Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Peter's Birthday

Today being Peter's birthday, I am full of warm-fuzzy thoughts and emotional reflections and the like. 

I remember Christmas 2013. I had been wanting to have a baby so badly, and being around Chris's side of the family did nothing to help distract me from my baby fever. (Think kids on top of kids. And they're all gorgeous.) My mother-in-law came to me nearly bursting with joy, bearing the news that my sister-in-law was expecting. I was like, "Oh, yay!" And practically flew back to our room, curled up on the bottom bunk with my pillow, and cried. That was honestly the last thing I wanted to hear, even though I truly was excited for her and looked forward to having another niece. I scribbled some selfish, sad notes in my journal and went to bed. 

In January of the next year, I was getting ready for a full day of teaching. I had been feeling kinda queasy for a while but was in denial mode because my family was teasing me constantly and it had gotten old. I decided that day to take a test just for kicks. Thirty minutes before my first lesson. So dumb. BECAUSE, it was positive! I started trembling uncontrollably and didn't know what to do with that information. To this day I regret what I did next, because I could've done it so much better or cuter, but I texted Chris some dorky thing to tell him. Like, how not special is that?? And what was worse, his response was very boring. Even that night when he came home, he talked of everything but that. Guys are just so weird. 

Being pregnant was a lot easier than I had imagined, but then I only suffered from morning sickness for about a month so I was lucky in that respect. I had been so very lonely being at our house all by myself all the time. It was too quiet. I didn't like being the only living thing in a little square house, so I bought an aloe vera plant. I considered buying a fish. I got creeped out by the silence so I had started listening to audio books and CDs over and over all day. I watched way too many movies from Redbox. So having Peter inside me and with me throughout the day was a very special blessing from God, in a very personal, answer-to-prayer kind of way. I couldn't wait to have a real live PERSON to care for every day!

I jumped all around for my prenatal care, as my idea of what a fantastic birth would look like changed several times. :P But one thing stayed the same: the few times I got to see Peter on the ultrasound were like opening the very best present you've ever received, getting to look at it for 5 minutes, and then being forced to put it back into the box. :( I couldn't wait to meet him!

I've already talked about my birth story here and here, so I needn't bore you with that again, but I just want to say once again that God had us in His hands the entire time, and sometimes the "perfect plan" that doesn't work out still turns out perfectly, His way. I saw God's grace and specific care for me much more in that downtown Chicago hospital, hooked up to all kinds of things I never wanted, than if I had been all cozy and zen in the comfort of my own home, thinking I was the one in control. ;) 

Peter was finally, finally born on November 16th, 2014, at 12:54 PM. Pastor announced his birth to all my church family that night, and he along with many others avoided saying Peter's middle name, because who in tarnation knows how to pronounce Emile??? People started bringing us dinners and I went just a little crazy not knowing what I was doing. Seriously the only thread that kept me hanging onto my sanity was the late-night games of Sorry Chris and I played. We'd be exhausted, and really we should've been sleeping since Peter was, but I'd be like, "Wanna play?" "Yup." And we'd silently stare at the gameboard with dead eyes and enjoy being together, still breathing, for a few minutes before the kid woke up again. 

Oh, the wonderful messiness of parenthood! I love it, I love it, I love it. Every single day is different and holds discovery and adventure and fun. The last two years have held so much joy for Chris and me as we watch Peter go from crawling to walking, and babbling to talking, and so many other things. I am so thankful today, and every day, for the gift of Peter. Happy Birthday, Sweetheart!

Monday, November 14, 2016


Hi guys. I've been doing more exciting things than blogging. Like placing a bunch of new books on hold at my library and picking them up all at once where I almost can't hold them in my arms (and looking like a total nerd). And trying on a pair of skinny jeans at TJMaxx because I haven't worn a pair of jeans in 11 years, and I've always wondered what I'd look like now and how it would feel. (I looked strange and awkward and it felt terrible.) I also watched the just-released new trailer for next year's much-anticipated film Beauty and the Beast and was a little sad I didn't like it more. (The teaser made me gasp and fangirl and I probably rewatched it about 50 times.)

So anyway. I am so far behind on the gratitude challenge thing that I'm giving it up. The journal prompts were kind of dumb, to be honest. So I'm going to talk about random things I'm thankful for instead.

For example, this has taken me years to realize, but I am truly thankful God has moved my family around so much, because many good things have come out of it. We have gotten to see many cool places across the country. I LOVE traveling, and having seen both oceans and a bunch of places in-between is something I am forever grateful for.

I am thankful for my parents' and grandparents' view that "you can never have too many books or too much music." :) I know it's kind of a "haha" thing that I'm so obsessed with books, but you fellow book lovers will understand me when I say that I count them as friends. I love to just sit and go through my books and remember the stories they tell and what they mean to me. This year brought the wonderful joy of reading to my son. We go to the library at least once a week now, and he knows to run through the rows of picture books and point to the ones he wants, and put them in our bag. :) Books will help with imagination, vocabulary (and thus spelling and grammar), open-mindedness, and thoughtfulness, and I hope Peter grows up to love books as much as his mommy does (minus the bordering-on-hoarder tendency).

I'm thankful for my handful of friends that have stayed relatively the same over the years, and are bright pictures of Christ and His unconditional love and faithfulness. I don't know what I'd do without you.

That's all for now. Today has been a tired day and I feel like typing forever, but I don't know what kind of a post I'd end up with and I'm already unhappy with my lack of grammar right now.

Friday, November 4, 2016

30 Days of Gratitude / Days 2, 3, & 4

I'm so good at blogging every day! Haha. Hahahahaha. 
Okay, so.

What technology am I grateful for?
Nearly all, if I were to be honest, but the gadget I'm the most grateful for would be my phone. Each day on my phone I am able to set an alarm, read a recipe, take a picture (or video or recording), watch someone speaking live from across the globe, send a birthday card, watch my show, call anyone anywhere, navigate to a destination, and so much more! It blows my mind. 

That being said, I think I'd love to "accidentally" lose it for about a month and notice the positive change that would come like a quiet sunrise over my life. I'm on my phone way too much, and though I love staying connected to people and capturing daily moments with my son and making my voice heard on topics I think are important, it is not worth the lack of sleep, the mental agitation, and actually the physical toll it takes. Someone send me on a missions trip somewhere remote, please. I won't like it but I'll like it, if that makes any sense at all.

What color am I grateful for?
I once read some secular, scientific article on the calming effects of the color green. Because the article was written by a non-Christian, it naturally left out how amazingly brilliant and merciful it was of our Creator to choose to make the vegetation we see everywhere, all the time, a beautiful vibrant green. Grass, trees, leaves, etc. Silently telling us to stop and breathe. 

Ironically, other than plants, I really can't stand the color. lol (St. Patrick's Day excepted, of course.) So next color in line I'd have to say would be blue, because THE SEA.

What food am I grateful for?
How long can I type here before you close the page and go scroll through Facebook? :P jk Oh let's see. I suppose I'm thankful for the food that's good for me. I love all kinds of fruit, and I love when summer is in its peak and all the fruit goes on sale, and my cart is full of sweet-smelling things of all colors. I go home and slice and chop and peel and eventually I look over at a bowl with a rainbow in it! What gorgeous colors God made, and it's all food He created and it's good for me, too! Yum yum. 

Perhaps I will remember to blog Day 5 tomorrow. This is, after all, supposed to be a daily gratitude reminder/workout. ;)

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Family Pictures

Every year for our anniversary I try to have professional pictures taken. This year our good friend Faith of agreed to do a photoshoot for us, and I can't even tell you how happy I am with the results! Here are a few faves. :) 

30 Days of Gratitude / Day 1

Pinterest. The site where many, like myself, pin these catchy 30-days-of-whatever charts full of motivation and great ideas. We think we'll implement them. We really do. But I betcha more often than not they end up on a board completely forgotten about, with hundreds of other motivational pins burying them deeper and deeper. 

A few months ago I pinned this one, thinking it'd be a fantastic way to get myself all in the thankful mood leading up to Thanksgiving. This is how together I had myself, guys: I set a reminder in my phone calendar, AND wrote it in my planner. Serious halo. 

So here I am. Day 1 of 30 Days of Gratitude. It's a weird one to start with.
What smell are you grateful for today?
Seriously, guys? You couldn't break me in with "What person are you thankful for?" or even "What food are you grateful for"?? Who made this, anyway? Whatever. Here goes. 

I am thankful for the smell of dinner being cooked right here at home, either in the oven or on the stove. Here's a picture of what I got to smell (and eat) tonight:

It was totally as yummy as it looks! Lots of reasons why the smell of dinner cooking causes me to be thankful.

1. It means we have food. Might sound kind of obvious, but there is an unbelievable amount of people that either are going hungry tonight or don't have enough food to be adequately nourished. Not to mention many people still don't have access to or can't afford to buy organic products, so the fact that we're able to is a blessing in itself.
2. It means there's family to cook for. I often think of those that live alone, or the majority of modern families now who live in the same house but live their separate lives. Eating dinner together as a family is a lost art and joy. I am so thankful that almost every night I get to enjoy good food with the best people in my life! (And boy the convos around the table are a blast!)
3. It could mean someone is prepping and cooking for me. Mom and I share the dinner-making load now, so at least 3 days out of the week she's on dinner duty, which means the fantastic smell wafting from the kitchen is coming from her time, forethought, planning, and effort. I hope my grateful thoughts don't just stay in my head, but get turned into a verbal thank-you!