Wednesday, July 23, 2014

8 Years

Something occurred to me yesterday as Josh and I celebrated eight years of marriage. This is the first time in my life I have no plan for the future. I had my original plan for so long, then it morphed into our plan to start a family through fertility treatments, then through adoption. The plan ended with having kids though, and I only just realized I never planned passed my thirtieth birthday. I don't know why. 

I am a planner by nature. Not generally on the small scale. My sense of time management is lacking to say the least. On the larger scale of life though, I plan the heck out of it. Or at least I did. I'll be thirty next year (whaaaaaa?) and I have no idea what the rest of my life will look like. Not that I had much of an idea when I did have a plan. Is that laughter I hear God? Josh laughs at me and my "planning" too. When I told him my realization over not having a plan, and my amazement over this, he responded with a smirk and said in a sing song voice "you need a plan to make a plan for the plany-plan-ness." Ya. 

To celebrate our anniversary we went out to dinner. A lovely, tiny little restaurant close to home. Although it is a well known and popular restaurant, somehow we ended up with the whole place to ourselves. Tuesdays must be an off night. It was great though. After placing our orders the waiter came back and told us the chef had made something special, lobster tail with garlic and tomato pasta. Josh stuck with his steak, but I opted for the special, and it was awesome! We sat and talked in the quiet, nothing but low classical music and our voices. After dinner the waiter brought out a complimentary chocolate mousse cake and wished us a happy anniversary. It couldn't have been more lovely. Having such a quiet, peaceful, simple celebration was a big contrast to our first years of marriage. I pray the years to come more closely resemble the themes of last night. Quiet. Peaceful. Simple. 

My husband hasn't changed much in the last eight years, but he's also changed a lot. He is still stubborn (in a good way), funny, determined, strong, and faithful. Unlike me, he is not a large-scale life planner, he's small scale, and I'm grateful for that. He can plan the everyday things of life better than anyone I know. He is always on time to everything. He has hopes and ambitions for the future, but he is much better at following God's big life plan for us than I am. I think we balance each other very well. Sitting at dinner last night though, we were both, for once, on the same page of the "life plan". No clue what's coming and no desire to control it. It felt good. Really good. 

Just realized we didn't take any pictures on our eighth anniversary. We took mental pictures instead.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Happy Burglary Day!

My parent's house was robbed.....and it made for a lovely afternoon. 

This morning, a young man of sixteen decided to break into my parent's home while they were at work. Thanks to a security camera, he was caught, all items were returned, and no major damage. A broken window, some overturned drawers, a slight sense of discomfort over having someone in the house you didn't allow. It could have been much worse.

While we wouldn't invite anything like this into our lives, or anyone's lives, I'm almost glad for today. My mom called to tell me what had happened and that she was home cleaning up the mess, so after dropping Squeaks off with Josh's mom, I went over to help. Shortly after, Josh showed up to help as well. I had called to tell him where I'd be and he decided to take the rest of the day off. My dad almost immediately had to go back to work. He's a mail carrier and couldn't leave his truck full of undelivered mail. He would have rather stayed with us. Josh didn't want us woman folk home alone on such a day. We have good men. He swept up broken glass and then got us lunch while my mom and I cleaned up the kitchen. 

There weren't any panicked moments, no crying, no "why me!?" In fact we had fun conversation and laughed quite a bit. With the trials our family has encountered, we have come to see a theme. Everything happens for a reason and sometimes, it even turns out better than anticipated. God can, and generally does, do amazing things with what looks like a difficult situation. Squeaks is a great example. Infertility sucked. The adoption process was long and draining. The end result was AWESOME! 

So this morning, when this sixteen year old boy made the choice to rob my family, it's possible he set into motion something we can't see. Maybe my mom and husband weren't suppose to be at work today. Maybe that young man needed to be caught before he committed a much worse crime (he attempted to take my dad's gun with him). Whatever today did for us or him, it was part of God's plan. Everything, every day, every moment, is accounted for. God does not waste. He's very frugal and at the same time very generous. He's generously frugal. So when I catch myself dwelling on the inevitable parental thoughts about the trials my daughter may face in her life, I must remind myself of God's generous frugality. He generously blessed us with her and He will not waste a moment of her precious life, no matter the choices she makes.

So our family celebrated burglary day! Because if you took the robbery out of it, it was a lovely time spent with one another. 
The window he broke to get in, and Josh cleaning up broken glass (still in his nice clothes from work). The poor puppies were a bit rattled.
 My mom had been hanging on to this as a gift for me. Today seemed appropriate. Although, she was the one who was burgled...we bought her lunch. Happy Burglary Day mom!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Don't Blink

A Weekend of Firsts

The fun continued for our family after the Fourth. Squeaks had her first swim in Grandma and Grandpa's pool. We couldn't quite tell what she thought of it. She loves bath time but the pool seemed to confuse her a little. She smiled and squealed a few times after being in for a bit,  but most of the time she looked like she was trying to figure out why so many people were in the bath with her. I'm confident she'll warm up to it though.

Josh decided to extend his holiday weekend and took Monday off so we took Squeaks on her first official trip to Disneyland. I don't count her actual first trip because we only stayed a couple hours and she slept through every ride we went on. This time around she was much more alert. I wish I had gotten more pictures but I was too focused on watching her experience all the new sights. We kept the day slightly short because it was so hot, but we got in a good number of rides and she seemed to enjoy them all. I don't know that I could pick her favorite ride yet. She was pretty wide eyed with amazement at everything. Just walking around the park and letting her see all the activity was fun. We kept hearing her squeal and giggle from her stroller. Even waiting in line was entertaining. We watched her flirt and smile at the other people in line and lots of people stopped to tell us how cute she was. We agreed wholeheartedly.

Sunday, July 6, 2014


It's one of the most common things you hear parents say.
"They grow up so fast!"

Since Squeaks is almost (two more days, don't rush me) six months we've obviously hit some milestones by now. I've had to pack up tiny clothes and unpack clothes that looked so big when we first got them. We've started solids in small amounts. As of last week, she also cut her first two teeth! Bottom fronts. Teeth are mean! Poor thing had a hard few days, but her amber teething necklace, and the application of lavender oil helped when it got really bad. And, a super tough milestone for me, she has started sleeping in her own room! This one was out of necessity one night when our neighbors had a loud party and her room was farther from the noise. I didn't sleep at all and then cried. Twice. She slept all the way through the night and woke up smiling as usual. 

Fourth of July was yet another milestone. An incredibly happy one. We were blessed to live within walking distance of an awesome fireworks show, and even more blessed to have awesome family to spend the day with. Independence Day is my favorite holiday next to Christmas. Stars, lots of red, barbecue, I'm there. This specific Fourth completely blew all previous ones out of the water for me though. I got to...

Watch my awesome husband install a swing for Squeaks on our back porch. Something 
I've wanted for a while. There's something fulfilling about a child's swing on a porch.

Enjoy the company of my parents and my in laws. It continuasly brings joy to my soul that our families mesh so well.

Eat really good food and have really good, meaningful conversation with people I love.

Watch my daughter enjoy her new swing while being surrounded with cooing, laughing paparazzi.

Walk, yes WALK less than half a mile away to a spectacular fireworks show.

Watched my mother cry with amazement at the fact that "this is my life!?" 

Watched my mother-in-law cry with happiness at the beauty of a song and the freedom it represents. 

Celebrate the fact that, yes we are blessed to live in America, but our true freedom comes from salvation through Christ. We are thankful for the men and woman who fight for the freedom that allows us to worship Him openly.

See my husband's excitement to share a new experience with our daughter.

Listen to my daughter squeal and watch her wiggle with delight at the fireworks. With each boom her face would light up, and as the sound faded between bursts, her happiness filled it back up.

Walk home, passing the exiting traffic, and enjoy a little more time together.

Rock my beautiful, happy, tired, almost-six-month-old to sleep.

Yes, they grow up fast. She arrived so suddenly, and then BOOM! She's laughing at fireworks, swinging in swings, sitting on a blanket, eating applesauce, with two front teeth. Life before Squeaks was good, we celebrated holidays, ate good things, loved one another. Then BOOM! She has added great bursts of color and light to our lives. Every event is new again. Every day is full.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

30 minutes

30 minutes in the life of a mother with a teething baby who doesn't like to be put down:

Baby wakes up from a 30 minute nap during which you were able to eat lunch quickly and put on some deodorant. Change baby's diaper while she wiggles uncontrollably. Keep her calm by singing "Wheels On The Bus". Carry baby to the laundry room, and take clothes out of the dryer (after having been on "wrinkle prevent" three times, cause ironing isn't gonna happen) using your free hand. Realize you can't pick up the laundry basket while still holding her. Sit her down on the living room floor, and search for Boppy to prop her up. She's getting good at sitting, just still a little wobbly. Find Boppy and toys that she can chew on. Keep her from crying by singing "You Are My Sunshine". Rush the laundry to the bedroom, dump the whole basket onto the bed, and run back to the living room. Collect crying, teething baby, along with Boppy, and chew toys. Carry it all to the bedroom. Build an anti-roll wall using bed pillows, Boppy, and pile of laundry. Place baby in the middle of the bed. She's not happy about being put down, so you start to "sing" the laundry as you fold it. "This is daddy's grey shirt, these are momma's blue shorts, laundry, laundry, laaauuunnndddddryyyyy." She thinks this is hilarious!! Until....wait.....I know that face. She has filled the diaper you changed only ten minuets ago. Pause in folding the now slightly wrinkly laundry to change baby's diaper. Sing "Wheels On The Bus" again. As you lift baby off the changing table she spits up all over the both of you. Lay baby back on changing table and, with one hand on baby, pull the first onsie you can find out of the changing table drawers.  Change wiggling, spit-up covered baby while singing "you put your right arm in, you take your right arm out, you put your right arm in, and you shake it all about." Strip out of your shirt and toss all spit-up covered clothing into hamper. Take baby back into the bedroom and place her amongst the pillows and laundry while you search for a new shirt. Once fully dressed again after the second verse of "you put your left arm in, you put your left arm out..." and so on, you continue "singing" the laundry. About halfway through the now thoroughly wrinkled pile, you pause, look at your beautiful baby girl, climb on the bed with her, the pillows, and the laundry, pull her close to your chest, and decide wrinkles give your clothes character. 
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