Tuesday, July 22, 2008

going to sleep

last night it took about fifteen minutes for me to put Brielle down to sleep, or help her get there rather. will was impressed with this short amount of time, and we chuckled a little over how we used to put the boys down for bedtimes & naps. we just put them in their cribs with a blanket and pacifier and they went to sleep. i don't remember if they cried, but they might have sometimes. i'm sure that we didn't go to extra measure to ensure their security though. we looked at parenting different then. we used to scoff at parents who went through all of that trouble, and we surely thought that we were doing a good job and weren't letting out kids 'get one over on us.' but it's not all about that! it's about meeting a child's needs and taking the time to parent them in a nurturing, loving way! i was telling will that though it may take longer to put her to sleep, it was during those times that some of the most special moments happened. like yesterday, i laid on the bed with her for her first nap and hummed her to sleep. i nursed her to sleep just a while ago. then last night she used both of her hands to play with my face and ears and softly made noises that hummed herself to sleep. we both agreed that it was worth having that one-on-one time and that those moments were priceless and so special. that is why sometimes i am so amazed at this gap between our children and how it has affected how we parent and what is most important. it also draws us to our older boys and allows us to evaluate their needs for this stage in their lives. parenting is such a joy, such a blessing. good thing to find that out before our children have moved on.

Pictures of our Trip

Buffalo Coffee--SO GOOD!!!
The following were taken at the TRAVEL CENTER in Paducah, Kentucky:

Who knew that she would love the travel center so much>?
or perhaps she loved being out of her carseat!!!
the duck below actually belongs in the bathtub, which is where we put it after we blew it up.

Monday, July 21, 2008


nos·tal·gia 1. a wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one's life, to one's home or homeland, or to one's family and friends; a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)

being in mtn. home makes me feel nostalgic in ways I can’t really understand…so I thought if I typed them out maybe it would make more sense: seeing certain places reminds me of things; things forgotten because maybe they were not so important. going to the park of my childhood for a picnic…to the softball field of my adolescent years. I hear kim nicholson begin the chant, “down by the river.” I see debra harris rushing at me from the pitchers’ mound to get the runner out at home. I feel the exhaustion and exhilaration of playing street basketball on the mini court there. I see the grocery store across the street that I held down my first job at for over a year. I wonder if it still looks the way I remember it inside. I always say maybe one day I’ll go in there and see. but I never do. we wade into the lake. I sit on the front porch. I walk down the dirt road. I listen to the night chirpers. I allow myself to try and picture what my life would look like if I’d have stayed here to live as I drive through town. I really can’t though. It’s been almost thirteen years since I left, pregnant, freshly married, and ignorant of the things that I would quickly learn. I drive around and visit old friends. I wonder if we’d still visit each other if I lived here. I’d like to think so. they have changed, becoming more mature and beautiful. their offspring have grown and reveal so much of what I remember of them in their own childhoods. memories of my youth, reflected among our interactions. and yet, they are their own individuals too. and I am happy and yet saddened. I drive around, some things are new and other things have changed. I meet a new friend at a new coffee shop with our babies, and it goes really well.

small town, growing, staying the same, growing, slowing…I remember what I remember, but see it in a new way too. we go down to the white river and swim in the hole: cold, refreshing, clean, pure spring; nowhere just like it. I look out at the mountains and valleys, the blanket of fog and heat resting upon it all, where sky meets land and hay bales lay in the sun-soaked field beyond the wildflowers and fences down these dirt roads. the air is clean, and yet hot, as I roar my brother’s jimmy around town, grimacing at the other drivers’ lack of my presence or their own unseemliness. slow country. where the tops of trees on the mountains roll like ocean waves along the height of the earth. and I wonder at it all…seeing it all again, new again.

the trip to Arkansas

Well, we made it safely to Arkansas. I have to say that it was not an average normal trip. Brielle and I rode over with my sister and her son, her nephew was also in the car and we were to take him home, while exchanging and reclaiming her daughter. It was nice not to have to drive. Brielle didn’t do as well as she normally does on road trips; she hardly ate on the stops, so needless to say I was about to burst when we did finally reach our parents’ house. First though, we had to go up through MO to make the kid exchange. The scenery up there was astounding! I’d been through there before but was amazed at what I didn’t remember about the views from the roads through there. The road to Kelly’s in-laws’ place was flooded, so we had take an alternate route. In searching for it, we hear her nephew say, “Aunt Kelly, I don’t feel so good.” With whipping speed, she pulls the car off the road into a unanimous driveway just in time for his turning stomach to tip over. But he didn’t open the door. That’s right. He threw up on his lap, on the floor, on the back of the seat in front of him. “Open the door!” I urged! It happened so fast. He threw up again. “OPEN THE DOOR!” we both yelled. Again, he threw up. There was this dead silence as the door creaked open, and my sister and I knew what lay ahead. We are both the kind of people with the weaker stomach of the few, both who would say, “I can’t do it.” In the end, I felt like my experience and the fact that I was getting a free ride to AR qualified me more than her. So, I cleared the vehicle and used half of a container of wet wipes and a plastic bag to do the job that had my stomach turning for hours afterwards. But it got done. And we proceeded on to discover we had actually gone past the road we should have turned off on, so we went back, then discovered that it was a six mile - 15 minute drive down that dirt road! We finally made it. I had always wanted to drive down one of those endless dirt roads to see where they led. Now my curiosity has been quenched.
We came on to my parents’ house, where I immediately fed Brielle then took a scrubbing shower, ate dinner, and eventually passed out.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Saturday, July 12, 2008

get away and pray

last weekend we went on a low-budget family getaway to St. Louis, Mo. St. Louis is a great city and is full of fun free things to do. Subtract the parking costs, and vow not to pay for the “extras,” and you’ve got lots of cheap family fun things to do! and the further one lives from Six Flags, the better coupons can be found. we also found a reasonably priced hotel that wasn’t disappointing.
while all this sounds well and good, and the weekend as a whole went just fine, there was a lot of tension. frustration fed frustration and formed extreme irritability. from little things to big things, everything seemed to be the wrong thing. not exactly how anyone wants even a mini-vacation to go.
when I finally realized that the best memory of the trip I was going to have was the first two-hours of the drive when I actually got some sleep, it hit me that I better start praying! so I prayed all morning for a better second half of the trip, and God was swift! we had a great morning at six flags. then our situation started going downhill…again. And I literally thought, “but God, I already prayed about this! and I praised you when you answered! and oh, God, you are so good!” what? oh! “you want me to keep praying?” Ah! So, I physically and emotionally abandoned the situation I was in, and I ran off under mushrooms of flowing waters to splash with wild abandon into the showers of youth. All while holding a gleefully soaking Brielle who smiled as we explored water, rock, and fountains: and I prayed and prayed more.
Then the most amazing miracle happened, and yes, I mean only about 20 minutes later, I did see this transformation with my own eyes.
It wouldn’t have mattered to me how the outcome went, I felt secure in God’s hands. I trusted Him to allow joy for the moment and work out the rest in His time. I was changed. And then He changed things around me. And I came to remember that it is a matter of where our heart is, what our mind is focused on. The same situations that confronted us were like plagues when viewed in our negative contextual state, and they were viewed as simple, even silly obstacles when we had a different outlook on our lives. when we were transformed. Praise You God!
Anyway, the weekend ended up going well from that point on. Even when things would hit a high point of frustration again, it was easily dissipated, just like a miracle that was continuously working. And I remembered to pray often, and more often. Also, I received several phone calls while on the trip (and upon returning) that were from three people very dear to me, in totally unrelated situations, that were in immediate need of prayers. Which reminded me, that 1) you can’t go on vacation from spiritual warfare 2) getting away and praying sometimes takes on different meanings.

more to come on the latest books I’m reading (yes, all five of them) and some that I’m NOT

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Loving this stage/age

This one is for Grandma and PopPop in New Jersey:
This one is for Grandma and PopPop in Arkansas: (she looks like a little bloomin' tulip!)
How she floats:

Lookin' cool at the ;Pool!

The day she outgrew her bassinet and came to sleep with me:


that crazy kid:

how we do diaper changes on the go: (this one at the BMX track in Nashville)

on of my favorite pictures:

Now, what kind of expression is this? I caught this moment while holding my cell phone out and snapping it.

Brielle is just about 7 months 1 week old. And on the grow. I love this stage she is at right now! She so adorable! She can smile, laugh, play, discover, communicate more verbally (ha! she's testing out those vocals for sure!), roll, do yoga!, sit for much longer periods of time, fall more gracefully, grab everything in sight, and laugh laugh laugh. I love it because she is mobile, but not yet so mobile. And while her personality has always been very forthwright, she is now showing signs of having a sense of humor as well, which is too funny! She seems to understand so much. She amazes us every day. Today, she went from laying on her back to sitting up on her own! I didn't actually see her do it, as I was watching her from the kitchen and she was on the living room floor, but no one claimed to have helped her, so she must have done it.
She is also somewhat more predictable for her needs. But not always. Nevertheless, we are having so much of fun with her. She's very much a sensory touch type communitcator. It will be interesting to discover if that is also her learning style
As for Josh & Tyler, who are not pictured quite as much (they are growing rapidly, but not in that cute-baby-sort-of-way), they both finish up their baseball seasons tomorrow night. It has been a good season, very fun and improving for both of them. We've been staying busy with going to the pool, the library programs, and the free summer movies. Then they are off to their granparents' house for a few days. Summer flies by every year.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Happy Birthday Kelly!!!

Today my sister is 29!!!! No, really she really is 29 (she claims she is 28)! I always love it when she shows anxiety over nearing 30.......KNOWING that I'm 3 years older than her, going to turn 32 this month. Hello! :) j/k Happy Birthday sis!
Doesn't she look YOUNG with her new birthday haircut?