Saturday, August 28, 2010
One major area I’ve been thinking about is waiting. I think I’ll go back to the beginning…of our marriage at least. I got married thinking that I was somewhat of an expert on waiting, since I waited a LONG time for Matt.
As you probably know, Luke was 5 when Matt & I were married. He almost immediately began asking for a brother or sister (except really, he wanted a brother.) That was fine with us, since I’d always wanted a big family, and Matt was thrilled with the thought of more kids. Since I didn’t get even date until I was 33, I had begun to wonder if kids were in the Lord’s plan for me at all. Matt thought the door was completely closed to more kids, since he and Julie knew that after Chemo, kids were out of the question. For both of us, having Tobin was such a “cherry on top”: We had more than we’d dreamed. When T was just a few months old, I told Matt, “You know I’m going to want another one of these, right?” I love babies. :) My plan was to get pregnant early enough that by the time T stopped being cuddly and baby-like, I’d have another one to hold (I would have loved to get pregnant the month after I stopped nursing). Matt was less enthusiastic about that timeline, so we worked out a compromise… our plan was to get pregnant so that our third child would be born shortly after Tobin turned 2. Since he is beyond 3 1/2 now, you can see that did not work out. I talked to my doctor about it, but we are unwilling to spend money on any treatment, even to see why I am not getting pregnant…mostly because now that I’m in my late 30s, it’s not really that mysterious (Just to be clear - I don’t think it’s wrong to spend money on fertility testing or treatment. It’s just that with 2 kids already, it didn’t feel right for us.)
So… Not an expert on waiting. The last 2 years has been up and down for me. Sometimes I’m very content, thankful for my two boy-joys, and for all of the college friends we get to love and serve (and realistically I know that the more kids we have, the less available I am for college ministry.) Sometimes I remember that I have 2 more kids than I ever thought I’d have, plus an awesome husband. Sometimes I’ve been frustrated and confused, wondering why in the world the Lord wouldn’t want to give us more kids…why I have such a strong feeling that there is more for our family. Other times, at the monthly reminder that I’m still not pregnant, I’ve been overwhelmed with sadness that I hardly understand. I found a great weapon against that sadness though… I have several friends who have struggled through seasons of infertility and loss that I cannot even comprehend, so I decided a long while ago that whenever I was overwhelmed with sadness, I would pray for them in their sadness. I don’t usually think of prayer as magic, but in this case, it sure seemed to be. Praying for my sweet friends almost completely cured my sadness – God is so good! (and now those friends all have the sweetest little answered prayers – He is ABUNDANTLY good, both in the blessing and answers, and even in the sadness and loss.)
In some ways, it’s been a long two years (I hardly can even stand to type that, knowing what a loooooooong and much more painful wait so many have had). But I have much to be thankful for, certainly a sweet loving husband and two precious boys, and over and above and under and in everything, a Maker who loves me and has GOOD plans for me, and is a comforter and KEEPER.
We are in the process of making some decisions about our family in light of all these things. We’d love your prayers for our family and especially decisions we’re in the process of making right now. I’m very thankful for each of you. And thankful that no matter what we decide, our God is a father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, Who sets the lonely in families (from Psalm 68.)
Saturday, August 21, 2010
One of Tobin’s favorite thing in the world is “Tajamas.” He LOVES his PJs, and would stay in them all day long, if I let him. He’s pretty attached to just about everything involved with his BED…you should see the melt downs caused when I have to change his sheets. And heaven forbid if I need to wash his special Blankie or one of the night-night friends. At the moment, he has 4 special stuffed animals – his “friends” that he sleeps with every night: Mookie the Monkey (from Build-a-Bear), Mousie (a stuffed version of the mouse from If You Give a Mouse a Cookie), Smokie (a small beanie black bear we got him in CO last year), and Flower Dirt (a small beanie deer we got him in CO this year. And yes, he named her Flower Dirt himself. I tried to steer him back toward just Flower, but he’s insistent: “No! Flower DIRT!”) He carries all 4 around in the mornings, and likes to set them up on the breakfast table in gender order – the boys (Mookie and Smokie) on one side and the girls (Mousie and Flower Dirt) on the other. How he knows which are boys and which are girls I do not know, but he’s quite firm on that subject. :)
For a long while, his favorite pajamas have been Lightning McQueen (from Aunt B for Christmas). He calls them his “Speed Tajamas” (because we have a Lightning McQueen toy that says, “Speed? I am Speed!”), and would wear them every night if I let him. While we were in Texas on vacation, Uncle Jon and Aunt Terry got to witness his attachment, since I did laundry at their house and confiscated the Speed PJs. I think he cried for 15 minutes.
He does have some other PJs that he likes, but many of them are getting too small (the kid is outgrowing EVERYTHING). I’m going to let him keep the Speed Tajamas for a little while longer – they’re just a little high-water – but the other 3T PJs have gotten way too small, so I broke down and got some more this week.
And there’s a new favorite in town:
He pushes the button to “make his wings come out” and then flies all around the house. So cute.
They came in a set with a woody pair also, and they were more than I was hoping to spend. But he got so excited in the store, I just couldn’t say no. Next time you see him, don’t be surprised if he’s wearing his Buzz Lighyear Tajamas, because I don’t know if I’m going to be able to get them off of him. Ever.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Today was the first day of Fifth grade for Luke.
AKA, last year at Hill Elementary. One more year, and we’ll have a Middle School-er. 4 years until high school. 8 years until college. That noise you hear is me, passing out. I am sure that all of those years will hold good things, but I am just as sure they will go by too fast…
Join me on a walk down memory lane…
This was us, roughly five years ago today:
I must be a glutton for punishment, because these pictures? Break my heart. Look what a cutie-pie shrimp he was!! His backpack is almost as big as he is!! Matt and I had only been married for 2 1/2 months when Luke started Kindergarten, and I was still figuring out what it meant to be his mom. Praise God for half-day kindergarten, wish we still had that option! I remember thinking my heart would explode from loving him. Little did I know that was just the beginning…
First Grade (Mrs. Day):
Second Grade (Mrs. DeNino):
Third Grade (Mrs. Hand):
(that was officially the last year he let me bring my camera up to drop off… “so embarassing, mom!”)
Here’s fourth grade (Ms. Barker):
(You can see my reflection in the screen door window!!)
And this morning:
Quite the little Beiber, isn’t he? Of course, he’s never even seen Justin Beiber, but he was proud to have the longest hair amongst his friends.
His fifth grade teacher is Mrs. Rathe, whom he really likes so far. Of course the advantage in 5th is that they switch around a lot, so he has all 3 5th grade teachers for at least one subject. He’s excited about the friends in his class as well, since several of the boys from our sports teams are in there. I think it’s going to be a good year.
One more time…5 years ago:
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Today was our second annual end-of-summer/ beginning of school party @ the park. On the day before school, we got together with school friends at the park in our neighborhood. The kids had a great time decorating their cupcakes and enjoying some of their last few hours of summer.
Last week we were pushing 100 degrees, so I was wondering if it would be too hot for the party this week. Thanks to the lovely changeability of Nebraska weather, heat was not a problem. It was definitely jacket weather for our end of summer party, but the kids didn’t seem to mind.
I think cupcakes at the park is the best, easiest party idea EVER. Especially since my friends are all AWESOME and insisted on bringing things. I made 3 batches of cupcakes and we brought sprinkles, hand wipes and soccer stuff. Other than that, nothing! Others brought frosting, paper products, lemonade, and tons of other sporting equipment. The only thing I’d do differently next year is have some sort of treat for the adults (not that any of the moms minded having a cupcake…it would just be nice to offer something more grown up.)
I kind of wish every day was a cupcake party!!
Monday, August 16, 2010
Matt & I were gone all weekend at a staff retreat with our college leadership staff team (which was BLESSING upon BLESSING…praise God for working in our hearts and for being GOD.)
LOOK what Luke made at Grammie’s while we were gone:
I am AMAZED. He is so proud of himself, and plans to make another soon. I think he also mowed her lawn while he was there – he’s a busy bee!! (he’s trying to earn and save money up for a bigger bike – one with gears – he & Matt went on a long ride on Friday and agreed that he’s ready for more of a grown up bike. Matt told him we’d go in with him half, so he’s on a mission to earn his half while it’s still bike weather!)
I’m so proud he’s following in my crafty footsteps! (not that I could make a BOAT if my life depended on it… I should probably say he’s following in Grammie’s footsteps!!)
Sunday, August 15, 2010
(of course it also makes me laugh… T is mesmerized by the DVDs, despite being very obviously made circa 1983, thanks to the wonderful clothing & hairstyles of the day. One of the song intros includes Steve Green saying, “Have you ever wondered why God…” Matt always interjects, “Have you ever wondered why you wore those orange shorts?”)
Learning to sew… Thanks to my birthday present from my wonderful mom: a new sewing machine. So far, I’ve done a bag (a practice one for me – the real deal will be a birthday present for my sweet niece Alyssa next month.)
An appliquéd t-shirt (actually 2 – one for Tobin, and one for my nephew Logan.) This is faker pants appliqué – and Logan’s has already fallen apart. Oops. I think I know how to do it right next time…
And I’m working on an apron for myself (bought the fabric with birthday money, so it’s been a sewing birthday from beginning to end.) It looks ADORABLE right now, if I say so myself. But I have to put the ruffle on the bottom and I’m having some troubles…
Really cute necklaces… In addition to the sewing machine and fabric to practice on, most of the rest of my birthday presents were NECKLACES. And I love each and every one of them!
This one from Luke – who spent his own money at the farmer’s market (he knew I loved this particular jewelry stand, it’s where I bought the necklace we gave my awesome step-mom for her birthday earlier this summer). What a SWEET SON! (when he told me he was getting my present at the market, I was pretty sure I was going to get magnetic rocks, since that’s his favorite thing there…but he did really well!)
And this one from my Zoo, straight from Zambia! (Matt says no one will know who I'm talking about, so I'd better tell you - Zoo means Susie. Whom I lived with for the majority of my 20s, and whom I'd still live with - or at least next door to - if I was in charge of the world. But you all knew that, didn't you? :D)
And this BEAUTY from my sweet sister Khymberly:
And lastly…at least for today:
I LOVE LIVING IN NEBRASKA. We have had 100+ degree weather for the last week or so, with very high (for Nebraska) humidity. It makes me wonder how in the world I lived my whole life in Houston, TX, where it never gets below 100 in August, and the humidity is so high it’s almost misty. This last week we mostly stayed inside, and I could hardly even stand to look out the window it was so hot. And now today…high in the 80s with a cool breeze. Glorious. I forgot how pleasant it is to be outside. Since we just have 2 more days of summer (school starts on Wednesday!), Matt smoked our dinner tonight on the grill, and we’re going to eat outside and then have a fire in our fire pit, with doughboys and marshmallows. I’m happy to be outside again. Glorious mid-western weather. I love it.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
We stopped near Boulder to buy some groceries for the week, and get out of the van for a bit (T was begging me to hold him). He fell asleep on my lap in the coffeeshop in Safeway while Matt and Luke shopped for us. We’ve never been so glad to get anywhere as we were when we finally arrived at our cabin near Estes Park.
Praise the Lord, that was the worst of it… We took it easy on our first day, but T & I both were better pretty fast, and neither Matt or Luke ever caught whatever we had.
We had a delightful week in Colorado…I just love the peace of that place. I love being outside, having picnics for lunch every day, hiking in such beautiful mountains, and being together as a family. We did some amazing hikes this year – but the theme was definitely biting off more than we could chew. Matt carried Tobin a fair amount of the way in the kid-pack, but Luke and I were on our own. The payoff for both hikes was well worth it – the first one, we got to see two amazing cascades and a waterfall. The second went by two lower lakes on the way to an amazing Alpine lake surrounded by boulders (Luke’s favorite – he loves scrambling around on rocks and boulders.)
As fun as the week was, the highlight definitely came as a result of a text from my friend Julie, who has also lived in Lincoln, NE and College Station, TX – so we have mutual friends in both places. She noticed on a Nebraska friend’s facebook wall that I was in CO, and texted me asking if I knew that several of my dearest TX friends were also in Estes Park. We were able to get together with them for dinner one evening, which was a gift I wouldn’t have imagined. When we first met up with the Bryants, Sledges, Corrys, and Coyles I couldn’t seem to stop crying, I was so happy to see them. We must have been quite a sight, crying and hugging on the sidewalk in the middle of town. Dinner was definitely a zoo with so many kids, and us trying to catch up as fast as we could. Tobin was smitten with all the little girls, and Luke and Colson Sledge sat down at the end of the table talking like old friends (and neither of them are really chatter boxes.) I asked what they talked about: “You know, sports, video games, the usual.” :)
We had a very relaxing and wonderful visit with Uncle Jon and Aunt Terry in Austin. It was maybe even a little TOO restful… Tobin and I both caught bugs, and spent quite a bit of time by ourselves upstairs resting, hoping that no one else (especially Uncle Jon, who’s undergoing Chemo) would catch whatever we had.
But even with that…we had a wonderful time. We love being with Jon and Terry, and SO wish we could see them more often, especially now that it’s harder for them to make it up to Nebraska.
This might have been Luke’s favorite trip to Austin yet… since we couldn’t really get out and do much, we stayed home and he got to play on Uncle Jon’s Wii most of the time we were there – including a 4 way family Super Mario tournament (with Matt, Luke, Jon, and Terry…and Tobin pretending to play along!)
Next stop… Colorado!
Monday, August 9, 2010
Usually we try to spread our vacation out. Matt gets 2 weeks a year, but we usually just use one of those weeks for an actual vacation, then spread the other week out over the rest of the year as needed (usually Christmas…)
This year, we ended up using both weeks together… We’re just getting back, and boy am I ready to be home. We drove a total of 43 hours, give or take a few. Yikes.
Our first stop was Ft. Worth, TX…which is 10 hours from Lincoln, and where my dear friend and former roommate Susie lives. Conveniently, 10 hours is just about the max we can survive in the van. Right around 8 hours, Tobin gets pretty whiney….and by 10 hours, Mom and Dad are at their limit as well.
We got to spend the night with Susie, visit her church on Sunday morning, and have some good Mexican food before hitting the road for Houston. I’m so glad the timing worked out… several days after we came through town, Susie left for a week and a half in Zambia with her nieces and nephew.
Next we headed to Houston to spend a few days with my family. I’m afraid it was such a quick trip we hardly took pictures, but I’ll share what I have… I’m sure my mom has a billion :). Even short, it was a delightful trip. We got to spend time with my step-sister Chelsea and her family as well as my Dad & Terry on the fourth of July (Sunday). On Monday, the whole family (including my brother and his fiancée, my mom, and my sister Khymberly’s family) gathered to celebrate birthdays and a late father’s day.
Tuesday we spent most of the day at the Houston Children’s Museum, which was a GIANT hit with the boys (as well as my niece Alyssa, and nephew Logan). It’s really something else… as much as we love the Lincoln Children’s Museum, I’m afraid it might seem a little small now that we’ve been to Houston’s… For starters, instead of the little gopher holes they play in at the Lincoln Children’s Museum (that I think smells like dirty socks…) Houston’s museum has a 3 story enclosed climbing structure. We didn’t realize until they were halfway through that Tobin and Logan were too young for it… Tobin made it out with Luke’s help, but in spite of lots of help from Luke and Alyssa, Logan got tired right in the middle of the thing, sat down, and signed to us that he was “all done.” Khymberly had to crawl in the thing and get him. Ooops. :)
It was pretty stormy in Houston (hurricane remnants), so we didn’t get to go swimming as often as we would have liked. But one of they days we did swim, my brother Michael was able to join us. We were delighted – Michael manages a Discount Tire and rarely is able to take off work while we’re in town.
All in all…it was a delightful time with family. Next stop…Austin!