Monday, January 30, 2012

I've been Tatt-i-fied.


Here's how I knew I would be okay with a tattoo....I've wanted one since I was probably 17 but knew I wasn't going to get one with my parents not allowing it (If only I was always so obedient!).  I got married at the wee age of 20 and my hubby didn't approve so I just kind of let him know here and there over the years trying to explain why I wanted one.  And through all of those years and all those precious babies, I still wanted a tattoo.

Well, one day we had our eyes glued to his parents T.V. (they had cable and we didn't!) and were watching INK.  After an episode, he looks over and says.  "Okay, you can get one."  Me literally not having a clue to what he was talking about says, "What?"  Andy, "You can get one.  I approve."  Me, "What do you mean, you approve?"  Andy, "You can get a tattoo.  I think that'd be hot."  Me, "Oh!  Really?!  Wow.  Awesome!"

At that time, I didn't really have an idea as to what I wanted but I did know it was never going to be anything big.  So I kind of let it go.  I thought about it for months and decided I would be so original in getting "Redeemed" in red and in Hebrew.  This because my life had been redeemed by the blood of Jesus.  Little did I know, every other Christian and their brother got bible-ly sayings in Hebrew or Greek.  Ha!  Not so original anymore!  But I still loved the idea.

Well, then I got preggo, and then again...maybe again I do not remember ;)  All I know is that it came up again and I thought about what else had been redeemed in my life through Jesus' healing.  Music and my original dream to create through sewing.  So, I wanted to incorporate those as well.  I decided I wanted to get a silhouette of a vintage sewing machine (now THAT is original!) and...well, I want to get the "redeemed" in Hebrew and in red and the "other" part representing music with my hubs at a later date!  That is all hush, hush for now.

The other part of tonight that was important to me was I wanted to go with someone who A. Was a good friend of mine and B. Had been through this tattoo stuff.

Who better than my girl, Lauren!?  Gosh, I love her!  We've been through so much, she's like family and I just can't imagine life without her in it!

Here's our CRAZY FUN night!

If I weren't getting a tattoo there, this would be a weird pic.
THE image.  YES!

She had a razor and I FREAKED OUT!  "What are you doing?!"

I'll just smile through my nervousness...

Typical tattoo picture.

Completely thrilled with the outcome.

I'm thrilled...more to come later!

"Hannah Banana" was so much fun (And talented!)

In awe of the detail.

Best choice to do this with LJL!

So pretty, right?

Pita Pit...ah-mazing!

Oh, yes!

Insomnia Cookies!  Go, Lauren, Go!

Even a smile!

I thought I could eat it all....

hahaha!  I look like I meant to do that! ;)

What.A.Fun.Night!  Thanks, Lauren for a blast of a night...LOVE YOU!  And, I really love my tattoo!

P.S. Getting my nose pierced and re-pierced, my tongue and belly button pierced (those are both gone) hurt worse than getting this tattoo.  For real.

P.S.S. I went to Evolved on High.  I do not think I've been anywhere so sterile.  Not kidding...she was on top of being CRAZY CLEAN, which I loved :)

Others First.

Others first.  This is something I often say to my kids.  I got the concept from a book called "Shepherding a Child's Heart" by Tedd Ripp.  I can't remember if they suggested to use this phrase but I remember it being SUCH a huge revelation in how to teach my children that not only does the world not revolve around them but it's also a perfect way to explain the way Jesus lived His life.

Now, this is something I had to explain to them over and over and over again and they need reminded often.  It is quite difficult for adults to put others first, let alone children.  "Others first" takes over the very popular phrase "who had it first?".  Oh how tempting it is to find out who had it first so we can just get on with the day.  But what is that teaching our kids?

"Who had it first?" does not teach our kids how to be humble and quite often will give a path to direct them right into lying.  Let's be honest...if a child wants a toy badly enough and you're always asking them, "Well, who had it first?!", they're going to plot and scheme into telling a story that proves they have the right to that toy.

It's just not good for their ever growing and changing hearts to teach them that whoever had it first gets the toy or whatever else.  It's really hard and completely convicting for me as I tell them, "But what does Jesus say?"  Seriously!  I'm an adult and I still struggle with selfishness!  I am quick to state my rights and validate them (this is where being good at sales can be harmful) ;) 

So, the hope is that my kids will remember that Jesus was always putting others first.  That's what made Him Jesus.  Well, not really but that's what he did through and through.  He had a heart of humility and as we read in 1 Thessalonians 1:4-8
"For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction.  You know how we lived among you for your sake.  *You became imitators of us and of the Lord in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the messae with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so  you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.  The Lord's message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia-your faith in God has become known everywhere.*

Imitating Jesus and living and speaking the way He did is not the norm or natural for our world and culture but is such a witness to those who are seeking and lost!

And a P.S.  I'm an imperfect mother who has an imperfect love for her children with an every growing desire to live more like Jesus and to teach my kids the same.  I need Jesus daily and I know this in my heart...I truly do. :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Embracing the Chaos of Motherhood...

Remember this article that every single momma (not really) was posting and "amening' to (including me!).  The post about old woman commenting on how "time flies, cherish these moments."

My first reaction to this article was "YES YES YES!!!"  But then something didn't sit right with me and I kind of just let it go.  I didn't re-post it but couldn't figure out why.

I'd see the article again and again...

Well, let me just tell you about my night.  You know how my birthday went down (still bitter...working on that) and last night Cyrus had a fever of 103 for the 48th hour straight and woke up at 4:30 to come in my room and LOUDLY whisper "Mommy, I need a drink of water."  As I get up, Zeke starts his foreign-bird-of-a-yell.  I get Cy his water, tuck him into bed, pick up Zeke and rock him back to sleep (knowing it would be a fight for at least a half hour.)

During all of this, I hear Eisley throwing up for the second time downstairs with Andy.  Momma instincts start kicking in and I pray that I will leave the boys' room with peace.  Bexley was also crying so I get her and run downstairs just to be there to say, "Okay, sweet Eisley.  It's okay.  Get it all out.  You'll be okay.  You'll feel better soon."  See, us momma's remember the important stuff even on 4 hours of sleep.

I get her water, Andy does the "other" clean up and Eisley is already saying, "BEXLEY!  How's my sweet little girl?  Are you sicky, too, Bexley?  Are ya?"  It was so cute but I was ready for bed.

I kissed the big sister and tucked her in the couch.  ha!  I feed Bex and let her lay next to me (so cozy!).  I start falling asleep thinking, "This will be so nice.  Since Zeke was up awhile in the middle of the night, he'll sleep past 7.  It will be glorious."

I then hear the sound of someone going to the bathroom..."REALLY?!?", I think.  I ever so gentle slip out of bed to check just be sure that it's Cyrus who went pee just a half hour ago!  Then, the lovely foreign bird chimes in just to be sure I feel like I'm on an exotic island where it's warm and sunny.

"Cy, what are you doing?"  I say calmly. (the fake kind of calm.  The kind that is NOT genuine but at least sounds that way)  Cy, "I'm going poop!  Sorry!  My bed is loud when I get in and out of it."

Me, "That's okay bud.  You know what to do when you're finished.  Please be SO quiet when you come into the room."

I go into the boys' room to rock Zekey back to sleep.  It was about 20 minutes and still no Cyrus.  I put Zekey down thinking he'd fight me as soon as I left but he didn't.  Praise the Lord!

I check on Cy who's just kinda hanging out at this point.  "Loverly." I think.  "Now, we'll have to go BACK into the room and Zeke will wake up again and who knows when Bexley will wake up with all of this noise!"

I tuck Cy in bed ever so quietly and leave without Zeke waking up.  SCORE!  It's 5:45 at this point, which, not to long ago was normal wake up time for Zeke.

I took Bexley to her crib so I could sprawl and enjoy a good 2 hours, I thought.  7:09 came quickly as Andy had to get up and shower for work which ended up waking everyone up.  This isn't his fault,  my kids are really light sleepers.

Okay, so back to the article.  I completely agree that it's not always fun and sweet and amazing and...

But then I went over to a new favorite blog, Clover Lane this morning which directed me to Then Sings My Soul blog post which helped me realize why the original article didn't sit well with me. 

A quote from the NEW article where it really hit home,

"It can be so easy to let ourselves count down the hours until bedtime, to laugh about how nice it will be to not have ketchup on our shirts, and to sit around talking about how three year olds are so whiny and newborns don't sleep enough and toddlers wear us out. Those are the thoughts that crop up when we are in the midst of motherhood. Those are the easy conversations to lapse into when we are with other mothers. But those are not the thoughts I want validated. Rather, I cherish the reminders that I'm missing the point. I need to be brought back to the sacredness of these moments. Yes, even the hard ones. If I find myself having too many days that I am overwhelmed and annoyed and not enjoying every moment with my children, it is usually a clue that I need to change something - about the way I parent, about the way I take care of myself, or about something simple like how we enforce certain rules in our house."

Now THAT is what I want to "amen" to.  I admit that I will look at Andy when the kids are being obnoxious and loud and making messes left and right and say, "It's only 6."  And so, in the original article she brought out these thoughts I most definitely have and was extremely honest about them (which I LOVE) but I was laughing out loud and giggling at my issues and things I can work on as a mother and I want to take that seriously.

Looking back, it reminds me of the feeling when a bunch of woman are gossiping and giggling at whomever or whatever and it feels so good because you are all on the same page but walking away from it you realize (or probably should realize) that wasn't the best thing to do.

Anywho, last night was crazy but I really do see how quickly time is's going crazy fast and I get the "cherish those moments because it goes quickly" from woman ALL THE TIME and I can honestly say, before the original article, I really did feel thankful for the older woman reminders because I had promised myself a couple of years ago that I was going to work on dreading less and loving more of those precious moments.  I did and do NOT want to wish the time away.

And guess mom is one of those woman who reminds me often and I've always respected her for that.  I roll my eyes (only in my thoughts of course) more to people who tell me how crazy my life is (duh!  Thanks for the reminder...I almost forgot) than I do the wisdom of woman who are truly just trying to bring a ray of hope and sunshine and mean well. 

I love my babies and I know you love yours...let's be real about the negative but focus on the positive and support each other through prayer and serving each other.

A few verses that come to mind. Actually, please read ALL of 1 Thessalonians 5 but specifically 16-18.

16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My Birthday...

So, although I joke about being "old" I truly do not feel old.  I do not have issues (yet) with my age but I have issues with the visual(ness) of the number.  So the number 27, it's just an ugly-looking number.  Get my drift?  Not so much?  Okay, moving on...

So, being sick on your birthday is just no fun but add to that a sick husband and 2 out of 4 kids who are also sick.  This can really make a birthday difficult to enjoy.

The real problem though, is my "need" or I guess the correct word would be desire to have a day all about me. It's something I feel I should have out grown but I haven't.  I have this prideful heart that basically says, "Dear God!  I am doing things for others 364 days out of the year and I want just ONE FLIPPIN' day to be about MEEE!"  It is really a big issue for my you understand?  A BIG ISSUE.  I'm such a baby...

Anywho,  with the sicknesses, my day just did not go at all as planned and I had about an hour where I went to text my mom 3 times and deleted it as I cried sitting on the pew in our kitchen and wanted someone to feel bad for me...hahaha!  I'm laughing at myself right now.

Turning 27...

 Who doesn't love to receive a package in the mail ON their birthday?!  Thank you so much Aunt Melody for giving me this beautiful quilt of yours!  I'll cherish it always.

 I totally laughed out loud as Eisley was running in with the cake in the Kroger bag all lop-sided and Cy and their lunch they chose (gag) holding it in my face.  So funny.

 The cute cake they bought.  They had already chose which flower was going to be theirs. 

 Sisters cuddling added some more sunshine to my day...

 Making tacos for the kids with Zekey who watched me the whole time saying, "HOT!"

 An extra sweet Bexley-girl hanging out with momma.

 Date time (FINALLY!) Wish I had more time to work on that hot mess of hair.

  Out to Carabba's!

Me and my free happy BOUday Caribou!

 And my Christmas present from my MIL...LOVE these boots!

 And the evening ended with an unexpected and much cherished chat with these loverly ladies.  Thanks for serving my family, gals!!!

 Looking forward to hopefully growing spiritually, as a better wife and mother, friend, daughter, sister, etc.  Never to be the same, always changing and being molded into who I was originally created to be...fully human in God's image.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Ministry Wives UNITE!

So, you wouldn't believe it...maybe you would.  I met a very cool gal who happens to be a wife of a worship pastor, has 3 kids (two are the same age as mine), is ready to take on the homeschool life (praise Jesus!) and has a bit of rebel to her (YES!).

Here's how it all went down : We both needed to get out of the house one day, so we did.  We packed up our babies and like we did about once a week, went to Chick Fil A to let the kids PLAY!  Who knew we'd end up meeting and chatting and realizing "wow!  We have a lot in common!"

I secretly wanted to be her friend (or maybe not so secretly) so I made the first move (ha!) and said, "We should totally have a play-date sometime!"  And so I gave her my number really hoping she wouldn't loose it because I loved the way our kids were playing and I could tell I would just really love hanging out with her.

Well, I think it took her a good month to get the guts up to email "that crazy girl who wants to hang out after just one time accidentally meeting".  I was SO excited because I figured we'd never see each other again!  (ha!  I run into her all the time!).

So, we had a few play dates and the kids LOVE to see their Luke and Ellie (and sweet baby Adayln of course!) and our friendship as momma's has grown into something we both say was no accident and God had a fun part in.

I'm thankful for her and the way she mother's her kids.  I love how much she supports her husband in what he does and it's always refreshing to be able to be "me" and know it's welcomed.

Anywho, to expound a bit more on why she's so dang fun to be around...we both got our noses re-pierced.

We got out for just an hour and had a great time chatting and getting a piercing that makes us feel like ministry-wife-rebels (I know, SO rebellious!)  I just love this beautiful gal!  So thankful to call her my friend :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Bridesmaid Dress Making/Attempting...

The other night Kristy, the bride-to-be (the kind you look at and think, gosh, she's going to look stunning!) and her other bridesmaid, Kate and I all followed a tutorial for a skirt to try and tackle and see if this is something we could do for Kristy's wedding.

Well, to be honest, the tutorial wasn't the easiest to follow.  Whether that is because we are rookies, or the steps were not clear...either way, we had a blast and are excited to try again and again!  I have faith! :D

Kate sewing away, Bride-to-be, Kristy pinning away!

Iron is HOT!  haha!

Cutting, marking, acting like we know what we're doing...

Bexley wanted to join the ladies!

The crew who's determined to make our own dresses!

Since we could fit Kate AND Bexley in our skirt, we'll call this skirt fail attempt # 1
We do not give up quickly...attempt #2 coming soon!  To be continued....

Friday, January 20, 2012

A Date With Eisley Bree...

Yesterday Andy let me take his lunch time to take Eisley out on a date.  Originally, I was just going to go to my favorite La Chatelaine and read a bit but I looked over at Eisley and wanted to make a date out of it.  She's such a gem in my life...

My little french girl.

Love my sweet, Eisley Bree.
Daddy took a pic of us to capture our excitement before we headed out...she's three for less than 2 weeks!  Where is time going?!

Sipping on hot chocolate :)

Guzzling hot chocolate ;)

And her yummy this sweet girl.
Our time started with conversations at La Chatelaine.  Things such as, "mommy, thank you for this playdate." When I said to her, "Do you know I love you?"  She said, "Yes!  And I love daddy and Bexley!" Me, "Good, because I love you so very much."

Next we went to Sew To Speak to get a little more fabric for the quilt I am working on for Bexley.  We're supposed to have a winter weather advisory so I want to be able to sew the weekend away in my cozy home!

Eisley looked through girly sewing books and picked out some fabric she loved.  I love Eisley's random thoughts, I love the way she loves, I love that she loves to dance and sing and wear lip gloss and purses.

She's my firstborn girl and I could not be any more thankful for her than I am.  Looking forward to a lifetime of dates with my sweet baby girl.

I started having dates with Cyrus when he was a young lad and have made it a priority to spend time with each child individually to let them know they are unique in my life and my heart.  I encourage you to take your kids out one on one and just be with them, let them tell you what they're thinking (without the noise of their siblings), ask them what they love to do and just be present with them.  It brings much blessing for both you as their momma (or daddy) and of course, them as well.

Breakfast Blessings Jan 20, 2012

Daddy took care of breakfast today and he did a fabulous job!  Oatmeal, fruit and water. 

Daddy love!

Sleepy momma

Photography courtesy of Cyrus

Photography courtesy of Eisley
Already this morning I came downstairs with a nasty attitude and ungrateful to all Andy did and apologized pretty much right away ;)  Then, Cyrus told a lie and I wasn't the kindest momma...we prayed together and asked Jesus to forgive us.  I told him it's always better to tell the truth even if it seems hard.

Amazing how quickly the devil tries to turn a perfectly amazing morning into a day full of really bad attitudes.  Now, to get some Jesus time up in he-ya!  Probably should have already done this!  What a blessing my family is!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Loving On Others' Kids...

I am reminded again and again how much of a blessing it is to have friends love on my babies.  Andy and I have been anywhere from 12 hours to 2.5 hours away from family and so when it comes time for a date or just some company, it can get tricky...

Thankfully, God has given us friends who have made themselves available to myself and my kids.  They have been like family to us over the past 5.5 years and I'm so thankful!  My kids love them as if they are blood-related and I know the feeling is mutual.

These are people who I call friends.  Close friends.  And they have made themselves available to just come over and hang out with me and listen to the hundreds of stories my kids have to tell, clean snotty noses and even offer free babysitting which, at one point, was the only way to get a date! 

They take time out of their lives to spend time in ours.  It's a beautiful thing.  It's beautiful because I need that as a mom.  I need to see my kids get attention from other people besides me.  It's a breath of fresh air for us all.

And this doesn't exclude those of us who have our own babies to love on (or get our energy sucked from all day).  I think it's so much fun to love on other parents kids myself and be willing to serve anyway I can.  Why keep that all for my own kids?  That's just silly...

Making a heart cake with Heather (used to be HeaVer) ;)

Random cuddles with Lauren (used to be Law-wen)

Linda and Chuck were such a blessing in my life when they lived here.

ha ha!  Law-wren snuggles!
A day out with Travis and Kristy!

Lauren visiting Eisley to see her dance.
A fun Christmas with Heather!
The Buckeye Store, of course!

Loving on Bexley.

Who can you think of that might  need company during the day sometimes, even if just once a month?  I can guarantee you will be a blessing to that mother and her babies.