Sunday, December 30, 2012

Rewind/Fast Forward

Since my last post was in, uh..., August or September, I think I should get everyone (ya know, all 5 of you) up to speed.

I had a baby.  I could write a zillion blog posts on the 12 hours of labor from start to finish, but I'll make it short and sweet- two weeks early, water broke in public (AGAIN!!!), go to hospital, doctor on call is crap, wait 11 hours, get pitocin, get too much pitocin too quickly, want to die, doctor is MIA, nurse delivers baby, he is perfect, all is well in the world. He is gloriously wonderful.  His name is Silas Ray.  I'll do a name post sometime soon so you don't think we named him after the Duck Dynasty guy.

Faith got so sick the week we brought Silas home.  It was horribly horrible.  A virus so it just had to run it's horribly horrible course. I couldn't hold her for almost a week. TJ couldn't hold Silas for almost a week.  See? Horribly horrible.

Faith adjusted (or didn't) to our new normal.  Still working on that one.

TJ was off for a month.  It was glorious.  And felt too long and too short at the same time.

I took a 10 WEEK maternity leave.  It was so needed and so nice to be able to really get to be home for a longer chunk of time. With Faith I only had 6 weeks so I was back at work a month earlier than this time.  I am so thankful for that extra month.

I've been back to work 9 days and now we are on break.  My sub did a great job and the parents were very kind to let me have my time at home.  So thankful.

I turned 31 and had THE. BEST. birthday celebration with my best friend, Corrie.

In all, 2012 was great.  God brought me through miscarriage to the birth of Si, he taught me more about His love, and I am gaining more clarity each day about how He wants me to show His love to the people and world around me.  We got to spend time with each other on a stellar vacation to Colorado and Faith got to see her great grandma in New Mexico one last time before she passed away this fall. 2012 also taught me that many things in life are more work than I thought and that there are areas of my life that need MORE WORK than I'm giving them.  Relationships, being thankful, parenting, and giving to others are ones that come to the forefront of my mind.  I pray that at the end of 2013 I can say that those things are victories and that I will have moved on to other areas that need work.

Last year I made no resolutions because I needed to just breathe. I had ideas of what I wanted to do, but because I didn't draw a line in the sand, I either forgot about them or just didn't care to follow through.  This year there are a million things I want to work on.  Housey things, family things, spiritual things, weighty (or baby weight loss-y) things. I saw this cute resolution idea so I'm going to follow it.  
2- 2 new goals I have for the year
0- something I'd like to stop doing
1- 1 new place I'd like to go
3- 3 new things I'd like to learn

It is really making me think about what's most important to me this year instead of citing a ton of things I don't really care that much about. So I am hashing through my resolutions right now and I better hurry because tomorrow is New Year's Eve.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Holy Third Trimester, Batman!

Back pain so bad at times I cannot roll out of bed.  And have to get a family member to come get Faith so I could writhe in pain all by myself.

Sometimes my feet hurt so bad I literally would rather pee my pants than walk to the bathroom. 

Rib pain so intense I actually considered going to the hospital.

Emotions running so high I think my tears have tears.

Welcome to third trimester meets the beginning of school.  

But we will overcome.  And make it the 7 or fewer (dear Lord, please not more) weeks until our little guy gets here.  

Thank God, though:
- that all my emotional breakdowns have been at home and not at my workplace.  
- that the people at Crocs have never heard how much I badmouth them because I fully intend on buying a pair of their flip flops this week. 
- that my students didn't see me when I tripped on thin air and went down on all fours on the first day of school.
- that I finally found a pair a maternity work pants that fit me (and bought three pair.) And thank God that they had more because I tore a hole in one of them on the first day of school in the aforementioned fall.
- that in 7 weeks (or fewer, please Jesus) I will forget how hard these last few weeks were and we will be an official family of 4. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Low Down

Well, I had a nice post all typed out and then Blogger decided it was going to act up.  So I'll start at the very beginning... a very good place to start...

This summer has been a whirlwind.  We have been blessed in so many ways.   TJ worked with my dad (he does every summer) and we were able to go on an amazing family vacation before our little guy arrives this fall.  We had initially planned to save the money for our 10 year anniversary trip in November, but since we will have a newborn that really wasn't going to work out.  And now I'm thankful it didn't because Faith wouldn't have gotten to go with us and she had an absolute blast.  I always forgot just how beautiful Colorado is.  It also makes me wonder why we live in a state that has high temperatures of 113 when just a few states away they're enjoying 70s.

The Little Guy is growing and developing wonderfully.  This pregnancy has been a lot rougher than my pregnancy with Faith.  I have so many different kinds of aches and pains and I have officially gained as much as I did with Faith and I have 2 more months to go.  I've decided to quit whining about it and just LET. IT. GO.  I say that and I'll walk out of my appointment this week complaining because of the scales.  Its just so hard for me to let go of the scales when the go up when my whole life I've wanted them to go down.  I also found out that I'm slightly anemic so I'm taking iron supplements.  I honestly didn't believe people when they said that each pregnancy was completely different, but now I know they're weren't just pulling my leg.

I start back to work this coming week.  I am nervous.  My entire team has changed.  One of my teammates gets to stay home with her baby, another one got a job as a librarian, and the last one got a job at the school where she went to kindergarten and is actually teaching with her kindergarten teacher. I am so excited for them, but I'm a little sad for myself.  My new team is great too- I've taught with two of them before and the third is a veteran teacher who works so hard.  I just think its going to be hard for me to adjust to not having my best friends next door.    I will be at work until the beginning of October and then will be off for the Little Guy's arrival until probably the beginning of December.

Faith is still very excited about being a big sister.  She loves babies and if there is one around, you can bet she is down on the floor playing with it (probably too close for comfort.)  She had definitely become more of her own person and has definite likes and dislikes.  She HATES shorts and will ONLY WEAR DRESSES.  She will freak out if you even try to get her to wear shorts under her dress so you can't see her panties.  She eats one of two things for breakfast every morning- oatmeal or fruit, granola, and yogurt parfait.  She loves the show Good Luck Charlie, which I think contributes to her sassy attitude and I wish would go off the air because I can't seem to get her un-hooked.  She is going through quite a stage right now and I'm convinced that she will snap out of soon or you might find me in a corner rocking myself.  How a 3-year-old little girl can manipulate to the extent she does is beyond me.  I'd like to think that I'm using this time as a learning time and that God is molding me into a better parent daily, but most days I end of yelling or crying or feeling like a failure (or a mixture of the three.)

TJ is continuing his SCUBA certification in hopes of being a rescue diver for the fire department and is starting to study to take the Sergeant's Test this fall.

That's the low down for now.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Best of the Best

TJ is the best.  The best of the best of the best. Seriously.  Sometimes I lose sight of that and think he's just a regular guy, but nope, he's not.  I know this is so small of a thing, but it made me realize, once again, how great he is.
I have poison ivy on my arm and I was searching for something to wrap around my arm last night so that it wouldn't get it on TJ or lay on my arm and get it on my face during the night.  I "searched everywhere" for the stuff, but couldn't find it.  He went immediately and found it (right where he said it was, oops) and came and knelt in front of the chair I was in.  I thought I was going to get an "I told ya so!" but he gently took my arm and wrapped it in gauze and taped it up so that it wouldn't come off.  He was so kind and gentle and sweet and for a second, I got to see what an amazing gift he is to people he comes into contact with at work.  I can just imagine how compassionate and gentle he is with elderly people who truly need assistance.  Or how a mother could find comfort in knowing that my husband was taking care of her baby when she didn't know how to help them.  I can honestly say that I would've plopped the gauze in his lap, rolled my eyes, and kept on about my day if the tables had been turned.  Instead, he lavished love on me by doing something as simple as taping up my itchy arm.
I just love that guy. He is the best. of the best. of the best.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

She Gets That From Me

We had a great day planned.  We both got our hair done and then were off to Chick-Fil-A and the splash pad.  When we pulled up to the drive thru Faith saw a little girl with a cute little sun dress on.  I should back up a minute and say that lately Faith is obsessed with dresses and getting to pick hers out and wearing the EXACT one she wants when she wants.  So anyway, when Faith saw the girl she commented, "Look moma.  That girl has such a cute dress on."  I glanced that way,  agreed with her, and thought nothing more of it.  Then I hear a sad, quiet voice from the back seat say, "And I look ridiculous."  At first I thought I misunderstood what she said so I asked her to repeat herself.  So she said it again.  "I look ridiculous."  Then I thought she must not know what that means, but when I asked here she said, "Mom, it means silly.  I don't like this dress anymore."  
I. was. crushed.  How can my beautiful three year old already feel like she doesn't measure up?  How can she feel like someone else is more beautiful than she is?  I stopped the car in the drive thru, much to the chagrin of the ten cars behind me, and looked her straight in the eyes.  "Faith, you do not look ridiculous. You look beautiful.  You ARE beautiful."  It stuck with me all day. And I cried when I was telling TJ that our little firecracker of a daughter didn't think SHE was enough.  
Then today I was getting ready to go eat lunch with friends and was having a hell of time trying to dress this pregnant body of mine.  Faith kept coming in telling me I looked pretty and as soon as she would leave I would spout off self criticism and change into outfit #788290.  I was so disgusted with myself and how ridiculous I looked.  Wait. Did you catch it?  I felt ridiculous.  I said out loud that I wasn't enough.  I DID THAT. SHE GETS THAT FROM ME.  Talk about a kick in the teeth.  
So to all the moms out there (all three of you that read my blog): let's just give ourselves a break.  And by doing that, give ourselves and our daughters the freedom to be imperfect, human women with differences that don't equal flaws, but differences that equal individuality.  

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


When I'm pregnant I have few cravings, but I always start crunching ice again with a vengeance.  It is, quite possibly, one of the most annoying habits on the planet.  Just ask TJ.  I feel like the more I crunch, the more I wanna crunch.  Its a vicious, loud, annoying cycle.
But isn't that just how cravings are? The more you give in to the whatever it is you crave, the more of it you want, NEED, HAVE TO HAVE RIGHT NOW!  Maybe it's just me, but I've never been the type to eat just one cookie, have one spoon full of ice cream, get one chip out of the bag and be done with it.  If I want fries, I want an XL.  If I don't get a RT. 44 I feel that I'm missing out on something.
This book I've been reading (ya know, the life changing one) has left me craving more of what it has to offer.  I've read this book through twice now and some chapters three or four times.  I just feel like I need to read, need to remember, need to focus on what it has to say.  Its nice because I don't get the feeling that I do after eating a giant bowl of ice cream (for the second time in a day...ahem), I get a feeling that I'm doing exactly what God wants me to do. That I'm right where He wants me to be. That I'm right in the middle of a downpour of his love and affection and that's what I need more of.  That's what I'll never quit craving.  Because let's all just be honest for a minute- we all think we know what we need to make our lives how we think they should be, but what we really need is to focus in on what God KNOWS WE NEED to make that happen.  
I have wearied myself too long (for almost four years now) trying to figure out what God is trying to do in my life and trying to make a way where He wasn't.  It the end of all of my trying, I still find myself struggling with my identity, my self worth, and just living the normal day to day life.  I've found that doing those things has created a cynical and negative spirit in me.  Can anyone else relate to that?  I've finally resolved that I don't need to get God all figured out and try to decipher his mysteries, I just need to relish in what I do know about Him and trust the goodness of who He is. By focusing on God's goodness, that's what I crave- more of His goodness.  And now it feels more like the feeling of when you're working out hardcore and you know it's gonna be an hour of hard work, but you wanna do it anyway?  That's a dang good feeling to have! 
So that's where I am today.  Honest as I can be.  

Thursday, June 14, 2012

This week...

1. Faith felt the baby move for the first time. And now she tries to get him to move by baby talking at my stomach.
2. Aforementioned stomach is getting bigger and huge-er and gargantuan even though I have 17 weeks left and I'm scared, people. Scared that come mid-October I'm going to be one of those pregnant women that you shudder at when you walk past. And don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about, either. 
3. We went downtown the day of the first NBA finals game.  TJ bought all three of us Thunder t-shirts and I honestly feel guilty to wear it because I care so little about basketball.

4. We got to spend several days this week with all three of us and had lots of fun. But we got Faith's nap scheduled screwed up and paid for it dearly today.  I was washing dishes and TJ was researching on the computer and somehow she snuck out of her room into the bathroom, got a bunch of creams and rubbed them all over her window.  I honestly have no idea how TJ didn't see or hear her; he must've been in the zone.  She is such a little raccoon these days- I thought she was too old for that.  Apparently three is the perfect age to drive your parents crazy! 
5. My niece came down to see us and we made bleached-out shirts.  They are really easy and would be a fun craft to do while hanging out with friends.  Of course, we stole the idea off of a blog because who had original ideas these days.  (I'm sure there are a million tutorials- I used Ashley Ann's Under the Sycamore blog.) This is my niece and she made a hunger games shirt.  My mom made a super cool Thunder shirt (she actually is a fan, unlike me), but I don't have a picture of hers.

6. I am a member of a book club.  One that I actually attend and talk at.  Crazy things are happening around here, people. Do any of you remember when my new year's resolution was to read more. Yeah, I kicked that resolution's arse!
7. I am reading a life changing book right now.  More soon, promise.
8. I chickened out of the Color Me Rad 5K for this summer because a)I'm going to be ugly pregnant and b)I don't want to walk my first 5K.  
9. Faith had her first dentist appointment and rocked it out!  No cavities and the dentist and her assistant said she did the best of any child they've ever seen.  We have been talking up "Dr. Robin" (I'm sure she appreciates us calling her by her first name) at our house for some time now and we were both SUPER proud of her when we left.  I wanted to reward her with ice cream, but then decided that might actually be counterproductive. Also, I realized, I just wanted ice cream and it probably had nothing to do with her dentist visit. 
10. Monday after getting home from MDO we realized Faith had left her blanket at school.  Her teacher lives right down the road from us and dropped it off at our house.  Don't you just love small towns?!?! I do!
11. Had dinner and time with my best, most wonderful friend, Corrie.  With her I just feel at home.  

TJ and I have just been sick about what to do with Faith and her school situation I blogged about recently.  We checked into other places around town, but nothing seemed to feel right or were too expensive for us right now.  Bummer.  Faith went to school last week and came home and told us she didn't play with anyone all day because none of her friends were there.  (Apparently several families left when they found out her teacher might not be returning.)  We were super-bummed and were struggling with what to do about the whole situation, BUT we got to school on Monday and Faith and her little friend ran to each other and just loved on each other.  So sweet and her moma told us that her daughter had done the same thing when we were out of town. So she does have friends there are named a few more to me that afternoon. THEN, and this is the big one,  we found out this week that her teacher IS COMING BACK IN THE FALL! Thank you, Jesus!  She saw TJ's sister at the Post Office (other reason I love living in our small town) and told her to tell us she is coming back!  God seriously answered some major prayers with that one and we are so thankful.  We love Ms. Andrea! 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Telling The Sister

TJ and I went back and forth about when and how to tell Faith.  But we ended up with her telling us...kinda.
We knew what was up (obviously, duh!), but hadn't said a single word in front of Faith.  She started telling US that we were going to have a baby.   TJ and I were sure that my mom was feeding her the line, but then Faith started telling us God told her.  Upon further conversation she start telling us that God had been coming into her room and kissing her head and telling her that we were going to have a baby.  I mean, God has never spoken to me audibly, but I'm not doubting His desire, willingness, or ability to meet my baby in her pink striped princess room and show her love.  And I will say this, she is no-joke serious when she talks about it.
We did, though, actually sit down and talk to her after our second doctor's appointment.  And while she obviously wasn't surprised, she WAS ecstatic.  She started bouncing and squealing on the couch and had the most beautiful smile on her face.  We put her big sister shirt on and drove her around the countryside telling our parents.
We almost got to tell everyone before it got to Facebook.  Too bad not everyone got a phone call.  We know who to tell last now, though, if we ever have another child.

This coming week the sister gets to find out if she will have a baby brother or sister to show the ropes to.  We find out on Tuesday then onto names!  Exciting stuff around her.

As far as how I'm feeling- I'm ready for the last week of school to come to an end.  Exhaustion isn't even the right word.  Whatever is about 2 steps past exhaustion is how I feel.  Probably mile 11 or 12 of a half-marathon, for my runner friends.  Today I wore my Bella Band with my pants unbuttoned for the first time and I'm convinced I will look like a mix between the Loch Ness Monster and a rhino by the end of September.  I've apologized to TJ in advance.

Lastly, we are trying to find a place to move Faith to for preschool.  Her MDO teachers are leaving and we are uneasy and unsettled about the other class at her school.  We feel like we need to be thankful for our time there and find another place for her. Problem- my first choice is too far away from our house and doesn't meet our needs right now.  And is more expensive for much less time at school.  Please pray that God would give us a clear choice of where he wants Faith to go to school- where she would have teachers that love Jesus and her, friends that she can love and love her, and that her early-childhood-development-crazy moma knows her developmental needs are being met.  Seems like a big bill, but I know God will show us.  All prayers appreciated.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Sweet, Sometimes Inappropriate Child of Mine

Faith has a way with words.  She can break out the most inappropriate comebacks at the most inopportune times.  A few weeks ago at church she turned the lights off in class and yelled "It's Make Out Time!" WTH? Seriously- WTH?  We monitor what she watches a lot more than some of our friends, but its like her mind is a steel trap for the unacceptable.
Tonight she had me laughing all night long.  I try not to laugh, but what in the world as you supposed to do when you child scoops up "toot water" out of the bathtub and pretends to drink it?  What, tell me, please?
Before she went to bed we were in the living room and she wanted me to hold her and sing to her.  I started singing old hymns and rocking her back and forth.

He speaks and the sound of His voice
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing.
And the melody that He gave to me 
Within my heart is ringing.
And He walks with me 
And He talks with me
And He tells me I am His own.
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known.

And then here little voice through the silence:
"Mommy.  You MUST be talking about God.  That sounds just like Him."

Talk about bringing a mommy to tears.  "You're right.  That IS just like Him."

Thursday, May 3, 2012

You can't walk into THAT place without feeling nauseous, like you're going to cry or be short with someone or the unthinkable is going to happen again. You can't step on that scale, be in that room, see that nurse without remembering the day you thought that for a split second God somehow forgot about you. That His angels took a break while on duty and Satan snuck in the back door when no one was looking.
Going back in there has never gotten easier. Everytime I feel the taste of bile, my eyes start to burn and I want to run away.
But let's just be honest- that was Satan's plan all along. To hit me with a bone rattling left hook that shook me to my core then to make me relive it with little jabs every so often. He's crafty, that jerk.

It's impossible to explain miscarriage to someone who hasn't experienced it. It doesn't matter how far along you are, which pregnancy, or who you had told; it is the mourning of never getting to see someone you've loved with all your heart. Never knowing their eyes, their hair, their tiny fingers and toes. Never getting to console their cries with your kisses or hearing them say I love you, mommy. That's the loss that no one can understand. That you would never want anyone else to go through, yet you wish they would get.  That NEVER goes away, is just buried under days and months and years.

So there we were sitting and waiting (and waiting because they overbook themselves I had never been so anxious. The same sweet nurse, the same schpill, the same packet of info we had shoved back in her face through tears last visit. The same machine wheeled in. I honestly had my eyes closed so tight for a second I thought the electricity went out. Then the same static noise. And the waiting. Would we hear silence and whispering and see "the look" or would we leave smiling today? Then, out of static came a teeny tiny heartbeat. In that moment I felt like Jesus had just battled Satan and returned what he had stole from us last year. And really, He did.

More soon...

Thursday, April 26, 2012


I knew that 2012 was going to be a good year.

I had my list of things I wanted to accomplish and my plan was in action.  I was choosing God's best for me, surrounding myself with joy, and making sure that I was sharing Jesus with people around me.  I was enjoying choosing a more healthy lifestyle and was combining that with working out and better eating habits.  I was feeling great and doing Insanity again, this time- determined NOT to give up. Ever. Ever. Again.
Around the beginning of February I was doing Insanity and just felt really unbalanced.  I could barely get through the opening warm up without stumbling over myself.  I chalked it up to a mental thing and kept pushing through.  With about 10 minutes left I started getting really light headed and dizzy so I stepped into the living room to walk it off and let TJ know if he heard the house rattle it wasn't another earthquake, it was me falling over.  He told me not to push it, but I just KNEW it was a mental thing so I headed back in to pick up where I left off and finish this jerk of a workout.  I seriously did about 2 more minutes and waved the white flag.  It was absolutely the WEIRDEST feeling ever.  I've told my body "no, not gonna finish" more times that I can count, but I've never had my body say "NO" to me.
I was beyond frustrated.  Hacked off, really.  Here I was, trying to put my health and self first, and my body was meeting me with a talk to the hand.  There goes my 2012, I thought.  I can't even get through two months without failing!
A few days later I understood that my body wasn't telling me no, it was telling me, "hey, we've got bigger fish to fry, here!"  Because unbeknownst to me, I was expecting a BABY!!!!!!  Holy cow!  So 2012 was going to be big, but not in the way I thought. It was going to be big-baby-belly big.

To be continued...

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


April 5, 1995.
The day a skinny boy with red cheeks asked a poor, chubby girl to be his girlfriend.  And we've never looked back.  Our lips have never kissed another set of lips.  "I break up" has never been spoken.  I  have known I was going to marry him since the day I first saw him in my first hour class on our first day of junior high.  He IS my one and only.  For better or for worse.  For richer or for poorer.  In sickness and in health.  Til death do us part.
He is a wonderful husband, no doubt.  He keeps me warm because I'm always freezing.  He does laundry when I don't. And he looks incredibly hot in his bunker gear.
And he has morphed from wonderful husband to perfect daddy.  He never says no to pushing Faith on her swing, he teaches her how to fix things, and he goes in her room EVERY morning and prays over her before he leaves.
And I know that our real anniversary is the day we got married, but April 5th is the day that changed my life forever.

Monday, March 26, 2012

A Much Needed Break

I just came off one of the nicest Spring Break's I can remember.   It wasn't that we did anything spectacular.  On the contrary, I PURPOSELY put no plans in stone.  I learned at Christmas overbooking my family, my child, in particular, is a very bad idea.  Long story short,  I thought since I was off just 2 weeks we would do "12 Days of Christmas."  I made cute envelopes and hung them ever so perfectly in a large frame.  Then I drew pictures in each envelope so that Faith would know what we were doing each night.  It was fun... until about the 6th night when she was crying, begging us to just stay home!
So this break we just relaxed and did things we thought of that day or I prepared things that Faith has been asking me to do, but I never have time for during the work week.  It was glorious!  We had the best time and she was extremely well behaved the entire week!  And the week didn't fly by.  It felt like a regular week with lots of relaxing and fun.
-had lunch with my friend and new mommy to celebrate another friend's birthday.  Faith ate with all of us at the table and did an awesome job.
-went to the Omniplex (or if you're fancy Science Museum Oklahoma)
-painted with watercolors and learned she prefers paint you can "atually dip your little brush in, mom."
-made homemade pretzels and ate them for dinner
-made Thundercake one of the very rainy and thundery days.  Faith has been waiting through the longest drought in her little life to make it after reading Patricia Pollaco's book with the same title.  We learned that tomatoes should NOT be in chocolate cake.  Why would anyone do that?!?!
-went camping one night with our church family and it was fu-reezing cold.
-had 2 soccer games
-finished The Girl Who Played with Fire and started The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest.

My favorite night was when we got to go to the circus.  Faith has been asking for months when the circus was coming and, thankfully, they have several nights when firefighters and their families get in free!  I know I say this at the risk of sounding like an a-hole mom, but sometimes I can get so caught up in training, redirecting, and teaching Faith that I don't enjoy her.  I know. I know.  It sounds horrible.  I feel like my time at home is limited with her since I work and that I can be resentful of the fact that I spend the majority of my time right now "training her up in the way she should go."  I read these blogs where mommies write letters to their babies with these minute details and how they love their little quirks and I feel even more guilty that I don't feel that way most of the time.  I wonder if I'm just honest enough to say how I feel or if I'm the recipient of the Suckiest-Mom-of-the-Year Award.  And I do believe those moms are being real and honest, which makes me even worse than I thought. Most of the time I'm huffing and puffing and asking her over and over to please stop jumping off the couch, please stop splashing your drink, pleast stop blah, blah, blah.
That night at the circus it all melted away.  I was just able to enjoy her- enjoy watching her face light up and cheer for the circus acts and wave her light up wand and just. be. Faith.  It was one of those moments as a parent that you look at that little face and you seriously feel your heart overflowing your body.  I started tearing up, right there in the middle of the monkey act, because 1)I need forgiveness for my bad attitude and 2)God is so good to lavish his love out on us.  She is wonderful and perfect for our family.
So who knew all that could come from the Shiner's Circus?!?!  Maybe IT is the greatest show on Earth?

Now I just have 44 more days of school before I get to spend a summer with my family.  I love my job, but boy, does it make me love my school breaks.  22 5-year-olds can really wear a girl out!

Sunday, March 4, 2012


1.  I have no idea how, but I've cut almost all DDP out of my life.  Weird, huh?  After more than a year of intentionally trying to pare down, water just tastes better most of the time.
2.  Sometimes I think I will lose part of myself if I never sing in front of people again.  For some reason, leading, performing, etc, just makes me feel fulfilled and I miss it terribly.  I'm sure that makes me some sort of selfish person, but truth is truth.
3. TJ and I have been consistently following Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover.  You should read the book.  Even if you don't follow it to a T, just getting into some of his routines has made our life and financial goals so much more consistent, focused, and aligned with how God wants us to live.  Plus, less fighting over money so totally worth it!
4. Faith is taming down a bit.  I cut several personal things I was doing so that my time with her after work would be more focused.  It has been hard to make those sacrifices, but sometimes we have to cut out what is good to focus on the most important.
5. One of the prongs on my wedding ring is broke and TJ lost his wedding ring so we've been going around without rings for quite a while.  Several of my student's parents must think we're on the fritz because the last few thank you notes I've received have been addressed to me and Faith only!
6. Thursday was probably the hardest day of my life.  Actually harder than the day I found out I miscarried if you can imagine.  I kept it nicely bottled until Faith went to sleep then sobbed until I vomited and sobbed some more.  Sometimes life can be a B.  TJ was at work (of course!) and I honestly would've paid a guy $500 so he could come home. I'm sure he would've too since I was snarfing on the phone to him forever!
7. My husband is amazing and knows sometimes the only thing that will make me feel better is just to be with him. So you know what he did Friday after #6's Thursday?  After spending an entire night up at the fire station he took Faith to school and spent the ENTIRE DAY in my classroom making green eggs and ham for about 125 students.
8. Then he bought me the Pottery Barn bedding I wanted for over a year just to surprise me!
9. Faith has decided that she no long wants to be called "Baby Faith."  And rightly so, the girl's three!  She kindly asked me to tell my students and to ask them to refer to her as "Big Girl Faith."
10.  I love listening to Faith read books to me.  She will follow the pictures and make up her own story.  She always ends with some off-the-wall ending though.  Tonight when she got to the end of each book, she finished the story by saying, "And thats when they knew they finally had the chance." Sounds like a sequel in the making to me!

God is good and I am blessed!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

From the Trenches

We are in the big middle of something I'm terming "Three-acaust."  Just use your imagination and you can probably decipher what our household is like.  I know everyone, adults included, go through slumps, funks, and bad moods, but it's just so much harder when you're responsible for the little human that is going through it.  I want to wave my magic mommy wand and reverse all this- less stress, less consequences, more enjoying family time, more cuddling.  Everything I try goes up in smoke.
Case in point, she would NOT clean her playroom.  I had tried everything so finally I just said, okay, we're going to get rid of these if we're not going to keep them clean.  I calmly got a trash bag and started filling it with her FAVORITE things that littered the floor.  Any child would get wide-eyed and start cleaning, right?  Not mine, she started picking up items, giving them a hard look over, and then would tell me those could go in the trash too.
I know life is more that following rules and being a "good kid" and I want her to be herself, be an independent thinker, and follow her convictions, but I want her to do those things AND obey.  I think God expects me to teach both as a parent and the balance of the two worlds.  I just don't know how to teach that to a three-year-old.
The truth of it is this- she is so kind and sweet and loving about 80% of the time and the other 20% she's testing the boundaries like all three year olds do.  But I feel like when you factor in the time that I'm away from her while I'm at work and that the 20% usually happens in the evening, I'm beginning to take it personally.  I know I shouldn't, but I think any mom would agree that's just how we are.  She even told my mom that she hits people because she misses me.  Who knows if that's true or if she's just crafty enough to think to say that.  Either way, mommy guilt has taken up residence in this war as well.  I'm on the verge of crying all the time thinking I CAUSED THIS because I teach other people's children while my mom stays with mine during the day.
I just have to remember- human nature is sinful.  We are all born with something in us that is broken and in need of repair.  Whether you're 3 or 30, every person tests the boundaries, steps on and/or over the line just for the fun of it.  And we all have it in us to choose.  I want to force her to choose the right, but I can't.  She has to make that decision.  And I HATE that right now.

This post has obviously turned out to be a brain/heart dump.  I have no grand conclusions to make us moms feel better.  If I did, this post would have been titled "Out of the Trenches."

And just so I don't end on a bad note or leave you guys thinking our house is just miserable, here is what happens 80% of the time:
-Faith and I were eating dinner at a restaurant one night when TJ was at work.  As we were leaving, I commented on the sunset and how beautiful it was.  It was also pink and purple, Faith's favorite colors, so we started talking about how God is just so good that he made the sunset her favorite colors.  She just kept saying dramatically, "Mom, God is just the goodest!  He's just so good!  He is just the goodest!"  I agreed then turned around to buckle her in her carseat.  As serious as she could be she looked at me and said, "Moma, at night God comes in my room and whispers He loves me in my ear."
And I absolutely, positively believe her.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Ain't Like Moma Fixed It

I can cook many things in mediocre fashion.  I can cook a few things that are great.  And I can make cake balls that will make you weak in the knees.  Besides that, you're outta luck.

One thing I do particularly well is homemade chicken and egg noodles.  TJ loves them and they typically don the table when he is having a rough week or I just want him to know I love him like crazy.  I learned how to make them from my moma.  Enter the problem.  She makes them phenomenally.  We were dropping Faith off a few weeks ago to go out on a date and my mom had made them for dinner.  For them.  Not us.  Not the ones going to dinner in the big town.  But there TJ stood over the pot on the stove shoveling them down the hatch.  I thought he might go for the big O right there he was making such a huge deal about them.  Ooooohing and ahhhing and whispering sweet nothings in their proverbial noodle ears.  Then he walked back into the living room, looked me straight in the eye and told me, "Yours are good, but... these are....gosh....amazing."

I know, TJ.  I KNOW.  My mom can do the tango with her kitchen and score a 10 from Bruno, Carrie Ann, and Len.  That's why I get up at the crack of dawn on Saturdays to go to the WW.

I would type out the recipe, but just save yourself the effort and get a bag of Reames because they won't be as good. They just won't.  Food cooked by my moms always tastes a zillionty times better.
In other news, my baby turned 3 last month.  We were planning on having a small friend party and a small family party but the stomach virus turned our world upside down and we ended up at Andy Alligators for our family party and when everyone got better we had the princess party at our house with her friends.  Just a few pictures to show you how much we wish each of you could've been there.
Birthday guhl

Two of Faith's favorites- Aunt Sarah because she's "silly Auntie Sarah."  Uncle John because, well, he's just amazing.  He and Faith are birthday buddies and they just have a super special bond. 
 My daddy and Sarah. My mom was home puking her guts out because she comes to watch our child even when we're all sick.  I love that woman. And her egg noodles. 
 My dad playing Whack-A-Mole.  There were 6 moles.  He has 6 kids.  
You do the math.  He was pounding those things with a fury. Ha! 
 My dad on the bumper cars.  I seriously never thought I would see the day.  If you know my dad, you totally understand.  
It's blurry, but its amazing.  The looks on their faces sums up exactly how they felt.  Elijah wasn't digging it, Brayden loved every minute of it.
"I'm free now."

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Preach the Word, Sister

Last night at dinner Faith prayed.

"God, we just thank you for our food.  And we just ask you to bless our house with calmness."  

Can I get an AAAAAAMEN from the choir? Can I get an AAAAAAMEN from the congregation?  Can I get an AAAAAAMEN from the preacher?

(That, my friends, was a direct quote.  Not paraphrased and not jazzed up for the blog.  And I've asked everyone who prays with her and none of us have ever prayed that with her.  Just comin' straight from the heart. Ya know, from the main contributor of our house craziness.)

Watch it, Satan. We got yo' numba!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Day One on January 2nd

Today when I got home from working Faith was crying hysterically.  Fake crying, mind you.   But she had me fooled.  I rushed into the room to see what was broken or bleeding and found her sitting on the bed crying beside a Daddy who had had enough of it.   She was laying it on thick- snot, tears, the whole nine- in a futile attempt to get out of the nap she (obviously) still needs.  Daddy explained the whole situation and I tried to talk with her, but it was no use.  She wasn’t buying it.
If you backtrack one blog post, you’ll see that I said I’m going to be thankful for each day with my child, even the not-fun days, so I scooped her up and took her to her room.  I grabbed one of her favorite books and started reading, completely ignoring the fact that she was still sobbing and snotting all over the place.  As I read, she calmed down.  Until the last page, when she realized she needed to take a final stance to see if she could get her way.  But this moma has a secret weapon in her arsenal- Faith’s kryptonite, if you will.  The gift of song.  I sang to her.  Old children’s church songs, hymns and praise music until she drifted off to sleep cuddling my arm around her.  
I sat there thinking “Amanda. This is a big moment for you.  The moment you decided to see good instead of bad, positive instead of negative. “  I starting thanking God for giving me this moment- the whole scenario.  From the moment I walked in the door and heard the cries to the very minute I found myself in.  God had given me the opportunity to choose the good, the positive. And I FINALLY took it.  Thank you God for continually giving me redos.  As I was praying Faith started coughing pretty badly.  She turned around, grabbed my face, and sleeptalked, “Sing me nother song, Moma.”  And so I did.

God is so good.
God is so good.
God is so good,
He’s so good to me.

He answers prayers.
He answers prayers.
He answers prayers.
He’s so good to me.