Dear Meme

I’ve been thinking about you a lot this month.

Not only does the month of May mark your birthday, but it also marks the day that you left.

Well, you aren’t ever far from my mind really.

Just recently I was spreading laughter when sharing the story of how Romeo used to try and snatch the tennis balls off the bottom of your walker.

Boy did he try hard for those things.

And I frequently tell people that a large part of my love of being in the kitchen comes from all the time I spent in there with you.

Meme Thanksgiving

You are probably where I got my love of chocolate too…

Really it can just be as simple as anytime I look at your great granddaughter, because she shares your middle name.

So I just wanted to take a moment to say that we miss you.

That we love you.

And that I promise that although your great grandbabies may never get a chance to meet you, they will know all about you.

Even if they don’t actually believe that you really did forget where you hid all those Easter eggs…

Love you, Meme

scan0002 (2)

 

Hello, Smurflet

My little Smurflet,

I have written, and rewritten this post for you.

I just can’t seem to find the words that I want to say.

Although to be honest, I’m thinking that the whole “lack of sleep” thing may be influencing my serious lack of articulation.

So that one is kind of on you…

Killian1

But when it comes right down to it, I’m not trying to say much.

I just want you to know that your daddy and I love you very, very much.

And we’re so so happy you’ve joined our little family.

Killian2

And your big sister, she loves you too.

Killian3

And she is REALLY excited that you are finally here.

Trust me, you got the best big sister.

Killian5

I also want you to know how much I am praying for you.

I’m praying first and foremost that you learn to love Jesus, little one.

And in light of that, I’m praying that your daddy and I, even with our many failures, are good examples of what it looks like to continually live by faith.

I’m praying that you never, ever doubt just how much your daddy and I love you.

I’m praying that you and your big sister always remember just how special it is to have a sibling, and that you two stay close as you grow up.

And I’m praying that you will grow up into a strong, kind, and thoughtful man.

Although I am also praying that you don’t grow up too fast…

If I’m honest, I might pray for that last one more frequently than I should.

Only because I love you, my Smurflet.

Killian4

Welcome to the family!

Happy New Year – Is God Still Good?

Hello blogging world! It’s been just about forever since I’ve made an appearance, and my apologies for that. Not that it’s a good excuse, but between the holidays, being pregnant, and then dealing with some unwell-ness I’m afraid getting online was a bit of a last priority :/

Survival was more the theme 😉

But I have been slowly working on the post below, and so without further adieu, I present my (somewhat late) New Years musings:


As it does for most people, the beginning of a new year always causes me to pause and reflect.

A year is a long time, with lots of calendar space for new beginnings, adventures, ups, and of course downs.

2017 certainly filled up those empty spaces, and while there were many wonderful things that happened, there were also many difficult things that happened.

Continued health battles within my own family, the passing of a dear family friend, job difficulties, the list goes on.

Even watching from as an outsider other people filling up their calendar space with unasked for trials. Sick kids requiring hospitalization, struggles with infertility, the death of a (very) young man, although not unexpected, that was still hard to witness.

This list goes on too.

And it seems easy to reflect back on the joyous moments of the year and celebrate, even to be thankful. Thankful for happy times and smooth sailing.

But reflecting on the less joyous times I confess often gives me pause.

It seems like those lows were pretty low.

Those down times went pretty far down.

And I find, for myself at least, it becomes easy to start questioning.

Why is this happening?

Why is this happening to me?

Why is this happening to so and so?

And, again for me at least, I can find myself questioning the goodness of it all.

After all, what good can come from the premature passing of a friend?

Where is the happy in continued health struggles?

How can this difficult situation be any positive for anyone?

Where is God in all this?

Why did He let this happen?

It’s not fair. It’s too hard.

I admit this is a mindset I find myself falling into much too easily.

Especially this past year.

Not so much whether or not God is good, but if He is good all the time.

Even when I don’t like what is happening.

Is God still good even in those low lows?

Is God still good when I am struggling?

The answer of course, is yes.

But sometimes getting that truth from my head to my heart is harder than it should be.

Sometimes in the middle of enduring or witnessing suffering and difficultly and pain my gut reaction is to pull away.

To start to question the goodness of God.

To doubt Him.

Where did He go wrong?

But here’s the thing.

If I keep down that path of doubt and frustration, and even sometimes anger, I find myself feeling like I am spiraling completely out of control.

Like I’m falling down that big black hole of nothingness.

But when I run back to God?

When I cling to Jesus like the life preserver I so desperately need?

Things start to make sense again.

The crazy out-of-control spiral calms.

Because here’s the other thing.

God IS still good.

Despite everything.

INspite of everything, actually.

Now, this doesn’t mean I suddenly like or understand or want what’s happening.

Clinging to my Savior during those hard times doesn’t suddenly make cancer “easy,” or death “fun,” or really any difficult situation more “ideal.”

What it does do however, is help me remember that this world doesn’t follow my agenda.

That my plans really don’t matter.

I know, it seems strange to find comfort in that.

But it rights my world again when I remember that there is someone else in control.

And that the someone else is good, and just, and loves me.

And that in the midst of hardship and heartache and struggle….

….He’s never going to leave me.

And that during those low lows, I can remember that even if I cannot understand it (and I often don’t), there IS a plan.

No, it’s not my plan.

But it’s a good plan.

I’ve watched what I would deem devastating circumstances turn into the most beautiful testimonies.

I’ve seen people with strength I didn’t know possible, that pulls them through even when they are certain they will fail.

And it continues to remind me that no, this is not MY plan.

But at the end of it all,

Even if I don’t ever see it,

There is goodness.

And justice.

And peace.

So I guess to answer my own question, yes, despite it all, God IS still good.

No, that doesn’t make it easy.

It doesn’t even mean that I immediately cling to Him when things get hard.

But I can ALWAYS circle back, because He is good.

And I think I am most thankful for that as we start this new year.

Today was a Day

Today was a day.

You know, one of THOSE days.

An emotionally draining, physically exhausting, when the heck is it going to end day.

It’s been a long few weeks over here, and to be honest I’ve been working on a blog post for a while now trying to express all we’ve been walking through.

Let’s just say I’m still not able to find all the right words.

I’ll get there, I hope.

But anyways, on top of wrestling through some tough and sometimes overwhelming emotions, today was a day.

It started with a sleepless night, which isn’t necessarily new (hello 25 weeks!), but is kind of my Achilles heel.

That was greeted by a grumpy, demanding, and just generally frustrating toddler.

And after one thing leading to another I found myself arguing with (yeah I know what you’re thinking) my two year old.

Because it’s completely rational to try and have any sort of rational debate with a two year old.

Hashtag winning….

This lead to spending most of nap time going over every detail that makes me the most horrible mother.

Because nothing makes you feel super inadequate quite like making your child cry.

Just really capturing mother of the year over here.

The remainder of the post nap evening was mostly salvaged due to daddy coming home (YAY) and taking the emotional toddler somewhere else, so as to keep mom from going totally insane.

I’m sparing you most of the details, but guessing every mom out there understands what I’m taking about.

And now I sit here reflecting on the day, part of me is embarrassed to admit the struggle it was, considering I have only one child to deal with.

I look around and see moms of three or five or more and they just seem to have it all together.

And here I am with one (and a half?), and I’ve got more days than not where I’m not sure I’m going to make it.

But I gotta be honest.

So today was a day.

And as I sit here broken, exhausted, and overwhelmed by my mothering failures, I am grateful that tomorrow is another day.

I am grateful for grace.

I am grateful for a two year old who won’t remember all my failures of today, and certainly doesn’t hold them against me (I think anyway).

And did I mention that I’m grateful for bedtime?

I might just be grateful for bedtime most of all…

Smurflets

Hello internet friends.

It has come to my attention that a somewhat recent upcoming event in our lives has yet to make a public appearance.

Essentially, I have some exciting news (well we think it is at least) I’d like to share with all seven (hopefully you’re all still here) of my readers.

Come the ever exciting month of March we will be welcoming Mini number two into our little family.

Or as I have been affectionately calling him or her, our little Smurflet.

We (read: everyone but Romeo) are very excited to add to our daily adventure, and aside from very similar symptoms as pregnancy with the Mini, mommy and baby are looking quite healthy.

The Mini is very excited for “new baby’s” arrival, and we have no doubts that she will be a fabulous big sister.

NewBaby1

In an effort to include big sis in all things baby we’ve asked whether she thinks this Smurflet is a boy or a girl, and she’s pretty convinced it’s a boy.

NewBaby2

Of course, she is also convinced that she is a boy, so we’ll probably not hold too tightly to her opinion just yet…

Anyways, that’s our most recent and exiting news, and I am sure it will provide me with plenty of new material as we move right along.

Now if you’ll excuse me, the Mini is down for a nap and I am pretty sure I hear my pillow calling my name…

Simple Joys

Recently our little family joined my side of the family on a nice week long vacation.

To try and accommodate everyone in the family we ended up heading to the Finger Lakes.

(Side note, if you’ve never been out that way I highly recommend taking a trip some day. It is really quite lovely.)

But in the weeks leading up the this vacation I started to worry about what we would do all week with our crazy active two year old.

Don’t get me wrong, as I said before the Finger Lakes are just beautiful. And if you’re into drinking wine (or beer. Or really anything containing alcohol…), you probably need to take a trip out there someday.

But it’s hardly kosher to allow a two year old a glass of wine. This isn’t France after all.

And aside from miles and miles of winery’s (heh) there aren’t necessarily a ton of activities that are super two year old friendly.

So I started to get a little nervous that we would have an exceptionally bored Mini all week. I mean, you can only color in your new “color book” so many times…

But as we settled into our home away from home on the steepest hill I’ve ever experienced in my life (seriously, I probably lost 10 pounds just walking up and down…), I found myself a little humbled.

Because for all my worry, and research, and concerns, my dear Mini was completely and totally content to spend her entire week throwing rocks into the water. Or just down the hill.

Really wherever we’d let her throw them.

Now don’t get me wrong, we still made time for many adventures, including visiting some goats:

Goat

Boat riding:

Boat

And walking through some very pretty waterfalls:

Falls

But if we hadn’t done any of that, I think throwing rocks would have consumed our entire week with absolutely no complaints from the Mini.

And I was struck with the contrast.

Here I was trying to ensure that we’d have plenty of “entertainment” for the week – trying to make sure it was a super special and unforgettable time.

And here my daughter was getting the most joy you’ve ever seen out of throwing rocks.

Rocks.

That’s it.

She found joy in rocks.

Rocks

And it caused me pause.

Because I can get so caught up in trying to make every moment unique that I miss the simple joys that life has to offer.

Like throwing rocks.

I can distract myself from what is really important (just having time together as a family) in my effort to strive for “perfect” parenting.

But really all the perfection we needed was to take in the simplicity around us.

So there you have it. Humbled by, and quite thankful for, a rock.

Who’d a thunk it?

And She is Two!

It’s hard to believe that two whole years ago we welcomed you into our little family.

marked

Two years ago you made us parents, and we started off on the craziest, silliest, hardest, most rewarding journey.

You are the most special little girl, and your daddy and I feel so blessed to have you.

Mini Birthday2

You’ve added such spunk and love to our family.

You are beautiful and smart, and your energy levels still continue to amaze me.

You have the kindest heart, and I love watching your enthusiasm for life spill over into everything you do.

Mini Birthday3

And although some days you drive me right to the brink of insanity 😉

We wouldn’t trade you for the world!

Mini Birthday5

Happy birthday my little Mini.

Another Year Another Birthday

You always hear growing up that you’d better enjoy life now because as soon as you’re older it just goes by so fast.

And of course as a young child you never believe this, but rather spend your days longing to be grown, because life isn’t moving fast enough.

But the fact of life is it does indeed go by very, very quickly, and before you know it you are all grown up, you’ve celebrated seven years of marriage, and it’s your favorite hubby’s 28th birthday.

204

I’m still trying to figure out how exactly this happened (of course, not forgetting that we also managed to become parents in that previously mentioned time frame….). But happened it did.

So I am wishing you the happiest of birthdays my dear hubby. Even though you have to work all day I hope is a good one.

I do have cake waiting for when you get home. (Although I can’t guarantee any frosting to go with it since the Mini did help me…)

But frosting or not we do love you, and are very thankful for all that you do for this family.

I am thankful that you’ve put up with me for the last seven years.

And the Mini is thankful that you’re such a wonderful daddy.

Keith Birthday 2

And that she can eat the frosting off your cake.

So here’s to 28 good ones, and to whatever the next 28 plus may bring.

Love you Hubby.

Keith Birthday 1

I have it “easy”

A long while ago I had someone say to me, in response to finding out I was leaving work to become a stay at home mom, that they wished they too could quit their job and stay home because ‘I just had it so easy.’

Now please don’t mishear me – I’m not looking to start a debate over whether or not “working moms” have it better or worse than “non working moms.” That’s not the point of this post.

But I’ve been thinking about that comment all week. It’s been a long week, and as I’m sure many of you can relate to, ones brain often likes to relive certain moments when it’s the most unhelpful.

“I have it so easy.”

Unfortunately for me, this has not been such an easy week. I won’t bore you with details, but let’s say that it included, though wasn’t limited to:

-What could have been a very serious accident thankfully resulting in “just” a black eye for the Mini.

-Twice, in the span of 24 hours, putting a pan on the stove and completely forgetting about it (resulting in billowing smoke and blaring smoke detectors).

-Very poor sleeping (just mom this time).

-And daddy working some long, long hours away from home.

Yeah.

Reading my list my (and I’m sure other people’s) first reaction is the classic “first world problems.”

I mean, I still have a roof over my head, food on the table, etc etc.

But let’s be honest for a moment.

This thing called life thing is HARD.

Being a mom is HARD.

Having a week where you feel like absolutely nothing you do is going to have a positive outcome is REALLY hard.

And I’m grateful for it all.

I am.

I love being a mom.

I love that the hubby works as hard as he does for his family.

I love the Mini, despite the heart attacks she’s getting good at giving me.

Though it is a good thing she’s cute:

N

But
it.
is.
hard.

So I just needed to take a moment to admit that.

And now I need to go figure out how to remove the smell of burnt sugar from my house.

But at least I don’t have to test my smoke detectors.

Springing Into Spring

Well hello there Internet world.

It’s been a while.

A long while actually. I honest to goodness thought it had only been a couple weeks since I had checked in here.

I guess the end of a long winter had me feeling all blah and out of sorts.

But it seems we’ve finally turned a corner up here in the frozen tundra we call home, and for that I am grateful.

Not that our winter wasn’t without its perks.

Romeo found that all that white stuff made the game of hide and seek significantly easier:

spring

And on a more important note, we were also able to spend some time teaching the Mini the importance of proper snow management:

spring2

We will however have to work on her speed for next winter. I suppose it’s true that you do get what you pay for around here, and Goldfish only get you so far.

In any event, we are now helping to usher out the old and ho hum by giving our little house a facelift. Well, an internal one anyways.

Warmer temps means open windows which means bring on the paint baby:

spring3

(Disclaimer: this is not a job we’ve been encouraging the Mini to assist us with. The little tornado is better served with less…um…delicate tasks.)

There’s nothing quite like a fresh coat of paint. It makes everything seem new and exciting. And of course it makes non freshly painted rooms much shabbier.

We call this around here “motivation.”

It’s been quite cathartic to not only see less snow and more green outside, but to start to personalize our “life” on the inside.

It just reinforces how much I love love love this time of year, because everything just feels so new again.

The grass is growing, gardens are being started (or built. I’m looking at you, Hubby…), and everyone is finally able to go outside without a million layers that you just have to take off once you get inside because the heat is on and you’d literally melt.

Ahem.

Sorry.

Did I mention I’m excited about spring?

I am quite ready for warm days, new life, no shoveling, and all that happiness that springtime brings.

Now if you’ll excuse me, the Mini is down for bed, and I have a date with a paintbrush.

Happy springing!

Life, Laughter, and who am I kidding. It's all craziness!