Friday, November 20, 2009

Miss Hannah

Justin is very concerned with his baby sister. He watches over her every move, and when someone is talking to her or holding her, he's right there. However, it took me by surprise how much he pays attention to the nicknames I give her. Occasionally, i will call her lil miss Hannah :)

I was leaning over her swing the other day and talking to her saying "Hannah is such a pretty girl" when Justin interrupts me and says: Mommy, she's not Hannah, it's MISS Hannah!"

LOL...
Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Word Filled Wednesday


It is I who made the earth and created mankind upon it. My own hands stretched out the heavens; I marshaled their starry hosts.
Isaiah 45:12

First of all, this picture is just beautiful. But, this verse spoke to me for some reason today and I wanted to share it.

It is so incredible to see all the things that our Father has created for us to enjoy-everything from the stars to the oceans to the different kinds of rocks that you can come across. This was all revealed to me last week while we were in the mountains for hunting season. The sky looks so different out there. You can see millions of different little stars that you just don't see in the city. It's amazing at the different perspective you get with a change of location!

That is so parallel to our relationship with Jesus, the Father, and our walk with Him. Things can be revealed to you at any time that you've never seen before.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Hannah


So, for my friends and family who live under a rock (hehe...)

Hannah Kyler was born September 25th at 7:50 am. She weighed in at 7 lbs 3 oz, 19.75 inches long, and had a full head of hair!

So, it's almost been two weeks and my little girl is GROWING so fast! She had her two week weight check yesterday and now weighs 7 lbs 11 oz. The doctor said he likes to see them at their birth weight at two weeks, and she's obviously surpassed that! Actually, since her 1 week appointment, she has gained 6 oz!

Her sleeping pattern is non-existent, just like most newborns! She loves to eat, she can hold her own in the poopy diaper department, and her brothers are just smitten over her.

We'll see the doctor at the 2 month mark, but the doctor said she is perfect!
Monday, August 31, 2009

What horses?

This particular incident has happened more than once and every time it reminds me how simply kids think.

The first incident was the funniest:

I was getting the camper packed up and ready to go; we had a long trip ahead of us and, as usual, the boys were following me around like lost puppies *anxiously* awaiting departure time.

We still had several hours to go until we left and I had a lot to pack. Justin was nipping at my heels constantly asking when we were leaving.

Finally, I said it:

"Sheesh Justin, I'm packing up the camper now. HOLD YOUR HORSES!"

To which he replied:

"But mommy, we don't have any horses."

Yep...gotta love it!
Friday, August 7, 2009

Oh baby, baby :)

First of all, I have to say that my husband ROCKS :) He took the hour that I was at my doctor's appointment and steam-cleaned our couches! Plus, he mopped the kitchen floor and did the dishes. YAY hubby :)

Okay, baby update!

I'm 32 weeks along TODAY. Baby girl is good, she is head down, and her heart rate is around the 140 mark. The doctor said it's unusual that she's all on my right side, she won't even budge when he tries to move her lol.

I'm doing well too. My blood pressure, according to the doctor and nurse, has been 'weird' lately but they didn't say anything negative. I know at my last appointment it was unusually low, and the nurse said my heart rate dropped from 160 to 70 in a matter of minutes when she was taking my BP, so who knows what's going on.

I've been cleared of any gestational diabetes because my numbers from a week of testing looked good, and we have a *tentative* c-section date of September 25th!
Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cleanin'

So, I've been experimenting with cleaning for awhile now, mainly out of my frustration that I blow through cleaners like nothing in this house!

I'm starting to get really paranoid about the chemicals in all the cleaners that I've been using, so I sought some natural cleaning recipes...apparently most people swear that vinegar is God's miracle cleaner gift to mankind :)

Thus far, I'm unimpressed, but I'm not exactly a scientist when it comes to mixing cleaners and getting ratios correct and whatnot, so we'll see what happens. I currently have a vinegar mix in my Clorox ReadiMop and I just cleaned my living room rug with vinegar and water with my steam cleaner...we'll see what happens!

Too bad I loathe the smell of vinegar! Time to light some candles!
Friday, July 24, 2009

5 YEARS!


July 24, 2004 was a day that I will always remember. I woke up and a mysterious breeze from nowhere knocked over a statue in our room. Walking outside, I encountered a HUGE black garter snake. Being pregnant, I had no nice dresses that fit and we were 'late' getting to the courthouse.

My wedding day certainly didn't start out ideally or like most wedding days, but it was mine and I was darned to let circumstances get the best of me.

At the courthouse, it just so happens the computers for the marriage licenses were down. Everything had to be done manually, and we missed our appointment at "The Hitching Post" to get married. Luckily, we were able to reschedule for later that day.

Just after we finally got our license filled out and everything was ready to go, everyone *else* was late for my wedding! My mom and brother went to the store to get me something to eat and got lost, so we had to reschedule our wedding *yet again* and I was beginning to get discouraged.

But, at the end of the day, it all came together. Brandon and I exchanged our vows in that HOT little building in front of our families, and I began the best journey of my life...

So today, it's five years of marriage that we are celebrating. We've certainly had our fair share of trials, but we've come out on top each time. Sometimes I feel like our wedding day was an indication of the challenges we would face as man and wife. We certainly had our obstacles to a happy wedding day with all the things that went wrong, but in the end our stubborn butts made it through!

So Bran, I LOVE YOU! I look forward to a lifetime of anniversaries with you. All the complications, all the challenges that come up and brick walls that we might face we'll face TOGETHER. I feel so honored to be your best friend, life partner, confidante, mother of your children, and your WIFE!

Happy FIVE year anniversary, love!
Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Word Filled Wednesday

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when men succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Psalm 37:7

Contentment seems to be a big issue in this world, and I constantly am confronted with "I want this, I want that, you have to have THIS to be happy." I'm really tired of it! We must never forget that the Lord tells us to be content with what we have...that treasures of this world are not treasures at all! This week the Lord has slapped me over the head a time or two about contentment, and it's about time I get the message!

For more WFW, visit http://www.extravagantgrace.net/ this week!







Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Word Filled Wednesday


Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust has been an issue with this girl lately. So has the idea that I need to spend time in the Word in order to maintain my relationship with our Heavenly Father. So, I felt this quote particularly inspiring today because it reminds me I need to trust in ONE person (the LORD) with all my heart and acknowledge him, and he WILL set me straight!

Have a great WFW everyone!



Monday, July 6, 2009

Jacek is TWO!

Jacek at birth- 9.5 lbs!

















Jacek celebrating birthday #2!
















Okay, so my baby officially turned two last Monday, but I'm just getting around to putting his lil update on here! I know, bad mama!

So, he's two now. It's like a switch is flipped when they turn two and terrible twos suddenly happen overnight. Jacek is so rambunctious and he's been unusually destructive for the past week. Oh, and he's taken a liking to sleeping with weapons, as I'm sure you can see :) Of course they are toys, but this is still something new!

He's weighing in at 25 lbs, which seems so *light* to me, but he's 31.5 inches tall. He's actually right on par with the other boys, contrary to what I had believed. Owen at 19 months was actually bigger than Jacek is now, as Owen weighed in at 26 lbs and 31 inches tall at that point, and Justin weighed in at 25 lbs and 32 inches tall at 24 months. So, Jacek being the 'biggest' overall is just not true! Owen takes the cake for that one!

I am very much looking forward to another year of fun memories with this little guy! He has such a dynamic personality and he keeps me on my toes daily, but nobody told me being a mom would be SO WORTH IT!
Friday, June 26, 2009

My husband ROCKS Friday!!!


It has been awhile since I've done a MHR Friday, but I'm back so YAY :)

We are coming up on our 5 year anniversary in about a month, and I cannot help but say that it does NOT feel like we've been married for five years!

I remember reading something that said that after about 18 months, the relationship starts to go 'stale' so to speak, that people start to lose their flair for one another and that the fire, well, fizzles out. I anxiously awaited that 18 month mark to see what would happen. After all, it was some kind of super reputable study, so that must happen to everyone, right?

18 months came and went...nothing changed. My husband and I are still as much in love with each other as the day we married. We are, you could say, infatuated with one another. He is the butter to my bread, and he still looks at me like I'm the greatest thing since sliced bread. Yep ladies, my husband is all that *and* a bag of potato chips.

My husband rocks...he keeps our marriage fresh, he keeps me motivated and on track, and he always makes me feel like I'm special, important, and meaningful. It is almost as if he goes out of his way to remind me how wonderful I am. I hope he knows how much he means to me...
Thursday, June 25, 2009

Jacek's first night



We've been having some major sleep problems with almost-2 Jacek, so last night at my wits end, I put him downstairs in the big boy room with his brothers.

I went down to check on them before I went to bed and the above pictures were taken...

Not sure how this will work out if he already feels the need to have 'protection' while he's sleeping lol!!!

Just in case you're worried...this *IS* a cap gun, not a real gun :)
Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Word Filled Wednesday

"Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God." Colossians 3:2-3

After a long vacation from my lil WFW, I was able to jump back on here today. This is a verse that has convicted me recently and I felt compelled to share it on today's Word Filled Wednesday!

For more WFW:

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Getting ready for baby!

Wow, it's been awhile since I've posted an update, so here goes!

I went to Colorado for a week at the end of May to see family. I'm sure at some point I'll have pictures up on Picasa from the trip, but I've been so busy with other things it will probably be awhile!

School: Oh school...how I hate you sometimes! There's been plenty of drama surrounding the whole 'pursuit of education' thing right now. From student loan mishaps to classes that like to change their books on me at the last minute, I feel like I've run the gauntlet and I'm just ready for something easy. On the other hand...I've still managed to maintain a 4.0 GPA! Not too shabby for being in my second year already! Wonder when they'll do the Dean's list so I can post a link and brag some more?

BABY GIRL: We're just gearing up for the baby girl about to join the family in...hm, 16 weeks? Four months to go...it seems so short! We have a name picked out, solely Brandon's decision, and he also picked out her crib set, which I ordered last night. It can be seen here: http://www.beyond-bedding.com/pink-camouflage-army-camo-baby-girl-crib-bedding.html

Of course we didn't pay what they're selling it for there (thank you EBAY!) but it's a great start to getting her little room ready. Now just need to decide when Jacek will be ready to move to the room downstairs, and we'll put Justin in his own room.

Housing projects: With baby girl coming along, we have a ton of housing projects to get done. We need to get the guest bedroom made in to Justin's room, and that means we need to build a darn closet in there. A *real* closet! Then, I need to sand down the God-awful wood stuff that's on the bottom half of the wall. It'll be easier and cheaper than replacing with drywall. Then I need to find a new bed and bedding...Oh Lord, it never ends! I'm still waiting for the second half of my darn bathroom to get done...Oh how I miss having a bathroom door! But, that might be another year out, as it will be a bit more difficult and extensive than the other part of the bathroom was because there will be rewiring and TONS of drywall to do, as well as new flooring, painting, and a few new doorways.

*sigh*

So much to do...yet it feels like we have such little time to do it!
Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Baby update




Well I suppose it's probably time for a baby update!





I had my 20 week ultrasound and appointment yesterday. The baby looks good, all limbs and organs look to be okay. I am doing well also. Blood pressure was a bit on the high side so that's a concern, but we'll just keep an eye on it.





And, the news everyone is waiting for...





Baby Lickfold #4 is a....
























GIRL!
Friday, May 15, 2009

Convos with a "little"

I'm going to try something new on here...

Since I notice that my kids say really funny things *all the time* I'm going to document some of that here.

Yesterday I was having a conversation with Justin (age 4) about the baby in mommy's belly. He gets that there is a baby in there, but doesn't exactly understand what that means and that the baby is a person and will be joining our family. So, we had a convo yesterday, more specifically about what sex the baby is:

Me: So Justin, do you think you are going to have a little brother or a little sister?
Justin: I don't know
Me: So you don't know if you want another baby brother or a baby sister?
Justin: I'm not a baby mommy, I'm Justin
Me: Well, I know you're Justin honey!
*silence*
Me: So do you think mommy is having a little boy like you or a little girl like Isabel?
Justin: I'm a BOY mommy
Me: Hun, I know you're a boy. Do you have any idea what the baby in mommy's belly is?
Justin: *puts his hand on his forehead as if he's distressed* I can't talk about this anymore.


Te he...

My husband ROCKS Friday!!!

Oh it's finally FRIDAY!

Sometimes I wonder why it's so HARD to come up with why my husband rocks. I mean, every day small things just don't seem interesting to write about.

He does these things every day, just small things, that make the feeling that he cares really come through.

This morning, he came in, woke me up, and put breakfast down right in front of my face. When I attempted to get out of bed, he said "NO, just lay there and eat." He generally gets the kids breakfast every morning and lets me get an extra 1/2 hour of sleep. He makes me a cup of coffee with hot chocolate and milk in it, just the way I like it. He carries the laundry basket downstairs for me sometimes. He does these 'random acts of kindness' where he decides to treat us all to something special: an ice cream, a dinner out, a drive...it doesn't matter what it is, but it's spontaneous and amazing.

There are some things that are uniquely 'ours' that he recognizes...never a single kiss, but there's always three. Putting my hand in the very center of his chest. The things he'll whisper in my ear. Our nicknames.

And, as I would say of any 'typical' man, he forgets the important dates. Mother's day, birthdays, anniversaries...he forgets them. But then I remember that although the 'world' dictates these holidays, he actually spoils me a little bit EVERY day. I need to have the grace to remember this...that he may not remember the holidays that are actually quite trivial (like Mother's day) or the fact that he rushes out on Christmas eve to do his shopping, but he does these amazing acts of kindness usually every day, sometimes buying me a gift for no reason at all. I need to be less harsh on him and remember these occasional acts...
Friday, May 8, 2009

My husband ROCKS Friday!!!

It's Friday! So, that means I get to brag about my hubbs today :)

Brandon is awesome, and nearly everyone he meets thinks the same. He's just an all-around GREAT guy.

That's not saying that he doesn't have his flaws...sometimes he just doesn't 'get' things like a so-called normal person might! There are areas we're working on, and one of them is helping me out during this exhausting pregnancy a bit more!

Last night was a late night. We stayed up to watch Juno because Netflix sent it about a week ago and I'd like to finally watch it, so he popped me popcorn and the movie ended about 11:30. Getting ready for bed, we heard weird noises coming from the hallway. Sure enough, it was Justin doing Lord knows what out there. It didnt' take long for us to realize he had a gluten attack :( He had an accident all over his bed, he was embarrassed and he was well, stinky. I was exhausted by this time and literally the walking dead.

My husband ROCKS because he took over...bathed Justin, got his bedding in the washer, put new bedding on, got Justin dressed and ready for the night, and even made him a little bed on the couch so he didn't have to sleep so far away from mom and dad!

This is something that he's never done before, and I cannot tell you (or him for that matter) just how much that meant to me! He let me hit the sack while he, just as exhausted as I was, took care of our son.

Ahhhh...I love that man :)
Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Word-filled Wednesday



Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Philippians 4:6



This morning as I was laying in bed, I realized how much worry I carry as a woman/mother/wife. It is nearly impossible for me to 'let it go' as everyone says I should. There are constantly things to worry about, and I have been a chronic worrier since childhood. I felt compelled to do a word-filled Wednesday based on how we are, as daughters of the Lord, supposed to bring our worries to HIM and let HIM deal with them!


Can you imagine how freeing it would be to cast all worries on someone else? As daughters of Christ, we have that luxury, because Our Father wants us to do that! Oh, what an amazing concept...put my worries up to the One who is in control!


After all, it's not like I really have much control over things, so why worry about them, right?!
For more WFW, visit the 160 acre wood at : http://the160acrewoods.com/?page_id=755
Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Word Filled Wednesday


This is particularly special to me at this point because, well, i'm pregnant right now! But, I thought it was so appropriate to remember that God knitted each of us in our mother's womb, our journey was already spelled out for us!

For more WFW, visit the 160 acre wood here:

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Baby UPDATE!

Hello Everyone,
It's just easier to do this here than individually email everyone, so here goes:

I had my 16/17 week OB appointment yesterday. I have gained 6 lbs so far which I'm not happy about but the doctor says it's fine. I'm 'measuring' a week larger, but according to my original due date, that would be right on time because I was originally due September 26/28...then they changed it to October 2nd. I still think I'm right and am due closer to the 26th, but whatever!

Baby is looking good, though. Heart rate is right around the 140's which the midwife said sounds like 'boy beats' lol. I've never known with the other boys what their rates were, so who knows! I know the old wives tale is the slower the rate means it's a boy, but everything seems to be opposite for me!

I will go on May 18th for the big ultrasound to make sure baby looks healthy and to hopefully get a peek at the sex! We're still borderline of who we'll tell and IF we'll tell, even if we'll find out...so you'll know when you know hehe! I'm sure I won't be able to keep my mouth shut, so most likely there will be a big post on here about it. Regardless of whether we do find out, I will post an update about the baby's health. Because Brandon's sister had a baby with down's syndrome and my mom had a baby with a club foot, they're a bit worried about defects and pushed for testing. Also, Jacek and Owen both had spots on the lower spine that looked like they hadn't completely closed at birth, so they were worried about spina bifida as well. They're pushing for genetic testing, but we refused because we won't take any action if something is indeed wrong. We'll see everything we need to see at the ultrasound.

So, hopefully I'll have a big, happy, healthy baby update for you all in about 4 weeks!

As for me, I've been doing okay. I'm much more emotional this time around and *stressed* for no reason. This baby I swear is already giving me gray hairs and I'm too young for that! I'm craving pineapple, oranges, and STEAK STEAK STEAK! Oh, and baked potatoes with salsa on them...and popcorn...and coffee with hot chocolate mixed in...the only thing I'm not craving are sweets! But I'm not exactly craving the super-healthy stuff either like I did with Owen.

Well, that concludes the baby update for the week. I have to hustle on some homework for my film class!
Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Word Filled Wednesday

For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name.

Psalms 33:21


* For some reason, I have been feeling particularly joyous this morning, despite being buried in Justin's vomit :) I suppose I'm joyous because this is the sign that I have been looking for that he still does indeed have a wheat allergy! I know it sounds strange, but I have been praying for guidance of whether he still needs dietary restrictions because he had been doing remarkably well being exposed to small amounts of wheat...up until a major gluten attack this morning after having two regular waffles. Gluten-free, here I come!
Friday, April 10, 2009

My husband ROCKS Friday!!!

It's that day...that day of the week when I sometimes have to think really hard about why my husband rocks :) Okay, so maybe not SO hard...because well, he's just awesome!
Bran is always willing to lend a helping hand, whether it be to friends, family, or a complete stranger! Last weekend as we headed down to my mom's house, about a 3 hour drive, we were about 50 or so miles outside of town when we see a Ford Powerstroke had broke down on the side of the highway. It isn't the busiest highway, but I was still surprised because these two poor guys looked like they had been sitting there for awhile. Brandon says he wasn't sure if he could help them, but he would try.
Obviously, he's a mechanic and just so happened to bring tools with him. The poor guy's alternator had gone out, he could drive about 15 miles before he would need to be jumped again. So, my husband did the only thing he could do...we followed the guy the rest of the way and pulled off to the side of the road to jump the guy and let his batteries charge up a bit so he could make it safely to Walla-Walla. It added about an hour to our travel time, but it was worth it...my husband was NOT going to let the guy just go off on his own, he wanted to make sure he got to his destination. We gave him my mom's phone number so he could let us know he got home safely, and the guy actually did call and thanked Brandon for lending him a hand...

My husband rocks because he cares about other people. He *wants* to help, and I think that's phenomenal. We have to remember that no matter how insignificant ANY ministry seems to be, it will make an impact on someone's life. Simply pulling over to help the person on the side of the road can make a huge difference in everyone's life. Of course you have to be careful WHERE you are pulling over or who you are helping, but generally, the person on the side of the road won't be a psycho killer, just someone who needs a jump :)
Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Word Filled Wednesday


I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Galatians 2:20

Easter is a time when I am reminded of the sacrifice that was made so that I could know our Heavenly Father. Happy Easter, everyone!

For more WFW...







Friday, April 3, 2009

My husband ROCKS Friday!!!

So, it's Friday...My husband ROCKS day :)

This week has been a really tough week for the both of us. We're both struggling with some issues I wish we'd never have to confront...
My husband ROCKS because he is not afraid to show me that he's vulnerable, that he's hurting, that he is having issues.

Most guys put on that macho front that nothing bothers them; that everything is okay. I have struggled to make him realize that it's okay for him to be vulnerable around me, and when he's hurting, he can come to ME, he doesn't have to deal with it on his own. And well, this week, that he did :) He came to me and expressed his feelings of jealousy, pain, anger, frustration, resentment, and then ultimately happiness when he realized that sometimes God sees fit to bless us in other ways than what we would wish.

My husband also rocks because he could see how much all of this is affecting me and made a decision to find a way for us to go visit my mom this weekend in Washington.

We have had some good laughs this week as well, and that is yet another reason my husband particularly rocks this week is because he knows what it takes to lift both of our spirits...even if it means him sitting down and watching 27 Dresses because he knows it will make me happy.

Well...probably should sign off here. Owen is trying to open a container of Ricotta cheese because he's convinced that it's yogurt :(
Wednesday, April 1, 2009

In the Word Wednesday



We must never forget the cleansing power of God's word!!

*Photo courtesy to me :) I took this picture by myself!
Friday, March 27, 2009

My husband ROCKS Friday!!!

This week, there's a fun little game, an acronym for my husband rocks :)

Mellow
Youthful

Huggable
Understanding
Strong
Brave
Affectionate
Never a dull moment
Determined

Reliable
One for me
Comfortable
Knowledgeable
Silly

That pretty much sums him up!
I just have to say, this morning I was just sitting there on my bed watching Jacek sleep (a miracle in itself...the kid fell asleep on his own!) and I just kept thinking to myself how lucky I am to have a husband who loves me as much as Brandon does :) No particular thing made me feel that way, I just felt loved this morning.
Thursday, March 19, 2009

Updates :)

Whew, it's been awhile, and another few crazy weeks. I'm really slacking on my homework right now so i can update this blog...I'm sure I'll pay for it later!

So...i have word that the state of Idaho officially sucks. If you'd like to be sucked dry on your insurance premiums and have crappy coverage-move here! Nuff said :)

Had a prenatal appointment yesterday. Everything is looking good. Weight is on track, the baby's heart sounds good at 162 beats per minute. The boys were in the 150 range so this is different ;)

I've been thinking about names lately. I WAS stuck on Jenna, now I'm less crazy about it and back to my Adriana/Adrionna kick. I would really hate to spell it Adriana and have everyone pronounce it like Adri-anna when I want it pronounced Adrionna...who knows. As for boys, yeah...we have ONE name and that's Aaron...Guess *if* we find out the sex in a few months we'll be busting out the baby name book...

I've got some homeschool worksheets and supplies so I'm getting ready to get Justin started on some pre-k stuff. We shall see how that works out. As if i have the time right now-or the attention span!
Friday, March 6, 2009

Sad day...

There will be no MHR today, but instead, something a bit different and that I feel compelled to share.

Well...we just found out this morning that a family member of Brandon's passed away :( He leaves behind a daughter and a wife. Although it was somewhat expected, you can never be prepared for the moment when someone is taken Home. We all know that he's in a better place, but still, when someone passes away, it affects us in ways that may surprise us.

Losing a husband...losing a father...two things I hope to not experience for a long, long time. How would that change my life if Brandon passed away today? Tomorrow? A year from now? How would it change my life if I lost *anyone* right now? Would it give me motivation to do things that I've always wanted to do, but never got the chance? Would it literally incapacitate me, making me unable to do anything at all?

Not too long ago, I wrote a rant (that has since been deleted) about having to clean up after Brandon. "Oh, he leaves cups and plates everywhere, leaves dirty clothes laying around. Ugh...and the worst...he leaves his whiskers that he just shaved all around the sink! I already have three kids, why should I have to pick up after him? I'm not his mother."

In the most gentle way possible, a woman responded to me. She said "What if something were to happen to him and he was no longer of this Earth, but was called Home? You would give anything to clean up those whiskers, even one last time."

As much as I hate it, she is absolutely RIGHT. How many women out there would do anything to clean up their husband's socks just one last time. To do their laundry or cook them their favorite meal just one...last...time.

This not only applies to husbands, but kids as well. God forbid a mother should have to bury her own child, but it happens. What would she give to change a diaper, give a bath, or even put the child in time out just ONE last time?

We take so much for granted in our earthly lives. I think that we 'forget' how temporary this all is. We get so concerned with what's going on over here or over there. We focus on things we don't have but think we need. We focus on the menial, unimportant tasks of everyday life. We put our attention and energy in to so many things that DO NOT MATTER.

How often do YOU focus and devote 100% attention to the people that are important to you? Sure, there are tasks in life (cleaning comes to mind) that must be done...but sometimes it just happens that the priority shouldn't be the dishes or the laundry. That book will be there tomorrow, that pile of laundry will be there tomorrow (unless you have a laundry fairy named Justin like I do) but the people in your life might not be.

Yes, it's important to make sure the menial tasks get done, but if there's a moment that strikes you, it's okay to put down the duster and play with the kiddos. Or instead of using naptime to clean up the house-sit and watch a movie with your hubby. Give him a massage...take your kids to the neat-o new pizza place with all the games, take them bowling.

To this day, every time I see myself getting frustrated with ANYONE, I wonder what it would be like if they weren't here at all. That sure changes my attitude and changes my heart. I've learned to appreciate even the annoying things that can happen from time to time. I know I'm still growing, but I never want to take for granted the small things ever again.
Friday, February 27, 2009

My husband ROCKS Friday!!!

There's no prompt for this week, so I will just share something about Brandon!

Recently, I was feeling pretty defeated. With school, the kids, my faith...I was just beat down and feeling yucky.

So about three weeks ago I had a paper due for my English class. I was considering not turning anything in and just 'getting by' in the class and passing with *maybe* a C if I was lucky.

Brandon knows how important school is to me, but he also realized how lost I was. He has never, ever sat down with me before and really helped me work through a problem. Ever. But he did that night. He sat down with me and helped me work through the essay prompt and gather ideas about what to write.

He *encouraged* me in a way that he never, ever has before. Just having him sit there and actively listen to me and help me work through my rough patch meant so much to me! Even if he didn't understand what I was talking about, he was there to toss ideas at me as well as listen to my own and make suggestions.

Because of him taking time out of his night, doing what HE wanted to do and helping me instead, he gave me courage and optimism and FAITH (in myself) when I had none left. That was just so awesome of him!
Friday, February 20, 2009

My husband ROCKS Friday!!!

Okay, so after a break last week, I'm back to my usual Friday thing :)

The prompt this week is:
Share your favorite "married moment" from the past couple of weeks. Anything that was special, made you smile, or made you feel all "warm and fuzzy" :)

I have TWO favorite married moments, so I'm going to share both.

The first is how we have both come together over one issue: my husband's health. He's put on a bit o' weight since Jacek was born and I was beginning to get concerned. Enter brother-in-law Micah talking up the P90X workout...we were SOLD, bought it, and got it three days ago. This is day three for Brandon and while he does the workout downstairs, I sit (since I can't participate-don't think the baby would like pushups and jumping jacks) and encourage him on the sidelines.

This is my way of supporting him. I could easily leave him down there all by himself and go do 'my own thing' but I want to see him succeed, so I'm there for him 100%. This gives me a warm fuzzy feeling because we're working together on this in our own way :)

My second moment happened last night. After he was *drained* from his workout, he still managed to help me pull together a diaper cake for a friend of ours. He even made the bows, and let me tell you, his bows are SO perfect :) Just the fact that he even takes the time to do the 'girly' things with me makes me feel so special...He did this to help ME, but his effort that he put in to the project really shows how much he cares about his friends as well! And come on, how many guys do you know that can make a perfect bow out of a 12 inch strip of ribbon?

My husband ROCKS!!!
Thursday, February 19, 2009

Reminiscing

Ah, my friend had her baby today. Unfortunately, he's having some problems, so anyone who reads this, if you could, say a quick prayer for Taran and family? God is good and I know how scared his mommy is, so just a quick prayer would be appreciated.

But, this makes me remember Justin's birth...how scary the circumstances were, everything about that birth went wrong!

"You're going to have a baby today" my doctor enthusiastically told me at my 34 week appointment. I was 34 weeks 5 days...not at ALL prepared to have a baby. We had *just* bought the car seat and the crib hadn't even been delivered yet. I was +2 protein in my urine, my BP was HIGH...

They admitted me that afternoon, gave me induction drugs and...NOTHING happened. Finally, two days later, they stopped everything and said i just wasn't ready! My mom had just flown to Colorado because my Grandpa had just died on Thursday night...it was such a bad time for this to happen! Brandon's family was visiting, and lo and behold, my BP shot through the roof. That's when I got word that after my doctor had dinner, we'd be doing a C-section right away.

The next few hours were a whirlwind of activity. Brandon's family had just left-he gave them a call to let them know what was going on, I think they were just about home when they got the call I was having the section! They're working to get me prepped for the operation...

Then, they couldn't get my epidural in. I got one shot of numbing medication for every 3 epidural (and later spinal) attempts that they did. I got poked 12 times before my doctor took over and got the spinal in. I think I sat on that cold OR table for an hour before they finally got my spinal in. Then that was it...it was baby time. They brought Brandon in and I remember feeling EXTREMELY weird. Very out of it and VERY tired. My BP continued to cause problems...

But, at 9:53 PM Justin Daniel was born, screaming before he was even out!


He seemed SO, so tiny...Don't even ask me how Brandon got the above picture...there were no lighting tricks and no editing, but this is one of the most amazing pictures I've EVER seen :) Just my favorite! All the rest of his delivery were NOT like this, they were like normal pictures.

So, he weighed 5 lbs 12.9 oz and was 18 inches long...born at 35 weeks gestation. Fully healthy, despite doctor's warnings that he was going to be VERY sick.

I was in the hospital for a few days, and unfortunately, he was having problems with major jaundice. It was the *hardest* thing to leave him at the hospital...but my mother-in-law and father-in-law stayed overnight with him.

I just cannot believe how blessed I was that he was healthy. I still had complications from my high blood pressure, but they eventually resolved.

Thinking of Justin's birth-how fast it came on, how fast circumstances changed...I am just reminded at how Cass must be feeling right now. My thoughts and prayers are certainly with them. I feel so lucky that Justin didn't have more complications...
Tuesday, February 17, 2009

When did it become so hard to enjoy life?

Oh yeah...since it's been freaking winter here for what seems like MONTHS and the sun never sticks around.
I am beginning to believe that SAD is a real disorder, geeze! This cloudy icky weather is really getting me down-and I never thought I would say that. I am so excited for spring, to do yardwork, to play in the yard, sit in the sun and do my homework or reading...I cannot wait.

All this yucky weather just makes it so hard to enjoy things. I don't even feel motivated anymore. One would think my house would at least stay clean because there's nothing else to do, but NOPE!

The weekly trips to the playland just aren't cutting it for the boys anymore lol! It's not cutting it for us, either, though.

*sigh*

Can't wait for spring...
Monday, February 16, 2009

Blog-break

Well, I've taken a little over a week off-I had some things on my blog to do but couldn't muster up the energy to do them.
This pregnancy is flat kicking my butt. I've never been so fatigued and sick, so this is major bad juju right about now! Add to that major stress from school...that means I'm not doing so hot.

But, I hope to be back up and running here this week.

As for an update- Had my first OB appointment last wednesday. My due date was changed to October 2nd with a c-section around the 24th of September. Yay! Baby is there, heartbeat is there, and I go back March 18th. Very exciting :)
Friday, February 6, 2009

My husband ROCKS Friday!!!

Tell the story of a memory about your husband that brings you a smile and a giggle every time you think about it!


WOW, there are several memories that I have in mind. I could tell you about the "I feel like a reptile" comment or the time he told me he was obsessed with me. Just the way he said it was hilarious :)

Oh, but I think I have to tell a truly 'man' moment that he had. This man, I love him so much and he's such a sweetheart, he tries really hard to make me feel good. After the birth of our second son, I was spending quite a bit of time at the gym trying to work off some baby weight. One night before going to bed, I was standing in the bathroom brushing my teeth when he said:

Hey there sexy lady. I must have left my wife at the donut shop because you look nothing like her!

*Jaw hits the floor*

LOL...left the wife at the donut shop??? What the heck was that supposed to mean?

I laugh every time I think about that because even though he has verbal throwup sometimes, he really means well.

Oh yeah, then there's the time he told me that when I woke up in the morning, sometimes it smelled like Mia (our dog) pooped in my mouth?!?!?! Yeah sweetie...that's a nice way of talking about morning breath!

~Make sure to see Katy at The Great Adventure if you want to participate in this fun Friday activity :) http://honestandlasting.blogspot.com/2009/02/my-husband-rocks-laughter-fun.html
Tuesday, February 3, 2009

"The Torch We Carry"

Reading through my "Too-Busy Book" a few afternoons ago, I came across this passage:


I have lived to see a thing, and it is this: that women of the first generation beyond the women's liberation movement have yet to challenge and redirect the overweening dictum passed on to them by their mother's generation-that women must do it all, do it now, and do it faster. ALL includes career, marriage, children, community involvement, friendships, spirituality, personal fitness, and on it goes. The mothers of the thirtysomethings unwittingly handed to their daughters a load too great to bear, a load under which they stagger. They took it on, not knowing there was another way-not realizing that their grandmothers' lives were much simpler than theirs. And no one is saying (except in whispers) that doing it all is impossible, ridiculous-even laughable...A generation of women has accepted the torch without asking why (Andersen, 2004 pp 29 & 30).

This particular passage is intriguing to me because I think about how we are so darn busy all the time. We don't have time for family events, we don't have time for ourselves, we barely have time for God!

I have OFTEN wondered why it seems like life is so busy. It seems like back when my grandma was raising her kids, things were so much more...mellow. And this was a lady with 6 kids, later on there were 7! WHY were things so simple? Because they LIVED simply. My grandpa was a miner, my grandma stayed home with the kids and kept house. I remember hearing stories about how she would rearrange furniture nearly every week! Now I know where I get that from :) They didn't have a whole lot, some people might have even considered them poor. I do not know, I never really discuss that, but I just know that things were so much simpler. Grandma did what she had to do, grandpa went to work, kids played...

WHY are we caught in this trap of constant busyness? Not only do we overschedule our kids with soccer, gymnastics, dance, and art classes, but this translates as overscheduling for the WHOLE family. Speaking of...why ARE there so many activities for kids? What ever happened to just having a few baseball practices a week and then letting them play outside other times. WHY do our kids have to have a whole menu of activities neatly tucked in to every corner of our week? Why do we have to PLAN so much?

I was reading something about how things 'used' to be. How family would live close, the women would gather at someone's house, cook dinner together, wait for the men to get there, kids would be playing. What happened to the family-centered lifestyle that *used* to be. That's what *I* long for! It seems so much lighter and more simple, to just enjoy each other, help each other out, let the cousins PLAY together.

Now, we're too busy being involved in other things to have 'time' for anything. I think women these days live under this false idea that we can do it all. There is one area that has to suffer if we try to do it all-usually that area is US, ourselves; me-time doesn't exist, there is no time for relaxing.

I can't do it all...so, I've decided that changes must be made. I have to become more 'relaxed' about life in general. If I feel like taking a minute to read a little bit of a book, then I will. I will make a conscious effort to make more family time, and not just my family, but extended as well. There are other goals, but i'm running out of time before my kids start to murder each other!


Friday, January 30, 2009

My husband ROCKS Friday!!!

Prompt/Theme for Friday, January 30, 2009
. . . the moment or the circumstances that led to you knowing that you were going to marry the man who became your husband . . .

I am more excited about this prompt for the very reason that this is one of the moments that I can remember EVERY single detail about, but also one of the moments I hold very near and dear to my heart.


BUT...I remember the *very* moment I knew he was 'the one' like it was yesterday. It was Easter weekend and I had driven up to Coeur d'alene to meet his whole family. We were sitting in church on a Saturday afternoon to listen to his sister's husband (Billy) sing in the choir. I was sitting there, there was a person drawing a sketch along with the song they were singing and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I just *knew* something was going on. I KNEW at that very moment that this was the man I was to be with. I mean, he got me in to a CHURCH for crying out loud!!! Any person who could have done that was worthy of a medal, because i was hard-pressed to NEVER let that happen!

I look back at that moment very, very fondly. It is truly one of the greatest memories of my life-as I'm sure it is for most people. I don't know, I've never had a moment be that profound for me or have that kind of impact on me. It was just a sense of "wow, THIS is supposed to happen" that was so comforting and exciting. It was on our drive back from that weekend that I said my very first "I Love You" to him.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Bathroom- Complete!!!

So, Brandon and I put the finishing touches on the bathroom last night. That included an oil rubbed bronze shower rod, toilet paper holder, and flusher lol. Okay, so he went overboard with the coordinating accessories! I'm not complaining!
So, here's some before/after pictures!

BEFORE:


AFTER:






I don't know why the his/hers wall looks brown, it's actually a really pure white. It's just the lighting. Everything in the bathroom is new, all the way down to the plumbing. And, instead of having a tub that drains at 11" lol...mine now drains at something like 20 or 21" or something. It's DEEP and the kids now refer to my tub as the 'big' tub.

We painted the bottom half of the room a green color. Initially I was going to do red, but green looked so much better. So much more natural and relaxing. I kid you not this is like sitting in a spa, I LOVE it. The slate gives it a great feel, too, because you feel like you're showering in a cave or something.

Overall, I'm extremely happy with this! We didn't do too bad money-wise but I do think it cost a bit more than I anticipated.

In other news...we have run in to yet another brick wall with the refinance-the whole reason of doing the bathroom in the first place. So, if you all could say a quick prayer that things just work out for us, it would be appreciated.
Friday, January 23, 2009

My husband ROCKS Friday!!!

This week's prompt:
Tell us about a time that your spouse went out of his way to serve you, and love you sacrificially.

My initial thought to this was "Doesn't he do this every day?" Honestly it was, because honestly, that's what he does! Every day he serves me and loves me sacrificially-I think we all do this for our spouse every day. Honestly, I know he probably doesn't want to have a job. There are days where he'd just like to quit and just do 'his' thing. But, he gets up and goes to work every single day to provide for me and our kids. To me, that's definitely sacrifice and he is serving me.

When I look a little deeper in to the question and try to think of a particular episode, my bathroom comes to mind (Pictures of the finished product are to come, btw.) He did not do this for HIM or for the HOUSE...he did it for ME. He wanted me to have a place where I can relax; a nice, calming place where I can bathe the worries away in my giant tub :) It wasn't for him, because honestly he could probably put a horse trough for a tub (that's originally what tubs were, anyway) and a bucket in a 'bathroom' and call it good! But no, he spent HOURS working on the plumbing, installation, electrical, drywall, texture, and paint all for ME.

I'm pretty sure he'll never understand how wonderful it is that he did this for me. He'll never truly understand how wonderful it feels to have something like this done *for me* and no one else.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I'm having a "Bruce Almighty" day...

"Yeah...let's thank God, shall we? For His blessings are raining down upon me. Wait...that's not rain!"

So, I have officially dubbed this a "Bruce" day in the spirit of feeling like God is messing with me. Now I know that God presents us with challenges, but it feels like the whole past YEAR has been a giant challenge. Can't something go right?

Ah HA! I've found the problem and it lies in the sentence above: Can't something go right...

Let's explore: Can't something go right would perhaps mean that nothing has gone right. Well, that's just silly and a little unrealistic. Surely something has gone right? Well, things have definitely gone right, but I guess not according to plan. Whose plan? MY plan! Well duh, things often DON'T go according to our own plan. Things happen on His timing.

So why then has the same situation been presented over and over again and always fails miserably? It feels like there is a carrot dangling in front of my face and then it's taken away, then dangled again, then taken away. And *just* when I think I'm finally going to get that damn carrot, it goes away again!

This refinance has been an uphill battle from the beginning. Starting all the way back in July, we've invested hundreds of dollars and HOURS in to doing whatever it is the lender in the monkey suit wants us to do. We finally think it'll go through after a few other failed attempts either because we got scared and bailed or because of unfortunate timing (IE: job loss lol) and BAM...confronted with another problem. This time because Brandon's old employer said he got paid a salary and his new employer says he works on commission. UGH! WHY is this a problem...of all things THIS? After weeks of trying to get the old employer to change their paperwork because Bran was never paid a salary, we still have gotten nowhere. Now we wait. I'm just so sick of waiting. We're so close, yet so far away.

It is a situation like this, where everything is going off without a hitch and then something goes wrong that makes me feel like I'm being picked on!

The reality: I'm not being picked on. Everything happens according to God's timeline and, if this isn't the time for the refi to happen, then I better deal with it! I mean, every other time that we were close and things didn't work out, it ended up being for the better. When we started the refi in July we were looking at over $10k in closing costs and a *higher* interest rate than our original loan. Now we're looking at 5% (1.75 percent lower than our current) and we're getting money back!

I'm not being picked on, it's just a test. But Lordy does our Heavenly Father seem to like to test me! Apparently I have a lot to learn?!

Maybe he'll give me a whack at things, a nice reality check, like he did our buddy Bruce...

So, in spirit of my Bruce almighty day, I think I'll put in that DVD with a bowl of Ramen noodles, a cup of tea to nurse my sore throat, and laugh at how silly I must be looking (and acting) from His view!
Friday, January 16, 2009

My husband ROCKS Friday!!!

List at least one thing your husband did or said in the past week that reminded you why you love him.
~ he has put so much effort in to finishing my bathroom, it really makes me realize that he wants to get it done and realizes that it is important to me!
~he ate every single meal that I cooked this week. If y'all knew how picky my husband was, you'd realize what a big deal this is!!

Share a "Generous Wife Tip"
It is okay, and does not mean you are a doormat, to go out of your way to please your husband! There are so many things that I can do that are just little things to show that he is appreciated, but once in a while, I like to just bend over backward to meet his needs! It may not be something that I enjoy doing, but when I see how much he appreciates and enjoys it, slowly but surely I begin to really enjoy doing that for him. Waking up early is a big thing...I know it sounds dumb, but honestly, I am NOT a morning person. Getting up with him at the crack of dawn to spend some much needed quiet time before heading off to a busy day at work does wonders for him (and me, too!)
Tuesday, January 13, 2009

That *Inkling*

Ever get the feeling that you made a mistake...that little inkling, irk, whatever you wish to call it?

I tend to be extremely indecisive, so even picking a major for college was a big deal for me. I've always wanted to be in the health industry. I'd prefer to be a nurse or something, but you can't do online school for that!!! So, I settled on health administration and I feel like I made a mistake. I feel like I should have selected something more...I don't know...useful? I mean, I'm kind of limiting myself with the h.a. major, but I was planning on minoring in business.

So, I emailed my academic adviser about switching my major for h.a to business...even though I *hate* business, it would probably lead to a lot more opportunities. Well, I have to completely REAPPLY in order to switch my major. I don't know how that affects my financial aid and my loans if I have to do that and I do NOT have an application fee or anything, but I thought it was a simple piece of paper you could fill out and send in, not having to completely reapply!

I don't know what to do. I really dread the idea of having to study business as a major, I much prefer health administration because that's ultimately what I want to do...and with it being such a hassle to switch, I feel like I should just stick with what I have, minor in business, and then go back after I'm done and get my Master's degree in business (MBA) with a concentration in health administration. I don't know, I think my system works out well, but what will employers think??? Ya know? I mean, sure, I have my major in health admin, but I minored in business, so would they still hire me???

Ugh, I hate this. I hate the idea that I made a boo-boo in selecting something that I actually *like* for my major!!!
Sunday, January 11, 2009

Needed: A day of rest

What does the Bible say about a day of rest?
I decided to do some research on the Sabbath, or a day of rest. Initially, I always believed that because God rested on the 7th day, that was traditionally known as the sabbath, day of rest, the 7th day, whatever...
I was quite surprised to find that there is so much out there contradicting this. Some people believe that this was part of the old covenant and therefore no longer applies. Here's what Scripture says:
"Remember the sabbath day and keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of Yahweh your God: you shall not do any work—you, your son or daughter, your male or female slave, or your cattle, or the stranger who is within your settlements. For in six days Yahweh made heaven and earth and sea, and all that is in them, and He rested on the seventh day; therefore Yahweh blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it." (Exodus 20:8-11)

Okay, so that's just one example. Here's what another piece of scripture says:
"On six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there shall be a sabbath of complete rest, a sacred occasion. You shall do no work; it shall be a sabbath of Yahweh throughout your settlements. These are the set times of Yahweh, the sacred occasions, which you shall celebrate each at its appointed time" (Leviticus 23:3-4)

It is my opinion that I have gathered from scripture that there *IS* to be a sabbath day. But, which one? Saturday or Sunday? Or any other day, for that matter? I think it's Sunday, but why?
Also, what kind of activities are permitted on the Sabbath? Can we shop? Do homework? Leisure activities like golf and hiking? No work, I see...but I would take it to mean that the Sabbath is a day for GOD, not for man. Back in the day, Sunday was a day reserved for church activities, fellowship, and worship of our Lord and Savior. Why has that changed? Personally, I think it's awesome when businesses are closed on Sunday to honor God and the Sabbath. But, what about people who believe the Sabbath falls on Saturday?

Just some random nothings I was thinking about today!
Friday, January 9, 2009

'MY HUSBAND ROCKS' Friday

So, I was introduced to a few new blogs today, and some of them participate in a "My husband ROCKS" Friday type thing. I'm borrowing this questionnaire in spirit of this from Ashley at http://puttinggodfirstplace.blogspot.com/

The original "My husband ROCKS" friday idea comes from http://honestandlasting.blogspot.com/2008/06/my-husband-rocks-friday.html

So...here goes :)




1. Where did you meet?
We met through a mutual friend. Initially, I was NOT interested in meeting anyone new, but she insisted saying he was the perfect guy for me.

2. How long did you date before you were married?
We dated for 3 months before he proposed and 5 months before we were married...so, we were only engaged for two months.

3. What does he do that surprises you?
Oh goodness, he does a lot. He surprises me every day with completely random things!

4. What is your favorite quality of his?
I don't have just one, but if I had to pick, it would be his dedication and loyalty to his family; both me and the boys and to our extended family. He honestly drops everything to help someone.

5. What is your favorite feature of his?
Oh gosh, it has to be lips. He has amazing lips...

6. Does he have a nickname for you?
Not really. My whole family calls me Chrissy and he does that sometimes, but goodness...I can't think of a nickname he really has for me

7. What is his favorite food?
Pizza...hands down

8. What is his favorite sport?
Well, he played football and was Mr. Wrestler guy in high school, so I would assume it'd be one of those two. Although he does like the UFC.

9. When and where was your first kiss?
Ugh, kill me now...I *don't* remember!!!

10. What do you like to do together?
Anything and everything...we're rarely apart

11. Do you have any children?
Yes, blessed with three boys

12. Does he have a hidden talent?
He has a lot of hidden talents. I married one heck of a guy!

13. Who said "I love you" first?
I did, and I remember that like it was yesterday

14. What is his favorite type of music?
He likes everything

15. What do you admire most about him?
Wow...once again, can't pick just one thing. Since I said his dedication and loyalty before, I'll say his ability to provide and not complain about doing it! Providing for a family of five is not easy

16. Do you think he will read this?
Honestly, no! I don't even know if he knows I have a blog!
Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Wow, so this is my first post of the new year??

Huh...fancy that...my first post of the new year?!

It's already been an emotional, eventful year thus far!

I don't know if I'd say that I've come to a crossroads, but it seems like there is some kind of internal, spiritual war going on. My beliefs, faith, LIFE are all being challenged. I hate being tested; it feels like the past year has been one giant test. Can't He just spread it out a bit?!

On one note, I've learned that you can only help people who WANT the help. My friend Tiff, who we moved out here, is heading back to Colorado next week. I had high hopes for her, as I know that Tiffany is better than the life she's settled for. I even got her to see what I saw for awhile and things looked promising. Sadly, she is the same person today that she was a year ago when she was homeless in Colorado. It's sad to think that someone is given a fresh start, they have over 365 days (because it was a leap year lol) to make a change and they have experienced absolutely NO GROWTH in those days. If she was returning under different circumstances, I'd actually be happy for her and proud of her, but no, she's still the same person. She had all these opportunities lined up for her, and although she said she wanted it, her actions proved different. It breaks my heart to see her live her life the way she is. I tried to help her and it'll always be in the back of my mind that whatever I did just wasn't good enough.

I need to break free from that. I need to realize that she just wanted a free ride somewhere else. I've come to the conclusion that she is just looking for the easy way out, a free ride. She doesn't want to have to work to get her GED, her CNA...nothing. She doesn't want a better life. She wants to continue to hold herself down, to settle for something that makes her miserable. Perhaps so that she can continue to play vicim and be bitter about things. Maybe that's what she needs to do to help her sleep at night; justify her decisions...say that she was served some kind of great injustice. I don't know. I'm just so sad to see her go when I had so much hope for her...I don't really feel bitter about the financial stuff that we helped her with, getting her down here, getting attached to her kids; just the fact that she had an amazing opportunity and she threw it away.

2008 was a very trying year, and it started with our marriage being tested. It's not common for people to take in a friend and her kids...it went smoothly, but Brandon and I sure had our challenges. I am so glad that I have the Lord to lean on when things get tough, but there were times when it just seemed that it was all too much. I know Brandon was stretched to the limits financially and mentally. It took some pretty seriously bad days for me to realize the huge sacrifice HE made letting my friend come live with us. In the end, our marriage certainly is stronger and we have learned to work as a team in some pretty difficult circumstances.

Not only was our marriage tested once, but you could say it was tested a second time when Brandon was laid off. I just remember someone telling me that Brandon didn't want to tell me when he was laid off because he thought I would leave him. While it was devastating to know that he was laid off, nothing hit me like a ton of bricks quite like hearing that he was afraid I'd leave him-over him losing his JOB?! Ugh, that felt awful. After talking things over, it was his fear that I would leave because I would look at him as less of a man. Oh if he only knew how big of a man he was; this is a man who would do anything, even if it meant selling icewater to eskimos, to try and make sure his family had food, clothes, and shelter.

I cannot say how proud I am to call him my husband. Brandon is an amazing man, truly one of a kind. And, although we have been tested in 2008 and 2009 is turning up to be a year of equal difficulty, he has stood by me to be my rock and my support through it all.

Usually with pain/change/trouble comes growth. We all come out of these things as different people. When I was in my second class at Ashford, a psychology class, we learned about life stages and crises and whatnot. It was said that there are several phases to stages (if that makes sense) and that when we are experiencing a new 'stage' in our life, it is often painful at first, partially because the comfortable phase of the last stage is ending and we are unwilling (subconsciously) to let that go, but that there are tremendous opportunities for growth heading in to the next stage.

I sure am feeling the pain, the growing pains, of going from one stage to another. I am truly having a crisis; I am in the beginning of the crisis and who knows how long it will take me to adjust to my new roles, challenges, and all the crazy curveballs that God has thrown at me.