Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Lately, when I drive the older kids to the bus stop in the morning it has been dark. This is puzzling to Jack who is a firm believer that when it's dark out, we are supposed to be sleeping [couldn't agree more, kid!]. Today when he and I got back, I got him out of the car and he immediately looks into the sky and exclaims, "MOON!"

"I see it, buddy! Good eye!"

"Wait, Mommy, I want to play with it!... Oh, no!! - God didn't make me wings! [pouty face] He gave Grandpa's pigeons wings, but not me! That's not fair! Oh, wait - I have teeth! Haha - pigeons don't have teeth! They don't get granola bars and I do! I don't need wings, Mommy - I have granola bars."

Thank you Lord, for the little things, like granola bars. And the big things, like falling in love all over again with cup-half-full kind of kids, even when it is dark out and we're all supposed to be sleeping...

::Don't pigeons have teeth? No? Either way, I guess I've never seen one eat a granola bar - so I'll just let that one go...::

Friday, October 15, 2010

Need Encouragement?

I sure do.

I'm fighting a battle against feeling down today. I have no particular reason, I just can't seem to shake this feeling. It is what it is though - and today, I just need some encouragement. So, I'm going to my Father who has given me more grace and mercy than I could ever deserve and I am looking to His word for the food my soul needs to be fed right now.

Maybe some of this goodness will touch your heart today as well.

Philippians 4:7 "The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

How amazing is that!?! The "peace of God" will guard MY heart! That's exactly what I need - God's peace. (Which, by the way, is a much more complex and perfect peace than quiet kids and a clean house can get me...)

2 Corinthians 4:16,18 "Therefore we do not lose heart... we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

It is so easy to get caught up in the moment. To live as if right now what is happening in my own little world is all that matters and to not be able to see past the heaviness in my heart now. God is complete. He is perfect. He will work around me if he needs to, through me if I would let him, but first I need to allow him to work in me... and to focus on His will and not just my will for the right now's in life.

Romans 8:26, 27 "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will."

On days like this I literally don't know what to pray for. Knowing that he already knows where my heart is and how to heal it, makes me feel... humbled. And instantly better.

If you are having a day like mine - I hope this helps a little. You know - knowing that the creator of the universe searches your heart when you can't find words and that he will meet you right where you're at, because he's that amazing. My day totally just got better. Didn't yours?!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Being Born Female

Women are crazy, don't you think? I don't mean psycho-crazy, I mean comical-crazy. The second we were born female we were handed an imaginary free-pass to talk about anything having to do with our bodies and the ability to be presumptuous enough not feel awkward about it. Well, at least some of us were.

The other day I took the kids to the park after school. There were a couple of dads there with a few kids and one other mom with her toddler son. Her son was about Jack's age so they started playing together after a short time.

We started talking and soon found out that her son was a preemie and was almost the exact weight that Natalie was when she was born. We began comparing stories, and found that even though our babies were the same size, I was 35 weeks along when Natalie was born, she was only 28 weeks along when her son was born. I would have just chalked it up to different pregnancies, different circumstances, different things being wrong - whatever - and left it at that, but she didn't stop there.

In a loud voice (sort of across the whole playground) while she was helping her son down the slide at the top of the play structure, she announces to me (and everyone else, through default) that she thinks the doctor had her "period timing" off. She started in, "I told them from the very beginning that I didn't think it was right. They did that vaginal ultrasound, but I still think it was wrong. My periods have always been a bit weird, and the one before I got pregnant wasn't even a full on heavy bleeding period, like I usually have - it was more like spotting and it wasn't even bright red..." And on and on and on. It was hysterical. Those dads were trying so hard to act like they didn't - or couldn't - hear her. They were squirming around as they started talking in louder voices to their toddlers while they were helping them walk on the wood chips, "Good job, Toby! Atta boy!" - all the while not looking her direction, or mine, purposefully.

Women are so good at putting people in those awkward I-didn't-know-talking-about-that-would-make-you-uncomfortable type of situations. Sort of like anytime I say the word "uterus" around Jeff. I think he started throwing up in his mouth every time he heard that word when we were in the birthing classes before Natalie was born - and I've used it against him many times since then.

As women, we have the privilege of whipping out our "body-talk-badges" pretty much whenever we want, because we earned them... by being born female. So, here's to women everywhere who right now are conversing about labor, periods, hormones, forms of birth control, and best of all - uteruses.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sporting the Stretch Pants... Or not so much.

I wanted to whip out my camera so bad this morning when I was grocery shopping at Walmart ::gasp! Sometimes I go to Walmart!:: because I walked past what I would call one of my worst nightmares of the Jr. High years. The floral printed long-legged stretch pant.

I know that there are plenty of people who pull off this look (well - at least try and I'll give them an A for effort), but I am NOT one of them. And just for clarification, this picture is in no way a representation of what I would look like in these. Stretch pants do nothing for me. Nothing. Walking past that rack of hanging stretch jeans (and other atrocities) could very well have sent me into a full blown panic attack. Flash backs of high school kids teasing me because of my bold-colored matching zip up hoodie and stretch pants with the side pony tail and leg warmers about made me cry right then and there.

It brought back so many memories of the younger years (better memories than the teasing). Years of dying my hair with packs of powdered Kool Aid with my besties and dreaming of Bryan White and Jonathan Brandis (yes, I totally just admitted that). When my friends and I would have sleepovers that ended up lasting all weekend, every weekend. Then I started remembering things in high school, like basketball practice, and doing wall-sits until our quads were burning so bad it felt like they were going to start our shorts on fire. I remember not winning a single basketball game during all of junior high - probably because we were more focused on how good (or bad) we were going to look in our stretch pants at school the next day than the actual game we were attempting to play.

Anyway, crazy how one rack of clothes can bring such an array of mixed feelings and at the very least a million memories. What clothes link you instantly to a distinct memory from your childhood? Did it ever come back in style - and most importantly - did you wear it again the second time around? Dish!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

This? This is what I wait all year for. It is called "perfect weather." Now, excuse me as I go heat up some apple cider and load Jack in the stroller for a brisk morning walk. Aaaahhh, bliss.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Just another manic - I mean - AMAZING Monday!

Normally I'm not a fan of Mondays. Who is, right? But today - oh, friends - today was g.r.a.n.d. Seriously (and it's only 1:38 in the afternoon right now). Natalie and Carter had dentist appointments this morning to fill cavities (I know - sounds great, right?) and we were all a little bit worried as to how this would pan out but God is SO good!
Jeff, because he's so sweet, understanding, and dashingly handsome (okay, his handsome-ness didn't really have anything to do with it, but he still melts my heart. Often.) took the morning off of work to stay home with Jack so I could devote all of my attention at the dentist to Talie and Carter who were both freakishly nervous about the infamous "fillings." All the way to the dentist I was speaking courage into my children (as in: I didn't stop talking about how great they were going to do and how simple the procedure really was so that they didn't have a chance to talk and break down). To say they were concerned would be a major description fail for the mess that their lack of confidence was concerning the dentist's office, but somehow we all managed to slide by both tears and too many fears.
Then came the good part. Well, the first one. Carter's name gets called and he looked at me, gave me a thumbs up and confidently (not kidding. He strutted in there!) walked with the dental assistant to the back of the office and I didn't see him again until he came back out with his lips all botoxed up looking like an old man. He was smiling though (the best a small child can smile when they literally have no feeling in their face). It was so awesome - and adorable - and just... amazing! He did GREAT!
Next it was Natalie's turn. She was a mess. A total worry-wart, stress-case, couldn't-even-sit-in-the-chair-she-was-so-scared kind of kid. I thought Carter "setting a good example" might help, but "help" apparently was laughing at me in my face... Laughing hard. They finally decided to give Natalie some "happy air" (aka Laughing Gas) and lemme tell ya - that stuff works! Ten seconds breathing that stuff and Natalie was literally laughing so hard I was physically mad I didn't have my camera. Total rookie mistake. This is a little example of how it went (which was all Natalie talking as the poor dentist was attempting to work in her mouth):
"I'm SO not going to be a princess for Halloween. I mean, I know a lot of girls who still do it, but I'm not. No way! Nope. Not for me. I like being stuff that older girls would want to be, you know, because I'm older now (she's 7). Being a princess would be too babyish. Carter already suggested it, but I said no. Because I'm older. I'm not a little kid anymore. I'm way older than little kids are. So that's why I'm not going to be a princess for Halloween. Wanna know what I AM going to be!? A Qqqquuuueeeeeeeennnn!!!! Isn't that such a great idea!? Because I'm not a little kid! I'm going to be a queen! I know, it's great." ... and on and on and on. It was hysterical, and I felt like tipping the dentist because I was so impressed that he could actually work while she was non-stop-talking (and then I remember what they quoted me for the bill and all tip ideas were out the window).
All that made my morning. But it gets better.
I got home to grab Jack so Jeff could get to work and so that I could run the kids to their school (which is about a half hour away from where we live) and I walk in the house and it's spotless. Honestly - spotless. I was speechless (which doesn't happen that often). The whole time I was gone with the older kids, Jeff and Jack cleaned the house. Dishes, done. Laundry washed, dried and put away (all of it - and there was a lot of it!). Our master bedroom closet, organized, clothes folded and hung up. Kids' bedrooms all picked up. It was amazing. I am not kidding you guys. I am one BLESSED woman!
Oh! Oh! And a bonus (which I had been praying about for weeks!) - the bill for the dentist was cut in half (CUT IN HALF!) because the number they had quoted us was for an adult instead of a kid (and since the work was on baby teeth their number was completely off and they didn't catch it at first) so completely unexpectedly it was like a bonus 50% off your dental bill day!
YAY for Mondays! Yay for husbands doing thoughtful things to make their wives' day! And a huge, serious YAY for answered prayer!