Wednesday, October 29, 2008
To top it all off, my sleeping patterns are a little out of whack. Last night I will chalk it up to the fact that at one point both girls were in our bed. I think that was from about 3:00-5:00 am. Taylor slept with us the whole night because she was scared of the noises the dishwasher was making. I told her it was just the dishwasher. She explained to me that she wasn't afraid of the dishwasher, just the noises it was making. Ava woke up around 3:00 just crying and saying "Mommy, I need to snuggle you." So, of course I went and got her and put her in bed with me. It's hard enough to sleep with an enormous belly! I wake up every time I turn over. And then when Ava starts flailing around and kicking me in the head, I put her back in her bed. We have to go through our usual bedtime routine again even though it's 5:00 am. She doesn't know the difference though. Some days I am wide awake at 6:30 and other days I can not even open my eyes until 9:00. It's terrible, I feel like the worst mom, because Taylor practically gets herself ready for school. Alan gets up and dries her hair and takes her to school. I just wake up every ten minutes and check to see if she's brushed her teeth and has her school bag ready. But getting out of bed seems like an absolute impossibility. I usually want a nap around 4:00 pm and around 8:30 pm I get this second wind and I find myself cleaning the kitchen and trying to get caught up on laundry all while putting the girls to bed. There is no rhyme or reason to it all. I think God is just trying to get me ready for the new baby, because Lord knows any normal sleeping patterns will be out the window!!!
Tomorrow my plans include a little bit of work to wrap things up before I take maternity leave, a pedicure (hopefully!), and getting Taylor's costume for Halloween. Taylor has quite the social calendar these days. She stays busier than the rest of us it seems like. We just found out her grandfather just moved back to Lubbock, so he wants to take her to dinner tomorrow night. Her grandmother wants to see her at least once a week, which is fun for Taylor because she gets to go see her horse when she's with her Mimi.
One final random thought. I thought I would share a funny story that happened to me a few weeks back. My hubby got me a "Pea in the Pod" massage from this new day spa called "The Woodhouse." It was a really nice place. Too fancy for me, but it was still a fun treat. I went in and they got me a robe and slippers and showed me where to change and a locker to keep my stuff in during the massage. Then she told me to go through this door once I was changed. So I got my robe on, locked up my stuff, and went through the door. It was this fancy room with super rich wood and furniture and this fireplace. The lady brought me some water in a fancy glass and told me that my masseuse would be in to get me in a moment. I was the only one in the room, so I chilled by the fireplace, sipped my water and relaxed. The girl came in and took me to the massage room. It was just a normal massage. It was nice and relaxing. When she was done, she told me I could put my robe back on and go back to the "Quiet Room." I assumed the quiet room was the room I had been in before. So, I got up, put the robe on and opened the door to the "Quiet Room." Well, this time there was this older, bearded guy sitting by the fire, reading a thick, leather, hardback book, drinking a glass of wine....also in the spa issued robe and slippers. All he was missing was a pipe. It was the most awkward moment. I sat in the chair the furthest away from him. I started to realize that the girl did not give me any further instructions. Was I supposed to wait in here for something? Was she coming back to get me? Was someone going to come get this guy? The awkwardness went on for about five minutes and I realized that no one was coming for me. He showed no sign of leaving any time soon. He was just enjoying his wine and his book and the fire. I got up and went back to the bathroom/locker room. I got my stuff, quickly changed and got out of there!!! It was such a weird experience. The old guy never made eye contact with me, but it was still a little creepy being in our spa robes chilling in the "quiet room" together.
Monday, October 27, 2008
So, back to Bizarro day. We got to church at 7:30 am for the usual sound check and run through of some songs before the service. I honestly was in no rush. We had already led worship 4 times in the last two days in the same room, so we were all kind of taking our time. Once we got started there was a crazy buzzy, feedback sound. The sound guys were pretty sure it had something to do with the electrical end of one of the guitar amps. I don't know anything about this stuff, so I was just waiting patiently for them to figure it all out. After many failed attempts, Randall was just about to crawl under the stage and see what could have possibly happened overnight to make things get so crazy. About that time they kind of realized that they had traced it to the wrong channel or something and it was the acoustic guitar. Turns out, the battery was dead and it just needed to be changed. So, about 12 seconds later we were back at it.
We had run through most everything we needed to and it was almost 8:45, which is when I like to be done so that people can come in and we're not up there singing. Well, we are finishing the last song and here comes my dad down the hallway with a vacuum cleaner. If you don't know, my dad is the Senior Pastor of the church. He has never been one of those people who thinks he's above any job, so I guess he saw something that needed to be vacuumed and just took care of it himself. So, here he comes 15 minutes before the service with his vacuum. Plugs it in and proceeds to suck up something that was bothering him right in the door way. I have no idea what was there. Then it got funny because some ushers saw what he was doing and were trying to help or grab the vacuum or something and it just looked like this little circus in the doorway. It was quite funny.
Ok, here's the big kicker. We started the service differently because we were wrapping up this conference and we wanted to make it special and what not. So, we start with all the lights out and I am standing right at the front edge of the stage. I start to sing "Hosanna" and we show this awesome video of people's faces from all over the world. It just really sets the tone for what we were wanting to get across, just focusing on God and on the people who break His heart. Anyways, that song goes good, and we start into song #2. I am not actually leading this song so I'm kind of standing back a little bit. I guess my eyes were closed, because I felt Kyla push my back. I just figured I was about to run into something behind me so I scooted up a little bit. Well, she kept pushing me and I looked out and my dad and sister were both on the front row telling me to come here. I thought it was really odd because we were in the middle of the song. I thought maybe they just needed me to announce something so I'm kind of looking down at them and then Paige says, "Come here, NOW!" At this point I think I must be in trouble. My first thought was that maybe my shirt was see through or something crazy like that. I walk down to where they are, mind you the song is still going. At the same time they both say, "Your zipper is down." So, here I am, on the front row, having just drawn attention to myself by walking off the stage in the middle of a song. Luckily I had muted my microphone before they both announced my fashion faux pas. I kind of half way hid behind my dad and zipped it right up! Now my dilemma was how to get back on the stage. Should I go around the side and try to sneak on? Should I just walk straight up? And then I started realizing that I had opened the entire service by myself in a spotlight, dead center of the stage. I am 37 weeks pregnant, so I am already attracting enough attention to that area of my body with the planet that has become my stomach. Oh well, no time to worry about this now, I just decide to haul it back up there, right up the middle of the stairs and kept on singing. BIZARRO DAY!!!
I decided that if that was the worst thing to happen to me all day, then I was doing pretty good. It could have been worse. I had nightmares the entire week before the conference that my water was going to break on stage in the middle of worship. Now that would have been embarrassing!!! I survived Bizarro day and now I can rest for a bit. I have two weeks until Molly Kate arrives and so now I can focus on getting ready for her arrival!!!
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
This week, God has totally rocked my world with all of this. I get really excited thinking about what I can do for people in other nations, but God showed me (again) this week that there is a huge situation staring at me in the face right here in Lubbock.
Most of you know that I am a stepmom. It feels weird to say that, because I don't feel like a step mom. Taylor lives with us full time and as far as I'm concerned she's all mine! I love her more than anything and the whole "step" label just feels weird for me to even say. Anyways, Taylor's birth mom, Summer, has always been a big prayer issue in my life. The whole process and journey that I have gone through (and continue to go through) concerning Summer is quite elaborate. First, I dealt with anger toward her. How could a mother act the way she does? How can one person be so selfish? These are all questions and issues that I struggled with and dealt with and now feel such peace about it all. God's grace is so amazing. That's all I can say about it. It's all a testimony of God's grace being enough in each situation. After the anger phase then I just felt sorry for her. Sometimes I still do even though I know that she has chosen the life she has and her choices and actions are why she is where she is at in life.
Now, Summer is pregnant. This has been a very trying time for me, because it is hard to see how Taylor has had to deal with it. Overall, she is very excited about a new sibling. My issues of course go back to Summer. Without going into all of the details, she is currently living with her ex-boyfriend who is fresh out of jail for drug dealing. He is not the father of the baby. Can you imagine the conversations I've had with an eight year old about all of this??? Things you never thought you would have to discuss with a third grader! What "breaks my heart" about this entire situation is that Summer will not go to the doctor for prenatal care. My assumption is that she is back on drugs and I just can't stand the thought of that. Since I am also pregnant I realize the weight of the responsibility of creating and sustaining this other life. It is a huge thing, but wow, what a blessing!!!
Every time I think about what I can do for the orphans in Africa, or the prostitutes in India, God redirects my focus to Summer. I don't know why this is the one situation in my life that I will probably always have to deal with, but I know that God has purpose for it all. So, if you think about it today, please pray for Summer. Please pray for the unborn child that she carries. This is Taylor's little brother or sister. My prayer is that #1- the child gets here safely and drug free and #2- God will protect Taylor from too much information and more than her little mind and heart can handle.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Now I need to get busy on the nursery. I decided to keep everything pretty much the same since Ava's nursery was so cute. If I can get through this upcoming weekend I will get busy getting the baby's stuff in order!
Speaking of this weekend, I am SOOOOO excited about the Pursue Conference! Last year was so great, but I think this year is going to be even better!!! If you are not sure about coming or not, just come! I promise your life will be changed.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
So this brings me to the compliment. Thank you for your patience. They told me that they decided I was the coolest mom they knew and that I should teach a class or something on it. Here are three of the qualifications they came up with that earned me the title in their eyes.
#1- I continued to live my life even after I had kids. Even though to me it feels like everything slowed WAY down, they said I just seemed to keep going. I bring my kids along and didn't put everything on hold just because kiddos came along. I have always felt like it was very important to just include them in the things in our lives that are very important to us. I don't think it's an accident that Taylor has her own guitar and Ava thinks she has to sing songs on a microphone, preferably on a stage. Alan and I decided long ago that since worship is a huge part of our lives we wanted to include our girls in it too.
#2- I don't obsess over little things. This includes things like eating things off the floor. Honestly, I decided long ago that things like that don't really bother me. I know about germs, I know about disease and all the nasty things could be living on the floor. I think that this practice of the 5-second rule is a big reason why my kids are rarely sick. In all of Ava's two years she has had a few ear infections and excema. That's pretty much it. I don't think food off the floor really contributes to dry skin, so I can pretty much rule that one out. Now let me clarify that this only includes food that has just fallen. I do not promote making a buffet out of things that have been on the floor for an unidentified number of days. I'm sure there are other things, but this seems to be the best example.
#3- My friends think that my kids are cool. I guess this is a reflection of me. They think I'm cool, so that makes my kids cool. I think they're pretty cool.
So that's pretty much it. I don't think I could teach a class or anything. And I should probably also say that these two friends don't have kids themselves. One of them never wants kids and the other one is in no hurry. She actually doesn't want to birth her own kids. That part freaks her out. So, I'm not sure how valid their opinions are, but I will still take the compliment!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
You see, Taylor has a soft spot in her heart for animals. She dearly loves all species, all breeds, all kinds of animals. This has carried over into a love for stuffed animals. For years her collection has grown to the point of nearly overtaking her room (and she has a big room people!) So, we looked at the pile and thought. I am a little more caring at times than Alan and decided she would have to get rid of at least 10 0f them. (You see THE PILE consists of at least 60 stuffed animals). Alan was appalled. He said, no way, we're getting rid of all of them. Keep in mind Taylor was out of town this weekend, so she missed this whole interaction (thank God!) Since we couldn't compromise, we just threw them all into Ava's room and started painting.
Well, last night Alan told Taylor that she could keep 10 stuffed animals and the rest would no longer have residence at our house. She nearly choked on her Frito Pie and then with teary eyes said "Daddy, you can't do this to me." They really are special to Taylor. She can tell you where she got every single one of them, who gave it to her, how old she was when she got it, what she was wearing the day she got it, etc. But she finally admitted that she was outgrowing them a bit and she would do it. Alan gave her a 30 minute deadline to make her 10 choices. After a full 30 minutes of going through THE PILE she came out with 12. She couldn't decide between a few of them. She was completely torn up about it. So, Alan giving into his softy side agreed that 12 would be ok. So, now our mountain of stuffed animals is down to a mere mole hill. And what blessed me the most is that Taylor wants to give all the other stuffed animals away at Adopt-A-Block on Saturday. She said that she needed to find special homes for them and give them to kids who probably didn't have as many toys as she did. Taylor, I am so proud of you!!!
Saturday, October 11, 2008
I just started to cry (again). Lately I have felt so shaken. And what makes it most difficult is that I don't want anybody to know so I try even harder to appear strong and immovable. I could feel myself starting to slip though. It's hard to keep that up for weeks on end. At times, you just have to be human, let your guard down and be vulnerable, I guess.
I went on to read all of Psalm 62, and I would like to share it with you today.
1 My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him.
2 He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
3 How long will you assault a man? Would all of you throw him down—this leaning wall, this tottering fence?
4 They fully intend to topple him from his lofty place; they take delight in lies. With their mouths they bless, but in their hearts they curse. Selah
5 Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.
6 He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
7 My salvation and my honor depend on God [a] ; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
8 Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Selah
9 Lowborn men are but a breath, the highborn are but a lie; if weighed on a balance, they are nothing; together they are only a breath.
10 Do not trust in extortion or take pride in stolen goods; though your riches increase, do not set your heart on them.
11 One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: that you, O God, are strong,
12 and that you, O Lord, are loving. Surely you will reward each person according to what he has done.
I love that I can pour out my heart to Him. I even try to keep that to myself at times and just assume that God has other things on His mind. But He is the one place I can go to and just pour out my heart and find peace, hope, and rest. My other favorite part is the end. "You, O God, are strong, and You, O Lord, are loving." The two things I seem to be most deficient on lately are strength and love. So, to know that God is both of these things and I can stop trying to find strength and love in outside sources is just a load off my back! I've known all of this, but somehow I get to the place where I need to be reminded. So, maybe you need to be reminded today.
On a side note. There is a cat at my back window. It has watched me type this entire blog. I hate cats. Every time I look over at it, it just licks the window. I guess God likes to keep things humorous after all.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
I want to commend you. I truly believe you are the greatest employee I have ever encountered at Wal-Mart. I have come to your line many times before. Sometimes I will even wait a little longer in your line, because you are so pleasant!! My only comment would be to fix your name tag. I believe your name is Jahava, but the letters are a little faded and crooked and I can't quite tell if that's right. Plus, I've never heard the name Jahava, so I'm wondering if this is correct. Either way, you are fantastic! You know every number on every piece of produce. Most of the other checkers always have to revert to the "cheat sheet." I understand that there are a lot of numbers to memorize, but bananas, seriously??? If you can't remember the four digit code for bananas, we have bigger problems! Doesn't like every single shopper purchase bananas? But you Jahava, you knew the code for flowery kale! I am impressed. Kudos to you on your checking skills. And your bagging!!! You actually understand that I put things on the counter in a certain order and you bag things so they make sense. You do not put canned goods in the same bag as the loaf of bread! (This has happened to me before, bread on the bottom.) You keep frozen things together and boxed things together. This makes my grocery put up so much smoother. So my hat is off to you! Thanks for doing a superb job!
Dear kid at the lobster tank,
Please do not pretend you are also a lobster and pinch my kids when they come over to check out the lobsters. It is hard enough to avoid a break down in Wal-Mart with a two year old without you clawing her!
Keep your pinchers to yourself please,
Dear lady with the two carts,
I'm not even sure where to begin. Are you buying for two separate households? Are you trying to keep your refrigerated items separate from your non-refrigerated items? I do not understand your method. Maybe this stands out to me because I personally witnessed you knock over a Fruit Roll-Up display after nearly taking out the Halloween candy aisle. Seems like one basket might be best next time.
Dear guy at the door with the petition,
When a pregnant lady with two kids and a fully loaded basket are trying to get out the door, please do not block the exit and ask me if I'm a registered voter and if I would like to sign a petition about alcohol sales in Lubbock. Personally, I think Wal-Mart is a crazy enough place without an entire alcohol section! I'm just thinking of my shopping sanity at this point! I don't need you to continue to pressure me and give me your speech after I already said that I'm not interested. Pregnant lady, two kids, melting popsicles. Out of my way please!
Dear shoppers who don't return your carts,
Return your carts!!! That is all.
So as you can see, it was an eventful day at Wal-Mart. I didn't even go late at night which is when most of the craziness happens!
Sunday, October 5, 2008
#1- Kakuro. I am a total nerd on this one. I got a Kakuro book at Barnes and Noble a few months ago and just finished the entire book (150 puzzles). It was the green belt book, so now I feel prepared for the next level, brown belt. That's right...brown belt! If you don't know what Kakuro is, look it up. It's fun.
#2- A few shows I like to watch on TV. During the day, my TV watching consists of the same Backyardigans DVD mixed in with Veggie Tales from time to time. So the only time I get to watch TV for myself is at night after the girls are in bed. I pull up the DVR list and pick from my recorded favorites. These include (in no particular order) The Office (ok, this is definitely #1), Project Runway, The Soup, Top Design, and I think that's about it right now.
#3- reading blogs. This is my new favorite computer pasttime. I'm kind of over myspace. I enjoy facebook, but not quite as much as the blogs. I have some great ones of my friends right on my blog page, so check some of them out!
Ok, so those are my current "recommendations." Pretty lame I know. Maybe I should start reading more. I want to read "The Shack" but haven't picked it up yet. Any thoughts on this book? I've just heard a lot about it.