Tuesday, March 29, 2011



Time out.




Take a breather.










Coffee break.





Time, would you please just abide by my rules this once?

This is my baby after all.

She can't grow up so fast.

7 months old.

Sitting up.

Rolling over.

Lover of bananas and sweet potatoes.

Gagger of avocado unless it's mixed with banana.

Strong little girl who breaks free of her swaddle, but cries when it's not wrapped tight around her.

Brother adorer.

Music makes her bounce, giggle, and shake her head violently from side to side.

Always smiling.

Paci sucker.

A snuggle bug.

Mama's girl (but Daddy ain't so bad either).

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Status Update

Well really...the blog title just fit the occasion, even if I am borrowing it from Facebook. :)
So...here we are. Or at least, here I am. Sitting on the couch, in my living room, melancholy as I soak in the fact that this is my last Monday evening that I will be in this house. I know that all week long I will keep thinking to myself 'This is my last Tuesday. This is my last Wednesday....it's all coming to an end whether I am ready for it to or not.
In some ways I just want it to get here. For nearly six months we have done this whole back and forth traveling thing with Chris and it will be SO nice to just be together, settled in our new home as a family. I'm also SO excited to see my family and meet my nephew Micah for the first time. That just goes without saying!
I have been stalling when it comes to saying goodbye to my friends and family here. I just don't want to do it. I keep trying to find just one more time to get together so I can put off the goodbye just a little bit longer. I have started to realize that the day will soon be approaching (yikes) and we just need to bite the bullet and do this thing!
Six more days.
It's been seven years.
7 out of our 10 married years have been spent here in Virginia. That's a large chunk of "our" life so far.
It's all my children have ever known (although they will most likely never remember which makes me sad). I know that many new adventures await and that makes me excited.
I have had some awesome friends really encourage me in enjoying this new season in our lives. To think of it as being a fresh start, a new beginning...to really opening ourselves up and stretching ourselves in new ways.
I have been looking back at pictures on my computer and in my mind these past few weeks. Reliving so many memories. I have made some incredible friendships in my time here that I know will last a lifetime. I have had some people come in to my life who have walked with me through some difficult times. I have made some friends who have been there and mentored me as I started my new career as a teacher. I have made some friends who have made me laugh until I cried. I have made some friends who have stretched me, challenged me, and yet loved me for exactly the person I am. I am thankful for each and every person that I now call friend that I am leaving behind. Each of you will be missed. Thank you for playing such a role in my life so far. I have been blessed.
Oh my. If I let myself go there with having to think about leaving all of our life here behind, I have a hard time and my emotions get the best of me. I have just been keeping myself busy to try and put off dealing with it. I wonder when it all really is going to hit me.
When will I have time to just sit and process all that is going on? I'm not sure it will really sink in until I fly back here in a few weeks for closing with Chris. When we walk through this home and see everything gone, rooms empty, walls bare. I think then I will have my closure.



Thursday, March 24, 2011

In the Blink of an Eye

This past Wednesday we had a scare.

Let me preface this post by stating that everyone in our household is okay.

That afternoon the sun peeked through the clouds, and I decided to take all three kids up to the park for a while before dinner. We pulled up to the park, I unbuckled the boys, and they RAN for the playground as fast as their little feet could talk them, full of laughter and giggles. I came trailing behind carrying Adelyn in the Ergo.

Not long after we arrived an older boy, perhaps around the age of 8, arrived. He was showing off, climbing on top of the equipment, going down the slide backwards, cutting my boys off to scramble up the stairs first...his mother sat on a nearby bench talking on her cell phone. I had to gently remind the boy that we needed to take turns and that my boys were much smaller than him so he had to play gently. Ahem.

Ethan and Grayson were very distracted (enamoured) by this older boy doing all these "cool" tricks. Within just a few minutes I had this feeling in the pit of my stomach. I was on high alert, watching carefully their every move, reminding them to pay attention, to go down the slide feet first, to hold on with both hands...

There is this bridge on this particular piece of equipment. It is about 4 feet off the ground. It shakes when you walk across it, and is surrounded by chains that hang down, about a feet apart each. Even from the first time the boys first played on this a few months ago, I just had this pressing sense that they weren't old enough to play there, that the bridge wasn't safe for them. I pushed those feelings aside though, thinking that I was just being a 'helicopter' parent and I had to let them "be boys" and have fun.

I learned in a split second that I need to listen from now on to that voice. I need not push it away and ignore it, but act on it before it's too late.

Because in a split second Ethan looked at his brother on the other side of the bridge, he giggled and began to run across to him. In a flash I watched before my eyes as my son's feet got tangled up beneath him. I watched as his hands frantically tried to grab hold of the chain. I watched as my son was flung to the earth, landing on the back of his neck and head.

I screamed.

I screamed with a guttural, panic stricken scream.

A scream that scared even me.

I rushed to my child. He was covered in dirt and mulch. He was screaming.

I recall quickly looking him over. Was he able to move his legs and arms? Were there any broken bones? Open gashes?

I scooped him up in my arms. Through all the dirt I couldn't see, I couldn't tell, I couldn't assess.

I told Grayson (who had gathered close upon seeing his brother fall and cry out in pain) that it was time to leave the park. Even though his brother was hurting and his mother was shaking, Grayson had a hard time understanding why we had to leave the park so soon (a.k.a. a temper tantrum ensued). I very firmly grabbed his arm and said "Grayson, we are leaving now." He must have sensed that it wasn't a good time to argue anything different, and he willingly took my hand for the long walk to the van.

When we got inside the van (I crawled in to the back with all three kids) I was able to unload Adelyn and strap her in to her car seat. At that point I grabbed Ethan and examined him from head to toe. By this point his crying had stopped, tears mixed with dirt stained his cheeks, dirt was caked in to his hair, packed in his ears...but my child was okay. Unhurt.

At that moment the fear and the incredible relief hit me and I wept. I wept and held him and wept and wept.

For in that moment I realized that the conclusion could have been so much different.

His entire future, our entire future, could have been changed in that split second like it was for this family, or this family personally known by a friend of mine.

It was a long fall.

He fell right on his neck at least three or four feet to the ground.

All he has to show for it is this small scratch.


Ethan looked at me, with tears flowing down my face, and he said "Mommy sad?" All I could do was hug him and assure him that no, Mommy wasn't sad at all.

I came home and walked in to the house. Chris took one look at my face and asked me what was wrong. I told him what had happened through new tears. He held me and then walked out with me to the garage. He grabbed Ethan in his arms and held him so tight, kissing the top of his head (as you can imagine, bringing a whole new set of tears!). Chris then too had to look him over and make sure I hadn't missed anything. :)

I stuck both boys in the bathtub, examining Ethan once again only to find dirt up his shirt, down his pants, even in his diaper and socks. Yet he was unharmed.

The image that I have in my mind of his fall. The image of him landing on his neck, lying there before me, does not match up with this child I have before me that is unharmed, unscathed, untouched. I have no doubt my child was surrounded by angels at that moment.

As a disclaimer, those of you know me know that I am not an overly dramatic person (or at least I don't think that I am!). I don't cry easily or get too worked up about most things - however, this event has shook me to the core. There was something about it all that leaves me shuddering every time I have that image of his fall in my mind. Something that brings me to tears every time I kiss that little scratch on his face.

I don't understand the whys of it all. Why were we spared from tragedy when other families weren't? How was Ethan able to walk away unscathed? I guess on this Earth I won't know the answers to those questions, I won't understand and comprehend why things happen as they do...

My first instinct is to shut our family away from any danger (as if that's possible). To be anxious about my children's safety, to literally want to duct tape them to the couch until they turn 20 (when my mother states our reasoning is finally developed!). I can easily have panic attacks imagining these worst case scenarios and living in fear of ever having to face a tragedy like that in our family. Daily, daily I am reminded that I need to pray over them and of course watch and protect them to the best of my ability. I need to try and stay one step ahead of them (which is HARD to do when there are two and insane), but ultimately it gives me such an incredible sense of peace to know that they are in His hands and not mine. I can do all that I can do in my power, but then I truly do just have to trust - and oh boy, that's a tough one for me sometimes.

But for today, I am thankful. So amazingly, abundantly, unabashedly thankful.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

You're Not the Boss Of Me!

I clearly remember telling my babysitter that one time in my Grandma's bedroom when I was about nine years old after she placed me in there for back talking (I know! Me! Can you imagine such a thing!).

I also recall the said babysitter spanking me after I said it.

And on we go....

Lately the boys have been asserting their authority, trying to figure out just where their freedom of speech and action begin and end. The other day I reminded the boys that their Mommy and Daddy were their boss, and Jesus was our boss.

This morning at breakfast Grayson said, "Grayson boss!" I said, "No Grayson. Mommy and Daddy are your boss. Do you remember who Mommy's boss is?" Grayson sat still for a moment, and said emphatically, while nodding his head up and down, "Coffee!"

Sunday, March 20, 2011

My Attempt At a Photo Shoot







And that's the end of that!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Nineteen Thousand Four Hundred Forty...or something like that...

Is how many hours the two of you have been a part of our life.

These are just a few of the things I do not want to forget about you right now:

A few weeks ago we went for lunch at the Johnny Appleseed Restaurant here in our town. It was pouring down rain that day, but yet you two just HAD to push the button on him...


Johnny Appleseed.

I told you we could quickly do it, but then we had to get in the car because Johnny Appleseed was "dirty and wet." Ever since then you, Ethan will randomly just say "Man dirty?" When I say "What man is dirty?" You say, "Johnny Appleseed is dirty!"

You both have also become very obsessed with bugs lately. You are a bit fearful of them, especially after witnessing a large spider crawling across our garage floor a few days ago. You now ask me often if you can "hug a bug." I emphatically tell you "Noooooo! We don't hug a bug!" Then you say, "Eat a bug!" I say, "Noooooooo! We don't eat bugs!" Thenyou both just giggle and giggle. Tonight at the dinner table we had that exact conversation and then you asked me Ethan, "Eat a booger and a bug?" Ha!

(notice Ethan's forehead. He fell off his wagon (not his rocker) last week)
This is in the "birthday room" as the boys like to call it, ever since we celebrated their birthday there last December. They play with the candles from the centerpiece and sing happy birthday to themselves.

I love watching you two play together. You are truly the best of friends. You play so nicely together most of the time. :) (At least once a day I have to pull you off each other as you are having a knock down, drag out fight. Last night you were brawling over who got to put on a pair of girl's shoes that belonged to some friends that were visiting). You are often heard saying throughout the day, "Here Eat-an," "Here Gay-sen," as you hand each other toys. Love it.

I find your toys in the most random locations all day long. Doesn't everyone have trucks in their sink?
I also love though, along with your silly side, how you still love to cuddle up to Mommy. Just today Grayson, you were the first one awake from nap time (which is often the case). I came and laid down beside you in your bed and pulled you close to me. You laid there with your nose almost touching mine. I told you a story called "Grayson and the Airplane." You listened so intently. Your eyes smiled as you imagined yourself flying high in the sky, along with the clouds and the birds, Mr. Moose in your backpack, all the way to Ama and Bapa's house. You didn't want to get up, and in fact when I tried you said, "Stay with Mommy." And so we stayed...just a little bit longer. *Sigh*

On a side note, I have to share a story that happened about a week ago. Chris and I had just finished giving the boys a bath. I had just pulled the boys out of the tub and reminded them that if they had to go to the bathroom they needed to sit on the toilet instead of urinating on the carpet (not that I speak from previous experience at all on that one or anything.) As soon as Ethan ran out to the living room where Chris was he began to pee on the carpet! Chris said, "No Ethan! Go to Mommy! Go sit on the potty!" This little naked boy came running back down the hallway to me. I put him up on the toilet and a few drops hit the bowl (I think he was pretty much done by that point!) Grayson then persisted that he "had to go poopy again", (although he hadn't even gone the first time, but I digress...) so I put him on the toilet and wouldn't you just know that the child peed in the toilet! I never in my life thought I would get so excited about seeing another human being relieving themselves in the toilet, but I sat there cheering and clapping and wiping away a few tears! The most priceless part of all was seeing the look on his face. He looked up at his Daddy in the doorway with this incredible look of pride and awe of himself. I'll never forget it. *May I just add that they are no where close to being potty trained. They are interested in it here and there, but there ain't no way I'm tackling that bad boy right now with our move coming up. It was a good start though! :)
So - after potty time was over the boys ran out to the living room showing off all that God gave 'em. They climbed up in the picture window for the world to see. Chris and I thought nothing of it, but then we noticed that the boys were staring at something in our driveway. The boys then stood up in the window (completely buck naked mind you), and started waving. I ran to the window and looked down. There were two teenagers walking up the steps to our front door. They were staring up in the window with this look on their face like "Ummm, do I wave back? Do I ignore these two naked children who are grinning down at me?" Ha! I opened the front door just laughing hysterically. The boys were saying "Hi. Hi!" The entire time the company was on our front steps the boys began loudly saying, "Need to go poopy again! Need to go poopy again!" It was just the best, most chaotic few moments! Those poor teenagers will never be the same!


Monday, March 14, 2011

Our New Digs

On April 1st, this little charmer of a rental home will become "ours"
We were hoping for something with at least three bedrooms and enough room for the wee ones to run and play without going too stir crazy.
This place was built in the 1940's I believe, but recently they have done some major renovations. I believe we are the second tenants to live there since they made the changes. (I also love that cute little lady in the kitchen. Luckily she is part of the package deal that comes with our move to the big MN.)
May I also just add that I hope by the time we actually move in to this place at the end of April there will be lilies, daffodils, and butterflies in the front yard instead of snow and icicles?
I look at this picture of our soon-to-be new "home" and I feel this twisting in my gut. It is a twisting of excitement, of the unknown, the adventure of it all, being near my family...but at the same time I look at that house and it doesn't look like home to me. It is strange to think about my family inhabiting that place in just a few short weeks. To see our belongings fill it's corners, to see my children climbing all over that little front porch...
I am filled with so many questions. Will my children adjust okay? How many times will I climb that flight of stairs up to our bedrooms in a day? What will our new neighbors be like? What is it going to feel like to have Chris working in an office and not at home like he has for the past six years? How long will we live there before we find our next home to buy?
I am so thankful that we found this home though. We searched Craigslist, called realtors, scoured over classifieds trying to find a temporary home to suit our needs for a few months as we got settled in to a new area. Finding a home to rent was really expensive, and we weren't willing to spend more on rent then we pay for our monthly mortgage here on this home, so our hands were tied. All of the sudden one day I stumbled across an ad for this home on Craigslist. I almost didn't inquire because there were no pictures posted, and this girl loves to see what she's dealing with :), but something in me just pushed me to at least email about it. So, I did. The landlord, Paul, wrote back and explained the situation. Currently there is a young family living there. They will be moving out the middle of March. He is accepting a month-to-month leasing option which is perfect for us so we don't get stuck with a lease for longer than we need it. The price for a three bedroom home definitely fit our budget too so we felt really good about it.
As you can judge from one of the pictures above, my parents went down one Sunday a few weeks ago and walked through it for us. They were our eyes and the decision makers on whether or not they thought this would be a good fit for our family. They were very pleased and knew after seeing it that it would work for us!


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