those at this point. They are currently focusing on saving his muscles and skin before they can tackle the broken bones. The skin on his legs have either died or are dying. The right leg is better off, as there are no new dead spots on that leg and the skin is starting to heal. However, the left leg is bad, very bad. They have transferred Jay to the ICU of a burn unit in another hospital in Berlin. He is facing surgery tomorrow to remove the skin on his left leg and graft new skin on to it.

There is no time frame as to when Jay will be able to return to the States and no guarantee as to how long Marianne and her sister, Mindy, can stay with their mom and dad. They are also facing an uncertain future with finances and probably some major renovations to their house. *Sigh* My heart is so heavy for them right now. Please join me in praying for them all.

“Dear Father, I come to you on behalf of Marianne, Jay, and the family. I ask that you wrap all of them in your arms; that they will feel the peace that can only come from you! I pray that they will feel your presence and strength. I pray that they will be able to find rest and comfort in you, dear God. I pray that you will heal Jay and his legs. You are an almighty God, more powerful than we can comprehend, and you can perform miracles. Abba, I pray for that miracle now. Please provide wisdom to the doctors as they perform tomorrow’s surgery and any surgeries following that one. Please help the nurses and doctors to provide Jay with the best care; that they can offer grace, love, and support in ways that are tangible to the family. In your name, I pray for these things. Amen.”

Shhhh.... Don't Tell!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007 30 Comments A+ a-

I did something crazy, fun, and totally unlike me this past weekend.

Now, you know me, I am as open and real as they get. There are very few topics that are taboo for me and very little that I won’t share. However, per Jon’s request, this is something that he prefers I keep off the blog. With so many real-life family and friends that read this blog, he doesn’t want everyone to know. However, I’m just dying to share it with my blogging friends, yet at the same time respect my husband’s wishes. So, if you’re interested in hearing about this crazy, wild event in my life, leave me a comment with your email address and I’ll send you a behind-the-scenes post.

PS I really wish that blogger had some kind of “private” post thing, like Wordpress does. I envy Jon’s cousin’s ability to post things for private-eyes only!

HYH Challenge - Wrap-Up

Tuesday, July 17, 2007 12 Comments A+ a-

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It was happening… again! I could feel myself growing tense, I could feel the self-righteousness rising up inside. I looked at Jon, watched as he carried on the conversation, oblivious that he’d done the very thing I’d been nagging him to work on. “Doesn’t he get it?” I thought. “When is he going to learn?” I had stopped paying attention to what he was saying; I was indignant.

“My Child, do you trust me?”

Wait a minute, God, did you hear him just now? Why are you getting on my case?!

“Jenn… do YOU trust me?”

I heaved a huge sigh and answered with a small yes.

“Then leave Jon to me; let ME work on his heart, in his life. Let the changes come from me, not from your nagging. In my own time, sweet daughter; remember it’s my time, not yours.”

I settled back against the seat and willed the anxiety to leave my body. I turned to Jon with new eyes; I smiled and listened intently to the rest of his story. God was in control, I could rest easily in that knowledge.


*************************

Wow, thirty days later and I am extremely thankful that Christine held this challenge. It really forced me to face some attitude problems, rekindle some old habits, start new routines, and see my husband in a whole new light. I’ve realized that it’s not so much about the goals for me, it’s about the attitude. I could have all the goals in the world; I could meet each and every goal, but its all for naught if my attitude is in the wrong place. If I offer Jon time to do something he enjoys, but have a horrible attitude upon his return, he’s not going to feel the appreciation I was trying to convey.

I especially enjoyed Sarah’s summary when she said that she had a hard not expecting the same guilt-free time in return. I could easily relate to that. It seems that the worldly view of marriage is very much this for that, 50-50, equal time, etc. However, that is not the design God has for marriage. I am called to love Jon unconditionally, I am to lay my life down for him, and I am called to serve him. This challenge was about loving Jon as God loves him. I never expected to learn so much about myself through this challenge. And now that I know the areas I have to work on, I can leave Jon to God. After all, the ONLY thing I can change is how I respond to my husband. I will never perfect this, and I will constantly be a work-in-progress.

A Night in Bethlehem

Sunday, July 15, 2007 14 Comments A+ a-

Do you all mind if I brag for a bit? I just have to share these pictures. Do you remember this post, where I talked about Hudson’s first paying job? Well, I promised you some photos of the finished product and here they are! Group Publishing is getting ready to release A Night in Bethlehem to churches nationwide and guess whose precious face will be portraying baby Jesus? Yep, my handsome, little boy. Isn’t he the cutest?! Of course, I think he’s the palest looking “Jesus” I’ve ever seen.

Brunette to Bald

Friday, July 13, 2007 13 Comments A+ a-


=


Yes, that’s right, I’m actually balding. The stress of buying a house, trying to figure out what to do with a car that’s dying a sure death, and the loss of pregnancy hormones are a lethal combination for my hair. It is literally coming out by the handfuls in the shower. It’s been very humbling; I’ve realize that I am WAY more vain that I originally thought.

Two Must Haves

Thursday, July 12, 2007 12 Comments A+ a-

I have recently found, and bought, two items that I just have to share with the rest of you. I realize that some of you aren’t mommies (yet), or are past the baby stage, but I still thought you’d enjoy reading about these items and maybe even buy them for the mommies in your life. Seriously, I don’t know what I’d do without either of these two things now.

The first is the Fisher-Price Space Saver Highchair. I was wandering through Target about a month ago and took a side-trip down the highchair aisle. I knew we were going to have to buy a new highchair for Hudson because Devyn’s chair just wasn’t going to fit in our tiny dining area of the new house. Sure enough, I found this beauty. It attaches to the chair that is already around your table! How awesome is that?! I finally convinced Mom to buy one for her house and we all (Mom, Hudson, and I) love it! I enjoy this chair so much more than the regular high chair we had for Devyn. Hudson enjoys being at the table with the rest of us, instead of off to the side; and everything still fits around the table. And the best part of this highchair? It’s about half the price of a regular one. *Highly Recommended*

The second item you’ve seen before in previous pictures on here. It’s the Ozark Trail Sun Cabana. Jon and I were wandering Walmart (yes, we wander a lot, we consider it our quality time) before Father’s Day and he saw this in the same aisle as the fishing supplies. Of course, we loved the idea but left it on the shelf. The day before Father’s Day, we were at Walmart again and Jon decided he wanted to buy this for our fishing trip. I am SO glad that we did. We have used it so much already and are planning to take it with us during our trip to Florida in September. It’s incredibly easy to set-up and tear-down; it affords us a bit of privacy in a crowded place, not to mention some shade; and offers a place for Hudson to sleep during his naps. We’ve used it both times at the local pool and have received so many comments on it. *Another High Recommendation*

Patience... Now!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007 18 Comments A+ a-

Evan Almighty is seriously one of the cutest family movies I’ve seen in a LONG time. I was a little hesitant to see it because of its predecessor, Bruce Almighty. No offense to those that enjoyed the first, but I found it to be a little sacrilegious for me. But again, it’s my own opinion, take it as you will. Anyway, back to the point of this post, Evan Almighty. There is one scene involving Lauren Graham (as Evan’s wife) and Morgan Freeman (playing God) where they are discussing life and prayer requests. “God’s” reply was this:

“When someone prays for patience, do you think He gives them patience? Or does he give them moments to practice patience? When someone prays for courage, do you think God gives them courage? Or does he give them a moment to be courageous?”
Ok, whoa, wait a minute! I looked around the theater to see if this comment touched anyone else the way it touched me. It seriously felt like this quote was meant directly for my ears.

Since I started having my mornings with God, this is one of the prayer requests that I offer most at His feet. “Please, God, I ask that you grant me patience.” Those that know me, really know me, know that patience is not one of my strongest features. When I want something, I want it NOW. If you can’t do it fast enough, I’ll do it myself. And I am notorious for waiting impatiently at red lights. I am not proud of this, hence the reason it’s my most common prayer request.

Yet despite my prayer request, it never seemed to be answered. In fact, I often felt like things were getting worse. More than once, something would happen at work or home that would test my patience over and over again. And each time, I failed miserably in responding appropriately. Then I saw Evan Almighty, heard the above quote, and something clicked. As I look back over these weeks, I realize that God WAS answering my prayers. He was giving me more opportunities to practice patience. It makes sense, doesn’t it? God isn’t going to just give me patience because then really, what I have learned? Instead, I can take these opportunities as the experiences He intended them to be, practice sessions. And we all know that practice makes perfect (or almost perfect).

Since this truth was so graciously bestowed on me, I’m much more aware of when those moments are happening. There are still times that I’m slow on the upkeep but overall, I’m doing much better. Now, when a driver is going needlessly slow, or Devyn has pulled the third temper tantrum of the afternoon, I can plant my gaze heavenward and say, “Still teaching me, aren’t you?!”

The Finish Line

Tuesday, July 10, 2007 21 Comments A+ a-

It’s been a while since I’ve updated everyone on the status of our house. A lot has happened, but the most important thing is that we now have a closing date! Our final walk through will be August 2nd but the big day is in less than a month! At 11:00am on August 8th, we will be signing our life away to become the proud owners of our very first house. I cannot begin to express how thrilled we are or how much we are anxiously awaiting that day. We can actually see the finish line now.

The siding was put on the house.

Insulation went in about the same time.

As you can see, they did all the electrical and plumbing.

The siding is done and the painting is complete.

Drywall went in the same week. The house seemed a little smaller with actual walls.

This is just a great photo of Devyn as she makes her way down to the basement. She loves this house and runs all over the place!

Drywall, texturing, and interior painting is done! This is the area separating the kitchen from the living room. This is not a great picture of the wall color (see below), we chose a light, light tannish-cream color. No white or off-white for us!

Just another photo with everything done.

This is the front of our house; complete with a driveway. Jon is not too sure of the aubergine accent color but I love it! We're still waiting for the brick to go in.

Now comes the fun part of choosing where to put pictures, wall hangings, decorations, ordering blinds, etc. In fact, I want to do it ALL... right now! Painting is pretty low on the to-do list at the moment, but it doesn't stop me from looking at colors and playing with ideas. =) *Sigh* We're just so thankful that the time is almost here and are looking forward to creating wonderful family memories within these walls.

Round and Round She Goes

Tuesday, July 10, 2007 2 Comments A+ a-



Here is a video of Devyn running throughout the house before there were walls. Stay tuned, a house update is coming later today!

HYH Challenge - Week 4

Sunday, July 08, 2007 19 Comments A+ a-

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As I sit here at the computer typing this, Hudson is asleep on our bed and I've just finished reading Devyn her bedtime story and have tucked her in. Jon is upstairs watching a shoot-em-up movie with Alli's boyfriend, Drew, and loving every moment of it.

Earlier this evening, Jon came to me and asked me if it would be all right if he watched the afore-mentioned movie and I was feeling very resentful that he would even ask. After all, we had two kids that needed to be put to bed and I was hoping to get some help with that. I was hoping that my silent demeanor and sullen attitude would get my point across but then I had to double-check myself. I shook off the attitude, flashed him a smile, and told him to enjoy himself. He hesitated, afraid to believe that it was really okay. I assured him it was fine and he bounded up the stairs with a happy look on his face.

This was a very stressful, overwhelming week for me but I can honestly say that I did much better this week than last week. The phrase "be slow to anger, slow to speak, and quick to listen" kept running through my mind all week and I can't tell you how many arguments were averted. Instead I was able to stop and actually listen to what Jon was saying, without it being discolored by anger or hurt. And things are changing on his end too. Jon has always been an affectionate man, but throughout the week I've been pulled into long hugs, passionate kisses, and surprised by loving teasing. It almost feels like we're dating again! When I asked him about it, he shrugged and said, "Hey, if you can change, I can too." So far, I'm enjoying these changes!

My goals are not changing, I'm just going to keep on keeping on. I'm excited to see how this week turns out.

Reached My Limit

Saturday, July 07, 2007 14 Comments A+ a-

I am exhausted, both physically and emotionally, I can’t possibly have any more tears left in me. It’s Saturday and the only thing on our plate today is to stay home, relax, and try to recover from the week.

  • On Sunday, my aunt passed away.
  • Sometime between Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning, my wallet and camera were stolen.
  • Thursday was spent trying to replace my license, debit card, insurance cards, etc., calling banks, filing claims with insurances, and placing a fraud alert with the credit bureaus.
  • Yesterday was my aunt’s funeral and my sisters and I had to sing two songs during the service.
  • And then to top things off, one of my dear friend's** father was in a horrific car accident in another country and is currently in a medically-induced coma. After the funeral service, I spent time with her mom, as my friend and her sisters drove in from another state. They are currently in the process of obtaining emergency visas and buying plane tickets to get to their dad in Germany.

There are no words to describe this week; I feel I have reached my limit, as though I have nothing left to give. But somehow God, Jon, and the kids, keep me going. The week can only get better from here… right?

** I had to edit the above from best friend to dear friend because of this friend's post. I absolutely agree with what she said and that is why I came back to change it. Trust me, both friends will get it and understand! =)

Mean People Suck

Wednesday, July 04, 2007 19 Comments A+ a-

It’s been one of THOSE days…

Dad, Hudson, and I returned from a major league baseball game last night around 11:30pm. I pulled into the driveway, unbuckled a sleeping Hudson, and collapsed into bed. This morning Jon and I decided to go to a 4th of July parade and I got both the kids and myself ready as fast as possible. It was about that time that I started looking for the diaper bag and soon after, panic started setting in.

Jon made me retrace my steps from leaving the stadium to crawling into bed. Yes, the diaper bag left the stadium with me; yes, the bag was put in the car; no, I don’t remember bringing it into the house last night, yes, I forgot to lock the car. Then I remembered something. I absolutely did not have my glove compartment open when I went into the house last night. Then why was it sitting wide-open this morning?! Yep, you guessed it. The diaper bag was stolen, some time between 11:30pm and 5:00am. Jon’s truck was rifled through as well but his losses are minimal.

Why would anyone take a diaper bag, you ask? Well, because I had put my wallet into the diaper bag, so I wouldn’t have to lug around both a purse and a diaper bag all night. It was sitting right there, on top of everything else. And to make matters worse, my beloved digital camera was in that bag too, so the pictures of Hudson’s dedication and his first baseball game are completely gone! A police report has been filed, a claim has been placed with the insurance company, and credit and debit cards have been cancelled. But the fun is just beginning… I have to get a new license, file a report with the credit bureaus, contact the Social Security office (yes, my social security card was in my wallet), and have new health insurance cards issued.

I have to agree with my brother-in-law, Caleb. This is a violation of the worst kind. I would have gladly given someone $100 in cash, just to avoid the headache this is causing. I’m mostly mad at myself because I usually lock my car but I was feeling lazy last night and just wanted to go to bed. Ugh! Happy 4th of July to me!!

HYH Challenge - Week 3

Tuesday, July 03, 2007 13 Comments A+ a-

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Ok, so I really didn’t want to share my week with the world wide web. In fact, I actually contemplated not participating this week; I figured I had a good excuse. But then I recognized it for what it was… an excuse. And then I realized that I HAD to share about my week, because that is what accountability is all about, right? So here goes nothing…

  1. Nagging – Well, that went right out the window, from about Tuesday on. Jon put in some really long hours last week (he had put in 45 hours by Wednesday) and often wasn’t coming home until 8:00 or 9:00 at night. Yet that didn’t stop me; I can’t tell you how many times I reminded Jon to do this or that. Oh, I am SO embarrassed.

  2. Guilt-Free Time-Off – Jon left bright and early (around 4:30am) for his fishing trip with his dad and brother. They headed to a lake about three hours away, so he didn’t arrive home until after 8:00 that night. This is where it gets really ugly.

    There was nothing guilt-free about my attitude upon his return. Where was my thanks? Where was the appreciation? Where was MY kudos? With each ugly thought that entered my mind, I found myself getting growing more and more upset. Even though I realized what I was doing, I couldn’t help myself. I hated that my thoughts were SO centered on me and my entitlement in this whole deal. Even when I realized that this goal wasn’t about recognizing my efforts, but celebrating HIM as a husband and father, I couldn’t stop. I found myself reacting coldly to his stories about the day and I tried picking fights with him the rest of the night. Thank goodness he didn’t take the bait; I have to say that I sorely missed the boat on that one.

    If only I could have stopped and noticed that with each story, the smile on his face, the affectionate touches he gave to me and the children, and his happy demeanor WERE his thanks for the day off. And on an even brighter note, check out the fish he caught!

  3. Um… no comment.

Was I able to greet him at the door? Nope. How did my lunch-making go? Yeah, do two days out of the week count? As you can see, it was NOT a successful week and I’m ashamed to admit that my attitude played a huge part in it. But the good news is that God’s grace and mercies are new every day and now I get to start with a fresh slate… again! So here goes nothing

  1. Nagging… back on the list.
  2. Greeting him at the door, and lunch making… back on the list.
  3. Bedroom… back on the list.

  4. I’ve been covering him in prayer every morning, and I’m going to continue doing that.

  5. And last, but not least. I have to work on my attitude. This marriage is not about changing him or wanting him to work on something; it’s about working on me, putting my best attitude forward, and doing things out of love and respect for him. I really need to remember that…

Dedication and Life Verses

Monday, July 02, 2007 12 Comments A+ a-

Dear Devyn and Hudson,

Today was a special day for our family; we dedicated Hudson to God. Devyn, we never wrote a letter like this for your dedication, so I've decided to write this to both of you.

A dedication is very important to your Daddy and I; it's an opportunity to announce to our church body and to God our intent to raise you in a Christian home and point you towards God's saving grace, in the hopes that you may one day accept Jesus as your own personal Lord and Savior. That is our biggest wish for your life, and our most fervant prayer. This day is about family and friends standing with us to offer the support, encouragement, and accountability we need in the years ahead. But most of all, this day is about declaring that you are not ours but God's; its acknowledging that you are an incredibly blessing from Him; and that you are a child of God. Do not ever forget that!

Hudson, since this was your day, I want to start with you. The day after you were born, Nana came into the hospital room and excitedly shared a verse she had found that very morning.

"... so that you may become blameless and pure, child of God, without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like a star in the universe..." Philippians 2:15
The exciting thing about this scripture is the reference, 2:15, your birthday, February 15th. And so, your daddy and I have adopted this scripture as your life verse, in the hopes that you will live out this scripture all the days of your life. Oh my son, may you become a strong man of God, one who discerns easily between right and wrong, who offers compassion to the hurting, and is loving to all.

Miss Devyn Paige, it wasn't until after Nana found Hudson's verse that I realized I wanted a life verse for you too. Please forgive me for not thinking of it earlier. I have searched high and low, looking for a verse with a reference that would match your birthday too, but nothing seemed right. So, I racked my brain for another meaningful date and I came up with March 5th, the day your daddy and I found out that we were pregnant with you. And then, using that date, I found it.
"May the Lord direct your heart into God's love and Christ's perserverance." 2 Thessalonians 3:5
Devyn, you are my child with the most sensitive heart and this verse couldn't be more perfect for you. My beautiful little girl, may all who know you see God in everything you do; may they see unconditional love and grace, and may they see God's favor upon you.

Oh, my little ones, you will not know how much you have blessed our lives, how much you have made our lives full, nor understand how deep our love runs until the day you become parents yourselves. We are so thankful that God has lent you to us, for however long He sees fit. May we be the examples that will lead you to Him.

We love you both, so very much,
Mommy and Daddy


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[On a sad note: My dad's sister died yesterday morning, from a long fight with diabetes. Aunt JJ was the middle child, with three older sibling and three younger siblings; my dad was born just after her. She is the first sibling to die and while she is in a MUCH better place, please pray for my dad and his family. Aunt JJ is going to be missed...]