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Showing posts from 2014
5 years ago today we said a very broken and very real goodbye.
We had just barely said hello.

You had already made me so tired, the forming of your little body was taking up so much of my energy.
The tiniest of bumps was beginning to show having only give birth to Jack 15 months prior.

It sort of didn't feel real, for some reason I was hesitant this time to believe everything was okay.

When we saw the flicker of your heartbeat on the screen at 7 weeks it gave me a sigh of relief.

I began to settle in and dream, another summer baby for our family. Between your brother and cousins, this would be number 4. A summer birthday 4 years in a row.

And then I got very sick. I'm still not sure what it was, a kidney infection? The flu? Whatever it was wreaked havoc on me and I knew something wasn't right in addition to this illness.

The doctors said it was normal...when I began to think I was losing you. And it often is. But I didn't feel right.

I ended up in the ER because whatev…

Everyday Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is really my favorite. It probably has a lot to do with the fact that November is the best month of the year. You can't argue with the changing colors, crisp sunny days and hello comfy cute clothes.
Also, it's my Birthday month, and several friends as well. And then there is Thanksgiving itself.





Growing up we spent each holiday at my Grandpa and Grandma's house. It was filled to the brim with people, food and a crackling fire. Thanksgiving was especially fun because my Grandpa and I had just celebrated our birthdays and it felt as if the celebration just lingered until we all met up on turkey day.

After we had eaten our fill we would all load up in cars and head to the freeway. In the back we had ornaments, garlands and tinsel. We'd pick out a tree near the side of the road, pile out of the cars and begin decorating.

Yes, we decorated a tree on the side of the freeway on Thanksgiving. It was random and it was crazy and it was fun. I have memories of muddy…

When Grief Surprises You

I've been loving the Timehop app. It allows me to remember moments and pictures that I had otherwise forgotten. Pictures of the boys from 2 years ago, Twitter statuses from last year, Facebook posts from 4 years ago. It's been a blast.

Until my Birthday.... Timehop reminded me of my Birthday 5 years prior where I spent it with several different friends each one a surprise orchestrated by my always amazing husband.

Don't get me wrong, that was amazing, but I had a secret that day. I was pregnant. We decided to wait until Thanksgiving to share the news, but all day long I knew and I held it in. The memories came flooding back.

5 years. 5 years ago we lost our baby at Christmas. The day in between two Christmas programs.

It felt like I was hit with a tidal wave, knocking me down with emotions I didn't see coming. I lost it.

I was so confused. Why am I shedding tears now? I haven't shed tears for several years.

The complete sorrow and ache I felt when we lost the baby m…

Moments I Choose to Click. Save. Post

Drinking coffee...catching up on blogs...enjoying the crisp air. 
Oh.... I'm also the at bottom of a wrestling match, trying to avoid coffee spilling on my ipad,

fending off the puppy and looking at the stains on the carpet. 

There are screams and some flying fists.

Both statements true. Both good.  It's the perspective that's different. 
It's okay to not Instagram the rough parts. It's okay to not post your crappy day.
Someday our kids will thumb through these online archives

 and I'd rather they see that I chose to capture and savor the good moments.

They will see that despite the rough days I chose to find a different perspective.
Nobody is silly enough to think there aren't bad days in this life. In parenting or in general.
No, I'm not hiding my crazy life from the internets...

you're welcome to come over any time to witness it in person. 
So no, not every day is picture perfect but if you're breathing you know that's true.

 So I choose to capture and…

So your heart wants to be in a grass hut, but you're stuck in suburbia

I've mentioned before that I get itchy a lot. I like change. I move my furniture around and by the holes in my walls you can gather that I move the pictures around a lot too. After 11 years of marriage Trevor is no longer surprised to come home to a completely new arrangement in things, and he often has to look around for lids and straws because they inevitably are in a new location.

I have lots of ideas and plans and my mind never rests. I am also what is called an "Activator" or as my friend Jenna calls it, a Fire Starter. My question isn't "how?" or "why?" it's "when do we start?".  I like to jump. This is super great in so many areas, and for the areas where it's not so great I'm thankful for my non-fire starter husband who balances me well.


When God began shaking up my heart a few years ago and opening my eyes to things I really hadn't seen before, I began researching things like "South Sudan Missionaries with K…

Jack: A Letter Before You Start School

Jack-

Tomorrow you start Kindergarten. It's not a big deal, but it is a big deal all in the same breath. Someday you'll know what I mean.

As you start school, I just wanted to remind you how much I love you. I love so many things about you I just don't know where to begin.

Daddy and I picked a verse for you. One that we pray over you and trust will help shape your life and your heart.

"Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love" 1 Corinthians 16:13-14
You see, Daddy and I love you so much, but there is someone who loves you even more than us. He gave you to us. He trusted us enough to look after, care for and guide you. To teach you how to be like Him. We mess up a lot, sometimes we get things wrong....and we are so thankful for grace.

God's grace says "you messed up, really really big but I love you anyway and you don't have to be perfect for me to love you"

Remember how we talked about compassion, …

Kindergarten

Here we are. Kindergarten. I remember Kindergarten quite vividly. I remember making solid friends. Playing guitar on a wooden block, accidentally doing the splits on the linoleum floor, making hand-print Christmas ornaments and being chosen to help the teacher cart them to the kiln.

I remember snack time. And my lovely beautiful teacher Ms. Olsen and her bouncing blonde hair. 
I honestly can't believe Jack is here now. It sounds so silly to say time flies, but it really does. I am excited for him. 

When we felt God moving us in a different direction for schooling this year, it came as a shock to me and honestly it was hard. I didn't want to do it, but then God opened so many doors (frankly some that shouldn't have opened) and we suddenly felt at such peace with this change it was undeniable. We always said, a year at a time and a kid at a time as far as schooling goes and yet we don't want to bounce them around every year, so I think this is what things will look like …

restless to go

i am restless. ready to travel again. ready to take my canon and capture new colors. new faces. new things.

i never saw myself as someone who wanted to travel just to experience life.

i wished i had always felt this way. i wonder how many more trips i would have taken thus far.


we plan on travelling with our boys a lot. across the country. across the world. we don't want them to think their world is what is immediately around them. we love our country, but it is not all there is.

there is a whole big wide world out there and we want our boys to experience it. to know they are a part of a big planet with different colors and faces and tastes.


some would say travel is a luxury. i would say it's important. i would suggest that plucking you and your family out of it's comfort zone is a must and i would say you should make it a priority.

save. scrape. pinch. tighten. sacrifice elsewhere and make it happen.

tsh talks a lot about this in her book, Notes From a Blue Bike which I ju…

Come along September...I am ready for you

September is just peeking it's little head around the corner. I am ready for it. I am ready for the routine that school brings, ready for the fall to come gently and then stay a real long while.

I am not a fan of the summer heat. I love the sun and outdoor play but when weeks upon weeks amount to hardly anything under 90 degrees and top out around 110....I melt.

I love football season, and fall food and cozy clothes and warm drinks. So I welcome September and with open arms knowing it ushers in this new season that I love.


Jack is going to a new school this year. Kindergarten. I can't even believe it. I remember so much of Kindergarten...it's crazy to think he will have vivid memories of this time as well.


We leave for Minnesota next month. Trevor's Grandparents and Aunts live there. They haven't seen Jack sine he was 3 months old and they have never met the twins. We are excited beyond belief. Saving, planning, trusting that this would happen....and here it is.

We…

The Art of Community: Open Door Policy

I wrote about the "village" a few weeks back. I wrote about how it looks a little different than it did even 50 years ago, and I shared a little about what my village looks like. I even said it's up to us to make sure we maintain a "village" and we can't wait for the village to come to us.

I've never been one for drop in guests. Mostly because I lack discipline and you may knock on my door at 1:00pm to an un-showered, still in PJ's frantic Mom of three little boys and a messy house to boot. I didn't like the idea of someone coming unannounced, even if they brought coffee and I enjoyed cocooning myself until I felt we were "presentable" and always scheduled our play-dates and such.

On the other hand, I love that I had a friend or two who welcomed this idea and often reminded me to stop in at any time and say hello, I thought "my goodness how lovely that must be...to feel that free"


I realized of course, that it was my issue, m…

The Art of Community: The Village

I read a blog the other day. It talked about longing for the "village" of older days. The days when people lived fairly close to one another on larger properties and the kids played outside in the field together and women took care of each others children and baked bread together etc.

Life looks different these days. There is no changing that, and in all honesty, it wouldn't be wise to try and do so. Things that were safe back in "the day" just aren't anymore, and that includes in other countries, not just in the U.S.

So, while yes so much of the concept of a "village" has changed, that doesn't mean it can't or doesn't exist. It just looks different. We just need to be more intentional about how it works and make it happen. We also can't wait for the village to come to us. We have to make it happen if we want it.


My village looks like bringing a friend her favorite coffee on a day that I know has been tough. It looks like watching …

Running: Free Therapy

I didn't start running until after I was married. My Dad asked me to join him on a run and so I did. I never ran by myself except at the 5k races we did together. I always ran with my Dad. I loved running with him. We never went very fast and we got to talk a lot. I enjoyed my time with him.



Fast forward 10 plus years, a baby, a miscarriage, twins, a c-section and ankle surgery later...and I have ran a Half-Marathon and am 11 days shy of my second one. There were times during this training I wanted to quit running. I really actually don't like running. I never feel totally awesome during a run and unlike so many people, I don't pray or process things internally while I run. In fact, my mind is blank while I run. There is literally nothing going on in there during a run, which is why when I run alone I listen to music. I do enjoy the feeling when I'm done and my body has worked hard and I see the calories I've burned and the tone in my legs but I really don't ev…

Stuff that Matters: If we are a Jesus People

I'm pretty fired up. Not as much as I was last night, or even this morning on my run...maybe it's a good thing I haven't had time to write until now. It's a little more filtered. Right now I'm talking those of you who call yourself a Jesus people. Those of you who believe in Jesus and call Him your God. I'm gonna set you down for a cup of coffee and talk real honest with you because I'm a Jesus people too. So just listen. I'm talking to myself too.

Threads

I never cease to be amazed at how God sews the threads of our lives together with others. How we are all connected in this crazy beautiful mess and how it's all for His glory.



Soon after we recognized that God has opened our hearts to adopting we received an email about a newborn baby girl in our area. Her name was Sarah and her biological Mother was going to put her up for adoption and they were hopeful to find a local family that would love and honor this sweet baby and be a perfect fit.

We looked at each other and thought, "All ready!?"

We began praying and asked for some more information. We received another email and then we made a phone call. We were able to get much more information and decided to alert our family and close friends, asking them to be in prayer for us as we sought God's direction in this. We asked for prayer for Sarah, for protection and safety as well as for her future family- whether it was us or not.

We had another phone call soon after and …

Personality Types

On this journey into figuring out what makes me tick, what I'm passionate about, created to do, built for...I've learned a lot about my personality. I'm not one to think everyone fits in a box perfectly but it is clear to me that personality types are legit and if you know what gets you pumped and where you excel and what gets you stressing it can help you a ton!

I think everyone should have their stressors written across their shirt so that when they get spinning people can identity why and how that happened. It would probably solve a lot of problems :)

For instance, in the well respected and used Briggs Myers test, I am an ENFP.

Here is what that looks like









My husband on the other hand is an INFJ (also the most uncommon one).....



Notice how his strengths are what stresses me out? On one hand I figure I cause him a lot of angst haha, on the other hand we balance each other out really well (apparently our match-up of personalities is the best for both of us)

One of my best …

For those with empty arms and aching hearts

I am thinking of you today, you who long to be called Mommy. A day like Mother's Day feels like a cruel finger pointing in your face- lying to you that you don't yet matter.

Maybe you've tried for years, or maybe just a month. Maybe you've lost a precious one or maybe you know you never will hold your own.

We don't celebrate our Mother's and each other to rub it in to you, but I know maybe it feels that way. Maybe you avoid social media and church this weekend fearful of the posts, the noodle necklaces from kids being worn and the sermons about just Mom's. 

Maybe you read online that your friend "can't catch a break for 5 minutes without hearing Mommy screamed ten times" and you long to hear it said just once. 

Maybe people keep asking you and your husband "Well, when are you going to have kids?" and you smile and nod and your husband squeezes your hand tight and they don't know you've tried for years but it doesn't matte…

On Friendships

I've been thinking recently about friendships.
How blessed I am in this season of my life, to have the friends I do.

When you are little friendships are really just about socializing and finding someone who likes to play the same things as you. Sometimes, those random friendships last your whole life and while it's not the same as weekly play-dates, you still keep in touch and care about one another.

After marriage friendships get harder. Some of your friends aren't married, and that's just not the same. Some of them are but they have kids and that's not the same either. It's a total transition time and you're trying to adjust to that new married life and have friendships that understand. The same goes with becoming a Mom. You are desperate to find people who understand where you are coming from and are okay talking about kids a LOT because that is your life and that is what matters right then.
People start to grow up and the silly things that used to matte…

Education: Holy Hot Topic

I have written and deleted this post so many times, now it's time to just hit publish.

There are few things these days that get people more riled up than Education. Just take a look at your own Facebook feed and I'm sure you know what I mean.

People get downright passionate and sometimes pretty rude about it (in a passive-aggressive "just sayin" sort of way)

Here are my two cents, because I know you realllllly care right?

Education is important. We here in the First world take it for granted. We have multiple choices in how we educate our children, where as in the rest of the world kids are lucky to even learn how to read.

Education matters. Education is crucial and it's a gift.


I don't think there is a right way to do it.

There are some incredibly awful public schools, with awful teachers and mean kids.

There are some amazing public schools with amazing teachers, and some awful ones and some nice kids and some mean kids.

There are also some really amazing pr…

How to Live Intentionally and Stop Going Through The Motions

In my last post I shared about how I started living more intentionally and stopped just consuming.

So how did I go about doing that?

This isn't a formula or the "right way" but these are things I (we) did and have led us to where we are now.

After reading, and meeting with a few close friends, being challenged by God... I tell you it was like I was seeing for the first time in my life. Things hadn't changed with WHAT I believed, it was about HOW that looked. How all the stuff I knew needed to look a whole lot different than it had. Church needed to look different, our lives needed to look different....


1) Read.

 Pick up some or all of these books and start reading. Some you may love, some you may struggle with and that's okay. It's okay to wrestle with things and disagree and also find out you've been wrong.
One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
Love Does by Bob Goff
Radical by David Platt
Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker
7 The Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by…

Tired of Consuming: Now What

I mentioned in my last blog post that I stopped going to Bible Studies. Not that I stopped studying the Bible, just that I hadn't attended a Bible Study in quite some time. There is nothing wrong with Bible Studies, in fact I believe they can be very essential to new Christians, those who are newly growing in faith and need to know what this whole "life in Christ" thing is all about. There can be great conversation that stirs in a Bible Study and deep friendships borne as well.

There is however, a large amount of people who have grown up in the church that as Jen Hatmaker says are "still starving for nourishment after our sixth Bible study in a row..." 
These people can't seem to fill that "hole" or "void" and soon after a Bible Study ends, they start to feel empty, distant or dry again, and so they go to another Bible study- feeling that is what is needed. 

I would argue that instead of attending more studies, more programs, more "th…

On Growing Up: Living Intentionally

I spent the better part of my young-adulthood just wading through things. I've done things I've always wanted to try (like phlebotomy) and I've done things that have landed in my lap (Medical Assisting, Trades of Hope and Photography).

At church I've answered phones, greeted people, answered questions for new-comers, worked with babies, toddlers, preschoolers, Jr. Highers and High Schooler's. I've served dinner for our mid-week service, I've done sign language, drama and scripture readings. I've organized and stapled papers, put books on shelves and filed odds and ends.

I've attended retreats, women's events, Bible studies, Sunday School classes, church services, camps, missions trips, concerts and speakers.

Why? Because that's what growing up in the church looked like. You go, you do these things and you plug in.


Most people do that their entire lives. They go, plug in and stay there. Or they go, plug in, get bored, change it up and repeat …

Mexico: Redux

I've been home from Mexico for one week and am still processing and adjusting. I always have a hard time coming home from a trip and going right back to routine. There is no buffer for Mama, just back up and at em with the boys and life.

Mexico was awesome. From the moment our van left the church parking lot I was all in. I found myself in a van of 13 guys and 0 girls. I felt right at home with all those boys, and honestly it was so great. They were quiet and nice and contrary to what some may think it only smelled at one point along the way. The van ride alone was a vacation for myself.

This group of teens was nothing like the group of teens in my youth group, so basically they were awesome. I loved watching them work hard, work together and dive in. The days were long and physically exhausting and the evenings were for bonfires and worship.

Our group built a house and a community center in 4 days. Working pretty much from 8:00am-5:00pm with one break for lunch for 4 days straigh…

That one time I said NEVER but God wanted more

Part of this Restless Project is going back through your life and plucking moments out. Plucking out the moments you felt the most proud and satisfied and plucking out the moments you suffered. To take it a step further, you have to describe how you felt at each of those moments.

The proud and satisfying moments were fun and brought back good and warm feelings. The moments you remember suffering were not so fun. Taking pause to reflect on why you felt the way you did and describing those moments (that forever shape you) is painful. It's not fun and it's hard and I'd rather just forget.

It's important though, to do this because it really is evident how those moments and those feelings play into your passions and gifting later on.

One of the most painful parts of my life, was during my younger years in church- specifically youth group (Junior High on up) I'm not going to dive into all of it, but suffice it to say I was hurt by people in the church (side note...people…

Live Life Palms Down

Live life palms down.


Sounds weird right? By living palms down, I'm relinquishing my rights to everything. Nothing I am or have is mine. It is all for Him.  I force myself to not hold tight to things I want or need. I simply trust in a God who has told me He alone supplies my every thought, need or desire.  By living palms down- I become a funnel of His grace. His blessings flow down and off my hands into the lives of others and I don't attempt to grab them and never let go. 
Palms down.

Restless Project: My review and why you need to grab this book

Do You Feel Like You're Missing Something? What if this feeling wasn't a bad thing? It could be a longing for more of God and a catalyst to living the life that was designed before the foundations of the earth were laid.

A lot of us, if we're honest, are afraid. We hold our dreams close to our chest. But our passions have a purpose--they were engineered for God's greater plan and he intends for us to use them for his glory and purposes.

In "Restless," Bible teacher and fellow struggler Jennie Allen explores practical ways to identify the threads of your life and how to intentionally weave them together. She explains how your gifts, passions, places, and relationships aren't random; they're deliberate and meaningful. And your suffering--it's possible it has produced the very thing you want to give back to the world.

Using the story of Joseph, the dreamer, Jennie explains how his suffering, gifts, relationships--all of the threads of his life--fit into…