Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Musings from a simple Mom

That moment when I lay my head down on my pillow and hope to fall asleep and wash away the tiredness of the day
That moment when the brain starts racing and thinking through every conversation or action of the day. Exhaustion, guilt, regret, feelings of insecurities, and wondering if I'm doing this all right come rushing in at once to my tired mind. In that moment I realize - did I ever once say "i love you" to those wonderful little boys? Did I ever speak of Jesus and his gift to us, or God and his love to us in the entire day of conversations with them? Did I yell at them too much? did I say "no" too much? How do I get my 3 year old to stop repeating his questions a million miles a minute without listening to my answers? How do i get him to understand not to interrupt adult conversation? How do I get my 22 month old to stop imitating everything his older brother does even after I say "no"? Am i doing this all right? Will they be messed up forever?  in that moment I realize how selfish I have been acting towards my husband, how much I expect to be treated a certain way. GUILT - REGRET

Then that moment in voicing all this to my wonderful husband - and he prays - and thanks God for the Grace that is poured out on us! That forgiveness for our mistakes. That unconditional love that I don't deserve. The amazing grace poured out. No matter my failures God is bigger than them! He can redeem my children! I can start fresh tomorrow and moment after moment depend on his strength and patience. I don't have to do it all "right" God is bigger than my efforts. He makes my wrongs, right! He loves me despite my poor parenting and despite my selfishness in my relationship with my husband. And that makes me ready to honor him, to beg Him for help to love my family selflessly, not expecting anything in return. To respond in grace and to have wisdom in handling discipline issues with my children.

And that moment that I fall sleep peacefully on my pillow - trusting a loving, redeeming God to use my life for his praise and glory.
And I thank HIM! I enjoy HIM!
I fail him often and am fighting these feelings and doubts daily - but I enjoy HIM, my Family, and Life!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Our Weekend

We had a great weekend here in Colorado despite the fire that is blazing on and on!
Saturday Richard had set up to go on a date afternoon together and I was PSYCHED! you see, we switch with another family! Once a month we watch their kids and they watch our kids! It's amazing and definitely the way to go - everyone should do it!
We dropped the boys off at their house. Our original plans were to hike "Horsetooth Rock" but due to the fire that trail is closed for now. So then our plans were to go and relax by a pool, but they day was sorta cloudy and windy which doesn't make a for a good "sit-by-the-pool-get-burned-do-nothing" time! But we didn't let that deter us from having a good time! We decided to hike Coyote Ridge nearby! It was a great medium difficulty trail and the view was amazing on top! Beautiful, spacious, mountainous view!
After that we went to a cool mexican restaurant in Old town! We had a great time catching up with each other and getting on the same page. You know - I've talked about this before many times, mainly here. And I truly believe every couple should make effort to do something special together frequently.

Sunday was Father's day! Without sound trite and "doing-what-everyone-else-does" on Father's day! i do want to say that Richard is awesome! His boys adore him!!! He is always selfless, and teaches, directs and mostly just has fun with his boys! I'm blessed beyond words that Richard is my boys' father! Just a little sign of God's Grace to me here on this earth, when i don't deserve it!
We treated him to lots of attention, round of golf, grilling with friends, and as much pie as he wanted! I hope he had a good day! We love you Richard.

Landon is smiling so cute for pictures these days
and Carson - not so much- but thanks for the effort buddy!
I also want to give a little bit of honor to my father! He is very wise and humble! My parents have served faithfully for over 25 years on the mission field to the Ecuadorian people! They have given their lives and comfort-ability to live there, and given up the "right" to be able to see their kids and grandkids - because of their love for these people and to tell them the good News, that Jesus died for them, and help the Ecuadorians learn about this wonderful God from the Bible! My parents have gone through many many difficulties in the years and through it all have shown to their children their humbleness, respect for authority, wisdom, patience, and christ-like Character! My father is the most patient and wise man I know and I'm honored to call him "my dad"!!! Another sign to me of God's amazing Grace, that he would chose to bless me with a godly heritage that trained me and taught me and was an example to me of Jesus' love.

Friday, June 15, 2012

10 Random Facts Friday

I do these every friday b/c so much happens in our week not important enough for me to devote a whole blog post about, but important enough to be noted ;)

1. Richard's job has slowed down considerably over the last few months, and this last month has been the worst any job for him as ever been. We struggle with how much to hold out on this new company that is promising, or look for a new job. But through it all God has been incredible good to us. He has provided for us in ways that didn't even expect. And although we still may not come out in the black (which is the first time ever for us) this month, we are doing a lot better than originally thought b/c of gifts we have received or unexpected work that has come in! So we end another week grateful to God for bringing us through this phase of life and sustaining us, and most importantly thankful that family time and love doesn't cost money ;)

2. Because Richard has been home more we have gotten to spend some fun time with him unexpectedly so we went to the splash park for the first time. I expect to be there a lot this summer b/c it's free and the kids love it!!!!

3. The other night my boys put an entire roll of toilet paper in the bathtub. While I'm cleaning up all their toys thinking how nice it was they were playing so well in the bathtub - I go in to find it completely shredded. I mean tiny pieces running all through the bath water. Like I can't even describe it to you! All over the place!!!! It was gross and nasty and took for ever to drain b/c it kept getting stuck in the drain. They were freaking out it kept sticking to them! Boy - what a mess!!!!

4. Also on weds Richard didn't go into work until like 6pm, so we had all day. And a very good friend of ours took some pictures of us at the park. It was awesome! She had never done it before - but she did an amazing job! I'm having fun editing them and looking through them. Can't wait to update our frames, blog and pictures for family members with it!!!!

5. Many of you have heard - but there is a major fire burning right outside of Fort Collins. This is my first experience with Wild fires especially so close. but it is unbelievable. They are also saying this fire could burn into the fall b/c there are so many hot spots and stuff. crazy!!!! The days were pretty smokey around here - but I feel bad even complaining about that b/c so many other's lives have been affected so much worse - with houses being burned, being evacuated for almost a week now and not knowing the status on their belongings! Craziness!!! Probably the only negative thing about living in a dry area - lots of fires!

I took these pictures on Sunday last weekend! not professional by any means - but I had never seen anything like it!

6. One of the days I went to Chick Fil A with a friend b/c I had a coupon for free cookies. And I only got the cookies and an iced tea (should I feel bad about taking advantage of that??!?!!) We went there b/c the smoke was pretty bad that day - and the boys played for about 2 hours and my friend and I just talked the whole time - it was very refreshing!

7. I'm finding more than ever - So many people view life thinking that someone else's life or situation or job, or church or friends are better than their own. And that person they think that about is thinking the same thing about their friend! I'm committed to enjoying my own life and making the best of it - without looking at other's and wishing i had their situation!!!!

8. It's really hard for me not to get upset at Landon's very poor napping skills!!!! But seriously - he has so much personality and cuteness who can blame him for wanting to be up with mom all day long!!!!

9. I bought $1 buckets for the boys and they only lasted 5 days- they are so cracked and broken - what a joke!!!!

10. I posted this on FB earlier too - but every tuesday and Friday the trash man comes to pick up our dumpster trash in the apartment complex. And every morning our boys go running out and watch him! So cute! even in the freezing cold they did it! They love the trash truck!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Explanation of our Surprise!

Sometimes I think our family is Crazy and the things we put our kids through - but then I'm thankful we do it, and it's always worth it.
You see - we have great friends back in PA who were getting married. Our relationship goes quite a few years back with the Bride, and really she is one of the best girls I know! I had the opportunity to invest in her life throughout her last high school years, and then she decided to attend the college right in PA where we were. So our relationship just grew more and more. She loved our kids so much (which is always a way into my heart) and I watched her walk with God grow through ups and downs of college and everything else. And then she started dating an awesome guy who we loved just as much! They got engaged -and we were so happy for them until we realized we would be in CO for the big event and probably wouldn't be able to attend; then we were sad. She wanted to the boys to be in the wedding, and I very very regretfully had to say "no" because in our eyes there was no way we could do a trip like that.

Then someone contacted me shortly before the wedding and, knowing how much it would mean to the bride to have us there, offered to pay for our plan tickets!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! for the entire family!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What?!?!?!! Who does that!!?!?!!?! We were floored, amazed and all together thankful!!!! (how do you say thank you for such a gift as that??!!?) Long story short, we finally got tickets and made arrangements and had it all planned out. We were going to surprise the bride and groom at the rehearsal and the boys would probably still be in the wedding (since she never found a replacement).  I couldn't talk about it so that I wouldn't ruin the surprise.
B/c of the times of tickets and getting off of work, we were only going to be in town a total of 48 hours (which is insane) so we couldn't see anyone who was not associated with the wedding. That made us sad not to be able to see all our friends, but that was life. We were just thankful we could see this wonderful union of this great couple!!!!

2:00pm leave our house, drive one hour to airport, park our car in economy lot
5:20 supposedly take off in airplane. but it was delayed so it was later than that
12:15 am Arrive in Laguardia Airport, NYC, get picked up by Sandy's cousin and drive 2 and half hours to Scranton PA area. Although we got a little turned around in the city
3:30am finally arrive at Richard's sister's house and crash
7:15AM boys wide awake ready to play with their cousins. (how do they do this, they didn't really sleep at all on the plane, traveled and got in late! and still up, which with the time change was way earlier for them. I dont' get it!!!!)
4:30pm Surprise the Bride and Groom at the rehearsal. Bribe boys with M&M's to walk down the aisle with an adorable sign stating "here comes the Bride". They did great. PHEW!!!!!
This was right after the surprise!!! :)
6:30pm rehearsal dinner. Kids climbing all over the place, on us, asking for cheese, and chocolate and really just managing them and avoiding any major meltdowns. ;)
8:30pm, in bed finally, resting hopefully for the wedding.
6:45am - boys wide awake ready to play with the cousins. again! Why don't they sleep in a little bit!!!??!?!
One of their cousins! They look so  much alike!!!!
11:45AM show up for wedding. Bribe boys once again with M&M's to walk down the aisle! they did it and my mother's heart was just bursting with pride for them, and thought they were the cutest thing in the entire world! I'm biased, but they really were cute!
Terrible blurry picture! But still so cute!!!
2:00 pm receptions. meltdown for bridal party pictures. too bad! :( I really wanted them to have good pictures with the boys. but i guess I can only expect so much cooperation from them on such a difficult trip!
4:15pm - finally finished with all wedding stuff. Breathe a deep deep breath of relief that we accomplished what we traveled so far for!
Happy as ever to see this wonderful couple be joined in marriage. The wedding ceremony was so Christ honoring. and it was all just beautiful.
Didn't get any pictures of the couple or the boys with them. But hope to be able to see some from the photographers. (they are friends of ours, so maybe they can let us see some :) )
5:30pm spend some time with friends and cousins for dinner and enjoy catching up with each other
The boys loved playing with eachother, I loved catching up with my
sis-in-law. And it was wonderful to stay with them!!!

4:00am leave my sister-in-laws house and drive 2 and half hours to airport
6:20AM - get to Laguardia airport with no problems whatsoever!
8:20am - flight leaves and we're on our way back home
10:35 AM land in Denver. Thankfully boys slept about 2 hours in the flight which literally saved us! I don't think Richard and I had enough energy to deal with them crawling all over us and entertaining them for 4 hours since we were so tired.

11:00 am leaving the airport in our car
12:00 PM made it home, sleep for 2 hours, go to bed before 9:30pm and sleep the entire night! phew! we were tired.

I also didn't mention - A dear dear friend of mine from Boston made the drive out to the wedding. (she knows the bride and her family). We have been dear friends since like Kindergarten. And though I have moved in a million different places, and hardly ever lived close to her, we have made huge efforts to always be in contact and try to see each other. She has taken so many trip to meet up with me wherever I am. I love that we have stayed close. I love her friendship. I love that she is so thoughtful and cares for me. She challenges me, she encourages me, she's honest with me. All the things that real friends are for each other. I love our talks that we have. She is an amazing friend and it was wonderful to be able to spend some time with her on this trip!!!

Now we are back and refreshed and ready to start life here again. When we got back to the car I said to richard "it doesn't even really feel like we left". :) It was a very fast trip! But I would do it all over again in a heart beat to see that wonderful couple!!!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Words of Wisdom from my MOM!

Sometimes I think I'm not doing a good enough job - ever feel like that? you compare your mothering skills to other mothers and wonder if you're doing enough, or the right thing. You think "oh I should do that" or "I need to be like that mom".
One area that I always feel bad about is rocking my kids before bed! I don't know about you but it seems like I'm the only mother in the world that just cannot wait to lay them down, and get my kids into bed as soon as I can! sometimes I feel bad about that and think, oh I should rock them more or read for longer etc.
But then I remembered - just about every day my kids wake up from naps (they wake up at different times) and spend at least 10 min each just sitting with me cuddling and slowly waking up!
That's my "cuddle' time with my kids! Then it got me thinking. -
We need to stop trying to compare ourselves to what other's do! Just be the mom you're going to be. Love your children with your whole heart! Show them the love (in your own way), and love them deeply. It will look different in every family dynamic.
One thing my mom said when my firstborn was just a tiny baby is "you're the only mother he has ever known, so everything you do is perfect to him" (at least until he's 13, right?!)  I have told many other new moms this! And I remind myself of it daily!
I truly believe that most moms are trying their best, doing what they know is best, and loving their kids the best they know how. We all battle selfishness! but we all are battling it and aware of the pull it has on us!
So step back!

ENJOY your kids, LOVE your kids!
and relax about what others do or think!!!!

Friday, June 1, 2012

10 Random Fact Friday

1. For mother's day I got all creative and Crafty! Right before our huge family vacation I decided to do this project with a friend. and last minute I called a friend and asked if she could help me. I am so thankful I asked for her help on so many levels. I am NOT CRAFTY or CREATIVE in the least, therefore I have no supplies, she had thought through the process, had supplies and 4 adult hands with 4 painted little boys hands was a good idea!!!

Finished Product drying in the sun! It was a big hit! But now
I set the bar too high :)
2. i wish i could explain to people what a goofy personality Landon has when he's around just his family. This picture sorta portrays that. ;)
 3. Sometimes a family outing to Old Town for Ice Cream is just what the doctor prescribed.
 4. Most of our days are spent outside and they love it. (although I think i say that every post)

 5. Last Saturday we went to a park! It was like 65% humidity which is insane for here! but we still enjoyed a park date with Daddy

 6. Richard is  a really good father!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and his boys adore him!!!
 7. This was taken Monday evening after our big memorial day shindigs.  He never falls alseep in his carseat around town - but this day he was wiped out!!!!
 8. We went to the pool for the first time this summer and it went great! Boys loved it! and I had a great time with my friend

9. I wish there was a way to be completely honest about our lives and people would get the right idea and not just read into things. Lately I've gotten from a few people two different sides. Either they think my life and family are amazing and they are jealous - or when I write about struggles I'm told I'm too negative. Weird! I guess that's why I write for me and my family and my outlet! :) to everyone - know that my life is normal, not glamorous, hard at times, and great at times. That's life - probably just like yours :) (btw - some friends have been so encouraging about my blog too, so it's all good!!!)

10. I'm so glad the month of May is overwith. That took so long! WE did a lot in this month and our bank account shows it! :) June - here we come!!!!
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