"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Romans 12:12

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

getting ready

So I'm up, taking a break from folding laundry.
We are anticipating the big trip to Pennsylvania early Friday morning. Call me crazy but I love the drive.. well kinda..right up until about when it's about 5/6 hours in and I realize we are now only half way after all this time. But then it gets exciting again after another 100 miles..I count down by 100 miles. It's amazing how fast 100 miles can go when you have a movie for the kids to watch, food in every one's belly and a nice conversation with the husband or my nook in hand. It's actually quite nice sometimes. I love love LOVE the first hour of being on the road. the quiet sneaking around in the completely dark, getting everything ready. Everyone in the neighborhood is asleep but us.   Mentions of seeing nana and pap-pap to get the kids moving.. we whisper and sneak around; careful not to make a disturbance. and then on the road we go.. Maybe we'll see a headlight here and there but mostly we are alone and the air feels so thick of darkness, the quiet excitement.  I don't know, maybe I'm the only crazy one in the family that feels this way, but I love it. I love driving and watching the sun start to peek through, I love the routines we have down to make the long ride easier. I love that we now have a VAN with a dvd player!  I know we'll have screaming and fighting and whining, but right now I want to relish in the pleasures of driving for 10-12 hours with 3 kids, 5 and under. I am wondering how it will be for Noah. He is getting older and much more vocal in what he doesn't like. This shall be interesting! Also we have decided to forward face him. now. I keep battling myself on this issue. I really wanted to wait until he was 2, since it is now recommended and such a simple step to keep him safe. but I do think we need to do it for this trip and I'll see how it goes after that. He will be 2 in Feb so it's not too far away.
So yes, as I was saying, I am folding the never ending pile of laundry. Packing and cleaning the house is the worst part of the tri to Pennsylvaina, not including teary good byes to loved ones yet again, knowing you'll see them again in 6 months.

I'm excited! not even for Christmas but for HOME! I can't believe I grew up here wanting to leave. As I got older I knew it was a great place to have a family and living somewhere else had confirmed that for me. It's  home, and nothing can ever change that for me.

Friday, December 16, 2011


  God works in wonderful ways. I graduated high school not having a clue what I wanted to do.  I got to watch my friends and classmates go off to college.  THEY had it all figured out. Not me.  I wasn't even close. Oh I interviewed and visited a few schools, desperately trying to figure it out, even trying to force myself to like a new plan I made up for myself. I would get excited about it but I knew my heart wasn't quite in it enough.

  My friends were all gone, I was lonely and not making quite the right choices in my life that I should have been making.. You could say I turned my back on God. I remember talking with God and saying "Ok I can take it from here now.. I'm not sure what your plans are for me, but it's starting to feel like you aren't really here for me after all."   It's no surprise that this was when things got really tough for me. I'm not even sure if I realized how low I have gotten but I was numb, and sad, and just not well.

   Looking back, I think I was just filling a void of uncertainty, maybe even shame that I didn't know what I was going to do in my life when it seemed like everyone had it figured out. I was lonely. I was sad and just a confused mess. I could go on and on about that time in my life. So many bad things happened yet it was one of the most important times in my life because I came out of it stronger then ever. More sure of myself  and sure of God and his love and plan for me. I got to a point where I said a prayer, asking for an answer about a guy I liked way more then I should have, another void I was filling I guess. I got that answer so loud and clear.  I realized God was there for me, just waiting for me. It took way too long but I did come back. I remember my dad telling me that I gave my heart God, he lives there in my heart, and there is nothing I can do to turn him away now. He's just waiting on me and ready for me to come back. That once I am a follower of Christ, I will not be forsaken, even when I mess up terribly and forget about Him. That is the beauty of it all.

I began to search. I read the Bible.. the book of Romans was a good one for me. I was highlighting, underlining and copying down so many verses that really just hit me.  My eyes were open and I felt like those words were written just for me.

I came to realize that God really has a plan for me. I had no idea what it might be but I need to trust in Him. I came to peace to the fact that maybe God's plan was for me to never get married.  Maybe His plan for me was to be stuck in a job that I didn't like for awhile. I had no idea but I was going to trust in Him and be happy knowing that He has that plan figured out, I don't need to figure it all out, I can just live my life and follow Jesus and do my best at what was handed to me at that moment.

Just 9 months after I came to peace with this realization, I met Matt. I knew very early on that it was something very special. Soon after becoming married, I got pregnant and be came a mother.

8 years have now passed since that hard time in my life. Now that I am a mother, I realize how much I love pregnancy,labor, birth, newborns, breastfeeding.. all of it.  I know when My kids get older I am going to want to work with pregnant women. How in the world would I have known that before? I needed to go through it all to realize how special it was to me. God had this plan for me, he knew what was in my heart even though I didn't know it at the time. Now I have to wait some more. Wait for my kids to get older so I can do that dream job that I have been searching for for so long. I am Ok with waiting some more. I know God is looking out for me now, and everything will come with time.

It's amazing the way He works. When I am having a hard time, I always think back to that troubled time in my life and I remember HE is there waiting for me, even when it doesn't feel like it. He has a plan for me, and it's a good plan.. a plan writen out just for me.

 These are just a few verses that I wrote down during that hard time.. you can just see what I was thinking or feeling as you read them. I'm so glad I recorded them to look back on when I need it.:

Romans 7:18-20
For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

1 Corinthians 10:13

And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

Romans 12:2
 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Romans 8:38-39
 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:15
 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba,Father.”

1 Corinthians 15:33
Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”

2 Corinthians 12:9-10
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Romans 6:21-22
What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!  But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.

It's Time

    I realize it's time to sign up for a 5K. I think it's time to sign up and prove something to myself.

   Although I know I have ran 3 miles in the past, I have not been running like I should, 3 miles is now very very hard for me.  I did it before, and I know I can do it again with more practice.  The only way for me to have the motivation to improve is to sign up for a race. 
    I'm scared! I don't do this sort of thing and I am terrified. I hate to fail at things, I hate to mess up and not do a good job, which has made running really hard for me because I get so frustrated at myself when I don't do well, which for a beginner,  is something that happens often.  Instead of wanting to improve and keep working on it until I get better, the little voices inside tell me to just stop because I am not good at it,why bother do it?   I need to show those voices who's boss now! I need to stop letting my fear of failure get the best of me. I need to just try things, even if I'm not good at them. The fear of failing holds me back from trying so many things in life and that needs to change.
    I will be 29 years old in March. When I am older, I want to look back and feel like I have lived and have done things that in my heart I wanted to do.  So starting now I will start doing.  I will ignore those voices telling me I can't do it. Who cares if I'm not good at it?  Why should that stop me from trying? How will I get better if I don't try?  When I grow older, I want to love my life I lived, I want to feel proud of myself and what I have done.  Better yet, I want my kids to grow up and see that their mom wasn't holding herself back, wasn't scared. Well maybe she was scared.. being scared is normal and is ok, but letting the fear control you isn't good. How will I encourage my children to go out there and experience life if I can not do that for myself?

I want to enter my 30s and feel GOOD about ME.  So this year is the perfect time to start. I will run a race.. I will run a few races. Who know, maybe I'll even try to learn to play an instrument..  I have wanted to do that for so long, why notdo that as well?  After that.. who knows? There are so many things I have wanted to do but held myself back. Not anymore!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

St Nicholas Day

The merry family gatherings –
The old, the very young;
The strangely lovely way they
Harmonize in carols sung.
For Christmas is tradition time
Traditions that recall
The precious memories down the years,
The sameness of them all.

-Helen Lowrie Marshall

I wanted to post this a few days ago but had some trouble with the pics. Here was our St Nick day this year on Monday, December 6, 2011.
The girls awoke early and started to tear into the stockings.  Thankfully I woke up just in time to catch them and have them get dressed for school and eat breakfast first.

We have changed around the old tradition of finding candy or gifts in boots/shoes to stocking stuffers. We don't do stockings for Christmas but I still love stocking stuffers, so we do them for St Nicholas day now.


My aunt made that stocking holder a while ago for our family when I was a kid. I remember it from when I was younger and am so thankful to have to now, we really needed one and it's so pretty! Since Matt and I don't do stocking for each other and we only have three kids, I think we'll have to get our dog Sadie a stocking!

Here are a few pictures that morning. I was without coffee at this point so picture-taking was not high priority; sleep and/or coffee was.

                                               Sadie is getting in on the action, even

Emily with her loot laid all around her. (Still dark outside!)

We eventually had to wake Noah up. Clearly as you can see in this picture, getting presents was not as exciting for him as we imagined. The boy loves his sleep- can't blame him!

Friday, December 2, 2011

I don't write about or mention Matt on my blog much; which I think he appreciates actually, but he's been on my mind lately (more then normal at least) and when something is on my heart and on my mind, I have to blog it.

It's just that it amazes me how much closer we've gotten, that I could ever be this close with someone. I think back to how we got engaged after dating for only 11 months when I was almost 21 years old. We were engaged for about 1 1/2 years before getting married. He still had one year of college to finish but we figured why wait, what difference will it make if we know we'll be together anyway?  So we get married in June. I found out I was pregnant October 24th.  I remember that day so clearly. The disbelief, the worry of how the heck are we going to do this, we clearly can't afford it! The fact that we are just getting to know each other as husband and wife, and now a baby? I wanted a baby soon after getting married, but was hoping to try after a year of marriage. I was a little excited but mainly scared and worried about how Matt would react. We have talked about baby stuff in the past and I know he mentioned that he (and us as a couple) were clearly not ready yet.  So I do what any women does when distressed: call my mom. Yes my mom was the first to find out. She consoled me until Matt came home later the day. So he comes home to my mom and I sitting down looking serious and worried .  My mom leaves and I start the conversation with "I have something to tell you that you aren't going to like"  HAHA! I can't believe I said it like that! The thoughts of what must have gone through the poor guys head! So after telling him, he sighs a huge sigh of relief and is.. get this.. actually excited!  So this begins our journey.

It's been tough at times. The first two years were especially hard on us as a married couple.. getting to know each other as a married couple while I have those pregnancy hormones, insecurities and all the other "wonderful" stuff that comes with pregnancy. Then we have this little baby neither one of us knows anything about, not much sleep, and awhole new dynamic of the house.. all this adding more stress. It was not easy at times. but we knew we had to and could do it

 6 1/2 years and 3 kids later and I look at my husband and I feel so lucky. I have seen him grow so much as a husband and a father. I am so proud of him and all he does.. for going to work every day to provide a pay check in order for us to live, working 2 jobs even once. I'm proud of the hard work he puts into h
is work, he doesn't just show up, he goes above and beyond and gives it his all, and it shows.  A father: I'm proud to see him with the kids.. He may not know this, but his patience is growing and I see the nurturing side of him coming out more then it ever has.  He is there for them. He bring out the silliness for them but can get serious too when needed. I'm proud!  As a husband: he lifts me up. As a couple we have learned the right way to fight, that when you fight it isn't a free for all- you don't try to hurt each others feeling and put them down, I'm lucky to have a husband that knows this and respects me, even when angry at me. He says he's sorry when it's needed: such a simple act but it does and means so much!   I can always count on him being here for me. 
I am so thankful that we both changed in the same ways, we changed together rather then growing apart because of the chaos.

I prayed for him before I even knew him. I knew God had a plan for me, I really had no idea what the plan was and was ready to accept it, no matter what that may may have been..but then I found him and knew right away Matt was God's plan for me.

Sometimes life is a struggle, other times it's easy and fun; but it's my life and it's with my husband and my three beautiful children and I am so unbelievably blessed by God

There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company
than a good marriage.
~ Martin Luther ~