D├ęcor, Doctor, and Exercise

Friday, February 29, 2008 6 Comments A+ a-

First of all, do you remember this post? Well, I loved that saying so much, that I had it made into a tile. Didn’t it turn out great? Granted, the picture was taken in my car, but I already know where it’s going; behind my kitchen sink. I was surfing an old classmate’s blog and found a link to her business blog, Home Chatter. Melissa was so easy to work with, had wonderful ideas, and I was surprised by the price. I highly recommend checking her site out; I’m not sure if she and her partner ship items elsewhere in the States but I’m sure that’s definitely something you can talk to her about. I’m looking at the picture again and I’m almost giddy in my happiness over how it turned out. I can’t wait to get home to set it up!

I had an appointment with my doctor this afternoon. I’ve had plenty of conversations lately with Jon, my mom, sisters, and friends regarding my post-partum depression. In fact, after a conversation I had with Jon on Wednesday night, I was very angry at my depression. So much so that I wrote a scathing post to my depression; it was posted on my blog for about 25 minutes before I pulled it off again. Basically, while I feel like my depression is better, I have felt so numb for the past 2-3 months; as though I’m a sideline player within the family. There are very few times that I’ve felt engaged with Jon, the kids, or even my sisters. I wanted to see the doctor to see if I was on the right medication, the right dosage, etc. After listening to my symptoms, my doctor thinks that I may be over-medicated at this point. (Excuse me?! Would you mind repeating that again?) After a great appointment, Dr. Susie and I made a plan to slowly (s-l-o-w-l-y) lower my dosage. And I’ve also been instructed that exercise is no longer an option for me, meaning I have no choice BUT to start exercising (for those that know me, they know how much I abhor exercise), something about exercise and endorphins, so now I’m going to have to figure out some way to get my heart racing for 30 minutes a day, 3x a week. This should be an interesting journey.

I'm a Lucky Girl

Wednesday, February 27, 2008 6 Comments A+ a-

I could hear her crying in my sleep, I couldn't tell if it was a scared cry or an upset cry. I blearily looked at the numbers on the clock... it was early morning. "Come here, munchkin," I called to her from the comfort of my bed. I heard the pitter-patter of feet as she made her way down the hallway and into our room. She stood next the bed, sniffling and I could tell she was trying to calm herself down. I reached down to pull her into a hug and as I did, my hands slipped into wet material from her bottom up to her back. "Ahhh," I thought, "so that's what's wrong."

"Did you pee in your bed, munchkin?" I whispered to her, trying not to wake her brother or dad. She nodded her head solemnly and I pulled our joined hands up to my mouth for a kiss. I was surprised, in all the weeks (almost months) of being diaper-free, this was the first time for a wet bed. I pulled the covers off and Devyn and I tip-toed back to her room. First I stripped her of her wet clothes and undies and then I started stripping the bed.

In the midst of pulling her sheet off the bed, I heard another sniffle. I glanced down at my side and in the dim light of her nightlight, I watched as two big crocodile tears made their way down her face. "I'm sorry, Mama," she said. "I'm sorry," she kept repeating over and over. I felt a tiny break in my heart and I sank to the floor. I pulled her naked body into my lap and asked her why she was sorry. "I'm sorry for peeing the bed," was her answer. I wrapped her in my arms as I whispered words of comfort. "Oh munchkin, don't be sorry. It was an accident, you didn't do it on purpose." Slowly my words sank in and she started to calm down.

I finished the bed, put Devyn in dry undies and clothes, started a load of laundry, and then the two of us grabbed a blanket and pillow and cuddled on the couch. She turned into me, wanting to get as close as possible. She asked for "more" when I started rubbing her back. I heard her deep breathing as she allowed herself to fall asleep and I treasured her breath on my face. I looked at the sleeping girl, lying in my arms. How did I ever get so lucky, I wondered. What ever did I do to deserve such a special, sensitive child? And how, I questioned, did she get to be so big? One moment she was nursing at my breast and the next she's running with the big kids on the playground and crying over accidents. Again, I felt my heart break.

I never know when the magnitude and specialness of being a mother will hit me, but I treasure those moments when they come. I am a lucky, lucky girl.

Something Important to Say

Tuesday, February 26, 2008 8 Comments A+ a-

Within the past week, Hudson has started using his hands in “conversation”. He will literally sit and chat with you for 15-20 minutes, waving his hands to emphasis his points, nodding in agreement with you, and babbling a mile a minute. He obviously has something very important to say. (Unfortunately, you can't hear his adorable voice as he babbles. Stupid sound!)

Here’s the best part. At our bible study on Sunday, Jon and I were showing off this video to the other couples. (We’ve turned into those kinds of parents… the ones that are constantly showing off pictures and videos any chance we get.) When Pastor Jim asked us who he learned this from, I started uttering the words, “We have no idea.” But I cut myself off mid-sentence as I realized that I was gesturing vigorously with my hands. Everyone burst into laughter as I turned a bright shade of red. Doh! I guess I’m the pot…

Weighing the Scales

Monday, February 25, 2008 12 Comments A+ a-

With what seems like a second baby-boom, Jon and I are inundated with news of friends and family that are expecting little ones. At last count, we have 18 family and friends expecting little bundles of joy this year. With each announcement, and the fact that Hudson just turned 1, my baby fever has reached an all-time high. However, things are a little different this time around.

When Jon and I were dreaming of the reality of Devyn and Hudson, there was really very little thought, logic, or pro vs. con lists put into the decision-making process. We wanted to be parents, we wanted to have little ones running around, and so we moved into the action stage. Luckily, and I know this is not the case for everyone, we did not have to wait long to see two pink lines in the window. And thus began our journey into parenthood…

Then we had the discussion (correction: discussions – plural) of the number of children that would be best for our family. Since I grew up in a family of four and I love the loudness and chaos of my family, I always thought four children would be the perfect number. Jon, on the other hand, grew up in a family of three and felt that three kids were more than enough. Truth be told, Jon would be more than okay with stopping right now. And thus the agreement that three was a good compromise and three children it was going to be…

… until the past few months. I want three, my whole heart, my whole being cries out for another child. But I am forced to admit that it might not be the best thing for our family. I have dealt with post-partum depression for over a year now. Such was not the case with Devyn. My post-partum with Devyn didn’t start until she was six months old and tapered off by the time she turned one. However, this time around, it started as soon as Hudson was born and I’m still very reliant on those little, pink pills to balance my moods. In fact, to be honest, the thought of stopping the anti-depressants bring on mini-panic attacks. I’ll be anxious to have a heart-to-heart with my doctor at my annual appointment next month.

And since post-partum supposedly gets worse with each pregnancy (and this is the case with me so far), am I playing with fire if I had a third? I don’t know. I just have to stop and wonder if I’ll be the kind of mother that Devyn and Hudson deserve, while battling post-partum (and what could be worse post-partum) with a newborn.

I don’t have answers and I’m not asking for answers at this point. I just know that Jon and I are being so very careful with this decision. It’s really foreign to us; usually we just make a decision and act on it. We’ve never been so logical, put so much thought, or been so careful in a decision-making process. (Surprise, surprise for those that know us intimately; we’re usually emotional decision makers.) I know that it’s good that we’re not jumping headfirst into a decision; I know that taking this decision month-by-month is the wisest thing that we can do at the moment. It’s just a very weird feeling.

And I’m sad that Hudson may have been my last pregnancy. If I’d had any inkling that Hudson was going to be my last pregnancy, I feel like I would have cherished it so much more than I did. I would have embraced each moment, knowing that it would’ve been the last. My gut says that a third child will be in our future, whether we wait longer between Hudson and the last, or maybe I won’t breastfeed my third to help with the post-partum hormonal imbalance, or maybe we’ll even adopt. I don’t know. I just know that if we don’t have a third child, it won’t be for lack of wanting them; it’ll be for the sake of our family as a whole.

I’m no closer to any answers, but here are our thoughts and our feelings, at the moment, on having another one.

Wedding Gown Winner

Saturday, February 23, 2008 6 Comments A+ a-

Ok, so this was so much fun! I just loved reading the comments and emails from readers, and the pictures were so great!! Here are a few of the entries:

We have Wendy from Showered with Grace, who recently celebrated an anniversary.

We have Melissa from The King Family who stuff her niece and nephew into her dress.

We have Kamma from All You Need Is Love, showing off her gown with two of her loves, her guitar and a glass of wine. [Side note: Kamma is a dear, childhood friend who just started blogging herself. Click on over, say hi, and see what adventure she's about to embark on.]

But we have a definite winner... or winners I should say. I laughed SO very hard when I recieved Cpt Mom and Racer's entry. They team-blog over at We Can Cry If We Want To and are so hysterical; I find myself constantly laughing (so bad I come close to peeing my pants sometimes) and I've decided that their bravey definitely deserves to win. Here's Racer's description of their day:

"Here's what we did: we decided to go around town in them, doin thins we would normally do. I think we should win because we had to endure many a stare...and even a proposal!
Attached are pictures of us:
In front of the house.
Getting all that material, skirting, etc into the truck.
At Lowes.
At Chick-Fil-A (in the playground, since we hang there with our peeps)
Trying on shoes at Ross (finding the ugliest ones we could)
At the custard shop (because we LOVE this place). Side note: The owner wants to have a contest or get together with her mommies group wearing their dresses because of our visit.
In front of the fountains (because we needed a more "formal" setting)."

Let's let the pictures speak for themselves, shall we?!

So Cpt Mom and Racer, I'm sending a $20 Visa gift card your way to use as you wish. Maybe it'll be for another trip to your favorite custard store, maybe you'll enjoy a lunch at Chik-Fil-A, or maybe you'll reimburse the gas you spent driving all over town! Thanks for getting into the spirit of things, you made this mama's day!!

Do Not Disturb

Wednesday, February 20, 2008 9 Comments A+ a-

I was kicked out of bed last night. You’d think it was my husband who did the kicking, but you’d be wrong. It was the teeny, tiny legs of my one-year-old son. I’m starting to feel really bad for his future wife.

Here’s the deal. Every night between 7:30 and 8:00, we lay Hudson in his crib and he’s out within 15-25 minutes. He’s been putting himself to sleep, often by singing to himself. It’s really too adorable for words. However, he’s still waking once a night and at that time, I just bring him back to bed with us. (Call me lazy, call me indulgent, call me… never mind, just call me lazy.) And there he’ll stay until morning.

Here’s the problem, he is the most restless sleeper I have ever encountered. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve woken to find a foot in our face, his head on our stomachs or backs, or he’s hogging the pillows. I’ve never felt and/or seen such thrashing or tossing and turning around. And here’s the kicker, he’s sound asleep the entire time he’s doing it! Last night, I had approximately three inches on the side of the bed to myself. Hudson was laying with his head on my neck and his feet against Jon’s back. Seriously, the kid was vertical with the headboard. Wouldn’t you know it? He started stretching and pretty soon I found myself without a place to lie. Good grief!

There is one solution and it’s the only position that he seems to enjoy, he actually won’t move at all. I have to lay him between Jon and myself, above the covers, and he has to be upside down, meaning his feet are where our heads are and vice versa. You think I’m kidding? Or at the very least exaggerating? I wish…

I wonder if he and his wife will have to have separate beds, or if she’ll be okay with snuggling his legs all night long.

Wedding Gown Challenge

Tuesday, February 19, 2008 4 Comments A+ a-

Ok, really quick, some new rules for the Wedding Gown Challenge, because I want everyone who wants to participate to be able to do so. Bodies HAVE changed in the years since we've married our husbands and I think its important that we all love and accept those changes for what they are. So, if the dresses don't fit like they once did (and this will be true for so many of us!), why not get out that bridal gown and dress up your daughter, or dog, or doll. The prize may have to go to the most creative way to show off your dress! Or I may just do a drawing. We'll see!

Wedding Gown - Take II

Monday, February 18, 2008 13 Comments A+ a-

There are a lot of things that contributed to the idea of this post. One, reading Sarah's post about trying on her bridal gown again. Two, watching my sister Courtney try on wedding gown after gown and feeling a sense of nostalgia. And three, talking with my cousin/friend, Kara, about our weddings that took place almost six years ago. In fact, the discussion with Kara was the deciding factor. We married cousins just two months apart, planned our weddings side-by-side (often comparing notes and details), and we both just received our wedding gowns back from relatives (hers was with her mom and mine took storage in my aunt's closet). Kara and I decided that it would be so much fun to try on our wedding gowns again, take pictures, and share them with one another.

First, here is Kara, looking absolutely amazing in her wedding gown. Check out those buff arms! Would you guess that she has a 17-month-old daughter?! Wow!

And then, here is me. I took this on Saturday, after spending another day wedding gown shopping with Courtney, Mom, and the rest of the sisters. Suffice it to say, I was even more eager to try my dress on again. And with much effort, Courtney managed to zip me up in my wedding gown. I fell in love with my gown all over again. Seriously! It brought so many wonderful memories! Devyn was awed by my princess dress, and even made me spin several times in it. Hudson could have cared less. But the best reaction was BY FAR, Jon's reaction.

We were gathered at my parents' house getting ready for Hudson's birthday party and I was waiting for Jon to arrive to show off my attire. When he walked into the kitchen, I was at the stove, cooking pasta for the salad. He walked in and that slow, lazy grin crossed his face before he came over and took me in his arms for a kiss. Oh, it was almost like being a bride all over again.

And so, I think I'm going to end this post with a challenge and contest of sorts. Our bridal gowns are more than likely one of the most expensive pieces of clothing we've ever bought for ourselves, yet I'm placing bets that most are sitting in closets forgetten, gathering dust, and wrinkled. We've forgotten when we pulled out that dress at least once a week, daydreaming of the big day's arrival, wondering how our groom would react upon seeing us in that confection of white. Why not take out those wedding gowns and try them on again? Why not remember what it was like to don that dress with butterflies in our stomachs? And seriously, why not cook at the stovetop in your wedding gown?! Are you really planning to wear it again? And let's be real, the chances your daughter wanting to wear that gown someday are slim to none. And even if she does, that's why they invented dry cleaners.

I'm asking for photos, of all you women in your wedding gowns... for a second time, not the first. I welcome all photos... funny, sentimental, posed, doing crazy things like cooking or changing diapers, or even just holding them up against your body. I'm going to do a giveaway, I just haven't decided what yet, in fact, if you want to give me some ideas for the giveaway, leave me a comment. I'm looking for something "wedding" related, be it lotions from Victoria Secret or a gift certificate to Bed, Bath, and Beyond. And if you want to participate, send me your photos to biggest_blessings at yahoo dot com by the end of the day on Saturday, February 23rd. I'm looking forward to what I'll receive!

Eating Cake

Monday, February 18, 2008 6 Comments A+ a-

This is a far cry from Devyn's first birthday who when she had her first nibble of frosting, shuddered and then refused to eat any more.

We had a wonderful celebration of Hudson's first birthday on Saturday, with family and friends. It wasn't small by any means, but such in the case in big families. It is so hard to believe my baby is now a year old.

Happy Birthday, Little Man!

My Baby Boy

Thursday, February 14, 2008 10 Comments A+ a-

Tomorrow we celebrate the day that you came into this world; the day that changed our lives completely. You, my little man, have fast become a light in our family. You always have a mischievous smile ready for anyone that walks through our front door and oh, how that smile just melts my heart. I can’t believe that a year ago I was begging for relief; I was begging for your arrival. I was big, I was sore, and I was just so ready to meet you. I’m thankful that labor only lasted a mere five hours because my arms were itching to have you in them. The day you came into this world will always be very special to me; it was the day that I became a mama of a beautiful, little boy.

And such a boy you are! You are constantly on the go; moving so fast from room to room. You are so small; too small, it seems, to be walking. I can’t tell you how many times your daddy and I have almost tripped over you in the hallway. Wherever there are people in the house, you must also be there. You are content to play, as long as there is someone in the room with you. Quite the curious nature you have, my son. You want to see everything, touch everything, smell and taste everything. Opening up the cupboards and pulling out the pots, pans, bowls, and anything else you can get your hands on, has become a favorite pastime. In fact, the first time we locked up the cabinet with child-proof locks, you looked at me with such disappointment and sadness. But you quickly recovered and moved on to the cabinets you could still open.

Hudson, my love, you are one of the sweetest, most affectionate baby boys I know. You long to be held and love to be cuddled. No matter if you’re in the midst of playing with Devyn, or playing with your toys, the moment I sit on the floor, you crawl over for a hug and a snuggle. You make this mama’s heart so full. Your kisses are so very sweet, and you love giving them. You are tender, dear one; always wanting to give comfort to those around you, especially your big sister. You and Devyn have a beautiful bond and are obviously very in love with each other. You love to play with her and I so enjoy standing outside her bedroom, listening to the two of you play together. It is sweet music to my ears.

This has been a trying year, a year full of ups and downs, but you are the best thing that has happened this year. I was so worried that I couldn’t love you as much as I loved Devyn and I’ve discovered that I worried needlessly. Just like there is something special about a mother-daughter relationship, there is something so very delightful about a mother-son relationship. You have crept into my heart, created a special place, a place that no one else can fill, and there you will stay. You are beautiful, Hudson Jonathan, inside and out. There is nothing that I enjoy more than watching you… whether you’re eating, playing, laughing, or sleeping. You, sweet boy, have filled my heart! I am so thankful for the gift of being your mother!

Caution: New Mom Ahead

Wednesday, February 13, 2008 10 Comments A+ a-

Seriously, I feel like I should have construction cones placed all around me as I try to navigate the twists and turns of motherhood.

I think I accomplished one of the biggest blunders a mother could do… I sent Devyn to preschool, the day before Valentine’s Day, without any valentines! You cannot imagine the horror I feel as I think about my daughter walking into her class without any valentines to hand out. It would have helped if I’d read the papers that were sent home with her. Of course, that would mean Daddy would have had to bring them in from his truck. I am so embarrassed! Devyn, on the other hand, is completely fine; she still received the valentines that the other kids brought. I, however, will forever be known as the mother who forgot Valentines Day.

Please tell me there’s a learning curve as a mom!

Sister - What?!?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008 7 Comments A+ a-

Devyn is insistent that she has a baby in her tummy; she’ll stick out her belly as far as she can and rub it, as if to convince us that there truly is a baby in there. And on top of that, she’s informed us that it’s her sister.

It’s a little disturbing on some levels, but completely adorable too.

New Study: New Perspective

Tuesday, February 12, 2008 5 Comments A+ a-

I’ve been quiet for the past several days… very quiet. To the point that my husband began to worry about me, to the point that I had to admit that while the alone time was nice, it didn’t “fix” my anxiousness. (It was a great band-aid though.) To the point that I had to admit that the depression was bad again... all because situations popped up that I obsessed over.

One, we had a health scare with Jon over the weekend, a scare that brought the big, bad “C” word to mind. (Cancer, for those that don’t understand my acronyms.) Why, oh why, does my mind go there first?! Without having a doctor confirm anything, without someone actually telling us we should be worried? Why does my mind always go to the worst thing that could possibly happen? And to top it off, there was no need to worry at all, it was nothing. I guess we can cross that one off my “to worry about” list.

Secondly, Jon and I are bad with finances, and by bad, I mean horrible. We’re only in our second month of trying to make a budget work on my part-time salary and suffice it to say that we’re poor for the rest of the month. Thank goodness that we can try all over again next month but between now and then, I’ll be berating myself for our lack of financial skills. (And no, I won’t be going back to work full-time. I’ve waited too long to go part-time, we will just figure things out soon… I hope.)

But then in our couple’s bible study on Sunday night it was time to pick out a new book for the group. Our pastor came prepared with about 14 different books to choose from; it was a difficult choice to say the least, they all looked amazing. They ranged from the Ragamuffin Gospel to a study on Hosea to a book titled, “It All Goes Back in the Box”. But in the end, the six couples decided to read Max Lucado’s book “Facing Your Giants”. The back cover reads:

“You know your Goliath. You recognize his walk, the thunder of his voice. He taunts you with bills you can't pay, people you can't please, habits you can't break, failures you can't forget, and a future you can't face. But just like David, you can face your giant, even if you aren't the strongest, the smartest, the best equipped, or the holiest.

David. You could read his story and wonder what God saw in him. His life has little to offer the unstained, straight-A saint. He fell as often as he stood, stumbled as often as he conquered. But for those who know the sound of a Goliath, David gives this reminder: focus on giants---you stumble; focus on God---your giants tumble. If you're ready to face your giants, let David's story inspire you. The same God who helped him will help you.”
Wow! Who wouldn’t be excited and thrilled to be involved in this kind of study? Just re-reading the synopsis brought goose bumps to my arms. Jon and I are so eager to start this study; I just pray that I’ll be open to what God has to teach me regarding my Giants. And maybe, just maybe, I can start focusing on God, instead of the Giants that I allow to rule my life.

Time Alone

Friday, February 08, 2008 9 Comments A+ a-

Something has been “off” all week. And by off, I mean I haven’t been myself. Those feelings of anxiousness and worry have pretty much ruled my emotions, my week, and my family; not the greatest week I’ve had recently. I’ve been going through a checklist of sorts, trying to pinpoint the cause of my anxiety. Did I bite more off than I can chew by deciding to head a reunion committee, trying to bring together a class of 420+ graduates? Well, yes, but that wasn’t it. Was it the growing pile of laundry taking root in my basement? Nope. Was it running from the library to work, or bible study to work, or doctor appointments to work? Yeah, it’s been a busy week. Is my sister’s infertility the underlying cause of my worry? Of course I’m concerned, of course I’m constantly praying for her, but no, I’ve finally been able to give that problem over to God. I just couldn’t put my finger on what was causing this anxiety.

And then this morning I was given a gift…the gift of alone time. Jon had the day off, due to the fact that he’d reached his 40-hour work week by the end of the day yesterday. And so with a Starbucks gift card in hand, I headed out the door and to the nearest Starbucks where I ordered my usual venti, mocha Frappuchino. (Hey, I never said I was a die-hard coffee drinker; I like my drinks fluffy.) I curled up into one of their big, oversized fluffy chairs and spent time alone. Oh the sheer joy of reading without interruption, the quiet of not having to break up an argument or answer nonstop questions, the fact that I just got to spend time with me.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my babies, more than life itself but it is hard work being a wife and mommy (as most of you well know). I think so often that we forget that we need to take care of ourselves too. We’re no good to our families when we’re rundown from life; when we’re constantly putting their needs above our own. And so, at the first chance that presents itself, I highly suggest you take advantage of the opportunity to head to the gym, to your favorite coffee shop, even to a park, and just spend time with yourself. You’ll be amazed at how refreshed and revitalized you’ll feel; and trust me, your family will thank you for it too!

I've lost all control!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008 13 Comments A+ a-

Some time in the past week, Hudson has morphed from an infant/baby boy, one who was content to stay in one room and play with one toy at a time, into a full-blown little boy who is now into everything. I’m not really sure when the transition took place but now I am constantly on my toes. I am in awe of anyone who can manage more than one boy at a time, you have my full respect!

Hudson is certain that not only does he need to play with every single one of his toys at once, but now he must take each toy, turn it upside down (and inside out, if possible) to figure out a) how the toy is making that noise, b) how the toy can move in that way, or c) how he can possibly destroy it or make it stop. Once he’s figured those things out, then we must act quickly to “fix” the toy, otherwise, he’ll start crying. Last night during bath time, he decided that all toys must be out of the tub, much to Devyn’s dismay. And without further ado, he tossed all the toys, some filled to the brim with water, onto the bathroom floor. The floor was quickly soaked. And when Devyn hopped out to put them back in the tub, he turned around and did it again.

And oh, the joys of outlets, light switches, and electric cords. He is rapturously in love with each of these things. Obviously we have covers on the outlets but he’s still trying his darndest to get them off. As for the light switches, he and Jon have a wonderful ongoing game of turning the lights on and off. Hudson will squeal in delight with each movement of the switch, it’s quite hysterical. And one thing I was not at all prepared for was his infatuation with electric cords. When Devyn was this age, a firm “no” was all she needed to know that something was off limits. This is not the case with Hudson; no amount of hand-swatting, displacement, or diverting of attention will get the point across that something is not allowed, especially chords and TV and DVD buttons.

Hudson has recently decided that he is no longer going to eat baby food, of any kind. No more cereals, no more pureed veggies or fruits, no more meat in a jar, etc. He is done! He must now eat what we are eating or we’d better be prepared with a full rain-coat type suit to catch his objections at being fed something else. I can’t forget to mention that he must now feed himself and quickly stuffs his face full, often with food ending up all over his face, in his hair, and on his clothes. And we are quite aware of when he is finished eating as any leftover food is promptly thrown on the floor.

Oh, my baby boy, it’s hard to believe that he’s going to be a year old next week! Where did the time go? I can’t believe that at this time last year, I was lamenting how large and uncomfortable I was and now a year later I have a little boy on my hands. I was unprepared in so many ways for the differences between a boy and a girl, but I have been given so many unexpected joys too. While he is definitely on the move, there is still nothing he likes more than to plop next to me for a cuddle. While he is definitely testing his limits, there is no one that he loves more than his sissy and will still stop to lay his head on her shoulder or will give her a snuggle for comfort. He is one of the best things that has ever happened to me and this family just wouldn’t be the same without him!

A Reflection... Of Sorts

Monday, February 04, 2008 15 Comments A+ a-

I had a moment on Friday, a moment that I think a lot of bloggers have had; one where you realize that your blog is being read by a lot more people than you thought. I don’t know why I was surprised; I email our family and friends on a regular basis with Devyn, Hudson, and family updates. For those that have found me on MySpace or Facebook, know that I list my blog on those profiles. And basically, I’m pretty forthright with information about myself, my family, my children, or anything that I’m currently going through. My life is very much an open book. So why, when I hear the words, “I read about that on your blog”, am I surprised?

I’ll tell you why… because as open as I am about my life (and I feel like I’m pretty transparent), my deepest desire is that anyone who reads my blog will come to know two things about me. That one I love my husband and children, marriage and parenting are hard work and not always enjoyable, but I feel so blessed to be in these roles. And two, and most importantly, that I serve a loving, forgiving, personable, and grace-offering God. I couldn’t be the first things, without the second one; my God is that important to me.

And so, what gave me pause this weekend, was wondering if I’m living out my life reflecting the two things that are most important to me. It’s fine and dandy that I write about parenting, marriage, and God but I am I truly reflecting those things in my day-to-day life? When I run into former classmates or friends that I haven’t seen in a while, do they come away from our interaction saying, “Now there is a woman who walks her talk”? Or are they saying, “Wow, she’s kind of a hypocrite because she her life doesn’t reflect anywhere near what she says on the blog”? I honestly don’t know… and please, I’m not looking for compliments or positive support here… I’m just truly reflecting on my life at the moment.

I may not be in the “mission” field as most would call it; I’m not riding camels in a desert in Africa, I’m not serving college students in Ecuador, nor do I feel called to do any of those things. (And my hats off to those that have been called and are doing it.) Because I’m already in my mission field; in the lives of my children and any of their friends that I come into contact with; the family, friends, and strangers that read this blog; my neighbors; etc. If I can be used in any way, to bring anyone to a relationship with God, then I am His to use. I’ll just continue to pray that I’m doing the best I can. I know I fail, I fail miserably AND often, but that’s where grace comes in. Because of grace, I get to start all over the next day. That in, and of itself, is a wonderful reason to wake up in the morning.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

The conclusion I’ve come to at this point, is that this blog has become an accountability of sorts. It’s kind of like the Christian fish that some place on their back bumpers; it’s a great reminder that there are people watching to see if the driver of that van (or sedan or SUV or coupe or truck) is really driving as “Christian-like” as possible. Like that fish is to vehicles, this blog is to me. I will still be real, I will still be raw, and I will still be as open as possible. My prayer is that maybe it will touch someone…somewhere…someday…somehow.

If you’ve made it this far through this post, then please know this… whether I know that you read my blog or not, whether you’ve ever commented in the past or not, whether you’re a dear friend, sister, or stranger, please know that should you ever need to talk, or ever want to know more about any aspect of my life, I am only an email (or phone call) away. And if you ever should see something lacking in my life, an area that could use some attention, please don’t hesitate to say something; accountability is never a bad thing. It can be pretty humbling at times, but I know that I am a work in progress and it is by His hand that I’m being shaped.

Ballerina Wannabe

Friday, February 01, 2008 7 Comments A+ a-

I have to admit, I’m finding the threes to be more difficult than the twos. However, every once in a while, I find Devyn so darn adorable and I can’t get enough of her. This week has been one of those times; one of those weeks where she’s just so much fun to be around!

This is a quick snippet from last night. Devyn received a trunk of dress-up clothes for her birthday (thank you, Papa Dave) and she has about seven outfits that are constantly being changed into, and out-of, on a nightly basis. Here she’s performing a “ballerina” dance and Hudson is being oh, so helpful in selecting the appropriate music.

Sorry for the grainy video, cell phone videos aren't the best quality, but will do in a pinch!