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Friday, November 14, 2014

Old Lady Gear

I've been trying all week to get on here, thoughts have been swirling in my head and I want to get them down. So here it is Friday and I'm getting to this post. 

Today was such a wonderful day. Mostly because it was very laid back- no rushing, no need to do this, that, and oh yeah that too (you know how life is). Nope today started with sleeping in! I think it was the wonderful husband who went out after putting the girls to sleep and got me Wendy's burgers that helped (oh he's an amazing man!). I didn't wake up starving and both girls slept in as well allowing me to embrace the cozy, warm bed just a little longer today. 


Last night I went to Zumba- can I just laugh at the fact that I can't go an hour without needing to use the facilities during the class. The first night I finally went back to lovely Zumba since exiting the first trimester my sweet instructor thought something was wrong but kindly replied that all that jumping made baby enjoy my bladder like it was a trampoline! She laughed and gave me a big hug- she is a wonderful woman inside and out and I enjoy dancing around like a goof with her.


So yes my lovely body is still moving but not very fast. I continue to be introspective on the differences between your first baby and your third. Maybe I didn't do this as much with Olivia in the womb because I wasn't quite as old as I am with this one or maybe it's just baby number three that sends you over the edge with your body changing more rapidly during pregnancy. This time around I've needed to go regularly to a physical therapist. My hip issues started after Lauren was born but I noticed it the most when I started running again. I went to the Chiropractor then and they were able to put my poor bones back where they belonged for me and my muscles were still pretty strong that they stayed in place pretty well. During my pregnancy with Olivia I contemplated going to PT (my doctor doesn't like me going to the chiropractor while pregnant and I follow what she says) but never did. I just waited until Olivia was born and then headed back in. It wasn't as bad from what I can remember but I do remember my poor muscles being a little more weak after her- needing more secessions to get my hips to stay in place. Well this time I couldn't wait, my hips ached and still sometimes do. It was to the point that I struggled with sitting on the floor to play with the girls and oh boy getting up- it was sometimes downright painful. I felt like I couldn't wait until after birth this time around. So I've been to the see a wonderful PT who specializes in pregnant women and was recommended by my doctor. It has helped immensely and she has given me some exercises to do which help strengthen the lovely muscles around my hips- now I just need to be better at doing them more regularly. She also introduced me to this fabulous belt that helps give your muscles a little rest and holds your hips in place- it's called a sacroiliac belt. Lucky for me I've found a friend who has one and is willing to lend it to me. I'm looking forward to getting it from her since there are some days (mostly nights though) that I would love some help. I've had a few evening shopping trips where I felt like an old women, hobbling around Target and the grocery store. Oh I'm sure I was a sight. 


So if that wasn't enough...lol...my lovely leg looks like someone took a nice softball or hardball to it. Just like the hips I've had a patch of varicose veins that developed with pregnancy number one. They faded after giving birth and come back a little bigger/widespread with pregnancy number two and never fully went away afterwards. Well baby number three must be taking lots of long naps on the right side of my body putting lots of extra pressure on my inferior vena cava making these puppies just that much bigger and better ;-). So today the whole family took a trip to a great old school pharmacy near Matt's work to get mommy some support hose! Yes, my name is Jennifer, I'm 33 years old and I now own two pairs of support hose. I tell you once I get this belt, to accompany my support hose, Matt is going to go wild for his old lady wife!! Hahaha!!! I know he will love me with all my stuff anyway but I'm know I'll look like an ailing women for sure. And I do not plan on posting any pictures of me with my old lady gear on either, sorry!


Speaking of pictures I told Matt we need to snap a few this weekend of my ever growing belly. It looks so cute- like I did when I was about 23 weeks with Lauren...I'm just 17 now. I'm slathering extra belly butter on this time around! I kept laughing since my MIL and stepmom had sent me a handful of maternity clothes they got from friends and garage sales for me and each of them was a size large. I was laughing at God because I'm a medium but he must know something about how my mediums might not cut it with this baby. I'm bracing myself. As of now I've gained 10 pound which seems about right where I was with the other too so I'm not worried but I'm just laughing- this baby is going to be born with a sense of humor that's for sure.



I also wanted to write about how schooling was going. It's very funny since being a teacher you would think I would be use to things being off schedule and constantly having to shift things around and reorganize my plans but the core of me is still a planner and enjoys when things happen the day that it says so on the 'schedule.' Well that is just not how life works and I try my hardest to roll with it all. We've had a few sick days and some days where things popped up or we were cut short on time so I didn't get to everything so now I feel like I'm in catch up mode. I keep telling myself this is the best part of homeschooling - it doesn't always have to follow the proper schedule. I'm going to do some school tomorrow (a Saturday and typically a day we wouldn't do any school). But I'm behind in my 'unit' work and with the holidays it's hard to get off with that. So tomorrow we're going to do Thanksgiving activities and the letter D. By the way the letter and number writing has been the first thing that hasn't come 'naturally' to my smart girl and I've seen her get frustrated. It has been a learning curve for me- but I've got my secret weapon...colored pens! They have saved my life since she loves using them so it insentive to do the learning with the pencil and then she can do the practice with the pens. I also have to remember the special education students I use to deal with and how this is nothing compared to what I would deal with then, so perspective Jennifer,  perspective. 


I'm excited about the holidays, family coming to visit, and all the fun that goes into decorating things. Starting next weekend life is going to be busy, but busy with things that make us smile, laugh, and enjoy each other so no complaints here. Hoping I do have some time to capture the memories on here. But such as life!!



 Sweetness being crazy!

Cuteness being goofy!

"Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil." 1 Thessalonians 5:21

Friday, October 31, 2014

Blood Thirty Mama!

Okay first Happy Halloween! I have to make this post fast so I can make an M for Matt's shirt so he can be a green M&M with the girls tonight! The baby is going to be a red M&M mini (I'm putting the small M on my baby bump...hehehe). We're all excited about having fun as a family and getting some candy!!

So let's get right to this "blood thirsty Mama" thing. Okay I am a pretty neat person, most friends and family would say I'm extremely neat and clean, but I know that as my family has changed over the the last four years my housekeeping has slowly slipped down the totem pole of importance. But I never thought it could get so bad...okay I'm being a little dramatic here.

About a week ago we started noticing some fruit flies in the kitchen- that happens, not a big deal. They come in on the fruit from the store and they usually don't last too long. Well, we started noticing more and more. I felt like I killed the one or two I noticed and figured I'd taken care of the problem but oh no I hadn't. It was about one week ago that Matt and I realized that we must have something, somewhere in the house that was unnoticed where they were living, breeding, and thriving (gross!). So I set up my usual trap of apple cider vinegar mixed with a little dish soap to trap them. Well that is when I changed from normal everyday Mama to BLOOD THIRSTY MAMA!!! I was just going insane because they just didn't seem to be going away and I just couldn't stop myself from excitedly killing these little suckers. I'm serious when I say that on Saturday I had a kill count going. Last night Lauren was running through the house proclaiming "Mommy's the bug killer! Mommy's a killer of bugs!" I was mortified to hear her say this! I abruptly told her that I only kill bugs inside our house and nothing else (yikes- look what I've become!). Maybe it's the season or the Mama bear coming out as I feel my nest/den is being attacked. All I know is that I've become a fruit fly killing machine!

This is the woman who desperately wanted to learn to shoot a bow and shotgun as a kid (my father was an avid deer hunter back then) but deep down I knew that I could never kill a deer or any living creature purposefully. Yes, I eat meat and love it and don't mind eating the meat of animals others kill but I'm not sure, unless life depended on it, that I could do it. I did have a fatal accident with a deer once driving down a rural road. Poor thing had just eaten breakfast in the apple orchard and then dashed across the road too fast for me to react, making full contact with the front of my vehicle. Oh I was a wreck. Sobbing in some stranger's arms- a man driving the opposite direction than me on the road saw everything that happened, stopped to help out and stayed with me the whole time. Oh I wished after that I had gotten his name- he was a true "good Samaritan" to me. The state trooper came and had to shoot it twice to put the deer to rest so it didn't suffer anymore. It was a very traumatic experience and I felt awful. Of course my dad wanted to know why I didn't bring it home with me- oh fathers! So I'm not a hunter by nature, no no, but this last week has taught me different.

We have since located the onion house the pesky little things had made and gotten rid of it (oh I almost tossed my cookies when Matt found it- so disgusting). We also got rid of the bananas we had at the time- thus eliminating all of the possible food homes. I've killed a billion by hand and another billion with my vinegar traps. I'm slowly seeing less and less. All the produce I purchased last night at the store is now being housed in the fridge. So in our near future I can return to just being normal, everyday Mama and I can let the hunter return to the gatherer. But it just goes to show you that you never know what you will do or become in any given situation- all the more reason to never go on a reality TV show!

Now I'm off to make a few more M&M's. So have a sweet Halloween and not a blood thirsty one!

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build" Ecclesiastes 3:1,3

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Difference between 1, 2, & 3

No I'm not going to give you a math lesson, although I love teaching math, but instead I'm going to do something much more fun than that...I'm letting my avid readers (all one of you...okay maybe two of you) know that I'm no longer in survival mode but happily enjoy the second trimester of pregnancy of our third child!!! Yes, that's right there is a bun in the oven and we're jumping for joy over here (but not too high or there might be a spill on aisle five no one wants to clean up)!!! Like I said I pretty much spent the last six to seven weeks in full survival mode. I prayed for energy and would collapse each day at naptime and then right after dinner. Poor Matt was basically a single dad each night since I was in bed, asleep before the girls and him. Last night I was able to be there when the girls got out of bath and help get them dressed for bed and you would have thought someone handed my sweet husband an million dollars- he was so grateful for the help- as I would be if I were him. Haha, I always say you know I'm pregnant or really sick when he's running circles around me.

So how are things different this time. Well let me tell you the four miscarriages have really taken a toll on my mental health. In the last few weeks I've had a few doctor appointments where I've had to fill out the tons of forms, you know the drill, and on there it asked about postpartum depression and it really got me to thinking. I've never suffered from this, in fact I'm often the happiest after baby arrives, but I think there needs to be awareness about 1st trimester depression. The emotional and physical issues I go through during those 12 weeks is one of the hardest thing I've had to do. The constant worry, prayer, and then worry creeps right back up on you. The nausea and endless desire to want to crawl in the bed and just hibernate through the time. I feel like I am literally in survival mode and I'm not the happiest person to be around. I felt like I was just trying to make it through each day and some days each hour. I'm soooo super lucky to have two wonderful children who only a handful of days made mommy want to hide in the closet until daddy got home. And for the almost all of the time Matt was able to tend to the kids for me and let me take a break once he got home from work, and I'm so grateful for this. I also had a few great friends bring us food to help alleviate some burden there. Lots of prayer and a great support system has gotten me through it- the grace of God alone on most days. I don't want to seem overly dramatic but this time is such a struggle for me and is very taxing on Matt too. I just want others to know that they're not alone if they too struggle through this time due to a pregnancy loss. It's scary, to say the least. 

I'm also very grateful for my wonderful doctor, nurse practitioner and overall doctors office. I was in there every two weeks. I had my initial ultrasound around 6 weeks 5 days. Then I had a second two weeks later and then two weeks after that we were able to check for baby's heartbeat via the Doppler and then two weeks later was my 12 week ultrasound. I have found from experience that I can only last about two weeks and then I need reassurance. If I'm going to be honest, it is more like a week but then I just pray, pray and pray some more to make it through that second week. Some people say that the morning sickness helps calm them but not for me. I've been pregnant seven times and each time I was sick as a dog so it does nothing but make me miserable. Right now I'm a week and a half in and I have to wait a full 4 weeks this go round (yikes), but making it to the second trimester does help calm the nerves and also the every growing belly helps too.

So let's talk about this ever growing belly. Here is where I'm going to distinguish between pregnancies 1, 2, and 3- like my title says. I remember with Lauren longing to wear maternity clothes and wanting that big ol' round belly, and it felt like my belly was in slow grow mode and it was never going to happen. I remember with Olivia things in the belly growing department happening quicker and needing those maternity clothes that much sooner. But folks...I was wear maternity clothes, specifically bottoms, at 8 weeks this go round. I think I was just putting them on for the fun of it at like 13 weeks with Lauren. Maybe your slow growing belly with baby number one allows you to slowly acquire the new wardrobe where with babies two and three that tub is ready and waiting a lot earlier, thank goodness. My belly at 12 weeks with baby number three was the same as 20 weeks with baby number one. Oh my abs were so nice a tight and then Lauren and Olivia stretched those puppies out. The funny thing I've only gained 1.5 pound, according to the scale at last weeks appointment. So not sure where this belly is coming from...okay maybe the fettuccine alfredo I've been enjoying, or the extra helping here and there, and those tacos...just maybe. So my sweet baby bump this time has been a source of comfort and discomfort- silly little thing, or is that big thing?!? Oh who knows with me!

So this pregnancy is more reminiscent of my pregnancy with Lauren. With her I desired sleep, sleep, and more sleep. I remember coming home from work and not even eating dinner but passing out on the couch. With Olivia I just desired sweets all the time. I wanted ice cream, cake, pie, candy. My sweet tooth was off the charts and this is not normal with me. Yes, I get the hinkering (what kind of word is that?) for a cupcake or peanut butter anything but not the same with Olivia- I was in overdrive. No not this one though. I want meat and pasta, a nice sandwich with all the trimmings or a good soup and crackers. More of the comfort foods and I was the same with Lauren. And that sleep. All the sleep I can get I take. I sometimes feel like I can't get enough, sort of like I was with Olivia and sweets.

This time I have no instinct of baby's gender. It's interesting to hear others take on it. A lot of the old people at church were very interested in know if we knew already. I told them that fun news won't come until December, if baby cooperates. Lots of people have mentioned a boy since we've got two girls. But Matt and I could care less- happy and healthy is all we ask. It would be more convenient if it was a girl you know the thousands of dollars worth of clothes we already own, we're already in girl mode and I wouldn't need to redecorate. Lol I remember when I was all about redecorating with the other two- this time I could care less- maybe its since with Olivia we had to move the whole house around and that was a task of it own I'm not ready to repeat. On the other hand a boy would be different and new, we'd finally get to use that boy name we've been holding on to since Lauren was in the womb. So really it's all good. I feel like that is a big swing change from pregnancy number one, where we were all about what the gender was going to be. Speaking of that I just want to throw out there, since this is really bugging me lately, finding out the babies gender- no matter when- is a surprise! So many people say, are you going to let it be a surprise and I want to say back well no matter when we find out it's a surprise. Whether it's at the 20 week ultrasound or on the day that baby pops out (ha, like it's that easy...lol) it is a surprise. Anyway, I'm getting off that soapbox. And just a sidenote whatever anyone else does- wait until baby comes or finds out and doesn't tell others or finds out and tells the world that is their choice and I think they're all just great. I just prefer to find out when I can because I can. If it were the old days and I had to wait I'd be just fine but since I can know I would like too. Plus, I love having their name ready and calling them their name and saying it to the baby in utero too. It's just my preference. I'm not condemning anyone else's preference. Okay moving on.

This baby has been so much more fun with Lauren. When I was prego with Lauren there was no sibling around to enjoy it with. Then when I was prego with Olivia, Lauren was a little young to really grasp what was happening, nor did she seem to care (about the same attitude she had when Olivia came home). Where now she's got a concept of there being baby in there and I'm sure as my big belly gets bigger she'll enjoy that too. We plan on bring her to the 20 week ultrasound to see the baby on the TV and found out with us boy or girl (if baby wants to cooperate). We've asked her about names, lol, she said we should name baby Olivia- lol. When we asked if it was a boy or girl she said girl. She's come up with some goofy names too, but they're escaping me now. She understood what she was looking at when we showed her the fuzzy ultrasound pictures. 

That's another thing. Okay with Lauren we got tons of pictures. They were beautiful and clear. With Olivia we got a lot less. In fact, at our 12 week ultrasound we got one and it looked like a cattle skull hanging from a ranch sign and I had to ask the lady for a profile picture. This one, poor baby number three, has had about the same amount as Olivia but they're all so fuzzy and if you haven't a clue what you might be looking at you might as well be drawing it picture with your own imagination. They're that bad. A friend laughed at me and said "I thought technology would be improving but not according to your pictures." Oh I can hope for a great ultrasound tech at the 20 week or we'll just have to make up for it when baby comes out. 

Oh that's another thing. Olivia and Lauren had nicknames before we had a gender to put a real name to. Well I haven't gotten past baby. My sister nicknamed it Pedro since I was overjoyed about taco night at church and was telling her how baby and I couldn't wait to get our hands on the yummy food. Maybe one will come to me, until then sweet little one we'll call you baby.

And another thing, despite the very long and cumbersome first trimester, time seems to be flying. When I was chatting it up with my sister I have been so busy counting weeks I haven't even thought of what month I'm in. So she brought it to my attention that I'm already 4 months prego. Wow, really. Only 5 months to go- that seems so short in the grand scheme of life. April will be here before you know it. 

That is the other thing about this pregnancy is the timing and seasons are so different. Both the girls were pretty close to the same- spring/summer first trimester, summer second trimester, and then a fall/winter third trimester. Well this baby is spicing things up. I've been sick all fall- my favorite season. But I'm really enjoying the cold weather since hot flashes are so much more bearable in the cold. I've felt no need to turn the heat on and just keep the kids bundled. It will also be nice since baby's due date is at the end of the month so I'm more sure this one will be born in the same month in which it was due even if he/she wants to follow in their sister's footsteps by showing up three week early! 

So many fun things. So much I want to remember. I want time to go a little slower but as life goes we forge ahead and move along! I know from pregnancies 1 and 2 this time is something I need to cherish and embrace and eat up each moment. I want to enjoy my sweet family of four since this baby will shake it up, change it around, and give us all more to enjoy and more to do. Oh I wish I could put each of the wonderful blessings down, but I've got more blessings than I do time so I'll just have to smile and try and hold onto those memories as best I can. Matt and I were just talking the other night after dinner that it's really hard to remember what life was like with no kids or just one (other than it being much, much quieter) and how we wouldn't want to go back. So here's to our happy news and praise to the Heavenly Father who created in us a new tiny blessing!



"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will received the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him." James 1:12




Friday, September 26, 2014

That Moment When...

...you realize it's 2:30 in the afternoon and you haven't brushed your teeth.

...you wonder if you're making a difference.

...you put socks on your feet so you can't feel the mess on your floor.

...you think, "didn't I just do the dishes?"

...you wonder how the day flew by so fast and you couldn't tell a living soul what you accomplished.

...you wonder how the day could be going so slow...is daddy home yet?

...you walk by that mess for the seven zillionth time and wonder if it will ever just clean itself up!

...you're just so tired.

...it's you, not the kids, that dropped the fruit in the grocery store aisle making a royal mess- secretly you're grateful you don't have to clean it up.

...the house is quiet...

...your child's smile lights up your heart.

...the giggles and laughs from the other room make you feel like you're doing something right.

...you see your child learn, grow, and love.

...your baby falls asleep in your arms and you wish you could stay in that moment forever.

...the perfect person shows up at the perfect time and you just praise God.

...you actually wish to slow down time because the realization that they're growing up so fast overcomes your inner soul.

...the hug comes out of no where and it makes your day.

...everyone is in bed and you give thanks to God for each blessing, each struggle, and each moment of weakness where you saw His grace, mercy, and compassion and you can't wait to get up and do it again!

Monday, September 8, 2014

More than you can ask for!

This past weekend we had the joy of celebrating Matt's birthday. We had a great day and he sweetly said to me Sunday morning "Thanks for making my day so special." Melt my heart, what a wonderful husband I have- and he's taken ladies!! LOL...just being silly. Lauren's reaction was the best and I need to put this one down so I don't forget it...we descended the stairs after I got her up and reminded her it was daddy's birthday and her exact words as we entered the living room "Where's the big pile of gifts for him to open?" She was so disappointed for him, and her too I think, that there wasn't a pile of birthday presents like there is for her special day. I had to explain that as you get older you need and want less...she didn't buy it but left it at that. I also explained that we made him lots of beautiful cards and we were going to make him a special breakfast. Then she asked where his cake was....poor thing. I then had to explain that daddy wanted to go to an ice cream place with all of us instead of cake. She did seem okay with that answer (amen!). Here are a few pictures I got at the ice cream shop:






I picked a bad table to sit at because I guess the bees had already claimed the table. So poor Matt had to deal with me fussing to get my babies away from the bees. They were landing on Olivia's bib and her and I was in pure panic mode. His ice cream for some reason was melting fast while I held it and he relocated the girls and swished away the bees. I'm sure the people next to us were secretly laughing at me- but what is a mama to do when bees are walking on your baby?! I hate bees! Olivia kept cracking us up because she kept going to the ice cream poster that measured the kids to see if they were short enough of a free cone (A+ both girls were free, nice- plus Matt had a free birthday cone coupon and a coupon for 75 cents off mine, the bill was under $4). I think Olivia wanted to bring Ice Cream Guy home. Lauren was so excited to see that this ice cream place had been here all along, next to many of our favorite places to shop- I'm surprised she didn't ask why we never went there before (oh we have, just without you...hehehe...mean parents). 


We ended the day with a fun time swinging on our new swing set! Matt's parents came down the weekend before and stayed a few days. Matt and his dad built a swingset for the girls. We just wanted swings and something strong enough that we could enjoy it with them. Since it was end the season Matt got a great deal on everything except the wood and did a wonderful job planning and shopping. He's truly a wonderful husband and dad- incase I didn't mention that yet ;-) Matt's dad called it industrial quality- and they did such a beautiful job on it. The girls love it too!!

Then today was Lauren's first day of preschool!

We started with bible time- Learning about
creation and God. 

We made a play-doh mixture
and then created things with it.

Lauren's dump truck joined the fun

We're doing a little Math with cars

Olivia used some lovies - she was right
along with Lauren, too smart these girls

Art time - tracing weather symbols

Olivia just coloring along too

She's all done with day 1!

The morning went so smoothly. I was more anxious then she was, because I wanted it all to go right. One thing got mixed up but it was quickly taken care of. One of the activities was making a name tag. I had these little name tag sleeves and I have no idea where on earth I put them. You would think they were with the stuff I had all prepared, but no. So I just used index cards and foam letters instead- they didn't know the difference and had just a grand time. I was amazed at how well Olivia stayed right along with us. She was more distractible at reading time, which was on the couch, aka her personal romping grounds, so I don't know if that had anything to do with it. She looked through books but wasn't much interested in the ones we were actually reading together. Lauren on the other hand was just in love with each book we read. Both girls picked two books from the school bin and I picked one. Lauren sat through all five and loved them all. One that Olivia picked was a book on CD and Lauren especial enjoyed that treat. But I would have to say that Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs got the best reaction from her. 

I was so excited to be there to share these moments with her. I was so proud of how well she did and found it interesting how she almost seemed to enjoy the routine of it (can you tell she's my daughter, ha!). The morning went fast and we all enjoyed it together. I am looking forward to the next 107 days of school!

Our character trait is compassion and I've had Hillsong - Mighty to Save stuck in my head all morning. Such a great song! So today I'll end with our memory verse:

"My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you." John 15:12

Monday, August 25, 2014

Selfishness

Sorry this post isn't going to be a silly one or one about the sweet girls a floor above me at the moment. No today I'm struggling. I'm struggling with selfishness. I look around me and feel so blessed. I have a healthy family with smiles on their faces (for the most part) and food in our bellies. We have a safe place to live and money to pay the bills. That right there is more than most people can say. The world is full of places where people live in fear, where people can't think of anything else than how they are going to get their next meal to fill the never ending hunger, where people die of curable disease and malnutrition. Where people struggle to have enough to pay for the little that they do have. So I feel like I should take a trip away from my nice cozy life and really know what it feels like to want something.

I just have had a hard time the last few weeks with my selfish desires. My prayers are often filled with thanks to the Lord for what I have but then there is always this part of me that wants Heaven on earth. I'm sure I'm not going to make complete sense to anyone who reads this but I'm going to try my best as I pour my heart out and work through this part of me I wish would go away. I just want perfection. Perfection as seen through my small little eyes. I just don't want anything more bad to happen and I want everything to always be good. I guess everyone probably wants that, right?

I guess after this tough summer I just want things to turn out good. I'm sick of seeing the hurt of this life. Then I look around and think, well isn't it already good? I was brought to tears on the way home from Olivia's doctor appointment today as I thought about this selfishness inside me and how I could have overlooked the blessing of my happy, healthy baby girl in the backseat. 

I don't think I'm a person who wants all the material things of life. Sure if some of my material desires fell from the sky I wouldn't complain but that isn't what I'm talking about here. I don't feel selfish because I want more "things." I feel like I'm selfish because I'm want God to fulfill the desires of my heart (again not material things) and do it the way I desire. When I was having a heart to heart with myself and God this is the scripture that came into my heart:

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

I understand that I don't know it all. That I can't see it all. That I can't even begin to imagine all the parts and pieces of my story that I can't fathom or can't understand from this worldly body. But I'm finding it hard. Hard to just not know how to tangibly give it all over. How the "in all your ways submit to him" looks on this earth. I'm feeling like I can't or don't see how that works. Because I can't seem to do it. I can't seem to be able to just submit my worries to Him who yearns for me to do just that.  

I was thinking the other day that life has slowed down and I am finally getting a moment to think through the events of this summer. When I was going a million miles an hour I don't have time or energy to worry about anything that was happening and now that I do have time I'm worrying about everything. I know that this is wrong. When I realized this is what I keep doing, this verse flows into my heart:

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothes?" Matthew 6:25 

So then I start thinking about how busy things are going to be in a few weeks. How I've got lots coming up. And then I'll be busy again, with less time to think about stuff and therefore less time to be selfishly requesting God to make my life fit my desires instead of submitting my life to him. Then I think, well am I dealing with my issues or am I just finding a way to not deal with them? Me busying myself is not necessarily submitting to Him my worry and selfish demands or is it? Is this me having faith in Him?

"For we live by faith, not by sight." 2 Corinthians 5:7

Then I think what I will be busying myself with. First, I will be busy schooling my sweet Lauren Shea. This you must know is definitely me submitting to His path for me and my family. Just three years ago and many years before that I didn't even have homeschooling on my radar, but God did. So on this path I will be busy at work, God's work. Second, I will be busy with my other sweet, growing girl. She keeps me busy too and I've tried really hard in my school planning to have stuff for her to do as well- since she is two years behind in development her stuff might not be exactly the same, but she will keep me hopping too sharing each moment with us. This is God's work too- being a mother to my little girls- just wiping the butts and noises- cleaning the dishes- running the household. Third, I will be involved in being a wife to my husband. A true calling from God. He is not third on the list because he's third in importance but he is more like second to God alone. I know I sometimes fail as wife (when I put my needs first or ask too much of him) but I feel so blessed with my husband, my Matt, my love. My love for him is God's work too. Fourth, I'm going to be in two wonderful Bible studies this year. I will be participating in one on the gospel of Mark, Philemon, 1,2,3, John, and Jude. Then I will be leading the high schoolers in our church on one through Biblical living using the Proverbs and the Parables as our guide. That's going to be lots of work right there. God's work.

So maybe what I've been lacking these days isn't business but a focus on God's work. Maybe that's what it means when it says "submit to Him." So maybe it is a tangible thing. I don't know. Maybe my problem of selfishness can be solved by thinking about how I can do God's work today - with my family and church- instead of thinking about how God can do my work. Maybe it's as simple as my frame of mind or my attitude? I don't know. I have honestly come to this conclusion through writing this. I just felt the need to write today as I was tearing up in the driver seat. I could feel God working in my heart, prompting me to write and now by guiding me to the answers He has given me here today in this post. I put other things aside today to sit down here and listen for Him, to let him guide my writing, and my heart. Oh what a great God we have! 

"For the sake of your word and according to your will, you have done this great thing and made it known to your servant" 2 Samuel 7:21

So here's to the changing of my prayer. Instead of worrying about how this world should be according to Jennifer, how about I think about how I can do some work according to God! So next time I'm worried and fretting the way I often do, I will be prayerful to how I should be focused on others- those he has blessed me with- and get to work! 

As I was finishing up this blog up, with Lauren playing play-doh right next to me, she began singing the song Fix my Eyes By King and Country and amen doesn't it just fit perfectly with the lesson God was teaching me. It's like she was his little radio intercalm letting me know- You got this Jennifer- keep on going!! I love how He works! Well I think that little girl might want some help in making some fun play-doh so I'll end this one here. Enjoy the song!




Where is Cinderella Hiding in YOUR House?

Okay so this is another silly one...



It is no news if you know my children at all that my first born daughter, Lauren Shea is not into what our society would consider girly things. She loves Thomas the train and other trains, Cars movie and all cars/trucks/construction vehicles, tractors, Nemo, and Bug's Life. Her favorite colors are blue and green. And I'm sure other things but these are the few that stand out against social norms. She has a 'feminine' side and enjoys a pretty hair bow and dresses. She's excited to take a dance class in the fall and likes to be neat and organized. She's just her, and I love it. God made her perfectly and I love that she just loves what she loves because it makes her happy. But with this said, you would think that we wouldn't have much in the form of girly toys since she doesn't ask for them. Her birthday list to boot (which is just a few months away) has all trains, cars, and Bug's Life stuff on it. We do have 'girly' toys. Like the doll house with accessories that Santa brought. She has lots of mommy stuff for tending to her lovies (not much into baby dolls), amongst other things but for the most part our stuff is not very girly.

So...our sweet Olivia Jean comes around and she's just starting to find things that she likes and enjoys different from her sister. She still loves cars and trains and Nemo and bugs but we're starting to notice new things. It all started with the Vtech laptop Lauren was given as a hand me down from a sweet girl at church a few years back. Lauren loved listening to the music on it and Olivia has found the same love. Olivia will just crack up watching the little mice or cat dance on the screen to the music over and over. She yells with delight and wants you to come join the fun- no matter that your hands are sopping wet from dishes or what not. Well she must have picked up on the Cinderella part of the laptop experience, whereas Lauren could have cared less. 

A few weeks ago I took the girls to the $ store while Matt was mowing the lawn on Friday night (we're a wild and crazy bunch around here). Lauren found the magic washcloths that are super small and then once you get them wet they are the size of a normal wash cloth- so she searched and searched the bins (there were like four bins throughout the store...we stopped at each one). I can't remember who she was hoping to find but she left with Francesco Bernoulli from Cars2 movie. Well Olivia was so excited to pick out a Cinderella wash cloth. I was excited for both of them and thought it was interesting to see Olivia's choice because it hadn't dawned on me yet that she had been connecting Cinderella with the laptop.

Well that's when it all began. It was from that moment when we started finding Cinderella EVERYWHERE in our house. We had two plates given to us for Lauren, who could have cared less. A spoon- which came with one of the plates. We had a pencil container, a Little People Cinderella, a shirt, a drink stir stick/wand?, a change purse, a cup, two snack containers, a book, and a doll stroller. All shown in the picture above, minus the baby doll stroller. Out of all of that I personally purchased the cup and stack containers from a Tupperware party I went to while pregnant with Lauren. But that is it. The rest were presents given to Lauren from people in my family or hand me downs from our lovely friends. 

I told Matt I've been a little creeped out as Cinderella has started emerging from the shadows of our house over the past two weeks. We didn't realize how much Cinderella we had but Olivia is finding it everywhere. It's been like a Where's Waldo experience (random thought....Lauren and I were 'obsessed' as she would say with Where's Waldo last week and man for a three and a half year old she's good at it- but I could go INSANE looking for the correct Waldo on the page full of Waldos, he always eludes me!). 

Olivia is also enjoying Clifford too. That I know started from the Chick-fil-a books in her crib that she reads. She was so sweet when we went to Barnes and Noble the other day and she found him and snuggled him like she just met her best friend. She likes to get Clifford books from the library or read the gillion we have at home already. Today after her doctor appointment she got a Clifford sticker and she was so proud of her find.

Oh this thing called parenthood can be so fun at times. Yes, trying, exhausting, and frustrating but it is times like this when all that stuff seems to melt away and we're reminded of what an amazing journey it is to raise kids! 

"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." Colossians 2:6-7