Monday, November 17, 2008

A typical "down" day...

Today was a "down" day for us. Here is just a small sample of the things that transpire in a typical day at home. And don't let Emerson's costume changes fool you. It's normal for her to wear several dress up outfits a day!

And finally, this last video may not be typical, but it was sure funny!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

It's been like 6 weeks!

Well, I've been harassed about how OLD my blog has become with no new information. So, being as many good and exciting things have occurred since Jon's horrible day (see last blog), I suppose it's time to update you. Or since most all my readers (all 3 or 4 of you) already know whats been going on, it'll be a good place for me to come remember what a great month it's been.

SO, we did, in fact, get our house! And God was looking out for us because after all the hooplaa with our sellers, we actually ended up with a better deal than we even imagined. Wahoo! Our first home! And to boot, we live next to our good friends Matt and Shelly! It is truly a different feeling when you own your own home. It's ours! And we've done things to make it so. We've painted, hung up pictures, and added our own little touches to make it the comfortable home I've come to enjoy. As soon as get around to pulling the pictures from our new camera (woo hoo, we finally got one of those, too!), I'll post them for all to see.

Also, since the last I wrote, on August 25th Braeden celebrated his birthday. Our big boy turned 2!! With two parties (one with my family and one with Jon's), he made out pretty well and enjoyed both his cakes. He got lots of car things which, by the way, is his favorite subject to talk about - just ask him about cars and he'll begin a long, long, mostly understandable talk to you (you don't get to talk, sorry) about Daddy's car, Mommy's car, Grandpa's truck, Grandpa's motorcycle and the garage door. Anyway, all that to say, it was a good week for Braeden, which made it a good week for me! :)

I enjoyed my 27th birthday the day after Braeden's. Mine was much less interesting, however. Although Jon did get me a new Bible - one I've wanted for a while and he even had my name engraved in it, so that was very cool. Oh, and I did get some much needed maternity clothes and beautiful jewelry from my friends and family (thanks, guys!).

We celebrate Big Girl Emerson's 4th Birthday tomorrow!! I just can't believe she's 4 already. She's just so tall now and what a sweet girl she is. She just had her tinkerbell party with her friends on Saturday and had a grand time. Tomorrow she'll open her present from Jon and I consisting of a princess chest filled to the brim with dress up clothes, jewelry, and tiaras. I can't wait to see her face when she opens it! Since we've moved away from the Archers, she just hasn't been able to dress up, which she LOVES to do, since Aliyah always had all the cool dress up stuff. So now she has her own.

And last, we had our ultrasound today. The baby is healthy and strong and growing just as HE should. YES! It's a boy!! I think our wee one (Jordie, as my sweet Grandma has fondly nicknamed him!) wanted desperately for us to know that he was a boy. It was absolutely impossible to miss! It was a good thing we wanted to know! We came home with some beautiful ultrasound pictures and a DVD of our sweet one. Emerson came to the appointment and found out the same time we did as well. I'm sure I'll be carrying the pictures around for a while, so if you'd like to see them, I'd be thrilled to show you! And, if you have any name suggestions for us, please send them along!

I think that's the short of it! Thanks for coming along this fun ride with us and for all of you who have been supportive and celebratory with us and our family! It's good to have you along!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Would you believe...

Would you believe that in one 3-day period one could find out that the house they're buying could quite possibly fall through, their laptop computer would be dropped on the floor and the screen destroyed, and their husband was temporarily paralyzed and an ambulance had to be called to take him to the ER where they were afraid it could have been a stroke? Well, it happened to our family!! This weekend was possibly one of the worst weekends ever, mostly because we were so afraid for my husband's sweet life.

First, about Jon, so that you have all the information and updates. About 1 1/2 months ago, Jon hurt his back while at work. After visiting the chiropractor for several weeks it wasn't getting better so last week the chiropractor ordered an MRI. The MRI revealed he had a herniated disc in his very low back (his L5S1, for you back bone savvy readers). A few days later (which was this past Friday) we went to a spinal specialist. He confirmed the herniated disc and gave us a few options, the most promising of which was injections of a steroid in the space around the disc to reduce inflammation and swelling to allow his back to better heal. Sounded good to us (not pleasant, but the best option!), so at 4 pm on Friday Jon had these injections done. He did great, his back was sore (which wasn't too unusual as it'd been sore over the last several weeks), we went home and relaxed and retired to bed (after watching a few hours of the Olympics, of course!).

Saturday, Jon woke up before I, and being the ambitious one, got ready and spent the next two hours shopping. When he came home, he felt he deserved a good game of rock band (which he really does rock at, by the way) and proceeded to play the drums for the next half hour. I was sitting and watching when Jon, very suddenly, turned to me and with great effort explained that something was not right. I wasn't sure if he was referring to the game or his back or what, but just after he said that the sticks he was playing with dropped to the floor and Jon slumped over. Jon was able to stand up long enough to take two steps toward the couch where he collapsed and from there, could not move. He seemed almost slightly disoriented and complained that his body felt too heavy to move. I immediately called an ambulance. Once they got him into the ambulance, he began to shake (almost spasm) uncontrollably. He had no control over his arms or legs. At the hospital the doctor concluded that Jon needed an MRI right away and we needed to see a neuro-surgeon. He was transported to the Cheyenne hospital where they took an MRI of his neck down and then a CAT scan of his head. By the time he was done with these tests that evening, his body had begun to settle down and much of the shaking was subsiding and he was gaining more control of his limbs.

There, after the doctor concluded that Jon was truly the weirdest case he'd ever seen, he relayed that other than finding an additional herniated disc, everything else looked normal, which was good news, but still cause of concern because we didn't know why he had such an episode. He was admitted overnight and after watching overnight and after Jon had regained control over his now weak muscles, they declared him fit to go home. They concluded that it had to be some sort of reaction to the steroid. Jon is now home, and while he is feeling much better, his body still seems to be very weak and if he's not careful about how long he stands, he gets very shaky all over.

Needless to say, it was one of the most frightening experiences of my life (and Jon's, for sure) and praise God he seems to be ok. The kids were with my parents at the time Jon collapsed so they kept the kids, which was also a huge relief because I knew they were safe and ok while we took care of Jon. And we knew we had several, several people praying for Jon's safety and health which is why, I'm convinced, Jon's body recovered so quickly (in less than 24 hours). So thank you, if you were one who prayed.

And as far as the other stuff. The house appraised for less than it was worth if you know lenders, they won't lend you more money than the house is appraised for. The seller wasn't excited about that (obviously) and didn't think he wanted to sell it for that much less, but he's supposed to let us know today. The chances are very much against us, but we keep praying that out of pure kindness he sells it to us for the appraised price.

And the laptop... remember how I only a month or so ago spilled water on it and it miraculously came back to life? I think the computer is now officially dead, again thanks to me. As soon as we got home from our ordeal yesterday I sat down on the ottomon next to the computer and somehow knocked it onto the floor and completely destroyed the monitor. Jon, once again, was very merciful, even though he knew no surgery could fix the injury the computer sustained this time. So, now we're looking into a new laptop.

All in all, it was a great weekend. And by great I mean anxious, scary, emotional, tiring and possibly the worst ever!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Braeden Continued

I read back over my blog and realized while I got some of the cute things Braeden does, I didn't expand much into what's made me love him so deeply. Let me make clear that there is nothing that Braeden could or couldn't do that would make me love him more or less. God has placed in me, very graciously, the knowledge and understanding that I love this boy unconditionaly, but these are some of the things that God has been doing in Braeden that just get me right down deep in my heart about this boy.
First, he has such sweet blue eyes. It's those blue eyes that seriously can change my mood in a matter of seconds. And he's very good at using them already. He just tucks his head down and looks up a little and then that's it! If I was mad, I can no longer be. If I had things in my mind I had do to, I stopped. If I were sad, they immediately lift me up. It's true.
I love that when he gets hurt, he only wants me. I love his sweet hugs and sometimes slobbery kisses. I love listening to him play by himself in his room. Every once in a while, I'll hear him laughing when he's all by himself and just knowing how happy he is makes my heart fill. I love how he talks about church and Jesus already to Jon and I. He calls my Bible, Mommy's Jesus, which to me, is incredible because we have never taught him that. When we read the Bible, it's his and Emerson's kids' Bible, so I didn't even know he knew what that book was, but he's connected the dots somehow.
He can sing from memory several praise songs. Granted, they're not always understandable, but if you listen closely, he knows them. He'll sit at the piano sometimes and "play" and sing to all of us.
I think I already shared how he loves to console anyone who is crying. I love the tenderness he's showing now when he's so little. Yet he's no wussie (is that a bad word?). He's tough. Matter of fact there have been a few times when he's taken a digger and whatever he's done has made me just cringe to think of the pain and just wait for the tears to come and instead he just stands up and keeps on playing.
He loves to read books, as do I. So many times he'll keep bringing me book after book to read until I have to stop so I can get some other things done. He's also great at "reading" them himself.
He's clever. If he's stuck with something - can't reach something, can't get something to work, or whatever, his mind gets to working and he does his best to find a solution. I love to watch him think.

If you haven't gathered already, I love my babies. I'm so thankful that God has placed in me this strong desire to love and care for my kids. They evoke such emotion and passion in me. And what a gift that they are my full time job, too! I really have it made. So, sorry about all this mushy, gushy stuff. After writing and re-reading my last blog, it just got me thinking about all the beautiful things in my kiddos. If you're just now reading, you should go back to Braeden's first blog as well as the Beautiful Frizzy Hair blog and Sweet, Sweet Girl blogs. You'll see why I'm so blessed.

Hopefully this will have gotten the cheesy mushy, gushy stuff out of my blogging system so that you'll want to come back and read more and know they won't all be like this! In the meantime, know that my kids are the best and they make my and Jon's world so much better!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Baby Braeden

So, I've decided to dedicate a blog to Braeden. It's been easy to mention more about Emerson because she is such a talker now (and Braeden is beginning to be) and being a 3 (almost 4) year old, she is discovering her true personality and with her vocabulary expanding every day the combination of those things creates great moments to remember and note.

But onto Braeden, my sweet baby Braeden, who really isn't a baby anymore. He turns 2 in a little over 2 weeks, which is truly hard to believe. Time has gone by faster this time around, probably because there are two, and maybe because Braeden is much more of my, should I say, active child! He was born in August of 2006 and from the beginning was a talker. The first weeks he was home we discovered that he is always making noise. We also learned he DID NOT like to sleep and was always moving. And now, almost two, he's evolved into a wonderful sleeper, still is always making noise, and moves and climbs and throws and runs more than even I'm able to do!

One of the things I love about him is that he is always singing and talking. At this point, I can understand 90% of the things he says, most of which usually makes me chuckle and many times makes me break into laughter. Some of my favorite Braeden sayings, in no particular order, are:

"Watch, otay?" -- He always prefaces this to ANYTHING he may be doing. He wants me to watch every activity, small and large, at all times.

"Bubbles, not today." -- And shakes his head vigorously as he says this. He has this unusual fear of bubbles in the bath tub. I honestly think it began when someone (Jon!) turned the jets on in our bathtub once to make the bubbles bigger and better, thus giving a scary association to bubbles! So, every single time I say it's time for bath, this comes out.

"Right there, see it?!" -- He loves airplanes, trains, tractors, trucks, lawn mowers, and motorcycles (such a boy, isn't he?) and every time he hears or sees one of these fascinating machines, he says, "Bopane, Mommy! Right there, see it?!" (Bopane is Braeden's word for airplane) Now the funny thing is, many times he cannot see the things that he's hearing, but no matter, he always follows with "right there, see it?!" pointing in a direction of one of our windows regardless if that's where the object is or not.

"Good morning, seester!" -- Every morning, this is the first thing Braeden says at the first sight of Emerson. It's one of my favorite things to hear.

"Luz you, Mommy" - Now, these words have to be some of the sweetest a mommy could ever hear, and it is.

"I run away." - The great thing about this is that he says this before he does this. This, then, gives me a chance to get him before he runs away. It's great!

A few more things to note about Braeden. He is ALL BOY. He's rough and tumble, has a classic little boy laugh, can run seriously fast, can throw EXTREMELY far (I have witnesses to this), and his favorite things are trains, tractors, and cars. He loves his car pajamas. Everytime we get out of the car, he tries to race to the drivers seat so he can "drive." He loves to throw balls through his basketball hoop. He is also a lover. Whenever sister is crying (unless he caused it), he gives her a hug and a kiss. He adores babies (and is most surprisingly good with them) and "holding" them. And best of all he loves to snuggle and cuddle, which I am very thankful for.

What a combination, huh? What a sweet, wonderful, strong little boy he is. And here you have just a little glimpse into what a beautiful little boy God has created and lovingly gave to Jon and I. Oh, how I love him!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Our little Teddy Bear

Today was our first baby appointment since discovering we have a little one in my belly! We went through the first appointment rigmarole with talking to the financial people, urine samples (I'll have to do this EVERY appointment - yuch!), blood samples, but finally the best part... the first ultrasound! Our little peanut (note: only one, for those of you who teased about twins!) is only 3 centimeters long at this point and on the ultrasound looked more like a teddy bear than anything, but it was an exciting and beautiful site for Jon and I. Our little one was so squirmy, too, let me tell you! Maybe that's why I feel so sick all the time - my tummy can't handle all that movement! :) Anyway, it was a fun day. And the official due date is March 3, 09, however I had Braeden by c-section, so that guarantees that this baby will be a c-section baby as well, which means that this one will be an end of February baby. So, make your plans now to celebrate the arrival of Kelly Baby #3 (a.k.a. our little teddy bear)!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Sweet, Sweet Girl and We took the plunge!

Tonight Jon, the kids, and I came home from buying a new fridge (more on the fridge in a little bit). We walked into our home that is covered in MESS. If you know me at all, you know how much I HATE clutter and mess. Well, Jon went to making dinner for us (hooray for the men who help their wives with tasks such as these) and as soon as the smell wafted under my nose, my sensitive and, recently, unfriendly sense of smell kicked into gear and immediately sent me into nauseousness. It wasn't that it wasn't a good dinner, it's just that darn symptom of pregnancy!
Anyway, just before dinner I had a moment of stress over our messy home and pure tiredness of feeling sick and I broke into tears. Emerson and Braeden were sitting at the dinner table waiting as I was trying to conceal my emotions (as to not worry Emerson especially), but observant girl that she is asked me if I was ok. I quickly reassured her that I was just not feeling well again, but that I was ok. Her response? She said, "Come here, Mommy" motioning with her finger for me to come to her. So I did and she took my hand and pulled me down to her level and gave me a big hug and said, "It's ok, Mommy. I'll take care of you. Eat your supper and go upstairs and take a nap, ok?" Oh! What a sweet, sweet little girl she is. This, in turn, made me cry more. THEN, before we eat, we usually pray and Emerson decided she wanted to help Braeden pray by telling him what to say. The first things she had him pray for were that he would feel better (he hasn't felt well today either. I think he's coming down with a cold) and that Jesus would be with Granny and take care of her "owies" on her arm. Once again, the tears were flowing! I just couldn't get over the very obvious gifts of love and compassion this girl has. And it is most certainly not Jon and I who have given it to her, it is our beautiful and loving Father that is showing Himself through this precious three year old. I just couldn't believe the ammount of love this girl wanted to show me and also Braeden and Granny by praying for them. Oh, I love that girl. Even if she weren't so wonderful sometimes, I'd still love her so much, but this certainly makes it easy.
Oh, and I just now (as I was typing this) went down stairs to help Braeden, who was crying in his crib, and again Emerson called me over and asked me if my tummy still hurt. I told her, "I'm feeling much better, thank you!" and she said, "I'm so glad, Mommy, that I could help you feel better. I love you so much!" and gave me a hug. You may think I'm making up these words or exaggerating, but I am not. These are word for words from her mouth. Ah! What a gift she is!

Now, about the fridge. Did you notice, included in the title, that we took the plunge? This big plunge we took was the life changing decision to buy our first home (if you didn't guess from the hint of buying the fridge)!!! Long story short, we decided that we needed to stay in Laramie. That God still had plans for Jon to work with the hurting youth of Laramie and for us to remain and enjoy and grow in our already wonderful community and friendships here. Knowing that our family is about to expand, we knew we needed to find a place with more space for our babies. We began looking at our options and, not kidding, buying this house is cheaper than renting a decent three bedroom house or apartment anywhere in Laramie. We were able to get a great deal on our loan and found a brand new (not yet finished being built even) 3 bedroom home. It's such a big decision, but I feel excited and very at peace with it. I know that we'll be in Laramie for a few more years at least, which I'm excited about and looking forward to. It's also a little scary financially, but I know that God will provide! And now we'll have our first home to make our own! So, what an exciting summer, huh? First our pregnancy news and now our new home. God is good, isn't He? :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

That ain't no Etch A Sketch...

Know what movie that line is from? That's right! Juno! And what's the doodle that can't be undid, Homeskillet? What does this have to do with me?

You're right! I'M PREGNANT!! :) (If you didn't follow any of that, you should go rent Juno. It's really a cute movie and very funny.)

Jon and I found out just a few days ago that we are again pregnant. This will be our third baby! Can you believe that? We've officially decided that, now, after the third time we've gotten pregnant after the first try each time, that if you want to avoid being pregnant yourself, don't let Jon come close. He could possibly breathe on you and you could get pregnant. You've been warned!

And we are sooo EXCITED! God is blessing us so much again. And this time it's a feeling of relaxed joy. Don't get me wrong, my first two babies gave me (and still do give me) such joy, but this time around, I don't have all the anxiousness of being a first time pregnant mom. I also don't have to think much upon if we're going to have a girl or a boy since we have one of each and I'd be completely content having one more of either. And it so gives me a warm feeling when I think about holding my own little baby again. This news was a breath of fresh air to me. It's great!

And we really have everything we already need having kept almost everything from Emerson and Braeden. Oh, they're going to be such good siblings. They both adore babies and taking care of them. Yes, even Braeden. He would surprise you, you know. And well, if you know Emerson at all, you know that she has been given a gift for loving and taking care of people.

Anyway, I thought I would share some of our excitement with you few readers. All your prayers are welcome for this next journey in our lives.

We will, of course, keep you updated on this little one in my belly.


Monday, June 16, 2008

Jon, The Merciful

The last few days Emerson and I have been talking a lot about mercy and compassion. Her new favorite Veggitales movie, "Jonah," is all about those two things, which is why the two words have been brought up so much. The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything have taught us that compassion is when you see someone who needs help and you help them and mercy is when you give someone a second chance... even if they don't deserve it.

Well, my story today is more about mercy than compassion. See, my husband illustrated his infinite mercy on me last night. I gave him a very good reason to strangle me, really, but he chose not to (and I'm very thankful). This is what happened: Jon and I recently (within the last few months) purchased a new laptop computer. Well, last night I was trying to multi-task and bring as many things upstairs as I could so I wouldn't have to make more than one trip (maybe I'm lazy, but it stinks to have to walk up those stairs more than once in a 5 minute period). Jon needed the laptop and his ipod. I wanted to bring up the PackNPlay my parents had just brought over and I wanted to take a glass of water to bed. So clever me placed the laptop, open and on, in my left hand/arm, the large plastic cup with water in my right hand. Once I got these two items in place, I reached for the ipod and was carefully walking (I was actually taking marching band steps, for those of you who were once band geeks - roll that toe!) toward the PackNPlay when the large plastic cup with water decided to slip out of my right hand and proceed to pour out no less than half the cup of water directly onto the open laptop. PANIC! The screen immediately went blank - no joke. I stood there for a good ten seconds wondering what to do next. Jon was upstairs and had no idea what I had just done. After my ten seconds of panicking, I decided to give the dreaded news to my husband who was sure to throw me over our loft wall after he heard the news.

I slowly walked up the stairs with wet computer and dry ipod in hand (I left the stupid cup on the floor where it dropped- stupid cup).

Sandra: Jon, umm, so I kinda just spilled a little water on the computer.
Jon: What?! How much?
Sandra: A little.
Jon: How much is a little? Is it ok?!!
Sandra: Well, enough to turn it off.
Jon the merciful: That probably means it's dead....well, that's ok. Accidents happen.

What?! That's ok?! Did I hear that right? And I asked him so. He said it was ok and that we'll just try to get it on again. Holy Moly! I sat down and thought that if he had done what I had just done
, what would I be screaming at him this very moment? It kind of blew my socks off.

Well, we immediately grabbed our old laptop and got online to search for ways to salvage a wet computer. We did what it said and this morning after it had dried out under our fan, Jon carefully put the computer back together and turned it on. And as Emerson would sing , "Da da da da!!" It turned on!! Wahoo!

And so far today it hasn't shown any signs of damage. So there are two examples of mercy here. God showed us mercy by letting our computer live, and as far as we can tell it's completely healthy. And Jon showed me mercy after I potentially ruined our new several hundred dollar investment. And I am so very thankful.

So, if you're reading this, the lessons are : if your spouse has done something that could potentially enrage you and tempt you to cause harm to said spouse, remember mercy. It might also blow the socks off said spouse and in return God may show mercy to you!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Beautiful Frizzy Hair

This morning while getting ready, I thought I'd use the diffuser in my blow dryer (for you beauty illiterate people, it's an attachment for your blow dryer that is supposed to give you extra "body" and be better for your hair). Thinking I'd be improving my look, I was shocked to see the reflection in the mirror after I had set my blow dryer down! I came out from the bathroom sporting a frizzy, crooked, rats nest on top of my head. Throughout the morning I kept glancing in the mirror trying to salvage my mess to no avail (thank goodness I had nowhere I had to go today!).
Emerson caught me during one of my moments of trying to mend my head and said, "oohh, Mommy, your hair looks pretty," and went on to tell me I was beautiful. Sweet, sweet girl. In her sweet naivety, she expressed to me Jesus' love and grace and gave one more beautiful example of how Jesus asks us to be like little children.
Now, you may be wondering where I find the connection or that I'm silly for even trying to make this connection from such a superficial thing as my hair-do, but when she told me I was beautiful, I knew to my sweet little girl, it didn't matter how I looked, she knows her Mommy is beautiful to her. This is also how I know in my head, yet not always in my heart that Jesus also views me. And not only when I'm having a bad hair day. It's when I'm having a bad mom day, or a bad wife day, or a bad friend day, or even a bad Jesus follower day. I know this may seem elementary to you, but it was just a nice reminder. It was God telling me, "Sandra, I love you today." It was also a good reminder that I need to remember that about others as well. That while they may not be making the right decisions or are doing something that would annoy me, or whatever, they are still beautiful to God despite the things going on around them (and yes, even if they are having a bad rats-nest hair day), which to me is very grace-interpreting.
So, having said that, I quit worrying about my hair today (again, I also had nowhere to go, so that helped) and I crouched down and told Emerson that no matter what, she will always be beautiful to me, too.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Decisions, Decisions...

I live in Laramie. Not exactly a thriving metropolis nor just a little podunk town, either. If I had ever asked myself, "Self, where do you want to live?" I probably wouldn't immediately picture Laramie as being it. Yet, here I am with my family, trudging along through life in Laramie, Wyoming. And I have to say, I HATE the weather here. I can't tell you how sick I am of winter trying to hang on for dear life here. It's June and the high yesterday was fifty-something. Ugh!

Jon's dad has come to visit us before and he cannot imagine why we would want to live here and he has expressed this largely to us. He has been living in Colorado the last 10+ years and is pretty well off, I might add. He sees this town and it doesn't have the beautiful mountains that he saw every day from his home. There aren't neighborhoods and neighborhoods of beautiful, brick, expensive houses that he was surrounded by. Oh, and we have ONE WalMart and two other grocery stores here and that's about it (I imagine he gasped when he heard this). There really isn't much here.

But here's the rub, I actually LOVE Laramie. I know, I know... I said love (don't judge me too much please!). This little city has grown on me. I can truthfully say I hated it in college, but as my life has changed so has my heart. Mostly, I love the people who are here with us. And when I say here with us, I mean living with us. In the case of the Archers, that is literal (we actually live in one big house together), and with all others as I mentioned in my last post, we do many mundane things together. We go to the store together, have dinner together, our kids play at each other's homes. There is just something to say about the community here. And I truly believe that something like this is extremely hard to find just anywhere.

Just this last Sunday, I was chatting with someone after church and I watched as our friend, Tod,(and coincidentally also Jon's boss) was with his son and was crouching talking to Emerson on the floor. She was making big motions and tilting her head as she was talking to them. It was really, actually very cute. Not any big deal, really, but I got this overwhelming awareness that I was in a place where people love my children (my eyes are actually tearing up as I'm writing this). We know and love and live with the people at Emmaus (our church), which we were here for the inception of way back in 2002. Our hearts are very firmly attached to the people who make up this family at Emmaus.

And beyond the University that is here, the community is small. I am constantly running into my friends and familiar faces throughout the week at the library, the store, the gas station, and I love that. The people at Teriyaki Bowl know our faces (and probably dislike mine because I don't actually ever eat there, but bring my own lunch each time!) because in this small town, it's a favorite local place of my husband's and our best friends. I love all these things. I believe relationships like these, familiarities like I have, and growing your family in a place that feels safe takes time to establish and can't happen just anywhere

And this is the part that is excruciating to me. Jon and I, for the last several months have been wrestling with the notion that we need to move to Cheyenne. First, Jon is working two jobs which is proving to be hard on our family sometimes. There are weeks that are good, but then there are weeks that Jon is gone most nights and lunches and only sees us maybe a half hour during the day. I just don't think that is healthy, but there really aren't any other options for us at this point while we're in Laramie.
More importantly, though, our families are there, and that is what is giving us a strong urging to pick up and move our family there. Jon's grandmother, in particular, has run into many health problems the last few years. Jon has grown up with her (she lived with him since he was 11) and I love her more than I think most women love their grandmother-in-laws. A year ago, when we thought she was slipping away, I realized how much I loved her and how much I wasn't ready for her to go. I wanted my kids to know her and her to know my kids. I wanted to be more apart of her life and be there to help and love her as well as his mom. My own grandmother has been struggling more and more with Parkinson's disease and I desire to spend more time with her and her sweet spirit and also want my kids to know her. While we are in Laramie, that is proving to be hard to do. But family is important. I think God instilled in us humans the the intentions of unconditional love and sticking together and taking care of each other in the bonds of family.

So, what do we do? What is the right answer? I am completely torn in this decision of moving. I'm praying, yet I'm feeling pulls and urges in both directions. It's been very emotional for me. I have asked God a few times why it is that we can't have the best of both worlds. It's hard to hear his calling for us. Maybe I'm not being still enough and listening hard enough. And I'm so bad about letting my emotions dictate my decisions sometimes, too, but I want this to be what He has for our family. And I know that God's plans for us are sometimes never what we want for ourselves or even think that He would have for us.

So, if you've made it this far, would you pray for us? This decision is weighing heavily on me right now for our family. I want what is the absolute best for us. I know God always provides, so I guess I just need to turn up the amplifiers in my heart to hear God's voice or just hope that he writes the right answer in big letters on one of our big red walls... and preferably, soon!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Ok, Here I Go...

So, blogging seems to be the thing now. To get your voice heard. To safely share your thoughts, feelings, celebrations, or to vent your anger. I'm not sure why I've decided to begin blogging. Every one of my close friends have one including my husband, so I should have one, too, I guess! I used to be an avid journaler as a teenager and for some reason I rarely ever do it anymore. And I miss it. Maybe this could be a small substitute for that, in a way. So, here I am .... A 26 year old wife and stay at home mom of the two most wonderful and beautiful children attempting to start a blog about my everyday, mostly quiet, yet sometimes quite eventful, life. And so I begin by stealing an idea from my friend, Shelly. Well, actually, it's been sent to me via myspace several times, but I'm taking the idea over into blog world. The following is 5 things about me that you may or may not know, but are prevalent ideas and thoughts in my life, just to get me started. Here goes...

1. I am a believer, follower, and lover of Jesus Christ. I am definitely not very good at acting like His friend a lot and I definitely have had my ups and downs in my effort in this relationship, but I cannot let go of it. He has placed in my heart a most definite knowledge that He is my Lord and Savior and I can freely have his love and grace at no cost of my own. It's a beautiful thing that is so easy to take for granted sometimes.

2. I love my family. I truly never knew such love in my heart until this stage in my life as a wife and mother. I can very honestly say it is probably the hardest jobs I have had and every will have, but I think that's because I am so emotionally invested in these people, these precious babies and husband. My desire for them is to have nothing but the absolute best in life and I think that's what is so hard. The world is not like that, first, nothing is ever always good and perfect, and as much as I try and want to be the best wife and mom, I am also very imperfect, but oh, do I love my Jon, Emerson, and Braeden, more than you will ever know. I thank God for them every day.

3. I love my friends. I have been given, for some reason, a wonderful group of people to call my friends. It's great! We see each other every day or every other day and share our lives with each other. We do mundane things together and that's what makes our friendships so genuine. Our kids love each other, too. I know that they love, pray, are honest with me and would do most anything for me and my family. I wouldn't trade these people for anything in the world. It really breaks my heart to think we won't be living near them someday soon.

4. A little bit back to the mother thing - I completely, whole heartedly, and passionately am pro family. I know, I know, sounds a little... oh... I don't know... yeah, whatever, we know, it's a good thing, blah blah blah... But since having kids, I've tried to get my hands on every book and article about raising kids that I can find and it just makes sense. Healthy families create sound, responsible, successful people (depending on what your idea of success is, mine may be a little different). There are so many studies out there that will show you that time spent with your family- good quality time- "feeds" your kids in ways that daycare, t.v., internet, never can emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually. (Now, I know I might get a little flack for the first one -daycare. I realize that is the only option for most families today. Our world has made it almost impossible for a parents to be the primary care-givers for their children, but this can be a topic for another day.) There have been major studies on this, the child/parent relationship. Kids just need to be nurtured, loved, held, talked to, played with and I believe prayed for by their moms and dads. Children were designed to link emotionally with a mother and a father and to develop securely within the protection of their arms. And putting aside all the research, I just know these things in my heart. I believe God put it there.
And parents need each other, too. A healthy marriage paves the way for the whole family to be healthy and happy. Matter of fact, if I could ever go back to school (which is likely impossible now) or go back in time knowing what I know now, I'd get some sort of degree in social work or some sort of family counseling. I've really loved reading about this stuff. I truly think if we could mend some of our increasingly growing broken families, we could avoid so much pain, suffering, and grief in our lives.

Whew, that was a long one...

5. Finally, and on a little less serious note (I'm sure you're relieved!) a few small quirks about me:

  • I LOVE to sing. Really, I love music in general. But when I'm by myself I belt it out like I'm Mariah Carey or Christina Aguilerra. I think somewhere deep inside I have always desired to be a rock star.
  • I, if you haven't noticed, take pride in my job as a mother. I take any comments about my mothering ability very seriously and very personally - probably to a fault. I'm very passionate about my kids!
  • I get immense personal satisfaction from my house being clean.
  • I secretly enjoy sucking boogers from my kids' noses with those little kid booger sucking things (I know, it's sick).
  • If there was one thing I could afford to buy a million of and would never gain weight from, it would be swiss cake rolls. And flavor doesn't matter. I'd eat both chocolate and strawberry. I'm not prejudice.
Ok, I think that's' it. I'll see if I can keep up with this thing and write more than once every blue moon. That is, if I can ever think to write about anything in my life that would be interesting for you to read! I guess we'll see what comes up...


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