Friday, December 24, 2010


I know I've said it before, but I loooove this time of year.  I have so many things to say in this blog that it may all come out pretty choppy, but I'm kind of just letting my thoughts spill out at the moment.
I woke up this morning to it snowing.  I can totally handle snow up until about December 26th, then it can be done.  So it's tolerable up until then... but for snow to come on Christmas Eve and Christmas... that's more than tolerable, that's magical.  The beauty of it... the purity of it... well, it reminds me a lot of what our Christmas season is all about... Jesus, pure, Holy beauty born of a woman in a manger to do for us what we not only could not do for ourselves, but wouldn't have understood that we needed.  There's so much analogy between the white purity of the snow, and how it lays and covers gently over the ground and trees, much as Jesus covers us from our sins.  I could write a whole blog about it.  So let's just say I'm digging the snow. 
From a mother's standpoint, Bryton gets his snowpants in his Christmas presents tomorrow, so I'm excited to see how he does with the opportunity to play in the snow tomorrow.  Last year he was very unsure, but he also didn't have the clothing for it either, so the poor guy was barely walking, so was falling all over the snow and was probably freezing.  I'm excited to see his excitement this year...
with the snow, and with everything else.
If there is something being a parent has taught me, if there's a way to become immediately, enjoyably unselfish, it's by having children.  I'd be lying if I said I wasn't excited about presents... but I'd be completely honest to say that I'm FAR more excited about Bryton opening his than anyone else.  And it's not just the presents.  It's the whole spirit of the season.  It was taking him through the lights at the fairgrounds and watching him dig the trains... it's watching his excitement when he gets a Christmas cookie (we don't do desserts very often... and this is one of the reasons I'm glad we don't... it's a 'treat' for him when he gets it... not something that's expected.)  It's seeing him enjoy family, and the snow, and our quality time together.  It's getting to share Jesus with him... in a very special celebration.   There's something about being a parent that makes you feel like a kid again.  It makes Christmas magical and wonderfully spiritual and pure.  I think about how far Bryton is from Jesus (in his 'lostness'), but how close he is as well (Matthew 19:14), and I swear to you sometimes I see the face of God through him... maybe it's his eyes when he asks to talk to "Gee gee", maybe it reminds me of how zealous God can be for us, and how zealous we should be for him... I don't know... but children seem to know something we have long forgotten about our King. 
And this is what it all comes down to... all the anticipation leading up until now... all of the waiting for God to provide a way... all of the Old Testament that has pointed to God working things out... through the conflicts and then the 400 years of silence... the climactic event happens now... God thrusting His Son into this shadow of sin to be our ransom, born of a virgin woman, in a manger, a sweet baby Himself, at a time where all of creation gasped and rejoiced. 
For our God has remembered us. 
Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

26 Things I've Learned By Age 26

I'm a long way from having much wisdom to impart.  Ten years ago 26 would have seemed really old, but I feel pretty young right now, all pregnancy symptoms aside.  So here's a short list of the things I have figured out by age 26... subject to change of course, with more age and wisdom...

1.)  I do NOT know everything, I have a lot to learn, and as long as I'm this side of the dirt, I'll never have it all figured out.  (Probably won't then either ;)

2.) My parents were right 97% of the time, about 77% more than what I gave them 10 years ago.  They were always right, growing up has just made me realize it.  Why the 3%? Well, because they aren't perfect either, and let's face it, it'd be unfair for me to expect them to be.

3.)  Often times contentment and 'happiness' in life comes only after difficult circumstances and experiences.  God allows us to endure one to better be able to enjoy the other.  (And because He knows what's best, unlike us, who just think we do.)

4.)  Love is a choice.  Sure there are lovey feelings from time to time, which are much welcomed, but our greatest blessing comes from learning to love when it seems most difficult.

5.)  Our own children become some of our most vital teachers.

6.) You should never have to change who you are in order to maintain friendships with anyone.  True friendship comes despite our successes and our failures, in the face of adversity, and endures the changing of the seasons of life.

7.) Worry really doesn't get you anywhere... but worrying about how much you worry just gives you something else to worry about.

8.) High school was not the best years of life.  In theory, can't you see how it'd be pretty sad to say that high school was the 'good ole days' in the presence of your spouse, your children, and your new life as a family?  It fails in comparison. 

9.)  If you want to be made quickly and enjoyably unselfish, have children.

10.) You can't judge people.  Get to know someone and learn their story and you'll know who they really are and why they are that way.

11.) It's important to not only be good stewards of our money, but also of our time and our service.

12.) Some things are just a pain in the butt to pay for... like trash bags.

13.) Jesus can handle all of our hard questions.

14.) There's a lot to be learned from people, even if you disagree with their opinions, morals, or convictions.

15.)  Men and women really are worlds different...

16.)  Forget the feminist movement... of course I can open my own door, pay my own way, stand on my own two feet, etc etc etc, but why would I want to when a husband can do those things for me out of an act of love?  I'm for chivalry, and I'm not going to fight against it!

17.)  Not every battle is worth fighting... choose wisely.

18.) Never, I repeat, never, make comments about other people's children and how 'your child will never act that way', until you have kids yourself and know for sure.  Sometimes you are catching kids at their worst moments... and they all have them. 

19.)  Even if money is tight, the absolute best thing you can do to help yourself stop worrying about money is to make yourself a written budget.  Include everything, then at the very minimum you know that you can afford all of those bills that are showing up at your door. 

20.)  Find time to play... all work and no play leads to burn out very quickly.  All play and no work, well, that just makes you lazy.

21.) Don't put people on pedestals... anyone.  Everyone will disappoint you... it's in our nature.

22.)  Go to Disney World... at least once in your life.  There's no place on Earth quite so magical :)

23.)  Honor your commitments.  In this day of age, integrity and good character are hard to come by.  Be a person who possesses both. 

24.)  Everyone has that thing they really enjoy.  A new pair of shoes, a new haircut, an awesome new outfit, a trip to the movies, whatever.  Budget for it and do it.  Trust me, a little splurge is worth it. 

25.)  Be serious less often.  I've learned this the hard way.  Laugh more.  People will like you better.

26.)  And lastly, don't care... completely... what people think.  Who cares if people hate your shoes if you love them?  Who cares if people can't stand your personality if you are who you are?  But guard your reputation, and live in such a way that people can't find fault with you (or inconsistencies). 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Mom Dilemma: Haircuts

I'm jonesing to get my haircut.  Again.  In fact, I don't know that there's is a time where I'm not jonesing to do something with my hair... but I may treat myself to a hair overhaul for my birthday this year.  Except maybe not an extreme hair overhaul.

Why?  Two reasons.

1.)  It's difficult for me to find it within me to cut my hair short short (because if you say it twice it means something different) during the winter because I like to wear sock hats, and if a girl puts on a sock hat with short hair, she looks like a boy, and that's not the look I'm going for.  (And this year I'd be a big pregnant boy :)

 2.)  There's some kind of stigma associated with 'new' or almost 'new' moms and short hair.  For instance, when I got my haircut right after I had Bryton ( I went from this:

to this:
in about 6 weeks postpartum.)  all people talked about was how I'd went and got a mom haircut.  Grrr.  Apparently a mom haircut is a haircut that makes for a shorter amount of 'prep' work, in other words, it's easy.  Well let me go ahead and tell you, this mom haircut was NOT easy.  In fact, it took a whole lot more work than my previous straight, don't do anything with it haircut.

(By the way- you ever think maybe the reason new moms get their haircuts are because they are finally feeling like women again and not places of occupancy?  I could finally fit in old clothes again!  And the new haircut was a way to spiff it up.  I was trying to look nice, not take the easy route! Yeesh!)

So I'll be honest, I was stranded between two choices.  Just letting my hair continue to grow and putting lots of layers in it, or doing a short stacked bob similar to this one:

And knowing me and my hair fixing skills, and that people will say once again that I was going for a 'mom' haircut (does that look like a mom haircut to you?  I didn't think so... but maybe the tatoo helps. Hmm.)  Anyway, and knowing that this will be the time in my life I want to wear a sock hat for some reason, I guess I'll go with the lots of layers haircut this holiday season, and see what happens with it...

Then we'll see what happens in April :) You can count on color!

*edit:  Wow, I didn't realize that I didn't have bangs when I had Bryton.  Crazy considering I had bangs on the road... when did I let them grow back out??? Hmmm. 

Saturday, December 4, 2010

26 Weeks and Counting...

It's been a long time since I've had a pregnancy blog, so I thought I'd do a quick write up.  
I'm 26 weeks today.  Crazy.  I can remember last year at this time wondering if I'd have any other children.  I can remember seeing the positive pregnancy test come back... it feels like yesterday.  And today, I'm 26 weeks.  

I thought my pregnancy with B flew by, but it now seemed so long in hind sight.  I've been wondering this time how I've "gotten so big."  Well, honey, your getting bigger because you are almost in your 3rd trimester!  Unbelievable.  

Nauseousness is long gone at this point (praise Jesus).  And we're praying it doesn't return... ever.  I'm just starting to get to that 'uncomfortable but not miserable' stage.  I've officially had to start tying my shoes sideways (annoying because you can't ever get them as tight that way), been struggling getting up the stairs to the loft (huffing and puffing, hello decreased lung function), and can only walk so fast until I'm out of breath.  My lower back has been hurting some when I sit with my feet up for any given time or when I sit on the floor for a long time to wrap Christmas presents.  It's not as easy for me to get off the floor with B now.  Not to mention, leaning over his crib to lay him down at night is getting.... interesting.  Oh, and did I mention heartburn?  Yeah. 

It sounds like a lot of complaining, but it isn't, really.  I'm thankful for these things.  I'm thankful for the opportunity to carry another child.  I'm thankful that I'm not nauseous at this point.  I'm thankful I'm not swollen (yet).  Okay, I'm not so thankful for the heartburn, but I'll live.  I'm thankful, all in all, for all of the signs that Ansley's birthday is a little bit closer.  

And next on the agenda?  Well, I go on the 13th (the day before my birthday) to do my glucose test, get my rhogam shot, and watch my epidural video.  Two needle sticks and a reminder of childbirth.  Yep, I'm getting close.  Happy birthday to me :)  

But it's good.  It really is.  We pray for Ansley often as we sit together at the dinner table at night, that God would make her strong and healthy.  Then I pray before bed, as I did and still do for Bryton, that He would reveal Himself to her early and that she'd come to love Him early.  

I'm still not sure how I'm going to handle the hair fixing and the clothes matching and the shoe buying, or the bra talk, girl drama, period stuff... but I'm already praying for God to give me that wisdom when the time comes... 

And I'm praying that Bryton will adore his sister, will look out for her, protect her, love her, and set a good example for her.  And I'm praying that she will look up to him, love him, enjoy him, and bring out the best qualities in him.  I hope that they will forever love and care for one another.  

And that's where we are.  All in all life is good.  Trying to figure out Bryton's nap time and trying this potty thing is making me a little more stressed than usual... but we realize the many blessings God has given us.  

Thursday, December 2, 2010

christmas card

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I Can't Concentrate...

Little things overwhelm me or steal my concentration.  I was really hoping to get blogging every day or every other again, but interestingly, Bryton has not napped (a mother's nightmare) for three days straight now.  He does not cry, and he even stays in his crib for two hours (I'm not exaggerating), but he does not sleep.  He jumps on his bed, he sings, he talks, he makes noises with his mouth, etc. etc. etc.  And the fear that this is a new trend keeps me from accomplishing much of ANYTHING. 
It's true, I cherish the afternoon free with a child sleeping.  I cherish the time to destress and get stuff done.  AND, I worry because I know two (according to our pediatrician and about every website dedicated to baby / toddler health) is way to early to give up a nap.  (Not to mention the fact that I'm already thinking about what March will be like with no big brother napping.) 
Grr... so, the mission for the rest of the week... get this nap schedule back on... somehow... I'm going to have to make him run laps before nap time... and maybe not let him sleep so late... come back nap, come back!