An honest reflection of me- in fragments. Imperfect- Grace Covered. Balance. Mom. Wife.
Nurse. Homeschool Teacher. Christ follower first. Second changes. Thankful.

For my husband

Friday, May 29, 2009

It's been 5-years today - Happy Anniversary.

Jacob

You are my still and even-tempered fortress, my court-jester, and my encourager.
You easily diffuse the irrational within me, and remind me of the simple-important things.
You coax a smile and laughter from deep within that belongs only to you.
You foster a more-confident view of myself and tolerate my self-loathing moments.
You are more than an equal; you are a quiet leader and willingly serve our home and family.



We have shared unimaginable highs and endured heart-wrenching lows.
We have struggled with our own imperfections, but together our mountain of flaws are easier to climb.
We have gained insight into each others minds and hearts.
We have two beautiful children and cultivate the best in each other as parents.
We have grown together and individually making this family and our marriage better.



Year 1: I recall a general feeling of elation surrounding daily tasks. Scrubbing toilets, making dinner (which almost daily included dessert), picking up your smelly socks...the list could go on and on. We indulged in date-nights, relished each others company and catered to each others needs. Haddie came to live with us and challenged our authority and meager apartment. We learned our family of two was quickly to become a family of three. You graduated from college and began the job search. We made plans...
Year 2 : We moved from our apartment into our first home. You still didn't have a teaching-job, but we forged ahead making plans for me to work only part-time. You patiently tolerated and indulged my pregnancy "cravings" and laziness. I had my first "Mother's Day" as an expectant-mom. Haddie needed to find a new family due to our new-neighbors. With only one-till the start of school, you landed a great job and thus your career began at California Trail Junior High. We decided on the name Ethan Samuel for our little boy and he was born in September, but September was over a month early and we sat at his crib in prayer and watched with anticipation for him to grow stronger so we could bring him home. He came home and he grew, he was a quiet, easy-going baby with the temperament of his daddy. Just as we were adjusting to our new family of three, SURPRISE, we were pregnant again. You allowed me to sulk as I adjusted to the idea of another pregnancy, and after a week you spoke the harsh-but-kind words I needed to awakening me from my sullenness. And so we excitedly awaited the arrival of our second baby into our...
Year 3 : We found out our second baby was baby-girl, and we decided to call her Charlie (the only name we both could agree on). Ethan celebrated his 1st birthday and second Christmas. Josh and Abbey moved back to Fredonia and we grieved the loss of our closets friends and family. We made plans for me to cut-back from working after Charlie's arrival. When Charlie decided to come it was on her timeline, you escaped a speeding-ticket on the way to the hospital and after only two-hours at the hospital Charlie made her debut 2:12 am. She was healthy, but not a very happy baby, and her crying was soothed by very little we could provide. At 5 months she began to crawl and our Charlie-girl began to lighten-up a little. We lived as zombies, sleep-deprived and edgy- but we managed. Our first-home began to show it's normalcy and flaws - and we began to make some minor improvements, a flooded basement prompted us to begin deconstruction and remodeling sooner than anticipated, but we were beginning to learn our limits and our family pitched in. Your secret unveiled - you hurt me. But sin always hurts. So, I bestowed on you the same grace our Father in heaven has given me - we confronted it together, we grew stronger and we moved on.
Year 4 : Ethan celebrated his second birthday, and he informed me multiple times "no mommy, I wear diapers" so we delayed the potty-training experience until age 2 3/4. We discovered the robber of our little girls joy and it was the inability to move or express herself. It was a relief when at 9 1/2 months Charlie started walking; this new found independence provided some happiness and the little girl we now know and love began to bloom. Ethan tolerated his sister invading his space, but inevitably the "mine-war" began. We celebrated the life of our beautiful girl turning one, and she conveniently took a much-needed nap during her own party. Our house remained in a constant state of disrepair or remodel, it was beginning to get to us - so we hired a professional. You excel in your job and it's fun getting to listen to your classroom stories. I only work PRN at the hospital and audit four-times a month for AMC and CTSystems (but I miss nursing). Our summer was spent at the pool and with new best-friends Ian, Booke and Heath Gariss.
Year 5 : No more fussing with the house, our basement is complete, we have two-full remodeled bathrooms and all new plumbing that works, for now our work is done. We continue to grow as parents as our children mature and need in new ways. Ethan is completely potty-trained! He celebrated his third birthday with a train ride (friends and family all-aboard). He is so bright, has such a gentle spirit and amazes us daily. Thanksgiving - we were surprised again, but happy to find out we were pregnant again (no sulking this time). But our joy turned to fear when I started bleeding, a simple blood test confirmed a low-hormone level (easily fixed) and a sonogram confirmed a heart beat, I prepared myself for a hot and "big" summer and looked forward to our due date of August 4th. Our nephew Briggs was born in December and we celebrated with Josh and Abbey. It was with heavy hearts we found out only one week later that we had lost our baby (10 1/2 weeks into the pregnancy). Surgery was recommended and I endured it. Ethan was sad we didn't get to keep our baby "I wanted our baby to live with us, mommy" he told me, but he seemed to comprehend (in a way I yet was unable) when we explained that our baby had died and was going to live with Jesus in heaven. Only two-days after the surgery we celebrated Charlie's life, her second-birthday. She is now a joyous, head-strong, talkative little beauty who often refers to herself as "princess". Ethan and Charlie still compete in the "mine-wars" but for the most part they play-pretend together, share their things and help get each other into and out-of trouble. We get a little more sleep than the early years. You're getting ready to go back to school for your master's degree-applying for a high school teaching position, and I'm back at KU part-time with benefits.
We are blessed with each other, our children, family, friends and most of all God's love and grace. And I am excited to begin our Year 6.

I love you Jacob
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Anti-Political

Saturday, May 23, 2009

It's just not my nature to indulge myself in political reading or conversation. I don't particularly enjoy keeping up with the morphing laws and worldly developments. The nightly news is ill-focused and depressing.
I don't give "facebook-thumb's up" to political-action-movements. I don't protest. I don't sign petitions. And, I'm mostly-sure, little good would come out of those actions if taken (well for sure the facebook thing).

Am I apathetic?

Apathy (via Wikipeida) = a state of indifference, or the suppression of emotions such as concern, excitement, motivation and passion.

Maybe I am?
So the question rises within me, if I am politically apathetic is this a "right" state for me to live in?

The answer, and the required course of action stemming from the answer, are both a little hazy. Continue to monitor and assess.
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Sundress

Friday, May 22, 2009

Charlie choose a sundress today. A loud yellow hue-with orange daisy print. The color magnifies her beautiful skin-tone and she declared herself a princess.
I coaxed my beautiful girl and mis-matched boy into the stroller for a jog with chocolate milk. They both obliged, I cranked up the ipod and off we went.
Exactly 1 min into the expedition (I know because I was wearing Jacob's timex watch) Charlie's sundress caught the breeze and the drama commenced.
Exclamations of "no, dress-no" tears, whaling and more "no-no" And the wrestling match, Charlie vs. sundress, began the wind grasping the delicate edge of the dress and Charlie pinning it down in frustration.
I received a "look" from observer number-one, as we passed. Mom and toddler, of course her toddler was happily pedaling his 3-wheeler as she talked on the phone.
At mile number-1 (10 min 45 sec - timex watch remember) I probably looked like mom of the year to the woman in her pj's patiently encouraging her dog to poo on the front lawn.
There was a brief reprieve from the whaling at 16 min 28 seconds, which quickly resumed as my pace accelerated down-hill and a breezy gust blew over.
Mile number-2 (19 min and some-odd seconds) I jerked the double-stroller to a halt and threatened "do you want a spanking" Of course her answer was "no" which came out more like "nnnn-oooo." "Then stop throwing a fit" I exclaimed.
For the remainder of our 29 min jog there was peace and quiet - Charlie's hands remained glued to the sundress and Ethan lovingly-tolerated Charlie resting her head on his shoulder.
What else can I say....
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Dual-purpose...

It was an hour drive home from Blue Springs in rush-hour traffic. And while Ethan had taken my suggestion to use Dana's bathroom prior to our departure, at approximately I-435 and State Line exit the Crystal-Lite lemonade began to take effect. Ethan informed me he needed to potty - I asked if he could make it home, to which her replied "I want to pee in the grass." I tried to explain the traffic, the lack of available grass, and so grudgingly he replied "I guess".

It was at the painfully slow intersection of State Line and 103rd street when the multiple-glasses of Crystal-Lite lemonade overpowered his little body and the potty-exclamation began to escalate. Turn lane at 103rd street; 3-green lights had passed and still we remained trapped. Anxiously waiting; the whines, proclamations and tears began to flow with great intensity.
Distraction, I thought..."Ethan let's talk about something else, tell me what cars do you see?"
He observed the tightly packed traffic and commented on the "big-truck and named multiple-colors of cars" but it only lasted a few seconds and the whaling began again. I knew an accident was imminent...
So I offered the only other option I had...a chic-fil-a Styrofoam cup - as matter-of-fact as I possibly could I gave the choices "Ethan you can wait till we get home or try and pee in a cup"
"Pee in a cup" was his quick reply.
I gave precise directions- unbuckle the car seat, stand in the floor, now pull your pants down (meanwhile I scooted my driver's seat forward to give him enough room to stand), "here's the cup", point into the cup...thanks to cell-phones most of the drivers near us were too busy talking, texting, etc to notice.
"Here you go mom" Ethan said as he relinquished the pee-filled cup back to me. It looked much like the lemonade I had just discarded out the window. I placed it carefully in the available cup-holder and there it sat, a cup of pee right next to my bottle of smart-water.
Now Ethan was still standing, and we were on the move at this point so I instructed him to return to his seat and secure his buckle to which he commented "because if I don't the police will stop us and take you away to jail"
I giggled, grinned and replied - "something-like that."

And there you have it - a beverage holder and a portable-potty thanks to the folks at Chic-fil-A.
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Mom

Monday, May 11, 2009

I hold a picture of you in the fore-front of my mind;
Peacefully sitting at the kitchen table, absorbed in your Bible, journal and pencil near.
Me; keys in hand, backpack slung over one shoulder, exiting for the day at school.

I realize now how desperately I want to recreate it in my own life.
The props may differ and the timing off, but the example...
I can fathom now that some of that time hovered over your Bible you were searching for me, you were praying for me and you were a faithful mom for ME.
Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU - I love you mom.
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28 weeks

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Is how pregant I should be right now...and I know because when in November we found out we were expecting I wrote each week down on our calendar.

My belly should be round and full. We would know "baby" was baby-girl; I should be able to feel her shifting and kicking inside of me, how I cherish that sensation (it's truly the one-thing I miss about being pregnant). We would be falling in love with her more and more everyday.

Little did I know almost 6-months later, I would not be 28 weeks pregnant. I would have endured tests, medication, surgery and still be paying for all-the-above. I wonder if the sonographer, who was rude and acted rushed on our arrival, felt any regret for her attitude toward us as she observed the missing heart-beat and measured our lifeless baby trapped inside my body. I am so very grateful that Jacob was at that appointment with me.

I think about my very first Mother's day almost 4 years ago - I was preganant with Ethan, and how this mother's day I should be too.

And as depressing as this may sound, I feel better after writting it. I can not cry,- Is it possible I have cried all the tears I can for this little girl, for this loss of experience?
There is a peace, beyond my own understanding and I am reconciled to the reality I am the mother of two-instead of three. But it is more than reconciled, beacuse I am so truly thankful and blessed with the two-children I have.

And so, this Mother's day will come and go, like all the ones to follow. I will celebrate my mother her life, her beauty, her example and her amazing love for me and my brothers, and I will be thankful I have been blessed with my two-children to love.
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Dear children

Friday, May 8, 2009

Ethan --
I am blessed by your sweet spirit and eagerness to assist me with whatever I may ask.
You include your sister in your games and take her hand when she lags behind.
You also like to torment your sister, taking toys she has or getting to the toy she wants before she gets a chance.
If we could play outside all day you would be joyfully satisfied.
You line your cars in organized rows, and stack the books by size neatly.
Reading holds your attention better than a television show, but your happy to have the TV on as background-distraction while you play.
It is compelling observing your imagination at work - recreating stories, adding details and creating your own unique scenarios of play.
You are smart.
You like to tease me and deny a hug, you lightheartedly wipe away my kisses.
I am frustrated with your sensitivity to clothing - today you cried for 7 minutes and tried on 4 different pair of underwear before you found the right pair that didn't "bother you." You also have an aversion to wearing socks, but are equally upset when your unveiled feet are encrusted with the grime of your shoes. While I may not understand this sensitivity I will do my best to support you, listen and encourage you to grow.
I love you

Charlie --
I am amazed at your resilience and blessed by your exuberance.
Each action is done with passion, your speech is animated, and your smile contagious.
You are an eager participant in Ethan's make-believe, and you enjoying being a part of the game.
You love your brother, but also relish in getting him in trouble.
Dirt has its own magnetic pull to you, and you are blissfully unaware of how dirty you get while playing outside or eating.
You can sit motionless in front of the television, but are most content when sitting on my lap, be it in front of the TV or reading and this makes me glad.
Full-force you run into my arms and hug with all your might, you give kisses away freely but with sincerity and dotingly say "I love you too, mom" before I have the chance to tell you first.
You are smart too.
You thrive on routine, and request to go to bed when you are tired, you skipped lunch 3 days in a row to take a nap.
I am frustrated when you cry and refuse to use words to express yourself. I don't know what you want when you cry. I am frustrated when I have to ask you several times to do the same thing. I will be patient with you as you learn how to express yourself in words and I will bend-down to your level and look you in the eyes to make sure you hear and understand my requests. I love you.

I am blessed to be your mom
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For my brothers....


To the first, my life-long best friend - who has blessed me with the sister of my dreams:
You haven't always had the words, but you've always been there.
You've been brave for me, protected me and given me confidence.
You've displayed responsibility in your practicality, and I have learned from you.
Although I am older, you are my "big brother" and I love you.

To the second, my child before children - who has blessed me with your sweet spirit:
We are alike you and me, but not the same;
I am more guarded, you more genuine,
I lacking in self-confidence, you saturated and beaming.
We've taken pain in stride, displayed resiliance, and gained understanding.
You are honest and I will always be here to listen to you.
You make me proud, you make me smile and I will forever want the best for you.
Although I am smaller, you will always be my "little brother" and I love you.
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Running...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

It begins with aspiration, and is driven by the notion that this body can be transformed.
My feet pound the concrete, and my legs turn.
My breath labors and quickens.
The boquet of spring is inhaled with every breath, and my breathing slows to enjoy each unique fragrance - Sweet lilac, fresh cut grass, the scent of an elderly gentleman enjoying a pipe on his porch (the kind that reminds me of Uncle Tom).
My shadow vanishes and unites with the darkness.
And distraction, in the form of my "motivational mix", aides my pace.
Rhythm finds each step and suddenly it's almost effortless.
Now I can push - demanding my body to go faster, and farther I press on.
I gain self-control as my mind disciplines my body to act beyond it's presumed "limits".
So, while working on the outside of me the inside is made more beautiful too. I see the ability lying in wait within me to press-on, to discipline myself, and to move outside of my own comfort.
I am both challenged and fortified.

Philippians 3:14 : I press on toward the goal for the prize to which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
1 Corinthians 9:24b-26 : Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games excerises self-control in all things. They do it to recieve a preishalbe crown, but we do it to gan a crown that lasts forever. Therefore I run in sich a way, as not without aim...I buffet my body and make it my slave.
Philippians 3:12b : I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
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Reflection of my past...

Friday, May 1, 2009

The events of the past can not be undone.
The effects are sensed in the present, and ultimately shape the future.
My past holds for me some of the ugliest and yet some of the most beautiful pieces of me.
The ugly piece I loathe, it is an ever present reminder of the pain that accompanies sin and poor choices. I was broked and conflicted.
The beautiful piece I cherish, it binds me tightly to my family and draws me closer to God. I was innoncent and sustained.
Without either part I would not be the same me.
The ugly and beautiful alike have molded and chiseled the reflection I now see.
So, I use my past to forge ahead, the stinging reminder of pain triggers better choices, and while lost innoncence can not be regained I can strive to maintain the innoncence of my children.

Philippians 3:13 b : "...forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead..."
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