Friday, November 22, 2013

Elizabeth’s mid year update


(1st bus ride on the way to her 1st time at the State Fair-Sept. 2013)

I was going to title this “Elizabeth’s 15 month update” but as of today she’s 17 months old. Um, that’s not going to win me mom of the year, but maybe just maybe, acting like a fool day in and day out with her playing with toys just might. At least in her mind;)

Elizabeth is seriously hilarious. This kid has me in stitches day in and day out. Her latest thing is “helping” clean. She pushes around her mini swiffer and loves to pull out wipes and wipe down any surface that is nearby. She did not get this from me. At least I don’t think so. But she does do it so frequently that she must have. She’ll drool all over the floor and then run to find a wipe to clean it up. Fine by me.

(*by the way…if anyone has an old swiffer sweeper you can take out two of the bars that make up the handle and it becomes the perfect size broom for littles*)

When she’s not taking over the cleaning duties, you can find her dancing to music, walking throughout our basement holding her picnic basket (and has the bruises to prove it), or stomping her feet on the tabletop that is soon to be her toddler table. I swear she didn’t learn any of this from me, or by that I mean she’s learned all of this from me, her very quirky mother.


(playing outside-October 2013)

Needless to say, I’m amazed at who she’s become since her 1st birthday. She mimics most any word we say to her even though they all kind of sound the same. But she has the intonation down which is just part of the process. She loves to pray and often reminds us at dinnertimes by folding her hands and not eating. I can imagine her in her head being like “seriously, they teach me this and then they forget. hello, it’s time to pray!” Thankfully she’s not saying that yet.

The past few weeks have been a little interesting over here as we wrap up our remodeling project. All four of her incisors are cutting through as we speak and then hopefully 2 year molars will not come in any time soon. Once these four are in, she’ll have 16 teeth. With that mouthful she can eat just about anything with her favorites being: pickles, celery sticks, pretzels, cheese of any kind, rotisserie chicken, dried apricots, popcorn, scrambled eggs, apples, and peanut butter. She eats peanut butter by the spoon. And that she did learn from both of her parents. We’re all obsessed.


(Halloween 2013 - right before trick or treating)

Books have taken a back burner for her, although she does like to page through them from time to time, but that’s fine by me. She’s always ebbed and flowed so I’m sure they’ll be a favorite again. In their place have come puzzles, which she can actually place some pieces in, balls, and driving her cozy coupe outside. Still a rough and tumble girl she’s always game for climbing, tickling, and running outside. My in-laws just got a new dog and I think she was the perfect thing to get Elizabeth past her dog fears. They’re so much fun to watch with each other. She also by her own volition loves girly things like carrying bags and putting on headbands and wearing necklaces. Accessories are her best friend.

I think we have officially moved to one nap after a few weeks of being flexible and now she sleeps from about 12;30-2. Not long but she seems to make up for it at night and has been sleeping from 6:45/7pm-7:45/8am. Yesterday she didn’t wake up until almost 8:30 and we definitely were pacing outside her door:)

I can hardly believe that almost 1/2 of her 2nd year is almost already over. I mentioned to my girlfriends on our weekend away, but I’ll mention it here too, we really feel blessed to spend each and every day with this kid. Seriously, we don’t take the days for granted. Not to make it sound like it’s all bliss, it’s not. There’s times when pulling my hair seems more fun and exasperation is the air we’re breathing, but that’s part of the job. I’m not sure I’ve ever had a job where I’ve loved every minute of it but for me, this one comes pretty darn close.

We’re in the midst of my favorite age range for kiddos and I’m over the moon to sit and have a front row seat to see who she’s going to become. Fascinating. Watching kids learn and grow and develop and become adults. I wouldn’t miss want to miss that and I’m grateful I don’t have to. To be short and sweet, we’re all doing well and taking each day as it comes!


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

my weekend away

Sunday afternoon I walked in our house around 1:30 pm and was greeted my the best thing my eyes had ever seen.

My husband.

I know I’ve loved him more at other times, but for many reasons, Sunday at 1:30 I loved him so much it felt as though my heart might burst. He had given me the greatest treat; a weekend away with my girlfriends and not only that, but he held down the fort with so much finesse it almost baffled me for a minute.

But then it didn’t. Because I was immediately reminded of all his excellent attributes and any misgivings I may have had easily floated away.

But I may have had a moment of slight panic when he sent this picture of our daughter to me on Saturday afternoon:


It. cracked. me up.

What on earth. Apparently the hardest part of the entire weekend was figuring out what she would wear. Next time I think I’ll just lay the clothes out:)

Daddy and his girl had a great weekend at home running to multiple hardware stores, playing, and working around the house. And while they did that, my book club girls and I had a very life giving and encouraging weekend away up north strengthening our friendships and getting to know one another better. I cannot wait until the next time we can get away…

I am so grateful that I was able to go and more importantly I am grateful for cell phone service and texts because it was my first time away from our baby for an entire weekend. And while it wasn’t sad or painful, I couldn’t hide my excitement to be back home and reunite with my two loves.

I’ve said it before on here but there’s just something about coming home that does our little family in every time.

Home will always have my heart.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Devotional from today

Today I had the honor of giving the devotional at our MOMS group at church. I don’t normally do things like that but it was a very encouraging thing for me to do and hopefully my random thoughts encouraged someone. But a friend asked what I shared, so I thought why not just put it here. Because I prefer to write things down I took this up and basically read it word for word with some added fodder and attempted to look up so as not to seem like a horrible public speaker.

So here you go:

My husband and I, after 2 years of marriage, began to think that starting a family would be a good thing. But we didn’t end up having our daughter until our 6th year of marriage so it took us awhile. And the waiting was hard. And something I really struggled with was letting go of the idea of being a parent. I had a fear that we would be childless, or more broadly, that my vision for the future would not be as I imagined. And I had to face that fear.

Our story was kind of unique in that my husband, while he wanted children, he could also could imagine our future without them. And that really scared me. Because I had always wanted to be a mother. In fact, all through college I struggled to find something comparable. Something I’d do until I had children. I remember telling my dad at one point, “but dad I just want to be a mom and be on the PTA.”

But God had a different plan for us. And while we waited I steeped myself in the word and wrestled through the promises and sought to know who God said He was and what that meant for me.

And I found that God is all we need. God is a giver of all good things. God is incredibly good and no evil resides within him. God is not withholding something I want because he is mean, he’s withholding because he has something better. God is our refuge; we can joyfully abide under his wings. God is for us, all the time.

And I sat in Psalm 62 and 63.

“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God, he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times.” Psalm 62:5-8

“I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands” Psalm 63:2-4

And after waiting for 3 ½ years we got pregnant twice and those babies are now at the feet of Jesus. No better place for them to be I’ve come to discern. And soon after those losses, He gave us our Elizabeth. I had realized through the waiting, through the Word, through the tears and unknowns, and through the losses that God was more than enough for everything I was walking through.

More than Enough.

He kept me, encouraged me, held me, loved me, helped me, cared for me, provided what I needed in His word, gave me wisdom from the pulpit to feed my soul, and then He gave us our daughter when we least expected it.

I can still remember the day, after taking a break from medical intervention, when my husband shared that he felt it was time to go back. We were on a year long sabbatical from trying for babies, discerning what the Lord had for us in the future, figuring out how to move forward. And the Lord had just brought me to a place that I knew I would be okay, in Him, if we never had children. My dream, my fear had been surrendered at the feet of Jesus, knowing that whatever He had in store for us was good and better than parenthood. I stood on the ground that God was more than enough and just a few months later He gave us Elizabeth.

It seems when we our given a gift we never even thought possible, the gift has far greater meaning. Like the cross and forgiveness through the blood of Jesus. We call Elizabeth tangible grace when we speak of the Lord’s goodness to us. She’s undeserved favor that we can enjoy with our own two hands.

And we’ve all been given good gifts from the Lord. I’ll assume if you’re here you probably have children. And our children are incredible blessings from the Lord, gifts given, tangible grace. And all good gifts are meant to be enjoyed for our joy and for His glory. It is good to delight in our children.

From a spirit of fear that our future would not be as I thought it would, to fully believing that God was enough even if we never had that dream fulfilled, has given me such freedom to enjoy the gift He has given us in our daughter and helped me in the days and hours when parenting is really hard work.

God, everyday in our parenting, in the struggles, in the pain, in the rejoicing, in the waiting for salvation, in the moments we want to pull our hair out. He is always enough, well more than enough for us.

We can find rest in Him because He alone is our ever present help in time of need, our refuge, our mighty rock. He alone is better than life and He is more than enough for everything that comes our way.