Thursday, April 28, 2011

struggling with plans

i am fascinated with this thing called the internet and all this blogging. even with a blog i'm not sure what its purpose is. i mean after i saw Justin Bieber's movie Never Say Never i wanted to blog to the world just how endearing this kid is and how strange fame is. never really got around to that. sorry justin, i just said never. or i think about getting on some soapbox about pulling over for emergency vehicles or using your blinker. or i want to brag about my kid. or i could blog about the royal wedding but i think that is covered. or about whether or not our president was born in the US. i mean there is just so much going on. but a lot of times i want to tell the world (well my readers at least) what i'm thinking. which, quite frankly, is a lot.

my mind feels like a geyser at times spewing thoughts constantly. a lot has to do with what's going on in our lives. our lives have been one disruption after another. if i'm going to compare what's going on in our lives with others i can see that what we are going through pales in comparison or just the opposite. but comparing doesn't really help. i've been thinking lately about "life not being what i had planned." then i started thinking about when something happened that i actually planned. on a big scale. i didn't plan on my parents getting divorced. when i decided to go on staff i didn't plan to go to Louisiana. i didn't plan to get pregnant. i didn't plan to get cancer. i didn't plan to get laid off. you can see where i'm going with this. i have been able to see God's hand in all these "plans." He has used them for His plans and according to his "perfect and pleasing will." i've experienced great joys and deep pains because of these experiences. i'm not sure if i'd take any of them back either. yet i have to admit that it's been hard. and right now i'm weary and tired. this past year has been especially hard and i feel like the Lord has truly sustained me. however, more recently i'm realizing that i'm just so tired. i give up a lot. on a daily basis in fact. i need a break from life right now and the only thing on the horizon is a family trip to the mountains over Memorial Day, which i'm really looking forward to.

i feel like i've been strong. i hope. i trust. and i'm clinging to Jesus with a death grip. and to be completely honest, it's tiring. i'm struggling as a wife and as a mom. i can't really see the "light at the end of the tunnel" but i'm hoping. what else can i do but hope and trust that in six months we'll be in a different place. i want to be in a different place. and i'm sure i will be. i'm not in the same place i was 6 months ago or a year ago. and i'm kind of afraid to even admit this, but i need a break.

i'm not trying to be a debbie downer...this is where i'm at right now. i know i won't be here for long. especially when i get to experience this sweetness every day

and this

Saturday, April 16, 2011

it's a hard knock life

i'm feeling a little inspired by Annie with this one...

i've been going through a bit of a rough patch lately. there are a variety of reasons but it's mostly body image issues. it all came to a head a few weeks ago when i realized that i had decided (prior to surgery) what adam would think of my new body. i had absolutely no way to prepare for the effects a double mastectomy would have on me. the very few women i knew were older and they are bravely living without reconstruction. it had been almost 5 months post surgery when i realized that i wasn't dealing with it. and it feels pretty lonely. i know that women with all sorts of breast sizes have stories, but there is definitely something unique for me. i'd take tiny breasts any day over what i'm living with right now. it's taking such a toll on my self image. i'm honestly learning to embrace where we are and work through it with Adam. i've recently shown some friends my scars. and i have to say it's been good. i need to let others see what it is like for us. there is something humbling and cleansing about letting those close to me in to such a scary and intimate part of our journey. i have less than 3 months until my reconstruction surgery, so i feel it's important for us to continue to work through this before we venture into something new.

there are other things going on, of course. i'm losing my job. meaning, i'm being laid off. this is extremely hard, yet i feel at peace. it's equivalent to the same peace i had in the waiting room last may as i awaited my ultrasound. it's hard and i know God is in this. i will work through the end of may and was graciously given a severance with salary & benefits through the end of july. God says not to worry about tomorrow, so i'm not. i'm going to finish my job strong and set the next person up as best as i can. i'm going to enjoy a month off then have surgery. mostly i'm going to continue to trust God to take care of us. seeing that i'm a "cancer survivor" i'm realizing it's pretty important for me to have benefits. this is one of the scary parts. this and the fact that my income has accounted for half our income. i don't think we'll go hungry or be homeless. what i am totally confident of is that the Lord will provide. He is up to something major and very cool in our lives. we have a story to tell for sure. i know God is going to provide. i'm confident of this. in the mean time it may feel are we going to pay bills, how are we going to make ends meet, how will we pay for my medical benefits? i mean, the questions are endless. but i have to be honest, i'm okay. i know (KNOW) the Lord will provide...a job, benefits, food, money, peace.

i have to admit that it feels like there is so much going on with us at one time. life feels so dramatic. yet i am confident in what the Lord is doing is good. yes, it's hard and it doesn't always make sense. even if i feel like i'm losing a lot, i realize that i still have so so much. a husband who loves me, a most delightful little girl, a community that isn't afraid to enter into this with us, a family that loves us, and a God who comforts, loves and provides.

maybe it's not really a hard knock life. but i do love Annie.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sweet & Sassy

that is our little lady. her feisty side is coming out. as she gets older it seems we are able to see her personality a bit more and she is becoming a real person. i mean- duh! it's fun to watch her interact with her friends at "school," observe others, and make her preferences known. she is keeping us full and thankful. i'm constantly amazed that she is mine. it's crazy that i'm her mom. it's the little things that get me.

so cute in her new elephant towel
- after "battling" ear infections for about 2 months, her ears are perfectly clear. ptl. we have been doing antibiotics so our next step would have been tubes. hopefully we are done for the season.

- i am so thankful for the arrival (for the most part) of spring. we all love to be outside. but it almost seems magical for charis. she has learned to walk down the little curb from our driveway and likes to walk in the street. of course she doesn't want to walk in the cul-de-sac, but rather the "main" street. she loves to watch birds and squirrels. she loves driving in her car. and she loves to visit our neighbor's dog, maggie. yay for outside weather!!!

enjoying the weather and an apple

- as i mentioned, she is feisty and i love it. of course i know that it's probably going to cause some conflict between us too. like when i say no and she frantically reaches for anything she can and flails her arms. she's also pretty determined and sometimes won't take no for an answer. hello somebody!!

- she's chatting a lot. i try to write down words she says mostly just to look back one day and see how her language developed from sounds to real words. it's so fascinating to me. some new words are "tree," "bike", even "cool bike", "shoe", "keys", "car", banana is "meena", "vroom" for cars, "cracker", "duck", "bubble", and what sounds like "why." sometimes it's "why why why why." i know she isn't really asking, but seriously. she's still signing a bunch too. let's just say she's making her needs known.

looking at the bike in a book. she LOVES to read

- she's using the potty a lot. we are just trying to make a habit of putting her on her potty. she often has a dry diaper and will go both pee pee and poo poo. then we say "bye-bye" to it in the big potty. she RARELY tells us she needs to go, but once in a while she'll sign potty. i honestly have no idea what i'm doing when it comes to "potty training, so we are trying this.

- she is fighting (& winning) for a later bed time. i've been extremely spoiled with the 6:30pm bedtime that i'm trying not to flex. but she's pretty determined. and really it's either wait 30 minutes or have her cry. and homegirl is not afraid to cry for a long time. i can flex 30 min. i can.

her first pigtails make her look like a big girl!

- she is still a great eater. i would say that she's had moments of pickiness that made me fear our good eater had turned on us, but that was temporary. thank goodness. she's back to eating lots and trying different things. we had bagel & cream cheese for the first time this week and she loves it. she also loves tomatoes. sometimes when she's eating something she says "mmmmmm." i'm serious. i think she gets that from adam and i.

really, what's there to say!?

- she is pretty meticulous. she'll find a crumb and go after it. or if she has a sticker (why people think a one year needs a sticker, i'll never know) she'll work on getting it unstuck. she seems to notice the tiniest things. she's super observant. she watches, okay stares, at people all the time.

- we went to Plaza Fiesta for the first time on a rainy saturday. it was too busy for her to play but we found an old school "ride" that she liked until we turned it on. she also enjoyed the yummy tacos we had.

just hanging out in her "ride"

sometimes i get a glimpse of something of hers and i'm floored to be her mama. i'm definitely enjoying it. i feel like our lives are slowly changing as she gets older. i'm learning which battles to fight and which ones not to even attempt. i'm trying to figure out how to teach her about God and pray with/for her. when she was new and had a little rough patch of late nights i'd sometimes sing Zephaniah 3:17 to her. "The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." i love the picture of Him taking delight in her. and i want her to always know she is delighted in. i've recently added it to our bedtime "routine" after we read books. it's so sweet to cuddle with her during that and it's good for my soul too.