Saturday, July 26, 2014

a good thursday

every now and then the stars align and an outing with the kids goes really well. thursday of this past week was one of those days for me. that doesn't mean there wasn't a time out in the middle of it for not following directions or that eisley didn't lose her mind on the drive home but, overall, it was a win.

i decided to take the kids the wildflower center thursday morning. they recently added a new family garden area which i had heard great things about and the admission for the month of july was free on thursdays. when i realized it was the last thursday of the month, i wanted to make sure we made it over. it's soooo close to our house and i'm really glad we went because the kids loved it. i will definitely be taking them back and i wouldn't even mind paying the entrance fee because it was so fun for them. i think it would be even more enjoyable on a day when it's not 95 degrees and 10000 percent humidity :)

the only other time we have been to the wildflower center was in january when there wasn't really anything in bloom. this time, it was fun for the kids to see the walkways lined with beautiful, colorful flowers. on the way in, abbey stopped, turned to tucker and said "wow, this is beautiful. isn't it tucker?"

i didn't really know what to expect from the family garden. i had heard good things but, honestly, my expectations were pretty minimal. i was pleasantly surprised. the first thing we noticed when walking in was this walk through cave with a waterfall. the kids were SUPER impressed by this.

there is also a water pump with watering cans the kids can fill up and dump into the river over and over again. this was by FAR tucker's favorite thing. the kids can also wade in the river and get completely soaked if you let them :)

there are two different mazes, an area with tree limbs low to the ground for safe climbing and giant pretend bird's nests complete with baby bird eggs inside.

the kids had so much fun that i ended up cancelling something i had planned for later that morning so we could stay longer. next time, i will pack a lunch and plan to stay all morning long...but i'll wait for the fall for that!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

life conclusions

phew. it's been a crazy month for us and it's just half way over.

i feel like most people who are likely to read this already know the story so i'll keep it short. gregg got really sick a few weeks ago. his symptoms were really scary in the beginning. it seemed initially that something was up neurologically. we went to the ER 4 times in less than a week and he was finally admitted on the 4th time. he spent 4 days in the hospital, came home and went back 2 days later for another ER visit. (yeah, 5 ER visits in less than 2 weeks does wonders for your bank account-btw.) in the end, it was determined he had an "unidentifiable virus" that eventually just had to run it's course. those first few days were scary though until that was figured out. i kept fighting thoughts that we may be facing a long road of recovery or a life time of dealing with a neuro issue. it was scary, i cried a lot and we spent a lot of time staring at hospital ceilings.

after it was all over and things were settling down, gregg asked me if i drew any major life conclusions from the two weeks of madness.

this is what i came up with:

-people on house hunters who are looking for a vacation home are super annoying. at least 99% of the time. we did see one couple in savannah who were normal with realistic expectations. but, in general, they are annoying and entitled and pretentious. shut up about the size of the bathroom-you are buying a house on the OCEAN that you will visit a few times a YEAR. shut it woman.

-the older episodes of the office are way more funny and interesting than the newer episodes were. hands down, so much better.

-i love gregg. a lot. i need him a lot. a lot more than i realized 3 weeks ago.

-we have incredible people in our lives. incredible. my parents came to stay at our house for a week to keep the kids while i was back and forth from the hospital. friends took our kids out to do fun things while we couldn't, offered to keep them overnight, brought us food, visited us in the hospital, mowed our lawn, dropped off toys and snacks for the kids. for every person who helped, there were at least 2 others offering help. it was insane and we were blown away and humbled and grateful.

-it takes four ER visits to get me irate with ER staff. the first 3, i was pretty calm and understanding. by the fourth, i was definitely speaking my complaints at a volume loud enough for others to hear. i guess four ER visits in less than a week will do that to a person.

-i am not a deep thinker. shocker.

in the grand scheme of life, our 2 weeks of illness and unknown is so, so small and insignificant. yes, it was real and hard and scary at the time but we are fortunate enough to be among the lucky that only had to deal with it for two weeks. we get to go back to living our regular, healthy lives without much disturbance. i have never been so grateful for our regular life. for evenings in the backyard with crazy kids, shooting annoyed glances at each other over the sibling fighting and humidity. afternoons at the pool taking turns carrying the baby around while the other keeps an eye on the older two. sunday afternoons driving home from church with tired and hungry children, rushing through lunch to just get to naptime already. evenings spent eating ice cream in bed and watching re-runs of New Girl. family dates out to breakfast and to watch the kid's concert at the coffee shop.

our regular life is pretty good.

i'm just grateful. and i hope i stay this way.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Eisley's 1st

eisley turned one on the 24th. we had planned a birthday party for her that evening but ended up cancelling it at the last minute, so we spent her actual birthday celebrating as a family. we took a visit to the bounce house that afternoon and she loved throwing herself around the foam pit. seriously, she loved it. we came home and had cupcakes. the next day, my mom, sister and niece and nephew came to visit and we celebrated again, this time with some presents. the big kids were more excited about opening the presents than she was :)

Monday, June 23, 2014

"return, o my soul, to your rest..."

(i wrote this a few days ago, during a long and sleepless night...)

this verse is speaking volumes to me right now. it's one of those times when i feel as though God purposed me to read it at just the right time.

there has been a whirlwind of pain, suffering and loss around me lately. People I love dearly are walking through some of the hardest and darkest times. this past week it sort of all came to a head and i found myself struggling to believe that God even entertains our prayers. i am fighting to push back the lie that He doesn't hear our prayers and cries for help; fighting to shut down the voice that tells me to despair and not even pray because He already has a plan in mind and my prayers won't change it.

tonight i was mindlessly scrolling through pinterest like i do most nights before bed, when i came across a scripture pinned by my cousin. it was psalms 116:2; "because He has inclined his ear to me, therefore i will call on Him as long as i live." as i read it, i got this image in my head. lately tucker is doing this new thing when he is asking for something he isn't sure he is going to get. he tilts his head to the side and speaks in this small, quiet voice.."mommy, please can i have some cookies? please?" usually, i can't hear him when he uses this voice. i have to stop what i'm doing, get down on my knee, put my face close to his and to ask him to repeat himself.

that's what i felt like God was doing when i read this verse. it felt like God was taking my face in His hands, turning me towards Him and saying "see, haven't I told you that I hear you? that your heart cries matter me to me? do not doubt me, I am constant. I am never changing and I cannot lie." i opened up my bible to read the whole passage and saw this scripture that i had highlighted years ago in verse 7 "return o my soul to your rest, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you." it was then, as i started to repeat these verses out loud, that i was able to see so clearly that the urge to question God's regard for our prayers was a lie from satan. I know it can sound "crazy Christiany" to talk about satan lying to us, but the thing is, he does. he does and if we pretend that he doesn't we are putting ourselves in a dangerous place.

of course God has heard my prayers and the prayers of those dear to me over the past few months. of course He inclines His ear to listen to us. tonight i felt Him directing me to His words of truth. reminding me that my soul and heart can find rest Him. He has dealt bountifully with me. He has given me life, breath and an eternal hope.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

that baby...

is turning ONE a week from today. how in the world???

eisley, i have failed you terribly at updating on what you are up to each month. terribly.

i will try to cram in all the months i missed here, right now.

you will not, WILL NOT, crawl. stubborn baby. you get up on your hands and knees like you are going to, but then you just sit down and scoot off on your bottom. honestly, i kinda like that you have your own funny way of moving around. also, it's not as fast as crawling so that's a bonus for me. it's pretty cute and even though it's not as speedy as crawling, you are getting pretty quick at it.

i think i've seen you "pull up" on something a handful of times. you just don't seem interested and are pretty content to be occupied by the chaos your brother and sister create all the live-long day. you just scoot around behind them, following them from room to room and yelling your contribution to their games.

they love you too. first thing in the morning they want to hug you. even morning grump abbey smiles when you wake up and asks to hold you.

you love them just as much. your days would be so much less fun without them. (also, probably less painful..but you take the good with the bad baby girl..)

you have EIGHT teeth. apparently, this is a lot for your age because it's one of the first things people comment on when they see you. 4 up top, 4 on the bottom and i think you are working on 2 more bottom ones.

i can put your hair into a little ponytail!! it's pretty much adorable. i hope this means you will have more luck growing hair than your sister :)

you aren't crazy about people that aren't your daddy or i holding you. as in, you cry. loudly. with the exception of the ladies at the gym. you LOVE them. i guess because you've gotten to see them several times a week since you were 8 weeks old. you actually reach for them and they love you just as much.

let's see..what else..

you are a fan of the eating. you eat pretty much anything i put in front of you. it's pretty nice. please stay that way. i know you won't, but i still have to ask.

you're going through a pretty serious phase of loving your daddy lately.  as far as words go, all you've got is "dada". although, i really think you tried saying "Abbey" the other came out "adda".

you don't like your car seat at all. it's such a battle to get you in it most of the time. i'll be honest eisley, it's pretty annoying for me. you arch your back and roll from side to side while yelling. i wish you'd accept that thing as part your life already. it's not going anywhere for a loonnnggg time.

i just love you though eisley. you are so sweet. you lay your head on our shoulders and pat my back. after i feed you your bottle at bed time you sit right up in my lap and start laughing and chatting with me. i'll hold you for a few minutes, then squeeze you super tight (you usually pat my back a few times too) and then lay you down and give you your pacifier. i don't want to jinx anything but you amaze me with how you go down so easily for sleep. i put you in bed laughing and chatting and then you just lay your head down and fall asleep. sweet, miracle gift from God is what you are. keep it up.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

the thing about pictures..

pictures are tricky. sometimes my own pictures trick me. i'll see a picture from an outing that i know was more work than fun and i'll start to remember it as slightly more enjoyable than it really was. it gets even more tricky with other people's pictures.

here's an example; this afternoon post nap time (which never happened for eisley, btw..) the kids were intensely rowdy so we filled up the baby pool, turned on the sprinkler and pushed everyone outside.

here are some pictures from our afternoon...

oh look, cute kids running through the sprinkler, a fun and sweet dad pushing a baby on a swing and one super adorable baby in a swimsuit.

but, what you don't see is the kids immediately melting down about the grass stuck to their feet after their first trip through the sprinkler, the exhaustion of the dad pushing that swing, the time outs older siblings earned by splashing water on the baby and each other, the fussy baby not lasting more than 5 mins in that pool and oh yeah, their mom...tired, sweaty and looking like this....

so i guess my point is this; don't let pictures fool you into thinking everyone's days are more fun than your own. the truth is, we were fighting to enjoy our kids today. we were fighting against tiredness, boredom and selfishness. we were dealing with grumpy kids with less than stellar attitudes. 

but you'd never know it from those pictures because pictures are tricky that way ;)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

i'm not saying i regret college but...

after i graduated high school i went to college...because what else was i going to do? i started out at a community college and then transferred to the greatest university in the country, Texas A&M obviously.

college is to prepare you for adult life, right? i mean, that's what i always thought and in some ways i guess it did. however, more and more lately i find myself thinking that the job i had while in college is what actually did the most to prepare me for my current adult life.

i worked at a sandwich shop for 5+ years throughout college and for awhile afterwards. i made people food, took orders, worked amongst chaos, cleaned toilets, swept floors, washed dishes, cleared tables, took out the trash, and handled needy and demanding customers. hmm, seeing the parallel yet??

let's just go over what i do on a daily basis now, in my "adultlife". okay...

  • make people food-check
  • take orders-check 
  • operate in sheer madness-check 
  • clean toliets-check
  • sweep floors-only about 20000x a day, so check
  • wash dishes-um, check
  • clean tables-check
  • take out the trash-ok, so gregg mostly does this one and i will admit to not having to climb into any dumpsters to retrieve commercial sized trash since leaving that job 
  • handle need and demanding customers-obviously, check

so there you go, i could have saved a ton of cash and effort by just working at my college job instead of actually going to college. i would be just as prepared for my current life. so, thanks Must be Heaven of Brenham, Tx. shout out to you for preparing me for life.