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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Post-it Notes and People from Above!

This week has just been one of 'those' weeks. Nothing horrible but I'm just so anxious and unsettled and it shows. 

Silly things, little things keep getting me in a big way. Patience is virtue that I don't possess right now. I'm trying. I really am. But the insides keeps spilling to the outside.

I'm so grateful my mom is coming today. I'm so grateful for all of the other blessings that have come from above. We have a great God!

Yesterday blessings come in the form of a friend. Esther and the kids came for some visit time and oh I enjoyed our few moments of adult talk. She also helped pick up my kitchen and make Olivia's bed and was just a blessing to me. Then when I had a moment of reprieve I read a wonderful blog post by Jason (great blog if you want to check it out) and it calmed my soul a bit. I felt like I knew God was giving me just what I needed to not take a long walk off a short pier.

No, these blessings didn't turn me from crazy lady back to normal mama but they reminded me that God is with me. He's riding this roller coaster of life with me! Infact, he's in the car holding my hand as I plunge down the next too steep hill screaming my lungs out.

Today's blessings came in the form of a phone call. Garrett called and poor her she got an earful. I just needed to let it out. I told her how I'm okay with still be huge and tired but I'm not. I don't want to complain about it but man it's taking it's toll on me and my ability to function like a sane woman. Her phone call calmed me as I felt like I was releasing the pressure valve. Then my oldest has been nothing shy of a sweet angel today. She's been helpful, sweet, loving, and calming. Oh how I love her. If that wasn't enough for me to feel God's presence then I read another blog (great too if you want to check it out) that just poured my thoughts into black and white and reminded me I'm not alone...again.

These moments didn't snap me out of my loony toon self but they just remind me to take a breath and keep forging on. This too shall pass. I won't be a huge, hormonal, hot mess forever.

So incase you're having a moment of crazy, or two or fifty-five, like me. Remember you're not alone. Look for your post-it notes from God that will give  you a moment of peace and mercy and grace. Lord knows we need them all!

"I am writing to [Jennifer], my true [daughter] in the faith. May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord give you grace, mercy, and peace." 1 Timothy 1:2

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Hurry Up and Wait

"So I think this is where we hurry up and wait" Dr. B says just about a week ago...

So at my last checkup (37 weeks along, last week) I went in thinking things were happening. I had been having on and off contractions for a few weeks. My body felt like it was moving in the directions of potential labor and that morning I woke up unrested after a horrible night's sleep. I had been woken to a few pretty strong contractions in the middle of the night, one that caught my breath, and I was thinking okay 37 weeks is my limit. Both of my older girls were born just after 37 weeks so this would make logical sense right? Wrong!

The morning appointment had us dropping the girls at Esther's house and heading to the doctors to get checked. Well at 6:15 that morning I got a text saying Evan, her youngest, had awoke with a fever and had gotten sick in the night. So right away I had to switch up plans because after my night of restless sleep and contractions I didn't want to bring the girls with us for fear that they might want to keep me- and as fun as it sounds to have a 4 year old and a 2 year old in the room with me while laboring, I think I'll pass on putting that one in the memory books. So I called in a friend and thank goodness she was able to help us out. So problem solved! Not too bad right? Wrong!

I'm still in bed at this point and trying to get the energy to enter the shower as Matt starts putting on his socks. That's when it happened- he wrenched his back and cried out in pain. Really? Yes, really! Then I started to panic a little, okay a lot, as he hobbled about in noticeable pain. As I got ready all I could think about was how on earth he was going to be any help to me if I was indeed in labor?!? So when I was doing putting myself together for the day I called Garrett and woke her up to ask her, the only person in this state whom I would even trust to be in this position with me, if she would be able to pinch hit for Matt if today was the day. She said she would be able to and that made me feel better, I think. 

Honestly, nothing was going to make me feel better, things just seemed to out of control. After packing last minute things in the hospital bag and the girls "go" bag we were out the door. We drove separately since Matt usually heads right to work (five minutes from the hospital/doctors office) after these appointments. Every song that came on the radio made me cry- it was our local Christian station. Things were just too much. I mean I was ready for her to come but I was not ready for everything to be so up in the air and out of sorts.

We got there and that is when the nausea and hot flashes kicked in. And when I say hot flash I mean like burning hotter than the sun flash. We get into the room relatively fast and the doctor comes in. I told her I've been contracting all night and morning. Her first question "How far apart are they?" I must have looked like a deer in headlights since I was too busy/crazy to even worry about that this morning. I know they were stronger than they had been but I wasn't sure of how much time separated them. I told her about the crazy morning and that I didn't even think to worry about that. She said "let's check you" and then I heard, "oh, you're 1 cm dilated." Really? Two weeks of contractions and I'm 1 cm?! She said that she wanted to monitor me so she called in a nurse and the nurse got me hooked up.

Now mind you that I've not sat for one moment all morning and you'd think I'd be happy, as I usually am, to be resting there. But not so much that morning. I'm three fourths the way naked since they needed my belly bare to hook up the monitor. I couldn't get comfortable on the table no matter how Matt tried to fix the angle of the table back. I was hot, the lights were too bright, and I just wanted to relax which I couldn't seem to do.

We were there for over an hour. The monitor wasn't on right and it didn't pick up a single contraction. Mind you I only had 5 while lying on the table realizing that they weren't as close together as I had been imagining. At this point I just wanted to go home. The doctor comes in to check on me and I must have looked like I had gone through a storm because that is how I felt. She looked at me and said that she could keep me and monitor me more, or I could go home but that right now it looks like we're playing the "hurry up and wait game." I just wanted to go home. I wanted to lay down, I wanted to nap, I wanted someone to rub my back, I wanted someone to tend to my children, I wanted food that someone else made, and I wanted to know if I was in labor or not. She couldn't grant any of that except the 'go home' part. So that is just what I did- well I did stop at a fast food place to get lunch so another part of my 'want' list was granted.

I was just exhausted and it was only 11 in the morning. The whole way home I prayed. Thinking back I'm not sure if my prayers were specific or just for God's presence to carry me through the day. All I know is that I was restless and looking for some of His all powerful peace- you know the "peace that passing understanding" - yeah that kind of peace.

The rest of day seemed to pass uneventfully- thankfully. After dinner that night though I started to contract regularly, enough so that Matt was timing them and they were less than 5 minutes but not very strong. Then as my body as done plenty of times before, they stopped and never came back.

That night a slept so well- I was so tired. Saturday came and went with not much to say. I just remember being in a funk, not happy, not sad, not upset- just in a funk. We prepared for Easter with the girls and I spent the day wondering if she was going to be born on Easter. It was something I had prayed about- since one of our sweet heavenly babies was lost on an Easter I was wondering if this sweet baby in my belly now would be a reminder to us of the circle of life. But no baby on Easter.

Later in the evening on Easter I told Matt I'm glad my prayer wasn't answered the way I was hoping. We had a wonderful day together as a family celebrating the risen Lord and being with each other. The girls were able to enjoy Easter at their house, find their baskets when they got up, go to church, spend the day with their mommy and daddy. I'm glad God made it His was- it was very nice.

That is what my prayers have been lately. For me to not only believe in God's plan for this baby's arrival but to trust Him too. That was the message on Easter Sunday and it was one of those messages were I'm sure Pastor Spencer had wrote that sermin for me specifically. It gave me chills. But it is what I need to do. I need to believe and trust in God's plan.

Our annual Family shot on Easter. We took 30 pictures and this
was the best we got. 

Now a week later I have my 38 week appointment tomorrow. I've been contracting all week again but nothing more than what I've already been dealing with. I've basically started ignoring them and not really saying anything unless Matt or someone asks. They have been nothing super strong, not very regular, and nothing worth fretting over. I'm very interested to see if we've made some progress in the dilation and thinning though. I'm pretty sure we might set a date for induction at tomorrow's appointment- if we make it to that date only God knows. 

I was talking to my MIL about induction and how I'm really up in the air about how I feel about it. I was pretty much induced with Olivia since they had to give me pitocin to regulate my contractions and jump start my body after my water broke and nothing really happened, so I know what to expect. What I think is weird is picking her due date- shouldn't God do that? I guess in a roundabout way He is. I do like that it would make things very drama free. I could even have my mom fly in a day or two before- eliminating my need to have Esther watch them and for their lives to be uprooted in any way. That would definitely be an added bonus. I also think having an end date in sight would allow me to take a deep breath and relax a little more. So now that I write this maybe I'm not as up in the air as I thought- maybe it will be a good thing. 

I know I'm ready to meet her. The girls and Matt are too. I know that whatever day God brings her outside to meet everyone will be a special day filled with blessings that can't be described by words. A day that I hope to remember as long as I live- like pray I do with my other little cuties! Whenever that might be- it will be perfect in a way only God can create. So whenever you're ready God...so are we!!!

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take." Proverbs 3:5-6

Friday, March 13, 2015

Toenail Polish



I'm a very reflective person by nature. I learned this when I was student teaching and in college. My supervisors and professors pointed this quality out to me. I guess then I didn't realize that it was a gift I possessed, I merely thought everyone did it, but I guess that isn't the case.

I often spend my quiet moments reflecting on the day or the week. What we've done or not done. Saying small prayer as I think of a person I talked with or a need someone expressed. I also reflect on what I've got coming up ahead and how it's all going to work- filling in my mental calendar. 

My favorite moments to reflect on are the one with girls and life with Matt. The sweet moments of love that glue our days together as a family. Looking at pictures throughout the house always bring me back to when...

I think of the mountains overcome and valleys of days past. I think of how God was there with us through it all, in our hearts and alongside us. 

So as I've gone through this third pregnancy I do the same. But not with a picture, with toenail polish.

This summer my Grandma Rose passed away. This happened at the end of July/beginning of August. After an already emotional spring and summer the girls and I traveled home to honor her life and memory with our family. While we were there Lauren asked me excitedly one day to paint our toenails. I took a mental look at our week and told her that one afternoon while Olivia slept her and I would paint our toenails.

We were both excited to look through Grammy P's stash- all new colors to us making the special moment all the more fun. I found this really pretty and deep lavender and Lauren picked out a pink and blue. Then I noticed a sparkly one I could use as a top coat. We enjoyed our moment in the quiet small apartment. Grammy and Aunt Shauna were gone, Olivia was sleeping, and cousin Finn and Papa were out in the pond fishing so we had the place to ourselves. I think this was the only quiet time we were able to have together all week.

I'm not sure what brand polish I used but that polish stayed on and looked great for a few months. Then as time went on and I became pregnant with the bundle of joy I'm carrying now, I was too sick/preoccupied to remove it. Summer turned to Fall and the once opened toed shoes turned into sneakers and flats as the days got cooler. So I saw even less of a reason to remove the polish. It worn off most of my toes or grew out but hung on strong to my big toenails.

I started noticing the polish in those few brief moments when my toes were uncovered and reflecting on the time I put it on. The tough emotional spot I was in then, filled with loss and sadness. Yet I also think about the sweet moments with Lauren when her and I put it on- the joy we shared together in those few short minutes of quality alone time and pray for us. I think of the baby we lost just a month earlier and then pray for him/her. I think of the baby, the life, I have in my body right now and pray for her. I think of all the love that filled our days since then and pray for it. 

Although at first I just didn't remove the polish out of pure laziness now I leave that last little strip on as a reminder- a reminder of my journey, the mountains and valleys. I think of my Grandma up in heaven.

When my mom called me and told me that they were with Grandma Rose and it wouldn't be much longer before she passed on I cried and thought of how joyful she was going to be in heaven and I asked my mom to tell her something. I ask her to tell Grandma Rose to "Hold my babies in heaven tight for me and give them lots of kisses." My mom later told me she whispered that into her ear as she lay there waiting to walk through heaven's gates. I know she is. I know God is too. With tears in my eyes I pray for them. 

What a journey this pregnancy has been and still is. So when the day comes to deliver her into this world I plan on having my itty bitty strip of nail polish on to remind me of the journey God took us on to get to from the ashes of last spring/summer and onto the life of this spring.

I know the day it finally is gone I'll be a bit sad but I know that it will be God tell me it's time to build some new moments worth reflecting on. Add a new color to garnish those open toed shoes that will come with me as the journey of life continues.



"He replied, 'The LORD, before whom I have walked faithfully, will send his angel with you and make your journey a success...'" Genesis 24:40a

Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Girls Top Ten List - Winter 2015

OLIVIA JEAN
2 Years Old

10. She is in love with the Frozen movie and soundtrack- dancing to the songs with her 'cape' on. She calls it "Go" from the song and her favorite is Olaf (O-E)
9. Her and Lauren officially share a bedroom - and most nights they even enjoy sleeping in the same bed. Matt and I find this most adorable!
8. When she hugs you, it is a big gripping hug and sweetness galore! 
7. She loves dancing around and just running all over the place, always moving
6. She recognizes a bunch of letters, thanks to watching big sister learn to write them. She knows: O, L, D, W, M, E
5. She still loves Ellie Night-Night and when she is out of sight she sadly calls for her until she has been located "ELLIE!!!! ELLIE!!!!" and will often sing to her "Rock a bye Baby" - it is beyond precious!
4. She sings "Rock A Baby" to Ellie and loves when you sing it with her too
3. Wearing big girl undies and using the potty all the time!
2. "NO ME!!"- She wants to do everything herself, we're working on "Me, please" She loves putting on her own coat, shoes, and clothes
1. New words- she says like 2-4 new words everyday, it's amazing to watch!




LAUREN SHEA
4 Years Old


10. She is very interested in the soundtracks to movies and has learned to use the Ipod and CD player. She enjoys watching Bug's Life with just the music on.
9. Her and Olivia officially share a bedroom - and most nights they even enjoy sleeping in the same bed. Matt and I find this most adorable!
8. She is becoming the best big sister in the world. She helps Olivia and has fewer moments of selfishness and more moments of inclusion and sharing
7. She is learning to write and can spell a few words on her own- WOLF is a favorite at the moment. She can write her full name with some help with spelling the middle and last name.
6. She loves dance class and no longer needs one last hug but heads in on her own.
5. She loves reading and will memorize her favorite books and 'read' them back to herself. It won't be long...
4. She can zip her own coat and button big buttons all by herself- all of which she taught herself to do
3. She takes showers and washes herself, still needs help with her hair
2. We see less and less toddler and more and more big girl behavior- she's often a big help to mommy and daddy
1. She still prefers being "where everyone else is" and loves that her little sister follows her everywhere (so do mommy and daddy, finally a break!). It takes her a bit to warm up to people but once she knows you, she LOVES you- ask all the ladies at church.

"I think I can, I think I can"

This afternoon I'm feeling like I identify with the little engine that could. I happily took on the large load of toys and chuffed my little engine up the tall, tall hill. But boy is my boiler out of water now and I'm just coasting down that hill- no steam left in this little (or big might be a better way to describe me these days) engine. 

So this past week we had the joy of having my mom and step-dad (Grammy and Papa) here for a visit. To be completely truthful I was not looking forward to the visit. But for reason. You see they are in the process of moving. Not just moving from one house to another, but moving one state to another. We are a good 'way point' on their trip so it made sense for them to stop here and they were absolutely invited to do so. However, moving is stressful- and there was no lack of stress to go around, so I was not looking forward to it entering my house...like things here aren't crazy enough!

Part of the stress was the sudden burst of winter we've been having. I guess the groundhog is the one laughing now (refer to this post if you didn't get my not so funny joke reference). They were hoping to be at our house last Tuesday the 17th, but they weren't quite as ready as they thought and the snow that pounded down on them didn't help. So they actually arrived a week later. Each night during that week we would talk and figure out when they might be here- the wait game is not one I enjoy but it was the nature of the beast that no one could change. Then I wasn't even sure until I called them Monday at 3 pm that they were on their way. They didn't arrive here until well past my bedtime, 10:45ish, Monday night.

Part of the stress, for me at least, was they were bringing their cats. I've said it on here before plenty of times that I do not have a spacious 3,000 square foot house nor do I want one- however this would have been very handy this past week. We put her two cats into our office so we had to move Annabelle's litter box into our bedroom- not my favorite choice but really there was not many other places to put it. My house always feels like it shrinks a little when people visit, as does every ones house I assume. But this added fun with the cats just made it even smaller. Plus, the clean up after they left was, hum how do I say this, oh yeah miserable. But it's over and now my office is the cleanest it's been in a long time (positive thinking).

So this was why I wasn't looking forward to their visit but I love them and just adore spending time with my family since I feel I see so little of them being so far away. And this week was such a blessing in that matter. And God added his sweet surprises in a way only He can. My mom calmed the longer and longer she was here. She helped out a bit with the girls and with things around the house, as did my step-dad. They were able to watch them while I went to my 32 week appointment. Wow, I still can't believe I'm now 32 weeks pregnant- it is all going so fast! We also enjoyed a date night. And it seemed once they settled in and put the stress of the move behind them and I put the stress of their move behind me it was a fabulous time. 

The girls really enjoyed playing with Papa, and Grammy had fun helping with school on Wednesday. My parents even stayed through Friday so that Matt and I could enjoy our first date night in a long, long time. We went to see the movie American Sniper. Wonderful movie and great alone time for Matt and I. Friday night started with a big family dinner out then the girls went home with Grammy and Papa and we headed to the movies. It was nice to come home to sleeping babies and just be able to snuggle into bed.

We kept remarking over and over on Friday how this week flew by and the stress of Monday seemed so far gone. I really do love them. I am getting a little nervous to think that the next time I will see my mom it will be because I've given birth to the baby girl inside my tummy right now- who is kicking, pushing, and tumbling around as I type.

Speaking of my wee little one- can I tell you ever since I hit 30 weeks on the calendar it seems that the third trimester has settled itself right in. My body feels big and continually stretched to it's limits. I swear sometimes she just pushes up against my poor abdomen and tries to make more room for herself. My lower half seems to have swollen with love times a gillion. The aches of pregnancy are settling in and the joy of second trimester is fading fast. I laughed this Thursday at the gym. I went to Zumba but the winter weather had all classes cancelled so I figured I'd hop onto the treadmill and walk my hour away to the hum of the gym noises. But as I walked I could tell my hips had 'repositioned' themselves in the tilted manner as they often do during pregnancy and to be honest it usually continues while I'm nursing too- so about a year and 10 months of this fun. I haven't been to the physical therapist in a while so I wasn't too surprised. But I could tell without a doubt that my legs were two different lengths- it's rather awkward feeling to say the least. I think I noticed it so much since my stride is longer when I walk on the treadmill, as opposed to walking around the house. But Monday morning I will be calling to make an appointment for sure!

Everyone in the house is napping and I'm enjoy the sounds of the washer and dryer as each load of blankets, sheets, and towels gets cleaned. Reflecting on the blessings of this week, a week I wasn't so sure about, has helped me to collect my thoughts and prepare for tomorrow...the first of March!

March holds big meaning to me this year- usually it just signifies the end of birthdays and holidays around here but this year is will be our last complete calendar month of pregnancy. Wow, I just can't believe it's already that time- crunch time as we prepare for baby. Just a few things left on my baby bucket list and we'll be ready! Matt and I were discussing over lunch that we're just five weeks away from when her big sisters came into the world but eight weeks away from her due date if she's more content to stay in there than they were. Oh and some wonderful new to share that Matt came home with on Thursday night- Matt has been at his job long enough that he can take paid paternity leave!! And get this he can take up to three weeks! Yes, you read that right. I don't think he's going to take it all but he said he was thinking about a week and a half would be good. That sounded good to me. He won't have to take any vacation time and it's paid time off!! My mom still plans on coming down right away to tend to the girls while we're in the hospital. It will also be helpful for my mom since she's got limitations due to her conditions. We're all excited all the way around! We love when daddy is home!

So here's to the little engine who keeps on chugging and praising God with each chuff along the way. 

"For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline" 2 Timothy 1:7

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Wet Cement and Love

I almost didn't write today because I'm not in the best of moods. I think I would have to say that being a stay-at-home mom has lots of perks and among my top 10 is not having to be around anyone when I'm in a bad mood. Now you might be thinking I'm a nut (which you would be right to think) because yes I am indeed around my kids 24/7 but they have this way about making me smile when I'm cranky, laugh when I'm sad, or just get over my issues and move on. For some reason other people do not have this effect on me- in fact it is usually the opposite. When I'm forced to be around people they make me more sad, more cranky, and want to scream at the world. So being home when I'm not at my best is the best.

Today was one of those days. I felt like I was moving through wet cement. I was getting stuff done but every time I turned around something else needed my attention. I couldn't get the morning routine done fast enough. It might have to do with the fact that I've been blessed for the past four day with Matt home helping me. I sure did miss his presence today. He had off Monday for President's Day and then yesterday we got a heap load of snow (to my northern friends we just a dusting). So Matt's boss sent an email suggesting they work from home. Matt can't really do that too well since he needs the hardware elements to test the software and we don't have any of that stuff at home. So he get a few hours of work done during nap time that he was able to do from home. But he was ours the rest of the day! So today I was just in slow motion without my partner in crime.

I finally got to starting school an hour later than usual and we got on a roll. We were doing well but we were later than usual since we started later. So it wasn't until I was about to start a new lesson/project that I noticed Olivia standing on the chair funny. Any mom who's ever potty trained knows that look and that stance. Sure enough she had an accident. I felt bad for her- she's been accident free for some time now but her and Lauren had an extra drink this morning and both girls had gulped it down fast. It was also right around an hour and a half since she had gone last so had I been paying attention better I might have helped her to avoid it. We cleaned up the mess and I put her on the potty incase she wasn't all done. With new clothes on I decided to save that lesson/project for later and get started on lunch since it was passed our normal lunch time as well. I put out some grapes and the girls were munching on them as I prepared the rest of lunch. Lauren and Olivia were playing some game too. After getting the plates almost ready I turned around to see Olivia standing there in her wet pants. Again. It had been less than a half hour from her first accident and she never once told me that she needed to used the bathroom. I was frustrated since we had just reviewed how to tell mommy if you have to go, a half hour earlier. But she hadn't so we went through the clean up process again. It has been a long time since she has had two accidents in one day but again I reminded myself about all the extra drink and just took some nice deep breaths. And like any good mom reminded her again to tell mommy if you have to go to the potty.

We finally sat down to eat. Lunch was good and the girls must have been hungry or my cooking is just that good (hehehe) because they ate it all up. I was getting little Olivia's face cleaned up and I said to her, let's go use the potty since we drank so much today. I picked her up only to find that she already had that idea and had yet another accident. Oh by this time I was no longer calm as a cucumber and my patience was out the window. I fussed at her about telling mommy and so on. I got her cleaned up again but this time a little more begrudgingly. Could this day be anymore of a stinker?!?! I was trying to get over the slow morning, the cut short school lessons, and the first two accidents, not to mention the lack of pep in my step and I wasn't catching a break. 

Still I forged ahead and after cleaning up Olivia for the third time, I cleaned up lunch. The whole time I cleaned up I was so grateful for my third baby being in my belly and not adding any more to the crazy. I was thankful each accident had happened in the kitchen allowing for very easy clean up. I was also thinking about how I really didn't want to put my little accident girl in snow clothes now. So as I plopped down in the living room chair, I told Lauren "I think mommy is too tired to go outside and play in the snow." But she looked crushed and said "You can do it mommy." I told you these girls have a way of making me have energy when I feel like there is none left to give and a smile too. So I rallied and we went outside to play in the snow. They played and ran around (okay Olivia just walks like a one year old unsure of how to navigate the snow but Lauren was running) and I shoveled around the cars. Matt had so nicely moved my car back before going to work in hopes that the sun would melt the last bit of snow but there was too much for that so I finished the job. Then we played in the backyard making snow angels and going around in the sleds. Then we decided to build a snowman. Before we knew it, it was time to head in and get ready for naptime.

We got in and undressed from all the snow gear only to find out Olivia had yet again peed in her pants. This time I was too upset for words. I don't mind that she peed per say, this is not what was upsetting me- what I was upset about was that again she didn't say a word to me. I feel like she is very capable to doing this. So I went about getting her cleaned up again. This time though she was the one upset. She cried and cried- not because of me fussing, no. I went back to being that calm cucumber because I was too upset to be upset (you ever get that way?) and I was just cleaning her up with not a word coming from my mouth. She on the other hands was a slobbery mess.

I was also happy the nap diaper was coming on. Always looking for that silver lining.  I already had an extra load of laundry, I didn't need to add sheets on top of that. We got ready for bed with special prayers for handling life's hardships and extra hugs and kisses.

But now I sit here in the quiet of the house. With Olivia sleeping like a sweet baby and Lauren playing trains and it all seems so insignificant. Isn't that funny how we get so caught up in the moment of crazy that surrounds us and when we're removed from it, it doesn't seem so bad. Instead, I am remembering the fun of each lesson we learned at school. Both girls drew a sweet family portrait that melted my heart. We had fun playing outside and building a silly snowman. I enjoyed the small moments where I got to be silly with them or snuggle for a few seconds in between the other stuff. Those are the moments I want to think about as I fall asleep. Those moments that God made just for me and them. These girls aren't going to be this little for long and yes I will remember the crazy but I want more than anything to remember the love. The moments where Lauren runs into the room with a smile from ear to ear to tell me her exciting news or when Olivia just runs to you out of nowhere to hug you and giggle. 

So if this day was slow and not much got accomplished, I pray that what did get accomplished was showing my girls just how much mommy loves them. Weather it is showing mercy, compassion, and forgiveness for a lesson still needing to be learned or by rallying extra energy to make sure they feel special and loved and worth every ounce of my being. I might not have been able to get through half of my school lessons today but I hope that the lesson learned is bigger than anything I can say to them across the table. May my actions, words, and life model to them what true love is - even on the days when I'm walking through wet cement.

 Olivia, Our Snowman, & Lauren

Their family portraits- both of them including their baby sister
without me saying anything- what more could a mama ask for?!

"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." Colossians 3:12, 14 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Projects, Lists, and Some other stuff

We are on the upswing of BoogerFest #2,581 of this winter. I'm so very grateful that this one seems to be passing in a little over a week and not a month or more like some of the other happy illnesses that have entered through our doors this season. So today we've been home and open for fun projects since we don't feel like passing our 'winter love' onto others just yet. 

I finally got started on a project that has been brewing in my mind for about oh six months. You see I found these really cute "little sister, big sister, biggest sister" shirts on etsy.com and really wanted to get them. I however was not willing to pay $52 for three shirt that would be outgrown in a few months, never to be worn again (since they would be personalized with names and all). So my thrifty mind got to thinking and I decided I could make my own for WAY cheaper. I got on google and looked up how to make your own t-shirt and they simply said to use a sharpie marker. Easy. So I went to the craft store about a month ago and got a onesie and two shirts for the big girls on sale for $12 total. Then I found that sharpie has fabric markers- way cool! So I purchased three different colors for $6 and some change. Then I went onto Microsoft Word and printed out the words for each shirt in some cute font for free (ink and piece of paper are a nominal price in my book). I taped the shirts to the window and traced the words onto the shirt. Now I need to hit up the other craft store to get a few packs of flower iron-ons I had found but didn't get since I wasn't quite sure what I wanted yet (price TBD). Then I will have cute, personalized shirts for when baby arrives for ~$25 or less and if you don't like doing math in your head, that is less than half price!!! I'm very excited about that, can you tell! 

I have also gotten started, again, on Olivia's 10-12 month photo book. Hoping to finish it later. Shutterfly has a sale for Valentine's Day that has the books 50% off- nice. Don't laugh at me I do realize Olivia just turned 2  and I'm just now completing her 10-12 month book but hey it's been busy here. I think I was the same way with Lauren- neither of the girls have a 1-2 year book which I would love to make someday...maybe...okay maybe that will never happen. But I girl can dream right?! 

So now that it is done I can cross that off my "Baby Bucket List." You know the one I've sort of spoken of on here. Got the dresser- check. Got Lauren taking showers- check. Got Olivia using the potty and out of diapers- check. Got shirts almost made- 1/2 check. Got Olivia's last photobook made and ordered- check. Have baby clothes cleaned, organized, and in the dresser/closet- check. Still need to: organized closets upstairs, prepare nursery, clean up baby car seat, get and clean bassinet, reorganize diaper bag, pull out all the baby stuff from storage, pack that ever dreaded hospital bag...there might be more but that is all my brain is coming up with right now.

I had a moment earlier this week when I realized I am now 30 weeks and that Lauren and Olivia were just 7 weeks from being born at this point. I'm not holding my breath that this little one will do the same- but it just got me nervous for how fast this pregnancy is coming to an end.

I think it has to do with life being that much busier with two sweet ones already here but I tell you a week will pass sometimes in the blink of an eye. I feel like January was here and gone before I took a breath. I am also so much more aware of how selfish I am with this time- right now baby is mine, all mine (of course said maliciously) and I don't have to share her. Plus, she's so gosh darn portable- no fussing at her to put on her shoes or hurry up doing __[fill in the blank]___. It's almost like I know how life is going to get a little more crazy and so I'm embracing the 'less crazy' we have right now. Do I sound crazy right now for saying that? I wouldn't be surprised! 

A women in my Thursday Bible study just had her third little one and she is still so little she comes into small group and sleeps away or just chills in her mama's arms instead of going to the nursery. I looked at her sweetness today and thought to myself- I'm glad I have a little more time. I'm glad I'm not quite there. I want my baby out (eventually) and I do want to share her, really I do despite my goofy statement above, but I'm just not ready yet. This instinct is so polar opposite of how I felt with Lauren and with Olivia a little too I just felt so big at the end, I was so nervous that I was ready for the crazy. I think it also has to do with this might be our last. I would love four little ones but I think Matt is going to be content with three. So I don't want this part to end so soon since I know you forget it. You forget what being pregnant feels like, just the same as you forget the intense pain labor causes you until the moment your body is right there again. So I am savoring it, each moment, each kick, each shirt the accentuates my big old belly because Lord knows that once baby is born you want to do everything EXCEPT accentuate your belly. Sometime I'll have to write my feelings about having more babies but for now I'll leave it at that since it could be a long post in and of itself. 

Now I'll make my way into the kitchen and get dinner going so when the crazies wake up and get home from work I can provide a warm meal for them. I'm so grateful for all I have been given from our Lord. I'm grateful for things like sweet shirts and photo books full of wonderful memories. Oh there isn't a thing I'm not grateful for- even the crazy I've come to know and love! The crazy I call my home and my family.


"There is a time for everything, 
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
at time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace."
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8