Girly Vanity

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 8 Comments A+ a-

And speaking of friends...

Every Wednesday morning, Devyn attends BSF bible study with my mom. While Mom is with the grown-ups, Devyn is chilling with the other kiddos her age, learning about the same things as “Nana”. (Obviously down-sized for kiddo-sized brains and intellect.) It was at this bible study that Devyn has met her BFF, Connor. Apparently Devyn and Connor are the best of friends, choosing to play with each other and no one else. A lot of sadness ensues when one is there and the other is absent. For example, Devyn has been absent the last two weeks due to her sickness. Connor has missed her so much that he made a card for her, which he brought with him today. Its too cute… this friendship they’ve developed.

Last night as we were talking about Wednesday’s plans, and once Devyn discovered that she’d be attending church, she could not stop talking about Connor.

“I go to church tomorrow, Mommy!”

“Yes, love, you’re going to church tomorrow.”

“I get to see Connor!”

“Yes, you’ll get to see Connor. I’m sure he’ll be excited to see you.” Her little head was bobbing with so much anticipation; I thought it was going to bob right off her neck!

And with all the vanity a little girl could muster, “I get to show him my earrings!

Oh my… It’s a good thing she’s too little to understand that little boys and earrings don’t usually go hand-in-hand. But much to Connor’s 3-year-old credit, he responded with, “They’re pretty.”

Now that's a good friend!

My Support Network

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 4 Comments A+ a-

My mother always reiterated the importance of girlfriends to us as we were growing up. She constantly told us how there were many times in her life that she would not have survived without the support and encouragement of her friends. For example, my parents went through a really rough patch during my teen years and by rough, I mean bad. There’s no need for details, suffice it to say I am constantly amazed at where God has brought my family. I’ve often asked my mom how she managed to survive those years, the obvious answer was God but she also attributed it to her friends. The women who were “God” to her in tangible ways; offering a listening ear, being a shoulder to cry on, encouraging her to be the Godly wife and mother that she was called to be, etc. I shudder to think what might have happened to our family if Mom had not had that support network during those years.

Now that I’m a wife and mother, I’ve embraced my mom’s advice and have surrounded myself with women that I’m fortunate enough to call friends. Jon is an incredible father, husband, and friend, in fact, he’s my best friend, but lets me honest here, he is just not able to relate to me in ways that I need. That’s where my friends come in. I am so thankful for the ladies that I can call at any time, any moment, just to hear me freak out about whether or not I’ve damaged my children for life. I am so thankful for the women that will allow me to bare my soul, a safe place where I’m not condemned, nor judged, just accepted. I am so grateful that I have women who will hold me accountable to the truths that have been laid out for me in my roles as a wife and mother. Women who I can share a good laugh with, women who can appreciate the demand in raising toddlers, women who I can cry with, women who I have history with, women who when I leave them, I feel refreshed, recharged, and relieved that I’m not alone in feeling the way I do.

In the past week, I have had two friend-dates; one with a friend from my past, we go back all the way to second grade, and the other with a friend who came into my life when we married cousins. The first friend is getting ready to move across the ocean in a few months and I get teary just thinking about her not being in the same town. It was wonderful to hear the excitement in her voice, to see her about to embark on a new adventure in her life. She is a woman that though we don’t see each other as often as I’d like, we are always able to pick up right where we left off; complete opposites of the other but still able to finish each other’s sentences. The cousin-friend and I spent much of our dinner laughing, commiserating with each other about the difficulties of being a wife and mother, empathizing with our struggles with to be the best we can but always feeling like we’ve fallen short. As I hugged her good-bye, it was bittersweet, knowing that the time away from our families was well worth it. I went home light-hearted and rejuvenated, ready to tackle my roles in a new light.

These are just a couple of examples of the friends in my lives. Each friend adds something different to my life, like spices they all complement each other and complement me. Each is so special, so important to me, that I’d feel like my life would incomplete without them. When life gets hard, when I feel discouraged, I’m reminded how truly blessed I am when I’m able to call a friend up and hear the exact thing I needed to hear at that moment. It is hard work maintaining these friendships but I’m thankful for an understanding husband, a husband that’s willing to watch the kids when I need to duck out for a coffee date, a husband that laughingly asks me if I need a “insert-friend’s-name-here- fix?” I think he understands and appreciates the “new” me when I return from such dates. And my dear friends, you know who you are; you bless my life in ways that I cannot begin to explain. I hope you know that each of your friendships has left a fingerprint on my heart, which in turn touches and blesses my family. Thank you for the privilege of allowing me to call you friend.

A Girly Milestone

Tuesday, January 29, 2008 13 Comments A+ a-

This was your daddy’s idea; I wanted to wait until you were older. But you love your clip-on, play earrings and you were potty-trained within a week, so I gave in. I know you’ll love this “reward”.

Oh my little girl, not so little any more. Look at you! So big, so tall, so… child-like.

You had such a good time picking out your earrings; I knew you’d pick out the pink-cz flower ones. So pretty!

Look at us, mother and daughter, smiling for the camera. I’ve explained about the brief pinch and when you nodded your head solemnly, I think you understood.

What a trooper! You did not cry, you did not flinch, and you didn’t move a muscle when the “gun” got stuck on the second ear. I was so very impressed with your bravery.

Here you are with pierced ears! Where has my little baby gone?

Every time we pass a mirror or window, you have to stop and check out your pretty bejeweled earlobes. You seem quite proud of your earrings and eager to show them off to anyone who will notice.

10 Years Later - Part II

Monday, January 28, 2008 8 Comments A+ a-

I was never sure if I would attend my 10-year high school reunion. I tended to lean towards not attending, simply because I didn’t think ten years was long enough to be apart. And then I started coming around to the idea, I found myself wondering how classmates were doing and enjoyed reconnecting with some of them through MySpace or Facebook. It was great to see how similar or how very different our lives had turned out. Then when my friend, Kim, came home for her bridal shower and the four of us (Kim, Marianne, Amy, and I) got to catch-up and chat with each other, we made an agreement that we’d all attend the reunion together.

That was seven months ago. Since then Amy, Marianne, and Kim have all taken turns asking me if I knew anything about the reunion, if dates had been decided on, etc. I had no information to give and thus started my search about the plans for our reunion. Imagine my shock when I found out that NOBODY had planned, or was planning, anything. No high school reunion? You’ve got to be kidding me! And so now I find myself heading the planning committee. I’m not really sure what happened here; I went from not wanting to attend at all to thinking how fun it would be to see everyone to making a commitment to attend with girlfriends to heading the committee?! And so, that it is where I am right now. I am knee-deep in calendar dates, prices, menus, venues, contracts, vendors, and the like… all with munchkins in tow.

I’m not sure why I’ve embraced this project whole-heartedly, maybe it’s that I think everyone should have the option of attending their reunion or not. And if there’s no reunion, then there’s no option. So, ladies, I imagine that the next few months are going to be filled with reunion talk. I’m not expecting the greatest reunion that ever existed, just an opportunity for old classmates to reconnect. I’m really hoping that I haven’t bit off more than I can chew…

Awesome First Dance

Friday, January 25, 2008 8 Comments A+ a-

My sister, Christine, brought my attention to this YouTube video. As she says, "I wish I were that cool."

Courtney, does this give you and Jeremy ideas?


Friday, January 25, 2008 2 Comments A+ a-

By: Steven Curtis Chapman

She spins and she sways to whatever song plays
without a care in the world
And I'm sitting wearing the weight of the world on my shoulders
It's been a long day and there's still work to do
She's pulling at me saying "Dad I need you!
There's a ball at the castle and I've been invited and I need to practice my dancin'
Oh please, Daddy, please!"

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh I will dance with Cinderella
I don't want to miss even one song
’Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone

She says he's a nice guy and I'd be impressed
She wants to know if I approve of the dress
She says, "Dad the prom is just one week away
And I need to practice my dancin'
Oh please, Daddy, please!"

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh I will dance with Cinderella
I don't want to miss even one song
'Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone

But she came home today with a ring on her hand
Just glowin' and tellin' us all they had planned
She says, "Dad the wedding's still six months away but I need to practice my dancin'
Oh please, Daddy, please!"

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh I will dance with Cinderella
I don't want to miss even one song
'Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone

She'll be gone.

10 Years Later

Tuesday, January 22, 2008 16 Comments A+ a-

My life was not supposed to turn out this way. I was only 18 years old when Jon and I started dating. He was going to be merely a senior year fling before heading off college; someone to go to movies with, someone to have fun with, someone to take to prom. He was a boy from youth group who made me laugh and had an endearing, mischevious smile. He was cute, he was a good guy, but I had big dreams on the horizon. A college degree in Journalism, moving to a big city where I would go to work for some newspaper or magazine, maybe I'd start thinking about marriage around 30 or so, with children following a good five years after that. I had a goal... one that did not involve a good-hearted, funny guy from my hometown youth group... even if he did have a great smile.

Fast forward ten years...

Music is playing from my iPod; Keith Urban, Jack Johnson, Maroon 5, Little Big Town, and the like are filling the room. I've laid my head against the wall, my eyes so itchy from the exhaustion of the week. We've dealt with fever, tempers, snot-filled sleeves, steam showers, and croupy coughes but it's over. I know it would take next to nothing to knock me over, very little to slip into a deep sleep. And yet, through my exhausted eyes, I take it all in.

Jon is sitting by the couch with Devyn, fresh from the bath he just gave her. I smile to myself as Jon steadily and gently runs a brush through her hair, listening as he murmurs about how pretty her hair is, how long, how curly, how colorful. She giggles in response and leans further back against her daddy's chest. There's trust there, a knowing deep in her gut, that this is a guy she can depend on. A man that won't let her down, where she can be herself and always find love, support, and guidance; a place where she is safe. I hear the whispers, the giggles, and I smile. Such love in that relationship.

Across the room, Hudson is babbling to himself as he battles the vaccuum. Up he rises and grabs the slim neck, trying to balance himself. The vaccuum leans one way, Hudson counters that move by leaning the other, but he leans too far and down he falls. He glances at the vaccuum and then eyes the couch. Deciding the couch is a safer bet, he crawls to it and pulls himself up. Hearing the deep laugh of his daddy, his eyes drift towards Devyn and Jon. He lets go of the couch and step after precarious step he joins their little group. I listen as the three of them chat, babble, and giggle with each other.

Through half-closed eyes I hear Devyn scold Hudson for pulling her hair, only to be answered by drooly gurgle. I can almost imagine the toothy smile Hudson is giving her, oblivious to the fact that he'd just been reprimanded. The heat from the fire makes me even sleepier and I'm half-tempted to slide down the length of the wall until I'm lying on the floor, but sitting there with my eyes closed is a close second. The soothing sounds of my favorite tunes drift over me. When I feel Hudson's small fingers in my hair, I open my eyes and find myself staring into two pairs of deep, gray-blue eyes. One wanting my lap and the other wanting my arms. As I pull them both in my arms, my eyes lock with Jon's and we share a secret smile. A smile that says, I can't believe this is my life.

Yes... my life was not supposed to turn out this way. It's not how I imagined it... yet, somehow, in all of God's soveriegnty, He knew. He knew that what He was giving me was ten times better than any plan I'd had for my life. And truth be told, I'll take this reality over that dream any day... minus the exhaustion.

My Beautiful Morning

Tuesday, January 22, 2008 9 Comments A+ a-

Who wouldn’t feel lucky having these beautiful faces smile back at you in the mirror?!

Lord, Have Mercy

Friday, January 18, 2008 9 Comments A+ a-

I am so done with this virus that has invaded our house and our family. Out, I say, out! Our kitchen counter is littered with bottles; robitessun for Devyn's horrific cough that is still here, infant ibuprofen and tylenol for Hudson's fever (alternating between the two), Nyquil for Jon, Airborne for me, and we've just added an antibiotic to the counter too. "Why?" you ask. Well, after dealing with a 103-degree temperature at 3:00 this morning and Hudson being unable to breath, we took him to the doctor. That is where we found out that he has croup and an ear infection in his right ear. Poor, poor baby! It explains why he's so incredibly fussy, huh?

Pray for me... this mama is exhausted!

3-P's, Walking, and an Update

Wednesday, January 16, 2008 9 Comments A+ a-

Pacifiers - As in we're a no-pacifier household. Do you know how stoked I am about this?! How truly exciting I am that we're not lugging around 3-4 pacis just in case one goes lost? Devyn accomplished this feat in one night, she asked for her paci twice the first night and hasn't since. (With the exception of today, she's seeking anything that'll bring her comfort.) Whew! Cross that one off our list.

Preschool - She attended her first day of preschool last week and loved it. She keeps asking to go back and was quite distraught when I said she couldn't go today. I'm sorry, love, but I couldn't possibly impose this sickness on other families. She's seems to be grasping so many new concepts already; she's starting to get her colors right, and something must have kick-started potty-training. When bring me to the next P.

Potty-Training - Last Friday, Devyn woke up wanting to wear big girl panties. This is HUGE! Every time we put big girl panties on her, she'd cry for her diapers. So for her to suggest them and then wear them all day made me want to do a happy dance. And she's been wearing big girl panties ever since (again, with the exception of naps and bedtime, but even then she's waking up dry!). We've only had 2 accidents and those were both on Friday, no accidents since then. And today, for the first time, she went potty without any nudging from me. I was in the living room and I heard her say (in her raspy voice), "I went potty." More happy dancing from the mama. I guess there is something to be said about waiting until they're ready.

Walking - Yes, friends, our (now) 11-month-old is officially walking. It was a big weekend in this household. Hudson is still a little afraid of letting go of the wall (or couch or chair or table) but he's taking 6-7 steps at a time! He is incredibly tiny (less than the 5th percentile), so its a little weird seeing someone so small walking around the house but we are thrilled. And if his toothy smile is any indication, he's mighty proud of himself.

Sick Update - We're on our third day of being house-bound with this horrible cold/cough/congestion that Devyn has. The only time we left was to take Devyn and Hudson to the doctor. Fortunately, Jon and I chugging Airborne like crazy and have yet to get sick. Hudson isn't too bad, just running a low-grade fever. But our precious three-year-old was put on steroids to clear her passageways. However, I think we've turned a corner. I tried Stacey's idea of vapo rub on the feet and covered her feet with socks last night and wow! was I impressed! Not only does her congestion seem better but she broke her fever during the night. So, friends, I highly, highly suggest vapo rub and socks! And another positive note, Devyn loved the vapo rub too, she kept asking for more.

Well, that's it in our household. Whew! We've hit many milestones in the past two weeks and there's another coming up next month with Hudson's 1st birthday. I don't know where the time goes, or how to make it slow down, but I'm doing my best to enjoy each moment. (Yes, even the ones that involve me playing nursemaid.)

He is simply the best!

Monday, January 14, 2008 7 Comments A+ a-

Excuse while I brag a moment...

Jon had disappeared to take a shower while I was in the living room reading the kids a story. We were waiting for the pizza to finish baking when Jon called me into the bedroom. I'll admit here that I went begrudgingly, unsure of what couldn't wait until after dinner. As I got into the room, Jon opened the bathroom door to reveal a bathtub showered in candlelight and warm bath waiting for yours truly. While I stood there in amazement, Jon told me to enjoy myself and disappeared behind closed doors with the kiddos. My husband drew me a candle-lit bath! I'm still in awe and so thankful for his thoughtful gift. I got to revel in the dark silence, enjoy the solitude, and (this is the exciting part) I got to shave my legs!

I guess I've been forgiven for wrecking his truck.

Only Mom Will Do

Monday, January 14, 2008 4 Comments A+ a-

Whenever I was sick as a child, Mom would make a bed for me on the couch, complete with my pillow and a comfy blanket. I got first dibs on the tv shows or movies that we watched and Mom was at my beck and call. I was served soup, toast, and medicine at my couch/bed and as miserable as I felt, I didn't want to be anywhere else. There's something about being sick and needing Mom that go hand-in-hand. "Mom" offers something that one can't find anywhere else... unconditional love, comfort, and security. There's no one that can take care of you like Mom can.

When we picked up Devyn after bible study last night, we noticed the pink of her cheeks, her warm head, the glassy eyes, and the horrific cough, the cough that hurts the ears of anyone who hears it. We didn't drop her off that way but with the cold running through our family like a weed, we knew it was here for at least a day or two, or longer. It was after 10:00 at night but we made a mad dash to Walmart to stock up on the appropriate supplies and I made a call to the supervisor saying I wouldn't be in today. My baby needed me.

Devyn and I were up every hour last night; her cough shaking both of us awake. She was miserable, every cough making her throat hurt worse. And since it was too soon for more medicine, the only thing I could do was comfort her as much as possible. I laid her head on my chest and ran my fingers through her hair, pausing every few seconds to scratch and stroke her head. When I stopped, Devyn lifted her heavy head and said, "More, Mommy, more." I smiled to myself, only happy to oblige her.

Today she is still very sick, her body so warm to the touch. We made her a bed on the couch, watched Veggie Tales' The Land of Ha's, and when the tylenol didn't bring her fever down, we put her in a lukewarm bath. The best part of the day was when I brought in a popsicle and let her eat it in the tub. Her face brightened and she giggled (as best she could) at the rare treat. She currently tucked into our bed and sleeping the afternoon away.

I wonder what'll she remember of her childhood illnesses; did she find comfort, love, and security in my care? Will she long for me in her twenties when she's sick and far from home? Will she remember a mommy who let her eat a popsicle in the bath? I don't know. But I do know that I'd walk to the ends of this earth to make her feel better; it hurts me to see her so miserable. Its still hard to believe that I've come full circle and am now the mommy. The mommy that still needs her mother whenever I get sick. =) And here's to hoping that Hudson, Jon, and I will be spared what Devyn and her grandparents have shared with each other.

Mmm, Mmm, Good

Saturday, January 12, 2008 7 Comments A+ a-

Someone got his first taste of chocolate today. When we tried taking the spatula away, after it had been licked clean, there was a meltdown. We may have created an addict.

Truck - Meet Pole

Friday, January 11, 2008 12 Comments A+ a-

I was pulling out of my lane at the bank when I heard this horrendous crunching sound. Immediately I turned red, backed up, got out, and surveyed the damage to Jon’s truck. I got sympathetic nods and smiles from others parked at the different tellers; they have no idea how much I’m going to need that sympathy. After all, this is Jon’s baby. He’s aware of the accident, he hasn’t decided if I’m going to be forgiven or not, and I can’t believe I didn’t see those cement poles. I’m not posting a picture because Jon has yet to see the damage and I don’t think seeing them online first will help matters. Chalk another one up for misjudging distance between metal and inanimate objects.

In This Home

Thursday, January 10, 2008 10 Comments A+ a-

In this home…

We do second chances.
We do grace.
We do real.
We do mistakes.
We do “I’m sorry”.
We do loud… really well.
We do hugs.
We do family.
We do love.

I found this saying at a Hallmark store yesterday when I was shopping with my mom and sister. I love it! And not only do I want to find a wall-hanging with this imprinted on it, but I want this to be true of our home. Man… do I want this to be true of our home.

Milestones and Heartache

Wednesday, January 09, 2008 7 Comments A+ a-

I've been battling nostalgia all day, but the feeling keeps sneaking back in. You know that feeling, that heartache, that just squeezes your heart until you feel like you can't breathe? Yep, that's the feeling that has kept me company all day. Its bad enough that I've started the weaning process with Hudson, that in of itself wants to bring me to tears. But today was Devyn's first day of preschool and I almost started crying several times today.

You see, back when we got the evaluation for Devyn's speech, the therapist highly suggested preschool. We'd never even discussed preschool, let alone checked any out. But when the therapist explained her reasoning, that she felt some of Devyn's best teachers would be her peers, Jon and I decided that it would be a good idea and the search started back in December. We finally chose a Christian preschool, located in the same building where my brother-in-law teaches high school math. It was a win-win situation, preschool with peers for Devyn, in a Christian environment, where Uncle "Bruce" (Devyn could never say Caleb, only his middle name, hence, Uncle Bruce) teaches. Perfect.

Today dawned cloudy, the sky spitting snow, which seemed to reflect my mood. However, it might as well been bright and sunny without a cloud in the sky as far as Devyn was concerned and for her bright, excited outlook on the day. And so, with my mom with me for support, we headed to school to drop my baby girl off for her first day. We walked her into the classroom, introduced ourselves to Teacher Elisa (I thought of you Elise), explained Devyn's current speech issues, and tried to say good-bye to Devyn. She, however, was more concerned with playing with the princesses than saying good-bye.

Devyn, right before we walked into the school on her first day.

And so for the three hours we were apart, I kept commenting to my mom and sister how I couldn't believe how big Devyn was getting. Not only has she gone through a major growth spurt and is now almost to my waist, but she's getting a little more independent. Oh my, I can't believe I have a preschooler now. These milestones are just a little hard to bear at times, there are times I want to keep them at a certain age forever. But they grow up, life continues on, and I'm trying to enjoy the ride.

She was zonked out about ten minutes after we picked her up. It must have been a good day; check out the blue lips from a frosted cookie she received at school.

Both she and Hudson are sleeping upstairs, oblivious to their adoring mother's looks. I see damp curls, pink cheeks, and sleepy stretches, doing my best to commit these moments to memory. They are growing up, reaching new milestones; the least I can do is put on a brave smile and encourage them in their quest for "more".

Puppydog Tails and Love

Monday, January 07, 2008 7 Comments A+ a-

Oh I am blessed… so very blessed. We’re seeing Hudson’s personality come out more and more; it’s as though he’s sharing new little details every day. And all I can say is… wow!

He is all boy… no question about it... all boy. He is mischievous, into everything, always on the go, and plays just a little too rough. We’re constantly having to remind him to be gentle or that he’s not allowed to pull hair; I can’t tell you how many times his little hands have been swatted from touching the electrical chords. It’s hysterical how every morning he crawls into Devyn’s room, pulls her nightlight from the plug, and proceeds to turn it over and over, as if trying to figure out how it works. Every morning he does this… you would think it would get old by now.

But, wow, his tender, loving, compassionate side is coming out and I think I may just melt. He and Devyn are close; very, very close. They are best friends; they are constantly looking out for each other; and I’m relishing each moment the two of them have together. It makes me so happy to see Hudson’s face light up whenever Devyn walks into the room.

However, lately Miss Devyn is getting into some trouble. We’re experiencing many tantrums and timeouts right now; there is a lot of crying in our house. (Whoever said that the terrible twos were hard, never experienced the tumultuous threes.) Hudson does not like seeing his sister cry… not at all… and has started doing his best to comfort her. As soon as the tears start, no matter where he is in the house, he crawls over to Devyn and lays his head on her back. He stays in that position until she stops and the tears always stop sooner when Hudson is comforting.

Oh my goodness, he is one big bundle of sweetness. Whomever God has for his wife is going to be one lucky, lucky girl and I’m so thankful that I get to be the mama!

Because I Can

Saturday, January 05, 2008 15 Comments A+ a-

My heart and soul... I love seeing them play together like this. *Sigh* If only it would always be this way.

The blond, silky curls... the pouty lip... my little man is growing up!

Intentional Teaching

Thursday, January 03, 2008 7 Comments A+ a-

I had a coffee date with Sarah on New Year’s Day and it was a wonderful visit! Kid-free time equals uninterrupted, one-on-one time and it was so uplifting. We were able to catch up on each other’s lives, hear about the struggles each of us are currently facing, and basically soak in each other’s company. I went home feeling light-hearted and refreshed.

One of the things we discussed was intentionally teaching our children about God. I, for one, tend to forget about intentionally teaching Devyn and Hudson. After all, they’re going to church and Sunday school, Devyn attends BSF Bible Study with my mom once a week, and she’ll even start attending a Christian preschool next week. I forget that so much of her learning is going to come from me… at home. Plus, she’s really getting to an age where she grasps concepts and can dialogue with me (to an extent) about her thoughts. And so, I’ve resolved to start intentionally teach my children.

I’m not really sure how that’s going to look. We already read from her Children’s Bible and we pray before meals, at bed time, and any other time that she asks to pray but how do I intentionally teach them? (Any ideas or thoughts are hereby solicited.) We have started with this book titled, First Virtues for Toddlers. My parents gave this to both Devyn and Hudson for Christmas and I love it! Here’s a list of the twelve stories in the table of contents: Kitty Show Kindness… Piglet Tells the Truth… Bunny Loves Others… Duckling is Patient… Tiger Forgives… Puppy Makes Friends… Squirrel Says Thank You… Bear Obeys… Lamb is Joyful… Lion Can Share… Panda is Polite… and Koala Does His Best. Now at breakfast, after I’ve finished feeding Hudson and while Devyn is finishing her cereal, we read a story or two, say the verse that’s associated with the story a couple of items, and end it with Devyn’s resounding “Amen!”. I think this is going to be a new routine, hopefully every day. I know there will be days I forget, there will be days I just won’t do it, and days that I’ll need those reminders myself. But I pray that I’m planting seeds that will eventually take root in their lives.

And again… please share any thoughts or ideas with me. I’d love to hear how other mothers are intentionally teaching their children about God.

We did it!

Thursday, January 03, 2008 9 Comments A+ a-

After one "minor" meltdown when Devyn threw her pacifiers in the trash, we can officially say that this is a pacifier-free house! Whoo hoo!

I am happy to report that all is well, we have all survived. Truth be told, Devyn did much better than I anticipated; only asking for her "paci" once or twice the first night. We haven't heard the word "paci" since. Which leads me to believe that Devyn's dependence on her pacifiers was actually MY handicap, not hers.

Oh well... We did it!

Hope in 2008

Tuesday, January 01, 2008 7 Comments A+ a-

"rejoice in your suffering, suffering produces perserverance, perserverance - character, and character-hope..."

My sister, Christine, gave me this beautifully framed tile, with the above insription on it, for Christmas. How appropriate for 2007 and 2008; and how appropriate to be given by Christine. 2007 was a hard year... very, very hard. True, there were many blessings (the birth of our son, the gifts of a new house and van, my husband's promotion, the meeting of new friends, etc.) but I'm afraid to say that the trials we were given far outnumbered the blessings. And I'm ok with that, God taught us MANY things through those trials. I turned a corner this past year with my faith, one that I might not have turned otherwise without those trials. And so, I will rejoice in our sufferings.

There was one event that touched me, far more than the others, that I have not been able to write about until now. Many of you will remember a post I wrote in August regarding infertility and how close it has touched my life through my sister. Some of you will remember that I had to remove another post because the pain was too new, too fresh for my sister and her husband. And that is the event that I'm referring to.

On my 28th birthday, Christine and Caleb announced the news of their pregnancy via a birthday card. We rejoiced in their news, only it wasn't to be a happy ending and they lost the baby a week later. I was told about their loss while on vacation in Florida and the magnitude of that loss will reverberate through the rest of my life. Their baby, however short its life, was wanted... very, very badly.

I watched, in awe I might add, as Christine and Caleb came together to deal with their loss. There were moments of anger, of bitterness, of despair, but they have picked up their "cross" and continued on. They named their child Jordan; not only did naming their child bring closure but that name was ordained by God. The day before Christine's miscarriage, our mother sent all four girls (us sisters) a text message with a scripture, a scripture with a promise for Christine's baby. Weeks later, Christine and Caleb were in a local Christian bookstore and came upon a display of bookmarks. The kind of bookmarks that have specific scriptures and names listed on them. Christine and Caleb had been contemplating naming their child for a while now and looked for the name Jordan, the name they'd been considering. Sure enough, next to Jordan's name was the scripture Mom had sent us in that text. I still get goosebumps when I think about it. And so the child's name became Jordan.

I don't know what 2008 holds for us but I do know that it involves hope. I have so much hope for this coming year. I hold on strong to the promise God has for His children; I have hope that God will answer our prayers for Christine and Caleb; I have hope that God will come alongside us and walk this year with us. I already see God at work in the lives around us; I can't begin to tell you how many of our friends are expecting new bundles of joy this coming year, couples that have struggled with infertility in one way or another. We are adding another brother-in-law to the family this year; I have uncles returning to the states after their tours in Afghanistan; my parents are celebrating 30 years of marriage this year; and the list goes on. 2008 is going to be a good year, I feel it deep inside me.

Hope... such a small word, but one that holds so much promise!