Monday, October 30, 2017

life lately...

once again,
my poor blog has been neglected.
i promise i have good reasons.
i'm very pregnant with our little boy
and have been remodeling the house
to make room for him.

it's crazy to me that we will soon have another baby.
i can hardly believe that there will be
another kiddo to love.

i'm super excited to meet this little guy.
but i have definitely been feeling
sad that my time with just me and my girl
is coming to an end.

we have been doing so much remodeling
and we are finally finished.
i'm so glad we are done with all the work
so that we can enjoy the holidays with our girl.
our schedule is so full until christmas
and i am looking forward to making some 
final memories as our family of three.

there are so many feelings and emotions
that come along when you are about to have a baby.
it's crazy.

i'm not really worried about loving another kiddo.
i love scarlett so much it's crippling and 
i already feel super connected and in love with this baby.
i know the minute he comes out,
the love will flood right on in even more.

i know it will be hectic at first and chaotic
and a little bit overwhelming.
but i also trust that god will see us through
and we will eventually find our new normal and adjust.

i find myself more worried about scarlett.
just wanting to make sure she still feels loved.
that she still feels like she is getting enough attention
and having all of her little needs met.
i hope she's not sad or resentful once the baby gets here.
i know if she is, she will get used to it and adjust just like
the rest of us.

she is my baby girl though and all she's known
is me and her day in and day out.
just the two of us.
that is about to drastically change.

i just wanna make sure i still soak her in.
all of her little pieces of her personality.
all those things that have consumed me these past
two years.
i just don't want to completely miss all that
in the midst of the newborn haze.

the other thing on my mind is shane and i.
i just want us to stay as connected as we can.
your marriage tends to get put on the back burner
when a baby arrives.
it's hard for it to remain at the top of the list
while you are keeping humans alive,
recovering from major surgery,
and just getting through the day tending to
everyone's needs but your own.

you have to kind of re-set and figure out how
to meet each other's needs in this new season of life.
you have to learn how to make time for the relationship.
you have to figure out how to fit it all in.

i just love this guy more than i ever have.
i want to keep this thing strong.
for us and for our kids, especially.

scarlett just decided to start sleeping through the night.
it has been glorious.
the only upside to the fact that i haven't gotten much
sleep in two years is that i feel a little more
ready for nighttime feedings and scattered sleep.
none of the things like that really scare me.
they suck but they last for such a short season.

i have started washing tiny baby clothes
and burp cloths and bibs
and i feel such sadness that those days with
scarlett feel like they were over in a flash.

it's getting close to the time where we pull
all of the baby gear out of the attic
and the house once again looks like
babies r us
vomitted itself up everywhere.
so many contraptions for such 
a tiny person.

in the meantime,
i am making sure we get all of the holiday
traditions in and just enjoy each other.
we did the pumpkin patch last week
and we are looking forward to seeing
scarlett enjoy all the christmas
stuff this year.

ya'll know i'm prepping for our christmas card pics.
we have friends coming in to town to visit this weekend.
and we have plans for the polar express,
teddy bear tea,
and lots of upcoming christmas parties.

this time of year is magic ya'll.
and even more magic with this little guy on his way.

just making sure i'm soaking up our everyday
right now because it is about to change in a huge way.
i couldn't be more excited.


Thursday, March 23, 2017

god does not care about the stink...

last week,
during one of my daily devotions,
i read a story i have read many times.
this time,
it really jumped off the page
and spoke to me in a way it hasn't before.

don't you love when god does that?
like just when you think it's the same old story
you have read a million times,
and god says, not this time,
pay attention and i will speak.

well i paid attention
and it blew me away.
i haven't been able to stop thinking
about it for the past few days
and i had to share in case
someone needed this message as much as i did.

i could probably preach a sermon on this
so the post will be kinda long,
but i will try to sum it all up as much as i can.

let me set the scene for what jesus
has already done, at this point.
he has already turned water into wine,
healed the sick and crippled and blind,
fed five thousand with five loaves and two fish,
and walked on water.

that's a pretty impressive list if you ask me.

so, now we get to john chapter 11.
where i ended up last week.
the story of the death of lazarus.

lazarus was a man who became very sick.
he had two sisters, martha and mary.
once lazarus becomes sick,
mary sends word to jesus.

the bible says:
"when he heard this, jesus said,
"this sickness will not end in death. 
no, it is for god's glory so that god's son may be glorified through it." 
jesus loved martha and her sister and lazarus. 
yet when he heard that lazarus was sick, 
he stayed where he was two more days."

so, first thought,
jesus why would you not hurry to lazarus?
why would you not get there as fast as you can
and heal this man that you claim to love?

the thing is,
he knew what was going to happen.
he spoke a word,
he gave a promise,
and he knew it would stand.
he knew the end.
he was in no hurry and was allowing
the process to play out 
exactly like it was supposed to, 
for his glory.

doesn't that happen so often in life?
we are going through something,
big or little.
and we are begging god to come to our aide.
asking for direction.
asking for a word.
asking for something, anything,
just to know he's there.
and it feels like he is totally absent.

he's not.
he's never absent 
when it comes to his children.
he's there.
but he knows how things are going to play out.
he's in no hurry.
he will speak things over us.
sometimes we hear them,
sometimes we don't.
and he stands on that.
but he will work things out for his glory
and for our good.
he has a plan.
we don't know the end from the beginning
like he does.

so eventually jesus and his disciples
head to where lazarus is and while on their way,
jesus tells them, "lazarus is dead, and for your sake
i am glad i was not there, so that you may believe.
but let us go to him."

you never know who god is trying to speak to
from your situation.
you never know who your testimony will reach
while it is being formed.
the waiting isn't just for you.
it's to allow things to happen 
to make the healing
more believable,
more extreme,
more real
to other people.

it's just hard for us.
i said recently that there are times when i want to tell god
to stop with the testimony.
there are times when i feel like okay god, enough.
i don't want any more of a story.
but there are so many times
when god wants to use our situation
to reach others.
to cause them to believe.
and, sometimes, there has to be a waiting,
a season of withholding,
just to make the end more amazing.
just so he gets a little more glory.
don't you want your story to cause others to glorify god?
even if you aren't doing any kind of glorifying
 in the midst of it.

so jesus makes his way back and finds out that
lazarus has already been in the tomb for four days.
once he gets close,
the bible says,
"when martha heard that jesus was coming, 
she went out to meet him,
but mary stayed at home."

i have to stop right here,
the bible isn't clear about why mary
didn't come to meet jesus.
maybe she had things to do.
maybe she had a prior engagement.
maybe she wasn't feeling well.

if jesus is on his way,
why wouldn't you go to meet him.
but don't we do this.
i know i do.
when things aren't going as i think they should,
when the storm is lasting longer than i think it should,
maybe when i expected god to do a certain thing,
and he doesn't come through the way i think he should,
i am not eager to meet him.
i am not thrilled to run to him in prayer.
i don't always wanna lift my hands in worship.
i may pout or act like a child just a tad.

maybe mary was pouting.
maybe she expected jesus to return and heal lazarus
and he didn't.
he allowed him to die.
and maybe she just wasn't too eager to run out and meet him.
maybe the pain of losing her brother
was just too much for her.

anyway martha goes to meet jesus and
the bible says that martha says,
"Lord, if you had been here 
my brother would not have died. 
but i know that even now 
god will give you whatever you ask."

god bless the marthas in this world.
she goes to jesus, let's him know how she's feeling
and maybe how she feels about him not being there
but then speaks her faith.
she still has faith.
this is so how god wants us to handle things.
let him know how we feel, open up,
but then keep the faith.
speak the faith.

i'm trying so hard to work on this.

eventually mary comes to meet jesus
and there are a lot of emotions from
mary, martha, and the people that had come 
to mourn the loss of lazarus.
jesus asks where lazarus has been laid to rest
and they take him there and the bible says,
"jesus wept. then the jews said, "see how he loved him!"
but some of them said, "could not he who opened the eyes
of the blind man have kept this man from dying?"

jesus wept. 
he cares. 
he is grieved by the fact that his children are sad.
even though he knows what's about to go down
and even though he knows there is soon to be joy,
he weeps.
that's just the kind of savior he is.

and then the others are speaking doubt.
doesn't this happen so often?
we may be looking at things with hope.
we may be speaking faith.
we may be saying god can heal 
or god can fix or god can restore
and then there are others that 
speak doubt.
others that question you,
can god really do that?

these people.
this is what the big giant testimony is for.
these people.

okay so here is the best part,
the part that spoke to me.

the bible says: "jesus, once more deeply moved,
came to the tomb. it was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance.
"take away the stone," he said.
"but, lord," said martha, the sister of the dead man,
"by this time there is a bad odor,
for he has been there four days."

like okay jesus christ himself,
the man that has performed numerous miracles,
that you know about, 
with power that you are very much aware of,
that only a moment ago you were speaking,
comes to your brother's grave 
and tells you to move the stone.
what should you do?


no she doesn't.
she stops jesus and tells him there will be a smell.
well hello.
of course there is a smell.
there's a four day old dead man in a tomb.
don't you think your heavenly father knows this.
any old person would know about the smell,
much less the savior of the world.
the all mighty, all knowing god in human form.


this man is trying to perform a miracle
and you are worried about the smell.

this hit me like a ton of bricks.

you see god wants to do so many things in our lives.
he wants to work.
he wants to move.
he wants to heal.
he wants to show off.
that's just who he is.
but sometimes we get in way.
sometimes we say,
but lord.
we have to allow god to work.
we have to trust.
we have to remove the doubt.
we have to remove the fear.
we have to remove ourselves,
our flesh,
and let god work.


god does not care about what we see in the natural.
god does not care about circumstances.
god does not care about how things my seem.
god knows all things and sees all things
and when he shows up on the scene
we must be ready and willing to allow him to work.
we must move the stone.

knowing god's power,
martha should have listened to his command
in anticipation of what he might do,
but instead, she's worried about the stink.

maybe if we kept our focus on the possibilities
of god's power instead of the possibilities
of life's circumstances,
our faith would rise and
god could show up and show off.

the bible says:
"then jesus said, "did i not tell you that if you believed,
you would see the glory of god?"
so they took away the stone. then jesus looked up and said,
"father, i thank you that you have heard me.
i knew that you always hear me,
but i said this for the benefit of the people
standing here, that they may believe that you sent me."
when he had said this, jesus called in a loud voice,
"lazarus, come out!" 
the dead man came out,
his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen,
and a cloth around his face.
jesus said to them, "take off the grave clothes and let him go."

and just like that,
lazarus is raised from the dead.
with three words.
three. words.
despite the time that has passed,
despite the doubt,
despite the smell,
the miracle occurs.

you see guys,
god is a gentleman.
he won't force anything on us.
we have to allow him to move.
he's still there.
no matter the circumstances, 
he is able.

but he does have a plan.
he does have perfect timing.
it's not always,
heck, it's usually never,
when we think it should be.
it's always for our good
and always for his glory.

we have to move the stones.
in our lives,
the stones may be doubt,
it may be fear,
it may be circumstances,
it may be people,
it may just be ourselves.
whatever it may be,
we need to move it to allow
god to do his thing.
and if he gives a command,
even if it's just a whisper,
and it doesn't make sense,
we have to listen.

isn't god's word so good?
i love it and god is always
speaking through it.
i heard him loud and clear
last week.


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

a letter to my daughter: one year in

my dearest scarlett mirabella,

i'm sitting here the night before your birthday
thinking about how quickly this year went by.
i have so much to say to you after this first year together.
i'm not even sure where to start.
it's hard for me to gather these thoughts
and put them in some kind of order
that makes sense.
i will do my best to put all these 
big, giant feelings into words
so that, one day, when you're older, you can read this.

before you even existed,
i wanted you so so badly.
i yearned for you for so long, 
deep in my soul.
there was a hole there.
meant for you to fill.

i had dreams about you.
every time i dreamed about you,
you would run into my bedroom
with your strawberry blonde hair
and big, huge blue eyes
and you would jump into my bed and belly laugh.
every time i would have that dream,
my heart would fall in love with you,
with the idea of you.

when it seemed like hope was lost
or that you would never get here,
i would hold on to those dreams.
i would trust that those were glimpses from god
of the beautiful girl that would eventually be mine.

when i found out you were in my belly,
i was overwhelmed with emotion.
i was so thrilled and so scared and so ready to meet you.
every day i would lay hands on my belly
and send up prayers to god.
i prayed so many prayers over you before
you were even here.
i prayed for your health, your happiness,
your future.
i prayed for my ability to mother you.
i prayed for god's will in your life.

from the moment you were born,
you were wide eyed and ready to take on this world.
the minute i met you it felt like i had known you a lifetime.
like our souls had been connecting
for years.
you were always supposed to be mine.
and i was created to be your mom.

after much prayer,
i felt like god was calling me to quit my job
and to stay home and take care of you.
so, this year, it's been me and you.
every day.
it has been the most fulfilling, amazing, life changing year
filled with so much growth for the both of us.
you have changed me baby girl.
you have changed me for the better.

before you,
i was never really satisfied.
it seemed like there was always something missing from life.
before you,
i didn't know my purpose.
i didn't know who i was in god.
before you,
i had no idea the capacity i had for loving.
i had no idea that love could be so deep and so crippling.
before you,
i wasn't quite me.

you are beautiful.
those big, huge baby blue eyes
with those long eyelashes are so uniquely gorgeous
and the way they squint up when you smile
makes me wanna squeeze you.
you have the most perfect little nose.
your smile is enough to melt
even the hardest heart.
and that hair.
it started off as barely there and
now it's growing in to be thick and the most
precious strawberry blonde.

your personality is one of a kind.
you are just the right mix of feisty and sweet.
you have so much sass in all the best ways.
you're funny.
like so so funny.
you can already make me laugh until my stomach hurts.
you have a sweetness about your little spirit.
and something about you feels untamable,
which i love.
there is a will in you that is stronger
than even mine.
it's a beautiful thing that i hope to cultivate
in all the best ways.
you are going to move mountains scarlett.

you are such a social butterfly.
you wave to everyone you come in contact with.
you will do whatever it takes to get a wave or a smile back.
i already see such a love for others in you.
you are going to do so much for the kingdom of god.
you have such a call on your life.
you are going to love the heck out of the broken.
your smile and kindness will heal so many wounded spirits.

i wish i could keep your innocence just how it is.
right now.

you love yourself.
you will look in the mirror
and kiss that sweet face and say "awe"
over and over again.
remember how to be gentle with yourself.
remember how beautiful i always think you are.
how beautiful god thinks you are.
see past any flaws and look inside yourself
for all the beautiful things your heavenly father
has placed there.
you are so rare and so precious my girl.

keep loving people.
don't let the world make you hard.
remember to stop for one second
and consider the fact that most
are going through things you haven't walked.
be gentle with them.
try to see others the way god sees them.
they are all his children.
and they could always use just a little more love.

stay fearless.
fear is not of god.
don't be ridden with anxiety or worry.
let god's peace overwhelm you.
let your soul rest in him.
every day of your life was written in his book
before you were even formed in my belly.
he knows the end from the beginning.
rest in that.
believe in that.
let him hold you and guide you.
just trust him 
and his perfect plan.

fall in love with god.
he is so good.
his love is unconditional and relentless.
his love covers a multitude of sin.
he will never leave you empty
or wanting anything more.
his love satisfies.
it heals.
it never ever ends.
soak it up.
let it fill you.
let it be the source of your strength
and the pursuit of your heart.

thank you baby girl.
thank you for teaching me about selflessness.
i never thought i could be so satisfied
by never, not once, thinking of my self.
thank you for showing me grace.
you have loved me since day one no matter
my shortcomings, my mistakes, or my flaws.
thank you for making my days so full.
being with you is the absolute most wonderful
feeling in the world.

i miss you when you're asleep.
i miss you when you aren't here.

thank you for all of the beautiful challenges
you threw my way these past 12 months.
they taught me only to rely on the lord
and his strength.
they taught me to have faith.
to know that god's plan is better than mine.
they taught me that i am not in control.
and that that's okay.

i want you to know i tried.
no matter how old you get
or how you turn out,
i will always try.
i will give you my all,
my everything,
my last breath, if ever necessary.
i will give you my best.
i may not be perfect
but i will love you like no other.
i will always be on your side.
when you are hurt,
when you are broken,
when you are overwhelmed,
when you are exhausted,
you come running to me.
i will be here with these arms wide open.
my love is completely unconditional.
it's so big.
there's no controlling it.

we are only a year in and i know this much,
i want a lifetime with you.
even that, is not enough.
i couldn't have imagined you better.
i couldn't have dreamed for a better life,
a better everyday with you.
my heart is so full being your mom.
remember that on our bad days.
i don't wanna be anywhere else.

i thank god for choosing me.
i'm so glad i get to be yours 
for the days,
the nights,
the smiles,
the laughs, 
the tears,
the tantrums,
the sicknesses,
the health, 
the holidays,
the big things,
and the little.

happy happy birthday to the one who holds my heart.
to my best friend.
my baby girl.
my life's greatest work.

it has been the most amazing ride.
i can not wait to see who you become in this life.
i can not wait to watch your story unfold.

stay kind. stay wild. stay you.

all my love,

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

another one bites the dust...

so when i was about a month and a half pregnant
for scarlett i tried my first whole 30.
by the time 10pm rolled around the first day,
i had made my way through the mcdonalds drive thru
for fries and a coke
and i had failed.

this time,
i decided to give whole 30 another try.

day one was awful.
i hated the way the coffee tasted
and didn't drink it.
by 2pm i was miserable from no caffeine.
i was tired as heck, felt foggy, and was as grouchy as can be.
i forgot to feed scarlett i was so out of it.
and my fuse with her was very short.

by 4:30 i realized i didn't have an ingredient
for the pork chops for supper that i needed
and i couldn't bring scarlett to rouses
for the third time that day.
cue the meltdown.

i had a full blown meltdown.
i had nothing compliant ready for supper.
i didn't have the dumb ingredient
even after being to rouses twice that day
and i had never cooked pork chops in my life.
so, not being able to follow the recipe
freaked me out because what the heck else do i do.

and i do not like failure.
i do not like mistakes.
i automatically think extremes.

you're a terrible mother.
a terrible wife.
a terrible cook.
a terrible whole 30er.

i wanted to quit so badly.
shane came home.
chilled me out.
cooked supper.

day 2.
i did good all day and then was like you know what,
why am i doing this.
i got a cherry coke zero and 

another one bites the dust.

here are my thoughts.

those of you who complete a whole 30.
you rock.
it's awesome that you can live under such strict constraints.
if you do all your own shopping, and cooking, and prepping.
wow. my hat goes off to you.
it is a lot.
it is so labor intensive and if you are doing all of this
with a job and a kid or multiple kids,
a statue should be erected in your honor.
seriously kudos to you.

i can't hang.
and to be honest,
i don't want to.

after i failed today i started praying.
god, why can't i succeed at this.
i usually can do anything i want to.
i am usually determined for success.
what is my problem.

and it all became clear.
i don't want to succeed at this.
it's not that important to me.

see my girl, my baby girl,
she is absolutely number one to me.
she's really the only thing on the list right now.
the only priority.
and that's what i am worried about
succeeding at.

my list has just changed so much.
and devoting all this time to a diet
and to an eating lifestyle,
it's just not for me.

i know most of you are rolling your eyes
and thinking i only gave it two days
and it will get easier
and you do it with 46 kids, 3 dogs, 2 jobs, 
and during a kitchen renovation.
and i will say good for you.
but that ain't me.

i'd rather be spending time on a unicorn bday party.
i'd rather be building a puzzle.
i'd rather be kissing some baby toes.
i don't want to be at rouses looking for coconut aminos.
i just don't.

do i need to lose weight?
would i feel better if i were more fit
and in better shape?
do i need to start making better choices?
uh huh.

but for me,
i can do that in other ways.

a friend and i were talking tonight about the pressure
of social media with this whole whole 30 thing.

lots of people in our lives are doing it or have done it
and you tend to start to feel like you aren't good enough
if you aren't doing it.
you start to feel like even if you are making healthy
changes, if they aren't whole 30, they aren't enough.

i can't live like that.
this is me.
i'm a little chubby.
i don't like cooking.
i don't like grocery shopping.
i want easy and thought free.

i have some other good qualities
and i am going to drop some lbs
it just won't be on the whole 30 bandwagon
and it won't be under loads of pressure
and it may be a little slower.

and i'm okay with that.

my life is so different now
and i'm adjusting to the many changes
that have taken place this year
and i really love my day to day here.

i'm good where i'm at.

i'm determined to be less pudgy
and because i want that
and i want to succeed,
i will.

it will just be in an easier, less painless way.
another one bites the dust.

and oh, i am so looking forward to drinking
my coffee normal tomorrow,
except now i'm switching to sugar free creamer.

i feel like that counts for something.


Thursday, November 3, 2016

a sneak peek...

every time i write or type
sneak peek
i always wanna mix up the vowels
in the two words.
like who gets the ee and who gets the ea.

i wanted to share with you guys
a little peek at my newest scrap project.
i have been trying my best to create
a scrapbook of scarlett's first year of life.

i wanted her to have a detailed record
of most of her special moments during
this first year.

i figure i may not be the best at capturing
so many little details as the years go by
so i'm giving this first one my best shot.

in other words,
i may suck at momming 
later on down the line,
these twelve months,
i'm gonna rock it out.

i'm doing this book project life style
with some good old fashioned single layouts too.
i went with the studio calico 9x12 handbook
and i am loving working with this size.

i have been trying so hard to work on this book
but i have only made it to a week after
her birth so far.
i know amazing right.
she's nine months.

but i'm having to keep her alive and stuff
and prevent the house from growing black mold
and making sure we have some
clean clothes here and there so…
that is the best i've got.

i need to start coming upstairs
to work on it once i put her to bed at night
and forget about sleep and showering and all that.

i decided to include details from the moment 
we found out she existed
up until her first birthday.
i wanted the book to have pictures of my pregnancy,
her gender reveal party and shower, her room,
and the other little preparations
we made while waiting for her arrival.

i love hearing stories about that time in 
my parents' life so i included those
in her book.

here's a peek.

those are just a few of the pages.
i've completed lots more than that.
i am thinking once the book is done,
i'll share a video of the entire finished product.

the goal is for it to be completed to put out
at her birthday party.
wish me luck.