Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Daddy one and a Mikayla one.....

Tonight Mikayla and I were waiting in the car while Jason ran into Walmart to get a couple things we needed. Which, can I just say that its never actually "running" into Walmart, its more like "getting what you need quickly and standing in line for at least 15 minutes wondering why there are so many gosh-darn checkout lines and registers, and only 3 employees working them" into walmart. Just sayin.

Anyways, Mikayla and I were chatting and she looks over and sees the inflatable santa they had on display outside the store, and there was also a little lit-up santa right beside it. Mikayla then says:

"Look, look, look! Its a Daddy one and a Meekayla one!"

"Yes honey, you are right! You are very smart!"

"Where's the mommy one?"

(silently wondering to myself why the bigger santa was automatically Daddy and not Mommy. I am with the beautiful little stinker ALL DAY, EVERY DAY, and I don't get to be the 6-foot Jolly Santa? Doesn't that just figure? :)

"I am not sure honey, I don't think there is a mommy one."

"That's okay mommy, its just a Daddy one and a Meekayla one."

Gotta love a sweet girl who adores her daddy.

Isn't that how it should be though? The automatic realization that its a "Daddy one." The realization that the big things we notice in our life (aka: the big Santa) is because of God, and not some other thing that may be contributing to our lives? It is so easy to put the credit of something good into something that is visible every day, friends/family/co-workers/luck/timing/good sleep etc.

It was so heart warming to me that she automatically dubbed the bigger Santa as Daddy. It meant that she was acknowledging his presence in her life, and the value of his presence in her life was at the forefront of her little brain, and her heart.

I want God to be "the Daddy one" in my life too.







Thursday, November 10, 2011

Re-fashioning.....

I like the ring of that. I mean, I am refashioned. Made completely new.

Maybe that is why I have been in love with my sewing machine lately. My husband's a little jealous. My new love is 50 yrs older than Jason........so he has no right to be jealous.......not really anyways. :)

I have been going to town with my sewing projects lately. First it was Mikayla's Daisy Duck costume:



And then this week, two re-fashions!

The first was a pair of too short jeans (All her jeans are too short. Poor thing, she will probably always have this problem. I hope she has nice looking ankles.) that I turned into a fab skirt! The ruffles are made out of a dress shirt of Jason's that had a hole in it. Here is the result:






The second re-fashion was an old sweater of mine that I turned into a cute little jumper/dress. Its a teeny bit short, but looks cute with leggings and her sweet boots:



Could she be any cutier?


Lovin my new hobby! Pretty soon my house is going to be a "Hobby Lobby" with all the hobbies I have picked up in the last year.




Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Unfortunate Timing......

Mikayla and I were "bwilding" with her blocks this morning, having such a great time. We began building tower after tower, and they ALL ended up looking the same, because lets be honest, not much can be done with toddler blocks.



Then Mikayla would hold them up to her eye and say "I see you mommy" and I would do it back to her. Then I got the idea to take a couple photos through the hole in the blocks, and see what my outcome would be. So I got out my camera, and Mikayla became my willing model:









And then............ I snapped this beauty.



Seriously unfortunate timing. Couldn't have been worse......and yet, on the flip side, the best timing ever because I managed to catch that split second with her finger in her nose, and it captured a photo that made her and I giggle like silly little girls. Obviously not the most flattering photo of my gorgeous girl, but so so funny. And definitely one of those "I can't believe my mom showed people this photo" photos that will haunt her when she is older. I love it, and I will be keeping it.

Funny how life captures us in hideous, frightening, ugly moments. Moments that at that time may be considered painful, shameful, embarrassing, or hurtful. But at the same time, the fact that the moment happened in a split second, and changes the course of our lives, it might be considered good timing. Because that moment, as does all moments, passes into an afterthought, and if you are lucky.......a funny, blessed afterthought.

Think back to the worst moment of your life........would you consider it bad timing even though looking at it from this vantage point, it has made you who you are?

I remember my mom talking to me when we were in a season of struggle with Mikayla. She said "We won't even be talking about this issue in a few weeks." And she was right (as she normally is :)

So are you able to take the "unfortunate timing" moments in life with a little more peace, knowing it will fade away?

Scripture that encourages me in those moments : Luke 12:22-34.

Lord. Anxiety consumes me. Worry about the future and thinking about tomorrow overwhelms my thoughts.  You tell me not to worry, so there must be so much good that comes from NOT worrying. I want that goodness. I want to rest in the best that you have for me while I am not worrying. I know that life deals bad timing all the time, but I want to view those moments as good timing, because they are a part of your timing. I want to giggle when its all over. I want to see you when its all over. Lord would you do that? And God, would you do that for those who may be reading this? I don't know who they are, but, I know they need your peace too. Amen.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Here I am....

So the worst feeling as a parent happened to Jason and I the other night. I am just now recovering.
Jason had just come home from grocery shopping and I was cooking. We were both busy putting away groceries and trying our best to move around each other in our itty-bitty kitchen when Jason says "Its too quiet, I am going to check on the little girl." I continue with meal prep when Jason says, "Rachel I can't find Mikayla, please come help." I immediately stopped what I was doing and went to search but thought nothing of it until I noticed that our front screen door did not get locked after Jason came home with the groceries. Mikayla can open that door when its not locked.

Instant panic.

I ran outside, Jason ran outside. He ran down the street shouting her name. I ran inside to check all the places I thought she would hide, shouting her name. I picked up my phone, went outside and ran the other direction shouting her name, preparing to call 911. Jason ran inside and searched some more. For 3-4 minutes we did this.........when she emerged from behind the couch. I sat down sobbing, completely unable to move. Paralyzed. The thoughts that ran through my head in those 4 minutes were awful.


Mikayla, being the concerned child that she is asked, "Mommy, whats wrong?"


"Mommy was so scared we lost you."


"I scare you mommy?"


"Yes baby. When you hear mommy and daddy saying 'Mikayla!' you need to answer us and say 'Here I am!'"


Big hug from my confused toddler. I held tight and we prayed right then and there.


I don't know if she thought she was in trouble, or if she thought we wanted her to do something, and if that was why she didn't let us know where she was. Who knows. It was scary.


I think sometimes God just wants me to say "Here I am." Obviously God always knows where I am, but I think just declaring it, maybe even shouting it, is all that is needed. I think sometimes I fear answering Him means that He wants me to do something, or maybe I am in trouble........but I think sometimes He just wants to know we are here, and will answer when He calls our name.


Here I am by Downhere


Sometimes your calling, comes in dream
Sometimes it comes in the Spirit's breeze,
You reach for the deepest hope in me,
And call out for the things of eternity.


But I'm a man, of dust and stains,
You move in me, so I can say,


CHORUS:
Here I am, Lord send me,
All of my life, I make an offering,
Here I am, Lord send me,
Somehow my story, Is part of your plan,
Here I am


When setbacks and failures, and upset plans,
Test my faith and leave me with empty hands,
Are you not the closest when it's hardest to stand?
I know that you will finish what you began.


These broken parts you redeem,
Become the song, that I can sing
(chorus)


Overwhelmed by the thought of my weakness,
And the fear that I'll fail you in the end,
In this mess, I'm just one of the pieces,
I can't put this together but you can.


HERE I AM.



Monday, October 3, 2011

It's Fall Y'all

Have you ever given a single thought to all the leaves changing colors? I mean it's fall, so with that comes: football, homecoming, school activities, Halloween, winter clothes shopping, etc......so I am guessing you all have plenty of things to occupy your time without having to think about a silly orange leaf. BUT, if you live in Colorado, the colors of the season are a big deal. BIG.

It truly is remarkable. All the gold, red, and orange colors of the trees. The crisp feel in the air. Its nostalgic.

But all the fuss is really over death. Yes, death. The leaves are changing colors because they are dying! Its the end of the run for the sad little guys. Gone are the days of blowing in the wind, being a home for a little critter, showing off their green physique. It's time for them to kick the bucket. And they sure do go out with a bang. It is truly beautiful.

Funny, those leaves have it figured out. They are leaving with grace and beauty. They could just shrivel up and die without so much as a yellow speck. But they age gracefully with a myriad of color and then drift pleasantly to the ground. Stunning.

I could take a note from the leaves. I have been through many, shall I say, season's......and I have fought said seasons tooth and nail. There was nothing beautiful or stunning about the way I ended. I didn't even leave a beautiful impression behind. I simply shriveled up and fell flat to the ground.

But, have you ever considered what would happen if we didn't have an autumn season? The leaves would remain on the trees and would add weight to the trees when the snowy season hits, which would in turn cause broken tree limbs on homes and power lines. The leaves would die anyway, but would leave destruction in their wake.

I guess the leaves get this. (I realize leaves have no intelligence whatsoever, but humor me, OK?) So they end their season gracefully. Leaving a beautiful memory of what they were, a colorful indication that they are accepting of their purpose.

I want to be like a leaf. When seasons come and go, when death hits (both literal and figurative), when a time has come for me to accept the will of my life, my purpose, I want to do it colorfully.....beautifully. Trials happen, death occurs, pain hits and tragedy strikes. But what do we look like when it happens?

Psalm 96:11-12 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it. Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy.

The trees are here for nothing other than to give glory to God. They fulfill His purpose for them beautifully.

But what if I don't know my purpose? What if I don't know His will for this season.....for my life? Should I wither, or should I fulfill His purpose for my life beautifully? If I don't, will it make things harder later on when the inevitable will happen anyways?




Thursday, September 22, 2011

Rate your pain level.....

I hate that question. If I say 10, it might be unnecessary, but if I say 2 they won't take me seriously. Then I have to take into account that I went through 32 hours of labor, and while that was hard, sometimes instant pain, like say.....grabbing a hot curling iron, hurts worse at the moment. Labor and burns are two very different types of pain.....why would they ask the same question for both? Ahhh, that question stresses me out.

I had to answer it last night, at the ER, when I broke my toe. Definitely didn't want to be at the ER, and when I get there they put me in a wheel chair, so I felt even more ridiculous. Some guy comes in coughing up blood, and I am sitting in a wheel chair with pain to my pinkie toe. So lame, yet it hurt so so bad. I answered the stupid question with an 8 at the time of being rolled in. Because that's what it felt like. But as I sat there for 3 hours, waiting to be seen, I saw so much pain in the ER. Physical pain from girl with a severe migraine, emotion pain from family members helpless to do anything to speed time up to be seen, mental pain from a very angry lady who looked like she felt awful, but was just told to sit down and wait. Lots of pain. Suddenly the pain in my toe began to drop.

When the doctor FINALLY came in, she apologized, and I told her it really wasn't a big deal. If it weren't for the fact that I have an always moving toddler, I wouldn't have been there at all, but I needed it fixed. She began asking me all these questions, "Do you have any medical allergies? Any existing heath problems? Are you pregnant? Are you on any medications? What is your pain like if I do this?" All I really wanted to know was if it was broken or not, why the whole run around? Why not just come right out and say it? It dawned on me later that she wanted to get a real feel for my pain level before the told me it was broken because I imagine that mentally knowing something is broken may cause you to think you are in more pain than you are, which would cause you to push for pain meds. Makes sense right? Smart doctors. They know what they are doing.

But do we as humans? When someone is in pain, how often do we jump to the rescue or solve the issue with the "answer" to their problem? Sometimes I think stating the obvious to someone might cause the pain the be worse at the moment. Think about the last time you didn't get a lot of sleep, or may have been up all night with the flu? How helpful is it when someone says "Wow, you look like you have been hit by a bus!" Doesn't that normally make you feel worse? (Or maybe in your sleep-deprived mind make you wish that THAT person would get hit by a bus. Obviously not a healthy thought, but we are blaming it on lack of sleep, remember?)

My favorite is when someone says "Oh you think that is bad, just wait until.........!" How the heck is that helpful to my situation? Did you even listen to what I was saying?

Sometimes I think we all could get better at just listening about someones pain. Maybe in listening and asking questions we will be guided to the right way on how to help them.

This is a big lesson as a parent for me. Mikayla falls and I make a big deal out of it, so she instantly panics. But if I wait for her to tell me that something hurts, the boo-boos tend to be few and far between. Sometimes I think pain is caused when someone draws attention to something that should be painful, when in reality it doesn't really hurt that bad. I don't want to point out hurt that may not really be there in the first place.

*** I really don't know if any of this post made sense, just lots on my mind.***

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Never given more than we can handle.....

Many people claim this "truth". Heck, I was even tempted with the thought today.
Mikayla has been a mess today. From the moment she woke up she has had a temper-tantrum for everything under the sun. I have tried my best to not give in to what she asks for, because I need the behavior to stop. I need her to know she can't have all that she wants. I need her to know that this life is at times, disappointing. Sounds awful right? Wrong. How much greater is happiness when it follows disappointment? How much greater does it feel to be given the gift of a reward when you know what it feels like to not receive it? Lessons that my sweetie is learning today through the act of not getting her chocolate milk until she eats her banana. Not too cruel of a mama, am I?

Well you would think so by the way she has been acting. It has been......dare I say it......Hell. The hardest day I have ever had since my sweet bundle of joy was placed in my arms for the first time. Then the whisper came to me "You are never given more than you can handle...." Ya I am pretty sure that was Satan whispering to me. What? You are shocked that Satan would use scripture to get to me? He did it with Jesus, why wouldn't he do it to me? He wanted me to think that I could get through this day on my own. He twisted scripture, like he did with Jesus, to draw me away from the truth of the Father.

You see, so many people who may not understand this verse will use it to get through a tough time of trials. But have you ever read this verse? It says:

13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

It is used when talking about temptation. We are never given more TEMPTATION than we can handle. Why in the world would God NOT allow trials we can't handle in our lives? There would be no reason for us to come to Him if we could do it on our own.

I so could not, and cannot do today without HIM. I was given WAY more than I could handle today, and if it weren't for that, if it werent for God allowing more than I could handle, I might have listened to the lie of the enemy that said "You are never given more than you can handle." It would have allowed me to think that I am powerful, when I was powerless. And I might have been a terrible mother today. But I wasn't. I was a great mother today. I cried and begged and I pleaded for God to have mercy. He gave me the peace and patience of a monk, and He gave Mikayla a 3+ hour nap :)

So glad for the ability to be driven by weakness to His feet. And so thankful for the work of the Holy Spirit in my life that allowed me to recogonize the covert lie of the enemy.

Praying for a better afternoon.



Monday, August 22, 2011

Speed up to stop...

Tangible conversations with God. Have you ever had one? I have had several moments when I felt the Holy Spirit leading me to a decision or realization, but never have I had a true, audible conversation with Him.

Until a few days ago.

I was driving to my moms after a somewhat crummy afternoon. I found out I wasn't pregnant this month, and it hit me badly. Whether it was the hormones or true sadness, I was a mess. We have only been trying for baby #2 for a few months, but with the news came the flood of memories of trying to get pregnant with Mikayla. The month-by-month game of "was this the month?" that lasted over a year. We have not done anything to prevent pregnancy since Mikayla was born, and I can't help the creeping thoughts that suggest that maybe we won't get that opportunity again. Again, that is probably the hormones talking. Of course, it doesn't help to hear the well-intentioned but super unhelpful advice of "it will happen when its supposed to." I know that, but it doesn't make it easier. I just can't wait to see Mikayla with a baby brother/sister, and it seems that any amount of time waiting feels too long.

Anywho, I was driving. Trying to kick the sadness, I was doing my best to sing along with the praise music I had playing in the car. I glanced in my rear view mirror and saw for the third time on my drive, ANOTHER car on my bumper. Was I going too slow? Was I oblivious to the speed limit? I was about to speed up when the car quickly swerved around me and then immediately halted to a stop. Red light.

Me: Speed up to stop! Super smart you stupid car. That will teach you to try and speed me along.
God: Funny, that's how I feel.
Me: What?
God: That's exactly what you are doing Rachel. You are trying to push things along only to swerve around and halt to a heart-breaking stop.
Me: I don't get it.
God: You want to be pregnant, but you don't really talk to me about it. You just try to push Me along when you think the timing is right, and then end up swerving around me only to be stopped in sadness by the realization that it didn't happen this month.
Me: I have prayed about this though.
God: Yes at the beginning of the month, maybe, and sometimes at the end when you say "God, please let this be the month." But never daily, never seeking whole-heartedly.
Me: So you are saying I am like that car? That I am right on your bumper when I want something at the moment, but then I get impatient, swerve around you, only to be stopped by a red light......a red light I create for myself?
God: Yes.
Me: Oh.
God: Its not that I don't want this for you, and I am not saying that this road trip you are on towards having another child is not what I want for you, I am just saying that I want you to not take matters in your own hands. Quit trying to drive over the speed limit I have set for you. You are still going to get there, maybe just not as fast as you would like.
Me: Not sure how I feel about that......

And then the song "Ready Now" came on the radio. The song says:

So take my heart
and make it new
make it true
And make it like You
Take my hands
I lift them high
They're Yours not mine to do
Do what You will
Do what You will
Do what You will
I'm ready now, Do what you will.



Do what you will. Do I want that? Of course I want God's will in my life.....what kind of Christian would I be if I didn't? But do I REALLY want His will if I swerve around His plan for my life? If I want to speed ahead of Him by not ever consulting him? Maybe if I truly sought out His will for this specific area of my life, I wouldn't want to swerve around it. Maybe I would like His plan. After all, I prayed for His perfect will when trying to get pregnant with Mikayla, and she could not have been more perfect. I shudder at the thought of what things would have been like had God let me skid past His will for me then.

I am ready now. God, do what you will. I will wait because you said I must. I will ask for the desires that I believe you have given me, but if now is not the time, then, OK.




Thursday, August 18, 2011

This little light of mine....

So, let me guess.....you all have been sitting on the edge of your seats, waiting for my next blog post, right? Well if you are my mother, then your answer is yes, but if you are anyone else, well are you anyone else? :) I still don't know if there is anyone who reads this blog.....and well lets be honest......there isn't really anyone who WRITES this blog either. What happened? I would say I fell off the wagon, but if that were the case, I have been on one too many wagons without a seat belt. Nope, wasn't the wagons fault....definitely mine. I have not done a thing. No writing, no working-out, no crafting, just a lot of child rearing. A LOT.


But here I am, to talk about said child.


She is a funny thing, that little Mikayla. In the last month she has learned to sleep in a toddler bed, speak in sentences, sing songs, take off ALL her clothes multiple times a day, use the potty, and work my last nerve. And at the very moment she kills that last nerve, she is miraculously able to re-instate all of my sanity with the bat of her killer blue-green eyes, and the showing of the sweet little dimple on her right cheek. Love her, but, she is exhausting.


We were playing with flashlights today because we created a super-fantastic fort in the basement. Yep, I was a cool, fort-building mama today. Don't let me fool you though, I have not done many cool things lately. Haven't felt like being cool...too tired to be cool. Thought I would change that today.


One of our flashlights is a little emergency flashlight that doesn't require batteries, and it charges by shaking it back and forth, a lot. Mikayla quickly pinned it as "Mee-kayla's Flash Light" (That is how she says her name, so cute). Since it doesn't work without shaking it a bazillion times, it is never working when it is in her hands. So she brings it to me this evening and says "Fix-it mommy." So I start shaking it, but her little, over-eager, two-year-old body couldn't take the waiting, so she snatched it from me, super excited to see the dim little light peeking through the top of the glass of the flashlight. It would only work for a few minutes before we started the whole routine over again. Never once was it fully charged. Needless to say, I have hidden "Mee-kayla's" flash light for a while.


It got me thinking. Being a light in this world requires a lot of work. It requires patience and diligence, and the second the light becomes dim, we need to and should re-charge that light. But how often do we become content with the dull, dim light. I mean, there is still light right? We are still being somewhat helpful and Godly, right? The darkness has not yet taken over, so there is still good......right?


Is it right? When I am walking in the dark while, say, camping......I rely on that flashlight to reveal all in my path. The dimmer the light, the less that is revealed. Sure, my immediate path may be illuminated, but how close do I come to say a snake or maybe a big rock I could trip over. Or what if I am walking with someone on this figurative camping trip. Is my dim little light going to help them any?


Being a light in this world does not mean to just keep ourselves out of harms way. It means to radiate light so that people can't help but be guided by and thankful for God's work in you.


The few times I have been camping and caught without a flashlight, it is a bit terrifying, and I find myself stuck, seeking ANY source of light to get me to where I need to go. I can't help but smile at the thought that someone around me is stuck in the dark, and I may be the only light they see. I want it to be BRIGHT!


Here is my little light, my Mikayla "Ray" of sunshine. I don't know if my brother will be thrilled I posted this, but....oh well :)


video


Monday, July 18, 2011

Cleanin up!

OK, so I just can't get the hang of writing lately. Its not like there hasn't been a lot to write about, because, well, my world has pretty much turned upside down in the last month. But I am not someone who feels like writing "Today Mikayla finally fell asleep" or "I woke up this morning and practically squashed my toddler who somehow managed to fall asleep on the floor next to my bed without me knowing." Who really wants to read that? Besides, that is what facebook is for. I want my blog to be a reflective outlet. Something I can look back on years down the road and feel just as inspired then as I was the day I wrote it.

With that being said, we will see if today fits the bill.

Do any of you have something that is totally de-motivating to you? Like perhaps when you begin a new diet/workout routine and you walk though the checkout lane with your cart full of HEALTHY groceries and see the latest celeb clad in a bikini on the cover of a magazine with a headline that reads "How I lost 50lbs in 5 weeks post-pregnancy." Yep. DE-MOTIVATION to the extreme.

While some women have super-model envy, I have clean home envy. It seems to me that every woman who writes a blog has a model home. Their houses are gorgeous and I am constantly thinking "Do they really have kids?" I just have one kid, and with the amount of cheerios and macaroni on the floor, you would think I had a houseful. My mom always said that you could mortar a house with wet cheerios. Once they are stuck to the floor, they are there for forever.

Mopping the kitchen floor is the worst. You know you don't do it enough when your husband walks in and says "Your mopping? Wow. I am impressed." That should not be impressive, I am a house-wife for pete's sake. And my kitchen is the size of a thimble, mopping requires me to stand in the center and spin in a circle. Not that hard, and yet, never gets done.

I was grossed out tonight, so decided to just bite the bullet. I began mopping when Mikayla bounced in wanting to help. She wanted to use the broom, so I let her. But as I was mopping, she followed behind me with the broom, basically making dirty streaks because of the previously wet area that I just mopped. At first I told her to go out of the kitchen, but she was so set on cleaning (or "key-nan" as she puts it) that I just tried to mop around her as best I could. It took a bit longer than I intended, but the floor is clean!

I got to thinking about it though. About how as Christians we are called to live a life of morality and character, and that often requires a "clean-up" of our lives. Sometimes we can cause messes along the way like Mikayla did with the broom, but if our heart desires cleanliness, why does it matter how long it takes? I knew Mikayla wanted to help clean, and I showed her how to do it. Sure, she made some messes, and it took much longer than if I did it myself, but she also learned. I don't know that God cares how long it takes for us to "clean-up" as long as our heart desires cleanliness, and we learn along the way. And sometimes the "messes" happen when we take control of the cleaning process ourselves, instead of relying on The Ultimate Washer of our filthiness.

I wonder if God hates mopping just as much as I do.........



Thursday, June 23, 2011

I melt in your peace, its overwhelming.

Wow it has been a while. I am so very sorry. Things around my house have been hectic to say the least. I started taking care of two kids for two days a week, we have been building a HUGE deck in our backyard, Life group and barbeques every week, and Mikayla recently decided to embrace her inner two year old (which is still technically 2 months away). I am seriously tired ALL THE TIME.

So here is a bit of what our summer has looked like in the last month:


New deck being built, Daddy and his helper.


Fun in the sun! Isn't that little ruffled tooshie so stinkin cute?


Coloring on the floor!


Tie-Dying beach towels with Sharpies (a fun way to teach science too!)


So all of these wonderfully happy images were from before "the change." When I say "the change" I mean the change Mikayla made from being a perfectly content, loves to sleep, happy baby TO a total "no"-monster who has decided to test every limit with the cutest but conniving little smile on her face. She knows how to work it, and she so did not get that from me.....I don't care who you ask.

The past few days have been super hard for me. I have become so accustomed to having an easy child that this has totally thrown me for a loop. Jason likes to call it the "we have finally entered real parenthood" stage. It sucks. Not. Gonna. Lie. It has taken anywhere from 45min-3 hours to get her to sleep, and today is the first day I succeeded at getting her to nap. We are making progress, but it is slow.

The silver lining in all this is, I feel like I know why God blessed me with a singing voice. It's so that I can use it to soothe my sweetie. It was a fun hobby when I was younger, and its something I enjoy doing most at church, but I have never felt more thankful for a pleasant singing voice until just this week. It is the only thing that has worked, and talk about work! I sang the same song for 45 minutes STRAIGHT last night and the night before! I turned it into worship, because I was trapped at the mercy of a toddler, so why not sing praises?

As tired as I am, and how hard it has been, I am thankful for my daughters new lullaby, it has granted me peace and is as soothing to my spirit as it is to her body.

The more I seek you, the more I find you.
The more I find you, the more I love you.
I want to sit at your feet, drink from the cup in your hand,
Lay back against you and breathe, feel your heart beat.
This love is so deep, its more than I can stand.
I melt in your peace, its overwhelming.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

First Newborn photo shoot

A couple weeks ago I had my first ever newborn photo shoot! Boy was I nervous! I did not do myself any favors by getting ideas online from google images. Do you have any idea how beautiful some newborn photos can be? It freaked me out, and at the same time, challenged me and opened my mind to the limitless possibilities there are in the world of children/newborn photography.

From the beginning of this photography adventure of mine, I knew that I wanted to TAKE great pictures, not edit great pictures. I don't want to rely on the editing to make the photo great, I want the camera to do most of the work for me. Also, I don't have $800+ to spend on photoshop, so I really need to have my skills be with the camera, not the editing.

Here are some before and after shots. I am showing you all this as my "I need to expose my success and failures" journey. I am learning a lot about exposure, and the light changed so much on this specific day, so I had some trouble:

BEFORE: (obviously way overexposed)

AFTER: The only way I liked this photo was to make it a black and white. This was the most editing I have done on any picture)

BEFORE: My favorite of the whole day

AFTER: Not much change! I did it all with the camera!

BEFORE:

AFTER:


I hope this will inspire fellow beginning photographers that you can have good photos without photoshop!


Monday, May 23, 2011

Well, I did it.....

I ventured into the world of sewing and made something wearable on my first try! I am SOOOOOOO thankful to my grandma for giving me her sewing machine, not to mention all the other sewing necessities to go along with it! What a blessing! It was SO COOL to see this come together. I gotta be honest though. I think I made it up as I went. I didnt measure anything, I kinda eye-balled it, and I don't even know if its technically put together right, but it sure looks cute on my sweetie! Ok, here's what I did:

I turned my daughter's old jean dress:


into this:






What do you think? Any suggestions from all you professional seamstresses out there?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Little Momma in the making

So Mikayla totally put her baby doll, affectionately named "Baby," in time-out today. She sat her on the couch and said "Baby, you wait!" (which is what I tell her to do when she is in timeout.)

The kicker of all of this, aside from the fact that it was the cutest thing I have ever seen, was that she put Baby in time-out just moments after she pushed Baby down the stairs in the stroller.

I should have punished Mikayla for throwing her doll down the stairs, because we don't treat our toys that way and she knows it, but I was honestly just so relieved that the LOUD THUMPING DOWN THE STAIRS was the stupid doll and not my sweet baby girl tumbling to her death. I about had a heart-attack.

Then I had a mommy "duh" moment. How often do I punish Mikayla for doing something naughty, when it was my neglegance in the first place that spawned the naughty behavior. Case in point: Ball point pen artwork on the couch: naughty behavior from child. A mother that walked away to go do laundry knowing that her 19-month-old had a pen in her hand: naughty behavior from mommy. DUH.

So Mikayla was just in fact doing what mommy does. Punishing Baby for something she herself did.

I have a lot to learn in the rules of parenting.

First on my list: Remove all pens from the reach of an exploring toddler. Oh, and.....never do laundry.

Check!



Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Interchangeable baby headbands

What? Two posts in a day? It can't be?!!

Yes my lovely blog followers, it is true! I have a lot of making up to do!

Here is a photo of a gift I made for a friend who recently had a baby girl (who I am hoping does not see this :) She was worried about having to do her little girls hair, and headbands were my FAVORITE thing when Mikayla was an infant. I am obsessed with girly hair bows!



I used metal snaps on the 4 headbands and  8 flowers that I made so they are all interchangeable:


Tons of combinations! Perfect for all those cute little baby outfits! I also covered a piece of cardboard in felt and glued snaps to the board so she can easily store the un-used flowers!

Super cute! Hope she likes it!

Linking up here:

Hmmmm

Ok, so I am an awful blogger. Started with a bang, sizzled to a bust. I feel like a bust. Not sure what happened. Oh wait, yes, I know what happened..........I have been slacking.

Slacking on my workout, my blogging, my crafting, ick all the things that have made me happy the last few months. But that is the problem, my happiness has been reliant on doing xyz. Not good. Especially since I was sick and out of town, which makes doing all of the above a little tricky. I don't want these things to be my happiness, I want them to ADD to my happiness. Big difference. So today I am happy and I am blogging.

So in my quiet time study today I was asked the question "How would you describe God's trustworthiness?" Hmmmmm..............Well I...................He is..........................ick, I dont know how to answer! I mean I can spew out the Christian test answer and provide verses for how the Bible says He is trustworthy, which is incredibly encouraging to veteran believers, but if I were talking to a person who didn't know Him personally, what would I say?

I think I would say that there has not been one thing in my life, looking back, that I am not thankful for. There has been physical and emotional pain, drama, sadness, failure, and I am thankful for them. I have a hard time with the phrase "That which doesn't kill us, only makes us stronger." I personally don't think that pain or struggle makes you stronger, because when a new pain hits, it still hurts, a lot. Like childbirth and labor for instance: There was not one broken bone or smashed finger that made that situation any easier. It hurt.

I do think though that painful instances shape us into who we are. My struggles and problems in my past have not strengthened me, but rather, have pushed me to the ultimate source of strength.

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 2Corinthians 12:9

This describes God's trustworthiness in my life because I put my life in His hands, and I can proudly look back on my life and be thankful for those times of struggle and hardship. How many people can truly say that? God is absolutely trustworthy because He has guided me through a life, yes maybe scattered with the occasional regret, but regrets that I am thankful for.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

So glad my hubby is the man of my dreams......

it makes for guilt-free sleeping. :)

He was gone all week and came home to a sick wife and daughter, and did not even skip a beat to start taking care of us. He is now out with her doing the grocery shopping.

One word: Blessed.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Faith like a child.....

Miss me? I know I know, I haven't been around much. I just haven't felt inspired lately. Mikayla has been BUSY, and I have been TIRED! Yes, it's an excuse, but its a good one.

We have been staying at my mom's house this week (Jason is at a conference in Orlando, so it was the perfect opportunity to hang with my mom and dad!) and Mikayla has made it her personal mission to see how many times she can go up and down the stairs in a day. Lets just say she is dedicated to this mission of hers. And I am not talking the typical "crawl up the stairs and scoot down them" that normal toddlers do, she walks up and down them using the rail....like and adult. She has mastered stair climbing. She has taken a couple tumbles, but she has learned.

But, I have noticed that when I walk beside her and hold her hand to go down the stairs, she basically ignores all she knows about going down the stairs, and fully submits to the fact that I am there to help her. She doesn't cautiously take the steps, she flys down them. She doesn't do this if I am not there holding her hand, but when I am, she is totally content in me being there to catch her if she falls.

I think up until this point I thought that "having faith like a child" meant to have a full reliance on God, like an infant has full reliance on his/her parents, because they don't know any better. But seeing Mikayla today made me look at it differently. Mikayla set aside all she "knows" about stairs and was content to step out without caution, or care, because she knew I was there.

Having faith requires there to be an opposite pull from what it is you have faith in, which means you have to have a knowledge of that opposite pull. Think about it: If you are walking across a bridge, you have faith that bridge will hold you, knowing that there are flowing rapids right below you. What is the significance of the faith, unless you know about the dangers? Mikayla knew today that taking a step out without caution caused her to fall, and yet she did it with me right beside her because she had faith in me.

Faith means setting aside what you "know" and trusting Him, even if all arrows around you point to danger.

Gosh, I don't know if this makes sense, but I just had to write about it.

Love you all!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

May?

May. Otherwise known as "pray" if you were to ask Mikayla. It has gotten to the point where if she even can see me preparing food for a meal, she immediately wants to pray. How in the world did I get so blessed to have a daughter who would pick up that habit of ours, over the zillions of unmentionable bad habits that seem to float around? I am truly astounded.


And she wants to pray multiple times during a meal, and never without holding our hands. Sometimes all I do during a meal is pray, because she will ask to do it over and over and over. I take those opportunities to thank the Lord for her, and ask that He would allow this to be her heart for the rest of her life.


And she caps off the prayer with a resounding and excited "Men!" (Amen)


She is just too sweet. I am blessed.


Mama's, if you are reading this, never neglect the fact that your child can pick up your good habits, even in spite of the bad ones. The old saying "Do as I say, and not as I do" almost makes me cringe. Why not give your child a visual of what you want them to do?


I know I have so much to learn in this parenting gig, but, its nice to see that we have done something right :)


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Blessings....

Have you ever been blessed so much that you felt the need to do something with that blessing?

Jason and I have a bible study in our home every Tuesday, but thanks to my wonderfully active, and extremely attached daughter, I am not able to participate as of lately. So I am making the bible study my quiet time so that when Mikayla eventually gets over this separation anxiety, I will be able to follow along. Dear Lord, please let that be soon.

Anyways, the study was on Luke 4:31-44. The part that really spoke to me was when Jesus healed Peter's mother-in-law from her fever and illness. Now I gather that this was no every day cold bug, but rather an illness that was possibly life threatening. Then comes my favorite part:

39 So he bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them.

She got up at once and, here's the kicker, began to wait on them! It did not say, "She sat there for a long while and absorbed what just happened, and then got up and went about her business as usual." She got up and served them.

Now, I went back to Matthew and Mark, and read their recordings of this story. Both versions included the fact that she immediately got up and began to wait on them. This was a detail that none of the writers of the Gospel neglected to notice. Why?

Could it be because this is how we are supposed to react when we are blessed? When we are healed? When we see God's miraculous work? Surely this story was very similar to ALL the other stories about Jesus healing those who are ill, so why did this one get its own recognition?

I don't for sure know why, but I really do think it has to do with this woman's heart. To feel so moved from being healed that she couldn't help but serve. She didn't even spend time thanking Jesus (as far as I know) she just began serving. I would venture to guess that that was thanks enough for Jesus.

So, what do you do when you are blessed? It could be with money, family, love, happiness, healing, coffee at Starbucks, whatever you consider "blessed." What do you do with it?

I think this is a case where actions speak louder than words (cliche, I know). Let's do something with our blessings! Yes, God loves to hear a "thanks", but I am sure He would love to see a "thanks" as well.



Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tuesday Tips: Hiccups be gone!

Whew! Where has the time gone? Did you miss me?

Don't worry, I am still working out, I just havent had anything inspiring to share! In fact, my working out is going so well that I am up to 28 minutes on the elliptical, and have got my speed up to a 10min mile! Big accomplishment! Someone tell me though, why are my pants still tight? :(

Anywho...........my tip for today is a solution to hiccups. Mikayla and I both had the hiccups at the same time today, and she giggled about it for forever. She thought it was funny that we both sounded ridiculous. I laughed at her laughing, and you know how when you laugh, and have the hiccups, you sound like a donkey? Well lets just say it was cause for more giggles. :)

The solution: Peanut Butter. Eat a spoonful. Swallow it rather quickly. Poof! Bye-bye hiccups! I have no idea why this works, but it does, every time!

I like this solution for kids because communicating to a child to hold their breath is rather difficult, and forcing them to hold their breath is child abuse :) haha jk. Never done that. You all were worried, huh?

On that note, here is my little stinker:



Not sure why, but this pic makes me laugh!

Happy Tuesday!