Saturday, November 26, 2011

thanksgiving memories

This time last year, I was completely devastated. I had just gotten two positive pregnancy tests two days in a row on the Friday and Saturday before Thanksgiving. I spent ALL weekend trying to decide how to announce the news and wanted to somehow incorporate it into our Thanksgiving festivities that coming Thursday. After finally deciding on how to announce it, i stayed up late Saturday night making a shirt for Gracie to wear. The front said "I've got a secret" and the back said "I'm going to be a big sister". Sunday we found out that all of joe's family would be getting together after church. They were ALL there, so we couldn't wait till thursday to share the news. It was a fun time, seeing the look on everyone's faces as their eyes just happened to glance down at Gracie Belle's shirt, especially joe's dad. hehe. It was a fun time.

The next morning when I woke up, I had a bad feeling in my gut...something wasn't quite right. No strange symptoms, just a bad feeling. Since you typically have to use your first morning urine to get a positive pregnancy test this early-on, I waited till Tuesday morning to test again. My fears were confirmed. NEGATIVE. A few hours later, I got my period. I had never even heard of a "chemical pregnancy" but apparently this is what happened.....the egg was fertilized, implanted, and produced just enough hormones to raise my HcG levels for a positive test, but the life could not be sustained for whatever reason. According to my research, this happens to a lot of women and they just think their period was a few days late. Had I not been testing so early, I would have never known....never been heartbroken....never had to go BACK to the family and tell them the "bad news" only 2 days after sharing the "good news". All of this during what was supposed to be my favorite time of heartache...tears, tears, and more tears. =(

Who would have thought that we'd be pregnant again the following month! =) 

Fast forward one year later...I'm holding this beautiful, perfect, pleasant, cuddly, warm, smiling baby boy in my arms. He's so happy and giggly with his mommy. My #1 fan. A true joy in my life. And had I not gone through this total nightmare of a Thanksgiving last year, I would not have my Levi Nathanael. I know God knows best...and it was all in His hands from the beginning. For everything there is a reason. And this alone has given me peace.

Thanksgiving this year was wonderful....wonderful memories made at my moms with perhaps the most random, original dinner-table discussions known to man (i won't go into detail here, LOL). All I will say is "here witty witty witty"!!  Gracie Belle ate more green beans at momaw Sandy's than all of the adults combined. Isaiah had 4 or more servings of stuffing. Benjamin was the mac n cheese eater...and he LOVES rolls with butter but even HE wouldn't touch momaw sandy's new baseball, i mean, roll recipe. bahahaaa.  =) (love you mom, mean it) Seriously though...the rolls had a good taste, just not the best texture. LOL!!!!

After dinner at mom's, we headed over to Foster for dinner at his grandma's house. Good times were had as always. =) They are such a loving, sweet family and I'm so thankful to be able to be a part of it. Years ago, grandma June gave Nate his dad's bible (his dad passed away from cancer back in the 70's). This year, Nate had the bible encased in some wood from their family's old house. He announced to the family that from now on, each year, the bible will be passed between siblings (Nate, Drema, and Diann). They will continue this tradition every fall until only one of them remains....the bible will then belong to that family to keep. Isn't that just the sweetest most thoughtful idea? =)

On a funny note, we also did October/November birthdays at grandma June's thanksgiving dinner.....the card we got for Nate might as well have had his name written across it. When he builds houses, he usually wears bibs and a straw hat. This card...well, just let the picture speak for itself ----->

My wonderful sisterinlaw is expecting to go out of town in a couple of weeks and is concerned because she needs to have some extra milk stored up for Cody while she's gone. The chunky monkey is drinking every ounce she produces. hehe. Ssoooo, i offered to pump extra and freeze it for her to use. Dad calls me the milkmaid. haha.  Anyhooo...Leah surprised me at Thanksgiving dinner with the sweetest, funniest picture EVER!!!  See for yourself:

Family is one of the greatest blessings on this earth...and for all of my family, I am forever grateful. May God be with us and protect us through all of the trials we may face.  

Thursday, November 17, 2011


My 31st bday is less than a month away, and I've decided that turning 31 is way harder than turning 30.
Turning 30 didn't bother me at all....31 is just about to be welcomed with tears. =/ Suddenly I see ssoooooo many wrinkles and gray hairs.  In a wonderful blog I read the other day from The Unplugged Family, Cassandra said, "I won't fear aging.  I say, bring it on.  Every laugh line on my face is a sign of the deep joy I've soaked up in this life.  The days of sunshine bliss and belly laughs.  The days of seeing first steps and hearing first words.........Stretch marks from babies grown in my womb are love scars woven deeply into my physical skin but deeper still into the frabric of who I am. Those scars changed everything. Those scars saved me. I would never will them gone." 
I couldn't have said it better myself.....however, agreeing with those words and living out those feelings are two different things.

I used to say I wanted to have a tummy tuck after having the twins (saggy skin with so many stretch marks that they're all connected, lol), but I moved past that. I am pleased, or eh let's say "content", lol,  with the marks of my journey that have brought me to where I am today. I have 4 amazingly wonderful children on loan from God and those marks are just part of the journey. I can still remember my belly with the twins being stretched ssoooo tight and covered in stretch marks that it was literally purple and I thought I was going to spontaneously burst open. hehe. A deep purple that almost looked like blood in some spots.
Right after having the boys, I remember my skin sagging so bad that when I would sit, it would lay halfway down my thighs. I daydreamed of having that useless chunk of skin cut off. lol. Thank GOD it shrunk back...some.

My face has shown more age (in my opinion) in the past year than it has in the past 5 years...I can think of 4 reasons. bahahaaa. I don't feel like I'm as "stressed" as some think I am, but apparently the constant tending to my 4 babies and having them literally suck the life from me with breastfeeding has finally started to leave a mark, or many marks I should say. :P 
I'm not a fan of invasive procedures to reverse aging, but I do think that for my 31st bday I will invest in a daily skincare regime. I know, some of you are thinking "SHE DOESN'T HAVE ONE ALREADY?! WHAT'S SHE THINKING!!" 
Yah, well.....some of you sell avon, some mary kay....anyone wanna hook a girl up, maybe even a discount rate?!?! lol. I want something that works. I don't want someone with already beautiful skin to sell me something and saying this product made their skin that way. I want someone with "average" skin who's used a product that made them say "wow". LOL!!
On a funny note, I suppose wrinkles aren't always a BAD thing:

And then there's the gray hair(s)....oh the gray. I honestly thought I'd HATE seeing those gray hairs multiply in number. How do we not notice them till they're like 10 inches long anyway???? Do they spontaneously sprout out overnight? Anyhoooo...I don't imagine I'll be one who colors my hair till the day I die just to cover my gray. You can quote me on that and throw it back in my face 10 years from now. I may change my mind. hehe. But I know beautiful ladies who'd LOVE to stop coloring their hair but can't. How do you go from coloring your hair for so many years to stopping altogether (once everything underneath is gray)? Especially if your hair is long?? It would take YEARS for all of the color to grow out to where you only have gray left. Do you just wear hats for a few years to hide the gray roots? lol.
Anyhooo...all of this rambling to say, yes, I see the whole concept of "growing old gracefully". But can I live it? Can I really EMBRACE aging? Cassandra later states,
"Loving age in myself and accepting aging as a God-ordained progression through this crazy ride called life. Knowing, hoping, praying, I'm heading towards something even more amazing than what I've been gifted with here."
I'll try to see it that way...really, I will try. It may take awhile.

Until then, be gentle with me on my 31st bday. When I'm down in the dumps, remind me that it's not about "aging"'s about aging gracefully...not even in a physical manner but a spiritual one. =)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My WEEK in #'s

0- is how many times I dusted/swept. Remember, we were sick!!
1- is the number of times I packed Joe's lunch for work...sorry babe, I felt like total poo. We're back on track now. hehe
2- Kleenex boxes were emptied during "the sickness" which continues to plague the house...
3- oranges got peeled during snacktime (per sitting) because we're sick. Gotta get those extra vitamins. =)
4- giggly, snotty, crusty smiles greeted me each morning.
5- bottles of breastmilk awaited me in the refrigerator to bag and freeze.
6- sick people in the house needed some TLC.
7- is the number of towers Isaiah built for me with blocks to make a city.
8- sparkle balls in Benjamin's "good behavior jar" means the jar is almost filled to the top....hhmmmm, still haven't decided what the prize will be. Now that I think about it, we havent been using the jar as often this week due to the sickness. The kiddos have probably forgot all about the sparkle balls. lol
9- is the number of big laughs I got out of Levi this glad he's finally doing the full-blown chuckle! TOO CUTE!!!
10- days left until Turkey day. yippeeee
11- is the number of hours of sleep I'd like to get in a row for my birthday this year.
12- bandaids are currently covering all of the "pretend boo-boo's" in this house.
13- blankets were on the boys' top bunk. Blankets are quite possibly their favorite and most versatile possession...forts, boats, hide n' seek, pool, beach, reading area, jumping station, sleeping, etc.
14- is the number of coins Gracie is currently packing in her front shirt pocket...weighing her shirt collar halfway down her chest. hehe
15- "presents" were given to me as I finished making this list: a rubberband bracelet, hat, princess shoes, sunglasses, sock puppet, coin, bandaid, Toy Story cards in a Case Knife box (guess who that was from, LOL), a wheel, HiC, work zone goggles, yarn, Hippo book, My little Pony, and a candy corn pencil.

I love, love, love my family. =)

Friday, November 11, 2011

how about some more cheese?

First priceless moment of the day......I saw the spray cheese lid sitting on the counter. Me: "Boys, where's the spray cheese?" 
Isaiah: "Oh, we ate it all so I threw the can away." 
Me:  "There was still a LOT of cheese in that can and you ate ALL of it??"
Meanwhile, Gracie is losing her hand down a bag of shredded cheese in the living room....seriously, what's the deal with my kids and cheese. I proceeded to get the can out of the trash can to make sure it was empty, because surely they couldn't have ate that much cheese, right??  As I picked up the empty can, I said,
"Well....if you don't poop for a week, we'll know why." 
With their eyes huge and glassed over in disbelief, they asked why.
"Because eating a lot of cheese makes you constipated. And constipated means your poop gets really hard and you can't get it out." 
Benjamin just stared back in disbelief and didn't utter a word.
Isaiah replied: "That's okay mommy, I'll be okay...I can just push it out." 
(coming from the child who poops money
bahahaaa.  =)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

my sweet, not so little family

So I did it, I made it over the hump. By that I mean I made it past the "you're crazy for getting pregnant AGAIN, why would you purposely have more kids, what were you thinking, you're gonna have your hands full" phase of my motherhood years to the "wow, are those all yours, what a blessing...praise God for such a beautiful family...I wish I would have had more" phase.  These are all comments I've received from people. We've surpassed the constant negative, passive aggressive comments from both strangers and family and moved on to the genuine smiles and admiration of passers-by. Now that some of the kids are old enough to walk and stick together, I am able to take them out occasionally by myself. I carry Levi, and Isaiah and Benjamin stand on each side of Gracie as the 3 of them hold hands and walk behind me.  =)  There's hardly a single person that passes us that doesn't either smile from ear to ear or have some of the sweetest things to say about our family. And it's those people that I'm grateful for....the ones who seem to "get it", to understand why. I didn't just decide to have a bunch of babies out of boredom. Each and every child is a blessing from God....I love the "baby-bunching" technique of having them fairly close in age....close, large, tight-knit families are beautiful to see from the outside looking in, and I've always wanted one of my own. Sure, it's not always easy, but it sure isn't as hard as everyone thinks it is either (at least not in our case).  You adapt to your surroundings slowly, pray for guidance and patience, keep your children and spouse a priority, revolve everything you say and do around the Lord and everything else just seems to fall into place.
So here I am, getting ready to turn 31. I've had 4 kids in 4 years. And to publically answer the question that everyone thinks and a few brave souls actually ask, "are you done having kids?", here's the not so short answer:  No, we're not done.  I can't say we'll ever be officially done, unless there's a physical complication that arises. After much prayer and study, Joe and I agreed awhile back that we would not have any sterilization procedures. That doesn't mean we're flying by the seat of our pants either, but we want to leave the "option" there. If years down the road we decide we'd like to expand our family even further, I do not want to be like nearly every woman I know and have to say "I wish we hadn't been fixed".  God knew what he was doing when he made me....why get fixed unnecessarily (and by that I mean just for the sake of not wanting more kids)? Just wait a few more years, menopause is free. LOL. We may never have another child, who knows. Or maybe we will? We're not planning to *try* for another anytime soon, if at all. But at the same time, there's no set number.  Well...maybe there is, Joe jokes that we're not buying a 15 passenger van so that means we have room for one more, unless we trade our 7-passenger van for an 8-passenger van. A 15-passenger van is just out of the question, ahahaa.  JK. :P  Anyhoooo, we're completely happy where we're at right now and are leaving our options open for the future, because who knows where our hearts will be a few years down the road. Only He does. =) 
~Love & prayers,

Monday, November 7, 2011

I'm bbaaaaaacckk!!!

YAY!!  I've missed blogging!  It's been so long ago that "back in my day" you had to have an html code to change font size/color, add pictures, insert links, etc.  Phew, I'm only 30, right???  However, I do feel slightly better knowing that some of you are sitting there thinking to yourself "What's an html code?"  bahaa.  Since being out of college, I've felt myself lagging more and more behind the wonderful world of technology. Example one: my phone has a regular key-pad (please press #2 three times for the letter "C") AND it does not have internet.  Sheesh.....compared to what people are using these days, it might as well be the big 12-inch phone with an antenna that Zach Morris was oh-so-cool with back in the day. teehee.  I just had to have someone explain the difference to me this past weekend between an ipad and a laptop. 

Anyhooo....welcome to my blog!!!!!!!  My plans are to share whatever *random* thought/obsession/adventure crosses my path in this blessed life. =)  It may be related to my daily walk with GOD, motherhood, silly toddler happenings, my role as a submissive wife/helpmeet to my handsome, loving, carpenter of a husband, homeschooling, etc....the possibilities are ENDLESS.  So stay tuned!!!  =) Off I go to obsess over what deserves the honor of being my first blog topic...........insert suggestions below. haha