Sunday, December 21, 2008

Holiday Me

It all began when I thought I had forgotten my cell phone, woke Brielle up from her 10 minute nap, and realized I had really forgotten my Sam’s Club card…then proceeded to spend 5 minutes wailing about it in the car with Brielle smiling at me with a question in her eyes.
I realized I’ve changed.
Maybe it is what they say is a “season of life,” or maybe I’m different for good. I won’t know until years from now if I will resort back to my former ways or if some of these new things will stick around.
Regardless, as I rolled away from the Sam’s Club parking lot, kicking myself for believing everything was working out so well only an hour before, I thought about how I might have used to react. I think I would have rolled with the situation and deemed it simply “not meant to be” for that day. But I was really upset that it was not going how I’d planned! I was not in the Christmas spirit. In fact…as I started noticing more and more…I was acting completely different from previous Christmases. Here are some of the examples I’ve mentally noted recently:
Christmas wrapping: The former Holiday Me would meticulously choose just the right wrapping paper for the person the gift was intended. This years’ ME grabs the nearest wrapping paper and whatever presents that can be wrapped from that same cut. And scissors? well, ripping seems to work just as effectively. The old Holiday Me would cut off excess paper on gifts just so that it didn’t look to stuffy with paper on the ends of the wrap. This year: that is what TAPE is for people! Who knew? And if the wrapping paper was a little short on a gift? Well…that’s fine for helping people to KNOW where to start their ripping, right? J
Sensible. I think I’m becoming more logical.
I’ve also redefined speed-wrapping. It’s not surprising considering I have 2.5 minutes of free time before my 12mo-old either 1)fusses to be let out of her crib, or 2) walks over and SITS right on top of the present and wrapping paper, or 3) rips out all of the tape. Name tags? The old Holiday Me would pick out the perfect one for the present, one that matches both the gift and the receivers’ personality. This years’ Me: stick it on as fast as possible, don’t even look at it, write the name, and if the pen doesn’t work: engraving will.
I realized on December 13th that I hadn’t even made a Christmas card list! Last year I think I had them sent out by then. Yes, that was the same time I had a newborn baby. Why did I set my own standard so high? continue to shake my head in amazement. I think I sent out anywhere from 50-60 cards. It was extremely time consuming, but worth it (?). This year I really only sent out 20 cards. Really. Just 20. I decided to send out to: people who had already thus sent us one, anyone who gave Brielle a birthday present (I enclosed a thank-you note within), or anyone who I thought we might receive a card from, the faithful ones. If you are reading this and did not get a card from us, it’s okay: MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! There you go! It’s just as thoughtful! I’m thinking of you! I really am! I considered sending you a card, I wondered if you would send us one, decided you may not, and loved you just the same. I’m still sending you Holiday wishes! They are just from my heart and I knew you’d understand. I tried to get a picture of the three kids in front of the tree to put in those 20 cards, but that was just like asking all three of them to hold their breath while standing on their heads at the same time: crazy impossible! So, I went with the very last picture of the session, which I thought simply told the truth. It wasn’t perfect or even close. Brielle had just tried to give Tyler “love” and bumped her head into his. He was flinching in anticipation of her return while trying to smile for me as Will & I said, “Awwwww.”
It’s us. It’s them. It’s reality.

The annual baking party that I have with myself - where I bake several kind of cookies, desserts, and cakes and package variety baskets for teachers, friends, and neighbors? Well… you guessed it! Didn’t happen. I did bake Galette cookies for a Cookie Swap with MOPS, that felt like more than enough baking! The boys’ teacher got about 5 of the same cookie in a small bag, and not even a “Merry Christmas” attached. Neighbors and friends? I think a hearty “HAPPY HOLIDAY” wave will have to suffice this year.
Then there was the Christmas party I didn’t have. I LOVE having a Christmas party! They are so much fun! But everything within me resisted it this holiday season! I couldn’t figure it out, who was I becoming? When I told my sweet husband, he asked, “What are you doing instead? Because I know you have something else in mind.” I have to give him credit for knowing how I am! I had decided to host a Gingerbread House decorating party for the kids. It seemed simple enough, but when I found myself racing through the final house assemblies (done a day in advance) in order to get outside before darkness settled on that weird 68 degree day, I realized a deformed gingerbread house was not just going to be acceptable. NOT in the Christmas spirit!!!
The party was actually sweet, fun, and creative for all of the sweetest children in my life, and I was glad I had decided to do it. But as I assessed this new holiday ME, I realized that my days of doing these innovative projects were teetering on going extinct. Poor Brielle, if so.
I used to so be concerned about presents for the children too: size, equal number of gifts, costs about the same. I couldn’t even say how it turned out this year, as I’ve yet to do the calculations, but since we are just having a simple small Christmas….I think it worked equally in a round about way. Or maybe not. Oh well, I think everyone will be happy and that is all that matters.
While I would have loved to get Will all of the things he desires and he would have loved to do the same for me, I think we both agree that any extra funds around our house need to go towards medical bills or home repairs and projects that are running far past their allotted time frames (house painting?). In fact, if I really could ask for a gift of any kind, I’m sure that SIX HOURS of UNINTERUPTED sleep would be top on my list right now. But I don’t expect to find that wrapped an under our tree this year. So, I’m just hoping to settle for a quiet holiday, maybe some candlelight and wine, soft holiday music and peaceful spirit. That sounds like celebration summed up in a sentence for me.
So, in keeping with this year’s Holiday Me, I’ll not even reread this and fix all of my many mistakes, even though I know I typed years’ and it’s year’s many times above. OH WELL> I’ll let it drive us all crazy for awhile!!!
For now, I’m done with all things Christmas, except the anticipation I share with my children over the event of the year, the Christmas parties we’ll be attending this next week, and the dishes I’ll be making to bring with us. Other than that, I’m not stressing about all of the other things I wish I’d thought of to do, and the many things that I intended to do and never did get around to. I forgive myself. I’m over it. Okay, it will bother me a little, but it has become obvious to me that this year the New Holiday Me has had little choice but to: Change.

Friday, December 12, 2008

the sunset

This evening as I was working on homework with Tyler, dinner, and appeasing Brielle (multitasking) I happened to look outside to see the most amazing thing: a Gold Moment. The entire outside looked gold. I looked out the front window, then the back, and it was amazing! I exclaimed, “it’s GOLD outside!” We all ran outside to “experience” it. It was breathtaking. Everything really looked and seemed golden. It was so much more than a blue moment, even though blue is my favorite color. This was rarer than rare. Five minutes later, I look out and it’s PEACH. The entire sky, earth, heavens, and what seemed to be everything in all of those where a golden bluish peach. What color might that be, you ask? It baffles me, I know of no one who can create that color but God. As Tyler and I stood out on the back deck, scanning East horizon, overhead, then to the West, we couldn't stop exclaiming at the wonders of the brilliant colors and design. The way the clouds puffed out and seemed to shine rays themselves! The deepest blue sky amidst the perfect pink puffs, the lines of white clouds against lines of light blue in the East where the sun sat, then the stormy looking depth in the West. It was impossible not to be amazed. It was impossible not to feel an overwhelming admiration to the Artist who created it all, a motion of artwork, in a surreal and mystical setting…for us. It was SO something to be excited over!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Happy Birthday Brielle!!!

We were in Arkansas over the Thanksgiving Holiday, so we had Brielle's birthday party on her actual Birthday, November 28th at her grandparents house. Both sets of grandparents were there, since Will's parents had traveled with us to AR, along with Brielle's aunt, uncle, cousins, Oma, great Aunt, great Uncle, great-grandma, friends, and our immediate family too. She LOVED being sung too, being the center of attention, opening presents, and of course tearing up the cake (ah....traditions-this one I almost debated against, but it was OKAY).

Taken Nov. 27th:

I was a little out-of-practice at cake decorating!

My mom's new toy does this:

Two grandpa's, a mom, and a dad decorated this:

While we were singing her Birthday songs:
Loved her presents:
Ate all of her cake:

On this day I did a little reflecting on the day she was born. What a glorious memory! One year later, I very much appreciate the determination and personality that God has blessed her with. She is so unique and amazing, and such a JOY to be with.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Mounting Frustrations: not pretty

It never seems to fail. When I experience clarity and direction there seems to be this aftershock that follows. This time it was unnerving tests of my patience, and mounting frustration with myself. Then to consider what other people want and what some of my very close friends think of me. It gives me a headache, but that may be due to very little (constantly interrupted) sleep at night. Regardless…I know that most of the time it is really justhe enemy throwing confusion at the plan God has set before me, the one that I don’t really even know, but that doesn’t matter. The race, the path, the determination, and the faith I have to find inside of me that allows God to show me, to mold me, to hold me through times I can’t see straight. I’m a mess. I’ll just get that out there. I was once a worse mess than I am now, thank you for helping me out with all of that, God! But I’m still a mess, in constant need of redemption. Just a pilgrim, uncertain, but on this journey, regardless. I see my life and I do enjoy it. I have a hope for the future. The stuff that gets in the way of that is all really irrelevant anyway. Now…if I could only truly live that out loud!
Here is a video to make us smile:

Monday, December 1, 2008

It has been One Year...

The following pictures are recent, within the last few weeks, but the most recent (of Thanksgiving and Brielle's first birthday) I've yet to upload. Every milestone causes me to reflect on life with Brielle, and with the boys too, of course. This milestone, of her first birthday feels more significant than I expected it to. She is ONE now. That seems incredibly surreal. But it is true.
We had a wonderful holiday, we traveled to Arkansas to be with my family, we took Will's parents with us. Seven, in a SUV that It was squishy, but it worked. The food was SO GOOD. We ate and ate and ate and ate and ate......ugh, I can't even explain all of how much we ate. The last day there I was actually in pain from so much of that eating! It was time to go! lol Brielle's first birthday party was lots of fun, she was such a star, and I'll post those pictures as I get them (I didn't personally take any). She loved all of her gifts soooooo much! The following are actually pictures taken from home before we left, read more below them though....

We love to shop at Aldi:

Josh put the Santa hat on her:

While this blog is about our family and my musings...I can't help but say that I've really been thinking about other people so much lately. For example....a week and half ago our friend Tim's dad passed away...the memorial service was held yesterday...definitely have been thinking about them and keeping them in my prayers. Today is my own dad's birthday (Happy Birthday Dad!). Today is also the birthday of my good friend, Scarlet's first daughter, Daycie, who is celebrating in Heaven (Happy Birthday Daycie!). And I just recently learned that our friend Todd just got married in London (Congratulations Todd and Rebecca!) I think of friends of mine that I don't live near anymore, whether they have moved, or I have...or those I've lost touch with, or partial touch with. Last year, so many relationships I've been in were revamped with the amazing birth of Brielle. I thank God for that! and for His giving me new relationships as a result of her birth too. The funny thing is that on the way to AR I began praying for all of these people I think of, and I also prayed for myself, that God would give me rest on every side, and that He would enlarge my territory...the prayer of Jabez, right? Well...on the way home, I had indescribable peace about my life, my mission, my ministry, my purpose. Like everything just fell right into place the way God has planned it all along. It may be significant that it would come at Brielle's one year celebration milestone, or it may be that God was always prepared to answer if I'd only just have prayed about it. I didn't ask for specifics...I am just putting my faith in His plans...and He has given me a great amount of peace and comfort and purpose. For this and for everything I Praise Him!!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Receiving a Moment

This morning I was standing in the kitchen drinking my coffee and reading my Bible Study workbook when I heard Brielle’s soft laughter coming from the living room. I peeked around the corner (generally if she sees me, she gets up and comes to me) and there she was playing happily with her toys. I realized that this is rare, she usually only does that when there are a few people/kids around. My eyes started misting and I got all choked up! She was playing in a far more grown up way than she’d even done before…on her own. I was happy and sad at the same time. Seems like I’ve dreamt of these moments, getting pieces of my time back to me, and yet it’s hard to let go in ways too. Part of me wanted to run in there and sit down and play with her! Part of me knew that this was an opportunity to actually read the words on the pages of my Bible Study book! Torn, I choked back tears, knowing this was only ONE small step. I actually finished my Bible study chapter and of course Brielle wanted me in that clingy baby way, only ten minutes later. And at that time I was able to savor it instead of feeling slightly frustrated by it. Loving and letting go are such intricately woven parts of parenthood that it is sometimes hard to distinguish how they both work in together through the same threads. I’m certainly more aware of these little things this time around, and I’m learning to apply these life lessons to my tween boys. I’m relearning and experiencing things I’d forgotten, but with a different filter in my head this time. And I guess that is why I get a little emotional and choked up over something so small and yet so big, such as watching my babies grow. I thought this was adorable: Tyler and Brielle watching Josh do his basketball evaluations:

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Party must go on!

I was extremely ill all day on Halloween, as I experienced the "BUG" that Tyler & Brielle had just two days prior. However, the party still went as planned as Grandma and Aunt Kelly led the show. I was grateful since the kids had really been looking forward to the creepy dinner and trick-or-treating. It's great there are now 7 cousins living in this city.

Creepy DinDin:

I almost didn't recognize Tyler on the far left!!!

Little Ducky:

Thanks to Mom for providing these cute pics!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fall Break 2008

Cheyenne-Brielle-Cherokee: Happy Cousins Together

Fall break went better than I expected. Both of the boys have been on restrictions of some kind for poor performance at school. They are both so smart and when they try and turn their assignments in they do great. It’s when they don’t that they don’t. And they haven’t. So they were on restrictions right through fall break (which generally means no Video gaming devices, Television, or other electronics…oh, and they didn‘t get to go the Grandma & PopPop’s house either). It wasn’t too awful, and this is what we accomplished:
Tyler perfected the pancake.
Josh had a bike wreck.
We walked (they rode bikes) to Aldi one day.
They each wrote a Ghost Story for our local Museum’s contest.
We walked to Walmart another day.

(we stopped at the fish tanks)
With the help of our good friends, Phil and Tim, we started a garden!
We went to the library twice.
We went to CDE’s free event, Community Action Awareness, and a Giant Yard Sale.
My parents were here for a five day, three night stay, broken up.
The tree house became the Fort to Be IN, for free time was spent there.

Tyler the Viking

Josh is thinking about something.

Brielle is sitting on the Little Rock from Arkansas

Downtown Clarksville

Welcoming her PopPop to TN

Aunt Kelly's leaf pile

loves books like mama

Sunday, October 19, 2008


I found this on another blog and decided to check it out, being a creative word lover that I am, I wish I had time to make more, but this one I just let go random from this blog's feed. It tells you
how on

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

September 16, 2008

This was funny the first few times. I don't let her do it anymore.

September recap & October musings

I realize it's been awhile since I updated what is going on with our family. I've had flu-like symptoms since Monday, so pretty much everything has been neglected in my life, while I've rested. Will was an amazing help last night with dinner and dishes, my family always treats me so well when I'm not. Yesterday was our 13th anniversary, I felt bad for being sick on it, but I also felt too tired to care much. The weather has increased my mood. I love rainy fall days when the leaves still cling to the trees, when God send the rain at this perfect time to make the colors more vibrant as they change. Every season that comes, I say, "this is my favorite one." Fresh air never felt so good. Last week, before I was sick, I walked to Goodwill, Hastings, and the Dollar General one day. One, to conserve on gas, Two, for exercise. It was so windy and perfect and I felt great about the walk. I didn't spend much money, there was no need. I am beginning to like these frugal exercises.
I know that the cloth diapering business is probably a bore, but I have been doing it for 26 days now. I can't imagine going back to disposables. Why would I when I already have these cloth diapers? I don't have to buy anything anymore. We've also had great success with making our own baby foods. Below are my latest venture, Deo-Disks. Now, they can be bought, but why? It was so simple. Mixing baking soda with water, a few drops of orange oil, and wah-lah: deodorant disks that smell great and can go right into the wash with the cloth diapers. Now, they are setting downstairs right now, hoping they harden. Below that I put pictures that are cute and funny. I put the wrong video in, but I will put the right one in after I post this.

Grandma and PopPop from New Jersey sent this package, and Brielle thought it was a good place to sit!

One of my favorites: Brielle playing nonchalantly while football practice goes on behind her.

Love those chubby thighs!

Brielle's first time out of arms and the stroller, in the library:

Reading her first Library book:

Brielle meets the Gov, who she already knows and loves, she just doesn't realize that inside it's our good friend Elise, the APSU notable mascot!

This face reminds me of our former neighbor, Brenna, who we ironically got this jacket from.

Will's football watching "stance."

Friday, October 3, 2008

What I'm reading:

So, I've been wanting to share some of the books I've been reading lately. But first, here is a website that I am really digging, because it has recipes to make cookies from infant cereal! What a great way to save money on teething biscuits! This website also has other helpful information on it.
Now, I've been reading The Vaccine Book by Dr. Sears. This book was loaned to me by a dear, sweet, new friend of mine, Scarlet, and it is very informational. You wouldn't believe me if I told you what vaccines contain. Or maybe you would, but you would be appalled. However, the book doesn't lean one direction or the other, it is just very informative. I find information to be very useful in these situations of raising a child. I do wish I'd read it, say before Brielle was born; however, I'm not sure how ready for a fight I would've been, considering our Pediatrician (who seems to be the most open-minded one I've met at his office) takes a pretty firm stance on vaccines and their schedules. It is STILL important that I do now know what vaccines, why, what they are made of and how often they are administered, and how they work.
While I was working my way through that book, I picked up a fiction book at the library a few weeks ago. I could NOT put it down. Maybe it was because I'd been on a fiction hiatus, or perhaps it was just that good! Lady of Milkweed Manor by Julie Klassen was a historical fiction treat!

Next, I am involved in a twice-a-month Bible Study covering the book entitled For Women Only by Shaunti Feldham. This is a part of the MOPS organization that Brielle and I are attending this school year. It is really very challenging. But as is marriage! I am learning and growing through it, tough as it may be, and I'm anticipating good things to come of it.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

My Mt. Time prayer

Well, I wanted some predictability in my schedule and the Lord answered!
Brielle is up and ready to go at 6:22AM every morning now.

By the way...what do you think of having music playing on my blog? Like it or Not?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Cloth Diaper Experience: Day 18

You might be surprised to read that I'm still in there! Worst part: dumping the dirty diapers into the washer (don't worry, it gets rinsed, washed, then rinsed again). Best part: seeing how CLEAN they get and hanging them on the line outside. I don't know why I love the line outside but I really do. I really think it's what keeps me going. Hardest part: being the only one who really changes her diapers. Here is a picture of the "twist" fold: