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!


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