Friday, January 1, 2016

Hello 2016!

Happy New Year!

I have heard 2015 described as "The year of the whirlwind." It was indeed a whirlwind for me in terms of all of the changes that took place in my life. Hubby started a new job, we both started graduate programs, and we embarked on a journey at a new church this year. That was a lot of transition in a short span of time and I am looking forward to building on those changes in 2016!

What are you looking forward to in 2016?

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Anatomy of Trust

In a season when I am praying about and looking to strengthen my relationships and my relational ability, this talk is so relevant and helpful! Take a listen and let me know what you think.


I have hard days.

Really hard. Here is my Facebook post after a "wild" evening with the kids...

It all started when one of them starting crying because they couldn't find one of their gloves. That crying continued for about 10 minutes in the car. As I entered the grocery store I realized I forgot my list. I could not remember giving the children any candy, but they acted as if they had each ate a half pound of sugar. Of course, three had a bathroom emergency in the midst. After almost an hour of shenanigans, one dropped a glass jar of pesto sauce in the aisle. Oh, the shame.

I finally got all of them in the car. I could feel my upper back muscles tensing up as I loaded the groceries in the trunk. It is now dark, cold, the wind is blowing my hair all over my head. Just when I thought I had a moment of silence, I hear one say in a dramatic, story-telling voice, "Oh, poor Mommy. The wind is blowing as she tugs the heavy groceries into the car..." as if she is narrating my saga...Really?

I need everyone to close their eyes and stretch their hands toward the computer screen in a moment of silent prayer for me right now. ‪#‎Jesusberestraint‬ ‪#‎nowitshomeworktime‬ ‪#‎ihavetomovebedtimeuptonight‬

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Good Good Father

I think most of us can identify times when God has been portrayed as a hard taskmaster. We may pinpoint times in which he has been presented to us or viewed by us as distant, indifferent or detached. Nevertheless, that is not an adequate portrayal of who God is or how he wants us to view/relate Him.

In fact, I have recently been hearing the term "sonship" be used to address this issue. Although I am still learning, it is my understanding that embracing sonship means to embrace and be rooted and grounded in the truth that we are sons and daughters of God. We have been adopted by Him and therefore, can approach him with all of the confidence and surety of a child approaching his or her dad. I think this song speaks well to that truth, the essence of our relationship with God, and how we should view Him. It has really been ministering to me. I hope you enjoy it as well!


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

On skipping and the wonders of childhood.

My Halle is currently 4 years old and she skips. And I mean she skips everywhere! In the kitchen, up the stairs, to the school bus, around the house, in the driveway. I must tell you, it brings me so much joy to see her skipping.

One of my favorite bloggers - Katherine from www.raisingfive.com, wrote this about motherhood:

I will never forget a conversation I had with my mom once. I was an exhausted young mother, drowning in the incessance of the job, (is that a word, even?). Somewhere in the middle of my dronings about the difficulty I was facing, she got quiet and said, "When I think about the years with you kids at home [there were four of us], it's almost like it was all a dream."

Now that I am but two years away from my first child leaving home I am beginning to understand what she meant.

These years are frustrating, tiring, monotonous, tedious. I have never been so angry, so bewildered, so entirely consumed with discouragement, fear, or doubt.

And yet...they are filled with a kind of wonder and happiness and hope and the breathtaking exhilaration of looking up one day and realizing that that amorphous blip on the sonogram suddenly resembles a mature young man or woman (or, depending on where you are, maybe they are just getting, say, potty trained). And that the circle of life is about to come around and give you whiplash.

I completely identify with Katherine's sentiments and they bring so much perspective. I became a mother at the age of 23. Now, at 33, I realize how completely not ready I was and how difficult that adjustment was for me. In some respect, I have heard moms who started their families at a much later age than I, express similar frustrations and struggles similar to what I experienced transitioning into parenthood. Perhaps certain frustrations just come with the territory. Nevertheless, now that I am ten years in (I cannot believe I have a 10-year-old, but that is another post), I can see how indeed time is fleeting. It is really beginning to feel like the past years (when I was pregnant and breastfeeding, and trying to control toddlers) now almost feels like a dream.

If I could go back some 5-10 years, I think I would have relaxed a bit. I would not have been so focused on being the perfect homemaker or mother. Instead, I would have taken more time to savor sweet and delightful things like lullabies, silly songs, and skipping.

So, yep. That's all I have for you today...skipping. I am enjoying it very much at the moment and hoping she doesn't stop anytime soon :-)

Northwestern vs. University of Illinois

Hello blog!

I am posting sparingly nowadays, but there is still much going on in my life! I have been contemplating a return back to regular blogging as a way to help me continue to capture, process, and savor life's moments. I have mentioned before that I love being able to jump on here and see where my mind was at and all that was going on at various season's of life. The most challenging thing might just be carving out time to create posts, but I think I am going to give it a try. Interestingly enough, I noticed that it was exactly a year ago today that I last posted!

Here are some photos of my family and I at a NU football game the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Although we were pretty cold, this was exciting for all of us because hubby and I are both Northwestern alum and this was the first college football game the children ever attended! Most exciting of all, NU won! Go wildcats!








Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Bargaining, Negotiation and Vegetables

I am not sure who is winning the war in getting their kids to eat their vegetables. But, our kids are finding new and creative ways to avoid such habits. In fact, we have recently entered into a bit of bargaining and negotiation with Noah.

It usually plays out like this:

 "Noah, eat your vegetables."

*groaning and looking as if we asked him to eat poison* "How many spoonfuls?*

 "Give us eight."

"Ummmm...five?"

 "Seven."

 "Six."

 "Okay. Six."

 "Done."

So, I'm not sure if we are winning or losing. You be the judge.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Favorite Moments

I know summer has passed and we are entering into the winter months. Nevertheless, I couldn't resist sharing some of my favorite photos with you.
 
I think that by far, most of my favorite photos of my kids are the ones where we caught them in motion, laughing, playing and having fun. Below are some photos I took of Halle as she ran through the sprinklers at a Splash Pad park near our home. She ran, jumped, and sang songs impromptu. One of them was a simple chant, "Let's get this party started! Let's get this party started!..." She even solicited other kids in the park that she didn't know to join in with her singing and playing. They too picked up on the chant.
 
I am not quite sure what to think about the appropriateness of that chant for my 3-year old. However, one thing is for sure: My Halle certainly knows how to have a good time:-)
 
 






Friday, November 28, 2014

Noelle turns 9!

There have been many new developments since I last posted here. One of which, is hard to believe...my baby turned 9 years old on the 19th of this month!
 
It is so true that time flies and kids grow up fast! I had Noelle is 2005, but it is hard to grasp the fact that that was almost a decade ago! She has blossomed into a wonderful 9 year old girl.
 
She has a new found interest in knitting and sewing. She still enjoys school and was chosen to participate in our Regional Spelling Bee in January 2015. Noelle is loved by her teacher and pretty much all that know her (although I hate to brag;-) I cannot wait to see what the next 9 years will hold for her! I am excited to continue on this journey of being her mother.
 
Noelle, I just love you so much and thank God for you!
 
Love,
 
Mommy
 




 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Lost & Found ~ Sarah Jakes

Recently, I told my husband it seemed like when we first got married, no one else was married. Then, once we hit our mid-twenties, it seemed like everyone around us started getting married. Now, in our early thirties, it feels like so many around us are struggling to hold on to the their marriages and/or are steps away from divorce. 

It's real out here. People are in need of real, raw, transparent ministry that will transform their lives. 

Sarah Jakes is a great example of someone offering that kind of ministry. She has quite the story. She has come through the pain of teen pregnancy, infidelity, divorce, and the shame that comes with all of that. However, I admire her honesty and willingness to share her story in order to uplift others in a real way. Her book is entitled, Lost & Found: Finding Hope in the Detours of Life. and the video below is just one of eight webisodes that you can find on her blog. 

I hope you check it out and are blessed by it.
 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Monday, March 31, 2014

Jesus it is you

Awesome lyrics. Awesome song. I needed this.


Jesus it is you
WHO MAKES THE SUN TO RISE AND BRING THE EARTH NEW LIFE IN EVERY BEAM
JESUS IT IS YOU
WHO TURNS THE DAY TO NIGHT AND WATCHES ME AS I BEGIN TO DREAM
JESUS IT IS YOU
WHO BRINGS ME FOOD FOR MY TABLE, WHO CARES FOR ALL OF MY NEEDS
WHO WALKS THE ROAD WITH ME
HAS GROWN WITH ME THROUGH ALL THAT I HAVE BEEN
JESUS IT IS YOU, JESUS IT IS YOU
SO I LIFT MY HANDS AND I BRING MY SONG
ALL OF MY DAYS, ALL OF MY RIGHTS, ALL OF MY WRONGS
I OFFER MY LIFE, HERE AND BEYOND
TO THE ONE THING TRUE, JESUS IT IS YOU
WHO SEES MY BROKENNESS AND CARRIES ME WHEN I AM FRAIL AND WEAK
JESUS IT IS YOU
WHO TELLS THE STORM TO REST WHEN I AM OVERWHELMED AND CANNOT SPEAK
JESUS IT IS YOU
WHO WEARS MY GUILT ON HIS SHOULDERS, WHO HOLDS MY HEART IN HIS HANDS
WHO TAKES MY THOUGHTS AND FEARS AND HANGS THEM ON THE ARMS OF CALVARY
JESUS IT IS YOU, JESUS IT IS YOU
Music & Lyrics : Ben Manusama

Monday, March 17, 2014

My boy is 5!


My boy is 5 years old today! Excuse me, I have to type that again for the sake of processing: My boy is 5 years old today! Okay. that helped. 

Currently, Noah is all about Batman. Thus, I have a Batman cake to pick up today around five o' clock. We have some gifts for him to open and are just excited to see him so excited to be a 5 year old. Here are some things we are just absolutely loving about Noah: 

1.Noah still loves to dress up with his ties, hankerchiefs, button-up shirts, and jackets. I secretly hope that this is not a phase, but just something about him that will remain until adulthood:)

2. Noah is still very much into singing and music and likes to pretend that he is in a band. He likes the guitar, the keyboard, and the drums.

4. Noah is so affectionate. He is especially affectionate toward his mommy (another thing I secretly hope will never change;) Hugs, kisses, and "I love you' s" galore come from this little guy and are a blessing to us all.

3. Noah, who has always been on the quiet side, is beginning to be more talkative and conversational. This catches me off guard sometimes because its new. However, I love to talk to him about things he is learning, about God, about how he loves his family, and of course, about Batman. 



Noah, 

When daddy and I prayed and asked God for a son, we knew we would enjoy having a boy. But, we had no idea just how much your personality, your voice, your humor, your quirks, and all the other qualities God has put in you would steal our hearts. You are a joy and we love you Big Boy!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Guess Who!



Yep. You got it. That's yours truly. 

When my son so sweetly presented me with this drawing, I could tell he was proud of his work. I took one look and had to put forth much effort in order to hide my amusement at the look on my face in the drawing. I told Noah it was great, thanked him, and gave him a big hug.
   
After I walked away, I couldn't help but to shake my head and chuckle to myself for at least 10 minutes. I wondered, "Is this a picture of me on a good day or a bad day?" I thought, "It definitely had to be a bad hair day if nothing else. " Nevertheless, Mr. Noah was very serious about the fact that it was a picture of my looking quite lovely. 

What can I do in response to that besides feel proud of my portrait? Thanks Noah:)