Seven Years

Sunday, May 31, 2009 7 Comments A+ a-

Seven years ago I woke up on this day a bride, overjoyed that I was going to marry my best friend. In honor of this special day, I'm going to borrow an idea from Rachel and share with you seven of my favorite memories of our relationship. I've listed them in chronological order.
  1. Our Last Night in Guatemala - Many have read that Jon and I met during a youth group church missions trip to Guatemala. One of my absolute favorite moments stems from that trip. It was our last night in Guatemala and everyone was winding down from the two-week trip. Some were playing cards, some were playing music and singing, most were snacking. But a select few of us had congregated on the floor and just chatting, Jon and I among them. There was banter back and forth, but all I really remember was both Jon's eyes and his smile. They both lit up the room. At one point, Jon shared that smile with me and it was like a kick start to my heart. I remember thinking in that moment, "This is someone special and he is going to have a special place in my life." Hmmmm...

  2. Our First Christmas Gift Exchange - This one makes me smile. We each had bought gifts for the other, but did not know how we were going to exchange them. My family has always attended the Christmas Eve church service, whereas Jon's family did not. But after the service, both sets of parents allowed me to stop by his house. His house was so warm and Christmas-y, all the lights were off with the exception of the Christmas tree, candles, and lighted garland on the stair banister. We sat in front of the tree, on a couch, exchanging gifts that we'd picked out for the other. A pocket knife for him and a sweater from Espirit for me. I kept that sweater for years, even when it no longer fit me. However, at one point, I washed it and shrunk the poor thing for good. I believe its still around somewhere.

  3. Our Engagement - You can click here to read that story. We both love that story.

  4. Our Wedding Day - There are so many wonderful memories from this day, I'm not sure I could begin to choose. I could talk about the first time we saw each other, all dressed in our finery. I could mention our first dance, where everyone else simply disappeared. Or how could I forget his brother's toast?! But instead I want to talk about the picture above. This is my favorite picture of the entire day, our photographer captured this moment well. We'd been given specific instructions about where to go after the ceremony. I'm thankful that Jon still had his head and led the way because I don't remember that walk at all. When we got to the room, Jon pulled me into his arms and all of my emotions just bubbled over. It was joy, euphoria, relief, contentment, and love, always love. It was done, it was over, and I was his wife! That picture is not posed, in any way. The photographer just happened to be at the right place, at the right time.

  5. Our Honeymoon and Thunderstorms - Jon and I went to the Maya Riveria for our honeymoon. I won't bore you with the details of not getting to sit next to my groom on the plane, but as you can see, it still bothers me. But while we were down there, there were a few days where it just stormed non-stop. One time, we went to the top of the hotel where they had several hammocks and a hot tub. We laid in a hammock and just watched the lightning in the distance. But that's not this memory. It was in the middle of the night of the first storm and it was on this night that Jon learned his new wife was terrified of thunder. I don't even remember waking up consciously. All I remember was hearing that first clap of thunder and I was instantly in Jon's arms, clutching at him like a madman. He had to spend the next half-hour calming me down, enough so I could finally go back to sleep. We laughed because after dating for four and a half year, he had not known about my aversion to thunder.

  6. Our Daughter and Grandpa - I don't talk think I've ever talked about Jon's grandpa on here and its high time I remedied that. Jon's grandpa is such an integral part of his life, he is there in all of Jon's childhood memories, he is who Jon tries to emulate, he is an amazing man. A man whom I have come to love with all my heart! The night Devyn Paige was born was one of the most important nights of our lives, all of our children's births are. But this night, in particular, was special. After a whole generation of eight grandsons, the first girl on this side of the family was born. For as long as I live, I will never forget the look on Jon's face as he passed his baby girl into the arms of the man for whom Jon has the highest respect. There was such pride in his face, such love, and the tears. Oh, those tears undid me. There they stood, Jon at Grandpa's back, looking over his shoulder, Grandpa tenderly holding my hours-old baby girl. It is a memory that is forever etched in my mind.

  7. Our First House - It was a long road to our first house. One that included lessons learned, months in my parents basement, and the numerous trips to visit the site where our home was being built. The morning that we drove to the realtor's office was surreal to be sure, seeing the welcome on their front sign was exciting, signing paper after paper was tedious, but getting the keys, oh I can't describe it. We drove straight there. Just the two of us. No kids, no friends, no family. Just Jon and I. We opened the door and I believe I did a twirl or two in the front room, we were like little kids as we went from room to room, touching the walls, the doors, it was ours! And then we sat on the floor, in front of our fireplace, and thanked Him, from whom ALL blessings flow. There we sat, for an hour, or two, just basking in the knowledge that this was our house.

Jon David, my love, my best friend, thank you! These past seven years have been a wild ride and just when I think I couldn't possibly love you more, you prove me wrong. Thank you for sharing this life with me, thank you for our three beautiful children, thank you for loving me! I am so looking forward to the next seven years with you.

Begging Time to Stand Still

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 2 Comments A+ a-

Oh Miss Reagan, my sunshine, how you have touched our lives! Five months on Friday… five months since you came into our lives. Yet it feels like you’ve always been here.

You are a special little girl, but I think you already know that. You are easy, by far my easiest child to date. You’re content to lay there, look around your world, and smile. Oh, your smile. I could write poetry regarding your smile and how it the weight of it makes your body curl into itself. As soon as one has eye contact with you, you break into a wide grin, as though you’ve been waiting just for that one person. Your daddy specifically can’t help but coo into your eyes as you bestow that smile on him. Between you and me, love, he’s toast where you’re concerned.

Your siblings, they love you. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have to beg them to stop fighting over you. “She is both of your sister, “ I tell them. Over and over again. “Take turns,” I command. Over and over again. And you, you are oblivious to it all. All you know is that you’re loved, that there is both a brother and sister whose sole purpose is to make you share one of your smiles. You love Devyn, she walks into a room and your face lights up. She is a good sister, patient, loving, and helpful. Hudson is someone that you tolerate. When he grabs an arm or leg, when he pats you a little too harshly on the head, you just stare at him, wondering why on earth your parents are allowing him to do this to you. Patience with your big brother, love, he is young and still learning the ropes of siblinghood. One day he will be your greatest defender. Not to mention there will come a day when you will get your revenge.

I would be remiss if I did not mention your cousin, Elliana. It feels as though Ellie is an extension of our immediate family, a third sibling that sleeps at Aunt Christine and Uncle Caleb’s house. It is wonderful watching the two of you grow together, Aunt Christine and I share stories about recent developments and milestones. We bemoan the questions regarding both your and Ellie’s small size. And we wait for the day that you will actually reach for each other in companionship. Only recently have you two started making eye contact with one another. We hope that there will be a deep, lasting friendship between the two of you. But only time will tell.

You are anxious to move, little one. You so enjoy tummy time, so much so that you start crying when you accidentally roll to your back. You’ve become quite vocal about your dislike of the swing, or laying on your back; you want to be a part of the action. While you are easy, we are seeing signs of a temper. In the blink of an eye you can go from contented to upset, its quite an unsettling cry. The cause is usually hunger or a change of position, but really we don’t hear it often. You are mostly a happy girl.

Miss Rea, you are the first of our children to actually prefer my arms over another’s. Both Devyn and Hudson were content, as long as they were held. But you, precious, prefer your mother over anyone else. Do you know what that does to this mama’s heart? It melts my heart into a puddle on the floor. I’m sad because you won’t get the amount of one-on-one time with me that Devyn and Hudson got, but that is why I’m cherishing these times with you so much more. Every night I look forward to 8:00 when your brother and sister go to sleep because I know the next few hours are filled with you. We can play to your heart’s content, or I’ll stroke your closed eyelids and lips while you sleep.

You are a gift, Reagan Jacqueline. Happy five months, my baby girl!

Top of the World

Sunday, May 24, 2009 0 Comments A+ a-

I'm currently sitting in a clearing at the top of the mountain where the family cabin resides. Despite the cloudy, rainy weather, the Colorado Rocky Mountains are still glorious! I hope you enjoy this quick, random list.

Jon and the kids, minus Reagan, came up to the cabin on Friday.

Reagan and I, along with my mom, two sisters, and two girlfriends attended Beth Moore's conference in Laramie, Wyoming.

It was a fantabulous weekend, much better then the conference in Colorado Springs last May. I feel charged and ready to run the race with renewed energy.

Reagan and I arrived at the cabin this morning. 20 minutes after our arrival, Hudson threw up all over me and himself. What a welcome!

The reason I'm in this clearing? My friend, M, went into pre-term labor this morning at 28 weeks. This is the only place I can get reception for updates. Please pray for her and Baby Boy Z.

Have I mentioned how much I love mobile blogging?! Until next time...

Keep Fighting!

Friday, May 22, 2009 3 Comments A+ a-

The Lakers may be favored to take the series, but we want it more.

Working on Contentment

Thursday, May 21, 2009 4 Comments A+ a-

Discontent (n): a sense of grievance: dissatisfaction: restless aspiration for improvement.

What is it about the human spirit that never seems to be satisfied? Why is it that I’m always looking for, and wanting, more? Why am I not content with what I have?

This has become a sincere struggle of mine as of late. I find myself mulling over this concept of contentment and struggling with why I’m having such a hard time lately. I’ve had many discussions with friends, sisters, and my mom regarding this and truth be told, I have no answers. I’ve just come to the root of my discontent.

From the moment they laid that sweet baby girl in my arms four and a half years ago, my biggest desire was to be home with her. I struggled through the first weeks of Devyn’s life, vacillating between baby blues and learning my new role as a mother. But the rest of my 12-week maternity leave was wonderful; I learned the intricacies of my new vocation and loved this little girl that I had been gifted with.

When it came time to return to work, it was not without many tears. I remember standing at the doorway to our bedroom, Jon and Devyn were cuddled on the bed, and I had just packed the diaper bag for her first day at my parents’ house. The bag felt so weighted, like it weighed 20 pounds instead of two. I was devastated, completely distraught at the idea of my baby spending nine hours away from me. I remember Jon looking at me in horror, wondering how to calm and soothe his sobbing wife. I repeated over and over that I just couldn’t do it, but in my heart, I knew that I had no choice. Jon and I vowed then and there, that one day, I would be home more often. And that was a goal we worked towards diligently.

The same onslaught of emotions consumed me when it was time to return to work after Hudson’s birth. At the merest mention of work, or concern, I’d burst into tears and was inconsolable as I hugged him tighter to my chest. I can’t begin to explain the weight of those emotions; I just know that I felt like I couldn’t breathe. This time around we were in the process of buying a house and any drastic changes to my employment meant the difference between our own place and my parents’ basement. I knew I could handle it for a few more months.

Within two months after closing, I was finally realizing part of my dream and working part-time. It was divine having those hours every morning! I didn’t have to be at work until 11:00am and Devyn, Hudson, and I made the most of that time together.

Then we discovered our surprise pregnancy with Reagan and we knew that I couldn’t possibly work that many hours with three children. And yet, we still needed some of my income and insurance benefits. After weighty discussions, prayers, and trust, my job finally agreed to a job-share situation, and the perfect working schedule. In fact, I never even had to face the possibility of full-time work after maternity leave. I went straight into working two and a half days a week! This is the most any baby of mine has had me around, and I can already feel the difference in Reagan, in our home life, and in the post-partum recovery.

Here is where my discontent comes into play and I’m trying to reconcile these feelings, but I’m not there yet. I once prayed fervently over my first- and second-born that I would do anything, be happy in any situation, if only God would help us find a way that I could be home more. I couldn’t imagine feeling more fulfilled and happier with a part-time position, knowing that those extra hours were going into our home life.

You all think I’m going to say that I’m discontent with being a part-time, stay-at-home-mom, don’t you?

Nothing could be further from the truth. My discontent now lies in the fact that I’m not home full-time! The days that I’m home with my beautiful babes, are heart-warming days to be sure. I finally feel like I’m being more pro-active in their upbringing years, in the housework, in the amount of time that I get to play with them. I love having a clean (or mostly clean) home when Jon comes home, I love knowing that dinner is cooking and waiting to be served. I never thought I’d be this woman, but not only am I embracing it, I truly find joy in it!

Each morning that I wake up and have to go back to work, it’s with a sense of discontentment. It’s not that I don’t love my coworkers, because I do. It’s not that I’m not thankful for my part-time job, because I am. I am eternally thankful that they allowed me a way to continue making what I make and doing what I do, while balancing that with more time at home. Then, why do I feel discontent with it? What happened? Why is part-time suddenly not good enough? Am I being unthankful? Truth be told, I’m feeling a bit like a spoiled brat, who got exactly what she wanted but now it’s not good enough.

And so I wrestle with my thoughts and with my feelings. In the mean time, I’m praying for a better attitude, I am willing myself to find contentment on these days, and I’m hoping that my heart catches up with my mind soon. We’ll see…

Sandy Beach Bums

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 3 Comments A+ a-

Remember the list of things to accomplish this month? Well, one can be crossed off. Thanks to my innovative, builder husband!

Check out the sandbox that he designed and built for the kids. Papa Dave had a huge hand in building this too. Already, Devyn and Hudson have disappeared for hours at a time. Thanks Babe! You did a fabulous job!

And yes, Hudson is already practicing his sand-trap golf swing.

One of THOSE Summers

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 1 Comments A+ a-

Because of this...
(Come on! It's the middle of May for crying out loud!)

and the lack of this...

I am overly giddy with this...
Seriously, I did a happy dance. Over this.

Bring on the heat!

Love-Hate Relationship

Wednesday, May 13, 2009 3 Comments A+ a-

Two seconds later he was poking her face and had to be rescued.

Our Irish Lass

Monday, May 11, 2009 8 Comments A+ a-

Reagan Jacqueline was meant to be, in so many ways. For those not familiar with the story, Jon and I discovered we were pregnant with Miss Reagan a day after his maternal grandmother, Mary Jacqueline, died. We knew then that if our child was a girl, she would share her middle name with this lovely woman.

Fast forward seven months and Reagan was born two weeks early, only two days before Grandma Jackie's birthday on the 31st. And when it was announced that it was a girl, Reagan Jacqueline it was.

Now Reagan's hair is turning red, and her eyes are staying blue. (Both Devyn's and Hudson's eyes had already begun changing by this point.) It seems that Reagan shares more than just a name with her great-grandmother, they're also sharing genes. For Grandma Jackie was Irish to the core, her own hair red and her eyes blue. And with a maiden name of Mooney, of course the Irish is coming out.

Its a beautiful thing, seeing this come full circle. Our own little Irish lass.


Sunday, May 10, 2009 0 Comments A+ a-

I am humbled that I was blessed with these beautiful children. Awed that I am their mother. Thankful beyond words for this life.

Mother's Day 2009

Sunday, May 10, 2009 1 Comments A+ a-

[Update: Christine was released from the hospital early afternoon after all the bloodwork came back normal. Whoo hoo! The surgeon believes that Chris hadn't kept on top of her pain by not taking pain medication during the night. So far, things seem much better and we're praying that the healing continues!]

On this Mother's Day, her first Mother's Day, my sister is supposed to be home cuddling with her baby girl and relishing that she finally gets to partake in this special day. Instead, Christine and Caleb are at the Emergency Room waiting to be seen.

On Thursday Christine had gall-bladder surgery after having several, painful episodes with gallstones. It was supposed to be routine, out-patient surgery, back home and recuperating. However, on this Sunday morning Christine woke up in excruciating pain. (And remember, this is the woman who went from 0cm to 10cm without any pain medication!) The pain so bad that she couldn't talk on the phone without crying.

The surgeon believes a) infection set in, b) a clip fell off, or c) a gallstone fell into the bile duct. For now, Christine and Caleb are waiting to see what awaits them this day. Her first Mother's Day, apart from her baby girl. The one that made her a mother in the first place. Please pray for her!

I would be remiss if I didn't bring your attention to this post or this post. Beautifully written pieces about motherhood. They'll make you tear up, warm your heart, and thankful for this wonderful vocation called motherhood. Happy Mother's Day!

Whistling a Happy Tune

Thursday, May 07, 2009 4 Comments A+ a-

Some randomness floating around in this head of mine today:

  • It is a five-Pepsi kind of day. Yes, you read that right, five. Better yet, just hook me up to an IV. I was woken at 4:30 by one child who needed to nurse and a half-hour later, all three were wide awake.
  • Speaking of nursing babies, Miss Reagan had her four-month check-up on Monday. (Four months, can you believe it?!) She has now surpassed her cousin and weighs 10lbs, 9ozs but Ellie gets the prize for being taller.
  • Reagan also received immunizations and had a rough couple of days afterwards. Nothing too serious, a slight fever (her first) and grouchy!
  • After much discussion, Jon and I decided to go ahead and make an appointment for Hudson with the pediatric endocrinologist. At the very least, it’ll put our minds at ease.
  • However, our answer is still a firm no when it comes to human growth hormones. He’s only two for crying out loud.
  • Mom, Christine, and I were running through our weekend plans for the month of May and guess what? Every weekend is taken up! Seriously. No lazy weekends for us this month.
  • This Saturday we’re heading down to Denver to visit with Jon’s cousin and her little ones. I’m really looking forward to it. And I know the kids are going to go wild when we get to Funtastic Fun.
  • We also have Mother’s Day, graduation parties, a Beth Moore conference, a bridal shower, and a wedding anniversary to look forward to this month.
  • Jon is determined to finish the sandbox for the kids though. So, he might be ducking out of a few events. But not the anniversary. Seven years. I can’t believe it!
  • I am relishing my part-time stay-at-home status; and I’m pretty sure the kids love it too. We’re having a ton of play dates and I’m even getting to a MOPS group in a couple of weeks.
  • Speaking of play dates, did I ever tell you about our play date with Cody? Cody is the two-year-old son of an old (we’re not really old, Melissa) classmate. Cody is as obsessed with basketball and Hudson is with golf. Neither wanted to play the other sport; it was quite the stand-off.
  • However, Cody was quite enamored with Devyn and kept hugging and kissing her. It was a brief glimpse into the future of having a boy in the middle of two sisters.
  • Poor kid better get used to the idea of friends crushing on the sisters.
  • I’ve had a few play dates myself. There is something so refreshing and so freeing about sitting around with girlfriends and comparing stories. It makes me feel so normal.
  • There was one particular “play date” with some friends from high school that involved dinner at the Olive Garden. I haven’t laughed that hard in such a long time! I hope we do it again soon.
  • Spring has definitely sprung on the Front Range and after the massive amounts of rain and really wet snow (five weekends in a row, thank-you-very-much), everything is SO green.
  • There are some flowering trees right outside the entrance to my job and they are so fragrant. I really wish I knew what kind they were so I could plant one at home.
  • And lastly, we have moved Hudson into a toddler bed. I can’t believe we’re at that stage already!! He has a hard time going down at night, but once he falls asleep, he’s out!
  • But please pray for Mom and Dad’s sanity, would you? There’s only so many times you can say, “Get back in bed” without feeling like you’re losing your mind.

PS I’ve moved a few things around on the blog (can you tell I’m loving this hobby of mine?!) and there’s now some easy buttons located under the header if you’re interested.

PPS This post is like one long list of Facebook status updates, don't you think?!

A Desire for Passion

Tuesday, May 05, 2009 4 Comments A+ a-

You know that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach as you climb the first hill of a roller coaster? You're wrought with nerves, fear, and anticipation, knowing that you're in for a wild ride. Just typing those first two sentences I'm feeling very much the same way. Truth be told, just thinking about writing this post has left this feeling in the very pit of my stomach. Bear with me as I try to make some kind of sense in this post.

Pastor Jim is currently doing a series on revival, a lot of the focus being on the revivals in Scotland during the late 1850s into the 1860s. A revival in which there was no explanation BUT God. No other reason, than the Holy Spirit was alive and real in that country. Pastor Jim is praying for a revival here, now, in these times, in this place. He's been praying for it for a while now, and every time we touch on the subject, I get that feeling I just described above.

Usually, I fear the idea of a revival. Crazy that I just wrote that, huh? But let me assure you, its a healthy fear. I know that my God is bigger than anything my mind can comprehend. I know that He pushes social norms, He does not exist solely for church buildings, religion and titles do not impress Him, He pushes us out of our comfort zones, He does not know boundaries or constraints. So when the idea of revival is brought up, I get jittery. Because I know that when God decides its time for a revival, when the Holy Spirit shows up in our community, in our church, in ourselves, its going to get mighty uncomfortable around here for a lot of folks. Including myself.

But you know what, for the first time in my adult life, I'm ready. I want a revival. I want a passion that burns so hot and so uncontrollably, that others around me can't help but be burned by it. I want to wake up every morning with a thirst for Him and His Word, a thirst so strong that it can't be quenched. I want the first thing I think of in the morning and the last thing I think of at night, to be Him. I want that passion here, in this town, in this state, in this country. I want it in a generation that has become indifferent and ambivalent. I want His presence here. I want what no other explanation can provide, Him.

Yes, it's going to get uncomfortable.

I don't have this in my life right now, but I want it. And until that fire is all-consuming, I'll be praying for it... and waiting.
LORD, I have heard of your fame;
I stand in awe of your deeds, O LORD.
Renew them in our day,
in our time make them known;
in wrath remember mercy.
Habakkuk 3:2

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Monday, May 04, 2009 2 Comments A+ a-

For those that are friends with me on Facebook, know that I believe I found THE perfect chocolate-chip cookie recipe. I had so many request it, that I thought I'd post it on here. These cookies really are incredibly soft, chewy, and delicious; the best I've ever made!

2 and 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks of butter
3/4 cup of granulated sugar
3/4 cup of packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
package of chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
  • Heat oven to 375*
  • Stir together flour, baking soda, and salt.
  • Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until creamy.
  • Add eggs; beat well.
  • Gradually add flour mixture, beating well.
  • Stir in chocolate chips, and nuts if desired. (I did not add nuts.)
  • Drop by rounded teaspoons on greased cookie sheet.
  • Bake 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned. (I baked them for 10 minutes.) Remove to wire rack to cool.
  • Approximately 4-5 dozen cookies, depending on the size of the cookies. (We like them BIG in this house.)