Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Today, Ava started Kindergarten. WOW! What can one say? Kindergarten marks the beginning of a new chapter. It feels like life officially has declared my daughter to be growing up (as if her ever lengthening frame hasn't clued me in;).

Ava was excited this morning, but also told me she felt really nervous. We had a wonderful conversation about how nerves are normal. Then we talked about how her nerves probably paled in comparison to how the three new girls (girl who didn't go to preschool at SCS) were feeling. I told her God had a job for her every day and some days it was easier than others to know what that job was. Today God wanted her to love these little girls and make sure they left school knowing they were care for and loved. I challenged her to make sure those girls left today knowing they had a friend named Ava to look forward to seeing tomorrow. I was so proud- she got to school, hung up her backpack and went right to work as a one girl welcoming committee.

I got in the car after I finished bidding her adieu and talking to the other mamas and was completely surprised to find myself smiling from ear to ear. I felt a huge weight lifted. I realized that part of the anxiety/sadness I had been carrying around for the past couple weeks (as indicated in yesterdays posted) was due to this change. I realized I was anxiously awaiting my reaction to this change and completely unsure of how I would handle it. I was completely unaware of the stress I was carrying, but as I sat in the car realized I was worried I would have a hard time with Ava starting Kindergarten and worried that I would pass angst on to her. I felt complete and utter relief to find it wasn't hard at all; I felt incredible peace, joy, and pride in my little girl. It feels very right for her to be in kindergarten. She is ready. Maybe I'll feel differently tomorrow, but today I just feel grateful for the little lady she's becoming. I feel great joy that she's able to go to school and enjoy it. I LOVED school growing up and I want her to have that too. Change is sometimes hard, but today I just feel like this change is going to be very, very good.

This is what happens when you let your child chose their own back pack...hearts and a picture of real dogs...definitely not mamas favorite, but Ava LOVES it, so I'll never tell her;)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

So long Discouragement...

I've been feeling weird. I know part of it's PMS- let's just be honest about that. I also know I had a really busy, stressful week last week, so I am coming off that adrenaline at the moment. What is also, true, however, is that I've been feeling discouraged. Today I had a good cry- there were two birthday parties in Chicago this weekend. For the first time- we weren't invited. We've been building here and separating from there, and I am aware that the process has been too gradual at times. Still this morning the separation felt gaping. I wallowed in my sadness for a few minutes and then the Holy Spirit started speaking truth to my heart. I am not alone. I have a wonderful family. More than that, we ARE building community here. Last night, I was out until 10 with some lovely ladies and I enjoyed every moment and every one of them- they are great. They are friends. Less than 18 months ago, I couldn't have mustered up one playdate for Ava here. She's had playdates two days in a row. Phin also had one this morning. I am busy, busy, busy and last year spent much of my time alone. God has been REALLY good to us here. I feel like it's been a battle the last few weeks to fight insecurity and discouragement. I spent some time praying about it today. I know the battle isn't over, but I also know what is true. I am chosing to focus on Truth and keep turning my eyes towards Christ. The Discourager may offer whispers, but he's also the Father of Lies...I am girding up my Belt of Truth and saying, "goodbye" to self pity, discouragement, and such.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Possibly and impossible task

Phineas has had hoarseness of voice since mid April. The doctor attributed it originally to allergies, but it worsened with Claritin, so we went to see the ENT yesterday. I have to say my son was amazing. He was so compliant with the prodding and poking and sat very still and cooperated with a Endoscope even though it was obvious by his facial grimaces, that it was uncomfortable and taking all his self control to sit still and offer his little nose.
The ENT found that Phin has nodules on both his vocal chords. This is apparently not uncommon in high energy little boys. They overuse their voice much of the time and callus type things develop. The only way to get rid of them is to retrain them to use their voice properly. We now have to keep reminding Phin to speak softly- no screaming, no yelling, no singing or laughing loudly. But he shouldn't be whispering.
Thus far is has been hysterical. He isn't annoyed with us yet, and I hope it stays that way. I already feel like a broken record. Never before did I notice just how often this kid speaks boisterously. He just lives life LOUDLY in all ways. He is full of energy and teaching him restraint in this area is a TALL ORDER:) To be honest, I am skeptical that this is even doable with a 2 1/2 year old, but since there isn't really a choice...guess which mommy is just going to do her best and get on her knees yet again before the great Healer and source of all wisdom and strength?!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dear Children...

Dear Children-

Though I find your faces absolutely adorable, I do not find much of your behavior to be so. When Chloe throws her cup of yogurt across the kitchen when she says, "All done", inside I want to throw it back. When Phin chews food and discreetly spits it under the table for later discovery, I want to scrape it back onto a plate and serve it for his next meal. When Ava insists on pouring her own milk, because she's too impatient to wait as asked, and the gallon is full and inevitably spills all over my floor, I want to run and hide. When Chloe "somehow" gets a lollipop and leaves it stuck to my living room carpet, inside I am tempted to hit you all over the head with lollipops. When Phineas washes his entire clothed body at the bathroom sink, and soaks the floor in the process, thereby giving me yet another floor to mop and another load of towels to dry, I want to throw him in the dryer himself for a good tumble. When Ava is in artist mode and gets paint all over, I fail to see the beauty.

Here's the thing guys, mommy is tired. I am tired, yes. I know you never get tired, as evidenced by your constant rotation of night wakings. The secret it- ADULTS GET TIRED. I chose to love you on a daily basis. Sometimes that choice is hard to swallow! Yes, you have many lovable moments in a day, but some of your mischief is starting to tip the love scales, my little friends. I have had many a moment where I've been tempted to give you away, so now you've been forewarned. If you hear someone yell, "She's going to blow" YOU guys might want to get out of the way, because they may be referring to me.

Your possible insane mother

*Note to reader- this is intended as a humorous exaggeration of my currents feelings of frustration. It is not meant to be taken literally. I love the little boogers that I birthed and wouldn't trade them for the world...even on their worst days.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A morning conversation

While changing Phin's diaper, Chloe saunters into his room, picks up his Woody doll (from Toy Story) and says, "woo-ey"

Phin: MOMMY! Chloe just said, 'Woody'!
Me: Yes, she did. She's very smart.
Phin: I am smart too.
Me: Yes, and Ava is very smart. You are all very smart kids.
Phin: You are not smart.
Me: I sure am smart.
Phin: No, you're not smart and Papa isn't smart either.
Me: Phin, Papa is very smart.
Phin: Nope, Papa used to be smart, but now he goes to work.

How do you answer that? I laughed hysterically. What does my two year old think smart means?;)

Friday, August 19, 2011

May the Words of My Mouth Be Pleasing in Your Sight, O Lord!

In the past few days, God has been tugging on my heart, urging me to take small moments to really listen to what my children are saying. So often, my days with three small children fly by in a whirlwind of exhausting chaos. Time is rapidly moving forward, much more quickly than I could possible grasp. What has really been piercing my spirit the past couple days is how much merit I hold in my children's eyes. Phin often will justify his actions by saying, "My mom (or dad) said..." or "My MOM gave this to me." What he is really saying is "my mom and dad are the ultimate authority". Ava (when focusing) listens intently and participates in conversations about DEEP things and looks at us with eyes of complete trust as we are speaking; she places GREAT authority in our words. Chloe lights up for two people and two people only- Marc and I. To our children, we are the center of the world.

Ava is starting Kindergarten in a little over a week. She's still little, but for how much longer? It won't be too long before my children will struggle with our authority. They will begin to be caught between peer relationships and the family. Indeed, our goal is to prayerfully raise them in such a way that they still honor and respect us, but part of growing up is placing distance between you and your parents. Part of maturing is going through the obnoxious phase of thinking you know it all (only to later realize your parents were smarter than you thought). Inevitably, they will some day, sooner than I am prepared for, question our authority and knowledge base.

I feel like God has given me a gift in these past couple days. Even amid the absolute craziness of life with three kids, I have a new enjoyment over the place I have in my children's life. I feel freedom to enjoy teaching them and speaking to their growing hearts and to relish the opportunity I have right now to build their character. At the moment they are little but the foundation we are laying will be the roots of WHO they become. The responsibility is huge, daunting, and sometimes overwhelming, but it's also an amazing privilege. Right now my children value MY opinion (and Marc's) more than any other. Their primary source of knowledge about the world and how to relate to it comes from me! What a privilege to teach them the scripture and how God, our Creator, intends us to live.

God, once again blowing my mind, knows ME and that I could easily get completed freaked out by this ginormous task. I know without a doubt it's by his grace that I am experiencing peace and joy. I know it's by his grace that I am even able to find quiet moments in my spirit to ponder these things in my heart. I know it is by his grace that he has really lifted my eyes up to Him, where my help comes from. My children right now think I am the ultimate authority and that is okay, because I KNOW the Ultimate Authority. I know their Creator and King. I can look to the future with hope and joy instead of fear because I know that I don't need to be their authority and source of knowledge forever. I know the Perfect source of both and I have the privilege of pointing them to Him now so they can look to HIM forever. I have the joy of showing them how to seek His face, His word, His heart. I can help show them the gift of a relationship with Christ that ultimately will become a personal thing for them and He alone and in doing so release them to the Maker and Keeper of their hearts who is going to be with them every moment of the future. A future that is unknown and uncertain to me but completely exposed to him.

"May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer." Psalm 19:14

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What Makes a Friend?

If you ask, "What makes a good friend?" you'd undoubtedly get a variety of responses, depending on a persons age and experience. Today I learned what makes a good friend to my 2 1/2 year old son;)

I was sitting talking to my babysitter and Phin was nearby. We got on the topic of Sunday School and "what a dream" Phin usually is in class. I laughed and told her this Sunday, Marc got a bad report when picking him up. Phin wasn't listening and spent the majority of class wrestling with Boone, his buddy.

Phin, overhearing our conversation, said, "Boone is my best friend." I smiled and said, "Boone's your best friend, huh?" Phin replied with a big smile, "Yeah, Boone and me say 'poopy' to each other" and then broke out in hysterical laughter.

My sons definition of his best friend varies a bit from mine- but it's priceless;)

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Spent the entire day reorganizing, tossing, pickup up, straightening, storing...and freeing ourselves of the chaos that slipped in. I am exhausted and feel free. It's absolutely amazing what order does for the mind. My children are happy with their orderly closets and even cooperated with the toy binge I decided upon without the drama I expected. Thank God for a productive day. After 5 weeks of house guests and busyness- we needed it. (That followed 7 weeks of traveling and such!) I feel like I can breathe a bit easier and actually PLAN for the week ahead tomorrow instead of feeling like I am barely keepin' up. YAY!

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Mess Reflected

One of my strengths is keeping house. I like order and tend to keep our abode in pretty good shape. As I sat down at the computer a moment ago, however, I stopped to take at the current state of my kitchen. It's a mess, pure and simple and it reflects so much of me at the moment. My mind is scattered, I am behind on sleep. I am unmotivated yet I look around WANTING everything to be in order.
The truth is until I get my behind movin' my mind probably won't settle, the housework definitely won't get done and life won't feel normal. I thrive on order. The disorer of the moment is paralyzing. Because I usually do a bit better job of this homemaking thing, I am finding I don't know where to begin and having a bit more sympathy for friends who find homemaking out of their comfort zone. Once it's out of order- it feels impossible to fix. I can't help but think how this reflects sin. So often, I let so called "small" sins slide and soon there is more sin and before I know it, I can't see Christ- I can only see the crap I've let cloud my vision and I don't know where to begin to get "right" again. Just like my house, it is by going through piece by piece and tossing things out or putting something in it's right place. Laziness doesn't bode well for homemaking and it certainly doesn't bode well for my spiritual life. So today, right now actually, I am going to just start somewhere, anywhere and chip away at the disorder so that life feels like living again. While I'm at it, I am going to ask God to reveal the mess of my heart to me and hopefully at the end of this day, my house won't be the only beautiful thing God sees.
Dishes...neglectd since Wednesday- we went out to dinner last night or it would be far worse.
The remnants of lunch (notice the fast food containers- a sign of complete laziness yet again!) and a few art projects...the box in the back is a "Fairy Home" created by Ava. Cute- but it's been sitting there over a week!
Perhaps most pitiful is all this stuff from TUESDAY's trip to Costco that has yet to be put away.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Be Inspired

Yesterday I was catching up on reading blogs of friends. My best friend keeps a beautiful blog that I always find inspiring, however, I can't link you to it because it is password protected. I asked her permission to copy and post her blog entry from Friday- her 11th wedding anniversary. It moved me to tears and caused me also to remember what is TRULY worth celebrating. It's not the stuff painted by Hollywood- it's much deeper, much more real. (below Fridays post I have posted her reflections on her 10th anniversary which she linked to the recent post but you won't be able to click on.

11 years ago

We got married.

us, 11 years later (+ a cute little #3)

To be honest, it has been a pretty awful anniversary so far. We slept fitfully with a 3 year old between us (due to a dream about 'witches'), awoke to a phone call that my dad was in the hospital after having a stroke last night, then I spent most of the day in and out of the hospital waiting for all the tests to come back normal, praising God that he is making a full recovery so far, trying to sound confident and calm and explain this all to the girls (two of whom were with me, and did not put sibling rivalry or toddler tantrums on hold for any sort of medical emergency,) fighting back tears, cheering somewhat artificially at Madeleine's gymnastics show, hitting the Mc Donalds drive through (just the thing to bring to the cardiac unit, right?) and climbing into bed.

I thought a few times today, this is life. This is what we celebrate, and this is what we mark. This anniversary I have not spent a lot of time reflecting on who we are or where we've come, or whether I should get him a gift or a card, or how to make it special, but a few times today I did stand back for a moment and think- THIS is special. All of us, alive, healthy: this is the blessing. I don't need a fancy dinner out, I can have a crappy day and feel terrified that some day I might lose my dad, and I can thank God that I have someone to be with me in it, to feel terrified too, and love me confidently. This is what I hoped for 11 years ago.

11 years ago my dad made a toast about us, and about the strong marriages that precede us and the legacy we have been given. Today was also a reminder of that. I watched my parents function as a respectful, seamless team. I watched my dad love me, and reassure me, in the midst of his own uncertainty. I turned and did the same for my daughters. "Aren't you so glad you had girls?" he asked me once today, and I realized that this was just another way that I have been blessed- to be both raised by a man who adores his wife and daughter, and then marry a man who adores his wife and daughters too.

So, today is a day to celebrate, awful or not. We are loved and we love.

a decade

Tomorrow I will have been married to Greg for ten years. A decade. I have nothing and everything to say about that, because it feels impossibly short and long at the same time.

Three children, two houses, two apartments, two degrees, five jobs, three churches, and three states later, we are going back to the Sequoia for dinner to toast who we are now- who we were then- and who we will become. And finally taste those potstickers that we chose for appetizers at the reception and never got to eat.

Greg and I talk a lot about how we wish we could see our 2010 selves through our newlywed eyes. What would we think of ourselves? Would our life look appealing or stale to our 23 year old eyes, that were so cocksure and strident in our views? Would our family, brimming to the edges with girls, sippy cups, sprinklers, home grown watermelons (!), backyard ziplines feel like a respite to us as a young couple if we invited ourselves over? Would we sigh and say, "Wow that will be amazing if we can have that one day. What a fun, loving, engulfing family."

Or would our eyes be so fixed on radical, on unconventional, on martyrdom, that we could not see anything past the picket fence? Would we critique our garage full of strollers, our schedules, or careers? And what would we notice about our marriage? Would it be obvious, the softening of tones spoken, the confidence between us? Would we say we hoped someday our love would look that effortless, our partnership that sure? Or would we be discouraged at our frailty, the sharp edges of our human weakness that still wound each other?

I listened the other day to the toast that Bronwen gave at our wedding. She read from a letter I had written her before Greg and I started dating, but when I was falling in love with him. It spoke of the things I loved about Greg- how careful he was, but how fast he drove, how he knew things dads know, how he could only imagine doing something that helped people, and how he wanted to find someone he could love so completely for his wife- to love her sacrificially as Christ loved the church. And for a moment, I had those eyes, my eyes at nineteen, imagining a man- the man I might marry. And for a moment, I could see clearly that the life I am living is the dream I had, fulfilled, perfectly in all its imperfection.


Eleven years ago, I made a friend while at a place called Camp Chai near the Wisconsin Dells. I was by far the youngest nurse working there and dear Heather thought she came to be a camp counselor. On her arrival, she was told she would be working the desk in the health center;) Pretty quickly, I knew I had a friend for life. She's just one of the good people you know you want to know;)

She has visited me quite a few times. We traveled together a bit a year after Marc and I were married and she came for a week after Ava was born. She also visited Chicago a couple times while a flight attendant for Virgin Airlines. I had never been able to make a trip to see her in England. Last summer she got married. There was no way I was missing her wedding.....that is until I found out I was pregnant and due two weeks before the big day;P There was no way to get a birth certificate in time, let alone a passport, so I had to miss the nuptials and settle for enjoying the beautiful photos.

I had to meet her man, I knew that much for certain. I planned to go in fall or spring, but a couple months after her wedding, she gave me a ring and asked me if I could wait to come until summer. Why? because she was to have a baby!!! YAY!!

Last week, I had the priviledge of traveling alone to England to meet her hubby and little boy, Dylan. It was a quick trip (I didn't feel I could leave Chloe too long), but a WONDERFUL trip. Her husband is great and Dylan stole my heart. Here are a few photos from my incredible trip;)

Dylan! (I loved this picture in black and white- he looks so British this way;) perhaps because he IS British?)

Heather and Oli's quaint english cottage. It is called "Melville". I love that the British name their homes and the name is even on the much more charming than house numbers, don't you think?!

Normally, I take my afternoon tea black with sugar(yes, I truly do have tea [with chocolate] every afternoon) , but in England felt inclined to "fit in" and add a little's lovely!

I gained two lbs. on my trip because I LOVE SCONES WITH REAL CLOTTED CREAM. Can't find it in the states, we substitue whipped cream at our "teas" and really it doesn't begin to compare. This is the consistency of cream cheese, but it's cream and it's heavenly!!

A view of the country side near Heather's home!

On Sunday we went for a picnic at Wisley Gardens (their botanic gardens)

They had this whole area where they use wires to force trees to grow in certain shapes and flat. FASCINATING! Perhaps I can do it hear and make my own garden maze?

Main Building at Wisley Gardens. A former estate from some old lord.

Afterwards we stopped for cokes at this amazing pub.

On Monday we went shopping in Guilford (the largest town near her). It was CHARMING!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


OK, my husband says my previous post makes him sound like he was creepy. OOPS. He really wasn't creepy. He is most concerned about the part where I said we were kissing and dating and he made it clear we were "just friends". In light of the recent "friends with benefits" movie that is out- I want to clarify that it most definitely wasn't a situation like that;) He was still somewhat respectful, just very passionate (verbally) one moment and yet afraid to let the world know he felt that way. I edited the post to try and explain that better. Just to clarify- he most definitely wasn't creepy, just immature and dense at times;) I still can't believe I was able to through his density, but so glad God allowed me too;) He's awesome, I know that, I assume everyone knows that, but for his dear sake, I wanted to clarify that.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sometimes you just have to follow your heart

I was giving some advice to a young friend recently. She, like me, can be very cerebral. She approaches life somewhat cautiously. She wants to make the right decisions and avoid mistakes. I can tend to be the same way. I make very safe and cautious decisions. I've apparently been this way since birth. My mom tells stories of how my older sister would jump into the pool if an adult was anywhere in the vicinity; I on the other hand would NOT jump unless I was holding onto the adult appointed to catch me. Even if I only had hold of my dad's pinky, it needed to be something I could touch before I would take the plunge. This has totally translated to our adult lives. My sister is all heart- she makes decisions quickly, sometimes rashly, and follows where her heart leads. I take forever to make a decision and make safe, cautious decisions. I try to avoid mistakes and hurts. In the end, both of us have made mistakes. She sometimes has moved too quickly; I sometimes have missed out on wonderful things because I didn't want to take a risk.

Part of growing up for me, has been learning to let go of control. Mistakes inevitably happen, but I don't want them to happen because I was afraid to try or afraid to trust where God was leading. Today, I read a blog post my cousin sent and was reminded of how gracious God was in showing me this right about the time I met Marc.

I had spent the four years of college purposefully NOT dating. I had made a mistake in who I dated my senior year of high school and regretted letting that decision pull me away from Christ. I had based my security on this guy's attention and decided during my freshman year that I would take a long hiatus from guys and pursue Christ and make sure HE was my source of security (after all- He is the only TRULY secure thing anyway!). To be sure, I had what some would consider a couple "misses" with great guys. Guys that were good friends that would have like to take the friendship a step further, but I was too afraid. During Christmas break my Senior year of college, I felt God working on my heart, convicting me of fear. I had decided I would stay single and he really convicted me that that decision was not from HIM but made from a place of fear. I didn't know where he was leading but I knew he was doing a work in my heart.

I became friends with Marc about a month later;) In reading the above mentioned blog post, I had to laugh as I remembered all the things that should have driven a cerebral, safe girl away. OH how glad am I that God chose this time to convict me to take a risk, to trust HIM and to trust my heart that was dedicated to him.

I knew Marc was" the one" pretty early. I can't explain how I knew, but anyone who has also known, get's what it is to know! I had this calm assurance that he was "the one". He was speaking to our fellowship at a retreat and his heart just brought me to tears. He loved Jesus passionately (almost freakishly passionately if I am honest;) He was loud, dramatic, and rather unsafe;)

Here are a few things that in retrospect are HILARIOUS and I can't believe that I didn't run for the hills. They are great fun to tease Marc about now and I am delighted to add them to my blog and share them with you (at his expense of course;):

1) We were walking to meet a friend to study when he just came out of the blue, grabbed my hand and told me, "I like you! Let's go get coffee instead." He didn't really ever consider that I might not like him back (perhaps it was obvious) and kept saying, "I am so glad I finally told you that!" We'd only known each other a couple weeks. He didn't give me the creeps and I did like him, but mostly I was so shocked at how forward he was I just followed along to get coffee and ditch our friend...I can't even remember what we talked about over coffee, I just remember thinking, "What in the world is happening?!"

2) The next week was Valentines day and he took me out to a VERY nice dinner (we are talking violins serenading the tables). I was so nervous, had never been in such a place. He did little to ease my anxiety (not that I admitted my anxiety to him, mind you); in fact, the dork corrected how I held my silverware and told me I was using the wrong fork. What girl would go on a second date with that guy?!

3) Afterward, we were hanging out in a friends room and he tried to kiss me. I had gotten a little wit about me at this point and was able to stop him and explain that I wasn't going to kiss a boy again until I knew he was the man I was going to marry. He kissed me on the cheek. And then did it again and again and kissed me all over my face and then finally kissed me on the mouth. We ended up really kissing. To be honest, it was a terrible kiss. Probably because I was in shock at his audacity and he was half thinking, "crap, I just committed myself to a girl I've known a couple weeks."

3) He quit speaking to me the next day. Classy, heh? I had to call him and say, "Look if you just want to be friend I can handle it."

4) We spent the rest of the semester as friends. Our best friends were dating and we had a few very close mutual friends. I knew I loved him. For the first time, I wanted what was best for someone other than me. I was sure he was the one, but he seemed to have no interest in me. We actually spent a good deal of time talking about his ex girlfriend and how difficult it was to get over her. (Yes, that sucked.) Then he started diggin' a mutual friend. (All the while, my heart continued to go fonder on the guy!)

5) During this time, I got back my senior year book photos and was shocked at how fat I'd become. I decided to lost weight. To be "helpful", he typed up a "Marc's guide to weight loss" with advice on what to eat and how to work out. (Again, what girl wouldn't have hated this?! For some unknown reason, I didn't take it personally, but instead found the fact that he was a numbskull hilarious)

5) The week before graduation, we are watching a moving and having a GOOD time laughing and teasing each other. (We'd been very teasy all week- very flirtatious and I was quite confused, but has just been praying about it.) Then he says, "Greg (his accountability partner) is going to kill me!" I replied, "Why?" He kissed me. The next week, we hung out all week, many times on what most would consider "dates" and shared plenty of kisses. Still, I was "just a friend" when I met his family and friends. Who would put up with that?

(To be fair, I had prayed, knew he was afraid and had this calm assurance to just relax and I didn't say a word to him about it.)

In the end, it all worked out. He ended up calling me a few weeks later (we were home on summer break and had been talking frequently) and apologized for disrespecting me by not calling me his girlfriend and asked if he could make it right by starting to call me "his girlfriend" from then on. (OF COURSE, I said, "yes!") Even from there, I had to be patient. God was doing a work in Marc, just as he was in me. I knew I was where God had me, crazy as it was. Even when we were dating, he had some quirks that could have been "warning signs", but I knew God was in control of. He'd correct my posture and my grammar and on day he told me when I chewed my nails I drove him crazy and looked like a psychotic rabbit (SERIOUSLY!). He was so afraid for a long time and would pray "Lord either strengthen this relationship or end it." and he'll readily admit, he kept hoping the Lord would end it;0) (He hadn't planned on meeting "the one" at 22.)

Oh how God has refined both of us. The relationship certainly didn't fit the box I had built for "perfect christian relationship". THANK GOD! It's been far more exciting and fun! God has done a great work in both of us. Marc has a depth of character I could never have imagined or hoped for and I adore him. He puts up with my bad grammar, posture and nail biting without comment (most of the time, anyway) and I put up with his love of farting and dramatic nature;) We are more in love than ever and I am SOOOOO happy I didn't settle for the man of my dreams. God's choice was far better than any dream my safe mind could have imagined.

Friday, August 5, 2011

A bedtime conversation

Tonight Marc's mom was putting Phin to bed and as she left....

Grammy: Phin you are A-DOR-ABLE!
Phin: No I'm not a "dorable", I am a kid!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sometimes "Thank You" seem inadequate!

Today Chloe had her ear vents put in (otherwise known as "tubes"). It is a day that is hard to describe.

Chloe has been on antibiotics 15 times since September. She is often irritable and has had many a rough night. With antibiotics, she tends to get a sad tummy, diarrhea, and yeasty diaper rash problem-despite trying to combat it with lots of yogurt and probiotics. She has thankfully never had a rupture and she surprisingly has talked on schedule, though some of her words weren't quite right. She calls me "nana" instead of Mama and says "dye dye" instead of "bye bye" for example. When we saw the ENT, she had zero vibration on her tympanogram- which indicated ears completely full of fluid. Her drums hadn't been damaged so she could hear, but basically walked around hearing the world as you or I would if our head was in a bucket of water. She began walking a few steps here and there weeks ago, but never has done more than six or seven steps and it's been about three weeks since starting. She is often clinging and wants mommy and can be especially difficult in the evening.

When I saw the ENT a few weeks ago, he explained the procedure and told me the change in her demeanor may be remarkable, as she quite possible would experience a clear head for the first time in her short life. He said we'd see a dramatic improvement in her speaking and balance. He did mention this improvement would be immediate. I guess I didn't get how immediate "immediate" would be!

We had to be at the hospital at 6am. Her procedure was at 7:30. They picked her up about 7:20 and brought her back at 7:45. She was traumatized and I can honestly tell you I don't know HOW parents deal with long term hospitalizations or more major surgeries. She had zero needle pricks and they used a gas mask anesthetic. The only truly harsh part was the one minute they restrained her while first administering the anesthetic. Because of this, she was so upset upon waking and screamed whenever anyone in scrubs entered our room. She was hungry and hard to calm and it was the longest two hours of my life. I felt so badly for her. Still it was only a few hours and we were HOME at 8:50am.

She was a bit cranky for a couple hours, but started to perk up about lunch time. She had a good afternoon nap and I barely recognize the little girl who woke up this afternoon. Chloe is a sweet child and has been playful but the absolutely delightful, smiley, full of life toddler who is now in our home, we have never seen before. She is HAPPY- very happy and playful and chattier than ever. Her words IMPROVED TODAY- how is that even possible?! She is calling me "mama" very clearly. It is absolutely amazing. Even more amazing- she is walking everywhere. With stumbles, of course, but barely crawling now. Can get right back up and is up to like 20 steps. Truly, it feels like a miracle took place today. She is just very obviously not in any discomfort. She is more delightful than I could ever have imagined her- though certainly she was a delight before. I am just humbled and at a loss for words. I am so very thankful because what is clear tonight is how uncomfortable my baby girl has been for the last year. Thank God for providing an excellent doctor and technology to free her from her clogged ears. Modern Medicine is remarkable and I am so so very thankful.