9 Revelations for 9 Years

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 12 Comments A+ a-

Nine years ago I married my best friend.  Today marks the sixth anniversary we’ve celebrated since I started blogging in 2005.  You can read about our 4th anniversary here.  On our 5th anniversary, I posted pictures from our wedding, along with the vows we promised each other.  Our 6th anniversary included a sick child.  On our 7th anniversary, I wrote down my 7 favorite memories of our relationship.  And on our 8th anniversary I posted the slideshow we used in our wedding.

It feels like I’ve covered it all, and really have nothing new to share on this day.  So instead I’d thought I’d write nine things I’ve learned since saying “I do” on that day.

  1. Marriage is never 50-50, someone is always having to give more than the other.  There have been times I’ve given 65% and times I’ve done as little as 15%.  Trust me, its all a wash in the end.
  2. After 9 years of marriage, I still refuse to pass gas in front of him.  I avoid it at all costs.  (And bear in mind, this man has seen me give birth.  Four times.)
  3. I still enjoy a good make-out session.  Especially when he sneaks one in during the most unexpected times like, making dinner, or loading the dishwasher, or when we pass each other in the hallway.  We gross our children out.
  4. Socks are going to be the death of us.  Every single day, without fail, Jon takes off his socks and tosses them on the living room floor.  Drives me nuts.  And it drives him crazy when socks don’t get folded.  He would rather buy new socks than match clean ones.  Seriously.
  5. While I once found his smile and eyes sexy (and still do), they’ve been replaced by watching him with the Littles.  Wrestling matches, book reading, giggle monsters, and bed time prayers… now THAT is sexy.
  6. I never thought roses could be trumped as the most romantic gesture.  But there’s a been a few times that Jon has drawn a bubble bath for me, lit some candles, and watched the Littles while I soak in the tub.  I now prefer that over roses any day.
  7. I love that our marriage has reached a point that we can communicate in silence.  I can’t count how many times we’ve finished each other’s sentences and thoughts.  Its awesome how I can start saying something and Jon will finish it.
  8. We have totally switched sleeping habits.  When we first married, I was the deep sleeper and it was Jon who woke at the slightest sound.  Now that we have children, he can sleep through anything and I’m the one who wakes easily.  Not too happy about this development.
  9. This past weekend, Kelsey described Bryant as her “person” and it made me smile because I totally got it.  Jon is my person.  He is my best friend, the one who “gets” me, the one who centers me, the one who has my back.

And I certainly never imagined that nine years later I’d be sitting in a dark theater with our six-year-old on my left, holding hands with our 4-year-old on my right, and our 2-year-old and 6-month-old both sharing my lap while we watched Kung Fu Panda 2.  While it wasn’t the brightest decision I’ve ever made (thank goodness for mostly empty theaters), I was in awe of how much our life has changed in those nine years. 

Happy Anniversary, Babe!  Even though today didn’t turn out like we had hoped and our celebration has been postponed, I am so incredibly thankful to have you beside me on this journey.  I’m so thankful that you’re my person.

The Tale of 4 Sisters

Friday, May 27, 2011 4 Comments A+ a-

Today Courtney and I leave for our girls weekend away. This is who we're going to see, and why. I couldn't have written it better myself. And now I'm even more excited to get out there!
http://kelseyinlouisiana.blogspot.com/2011/05/tale-of-four-sisters.html

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

It’s a Bullet-Point Kind of Day

Tuesday, May 24, 2011 10 Comments A+ a-

  • Jon says he measures the extent of my post-partum depression by the amount of clothes that cover the Littles bedroom floors.  Hmmmm.  I suppose its true.  At some point the amount of dirty clothes overwhelms me to the point that I just don’t attempt to do it anymore.
  • I kid, I kid.  Kind of.
  • All that to say that yes, post-partum depression has gotten bad again and in talking with my doctor we upped my dosage.  I’m sure I’ll write a more extensive post about it later. 
  • The reason for that ugly little thing titled post-partum depression is sitting next to me while I type out this post.  Its like a lightbulb switched on in Ashlynn’s head and she reaching new milestones left and right!  She’s a pro at sitting up now.
  • It’s a very bittersweet feeling for me.
  • Has anyone ever heard of a child being allergic to rice cereal?  That is the only thing that’s changed recently.  We haven’t used new diapers or wipes or detergent, etc.  And Ashlynn has a monster of diaper rash.  I’m at a loss!
  • It is a horrific rash with raised red bumps, and some blistering.  We’re using a compounded ointment with equal parts nyastin, desitin, and aquaphor.  I’m hoping for marked improvement soon.
  • Speaking of blogging (how’s that for a transition, ha!), Courtney got hit mega hard by Blogger’s crash a couple of weeks ago.  She lost everything, all her followers, her posts, everything.  We were able to rescue most everything but the followers. 
  • And today Blogger’s not allowing comments.  Good times!
  • I’m seriously thinking about switching everything over to Wordpress.  I’m getting quite experienced at transferring blogs for clients and I may take the plunge myself.
  • I currently have a discounted design available over at Munchkin Land Designs.  Its an Elite design that I’m selling for over 45% off.  Or if you’re interested in winning a Deluxe design, Neely at A Complete Waste of Makeup is giving one away at her blog.
  • I’m chowing on chips and salsa as an afternoon snack, and truly its turned my day around.  Is it sad that food has that kind of affect on me?! 
  • I’m sure its my diet of chips and salsa that isn’t helping me lose this last bit of baby weight.  I got measured for my bridesmaid dress for Alli’s wedding and it was incredibly depressing.
  • I’m definitely going to have to work at this weight loss thing.  But I’ll probably wait until we’re done nursing.
  • Devyn’s last day of school is tomorrow and then I’ll officially have a 1st grader!
  • I think I’m more depressed about the 1st grade than I was kindergarten.  Probably because it means she’ll be gone from me all day, five days a week.  It’s a reality check that I could have done without…
  • Last week was her first Track and Field Day and boy did that bring make memories from my own elementary school days.  My mom came with us and we followed Devyn and her class from activity to activity.
  • I’m so glad we went!
  • It was especially touching to watch Devyn’s class include Hudson in their tug-o-war.  He marched right up the kids, grabbed the rope, and pulled with all his might.  A-dor-able! 
  • And when they pitted the girls against the boys, the girls won with ease.
  • Hudson has really turned a corner as far as obedience, attitude, and tantrums are concerned.  Jon and I were just talking about how much fun he is to have around.  I’m really enjoying him right now.
  • His change happened just in time for Reagan to come into her 2s.  And boy.is.she.two!  Good times…
  • If you’ve made it this far, I applaud you.  And I must excuse myself.  Courtney and I leave in three days to visit these two beautiful ladies and I must ready our house for my absence.  I have floors to mop and laundry to fold.
  • Because apparently the higher dose has kicked in and I must tackle the mountains of laundry that have taken over my children’s rooms.

Wordy Wednesday

Wednesday, May 18, 2011 8 Comments A+ a-

The Littles were a little bored as we waited to Skype with Grammy last night, so we made a video instead.  Check out Hudson’s pink cowboy hat.  He loves it… Daddy not so much.

Go Big or Go Home

Monday, May 16, 2011 3 Comments A+ a-

Its been a big day for Miss Ashlynn Rose.  First she started sitting on her own.  Granted she’s been working on that move for a few days, but today’s the first time it was for longer than a few seconds.  She’s quite proud of herself too.

So I decided that today would be a good day to tackle her first taste of rice cereal.  She’s been showing signs of readiness for a while now… watching us eat like a hawk… opening her mouth as food passed her by… acting hungry between feedings… etc.  It was beyond time.

FirstFoodCollage1FirstFoodCollage2

I’d say she’s a fan!  She kept grabbing the spoon from me if I wasn’t shoveling it in fast enough, and kept crying for more.  Oh sweet girl…. You’re growing up way too fast for this Mama’s liking.

PS  As time goes on, I’m even more certain that she has Jon’s eyes.  None of my other kids have those wide-set, big eyes and I’m loving them on her.

Ashlynn’s Big Milestone

Monday, May 16, 2011 6 Comments A+ a-

SittingCollageSomeone’s sitting up by herself… And mama is somewhere crying in a closet.

PS  Ignore the quality of these pictures.  My camera’s battery is dead but I had to document this momentous occasion.

A Day in the Life

Thursday, May 12, 2011 8 Comments A+ a-

Jon is stressed.  Super stressed.  Stressed in a way that is usually reserved only for winter and snow storms. 

river2He works for our state’s department of transportation, he’s the shop foreman for his section of highways.  Yep, that’s highways, plural.  He supervises three other guys and together they keep the highways open, travelable, etc.  The above picture is from one of his highways, jokingly referred to as “his office”.  Nice view, Babe!

During the winter, snow storms require 12-hour shifts, 24 hour coverage.  The guys are stressed out, navigating curving mountain roads with zero visibility.  I prefer not to think about it.  But if winter = stress, then summer usually equals a break from the stress.

But not this summer.

We didn’t see much snow down here on the front range.  The same cannot be said of the mountains and passes.  They received record amounts of snow up there.  The snow pack is the highest its ever been in the 30 years since they started measuring it.  What this means is now that the weather is getting warmer and the snow is starting to melt, the spring runoff into the river (see above) is starting.  And there are some major, valid concerns for flooding. 

Let me see if I can explain it in layman’s terms, in a way even I can understand.  Lets talk numbers…  The river usually runs at 3600. (Whether that’s cubic feet per square inch, or water flow, or what not, I don’t know.  Jon, or any other engineer, feel free to clarify in the comments.)  The highest the river has run is 4800.  Predictions are saying the river is going to run at 6200 this year. 

Now you can understand his stress a little.  He’s been ordered to equip his truck with almost $1200 worth of rescue equipment in preparation.  In preparation of what, I don’t want to know.  I really don’t want to think about the implications of this or what it means for my husband.  Winters are bad enough around here, now I get to worry this summer too.

Yesterday the pass received another 15 inches of snow, and its been raining for 2 days straight.  The river has already risen a foot in 24 hours.  Good times…  Prayers for Jon, his crew, and their safety would be greatly appreciated!

And I’d like to suggest that perhaps tubing down the river before the end of July might be a bad idea.  Just a thought.

My Behind The Scenes

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 23 Comments A+ a-

One reason we struggle with insecurity: We’re comparing our behind-the-scenes to everyone else’s highlight reel.” Steven Furtick

I saw this quoted on Twitter today and wow, it resonated with me.  I often look around me and there are so many mommies and women that just seem to have their act together.  They have everything scheduled and organized, they know what’s due when and have meals planned out weeks in advance.  I look at them and feel like I missed that class somehow. 

Then there are times when I mention a grocery trip with the Littles, or days with picnics or swimming or snowball fights, and I’m told that I’m Super Mom or someone’s hero.  It makes me cringe inside because I feel like I’ve led them to believe that I have it all together, that I’m someone I’m not.  If only they knew the real stuff, my day-to-day, my behind the scenes.  So without further ado, my-behind-the-scenes for your enjoyment.  Or to at least make you feel better about your own mothering and/or housekeeping.

  • I’m great at washing/cleaning laundry.  It’s the folding and putting away that I struggle with.  On any given day, you will find 4-5 loads of clean clothes sitting on my laundry room floor.
  • Dinner is often a last-minute decision, where I then scramble to come up with something, anything.  And often rely on one of four fall-back meals.
  • My children are babysat by the TV more often than I care to admit.
  • The beds in the Littles’ room are rarely made, and if they are made, we’re probably having company over.
  • Timeouts can very well be a discipline tactic, but there are times I’m sure its more for their safety than discipline.  Those are the times I have to step away, take a few deep breaths, and calm myself.
  • Should you decide to stop by and say hi, you will more than likely find a half-dressed child with unkempt hair, two or more children squabbling, a crying baby, floors that beg to be vacuumed or swept (despite the fact that I’d already done it twice before that day), and a mama with dwindling patience.
  • I’m often asking for forgiveness after I’ve yelled at the Littles, or punished one for something that was done by another, for being grouchy, too hard, too impatient, too busy, too… whatever.
  • For every time that I praise Jon in public, there are three or four times I’ve nagged him into completing an item off my “honey do” list.  There are times I’m just plain mean to him, and vice versa.
  • The Littles have worn clothes for two days in a row.
  • Bills are often paid late.
  • I still have moments that I want to climb in my car, roll the windows down, crank the music, and just drive.  By myself. For hours.

I didn’t write this to be hard on myself, because there is plenty I do right too.  But I have a behind-the-scenes, just as you do, and I wanted you to get a glimpse of mine.  I think a little reality check now and then is good for the soul.

I am hers…

Sunday, May 08, 2011 3 Comments A+ a-

mothers-day-clipart-4I remember the tubes, brushes, and palettes of color that littered my mom’s vanity.  I remember sitting on the toilet or counter as I watched her expertly dab, swipe, and blend herself from beautiful to glamorous.  As I sat there, I imagined myself one day putting make-up and feeling as beautiful as Mom looked.  And I giggled in delight every time Mom brushed some color across my own cheek.

Today my own girls sit in the same way as I put my makeup on… One on the bathroom counter, the other on the toilet.  They giggle as they ask questions about what each tube, bottle, and brush does.  Reagan’s eyes light up when I had her a sponge applicator and allow her to swipe color across my eyelid.  Devyn giggles as I dab her lips with some lipstick.  We talk about how this is just for fun, Devyn asks how old she she has to be to wear makeup, and they weigh in one what colors look best. 

I teared up this morning, and a lump clogged my throat.  I’ve come full circle.  From the days of watching my mom put her make-up on to now being that mom to my own girls.  I’m blessed that I have such an amazing role model as I navigate these murky waters of motherhood.  So much of who I am as a wife and mother is because of her… the woman who gave me life, who disciplined and encouraged me, who led by example, who is every bit as lovely on the inside as she is on the outside.  I am blessed to be hers.

And I now understand why she chokes up every time she pulls out our old Mother’s Day cards, letters, and handmade cards.  I’m starting my own collection, and there is nothing that means more than reading “I love you, Mama” written in your child’s handwriting.  Its an amazing gift, one that will lovingly be treasured in the years and decades to come!

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone, from the 1st time moms to the seasoned moms.  My heart and prayers to those missing their mothers and whose arms remain empty.  May peace and hope be yours today.

Vlog, Part II, Take 14

Friday, May 06, 2011 8 Comments A+ a-

 

The Mama, with appearances by Reagan and Ashlynn.

You can find the 1st vlog here.  As you can see, we decided to do it again.  Well, that, and we had 4 questions to finish too.  Yes, there were 14 takes before I was able to get to the end, I explain why in the beginning.  It boils down to the fact that vlogging and children don’t mix well.

The questions are:

  1. What would be your ideal day?
  2. If you could trade places with one person, who would it be?
  3. What is your favorite high school memory?
  4. What is your biggest fear as a parent, or parent-to-be?

You can click over to Whitney’s blog to see who else played along. 

Coming Out the Other Side

Tuesday, May 03, 2011 10 Comments A+ a-

EasterDevyn1In preparation of this post, I read through the posts regarding Devyn’s speech therapy from beginning to end.  Each emotion, each thought, each fear coursed through my body as if I was living each moment all over again.  Its an experience that no parent wants to have, to know their child is lacking and having experts point it out to them.  Denial is a land that I’m quite familiar with…

Instead of rehashing the past and living in those moments, I’m proud and excited to say that we’ve come out on the other end victorious and triumphant.  Our Devyn Paige graduated from speech therapy!

About a month ago, her speech therapist, Miss Jennifer, stopped me at pick-up and told me that she was going be evaluating and testing Devyn on the progress she’s made.  She was confident that Devyn was doing well and wanted to meet with us to discuss the results.  We arranged the date and time, and I put it to the back of my mind.

During this year, Devyn Paige blossomed even more than last year.  She talks a mile a minute, wanting to rehash each moment of her day.  She shares her every thought and feeling with us.  In this year, I have watched her grow into herself.  The girl who hid behind my legs, now runs to her classroom with confidence.  It’s a beautiful sight.

Her speech therapist sent the report home the night before our meeting so we could review it and write down any questions we might have.  When she hopped in the van, the grin on Devyn’s face said it all.  “I’m graduating from speech,” she announced, triumph coloring every word.  It was beautiful to bask in the knowledge that our girl had worked hard for three years to be able to say those words.

The meeting went great!  Both teacher and the therapist reiterated how much Devyn’s grown this year… what a delight she is to have in class… how hard she works… how kind, compassionate, and helpful she is… I ate it up.  She is all those things, and more. 

We discussed some of the sound issues she’s still having but guess what?  They’re all age-appropriate sound issues, the same sound issues most other kids her age are having.  After 3+ years of hard work, determination, and tenacity, our Devyn Paige tested out as average!  I can’t begin to describe the feelings and tears that threatening to fall as I type out those words.

The most beautiful words a mother, who wondered and worried, could ever hear… She tested out as average.

Yesterday the speech therapist and the other students had an ice cream party for her last day.  At her request, they had cookie dough ice cream.  (She’s her daddy’s girl for sure.)  Today we were talking about next Monday when a look of awe crossed her face.  “Mama,” she breathed.  “I don’t have speech next Monday.”  No, baby girl, you sure don’t. 

A Big Day in History

Monday, May 02, 2011 0 Comments A+ a-

Jon was channel surfing when I got a call from Courtney.  “Did you hear?  Did you hear?” she nearly screamed into the phone.  Obviously not since I did not understand the urgency in her voice.  In that moment we learned that Osama bin Laden had been killed.  We turned our attention to the major networks and waited with the rest of America for the President’s speech.  Jon turned to Facebook to pass the time and I turned to Twitter.  (Funny stuff on the Twitter.)

I expected the politics.  As surely as I breathe, whatever the issue, it will be become political.  So that didn’t surprise me, nor faze me.  I tend to skip past those posts/tweets, even if they support what I believe because I just can’t handle how divisive it all can be. 

But then something even more disturbing started showing up in my feeds and all I’m going to say is this…  No matter the stance, I’m fairly certain throwing scriptures around like missile shots to defend your opinions is NOT how they were intended to be used.  There are scriptures defending the rejoicing of evil being stopped, there are scriptures telling us not to delight in the demise of man.  Scriptures are being thrown down like gauntlets and I just want to say, Stop it!  Stop IT!  Don’t bring scriptures into this.  None of us can know God’s heart and thoughts on this particular situation.  We can guess and we can bring scriptures to defend our opinions but none of us are God.  And it certainly doesn’t help anyone’s cause of being Christ to the world to see us bickering among ourselves. 

Moving on…

Three presidents have been on the hunt for this man.  It started with Bill Clinton, moved up in urgency under George Bush, and brought to completion under Barack Obama.  3,000+ men and women have died at the hands of Osama bin Laden.  His death won’t bring loved ones back  It won’t erase the memories of that horrific day on 9/11.  It won’t end the War on Terror.  But I do pray that this terrorist’s death brings closure to the victims left behind.  As a country, we promised them we wouldn’t stop until he was dead.  And on May 1, 2011, we were finally able to deliver on that promise.

I’m not writing this as a Democrat or Republican.  I’m not writing this as war-monger or a pacifist.  I’m writing this as an American who is so very proud of the men and women who risk their lives every single day to keep my world safer.  I’m writing this to take my hat off to the Navy SEALs who went into the very belly of the beast and rid the world of a very evil man.  I thank you!

* I’m turning comments off today.  I don’t want this to turn into a debate of any kind.  This is my blog, these are my thoughts, and this post is simply to remember this point in time.

Moved to Tears

Sunday, May 01, 2011 5 Comments A+ a-

Jon's been telling me about this song for a week now. I just heard it on our way to church this morning. It moved me to tears. I hope it speaks to you too.




Blessings
By: Laura Story

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering

All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know
You're near
What if trials of this life are
Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough

All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You're near
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home,
It's not our home

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You're near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy

And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise


Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry