Thursday, July 25, 2013

Today - I said "Yes"

This last week for our family has been, for lack of a better way to say it, pretty crummy. But for no apparent reason. Especially because I know that we are completely blessed and my God loves us and takes care of us.
But some days, despite that truth, life gets hard. Work is stressful, kids are very disobedient, my body is tired from everything, and things keep piling up of our own responsibilities.

So today I was determined after having "miserable" days with the boys that I would do something really fun and different with them. And not get on their case all day for "doing the right thing" or not doing something that they are doing. Some days are filled with the word "NO". It's like they keep asking to have, or do, or use, or break everything that they know I say "no" to.
But today I was determined to not care about all the little things, let them be boys and run and play and indulge a little.  I contacted my friend and asked if she wanted to take all the kiddos to a fun place with me. And it turned out to be perfect.

I said yes to a lollipop found in the front console of our car at 10:00 in the morning, I said yes to taking a baggie of cereal in the car with us. I said yes to playing on the playground when I wanted to start walking towards our destination. I said yes to taking off your shoes and getting in the water. I said yes to throwing sticks, to carrying sticks, to running ahead of me. I said yes to eating a small piece of chocolate, to the fruit snacks he wanted.I said yes to reading books even though I'm tired of it. I said yes to licking my spoon, to stirring the batter (even though it makes a mess and takes longer).

And you know what??!?
We have had a great day! The boys are doing so well. We're so relaxed and calm and thankful. Some days all you need is a change of pace, a new focus and everyone feels better. :) Try IT!

 A day like today was just what this weary family needed in this crazy thing called LIFE!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Contemplations by the pool

When I think back to my life a year ago this time, and everything we were doing and experiencing I remember joy and happiness and almost an innocence to reality of life. Then I jump to last year September when I found out I was pregnant and the utter joy that brings to a mom. I was so happy and ready to do it all over again. But then shortly after I experienced a deep deep sorrow that mothers' feel when they never get to meet their child, or hold them or kiss them. My heart was ripped apart and I felt I could hardly breathe some hours. It was a long, lonely journey that one can only understand after you've experienced it. But my heart was softened, was tenderized, it was brought to a new sort of dependence on God for strength. It gave me completely new eyes for this whole motherhood journey. It gave me more compassion than I realized I needed.

I remember thinking in those early days - how will

I move on? How will I operate like normal again? I remember wondering what it would be like during this summer for me, would I be ok?

And then Time Went By - here I am, 10 months later, only two months away from the "year mark". God has brought healing and restoration to my soul. I'm still a work in progress but through it all HE IS FAITHFUL.

When I was in the moment of tragedy it was impossible to fathom joy again, to enjoy my days. I wondered if I would ever get there. In the last ten months so much has happened to our family. We went from a grieving family to a joyful one in the anticipation of another child. Which I might add brought on a whole new flood of emotions that I've never experienced before. Work for Richard got really stressful and much has happened with that. We are a growing family in so many ways trying to figure out our place in the "place" God has us in right now. We have experienced a new form of "busyness" that we never knew before. And somehow the intensity of "life" just keeps getting more "INTENSE".

This little blog here, facebook, instagram give such little glimpses into our lives that from the outside is hard to really tell what is actually going on. Or it's easy to misinterpret things.

But I guess what I want to come across in this little post is that life keeps going. In my tragedy I read/listened to other mother's who had experienced loss before me - and longingly wondered if I would ever get to a place where they were. Now here I am, 10 months out, and the wounds hurt less. But I have never forgotten. Those were two fears I had - that the pain would always be unbearable or that I would just move on and forget. But that doesn't happen.
Somehow God bestows grace upon grace - he heals your hearts and holds you with his loving arms. He knows you and cares more about you than you will ever understand. He gave his own son to die for you, so you don't have to pay for your own sinfulness. Life keeps going, new things happen, new joys come again, there are ups, and downs - but in it all - God is constant, He guides you. I have learned that God has a different unique path for each person. Things you experience or challenge you or bring joy to you are different than mine - but ultimately God has a bigger plan in mind of his ultimate glorification - that we will worship Him!
My prayer now is "Lord, please use me, help me to never forget your love. Carry  me through this thing called "life" but let it be worthy of praising you! Let it bring glory to You!"

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Camping on the Grand Mesa

One thing we promised ourselves we would do as much as possible once we moved to Colorado was go camping!!!! Richard being from Colorado just couldn't bring himself to camp in the woods in the East b/c of the humidity and the fact that it doesn't cool off much at night.
Let me just say that Colorado has some beautiful places to camp. It's the perfect thing to do with our little family. We all love being outdoors. I love seeing the boy's faces filled with excitement about the prospect of sleeping in a tent and getting to use a fire to cook our food. There's something to say about boys and fires, for sure!

This time we drove 6 hours over the rockies to a place known as the Grand Mesa, a humongous flat top mountain that is filled with lakes, located on the western slope. (which ironically no one knows about, except if you're from that area).  We met Richard's parents there and his brother with his family. We got there about noonish. Set up camp, ate lunch, and then went fishing. All the kids had been anticipating going fishing so much. We had bought the boys little fishing rods. The fishing wasn't too good sadly. I think it was a little disappointing for the kids. Grandpa caught 2 fish later in the evening after supper but that's all the fish that were caught! It was crazy! It could be that the kids were being very loud and throwing rocks in the water that didn't help our situation. But the kids even got to see 2 bears in the evening which cut a fishing trip a little short. :) But they keep talking about it! :)

We all split the meals up and we ate like kings. :) It's easy to do that when you only camp one night. I think my favorite part about camping is waking up, starting a fire and warming up by the fire, making camp fire coffee and cooking a big breakfast. Mom Gardner made a huge breakfast - with pancakes, eggs, hashbrowns, bacon and sausage!!!! It was awesome!

It was just a wonderful time! The kids loved exploring the woods, camping, throwing things in the water. Carson got pretty good at casting that morning after! I was impressed. too bad he didn't catch anything that would've been even more exciting for him. Landon fell into the lake, of course! I knew he would do it before we left. It's just what he does! :)
I hope we can keep it up as a tradition. :)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Coffee Date

I decided we needed to have another coffee date here at my house. It's been a while and I have so much to say but not enough for one post on each issue. :)

So please come on in. Excuse my boys' utter excitement that you're here. Let's listen to their stories and watch their tricks for a little bit - then I'll put on some cartoons so we can actually have a conversation.

I would pour you some cold brew iced coffee with sweetened condensed milk to sweeten it, just like the Pioneer Woman does! It's so good!!!

How are you doing? Have you had a good Summer? Do you have any trips planned or have you already taken any fun trips? What did you do for the 4th?
We had probably one of the best 4th of July's I've had in a while. (Since I was with my twin probably) We had an awesome breakfast at our favorite place - Snooze. Then we went to the pool. Then had some rest time. Went to a huge barbaganza and then went and saw fireworks just as a family. It was a perfect combination of sweet family time and fun friend time! (but I got like no pictures the whole day!!! What was I thinking???!!?!?!)

I would tell you that I just literally chopped off my hair!!!! I've had it long with almost no style just some layers here and there for about 8 years. It was getting very long which I loved! But sometimes it just gets to a point where you need it cut and fresh look. I chopped it off! I like it. But I need to get used to doing it and seeing myself and figuring out how to make it work for me. I will grow it out again too - but it's nice for a change.

I love going to the pool. Some days when I have the three kiddos (4 if you count the one inside me which totally counts b/c it's a lot of work carrying him around) it's tiring, but so worth it when my boys get all their energy out swimming around. Carson started out not even wanting to put his feet in the big pool. Now he swims around all by himself the entire time in the big pool, (with little arm floaties, which are probably so dangerous, but for now they work). :) I haven't done swim lessons with them yet, and I keep talking about doing it. But they are doing really well without them so far. I'm just proud of Carson for getting over his fears and now he enjoys it so much.  Landon jumps in non stop and has never really been afraid of the water (or anything for that matter).

I always have so much to say - but for some reason don't blog about it! I don't know why. I love blogging, everything about it. Reading ppl's creative blogs, seeing pretty pictures, the friendships that can develop, writing my own, being able to express myself however I want on this little space. I also love having this space as somewhere to remember our lives. I often look back at posts to see what we were doing then or what happened at a certain time. But lately I've just been quiet about it all. That doesn't mean stuff isn't happening or going on, it's quite the contrary. I miss it, and I hope to start blogging more. I have such a burden to be honest and open about motherhood and encourage other moms, and be encouraged myself when I open up. Just right now is a weird time for me to blog often. Blogging is Awesome!

How do I say this without complaining? there's probably no way. :) This pregnancy has been exhausting. I'm used to being able to accomplish a lot during the day, and be involved in many things and be social. But usually I can only handle one or two things a day and I'm wiped out. I can clean and cook supper, but nothing else. I can go out and socialize, but I can't clean my house. :) Between constant demands of two toddlers, teaching and instructing them all day, playing with them, keeping an 11 month old's schedule and feedings and picking up after all of it - I'm POOPED at the end days! Thankfully nauseousness is gone. It left about 15 weeks, but came back with a vengence about 18-20 weeks. That's when I stopped running. Thankfully now at 22 weeks I'm doing better in that regard.

Our Pastor preached a sermon on Psalm 63 last week. And it right at home. I'm in a fluctuating state of drifting from my LORD to thirsting for him and fighting for that joy that he brings in complete satisfaction with his LOVE. I was challenged to fight for it harder and seek him daily and try to understand more about his love and joy and satisfaction I find in him.  What have you been learning lately? or what questions do you have about the LORD?

About a month or so ago I met and chatted with a Mexican mother at a park. Our children were playing together so I struck up a conversation with her to see if I remembered my Spanish. She doesn't speak any English but the kids sorta do and played really well together. She lives close to the park and our house. So it's been a fun relationship to start building. WE were invited to her children's baptism parties on afternoon. So we decided to go. It was a good cultural experience for my family I think. I love that my children have a little exposure to something different that American culture and it's good for Richard to be out of his comfort zone. He does great with it. I hope to keep building this relationship. And plus I get to use my spanish again!!!

This is probably way to long now.  It's probably time for you to go. But I will tell you how nice it was to chat. I would tell you to please come by again and visit me. Until next coffee date . . .

Monday, July 1, 2013

Another Stage behind us!

Today marks a big day here in our household. Many of you read (here and here, please take time to read to know the background) and know that about a year and half ago I started Speech Therapy for Landon through Early childhood intervention. I had some concerns about his lack of speech (which some told me was unwarranted). But after speaking with his doctor and seeing no improvements after 3 months (crucial months that language starts developing) his doctor got a referral for me and we started the process of being evaluated and qualifying for Speech Therapy, Early Intervention.

They came to my house, it didn't cost me anything, and the Speech Therapist was wonderful. She came every week for about a year, then she came twice a month. She taught me new tactics that I hadn't thought of myself or didn't know would help. Starting with signs, and visualizing with motions and my mouth how to start saying simple syllables.  Landon caught on very quickly and really responded well to it.

I would highly recommend anyone to the program. I don't know if all states provide it or all areas have an early intervention program. But if you are concerned it does not cost or hurt anything to check it out. Often my speech therapist spoke on how much better it is to help them in the younger years instead of waiting to school age. That it's so much easier to correct things at an early age. And that proved so true with Landon. As his mother I could not be prouder of how hard he worked to learn to speak and how well he did.

I am a firm, very firm, believer that each mother knows her child. Each mother knows when she should be concerned or when things seem normal for her child. Just because your child doesn't speak as much as the next one doesn't mean something is wrong. But a mother knows when something is off with her child, in any area.

But today Landon had an early exit from the program. Most children go until they turn three years old and then many get passed into the school district and preschool programs to get more help. But Landon has excelled! I have no concerns with anything, physically, emotionally, or in language developmentally wise. He is doing amazing in all areas. And a lot of that I credit to an amazing Speech Therapist who gave me great strategies to work with him on, and who took the time to understand me, our family style and concerns.

I would love to talk with anyone about my experience. But all I can say is I'm so proud of Landon.
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