Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Nesting Nazi

I have gone into complete nesting mode...not in a cute way. My poor man has moved 2 pieces of furniture into the baby's room and put together the crib all in one day today. We made this goal to have her room done by the end of August (which by the way is tomorrow!), and I would not budge. He was working on it right up until 20 minutes before he had to go to youth group.

And I'm not just going crazy to get the nursery done. I make these lists for myself that are out of control each day. Yesterday I made a list of 22 things that need to be done. I kindof thought that I might get them done all yesterday. (And if I wasn't pregnant, by golly, I would have!) Of course, the list did not include dishes, laundry, cooking or homeschooling, you know the usual stuff. So I went to bed with 4 accomplished tasks from that crazy list. I think I may have done 4 more today. Some of the things are not necessities, but most of them are. (Like grocery shopping and going to get books for our new unit study that started 2 days ago.) How did I get so far behind? I think when you become a homeschooler, you have to be willing to do things around the house after they go to bed. Most days it takes until 12:30 to finish school. Then lunch. And then I feel like the kids need to get out of the house and at least breathe fresh air, or on a lot of days see a friend or two. By the time that is all over with it seems I am moving toward cooking dinner, then cleaning the kitchen, taking baths, reading books...and then OOPS! It is 8:00. Normally that is when I put up the laundry, clean out the messy car, prepare for the next day of school, etc. Well, at this stage of pregnancy I am done with my day by 8:00. So I guess that is where I am coming up short, just lacking that hour or two at night. Hmm...I guess I'll just have to prioritize. But no matter how much I try to not let it bother me, it just does. I guess I am and always will be fundamentally a little anal.

Monday, August 28, 2006

A year of trials and faith-builders

*I will go ahead and warn you that this entry is revealing, raw, intimate. Read at your own risk! :)

My husband and I have been married for 10 years. We met the first weekend of our first year in college. By the time I turned 18 a few months later, we were head over heels in love. So he has been my only heart throb during my entire adult life. I've heard of a lot of statistics about people who get married young like we did. I'm sure the general consensus would be that I did not know enough about myself or my future to be able to commit myself completely to someone else. But we were extremely blessed to have complete support from our church and family when we got married. And looking back, I really didn't have a clue where I was going or what I was doing, but I did understand the gospel and God's plan for marriage. We were, at least well prepared spiritually.

So Friday night was a big celebration time for us. We left the children with my mom and my sweetie had a surprise date planned for us. (I love surprises. He plans a secret date once or twice a year and it is so exciting!) We went to the most beautiful restaurant. We had a window view of the lake, the landscape was beautiful. Dinner was great. After dinner he wanted me to open my present. I unwrapped it and inside was the most beautiful ring. It has three gorgeous diamonds in a row. I was floored! I have only received jewelry a handful of very special times in my life. I was really not expecting it at all. But what he had to say when I opened the gift was the sweetest moment of the night.

I didn't start this blog until the drama had settled in our life, so I think only 2 people who might be reading know what we have been through this last year. Wow, it's hard to look back and see that so much could go wrong and right in one year. It's definitely been the most eventful year of my life. To try to make a long story a little shorter, I'll start with our last anniversary. The very day of our anniversary I shared with my husband that we were pregnant. A couple of weeks later the morning sickness began. We struggled along, excited but tired until around Halloween when we found out that we had lost the baby. Actually I found out first when I was by myself at a routine check-up. That was really horrible, especially having to call and tell my husband over the phone. We have such a great family and friends who surrounded us during that time. I had no idea how hard it would be to mourn that loss. My #1 named her "Sarah", so that is how we refer to that baby. Of course we never knew for sure that she was a girl. During the following days of sadness is when I found the verse that lead to the hope we found to try again for another baby. "Weeping comes for a night, but joy comes in the morning." I knew that God would eventually give me a little girl that I would name Joy. I have to admit that part of me wondered if Joy would be a Chinese girl that we would later adopt. After a miscarriage, it was hard for me to imagine carrying a healthy baby full term, especially a girl. But this verse gave me peace on tough days. God's grace and love were so real and tangible to me during our loss that there is no way to describe the faith-builder that this time was for me.

In December we had another really challenging time in our family. Through a series of events I discovered that my husband had struggled to keep his mind and eyes pure. Without revealing the details, I'll just say that I also found out that this struggle had almost lead to an affair a couple of years ago. This blow to our marriage was by far the lowest point in my life. I have never felt more insecure or confused. My husband is a godly man with a servant heart. He is typically incredibly loyal and giving. To think that he had succumbed to the temptation to lust after other women or had been very tempted to actually have a physical relationship with one rocked me to the core. I spent about two weeks with no sleep, unless I took medication to help me rest. I woke up many times having nightmares or overwhelming feelings of anxiety. My world had changed forever and it was shocking, to say the least. Of course, looking back I feel extremely blessed that he had not had an affair, nor did he have any addictive behaviors. None the less, we were at a crossroads. A lot had been lost, particularly trust and security.

Leaving out a lot of details, once again my Savior's presence was real and amazing. I was able to forgive out of the overflow of love and forgiveness that I have found in Christ. My husband was so broken and humble, in need of the same mercy that I need and have tasted. We spent a solid week alone. We poured out our hearts to one another. Our marriage was forever changed. Trust is a hard thing to build back. But I came to a point many times where I had to rely on the power of the gospel in his life. Did I really believe that the gospel transforms a broken, contrite heart? And he was the most humbled, broken person I have ever seen. If I did, then I had to let go and trust God when I was not with him. Somehow I did. (Meanwhile, he went to our pastor for counseling, sought out counsel from friends and family, had three accountability partners, and we prayed together often for protection.) We did not underestimate Satan's ability to attack. But God poured his love and protection over us both.

During this time of reconcilliation, I can not describe the oneness that I felt with my husband. And during that time, #3 was conceived. The following months have been incredible. The depth of love and gratitude that I feel for my man and boys is indescribable. The faith that I have in my Lord is tried and true. And here we are at our tenth anniversary, stronger than ever. Only a God that created the universe and holds us in the palm of His hand could accomplish that! It is amazing to look at our marriage and know that we have been through the valleys and are still running the race, and loving it!

I hope that someone will be encouraged by our story or will be able to remember it when they go through a similar circumstance. Also, I want you all to see what an amazing God we serve and how his love can heal even the deepest wounds. I am amazed at how he transforms hearts and lives. I am looking forward to a lifetime with my precious husband as we follow Jesus in faith. "Now to him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be the glory forever."

Thursday, August 24, 2006


My oldest son has a mind that RACES! I don't think I could survive one day if I had to have his brain. He doesn't have a particularly hard time paying attention, or at least I don't think he does in comparison to any other 6 year old boy, but when he speaks I sometimes wonder how he so quickly changes his thought pattern.

Case in point, we were just sitting at lunch. Homeschool is over for the day. He was asking me if I had ever seen a Lilo and Stitch movie. Literally 10 seconds of silence pass and he asks, "What does the tooth fairy look like?" I say, "I don't know, I've never seen her." I see the wheels begin to turn. He tells me for this new loose tooth (He is wiggling his 5th loose tooth, first one to be loose on the top) he is going to paint a special bag to put the tooth in. 10 more seconds of silence pass. He says with a big grin, "Well, there must be magic in this world. Otherwise, how could reindeer fly?" I knew he would go from tooth fairy to Santa. I hold my breath waiting on the big question about Santa. 10 more seconds of silence pass. Then he smiles again and says to himself, "Yeah, and if there is really magic, I bet I can find the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe." 10 more seconds of silence pass. And then he says, "Thank you for the food. May I be excused?"

I'm taking a deep sigh of relief right now.

Monday, August 21, 2006

What's my deal?

I am such a people-person. Sometimes I wish that God had designed me a little differently. I know that I am being so disrespectful to Him when I say that. I mean, I am His creation and formed just like He meant for me to be. But if I am honest with myself, I do wish sometimes that I could change some things about myself that are just fundamentally me.

One of those things is my LOVE of being with others. Poor guy, I married this precious man who is so perfectly content to be alone, at least some of the time. Don't get me wrong, I have never met a single person who didn't like him or want to be his friend. His is funny and friendly and loyal, but he is much more content to just be. I am writing all this to say that I am annoyed with myself! Today we had a great day. Nothing special, but good. I got plenty of things done around the house, we got everything done that I wanted to accomplish during school, etc. I even got to see my college roommate for a quick visit as she and her family were passing through town. (This was the highlight of my day. She lives in Paris and we only see each other every few years. I met her 18 month old for the first time today!) Anyway, so my man has plans to have dinner with two friends who both need advice. I was more than happy for him to go and be a good friend. Really, I was! But the minute he walked out the door I was lonely. WHY? I can't explain it. I spent several hours with a good friend, the kids and I had been together all day, and I still wanted more!

Have any of you ever read the Love Languages book by Gary Smalley? Well if you have, you know that there are 5 ways that people give and receive love. Not surprisingly, my top two are physical touch and quality time together. Of course, my husband would rate those on the bottom of his list. He is an acts of service guy. (The other two "languages" are words of affirmation and gift giving.) Since we read that book together 10 years ago when we first got married, my husband is incredible at "speaking my language". I have gotten better at what I expect. I just wish that I could learn to be happier when I am by myself. What's the deal?

Friday, August 18, 2006

More I'm on a roll!

There she is! Notice little Miss Nose Picker. Isn't she sweet? That thing on the side of her face is not a really big ear, by the way. There is so much fluid and stuff to cloud the picture. But get a load of her cheeks? I asked if all 34 week olds have cheeks this big and the ultrasound tech said no!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Hello in there!

Yesterday was the most incredible day as a mommy. We had the opportunity to take my mom and the boys to see the baby on a 3D ultrasound. I will admit, we waited later in the pregnancy than recommended, but it was still a special opportunity. I have bonded with my little daughter so much during the last 14 or so weeks since I found out that she is a girl. Each night when the boys are in bed and my man is busy we have our little talks. She kicks right on cue to let me know that she hears me. I sit in her nursery some nights and just stare at her clothes or her bedding and I can almost see my little blue-eyed girl staring up at me. Watching her move and squirm during the ultrasound was really fun. She loves to use those legs and arms. We got one shot of her with her finger all the way up her nostril! (Made the boys proud to know that even girls pick their noses. :) ) And I got the most vivid shot of her "girl part". I know for sure that she is definitely a girl! I just needed to hear that one more time before we go to buy the pink paint.

When we drove home from the doctor, I was so elated. A beautiful girl who looks healthy. It's so awesome after our miscarriage last year to keep getting these positive reports. I am so much more grateful after what we have gone through. I just can not wait to meet this little soul! So we drove up to the house and there was a package for me. A family member sent the sweetest dress, booties and blanket I have ever seen. The dress says, "Fairest among the roses" and has roses sewn into it. I tried to post a picture, but it doesn't do it justice at all. Even my mom wants little #3 to wear this dress home from the hospital instead of the actual dress that I wore home from the hospital! It was just a special night of anticipation!

Today we were rushing home from the library at 5 pm. I was so overwhelmingly exhausted that I caught myself yawning every 10 seconds. I began to feel a little anxious about every life that depends so heavily on me right now. I thought of my baby that is sucking up all of my energy and depends on me for everything. I looked at my little boys in the back seat that are depending on me for their education, security, and SO much more. I thought of my poor husband who has given a million percent to help me out and is now requesting some "intimate" time with him. I began to feel like I just didn't have any more to give to any of them! I am emotionally, physically and spiritually having the life sucked right out of me! And instantaneously God allowed this song to play from one of my favorite cds. The lyrics said, "Take my body and build it up. May it be broken as an offering of love. I have nothing, nothing without You." The Spirit used this song to automatically turn my exhaustion into pure joy. I began to think what an honor it is that these four people depend on me for things that NO ONE ELSE can provide for them! God chose me alone. I came home feeling still tired, but truly excited about the tasks before me. I really do love being a wife and mom and I am so thankful for a God who never ceases to soften my heart and show me how blessed I am!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Happy birthday, boys!

Well, Saturday was the big party for the boys. I must say that is was very fun, but WILD! Our guests arrived around noon. We had planned pizza, a game and then swimming and cake. began to POUR rain right around the time the party started. Sooo...I quickly decided with all 16 kids and almost as many adults to have a pizza picnic in our family room. We covered the entire floor with quilts and the kids had lunch. Then one by one, they filled all the rooms in our house with giggles and toys. The rain was still coming down hard. Keep in mind, we have kids ages 3-7 because the party is for both boys! I decided to take the 10 younger kids and paint. But where??? Again, we spread quilts, this time on the kitchen floor, and painted train frames in honor of #2's request for a "twain party". The kids really seemed to love this project. The little girls spent 20 minutes or so on their little art projects. The older kids were upstairs checking out #1 and #2's new room. The rain KEPT coming! So we decided to have cake. We had a train cake and a space cake. The kids revisited the "picnic" area in the family room. Then...the rain became a drizzle. My man decided to take the big kids out for a super space obstacle course. We had made each child a sunvisor with his or her name on it and he had foam space stickers to add to their hats throughout the course. He even had a map for each child, which was really cute. The rain finally let up and the sweet sunshine was bright. So as the kids ended the obstacle course (with very muddy shoes), the timing was perfect for me to yell, "Swim time!" I am so glad that the pool is in our yard and we had the option of doing things inside until the weather was nicer! We swam for about an hour and had a candy pinata and they all went home pooped. All I could think when it was all over was, "Wow! Thank you God! We pulled it off!" Did I mention that we have a big red playdough stain on our new family room carpet? Or that a beautiful teapot that my great aunt handpainted with our initials (I was named after her) broke into a million pieces? Oh well! I have precious, healthy kids that I have gotten to watch celebrate another birthday. I can't believe I have a 6 and 4 year old! I feel like the most blessed lady on the planet! Happy birthday, my little sweeties!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Today I received the BIGGEST blessing! There were two, actually. The first was that my dear friend called and offered to let my kids come over to play for the day. We have had a lot of playdates here since we moved in because we have a pool in the backyard. But this is the first time in the last crazy three weeks that my kids have been dropped off at a friend's house. (Okay, the second. Another friend did watch the kids during one of the closings.) Anyhow, it could not have come at a better time! I am stubbornly trying to get the house in tip top condition for this weekend because we are having the boys' birthday party here. We are basically done unpacking, and so now I am trying to make our house look like a home. I think I hung close to thirty things on our walls yesterday and today. If I was not pregnant, I would probably be painting or sewing window treatments at midnight. I act a little looney when we first move into a house. It's like I am on a race to make life back to normal, so I won't stop until I am completely done with each room. It has been exhausting, but the "nesting" phase of pregnancy could not have come at a better time. So today, while my boys spent 4 HOURS with their friends, I unpacked my little girl's wardrobe and hung pictures in my bedroom. (I also wasted a good 45 minutes shopping in my favorite flea market for plates to hang on my kitchen wall. Is that irrational, or what?)

So, I mentioned I was blessed by two sweet souls today. My friend was the first and my precious husband was the second. He is paying a cleaning crew to come and clean the house on Friday. OH MY GOSH! I literally teared up when he called and told me today. This Friday, I was planning to clean the entire house, buy all of the birthday party supplies, and cook a big dinner for out-of-town guests by 5 pm. I am so relieved that he was so thoughtful!! Yeah! He also told me at dinner that he had planned our anniversary date. On August 31 #2 turns four and we will have our 10th anniversary. We have always planned on Paris for our 10th. I don't think it would be a good idea just a few weeks before the baby is born, so we are settling for some kind of special date here in town. I am excited just to have a night out. I told him that maybe we could go to Paris on our 12 1/2 know, half way to the silver anniversary.

I really was going to post pictures tonight, man borrowed my digital for work and I don't have a clue where it is. I promise, promise to post pictures soon.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

All moved in

Well, we have survived. It took until last night to get our DSL up and running, so it's been a long time since I've posted an entry. But we are all doing very well. The move went well. #1 did wake up with strep throat the morning of our move, but thankfully his Mimi was here to give him some tlc. We are almost completely unpacked and I am exhausted. We love our new little house and it already feels like home. #3 has been more active than ever and my contractions are getting to be a pain at night. But I think it is just par for the course with a third child.

I will post some funny stories and pictures soon. I miss hearing from you all!