Month: February 2011

Perhaps a career in fashion?

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(Believe it or not it was all his idea.)

(Thankfully my sister had a second suit otherwise she’d be wearing Caleb’s Thomas the Train swim trunks.)

(Angel said, “Mama, Caleb has a hole in his suit and you can see his butt.”)

Everyone needs a little sunshine

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Considering we’ve been without Daddy, it’s been a really good week.  Angel always struggles when our routine gets disrupted and so she hasn’t been sleeping well. Daddy came home today though and so hopefully life can get back to a little bit of normal.

I cried in the airport when Daddy came through the doors. Not because I was happy to see him (although I was) but because the kiddos screamed “DADDY” and ran to him to give hugs. They were so excited and it brought my heart so much joy. And then Daddy pulled out a stuffed monkey for each of them. The kind that has velcro on the hands and feet and can wrap around and hug. It’ll be a few days before they come down from their happy high.

It was so nice having my mom with us this week. Pat’s mom made sure we knew that she was always available if we needed help with anything too. I love my moms so much and I know I’d be an even bigger basket case if I didn’t have them. 

Mom, the kids and I went out for lunch on Wednesday to a semi-fancy restaurant. The kids were so well-behaved, the food was amazing and the wait staff was so friendly, even though we might have looked a little out of place with our casual attire and messy toddlers. After lunch we went to Oh My Cupcakes and enjoyed gourmet cupcakes. Angel dropped hers and my mom was going to buy another one but the cashier (owner?) wouldn’t let mom pay for it. It was nice to have someone understand the wobbly hands of a 3-year-old.

Today before we picked up Daddy we stopped at a grocery store – Sunshine – to pick up some groceries. I dreaded going because the kids were tired and really missing daddy but the store had some amazing sales that ended today. It didn’t start out good as they didn’t have kiddie carts and Caleb fought and fought me not to have to sit in the front of the cart. Finally I told him he could walk but he was so upset it took forever to get him settled down. Don’t judge for giving in, he’s so strong I couldn’t physically get him to sit in the cart, plus I had hurt my back earlier today. I was picking my battles.  Anyway, when he finally settled down to be able to walk every time I would stop to put something in the cart he would freak out because we weren’t walking.  Oh my word.

I surprisingly kept my patience (barely) even as both of the kids continued to whimper and cry. I tried to bribe them with cheese as that usually works but even that wasn’t making Caleb happy.  Just about then a Sunshine worker came over with balloons for the kids.  I almost kissed that poor girl I was so thankful for a little distraction. The balloons did the trick for about 42 seconds and then Caleb had to go to the bathroom.  The balloon lady had made a mad dash so I found the next worker I could, a nice elderly gentlemen and he helped us find the restroom which was located way in the back of the store’s back room.  He said, “We’ll watch your cart for you ma’am.”  How sweet.

After our potty break  Caleb seemed to be a little happier and wanted to hold on to his balloon. (I had tied them to the cart.) I told him to not let go and he grinned at me. He was hanging on to his balloon just looking at his hands and chuckling like Beavis and Butthead. “Hee hee. Hee hee,” he’d say and I’d warn him to not let go. Well guess what he did.

I wasn’t even going to worry about it and started to walk away when another Sunshine shopper came over and said, “I’ll lift your little girl up and she can reach the balloon.” Well neither Angel or Caleb wanted anything to do with this stranger of a man (good job kids!), but still it was awfully nice of him to offer. We were out of luck, bye bye balloon, hello Caleb breakdown.  Just then two workers came over, one with a cart and one with a broom. The broom guy tried pulling it down, with no luck. Then the cart guy climbed onto the wobbly cart and was able to reach the balloon (and just about fell and broke his neck). Just in time for another Sunshine worker to walk around the corner with a ladder.

Seriously, it was like a circus. A really nice, helpful, make this mama’s day circus.

I can’t tell you enough how much I love nice people. Well, obviously, right?  But it’s one thing to be nice to people you know,  it’s another to be nice to complete strangers with really loud crying babies.

Last week we went out to eat at Pizza Ranch and across from us was a couple. As they got up to leave they said, “Your kids are really well-behaved.”  I just about choked on my chicken salad but said thank you even though the kiddos had been loud and I wanted to ask if they were crazy. But both Pat and I were so encouraged for someone to say that to us. 

I think it’s our biggest struggle in life – going out in the public with the kids. I know it’s the most exhausting thing about our life.  And when someone takes the time to be kind, encourages us or is helpful it is such a breath of fresh air.

So I’m shopping at Sunshine from now on.  And I’m so thankful for all the sunshine makers in my life lately, both family and complete strangers. And I’m going to start looking for more opportunities to bring a little sunshine into someone else’s life.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Colossians 3:12

On being a mom

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A blog I read, Storing Up Treasures, recently wrote this post on motherhood. It really hit home for me.  After many years of infertility, sometimes it’s hard to say that this mom stuff is really hard and that alot of days it’s no fun.  Because I wouldn’t want anyone to think I’m not thankful or don’t love my kids more than anything.  I am thankful and do love my kids more than anything, but that doesn’t change the fact that being a mom is hard.

I so appreciate that she brings us to Jesus.  For me, it’s my time with the Lord the past few weeks that has kept me sane. Even thought it’s probably only been 10 minutes a day of “quiet time”, it’s been that respite I’ve needed to fill me up.  When I don’t take that time (like today), I’m an impatient, crabby, awful mess of a mom.  Ok, well even when I do have my quiet time I can be an impatient, crabby, awful mess but it seems alot less of a mess when I start my morning with Jesus.

If you’re a mom, take a few minutes to read her post. I hope you’ll be encouraged.  And remember today that you’re right where you should be.

Have a blessed weekend!

My boyfriend came to town

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(Disclaimer: the title of this post is completely inappropriate but I couldn’t help myself.)

Do you remember when I mentioned that I love Chris Tomlin? No? You blocked that post out of your memory?

Well in case I haven’t mentioned it, I love Chris Tomlin.  And Chris Tomlin came to town last week.

When our local radio station announced the concert last fall I was SO excited and planned a date with my mom, sister-in-law Leana and my good friend Liz.  We bought tickets early and were able to get great seats – 8th row!

The radio station gave away 1000 chocolate bars and five of them had golden tickets to meet Chris after the concert. Unfortunately none of us won.  But we sure did enjoy the chocolate.  My friend Liz didn’t want hers and so she gave it to me. I won’t tell you if I ate it though. That doesn’t really seem relevant to this post.

What does relevancy have to do with anything I write about?

Don’t answer that.

Here’s the four of us:

And here’s my boyfriend, my best bud, a complete stranger who doesn’t know or care that I exist Chris Tomlin…

So this post was supposed to be all spiritual and I wanted to share how Chris Tomlin and Louie Giglio gave an amazing concert and message and how God spoke SO loudly to my heart and I was SO encouraged. But I guess the reference to the ice cream singing post and the whole boyfriend thing kinda knocked the spirituality right out of it.

But the concert was amazing.  And God did speak loudly through Chris’s music and Louie’s message. I sang loud and I probably sang off-key and I cried and lifted my hands as high I could and I jumped and danced attempted to jump and dance and and I was so encouraged.

My chains are gone.

I think I forget.  I forget that my job as a mom is not to catch my kids doing stuff wrong and worry constantly about making sure they are doing things right and keep a clean house and get the laundry done. Sure that’s part of it. But my job as a mom is to help my kids fall in love with Jesus. To tell them about this Jesus that rescued me from a pit of despair. To remind them of our amazing Heavenly Father who loves us with an everlasting love and who will never leave them or forsake them.

My chains are gone.

The thoughts in my head that I’m a failure and that I suck at being a mom and wife and human being in general – they are lies.

My chains are gone.

I was so refreshed and renewed. There were times that I felt like it was just me and Jesus and as tears streamed down my face He breathed His strength and hope and peace into me.  Through Him I don’t have to face each day with frustration and despair and overwhelmtion. Sure, days are hard. And I fail a hundred times a day. And my kids drive me bonkers most days. But I am SO blessed. Even without my husband and kids and family and amazing life – I am BLESSED beyond measure because the Creator of the universe LOVES ME.

During the concert I thought back to September, 2003 and remembered that I knelt to the ground, sobbed uncontrollably and recommitted my life to Jesus. This Jesus, who unconditionally loves me and loved me and brought healing and hope to my life, He’s still there with me every single day.  How do I forget? How can I possibly let a day or hour or minute go by and not think about the great, amazing love of Jesus?

I don’t know how or why I forget.  But thankfully Jesus is faithful and true and loves me still the same.

My chains are gone.

And that my friends, makes my heart want to sing!

p.s. This is my new favorite song. And my mom totally went up to the mosh pit with all the other “crazies” during the encore performance of this song.