Monday, October 17, 2016

My Morning Glory

Oh my Britton - my Morning Glory.

You are different from your brother in every way possible. Neither of you is wrong, you just approach life in very different ways. It is a beautiful thing to be your mom, and I am so thankful for every second!

Oh how I love the way you are wild.

The glimmer in your eyes says more than you know. You are constantly looking for something new, and always on the go. If baby-proofing wasn't in existence, it would be after you! My darling, it isn't a bad thing - you are determined & motivated. Never lose that!

Oh how I adore your wrinkly nose.

When you see someone who smiles at you, you smile back. When you see someone you know, like really know - you wrinkle your nose with your smile. A sort of sign of recognition - and I love it!

Oh how I am thankful for the way you eat.

If it is on your tray, you eat it. Ok, sometimes even if it isn't on your tray (and isn't edible) you eat it. Oh, and we all adore how you "nom, nom, nom" your food. It is our dinner music, and a compliment to the chef. I would be okay if you'd eventually stop eating non-edible things...but I think we may be working on that for a while. Speaking of...I need to get rail pads for your crib.

Oh how I love that I found my outdoor loving soulmate.

If you could be outside all day, everyday you would be! Even a trip to the mailbox brightens your mood. Actually, even a glance outside is enough to bring a squeal & a few new "love prints" on my windows.

And oh how I have a love/hate with you daring spirit.

Whether it is taking a nose dive off the couch (don't worry, daddy & mommy are there to catch her), or cruising furniture - moving from couch to coffee table, or perhaps standing in the middle of the room for more than 15 seconds. It is amazing watching you rapidly developing into a toddler. I know I have said "slow down" on multiple occasions, and "be careful" is a phrase used daily, ok - hourly...

You climb up stairs, stand up in the bath, and do pull-ups on our kitchen table. You want so badly to be a big kid.

But could you please slow down, for me?

Two kids. So very different, yet so very loved.

Friday, May 13, 2016

this Nation.

Little do you all know, I have been writing - yet not publishing anything. I can't seem to get anything solid out of my brain. My head spins in circles most days, and I tend to want to go in 50 different directions. Just bare with me - as this is not my normal blog. It isn't touchy feely. It isn't about my family (although it kind of is). It isn't profound, but I needed to get it out.
Now that my caveat is over - let's carry on.

I join a multitude of people today, standing confused about this country and the direction it is going.

Yet I say - God is sovereign. He is on his throne, and we MUST press on. Notice I didn't say back down - I said press on.

The way this world is going is troubling, yet it doesn't surprise me. This is not home - we are passengers on this road called life, and we strive to do what we were put on this earth to do. For me, I believe that I am here because God has a greater purpose for my life. Does each day feel like an intense mission? No - but I do believe each day matters. How we treat people matters. Loving well, and yet standing firm matters. And not losing ourselves in the pressure to be tolerant, or politically correct MATTERS.

Will you see me picketing, or saying hateful things? No, because that is NOT what we are called to do. I truly believe hate gets you no where, it only spurs on the one you hate.

What does bother me is that as a married, white, Christian, female - I am not given the chance to have my OWN beliefs. I think as a whole, Christ followers feel like they are walking a fine line at all times. Never have I felt more aware of being the outsider. Persecution - not like I pictured it when I was little. We aren't being beaten (although some are), but we aren't being treated as equals anymore. I don't worry for myself, but I do worry for my kiddos. What will they grow up with? How will they be treated? Will they be bullied for being Christians? I am already worried that Gavin will be bullied because he marches to the beat of his own drum. He has scars to show his journey, and I fear they will be the subject of mockery. Do I really want to add the worry of persecution to my list? No.

I feel like I am constantly going in circles in my head "Don't worry, you can't change anything", "You can't be silent about these issues" "What will this nation cook up next?" "Don't worry - God has you"....on it goes.

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me." John 14:1

That is what I am choosing to focus on today.

No court ruling can take my salvation. No order pushed down by Mr. Obama can take my joy. No act of anyone on this earth will change my eternity!

I know whose I am. I am a child of the King.

I know who I am. I am a wife to a wonderful man, and I pray that we could have a chance to impact marriages for the better. I never want our marriage to be a reason someone doesn't believe in marriage. I am a mama who is going to try her hardest to make sure my kids treat others with respect, yet teach them what the Word of God says.

This Nation may not want to be "Under God" anymore, but I can tell you that my family & I will be here, serving the Lord.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

False Connections


We all use them, and probably have 100+ "friends" who follow our every move, causing them to feel connected. We see posts of friends, and feel a connection - but how connected are we?


As these past 8 weeks of maternity leave come to a close, I have to admit that I have been consumed with the above forums. I used it at first to entertain me while I would breastfeed, or to escape from the "mundane life" I was living - which is all but mundane. But what I didn't realize was that I was becoming more and more closed off because of these False Connections.

They give you a sense of secure insecurity. Am I even making sense?

I see the perfectly posed mamas with their hair done & clearly showered, wearing CLOTHES - not sweatpants/t-shirt clothes, but ACTUAL clothes...the kind you would wear to face the outside world.
I see my frumpy attire.

I see perfectly planned out days, and realize that Gavin spent more time than I would like watching a movie - so I could feed Britton and help him be entertained at the same time.

My eyes behold couples on their date nights, and I realize how consumed our lives have become with these two beautiful lives filling our home with joy. Not that it is wrong that we are focused on them, but I am realizing more and more that we need to find a balance - put more emphasis on our marriage.
I see my deeply treasured marriage, not being treasured.

The endless meals perfectly prepared - or HELLO - the restaurant pictures...when was the last time we went to a fancy restaurant?
I see failure.

You see where I am going?

I know exactly what my friends have been up to, but didn't hear it from their lips. It was a perfectly presented set of photos with carefully chosen words to describe their blissful state. It wasn't until recently that I realized how I missed the person-to-person interactions. I believe each person has a need for interaction that cannot take place on a tech device.

Now don't get me wrong, I am as guilty as the next person! I only post the good stuff, the well behaved children, who are eating balanced meals (laugh). The selfie with make-up & ACTUAL clothes. The "good stuff". But those picture perfect moments only make up MOMENTS.

Our life isn't picture perfect, but it is jam-packed with love, so much laughter (often at ourselves), and good intentions to make MORE days with laughter, and less moments of feeling like we missed the mark.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Adjustment periods

It has been almost 2 months since miss Britton Harper joined our family of 3, and turned our world upside down in the BEST way possible. Who would have thought that one little person could be such a perfect fit in the lives of 3 others?

She arrived as planned, on December 29th, at 9:10am - screaming her way into this world. I prayed that we would be able to hear her cry when she arrived, and MAN were my prayers answered! She may have a career as a Drill Sergeant - so far she is calling the shots around this house. When she was born, I knew I had again fallen hopelessly in love with another sweet babe. I had my doubts when I was pregnant that my love for another could be matched with the love I have for Gavin. A crazy phenomenon happens when you have two kids - your love multiplies. It isn't divided among the two - it is different for each little one.

I'll be honest, my heart was stretched in a million directions on those first days. Healing from my c-section, trying to make my way through the mental fog, and not being able to have my sunshine boy with me. It wasn't easy. Gavin was full of hugs for Britton, but was a little leery of mommy being in a hospital bed. One of the last days we were there he came to visit with my parents, and I was finally able to give him a hug and walk with him - it wasn't as I expected it to be. He had seemed to have grown an extra 5 inches, gained 10 pounds, and aged 3 years. His jealousy seemed to be kicking in, and my heart immediately broke. It wasn't that he was acting out horribly, he was just not himself. After he left I wondered if life at home could be bearable, if I could connect with him again after this bond with Britton had begun. I took to texting a few dear friends who had added to their brood recently, and found encouragement that we were going to make it, that it was normal, and that it would all be okay.

Adjustment periods.

They take time - they are needed. I wanted it to be easy, seamless. I wanted to be the family that finally figured out how to throw a babe into the mix and not have a crazy shift in roles happen. Truth is, I became a mama of two. Gavin became a brother. Jason became a daddy to his daughter. So yes - we needed to adjust a lot.

I am happy to report that Gavin is doing great! There were a couple of weeks that were part three-year-old "normal" attitude issues, and part adjusting to a sister changing up his normal day. Thankfully he LOVES his sweet sister to pieces - at times I have to remind him that she is still too tiny to defend herself from the monstrous hugs he gives her.

Stay tuned for my personal tips on ways to help the adjustment period "sting" a little less.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

I've found...

Contentment lies not in what you have. It lies not in what you have accomplished. It lies not in what others think of you.

I have found that as the years go by, the things that once filled my heart with joy, now lie covered in dust. I've found that my mind focuses more on relationships, rather than how I measure up. The world around us is crumbling faster now than ever, and I see chaos all around.

This morning, as is with every morning, the darkness lies on the earth, and all is calm. Each morning Gavin stirs, and I get the privilege of scooping him up from his warm bed, and wrapping him up in a blanket to rock and cuddle. It is those moments - they have crafted a little piece of my contentment.

Some mornings, like this one - there are extra blessings. My sunshine boy wanted extra cuddles, the sunrise was a perfect blend of bright blue sky, with ribbons of purple, orange, and pink clouds. If that wasn't enough to fill my mama-cup, a jam session ensued. Of course he had to include to his favorite worship songs. He listens and drums on his "trap set". How full can one's heart get?! To me it is a set of candles, and two glow-sticks. To him it is his most prized musical instrument. I have said it before, but I will say it again - there is something special with my sunshine boy. Something that deeply moves me. Maybe it is that we share the same love-languages? Maybe it is his deeply sensitive side - not a sissy sensitive, but a caring and sincere awareness of others. I think the biggest part is that God created him unique - not a single person on this earth has been, or will be like my Gavin.

I would be a fool to not mention one of the biggest crafters of my contentment - the man who took me, and made me his wife. He is a hard worker, and a handy man. He puts our needs before his own. I am torn between pride, and being ashamed that he is a WAY better cook than I. He makes us meals, and is always the last to sit down. He takes on extra tasks at home when I can't, and knows when I am pushing my limits. He is the wrestler extraordinaire, and can get the best laughs out of Gavin - there is nothing like their bond. He has pressed on when obsticles have faced him, and worked through situations when most would wave the white flag. And oh, his embrace - it creates contentment. The times we get to spend in conversation are my day-makers.

The giver of this contentment isn't found in these two men, it is in the one who gave them to me for this short time on earth. He has provided me with all I need - and so much more! Through Him we have experienced the highest high, and the lowest lows - but he rode those waves with us. I know there are stormy seas ahead, I know life isn't always going to be cuddles and sunrises. But I am confident that He is going to ride the waves with us. Contentment is something I have always struggled with, and something I ever expected to find. That beings said, I am FAR from achieving complete contentment, one trip into Target shows me things that I "need to have", and a look through our neighborhood shows me that we may not match up, but for now - for today - this moment, my heart is full!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Be held.

Last week a cold front moved into our area, and with it came some strong winds. The kind that shake the house. My sunshine boy is becoming more and more aware of the things around him - and unfortunately it is an awareness of things that scare him.

Now, he has never been a fan of the wind, but I had no clue how sincerely scared he was.

I woke to "Mommy! I scared. I scared!" He sure was - as I crawled into his new full-sized "big boy" bed, he clung to my neck like it was his life-line. I could feel his little heart rapidly beating through his footie jammies. When he let go, his eyes were as wide as quarters. Every new sound sent his eyes darting across the room, and he reached for my hand. I knew then that my sleep would have to take place next to him for the evening.

The crazy thing about this thing called motherhood is that I WANTED to be awake until he fell asleep again. I wanted to know he isn't laying in fear, holding his breath for the next gust of wind. We laid there for quite some time, as I rubbed his back and he held onto my arm. The wind picked up and he started to whimper, I asked what was wrong - he said "I scared, I need to cry". My heart broke for him - you see, I know that we are safe in our house. I know that it is just the wind, but to him it is a very real fear. So I scooped him up him my arms and sang his favorite songs to him, adding a few of my own. As he started to relax, I could see the worry leave his face.

Before we knew it morning came, and the fear was momentarily gone for my sunshine boy.

As I drove to work the next day, I realized how much the experience was like my walk in faith. There are so many times when I cry out to God to rescue me, to take away the burden of a loved one, to calm the fears in my mama-heart. And so many times I try to take it all on my own - holding my breath, eyes darting around for the next mountain to crumble.

Strangely enough, today marks the point in pregnancy when Gavin entered this world. I will never forget that day. The fears, the unknowns, and oh the joy of seeing him. I would be lying if I said that the experience we had with Gavin hasn't placed some unwanted fear in my heart. I have been waiting for this day since the beginning - 33 weeks, 6 days. We are here! By the grace of God, we made it!

What am I trying to get at? That through the fears, through the storms - I was calmed in the arms of my heavenly Father. I will admit there were times that I cried out in anger, and I know there were times when I cried out in sheer desperation. But when all is said and done, my Father is a good, good Father and He watches over me.