Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Where I've Been

Girls are supposed to think their dads are superheros.  In the twirling of a dress and the tapping of fancy shoes should be the arms of the father to sweep her off her feet. 

My grandpa passed away last Tuesday morning, surrounded by his family, after a long several weeks of fighting.  It took that long for him to die, but it only took that long for him to die.  I mean, he was still going to work at the business he owned before he got sick.  It seemed like forever of him suffering, but it felt like a whirlwind at the same time.  How quickly it happens... life really is but a vapor.  The Book says it... now I see it. 

And I hate death.  Maybe I get super theological or just want to place blame somewhere, but funerals make me think about the garden.  We came from dirt, we go to dirt... but mostly, death happened in the Garden... with one bite of fruit, with the desire to be God.  My grandpa's funeral was a visual reminder of the wrath, the awfulness, of our sin.  The pain of separation from our loved ones runs deep.  I grimace at sin.  Sin still hurts.  But sin hasn't won.  Jesus has won.

Have I mentioned that my dad had a massive heart attack 7 years ago this coming February.  It was possibly the most terrifying moment of my life.  I was six months from walking an aisle to marry my husband... and I couldn't fathom the thought of not having my daddy there to walk me down that aisle.  And you know - he almost wasn't.  There were several times we thought he wouldn't be.  And he was so young.  

And lying in that casket this past week, watching my daddy lay his daddy to rest, I couldn't help but think that 7 years ago this could have been my reality.  And I thank God so dearly that it wasn't... that in His divine plan, He chose to allow me more time with my dad.  He allowed him to meet his grandchildren, to become best friends with a little boy who would play baseball with him from sun up to sun down. 

Yet - as the eulogy was given, as my grandpa was being remembered, the words 'integrity', 'character', 'caring', and 'fair' kept coming up... and I realized something...

My dad wore that cape in my life.  He toted me around everywhere.  In the back of trucks to run dogs, on four wheelers, up to the lumber yard, or to get Fruit Stripe gum at Willi's oil.  I went with him to do inventory, to field trials, he pitched softballs to me... from a 'grown up' perspective: he has integrity, character, he's caring, and fair.  I'm so blessed with an amazing dad (and mom, for that matter.) 

And as I've gotten a little older, I now realize that the affection I feel for my own father must also be reciprocated between he and his... except they were not just father / son, they were business partners, they were hunting buddies, they were best friends.  My heart repeatedly shatters for him... at every thought.  I can't even imagine. 

And now - we live 700 miles away.  That little boy he loves so much can't even go see him.  For the first time, I'm having to deal with the distance.  I'm dealing with the idea that my dad can't frequent all of B's little league games.  I'm dealing with the fact that my parent's won't be able to make every birthday party.  And life, is, but, a, vapor.  But... I am remaining faithful.  What God promises is true... and if this is where He has us, it is better for us to remain.  Maybe B can go work summers at the family business when he's older.  If it's in His plan, I suppose. 

Anyway- I'm scattered, and trying to live in two worlds right now, and feeling a little as if I'm failing at both of them.  I'm normally pretty positive, and I will get back there, but right now, I'm in persevere mode, and I'm repeating to myself the promise that God is good, God is love, and He works together, for Good, all things for those who love Him and are called by Him.

Monday, November 21, 2011

How About Some Randomness

I've stunk at blogging lately.  I'll be honest, I've been too emotionally spent everywhere else to have much 'left over' to put on paper, er, computer screen.  So - rather than be super uber serious for today's blog, I (with inspiration from Flower Mama) decided a random blog may keep me from raining on all of your Happy Thanksgiving parades.

Speaking of Thanksgiving (and parades) - can I tell you that since for as long as I can remember I've faithfully watched the Macy's day parade on Thanksgiving morning?  It's more necessary than football, folks, I'm telling you.  One day, I will take my children (and my wonderfully obliging husband) to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. 

This year, though, we're settling for a little Thanksgiving meal in our temporary place, away from all of our family (and a lot of our friends).  Because of hubs' job, we haven't always been able to be with loved ones on 'the days' of holidays, but we always got to have holidays with family.  So this year will be, unusual.  I'll be honest, the hubs and the kids saves it... in fact, B saves it.  He can be rotten sometimes, but by golly, I'm watching him enjoy things like he's never been fully capable of before, and I love love it.  

Speaking of - we watched The Polar Express today.  It was actually my first time watching it too (well, that wasn't in a squished in hallway of 100 kindergartners during crummy weather, but that's another story).  It was marvelous.  Wonderful even.  And he sat through the entire thing.  He loves trains.  We're taking him on a 'polar express' ride this year at a nearby town.  I'm so stoked about it now I can't hardly contain myself. 

Back to the weather - that's going to be an adjustment.  You know what I love about this time of year?  (Be prepared... I may not be the norm.)  I love rainy, drizzly days.  I love that it gets darker sooner.  I love seeing Christmas lights through a light snow or even a drizzly rain.  I love the feel of walking into a warm house.  I love big sweaters and peacoats.  I love snowboots.  For real.  (Now, get me past January 1st and let's just move on to spring, but right now, I want the drizzly romance of winter.)  Yeah, the drizzly romance.  Oh - did I mention (aside from today) it's been like 60's or 70's and sunny?  Just thought I'd throw that out there.  I'm sure the 'nice' weather will have it's place.

So -  may as well mention it now - grandfather is still back and forth.  Not sure how much my family wants made 'public', but I'm worn out (and I'm not even there.)  I'm worn out in praying.  I'm worn out in phone calls.  I'm worn out thinking that he must be suffering.  I'm worn out searching plane tickets and worn out re-planning.  Mostly - I'm worn out in worry.  I know that the circumstances are putting stress on the family, and I worry about the health of my own parents.  Granted, circumstances can't be any different at the moment... but it seems like we are continually wondering 'will he make it, or will he not...'  And that, friends, is exhausting.

On a completely other note:  we have finally started looking in homes.  Real homes... homes that could be 'ours.'  And of course I fell in love with the first one.  It's wonderful: 3 bed, 2 bath, a study (playroom / guestroom), large living, dining, kitchen area that is all open concept, huge back yard, master bedroom with a master bath with a separate tub and shower and GI-STINKING-NORMOUS walk in closet.  Oh - and it's 5 years old and looks BRAND NEW.  I'm not excited.  I promise.  Problem?  Still waiting on our house up north to close... gotta get on that. 

So - there is still life happening here in the house, I'll keep you posted as I have energy for it! 


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Change in Perspective

I love being a SAHM (Stay at Home Mom).  It's wonderfully rewarding.  I get to see my kids (under most circumstances) accomplish milestones, learn new things, and I get to contribute to their rearing. 

That being said - it is easy to fall into the mundane. 

Every day I wake up to a little 3 foot tall figure standing next to my saying, "I have a snack now?" 

I inevitably get up and get going on his breakfast, get him settled with a Mickey, and by the time I've got him settled it's Ans' turn to wake up.  And so the day goes on.  Most look much like every other, with a special thing sprinkled in here and there (because, let's face it, those take planning, and I don't have time to breathe most days, much less plan).  Tomorrow B gets to put up his first Christmas tree (of his very own, in his room) and decorate it, together with mom.  That's special, and by golly, I'm pumped.

But that's beside the point.

The point is this:  sometimes I feel like I'm going through the motions.  Same thing, different day.  What does this really matter, anyway?  Know what I mean?  I'm sure everyone in every profession feels that at some point in life. 

And God has began a work in me.

The work that I am doing with our kiddos is of eternal value.  It's not for here, it's for there.  Not for now, for later.  (And that goes for whatever job God has called you to!)

Another dirty diaper changed?  Eternal value.

Choosing to cut out paper turkeys with Bryton and make cards for grandparents (pics coming soon!).  Eternal.

Choosing to be calm when fit number 9,437 happens by 11 a.m.  It all points them to later. 

Every nose wiped (which we've done a lot of lately), every game played, every scripture taught (thanks to a dear blog friend, B has Psalm 19:14 down at this point), every cookie baked together.  That is eternal value. 

We all live different lives.  All on different journeys.  All experiencing different circumstances, yet our objective is always the same... whoever you are with, however you communicate it, in good and in bad, be glad in God and point others to Him. 

In this time of Thanksgiving, it seems an appropriate time to be so incredibly thankful for the eternal value that comes with being a wife, mother, and family planner extraordinaire.  I'll take that title any day!


Monday, November 14, 2011

And Now, There's a Limp

Just when you think... well, I don't even know what I thought?  I certainly didn't think "things can't get any worse," because we are a long way from rock bottom.  I thank God everyday for our blessings... we are very blessed.  But somehow, I did think, maybe we are at the end of this yuckiness.  I mean, we've been at this for a month now.  It has to be nearing an end, right?

Apparently I was wrong.

So a little bit of back history, we found a large knot on the back of Bryton's knee in March or April of this year.  Everyone was worried (for once in my life, a little more than I was... he's a boy, he has knots everywhere) so I took him to the doctor.  Everything I had found online (yep, I'm an internet diagnoser) pointed towards a Baker's Cyst, but they are very rare in children. 

A trip to the doctor suggested just that, a Baker's Cyst.  Rare, but not impossible.  We didn't do any 'tests' to prove it, besides feeling it and confirming that it did indeed go away when his leg was bent and come back when it was flexed or extended.  Doctor's orders: 'Watch it, as long as it doesn't interfere in his daily activity or cause any pain, there's a great chance it'll fix itself in time.'  And every website I've looked at has said the same. 

And then, last night, as we were walking Bryton to bed, we noticed a limp.  Not an awful limp, but a very obvious limp, none the less.  Feeling the back of his leg, his cyst is definitely still there, and quite possibly larger.  (We just had it looked at about 10 days ago at the doctor, so I'm sure it's not that much worse, maybe we just notice it more?)  He is definitely limping on the leg with the cyst.  (Or what we think is a cyst). 

He woke up today, and he's not any better.  In fact, he's struggled up and down stairs all day.  He fell down the stairs on our porch twice tonight.  He's tripping all over the place, seemingly because he's trying not to bend the right leg...

Worrying got the best of me and I called our doctor.  He has an appointment at 9 a.m.

Please pray.  Poor guy says he isn't hurting, but he doesn't have the mobility to prove it.  I'm worried it's something more severe.  I happened on a site about juvenile arthritis today and literally had to close the page before I could read through it fully.  I don't even want to entertain the thought of a 'lifelong disease.'  (And there's very little chance it is that, but still.)

All in all - it makes me so thankful.  Overall, I have very healthy kids.  Overall, we are a very healthy family.  It makes me grateful that a snotty nose is the only ailment I have to really complain about with kiddos right now.  Praise God for a snotty nose.  That snotty nose is just a snotty nose with their health great in other areas.  Praying that news continues outside of tomorrow.

You know - he is a three year old boy whose favorite past time is playing football with Ansley's ducky by running through the house and throwing himself around like a rag doll.  His leg issues could be that he's a three year old boy.

I just want an answer. 

Thanks in advance for the prayers...


Sunday, November 13, 2011

All Occasion Cookies

Back in a time long, long ago (ok, really about 3 years ago, maybe even 3 years ago exactly) when our first born was, ahem, born, we had great friends take care of us and bring us food. 

I love this for so many reasons. 

1.)  Who wants to cook after they've pushed out an 8-10 pound baby?  (What?  Normal people don't have 8-10 pound babies?  Hmm.)

2.)  Who wants to do dishes after having an 8-10 pound baby?


3.)  You can get a lot of new recipes with other people cooking for you for a week or so. 

And that's where this cookie wonderment came from.  Back when Bryton was born a dear friend made us the most awesome cookies I'd ever eaten.  For real.

Now - I feel like if anyone has children, you (or I) should make them these cookies.  It should be mandatory.  They should be called "make the pain and sleepless nights enjoyable" cookies, because that they do. 

Anyway - if you don't know anyone having a baby, you should fix them anyway and eat them yourself.  So - since I knew no one having a baby (who lives close enough to deliver cookies to), I made them for Small group snack.  Um hum.  All occasion cookies. 

Now let me tell you a little secret.  These cookies have an amazing (or should I say, amazing) cookie recipe, but there's been a lot going on in this house lately, I've been tight on time, and I was trying to make as little homemade as possible with all the sickness roaming around.  So - I waited until children were napping, I washed down everything (including myself), and I did this:

Yep - that's a roll of peanut butter cookie dough.  I used two of them, because let's face it folks, sometimes cookie from the fridge are better than no cookies at all.  Can I get an amen?  Amen.

So I spent the next hour or so cooking up all those cookies.

Then - while letting them cool, I whipped up the little concoction that can set apart the store bought cookie forever.  It goes like this:

1/2 cup peanut butter
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
and 4 - 5 Tbsp. of milk (except I probably used more like 6, because I like creamy, not chunky, filling)

Put it all together and mix it all up until it's smooth.

Yum.  Hungry yet?  I am.

Then you take a little of the peanut buttery goodness and spread it on good and thick:

Mash the cookies together and 'voila' - peanut butter yumminess that you would swear is completely homemade.  I promise. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Death, Where's Your Sting

I have such mixed emotions and lack of understanding regarding death, even as a Christian.  Though I'm not afraid to die, and I know where my eternity lies, I'd be lying if I told you I was ready to go at this moment. 

I even have a hard time understanding those - even after great pain and an exhausting lifetime - who are ready to go towards the end of their lives.  I pray God gives me that peace at that time. 

And so the 'death, where's your sting,' idea I get.  I get it from the perspective of a Christian who believes that it's not over, and where we are going is better than where we have been.  However, the hard part for me is the sting that is felt by a world lived minus a loved one.  It's seeing the pain of those left behind.  It's the unknown of the unknown... ya know? 

Maybe I'm strange. 

But when someone I know and care for is near that time in their own lives, it makes me re-examine death all over again. 

As I write I have a loved one who is reaching nearer and nearer to death.  Reaching nearer and nearer to seeing the face of his creator and his sustainer.  And the rest of the family is reaching nearer and nearer to what does sting. 

Please say a prayer for my dad, who may be nearing the moment of telling his own father 'good-bye.'  I'm so not ready for that day - but then, how are we ever?


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Hello, Transparent Revelation!

I'll admit - I had another blog planned for the day.  Another blog that got pushed back and pushed back and pushed back, in every sense of the word.  It's Bryton's birthday blog.  I know, right?  I'm already a week late.  And it was on today's agenda, but you know what, the internet is moving warp snail and I'd really like to give you some pics of little man in the blog... so it will have to wait, again. 

BUT - that doesn't mean I've got nothing to say.  (Do you know me at all?  I always have something to say!)  No - I've been mulling around and chewing on this thought since yesterday evening, and now, I've gotta put it out there for ya'll to chew on with me.  Let's chew and digest, shall we?

So we've been tackling a John Piper favorite, Don't Waste Your Life, during small group.  A 'read' I've already read, but is worthy of re-reading.  (Lots of re-re's in that sentence.  Phew.)  And something switched on for me last night that I'd never really thought about before... until now.

Piper here is talking, quite obviously, about 'going' - or missions - and puts something out there that not many mission minded individuals will put out (and trust me, Piper is 'mission minded' - by his own definition, crossing cultural bounds to share the gospel).

This spoke in so many ways to me:

"Let no one who is devoted to local ministry or to crucial secular engagement take offense at this plea.  Rather, rejoice!  You are free to stay, or free to go.  Many of you must stay.  You're staying is crucial for God's purposes where you are, and it is crucial for his purposes where you are not, but where others may go." (emphasis added)

And the big neon sign says: "It's not about you!"  Sometimes - He needs us to not be there (wherever 'there' may be for you... I'd argue that it is wherever you are not currently, assuming you have been obedient to God's call on your life.)

The really transparent side of me says this:  If I packed today and moved to India, it would directly effect The Mount, as that is where I have currently been called.  The big kicker - if we wouldn't have left our old town in Illinois, we'd be hindering the ministry God wanted to do there.  It's not about us... it's not about me. 

God uses our presence. 

And He uses our lack thereof. 

Sometimes - it's time - and best - for everyone involved - to. move. on.  (And, sometimes, to stay.)

And HE is the one who makes that call. 

Because it's not about us. 

It makes me wanna sing "DO I stay or do I go now?? IF I stay there could be trouble..." LOL. 
Heavy posts have to have a little humor.

But, seriously, where does God have you - or where does He want you?  Or - let's add the question, "where doesn't He want you?"

Just chewin' over here.  Just chewin'...


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Stansy Ansy

It's another day, another milestone here in our humble abode.  Lil Miss has decided to try (albeit, not always successfully) to pull herself up to standing.  She's a little 'leany' in this picture, but you get the idea. 

 And I'm not sure how - but we're still fighting sickness.  Sickness is exhausting.  I'm saying it now, it is not welcome in this household anymore.  Bryton has developed some sort of cough (overnight, mind you, he was fine yesterday), and Ansley is still leaking from the nostrils. 
It makes my normally happy child look more like this:
and that, friends, will drive a momma nuts in the pitifulness. 

Hopefully we can beat these bugs (or allergies, or teeth, or whatever it is) soon. 


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Can I Share a Little Love

Please.  Do let me.  'Cause this girl got some love built up in her heart.  So let me tell you what I'm loving with all of my heart today:

{1 Love} Decaf Pumpkin Spice Lattes.  Delivered by friends.  Because life's not been the easiest lately.  I also love that the friend sticks around for a chat.  Much needed adult conversation.

{2 Love} Dear sweet child had hung all kinds of thanksgiving leaves on the thanksgiving tree this morning.  I told him we should probably write something on them, since it is a thanksgiving tree and all.  So when I asked him what he was thankful for, he thought hard for about ten seconds and said, "Jeeshus."  Melt my heart in a little warm sugary pile, I tell you.  I little warm, goopy, pile of sweetness.  I love that boy.  Love him.

{3 Love} Sweet, slobbery sick child seems a small bit better today.  At this any improvement seems like we've walked on the moon, so I'll take it.

{4 Love} Christmas Music.  Don't hate.  I love Jesus, which just means most Christmas music can be all occasion music.  (But the other Christmas music is great too!)  Let me share some holiday music love with you, may I?  I hope you {love} it as much as I do... for real.  If there's a Christmas love song, this ones it... and I'm a sap for love songs.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Thanksgiving Tree

What a day to tell you about it, too.  Good golly - if there's a day to (a. say 'good golly') think about the things in which we should be thankful, today was the day for me.

{warning - short rant - just move on if you are trying to avoid Debbie Downers in your life} Ans is sick - seems like a viscous cycle between her, B and myself... sometimes overlapping, of course.  Last time there was snottiness with the two of them it was definitely allergies... now I'm thinking her's is definitely a head cold, and the day has been... trying and tiring to say the least.  Lots of crying from a baby who doesn't cry.  I'm tired, exhausted, and frustrated.  OH - and the time change makes it all the better!  (Can you sense my sarcasm, hardy har har.)

Anyway - today's a good day to tell you about our Thanksgiving Tree:

 It's another little pinterest find that sparked my - ahem - interest.  Being a {creative} writer (though I don't showcase that much on here anymore), I love the metaphor behind it.  A bunch of dead sticks in a vase don't do much for the eye, but we, as a family, are spending the days of November adding leaves to these dead sticks, written on the back, the thing that we were most thankful for that day.

 When it's all said and done I hope we have a tree blooming in this here dining room, overflowing with thankful thoughts and recognition of the many blessings we have.

 And you know what I wrote on today's leaf?  Today - on a day of lots and lots of tears (confession: from me and her) I had to remind myself time and time again, "I'd wipe this little nose all of the days of my life to have it here to wipe."  So I wrote on that there leaf, "wiping little noses."  Even though I'd rather them not need to be wiped, I'm so thankful God's given them to me to do so.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Another Milestone...

I read something the other day that articulated how I've often felt... sometimes it's the little changes our kiddos go through that seem more monumental than the big 'official milestones' that we, if honest, worry our little brains about a little too much.

It's not crawling, or talking, or walking, don't get me wrong, those things are exciting and to be celebrated by all means, but sometimes it's our lovely offspring suddenly being able to put the 'j' in 'juice' that we miss so monumentally. 

It's the day when Bryton can, officially, dress himself, and he knows when he's put his clothes on backwards. 

It's the day when the jumper just isn't fun anymore.

It's the day when the book is being read to me rather than I reading it. 

And today - it's the day that I stop. fighting. naptime. 

Bryton is three. 

He has reached a healthy age to nix the nap.  He'll go to pre-k during his three year old days, and he will get no nap there. 

It is o-k.  (Breathe, breathe, breathe.)

So today marked the first day of the rest of our lives.  I even want to shed a little tear as I write this.  Not kidding.  The baby has napped every. day. for the last three years.  It's like the umbilical cord.  It's the last thing I have from his infancy.  Maybe it's why I pressed to keep it so long.  Who knows. 

All I know is this:  from this day forward, all that is required for little man, to remain discipline free, is that he remain in his bed and quiet for one hour.  He may look at books, but he may not play with toys.  If he falls asleep, great.  If he doesn't, and the timer goes off, he is free to get up and go on as he pleases. 

Mothers I have talked to have sworn by this method, saying that eventually their kids get bored and go to sleep. 

And guess what.  Maybe it was day 1.  Maybe it was that time change messed us all up, but at the 30 minute mark, Bryton was awake, at the 40 minute mark, snoozing away. 

There wasn't one fight.  Not one protest.  Not one tantrum.  There is, apparently, freedom in the fact  that he. gets. to. choose. 

He is big, isn't he? 

Ugh.  My baby Bryton is growing immensely.  I love him dearly. 

By the way - sweet child is 38 inches and 31.8 pounds. 

Until next time -


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Scentsy Black Friday Presale / Preview

Alright folks, not much Scentsy talk here, but this seemed like a good way to get Scentsy promotions underway!  (For those of you who get my Scentsy emails, be expecting one of those as well!)

We had a huge month of deals in October, and November's deals are going to run all month long.  Trust me, this is the month to buy to get the most proverbial bang for your buck.  (Ka-pow!)

The way black Friday sales work is as follows:  The sales you'll see below are good now through midnight on Friday, November 25th.  This gives you time to save, organize your Christmas list (ya know, gotta figure out who has really been naughty and nice this year), and get your order to me.  An Important Note:  This order will not be 'placed' until Saturday, November 26th,  in other words, your orders will arrive in plenty of time for Christmas, but if you place an order today - you won't get your order any sooner than if you placed it on Friday the 25th.  IF you plan to order holiday item and are concerned it may sell out - your best bet is to order the item now through the website.

Orders should be emailed or facebook messaged to me in order to receive discounts.  (Email is  Shipping will not be applied to orders going to (or near) our old home town in Illinois (but will be required to be picked up at a designated location - will discuss more in an email if you're curious - can't put everything out in blog world) or near our current location in Texas.

So - with all of the fine print out of the way, without any further ado - Black Friday Scentsy Sales:

  • Great Stocking Stuffer! Scentsy Solid Perfumes, $3 off!
  • Scentsy Buddies - Buy 2, get 1 half off! 
  • Buy 2 Scent Circle Packs (6 Circles for $15), Get 1 half off! (Great for Christmas Cards!)
  • Buy any 3 warmers (any size), get 3 free bars!  
  • And lastly (but certainly not 'leastly') any parties booked for the month of January or February, the host will receive a free plug in warmer and everyone who buys from the party will receive 10% off of their order (not valid with online orders)!  This is a great way to earn customers to your party!  
Think of Scentsy as great gift-giving for moms, grandmothers, sisters, friends, secretaries, loyal customers, etc.  Think stocking stuffers and Christmas cards!  Or - maybe this is just a great time to stock up for you! :)   Either way... don't miss out!  


Friday, November 4, 2011

I'm Birthdayed Out... Until Mine I Suppose

Don't get me wrong.  I love a good birthday with the rest of them, but let me just give you a glimpse into what my week has been so far:

Sunday - I almost stayed home.  Sick.  Bleh. Congestion.  Headache.  Scratchy Throat.  Could you be allergies?  Are you a cold?  Hmmm.

Monday - Still feelin' lousy... kids finally seem completely better.

Tuesday - Bryton wakes up and within 20 minutes states, "I no go outside.  I is sick."  Being he had just gotten better, I figured he was repeating something that we'd told him for several days.  So, I say, "You're not sick, of course you can go outside today!"  10 minutes later he threw up the first time.  It would continue throughout the day and end with a trip to urgent care with a dehydrated little boy and a half a tablet of Zofran.  (Did I mention I still don't feel good?)

Wednesday - Carpet is FILTHY from Tuesday's vomiting adventure (we clean it up, ya'll, but the carpet needed steam cleaned.)  I wouldn't let Ans on it, which, just so you know, makes for one very unhappy mobile baby. 

Thursday - Every one seems to be better... except me.  I'm sick still.  Scratchy throat.  Headache.  Congestion.  Not better, probably worse.  But it's Bryton's birthday, and by golly, he deserves that.  We go out and rush, rush, rush to get Aaron home for a meeting.

Friday - Birthday celebration continues at a little kiddo funpark.  Oh - and B got 3 shots.  Apparently we Illinois folk don't worry about Hep A since we don't have much of it.  Apparently people in Texas worry about it.  So - 3 shots, continuing birthday celebration, already puny momma = tired and more puny momma.

Tomorrow is supposed to be a balloon festival.  My head hurts.

We'll see what happens. 

Can I have a vacation day... or three? 


Thursday, November 3, 2011

He. Is. Three.

I was a swollen, platelet loosin' mess.  After a short stint in the hospital, we were really hoping the doctor would induce and get Bryton in our arms and out of my belly before halloween, but no such luck.  I wasn't spilling any protein, preclampsia was out, and I was going to have to spend, possibly, another three weeks or so in my husbands shoes since none of mine fit. 

It was a rough end of pregnancy I had with him. 

Luckily- little guy took it easy on me, and the Sunday after the Wednesday that I got out of the hospital my water broke at home.  17 days early.  Praise Jesus. 

Labor was short, and hard.  The epidural didn't really "take" (though they told me I was lucky to get one... thank you low platelets, but I don't consider myself lucky to think I may get some relief and then not get any...anyway) and most of my labor was back labor.  But it was short.  And that's all that matters. 

Pushing, on the other hand, took two. and. a. half. hours.  In 'pushing baby out' verbage - FOREVER! 

I was tired.  It was hard.  And I was watching the clock tick away.  The doctor even threatened to take it down. 

I watched Bryton's birthday change from the 2nd to the 3rd. 

Over and over the doctor told me, "Once he's here, the pain goes away," and you just can't believe it in the middle of the worst pain of your life, but sure enough, at 1:15 a.m. I moved from the absolute worst pain of my life to zero, and 100% elation as they handed me my little olive colored child (thank you jaundice) with a head full of dark brown hair and baby blue eyes.  He was huge (or so I thought pre-Ansley) at a whopping 8lbs, 3 oz.  20 1/2 inches long.  He looked just like dad.

Look at all of that brown hair!  My goodness he was so tiny! 

My goodness he's so big!

I can't explain the feeling of holding your baby for the first time... or even the second or third time... or you know... he's 3, and there's something about a hug from his little arms that makes my day every time.

I just remember lots of teary days after he was born.  Not post-partum depression teary, but elated, thankful and grateful teary.  It's appropriate that he was born in November... he reminds me every day of all I have to be thankful for. 

And today... that little 8 lb baby boy is huge.  At least he looks huge.  He's playing and jumping and talking and becoming more independent as he day goes by.  His life has flashed before my eyes. 

And he's three.  He's a three year old who loves sports (and is good at all of them), loves Mickey and Cars, suckers and popcorn, any kind of boot, and the STL Cardinals.  He loves his little sister, loves singing, and thinks choo choo trains are the greatest things ever. 

And I can't believe how he's growing... but he is... and I can't stop it. 

Happy birthday, Bryton.  Regardless your size or age, you will always be my baby boy.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Some Thoughts on Faith

Pastor said something in church on Sunday that I'd often thought of and had never been able to articulate.  He said:

"The way we live, act, and treat each other either causes others to make much of God or make fun of God."  

Lord, I pray I'm a 'make much of' person.

In my mind, it has always looked like this:  I pray that I can have real relationship with people who aren't Christians (Buddhists, Muslim, atheist... whomever) and earn their respect in regards to my faith.  In other words, to put it bluntly, I hope they see me, know what I stand for, and because I walk out my faith in a strong, yet non-judgmental, kind of way, they respect my faith and can't make fun of it.  I'm not saying they will soon - or ever, for that matter - agree with my faith, but they can see how real it is in my life. 

In a small way in my world - that's making much of God. 

I've mentioned this before, but I'll mention it again.  I was voted 'most likely to change after high school' for my senior year 'class favorites.'  A short bit of background (and I mean really short), I'd professed being a Christian since Freshman year (when I did, indeed, become one), but my massive over the top shift, happened after Junior year.  Senior year I was talked about and made fun of.  A lot.

Looking back, I don't blame anyone.  You know why?  Because the way I had been living before, and the way I had started living, caused people to make fun of God.  I had to prove myself real.  And the voting for senior class favorites was proof of that. 

Did I mention I was devastated and humiliated at that vote?  I was.  (I say that ashamedly now.)  I don't know if I was more embarrassed because of who I had set myself out to be, or because they still didn't believe I was real. 

I'd say now - most people who voted me most likely to change would either say I haven't changed, or if so, hopefully I've changed in deepening of my faith and in being more gracious because of it.  Less judgmental.  More forgiving.  Easier to love.  All in all: that my life would cause others to 'make much of' (even if it's just a silent respect of my faith) rather than make fun of. 

I pray I have friends like that.  Friends that, despite our faith (or lack thereof), we can get along, tarry together, and I can earn that respect from them - not because I feel I deserve it, but because my faith is so real to me that it can't be made fun of.  

Maybe I'm rambling.  Maybe not.  But I hope that, though I'll never be perfect, my life would be an overflow of joy and grace to others as God has given to me.  May my life make much of and not make fun of the Lord whom I love. 


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Some New Things Coming

Alright folks, a couple things I'm working on this month:

First - I have a couple of friends wanting some pictures / info on our new church, so I'm planning on getting a post going on that soon! 

Second - We are starting a new month... a wonderful month... the forerunner to Christmas!  Have I mentioned that I love ChristmasI do.  I just LOVE it!  So - I'm going to try to do a month in pictures blog.  It's something I've wanted to do for a long time, but as you all know, the last three months or so have been a whirlwind to say the least.  So - on my list is just that... look for it December 1st! 

Third - We live in Texas, now.  Have I mentioned that?  Ok, just checking.  So much is the same here, but so much is different.  It's on my blog to-do list to get you a 'Hey, We live in Texas now," blog.  I mean, c'mon, we have longhorns living, literally, 50 steps from our house.  Hello big ole bulls.  I wonder if they really will come after you if you get to close.  Hmmmm. 

Fourth - (See how energetic I suddenly am, after I've neglected the blog so much lately?) I'm not going to go nuts with it, but be expecting some more deal blogs.  Mostly, because I need to do better with it myself.  I'll be honest, with 5 different grocery stores close, every possible clothing store, kids store, housewares store, etc etc etc within a 10 mile radius, I'm overwhelmed with the number of deals I can actually produce on.  So I'm relearning to pick and choose wisely.  So be watching for more info on that.  

Lastly - You know you can expect our personal daily struggles, triumphs and randomness.  This month brings a birthday, the first big holiday away from family, the start of our 25 days of Christmas, etc. etc. etc.  I'm sure you'll love hearing it as we're living it ;) (I like to pretend that you do, anyway.)  So lots of faith talk and life talk coming as well.

And can I just say... (it is November, time to make an extra effort for realizing what we are thankful for - though we should do that all of the time), I'm super thankful for you that read this blog.  Afterall, it's called, "If a tree were to fall" for a reason.  I feel it's pointless for me to write if no one is going to read, so you all are the reason I do this.  I love sharing life with you, thanks for obliging! :) 

Until tomorrow!