Friday, December 13, 2013

The Game That Changed It All

I grew up in an OSU family. My Dad graduated from there. My cousin graduated from there. There was a lot of agriculture around us. I never got heckled over my orange t-shirts in that town. And, probably because I was a Daddy's girl, I decided early on that I was going to OSU for college. I didn't though. 

I started at a smaller college closer to home, saying maybe I'd transfer later. I did transfer colleges alright. After a series of events that could only have been God-led, I ended up at the rival school that I'd always thought I despised. They have a big football program, and they were really good that year. I grew to love that place from the start. I followed the football games along with everyone else, and got more excited with each win. And then, the time came. The Bedlam Game. 

I went into the game torn. The team I'd always loved and supported? Or the team I'd watched for weeks, the roster made up of my peers? At first, I decided it was a win-win for me. As the cheers from the stadium drifted into my dorm room, and my eyes stayed glued to the TV set, the idea of my childhood team losing became much more acceptable in my mind than my school ending a season-long winning streak. We were undefeated, and I wanted it to stay that way. 

Wait. Had I just said "we?" I had. It all changed in that moment. We won that day, and my loyalty completely shifted. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Here We Go, Again!...Maybe.

In January, I decided I needed to write more. And, I figured, this blog was the best place to start. So, I made it a point to do just that. It worked, too, for a little bit. The problem was, I found out I was pregnant about that time. And, as is common in pregnancy, I got tired. Then, I started a new job. I was home with my toddler during the day, and worked in the evenings. I got more tired.

My husband got a new job that allowed me to stay home full-time, which we'd been praying for for about three years. Finally! Rest! And then, third trimester tiredness set in, and the terrible twos (which should be called the terrible threes) set in. 

Finally, I had a baby. Hooray! Things would get back to normal now. Well, a new normal, anyway. And do you know what happened next? I turned into grumpy mama bear, who walked around in an exhausted stupor, longing for caffeine IVs, but terrified that it would only make my new baby's tummy aches worse. 

So, here I am, two months after my last post, following a sporadic few months. Have things finally improved? Only slightly, maybe, but not really. I don't know if I can keep up with writing yet. I don't know if I can drag my head out of the sleep-deprived daze that I live in enough to write a coherent sentence. 

Here's what I do know. I am willing to try. I think a creative outlet of some sort might provide me with some reprieve. And, in the midst of near-constant crying, and evolving attitude and stubbornness, I do find smiles of a young baby who thinks his Mama is the greatest person around and entertaining antics of a young girl who doesn't want chicken and noodles for lunch, because they "make her nervous." These are the things I don't want to forget. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013


Wow, it's been a little bit since I posted anything. It turns out that caring for a toddler while growing a new baby is exhausting. I guess I should've known. Either of those on their own can be pretty draining too. 

Well, I'm terminating radio silence to make this announcement. As of 2:05am on Sunday morning, I'm now the proud, still very tired, mother of two. Baby boy made his entrance quickly enough into the world that he did it naturally. That's right, no epidural. That was definitely not the way I saw things going. That story can be told at a later date, though. Right now, I'd like to present the newest addition to our family. 

Jack Dean was 8lbs 5oz and 22" long. He looks a lot like his big sister, and is absolutely precious. We're all pretty taken with him. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Depriving the Pregnant Woman of Ice Cream in the Summer

A few weeks ago, I went in for my glucose test. It's pretty common during pregnancy to have gestational diabetes, because the extra hormones block insulin. It's common enough that they test everyone. Still, when I failed the test, I was surprised. I thought I'd just had my glass of orange juice that morning too close to the test. When I went in for the 3 hour test, I thought it would be inconvenient, but I felt fine so I was convinced there would be nothing to it. Apparently I was wrong. 

So, as the doctor instructed, I met with a dietician and started checking my blood sugar four times a day. The dietician went over how to read food labels to stay under my carbs for each meal and snack (apparently sugar is a category under the carbohydrate umbrella, who knew?) and what foods I could eat, etc. 

Holding onto the fact that most of the time this condition goes away after the baby is born, I started eating like a diabetic, thinking I'd endure it for a few weeks and maybe pick up some good habits along the way. Now that I've been doing it for about a month, I haven't picked up healthy habits as much as start a running list of things I want to eat as soon as I'm able again. 

If you want to come see the baby after he's born, feel free to bring any of the following items with you. 

Soft cookies
a loaf of homemade bread
Ice cream
Fruit in the morning
a sweet potato with my steak
a baked potato with my steak
Sweet tea
A full glass of milk

Monday, July 29, 2013

From Baby to Little Girl

Early this year, we sold our tiny house in the country and moved into a rent house in town while we looked for our next place. We did minimal decorating, since it would only be temporary. Over the next few months, we looked at houses. Meanwhile, the owner of our rental put it back on the market, and we eventually decided maybe this very house was the right next step for us. 

A little over a week ago, we closed on the house and are officially homeowners again. It needs a little updating, but nothing major, and it's in decent shape for the amount we were willing to spend. Now we don't have to move again. Bonus! Besides, my husband can do anything we may need or want done, and do it well. He's pretty handy to have around.  

So, we took a newly purchased house and put a woman who is 7 months pregnant in it. It's like nesting in overdrive. We started working on the nursery. It's slowly coming together, and I'm anxious to get it done. It's going to be cool. We also started on Dinah's room. 

Until now, I'd been using the changing table as a bookshelf for her. I'm going to need that for a baby soon, though, so we bought her an actual bookshelf. It's amazing how much that alone changed the look of the room. So, after painting, rearranging and redecorating, Dinah officially has a mostly complete little girl's room. She even got to pick her own color and decorations and help paint. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Dinah's Frog

When I married my husband, I was completely convinced that if we ever had kids, he'd be a crazy good Daddy. That was solidified in my mind the second Dinah came into the world. He stepped into that role so effortlessly. He is exactly the kind of Daddy every girl needs. He'll be exactly what our boy needs too. He was clearly made for this role. 

There isn't a single part of parenting that gets left completely up to me. He prays for her, and with her. He plays dolls or blocks or baseball -even Dinah's version, which means if someone gets a hit, everyone runs the bases. He gives rides on his back, or attempts to draw whatever it is she asks. He feeds her, bathes her, reads to her, disciplines her, puts her to bed, cuddles with her, and attempts to fix her hair. 

He gets up on Saturdays and lets me sleep. He doesn't mind at all if he has to watch her by himself. He does everything I do, and especially right now, sometimes more. She was three days old before I changed a single diaper. I thank God every day that I have the husband that I do, and that our daughter (and soon-to-be son) have the daddy they do. We couldn't ask for more. 

I'll never tire of seeing the way she lights up when he walks in the door, or the look of absolute joy and contentment on her face when he dances with her. I'll always cherish hearing her sweet little voice praying "help Daddy get home" before we eat our lunch, while he's at work. 

Thank you, Dean, for being the man you are. Thank you for working so hard to protect us, and provide for us, and love us. And yes, even spoil us. You may never understand how special you are to us, but I pray that you'll feel our love and appreciation daily. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Fire-Breathing Dragon

Heartburn is a common symptom during pregnancy. If you've been pregnant, or spent much time around anybody who was, you probably know that. I had some heartburn with Dinah. I never had enough to bother with buying Tums or anything, though. But this time? The amount of heartburn I've had is ridiculous. They say the more heartburn you have, the more hair the baby will have. If that's true, I may be having a spider monkey. That could explain the amount of acrobatics this kid does, too. 

The other night I had to warn my husband that if he got too close, he might get his eyebrows singed off. I had a doctor's appointment today, and she prescribed something for it. So, hopefully that takes care of it while I still have some of my esophagus left. Now, if I could just get some sleep. If I could cut down on the heartburn and the crankiness, maybe I wouldn't so closely resemble a fire-breathing dragon. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

So Sad, but So Sweet

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, motherhood may be the most bittersweet experience in life. 
You find out you're pregnant. You're so excited for the next chapter, but you know life as you know it will never, ever be the same. There's no going back. Then you have the baby. You miss the days when you and your husband can go on dates whenever you like. You miss your sleep. There's no way you'd ever go back, though. This little person is more precious and wonderful than you ever could've imagined. 
You are so sad when they grow out of being a baby. Each milestone brings you a little farther away from that precious baby you brought home. Oh, but each milestone is also so exciting and it's so much fun to be a part of it. It's sad to know you'll never have that sweet baby again. But, you wouldn't trade the sweet little ball of energy dancing before you saying, "Mama, dance with me!" 

There's that little pang of longing for what she once was, followed immediately by the joy of what she has always been. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Oklahoma Strong

As I sat next to my daughter yesterday while she watched Tangled, I couldn't help but think of the people in Moore. I can't even imagine the devastation there. And many of these people are going through this for a second time. I've lived in Oklahoma my entire life, so I knew well the destruction and devastation that area experienced in 1999. But, I didn't really understand the gravity of it. It hits much closer to home this time. It is much closer to home. 
I was in high school in May of '99. I drove through Moore shortly after it happened and saw some of the destruction first-hand. I would later meet people who had incredible stories to tell, and one who had spent the weeks following in a coma.  It's always been something that happened in my home state, something I'd never forget. 
This time, it's different. I'm older. I'm a parent. And, instead of living a couple hours away, I live a few miles away. This is a place I've been to so many times. I pass these people on the street. I've darkened the doors of these businesses. I have friends whose homes are destroyed. These are my neighbors. 

Instead of hearing about it on the news the next morning, I turned on the TV when I heard the tornado sirens. Once we knew it was going to miss us, my husband and I watched as it grew and grew, until we lost power and cell service. My husband isn't usually home at that time of day, but he came home early knowing it was likely going to be stormy that afternoon. He had been working that day in the area where it hit hardest. He had driven right by both of the schools that were so severely damaged.   

I know that "the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." (Psalm 34:18) I'm praying for these weary brokenhearted people.  And, I pray that I will show them His love any chance I get. 

It's also important to remember that Moore wasn't the only town in Oklahoma that was hit hard by tornadoes this week.

I couldn't be any more proud of my state right now. The way they band together in times like this is amazing. People aren't just willing to help. They sincerely, and desperately want to do all they can. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Oh, Baby

I’ve been busier, and more tired this pregnancy so I haven’t been nearly as good about documenting as I was the first time around.  I don’t love this baby any less, but it’s a different scenario when my thoughts have to be split between the two.  And, the child who is already here is much more demanding.  I actually have to feed her, and care for her, and give her attention.  I don’t have to do anything different, and the new baby is cared for completely.  But, just so I make sure and document so I have something to look back on to help me remember when time and lack of sleep take their toll on my brain, here are some notable moments and some comparisons. 

This baby has been kinder to me in some ways.  The biggest way is that I don’t have cankles, at least not yet.  I’d be perfectly happy to skip that altogether this time around.  I do not miss all the swelling I had with Dinah. 

In other ways, the little kick boxer has been less kind.  For instance, with all the heartburn I’ve had this time, this kid had better have twice the amount of hair that big sister had. 

I don’t remember how early I felt Dinah kick.  I do know that I started feeling it a while before I was convinced that I was truly feeling baby movement.   The first time I felt this one kick was early April, and it was obviously a baby movement.  I didn’t really notice it anymore for a couple more weeks, though.  Dean was able to feel movement this time much earlier than he did with Dinah.  We were lying in bed the morning of our 20 week ultrasound, and I told him baby was moving.  He put his hand on my belly, not really expecting anything, but he felt it right away. 

Speaking of the ultrasound, it revealed that we’re having a baby boy! Our lives are going to change from dresses and dirt to…well, more dirt.  It’s going to be different, I’m sure, but I’m betting it’s just as much fun!


Winds of Change Keep Moving

Oh, where to begin? I’ve kind of fallen off the map, it seems, haven’t I? I’ve written a lot about change this year.  I just had this feeling at the beginning of the year that a lot of change was in store for us.  I wasn’t wrong.  And, so far, it keeps coming.  It started out kind of bittersweet, but it’s starting to get sweeter.  For the last month and a half, I’ve been working a schedule that is completely opposite of what I’m used to, and completely opposite of how my body is made to work.  Instead of working 3 days a week during the day, I’ve been working 6 days a week mostly at night.  It’s been brutal.  My pregnant body needs more sleep than that.  I’m exhausted.  My husband (who gets up early, and then stays up way later than his norm to see me when I get home) is exhausted.  We miss our time together.  Our daughter, who has always thrived on having both parents at once, misses our time together.  It just isn’t the best fit for us.  But, it’s kept her out of daycare and home with her parents and it’s kept food on the table. 

We’ve been praying for a while now that God would provide us with something different.  In fact, we were praying for that long before we started this current schedule.  Since we found out we were expecting our daughter three years ago, we’ve been praying that He would provide a way for me to stay home.  That was a surprise to me.  Never in my life had I pictured myself being a stay-at-home mom.  It’s funny how God changes your priorities and perspective over time.  We weren’t able to achieve full-time stay-at-home status, but we were able to keep me home more, and it worked for a while.  Lately, though, out of pure exhaustion and a feeling of defeat, I’ve been praying even more diligently that God would allow me to stay home.  I didn’t just want that, though.  I didn’t want my husband to have to work in a job that he hated.  I’ve done that, and there isn’t much that is more miserable.  In Sunday school last week, we asked again for prayer for jobs.  It wasn’t a new request, just a renewed one. 

Then, this week, God provided in a way that only He can.  We've both put in our notice, and in a couple weeks we’ll be moving on to a new chapter.  I’m excited to be able to stay home, and raise my own kids full-time, because ultimately I feel like that will be my greatest ministry.  I’m excited for my husband to be in a new role, similar to something he’s done in the past and really enjoyed.  He’ll do great.  I won’t go through all the details of the week, and how it all came about.  I’ll just say that it has felt like he answered every part of my prayer.  It won’t always be easy.  Sometimes money will be tight, but we’re kind of used to that.  And, I’m confident this is where God wants us. 


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Winds of Change

At the beginning of the year, I wrote this post about the year ahead.  We were in the process of selling our house, and I just had this gut feeling that there were more changes in store, though I didn't know what. A couple weeks later, we found out we are expecting baby number 2.  The change hasn't stopped there, though. 

Now, here we are starting April, and with it I've started a new job. There's that theme of change again.  I don't know how much more will change this year, but I have a feeling it isn't over yet. So far, a lot of the change has been bittersweet. I'm praying that by the time the year is over, it's just sweet. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Goodbye, Twenties

I’m going to confess something today that a woman generally doesn’t reveal about herself.

This week, I will turn 30. It seems strange to be leaving my twenties. I’ve spent so much good time there that it feels like home. Can an age range feel like home? It’s just that so many of the high points have occurred in my twenties. There was college, and the fun and friendships and growth that comes with it. Those were some of the best years of my life. I met, began dating, and married my husband. He has enriched my life like I never could have imagined. And, he also added some family members to my life I didn’t know I was missing out on, but now wouldn’t know how to do without. I had my first child. She has brought such joy to my heart. I’ve had nieces who awakened yet another compartment in my heart I didn’t know existed. And so, now I’m about to move on to my thirties.

I know some people get a little anxious about that number. I figure I can’t change it, so I might as well enjoy it. Besides, I’ve heard people say that the thirties are the best. I’m already looking forward to welcoming a second child to our lives. I’m anxious to see what else these years will bring. I know these years won’t always be easy, just as the rest of my years haven’t always been easy. But, I’m excited to see what God will bring out of them.

Friday, March 15, 2013

A Birthday List

Since my birthday is coming up, it seems only logical to make a list of things I want, or rather need. My husband will be happy to see this, because he’s been asking me for over a month. Then, he’ll realize most of the things on my list are a little out of his price range, and decide I’m not being that helpful, after all. That’s kind of the story of his life, though. I make life easy.
·Warm weather
·New shoes
·New house, outside of town (not as far out as we were, just not smack-dab in the middle like we are at the moment)
·iPhone case. Preferably blue with white polka dots. Or just a really pretty blue.
· Vacation. I’m not even that picky. I’d go just about anywhere.
·Facial and/or new makeup. I’m a little self-conscious about my skin lately.
· Job. Not for me, though. A really good job for Dean, so I can stay home.
· To hug all of my nieces.
· Joint birthday celebration with my good friend, like the old days (ok so maybe it only happened once, but it was one to remember)

There. That’s not too much to ask, is it? And, Hubby, if my wish list is too far-fetched, maybe we should just make it a week-long celebration.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

All Those Baby Things

I’m currently in the 12th week of my pregnancy.  Almost into the second trimester! Woohoo! That means I’m almost one-third of the way through.  It doesn’t feel like I’m very far along until you put it that way.  I’m thankful this time around that I have a little bit of experience.  I mean, when you walk down the baby aisles of a store, it can be kind of overwhelming.  There’s so much stuff! How are you supposed to know what you need (or what would make life a little easier), and what is just a waste of money?  Two important things I learned the first time around are 1) it depends, to some extent, on the individual baby (your first baby might love being in the swing, and the next one might hate it), and 2)some of the things I thought were dumb before I had kids turned out to be some of the most helpful, and some of the things that sounded brilliant turned out to be useless. 
The dumb-turned-helpful
Pacifier wipes.  Before I had Dinah, I thought, “Dude.  Just walk over to the sink and rinse it off.” After I had Dinah, I realized that sometimes you’re in the middle of the zoo and there isn’t a water faucet anywhere in sight.  I also realized that it’s handy when you want to wipe off the table and the high-chair where your baby is sitting in the restaurant, because she puts her mouth on absolutely everything she comes in contact with.  At least mine did. Her crib and our window sill had the teeth marks to prove it. 
The brilliant-turned-useless:
Pacifier thermometer.  What a simple way to take the baby’s temperature, I thought.  No worries of keeping the squirmy little doll still long enough to get a good reading.  What I learned (and I’m thankful my sister-in-law pointed it out to me before I wasted the money) is that when a baby gets used to one pacifier, they don’t generally care to switch to a different kind.  So, unless the thermometer is shaped like the pacifiers they are used to, they aren’t going to keep it in their mouth. 
Things you don’t need to register for:
Blankets and bibs. Sure, these are both things you’ll need.  They are also things people enjoy buying, and everyone knows you’ll need.  Now I tell people to register for other things you need, because you’ll still get plenty of these two items.  Dinah had about fifty blankets, and a thousand bibs.  That could be a slight exaggeration.   
Something I didn’t find necessary:Diaper Genie.  We take our trash out often enough that it didn’t have time to stink up the place.  And, if we did happen to have an extra-potent smelling diaper, it wasn’t that far to the outside trash.  We found it easier than having an extra trash can to buy bags for and empty. 
Something I wish I’d had:Diaper bag dispenser.  This little gem is a little dispenser that holds diaper-sized trash bags and clips onto the diaper bag.  There are times when you are out and about or on the road and have to change a dirty diaper, but don’t have anywhere to dispose of it.  How nice would it have been to have a trash bag right there to tie it up in and contain the smell until we could get to a garbage can? Occasionally, I would actually take an old Wal-Mart bag or something for that, but you know how often I actually remembered? Not often. 

If you have kids, what did you find helpful or not-so-helpful? If you don’t, what do you imagine you’d want?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Blast From The Past

A couple weeks ago, a friend of mine tagged me in a picture she’d found from about 6 ½ years ago. I really enjoyed remembering what life was like back then, and the memories it conjured up.

Then last week, I got an email from another old friend. She forwarded me a message I had sent her from the same time. It was fun to go back and read my thoughts on what was going on in my life: college classes, my internship and mostly, of course, the guy I liked. It was one of the best summers of my life, and I love to go back and remember it. From the carefree mornings at the apartment pool with my friends, to the unique experiences of interning at a TV station, to my first date with the man I would later marry.

I’ve always enjoyed reminiscing about the good times, whether it be talking to my brothers about our childhood or talking to old friends about some activity we’d participated in, but I particularly love remembering the summer I started dating my husband. It was fun. It was carefree. I was pursued, and appreciated. I was right where I belonged. And, that is a good feeling.

Here’s to some of the good ol’ days!

Thursday, February 28, 2013


The older Dinah gets, the more her little personality just blossoms. She makes us laugh daily with her antics and the things she says. So, I figure it's time to start keeping up with some of the things that come out of her mouth, or what I like to call Dinah-isms. Here are a few examples.

Me: Are you a baby?
Dinah: No, I’m a BIG ol’ Dinah!

Me: You little monkey.
Dinah: No, I Dinah (insert full name). Not a monkey.

Dean: *scolding the dog for digging under the fence*
Dinah: Don’t yell at my Mucket! (musket)
Dean: She’s in trouble.
Dinah: No. She loves me!
Dean: I know she loves you, but she is in trouble.
Dinah: I LOVE HER!

Dinah sitting on the couch with her daddy as I leave for work: Bye, Mama!
Me: Bye, baby. I love you.
Dinah: Mama!
Me peeking back into the room: What?
Dinah: Daddy loves you.

Now, I just need to get better about writing things down as she says them so I don't forget.

Friday, February 22, 2013

High 5 For FRIDAY!

It's that time again! The end of the week. And, the day to link up with From My Grey Desk. So without further adieu, here's my Friday list. 

· My husband gave me a little bit of money for maternity clothes.  It’s amazing how much more confident a couple tank tops can make you feel. 

· My husband cooks me breakfast every morning. The older I get, the more I'm too lazy to get up early enough to make breakfast. And, he likes his breakfast so he's had to pick up the slack. He always gets up in time to cook for me, though, even when he doesn't have to be up until much later. He's a keeper. And, this week I've wanted biscuits and gravy so that's what I've gotten. Like I said, keeper!

·  My husband and I took some time last night for a late Valentine’s date.  We tried a new local restaurant that uses local ingredients in creative menu items.  Afterward, we went to a local bakery and coffee shop that we love. 

·  It’s been an interesting week.  It seems our year is continuing to follow the theme of big changes for our family.  We still have yet to see what exactly that is going to look like.  I have a feeling we won’t really know until the year is over and we look back on it. 

·  We still miss some of the things about our old house, but being closer to town and work is proving to have so many benefits.  For instance, Dean spent one day this week meeting with several different contractors and running errands.  He was able to come home for a few minutes in between, and come home and make a sandwich for lunch.  We got to see him more, and he didn’t have to wait around in town twiddling his thumbs. 

Notice how so much of this has started with "my husband" this or "my husband" that? I love that man!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Big Announcement

Last week, I mentioned in my High Five for Friday post that I had a big announcement coming up. If you're part of my close family, or friends with my husband on Facebook you likely already know what it is. Or, if you're like my sister-in-law and just intuitive like that, you may have guessed. Otherwise, I have news for you. 
This fall, about the time Dinah turns three, she'll be getting a little sister or brother. I had my first OB appointment this week, and things are looking great. 
I had a feeling this year would hold big changes. I didn't know this would be one of them, though. 
I hope you enjoy your Valentines today. My little group of valentines is about to get little bigger. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

High Five For Friday

I've done this a time or two before. Today, I'm linking up with Lauren at From My Grey Desk. 

1. The weather was nice early this week, so we took Musket to the dog park on Monday.  Then we all went on a walk.  On Tuesday, Dinah and I played with her in the backyard.  I’ve got a good dog, and a good kid.  I like them. 

2. We’re going to Kansas this weekend for my niece’s 4th birthday.  I like that kid, too.  I’d tell you what we got her, but she hasn’t opened it yet, so it’s a secret.  I will tell you that I’d enjoy it as much as she will.  Oh, and we get to meet our youngest baby niece for the first time! That’ll be fun.

3. My body is falling apart.  I’m on antibiotics for an ear infection, and now my eye is acting funny so I’ve been wearing glasses the last two days.  I hate glasses.  Someday maybe I’ll get Lasik and eliminate this problem.  Not necessarily a highlight of my week, but it’s been a big part.  

4. We got a call from Dean’s cousin’s little girls this morning selling Girl Scout Cookies.  I’ve been waiting for this call.  Seriously, I’ve been thinking about it for days.  I confessed this to my husband, who told me that he had too.  Bring on the Thin Mints…and Samoas (or whatever they call them now)…and Tagalongs.  On that note, if Dinah ever joins the girl scouts, she’ll have it made.  Her grandpa buys boxes upon boxes of Girl Scout cookies every year, from pretty much anybody that asks him.  Then he freezes them and eats them throughout the year.  Come to think of it, why do I not do that?

5. I said I was going to write more this year, and so far I haven’t done so well.  But, I have an exciting announcement coming next week, so that will probably change. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Four years ago, my husband and I embarked on a new journey. We bought some land. It was a complete exercise in trust on my part. At the time, I had graduated college and was on month five of my job search. My husband and I were getting antsy, and I had just been through a discouraging, and misleading experience with a temp agency. I came home feeling defeated and depressed, and jumped back into searching. My husband went across the street, and bought a newspaper to help me search. Instead, what he found was land for sale. I was skeptical, because well, I had no job. He was excited, and determined that he’d get a second job if that’s what it took. I decided to trust my husband, and trust God to lead him in the right direction. What resulted was signing a contract to buy some land, and getting a job offer in the same week.

Although we thought the land would mostly just sit there for a couple years until we had the money to do something with it, God had other plans. The times when we have future plans, and God speeds them up have been a recurring theme in our marriage. So, a year later, we were moving into a camper on our land and starting construction on a house. Now here we are, in the process of selling it. We closed this afternoon. It’s been a great place. It’s been stressful, and cramped, definitely more crowded than we intended, but it’s been home. There are definitely things I’m going to miss, like…

the outside space
the stars
the land
lots of trees to block the wind
room to shoot
knowing we built everything all on our own
knowing it’s our first place
house in perfect shape

And, there are things I won’t miss…

the drive time
commuting on a dangerous highway, people don’t pay attention
having only one bedroom
the cost of gas
not having a dishwasher
limited inside space
having everything crammed into one small space
heat & air window unit
being too far from the rest of civilization
having the washer & dryer in the same room as everything else
my car covered in dirt at all times

What I do know is that it is the most bittersweet feeling I’ve ever known.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Cow pajamas, fairy wings, and a makeshift microphone: The Life of a Toddler

You know what I love about having a toddler? Most everything. The kid is an absolute joy. I hate how fast my girl is growing up, but I love this age so much. I love seeing her personality evolve, and her imagination blossom. I love seeing her get excited about things. I love hearing her laugh and hearing her sing. And, I love the nightly dance parties she always starts.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

To Write

I’m still working on my list of goals for the year. I don’t think I want to start over with my list from last year, although I do think there will be some recurring themes. I’m not coming up with a certain number, and I’m giving myself some time to really think about what those goals will be. If it takes me until mid-February to nail them down, I’m okay with that. I want to make them very intentional. I do have the list started, though.
I’m going to be very honest, here. Insecurity is a very big struggle for me. I constantly feel like I’m not good enough. I think I’m not good at anything, or for anything. I struggle with it at home too, but not nearly as much. I find myself wondering, in the back of my head, if my husband thinks I’m stupid. The truth is, though, that thought in itself is stupid. That man is my strongest supporter, and my greatest encourager. I have no reason and no right ever to doubt his view of me. In fact, if I could see myself more like he does, I’d be much better off. In general, though, it’s a very big problem for me. Answering the question “what are you good at?” is a very big chore for me, because my first reaction is to say “nothing.” That’s not fair, though, and it isn’t true. God made me, and He made me just like He needed me to be. Absolutely, I’m weak on my own, and I need Him. And, that’s the way it’s supposed to be, so that He can be glorified and I can’t take all the credit. That doesn’t mean I’m worthless, though. And, it doesn’t mean He didn’t give every single one of us strengths and talents.
A week or so ago, my husband and I randomly started playing Truth or Dare. Don’t ask me why. That game went way differently than it ever did on the high school band bus, let me tell you. With dares like, “I dare you to take me out for Asian the next time we go out,” it quickly turned to simply Truth. So, in the midst of all that, or maybe inspired by that, I asked him what he thought to be my greatest talent. His answer was writing. That answer keeps coming to mind as I think of my goals for the next year. So, the first thing I’m putting on my list is to write more.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Year Ahead

I had such high hopes for 2012.  I started the year looking ahead, anxious for what it might bring.  I’m somewhat hesitant to do that this year.  I had a good first couple of weeks.  I set goals, I came up with a plan of action, I looked forward to big family events, and I set out to embark on the year.  Things were looking great.  And then, by the end of January, things started falling apart.  We had a couple losses in the family, one near loss, and one unexpected expense after another.  The whole year just felt like we couldn’t catch a break.  If not for the births of two new, healthy nieces, our year would’ve seemed pretty bleak. 
This week, as I thought about the last year, I looked back at my post outlining my goals for 2012.  It was only then that it hit me.  I bombed big time.  Out of thirteen goals, I met one.  I wanted to take a first step.  My husband pointed out last night that selling our house could count as that first step.  Otherwise, I would’ve said that I accomplished nothing.  I will say that I also made a list of things I wanted to do before my birthday, and that list is getting much shorter.   They were much simpler, more concrete goals, though.  The kind that you can do one at a time, and check them off as you go.  Not the kind that requires dedication of an extended period of time. 
I haven’t quite decided what to do with this year.  I don’t know if I should just recommit to my goals from last year, or if I should start a new list.  I’ve heard of people choosing one word to be their theme for the year.  I never really considered doing that, mostly because I didn’t think I’d be able to come up with one.  This year, though, I know exactly what that one word will be for my husband and me:
a : assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something
   b : one in which confidence is placed
a : dependence on something future orcontingent : hope

As I look ahead to the new year, I see a lot of unknowns.  I know it will be a year of change.  Only time will tell how much, and what kinds.  Last year, we put our house up for sale, because we felt like it was time.  This year begins with selling our house.  We are set to close on January 17.  At this point, we don’t know where we’ll live.  We are choosing to trust God with everything this year might bring, because He knows best.  We are choosing to trust Him to guide us and sustain us. 

Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6