Friday, February 27, 2009

Favorite Foto Friday

This picture was taken in 1997, obviously on our wedding day. These two sweet little girls are my nieces. Morgan, on the left, and Ashley, standing on the right. I remember vividly that Morgan was asking me about her duties as flower girl once again and Ashley was admiring my bouquet. It was a truly wonderful day...marrying this amazing man of God and beginning a life together. It was such a special day - I can't remember a time since then that all of the people that I love have been gathered in one place. Oh, how I love these ladies...who have since grown into beautiful young women. Our littlest niece, Paige, was also a flower girl in our wedding - boy, was she ever adorable! She was just two years old at the time...she was more interested in sitting on her mom's lap between photos. (grin) Such sweet memories.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Quote of the Day

The rush of lunch had come and gone, and the little boys (Luke, Caleb, & Matthew) were sleeping soundly in their cribs. How I love naptime! Sam and I were enjoying our new game, Candy Land Bingo. We were chatting as we played and the subject of breakfast cereal came up - don't ask me how, I can't recall. Sam is not much of a breakfast eater...I asked him why he didn't eat cereal. He answered in a very serious voice, "I don't know, Mom. I guess it's just not part of my diet." {grin} I am not really sure why, but this tickled my funny bone. I guess it's because he is mine and I am his mom.
Sam chose this picture, by the way. Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

With the Addition of Each Child...

I have become more rude. Before I had children, I was thoughtful. I spent lots of time at the local card store, scouring the aisles looking for the perfect verse to encourage, uplift, thank, or celebrate an accomplishment of my family members and friends. I searched high and low for just the right gift for weddings, birthdays, and baby showers. I sent a thank you note for every kind act received - I probably even sent a thank for note in order to express my gratitude for a thank you note I had gotten. I was thoughtful.
When Sam was born, we were showered with generous gifts from our family and our church family. I remember weeping as I wrote over 70 notes to thank these kind people for their generosity to our little family. Sweet memories.
When Luke arrived two and a half years later, we were once again showered with generous gifts and yummy meals. It's overwhelming to be loved that extravagantly. It took a few months, but I eventually wrote the "thank you" notes.
Fast forward twenty months later, when the twins arrived. We not only received yummy meals and generous gifts that came two by two, but also help with moving. We moved to a bigger home just weeks after Caleb and Matthew arrived. I was recovering from a c-section and lack of sleep. I was helpless in many ways. I was unable to lift boxes, I was busy nursing little babies, I was recovering from the flu. ugh. I have never felt more vulnerable in my life. I don't like to be needy. I love the thought of living in "community" with my brothers and sisters in Christ. I love to help take care of their children, prepare meals for them, pray for them, support them...but, I am not very good at receiving that. One wise friend encouraged me to "Say thank you and then shut up." {grin}
Our friends, some of Brad's students from the seminary, and even people I had never met came to help us move. Some kind women even packed the remaining items in my kitchen and the contents of the cabinet under our sink (aka the "black hole" in my house - everything that doesn't have an obvious home ends up there)! It was humbling and the most generous act of love I have ever received.
I have never been more thankful to be loved, to be part of a community of believers, to be numbered among God's children. I saw God carry our family once again. I was so overwhelmed by gratitude. So overwhelmed that I didn't send one thank you note. Not a single stinkin' note. There simply wasn't time...unpacking, chasing children, feeding children, doing laundry, bathing children, and trying to get dressed before noon. Now, I feel like there is enough "space" in my daily routine that I have a few moments to begin to write some notes. However, I am too embarrassed now. It's been over a year ago! What would Emily Post say about such behavior? {grin}
So, I have never been more thankful or more rude. What a combination.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Favorite Foto Friday

Sweet little Luke with his Easter basket goodies. He was just shy of one year old and sweet as could be.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"Your Life Is Crazy, Mom."

The blog has been neglected lately. My "real" life has gotten in the way of my "cyber" life, just as it should be. I am always blogging about how hectic the pace of life around here is...and it's only amplified when something unusual happens. Late last week, it was a change in our normal schedule that brought even more than the usual chaos into our happy little home. {grin}

Brad was out three nights in a row last week (Thursday, Friday, Saturday). This is so unusual for us. He was helping his former employer (boat dealership where he worked until his teaching fellowship began) during the annual boat show in downtown Lexington. Brad shares a great relationship with his former boss and his co-workers...and he loves boats! So, while he was earning a little extra cash for the Tribe, I was at home. ALONE. WITH. THE. BOYS. Please don't misunderstand, I love the little men and we spend lots of time alone together. {grin} Three long days followed by three dinners, two nights of baths, and three bedtime routines to do's a little much. I have such a greater appreciation for all that Brad does around here after he is gone...sigh. I also think God uses these times of "single parenting" to remind me to be mindful of my friends who truly are parenting children without help of any kind. I need to be offering help to them - even just a trip to shop alone for groceries or get a hair cut is a much-needed break. I digress...back to my "crazy life."

Let me try to paint the picture for you...we had just finished dinner and I was cleaning up the high chairs (totally disgusting) and removing a layer of food/grime from the boy's cute little faces. Sam and Luke were chasing one another around the kitchen pretending to be pirates and making all of the noise that goes along with that. "ARGGHH! YOU'RE WALKIN' THE PLANK!" Caleb is a child given to extremes -when he is happy, he is so very happy! When he in unhappy, he is attached to my pantleg howling loudly. The pirate boys were loud, but Caleb was unhappy...and much louder. {sigh} Matthew, the mellow one, was protesting at having his face washed - or maybe the loud noises were too much for him. Did I mention it was loud? Surprisingly, our home isn't often very loud...and I like it that way. Peace is a good thing. Again, I digress.

I needed to get the little one's dressed for bed (they had a bath earlier in the afternoon, following a major diaper blow-out incident that left me calling on The Lord for help), so I moved the mess into the living room where I had laid out the pj's earlier. The loud noises continued. Caleb was still unhappy - and very vocal about it...and still attached to my leg. Sam and Luke were now "space men" and were "blasting off into space in...5...4...3...2...1." So, babies were crying and rockets were blasting and the phone was ringing. It was nutty! Sam brought his rocket ship to a halt, looked seriously at me and said, "Your life is crazy, Mom."

You can say that again, Sam. I am glad you noticed. {grin}

Friday, February 6, 2009

Favorite Foto Friday

Caleb (left) and Matthew (right) shared a crib until they were nearly 8 months old. Caleb was beginning to be a "fiesty" sleeper and kept waking Matthew before he was ready to wake up. It was a necessary move, but one that proved to be difficult for Matthew. The first night in his own crib, he cried and cried - very unlike him. I put him in the crib with Caleb and he went right to sleep. We began to transition them into their own cribs and nap times and then, eventually at night. So sweet to see how strong their "brotherly bond" is. Twins really do have a unique relationship. We are so blessed to see it lived out in these two little men. I love this picture of them. They are 8 weeks old. They were always touching one another and snuggling up as they slept. Matthew was a thumb sucker, and would often find Caleb's hand to suck on. Such cuties!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Riding the Emotional Rollercoaster of Motherhood

Today began really early. I made my way to the kitchen at 6:20 and eventually found the coffee maker brewing a fresh cup for me...what a sweet man I live with. :) As I began to drink in the yummy goodness...Brad came to the kitchen to find me drinking the coffee he had brewed for himself. oops. It was early and my judgement was impaired by my lack of sleep the night before (Matthew and Caleb are teething -whopping molars that are so painful).

So, after my cup of coffee and a stimulating conversation with Sam...I made my way to the kitchen to unload and reload the dishwasher. We had dinner guests the last night (a total of 11 people around our table - so fun!)and I ran out of steam before the kitchen was entirely clean. Caleb and Matthew ate breakfast as I swept and sang along with the worship music bellowing from my Ipod. I was feeling good about my good that I decided to be bold in my mothering today. I have been praying that I would be a "fun" mom who does creative things with her kids instead of working so hard to maintain "order" in my home and avoid big messes. Heck, who am I kidding? I spend most of my day cleaning up, wiping up, and picking up anyway...what's another mess? Especially when it's all done in the name of creative play.

So, I looked through the pantry and found a bag of rice. I got a cookie sheet for Sam and one for Luke and piled some rice on them. They spent the next 90 minutes creating roads for their cars, burying cars in rice, filling cups with rice and then pouring in out - pretending it was snow, and on and on. They had a really good time. I started to get a little anxious as rice was being spilled onto the seems as if I sweep the floor non-stop as it is. Then, I just decided I was being a control freak, up-tight, no-fun mom. I put the broom down and PLAYED with my boys. We laughed and had a great time together. When the fun was over (when Luke started to throw it into the air while yelling "whee"), I swept the floor. I put the remaining rice into a bag for our next rice adventure. I was feeling good about things. At this rate, I could be appearing on the next issue of "Family Fun" magazine. {giggle}

We enjoyed a yummy lunch together and even some appropriate conversation (totally avoiding "bathroom humor"). Everyone (except Sam who doesn't nap anymore) went down for a nap quite peacefully. Things were going well...and then Sam was invited to his friend's house (our neighbor) to play. Could it really be possible that I was about to have an entire hour all to myself? This day just kept getting better! {grin} I was almost giddy at the thought of reading a book after cleaning my bathroom. I finished my work and just as I sat down on the couch...Matthew began to cry. I waited to see if he would go back to sleep...but, no luck. It was one of those "OUCH - I am really uncomfortable" sort of cries. So, I went to rescue him. I had hoped that he would drift off again after a little comforting. No such luck. Just a few minutes later, Caleb began to cry. ugh. This had to be some sort of a bad joke! Both boys proceeded to cry and cry for nearly 15 minutes. They are rarely this upset - and certainly never at the same time. It was stressful, to say the least. After much prayer, rocking, singing, and whispering comforting words into their little ears..everyone settled down and we were able to play and have fun again. Whew.

So, this day was a good one and a challenging one, as well. My emotions were all over the place - highs and lows in such a short amount of time. Thank God that He is faithful, forgiving, constant, unchanging, forever-loving, all-knowing, and concerned with me and the smallest of issues in my daily life. I can't imagine being on this roller coaster without Him. Now, I need some chocolate.