Sunday Afternoon

Sunday, September 30, 2007 8 Comments A+ a-

It's the stuff Sunday afternoons in fall are made of; family, fellowship, food, and football. There was a slight bite to the afternoon air, causing me to grab a hoodie sweatshirt to protect myself from the chill. The sound of the saw drifted into my kitchen from the open window; I heard the camaraderie among Jon, his dad, and Drew as they worked an assembly line to finish our fence. Alli and I were inside doing some odd chores around the house while we waited for the rest of the family to show up. The conversation was easy, flowing from her relationship with Drew to the menu for the day to the latest movie release. Soon Mom arrived, followed shortly by Dad, Jeremy, GG (great-grandma Nancy), Christine and Caleb, and finally Courtney.

My heart and house were full, I kept taking mental pictures of the afternoon. Three guys continued manual labor with the fence, even through the football game; the other three guys booed and cheered from our couches. The women congregated in the kitchen; putting last minute touches on the meal, catching up on the details of each other's lives, and relishing time together. Devyn and Hudson mingled from group to group, each taking something from the adults in their lives. My children will never want for love or attention, they are blessed by the aunts, uncles (to-be), grandmas, and grandpas in their lives. The afternoon was a success; tummies were filled, fellowship was enjoyed, our Colorado Rockies won, and our fence is pretty much done. The afternoon was marred only by the loss of the Denver Broncos. I may not be as deep a fan as Amanda is for her Dallas Cowboys, but I say with sincere belief that our Broncos will rise and overcome this two-game losing streak.

But despite the loss, it was one of those Sunday afternoons where the memories will be tucked away, to be taken out for a dreary day. I am blessed beyond words...

Sunday Afternoon Pictures

Sunday, September 30, 2007 2 Comments A+ a-

Some pictures just need to be posted by themselves. These are from our Sunday afternoon, which I'll be sharing more about later. In the mean time, please enjoy these.

When I saw Courtney's boyfriend, Jeremy, sitting at Devyn's little play table, I ran to grab the camera. There's just something about a BIG guy playing with your little one that melts your heart. I wasn't prepared for the picture I caught, Devyn and Jeremy saying a prayer before "tea" time. I love this guy, he is such a great addition to our family.


The newest little Bronco fan! My dad and brothers-in-law are ecstatic to welcome to the fold of die-hard Bronco fans, seven-month-old Hudson Jay. Isn't he adorable?!

The Time Has Come

Thursday, September 27, 2007 16 Comments A+ a-

Some of you may remember this post or this post, where I poured my heart out about returning to work after maternity leave.

Getting in the car, dropping the kids off at my parents’ house, and driving the ten minutes to work every day is one of the hardest things I do. In all honesty, I realize how lucky I am that my children are in the care of their grandmother or aunt, both of whom love them nearly as much as I do. And I’m eternally thankful to Mom and Alli for their dedication and devotion to Devyn and Hudson. I really don’t know what I’d do without them, for that has saved me from greater heartache if daycare were our only option. However, despite their care and their help, it is hard to be apart from Devyn and Hudson every day; I’d much rather be at home, loving and discipling them for those eight additional hours.

Luckily, the time has come to approach my boss about working part-time. Jon and I have worked hard towards our two goals; owning a house and allowing me to start working part-time. This has been a long time coming and I’m anxious to start this new schedule. I am planning to talk to my supervisor some time within the next two weeks about my desire to be home; my confidence to complete my duties in a shorter amount of time; and a suggested, preferred work schedule. I am praying for several things right now; the right words, the right time, wisdom to counter any concerns she may have, and that through it all I will hear God’s voice. If this proposal does not work out, if my supervisor does not allow me to work part-time, then I have to be ready to start a job search for something that will work for my family and me.

But oh, the joy and peace I feel whenever I think about this new schedule more than makes up for my fear. My babies are only this little once, I shudder to think of how much I’ve already missed, but I am smiling at the idea of being with them more. I am almost giddy now that the time has finally come.

The Beauty of Love

Tuesday, September 25, 2007 6 Comments A+ a-

The perfect sunset, the perfect pose, and her best friend... everything she wanted and more.

This one is most definitely going into a frame!

Healing

Monday, September 24, 2007 13 Comments A+ a-

My sister, Christine, and I were just chatting on the phone and out of nowhere she asks, “So, how are you really doing?” I was kind of taken back, the subject before-hand was very light-hearted and trivial, so the question seemed to come out of the blue. “Why?” I asked cautiously. There was hesitation on her part; I heard her open her mouth, close it, and then open it again. “Because I’m watching Oprah and she has this woman on who killed her two-year-old son in the midst of her depression.”

It’s a horribly sad situation, one that I pray no one close to me ever goes through. But I was struck that Christine would compare my situation to the woman on Oprah. It’s been over a month since my depression hit a breaking point, a point that I never thought I would get to. And to answer Christine’s question, yes, I am doing really good, and no, I have NEVER thought about harming my children in any way. In the darkest moments, I only had one thought and that was for me to get away, either by harming myself or getting in the car, driving far away, and starting life anew; I could never hurt Devyn or Hudson.

In that dark moment, I could finally understand what causes a person to reach that limit; how such a selfish act could become an option. I never doubted for one moment that I was loved, I never questioned that people needed me. I knew these things but in that moment, I did not care. The pain, the overwhelming feelings, just needed to stop. I had visions of getting in my car and just driving away from it all, starting life in a new state, far away from my emotions and turmoil.

But needless to say, in reaching out to God and my family, I begged for help and it was given. The new medicine has kicked in, I’m having regular appointments with a counselor, and I know the worst of it is behind me. My heart is dancing again, my eyes are opened anew to the small blessings around me, there is joy in my actions, and all dark thoughts have gone away.

And who wouldn’t feel joyful with babies like these…

I Do (Cherish You)

Thursday, September 20, 2007 18 Comments A+ a-

cherish \cher-ish\ - to hold dear; feel or show affection for; to keep or cultivate with care and affection; to entertain or harbor in the mind deeply and resolutely

I mentioned in this post that there were three songs that have really impacted my life thus far. The first is “When You Come Back Down” by Nickel Creek. The second is “I Do (Cherish You)” and is sung by Mark Wills. (98 Degrees also recorded this song during the height of the boy-band era, but Jon and I are in firm agreement that they butchered this song.)

In the very beginning of our relationship, when flowers and the honeymoon stage reigned, Jon dedicated this song to me over the radio. Like any young girl (18 years old at the time), I melted right into the floor and couldn’t stop smiling for a week. In that moment, it became “our” song; the song that we first danced to as husband and wife. Ten years after the radio dedication, if either of us hears the song on the radio, we quickly call the other to let them know which station it is on. And if we’re in the same place when it comes on, Jon will pull me into a slow dance.


I Do (Cherish You)

All I am, all I’ll be
Everything in this world, all that I’ll ever need
Is in your eyes, shining at me
When you smile, I can feel all my passion unfolding

Your hand brushes mine
And a thousand sensations seduce me ‘cause I

I do, cherish you
For the rest of my life
You don’t have to think twice
I will, love you still, from the depths of my soul
It’s beyond my control
I’ve waited so long to say this to you
If you’re asking, do I love you this much
I do

In my world before you
I lived outside my emotions
Didn’t know where I was going
Until the day I found you

How you opened my life
to a new paradise

I do, cherish you
For the rest of my life
You don’t have to think twice
I will, love you still, from the depths of my soul
It’s beyond my control
I’ve waited so long to say this to you
If you’re asking, do I love you this much
Yes, I do


There is something to be said about being with someone for so long, at such a young age. We are so in tune with each other, that we can often read each other’s minds. It’s no longer a surprise when Jon brings up a subject that I was currently thinking about, or when I finish a sentence that he started. I love that we can exchange a look with each other and know instantly what the other is thinking. I know him almost better than he knows himself, and vice versa. It’s an intimacy that cannot be duplicated, nor replicated; it is truly the melding of two souls into one.

When we were on vacation last week, we were forced to deal with some difficult life issues; losing our dogs was just the cherry on top. It was an incredible bonding time for us as we grieved together; he was strong when I was not and I was able to do the same for him. But the biggest thing I took away from that week is just how well Jon knows me, how he can anticipate my needs even before I do. We’d been inside for a couple of days due to cloudy skies and drizzle, but when his mom invited me to go on a shopping excursion with her and her sister, I was hesitant to go. Yet Jon was insistent that Devyn and I go, “just to get out of the house,” he said. And sure enough, the moment we were driving down the highway, as the clouds gave way to sun, I realized how badly I needed this time away from the house. I felt like I was finally able to breathe; I smiled as I’d felt more alive for the first time in days, and all because Jon recognized my need to “…get out…”

I love the third definition of the word ‘cherish’... to keep or cultivate with care and affection. What a truly fitting word to describe how my husband treats me; there was nothing more fitting to inscribe on our wedding bands than the words “I Do”.

White Sand and Romance

Monday, September 17, 2007 12 Comments A+ a-

I know it sounds like the title of a Danielle Steele novel but oh, our weekend away was divine!

We are SO hosed.

Saturday, September 15, 2007 12 Comments A+ a-

Hudson is 7 months old today... and he is giving us a run for our money.

  • At 5 1/2 months, he started crawling.
  • At 6 1/2 months, he was pulling himself up to a standing position.
  • While on vacation, he walked the length of the couch while holding on.
And then this morning, I woke up to this...


Yes, he's crawling up the stairs. We are so hosed... someone, please send help!

This is a Hard Winter

Thursday, September 13, 2007 26 Comments A+ a-

And the knocks just keep on coming. Yesterday, my mom called us in North Carolina and asked for our vet’s phone number. Our dogs, Jackson and Grady, had run away and Jackson returned limping and bleeding. Mom took him to the vet and it turns out he had been hit by a car. I hesitate to say what happened next because some will disagree with our decision, but please know how much it killed us to make it. After talking to the vet, Jon decided to have Jackson put down. I can’t tell you how much we grieved and cried yesterday; nor how much it killed us not to be there with him. My mom, bless her heart, did the hard thing by being with Jackson until the end. I know it was difficult but I am so grateful that Jackson wasn’t alone.

Jackson was our first "baby", joining our family a mere six months after our wedding. He was a white boxer-mix who loved to play fetch and swim. His tail was strong and lethal and the kind of dog that only his owners could love. But he was such a happy dog, a cuddler in the evenings. He loved to run and this wasn’t the first time he’d run away. I can’t even begin to count the times we chased him around, trying to corral him long enough to get a leash on him. It was just a matter of time before something serious happened to him on one of his adventures, it just sucks that it happened while we were gone. I sincerely wish I had been with him at the end, just to give him one more hug and one more scratch behind the ears.

Grady has not yet been found and we’re expecting the worst, as we live less than a mile from a major highway. But I still have a little hope that he’s ok; we’ll be placing some calls to our local pet shelters to see if he has been picked up. Ugh, it’s been a tough week!

I realize that this blog has become depressing as of late, and I hesitated about posting this news. However, this is my blog, my journal of sorts, and this is my life right now. I attended a women’s conference with my church about a month before Devyn was born. The planners decided to talk about seasons of life, how God brings Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall into our lives. How to take each season to learn, grow, and accept what God is trying to teach us. Unfortunately this a Winter in my life; I’m trying to take these moments as they happen, trying to hear God’s voice in the midst of these hard times. I’m trying to be like Paul and be refined by these experiences, and to hold on to the hope that Spring is right around the corner. So I’m sorry that this blog has become so depressing, I’m just trying to get to the other side.

Previous Post

Tuesday, September 11, 2007 4 Comments A+ a-

I had another post on here, in this place. However, it is still too hard, too raw, and too painful for Christine and Caleb. So, out of respect for them, I have taken it down and will await their readiness before posting it again.

I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane

Friday, September 07, 2007 13 Comments A+ a-

(I guess it would help if I got the title of the song correct the first time, huh?!)

Do you remember when I mentioned this trip in May? Well, the time has come and our flight leaves this afternoon. Right now, its just after midnight and I'm waiting for the last load to dry so I can finish packing. All I can think about is that soon we'll be visiting here...



... to watch this childhood friend marry her best friend.

And there's also been a slight change of plans. Jon and I are going to the wedding ALONE. That's right, after my mini-breakdown a few weeks ago, we decided that we desperately needed some time alone. So my mother-in-law has graciously offered to take the kids for the two days we'll be in Florida. Thank you! I'm looking forward to some time alone with Jon.

See you all later... The beach is calling my name!

Dancing in Twilight

Wednesday, September 05, 2007 17 Comments A+ a-

I was jiggling a crying Hudson on my shoulder, rocking back and forth, side to side, trying to quiet his hiccupping sobs. I stood behind Devyn’s seat at Johnny Carino’s, begging her to take another bite of her pasta; she adamantly shook her head no. I could feel the tension settling between my shoulders. “This is why God created two-parent families,” I thought to myself. Unfortunately, Jon was working late, and I was proving once again that control and children did not go hand-in-hand. “Shhh,” I whispered to Hudson.

Out of the corner of my eye I could see a couple turning to stare at our table, obviously the jiggling and the swaying were not working and I was fast becoming “that” mom who brought her children to a restaurant where nice people just wanted a relaxing meal, not to listen to a baby cry or watch a toddler assert her independence. I motioned to Mom, “Would you mind getting Devyn to eat a few bites? I’m taking Hudson outside.” She nodded in agreement, and sat herself in my vacant chair.

I took Hudson out the front entrance and settled him against my chest, yet no matter how hard I jiggled, no matter how much I “shushed” him, his crying just grew louder and I could feel my control slipping.

Suddenly the soft strains of the Italian music, from the overhead speakers, pierced my thoughts; Frank Sinatra’s voice soothed my spirit and I started dancing with my son. The rhythm led us into wide circles and my feet moved smoothly over the sidewalk. Hudson sighed, growing quieter with each turn, and burrowed himself more deeply into my body. The evening breeze tussled his hair, sending the scent of his baby shampoo to my senses, causing my eyes to close and memorize every second of this moment. And still we danced on. I could feel his body relaxing with each step, growing heavier against my chest. I opened my eyes and looked down to see if he was sleeping. No, he was wide awake but obviously enjoying this time together. The glow from the red neon light shone on his face and I kissed his forehead, whispering a silent prayer, thanking God for blessing me with this little boy. He smiled in response and snuggled closer. And we danced on, oblivious to anyone or anything.

Someday, far sooner than I’d like, he will be sharing his twilight dances with his wife. Together they’ll listen to Frank Sinatra’s voice, lose themselves in each other’s eyes, and their feet will feel like they’re walking on air. But until then, I’m going to take as many twilight dances as I can with my son.

Cook-Out

Monday, September 03, 2007 9 Comments A+ a-

24 hours of cleaning, cooking, and preparing,
9 family members helping,
8 2-liter bottles of soda,
5 cheese potatoe casseroles,
3 barbeque grills,
2 canopies,
1 15-gallon keg of Sunshine Wheat beer,

and

50 - 60 family and friends = one heck of a fun house-warming party!

Yesterday, Jon and I had our house-warming party and we had a wonderful time to say the least. Numerous family and friends made the trip up to our house (which isn't exactly down the street) to help us celebrate this momentous occasion. It was great to see old friends, new friends, and family; our only complaint was that we didn't get to spend as much one-on-one time with everyone as we wanted.

Normally, this kind of event, this big of a party, stresses me out BIG time, to the point, that even as I'm barking orders to Jon, I cringe inside at my tone. But my family is awesome and really helped out a ton. So, a BIG thanks to Aunt Debbie, Uncle Grant, Grandpa, Dareth, Kristen, Sue, Allison, Drew, and of course, Mom. You guys are incredible!

Jon and I realize how truly blessed we are to have so many in our lives that love and care for us. Thank you for coming out to celebrate with us, you made it very special!

(And that 15-gallon keg? Not even close to empty!)