Day 2: Our House {#write31days}

If you’re anything like me, then as soon as you read the title for this post, you started singing “in the middle of the street.”

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We bought this house in 2008, and it has been a HUGE blessing. We’ve built our family here–it will be very hard to leave it when the time comes. When I look at these pictures though, I see how much the plants have changed. Before we bought it, there was a large bradford pear tree in the front yard, but an ice storm caused it to have to be cut down. Since we’ve lived there, small bushes have flourished and died, and two other bradford pears have had to be cut down (in case you’re looking at planting a tree, I’d avoid a bradford pear). All this makes me think of Isaiah 40:8, “The grass withers, the flower fades, BUT the word of our God stands forever.”  I’m thankful that in spite of any uncertainty or changes in life, I can trust that God’s word is still truth, and He’s on the throne.

 

Day 1: Make a Move {#write31days}

We MOVE in sixteen days! Sixteen days! {and I’m currently singing Ah, Freak Out!} I’m fairly certain the next two weeks will F L Y by. We will FINALLY make a move. I am, to be perfectly candid, slightly freaking out. The idea that what we have been planning and hoping for for at least a year is finally coming to fruition is scary, overwhelming, and exciting all at the same time. I wrote previously that one of our goals this year was to MOVE! As a “to-do” list kinda girl, anytime I can check something off my list–whether it’s a task or  goal–I get excited!

Over the last three months, I’ve kept Ecclesiastes 3:11 in my mind, and I also kept going back to something I read from @intentionalhome on Instagram :

“Sometimes the time that passes between the conception of a dream and the birth of it feels hopeless….[BUT] the TRUTH is that God’s GREATEST works often happen in the waiting. Maybe not outward ones, but definitely ones of the heart….there is as much purpose in this in-between as there will be when I see it all finally unfold…This waiting room is something He designed. For me. For a purpose. GREATER THAN MY OWN. And I can rest in that. Rest in HIM. And REST IN HIS PERFECT TIMING.”

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 #Write31days is going to be a challenge–and I want that. I want this to be an opportunity to make writing more of a habit. For the next 31 days, I plan on using this space to spotlight real life selling-a-home-packing-moving-making-a-new-house-home tips. {Whew! I’m tired just thinking about all that.} I also openly admit that this will at times become a place of processing my thoughts, possible venting, and maybe cutsie graphics. 🙂

Feel free to follow along and tell me any and all your packing tips and tricks!!! I need LOTS of suggestions as this is the first move we’ll be making with two littles!

Well, poop.

Almost four years ago, I was expecting my first child. With that came certain expectations–in all honesty, I wanted a girl. I wanted a dainty, precious, tender-hearted sweet girl who would sleep on a schedule, never get into anything dirty, play with dolls, and paint nails. God has a sense of humor, and at times it seems a little twisted to me. Four years and two boys later there is nothing dainty about our house, and there is LOTS. OF. DIRT. See this precious face….would you guess that this face has to be washed EVERY night because it’s usually covered in dirt, snot, food, and who knows what else?

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That sweet face, well, he ate poop. The hubby and I were sanding and cleaning off the siding on the house in an effort to get ready to sell (whole other post), and the boys were playing at their sand table. I glanced to do a check and make sure they were still getting along somewhat peacefully. I was puzzled when I noticed H was chewing something with a rather disgusted look on his face. Immediate panic set in when I crammed my fish-hook finger in his mouth to scrape out what he was chewing…poop. Dang dog poop. In four years we’ve had our fair share of poop encounters, but this was the grossest to me…my child was eating poop. I debated googling what to do, but figured that would just end in the assumption that he was going to die from it, so cringing, I broke out the water hose, did my best to scrape any remains of feces out of his precious mouth, and let him guzzle water.

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Thank you God for your sense of humor, precious boys who eat dirt and poop, but thank you most of all for letting them survive it! Also, if my little guy ever argues with me about trying a new food, I’m going to remind him that he was willing to try dog poop, so he sure as heck can try anything!

 

Three Point Five {on my baby being three and a half}

T I M E   F L I E S

Last night, he walked out of the garage to follow his daddy and “help” mow. I reminded him about staying off the street because of “fast cars,” and he immediately replied “I’ll be fine” with a thumbs up. I laughed on the outside, but mostly in an effort to avoid crying.

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Everyday he says something clever, new, and I am amazed at what a spectacular young man God has given us. I worry (waaaaaaaaaay too much) that the influences of the outside world, other people, and media will harm him, but I MUST remember that our Heavenly Father loves him infinitely more than I can even begin to imagine.

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He admires his Daddy, me, and by the Grace of God, we’ll do our best to show him Christ’s love and help him learn that his greatest calling is to glorify God, love Him and love others.

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Having him look at me with his 3 and half year old wisdom and say “I’ll be fine,” was a heavenly reminder that God is in control and the plans He has for my little man are greater than any I can think of.

DSC_6775He is a fierce lover (and sometimes fighter), passionate, assertive, creative, intuitive, and just plain fun! I can’t wait to see what the rest of “three” is like!

Brownie Baking {also known as the time I realized my baby isn’t a baby}

So, my hubby took some fun pictures of C licking the brownie bowl. (Sorry, Betty Crocker, I know you have a note on the back of your box saying never to consume raw brownie batter, but c’mon! In my world, 87% of the reason I make brownies is so I can lick the bowl and/or spoon.) Anyway, when I uploaded these images, I may have gotten a little teary. My baby is not a baby, and I’ve known this for a while, but now he doesn’t even look like a toddler! He is a boy! A small man-child!

Random side-note: we have been ruined and can no longer make brownies without adding Reese’s peanut butter chips.

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Three is HARD

Someone should’ve warned me just how difficult a three-year-old can be. I’ve always heard about the “terrible twos,” perhaps I’m looking back with rose-colored glasses, but in our house, 2 didn’t seem all that terrible. Sure there were tantrums, the whole potty-training bit, and general neediness, but that was nothing compared to 3. When did this adorable, intelligent, energetic baby become such a demanding, constantly negotiating, very opinionated child? One minute he’s strangling his baby brother and the next he’s saying, “I love you mama” in an aren’t-I-so-sweet-and-innocent voice.

This morning was especially hard. Dadda had to be at a powerlifting meet by 6:30, which meant everyone was awake extra early–like 5:45 AM. (In my honest, accurate opinion, if the sun is not up, then I shouldn’t be either.) Curious George was not the babysitter I hoped for, so anything more than 10 minutes for shower, make-up, etc. was out of the question for this momma. Both boys needed to be held and cuddled, and it’s times like this that I wonder why God didn’t give parents more arms.  Sadly, when both are crying and having meltdowns, I tend to have less patience (and since it was 6:15 AM on a Friday, I had zero patience) with my three year old. I know I should be more understanding….he was INSISTENT on wearing his basketball pants. (Again, I needed a warning that my 3 year old boy would have such strong opinions about his wardrobe.) Unfortunately, someone is behind on laundry and the basketball pants aren’t clean which caused an even bigger melt down, and it was all down hill from there. After lots of tears, the forceful putting on of pants, we loaded up and headed to school. I felt a wave of relief when I dropped the boys off, followed by immediate guilt.

Sure, three is hard. But three is also very entertaining, imaginative, inquisitive, and just plain fun. I love his constant questions, his playful imagination, his need for social interaction and the great outdoors. I love that he wants to read books over and over and play “school.” I love how he {sometimes} want to play with his younger brother (this of course is short-lived because the next minute he’s pushing or choking him).  I’m certain every age will be hard, but I don’t want to waste the time I’m given with them. I don’t want to react in anger or not have any patience just because it’s still dark outside on a Friday morning. My boys are not inconveniences. They are precious gifts. I can only pray that God’s grace will be sufficient, that His power and strength will be evident in  my NUMEROUS weaknesses.

On another note, I’ve discovered that I tend to accompany apologies with food…like, “I’m sorry this morning is rough. Want to grab a donut before school?” Pretty sure my boys will be in therapy someday for emotional eating…

Word dump….

I’m certain this post will be a bit random, but I want to get some thoughts down. 

First, I read this quote recently, and it SO perfectly describes how I feel about photography these days: “Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.” ~ Ira Glass ~  

In other random musings….I’m reading The Upside Down Marriage by Jim Keller, and even though I’m only a couple chapters in, I’ve already gleaned some wisdom. My favorite quote so far doesn’t necessarily apply to only marriage: “Being kind wins the day.” So often simple kindness will make a day brighter. It reminds me also of the verse from Proverbs 15:1, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” I NEED to keep this in mind not just with the hubby, but with my boys, and the students and teachers I encounter at work. 

End word dump. 

Sun comes up.

In t-minus 17 minutes, I’m heading off with the baby sis to another wedding weekend. This time though, I’m leaving my babies BOTH behind for TWO nights. EEK! I’m praying little man does okay, and they aren’t both awake too much in the night crying for momma and daddy. I just wanted to jot a quick note of something my almost-three-year-old (going on 16 sometimes) said on our way to church last night. It was already dark, and I’d been in a funk–stressed over packing, planning, etc. for the weekend. I think our little ones pick up on waaaaaay more than we realize. Out of the blue, he said, “‘S’okay, Momma, sun comes up.” I teared up hearing his little voice encourage me. He was right. I needed to stop worrying, put aside my anxiousness, and remember that Christ’s mercies are new every morning. From everlasting to everlasting. “Sun comes up.”

Week 11!?!?!

So the mighty, mighty Redskins made the playoffs. Glory! (and if I’m being honest, crap.) Game 10 was a nail-biter for sure. (side-note: failed to blog game 9, which was an amazing win against Ada. A very good game, and quite the upset!) Back to game 10. Senior night. Home game. Rivalry. Predicted to lose. My hubby becomes quite the competitor and planner. He came home from work one night all excited about how they were going to “one up” the Panthers. Apparently, they’d gotten wind that Harrah had decided to warm up on their own field and walk onto ours at the last minute. He then got to brainstorming ideas of how they could outdo Harrah’s last minute arrival. Here’s the entrance:

If I’m being honest, I struggle(d) with this entrance. I just feel there’s something to be said for coming on a field quietly, humbly, and THEN defeating a team–kind of an “actions speak louder than words and rap songs” type of thing. However, this entrance and this win made my man the happiest since I’ve seen him in a long time (maybe ever). I told a friend he seemed more excited after their win than he did after the birth of our boys. Also, I know there’s a lot to be said for getting young men “pumped up” before a game. So an amazing win. Down to the wire. (see article for details: http://www.news-star.com/article/20131109/SPORTS/131109736 )I was probably the only one standing and cheering on the outside and crying on the inside. As a coach’s wife (with young kids and a wedding rehearsal two hours away the night of the playoff game) I feel this inner conflict about playoffs. I sincerely WANT them to win. I WANT my husband to do well. I WANT to see him happy and successful, BUT I also WANT him home. 🙂 I miss him during football season, and while I want them to win, part of me is excited when it finally ends. Whew. Confession done. Please don’t hate me. So on to week 11. I won’t get to watch, but I sincerely (okay, now you know the truth, like 85% of me) want them to win! 😉