Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas update ramblings

"It's the most wonderful tiiiiiiiime of the year!"

(except for summer. But don't tell anyone I really think that...)

But truly....I LOVE Christmas.  I made Jon go out and get us a Christmas tree the first weekend after thanksgiving, because I just. couldn't. wait. any. longer.  We had already been listening to Christmas music for about 2 weeks at that point.  Yes, I just saw you roll your eyes...we are those people you love to be annoyed by.  :)

And I thought I had a handle on presents this year...but alas, here we are 7 days away from the exchanging and I still have a few to pick up.  It's just hard when I have 2 very small children to drag around with me.  I have done it, but some days we just don't get to where needs to be gotten to. And like, today...it's about 2 degrees outside (quite literally) and I don't want to bring my clear-snot-nose-like-a-faucet two year old outside to run errands so that he will turn into a green-snot-nose-like-a-faucet two year old. Not with a 2 month old in the house.  The less sick, the better.

The poor child has been eating about 2 garlic cloves a day. (but he actually likes it and asks for more!)

There are many other things besides running errands that need to get done, but Isabelle is sleeping on me and I just can't bring myself to put her down so I can clean a toilet.  I mean, you know?

She's so stinking cute.  All smiles and starting to talk at us a bit.  She's still the easiest baby...we all love her.  The boys are finally showing a bit of regression and behavior issues here and there...but it could just be a stage they're in or the Christmas season.  Let's not blame the super-huge change in family dynamics.  :)

Oh, and by the way...I was offered a new role!  This spring, I am going to be Despina in Greater Worcester Opera's Cosi Fan Tutte.  It's a staged, costumed, concert version, sung in English, so rehearsals will be minimal.  That's one of the reasons I decided to do it, but the other is I need an outlet!  I am already feeling a bit squidgy with staying home all the time...I know I'll get more used to it, and it is what I feel called to do, but...being home with a toddler all day is trying (but wonderful to be with him all day at the same time)!


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Quite possibly...the next chapter

So, I have not mentioned it here, but I am starting my own business. I am going to be teaching early childhood general music classes out of my home starting in January!

I have a website and everything. Check it out.

More later, but...if you're local to me...spread the news! I am excited and motivated and I want students! :)

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Isabelle birth story

Ok, so here is the birth story of our little Isabelle:

(minus unsavory details...plus random pictures thrown in)


she looks particularly small next to Jon
I had just commenced my maternity leave from my public school job the previous Friday (oct 12)....and it was Tuesday morning (oct 15) at 5am when I woke up feeling...

...let's say...uncomfortable.

 About every 11 minutes I was uncomfortable.

 This was ten days before her due date.

Jon and I discussed possibilities, and by that point, contractions had stopped being regular, although they were still happening. I told Jon he should just go to work (about a half hour away) and I would call if things amped up. He put his cell ringer on high.

We got Jeremiah on the bus, and that morning I actually ran some errands with Isaac (pausing to breathe through slightly more painful contractions at moments).

After lunch, I took Isaac upstairs for a nap (for him and for me).  After we slept for that nap...I woke up feeling painful contractions...just a different level than before. They still weren't that regular though.  I'd have two 45 minutes apart, then two 10 minutes apart, then 20 minutes apart...it was strange.

I decided to text Jon to see if he could come home a little earlier than normal, just because handling the two boys while making dinner would be a bit difficult while laboring...at least I assumed so.  Jon said he could come home right then if I wanted, but I told him I didn't think that was necessary.  Just come home about 1 hour earlier than normal.

I made a pasta cassarole as the boys played outside, and then laid down on the couch while Jon and the boys ate dinner.

That was a bad idea, as the contractions amped up again.  It seemed that laying down makes things progress.

Jon put the boys to bed and I called the midwife to ask what the heck I should be thinking about these fairly painful but irregular contractions. I had heard enough stories from women in my life about how they just barely made it to the hospital with their 3rd child that I had it in my mind that I did not want to do that.  Plus, I was being reminded exactly how painful labor is...about every 5 to 20 minutes.  This was about 8:30 Tuesday night.

The midwife said it would be best to wait until the contractions became more regular and call back.
So, I took a shower, Jon brought the hospital overnight bag down, and got things ready for the car.  About 10:15pm I realized that I had had five contractions 13 minutes apart, then three contractions 11 minutes apart, and was starting to have them 8 minutes apart.

Things were happening quickly!

Halloween costumes.  Isaac was throwing a fit off camera.


very sad. It was a candy overload, methinks.

We called my nana to come stay with the kids overnight; called the midwife again (I could tell I woke her up this time, and felt bad) and told her we wanted to come in.  Jon seemed particularly stressed as we waited for Nana to show up (I had a couple that were 6 minutes apart right before she showed up).

We traveled the 20 minutes to the hospital and parked (Jon wanted to do valet but I thought that was silly and said I could walk.  As I stopped to breathe through a contraction or two on the way in, a nurse brought out a wheelchair.  I really felt silly then. Oh well.)  They got us up to a room and gowned me up and the midwife checked me.  I was 6 centimeters and 100% effaced.  She commented, "Well, it's a good thing you came in!"

At this point, it all became very real to me.  I'm not sure why it wasn't real to me the entire day of having contractions, or during the hospital ride, but I can say that knowing my body was pretty much ready to pop out this baby

freaked.

me.

out.

I was not mentally in a place where I was ready for the pain of childbirth.  I pretty much told them I wanted an epidural as soon as I was in there, so they prepped me with an IV port...or tried to.  It took the nurse two attempts and then they had to call in IV therapy (which i didn't even know was a thing) to get the needle in.  During the nurse's second attempt to get the IV in, I started crying hysterically - which, for those who know me, is really not like me.  It was certainly painful, but I think it was just as much mental for me, realizing how much pain I was in for.  Things were just progressing way faster than with the previous two labors, and it was pretty painful and I just wanted to not do it.

Unfortunately, that wasn't an option.

I got the epidural and immediately felt the need to push, which was just as painful as the contractions.  So, while the epidural took away the contraction pain, the pushing was right on top of it, and gave little relief.  I think the epidural did make things slightly more manageable...but part of me wishes I was not such a wimp and just powered through. But, I can't take it back, so I won't worry about it.

Two things I loved were the midwife and nurse with me.  I had been worried that they would judge me for wanting medication, but they were very supportive of whatever I wanted, telling me that I was still strong no matter what because I was having a BABY!  It did make me smile even though I was having a hard time leaving behind the guilt.

(Let it be known that I have no problem with medication during labors...I had an epidural with Jeremiah and it was great.  I just was wacky this time around and emotional...)

Anyway, after a few minutes of the eipdural taking effect, the midwife told me that I was ten centimeters and anytime I felt the need to push, I could.  I realized that I felt the need to push, which struck me as ludicrous, but there it was. So, I pushed, and ten minutes later...Isabelle was on my chest yelling her little head off.

Jeremiah looks like this every time he holds her. :)

She was very red with lots of black hair.  She didn't stop crying for about an hour - very different from my boys.  During the first few minutes, Jon and I looked at each other and I commented how surreal it was that this was it! She was actually here!  I feel like I can't accurately describe how...un-ready I was for all of it.  Not the bringing her home and such...just the actual labor and delivery. With the boys, I reached a point where, bodily, I was SO ready for them to be out.  I was uncomfortable and miserable, and if labor was the way to get out of the situation I was in, then so be it.

With my girl, I never got to that point.  I was still functioning, albeit with uncomfortable evenings.  But I was far from the miserable person I was right before the boys were born.  So, I guess in my head, I still had time.

But God had other plans.  And she is here!

Isaac and Jeremiah are going to be great big brothers for her.

She is such a good baby.  Very mellow, smiles a lot, rarely fusses.  She sleeps at night, and lets me sleep some too.  :)  And I feel pretty good post-partum, too. Aside from some back aches and tiredness, I feel happy and healthy - even from a few days out from the labor.

Thank you to all who have prayed us through this pregnancy and into a new time for the family.  Things are pretty peaceful for now, and let's pray for that to continue.



Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Baby Isabelle

Isabelle has arrived!!

October 16....9 days before her due date. I will post more on her arrival soon, but for now...

...enjoy some pictures!!!

about an hour old...yes, all our children are blessed with gobs of dark hair from birth


taken today...almost two weeks old! the non-puffy look is much preferred.


me and my girl!


she smiles a lot


daddy is in love. she seems to like him too.  :)




She has my dimples.  :)  

We are so blessed to have her in our lives. Thanks be to God!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

This and that

Just some snippets of life lately:

1. Isaac loves to sing.

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

"Jesus" songs are his favorite right now, in case you couldn't tell.

2. We told Jeremiah the name we finally settled on for our (soon to arrive!) little girl.

me: "Jeremiah, we decided that your sister's name is going to be __________!" (we'll publicly disclose later, don't worry)

Jeremiah: "Ok, but we should still call her by her full name, Olivia."

note: we are not naming her Olivia...he has been convinced this should be her name ever since we found out it was a girl. As in, naming her after Olivia the Pig from Nick Jr.

3. I am done teaching for the year. Sort of.

So...I am not going back to my public school job for the remainder of this year.  Instead, starting in January, I am going to be teaching in-home music classes for 0-5 year old children and their parents.  I've been working on a website, flyers, advertising...I have the library interested in working with me...It's a bit scary, because we really need me to still be making money, but I just didn't feel at peace being at my current job at this point.  And, oddly, I've felt a lot of peace about taking on this new venture, even though at times it threatens to overwhelm me when I think about how much pressure I'm putting on it to "need to work." But...I really think God will show us His plan and guide me through whatever He wants me to do.  And this seems to be it, for the foreseeable future...will give more information about that as I get it, I guess.  :) 

4. Jon is in the start of his second year of seminary. 

Classes are Hebrew, Interpreting the New Testament, and Christian Ethics.  It has been hard, stressful, and great for him all at the same time. Unfortunately, he still has to be working two days a week, and helping out at the church one day a week, so those things really cut into his study time.  Also...there's this new little thing going to be coming into his life in about 13 days, supposedly...and she will cut into his study time even more. It will be an interesting semester for him, to say the least.  I really want to be able to be as healthy as I can to deal with all three children well so he can keep plugging away at his classwork.

5. Jeremiah got off the bus this way on Friday.

no, he didn't go to school with an eye patch.
 5. The boys went to the Topsfield Fair today. 

Or, as Isaac called it, "the top of the fair!"
I wish I could have gone, but not sure I could have dealt with all the walking and jostling and crowds at this point.  Plus, I had something I had to do...

6. My friend, Jenn, threw me a baby "sprinkle" today!

For those who have not heard the term, it is a baby shower that is given when you are having a baby of the opposite gender of what you already have...i.e. you are just "sprinkled" with needed items, as opposed to "showered" with everything you might possibly need.  It was just lovely, with all women I love showing up to love and support me and our new little girl.  And, there was much ooing and ahhing over cute girl clothes.

7. 13 days until little sister's arrival.  Hopefully/maybe earlier?  Pray for not later.  :) 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

senses

I am sitting here listening...

...to four grown men simultaneously talk about Breaking Bad, Brady vs. Manning, penalty specifics, and the subtleties of single malt scotch.

...to the crunching of chips from 5 peoples teeth



...to an entire Pats game for the first time this season (the 8:30 games are the only ones I can watch without interruption - interruptions being naptime, dinnertime, bathtime, whining time, pay-attention-to meeeeeeee-mommyyyyyy! time, etc)



...to a quiet monitor. (Ahhhhhh....)


I am sitting here seeing...

...a football game in its entirety!!

this is how we dress for Patriots games on sundays.

I am sitting here tasting...

...chex mix

...oreos

seriously, right?

...sinus soother tea


I am sitting here smelling...

...not much (see sinus soother tea,above)




I am sitting here feeling...

...baby girl kicks and jabs and punches and hiccups (maybe she likes oreos...)

...an aching back and feet and bottom of stomach (if that makes sense...big pregnant belly, people)

ok, so this isn't me.  But that is a big belly!

...simultaneously overwhelmed by all there is to do before baby arrives and calmed by the inevitability that it simply will not all get done in time so I might as well give myself a little grace.

...content to just be here, now.



Happy beginning of October, everyone!!

from last year, I believe.  I can't even believe how small he looks here...he has grown about a foot since this photo.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The church and autism

The other day, my friend Missy forwarded these links to me about the church's role in helping families dealing with autism, and I think it is right on. I have to admit, throughout all my own personal struggles in understanding and coping with my son's diagnosis, I never really considered that the church should have a role in helping families coping with autism, or other emotional, social, or physical disabilities for that matter.  It's more than a little embarrassing that it never crossed my mind, but now I am inspired to maybe even start a disabilities program or support group at my own church at some point.

There are some wonderful points made...I will touch briefly on the ones that resonated with me:

Myth: we know the cause and cure for autism.

Truth: - no one knows the cause or the cure. And, due to the wide ranging 'spectrum'-ness of this disorder, treatments that work wonders for some may not work at all for others.

Myth: children with autism are a result of poor parenting.

Truth: parenting style has nothing to do with a child's diagnosis. In these videos, I was appalled at some of the things parents said people would say to them, things like "why would you give blood with a child like that?" or "must be the sins of the parents..." As angering and frustrating as that is on it's face to have people think like that, it only shows me more how ignorant the church is of this disorder. There is so little known about how to talk to people with autism, how to teach them, how to support the families, and it is even more unfortunate because it is becoming an epidemic. There are families in your church that are dealing with this...as Christ's body, we need to respond.

One more part that hit home was something one of the child's parents said about worrying about their child's possible future without them. "What is he going to be like when he's 25, will he ever get married, living a typical life...What I try to remind myself of is that I have no control over the future, and that's something that I constantly have to pray about and take all those thoughts captive and put 'em before God because He's the one who already has the blueprint." I confess it is SO easy to worry about Jeremiah's future, and this was a good reminder to take those thoughts captive and give them to my Father, who already knows the plans He has for my son...and they are better than any I could imagine.

Another part that brought tears for me was when one mom talked about the loneliest thing being when she was home alone with her son with autism. She wants so desperately to be able to talk to him and know what he is thinking...and at times I let my frustration at Jeremiah's inability to express things spiral into my own angry and depressive state. I felt both blessing (that my son has verbal capabilities and is progressing toward social typical-ness) and deep empathy for this woman as I've been there, wanting so badly to connect with my son, and not knowing how. It is very lonely for that reason, but also because not many people can empathize with that feeling. So, you are on a a bit of a parenting island.

Anyway...here are the links. It is a DVD set from "Joni and friends" (Joni Erickson Tada)...and I think I might end up watching all related videos on that site now. Please watch them...if you have never encountered autism up close, it will give you more understanding. If you know someone with autism or a family who is coping with its ramifications...I believe the church can play a role in creating community and acceptance where there has previously been ignorance and misunderstanding.

Part 1

Part 2

Friday, September 13, 2013

Thoughts of the day

I am 34 weeks pregnant this weekend.

Nesting instinct, that blessed creature, has finally kicked in.

The insides of the house are getting moved around...again.

My second son might not live to see the beginning of next week if he keeps up what he's been keeping up.

My older son is sensitive and I regret yelling through the house this afternoon.

I am selling furniture left and right.

Our bills are piling up more than I can stand to ponder at the moment.

But, did you know, ignoring them doesn't make them go away?

My new little niece was born about 6 weeks ago. She is sooooo small.

People keep telling me I don't look big enough to be 34 weeks.

Am I going to have a "small" baby too?

What does one do with a baby that is not 9 pounds when born?

I am upstairs letting Jon deal with the children.

I hear laughter and splashing from the tub.

Then hysterical crying.

It is my second son.

Of course.

(This has been for about 4 days.)

He needs a nap.

For about 5 days.

And prayer that he will live to see his sister.

Have a good night, all!







Wednesday, August 28, 2013

pressures

I probably have many posts to write, but no motivation to write any of them right now.

Posts about pregnancy, posts about my master's program this summer, posts about the kids, posts about what the heck we're going to be doing in this crazy transition year coming up. :)

It will happen, maybe soon. Or maybe not. But I do want to tell you sometime.

Right now what I feel motivated to write about is facebook. And pinterest. And all these social networking sites that either thrill you or drive you up a wall, depending on your personality.

I am a member of facebook and of pinterest and of linkedin. I do not use twitter. Obviously, I blog. And I still use that antiquating form of communication called email.

Let's talk facebook and pinterest specifically. I think these sites can be wonderful as far as inspiration and connecting with others, even networking....but for goodness sake, there are a lot of negatives as well. Like, because we are fallible and prone to comparison and envy and spite and pettiness and selfishness - these sites can quickly become vehicles for low self-esteem and stress-inducers.

I read an article (on facebook, actually - yet another good reason for it) that outlines what we are doing wrong as parents. Humorous, but also somewhat accurate. I don't agree with every snide remark made, but I understand the sentiment. These sites have simply created a virtual "keeping up with the Joneses"...making me (and maybe you?) and a lot of people I know feel guilty for throwing a low-key birthday party or letting their kids watch TV for any length of time, or allowing gluten in the house.

I have fallen on both sides of this...occasionally throwing a themed party, trying to eliminate gluten from our diets entirely, forbidding refined sugar from passing my children's lips, doing limited screen time. None of these are bad things.

But after a while, I realized I was letting myself becoming guilted about it. The weird thing is, I didn't know by who. I just felt like I had to apologize to anyone I was around if they heard we watched a TV show or ate something remotely unhealthy.

That's no way to live in grace.

Currently, my children are on their third nick jr. show of the day and eating chocolate processed cereal and pretzels. It's barely 11 am. And I don't really care...I am almost 32 weeks pregnant and for some reason it is really uncomfortable to be standing or sitting at the moment, so I need to lay down. Do you know how hard it is to keep children entertained while you need to lie down? For some reason I am seen as a pillow or a jungle gym the moment I go horizontal. :)



And another thing...sometimes I think it's good to not know what everyone is doing all the time...maybe it gives you more to catch up on when you actually see them in person in real life. I know I'm old fashioned in that way, but that is something I really miss and feel pressure about...the fact that because everyone is on facebook and it's so easy to find out what people who I haven't even talked to for 10 years are doing today means that I should know and care and be all caught up so I know what to ask about when I happen to run into them at some event or whatnot...can't we all just find it wonderful to see each other and get caught up on our lives with no previous knowledge of who this person is right now other than that we had a great friendship a while back?

Maybe that's just me. Maybe that doesn't even make sense. Maybe it means I'm lazy. I will own that if it's true.

Anyway...just my two cents. Not really sure what I'm trying to say, other than let's give each other some grace and not put so much pressure on ourselves to be the "cool" mom or so "put together" or always amusing people with our witty status updates. It's not about keeping up appearances, it's about life.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

lose the 'tude, dude!

I often say to my children something along the lines of,

"please lose the attitude and choose a nicer way to say that."

"You should not talk to your brother that way. Please be kind."

"Please say that without shouting."

"Think about how that makes them feel. Would you talk to your friends that way?"

And because they are young and impressionable, they tend to respond with grace and apologies (sometimes not, but we'll say 3 out of 4 is not bad for ages 5 and 2).

I grew up in a home where it was unacceptable to use a "tone" with anyone in the home, simply because you were moody or having a bad day.  Some might call that extreme, but in some ways, I think it taught me subconsciously to value others' feelings and responses as precious, regardless of how comfortable I was with them.  I learned to not take my family's feelings for granted.  That I couldn't just be whatever bad version of myself I felt like because it would affect them negatively, when they did nothing to deserve my attitude.

Anyway, I see many families now who find it perfectly acceptable to be pretty darn mean to each other just because, hey, they're family and we know we'll work it out.  While I find that to be incredible and in some ways, inspiring that they are that open with each other, I also can't help but wonder about the concept of valuing the family members' feelings above your own.

I read an awesome blog post today that is sort of about this, a guest post on A Holy Experience.  James writes about needing to remember to care about the right thing at the right time...here's a snippet that convicted me and got me thinking:

 A part of my problem is that sometimes I care about the wrong thing at the wrong time.


Sometimes I care about fairness instead of generosity.
Sometimes I care about someone else’s theological accuracy when quiet listening would be better.
It's worth a few minutes of your time if you would like to hop over.  Have a great weekend!



Thursday, June 27, 2013

10th Anniversary Gala

(This is a post I finally finished that I started several weeks ago...please forgive me for my lack of posting. Teaching school was wrapping up and has ended, online portion of my Masters has begun, a wedding week is about to take place basically at my house next week, and I have ZERO motivation to do anything but try to sit in the sun when it's not raining here. Which has been almost every day of the past 3 weeks. Anyway...here's how my latest singing gig went.)

The 10th Anniversary Concert (several weeks ago...maybe 4 weeks ago?   wow...) went well, for the most part.

There were two concerts, one a friday night and one a sunday afternnoon.

Friday night was a bust, as far as I'm concerned, and sunday afternoon went much better, probably for a couple reasons.

So, friday night's breakdown: The concert itself went well, but the hall was hard to sing in...pretty much nothing came back to you when you sang, which can be a bit disconcerting. Also, for some reason, from the very first phrase, I had no breath under me. And with a piece like "Una Voce"...that only compounds on itself to get worse as the aria goes on.  I had my usual nerves, but that didn't really affect me as much as my own panic mode about my air supply situation.  Jon was there ushering, and he said it still sounded fine, although he could tell (because he knows my voice) that I was struggling at times.   I am trying to trust him and his ears, only because it felt like one of the worst performances I'd given in a while.

Sunday afternoon, as I said, went much better.  I still had a bit of an issue with the ending high note, which I've already discussed in my last post.  But overall, I was happier with the performance.  The hall (Mechanics Hall in Worcester) was beautiful and such a delight to sing in (great acoustics!), the audience was reactive and laughed at my pregnant attempts at being a funny Rosina, and I decided to really tone down my movements to extra-focus on my air - which I think worked. I got a message from a singer/director I don't know telling me what I good job he thought I did, and he sent me a picture from where he was seated that afternoon:

there I am, in all my pregnant Rosina glory.  :)
That actually kind of made my day, that someone I didn't even know would bother to contact me for encouragement.  That, and all the kind responses I got on my posted recording from so many of you...thank you.  It makes me kind of want to post some more recordings, since this is a singing blog, for the most part (or at least started out being one!)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Recording...if it works?

So, I'm doing something way risky for me today on this little ol' blog: posting a recording of myself.

For anyone who has never heard me sing, this is what I sound like. Not the greatest recording ever, but decent.

(you will hear my coach talking to me at the beginning...it's just a run through)

Decent in recording quality, but also in my singing technique, in my humble opinion.  I've had a few breakthroughs in the last year or so, which just make my singing feel more consistent than it has been so far in my life.

The "not great" part is, unfortunately, the end.  The final big high note at the end is....Blech.  (and even a couple of the same high note earlier in the piece.  It's a high B.)

And the reason I am still posting this recording, is because I think the deficient high notes are largely due to this pregnancy.  I have NEVER ever had a problem reaching this note, or even feeling any sort of tension or anxiety with a high B, or even the C above it...and since being pregnant, this part of the aria is giving me the MOST trouble. 

It makes me quite anxious for the 10th anniversary concert tomorrow night and sunday afternoon! 

I have been trying everything I know how to make this note feel better...but it just sits in a different space right now and I can't support it enough and I can't open enough and it just is what it is.  Everything else feels great...just not the end.  Which is an unfortunate way to end an aria, don't you think?  :)

Ironically, instead of bemoaning it and obsessing and becoming morosely insecure as I usually do, I am trying to focus on what I can do well at the moment, which is the rest of the aria and the acting.  I really do believe the high notes will come back...but probably not until after this little girl is born.  Not only is she apparently taking my beauty, she's taking my high notes, too!

This is going to be a great show.  Many, many amazing singers will be performing.  Please consider coming!  

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The girl and the future.

So.

We found out we're having a little girl!

To be honest, I wasn't surprised. This pregnancy has been different than the previous two...feeling sicker more frequently, breaking out, dry hair (isn't there an old wives tale about girls taking their mother's beauty?)

But, although I had been telling people that having a girl would scare me a bit, I was surprised how much I was unnerved by the actual fact that I have a little girl to arrive in about 5 months.

And then raise in this sex-crazed, moral-less American culture. Lord, have mercy.

It really, really makes me nervous. Something about raising boys feels easier, and I realized that it may be because I put the real gist of the boys' modeling on Jon - this seems natural that the father would be the real catalyst for his sons' maturity.

Whereas raising a girl puts a lot more on me. (I hope I hope I hope that I will look back on this post years from now and shake my head at my ignorant stereotyping and naive parenting.) I don't consider myself a girly girl, and I don't really consider myself a great communicator of emotional/social...stuff. (see what I mean?) And, isn't that some of what girls need?

The one thing I am sure of is that God doesn't give us more than He knows we can handle...or maybe to put it another way (as I've come to think of it), He gives us the knowledge along the way that we really can't handle it without Him...as I've been slowly and stubbornly conceding over the last year.

Good thing He is patient and good. He sure is not safe, but He is definitely good. This little girl coming has already been forcing thoughts forward about God's leading that have been ruminating in my heart the past half year or so: Should I stay home? Is that even possible? Should the fact that I think it's more important to fully invest in the wife and mother role at this time override the fact that we possibly won't have enough money to get by?

Does it matter what I think is possible if I'm trusting that God will provide?

How do I trust God to take care of us if we don't have enough money?

How do I NOT trust Him at this point when He has so obviously and providentially taken care of us every step of this seminary journey so far?

Prayers all around would be appreciated, folks. I desperately want to be wise...but not necessarily according to the world's ways. But I am afraid of so much that I don't tend to admit to anyone, even myself, sometimes.

Yet, I think I would be okay with looking like I fool if I am in communion with my Lord.

Isn't that why it's called a leap of faith?

Monday, May 13, 2013

A world of ladders

This hit home for me today.

"There's always part of you that wonders if anything you do matters enough."

Read here.



Monday, April 29, 2013

Should I update us?

It's been a while, my dear readers.

If, indeed, there are any of you still out there who have been waiting for a post. I don't blame you if you've relegated me to the bottom of your blog lists. :)

But I have some updates!

- rehearsals have started for my concerts on May 31 and June 2... And it is SO good to be singing again. "Una Voce" is sounding decent...although my stamina has gone way down, which brings me to the second update...

- it's a little harder to sing than usual because we found out that another little one is coming in October!! That's 3, people. We will be officially outnumbered. A little scary...yes. But what a wonderful blessing.  That's, I'm guessing, one of the reasons why I was so blah in February, remember that?  (How could you not, as it was only a few posts ago...ugh, I should be posting more, sorry!)  Although I'm not willing to let New England's painstakingly long winters off the hook for my moods...

- randomly made the best meal in a while the other night....chicken and dumplings. Isaac loved everything but the chicken, Jeremiah loved the dumplings, so I say a hit in general. My, was I happy. Doesn't take much to make me happy these days...just a good meal, no nausea for a few hours and sunshine, thank you very much.

Trust me, much more appetizing and yum-inducing than it seems here.
- Easter was great: good worship, family meal, egg hunt, handsome boys


I didn't get a picture of our whole family.  Fail.  But aren't they handsome?

 - and lastly...we are SO happy it is warmer outside.  Much time is being spent just running, playing in sandpiles, traveling to playgrounds, and eating snacks at our picnic table.  The best toy lately has been the tires Jon brings home from work.

quite possibly, the best picture I've seen of Jeremiah in a while.
he actually likes being in there.  Works for us. :)







Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Jeremiah


He is very much in what a good family friend calls "the frivolous fives."

This laughing child who has an intense love of finding your buttons and pushing ever just too much until you are likely to feel like you want to scream and then you look at his face...and just laugh instead at his look of anticipated joy at your frustration.

(He has found a new target in his little brother...who generously rises to each needled challenge with a pleasing screech that makes Jeremiah grin all the more...until a parent reminds him of good manners. Isaac is not a fan.)

He loves food, my goodness...growing again.

He will be ten feet tall by ten years old.

whoa...please excuse the blurry and focus on the tall.  Thanks.

He is reading at a first grade level. He is playing a preschool level...but it's getting better. God is good.

He loves being outside and this weather is making us all stir crazy!! His favorite is throwing ice chunks to watch them scatter on the driveway. He's a fan of sledding too. Thank goodness he doesn't mind pulling his sled back up the hill...unlike a certain little brother.

He doesn't whine, doesn't bother being picky about food (most of the time), and cuddles whenever we can sit for a moment. He is grace and easygoing-ness itself.


He loves his screen time, his books, his neighbors, his family. He loves to jump and bounce. He loves "the Final Countdown" more than I can describe here.

He sings arioso-like about everything, and it all slightly resembles '80's arena rock. (ahem...Jon...)



He asks most every night about Jesus living inside our hearts, what does that mean, is it with our blood, I wish he didn't have to die, I don't think I sin, and so on and so forth. Such good questions from a curious, sensitive heart. The Jesus Storybook Bible is a blessing beyond measure.

He is a reminder of all I want to be for our family.

Dear, sweet, crazy Jeremiah, we love you so.







Monday, February 18, 2013

the blahs

It's hard in February to not get blah. It's just so...blah out there. My husband and kids love the snow, but I need sunshine. Lately I've been trying to get the kids and I outside, even if just for a half hour at a time to play in the snow/puddles/mud and get fresh air and sunshine, or at least some cloud-covered natural light. I need the light so much and tend to get a bit morose and overtired a little too easily; a bit despairing over the tiniest task that needs to be done; a bit not filled with the joy that a life with Christ can reflect.

I know I'm not alone in this, but that doesn't necessarily help me feel better...it's just hard to see anything other than my grey-tinted world I've created. Also, I tend to project how others feel and what they think of me in completely negative ways, so I always end up a disappointment or a nitwit. It's hard for me to remember what is truth without feelings backing it up.

I've been praying a lot, and it's really good, and God is really good, whether I feel like He is or not. I've also been sleeping a lot, which is strangely not helping me feel more energetic, but more slothful...making me feel more depressed that I might as well be cleaning or doing something useful if I'm going to be tired anyway.

Ugh. Anyone have tips on beating the winter blues? I find myself standing near windows of streaming sunshine, eating healthy, praying and giving up my moods to the Creator of them. Need to be working out, maybe that can happen soon, because that helps me tremendously. I've been putting lavender essential oil on my scarves (supposed to battle fatigue?)...your tips?


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

pictures of small children...

(from earlier this winter...a lesson in seizing the moment...)

"say cheese!"



"ok, one more..."


"never mind."