Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Ordinary Days

The library recently built a new play area for the kids. There sadly isn't a childrens museum in this city yet, but this is an awesome addition to the library and the building of active imaginations!

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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Broken Bones

It’s an inevitable part of motherhood and childhood.  A child injured beyond a bloody knee or an ear infection is bound to happen.  It happened for us this morning at church.

Ethan was coming down the slide of a bounce house head first with his arms outstretched when his brother, for whatever reason, took it upon himself to jump on him.  Ethan began writhing around in pain grabbing his chest and shoulder.  He wasn’t able to calm himself down and so I knew he must have hurt something pretty good. I was supposed to teach the second round of Sunday School today, but knew that Ethan needed to be seen.  I texted my friend Melissa and she came in the room. I met her in tears and told her that I needed to take Ethan in.  She offered to take care of Grayson and Adelyn for me while I took Ethan in. She reassured me that she would take care of teaching my class and my kiddos and I should just go and focus fully on Ethan.  She was my lifesaver. 

I took Ethan to the ER where we had to wait a while before being brought back and having xrays taken.  The scan showed a break of his right clavicle.  My poor sweetheart was in quite a bit of pain when they were trying to maneuver him around.  In a quiet moment together in tears I told him that I would do anything to have it be my clavicle broken instead of him.  I told him how much it hurt me when he hurt.  He looked at me with those teary big brown eyes and he said,” Mommy, in heaven there are no headaches, ear infections or broken bones.  I wish I was in heaven right now and I wish you were there with me.” 

He is now home with some medicine and a sling.  We will call the orthopedic doctor in the morning and hopefully get seen soon to figure out what the next step is going to be. 

My parents offered without hesitation to take Grayson and Adelyn to the farm so that I don’t have to try to keep them entertained and cared for, while at the same time keeping Ethan contained and out of harms way.  They were a huge help to my stress level today and I am so thankful for them!

Daddy is feeling far away in San Diego and has been in frequent contact all day.  He is proud of his little boy and the trooper he’s been all day long. 

We had fun skyping with MawMaw and Pop today as well. Seeing the kitty cat and hearing a couple Blue Goose Stories was good medicine for my sweet boy.

We have had such an outpouring of love today and I am so blessed and thankful.  You just never know what a day is going to bring and I know that it could have been so much worse, so truly I am thankful.  In the meantime I have been given this gift of some awesome one on one time with my son for the next few days while we start the process of healing.

Ethan broken collarbone

Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday, June 10, 2013

This I Like

"Our life's work is to use what we have been given to wake up. If there were two people exactly the same-same body, same speech, same mind, same mother, same father, same house, same food, everything the same- one of them could use what he has to wake up and the other could use it to become more resentful, bitter, and sour. It doesn't matter what you are given, whether it's a physical deformity or enormous wealth or poverty, beauty or ugliness, mental stability or mental instability, life in the middle of a mad house or life in the middle of a peaceful silent desert. Whatever you're given can wake you up or put you to sleep. That's the challenge of now: what are you going to do with what you have already - your body, your speech, your mind?
May we all learn that pain is not the end of the journey, and neither is delight. We can hold them both - indeed hold it all - at the same time, remembering that everything in these quixotic, unpredictable, unsettled and unsettling, exhilarating and heart-stirring times is a doorway to awakening in our sacred world." ~Pema Chödrön

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Intentionality

Seasons of life pass us by so quickly.  I look over my past thirty four years and I feel a sense of whiplash as I contemplate all that my life has encompassed, and all the changes that have come – much without me even realizing that so much change was happening.  How quickly it seems I have gone from the young girl playing on the prairie with my brothers on those long summer days to being a young mother of three filling the schedule of those long summer days once again.

I glimpse back on snippets of the person I have been in the various stages of my life and I would just like to step back for a few moments in to those shoes once again.  I would love to give myself the insight that I now know is 20/20.  To tell my frantic mind to not worry about the trivial things that it used to, to protect my heart from the things I let wound it, to be intentional about those exact moments in my life.

I feel like in many ways I have let life happen to me instead of controlling what I make out of life.  I have been guilty of letting the days pass me by without really having a focus about what I was hoping to get out of them.  I am not in any way a believer that all of life is controlled by us, but there is a portion of it that comes down to personal responsibility, to personal choices and vision. 

There are moments where I mourn the past seasons of my life that I took for granted.  I miss being a young girl living at home, surrounded by my family at the dinner table and my brothers with all their pestering and hairy legs they loved to torment me with.  I miss the carefree days of high school where theater and friends (and a dumb boyfriend) were allowed to be my center.  College was an amazing time for me where I created friendships I still treasure to this day.  If I could just tell the 18 year old me to enjoy the freedom of staying up until 4 a.m. eating nachos with best friends and boys because those days won’t last forever.  And then falling in love and meeting the one.  Sigh.  Those first years of married life where it is all about the two of you and the building of this foundation that you have together created, growing together, meshing two lives in to one. And then the days of my career. The letters from past students who were touched by me, and me in turn by them.  Digging through my tubs of teaching materials and realizing that I really was a pretty darn good teacher!

And here’s the thing that’s hitting me.  THESE days are going to be like that one day.  One of these days I know that I am going to look back and my children are going to be grown.  Everyone tells me this is true.  Women of grown children look at me with that glimmer in their eyes and share stories of when their children were young and just how quickly those years seemed to pass.  I know I’ve mentioned this before on here – but this is something I continuously work on.  Two words actually.  Being content and being intentional. 

I spend way too much time thinking about what life is going to look like after toddlerhood.  What am I going to do with me when this stage of my life is over?  I admit to moments of dreaming of a life past young children, laundry, Old MacDonald, cleaning, sprinklers, sippy cups, and dishes.  And when I look back on those past stages of my life mentioned above I see this common thread of discontentment.  Always looking ahead to what was going to come next.  When I was a young girl I just wanted to get out of the house. When I was in college I just wanted to find the man of my dreams. When I was married I just couldn’t wait to have children.  Do you see the pattern?

And so I am trying to stop it. I don’t know if I fully can. Maybe part of it is just the way I’m wired, the dreamer in me perhaps – but yet I’m not willing to write it off as just that and then years from now look back at regret about how much time I spent planning for the next stage instead of relishing the one I was currently in.

And so the summer of 2013 is my summer of intentionality.  I have three young children who are with me every.single.day.  I have three young children who love being with me every.single.day.  What kind of a gift have I been given?  I have vowed that we aren’t going to waste it sitting idly by and watching life pass us.  We are grabbing hold this summer.

And so the kids and I sat down and we created our summer bucket list.  Adelyn couldn’t quite grasp the concept entirely yet and just offered bits of advice like “kitty cats,” but she is enthusiastic as all get out and along for the ride with the rest of the gang!  The boys, however, spewed idea after idea. Everything from watching fireworks to catching bugs made the list.  We compiled a list thirty-seven items long, and even now they keep adding to it.  We’ve got ourselves a full summer folks!

On top of that I find that I am a creature of routine. (I’ve known this for quite some time I guess!)  Give me no schedule and I am a woman on edge.  I love when everyone has a groove and everyone knows what to expect and the world just sings in harmony. These things make me happy.  Toss in a spontaneous date night once in awhile or the chance to sing karaoke at a gas station on a whim and I’m all for it, but for the day give me my groove baby. And so I knew that summer had to have some rhythm.  So I took some time last week to create this schedule for our days.  I pulled a lot of these ideas offline, so I can’t take full credit by any means, but I tweaked it to make it work for us.

summer schedule

(Please excuse the blurry business going on underneath each heading.  I attempted to do some jpeg tweaking, but it wasn’t resolving itself as quickly as I had hoped and so we work with what we got.  If you care to know more about how I have this all laid out please just ask!)

In a short summary Monday is our crafting/cooking day.  Tuesday is our library/story hour day.  Wednesday is our get wet and crazy day. Thursday we’re taking a trip to a new destination and Friday we’re eating something delicious at a new dive every week.  I must admit the boys are mostly excited for Foodie Fridays above all of the days! 

I then compiled a list of things for each day.  Recipes, crafts we’ve been wanting to try, ways to get wet, places we’ve always wanted to check out, and the joints with the best snacks in town. 

I am excited about living each day with intentionality, but yet at the same time allowing myself to breathe and realize that not every moment is going to be glorious. Not every day is going to go according to my plan and routine.  There are going to be moments in my glorious intentional summer when I may feel like screaming in to a pillow or downing a bottle of wine at 10 a.m. – but this gives me a goal.  A goal of loving my children and loving this summer I’ve been given when my children are 4, 4, and 2.  I’ll never get another exactly like this.  I’m up to the challenge.  It is going to be epic. Smile Stay tuned…

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Wrap Up

Today Ethan and Grayson completed their first year of preschool. Granted they still have one more to go, but yet it made me quite emotional at this milestone!  They have come so far this past year and I am so proud of both of them!

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Headed off to school this morning. Don’t ask me. I’m just their mother.

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Ethan, Mrs. Hauck, and Grayson. I love how the boys are standing the same!

 

Tonight their class had a ceremony to celebrate their accomplishments. 

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The boys were just a tad bit excited as you can see!  This is them with their friend and neighbor Jasmine.

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Let’s take a little minute to not forget this little sweetie who wanted so badly to sit with her brothers and be a part of the preschool class!  Soon enough baby girl. Stop trying to grow up!

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Ethan getting his diploma.  He chose to give Mrs Hauck a high 5.

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Grayson went in for the hug. Smile

Their teacher got choked up tonight saying goodbye to all of her students.  She is amazing. The plan is for our boys to return there again in the fall with her for one more year before starting kindergarten.  They will be going one additional morning next year. 

We spent some time today creating our summer bucket list and we have quite a bit to accomplish, so there is no time to think about school in the fall quite yet!  Bring on summer vacation!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Imaginations

Ethan and Grayson’s imaginations have really been running wild lately.  I love seeing the things they come up with! The other day after I picked them up from school we walked in the door and Grayson looked around and said, “Wow, this place sure is beautiful.  Where do I put my shoes?”  I went along with it and showed him where the shoes go.  Ethan jumped in and they both started asking questions, all the while expressing themselves with their hands.  “What is this room for?”  “Oh my, what do you do in here?”  We took a full tour of the entire house. The boys even picked out beds for themselves so that they could stay as our guests overnight.  At lunch that day Ethan remarked, “I will be on my best behavior because I’m your guest and I want to make sure you want me to come back again sometime.” 

I also wanted to share this Mother’s Day movie that our church did for Mother’s Day.  The boys were a hit and cracked me up.  Chris taped this with his phone so it isn’t the best quality, but hopefully it’s good enough!

http://youtu.be/yyJOZxnxEZ4

 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Life is Beautiful

Please don’t take my lack of words on here to mean a lack in my life.

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Life has been so incredibly rich lately.

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Stretching, changing, laughing, crying…

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There is so, so much my heart longs to pour out and yet finding the words (and the time) is tough.

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But I will. 

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In the past few weeks I turned 34, lost my last living grandparent, had a visit from Grandpa and Grandma from Virginia, taken a few day trips with the family, had a nail painting party with my baby, marveled in the wonder of my baby boys turning in to mini men, kept up with life and laundry in general, and most importantly I am continuing to be stretched and pulled in many beautiful areas of my life.  So many things in all of that above that I want to write on and share before it’s lost in the shuffle of life.

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Grandma captured this precious moment of love between Ethan and Adelyn. He was even rubbing her ears!

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Uncle Tom, Dad, and Grandpa on the morning of his last day with us. 

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A hard goodbye.  The weather fit our mood.

 

More to come…

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Friday, April 12, 2013

Life ‘Round Here

Grayson

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Ethan

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On April Fools Day morning the kids came downstairs for breakfast and saw blue milk waiting for them.  I told them our milk had turned blue and they were super thrilled and excited about that! 

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The other day we went out puddle jumping.  The kids can’t get enough!  Now we have another 12 inches of snow so I guess there are more puddles to come!

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The other day we joined my friend Melissa and her two kids for a morning of jumping at a local bounce house.  I LOVE the excited looks on those faces above!  They were SO excited!

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This is the only picture I have that didn’t turn out all blurry! These kids were moving too fast and the lighting wasn’t the best to get a great shot. I had to resort to using my flash!  What a pile-up!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Instagram Girl

At 114 years of age, the oldest U.S. citizen recently passed away.  Chris and I were talking this morning about the incredible changes that happened over the span of her life.  When she was born the first Model T had just had its debut, the population of Las Vegas was 30, and the average minimum wage was 22 cents.

Today there are over 400,000 car makers.  The population in Las Vegas is 590,000, and the average minimum wage is $7.25.

And that doesn’t even touch on technology. Even since my birth in 1979 technology has just exploded.  I still recall taking a class trip to the computer lab in 10th grade and the teacher SLOWLY opening Internet Explorer to show us the world wide web for the very first time.  He typed in “Elvis Presley” and there before me was this image of Elvis gyrating his hips.  I was amazed and astonished by it all!  Maybe not so much the gyrating of the hips, but strictly the technology of course!

And here we are today – 2013 – surrounded by so many ways to keep in touch with the world around us.  Blogging, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Pinterest, email, messaging, texting, hashtags…and on and on and on.  I have barely touched the surface when it comes to all that is out there, and I’m okay with that!  I like to feel like I am keeping somewhat in the loop with it all, but there is no way I can allow myself to become fully wrapped up in all that is available.  I don’t want to be!  I don’t have time to be! Smile

However, I kind of treat it like I treat an onion.  I peel back one layer at a time. I don’t like to let it overwhelm me and so I will pick one thing, learn a little bit about it and jump in.  Then – after wiping the tears away and walking away to recover a few times I am ready for the next layer.

So – I have been doing Instagram for some time now.  I love the simple editing you can do to the pics – but I still have so far to go when it comes to understanding all that goes along with it.  Hashtags for example are completely baffling to me.  I thought hashtags only belonged to Twitter, but now I’m seeing them on Instagram too.  I yi yi. 

Either way – all this to say I have added a link to my Instagram account on the right toolbar of my blog.  It is set to private right now, but I believe if you request to follow me I can let you in!

Thanks for reading and have an awesome day!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Beyond the Bunny

We had a very quiet Easter celebrated with family at my parents farm.  Chris was off on Good Friday so we headed out that afternoon.  Friday evening my brother Michael and his family came. 

Saturday was the day of pajamas.  We ate caramel rolls, watched the kids play, played outside, played some cards, talked, ate some more.  It was perfect! (Mike and Hayley introduced us to a game called Wizard.  I’m hooked!).

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Late Saturday night/Sunday morning (1 a.m.!) David and Sarah joined us.  Easter morning was filled with basket hunts, full bathrooms, and a busy kitchen as everyone scurried around to get dolled up and ready for church.  The service was great.  The boys stayed with us in the main room while Adelyn, Micah, and Gabbi went to Discovery School and nursery. 

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After church we traveled on back to Mom and Dad’s for a delicious Easter lunch with ham, scalloped potatoes, pies, salads…you name it, we had it!

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                         I told Grayson to look “sassy.” This is what I got!                                                                                             Ethan striking a pose!

 

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One of the best we could get of all these rascals!

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God came in flesh to walk this Earth.  To live life like you and I.  To feel, to ache, to endure.  Knowing full well what had to happen He went through with it, paying the ultimate price for us.  Dying for us.  Living again for us so that we too can have hope and can live. What an awesome reason to celebrate!  What love!

Hoping you all had an awesome Easter too!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Squishable

 

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My sweet smelling, curly headed, bouncing beauty, squishable little girl – how have you been with us for 2 1/2 years already?  How is it that the little girl I cuddled and caressed and nursed for those hour long sessions can now feed herself and dress herself (perhaps backwards and inside out, but you can do it “all by myself!”)? 

Over these past couple months we’ve been working on potty training with you.  You weren’t so sure about it at first, and your Mommy was growing weary of the battle it seemed to be to get you to even try the potty without melting down in to a puddle of tears.

And then we made a potty chart…

Stickers and yogurt raisins must be pretty valuable to you because all of the sudden sitting on the potty was all you wanted to do! 

Yesterday morning you woke up completely dry for the very first time.  You wore underwear all day long and didn’t have one accident.

You are so proud of yourself and so proud of how big you’ve become. Your Mommy, Daddy, and brothers are very proud of you too.  So proud.

But yesterday as I was watching you wash your hands after one use it hit me…

After you are potty trained I will never change another diaper for one of my own babies again.  I may change some nieces and nephews diapers, diapers of my friends babes or the like, but not my own flesh and blood.  Not until I am a Grandmother will I change another diaper for one of “my own.”  It was just such a stark realization that it truly took my breath away.  My life has been diapers, desitin and doo-doo for the past four years and I’ve been okay with that.  I love being a Mommy to my little ones.

And all of the sudden I’m going to parent/teacher conferences for my preschool sons and you’re climbing up on the big potty all by yourself without any help. 

I know it’s all part of where parenting leads.  We love you, nurture you, pour life in to you and over you, and then we watch as your little wings spread.  We watch as you tackle just one more small thing every day that makes you just a little more independent, until one day we look back and wonder how you have changed so much in such a short amount of time.

I am so immensely proud and deeply in love with you precious daughter.  I look at your curls bouncing as you hop around the house, pretending to be a frog a kitty cat or a combination of the two, and I am amazed by this gift I have been given in you.  Your sweet little voice talking a million miles an hour is music to my ears as your vocabulary is exploding and you have so much to express and get off your chest.

I just want to savor, savor, savor these moments with you and your brothers. These days where we are together, where there is no major agenda or place we have to be.  Where you still want to crawl up on my lap and read books.  Where you let me pick out your clothes and put on whatever I ask.  Where you still sleep in a crib and I can still picture that little babe all swaddled sleeping peacefully.  I know all too soon these days too will be a memory.  I want to sear it in my heart, sear it in my mind, and never forget the gift I’ve been given of life with you today.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Winter Fun

The other night Chris headed out to take the boys sledding one last time before this snow (hopefully!) melts away. They had gone one other time a few months ago and had a blast, although Ethan had received a bloody nose from a tumble down the hill.  Makes for a better story though doesn’t it? Smile

Within a few minutes of leaving home Chris called me and told me he was considering taking the boys tubing at a local ski resort instead. (Yes Minnesota has big enough hills to warrant at least a little bit of skiing!). They met the age and height requirements this year, so I said a quick prayer and gave my blessing for them to go.

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The boys had no idea what to expect as this was an entirely new experience for them.

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The video above shows two excited little boys!

Ethan was a bit nervous their first time down the hill.  When they reached the bottom though he was all grins and giggles.  He told his Daddy, “I was scared to come down the hill and I was crying a little bit, but that man on the top just laughed at me and pushed me down!”  I guess there was someone working at the top giving friendly nudges and didn’t let Ethan’s tears get in the way of a trip down!

 

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My three boys on one of the trips down the hill!

As stands to tradition Ethan did receive another bloody nose and lip. However, this time it wasn’t received going down the hill, but going up!  They had to stand on a conveyer belt and get pulled up the hill, but one boy slipped and down they both went!  Ethan smacked his face right in to a railing.  Sweet boy!

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I love how my little bruiser looks like Mickey Mouse in this picture with those tubes behind his head! Isn’t he just precious?

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