Friday, April 29, 2005

One of those weeks...

Well, my copy of Created to be a Helpmeet finally got here at the end of last week. I'm almost finished with it (remember I have little ones so excuse the slowreading). And it's already made a huge difference in our relationship. So if anyone wondered where I've been, let's just say that my house is a wreck, my kids have watched a good deal of videos this week, I haven't had much computer time, and I'm just now getting around to grocery shopping, but hubby is happy;) We're getting back on schedule now, but I've had a big priority shift. It's not that I ever conciously put my husband last, mind you. I know hubby is supposed to come right after God on my list. But in the day to day you know what happens. The kids need me. The house is messy (and hubby likes a clean house, right?). And I need time to myself, don't I? I mean if I don't unwind a little I'm not going to be anygood to anyone. So hubby keeps getting pushed back further and further. But after spending the majority of a week with him and remembering how great he is and how much fun it is to be his wife, I'm not going to be giving that up any time soon. So instead of trying to work time with Casey onto my calender, my calender is going to start working around time with Casey.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

A Marriage Maintenance Guide

My darling hubby and I were having a big discussion today. We're in the midst of sort of reordering some things in our life. We've had a lot of changes over the past year: The church thing that I posted on awhile back, a new baby last summer (although we're pretty used to her by now!), shift change for hubby and a big surge in his second business (Praise God!). Now these are mostly good things, but they've caused some upheaval so we're trying to get everything back on track. Tonight's discussion was about all the things that we need to get done this weekend - maintainence on the house, car, and yard topped hubby's list. We wound up talking about how much we would love a "date night" some time soon. This led to a discussion about how marriage "maintainence" is just as important as maintaining the car, yard, and house. And it got me thinking...maybe we need maintainence guides to our marriages just like the ones that come with our cars.
Now of course the first, best guide to any relationship is the Bible. It really is a "how to" guide for life. And "marriage advice" is excellent - things like "wives submit to your own husbands"and"husbands love your wives as Christ loves the church." But what about the everyday stuff that makes a marriage run smoothly, like compliments, backrubs, dinners out, favorite desserts:) How do we make sure we're getting enough of that? Maybe I need a little light that comes on when I'm low on appreciation or hubby's check "engine:)" light could flash.
In the meantime, we're going to reinstate datenight even though for awhile they'll have to be at-home dates. And we're going to make sure and have a tuneup now and then. Even though we are absolutely totally committed to one another and to our family and to the vows we made to God - we've seen too many good marriages fall apart to take chances. I mean if you're blessed with a ferrarri (did I even spell that right?), you don't just drive it until it runs out of gas and then leave it by the road right?
And that concludes my car/marriage analogy:)

Sunday, April 17, 2005

A family update...

When I started this blog I thought it would be a neat way to give my far-flung family and friends a more frequent update on what our little family is up to than the usual phone calls and Christmas letters. What they wound up getting have been frequent updates on my mental ramblings. I hope most of them love me enough to bear with me:) But I thought I'd give everyone a little update on what's going on around here.
Casey and I are still working out where to go to church. Please pray for us about this. I've finally come to a place where I'll be happy with where ever God wants us, but so far Casey isn't sure where God's leading us and I know that is frustrating for him (me, too!). Other than that the two of us are doing pretty great. We're both working hard since this is a busy time of year for him, but we're really excited about the possibility of visiting my parents in SanAntonio this summer - our first vacation since before kids:)
Levi is really becoming such a boy! Not content to be my baby anymore unless he's hurt - and sometimes not then. He has a big scrape on his head from running down the driveway at top speed (something he had been warned about, let me assure you) and doing a nose-dive - so pictures will be postponed at least another week. He's really enjoying "schooltime" and I am too. I've added a few more things in and we're working on sitting still at the table for about 20 minutes every day. If you asked him what he's most excited about I bet he'd tell you getting to use the glue!
Brenna is crawling everywhere on one knee and one foot. I wish I had a picture to show you what I'm talking about, but suffice it to say it looks odd but gets her where she wants to go:) And actually today she was getting around on her hands and feet so who knows...maybe she will be walking soon. But I'm in no hurry! She just seems to be growing so fast. Yes I know that's every mother's cliche, but I bet every mother will back me up - it's true!
Well, I'd better run and get my beauty rest - I need it:)

Thursday, April 14, 2005

I've been thinking a lot about Walmart

The town we live in isn't really all that small. We have a state college, 2 private schools, a hospital, and a state prison. So it's not like I live in Mayberry. But as far as shopping goes we're pretty limited. And since the SuperWalmart came to town it seems like there is even less to choose from. So the chances of me being able to swear off Walmart all together are pretty slim. But I have to admit that the idea really appeals to me. Here's why.
1. Walmarts are ugly. Inside and out. I just hate all the concrete, the pavement, the sea of racks and shelves.
2. They're not very friendly. I know, I know, they have greeters - people especially paid to be friendly. But you don't stop and talk to the greeters. You could talk to the cashier on your way through if they weren't so busy trying to help the next person in their mile-long line so they can get to lunch. And that's if you get a cashier - most of the aisles at our store are self-serve. Yeah that's fun with kids. And if you do happen to run into a friendly face while you're shopping, there's no where to stop and talk. The place is so packed that if you stop for a minute to chat you're guaranteed to be blogging someone in the aisle.
3. The people who work there don't know the merchandise. Yesterday I asked three different people where mops were - no one knew! Turns out they're by the groceries now.
4. Which brings me to ... they move stuff around to much. I guess in an effort to keep people interested and finding new things to buy. So what I need is never in the same place it was the last time I needed it.
5. They carry 9 million of the same thing. If I need socks for my babies there are a shelf full of the same socks just in different sizes. Easter dresses? Four to chose from (if your church has about 50 people and three of the little girls wind up in the same dress...there's not enough to choose from). And one kind of laundry basket. 1!
6. They're too crowded, too loud and since ours has a McDonald's - too smelly. Although I will admit to buying my kid a Happy Meal to keep him occupied while I shop.
I guess all of this is to say that I'm guilty. I shop there. But I don't like it. And I'm going to make a big effort from now on to frequent the few little shops we have left in this town. The natural food store downtown. The baby store that's more expensive, but carries beautiful handmade stuff. The dress shop that still offers free alterations. The Christian bookstore trying to keep afloat!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

29 things I'm very grateful for...

Well yesterday was my birthday. I got lots of lovely presents and a surprise party:) My darling hubby is the best! But the very best part had to be my wake up call. Levi, my 3 year old jumped on my bed bright and early as usual (where he gets this earlybird thing I couldn't tell you) and shouted "Mommy, isn't this the BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!" And all I could think was yeah - it really is. Here are some of the reasons I'm one very happy 29 year old.

1. The God of the universe, the one who created everything in the Heavens and the Earth, is my personal Savior. I'm His daughter. A Princess of the King! So if I'm a little high maintenance....
2. It goes without saying that I'm incredibly blessed to have my wonderful husband, who is my opposite in so many perfect ways, and my beautiful, healthy children. After 3 years of infertility and the loss of my goddaughter in 2002, I don't take them for granted, not for a minute.
3. I'm really thankful that I come from such a tight-knit family. I didn't understand growing up that not every family is like this.
4. My mom - she's my best friend.
5. My dad dragged us all around the world when we were growing up. He was in the Army (just retired a few years back) and I made him miserable every time we had to move. But looking back I'm so glad about everyone of those moves. Not only did my dad make learning about the new culture we were in fascinating, I met friends that have lasted a lifetime. I had experiences that never could've happened any other way.
6. Which leads to number 6...I'm glad to be an Army brat:) It's colored my life and affected the way I feel about our country, our government, and my dad.
7. I have the greatest brother and sister ever! I fought with my brother for about the first 18 years of his life - he kind of messed up that "only child" thing I had going on up til I was 1 1/2 - but now...I really appreciate him. We're always there to back each other up. And my sister...I begged for her for years. Literally from as far back as I could remember I wanted a baby sister. I even asked my Grandma to have one for me:) And she's better than I ever imagined. At 15, she's already this incredible, talented, GOOD person (there just aren't enough adjectives).
8. Does it seem like I'm just going through my family? I am, but I'm so blessed to have all of them. My grandparents are next. I was blessed enough to know all four of them and to have them with me until I was an adult. Having grandparents is such a gift - they're always on my side, always think I'm wonderful. And what examples they've been - some good and some bad, I've learned so much from them.
9. I'm grateful for the rights I have as an American. There are lots of problems in this country and, believe me, I know it. But there is no other place on this earth that I'd have rather been born and raised.
10. Speaking of "born and raised" - I'm grateful to be from the South. You know what they say "American by birth, Southern by the grace of God:)" It's just better here!
11. I'm blessed to be able to stay at home with my hubby and kiddies. Nothing is better than waking up and knowing that I'll be able to spend the whole day with them.
12. I'm also blessed to have a home to take care of. And not even a "cute, little" apartment - a real, honest-to-goodness home.
13. I'm really thankful for my friends! The ones I've had forever and can share everything with, the ones that live close to me that I share everyday with, and the ones online that I'm learning so much from.
14. Books! Oh, how I love books. Old books, new books, ...fiction, nonfiction, to be a better wife (Can't wait to start Mrs. Pearl's!), how to plant a better garden,... I just really love books.
15. My church. There's still some question as to whether or not we'll keep going there, but the people are wonderful. It's like having an extended family.
16. Ladies' Meeting. Don't get me wrong - I'm not one of those moms who needs to "get out of the house" all the time. As a matter of fact I can't remember the last time I went somewhere without the kids right off the top of my head:) But once a month it's so nice to get out for a little while and talking to other moms is such a big help. Plus it's just great to giggle about something other than "Mommy, look. I put this (fill in the blank) on my head."
17. Yard Sales. Where else can you buy anything for a quarter?
18. The neighborhood playground - whenever we need a change of pace from the yard.
19. My Land's End diaper bag. On the one hand, I miss the cute little purses I used to carry. But this bag will carry anything. It has pockets for everything you might possibly need.
20. My planner, without which nothing in my life would ever get done!
21. The internet. It amazes me that there is this much information literally at our fingertips!
22. Baby Einstein videos. On the (rare, I promise) occasion that I need to keep my babies occupied for a few minutes, these always do the trick. I'm not sure if there's some sort of subliminal hypnosis effect or what, but they're spellbound.
23. I'm grateful that, in spite of #22, we don't watch much tv or let the kid's watch very much. I'm not raising little Barney addicts.
24. Even though I spent a lot of time in public school (and a Department of Defense school, and a couple of private schools) - I still managed to get a pretty good education.
25. I'm so glad that my parents instilled in me a love of reading and a curiousity about God's world.
26. I'm thankful for my mom's care boxes. Even though I'm grown and have kids of my own, my mom still sends me boxes full of stuff she thinks we might need or want. It's so great to know that she's still taking care of me.
27. My darling husband's work ethic. Honestly, I've never known anyone that works as hard as he does. He takes such good care of us.
28. I'm also blessed to have my health, no matter how I've abused it. And the sense to know that I need to stop taking it for granted.
29. Last, but sooo not least, I'm thankful God has opened my eyes to all these blessings. I used to have a lot harder time making a list of blessings than a list of grieviences. That one always seems easier, doesn't it? So thank you, Abba, for showing me Your hand in my life.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Here's something else I've been thinking about...

I'm not doing a very good job taking care of myself lately. At all. I've gained weight. I had gestational diabetes while I was pregnant last time. My immune system is so drained that I got an infection I could not shake after Christmas and (after three months of trying to hold out) finally had to stop nursing my daughter because of it. And I'm a little anemic. Plus a lot of my hair fell out after my babies were born and it's growing back in, but now it wants to stick up funny. No one tells you about that when you're trying to have a baby. So anyway I've been moping around whining about not feeling good a lot lately and I've tried doing something about it off and on. I take excellent care of my family's health - I see to it that my kids get enough rest, enough exercise, enough of all the right foods and not much of all the wrong ones. So it shouldn't be so hard to do the same for myself right? Right. Except I eat things like the crust from peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and all the leftover mac-n-cheese. And I never sleep. And exercise? Could we just not go there?
So - new plan. I'm going to start taking care of my kid's mom. Real, actual nutrious meals for me, too. Exercise that includes me moving, not just watching my son run circles around me:) And sleep. By whatever means neccessary! Even if that means (gasp) the kids have to sleep in their own beds!
We'll see how it goes.

A really great Sunday

I don't think I've mentioned on here before that my dear hubby and I have been having a hard time deciding where to go to church as of late. I was raised in a certain denomination and he was raised in another and since we got married we've always gone to mine, mostly because I was in church at the time and he wasn't. But now - Praise The Lord - He's really grown into a fabulous spiritual leader and God's growing him everyday. But about a year ago he started to want to go to a church in his old denomination because of one point (albeit a very important one) on which the two differ. Is any of this making any sense? The point itself is a big enough issue - we don't agree there, but he's the final say so. So if that were all there was to it, I'd be happy to go wherever he led. But (isn't there always a but?), I really love my church. Not the building, not the denomination. My church family - and that's exactly what it is to me - family. As a matter of fact some of our family does actually go there. And since my family is pretty far away, it's been especially hard for me to leave. But we've been going to a new church since January and I've just been praying (over and over!) - Your Will, not mine. But I'm finally starting to realize that I can stop trying to figure all this out. I can trust God to put us where He wants us. I need to stop looking at this from a "please God let my way be your way" and just focus on God - wherever I am. BTW, thanks Kristin:)
So anyway...This morning we went to our old church to see my nephews being baptized and I got to sit in on a wonderful Sunday School class that really spoke to me. And Baby Sissy sat on my lap and played quietly the whole time. And the message (which I got to hear because she sat so qietly) really was just what I've been praying about lately. And there was pleanty of time afterwards to catch up. And my brother-in-law decided to be baptised, too. And we all went out for lunch to celebrate. And the kids still behaved:) And my dear, darling hubby even volunteered to go back there for the evening service! It was just like a drink of cool water for me pretty much all day. Just what I needed. God is good!

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

It's almost my birthday!

I'm going to be 29 (for the first time, I promise) in a few more days and people (well my dh and my mom, anyway) keep asking what I want for my birthday. Does anyone else think it's a little odd that I can't think of anything? I've either attained perfect contentment in my present circumstances or my brain isn't functioning at all on the little tiny amounts of sleep I'm getting (more about why sleep is so important and why I'm not getting enough of it later). So here's my question to all (5? 6?) of you:) - what would you ask for if it was your birthday? Bear in mind that a) money is always an object around here (although my mom does tend towards the generous side) and b) it has to be a pretty short list or dh gets irritable:) Shopping is not his thing. Sometimes that works in my favor, though - at Christmas he didn't want to go to the mall or Walmart so he went to the Christian bookstore in town and nearly bought them out:) He knows how I feel about books:) So... what would y'all ask for?

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Too tired to post...

And too just yucky feeling:) I'm having one of those no-good, terrible, rotten kind of days. I'm going to head off to bed because tomorrow is another day. BTW, one of my favorite all-time quotes is Scarlett's "I just can't think about that now or I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow." And don't say "Scarlett who?" to this Georgia girl:)