Monday, May 24, 2010

first day, last day

k and b are done with their first year of preschool...hard to believe. here they are on the first day:





and last:





their hair and bookbags both grew. happy beginning of summer!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

jonah and the whale

i love family dinners on school days. the girls always have a lot to tell daddy about their day at school and all they learned. the latest from kennedy:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

picture catch-up

i've been bad not only about taking pictures lately, but transferring them to my computer as well. and while we're on this topic, does anyone know how i can make them show up bigger on my blog? i finally did it, so here's some catching up on our past few weeks through pictures...

k and b at their class party:



mother's day at my mom's:


we set up a slip-n-slide type thing in the back yard


licking the water off her face


kole freezing


laney


just had to

i hosted a baby shower for my friend teri. it was a small girls' dinner party with friends from college, and i loved having a small group for more intimate conversation:


my friend kelly let me borrow her stuff to create an egg and nest theme. she was an interior designer before becoming a stay-at-home mom, and has way better taste than me, so i love borrowing her ideas. (thanks k!)


see if you can spot the mud in our backyard in the back ground of this picture. more to come on that project.


4 of the 6 of us are pregnant. 3 know the sex and are all having boys. think i'll join them?!

i know summer's here because our living room floor has turned into a swimming pool. k and b put their "gobbles" on and swim on the rug...



then take an "underwater nap"...



does this picture make anyone else want to cry? my babies are growing up. we had to move them to booster seats to make room for another car seat in my car. they were big enough, and it's much easier, but i almost cry every time i look back and see a real seat belt instead of a britax keeping my girls safe. i'm not ready for them to turn 4:



and to end on, the ever-growing, humongous belly. this was taken at 10 weeks, but quite honestly i think this picture makes it look smaller than it is:



and coach's surgery went really well yesterday, so thanks for your prayers!

Monday, May 17, 2010

good read

this weekend was pretty low key. brett and i had a movie night after we put the kids to bed friday night, then had our nephew riley's t-ball game and niece ansley's birthday party saturday. i forgot my camera AGAIN, which seems to happen at every event since i got the thing. maybe i subconsciously feel silly pulling out the humongous machine and keep waiting for people to call picture man over and pose when i've got it (georgia friends, does he still exist? i'd hate to know how much money i gave him over the years). sunday was lunch with my mom and coach, then a day of lounging at home and reading with the fans on and windows open...perfect, and just what my soul needed to remember how very much i love my home and the 3 people living in it with me, and all of the blessings i've wanted to ignore lately. speaking of coach (that's my stepdad for those of you who don't know. it's coach because he's my high school's football coach, but he and my mom married when i was in college. coach stuck, and has now become grandcoach), please pray for him if you think of it. he was diagnosed with prostate cancer a few months ago and is having surgery tomorrow. they caught it early, so hopefully will be able to remove it all. we'll be spending the day at st. joseph's with he and my mom, so any prayers you can send his way for a successful surgery and recovery would be appreciated.

on another note, my friend keri, who was a friend/acquaintance in college, but who i've now realized through blog land i think a lot like (and if we saw each other in person might never stop talking), posted this as a comment to my last post, and i loved it and wanted to share. the writer put what i've been feeling so well, and i loved the reminder of how fleeting this time is (and of course cried over the thought of looking in my rear view mirror and not seeing their little heads). my latest thought of k and b being a fourth of the way to driving is killing me...

from proverbs31devotions.blogspot.com:

The Dailyness
Ariel Allison Lawhon, She Reads Co-Director

"Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway." Proverbs 8:34 (NIV)

Life wouldn't be so hard if it wasn't so daily. As I sit here surrounded by laundry and dishes piled high in the sink, I see more than ever how life wears us down one day at a time.

Crumbs litter the floor and dirty smudges cover the windows. And I have yet to discover where that smell is coming from. For this mother of four, a simple trip to the grocery store requires an act of God and Congress – attempted only when we are down to powdered milk and Ramen noodles. Not thirty minutes ago a little one-year-old boy clung to my legs, belting out that scream - you know the one, bats can hear it. And I felt my coping skills slipping away. Not because he was crying but because he cries every day.

The daily-ness.

The job of motherhood feels so vast, and frightening, and unending. I am called to raise these children in the fear and admonition of the Lord and yet there are days that I can't seem to get out of my pajamas much less lead them in a time of prayer. I think anyone could endure the temper tantrums of a small child or the rebellion of a teenager or the constant needs of another if they lasted just one day. But the truth is that these things are the stuff of daily life. And when I am honest with myself, they grind down the rough edges of this woman. Because parenting can not be all about me when diapers must be changed, noses wiped and beds made.

In those moments I force myself to take a deep breath and thank God for this season of life. These children. The privilege of wiping noses and bottoms and countertops. A privilege many women would love to have, but don't. I remind myself that the days are long but the years are short. And one day I will look in the rear-view mirror and see empty seats. The cup that is overflowing right now will slowly drain. The stretch marks will fade. And I will find that a new set of daily struggles has overtaken me. When that day comes I will find the strength to face them as well because God gives the grace, daily.

The daily-ness.

As C.S. Lewis once said, "The thing is to rely on God… Meanwhile, the trouble is that relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing has yet been done."

Your daily-ness is probably different than mine, but it is nonetheless God-ordained. It is exactly what we need to live dependent on His grace instead of our own strength. The One who knows us best, who knit us together in our mother's womb, has allotted these days that are equal parts trial and triumph. And He knows that we will see Him most clearly from a place of dependence.

So today I embrace the normal things. The daily things. Another round of laundry. The ring in my toilet. The dust on my dresser so thick a child could write his name. But even more than that I want to celebrate the important things. A child slowly learning to read. A husband that finds his comfort in my arms. A baby who learns to walk and talk. Because all these are the things of life: some mundane and some holy. And all of them must be received daily.

Dear Lord, sometimes daily life is just hard. And we're tired. And overwhelmed. But You promised to be our strength and our hope and our comfort. So today we look to You for what we need. Would You meet us in this, our daily-ness, and help us receive Your grace? In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

bored

nothing new here, so i don't really know why i'm writing. i think i'm bored and attempting to sort out my thoughts, and writing is how i do it. and i wanted you to know i'm not in a pit of depression (since you know i have those tendencies) :). to be honest with you, life is a little boring right now. does anybody else feel like the past 4 weeks have lasted 6 years? i feel like i've been pregnant for 12 years already. how am i only 10 1/2 weeks?! it's one of those times...and i go through it every 6 months or so, where i say "what's the point of life?". not in a suicidal sense. more like ecclesiastes. every once in awhile, life just feels boring and mundane. every day of being a mom convinces me that it's the hardest job on the planet, and i've never felt so exhausted in my life as over these past 4 years, and especially these past few pregnant weeks. do other moms ever feel like you'll never survive long enough to raise your kids and send them off? 18 years seems like sooooo looooooong. then i cry thinking about how k and b have grown up so fast.

i wanted to be a mom because i thought it suited the things i like to do. have i told yall this before? i thought it would be so fun to stay at home all day and get to go to the gym when i wanted to and watch tv when i wanted to and read magazines while they frolicked about the house. basically it catered well to me. i forgot i would produce sinful little people who i would have to discipline all.day.long. today's just been one of those days. i feel like i try to make every day so fun, but somehow the attitude of little miss turns south each and every time. how many times can you discipline each day before you just give up and say "turn out how you want to?!". because that's what i want to yell some days. and that's all by 10 in the morning. how can one little kid's will be so hard to break? yes, i'm talking about you-know-who, and i know yall are sick of hearing about her, but i can't tell her that i'm about to go crazy and i'm pretty sure my family and friends are sick of hearing about how at a loss i am or how to stop the all day battles. i try to tell her i'm sick so she'll feel sorry for me, but i think her capacity for empathy is a negative 5. it's been so constant today that kennedy asked me this morning if i was ever going to leave blakely. it broke my heart to think that she would actually ever worry about that. i guess she sensed the exhaustion.

being sick has slowed life down a lot, and made for an unusual amount of time at home. going anywhere with k and b in tow sounds exhausting right now, but it's been good to find creative ways to fill the time. i hate using the term "fill the time", but i kind of feel like that's what i'm doing. it just goes along with life's monotany right now. i know i'm being a debbie downer and not focusing on my many blessings. i'll get to that in a few days i'm sure; this is just where i am right now. this whole monologue is not to complain or make you feel sorry for me. i know most people have it waaaaaay worse than me. no comparison. my whole point is to share with you (or maybe moreso with myself) the depths of my sin and the way i struggle in trying to live life abundantly. i know the truth of my blessings and i know that if i lived out of that truth, i would be so happy you couldn't stand to be around me. you would beg me to find a problem to have. but why do i get so bored when i'm living my "dream life"? i've talked before about my previous medicating strategies, and how they've gotten me through life without having to face real issues, and i think i'm just still dealing with those. i'm bored with everything that's normally fun. tv is trash and pretty much anything on is inappropriate to have on with k and b in the room (and i can only take so much sid and super why), shopping is pointless with my ridiculously large and ever-growing belly, i can only come up with so many crafts to entertain k and b, cooking makes me sick, and i don't have the energy to hang out with people. i do this to myself, where i crawl in a hole when i'm tired because it seems to take so much energy to have a conversation, and isolate myself from the world. i know i need to run to the lord and ask him to fill me (always the last resort after all of my medicating strategies fail. ha!), but i'm just not at a point of brokenness. i keep sitting down to try and talk to and connect with god, and it's just not happening. obviously my deal and not his, and i know he just wants me to sit for awhile and see my sin long enough to feel sorry for it, then look to him and see how very much he loves me and forgives me. but i'm ok with mediocracy right now and i hate that. i don't want to take the mental energy to think about what's hiding in the depths of my heart. part of monotany for me is also not struggling with the typical "big sins". when i'm apathetic, i don't really struggle with the usual materialism or gossip or vanity because i just don't really care that much about anything. that makes it easy to not see how dirty my heart is and fail to still see the little minute by minute sins i hide in my heart. repentance doesn't seem as necessary, but in not seeing my sin, i'm not seeing my need for the gospel (i.e. a savior). but when the gospel has been revealed to you, and you've experienced the riches of it, living life without feeling it's power leaves a pretty obvious void. i know it won't last forever and soon i'll be sick of it and to a point of desperation, but for now i'm just living each day to get through it. i'm not really living my life, and i know it because i have no life to breathe into anybody else. i'm bored and i'm boring, but i'm a performer and want to be something to people to feel loved, and since i don't have anything to give i stay alone. the real miracle in all of this is i don't feel depressed. even in that, i can see god's work in my life. i know depression fully, and it's not the same as feeling bored and lifeless. the depression thing has been a huge picture of god's faithfulness to me because i went off of my lexapro as soon as i found out i was pregnant because i didn't feel safe feeding it to my fetus. i was a raging bitch (very sorry for the language, but there's no sweet way to put it) for 2 weeks...seriously, if you would have seen how snappy i was to brett and k and b you would disown me as your friend or family member...but once my angry phase was over, i've done really, really well without it, and felt normal again. i've been scared of coming off of it since i started it, so it's a huge relief to know i can function without meds. i'm starting to pray now that i don't experience post-partum depression again after this little one is born and can be off of it forever.

so i just re-read all of this and these are the most random thoughts and nothing really seems to have a point. goes along with how i feel about life right now :) sometimes even i think i'm weird for the things i share on this blog, but if i'm going to tell you about the fun i have with my cute little family, you'll never have a complete picture of what life in our home really looks like if i don't share the thoughts that aren't so fun to hear about. i know i incriminate myself with some of the things i say and set myself up for criticism and a reputation as miss negative, but i don't want to pretend like my life is something it's not. i did that for way too many (exhausting) years. hiding makes me tired. i'm a deep thinker by nature (atleast that's what i always show up as on those personality tests), so if reading my thoughts wear you out, imagine having to think them (and i only share a fraction of them) ;) sometimes i wish this blog was anonymous so i could avoid the reputation i set myself up for.

since i'm queen of random thoughts today, has anyone else ever read the book "love you forever" to your kids without crying? pregnant? oh my gosh, i was a mess this morning reading that to k and b. they thought my sobbing was hilarious, but that book gets me every time. even after an hour long battle (including 3 spankings, time alone in her room, and what seemed like hours of talking) i had with b trying to get her to break and repent for something she said to me. how can you love your kids so much even when they drive you crazy?! if you don't have the book, you've got to get it.

the good news now is i feel better. writing is so therapeutic for me, and i knew i was blah but didn't really know what i was thinking. thanks for listening and being my therapist ;)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

spring mini sessions

my friend katie, who took our family pictures this past fall...



...is offering mini-sessions once again! this is a great way to have your family's picture taken on a budget, and i was thrilled with the way our pictures turned out, despite trouble from you-know-who (you can read about our trying day here) :) katie is talented and patient and easy to work with...check out her post on the mini-sessions here; there are only 5 slots remaining.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

ultrasound day

we had our ultrasound this morning, and have good news: it's only one, everything is healthy and growing, and we saw and heard the heartbeat (and the doctor didn't cut the baby out of my tummy like blakely thought he was going to do today). he/she was kicking his little legs and was pretty active through the whole thing, so i think we may have another wild child on our hands. not sure if that's normal at 9 weeks? i can't remember from k and b. it was so nice to see a nice, normal ultrasound, with one (healthy) baby. thanks for your prayers! our due date is december 5th, so i've got quite a while to go...i'm 9 weeks, 3 days. my next appointment and ultrasound is may 26th, and we reeeeaaaallly hope we can tell what it is then (because there's no way we're the type who can wait to find out). if we had to guess today, we're guessing boy because i'm not as sick as with k and b and hate sweets and crave salty and savory foods, but who knows. that's what we're praying for (i think that's politically incorrect to say, but you probably guessed since we have 2 girls), but obviously want a healthy little babe come december whatever it may be.
hope your week has been good so far!