Tuesday, June 30, 2009

If I Only Had A...Battery

sad story:
Knowing that a very important weekend was coming up--our friends' WEDDING--plus the opportunity to see some good friends from Hyde Park on our way back, I charged the camera battery. The SPARE camera battery, since the battery in the camera was already full.

However, upon taking the camera out to begin shooting at the beautiful farm where the wedding was to be held, I couldn't turn the camera on. I realized there was no battery IN the camera. (Good thing I charged the spare.) I checked the pocket, and it had disappeared! Since I had been carrying the camera case upside down, it had fallen out. Insoo found it, I breathed a sigh of relief, and put it in. TO FIND OUT IT WAS DEAD. I was so mad, and continued to beat myself up about it the entire weekend. I found the charged battery on the floor when we arrived back home.

I suppose in some ways I was able to enjoy the moments a bit more, without trying to capture them on film. But I find that the things I remember most are the ones I have photos of. So...these are the "photos" I took with my mind's eye:

Our boys behaving SO well, the entire 8 hours in the car

Isaiah playing in a sand box for the first time

Elliot and his old friend Trey hitting it off as though they just played together yesterday

Group shot with the Tuckers and our 4 boys

The peaceful and serene farm--perfect venue for the wedding!

The beautiful bride getting ready for her groom

My gorgeous husband standing before our good friends Dan and Sarah, uniting them as husband and wife

Elliot sitting in the grass with his new markers and paper, (and fruit snacks) watching the wedding (mostly Daddy) from a little ways off

Elliot (age 2) falling in love with Audry (age 6?) and taking her by the hand for a walk

Family photo in our "Sunday Best" BEFORE the grass stains on the boys' knees--then one after

Elliot and Isaiah getting a kick out of the little goats

Dan and Sarah, husband and wife, walking hand in hand, in the rain, toward the sun setting over the field, with rainbow overhead. (I am NOT making this up. It was THAT beautiful.)

The "Tackle-hug" from my friend Pam at Hyde Park who was not expecting to see us! (That made my morning, and I really needed it--I was so tired and on the verge of crabby.)

Delicious homemade pizza after pizza coming out of the oven at our lunch after church.

The cook and lovely hostess--my friend Desiree who NEVER ceases to amaze me with her skills (home remodel-er, super duper cleaner, gourmet cook, fixer-of-anything, mother-extraordinaire of 3 girls and a dog, the list goes on and on)

Elliot (age 2) falling in love with Hannah (age 6), cuddled up in a chair in her bedroom, reading

Group photo of us with SO MANY dear friends who filled the house to see us and have brief conversations in the midst of MANY children running around!

Thank you, thank you, to ALL our wonderful friends who took time to see us on Sunday. And to Desiree for her generous and gracious hostessing.

Dan and Sarah, your wedding is one we will NEVER forget, even without the photographic evidence.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

for Cleary

Welllllll...just because my friend Cleary asked me to post a photo from our wedding, which she was unable to attend, I suppose I must. You twisted my arm.

I don't have wedding photos on the computer, but I had this one laying around (since...I'm...uh...stillworkingonmyweddingscrapbookAHEM...) But hey--at least I'm working on it!

So I scanned it for you, Cleary! (And anyone else who was unable to attend our wedding or didn't know us yet!)
Hm. That was so easy, I think I'll do a few more. I mean, when do you get a chance to show off your wedding photos?
Oh. We also forced our children to watch our wedding video this past weekend. OK, not ALL of it...but parts. We'll work them up to watching the whole thing with us every year. :)

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Best Years

Today I celebrate 5 years of marriage with my amazing husband.

On one hand, time has gone by so quickly, on the other hand our wedding day seems very long ago.

In these 5 years we have lived so much life together! We've gone through many changes, intense joys, some trials, and deep losses. We have learned how to live together and how to communicate better. We are learning how to parent as a team. And how to bring out the best in each other.

Most importantly, we have done our best to go where God has sent us, at every step of this journey. We want our life together to make a difference for the Kingdom of Christ. We want to do whatever He has for us at every season, and to obey--no matter the cost.

We want to be risk takers, but most of all we want to be obedient and faithful.

I wonder what the next 5 years will hold. And the next 50.

But for now, I cherish today, and these rich and beautiful years behind us.
We've come a long way, baby!

And I have hope that the best is yet to come.

Tonight we will celebrate by attending a wedding of our dear friends, Staci and Jonathan. Insoo is a groomsman, so we'll be all decked out--him in his tux, and me in my Mother's Day Gift--a new dress! :) (I'll post a picture later if I get a good one.)

Happy Anniversary, my beloved Insoo. You are my every prayer answered, every dream come true, and so much more.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Annoying Alliteration

To follow suit after the "Not-Me Monday" and the "Wordless Wednesday" I thought I'd humor you with a few more updates:

Fun Friday
Stressful Saturday
Significant Sunday
Milestone Monday
and Tiresome Tuesday

Fun Friday consisted of Face Pancakes with Flaxseed:
I think I might start doing pancakes for lunch on Fridays...I have a friend who does breakfast for dinner once a week, but since Insoo doesn't believe in breakfast food for any other meals (unless we're at Denny's or IHOP) I'll just have to do it with the kids for lunch. (He does believe in PB & J for breakfast though...isn't he weird?)

This week I used blueberries to make the faces--it's the only way I have figured out how to get the kids to eat blueberries. (They're weird too, aren't they!) I came across this recipe using spinach which I think I'll try next time. Sneaky, sneaky!

Fun Friday was also full of FREEbies!!!
A sweet Friend of our Family bought us a membership to the Fabulous pool again, this year.
We went for the First time this summer. Isaiah had a blast. Elliot was "Fine" but took his time acclimating himself. He has continued to ask when we're going back, so I think he had a lot of Fun.
Fun at the pool was Followed by...Free pizza from Papa Murphy's (enough stamps for a Free one--woo hoo!) And we ate it in the living room while watching "Babe" (From the library). That's become a Fun Family tradition on Friday nights--pizza (or Chipotle) in the living room watching some kid movie from the library. :)

Stressful Saturday: We had our first interest meeting for the Family Small Group we're starting. Since it's kid friendly you bring your kids. We had ours, but my eldest was Stressing me out Seriously. First of all the Siblings woke up Stinking early that morning. Then my Son couldn't stop clinging to me, or Speaking like a baby, or messing with my necklace, physically irritating/tickling my neck, making me want to jump out of my Skin. By the time the meeting was over I was Sooooo Stressed and Simply wanted to get home. Thankfully we had a Speedy lunch, got the kids down for Snoozes and I had some iced coffee and we could Start over after naptime.

Significant Sunday:
my Sister wrote a beautiful post which speaks of many emotions I felt that day. It would have been my parents 34th anniversary. Four years ago, we had thrown a huge 30th Anniversary party for them, thanks to my brother's insisting. In wisdom beyond his years, and before we had any idea of the cancer that we'd discover weeks later, he said we needed to celebrate now...that we didn't know what life would hold. And we partied hard.

Is so strange that it is only 4 years since the party...it feels like ages have passed since that time. We stood by her side for the 15 months she battled the cancer that took her life. We are forced to figure out life without her every day. 4 years ago, at that party, she had one grandbaby, and was adoring her new role as Grandma. Since then, 5 more babies have been added to the family--one of whom she got to meet briefly. Because of all these things, life is so different now. I think that's why it seems so long ago. "Lifetimes" ago.

Milestone Monday:
Our Saturn hit 100,000 miles on Monday.
Maybe we should start praying for a Miraculous Minivan?? :)

Tiresome Tuesday:
I was sure I'd nap with the boys once I got them down for naps today...but something happens when they are in their beds. I "wake up". Or if I don't really wake up, a nap feels like a waste of time. The to-do list looks more appealing to me. I think I'll grab my iced coffee and get going with that now.

Oh, and if I post a "Thankful Thursday" I am way too geekified. You should stop reading this blog and disown me as friend or relative if I do that. Enough now. I'm annoying MYSELF with the alliteration :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Monday, June 8, 2009

"Not Me" Monday

OK, this is my first attempt at the "Not Me" Monday. I probably won't make it a habit, but I just had to do it this week. (I better quick post while it's still Monday!)

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama.

I did NOT kick my amazing cup of iced coffee over immediately after I “published” my last blog entry.

It was not the best iced coffee ever.

It was not loaded with sugar, because I don’t do sugar.

I was not upset and frenzied, after all it’s just coffee.

I was not distracted from my purpose.

I did not make my crying baby wait a few more minutes for me to arrive while I tried to think of a plan to salvage the iced coffee, now a puddle on the floor.

And I certainly did not get down on all fours and slurp up my iced coffee from the carpet like a dog!

No way, I’d never do that. Not me!

Oh, and my husband was not absolutely disgusted and disturbed at my telling of this story.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Rocking Chairs and Life Purpose

This is what naptime usually looks like these days:

1:00pm (on a good day) we head upstairs, I give Elliot some "privacy" in the bathroom while I put Isaiah down first.

Isaiah gets a bottle of warm milk and cuddles with mommy on the bed. After that, a song or two (or four?) and I put him in the pack-n-play in my room.

Almost always, he protests--cries really hard for about 10 seconds, or sometimes a minute or two, and then goes to sleep.

I get Elliot from the bathroom, get him ready for his nap, read one Curious George story, sing Jesus Loves Me, and I'm out of there for some "Me-Time".

What does THAT look like, you ask? Oh, same-ole, same-ole. I rush around as fast as I can to clean up lunch, do dishes, clean floors, pick up toys, and if I'm really ambitious I might even clean a bathroom! But this time period is always a little different depending on what the morning has looked like, and what my energy level is. When that's sufficiently done for the day, I get to do my fun stuff. Check email, reply to email (again, depending on the energy level), check Google Reader (if you're a blog reader, you definitely need to use this--I just love it.) to keep up on all my bloggy friends, and sometimes even check facebook to keep up with my FB friends! And that qualifies for my social activity of the day!

If, by this time, Isaiah has not woken up, I get to decide what to do next...read a book? sometimes. do some organizing or cleaning? usually not. Most often I opt for...you guessed it...scrapbooking.

* * * * * * *
So today, naptime was going fairly well...things were getting done in their usual order and fashion. The house was picked up, dishes running in the dishwasher and hand-washed ones drying in the rack. I replied to a couple emails I needed to tend to, and suddenly Elliot was crying! Yes, Elliot.

This does not normally happen. Elliot's my boy who, once he's asleep for his nap, does NOT usually wake up until I go in there with Isaiah at 4:00 pm singing songs like, "Where is Brother?" or "Good Morning" or "You Are My Sunshine".

Isaiah's my first riser always, and we usually get a bit of one-on-one time before Elliot wakes up.

So I click send, run upstairs to see if he is sick or hurt or what...and it seems that he has just had a bad dream. He's not very responsive, VERY sleepy, and is comforted immediately when I arrive. After a little time with him I ask him if he wants to rock. Of course he says yes.

I pick up my big boy, and rock him for a few minutes and try to put him back in his bus bed. Holding him, and reaching into the bed through the "door" I'm haunched over his tractor (which always sleeps beside the bed) and I successfully place him into the bed, not worrying about the animals or books he's partially laying on top of. I put my hand on his head and lean close to kiss him...he looks EXACTLY like my 7 month old Elliot and I wonder how it's possible hes is almost 3...

With my nose and lips pressed against his soft cheek, I stay...and then realize his arm is gripped around my neck...and I am not going anywhere. I wait for the grip to lessen, and try to get out. But he wakes up and cries again.

So I pick up my baby. I mean my big boy. And we go back to the rocking chair. I sit against the baby blanket mom made for me and my babies. I hold Elliot tightly, chest to chest, his arms and knees wrapped around me and my arms securely around him, and I make this decision: To absolutely enjoy and cherish these moments, or minutes, or hours, and even let myself fall asleep if I need to. With my head tilted into his temple and forehead, and his warm breath blowing onto my neck, we rock. Pretty soon his breathing is much deeper and he's sleeping soundly. I was not about to give him up so quickly, though. I took these moments as a precious gift to me. Time to be still. Peaceful. Prayerful. Cherishing my kids, my family, my friends. And feeling incredibly blessed.

* * * * *
I've been reading this book with my small group: Pathways to Purpose for Women. It's been a fabulous small group, and a good book for me right now.

A couple weeks ago we were asked to describe (in writing) the roles we play. You know, mother, sister, friend, etc. I could not think of myself in any other role besides mother. Sure, I could think of a million roles INSIDE that one (nose-wiper, silly song singer, boo boo kisser, potty trainer...) but I felt like I was neglecting all the other roles (including wife).

I came home and had a good heart-to-heart with Insoo. I was blessed to hear that he did not feel neglected. And we talked for a while about the things I'm grappling with in this book regarding purpose.

Part of my purpose is now, in every moment, being faithful to what God has put in front of me to care for. Namely, my children and my husband. And I absolutely love that challenge, calling, and responsibility God has entrusted me with.

But I know these years will not last forever. And honestly, that's a little scary to me. Because while I'm always learning, and never feel like I've achieved my standards of what this means, I'm gradually feeling more and more like I know what I'm doing. At least a little. And I absolutely love these roles even when we have rotten days and I'm totally overwhelmed with laundry and dishes and cranky kids and cooking--ugh.

But what will I do when these early years are over? Or rather, Who will I be? When I'm not needed every second as "mommy", who will I be then? What are the "greater" purposes...or I should say "future" purposes God has for me? What if I forget the passions I had before I became mommy?

I think right now I need to trust God and know that he continues to form me. He's still working on my passions and crafting me (through being mommy) into the person he has for my future purposes. I know, in my heart, that in my beautiful moments of rocking my children, or playing silly games, that I'm being faithful to what He has called me to right now. And I do believe (though I tremble a little) that He has other things in store for me too. And I trust that He'll reveal them to me. One day at a time, I guess. That's all we can really manage, right?

* * * * * * *
So...sorry bloggy-friends and FB friends...I didn't get to you today. But I did need to write all these thoughts down the minute I got downstairs after putting my sleeping big boy back in his bus bed. After I made myself a nice cup of iced-coffee, that is. And now my little one is ready for me to get him, so off to my present purpose I am. Thanks for reading this long story of my heart today.