Thursday, September 30, 2010

daddy's day

kennedy and blakely had dad's day today at school.  they were so excited to have their daddy come to school with them for baseball themed crafts, popcorn, and cookies.  i worked one of the craft stations so got to watch all of the action.

speaking of school, their first field trip is next week.  what are the chances that the very first time i've ever had jury duty would be the very same day as the first field trip of their entire lives?!?  i'm so sad and praying that i won't have to go.  it's one of those where you call in the night before, and i don't know what i'll do if i have to miss watching them pet goats and learn about pumpkins and christmas trees.  i like to see their first everything, but i don't think fulton county cares about a mama's sentiments, so it's very possible that brett may be tagging along with all of the women. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

weekend re-cap

not much excitement around our house this weekend, but that's become the way i like it.  i used to feel like a loser when we didn't have plans, but the more i've accepted the fact that i'm a homebody at heart, the more i delight in a weekend with nothing to do.  it was so uneventful that i can't remember what we did friday night, but i know it involved k and b in bed at 7 and me in bed at 9.  saturday night one of our couple friends came over for a (bad) night of football.  the little cheerleaders involved brought us no luck...

and sunday was my favorite kind of day of all...the kind where you realize there's nothing more fun in the world than living with your 3 favorite people and spending the day hanging out and enjoying each other.  we turned our living room into a giant pallet, ate junk for dinner, and rented "alice and the chickmunks".  we were trying to find a movie that was kid-friendly but that brett and i wouldn't be miserable watching, and this seemed to fit the bill.  brett seemed a little more entertained by it than i was (and maybe than k and b were), but i had so much fun watching kennedy and blakely that they were entertainment enough.  they LOVE family time, and i soak it up because i know there will come a day they think we're dorks, and i love that it's their favorite thing in the world right now.  kennedy would laugh so big at things that weren't even funny just because she was so happy to be having a "slumber party", and blakely kept rolling over and hugging me as tight as she could, saying "you love me five thousand and twenty one (the biggest number she could think of).  you love me long as the cottage (how long it takes us to get to st. simons...her version of eternity)".  such sweet little girls.  of course the movie had a lot of singing and dancing, so this tapped into their love of the stage and we ended the night with all of the lights off and the flashlight out so they could have a spotlight on them as they performed for brett and i.  and one little side note...i realized they may be embarrassed by this baby in my belly and i had no idea.  at one point, blakely stopped the performance to say "ladies and gentlemen, my mommy only has a big tummy 'cause it has a baby in it".  random.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

family pictures

we got our family pictures back from my sweet friend katie!  they were meant to be maternity pictures, but i think there's nothing more awkward than posing by yourself, so we included the whole family in most of them.  here are a few of them (and does anyone know why these are huge and the ones from my camera are small?  we have the same camera).  thanks katie!  we love them! (and fyi, katie is offering her mini-sessions again in october, so if you need a picture for christmas cards, check out the info here )

Monday, September 20, 2010

grace upon grace

warning: don't read this post if you find it inappropriate for people to share too much information with people they might not know.  this is not a pretty part of the "life of the lanes", but a part of it just as well...

my depth of thought kind of took a hiatus over the summer.  i've enjoyed mothering kennedy and blakely, and enjoyed being brett's wife, and really relished my roles in this season, and sometimes when things are good, there's just not as much of a felt need to process life and go beyond get up, live the day, go to bed and do it again.  not that this is bad and we should walk around cornering people into deep conversations and being unable to relate to the world at large because we're in a bubble that a lot of people think is just weird.  happy seasons are that...happy.  and from a gracious god.  the past 4 years i might have had more of a chicken-little-the-sky-is-falling attitude about life because it just wasn't easy, and i'm thankful for a season that has felt good and restful...especially with our new little addition coming soon.  but for me, i become complacent easily...both with my relationship with the lord and with people.  i'm thankful to be thinking again because it makes me feel alive, but sometimes i unfortunately learn best through pain.

this summer, in general, i've found it easier than normal to be "good."  i know "good" is a relative term because different people have different struggles, but for me, it means not blowing up easily.  i just sat here for awhile trying to think of a prettier way to put it, but there's really not another way to say it.  i've struggled with anger my whole life.  it's a masculine struggle, and i would much rather say that the thorn in my flesh is materialism or something normal to girls, and while i go through seasons where things like that are more of a struggle than others, i think the biggest thing that keeps me seeing my need for a savior...not just to get me to heaven, but to continually rescue me from anger.  i don't go around getting in bar fights or even giving people dirty looks on the highway.  i care way too much what people think to let the world see that side of me. and it doesn't flare up every day or even every week.  my anger is much more dangerous because it's reserved for those in my very own house and they never know when it's coming.  and it makes me sick.

this weekend brett was out of town camping for a bachelor party.  i really hate being away from him more than i hate most things.  maybe i have weird attachment issues.  it's not that he never gets on my nerves, and it's most definitely not that we never fight, and there are times he might be happy to be gone so i don't tell him AGAIN to pick his freakin stuff up off the floor, but i don't like him being away, even for a weekend.  he's never away from me and k and b except to work (i swear i'm not a slave driver who traps him at our house...he likes us too and likes to be home.  i think :)) so i was really happy for him to get a chance to get away, especially doing something he loves.  i had a baby shower to go to saturday, so i knew i was taking the girls to stay with my mom and coach, then going back there to spend the night saturday night, but i wanted to make the most of friday night.  like i said, this summer has been sortof dry for me spiritually, and over the past 2 weeks, i've been learning a lot and thinking about a lot that i wanted to process.  so i decided that friday night would be a good chance to put kennedy and blakely to bed at 7 and have a few hours to spend reading and journaling.  so back to the anger.

like i said before, this summer was good.  no major life changes (i mean, yeah i'm pregnant, but she hasn't come out yet so she doesn't affect family dynamics), discipline with our kids has proven to work after 4 years of feeling like it might never, brett's business is going well, and i've not really had many low days (meaning feeling depressed).  there has been maybe a hard week here and there over the past few months, but nothing outside of what is probably normal for most people.  since life has been good, and my emotional state has been good, i've managed my sin well on the surface.  for me, anger is exposed during times of stress, which means i was angry with no means to pretend i wasn't for about the first 3 years of kennedy and blakely's lives.  it's well-known to my cyber friends by now that i didn't have the best first few years as a mom.  and anytime i feel out of control, since control is an idol i hold onto so tightly, it brings out anger in me.  on top of not settling well into being a mom, i've dealt with insomnia for 4 1/2 years now.  i need sleep about as much as a newborn.  seriously.  i never had a bedtime when i was little because i put myself to bed, and i was infamous in high school and college to pass out at 10 no matter how much fun everybody else was having.  i like sleep and i need a lot of it, but now without medicine, i can only sleep 3 hours a night.  well, as much as i hate taking medicine, i've found what works, and am able to sleep atleast 8 hours most nights.  i kind of have a formula that i know works for me to be emotionally healthy: adequate sleep, a healthy diet, daily exercise, and a good balance of time with my family, friends, the lord, and alone (i think some might call me high maintenance).  for the majority of the past 4 years, that balance was off, as i'm sure it is for most moms.  actually, most people for that matter.  well, the past few months, i've struck it pretty well, so i've begun to feel pretty self-sufficent (i.e. not much felt need for dependence on the lord).

i was feeling good about my plan to have a mini-retreat friday night.  i think i will earn more of god's love when i'm spending time with him.  no, i haven't fallen into bad theology.  i know in truth that nothing about that statement is true, but there is a felt belief in me as a recovering legalist that i will earn god's favor through working hard for him.  forget the cross and what it's already earned us as heirs, right?  the day was actually pretty good.  kennedy and blakely had school, so i went to my favorite class at the gym, had coffee with a friend before picking them up, came home and did a few loads of laundry and cleaned while they watched cartoons, took them to the pool that afternoon, then came back home so the 3 of us could have a girls' night sitting on the couch, watching hannah montana, and drinking hot chocolate (their favorite evening ritual).  while we were watching tv, they decided they wanted to write on their dry erase boards that my grandmother had just given them the day before.  they brought them to the sofa and i let them (key piece of information).  after all, it's hideous from all the times they puked on it as babies (don't worry if you've sat on it...we've cleaned and sanitized it a million times.  it's just really stained), so i'm not that picky with it, and we figure we'll get a new one when our kids are older, but let our house be lived in while they're little.  anyway, i went to the laundry room to put another load of laundry in, and blakely came in and said "mommy, i accidentally wrote on the couch a little."  and do you know why she was honest with me?  because the me she has seen over the past few months (because the poor kid seriously spills everything) has continually thanked her for being honest and assured her that it was an accident and i knew she didn't mean to, and that it was just stuff anyway.  the me of friday night blew up at her and told her she ruins everything.  she ran away crying and the saddest thing of all is that i didn't care at the time.  all of a sudden, my anger was tapped into and i could justify at the time that someone else had caused the anger in me; not that it was there, and someone living with me would naturally bring it out, but that my sin was okay because someone else made me do it.  and a 4 year old at that.  even as i write this, i can't get over the harshness of my words and the way she cried and the way i didn't care.  instead of comforting her in her tears like you would expect a mother to do for her child, i sent her to her room so she could further feel the weight of how she had screwed up.  i had been wronged and i wanted somebody to pay.  forget the couch is so gross the marker would just add character, or that we could flip the cushions.  it came down to the fact that there was sin in my heart and it was bound to be exposed.  how can my anger be so severe that i can break the heart of someone i would honestly stand in front of a train for?  after i cooled down, i went up to her room and talked to her about the way i had wrongly cast my wrath on her.  i told her that i was frustrated that she wrote on the sofa, but that she was not the one who made me angry...the anger was there and her negligence just brought it out.  when i told her it wasn't her fault and it was mine and i love her more than anyone in this world does we cried together...she with relief that i wasn't mad at her, and me over the ugliness of my sin.  i held her and let her cry and she let me cry and i told her how hopeless i am without god's grace.  it's always sweet to reconcile with my kids, whether it's my sin or theirs that causes the rift.  but every time it's my sin, i just keep thinking over and over "when is their grace going to run out?"  because before i put blakely to bed, i asked her if she forgave me, and her response was "of course mommy."  but how many times do i have to have this talk with my kids about my sin and the way it affects them and the way it shows me my need for a savior before they say "enough with this gospel and grace thing?"  so that's where i am.  i wish i had a pretty bow to put on it to say i learned my lesson and will never snap at my kids again and that they're sharing the gospel with others because of these talks.  but even with the endless well of god's grace for his children, sin still has consequences and still hurts those we love.  i'm still trying to figure all of it out.

so the night ended not with me self-righteously giving my time to the lord, but sitting before a god who knows the depth of the sins hidden in my heart (even when i'm doing well managing them), weeping over the hurt my sin caused my little girl, and receiving forgiveness that is completely undeserved.  yes, i learned a lesson about my constant need for dependence on the lord for anything good to come out of me, but i remembered too that there's a good chance my anger will well up again this coming week, either towards brett or kennedy or blakely.  and god knows it, and he still loves and forgives me...not because i'm good or did good asking for forgiveness this time or felt sorry enough for it...but because the fit coming up was nailed to the cross along with our savior, just like the last one.  i'm just praying to remember that and feel that because the pain of knowing how i hurt blakely and how there was a window of time i didn't care is still fresh and hard to let go of.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

to brettlee

once upon a time, you were a georgia frat boy and i liked your old school royal blue new balances and jacked up tahoe.

i liked the surface, but wasn't easily charmed by your type.

we met, and something in me was drawn to you beyond normal outward attraction.

you dug into the depths of my heart and showed me what was there. you fought through the confusion, anger, and messiness even when i pushed you away and tried to make you run.

i knew you were unlike any other guy i'd ever met.

eight years ago today you asked me to be your wife, and a little over seven years ago we entered into an amazing (and difficult) covenant.

marriage is hard. it hasn't been all bliss by any means, and some days have been harder than others (remember that time we had twins and they cried for a year?).

but all these years later, you continue to wade through the muck of my heart. you've truly loved me in a redeeming way, and i can say without a doubt that it's been the best years of my life.

Monday, September 13, 2010

pregnancy sickness diet plan

i've been meaning to post this for quite awhile now, but just haven't gotten around to writing it all out.  for those of you who have never been pregnant, just remember it because although you may get by with never being sick, there's a good chance you will, and it's miserable.  i have so many pregnant friends right now that i can't really keep count, and i've told many of them i would pass this along.  i've been nowhere nearly as sick this time as with my twin pregnancy, so i don't know if it would do much for you poor souls who throw up multiple times a day, but it may be worth a try.  i lived on french fries and mcdonalds coke when i was pregnant with kennedy and blakely because i couldn't think of eating anything else, so i feel blessed that i've been able to branch out and focus more on nutrition this time.  it's a vital part of pregnancy, and i'm convinced that malnourishment from not being able to keep anything down is part of the reason i developed preeclampsia during my last pregnancy.

the internet is my favorite invention ever because i'm a researcher and am probably on google about 8 times a day to type in random questions: what can i use to clean hardwood floors, what's a good substitute for capers in a recipe, what disease do you have if your neck is stiff?  you name it, i've probably asked google about it, and i love learning new stuff in my quest for information.  anyway, about 2 years ago, i was diagnosed with pre-diabetes and high cholesterol...strange when i'm somewhat of a health freak, but i have a horrible family history.  i think vanity, which originally drove me to eat healthy and begin exercising nearly 10 years ago, ended up saving my health.  i would be way worse off if i hadn't of changed my lifestyle. after my diagnosis, i spent some time researching ways to naturally manage blood sugar issues so i will hopefully never develop diabetes or have to go on medicine.  after becoming pregnant this time, i began to research the causes of nausea in pregnancy, and according to my research, it's a combination of blood sugar swings and hormonal changes.  hormones are obviously inevitable in pregnancy, but my belief was that if i could manage swings in blood sugar, i could manage the nausea, so i combined the two periods of research to come up with a pretty effective plan.  i haven't gotten by with no nausea at all (and it's still here as i mentioned in my last post), but i only threw up on days i got lazy and didn't follow a plan similar to the one outlined below.  the main idea behind it is to eat small high-protein and high-fiber combinations, and to eat atleast every 2 hours.  i know that sounds crazy, and it is SO hard to force food down when you feel like you're about to puke, but i promise if you just push through it and make sure you keep the protein and fiber coming, you will be much better off.  again, for those of you who are keeping nothing down, it may not work.  i don't know if it would have worked for me with a twin pregnancy, but for those of you with nausea and occasional vomiting, it's worth a try.  it's a lot of food and a lot of calories so you're going to gain weight, but that's an important part of pregnancy...not fun but worth protecting a growing fetus.  and the amazing thing is that research has shown that protein is the key factor in preeclampsia prevention, so fighting nausea and toxemia seem to go hand-in-hand.  i'm still dealing with nausea, but i can tell a huge difference in days when my diet is stable and high in protein and fiber.  below is a sample includes plenty of protein, fruits and vegetables (heavier on fruits than veggies because that's so much easier for me to get down), and dairy.  i'm not sure about calories, but in my opinion, as long as you're not getting too many calories from junk while you're pregnant, you need whatever you can get down.  i've worked out pretty hard so far, so i may have needed a little more than normal (not to mention, i think i just require more food than the average girl), and you may need to adjust a little if you're not exercising:

7am: plain greek yogurt mixed with 1 chopped banana and 1/2 cup chopped strawberries

9am: kashi granola bar (i like the crunchy ones), 1 cup chocolate milk (i'm sure regular would be better but it has grossed me out the past 7 months)

11am:  2 hard boiled eggs, 1 kiwi

1pm: salad with 2 cups romaine or spinach, 1/2 cup chickpeas, 1/2 cup corn, 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, 3 ozs. turkey or chicken, whatever dressing you can handle (i think everything tastes weird when i'm pregnant, so i usually have to do some type of simple oil and vinegar)

3pm: handful of almonds, 1/2 mango

5pm: string cheese, apple

7pm: i could give good suggestions...grilled chicken or fish, a baked sweet potato, and steamed vegetables or a salad, but dinner in the beginning was always whatever brett's mom had made us to keep in the freezer or whatever he picked up on his way home from work.  by this time every night i was on the couch.  now it's whatever i cook, which is different every night and usually whatever i know brett likes (and he's a meat and potatoes kind of guy)

9pm: 1 cup chocolate milk, 1/2 cup grapes, 1/2 cup cantaloupe

middle of the night: in the beginning, if i woke up in the middle of the night, i would eat half of a protein bar (i like zone or balance bars because they're free of fake sugars) so i wouldn't wake up as sick.

i know this sounds like a lot of work, but i just try and take one day every week to chop up all of my fruits and vegetables and boil a bunch of eggs.  this makes grabbing food quick and easy, and i'm much more likely to make healthy choices when it's right in front of me and ready.  plus, i've always got healthy stuff ready for kennedy and blakely's breakfast, lunch, or snacks (and i know i'm lucky that they'll eat whatever i do, but most kids will atleast eat fruit).  i had a lot of damage to un-do in them after those first few weeks of pregnancy when they lived on processed food and taco bell.  and obviously, this diet is me being an idealist, but i most definitely haven't followed it perfectly every's just a place to start if you know nothing about nutrition or haven't entertained the idea of trying to manage nausea with diet.  if you don't like any of the foods i wrote out, choose your own; just try and get in atleast 9 fruit and vegetable servings, 2 eggs, 3 servings of dairy, and 100 grams of total protein (all recommendations of the brewer diet for preeclampsia prevention).  also, as long as you're nourishing well, i'm of the school of thought that anything else is game.  i had an aversion to sweets in the beginning, but now a day doesn't go by where i don't eat cheesecake or ice cream or something because that's just part of the fun of pregnancy (i just try to manage portions because knowing you've got to lose the weight doesn't make it as fun to gain).

hope this helps!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

design change

the blog obviously has a new look, and will hopefully make it where everyone can read now.  i've had several people tell me over the past few weeks that they can't read our blog anymore...that it just comes up blank where posts should be and everything else is moved around to weird places...and after doing some research on the template i used, it seems to be a common complaint.  for some reason, the glitch just randomly occurred, and it only affects those using internet explorer 6.0.  anyway, maybe i'll get a custom look going one day, but i built one using blogger's basic template designer for now, so hopefully this one won't mess up.  hope you've had a good weekend!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

my babies are old

guess who started school yesterday? well, maybe not real school, but 4 year old preschool. they'll be going 3 days a week, and though i'm excited for some alone time, something in me was a little sad that they won't be with me every day. not sad enough to not be ready for school to start, but sad. they're just so sweet and funny and i have loved spending every day with them this summer. it's so fun for them to be at the age where dinner conversation last night revolved around them filling brett and i in on their day...what they did, who they played with, what everyone brought for lunch. they really have turned into little people.

k has perfected her fake smile

b shrunk 6 inches for this picture?

i went and got a much-needed hair cut and i'm still trying to get used to it. he kept the length, but wanted to cut it for a center part. i've had the same part since i was 15, so it's a little weird for me. not to mention, my hair grows forward (weird i know, and the reason it's usually in a ponytail), which means a huge swoop good for side-swept bangs but hard for anything else. i know center parts are celebrity-esque, but i'm not exactly a celebrity so unless it gets trained fast, it's moving back.

baby #3 is doing well, but i must say i'm over the nausea. it let up around 18 weeks, but for some reason it's back and here all day long. i do love all of the kicking though. she moves more than kennedy and blakely did from what i can remember, and since there was 2 of them i think she's going to be an active little thing. i scheduled my c-section for december 2nd. our due date is the 5th, and my doctor wanted me to schedule for between 39 and 40 weeks, so we picked the 2nd because it's k and b's half birthday. with my birthday obsession, i also celebrate half birthdays (mine happens to be brett's birthday eve), so it seemed perfect. part of the fear i had in having another girl was that she'll never be part of kennedy and blakely's connection. with a 4 1/2 year age gap i'm sure they'll love and adore her, and she them, but no one can get in on their little world. i thought since they'll always have the same birthday and be celebrated on june 2nd, we could atleast celebrate 3's half birthday so she's not totally left out. now it's just a matter of making it to almost 40 weeks, which i really can't imagine. we had k and b at 34 weeks, so it adds another month and a half to the pregnancy. we reeeeaaaallly don't want another preemie though, so hoping to make it all the way.

hopefully life will slow down enough where i can get back to regular blogging. i've missed writing down memories to share with family and friends and look back on. more updates to come soon (hopefully)!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

cfa gift card

if you didn't sign up for their e-mails when i posted about the trader joe's gift card, plum district has one today for chick-fil-a: $5 for a $10 gift card (again, atlanta area only). not trying to start a deal blog...just wanted to pass it along because it seems to be a fairly new website, but i've already seen gift cards to target, trader joes, and chick-fil-a, so it's worth keeping in the loop on what they have to offer.