Friday, June 13, 2014

*For Brian's First Father's Day!*

A long time ago, I made a promise to myself that I would only marry a man that would be an amazing father to my kids. I wanted to find someone that would love them as much as I would and go out of his way to be there for them through life. I needed to find a husband that saw babies and children as treasures and didn't see them as a burden but something to be
desired and a wonderful addition to life. I had to find a man who would put God first and would lead my children towards Christ with his teaching and example.

I tried to picture what a man like that would look like as my husband and even had my doubts that there was someone out there for me like that. But then Brian came into my life and has once again turned out better than I could've ever dreamed. He is exactly what I was looking for only better. He has met everything I needed for myself and has all the qualities I was looking for in a leader for my children and myself and we both had a heart for starting a family from early on.

About a week into marriage my begging for a baby started: "Please please please, I want one SO bad!" "Me too...but can we wait until after tax season?", was always his reply.

Finally two months in, I got him on board and we were both super excited. He let the logic of waiting till tax season go and that parent heart overtake. We were on a track to have a baby before our first year anniversary and it was completely our decision! Now, you won't find that everyday and I'm so thankful I married a like minded man. He wanted a son as much as I wanted one and as parents, we are the perfect fit.

All throughout my pregnancy, he was my hero time and time again. He sacrificed so much for us all to get to be together right now and I can't thank him enough. I seriously have no clue what I'd do without my baby Beau and he'd say the exact same thing. I asked him if parenting was a great as he thought it would be, and he said it's so much better. I mean...how can I not be absolutely head over heels for a man like that?!

He is SO sweet to Beau...every morning he is the one to get him out of his crib and Beau kicks and smiles when he sees him. We put
the little guy in the middle of a parent sandwich for about fifteen minutes to love on him before Brian leaves for work. It's definitely a favorite time of day for all three of us. Beau thinks Brian is the funniest person in the world. (And he is!)

Brian is SO helpful and is willing to do anything we need. He gives him baths, feeds him, plays with him, comforts him during shots, gets him in the middle of the night when he's scared, and cleans up blow out diapers....he truly does it all! Not only that, he has never complained once-not even in the newborn phase! I know that sounds like it can't be true, but it really is!!! He does NOT complain about much. I haven't heard him complain about anything except for basketball refs since I met him. He stays super positive and isn't a negative person at all. He is the most patient, kind, and hardworking man that is always thinking of his family first.

He allows me to not be stressed out over things outside of Beau so I'm able to focus on him and truly ENJOY this special time. He is happy just knowing we had a fun day even if he's in the trenches working hard all day to pay for the fun.

He always wants to spend time with Beau and has never once acted like he is a burden in any way. He isn't ready for him to go to bed because he loves spending time with him so much! It's the best feeling in the world having a partner in parenting who loves a baby just like I do. He is seriously the sweetest dad...my heart melts on a daily basis.

Brian deserves SO much more than a Father's Day to celebrate who he is as a dad. When I write about him, he sounds like he isn't real but I'm married to him and he truly is just that great of a guy! I still can't believe how much I've hit the jackpot.

I am thankful knowing my children will be loved by one of the greatest men who ever lived! He is everything anyone could ever want in a father and more. He is my hero, and he's Beau's hero, too. He takes care of us as a family so well. He leads our family in a gentle, caring, and very capable way that makes us all feel strengthened, safe, and sure.

I love him with all my heart and I still can hardly believe he's mine. :)

















Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A Homebody Without a Home

Well, it's 4:03am and I have no idea why I'm even up and writing this sentence right now.

Ever since we've been homeless from the time we moved our stuff to the new house (that is not officially ours yet), Beau wakes up wanting to get in bed with me about now wondering where he is. I guess I'm just programmed to be ready to get him and let him know things are okay. I'm kinda sad to miss out on that tonight, but I'm glad he's able to sleep. I think I need the comfort of the normalcy of him right now just like he needs me, too.

Our closing date was backed up two more weeks, so right now we're just waiting for the old house to be settled with not nearly enough clothes packed. It's the weirdest feeling not having a home right now.

I mean homebody is not my middle name- it's my first name! I literally stay in my house for weeks on end without seeing the light of day and anyone close to me can attest to this. I don't mind missing out on anything in this world if it means I'm in clean sheets and pajamas in my own home. I am on the edge of hermit and sometimes fall over into actually being a hermit in the dead of winter. My house is my comfort zone and not having that and being in between makes a homebody like me feel completely lost! That's why I had to come back here the day after I found out it was delayed even longer...this is definitely a place that feels mine! Even though I'm grown and gone, this is still where my name is on a plate above the kitchen table and where my mom takes care of me!

Someone I admired said something one time that stuck with me and I think about a lot for my own feelings and when I need empathy for others. She said: "You may not understand why someone else is upset about something, but if that's how they feel, validated in your mind or not-it matters."

Even though this isn't the biggest deal in the world and we've had so many great memories made because of this time, it still matters to me because of my personality and the comfort I find by having a place to call my own. I think about how Jesus never truly had a home here on earth and what that must've felt like. He knew what true home was though and that isn't in a house. He knew that Heaven was the true home and that lasting comfort comes from God alone. Maybe that's why I think about Heaven so much and always have. It appeals to me to have an everlasting HOME.

I always wonder if maybe one day me and God will be in cotton pajama pants in Heaven laughing together about all the times we hung out alone in my earthly homes together.

I sure hope so. :)




Sunday, May 18, 2014

*Tears at a Coffee Stand*

"BRIAN!!!" I yelled louder and more dramatic than I ever meant to as everyone stopped what they were doing to stare.

He walked over with an amused smile trying not to laugh as I filled my coffee with hazelnut creamer. "I don't think I can do this!" I said with desperation and a tear in my eye, "You don't understand!!! I CANNOT do this!"

"Yes, you can." he said trying hard to make me feel like he was taking me seriously. "He will be FINE." He pointed me in the right direction so we could sit down before the service started. I had this overwhelming and unstoppable wave come over me…that wave of needing to cry and not having any capability to stop it. "Brian, I am seriously losing it here! I am about to cry, I am about to cry!!!" "Just focus on the screen…you CAN make it." "You're right..I'll just look like I'm really moved by this song." I kept checking his phone every five minutes just to make sure everything really WAS okay.

Now, I know this shouldn't be this dramatic of a moment in life, but for me it WAS. I promise you, motherhood makes people absolutely crazy. The reason I was freaking out is that I finally bit the bullet and sent Beau to the church nursery this morning and it was NOT easy. I had so many reasons before now that I could use in my mind not to send him: "It's flu season and he hasn't had a shot","He freaks out when I'm not around, I don't want him to fuss for the teacher the entire time", "I can just take him to the video church with me, no problem", "He's too little","Nobody can take care of him like I can","He seems tired","It's crawling with germs in there"!!!

I kinda ran out of reasons now that it's summer and his flu shot has come and gone and he's gotten completely social with strangers. He really is too big to take to video church because now that he's moving, sitting in his seat does not cut it anymore. Plus he scream talks really loud at the most inopportune times like when there's a song about death or something extremely serious. It just really ruins the mood for everyone. And, he REALLY likes people and wants to be in big groups. I knew in my heart of hearts that he was ready. I just didn't know if I was.

"Beau, it's going to be JUST fine." I said to him as he smiled at me bouncing in his bouncy chair while I wrote his name on everything in his diaper bag with a sharpie. I stared at his cute little face and realized that I needed to let go even though I didn't want to. I needed to trust that God would take care of him even when I wasn't around. I was really telling myself it would be fine more than anything. I KNOW that Beau is more God's than mine, and part of acting on that is making myself do things like sending him to the nursery and giving him up for even a short time.

Maybe that's why it felt so big to me. Maybe it wasn't even about the nursery. Maybe it's the fact that one day the feeling I had of just being a normal adult sitting in church without a baby is going to be every Sunday. And, honestly? I don't want to go back to being a normal adult. But I HAVE to do what's best for Beau and in this case, that was sending him to the nursery.

Of course he LOVED it. I came to pick him up and he was in a circle with eight other babies laughing and kicking his feet. Some sitting, some on their stomachs, some bouncing in a chair. Beau had his chubby little arm trying to grab a baby just out of reach. His teacher picked him up and brought him to us and he was absolutely glowing with excitement from being around all his new friends.

He is SO energized by people, it cracks me up. He kept hollering, laughing, and trying to touch everybody on the way out. I mean, this baby crowd was good for him and I love to see him that excited.

That made it worth it. That will make every single time I have to let go worth it. Because no boy dreams of spending their lives with their moms all the time no matter how much we wish that were the case, haha. I know that everyday that I hold him now, I'm just teaching him how to love well and hold his family later. It's not about me.

I know the lesson of letting go isn't easy and takes lots of time. I think of the parents with graduates this month and how they have to feel that same feeling only on a much larger scale.  It's not easy, but it's right. We are teaching our kids how to go and be their own people and be independent. We are reminding ourselves that they are God's and He is the Parent that goes everywhere with them no matter what. Even when we can't.





Tuesday, May 13, 2014

*Life Under Construction*

Times like these make you realize the difference between you and your spouse. For example: Brian thinks that a house should be packed up two weeks prior to a closing date, when I am the queen of bringing out something glorious in the final moments. While watching "The Voice" last night Brian asked: "Hey, do you think we can get Beau's room packed up by the end of the week?"

Wait…what? 

The end of THIS week? As in, a week prior to when my amazing genius juice of last minute starts flowing? What could he possibly be speaking of? Before I could answer him, he already took all the decorations off the living room wall, put together four boxes, and pulled everything from the guest closet like the energizer bunny. "Sit down…REST", I said extremely confused. "I took off work today to drive back, I HAVE to get something productive done."

The other day he looked at Beau playing and said: "That baby has more equity in toys than any kid I know!" That statement says a lot about who he is and a lot about who I am. His wheels are always turning about business and assets and planning for the future/being productive, while I'm thinking about how to make Beau's play life more fun. 

In a marriage book about personalities and how it effects relationships, he is motivated by achieving goals and I'm motivated by fun and achieving goals does nothing for me. Apparently our personality types work the best together and have the least amount of work when it comes to coexisting which is funny because we are so different, but it real does work somehow. 

We decided to compromise and do it halfway in between, but I think I'll just pack it up early because he has enough to worry about as it is. If it makes him feel that much better, why not? I appreciate that he's so motivated and I wish he could give some of the juice to me!!! That would be really nice. I don't know how someone can live such a productive life, but I'm thankful my husband is that way. Even though it's very different than the way I think, it benefits me in so many ways.

We are truly under construction in every sense these days. Not only are we building a house, but Brian is building an office building as well. Everything that our future holds is just grass and dirt and a thought right now. It'll be interesting to see the changes this year both in our physical lives and inner lives as well. I have so many things I want to build on in my heart that God has already started a foundation for. I know that my inner "house" won't be completely built until I'm in Heaven, but the work done on it is important none the less. 

I know each phase of life brings opportunities to experience God in new ways and learn more and become a better person because of it. I'm hoping this transition time is a transition of the heart as well. I feel like I've been knocking on a spiritual ceiling for a while now, and I'm ready to break out and see what's on the other side. Moving here and experiencing the isolation that I have has been really good for me because it's forced me to think about spiritual things that I didn't have to think about before. Lots of times when God is teaching me something, my human mind can only fathom so much of it at a time. That's what I mean by banging on a ceiling…it's like I only see half of what He's trying to say, and when the rest is finally taken in and understood, I'll break free and move on to a new and beautiful place.

I still have a lot of construction to do when it comes to building my new life here, too. I am ready to stop wrestling with God about why He couldn't just bring the love of my life and my sweet baby to MY life in another state. But the thing is…He has me here. That is not MY life anymore and I have to stop fighting that if I want to grow here and build the life I'm supposed to. I have to stop thinking like that because it shadows out the incredible blessings that I've been given here that I absolutely don't deserve. Even though God has moved me from a lot of the things I held on to so tightly, He has given me more than He has taken away and any other thought than that is just not seeing it correctly. He has chosen to shower me with gifts and blessings and most of all His never ending, loving presence and friendship even though I throw fits at times about His plan.

It's taken a lot longer to make this place feel like home and I think it has a lot to do with my own fears and me fighting it. I know with all my heart that in ten years, I'll look back on this time and realize how much I was going in the right direction even if I couldn't see it. 

These days, so much of my life is just grass and dirt and a dream- completely under construction. But I know I'll see those dreams fulfilled in the right time and learn many much needed lessons along the way. I'm thankful for this journey ahead and like the old long haired Miley Cyrus who actually made sense would say: "It's the Climb", right?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

*The Song of Motherhood*

"Listen, my favorite song is about to come on!!"

I can't even tell you the name of the song but I really do like it. It's one of those songs that makes you want to dance and gives off the feeling that it's going to be a great day.

You might be thinking I was referring to a song we all know on the radio, but I was actually referring to a song from baby boy's exersaucer he was playing in.

You know you're head high in the phase of early motherhood when you actually know which song comes next on a toy. I've tried to avoid baby DVD's and other things with kids songs because I know I'll have my fill in the years to come. I don't know why but after watching some DVDs of my nephew's one too many times, I got this nervous twitch and sometimes have "Hi, Sweet Baby" stuck in my head on repeat against my will. It makes me feel like I'm going crazy and that's why I'm trying to wait until he really cares. But this certain toy isn't nearly as fun without the song because it makes the animals move, so I made an exception. And I really do like the song. It's just part of the song of motherhood.

Things are SO much different than they were a few months ago. Five months is a glorious phase because they are old enough to sleep through the night and interact and get chubby, but they are still too young to teethe. It's this oasis of month five that is incredible. He really only cries over two things…people picking him up that he hasn't seen in a while and when I clean the bottles while he's in the room. When I do the dishes and his bottles are involved, he acts like I am the cruelest person on earth. He gives me this "Mom, how could you do this to me?!" look on his face like I don't feed him. I try to stuff him full before so he won't want it, but even that doesn't work.

I've finally figured out that waving something aqua blue (his favorite color) in his direction makes him happy. Not navy blue, not just any blue, aqua blue. He also likes it if I turn around suddenly and make an oversized smiley face like a crazed clown and bounce my head around. You'd think that would freak him out, but he loves it and will whine talk until I do it again, and then laugh really hard. I've finally found a way to do the dishes without him thinking I want to starve him on purpose.

There's so many things you think about and do after becoming a mother that you never even knew about before. I remember just thinking about babies and motherhood with this blanket of thoughts that covered it all, not knowing that a yellow lion pacifier would soon be a major part of my life. I didn't know that his favorite toy would be a blue dinosaur or that he would smile at my hair being blown everywhere by a blow dryer. I didn't know that even at 5 months he'd have to be talked to and would crave interaction and love to talk back and forth already. I didn't know that I would be able to know what he wanted so easily even though he can't talk in english back. I didn't know that my baby would love to burp on my shoulder in the big chair so he could talk at a picture of his dad. I didn't know that clipping baby fingernails would be extremely frightening or that the scent of freshly washed baby hair is the most wonderful smell in the world.


Friday, February 14, 2014

*A Very Happy Valentine's Day!!*

It's Valentine's Day!!! One of my very favorite days of the year even when I was single. It's so fun to look and see how loved everyone is and to get a glimpse into other people's love lives. Couples that are in love and make it in real life are so much more romantic to me than movie ones. Even though I've always loved this holiday, it's much more meaningful now that I have two of the best Valentines in the whole world!!! I love my boys so much.

This is actually one of my favorite Valentines Days so far because the first one I had after being married I was super sick, bedridden, and pregnant. To be honest…the only memory I have of last year is dark curtains covering the sunlight and the bathroom floor. I also have a letter Brian wrote me that I don't remember reading, but it's really nice to read later. I definitely am on the other side of the mountain where the sun is shining and things are great. I even fit into my old jeans on this holiday which is even more reason to celebrate! haha

We've had a third wheel with us all day today, but we love it. Beau is the perfect extra present on Valentine's Day. I keep thinking about how parenthood is a series of presents we get to open over the years. There's so much to look forward to each day and in the years to come, the anticipation for the future and enjoyment I get everyday is so overwhelming.

Like…when I was at the revenue department today there were some moms with their sixteen year old sons waiting to take the driving test. I couldn't help but imagine myself with baby boy in sixteen years. I'll be 41 years old taking my taller than me son for a big day in his life. It's such an exciting thought!! And right now I'm opening the present of the miracle of how fast a baby grows. Next week he will only be five months old yet he can grab his pacifier from beside him and put it in his mouth. I mean SERIOUSLY, after only five months on this earth!! How do human beings go from newborn to that in such little time?! I still have a hard time getting a straw in my mouth sometimes, so that is truly impressive to me. No wonder all parents think their kids are prodigies…because they are impressive to them. I don't blame them anymore! I mean, seriously…it is absolutely astonishing what babies can do and how they interact at such an early age. It's truly a miracle.

Along with that miracle is how he sleeps from 6:30pm-7:00am putting himself to sleep now. HELLO…yes, please…life, you are back! I feel like my old self again which is amazing because I thought I'd feel like a zombie for the rest of my life. I thought that having a newborn was easy, but now that I'm at the VERY easy phase, I'm like…woa, how on earth did we survive that?! It felt pretty easy at the time despite a few emotional meltdowns at 3am, but now looking back, I'm not sure why I felt that way. haha Because, it does sound hard looking back.

This Valentine's Day feels extra special because of all we've been through together in such a short amount of time. It's amazing what those survival mode times do for a marriage and how it brought us that much closer together. Not necessarily in the middle of the night when I had crazy eyes, but when it's all over and done with…we are closer than ever. That's what will be so neat about being married for many, many years. With each passing life phase we will get that much closer. I feel our connection is much deeper now that we've survived something together. We are a team and have stayed completely in love through it all. We made it and it feels good!! This Valentine's Day, I truly celebrate that. Bringing a baby into our family has brought us together and been an extremely good thing. I know I talk and talk and talk about my baby and motherhood, but I'm serious…it's the BEST THING EVER. I have yet to experience the bad parts that I keep hearing about. I know that sounds crazy, but it's true. I just really love it. I'm not desperately seeking a break or a future day…I just love my life right now.

Our lives this year are fuller, richer, and more deeply joyous because of our growing family. I didn't think I'd be able to post something like this so soon in my life, but I'm so thankful I get to. I have the best husband and son in the world!!! This is truly a happy, happy Valentine's Day. :)




Monday, February 3, 2014

*How?*

Lately, it seems like more than ever I am bombarded by worldly things. I feel like I can barely turn on the TV anymore to be honest. With every passing year it seems to get worse and worse and the narrow road seems to get even smaller. As I look around and see what this world values, I start to wonder how I am supposed to parent in a generation like this.

"Train up a child in the way he should go,
 and when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6

I think of that verse often and of the promise that it gives. I think about how thankful I am for these years that my baby doesn't know about all that's out there and how he still thinks the world is only good. The biggest problem in his life right now is waiting that stressful five seconds when he sees the bottle and has to wait until it makes it to his mouth. 

I think of the word "train" and how training for something is always hard. Nothing about getting my child to hold tightly to the way I raise him will be easy. I have many important years in my future where I will cling daily to the promise that God will help him not depart from the road we are teaching him to love. 

How do I teach my baby to love the word of God? How do I teach him to let all other voices in his life fade away in comparison to what is written there? My prayer for my son is the same prayer that God prayed about the disciples before he was taken prisoner:

"My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth." John 17:15-17

How do I teach him how valuable he is and that God made him because he wanted him as his own. How do I make sure he knows the importance of being an adopted child of God? 

How do I teach him to love and enjoy God? How do I show him the fun side of God? How do I let him know just how much He loves to be a part of his laughter?

How do I teach my child in a world that wants acceptance that being rejected by certain people is a GOOD thing? There are some people I know that would say my thinking is completely backwards and I'm extremely relieved for that. If they did think I was right, then I would not be in the place I wanted to be. Not at all. 

How do I teach him that the things we should do are the things that don't come naturally? How do I teach him that there's a war raging inside of him? How do I teach him that the right thing to do is not always easy, in fact it can be really hard.

How can I make him understand that sometimes feeling bad can be a good thing because it teaches us right and wrong. How can I make the most of discipline and do it in the right way? How can I let him know that being told NO can be the best thing that ever happened to him.

How do I tell him who God is? How can I even begin to be equipped enough for that? I ask myself questions like this all the time and I've come up with a few answers so far: 

1.) Pray a lot and ask for help
2.) Show him with my life and not ask him to do anything that I don't do myself. I need to constantly be working on myself  and seeking God first. How can I expect him to be something I'm not and to have a passionate love for something I don't? (Scary thought!)
3.)Rely on God to open his spiritual eyes and ears and give him a love relationship that I can't. Because the true change in the sinful human heart is an encounter with Jesus Himself.

I feel so ill equipped for all this, but that's where God comes in. At least I have a little time to figure out exactly what the word "TRAIN" is referring to. Right now he's still just Mr. Smiley with no sign of ever doing anything wrong. He still believes that the most important thing in life is his mom which is pretty fun, but I'm ready for him to know the true meaning of life. Because it sure isn't me.