Champagne and Cake x 2

Monday, March 31, 2014 4 Comments A+ a-

Celebrations

It has been a big year for the husbands in this family.  A big, big year.  And since we’re a family that supports, encourages, and stands in the gap during the hard times, you can bet we’re big on the celebration of the good times too.  We’ve had champagne and cake twice in the past forty-eight hours, so its clear that we’ve been busy celebrating.

In November, BIL Caleb went to state with his high school girls volleyball team.  And we were all there to celebrate their big win!  (Still one of my favorite highlights of the past six months!)  This past Saturday, we all gathered at my parents place to do a joint birthday/congratulations-on-the-promotion party for Jon.  Family and friends joined us for Jon’s favorite, barbeque.  And his dad also blessed us by smoking one of the salmon he caught while he was in Alaska last summer.  De-lic-ious!

Celebration1.1Jon swears he’s taking the toys off his birthday cake and putting them on his desk at work.

CelebrationCollage1.1Just some of the amazing spread we had on Saturday.  I could’ve eaten that whole salmon myself.

CelebrationCollage1.4Family and friends.  We’re so blessed!  And yes, Devyn Paige needs to stop growing up.

CelebrationCollage1.2You wouldn’t know it by these pictures, but these two were STRESSED out waiting for Monday.  Also.  Gross. 

CelebrationCollage1.3Oh wait…  sorry about that.  So proud of this guy and all of his hard work!

Celebration1.14Three generations of Glover men.  And I love each one dearly.

Celebration1.16The best birthday gift that Jon received.  His grandma wrote out the recipe he’s been requesting for years.  I don’t think I’ve seen a grin so big as when he handed that to me for safe keeping.

Then today, we all trekked to the CU-Boulder campus to watch BIL Jeremy defend his thesis.  I may not have known what a single word meant, as the words were about 10 feet above my head.  But I do know that Jeremy walked in a graduate student, and walked out as a doctor.  It was a proud moment for all of us, but especially my sister, Courtney, who also earned her PHT (putting him through).

CelebrationCollage2.1He requested no pictures during the presentation, so I snuck one in before he started.  And yep, that’s his name on the building announcement board.  I can actually say “tetrahydrofolate” thanks to a prior presentation he practiced on us a couple of years ago.  And that was the extent of the words I knew.

CelebrationCollage2.2The cake, the champagne, and the two leading ladies in Jeremy’s life.  You could tell that neither his wife or his mother took a deep breath until he was done.

CelebrationCollage2.3We go to take a quick tour of Jeremy’s lab.  I have no clue what he does there, but the view is gorgeous!

Celebration2.12Introducing Dr. and Mrs. Trausch.  That is sooooo weird to say.  And I’m willing to bet both will sleep very well tonight.

Yes, I do believe that champagne and cake was called for in both of these situations.  And I’d also like to put in a request that we coast on this hilltop for a while.  Its been such a relief to have some good moments and celebrations lately.

I will toast to that.

Varied Thoughts

Friday, March 28, 2014 1 Comments A+ a-

Really, the correct title should be “I’m just throwing a ton of stuff together and calling it a post” but that’s too long-winded.  Even if it is true.

We made it through the week, and I must make a confession here.  It’s the first time this whole school year that we were on time to school every, single day. Y’all, my tardiness is a sickness.  We never used to be late!  Pre-Littles, we were not only on time, but were early to everything.  Enter the Littles and my perpetual excuse for my tardiness.  It’s become a crutch.  But when report cards come home and there’s a note about tardiness, well, that one is all on me… no matter how much I’d like to blame the Littles.  *raises hand*  I’m the guilty party.

But its finally Friday night and I’m sitting next to Jon, drinking a beer, while I listen to Hudson and Reagan do everything BUT go to sleep like we’ve asked them to do for the last hour.  While it’s a touch annoying and I’m ready for some quiet, I’m also enjoying listening to the two of them giggle and whisper back and forth with each other.  Since Ashlynn and Devyn are having a sleepover with Aunt Ney, the two of them have decided to bunk together for the night.

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And because we are without two of our Littles, I coerced Jon into dinner out.  It was a two-fold request.  One, I needed to get out of the house because I needed to be out among other adults.  And two, we never, ever get alone time with our two middle children.  I wanted some one-on-one time with these two, my fiery, strong-willed twosome.  The ones that are either best friends or worst enemies, the ones that run hot or cold.  And it was a great night with them, one with lots of laughter and savoring the uniqueness of each child. 

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As we walked back to our car, I wondered aloud to Jon, “Do you see how much easier life would have been had we stopped with two?”  I’m not wishing my life away, or wishing for anything that my life is not.  But the fact is, it just would’ve been easier.  There was less talking over each other, there was more concentrated attention, it was quieter.  But then Jon spoke some truth into my musing.  “Yeah, it’d be easier.  But it would be so boring.”  Yep, he’s absolutely correct.  As usual.

Spring is slowly started to emerge here.  Saying that is like tempting fate in Colorado, as there are likely a few more snowstorms coming our way before we can officially put winter behind us.  Its has been one of the longest winters I’ve experienced in a while, and I’m desperate for warm weather and the sun.  Last week was spring break and it was a hard week.  I’m not one to normally bemoan school breaks, as I really do love spending time with our Littles.  But for whatever reason, I was DONE by Thursday.  I was in a rotten, exhausted, and why-can’t-school-start-today kind of mood.  And then I felt guilty for wanting to send everyone back!  But we stepped outside to play with some neighbors and the sun completely turned my mood around.  Thank the good Lord for vitamin D!

Seedlings

I made the mistake of reading through an old Home & Garden magazine and got bit by the gardening bug.  I have a black thumb.  For real, I once killed a cactus.  Do you know how hard one has to TRY to kill a cactus?!  But Jon and I have some really fun ideas to spruce up our yard and I’m looking forward to spending more time outside.  The Littles and I bought some seeds and pellets from Home Depot over Spring Break and planted some flowers and cilantro.  We already see some sprouts coming up, and I can’t tell who is having more fun with the project.  Me or the Littles.

Do y’all remember when I mentioned that I’d been tricked into agreeing to run the Turkey Trot 5k with my sisters on Thanksgiving?!  Yeah, I haven’t done a follow-up post about that experience at all and this is another reason I’m happy to be blogging again.  In the months leading up to the race, I discovered that I actually enjoy running.  Who knew?!  Don’t ask me how I feel when I’m in the midst of a run, because I’m fairly certain you’ll get a look and maybe a few choice words.  Running is NEVER fun in the moment, but I was amazed at how good I felt after each run and how much stress I was able to leave on the pavement during those runs.  As someone who swore she was allergic to exercise, color me surprised.

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The morning of the Turkey Trot dawned bright and early.  Way too early for my taste, especially on a holiday.  But we made it to the race, and I registered Devyn, Hudson, and myself.  We ran with my sisters, brothers-in-law, cousins, aunts, uncles, and our dad.  (We have an exceptionally large family.)  Jon, Reagan, and Ashlynn waited for us at the finish line.  Devyn insisted on running with me at first, but she soon tired of that and Christine and Alli agreed to let her finish with them.  I found my stride about mile two, and that mile was my strongest time.  I loved it!  I don’t think I’ll ever be a serious runner because, well, look at my final time.  But I do think I’ve been bitten by the 5K bug.

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So much so, that I’m running the Color Vibe 5K on May 31st.  Another fun one, and I’m excited that I’ll get to run one more time with Courtney before she and Jeremy move themselves away from us.   Since I haven’t run since the Turkey Trot (see, I’m not a serious runner, there ain’t no way I’m running in snow and cold, not this girl*), I started my Beginner 5K training again this week.  I’m impressed that I shaved off two minutes from my first training session in September compared to Monday’s run, which means there’s still some residual improvement from last fall.

I finally hear silence, which can mean one of three things.  Either a) they’ve both fallen asleep, b) one has fallen asleep in spite of the other’s best efforts, or c) they’re doing something really, really naughty.  And if its option C, I’m choosing to ignore it.  Mother of The Year, right here. 

I’m just thankful for the weekend.  It’s a beautiful thing.

*Holy run-on sentence Batman.

They Say Its Your Birthday

Wednesday, March 26, 2014 1 Comments A+ a-

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Today, Jonathan David, we celebrate you. 

33 years old, and I’ve been privileged to spend the last 17 of those years as your partner.  I can’t even begin to explain how fortunate I feel to have been able to share this life with you.  It has been awe-inspiring to see you grow from an awkward teenage boy (with an amazing smile and sparkling eyes) into the confident leader that you are today.

I am excited to see what this coming year brings for you, for us.  I pray it’s a year full of hope and God’s presence.  I pray that He reveals Himself to you in ways that leave no doubt of His love for you!

Happy Birthday, Love!

Delivered or Free: That is The Question

Monday, March 24, 2014 2 Comments A+ a-

Like my friend, Becky, I’m still processing things from IF: last month.  There was just so much truth, so many eye-opening revelations.  And I especially love that we’re reflecting on different things from the conference.  I suppose that’s what happens when so many gather to hear from God.

Christine Caine rocked my world.  I have never heard of Christine Caine before IF: and her straightforward, to-the-point, direct, and almost brutal honesty has been on repeat in my mind.  She’s the first one to introduce the concept of living in deliverance or living in freedom to me.  Actually, now that I think about it, she might not have been the first, but she’s the first to deliver it with such a punch.  And I sometimes need to be knocked over the head with good Truth.

The Israelites and their exodus out of Egypt are the perfect example of living delivered, but not in freedom.  The journey from Egypt to Canaan should have taken only 11 days.  Eleven days!  In less than two weeks, they could’ve been living in the land of milk and honey that was promised to Abraham.  And yet, because of their lack of faith, their grumbling, their inability to live as free people, they wandered the desert for 40 years!

Deliverance vs. Freedom

Its easy to read the accounts of the Israelites and their wavering faith and think them a foolish people.  Hindsight is always 20/20.  But as Christine Caine pointed out, we’re still living like that today.  How many of us know that we’ve been delivered from a pit of sin, from death, from an empty life and still continue to live as though those things have control over us?  I know that I continue to keep a death grip on the things that I’m familiar with, no matter how miserable they might make me.

  • Anger and hurt?  Check.
  • Fear and doubt?  Check.
  • Depression and anxiety?  Check.
  • Same actions producing same results?  Check.

Rachel and I were saying that it’s like we’re on the interstate, going around and around in circles.  We see the off-ramp to “Freedom” but yet we stay on the circular track because that’s what we know.  Never mind that the things we know make us miserable, it just feels safer to stay with the known.  Kind of like when the Israelites were delivered from slavery, but in their fear, they cried that it would have been better to stay in Egypt and bondage than die in the desert.  However, God was doing a new thing and they were too busying grumbling to notice it.

I’ve said before, when God speaks a theme into my life, I know I’d better start paying attention.  Between IF:, a sermon at church, and Beth Moore’s Believing God study, I’ve heard the same thing.  Its time to move on, Jenn.  Its time to move forward in obedience.  Yes, its scary.  Yes, there is unknown.  Yes, it will be like taking a flying leap off a tall building.  But if I believe God is who He says He is, then I should be able to move forward in trust and faith.  In last week’s study, Beth Moore said that sometimes when we tell a mountain to move and it does move… but the child doesn’t.  The mountain sits behind us, moved out of our way, but we continue to hold on to the mountain.  I don’t want to be that child that refuses to let go of the weight that’s holding me down.

Christine Caine issued a battle cry at IF:, I likened it to Mel Gibson in Braveheart.  “It is for freedom!”  The question is, am I ready to move forward and take it?  When God utters a command of “Move it!”, am I going to move in obedience?  Or will I continue to live as one who stands still, wandering the same place for forty years?

Video Killed the Radio Star

Friday, March 21, 2014 4 Comments A+ a-

Only in this version, its Instagram Killed the Mommy Blogger.  But that doesn’t nearly have the same ring as the original title, does it? 

Before I dive into this new insight, I want to share a few photos that I’d normally post to Instagram if I wasn’t on a social media fast.


4WheelingWe visited Daddy at his new office and of course, they had to climb on the new toys.  I feel like I’m peeking into our future, one that involves a 4-wheeler.  Daddy can hope, can’t he?!

BasketballHoopsSpring Break always includes a sleepover or two, right?  And this “new to us” basketball hoop is the perfect addition to our basement.  You have to love hand-me-downs from family whose children have outgrown it.

LegosHours and hours of lego building!  Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever heard so much silence as I have this week.  Legos, quiet time, and no fighting.  It was a dream come true!

  PrincessAshlynnAnd like the rest of the nation, Frozen has taken over our home.  I do believe we’ve watched it twice a day since we got it.  I introduce Princess Anna (Ashlynn).  She and Reagan have the sister part down cold, and if I’m honest, I have the whole movie memorized too.  Le sigh. 


So back to the original point of the post…

First of all, the social media fast.  Everyone keeps asking me how I’m doing, and while the first couple of days were rough and even though I cheat from time to time, I’m actually really enjoying it.  I’m having more face time with friends (yay for play dates!), more phone calls and personal texts, and I’m gaining some perspective.  Perspective is good, even if a bit sobering.

This fast has proved me to that I miss blogging.  Like really, really miss blogging. 

I knew that my blogging has lagged in months and years past.  I’ve had friends comment on the lack of posts.  Jon has mentioned it more than once.  And I can see the post count for myself.  This place was once my go-to space.  The place where I was able to share my life and my thoughts, the lessons I was learning. 

And then along came Instagram. 

Suddenly I was able to post a picture and few sentences, and my creative juices ran dry.  After all, why take the time to put together coherent sentences and formulate paragraphs, when I can get by with a quick, five minute post?  I got lazy.

And then Jon said something to me the other day and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.  “Instagram has become a cheap look into your life.”

Ouch.

Yes, it sounds harsh.  And yes, he didn’t mean it to sound so severe.  But there’s a lot of truth in there.  He used to get online and read my blog every day.  It was one of the first things he did every morning.  And as my blogging has slacked, so has the peek into my mind and thought processes.  He used this post as an example…

“Jenn,” he said.  “This is beautiful.  I love this!  But here’s what you would’ve done on Instagram.  You would’ve found a picture of Mark Wills, added a few sentences about marriage, then added the following hashtags: #younglove #memorylane #feelingblessed.  But the blog post shows so much more than what a few sentences can convey.”

And the truth of the matter is, he’s right.  He is 100% correct.  And it burns me that he knows me so well. 

I don’t know this will mean for me once the fast is over.  I’m still processing this and probably will for a while.  I don’t imagine I’ll say goodbye to Instagram.  After all, even Devyn is looking forward to my return to Instagram; she has missed looking at our life through pictures.  But I do believe I’ll probably scale back because I’ve missed this blog and I’ve enjoyed writing here again.

Vegas On My Mind

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 2 Comments A+ a-

Its true, I had a blast.  An absolute blast!  I honestly didn’t know what I’d think about Sin City once the weekend was over, but I was pleasantly surprised.  I loved Daytime Vegas, with the huge buildings and the bustle and the quirky street entertainers.  And if I could look past the naked part, I enjoyed Nighttime Vegas too. 

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Let’s start off with the way-too-stressful, too-close-for-comfort, almost-missed-flight.  We got stuck in a traffic jam and sat on a half-mile section of highway for an hour.  ONE HOUR.  Courtney was hitting her steering wheel, Christine (the calm and cool sister) was losing her calm and cool, and husbands were calling or texting every ten to fifteen minutes to see if we were any closer.  “No!  We’re not any closer than the last time you called, so stop calling!”  I decided that since emotions were already on high, it was probably best to avoid letting Jon know about the current circumstances and just hope for the best.  A run through airport security and terminal, only to arrive at our gate with 50 seconds to spare, completely out of breath and stressed out was probably not the best start to our trip.

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Which is why we found ourselves in a Mexican restaurant as soon as we arrived at our hotel, sipping this bad boy.  Without a doubt, one of the best margaritas I’ve ever had.  I’m still not sure it was worth the $10 price tag, but at least I was relaxed again.

Our first night in Vegas had us visiting the Bellagio fountains, at Mom and Courtney’s insistence.  It was fantastic, especially when it was choreographed to Michael Jackson.  But anything + Michael Jackson will be a hit, as far as I’m concerned.  Then we were off to the Venetian for the Tim McGraw and Faith Hill concert.

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We sadly underestimated the distance from the Bellagio to the Venetian and by the time we took our seats, my feet were screaming for mercy.  I came home with about five new blisters on my feet, but it was totally worth it.  Tim and Faith sang beautifully, and it was such a special treat.  Tim is an incredible entertainer and he completely stole the show.  While I love Faith’s voice and her songs, she was either having a bad night or she has no stage presence.  Regardless, definitely a night to remember.

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The next day we went to the M&M store, gambled, toured Caesar's Palace, and met up with our aunt and her friends.  They took us to the Max Brenner restaurant for lunch and Mom and I shared the most amazing macaroni and cheese.  It took all my willpower to not lick my plate clean.  I’m not even kidding, it was that delicious.  I may or may not have been trying to find a recipe to replicate that dish.  Also, I love my aunt’s friends.  They are a hoot and a half, and I really hope that a road trip is in the near future.  (Hint, hint, ladies!)

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Our second night came with a reservation at the restaurant at the top of The Stratosphere to celebrate Alli and Brian’s 30th birthdays.  Nice doesn’t even begin to describe this restaurant.  I’m talking so fancy that the plates don’t even include side dishes.  I’m talking so fancy that I wondered if I’d have to harvest an organ to pay for the meal.  I’m talking so fancy that everything melted in your mouth, it was that good.  It was experience I’ll never forget! 

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We even got to walk around the top deck after dinner and that lasted for about 10 minutes before my shaky legs and sweaty palms forced me to admit that yes, I’m still terrified of heights.  And yes, that building is really, really, REALLY high.  So Alli and I went back inside while the rest of the adrenaline junkies flirted with death.  (I kid, I kid… kind of.)

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Afterwards we all headed back to our hotels to change and it felt so good to change into tennis shoes and jeans.  We may have looked out of place among the sequins, satin, high skirts, and even higher heels.  But hey, we were the comfortable ones.  However, at this point, my three younger sisters were flying on sleep deprivation and they have a habit of getting slap-happy when they’re that tired, to the point that I’m sure bystanders thought there was some alcohol involved in their behavior.  Nope.  Just annoying their big sister as much as humanly possible.

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Since we couldn’t seem to agree on a plan of action, we said our goodbyes to Brian and Alli and made our way back to our hotel.  We played some penny shots, some poker, and then Christine decided to get back on the Deal or No Deal machine that won her a few dollars earlier in the day.  Well, wouldn’t you know it, that machine was her four-leaf clover because she actually won a hundred dollars!  The three of us couldn’t stop laughing as the machine kept climbing higher and higher.  We decided to end on a high note and call it a night.

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And wouldn’t you know it, the exact opposite happened on our flight home.  We arrived at the airport in PLENTY of time to catch our plane, only to have it be delayed an hour and a half.  Yep, the four hours in the Vegas airport are four hours I’ll never get back. 

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We had an amazing time!  And while I don’t care much for the naked part of Vegas, I had such a good time.  I think I’ll be back someday.  I don’t see it as an annual trip, or even an every other year trip.  But maybe in five to ten years, I’ll be ready to head back.  Although I really think it was the company that made the trip what it was, so unless I have the sisters and Mom on board again, maybe I won’t. 

And a quick, but very needed, shout-out to the husbands who held the forts down at home.  They ROCKED the daddy thing while we were away.  There were times that they put us mommas to shame with their efficiency and know-how and fun adventures.  So thank you, husbands.  This trip wouldn’t have been possible without you!

Even in the day-to-day.

Sunday, March 16, 2014 3 Comments A+ a-

It was somewhere on my playlist, but since I’d set it to shuffle before tackling my disaster of a kitchen, I really gave it no thought.  I scrubbed, swept, put things away, and loaded the dishwasher to Bruno Mars, One Republic, Little Big Town, Carrie Underwood, Black Eyed Peas, Maroon 5, and more.  It was an eclectic list of songs, just a few favorites.  We have a long-standing tradition of blasting music as loud as possible while cleaning, and this was exactly what I needed today.

But it was between Lady Antebellum and Katy Perry that it played, while I was on my hands and knees scrubbing at the dried ketchup on the kitchen floor.  The first notes played and since they’re such a part of who I am, I smiled to myself, even while I debated taking a kitchen knife to the stubborn stain.  I heard the first words…

All I am, all I’ll be
Everything in this world,
all that I’ll ever need
is in your eyes, shining at me.

I wondered when I’d last heard this song, knowing it didn’t matter, the words have long since been memorized, burned into who I am. 

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

I remembered the first time I’d heard it.  It was on the radio, dedicated to one eighteen-year-old girl who’d fallen head over heels with the boy who’d called and requested it.  It became our song within those three minutes it played.  Every time it played, a smile would find its way to my face and it took days to disappear.

His shoes appeared in my line of vision and I jumped, lost in the moment and taken off guard.  He hooked his hand behind my elbow and pulled me up.  “Let’s dance,” he murmured.  His mouth curved up, his blue eyes dancing as he led me into the living room and then pulled me into a slow dance.

Wedding 4As we swayed back and forth, I remembered another day.  Same dance, same song, just twelve years earlier.  I wore white and he’d taken off his tuxedo jacket, and when we danced on that day, the rest of the room disappeared.  These words we’d sung to each other and danced together too many times to count, were being experienced for the first time as husband and wife.  It was a heady experience and I remember very little except the way he looked at me, how safe it was in his arms, how it felt like we could conquer the world.

And yet, on this day, none of those things had changed.  No matter that our guest bathroom smelled in a way that only happens when a little boy consistently misses his target.  No matter that it had been weeks since our kitchen had seen the end of a mop.  There was still the look of love, I still felt cherished, and knew with 100% certainty that I was safe in his arms.

I closed my eyes, my forehead settled on his chest, where he cradled the back of my neck in his hands.  I laughed when he shared that four pairs of eyes were watching our every move.  There were no wedding guests, but inquisitive and happy eyes as they watched their parents soak in each other and the moment.  Hudson, deciding that he didn’t want to be excluded, came up behind me and wrapped his arms around my legs, making our dance an awkward shuffle of feet.

When it was over, Jon leaned down and planted a kiss on my lips.  Then orders were barked to the Littles that they needed to get back to work, and laughing, little feet scampered back to their rooms.  With a blush on my cheeks and lips warm from the kiss, I returned to the kitchen to tackle the dinner stains on the floor.

It’s amazing to me that our song has traveled long and far with us.  From our teens to our twenties and into our thirties, from late night phone calls and school dances to newlywed years to family life.  Even in the mundane, minute details of our life, even when I feel like there are so many things I feel I failed at or wish I could have a redo, THIS I know we do well.  We cherish each other, we cherish what we have.  We love.  We fight.  We forgive.  We start over again.   

I can’t wait to see where that song finds us in our forties.

Meet Buttons

Thursday, March 13, 2014 3 Comments A+ a-


Who's the genius who gave permission for a classroom pet to spend Spring Break with us? Oh that's right, that would be me.  *fist bump*

A few things come to mind:

1. I severely underestimated the size of a chinchilla.

2. I just discovered that Buttons is nocturnal. As if I'm not already sleep deprived enough.

3. If I'd known it costs over $100 to replace said chinchilla, I'd definitely had said no.

Good times await.

Vegas in Pictures

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 3 Comments A+ a-

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…more to come…