Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Wrap Up

2013 is nearly upon us and as each year passes I am just sure it was shorter than the one before.

For the life of me I cannot believe that in less than 50 days we will be celebrating Camden & Christian's 2nd Birthday. It just doesn't seem possible.

I was looking back over this past year and there was so much to it. It was a really incredible year. Here are some highlights, and you can click those links to go check out the full blog post if you're bored.

We celebrated Camden & Christian turning ONE  Mustache Bash style

Jack finished his first year of Preschool and then started his second year

My Mom finished treatment for her breast cancer!!

My Dad had a triple bypass but only a few months later ran a 5k!

We participated in Relay for Life

Jack turned 4 years old

Only ONE injury bad enough to warrant a doctor visit this year!

I ran 10 miles

We went to Portland for a wedding and then camping with the whole family to Brookings. 

We said goodbye to a dear friend who moved back to England

We swam 

I had my 10 year High School Reunion

We went to the Pumpkin Patch

I got a tattoo

Trevor and the boys got in a car accident

Trevor had his sabbatical and we went to Disneyland and spent time away together for the first time since the twins were born!

We went to Sunriver twice with two different sets of friends

We cried

I started helping women out of poverty with Trades of Hope

We prayed

We deepened friendships 

We have dreamed

We have been wrecked

So much to be thankful for. So much to treasure. I really can say that this past year has been a defining year for me in my relationship with Christ. I am just not the same anymore. We are extremely excited about what this next year holds.
Excited to see what God has in store for us.

Our dreams for this next year? Get out of debt and start the adoption process. That's the main one. Other than be used. To make some waves and make some change.

What about you? 
How was 2012? 
What do you hope 2013 holds?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Snow Fun

We don't get a ton of snow here on the valley floor, so while you may laugh (especially if you live in Minnesota or Alaska)...this amount granted us a snow day from school!

The boys loved it. 

Are you kidding me?!

Jack nailing Trev with a snowball

Just stop it...


He has a cold so he was a bit grumpy but didn't want to go inside

Quite pleased


Happy Snow Day

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Waste Me On You

Waste me on's become the cry of my heart. 

It's a lyric from Shane and Shane's song, "I Want it All"

Use me, break me, waste me on You, Lord 

Ruin me, take me, waste me on You 
For to die is to live... 
to starve is to feast 
and less of me is more of Jesus 
Lord, I want it all 
Lord, I want it all 
If I lose my life 
I gain everything 
And at the cross 
Away with all death's sting 
Lord, I want it all 
Lord, I want it all 
There is power in the blood 
There is victory in Jesus 

It's based off  a few verses in Philippians.

It's a deceleration  not just a pretty song. Giving myself to Him, recognizing that what that may look like is a lot more sacrificial and scary than anyone wants to admit. 

Do I truly mean it? Do I mean what I say when I say I will do ANYTHING for Him? Give him EVERYTHING I am and that there are no stipulations? Or do I say it, holding back part of myself? Like my safety, and my families safety? 

There is no half in here. I'm either all in or I'm not in at all...and that takes my breath away. No it's not comfortable or easy. My friend Jenna sent this blog my way this morning and I took a snippet of if for my Facebook status. 

"The edge of greatness – the place where we feel we could lose as much as we could win – is where greatness lives. It doesn’t live in safe places, it lurks where risk runs wild. Greatness is rare because it costs more than the average are willing to pay to achieve it.

So the next time we confront uncomfortable, acknowledge it for what it is – not an invitation to quit, but an opportunity to be great."
Stephen Brewster

It's not a one time thing, this giving over of yourself. I have to do it everyday. When things look bleak or insurmountable I have to back up and give it up again. That is the best part. It's a constant reminder that I CANNOT do this on my own, that it's only through HIM that I can do it. It keeps me coming back to Him, reaching for Him and begging Him to pick me up and use me all over again. That's what is so perfect about this, this relationship I have with Christ. It's not one-sided, and you can't find that anywhere else.

Also, sometimes that means that people won't understand and will think you are crazy. They won't agree, they will think you are being irresponsible and are only seeing the earthly side of things. In fact, the Bible flat out tells us that people will be like this and it's not strangers that will be like this. It's your close friends and family. 
A month ago I hadn't heard of Trades of Hope, I had no idea what it was. I had no clue that there was a home party system selling fair trade products from women all over the world, helping them pay their AIDS bills and keep their children and stay out of sweat shops and sex trades.

A month ago a trip to Haiti in February was the furthest thing from my mind. 

In fact, a year ago I was still saying that I would NEVER go on a mission trip again. I went on one as a high schooler to Mexico and it was awful. The kids I met were lovely, the rest of it solidified for me I wouldn't do that again. 

God is funny like that.

So, Trades of Hope decides to forgo the typical "training gala" that so many companies like this do, and decides that taking their CE's (what I am) on mission's trips to meet the artisans that make the stuff we sell is more in tune with their heart and mission (yeah, way cool)
They announce they are hoping to take two trips a year to various places and the first place they are going is Haiti and it's in February.

My heart is instantly captured and I am sure I am supposed to be on this first trip.
I have not a clue as to how to get the funds in order in such a short time but I'm sure of it.

My sweetie and I pray and I cry and it just doesn't seem like we can swing it. I cry... a lot. And then I pray some more and I'm at peace. Okay God, you are teaching me patience. We committed to some thing and getting out of debt is one of them and we will NOT put anything on a card. Be faithful in this time and my time to go on a trip will come. 

Total Peace. Thank you God.

Two days ago it starts bugging me. Why? I had let it go, I was okay. Another time. 
But it dug at me, in my heart and I couldn't shake it.

So I emailed the co-founder to Trades of Hope and trip coordinator. 

In a matter of a few hours doors flew open, God moved some little mountains, I sent an email out to my dear friends and family and I wept and as of today (this was yesterday that all happened) I have already paid for and sent off my passport stuff and half of my first plane ticket is paid for!!

Yes. God is crazy cool.

I really believe that the reason I felt peace was a total testing. Do I really believe You are in control and can you exercise patience? Can you wait for ME to move things for you, or do you need to be the one pushing? Can you let me be in control or not?

I leave in 64 days. I leave my babies and I fly to Miami and then to Haiti. I've only ever traveled across country one other time and it was to visit my best friend in Virginia and I took Xanax. 
I have only been to Tijuana, Mexico. 

Am I scared? Yes. 
Will I let fear consume me? Not on your life.

Did I really mean Waste me on You? Or did I say it because it sounds nice?

I have no clue what He's going to do, and it doesn't really matter because it's not about me. It's really only about Him.

I have several hundred dollars more to gather in a super short time.  First I have to get on the flight from Miami to Haiti with the rest of the team, then I need to secure my flight from Medford to Miami (seems backwards I know, but this is how I have to do it) I would love you to pray. Pray that He continues to provide ( I know He will because this is totally HIM) Pray for my worries and fears to be put aside and pray for my sweet family. Pray that He just uses me and let's Himself be shown through me.

Countdown is on. This is the first of many I know. 

PS: How on EARTH will I not smuggle a child home with me?!?!?

This song came on while I was driving home from getting my passport (NO line by the way...I just walked right up) and I sobbed all the way to the bank to deposit my first amount of money. It's my new theme song. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

22 Months- Monthly Update

I didn't post a 21 month update, whoops.

22 Months

In two months these boys will be two. It's so strange, I feel this past year has just flown by. They still seem so babyish, and I find myself treating them like little babies more often than not.

They are loving puzzles and books, they are really good and puzzles and they usually fight over them.
They love to stack blocks and push the mower and popper around the house.

They love to chase and they will stand at the entry way, count to three and then run into the living room to dive onto the bean bag. They totally take turns and it's so cute.

They have lots of words and they are loving to sing Jesus Loves Me, Jesus Loves the Little Children, The BIBLE, Healer, and Row Row Row the Boat.

They are still sleeping from about 7pm-7am and napping from 12-2ish. They eat waffles, french toast, pancakes and bananas for breakfast. Hot Dogs, chicken nuggets, PB& Honey sandwiches, cheese, grapes for lunch. Spaghetti, Mac & Cheese, Quesadillas and peas, corn or carrots for dinner.
They love milk and graham crackers and applesauce or yogurt for snacks.

They don't like any funky textures, although we keep trying and they don't like smoothies of any kind at the moment. Christian is still pretty tiny so we try to get good fats in him whenever we can.

Camden is still a Mama's boy, and Christian is definitely attached to Trevor. They like to take baths and Christian likes to dump water on Camden.

We are phasing out the pacifier, now we are only giving it to them at night time, and next week that goes bye bye too.

How did we do it? Cold turkey. Pretty much like everything else we do. It's a tough 2-3 days, but then it's over and we move on. Just like a band-aid. I think most often, it's harder/scarier for the parents with these things (weaning, sleep training, pacifiers, bottles) than it is the kids.

Christian loves to wear hats and shoes and coats, he needs a boy dress-up closet.
Camden loves stuffed animals, he will snuggle anything soft.

These boys are crazy. They basically do everything Jack did NOT do.

We have the chairs bungee corded to the table still, otherwise they climb up and then on top of the table. Camden has already fallen out of his seat onto his head once.

They climb the stove by pulling out the drawer beneath it, grab colors and color on the stove. Colors are moved, but they literally wait until I am in the bathroom and in that 20 seconds they have climbed up. We can't take the drawer out, otherwise they can get under the stove. Yeah..super fun.

We still have a huge super-yard gate that keeps them from the computer desk, thanks to my friend Samantha. We will be needing to give that back soon, and I am not looking forward to that day. They won't stay off the computer desk.

They can open the door to outside, so that is always bolted up top.

Basically, I'm afraid to go to the bathroom or leave the room. They just can't be trusted. I am so ready for them to outgrow this.

We do time-outs and they respond pretty well. Christian doesn't like to be in trouble, and is quick to say sorry. Camden just laughs at you....that's gonna be interesting.

They like to help clean and sort laundry, unload the dishwasher and vacuum.

Their personalities are coming through really strong, and I love to watch that unfold every day.

They both are little lovers and they think Jack is the coolest kid in town, and he pretty much is.

At this age Jack was in a twin bed....hahahaha...that is so not happening right now. In fact, with all the climbing they do I am thanking my lucky stars they haven't climbed their cribs. They will stay in there for 5 more years if it suits them! HA!

Even with all the craziness, we are so overwhelmed by the blessing these boys are!!
I could only upload one pic...but it's a cute one :)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

When People Grieve

Grief. It's been heavy on my heart lately. Holidays bring with them, a joyous spirit which can sometimes be woven together with sadness and the reality of a loss. 

I was chatting with some dear friends about how when people are going through a tough time, either a spouse or parent or child has passed away, everyone is there for you. You have incredible support and they bend over backwards for you. But after a few weeks, or a month or so...people stop asking. People don't call or send you a card, or check to see how you are doing.

Often it takes such a time to grieve that the time people need you most, is those several weeks to months after when the adrenaline that you get pushes you through the hardest times, and you are left in a fog. 

I think sometimes, people don't know what to do. They are worried that bringing it up might cause pain, but I believe that most often people do want you to ask and talk about it, they need to continue to feel supported and loved and especially around the holidays when the loss can feel fresh and so severe, they need to be reminded they aren't alone.

I have a few friends who have recently miscarried, and while this is a loss unlike any other because you loved something you never laid eyes on, it's a truly difficult time. After losing our baby, the first two weeks I didn't want to see anyone or talk about it to anyone. After those weeks passed, I wanted to people to ask and I needed to validate what happened. A miscarriage is hard to understand unless you've walked through it, but let me tell you, it's not just the woman who suffers. The Daddy grieves too, and it a completely different kind of way. Don't forget to check on him as well, it can often take much longer for him to process it and be able to move forward.

If you know someone who has lost a loved one recently, even in the past year...take time to reach out to them. Send them an actual letter, call them on the phone. Take some cookies and bring your kids along, allow them to bless others. 

Sometimes when a spouse passes away, the friends of that couple may feel awkward because before it was the four of them together and now it's not. Please don't let your friendship dissolve because things have changed, they still need you. 

I would encourage you to step outside your comfort zone, your walls and seek someone who needs to be lifted up. Love on them, and I promise you it won't be wasted and you will be blessed as well.