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Ok,  so this is my first post on this blog, but it won’t be the last. Kimberly and I need each other. And it was the wisdom of God that brought us together. It is only by his perfect will and grace that my marriage has been the best thing that has ever happened to me. I may never know His plans for me, for my marriage, for my family, but He does, and that is enough. Thank you, God, for the blessing of a loving wife.

I just love my husband!

OK, so maybe sometimes he’s part of the “headache of the day”, but really, he’s my rock! He’s my encouragement when I’m down. He’s my cheerleader when I’m struggling. He loves me on my darkest days and is proud of me when I can pick myself up and try, try again.

Lord, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for giving me such an amazing man for my husband and to be father of our children. I do not deserve his neverending pledge of support and unfailing love and yet You, Lord, saw fit to place us together thru this walk on Earth. I am grateful.

My heart hurts…

My brother is 21yrs old as of yesterday. *whew* Where DID the time go?! I guess when you’re not living life in close proximity to one another, it tends to fly past quicker than the blink of an eye.

Leaving the west coast wasn’t a big deal for me really. OK…it was a super huge deal but I was a big girl and could handle the change. I trusted God to protect us in every way. I believed starting my own family and life was priority #1 at that time and so I was ready to walk into Eric’s arms with Faith at my side. I knew growing up and starting my own family was going to mean a serious change in the relationships I had with my siblings but it’s a fact of life. I just didn’t know that change would hurt so badly at times.

When I took a trip to San Diego in June of this year, to introduce my family to Dewey, I met my brother’s beautiful girlfriend Keyry. She’s a sweetheart and such a hard worker. I know she’s a “giver”, definitely someone who gives w/o thought of return. I can tell how much my brother loves her. They’re good medicine for one another, it’s plain to see. 🙂 I didn’t find out until the day before we were leaving that Keyry is pregnant and I didn’t find out that she’s pregnant with twins until tonight. 

I’m trying not to take the whole thing personally. My relationship with my siblings has been the thing to take the greatest hit after my move to MN. My sister Shay and I have a roller coaster of a relationship; either we’re on good terms and chat every once in a while or we’re pissy and don’t talk for long stretches. Not sure why that’s the case but I believe we both know we’ve got room for improvement when it comes to relating to one another. My relationship with my brother Justin and sister Alisha, well, it’s pretty much non-existent. When I left for MN, they were entering their teen years and that’s quite a tumultuous time. I didn’t expect that we’d be tight but I didn’t anticipate the silence, either. I reached out for a while but rarely got responses and chose to let my discouragement grow. That discouragement has meant very little talking each year and when I say “very little” I mean, “maybe a few sentences around the holidays or something”. It’s pathetic and it makes me ache all over if I think about it too much.   

So to be kept in the dark about my brother’s babies; well, it hurts. On the one hand, I don’t feel as if I’ve done much in the way of keeping in touch to deserve a place in their lives. On the other hand, I’m his sister for goodness sakes!!! What have I done that I don’t get the courtesy of a conversation via the phone or email once in a while?

My head is spinning. My heart is hurting. My arms are crying out just to hold these darling babies that share my brother’s blood. That share my blood. 

My brother and his girlfriend are not in a position to care for children of their own right now. They’re young. They’re living with family and still struggling to find their paths in the workforce. I am not a stranger to that position but God had a different plan for my life. I do not stand in judgement of my brother or his girlfriend, not in the least. Adoption is a blessing to families on both ends of the deal. My prayers are continually with them. 

Tonight, I’m just hurting for the loss of a bond with my brother and wishing I would get the chance to know and be known by his first born babies. I love you, Bud!
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I’m sad…

…that my bible study group won’t be meeting this fall. I will miss the comraderie, the laughter, the conversation. I will miss seeing their smiling faces every week and knowing that I’m never going to be the only one who had a hard time getting out of the house that morning. *lol*

But, you know? It really does feel like we need the break. Maybe it’s just me but this last year together, our 4th (5th?) I believe, seemed awfully stressed. No one was quick to step out and lead the group, nor to choose a study, nor to volunteer in the various capacities needed for a small group to run. The passion for what we were doing seemed a spark, at best. Personally, I struggled to find the committment and desire to do my study each week and felt like I was getting up each Friday morning seeking the conversation and connection with the ladies, rather than the focus on God and His Word. We might as well have been meeting at a coffee shop, with as much as I touched my study books and Bible! Totally NOT the intended focus of our group.

Of course, I need to be careful not to speak for the other ladies in the group. Maybe my desire is/was completely different than theirs. I feel like I have so little adult conversation and connection throughout the week (an issue which I HATE and don’t understand what with all these “small groups” we have been and still are a part of…) that I crave that. Maybe I’m just a “quality time” kind of girl. 🙂 I want deep friendships in which friends can speak truth into one another’s lives, hold one another accountable, and spend time in prayer together for one another and their families. How does one get to that point in a friendship? I suppose it takes time. Lots and lots of time. And energy, too. Lots and lots of focused energy. Time is something I’ve definitely had with these ladies. But, I will admit, I have not given much energy to these friendships for some reason. I’ve been to caught up on why someone hasn’t called me, instead of picking up the phone and calling them. Weird, huh?   

And now as the summer has gottten busy, I feel even less connected with the ladies. Families are busy this time of year, I know. It’s the nature of summer and we are no exception. I have seen only 3 of the ladies this entire summer and have held a decent conversation with only one of those 3. That’s pathetic, in my opinion!  

I doubt this is a case of, “all good things must come to an end” but maybe more of a time to step back and focus on our individual families and lives or something. I don’t know. I wonder how they’ve felt?  What made them get out of the house early on Friday mornings to get to group? What drove them to do (or kept them from doing) their studies each week? What did they want to accomplish thru our meetings together? 

There is a Bible study group meeting this fall at our old church. Community Bible Study is the sponsor. It’s focus is not on relationships really but on the Word. They won’t go into long conversations about how everyone’s week was or what struggles someone is facing. Rather, their conversation is centered around the Word and what we’ve gleaned from our studies and what God has lead us to understand that week. The groups are a bit larger than what my Bible study group was; we had 10 in our group, these groups with CBS would be more like 15-17 ladies. And from all walks of life, too. My Bible study group has been a group of mothers with young children. These groups could include mother like myself as well as single ladies of every age, and older “seasoned” ladies, as well. 

I like the focus on the Word that this Bible study will have…I really really want that focus in my life! But I’m wondering if I’ll find the depth of friendship that I seek there. Maybe that depth of friendship is something that I can continue to work towards with some of the ladies from my Bible study group, while I have the focus on the Word with the CBS group.

*sigh* I don’t know. I just don’t know. Life and relationships both seem awfully complicated for me right now. I just want to know I’m loved, be able and willing to show that to those around me, and be able to put God first in my life and lead my kids to do the same.

A summer of firsts…

Faith:

1. First OVERNIGHT summer camp experience. I just know that I was more worried than she was! We have come to see that Faith is a brave soul with an adventurous spirit. Traveling to another state to stay for 7 days w/o Mom or Dad was no big deal for her and she had the time of her life. She took riding instruction with the horses each day for an hour, took canoe lessons, played all sorts of new games and learned enough camp songs to last the whole year! I had such a good time growing up attending summer church camps so I’m so glad she has the same opportunity.
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2. First Horse Camp experience. She has taken short day camps in the past but, at best, she spent 2hrs with the horses each time and always rode with the instructors, as it was more about “exposure” than true lessons. This camp thru the Science Museum had her in the classroom at the U of M studying the horse’s biology and history. Then in the afternoons they traveled to an Equestrian Center for actual riding lessons. They learned all about the tack and how to put on and take it off of the horse they were paired up with for the week. She learned how to mount and dismount and all sorts of general riding knowledge. At the end of the week the class held a little show for the parents. It was so sweet to see her caring for her horse and riding with no help from the instructors. She is really becoming a fine rider! 🙂 I know this is only the beginning of her time with horses.
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3. Summer School. OK…this is a weird “first” to list but it’s a big deal to us all b/c it’s so very different from what schooling has been for us of late. The kids will be attending a new school this fall and it will be a great change of pace for us all, I’m sure. Since Faith is entering a more challenging grade, we thought it right to send her to the school’s week-long summer program in August. It’ll only be M-F from 8am ’til noon but our hope is that it proves to bolster her confidence and serve as a good introduction to the curriculum she’ll be working with this coming year. She’ll have overviews of Latin, Lang Arts/History, and Math as well as a refresher course on the skills of studying and time management. I know that her first semester will prove to be a challenging one b/c the curriculm is so advanced but we hope that this summer program will start her off on the right foot.

Josiah:

1. First Day Camp experience. Today I dropped Josiah off at his first summer day camp. It’s being held at the Science Museum and is called, “Constructopedia”. It’s totally up his alley! He’ll be experimenting with Legos, Kinex, and other various building materils, both conventional and otherwise. They’ll have challenges each day and will work with a few different teachers to explore the science behind the building and the tearing down of structures. He waited ALL summer long for this week to arrive and when it did, he walked with his head held high as he left my side and walked to meet his class for the week. As we got into the car this morning, he did mention that he was going to miss us for 7hrs and 15min each day (that’s exactly how long he’ll be away from us! *lol* Leave it to our mathematically-minded fellow!). Bless his heart, he’s such a sweetie and I’m sure he’ll have a blast. 

Faith and Josiah:

1. Shopping for school uniforms!!!! 🙂 This was both fun – because it’ll be a new experience for us all and we do quite well with new experiences – and funny – because the kids kept rolling their eyes at having to try on so many of the “same things” for an hour. “How many white shirts/blue pants do I need, Mom?” *lol*    

2. Soccer Teams. Both of the kids particpated on their first soccer teams this summer. I think Josiah was hesitant at first, having never played the game before but boy, did they both take to it! I know for certain we’ll be back next summer. It was such a good challenge for them both to undertake. For Faith, she learned to be persistant and to turn instruction into action on the field. Josiah learned how to be patient with himself and with others who weren’t doing just as he wanted them to. 🙂 We spent many an evening on the fields but what memories.
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Andrew:

1. Rolling over. He had been going from his belly to his back for a while but while we were on vacation in San Diego, he learned to roll from his back to his belly…the first step to true mobility and a good measure of his determination to become mobile!

2. Eating solids. He has had the tried-and-true rice cereal, as well as squash, applesauce, bananas, green beans, peaches, rice “bars” and apple juice. Oh, and Eric was so kind to share his popsicle with him the other day. *hehe* 🙂 He starts his day off with rice cereal and another food item and most nights he ends his day the same way. It’s been neat to see him gravitate towards these new tastes. He sure gets excited when we sit him up in the high chair!
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3. Sitting up. He wobbles here and there and certainly can’t get to a sitting position himself but boy, if he isn’t proud to be in the middle of all the action.
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4. Getting on his hands and knees to rock and roll!! He’s really working hard on strengthening his muscles for the work of crawling. We’ll have a very mobile boy on our hands before the snow flies, I’m sure.

5. Drinking from a sippy cup. We’ve been letting him explore and play with his sippy cup for the last few weeks but just today I put a little apple juice (watered down, of course!) in his cup and after a few chews and raspberries blown on the spout, he sucked and was pleasantly surprised!!! 🙂

Aaaahhhh…what fun it is to be a mother in the summertime! 🙂  
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So much for that…

So, I said my goal for this week was to get to bed by 10pm each night, right?

Well, I did just that last night!! OK, I officially was in bed at 10:15pm but close enough. And what did I get when I woke up this morning?

A big fat headache!!

Now, maybe the two issues are not related at all or maybe Satan is just trying to keep me down…either way, it sure hasn’t made for a good start to my efforts in getting to bed “on time”.

Harumph!!!

Old habits die hard.

Man, I shoot myself in the foot each and every night by staying up so late!!!!

I got into a great sleeping pattern in my last month of pregnancy with Dewey. I really took advantage of the calm before the storm by going to bed shortly after Faith and Josiah were down each night. (Although, I must say, Andrew has NOT been anything like a storm as an infant! He’s an angel child, I swear!) I think when Dewey began sleeping thru the night, I thought to myself, “hmmmm…I can take some time for myself now! I don’t have to run off to bed to grab a few hours of sleep before he wakes up again to eat”. 

So, what started out as a little late night TV before climbing into bed, has now turned into lots of late night TV plus some computer time if Eric isn’t on it. *lol* And each and every morning I wake up wishing I hadn’t stayed up that late. *rolls eyes* COME ON!!!

My goal for this week is to get to bed by 10pm each night. I think that will go a long ways in keeping my spirits up the next day.

Wish me luck! 🙂 And happy dreams! 🙂