Thursday, March 6, 2014

Mr. Mayhem: a photographic journey.

All  the crumbs, laundry, and excitement of the day, tucked neatly in a pair of overalls.  :)

Friday, February 21, 2014

A fulfilled resolution.

One of my new year's resolutions was to re-open my long vacant Etsy shop, re-design & re-name it, and sell one item.  Just one.  I learned to crochet a little over 1 year ago ( inspired by my neighbor and supplied with hooks & yarn by my mom-in-law) and it's been a love affair ever since.  I love that it's 100% portable, and I love the idea of taking a shapeless lump of wool and making something useful and functional from it.  It is the perfect creative outlet for someone with 4 kids under the age of 5. :)

Anyway, tonight I made my first sale.  And the shop's inspiration was totally stoked :)

We sold our "Loop Booties" in Ivory.

Yes, my first customer was my mom:)  But she seems to be my biggest fan, so that makes sense.  A big "thank you" to you mom, for helping me reach this goal!!  It's just a "for fun" creativity outlet, but it's incredibly nice to have somewhere to "go" every day that is clean, organized, and crumb free. :)  And that's just mine.

Loop booties are officially sold out, but more are on the way!
Check out our shop for a few more items and many more on the way!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Special Mother

Ben saw this hanging in the waiting room of Eli's speech therapist and shared it with me.  I love it. :) I certainly can't lay claim to all of these positive traits, but the parts about never taking a word or step for granted... I know- and am thankful-for those miracle moments.

The Special Mother 

by Erma Bombeck 

Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, 

a few by social pressure and a couple by habit.

This year nearly 100,000 women will become mothers of handicapped children. 

Did you ever wonder how these mothers are chosen?

Somehow I visualize God hovering over Earth

Selecting his instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. 

As he observes, he instructs his angels to take notes in a giant ledger.

"Armstrong, Beth, son. Patron Saint, Matthew."

"Forrest, Marjorie, daughter. Patron Saint, Celia."

"Rutledge, Carrie, twins. Patron Saint...give her Gerard. He's used to profanity."

Finally he passes a name to an angel and smiles. "Give her a handicapped child."

The angel is curious. "Why this one, God? She's so happy."

"Exactly," smiles God. "Could I give a handicapped child a mother who knows no laughter? 

That would be cruel."

"But does she have the patience?" asks the angel.

"I don't want her to have too much patience, or she'll drown in a sea of self-pity and despair.

Once the shock and resentment wear off she'll handle it."

"I watched her today. 

She has that sense of self and independence so rare and so necessary in a mother. 

You see, the child I'm going to give her has a world of it's own. 

She has to make it live in her world, and that's not going to be easy."

"But Lord, I don't think she even believes in you." 

God smiles. "No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness."

The angel gasps, "Selfishness? Is that a virtue?"

God nods. "If she can't separate herself from the child occasionally, she will never survive. 

Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect.

She doesn't know it yet, but she is to be envied. 

She will never take for granted a spoken word.

She will never consider a step ordinary. 

When her child says momma for the first time, she will be witness to a miracle and know it.

I will permit her to see clearly the things I see--ignorance, cruelty, 

prejudice--and allow her to rise above them. 

She will never be alone. 

I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life 

Because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side."

"And what about her Patron Saint?" asks the angel, his pen poised in the air. God smiles.

"A mirror will suffice."

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Our 2013. Scratch that. 2014.

That title is no joke.  I actually just finished an email where I ended it with a reference to it being 2013. I just stood up to check the calendar and saw that it is, indeed, 2014.
Mommy-brain is a very real thing.
In the few weeks since Christmas we've grown to a family of 6.  Rowen came along on Dec 20, and 4 wks later we received our first phone call from CPS for a 4 year old boy.  That was, of course, a day in which mom & dad were still in their pajamas at 10 am and we'd already battled the wills of another special 4 and 1 year old.  He arrived that day around  lunchtime, almost 2 weeks ago.

It's funny, looking back on your life, at the way God orchestrates all seemingly small moments in preparation for these big, earth shaking ones.  Overnight I've gone from dragging myself out of bed for the first 7:30 wake up to eagerly jumping out at 5:30 for an hour to myself.  I remember as a child, waking up to my mom-showered, dressed, making breakfast- and knowing that she'd been up hours earlier, reading her Bible and praying.  I don't know how I knew that- I can't remember if I asked or was up to witness it, but I remember wondering in my heart how the Bible could POSSIBLY be interesting enough to wake up that early for it.  Now I know that the only way to get to the end of the day without clenched fists full of hair is by constantly abiding in the refuge of Jesus.  So thanks mom, for that memory.  Even at the (almost) age of 30, you are still leading me to knowledge of the truth.  I think of you every morning.

This is an exciting time of life.  Ben marveled the other day that despite this being the craziest and most uncertain time of our marriage, he feels peace. Not well rested, not necessarily calm, but just a deep, fulfilling peace knowing that we are right where we are supposed to be-making lots of mistakes, saying countless "I'm sorry's", but in those moments gaining opportunities to present the gospel in real life.  Discipline, followed by forgiveness and mercy.  Being stretched is never ever comfortable, but we have hope in knowing that these "light & momentary struggles" are achieving for us something so much greater.  It is exciting in the midst of crumbs and dirty dishes and laundry to know that you are working for something so much larger than yourself.  It's indescribably frightening too.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Rowen Elaine

It's taken me a full month to get to this post… I'm sorry grandparents! :)

Last time I wrote we were (im)patiently waiting for the birth of #3, our "surprise" baby.  We'd decided to keep the gender a secret-which weirdly got easier as time went by.  Once the pregnancy stops being new & exciting and starts being painful and tiresome and, truthfully, a total drag- you just want it out.  Boy, girl, whatever.  Let's just be done and start the next phase of life.
   I had hopes that this one would arrive early as Silas did, but no luck.  My mom came down the night before delivery to stay with the boys, and we headed to the hospital around 9:30 am for a noon delivery.  This is c-section #3 for me and my nerves were a little raw as I contemplated how many incisions I'd had in the same place and worried that there'd be complications as the doctor pulled out another whopper of an infant- AGAIN.  My fears were unfounded however, and everything went smoothly.  Surgery was halfway over before I knew they'd started- always a relief to me- and Ben was brought in beside me moments before we heard the first scream.  I marvel at how different each of my kids have sounded coming out of the womb.  You'd think that all baby cries sound about the same- not so.  Silas' will always stick out the most to me, b/c it's never changed- he still screams over Oreos the same way he did being pulled out of that warm, cozy home of 9 months.

Anyway, out baby came and we heard the shocking news that we had, indeed, successfully made a Jordi girl (what is the world in for??).  For some reason, the biggest surprise to me was that she had a  head of dark brown hair, and weighed a minuscule (for me) 7 lbs.  After two gigantic bald babies… you understand my surprise.

Ben left with baby girl as my surgery wrapped up, and I was wheeled into recovery.  It took almost an hour to get to see her as her temp was pretty low and they had to warm her up for a bit.  But she finally got to us and we held her and marveled over her… and then one of the best moments, calling the grandparents to relay the news.  Best reaction EVER.

Grammie Daniels was staying with the boys and brought them to see their sister a few short hours later. Eli was interested- Siley seemed more concerned about the snack situation than anything, but that's typical for mini-me :).  There's been no jealousy issues yet-and I'm grateful.  Their enthusiasm has grown steadily since then, especially for Silas.  They are only 18 months apart, so I think he senses that until kindergarten, this is his bff.  He is such a sweetheart to her :)

We had a large number of visitors, all bearing gifts: pink, purple, and glittery.  My sweet cousin overnighted a package of dresses and onesies hours after finding out the gender. Grammie D and Nana J both went on girl shopping sprees-Rowen is much fancier now than her mom :) We have been so blessed by our friends and family with baby items, meals, prayers, visits, and countless offers to babysit.      I don't think we'd have made it without our family AND church family.  A huge thank you to you all!  We love you!

There's so much more I could say, but this post will never make it up if I wait any longer.  Rowen, we love you so much and thank Jesus every day for the sweet blessing of you!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Keeping busy...

… with 8 short days to go till we meet our new family member!

Excited to spend our first Christmas at home with family coming to us!  Can't wait to see everyone!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

When it's worth the cold...

I don't know of anything that lifts our family's spirits quicker than a good, long, snow.  Especially one that was unexpected!