Thursday, December 30, 2010


In the stillness,

You are there.

I want to be there, too.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A few of my favorite things

My husband's face when he gets a brand new atlas.

Baby Emmy snuggled up on my chest once she finally surrenders to sleep.

Zach, hair all rumpled, tripping over his feet into my room at 11:15 pm to tell me he had a bad dream, that "the moon gave special powers to his green night light and it turned into a white night light." I hope that's as scary as his dreams ever get.

Tucking him in, praying over him, rubbing his head until he falls asleep just like my mom used to do for me. Closing my eyes and feeling her hand gently on my own head once again...

Kenna's scrunched up little face saying very distinctly, "no, I don't!" to anything she doesn't like or doesn't want you to do. And then smiling so wide that you instantly forget what she just said to you.

My work laptop back from the dead, miraculously healed with no files missing after a dreadful battle with my glass of Mr. Pibb. I've been teased this week about naming my laptop. I think I shall call her "Lazarus."

Getting good news about a friend out of surgery.

Realizing that life doesn't consist of the stuff I have. It is what I am and Who I know. It is the life I pour into others that will forever make a difference. And the knowing that generations will reap what I sow...I can pass on a curse or a blessing to those I will never know.

That song from Sara Groves that I just quoted. :)

Crispy, soft, cheesy, melty hashbrowns from Schwans, made with love by my love of 11 years. No one makes 'em better.

Finding fulfillment in where you are in life, no matter if it's where you thought you would be.

Realizing that I can still do anything I set my mind to. And at 30, I still have my whole life ahead of me, God willing.

Date nights, trying new foods, laughing, slurping up Sonic drinks together.

My life is full. My heart is full. I am blessed.

Friday, December 3, 2010

More power to ya

Have you seen that silly commercial for I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!? "Turn the tub around..." That's what I feel this week has been for me. Turn it all around for better. Cheesy, yes. True, also yes.

This week I had one of the hardest days of parenting and life. A day I didn't think I would make it through. A day where extremely harsh words were spoken by a tired momma to her frustrated children. Milk was spilled, tears were spilled. A day where (I am sure) my staff IM'd each other something like "watch out!" Not my finest moment.

A few days before, I had spent some time in reflection and decided that I really haven't been spending enough time reading God's Word (read: have hardly opened my Bible in several weeks). I know I have all sorts of excuses, a new baby being one of them. But I've noticed some weakness lately. I easily yell at the kids, quickly snap an undeserved comment to my husband, cranky and irritable. Sure, I could be getting more sleep, but that's never a guarantee in this phase of life.

So I decided that I was going to not read any fiction books during the month of December. I wanted to be able to use whatever reading time I had available to meditate on Scripture and bring my heart back to health. "O taste and see that the Lord is good." "How sweet are your words to my mouth, like a honeycomb." I've done this exercise before, and usually the first several days are more like discipline. Hard, dry, a little painful. (I decided to start a few days early, since I obviously needed some help, fast!)

But, oh, the sweetness of the Word of God for me! My spirit soaked up His Word like a desert in the springtime rains. Little pieces of wisdom, tucked away for another moment. I love His Word. So true, so pure, so just.

I've been thinking alot about my weakness and what it can do to show God's strength to the world. Sure, we all have bad days, but it's what we do with our rough edges that can bring glory to His Name.

Loving this old Petra song this week:
(Lyrics by Bob Hartman)

You say you've been feeling weaker, weaker by the day
You say you can't make the joy of your salvation stay
But good things come to them that wait
Not to those who hesitate
So hurry up and wait upon the Lord

More power to ya
When you're standing on His word
When you're trusting with your whole heart in the message you have heard
More power to ya
When we're all in one accord
They that wait upon the Lord, they shall renew, they shall renew their strength

Jesus promised His disciples He'd give strength to them
Jesus told them all to tarry in Jerusalem
When they were all in one accord
The power of His Spirit poured
And they began to turn the world around

So be strong in the Lord, in the power of His might
Put on all His armor and fight the good fight
In all of our weakness, He becomes so strong
When He gives us the power and the strength to carry on

Monday, November 29, 2010


"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty." Psalm 90:1

Fathers make the best forts, don't you think?

You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. Psalm 32:9

...For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock. Psalm 27:5

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


It's 6 a.m. and my body wants to go back to sleep. This little sweetie slept from 8:45 p.m. until 5:15 a.m., when I had to wake her up to feed her. All you nursing moms can sympathize with me! :) The good news is that I slept from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. The longest sleep I've had since last January!!

Lately, I've been trying to train myself to look for the good, to "in everything give thanks." Not just because it's Thanksgiving time, but because it's good for my soul.

Yesterday after work, we had to venture downtown to visit the courthouse. I'm not even sure I can properly explain what I was after, but it was some piece of paper affidavit that basically said I didn't live in Monongalia County, WV, in 2008. Apparently, in order to renew your license plate & get that little sticker of approval, one has to have this document to prove you have paid all your personal property taxes.

So, in WV, you have to pay personal property taxes on homes, mobile homes, boats, RVs, vehicles, and dogs. Yes, there is a dog tax. What's up with that? Good thing I didn't get a dog last Christmas like I wanted...

Back to the thankfulness thing: So we were headed downtown to the courthouse, which was open until 7 on Mondays. I didn't really want to go (who ever wants to go do this kind of stuff?), but having only one car makes you do things you don't want to do at times you don't want to do them. Since all the WVU students were gone for Thanksgiving break, the traffic downtown was pleasantly light and we found the street easily. And just as easily passed the we had to turn around.

Of course, almost every street is one way so it was quite the trek to make it back to where we were and then we got stuck on some "major" side road where not even 1 car made it through each traffic light. No joke. I found myself getting seriously frustrated and had one of those moments where I say things that I regret about 15 minutes later. I actually told my husband he's not allowed to take shortcuts in WV because this place is stupid and every shortcut he takes ends in disaster or a 20 minute extra drive. And even though it's true--this is not the first time he's tried a "shortcut"--it should not have been said. Especially out loud. So I apologized to him and said "well, what can I be thankful about instead?" He said with a smile, "nothing--just be bitter." Crazy man! He always knows how to make me laugh...I LOVE that about him! But bitter isn't better.

If you've ever visited my town, you'll know that there is no point in thinking about shortcuts. Yes, it might look like that small little road will cut through the mountainy-windy roads so that you don't have to go 2 miles to technically go half a mile. But it won't work, not ever. Each time I've tried to "cut through" somewhere or take a turn early because the traffic lights were backed up, it has ended in disaster. One way streets, one way alleys that appear to be streets, crazy triangular intersections...

And I wonder if that doesn't have a parallel to the rest of my life, too. It's so easy to want to take shortcuts. To get frustrated with the bumper to bumper traffic, the day to day "kids-are-screaming-who-wants-dinner-who-forgot-to-take-something-out-of-the-freezer-guess-we'll-have-to-drive-to-McDonalds" craziness. I get tired of waiting in lines, tired of waiting for my dreams to happen in God's timing, and I just want OUT, now. So I take some back road that looks like it will go where I want. Only it doesn't go there, and now I'm stuck in a bigger mess and it takes me twice as long to get back where I started.

When life gets hard, I'm going to try not to take a shortcut. I want to be in this place in my life until I've learned everything God has designed for me to drink deep the cup He has given me. Does this early morning rambling make any sense to you? If not, just know I'm going to be okay.

Happy Tuesday...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Time is....ticking away

At church today, our pastor started a sermon series called "Rust." He took the title from Matthew 6, the passage that says "Don't store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust corrupt, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven..." Not an exact quote but I'm too lazy to get my Bible out at the moment!

Pastor ___ (believe it or not I actually just forgot my pastor's name) was talking about (Oh yeah it's Tim! Sorry...), well he was talking about how awesome it is that God allows us to use physical/earthly things to build up that treasure in heaven. And not only that, but he commands us to build up treasure there. Kinda seems like the opposite of what we've always been taught, not to "hoard" and stuff...

He said we'll be talking about several ways to use earthly means to build up this heavenly treasure--this week we talked about: 1 guess...TIME. A little ironic that I just had this on my heart (yesterday's blog)? I think not! Proof positive that God speaks to you anywhere, anyway, anyhow. He CARES about you and me!!! It's so amazing.

The sermon pretty much cracked me up, because it was almost word for word what God had said to me last night during my whining. Pastor Tim talked about 3 misconceptions we have when it comes to TIME. I'd like to share them with you because I think they were awesome.

  1. We don't have ENOUGH time. The truth is, we all get the same amount of time in our day. We might not have the same number of days in our lives, but we all get the same 24 hours...and we have enough time to do the things God has called us to do. It's a matter of us making those things a priority, and where I use my time shows the world what I really value to be important.
  2. It's OUR time. The days and weeks we have do not belong to us. We were bought with a price (1 Cor 6:20). We were saved to live for Christ (2 Cor 5:14-15) the hours we use to fill our days should be used to honor God.
  3. We'll have MORE time. It's an easy thing to forget that our lives are fleeting...everyone is appointed to die and no one knows when that time will be. We need to understand what the Lord's will is and then be under the influence of God's Spirit. (James 4:15, Eph 5:15-18)

Then he did this illustration (This is originally by Stephen Covey in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and this video is of him, I believe) that proves that when you fill your day with the Big Rocks first (Big Rocks being The Important Things That Matter for Eternity)'ll always have enough room for the little rocks (all the day to day things that absolutely must get done--eating, sleeping, cleaning, working, etc). I've seen the illustration more than once, but it always amazes me to see it again. Stephen Covey talks about other, more work-related stuff, but the same application can be used when thinking about eternal vs earthly stuff.

I've definitely been struggling with time management lately. It's hard not to feel overwhelmed, honestly, when I think about the demands on my time or my day. But I've started really asking God for help and I'm trying to fit the Big Rocks in first. Time with God, time with Marc, time with kids, work, rest. Everything else I'm just fitting into the holes left over. It's not perfect and I don't do it right every day...but what a difference already!

And for fun, I leave you with this video. Because I know all of you DC Talk fans immediately thought of it anyway when you read my blog title.

The first song is Walls, but skip to 2:25 to get that great song we all remember...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A normal day

I love these quiet, "normal," Saturdays. Emily started the day off right by sleeping through the night, from 10:45 pm to 7:30 am. And then she ate & went right back to sleep at 8:30, didn't wake up til 11. Now that's the kind of napping I'm talking about! :)

I had a blissful morning with my 2 oldest children. We watched cartoons, ate cinnamon rolls, played games, read books. And then watched some more TV and snuggled on the couch. I love having "big people" conversations with my 5 year old--it's hilarious! Zach got me to watch "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" for the first time with him. Also hilarious! Just thinking about a spaghetti tornado makes me giggle a little bit.

I took my first step toward a skinnier me last night: I sat down on the couch and thought, "You know, all I'd have to do is get out the Shred DVD and put on my sneakers." And then I thought, "but then I'd be up all night because I'd be stimulated by the exercise." And then, "No, you wouldn't be awake, you'd be exhausted--remember the last "first time" with Jillian?" On the other hand, "yes, I do remember. I'll do it tomorrow." So...I still have yet to break out the Shred. One day soon. My pants are begging me...

Our TV is on the fritz. The volume keeps cutting out and you have to turn the TV off and then back on in order to get it to work. Sometimes once a minute. It's starting to get annoying to say the least. The frugal person deep inside tells me that if it dies, we can live without TV. And even though I absolutely know that is true, I'm not sure if it's fair to do to my children this winter. We'll see what happens!

If you find yourself in need of a jumpstart in life, here's some advice: Just do the next thing. I read this on a blog a few years ago and although it's succinct and rather unmotivating, it really works. Whenever I feel overwhelmed with all the tasks I have to do or the lack of sleep, I just do the next thing, whatever that is. Usually it's dishes. Sometimes it's making my bed. That one little thing prompts me to do everything else because it doesn't make sense to only make the've got to pick up the dirty clothes from the floor because then the bed looks stupid all made up in a dirty room. See what I mean?

My favorite things to do first thing in the morning (when I'm not working, so right now this is just for the weekends) are:
  1. Get myself ready--wash, dress, etc. This also includes any quiet time I get to have, although my quiet time is mostly at night lately.
  2. Make the bed.
  3. Start a load of laundry.
  4. Put away the dishes from the dishwasher and load it up with whatever's dirty.
  5. Read a book with the kids.

Someday my everydays will look like this, but for now I'll take it on the weekends! You'd think I could accomplish this list rather quickly but having 3 kids makes it pretty challenging. There are all sorts of things you do that you don't even realize in between those bullet points!

Do you ever have a seriously long whiny session with yourself about "why" you don't have time to do all the things you want to do? I just did. I actually typed it all out here, ready to whine to the internet world about my life a little. And then I read back over it like I usually do to make sure there were no typos or weirdly placed words...and I realized: You could be doing something different right now if you chose. And you could have been doing something different 30 minutes ago when you wasted time watching that Seinfeld re-run you've seen a few times already.

It's a little sobering to realize that I probably do have more time than I think, but I waste a lot of it doing things that are "good" but not "best" for this stage in my life. I'm going to need to do some serious soul-searching soon... (this is completely off topic but I just love the alliteration of that phrase "some serious soul-searching soon"--I am so goofy!)

Now that I'm losing my audience, I think I'll sign off. It's Saturday night here, Sunday afternoon for my friends across the ocean. Everyone enjoy the rest of your weekend!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


In honor of my 30th birthday today, you get 30 random thoughts from me. Lucky you!

  1. The last time I blogged was 10/9 which is Marc's birthday. Tonight is my birthday. Didn't happen on purpose! And both days were pretty awful, actually. :) The kids are being extra "loving" to us lately and helping us learn how to be more patient and gracious. But I couldn't imagine life without them.
  2. My newest daughter knows that I am home from work at night and will NOT let Marc do anything for her. She is a little mom-crazy. And Mom is a little Emily-crazy, too.
  3. It's a good thing that I'm using the "numbered bullets" setting in Blogger, because I'm honestly not sure if I could even count to 30 coherently. Lack of sleep, anyone?
  4. Hey, I didn't say that these would be "awesome" thoughts from me...just random. Your luck is growing by the minute!
  5. I borrowed 5 books from the library on Monday. I still haven't finished reading the 1 book I started a month ago. Not like me at all. I miss reading and all those fun things I did before I had a baby.
  6. I have the absolutely most wonderful husband on this planet. I am so proud he's mine...(we celebrated 11 years of marriage in between the last post & this one).
  7. I'm suddenly getting worried that this is going to be really boring for you, the reader. I mean, I can come up with 30 things to say, but it's looking bad. Really bad.
  8. I might start talking about work and how I'm finally feeling settled in my job.
  9. Or about how I have no friends outside of work in this state. But I think that's a good thing because I don't really have time for friends right now. My poor children don't even get my "best." Someday, kids. I will sleep again, promise.
  10. 10 is twice the age of my son Z who turned 5 last Friday. He is 41 lbs and 46 inches tall. Thank God for His infinite wisdom in making babies SMALL. Can all moms around the world say, "yes and amen?"
  11. Raise your hand if you immediately thought of a song by Hillsongs in the late 1990's.
  12. Raise your hand again if you still sing that song in church.
  13. Okay, put your hands down. It's starting to smell in here.
  14. Hardy-har-har-har. I'm actually starting to crack myself up laughing. You know it's getting bad now...are you still with me? "You know you're my friends if..."
  15. understand my true feelings for brownies and all things caramel. And add them together,'ll have to pardon this brief interruption for a moment while *insert quiet elevator music* ok I'm back. No, there's nothing on my face--chocolate, you say? Not me.
  16. I don't know if I'm going to make it through this little exercise. Maybe I'll start thinking of things that happened during the age of the # I'm typing on. Does that make sense? No? Ok, well, when I was 16 I...moved to AL (halfway across the world it felt like), met a whole bunch of new, life-long friends, had my first and only car accident (in which I actually hit the car of the fire chief who showed up on the doorstep of my new house the following Monday because I told him I didn't know if we still had insurance because we were in the process of moving and my parents were in the middle of the USA driving the rest of my siblings & stuff down to AL from PA and the cop asked me where I lived & I said "see that Residence Inn behind you?" and then he said "who do you stay with" and I said "my brother" and he said "how old is he" and I said "15" and it just keeps getting better. So that's why the fire chief showed up at my house on Monday. And yes, it WAS really fun to create that superman, run-on sentence. Thanks for asking.
  17. This is the year I fell in love with my husband. Only he didn't know it for a while. God told me I was going to marry him and I said, "Him? are you sure?" Not because he was awful but because he had chosen not to date any girls in order to focus on God his senior year. Talk about your Godly foundations. This is also the year that Marc *informed* me we were going to get married. I said "how about asking me?" and he said, "yeah, we'll get to that later." LOL And the ride never ends...
  18. If you're counting, this is the year I got married. Although I was only 3 weeks from my 19th birthday so that makes it all better, right? I don't regret marrying young except that we were young and penniless. Not the best financial start but God knew what was what. And He still does. This was also the year Marc got me opal earrings and opal necklace for my 18th birthday. My favorite jewelry still.
  19. I got my wisdom teeth removed at 19. Yeah, not as exciting as the rest of it. My Nana (great grandmother) passed away and went to be with Jesus this year. She was 102, I think? Or 103. I'm not sure, but she was old. And the sweetest thing you ever saw. Wish I had her prayer that I think about it.
  20. This was the year of Y2K. Ha ha ha now THAT's funny to think about! Y2K...snort.
  21. We moved to northern AL this year. I worked for an OB-GYN doctor in Huntsville. Huntsville Hospital has the best cafeteria I've ever seen. Marc & I still talk about it. That makes us weird, I know. But I don't care.
  22. Rockford IL was the new homestead this year. We lived with the sweetest retired couple, Frank and Loretta. They opened their home to us and were so gracious to try to remember what it felt like to be our age. We tried to imagine what 70 and 84 felt like, but I'm sure they were better at it than we were. They lived in an older home with cobblestone streets. A factory nearby did some sort of metal stamping or something strange where this big machine hit the ground a hundred times a day and made the house shake. I would be lying in bed so still and the bed would move. A little freaky, yes.
  23. Moved again but only across town this time. A sweet farmhouse that is now Wind Ridge Herb Farm. The picture under the "events" tab is where we had our first lawn swing. The wind blew over that swing about once a week and eventually the field creatures ate the swing cushions. But it was the best. The picture under the "gardens" tab was our front lawn, but it was just grass then. One of our favorite houses ever.
  24. We lost our first little baby this year...definitely a hard year. But God was good, and He is gracious.
  25. Wow, we're getting super close to 30. Finally! This year I got mad at God because of #24 and then 2 days later found out I was pregnant. With my favorite son Zachary. What a blessing he is...I also spent 7 weeks on bedrest and gained 61 pounds, which took me 2 full years to lose.
  26. This year is very much a blur. I know we went to Las Vegas to visit Marc's sister and family for the summer. Never do that, ok? LV is not for summer touristing, I promise. 98 degrees at 7 am in July is not my idea of fun.
  27. I hope we never have to relive this year ever again. 3 miscarriages, a move from hell (not an exaggeration and from which I think my father in law will never recover). And I think I may never look my age...while being a Rock Star!
  28. A great year. I had my first daughter and saved lots of money on groceries by using coupons. Did a lot of traveling to see family this year.
  29. Moved to West Virginia...started a new job...the rest is a blur.
  30. Which brings us to now. I'm going to celebrate by watching a little TV, eating some fresh raspberries my wonderful husband bought me, and switching out my purse to the new one I just got for my birthday.

Thanks for indulging me...hope you enjoyed! Good thing I don't have a birthday for another year, right? :)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Sweet Emily

You're three weeks old last little newborn. So far, the easiest of all my babies. Your face is still new to me; as I nurse you, we stare at each other like newlyweds. Who are you? you seem to ask...and yet, we both know.

So fearfully and wonderfully made; His ways are perfect. I can see that in all its glory as you wiggle in protest when I change your diaper. Your personality starts to show itself in bits and pieces as we figure you out. This dance we do with you in the middle of the night--exhausting but I wouldn't have it any other way.

People tell me I will hold you in my arms longer because you're my last. I think they're right. Your hair sticks up in the middle as it starts to curl--will you have the curls your Dad hoped for when you were just a glimpse of the sweet one you have become? Your dark eyes--will they change as you grow? I can't wait to find out, yet still I say to the night "slow down; I'm not ready to begin another day, still soaking in the beauty of this one."

My belly ached just a month ago; now, my arms ache as you love to be held while you sleep. It's a new pain but filled with more pleasure than I dreamed possible.

Sweet girl, I am so blessed to be yours forever...

Monday, October 4, 2010

It's a non-exciting post. Don't get your hopes up.

Little bit is chilling with her dad (he takes the 1st shift of the night), and I'm a little awake since I had 2 naps today. Don't be a hater, because I didn't get to fall asleep until 2 am and was awakened 3 times before 6:30 am. :)

I've had so much free space in my mind the last few weeks...I spend most of the day either feeding my newborn or feeding myself so I can feed my newborn! I love having more time to think and ponder things--more time for small prayers and meditating on a verse, and more time for pondering my life over the last year. This time last year, we had just moved in to our new apartment. It was a little crazy. I didn't blog much about it because I was trying to focus on the positive, but let's just say things were interesting. :)

I feel like there is so much the Lord has shown us over the past year, and yet SO much more I could have/should have learned. So much more to learn and I hope I never stop wanting to learn. It would have been so easy for us to just quit and move in with parents for awhile because of how much we struggled this first year in WV, but I'm glad we didn't. (I'm sure that our parents reading this are glad too!) We would have been happy to live with parents, don't get me wrong, but I don't think we would have learned everything we did by taking that road.

The biggest thing I learned is that the growing never ends. Either I'm growing in the right direction, or the wrong one, but always growing. Last year, I thought, "Oh, I've learned contentment now...the past 2 years have really taught me something! Let's move on to another topic now, Lord." Guess the joke's on me--we're still learning contentment, LOL. How does that Scripture go? "But godliness with contentment is great gain." For real.

I learned how to be married that kind of married where you're both home at night at the same time and you sleep in the bed at the same time again (because he used to work nights so I slept alone...don't let your imagination run away with you, now). :) Let me tell you, it was weird at first. But now I can't imagine how we made it through those 2 long years of Marc working 2 jobs and crazy hours. It was all God, for sure.

I learned that the world doesn't end if you have to put your dreams on hold awhile. My kids survived me not being home, and they actually flourished more with Marc this last year than I think they would have with me. It has given Marc's body time to heal and rest, and he has really connected with the 2 oldest. I'm sure he's dreading me going back to work in November, but I think he'll do great with Emily. Hopefully she continues to be a sweet baby!

This isn't really an awesome post, but you'll have to grant me a few "non-exciting" posts for awhile until I get my blogging back. It's been so long since I've written anything besides a professional email for work...I almost forget how. Maybe I'll be able to re-cultivate my blogging abilities while I'm on leave. We'll see how little Emily does!

Ok, well, I'm off to bed now. Don't want to waste too much of this precious time that I could be spending in sleep!

Friday, October 1, 2010

What you've missed...

I can't believe I skipped September...I miss blogging so much, but if I have to pick between sleep and family time vs. blogging, sleep/family will win every time. :)

This is the kids' "first day of school 2010" picture. One of the best pictures they have ever taken together. Zachary is in preschool again--he misses the Kindergarten cutoff by a few months due to his November birthday. He goes 3 days a week (half days) and just loves it. Kenna is in 2 yr old "preschool," which is really more like a "parents day out" program. She goes once a week, on Tuesdays. They go to the same preschool--we feel really blessed to have found this school and it's super close to our house, which is always a plus!

My last pregnancy picture, taken at 35 weeks. I always forget to take that "last picture" before delivery. Must be the contractions... :) she is! This was taken at 1 week old. It's a little blurry but oh-so-cute and I just had to post it. Emily Jayne...she was 7 lb 4 oz and 19 inches long. Born on Friday, Sept 17th (2 1/2 wks early).
I had another c-section (my 3rd and last) after going into labor all on our own at 37 weeks 4 days. Guess my babies just like to be early! It was quite the crazy day in the hospital--there was a massive thunderstorm the night before and the nurses said whenever the air pressure changes like that so drastically, they get a lot of women in labor all at once. They originally told me that morning that if I indeed continued to labor and deliver that day, I would end up recovering in the triage room because they did not have any available beds for me. Crazy!! This is not a small hospital, either...
I started having regular contractions about 5 pm on Thursday night which continued throughout the night, getting stronger when I moved around. I went to the hospital about 9:30 Friday morning and had more contractions :) until they decided to go ahead with my c-section about 4:30 pm. A few emergencies and 4 hours later, she was born. It was a long 4 hours, I'll tell you that!
I had the best hospital stay and the best recovery of all 3 surgeries--I feel really thankful and blessed. Just look at these cuties!
We went home 40 hours after surgery, and are having a great, sleepless few weeks together. :) In all seriousness, Emily is a pretty calm baby and sleeps as decently as you can expect a newborn to sleep. I am home from work on maternity leave until Nov 1st, and Marc is a stay at home dad, so we are all together as a new family of five. It's pretty great since we can take shifts with the kids, and my recovery is going SO well. I haven't had any pain meds at all (even advil) in several days and am finding the whole experience a little hard to believe compared to my other 2 c-sections. Nothing like the power of prayer--thanks to all who have prayed.
Emily had her 2 week checkup today and is doing great. She weighs 7 lb 7 oz today and her dr said she's gaining weight wonderfully. Zachary absolutely adores her; Kenna "mostly" does. :) The day we brought her home from the hospital she said loudly, "I don't like that...I don't want that!" No shyness there...but now she loves her "baby Emmy" as long as Mommy isn't nursing her. We're getting there!
Mostly we love having 3 kids--the transition has not been anywhere near what going from 1 to 2 kids was. We had Nana (Marc's mom) here for the first week to help us, and oh, what a help she was!! I don't think we could have done this well without her. We've had a few days this past week with some whiny older kids and fussy babies when we think, "where are the grandparents?" LOL But overall we're loving this new experience.
Maybe I'll be able to post more while I'm off work. I get pretty fast at typing with one hand while feeding Emily. :) Excited about this fall and all the great things ahead!

Monday, August 16, 2010

33 weeks

Well, I promised some pictures--here they are!

These two have stolen my heart...I know I'll miraculously have room for another very soon, but it's hard to imagine! This was from one of our many "chocolate chip pancake Saturdays."

Kenna telling me "Mommy, I pretty!" She had found this dark green (thankfully washable) marker and done this all in the 3 minutes it took me to realize she was being very quiet. :) She keeps us busy, that's for sure!

Me and Emily, 33 weeks today. My staff and a few others at work surprised me with a baby shower today--I honestly had no clue. Not sure I deserved a baby shower for my third baby, but I feel super blessed and we got some really cute stuff for Emily, too!
I know it's hard to imagine the size of it, but trust me, that belly is not small. At least I'm mostly belly, right? :)

Last but not least, baby Emily! This was a 3D taken at 27 weeks, so about 6 weeks ago. But doesn't she have a sweet face? She has the same chin as my other 2 kids

Well, it's 9 pm. I should be balancing my checkbook right now, but after balancing other people's accounts all day, I just don't feel like it. I'll probably veg out to some Food Network or HGTV and then head to bed. It's a very exciting night here at the Stone house!

Saturday, August 7, 2010


Where did it go? Sadly this blog has been neglected. How depressing is it that I didn't even know my background wasn't showing up anymore? :)

I really miss the time I used to have to ponder life & archive my thoughts. Lately, I'm just thankful I get to eat 3 meals a day and fall into bed every night!

A few updates:


I am 32 weeks pregnant now (well on Monday I will be--it just sounds better!). Baby Emily is moving like crazy. Although I vaguely remember this stage, it always seems like "my other babies never moved this much!" But then again, I do remember thinking that when I was pregnant with Kenna--so I'm pretty sure it's just my memory and that all babies move that much. Her full name is Emily Jayne. Marc picked it out & I love it too. I told him I was too busy to think about baby names, which I'm sure sounds ridiculous, but it's really true. After thinking all day at work, the last thing I wanted to do was come home and think hard about a possible baby name! Anyway..

I am scheduled for my c-section on Monday, 9/27, unless I go into labor earlier. It's hard to believe that I can actually say "next month I am having a baby." And yet, I am so grateful to know that there is an end in sight! No complications this time around, except a little hiccup--at 28 weeks I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. So far it's been mild, I can control it mostly with my diet, and other than the fact that I nightly mourn my ice cream, cookies, donuts, pizza.....I'm doing great. Hee hee At least I'm keeping my weight gain under control, right?

50 days and counting.


Marc got a part time job, ironically for the same hospital I work for. It feels weird to work at the same place, but we're never there at the same time. He works weekend nights, every other weekend. It works out well because he loves the quiet at night and I'm home those weekends to watch the kids while he gets some sleep. All in all a good arrangement that is allowing us to pay off a little more of our debt....which is always a good thing!

Zachary's adjusted fairly well to being out of school--something I was definitely concerned about. It helps tremendously that we have a nice big pool in our apartment complex; Marc & kids visit a few times a week as the weather allows, & I've even managed to join them several times. He is "almost 5" as he likes to say and is counting down the days until school starts next month and he can celebrate his 5th birthday to "be as old as Grant" (his friend at school). He was a ring bearer in my sister's wedding a few months ago and LOVED his tuxedo. Seriously, he cried when we told him we had to give it back to the Bridal shop! It was a highlight for me, watching him enjoy something so much. He writes his name and can even sight read several words and sound a few words out. I'll bet he'll be reading by this time next year--he loves words. He is still the ultimate flip-flop lover, and cries when we make him wear sneakers if it's raining. He would wear them in the snow if we let him!

Kenna Boo has grown about 3 inches in the last 3 months. She's not my baby anymore, and definitely looks and acts like a 2 yr old (her birthday is 1 month away). She has beautiful hair and is finally enjoying me putting it in pigtails. Necklaces, bracelets, purses, shoes...she loves all the girly stuff and says "pretty, Daddy!"--but at the same time, won't hesitate to dig in the dirt & mud outside. She is desperately trying to be "like Bubba" in pretty much every way. Monkey see...Monkey do. Her vocabulary has really grown over the last few months, and we're enjoying hearing all her new words. "Nuggles" is one of her favorite words and she is not shy about requesting nuggles. She even knows how to use nuggles to her advantage and will pretend she wants nuggles just to sit in your lap to eat what you're eating or play at the computer. Reading is also a favorite activity and we're at the "read every book 600 times in a day" stage. Fun. :)

And me...well, I'm here. I was re-reading a few posts before starting this one, and I read the post about manna. What's interesting is that my Bible study today was about manna--basically how the Israelites were crying out to the Lord for answers and provision. He sent them manna and they said "what is it?" They wanted food but didn't expect that kind of food, you know? The study was challenging us to think about what ways we might be experiencing that in our own lives. I was thinking back to this time last year and how we were desperate for change (Marc's work, finances, etc). And yet we never thought He'd answer the way He did...and in lots of ways we're still figuring it out and saying "what is it?" I'm trying to focus more on thankfulness and God's provision. He knows and understands how each minute of each day fits into His master plan--I'm excited to think that one day I'll know how all this fits in!

I promise I'll post a few pictures soon. I've got some sweet ones of Emily (3D/4D) and a few others of the kids I need to put up. It's been too long since I did that. Hope this post finds you all well, and I also hope that I get to post again before my baby is born!


Friday, June 11, 2010


It's this feeling I get inside sometimes. A swishing of the soul and a churning of the thoughts. I wonder more...ponder more...sigh more.

A restlessness in me. What is it, Lord?

"Be still, and know that I am God."

"In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength."

"The Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made."

"Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always."

"Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. Fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing."

On the evening of the first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, 'Peace be with you!' After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, 'Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.' And with that he breathed on them and said, 'Receive the Holy Spirit.'

And so, I breathe. And I receive the Holy Spirit. My Comforter, my Counselor, my Teacher, my Guide.

My heart stirs and speaks the truth: "The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever--do not abandon the works of your hands. O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discren my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue, you know it completely, O Lord...Where can I go from your Spirit?...If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast."

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sleep and Manna

Somebody mark this post & link it back to me in about 5 months, ok? Because I'm tired of being tired all the 5:30 or 6 every night I am either rubbing my eyes like a tired toddler, or already passed out on the couch. By the time I get done working all day & desperately trying to be patient with my kids (I mean, loving all the family time)...I just want to be able to relax and enjoy the quiet. It seems like I never get to the quiet before I fall asleep!

And yet, I know I will be CRAVING sleep in October. I wish I could store it up now and save it for later. Sleep for me is like manna was to the Israelites...God gives me enough for the day and I'm trying to be thankful for it, even when I don't want to sleep.

One thing I'm noticing as I read about the Israelites--they grumbled and complained a lot. I'm certainly guilty of this in my own life, but I'm asking the Holy Spirit to make me aware of it. I want to be thankful anyway...they ate manna for 40 years. Every day, for 40 years. For sure, that would make anyone have to be "thankful anyway."

Today, I am thankful...
  • for sweet, gracious husband who gently sends me to bed at 8:00 every night...and doesn't take no for an answer when he knows I really need to rest.
  • for a son who loves words.
  • that my daughter is persistent and keeps trying until she succeeds.
  • for a place to live, no matter how's still home.
  • that I can pay my bills online (nice when this pregnant woman forgets)
  • for a full pantry despite the feeling of "there's nothing to eat in here." Chicken 3 nights in a row is not a hardship.
  • that although my family isn't close geographically, we're all healthy and safe.
  • that I get to see my family in a few weeks! Birthdays and weddings--so exciting!
  • for age 4 and age 1. So far my favorite ages.
  • for really funny Mother's Day cards (Mom I can't wait til you open yours!)
  • for the living and active Word of God. Even just the few paragraphs I read a minute ago have brought light to my eyes and hope to my soul.
  • I have a job that makes enough money so one of us can stay at home and raise our children the way we want them to be raised. Of course, I would love for that to be me staying at home, but I'm grateful Marc gets to have this time with the's priceless.
  • for giggles and strawberries and dispensing whipped cream right out of the can into our mouths. What joy that brings our children!
  • for new life in my womb. Baby Hmmm, who are you? What will you look like? Who will you be like? I can't wait to find out!
  • for Schwans ice cream. Favorite flavors, you ask? So glad you asked! Chocolate Malt Twist and Summers Dream (orange sherbet/vanilla ice cream). Yes, we buy them in the gallon sizes. No, you may not judge us.
  • for owls and bedtimes and Bible stories and snuggles "just for 5 minutes?"
  • for comfy sheets and remembering things at 4 am when I wake up to pee. At least I'm remembering them some time, right? Better than forgetting altogether.

What are you thankful for today?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Jujyfruits and life

The van that drove me from the airport to my hotel yesterday morning, also conveniently passed by a semi with a huge Jujyfruits logo on it. I haven't been able to think of anything else since. A nice co-worker drove me to Target tonight so I could indulge my craving. I know it's not healthy, but sometimes you just have to indulge, right?

17 weeks today (dr changed my due date back to 10/4 last week). That's just crazy. At 17 weeks with Kenna was the day I found out she was a girl. I find myself wondering about the sex of this baby. As much of a surprise as it will be to me, I am amazed to think that at the moment of conception, God the Creator already knew whether my growing embryo was boy or girl. And as I think back on my other two children and how they were in the womb (and how that has translated as they grow), I wonder about this baby. Baby Hmmm is quiet and considerate. He/she doesn't keep me awake at night kicking like the other 2 did. I think that my placenta must be in the front this time around, because I literally only feel the baby kick me in the butt. It's definitely weird.

I've been thinking about a lot of things lately. (I know, vague, right? Sorry...) I have some things brewing on the inside...things that other people have urged me I "should" do, that I never thought I should do. Now I'm thinking more...and praying more. We'll see. (How's that for clearing it up?) :)

Have a great night. Enjoy this weird post, while I enjoy some Jujyfruits. (anyone want the black ones?)

Monday, April 19, 2010


Baby Hmm, that is!

Meet Baby Hmm (pictures below). It has really taken me 4 weeks to scan these pictures. Poor kid...he/she probably won't have a baby book either (like Kenna)!

So...for all who are dying to know, or for those who aren't: Baby Hmm was a surprise to me and Marc. We know God wasn't surprised, and apparently Zachary wasn't either. About a week before I found out I was pregnant, Zachary said to me out of the blue: "Mom, when are we going to go back to the hospital to get my new baby brother?" Marc & I just looked at each other & laughed. It turns out he might be a little bit prophetic? We'll see when we find out whether boy or girl next month!

I am officially due October 6, but will have the baby by c-section on 9/29 if not earlier. With my blood clotting complications & having to be on blood thinners, it's important to make sure that I am off them for a certain length of time before having surgery. I'm not all "for" a scheduled delivery, but my babies tend to come when they want anyway, so we'll see. (Zach was born at 38 wks and Kenna at 37 wks.) My guess is that sometime in September this little one will make his/her appearance! And yes, a c-section is necessary at this point. I've already had 2 due to previous complications, and to ask for a VBAC at this point is like saying "I'd like to deliver without a doctor present," because no doctors in this country will accept the risk. Unfortunately.

It's completely true that all pregnancies are different. In my case, the nausea with this one was the worst out of any I've had thus far. I am eternally glad that I am past the 1st trimester, and I know my family is too! I had some complications around 7 weeks right after seeing the heartbeat for the first time which led me to believe I would lose this baby. I was devastated, yet at the same time, the few friends who I had shared my pregnancy with refused to believe that answer. I was out of town when this occurred and couldn't see my doctor until Monday. I was mostly terrified to hope anymore (after 5 previous losses), but my dear friends continued praying for me and believing for a miracle. God really taught me something through those long 4 days of waiting...and I decided that I WOULD pray for a miracle. Monday morning showed up, and so did that little heart, beating away! I know that all children are a miracle, but for me, my babies are Living Testimonies of God's grace.

So now I am 16 weeks along. It is strange at this point, because aside from a few flutters and some random baby movements, I almost forget I am pregnant. My job and my family keeps me so busy that I hardly have time to dwell on it. I come home each night & practically fall into bed--and the nights I don't, I end up falling asleep on the couch at 7 pm. :)

Zachary and Marc are both hoping for a boy (Zach wants a brother and Marc says "boys are just easier."). I have to gently remind Z that Baby Hmm could still be a girl, and then he says, "Yeah, Mom, but remember: Baby Hmm could still be a boy, too!" Oh, the logic of a 4 year old! I almost forgot--the name Baby Hmm was bequeathed by Zachary, too. Marc asked him (before we found out we were pregnant) what he would name his baby brother and he said, "Hmm...." Too funny! So this little one has been "baby Hmm" ever since!

Ok, well, now you know why I wasn't able to ride my favorite carnival ride last month, and you've bravely made it through my novel about the first 4 months of my pregnancy. It's a good thing I hardly have time to blog anymore, or you would be tired of reading about me! Please enjoy a few (4 weeks old) pictures of our newest:

Waving "hi" (this is the right hand/arm on its way up to the face, the head is hiding a little)

12 weeks 1 day Profile shot. This looks eerily similar to Kenna's profile picture from 11 weeks. Guess we'll see which kid this baby looks more like...

and apparently this little one likes to put its hand to its mouth already (again, just like Kenna)! You can also see the little knees/legs/toes there to the right.

My life

Some pictures from the last month:

I had a business trip in Birmingham, and we had to return a borrowed car back to my in-laws who live very close by. Across the street, we found the cutest little carnival happening. It was Zachary and Kenna's first real amusement park experience, and I think these pictures capture their joy!

This was a lot higher than it looks.

But he didn't care!

One of my favorite rides...I was sad not to be on it! Zach loved it, was truly the longest ride of the night. It seemed to last forever!

Kenna went on the same ride with Nana, but she did NOT like it. :) I think it was a little too close to bedtime for her!

I got to take him to his first rollercoaster while Marc rode some crazy spinning ride. Here he is, cheesing it before the ride started...

...and I'm pretty sure this is one of my most favorite pictures ever of him. He rode this about 5 times.

When we got home, the kids were a little sad to be so far away from Papa and Nana & all the fun adventures. Marc created his own adventure for them...flipping the very deflated, twice-patched, almost-ready-to-die bounce house upside down!

The kids had their very own playhouse. I think Kenna's hair is hilarious in this one!

Let's see...also in the last 6 weeks, we have sweated blood and tears to get our car fixed and returned to us. After 8 weeks of being gone (and a lot of unhappy phone "discussions" with the insurance agent and the repair place) :), we now have our "new" car back. We are so thankful for the time that Marc's parents let us borrow their extra car, but it's wonderful to have our own car home again. We hope it will stay nice and happy here for a long time...with no repairs!
I have been traveling a LOT for work in the last month. It's starting to wear on me a bit, and it's so hard being away from the kids so long. Marc jokingly told me he needs a pay raise--and he's right! I have one more trip planned next week and then that's it for at least a month. I think. :)

Hmm...what else has been going on? Oh yes! I realized I haven't officially announced this on my blog yet, but.... (to be continued)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Ice cream and Kroger

The last pictures I took were almost 2 months ago. Shame on me! Here are a few favorites from January.

Zachary was so proud of his homemade "lava lamps." My sweet, sweet boy.

And this was the best family picture on New Year's Eve. We have an annual tradition of appetizers and watching a family video, and then we have a "Happy New Year" cake. Both the kids were trying to touch the fire here...

I think that some day my life will return to normal. And then I wonder if I keep waiting for "normal," how much am I missing out on? Got to embrace every second of the day I have.

Today was a good day. Accomplished a lot at work, my kids picked me up, took them for ice cream at McDonald's. Kenna had her first ice cream cone (the really small baby one) and demolished it. She's very much in the "I-do-it-myself-or-I-scream" phase. It's super fun. :) Despite her determination and strong will, she is such a BUNDLE of JOY. She has never met a stranger, waves at everyone, and had every resident of Marc's grandmother's nursing home charmed last week. She has finally started saying real words as opposed to baby babble. Her new favorites are "cheese" (which she says whenever she sees a phone or a camera), "backery" for Zachary, "ma-ma" (mom or dad, whoever is closest), please, "welcome" (for you're welcome and thank you), and "owl" (her lovie/blanket). She just melts my heart about every 5 minutes. I feel bad for all of you who don't get to spend time with her....that's how cute she is.

Zachary got to go to school today for the first time in about a month. We had horrible snow storms in Feb, then the last week/half he spent traveling to AL to see Marc's family and to pick up a replacement car (thank you, in-laws!) for the one that is almost-but-not-quite-totaled from yet another snowstorm several weeks ago. Thank you, Lord, for guardian angels, protection, good insurance, and income tax refunds that pay for premium deductibles. Hard to complain about what we were "going" to use that money for, when I'm just thankful that we had it to begin with. :)

Anyway, back to Zachary. He is 4 going on 14. Talks incessantly, as those of you who know him can vouch for. He is a lover of words and recent lover of the Disney channel. He is in that phase of "if-I-can't-watch-TV-then-I-should-be-able-to-play-a-game-on-the-computer-because-it's-not-the-same-thing." It's heartbreaking when he doesn't get his way. Do you hear my sarcasm? :) He also loves to read, practice his letters, and play with his Hot Wheels cars. His favorite color is light green and his favorite fruit is watermelon. Even in the winter, he wants me to pay $7 for that nasty out of season watermelon. He has gotten very logical, too. Today he said, "I think we're out of something." When I asked him to explain, he said, "we need to go to Kroger. Dad said we're out of something & we need to go there." (totally made up, but funny & logical nonetheless!) We recently had some family pictures done. He was so shy & nervous, told us he wasn't "going to do THAT." Gets up there, and starts giving us these poses like he was born to be a model. Hi-larious!

Marc & I....well, we're surviving. This new life is strange, but it's not altogether bad. Just very, very different! I don't think it will last forever, but we're trying to make the best of it. The most awesome part is the amount of time we've had to reconnect & spend together. Sometimes too much time, considering how we hardly saw each other for 2 years while he worked 2 jobs, but mostly we are really enjoying it. I think this experience, if nothing else, has given us both a WHOLE new appreciation for the jobs the other has been doing. I do love my job, so that is a magnificent plus. If I hated it, I would just be absolutely miserable without my kids all day. I love knowing that they are home with their Dad and not stuck at a daycare or another mother's house. I'm so thankful that at least we're able to have this arrangement and I know that others aren't as fortunate.
If I were a drinking woman, I'd go get a glass of wine, raise it, and toast to "no more snow!" and an early spring. We're tired of the snow around here and ready to play outside! Hope this finds all our friends and family doing well and serving our Lord. Love you!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Musings on the Olympics

I tried so hard to watch the opening ceremonies to the Olympics on Friday night. I got about halfway through & just got too tired & went to bed. But the parts at the beginning I did see left me so touched...all the spectators were cheering for the athletes coming into the stadium. People on their feet, clapping, cheering, smiling, taking pictures. You could feel the atmosphere even through the television.

I got a little teary, and then I started thinking...this is the closest thing I have ever experienced that could even prepare me for what Heaven will be like. "After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: 'Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.' " Revelation 7:9-10

I can only begin to imagine what it was like to be part of the crowd at the Olympic Stadium on Friday loud it was, how much unity there was in the building. What an amazing feeling that will be once we get to heaven--to be part of a multitude that "no one could count." Wearing our "racing uniforms" and waving our "flags," giving praise to the Only One Who Deserves Praise.

And then I thought about that other passage in Hebrews chapter 11, the author talks about all those great men and women of faith. Those who have gone before us, paving the way. And then the author of Hebrews says, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." (12:1-3)

So I picture myself now, not as part of the Olympic crowd, but as one of the athletes. I rush in to the stadium, dressed to compete, waving my team's flag..nervous, but excited about the opportunities ahead. As I get to the front of the line where the cameras are, it hits me that everyone in the world is watching this moment. I panic a little, and then I realize, "these people are cheering for ME." I remember that I've trained hard for this. I know what to do and Whose I am. I throw off every weight, every worry, every bit of nervousness about the race ahead. I know I'm prepared. I fix my eyes on the prize...

I happen to believe very literally in the Bible. I take every word as God inspired, yet sometimes I forget that it really means what it really says. When I think about that passage in Hebrews, I realize....all those famous people of faith--Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses--those people I look up to in the Bible & think I could never have as much faith as they do....those people are cheering for ME.

I have the courage and the confidence now to throw it all off...all my losses, all my failures prior to this day no longer matter. It's about here, and now. And about The One I am following.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Beauty for ashes

It's late, but it's quiet. I'm learning to take my new life day by day. I struggle with this new role God has placed me in...not because I don't think I can handle it with His grace, but because it's not one I chose. It doesn't seem to fit (yet). I ache to be home with my kids--playing, changing diapers, cleaning up the milk that spilled again. To be scrubbing who knows what off the kitchen table...would make me happier than any woman in the world.

But (apparently) that's not what God wants for me right now. And I'm learning to give up some of my "what ifs" and to embrace "what is" so that I can be the best Me there ever was. I had a really rough Christmas. I struggled with being very sick, working full time, preparing for Christmas. The "perfect gift" we bought for the kids was damaged when we went to set it up on Christmas disappointing. I was so sick that I had to ask my mother-in-law to cook my own Christmas dinner while I sat on the couch. (Thanks, Mama S!) I was very emotional, and all over just down in the dumps. (when I get this way, Marc calls it my being "in the depths of despair." Reminds me a bit of The Princess Bride..."the pit of despair. Don't even try to escape..." ha ha)

Anyway, over the past few weeks, I'm on the mend, the damaged gift is being sent back for a replacement, and my hormones have settled. I'm left with this sense of disappointment, and I've been thinking about it a lot. I mean, really, I have so much to be thankful for. In the scheme of things, compared to 95% of the world, I have no reason to complain. And yet, I have been complaining. I've been discontent...I've been mad.

What is disappointment, really, but just something short of your expectations? That made me think about my expectations--do I have them set unreasonably high? What makes me think that I deserve anything, anyway?

I don't know that any of my ramblings will even help anyone, other than help me get it all out there. Even if no one reads this thing but me. :) I guess I just needed to say it out loud. It's hard right now...ALL my friends and family are long-distance. That stinks when you work full-time and all your friends are stay at home mommys. Not only do I no longer feel connected to that life, but by the time I think about calling, it's 10 pm. I email all day long now at email my friends just feels cold and impersonable. Facebook is an old friend I like to visit for 10 minutes a day. If I don't comment on your page, nothing personal, there's just no time.

Marc & I joked that on Sunday, we'll put an announcement in the church bulletin: "Nice, normal couple in the 3rd row needs friends. Meet us at the coffee cart after service." I know, I know--"you have to be friendly to make friends." Yes, true. But friendly is hard. Sometimes you just want someone to notice you are new and make an effort. And I move so much...honestly, I'm tired of always being the one to make the first effort in friendship.

Not being whiny, just expressing myself. I finally feel at liberty to express myself without cussing anyone you should feel lucky! Ha ha.

I know that all the things my sweet mommy tells me are true, like "this will pass." And, "you've just been through a lot of big changes...don't be so hard on yourself." And believe me, I KNOW I've been negative--especially with my family. But honestly, isn't anyone allowed to really STRUGGLE anymore? To wrestle with their thoughts and feelings without being judged? I guess not...even my friends on facebook are always posting things in their statuses & then posting things to "take it back" because people get mad. Thanks for letting me do that here.

I guess everything I'm trying to say can be summed up by Solomon:

There's an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth:

A right time for birth and another for death,
A right time to plant and another to reap,
A right time to kill and another to heal,
A right time to destroy and another to construct,
A right time to cry and another to laugh,
A right time to lament and another to cheer,
A right time to make love and another to abstain,
A right time to embrace and another to part,
A right time to search and another to count your losses,
A right time to hold on and another to let go,
A right time to rip out and another to mend,
A right time to shut up and another to speak up,
A right time to love and another to hate,
A right time to wage war and another to make peace.

But in the end, does it really make a difference what anyone does? I've had a good look at what God has given us to do--busywork, mostly. True, God made everything beautiful in itself and in its time--but he's left us in the dark, so we can never know what God is up to, whether he's coming or going. I've decided that there's nothing better to do than go ahead and have a good time and get the most we can out of life. That's it--eat, drink, and make the most of your job. It's God's gift.

I've also concluded that whatever God does, that's the way it's going to be, always. No addition, no subtraction. God's done it and that's it. That's so we'll quit asking questions and simply worship in holy fear.

Whatever was, is.
Whatever will be, is.
That's how it always is with God.

--Ecclesiastes 3:1-15

The more I read this passage, the more I take it to be positive and not negative. Yeah, sure, the author was probably depressed. I mean, most of the book of Ecclesiastes is pretty moody. But....I love to serve a God who doesn't show all His cards. Sometimes it's tough figuring out which "right time" it is. Through it all, I remember that I need to "quit asking questions and simply worship in holy fear." Whether I agree with His decision or not, it Is. He alone can give me the grace to see beauty where I think there are ashes. He is to be praised!

Saturday, January 2, 2010


You know how your mother always said, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all?"

(crickets chirping)

Be back soon, when I have an attitude adjustment.