Friday, December 31, 2010


It is New Year's Eve, a time for resolving (I personally like the word resoluting, but upon looking it up found it had no definition -- so I am resolving) I kind of go up and down about resolutions BUT have learned that it is better to resolve to do something, to set a goal, then to be just completely content where I am at, otherwise, how would I ever grow? And this also comes to my theory of expectations.

I have been thinking on the phrase, “If you don’t expect anything, you will never be disappointed.” I have expectations for my marriage, of my children and my life. I expected that early on in my marriage we would buy a house. We would settle down with our children and I would live a simple life but content. It took ten years to buy a house and now that we have a house I have to work part- time just to get by. I expect that my husband and I will laugh together every day. I want to share my thoughts and have him listen with intense interest and encouragement. I have expectations for my children. I want them to be respectful, obedient and kind. I expect them to pick up after themselves. I expect them to play together nicely and respect the adults in their lives. I have expectations for just about everything and find myself frequently disappointed when these things do not turn out the way I think they should.

So, should I stop expecting anything? Here is the problem. If I don’t expect anything it may be that nothing will happen. If I have no expectations of myself I grow lazy. If I have low expectations for my family they may think I don’t expect anything because I think they are capable of nothing. Expectations can build a sense of pride and purpose. So, I think I will leave the no expectations for a rainy Saturday where there is no danger of disappointment only possibility. And I will keep my expectations great for my children, marriage and self because I know they are capable of more than I can expect.

So, my expectations for this year? For myself? My resolves, my goals are:
1. to run my FIRST marathon
2. to have more fun with my children
3. to read a book a month
4. to not spend as much money... especially on coffee (sorry Starbucks!)
5. to go on more dates with my husband


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Things I Love Thursday... Christmas card LETTERS

I really love the cards that I get at Christmas with letters. Sorry, as cute as the pictures are, and as much as I love the kids in my life, I hardly have time to take pictures of my own children, so I probably will not put pictures of your children on my refrigerator because my children might start to wonder where theirs are and a cycle begins. So, you're pictures are "oohed and aahed" over for a second, then put in the garbage- sorry, if I am losing friends here, I am maybe just trying to say that you can save some money by not sending me one, and maybe I am a high maintenance friend, because I want to know what happened, to be proud of what you did and excited for the year ahead. I am so proud of so many of my friends and family and all they can accomplish in a year. But, alas, I am AWFUL at sending out a card. I have planned to on and off for the past nine years, and this year, I did not even plan to so... in lieu of a card, I am blogging.

This year we (in no particular order)....
took gymnastics, took swimming lessons, made a movie, premiered a movie, had a baby girl named Verity Sophia, went to the beach, worked on sewing projects, learned a neat new pattern for crocheting hats (that I have become a bit obsessed with), visited family in MI, WI and IL, visited friends in Grand Rapids, made new friends, joined a running group, picked strawberries, lost our first teeth, tried rollerskating, ran a race, joined a new Bible Study, became members at our church, quit my very part-time job, went to a cabin for a week, celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary, picked apples, learned how to go places with four children, learned how to read, laughed a lot, cried some and realized we work together as a really good family!
I guess that is it I am sure I am missing things, but these stand out for the year!

This post is linked to Things I Love Thursday at Diaper Diaries

Monday, December 20, 2010

WARNING, (this post is sad)

So, I have thought for a while about whether or not to write on this, but this time of year has some ache in my heart. It is such a GREAT time of year, full of cheer and joy. And it is, but there is a part of my, "this time of year." that is sad. And this is my story. Four years ago, I was reveling in the joy of being pregnant for a third time. I had really started to show early, already in my maternity pants at 6 weeks! I thought, "this is what happens with the third." I had waited so anxiously for this child. I had wanted him, from the moment my second was born. I knew, I love my girls, but my family was not complete. I had room for more. And when Karis was one week old, I started planning when I could get pregnant again. The year came with lots of problems including emergency room visits and EKG's followed by major surgery on my kidney. But one and a half years after she was born we were pregnant. And I was SO happy! I went in for my eight week check up in the middle of December. And they did all the normal tests and said, "there might be some spotting, but that is normal." And the next day there was, spotting, just a little. and pretty much every day after that for a week. But it was Christmas so I waited a little. Two days after Christmas I called the doctor and explained that I had been spotting, just once a day since the checkup. She said that was not really normal, but she was not concerned. She had me come in for an ultrasound just for "peace of mind."
My husband went into that room with me and the tech put the warm jelly and wand on my belly. And there was nothing. No heartbeat. I burst into tears. And that "kind" tech said, "why are you crying, I haven't even done anything yet." And I said, "I have had two babies, I know what is supposed to be there! And it is not." She said I was over reacting and took some measurements then sent me to wait in the waiting room. I couldn't stop crying. This was not supposed to happen to me. She called the doctor and he told me it looked like a "spontaneous abortion." I don't know why they call it that, but they do and it is an awful name. I cried the whole way home. Told my sister to take the maternity shirt she had gotten me for Christmas and go. I held my girls, my 4 year old and 1 year old. And I cried. The doctor said it would happen on its own. I just had to wait.
Well, a week went by, and life went on around me. A New Year came. The spotting stopped. And it didn't happen. I held onto this weak hope that maybe God had started this little babies heart. I had a newsletter to write. My husband had to start teaching. Someone asked me to babysit. Everyone was acting like everything was "ok." I ran as fast and as far as I could crying most of the time. They scheduled a D&C. But that night it happened. In my little apartment. In pain and blood. I cried some more. It felt like life would never be the same. I blamed myself. My daughter prayed that God would take care of our baby and send a new one soon. And I cried some more.
I had a lot to deal with and blamed myself. I told myself that I already had two children, who was I to complain. I told myself that I had friends that had lost babies at 20 weeks, 30 weeks, at birth or days old. That I was 11 weeks, that was nothing compared to what they suffered. But I did suffer. I suffered and mourned for this child that I loved with all my heart.
My husband and I went away for a weekend. And God spoke loudly. Telling me that I needed to not be afraid. God did not promise that I would never have another miscarriage. He did not promise that I would have another baby. But God spoke to my heart about not living in fear.
We were blessed the following December to welcome David into the world. Then when we found out we were pregnant with our fourth, due the same time as the precious child we lost three years earlier. I became afraid again. I had nightmares of losing this child. I felt myself wrestling with God, pleading for this child's life. Fear gripped me. And one night, after a long time of "fighting" it felt, I saw this little boy waving at me. His name was Noah. He was laughing and playing in a field. He waved and said, "hi, MOM!" And I think it was a gift. I believe Noah is my son, in Heaven, in Jesus arms, and one day I will be there with him. And the nightmares stopped after that. And Verity joined our family this past July.
Life is precious. And I am so thankful for each little life God has blessed me with. And I grieve with all those mom's who have babies in Heaven. And I am so thankful for hope, that we will be together again!
I don't know why I share this, but I hope it is helpful to someone. And maybe it explains the tears that come so easily to me this time of year. And make me want to get away from all the "doing" of this season and just "be" with those I love.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"Man Cold" from Man Stroke Woman

We have a serious case of "man cold" in our house. To his credit he did have a fever, well I am pretty sure that he did because when he gets chills he kind of wraps himself in blankets and then his body temp I think just sky rockets until he is a furnace! Anyways to his luck, he recently pointed out this book which he heard discussed on NPR (I cannot find the book) -- so now I am going off his word. But anyways, this book stated the best cure for the common cold was compassion. That Vitamin C works some - but mostly in active people and chicken noodle soup works as well, but the best cure was compassion - which I must admit I sorely lack most of the time when it comes to my husband, so I cancelled my early run today, let him sleep til he was ready to wake up and served him breakfast in bed.

And, after asking me several times what was wrong with me and why was I being so nice? He got up and made it through the day, well so far, it is only mid-afternoon.

AND it got me thinking that maybe there is some truth to this... SO, I started thinking back to when my son was born. He was 8lbs. 10 oz, which is big, but not really that big, all my children had weighed over 8 lbs, so I wasn't surprised, but they thought maybe I had been diabetic and they had missed it so they checked his blood sugar and it was low, like 40 or something. And so they told me, he needs to eat, YOU NEED TO FEED HIM! And all he was doing was crying. He didn't want to eat. And, I felt so helpless. So, I just held him against me, until they came in to get him, and then they took his blood sugar again and it was in the 80s and they were no longer worried. And it amazed me that this little person just needed me to hold him, his blood sugar restored to normal. So now I am thinking maybe there is something to compassion in the healing process....

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Living Life on Purpose - Just some random thoughts

Have you ever looked around and realized I am here. How did I get here? Is this the "there" I was always waiting to get to. And now that "there" is "here," and so what is my problem, because now I am "here" and here is not really all that great. I am not talking about contentment right now, because I am still working on that, but I am talking about that way of living where I am always waiting to "arrive." To get here, and once I am here I realize, I missed the whole trip. The kind of living which so perfectly resembles the car ride, that starts 5 minutes in with, "are we there yet?" and ends with, "I just really want to go home." And realizing we missed the journey, the adventure in the bathroom with no lights at the only gas station for 45 miles, the random purple elephant statue we saw in the middle of nowhere, and the really funny story that the five year old made up. I slept through it all, the whole journey, just anxiously waiting to get there. And now, I am here, and here is not all I want it to be. SO maybe it takes a little bit more living life on purpose. Intentional Living. Maybe it even takes a plan... a plan to stop at the purple elephant-- to make memories, and to be open to the adventure in the bathroom that is completely unplanned. I dont want to miss important moments along the way because I am too tired, too scared, too busy. I want to live my life on purpose. With eyes set on heaven, but head and feet in today.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Things I Love Thursday.... CHRISTMAS through the eyes of a child!!!!

There is something magical about Christmas. About the season. About the lights. I LOVE Christmas! And not really the presents, the presents kind of just stress me out. I love the magic of it. I never want to grow tired of it or lose the amazement. Christmas is the celebration of Jesus, the Son of God, coming off his throne in Heaven into this world. And that is amazing and awesome! My son has this really crazy way of joy. It is one of the closest glimpses I have seen of the joy promised us in a world so full of sadness. It is hard sometimes to imagine what life is like for him because he sometimes seems like he will explode with joy. And Christmas through his eyes is beyond wonderful. I love to drive down the streets and he sees lights and says, "MOM! LOOK IT'S CHRISTMAS!" He loves jingle bells -- the song-- and frequently just breaks into singing it. And he thinks it is beautiful, the lights, the snow, all of it. And he tells you, "look! it's beautiful -- in the way a three year old does, with not all the letters quite making the correct sound, and "oh, it is so pwitty!" He never really gets tired of it! Everything is new and wonderful. Christmas even makes snow wonderful. My children asked me if they can play in the snow this afternoon, and I said "Why would you want to do that? It is SO cold?" And they laugh, probably thinking, your just old mom. But on Christmas Eve, I am actually disappointed when there is not snow on the ground. Snow makes everything quieter, stiller. And on Christmas Eve that is what I want, quiet stillness.
I am so thankful for the little children's eyes I get to see Christmas with this year!

This post is linked to Things I Love Thursday at Diaper Diaries

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Parties, House Guests and a Movie!

I have not written in a LONG time it seems, well frankly because life has been INSANE! Sometimes I think it is a wonder that I remember to breathe. I have had two phone calls today talking about Christmas shopping. One person called asking if she should buy my son a pillow pet because my 5 year old is getting one and would my 8 year old want one? and on and on the message went. I called my husband crying because if I had 5 minutes to think about Christmas shopping, it would be a miracle. I have not even picked up a book in 5 days! Every spare second I have had has been sleeping. And today not so much because my baby will not sleep unless she is being held. And for just a few minutes I am going to write because she did fall asleep and all my children are in respective rooms, and hopefully it will be an hour before I see them again, not that I don't love their little faces.

So, what have we been doing? Parties, house guests and a movie, that is what we have been doing! My son turned three, so we had a celebration that day, but then in true family form, we had a HUGE party on Sunday. This family I married into is committed, I believe, to let everyone know they are happy they were born in a gigantic way. Which for my son included lasagna, cake, truffles, a talking garbage truck, Legos, a remote control Lightning McQueen, and about 20 family members. I only had to get the cake, make the truffles, get my husband to a meeting, get my children to the party and then pick my husband up from the meeting to get to the party. So, not too much EXCEPT on the way to the party my husband made a phone call then turned to let me know that we had friends coming to stay with us that night and the next and they might get there at the same time we do from this party! I have not cleaned, vacuumed, washed towels, grocery shopped, thankfully they are good friends that don't really care about all that, but I still like to be a little prepared. SO 10 minutes after arriving home from the party, kids tucked in, our guests show up. We chatted for a while, went to bed, then my husband left for work in the morning, leaving me grocery shopping, homeschool, gymnastics, and getting children to the sitter. BECAUSE he had his big film premiere and it meant a lot for me to be there. AND so we hit the floor running and with help from my friend staying with us I did not have to tote all 4 kids to the grocery store, homeschool got done, lunch got made, dinner in the crock pot.... BUT what do you wear to a film premiere -- for me, pretty much what fits, because I am STILL trying to get back in pre-pregnancy clothes, so like it or not that is what I had to wear. Then, gymnastics, they had to go because it was the last day of testing to find out if they were able to move up a level, and I am so proud because they both did it! Drop them off at the sitter -- a wonderful friend who often offers to help with my children (somewhere in there pumped milk) -- drove to premiere, chatted it up a little with Lana Wood (former bond girl-who was in their movie -- and the only famous person I have ever met in my life). Watched my husbands movie premiere, I was SO proud, they did an amazing job. Drove home, picked up children, tucked them in, waited for my husband and friends to get home, got too tired went to bed.

And now I need a vacation! And a nap!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

And Just Like That... He's 3!!!

I cannot believe it, my little boy is turning 3!

I asked him "Now that you are 3 what happens?" He said, "I can play FOOTBALL!!!!" Does he not know that it is not possible for me to love him any more than I already do? Well he may have found a way because saying that he is going to be a football player is the way to this mom's heart!

He is the only boy in our group of 4, and he is all boy! He makes us laugh every day. I have never met anyone like him. And I believe it was just two weeks ago, my little "ninja" was blaming me for his puddle of pee underneath him! And guess what, we have made it 3 days without an accident because, he is big now. So happy birthday my little David! He is my favorite little man in the world!