A Decade

Wednesday, May 30, 2012 15 Comments A+ a-

I remember that morning like it was yesterday. You’d think I would have slept in, given the time that Father of the Bride had ended and the giggling that I shared with the sisters the night before.  But ten years ago, I woke bright-eyed and bushy tailed.  I had butterflies in my stomach, the champagne-like bubbles escaping through my giggles, and a semi-permanent grin on my face.

WeddingCollageIt was my wedding day. And at the end of it, I was going to be married to my best friend.

Fast-forward 10 years and we’re going to wake up to a much different scenario.  Jon will head out the door sometime between 5:45 and 6:15.  I’m sure he’ll place a haphazard kiss across my temple, but I won’t know for sure since I’m usually fast asleep after a late night of designing.

I won’t wake to a brunch made by Mom, complete with mimosas.  My sisters and dearest friends won’t be walking in and out of our house as we prepare to leave for the salon.  There won’t be makeup artists or hair stylists, no photographers or giggled secrets between bridesmaids.

Instead, I’ll be the one doing the serving.  Wiping sleepy eyes and dirty faces.  I’ll try to decipher what each Little wants for breakfast through the crying and shouting and arguing over who gets the orange bowl.  I’ll find clothes and shoes, and play stylist while I try to wrangle hair into some semblance of order. 

But two things will still be the same as the day of ten years ago.

I will have a semi-permanent grin on my face.  And at the end of it, I’ll still be married to my best friend.

Ten years.  I can’t begin to explain how momentous this day feels to us.  For the past two weeks, we’ve shared looks of awe and wonderment as the significance of this milestone settled into our marrow.  This one is important, we realized.  We’ve even exchanged high-fives because while we might not have done these past ten years correctly, we know we’ve done something right to be this happy, this close, this in love after ten years of marriage.

Its been a wild ride.  Its been…

  • 2 years of living with roommates, including best friends and family
  • 3 dogs
  • too many to count dog chases
  • 1 parents divorce
  • 4 pregnancies, 4 births, 4 Littles
  • 5 different places we called home
  • 14 months of living in my parents basement
  • death of 2 grandparents
  • fights and crying and making up
  • 1 thrown phone
  • 3 vehicles
  • 2 run over Stop signs (don’t ask)
  • numerous runs to the ER and Urgent Care
  • financial blunders (word of advice, don’t let 2 spenders marry)
  • numerous job/career changes
  • uncontrollable laughter
  • love
  • forgiveness
  • innumerable camping and fishing trips
  • late nights, steam showers, croupy coughs
  • harsh words and ugly threats
  • tender, sweet nothings
  • the list goes on… and on… and on.

Ten years.  It’s a milestone that we are cherishing and most definitely, celebrating.

Jonathan David, you are my best friend. The love of my life.  The man who knows me so completely, so intimately, that you anticipate my moods, my actions, my thoughts before I do.  Everything that I am is because of your love, for  I am loved better than I ever thought possible.  Thank you for loving me where I’m at, for loving me in spite of my flaws and my weaknesses!  Thank you for being eactly what I need in the moment.

Neither of us anticipated that each year would get better than the last, but it has been just that.  I can only imagine what the next ten years will hold.  As long as there are random slow dances in the kitchen, I’m good to go.  Thank you for meeting me at the end of the aisle ten years ago, for making me your wife.  This life we’ve built?  It’s a beautiful thing.  Happy anniversary, my love!

A Whirlwind of a Week

Tuesday, May 29, 2012 4 Comments A+ a-

  • I don’t have much time for anything this week, its packed full.  We just got back from spending Memorial Day at the family cabin.  Three days of no plumbing, an outhouse, no cell phone reception, no internet. In a word, divine.
  • The moment we returned yesterday, we showered and went to Denver for a BIL’s 30th birthday party.  We got back home after bed time and the Littles went straight to bed.
  • Today was Hudson’s second to last day of preschool (sob) and a field trip to a local park.  I honestly don’t even remember dressing him, let alone dropping him off with shoes and matching socks.
  • Tomorrow night Hudson graduates from pre-k. I thought it might get easier with each child, but alas, that’s not the case. I’m mourning the passing of another milestone.
  • Then Thursday is our big one, the 10 year celebration. We are in high anticipation of our weekend away, but there are still several things to be done…
    1. Wash the clothes from the cabin weekend.
    2. Make reservations for the various restaurants and outings we’re planning to do.
    3. Pack the Littles for a full weekend with Nana and Papa.
    4. Write out my packing list, which includes a trip to a book store because oh my word, I get to read! Without interruption!
    5. Clean out the van for my parents to use. (And anyone that knows us, really knows us, knows that job will take at least week.)
    6. Pick up my father-in-law’s Porsche for the weekend. (I’m not even a car girl and I’m ridiculously excited to be in a non-mom mobile.)
    7. And if I’m feeling motivated, clean the house top to bottom. (Nah! We all know that’s not going to happen.)
  • Devyn’s last day of school is Friday and while a part of me is sad to be missing her last day of 1st grade, I know this getaway is important for us.  But I’m still awed that our baby girl is going to be a 2nd grader.
  • Jon and I researching ways to cut out bills. One way we’re researching is getting rid of our cable and buying one of these, along with a subscription to Hulu Plus or Netflix. We’re also pricing new internet options, which will be a savings of almost $70/month. I’m ok with that.
  • We’ve finished the Dave Ramsey study and will be spending part of this week figuring out budgets as we start to implement the things we learned into our every day life. I’m scared as all get out, but this is going to be good for us.
  • And yes, I realize that doing a budget is probably one of the least romantic ways to spend our anniversary weekend getaway. But we’ll take advantage of any kid-free time to concentrate on this, that we can.
  • Long before Instagram came into the picture, and along with it, the photo-a-day challenge, I did photo-a-day for a month, twice.  I’m going to do it again this June, and while it won’t be nearly as interesting as the Instagam challenge, I enjoy looking back and seeing what our life was like in the day-to-day.

Truth.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012 4 Comments A+ a-

I CANNOT DO IT ALL


I am going to blow this up and hang it on our wall. I have a feeling I’ll point to it often.

 

 

 

 

I kid, I kid. 

 

 

 

 

Kinda.

This, That, and the Other

Monday, May 21, 2012 6 Comments A+ a-

Remember this post?  It was just a little over four weeks ago that we spent our Sunday afternoon playing in the mountains.  Our beloved, Colorado mountains.IMG_20120422_140212

Then last Monday a fire broke out. It burned 7,685 acres of land and is now 85% contained.  Because of the nature of Jon’s job, and the fact that he’s acting junior foreman this month, he was gone most of the week.  Seriously, I think he’s put in a good 60 hours last week.  He got some amazing photos while he was in and out of the canyon.  And I did my best to forget where he was and what he was doing.  Land of Denial. Population: Me.

WildfireCollageBut thankfully, the fire is coming to an end...

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I’m sure people are tired of reading about our family.  I’m sure there’s a lot of “Okay, we get it. You love your family. Sheesh!”  But when you go through 8+ years of hard times, you appreciate the good times.  And we’re really, REALLY appreciating the good times.  So while I’d love to apologize for boring you all with this stuff. I can’t. God is just too good.

Last week Dad called me with a favor to ask.  He’d make plans for their 34th wedding anniversary that included a movie and dinner at Mom’s favorite restaurant, The Melting Pot.  But because he couldn’t get away from Mom between the movie and dinner, he asked if I’d be willing to pick 34 roses and deliver them to the restaurant before their reservations.

Excuse me while I pick my jaw up off the floor.

This is not the dad I grew up with.  He doesn’t have a romantic bone in his body.  Usually Mom was the one making plans and surprising him.  If Mom wanted romance, we often joked that she’d plan it, tell him what do, then act surprised.  Or it was up to us girls to hint at what she wanted.  And when that didn’t work, we had to just come out and tell him.  This is the man that waits until 4:00pm on Christmas Eve to start worrying about gifts for Mom.

So the fact that a) he made these plans all by himself, b) he made the reservations all by himself, and c) he planned ahead, made every single one of his daughters swoon.  I can’t begin to tell you how amazing it is to have my parents in this place, especially after the hard years.   I can only tell you that this is what redemption looks like; why faithfulness to vows is important when you don’t want to be faithful to the person. 

IMG_20120520_154606I could go on, trust me, I have a whole post’s worth on this subject alone, but I just had to share.  And talking to my mom this morning, you’d think Dad had given her the moon.  It was girly giddiness at its finest.

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And all this talk of love and marriage and giddiness is not helping my restlessness and excitement over our upcoming anniversary trip.  T-minus 10 days and counting…  SteamboatCollage

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And I leave you with a new favorite picture of my oldest and youngest.  I came into the living room this morning to find two of my loves laying just like this.  Suffice it to say, my heart melted.IMG_20120521_081145

A Peek Inside My Mind

Thursday, May 17, 2012 4 Comments A+ a-

I am really, really nervous about writing this post… Simply because I don’t know how it’ll be taken.  My fear is that someone will read too much into this and walk away with a distorted idea of who I am.  I fear that my words won’t convey the utter lack of answers I have in regard to these questions.  These aren’t hypothetical questions for me.  I’m seriously wrestling over these thoughts and questions because quite simply… I DON’T KNOW what the answers are.  I’m scared that this will turn into a debate, and if you follow me on any social media forum, you know I run like crazy from online debates. I like my social media light and fluffy. I usually groan in genuine pain when I see the political/religious/mommy war debates begin.  But I digress…

This is my blog. Its been my journal for almost seven years now.  I can’t begin to explain the joy and wonderment I experience when I look back through the archives and see an answered prayer there… or a time when the light bulb finally went off at that moment… or how distinctly I can see where my walk with the Lord was strongest or weakest depending on the posts I wrote at that time.  And so its here I bare my struggles, my thoughts, my questions.  Please don’t take anything away from this post other than a woman who is wrestling with answers, because this is where I’m at right now. 

I want to emphasize one thing before I dive in…  Having these questions, these doubts, these struggles does not mean that I’m questioning my faith.  It does not mean I don’t know where my hope is centered.  There is not a single doubt in my mind that my God is bigger than any hesitations I feel.  There is not a shred of fear that my God will leave or forsake me while I seek to resolve my questions.  He can handle these doubts of mine, He knows my thoughts before I even think them and loves me through the process of finding answers.  He IS my all in all, even in the midst of this.

There is a situation right now in which I have no idea what the right answer should be.  I’m thinking of one situation in particular, but the fact of the matter is, similar stories and circumstances keep popping up in my life and in the lives of family, friends, and loved ones all the time.  I’m quite certain this will be a life-long quest for me.  And I’m no closer to finding the right answers now, than I have in the past.  In fact, instead of this constant wrestling match, I’d much prefer for God to simply write it on whatever wall of whatever room I’m in at that moment saying, “This is the correct answer…” and I’ll do what it says.  It would be so much simpler that way, but I guess this inner turmoil goes hand-in-hand with free will. 

And here’s my battle… 

Righteousness vs. Grace
Love vs. Condemnation
Holiness vs. Happiness

In what circumstances do I stand for righteousness and holiness?  In what situations do grace and love win out over the others?  Is it possible to love someone and offer grace, while at the same time standing up for what you know to be true and right in the eyes of God?  And how does one stand for righteousness and holiness, without it looking like condemnation and judgment?  Where is the fine line between accountability vs. judge and jury?

These are the questions that are running through my mind on a daily basis.  Like I said, I’m no closer to answers now than when I started wrestling with these questions years ago.  I feel like there’s a woman inside of me who is yanking her hair out by the fistfuls and sending out silent screams of “What is the right answer?!” 

And since I don’t know the answers, I turn to two things. 

#1.  When I don’t know, when I’m in the thick of it and have no clear answer, it seems to me that it can’t be wrong to err on the side of love.  Right? Jesus was love personified.  Everything He did was out of love… love for us and love for His father.  Granted there were moments of righteous anger, but let’s face it, I’m not Jesus. (Somewhere my sisters are cackling in agreement.)  So I feel like I can’t go wrong with love.

#2.  God knows my heart.  He knows me more intimately than Jon and my mother know me, even more than I know myself.  When I have pure intentions and I screw it up royally (as only I can do), He knows that my intentions were good, even if the actions had horrible results.  I know that I can go to Him and seek forgiveness, which He’ll happily extend.  There’s freedom in knowing that in the midst of my confusion, He knows my heart.

So there you have it; I’ve laid it bare for the world to see.  And some of that judgment that I was talking about earlier?  Yeah, others will have some for me now.  And that’s ok.  But someday I hope to look back at this post and with some experience, wisdom, and clarity under my belt, I’ll be that much closer to the answers I seek.

Words to Live By

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 2 Comments A+ a-

HouseRulesviaHope is the ability to hear the music of the future Faith is the courage to dance to it todayMicah68via

An Appropriate Repost

Monday, May 14, 2012 5 Comments A+ a-

I first wrote this at the height of my sister’s struggle with infertility.  Now with a second sister dealing with struggles of getting pregnant and the day after Mother’s Day, where so many women stay far away from social media or find some other way to deal with the pain of infertility, this seems an appropriate time to do a repost.  If you’re comfortable sharing, I’d love to add you to my list of women that I pray over…

It is with a heavy heart that I begin this post. It’s a post that has been brewing for some time and I am now at the point where the words are building up, demanding to be given a voice. I’ve been on my knees, begging for the right words, the right attitude, and the right tone. I placed a call to a special woman, asking for her permission to write this post. And so, with the understanding that my sister gets full editing rights, I will attempt to tackle a subject that is heavy on my heart right now.

Whenever someone confides in me that they’re having a hard time getting pregnant, or have recently experienced a miscarriage, I feel at a loss for words. I tread carefully when broaching this subject; I tiptoe through a mine field of wrong words, no matter how well-intentioned they are, because I have no idea how they’re going to be taken.

My sister, Christine, and her husband have been trying to get pregnant for almost a year now. A year is short by most women’s standards, however, Christine suffers from a disease call Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome, also known PCOS, and does not ovulate. She is currently on her second cycle of Clomid (an infertility drug to help her ovulate) because the first cycle on Clomid did not even work. It has been an incredible opportunity to travel this journey with her. She has been transparent in most of her struggles with her body; laying bare her most fervent desire to be a mother; feelings of betrayal by her body; being afraid that her prayer requests will never be answered; to finally laying down the thermometer and laying it all at God’s feet. It has broken my heart to see the fear and pain in her eyes, each time her hope has risen that maybe, just maybe, her body has life growing inside, to those hopes dashed when it turns out that ovulation did not even occur. It is so hard to see my sister struggle with something that is so dear to her heart, to the point that I would take this struggle upon myself if I could.

Currently, she is doing well, she is at peace. She has laid this struggle, this fight, at God’s feet. She and her husband have sought counsel with pastors and their wives; they’ve been prayed over and anointed with oil. She is calm in what could be a very vicious struggle for faith and I’m amazed at her ability to keep looking to our Lord, not always understanding His ways but having assurance that He has her best interests at heart. Even now, she is playing the waiting game, waiting to see which path God has chosen for her.

Oh my friends, I have no answers for you; I only have one thing to offer you. Hope. While it may feel that your body has failed you, take heart that nothing can happen without permission from God. For whatever reason, whether that reason may or may not be revealed to you, God has chosen you for this journey. He has placed you on this path and He is not resistant to your fear, your pain, or your anger. He is walking beside you and holding your hand through each disappointment and trial and rejoices with you in each triumph. When you sit on the bathroom floor, mourning the loss of your baby, know that He is sitting there with you, His heart is breaking with yours. He longs to hold you in His embrace; He wants to help ease your hurt. When you feel your prayers are going unanswered or unheard, take heart that God is there, He is listening, He will answer in due time. When you feel the anger is going to overtake your soul, He sits by patiently, allowing your emotions their course, understanding, and hoping for your return to His feet.

You are not broken; God creates all things in His image. You are not being punished, for His son has already paid the cost for your sins. Your desires are not being ignored; God hears even the most soft-spoken whispers of our heart. You are a child of God, a princess in His Kingdom, and you are most precious to Him. My prayer, including that God will bless your womb with life, is that even in your darkest moments, you will turn and seek solace from Him. And please know, while I might not understand your struggles, I am here, hurting with you, praying with you and over you, and as a friend, I will be there whenever you may need me.

Happy Mother’s Day

Sunday, May 13, 2012 3 Comments A+ a-

Image-1006Because of you four, I finally understand what all the great sonnets, authors, and wise souls have penned about motherhood.  One can not understand or describe motherhood until it has been experienced firsthand.  It is dirty, it is hard, it is beauty, it is humbling.  It is the best thing that has ever happened to me.  You four are my heart… my life… my everything.  It is an absolute honor and privilege to be your mama. I love you!

mother_quote3mother_quote1from Rebecca at Simple As That

And for all of the beautiful mothers out there… from the co-sleepers to the BabyWise keepers… from the breast feeders to the bottle feeders… from the cloth diapering to the disposable users… from the home schoolers to the public and private schoolers… from the spankers and the time-out believers… Thank you for teaching me to look at the heart of the woman and seeing beyond our differences.  Always remember, your Littles don’t want the Pinterest-perfect mother… they only want you.

KDIMLMotherQuote

Settling Into Us

Tuesday, May 08, 2012 9 Comments A+ a-

I wrote a post in 2007 where I was trying to describe the transition from couple with a child to becoming a family.  The title of that post was “Growing Into Us” and these past ten years, that’s exactly what our family has been doing… growing. 

UsCollageFrom newlyweds, to a couple with one child, to a family of four, then five, and finally six.  Its been a process involving pregnancy, adjusting to the addition of a new family member, weaning, then repeating three more times.  During those years, it was truly just a matter of survival, trying to figure out what worked best in the moment, balancing on a precariously high beam, falling, then getting up and trying again.

Its been a whirlwind of ten years!  Sometimes I can’t even remember what we were like before children and trying to remember the first few months of each newborn is a fog.  Thankfully I have the archives to go back and remember those times.

But something has shifted in recent months.

I can’t tell you if it’s the finality of being done with the baby stage… Or if its venturing out in search of a home church on our own… Or if its just the passing of time…  But we’re settling into us.

No longer does it feel like we’re treading water, simply surviving from newborn to newborn.  We’re actually figuring this family thing out.  We’re figuring out what what family means to us, what strengths each adult and child brings to the family.  No longer do we feel confined to the house for naptimes or feeding times, we’re actually venturing out in search of activities that we can all enjoy.

Devyn and Hudson are developing into little people… Gone are the days of preschool and kindergarten where Mama and Daddy know everything.  In its place are Littles with new ideas and theories, throwing out questions and sometimes answers.  They’re realizing that we don’t know everything, and even of the stuff we do know, they might have different feelings about it.  Its been a fascinating process to watch develop.  And one, I might add, that’s been a little harder to swallow than I thought it would.

It’s a little different, having one foot in the elementary years stage and another in the toddler/preschool stage.  Even stranger to have no newborn/baby on the horizon.  June 1st will mark the longest I’ve gone without being pregnant.  I thought I’d be sad, and I am a little.  More nostalgic than anything else.  But I’m truly enjoying watching this family of ours evolve into our own nucleus. 

There’s really nowhere I’d rather be, than with this family of six.  We can be doing nothing or anything, it doesn’t matter to me.  This family completes me in a way I never thought possible.

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And I must leave you with this story… Further proof this family of mine is growing up.

Jon and the three older Littles pulled into the parking lot, where they were meeting my parents who were taking them to a birthday party.  Devyn clamored into the front seat, when Jon rolled down the windows and blasted Adele. 

Then a Jeep pulled into the parking space next to them.  There just so happened to be a 9- or 10-year-old boy in said Jeep.  Devyn shrunk down into her seat and promptly reached over to roll up the window.

Jon taking all of this in and noticing his baby girl notice the boy next to us, rolled the window back down.  Devyn gave him a pained look, “Daddy!”  Then scooted to the backseat where she could hide.

At this time, Hudson took Devyn’s place in the passenger seat and leaned out the window.  He waved at the boy sitting there, “Hey!  Hey!  How you doing?!” 

Jon said the exasperated, “Hudson! Stop it!” that came from the backseat made it extremely hard for him to not bust out laughing.

My poor Devyn.  Welcome to siblings and the embarrassment they cause when you least want it.  It certainly won’t be the last time they’ll make you want to hide…

A Weekend Away

Thursday, May 03, 2012 9 Comments A+ a-

The big one is coming up.

On the 31st we’re going to celebrate 10 years of marriage… TEN YEARS. I’m not really sure how that’s possible since I’m still only 22 years old. Ha!

Now aside from one weekend when I was pregnant with Hudson, I really don’t think we’ve gone away for a whole weekend, just the two of us, in those ten years.  (I could be mistaken, so don’t quote me on that.)  Regardless, its been a long, long, LONG time since we’ve shared a weekend alone, just the two of us.  (Side note, my brain instantly when into song mode at the words “just the two of us.” Cheesy!)

So since we put off planning an anniversary trip until the last minute, our hopes for somewhere tropical when down the tubes.  Its our own fault, we’re procrastinators.  And there’s the tiny fact that neither of us have renewed our passports since we were teenagers. No big deal. 

But we still needed to celebrate this momentous milestone and unlike anniversaries three through nine, I’m neither pregnant or breastfeeding, so a weekend away is just what the doctor ordered. 

We have the babysitter lined up (thank you, Mom and Dad!), we’ve reserved our mountain vacation home, we’re going to take Jon’s dad’s Porsche (thank you, Dave!), and we’re heading to a mountain resort town for a long weekend.

Steamboat3Oh happy day!  I cannot begin to explain the giddiness I feel in knowing this trip is just a few weeks away.  We have a very loose idea of what we’ll be doing that weekend…

I’ll be doing this…ReadingCollage

…while he’s doing this.Fishing Collage

Maybe we’ll do one or two of these…MaybeCollage

These are non-negotiable!DefinitelyCollage  And for all of you with dirty minds, I’m referring to SLEEP.

I seriously cannot wait to get away with my love.  Its has been far too long and I really don’t care where we go to celebrate the life we’ve created together, as long as we get to celebrate it.  We’ve worked very hard to have the marriage we do, and we definitely don’t take it for granted!

Steamboat2Happy 10 years to us!

Rumour Has It, Part 2

Wednesday, May 02, 2012 4 Comments A+ a-

Apparently it’s a video-blogging vlogging kind of week. 

When the older two were at school, we cranked up Adele and had an impromptu dance/singing party.  Its quite hysterical!  And if you can understand Reagan’s singing/yelling/screaming, I give you major props.

These two girls are such a blast!  I have a feeling they’re going to keep things hopping around here.