One on One

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I rarely get one-on-one time with my boys. Deacon and I try to make it a point to hang out with them individually for little dates, but unfortunately, it doesn’t happen as often as we’d like. I get the most with Noah. More because of doctors appointments, therapy and trips by ourselves to UNC than anything else. I started a new job last week, working 8:30 – 5:30 and it’s been quite an adjustment for our little men. New schools, full time baby sitters (who are AMAZING) and very different schedules have kind of turned things upside down for the moment. I feel good about it though, and I’m sure things will settle into a good rhythm over the next week or so. I am really grateful to have finally found a LOCAL job, and so far I think it’s going to be a great fit for me. It sure was hard to be away from my guys so much though. There’s always a trade off. 

Deacon had his monthly Air Force Reserve training this weekend, and I made the mistake of letting the twins decide if they wanted to stay home with me, or go with him. Wouldn’t ya know it, they LEFT me!! So sad! Daddy is just too fun to turn down. 😉 It did however, give me a chance to spend the whole weekend with just my baby boy. I have to confess, I spoiled him rotten all weekend! The weather was FINALLY warm and the sun was bright and beautiful the whole time. We spent most of the day outside Saturday, and then uncle Drew came over for dinner and spent the night singing songs and hanging out with us. Today we went to church, came home for a nap and then headed to the beach for a little more fun in the sun before the daylight faded. My sweet boy is almost two (unbelievable!) and he’s literally saying and doing new things every day. This weekend was one of those times when everything seems to slow down long enough to allow you to realize how precious this time is. I would’ve run around in that (holy cow freezing) ocean all day just to keep taking in the look of pure joy on my sons face. Hearing his baby belly laugh while he ran away from the waves… I can’t even describe what those sounds do to my heart. Little baby footprints in the sand. Nothing like it. Over my shoulder as we were leaving I heard a teenage boy, (with that sound of new, deep vibrato they get right when their voice is changing) yell “Mom! You gotta come see this!” to a woman standing over by the dunes. All I could think was, any day now that will be me, walking toward one of my boys. Before I know it. Before I’m ready…

I looked down, handed Declan a perfect blue-gray seashell and said “here’s a seashell for you, love. Can you say ‘seashell’?” and he looked up at me, his little (big) hand in mine, blue eyes bright in the sun, and said “seashell, mom”. New things every day. Thank God for these sweet boys, and for allowing me to be their mom. 

The resolve to DO something

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Late yesterday afternoon I took myself to see The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. I sort of already knew I was going to like it, just by the description and the reviews it was getting. Even the bad ones that claimed it lacked character depth, or the annoyed stance on the “Don’t dream it, BE it” theme, weren’t going to deter me from seeing it. I love movies about dreamers. It’s easy to identify with lofty, imaginative characters when you’ve had your head in the clouds for as long as you can remember… I think. 😉 As I walked out of the theater I kind of smiled to myself and thought about what a fitting story it was to see as the year comes to a close. One of those films that makes you take a little self inventory and look at your life in terms of intentions versus reality. We all have goals and dreams, big and small, that we’d like to realize on this side of heaven. I have too many to count. Traveling the world and writing a book are both on the short list. If only I had an infinite bank account and something really important to say! Those may have to wait until the kids have grown up and free time is more readily available, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t begin to exercise the principals of living out my dreams more intentionally right now, on a smaller scale.

I have never, ever kept a New Year’s resolution. I know that must be shocking to those of you who know how much of a calculated, committed planner I am… ahem. So, instead of a traditional resolution, I have decided to pray. Before I explain, let me share this…

I started a ladies lunch about 5 years ago with some friends from church. I didn’t know why I wanted to, I just knew that God was quietly putting it on my mind and heart and I couldn’t ignore it. In the beginning I had no idea what I was doing. I had never led a small group of any kind.. ever. All I knew was that I didn’t want to do a Beth Moore bible study. Not because I don’t think that those are great, but because I wanted something different. Something that hadn’t been done before. So, instead of a traditional bible study, I chose a book called Soul Revolution. Motivating eh? How’s that title for your first bible study ever? Way to bite off more than you can chew, Megan. Come eat lunch and REVOLUTIONIZE your SOUL! Geez.(BUT, even though I was clueless, God is most certainly not.) Soul Revolution introduced the “60/60 experiment”, which challenged us to engage in a conversation with God for at least one minute every hour of the day for 60 days. The goal was to let God into the daily aspects of our lives in a new way by not just praying every 60 minutes, but listening, seeking, and asking Him to be a part of what was going on throughout the day. We all put post-it notes in our cars, on our desks, and reminders on our phones that read simply “60/60”, so we could remember and encourage each other as we went along. What came out of that Thursday ladies lunch are some of the most precious friendships in my life to this day. By inviting God into even the most mundane parts of our day we began to realize that He wants exactly that. He is invested in every part of us. Our families, our jobs, our dreams however big or small. Soul Revolution was the catalyst that led to deeper relationships with God and with each other, and allowed us to open up to each other on a level I hadn’t ever experienced with “church friends” before. — Do you know what the best part about writing this blog is? This isn’t at all the example I was going to use when I started. In fact, I haven’t thought about Soul Revolution in a long time…

All that is to say, I have decided to pray. This year, every day that I can remember to do it, I am going to ask God to give me the resolve to DO something, instead of “meaning” to do something, or having good intentions. I fail miserably when I make my own resolutions. I am the kind of person that always “means” to do something. I meant to send that card. I meant to finish that book. I meant to call you on your birthday. My prayer for 2014 is that God would give me the resolve to MOVE when He nudges and to be prayerfully asking Him to use me, so I will know when and how to respond. That’s where real relationships happen and real change begins. Life is busy and overwhelming and it’s easy to make excuses, but amazing things happen when we let go of all the reasons why not, and cling to the one reason why. I may not write a book this year, but God willing, I will be doing things that might contribute to it’s content. 🙂

Happiness is Over-Rated

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Say Whaaa??? I’ll say it again, because it’s true… (and let’s be honest, because I’m dramatic) Happiness.is.over.rated. I’m going to explain, but first I’m gonna back up a bit…

A little over a month ago we bought a house. AWESOME. Seriously, we have been walking around in a state of BLISS (yep, bliss) over moving back to Leland and buying our first house. For the first couple of weeks we just sort of floated around with cheesy smiles on our faces. HOW did this happen!?!?! The Millers, who have been at their jobs for less than a year, got denied for a VA loan because of credit, have gianormous student loans and STACKS of medical bills that would probably make you wanna call your congressman, actually got approved for a mortgage? Fo real? Yes, friends. FO REAL. And I think for the majority of the house buying experience I was waiting for a phone call saying they got our application mixed up with some OTHER Millers. Common name, common mistake. Super sorry. No house for you.

We slept on a mattress on the living room floor the first night. No furniture. Paint cans and brushes scattered around the rooms. Random cleaning supplies covering the counter tops… and we looked at each other. “Welcome Home.” How did we get here!?!?

And sloooowwwwlllyy the last week or two I can feel the “new-ness” wearing off. Already! Deacon’s job has not transferred him here yet… government furlow kinda put a wrench in things. The drive is long and boring. Also, it’s one thing to “buy a house”…but, then you have to PAY for it and our bank account has been completely drained. So, now I can see and feel the rose-colored glasses lifting, and the gray of reality bleeding into our pretty little picture of things. Just a little. And I know that if we are not careful, the monotony of the commute, the schedule, and the day-to-day of things will dull the beauty of the past 4 weeks until it doesn’t even resemble the happiness we experienced. If we let it.

That is why Happiness is over-rated. Because it comes and goes so quickly. All it takes for me is one bad day, waking up to a sick child, having a frustrating night at work, feeling SO TIRED, and *poof* Happiness gone. Now, I am a pretty happy person by nature. I love to laugh and act at least a decade younger than I really am, and still I struggle with this whole idea of being “happy” and what that looks like in our society – which is kind of disgusting if you really sit back and take a look at it. It’s like media plastic surgery. We see it, we want it, we buy it and then post pictures about it on Facebook. We can’t even hang out with each other without a photo-op. “TAG ME!” And I’m not saying I’m not guilty of it. I think we can all do a little self inventory here and see the aspects of our lives that we “lift” if you will, to keep up appearances. And ya know what? It’s never enough. We NEED the next thing. Our attention spans are a JOKE and we are so.so.so judgemental of each other. “Did you SEE that mom just let her kid drink out of the WATER FOUNTAIN?!?!?!?!” The HORROR! Absolute horror, people. Bet his lunch doesn’t have an organic apple in it either. We have to position ourselves to be “in the know” or to roll with the “have’s” and not the “have not’s” because that’s what we need to feel good about ourselves and our choices. Now, kindly remove that family from your microscope.

I am just as guilty as someone judging the water fountain mom. The other night at work a nurse was really dismissive toward me when I approached another nurse at a patient’s request. I wasn’t even talking to her, but she made me feel… small. Unimportant. Like we still live in some sort of class-system and I work in the basement. Instead of just brushing it off I looked for an opportunity to let her know that I had a career before my little part-time hospital job and I was only working part-time now because my kids are small and blah.blah.blah. Even as I was saying it I wanted to shut myself up. God forbid someone of my creative GENIUS be portrayed as a mere mortal who registers patients in an ER. Nope. I’ve gotta “lift” that. Can’t go out in public looking quite that common.

Wanna know the secret? We pay way too much attention to the WORLD. And by the world I mean the things that our media portrays as important. Look at that car commercial. Cute house, cute family, cute car, “take a picture! Post it on facebook!! Tag me!!!” See? Vicious cycle. And it’s shoved in our faces in every newspaper, commercial (you too, guys. How’s the man cave?) movie, magazine, you name it. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think there is anything wrong with wanting to be successful, or live comfortably. There is no harm in posting things on facebook and I love sharing parts of our lives with friends and family we wouldn’t otherwise have access to like that. But our motivation is selfish a lot of the time and we are never satisfied for longer than the time it takes to sit down in front of the TV and see the next thing we “must have.” It’s time we take a good look at ourselves and donate all of that attention we spend on our picture of happiness to something more real.

So, what are you “lifting”?

***Here is the sermon from church this past Sunday morning. It couldn’t have been more timely. There is a big difference between happiness and JOY. Our perception is in desperate need of change.

http://www.reachcc.me/media/pursuit-of-joy-vs-pursuit-of-happiness/

Check… check one, two… ahem. Is this thing on?

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Who is the least consistent blogger of all time? Yep. Me. I don’t know why I go long periods of time without updating this darn thing, but life happens and I neglect it.  Ah, well. Here’s hoping I can maintain it for a little longer this time.

What’s new with the Millers? Lots! We have been here in my hometown of Southern Pines for about 7 months, renting a cute little brick house with lots of 70’s swag. Seriously, this house is the Brady Bunch – minus that sweet retro staircase. It’s in a great neighborhood and we have loved it here – BUT, about 3 months ago our landlord told us they would be selling the house because the owner passed away and they are settling her estate. So, we have been juggling work schedules and house showings and trying to keep things as neat as possible with three little boys running around. “Neat” is a relative term around here! With the news of an impending move hanging over our heads (again! ugh) we started the search for a house to buy. The twins will be in school next year and we really want to set some roots down somewhere. Enough of this moving! So, we have been praying a lot and house searching like crazy – I get completely addicted to house hunting… it’s a problem. Is anyone else like that? It’s like I just can’t stop looking and I become completely obsessed with finding “the-perfect-house in-the-perfect-neighborhood-for-the-perfect-price” I just know it’s out there waiting for us. 😉 In all of the hunting we also had to decide if we would stay here, or try to go back to Leland, where we have been hoping to end up.

Drum roll please……..

We found a house…….

In Leland!!!! It is a cute little three bedroom in my most favorite neighborhood in all of Leland and we are super excited. I have wanted to buy a house since I was in my early 20’s and I think this one is just perfect for our first home. It feels great to actually be able to buy a house and we have been blessed with one that has just about everything we have been praying for. Praise him from whom all blessings flow. 🙂

It will be difficult to leave all of the comforts of home, but we have been praying for a way to get back to Leland and to the church plant down there, where we feel our purpose is. We didn’t plan to be moving before February, when our lease was supposed to end, but given the circumstances, we didn’t have too many options. I’m thankful that things are looking up!  The thought of moving is already exhausting, but knowing that there is just one more move until we have a permanent home that is ours… well, that makes all the difference.

Let the packing begin!!!

a creative outlet and some bittersweet news

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Lately I find myself wanting so badly to MAKE something. To pour myself into a project and see it through from start to finish. I am a terrible painter, but if I had paint and a canvas I think I’d try to smear something together and at least call it abstract. 😉 I am finding this theme in my life lately. I am in pretty desperate need of a creative outlet. I hear a good, different sounding song, or look at a painting and I just freeze so I can take in every ounce of it. I feel like I am kind of living in this little snow globe of what life is “supposed” to look like right now. I live in a typical american neighborhood, I have 3 kids, I don’t work, I cook dinner nearly every night and go to church every Sunday. I fold clothes and mop floors and kiss elbows and change diapers… I could go on for a long time. What it means to be doing all of those things is nothing short of a miracle. A gift. As mundane as is may sound, the moments in between my everyday tasks as a mom and wife make up the memories my family will laugh and talk about 20 years from now, and that in itself is a dream come true. But, sometimes, probably like a lot of people in my situation, I want to scream.

I grew up for the most part in a log home on a small horse farm in the middle of nowhere. My friend Sasha and I, along with our little brothers and the neighbor kids, went on long bike rides down well-worn horse trails through the woods on the weekends, and had rock skipping contests at the pond after school.  I sang at the top of my lungs and played my guitar (badly) as loud as I wanted. There’s a kind of freedom out in the country, on the water, or in the mountains, that reminds me that God is big and my worries are small. I have always been a thinker. An over analyzer. I am really good at thinking about things WAY too much. Some part of me really needs the calm stillness of that type of setting to quiet my busy brain. Since we have been living near the coast I have driven to the water a couple of times when the kids have fallen asleep in the car just to stare at it for a minute before I go home.

The truth is, this has been one of the most challenging years of my life and I think I have been more depressed than I cared to admit. A year full of loneliness with Deacon being gone so much and moving to a new place. I have felt far away from myself. I feel guilty even saying that, like it makes me seem ungrateful for the things we have been given and the life we have. I love being at home with my boys and watching them learn and grow everyday. It is without question the hardest and most rewarding job I have ever had. I guess maybe I just miss the parts of myself that I don’t have time for anymore, but I know without a doubt that it will all turn around when they are a little older. And then I will write sad blogs about how much I miss them being little. 😉 Ha! In the meantime, I am going to continue to “practice” cooking – especially with all of your fine suggestions, and I am going to attempt to teach myself to play the piano, which is something I have wanted to do almost my whole life. It’s time to stop saying “I wish I had time to…” and start FINDING the time.

And finally, an announcement that is bittersweet to share. We have decided to move back to Southern Pines at the end of this month.  This whole year has been SO full of change. A brand new job and career for Deacon, a precious new addition to our family (who has made his first tooth!) a new town, a new house, new friends, and the start of a new church here in Leland. We have loved our time here, but a two-hour commute each way is taking its tole on our bank account and on Deacon. It’s not very fair to ask him to stay half the week away from his family to save on gas – especially after just being gone for ten months. We have rented a cute house – with some sweet 70’s flare 😉 in Southern Pines and are packing things up and heading out next weekend. We have learned so much from stepping out in faith to help start this church and our hearts are broken leaving the amazing people here who we have come to love like family. I know God is constantly stretching and teaching us and I know that in time we will understand more about this season of our lives and what He is using it for. Until then, as always, we trust that God is always in control and working things out for our good and His glory. There is something significant about going back. I’m just not sure what it is yet… but I feel it. And I think I left something back there that I was supposed to take with me. Maybe next time…

Let’s get cooking

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For the longest time I have been promising myself that I was going to start cooking and that maybe if I did it enough, I would learn to like it. Please, God, let me start to like it! I have some sort of aversion to the kitchen in general… as well as most other domestic things. I am kind of terrible at that stuff. Thank God for a husband who took home economics! Yes, yes, I just sold him out to all 6 of you reading. 😉 Anyway, I cook a heck of a lot more than I ever have and I still don’t really like it, but I am soooo bored from making the same stuff all the time that I am reaching out to you, my mostamazing readers! Be kind and keep in mind that I am feeding little mouths, so the crazy, french, Julia Child dishes will have to wait for the real chefs… Or at least people who are more confident in the kitchen than myself.

I have been looking some stuff up online, but I would love to hear from someone who has a favorite recipe I can try.

Bring on the domestically blissful dishes. I’m ready!

*And check out my friend, Kyle making some tasty looking Korean stew with a little how-to video here! Don’t worry, I will definitely not be posting a how-to video of myself anytime soon… unless it’s how-to cook like a second grader. I’m pretty sure I could knock that out of the park.

Mason and the neglected blog

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Oh, Blog. I did it again. Things have been crazy busy around here for the past couple of months, so I will give a very short recap and then get on with what I really want to write about. In the past three months we searched and searched for jobs. I took a job here and then two weeks later Deacon accepted a position in Fayetteville…. and then I quit my job. Lots of job stuff going on around here! Deacon is really excited about this opportunity though, so it was all well worth it.

We headed to Kentucky to hang out with family for Thanksgiving and had a great time visiting and taking in all of the holiday festivities up there. We went straight from there to Missouri to attend my friend Sasha’s beautiful wedding in the most adorable town I think I have ever been to. The whole place was bustling with Christmas cheer, complete with Charles Dickens characters walking the streets and colonial drummers tapping their cadence while the sweet sound of carolers rang through the town. The perfect backdrop for a winter storybook wedding.

Christmas was so fun and exciting and we soaked up every minute of our time together. Mason and Noah are understanding more and more about the season and the anticipation of presents and stockings and learning about Jesus’ birthday made it even more special this year. That just about catches us up – except for New Year’s I suppose, and sadly, I fell asleep and Deacon had to wake me up to say Happy New Year. A far cry from the fun and exciting New Year’s celebrations of the past, but what can I say. I’m old and boring. 😉

So aside from all of the catching up, what I really wanted to take a minute and write about today is Mason Miller. There are a lot of times when I feel like he sort of takes a back seat a little bit because Noah has lots of appointments and different needs that require some more effort or attention from us. Today, I want to just talk about my sweet Mason and what an awesome kid he is…

I think I could write a book full of all of the funny things he says. He’s a pretty articulate little guy and like most four-year olds, he repeats just about everything he hears. It’s so fascinating to me to hear how his little mind works and to listen to his account of what transpired throughout our day when he talks to Deacon in the evening. About 80 percent of what he says is absolutely hilarious to me! We spent a couple of nights at my mom’s house after Christmas and one of the nights I could hear him crying in bed so I went in to ask him what was wrong. I sat next to him and gave him a hug and this was our conversation:

Me: “what’s wrong, bud?”

Mason: (tears running down his face)”I miss my bunk bed. And my blinds.”

Me: “Your blinds? On the window?”

Mason: (still crying and more adamant this time) “Yeah!” and then pointing at the window, he said “Look there’s no blinds, just those things (curtains) and at my house I have blinds.”

Me: (trying not to laugh) “Oh… I see”

Mason: “Blinds are awesome! And those… those are not awesome!”

And he proceeded to cry some more. I laughed out loud as soon as he said it. I mean, I was still comforting him of course, but it was just so funny I couldn’t help myself! He cracks me up. Apparently curtains are not awesome. Only blinds are awesome… Noted.

I am convinced that Mason is the sweetest big brother in the whole world. He is so considerate and caring. He’s so sensitive to what Noah is feeling and he tries to comfort him if he’s upset. (they both do that to each other, it’s actually really adorable) He is ALWAYS sweet and gentle with Declan. He wants to help get him dressed and feed him and he shares all his toys and lets Dec slobber all over them as much as he wants. Granted he loses interest after about 2 minutes because babies are not fun enough for four-year old boys, but for those two minutes let me tell you, he is the sweetest. 😉 He waits patiently for Noah to get out of school every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and as soon as he gets in the car it is the happiest little reunion! He always asks him how his day was and somehow understands the string of sounds that Noah tries to put together to tell us about his day. He’ll say “Noah, you got to paint?! Cool!” I sometimes wonder if he’s making it up, because I won’t hear anything resembling the word “paint” in Noah’s description, only to come home and find a finger painting in Noah’s backpack. No one understands Noah like Mason does. Me included. God knew exactly what he was doing when he gave Noah a brother like Mason.

There is something so special about the first time you give birth and the first time you hold your baby. It doesn’t take anything away from how beautiful the moment is with your other children, but you can only have your first experience once. Even with all of the commotion and concern surrounding my delivery with the twins, when they put Mason in my arms for the first time, the whole world got quiet. I had never experienced that much love ever in my life. It absolutely overwhelmed me and all I wanted to do was hold him – and I would’ve tried to if I hadn’t had another baby to push out! He was the sweetest baby. He is still so, so precious. When he was a toddler and we were first setting boundaries and starting to use the word “no” we found that we never even had to say it to him. All we had to say was “Mason…” with a cautioning tone and he would turn from whatever he was about to touch, or walk into and immediately move away from it! Seriously, the sweetest baby. And he has always been that way. He just has this innate kindness and sensitivity about him that I love so much. Also, he is ridiculously athletic and photogenic, and has a dimple on his left cheek that melts my heart every single time he smiles.

mason

I could probably type all day about how much I love this little boy and what a blessing it is that God picked me to be his mom. I am sometimes a little sensitive to hearing people always ask about Noah and not as often about Mason. I have to remind myself that any concern for the health and happiness of my children is great and that it’s natural for people to ask about a child who has experienced some challenges more often than one who hasn’t. I’m sure other families like ours experience similar things and you just have to know that people mean well.

He will always know how special he is to me and what an awesome presence he is in our lives. Awesome like blinds… because everyone knows that curtains are not awesome.

Having Faith and Live Days

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This past weekend Deacon and I went to Charleston, SC to the wedding of an old friend of mine. It was a quick, whirlwind of a trip, but we had an amazing time and I was so happy that we were able to get away for a night and celebrate with everyone. We talked a lot on the drive down and I realized how long it had been since we had a whole conversation without being interupted. There aren’t exactly a lot of “quiet” moments around here (*understatement) and the longer we talked, the more I realized how much I have missed just being in his company. No baby on my hip, no little boys fighting for my attention, no meals to cook or jobs to hunt for. Just me and Deacon on the eve of our 5th wedding anniversary, remembering how we became what we are today.

The morning after the wedding we sat at the MOST adorable french cafe and devoured two delicious panini’s, along with some home made tomato basil soup, while we waited for one of my oldest and dearest friends to meet us with her fiance. We exchanged congratulations and introductions and spent the next hour or so catching up and just enjoying the company, the atmoshere, and the breeze moving through wide open french doors. It was a perfect afternoon.

The drive home was bittersweet. I was missing my little men but trying to enjoy the last few hours of our trip at the same time. I was also sad to be leaving Charleston – my most favorite place! But I was grateful for another long drive to spend talking with Deacon. As happy as we are that our family is back in one place, the stress of finding a job has been heavy on both of us. It’s discouraging to send out application after application only to get rejected over and over. Everyone wants experience and you can’t get experience until someone gives you a job! Catch 22 much? I think so. So we talked about our frustrations and encouraged each other to stay positive and remind ourselves that we have been through much more trying times than this. We need to have faith and trust God’s timing…. and we know how to do that.

October 15th is a date that carries so much weight and significance for us. It’s not just our anniversary, it’s also what we call Noah’s “live day.” (Not “live” like “alive”, but “live” like “living”) 4 years ago our first anniversary came and went while Noah, barely 6 days old, fought for his life at UNC. And we gave it that name because, by the grace of God, he lived. During that time we met several other families with sick babies and we realized how fragile life is and how precious our time here together is. 7 weeks later, we got to take our little fighter home, but we knew that many other families, even some that we had gotten used to seeing regularly, would not have the same outcome. Over the next few years through surgeries and struggles and constantly WAITING for answers, we learned over and over again that God’s timing is perfect and that we needed to TRUST Him even when things seemed hopeless. Even when life felt like it was only ever beating us up and never giving us a break. At the end of the day I can come home and easily count 4 amazing blessings right off the bat. And they are all right there to greet me with smiling faces…. well most of the time they are smiling. 😉

Things are stressful and life isn’t easy for anyone, so we struggle to keep a positive perspective everyday, but we still try to give our worries to God and really trust Him. We are applying for jobs everywhere and running out of time, but we’re still determined to keep our eyes up and keep having faith. It’s hard to think that Deacon made this huge sacrifice for our family and then he comes home and can’t even find a job, but we keep trying to remind ourselves that we have been through tough times before. Something will turn up. Some days are better than others, but each day is truly a gift (and that is why they call it the present! Ha!) and we know that we will look back on this time one day and see how God was using it to teach us and make us better people. The saddest thing would be to forget what we have come through to get to this point and allow ourselves to feel defeated. I choose to trust God and I know – because He has carried me through much more challenging times than this – that He is good and that if I am patient, one day I will understand. So, we will be still and wait – even though I am soooo stinkin impatient – on the Lord, because now we only know in part, but one day we will know fully. We can trust Him. We know how to do that…. We started learning 4 years ago from a very strong, very brave little boy who is sound asleep in his bunk bed. 🙂

Counting Tuesday’s

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About two months ago I started thinking of ways to make the countdown to Deacon’s return home a little different than just putting X’s on the calendar. I felt like the boys were kind of tired of it and losing interest, and I’m not sure that Noah ever really understood what in the world we were doing – but he liked using the marker! So I decided to highlight only the Tuesday’s, since that was the day that we assumed Deacon would probably come home. It made the calendar seem a little “smaller” and less overwhelming to look at for them I think.

Today, we put the last X in the last Tuesday square. My eyes are literally filling with tears just sitting here typing this. I feel like I have been holding my breath for 9 1/2 months. Trying so hard to keep everything together. The kids, the house, the finances and all of the little everday things. Trying to keep some consistency in our lives and keep things as stable as possible for the boys. Holding my breath and hanging on as tight as possible…

Today the other half of me comes home. Today the boys get to hug their hero. Today I finally feel like a weight has lifted and I can already breathe easier. So I guess these are tears of relief. Of joy. Of gratitude. From a wife and mother who has been desperately trying to keep it together all of these months. There are many military families out there who go through this often. Just off the top of my head I can think of three other women, all moms, who’s husbands are gone right now, and will be gone all through the holiday season. We say that we pray for our military men and women, but I don’t know that we ever really take the time to consider their situation and pray for them. I hope that if you read this, you will take a few minutes to do that.

One chapter closes today and a new one opens. I am so excited to see what is in store for us…. Here we go!

I have an announcement to make

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My sweet baby boy will be four months old tomorrow – WOW – and the time has come for me to force myself to shed the last 10-15 pounds of this dag-gone baby weight that is hanging on for dear life. Baby belly be gone! I have searched for the “perfect” way to approach this – because lets just be honest, I friggin hate working out. I know that there are people out there who love it, but I am not one of them. Sweating for hours on end in a gym is not my idea of a good time. Stuffing my face in a restaurant, now that is what I call Q.T. But we all know that is only going to make matters worse, so I am biting the bullet and announcing it publicly (for all 5 of you who read this ;)) in hopes to force myself to stick to it. Allow me to introduce you to my new trainer:

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And let me just say, even though I am nursing, for some reason my body has decided that it hates me or something because it will.not.let.go of the fat! It is desperate to keep all of it that can possibly be kept. Like a bad episode of hoarders: “When metabolism strikes back”. Seriously, my first post pregnant body didn’t do this. I was WAY bigger, but the weight came off at a pretty steady, even pace so I always felt like I was headed in the right direction. This time, it came to a screeching hault after a measly two months. And I’m breast feeding! No fair! I can almost feel it storing every teeny tiny ounce of fat and then placing it ever so strategically around my waist. I am only 5’1″ and every pound that I gain makes me look squattier and squattier. At this rate I’m well on my way to acheiving Danny Devito status.

SO, after some research I decided that Tracy Anderson’s post-pregnancy workout is the one that I will probably do for a week and then gradually backslide right into the arms of a milk shake… if a milk shake had arms. NO! I mean, it is the one that will return me to my pre-baby glory… and clothes… because I cannot afford to buy myself a new wardrobe. And by the way, what I found when I was looking for a workout is that there are nay-sayers for almost every single one of them. Wow. I read everything from “She’s a fraud” to “you have to starve yourself” among many others. I decided to look at the reviews from other people who actually purchased the DVD’s (on sites other than Tracys website because of course all those reviews were good) and I made my decision based on what those women wrote. I like that the cardio portion is dance based and that the mat work is very much like pilates. My sister had great results with pilates so I’m hoping that this combination will work well for me too since we have very similar body types. Ultimately, with anything like this, you just have to do what you feel is going to be best for your body. I’m an eater so I have to go with something a little more intense to burn more calories. Not to say I won’t watch what I eat, but I find that putting too many restrictions on myself only makes me want to work out that much less. Anyway, this video is supposed to be a great way to shed the post baby belly and really target those areas that are most affected by pregnancy. Let the transformation begin!