Simply beautiful...

Simply beautiful...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Much Needed Get Away!

With our family having a crazy past couple of months, a get away for Jeremy and I couldn't have come at a better time. Jeremy had a business trip already scheduled for Miami, and we were blessed to find flights and hotels to make it possible for me to meet him out there.

I will admit, I was a nervous wreck getting out the door... Especially since I didn't make my final decision to actually step on the plane until that very morning, due to making sure the kids were truly healthy again. My mom and sister ushered me to the airport near tears, fighting back feelings of worry and guilt about leaving the kids after them just being sick. That's when you know you REALLY need a vacation!

Our trip was amazing! It was the first time in a long, long time that Jeremy and I both felt like we genuinely got to decompress and connect. We adore our kids, but wow, they are exhausting and just need us so much! Jeremy and I got to walk on the beach, go running a few times - together, lay by the pool, read and write, experience wonderful meals, have uninterrupted conversations, meet up with our friends Mike and Stephanie... We even got to take a BMW 550 for a whirl for a morning (thanks to our hotel) and explored South Beach! We felt like kids and newlyweds, all at the same time! I adore spending time with my husband and am so thankful we are best friends... It keeps life over the top fun and beautiful!

What a blessing to be able to take a step back and reflect and dream a little together! It felt very timely, to refresh, as we hope this coming year will lend to some changes for us. We are overwhelmingly thankful for Mimi, Baba, Auntie Kara, Uncle Brent & Auntie Kae for truly giving it a giant team effort to make this possible for us. We know that our kiddos are more than loved and well taken care of in our absence. Thank you!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sick Kids

We have had quite the last few weeks, in regard to being healthy. Two weekends ago, we had to take Bentley into the ER with an upper respiratory infection. The following weekend, Jeremy got the same thing as Bentley and laid low. Harper came next in line, and seemed to be getting the same bug as the boys... Just as Jeremy had to fly out of town... But I took her to the Dr this past Thursday to find out she has pneumonia! Just as I was figuring her out, Bentley started getting sick again... Winding him back in the ER this past Sunday to be diagnosed with another URI - bronchiolitis.

We have been spending most of our days holding and cuddling our kids, day and night. Sometimes these sick spells sure feel like their never going to end and I often feel like I don't have any more energy to give. That's when I have to start looking at the many things to be thankful for: for my God - who I can cry out to in the middle of the night and be confident that He hears me and will comfort us, for a husband who is the best tag-team partner in the middle of the night for our crying kiddos, for family who support and help me like angels when my husband is traveling for these types of moments with the kids, for kids who are otherwise healthy, for kids who find their parents to be the most comforting place to be, for friends and family who I can count on to pray for us, for friends who bring us a yummy meal to help lift our burden, for access to good doctors and medicine when necessary, for the simple fact that God has brought my husband home just when I need him the most these past weeks... My list could go on and on... And will, because these are the things I need to recount and set my mind on during these long, sick days.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Overwhelming Love... For Jeremy

This is the man I married... The best husband and father I could have ever hoped for. He spent yesterday loving us so well... Thoughtful gifts and lots of play time for the kiddos and he and his dad cooked a truly gourmet dinner for his mom and I: a four course meal with a crab quesadilla as the entree - yum! I woke up to a spotless kitchen too!

You are my everything lovie... I am overwhelmingly thankful for you. Keep my love notes close to your heart while you're away ;) We already miss you!
A special treat from dad... sugar!
Harper's first valentine and her first fresh flowers!
Jeremy and his dad cooked us girls our favorite foods... so thoughtful.
These are the faces waiting for you to come home quickly!  Kisses always!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My Non-Glamorous Mommy Moment

Over the past two weeks, life has seemed extra emotional, challenging and overwhelming... and it hasn't felt completely warranted until I slowed down to look at it.  I have felt caught in a foggy maze and can't quite seem to find my exit.  Pure emotional and physical exhaustion has left me lying in bed most nights wondering if I'll have the strength and courage to wake up and make it through the subsequent day.  Over the past two weeks, I've had split moments where I don't understand how I have allowed life to beat me up like this?  How is being a wife and mother so challenging sometimes?

If I stop to ponder on what has been causing this, I look to the obvious indicators:

  • jeremy was out of town all of last week for work, lending itself to the normal "tiredness" that goes along with that; but I'm not a stranger to that.
  • While Jeremy was away, I booked my week full of people.  I am unendingly thankful to the Lord for all the women he has brought into my life since we've moved here (a HUGE answer to prayer) - but I'm an introvert at my core... and with a boy who wasn't sleeping, I saw little alone time for a reprieve.
  • Bentley is in an enormous attachment stage - literally clinging to me nonstop and not sleeping.  He cries when we see the familiar faces and the unfamiliar faces.  He sobs every time Jeremy hugs me or even rubs my back, and walks over and tries pushing me away so he can be picked up by me.
  • Bentley also landed in the ER over the weekend (right as Jeremy got back in town, thank goodness) with a respiratory virus.  He's on the mends now.
  • To add fuel to the flame, I have been working on journaling/writing all kinds of past personal experiences... and of course, during all of this, I've been reflecting on the life of my older brother (if you know his story, you get it).
I must say, the Lord is so good to give us just what we need in the moment.  Because as life has been feeling too crazy for me... he gave me some huge encouragements to keep me going these past days:
  • A husband who is tirelessly committed to our marriage, to supporting me, and literally moves mountains for me in order to help me succeed.
  • A mom, who would take time out - anytime - to help me, love me, and encourage me.
  • His perfect timing for my mother-in-law to be staying with us, while she recovers from her knee replacement surgery... she has been a constant listening ear and an encouraging word about motherhood and life, especially when Jeremy was away.
  • A father-in-law who drops everything for his family and has cleaned my kitchen too many times to count in the last month!
  • Friends who listen to me, pray for me and never judge me.
  • Even as recent as last night, God gave me a nudge of encouragement through my friend Kara's experiences.
My list could go on and on.  God is always faithful, He is never too far away and is always ready to meet us where we are at.  No matter how ugly that place is.

Yesterday, I felt the culmination of all my tiredness, all of my lack of alone time and all of my chaos in one single moment:  I had laid the kids down for naps, thinking I would finally have my moment of quiet.  I walked downstairs and Bentley started screaming over the monitor.  I closed my eyes and took a couple deep breaths... and then laid down in the middle of my kitchen and cried.

Not my finest moment.

It did turn into another "no nap" day and "no quiet time" day... but as I later drove to run an errand with the kids, the Lord met me where I was at - in the car with my two kids.  He gave me a song and a verse from one of my children's worship cd's and I've been mulling it over since:

John 16:33 - "I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace.  In this world, you will have troubles, but take heart; I have overcome the world."

I know that the "troubles" I've been experiencing these past few weeks absolutely pale in comparison to what many are experiencing right now - illness, broken relationships, instability, depression, etc - but I do know that God has given us a powerful reminder in this verse.  One that I am clinging to during these tumultuous mommy days.  Life does not promise a lack of tough and grueling challenges, but just the opposite.  Troubles and trials are just a part of the gig.  It's not sexy and we may even despise that at times.  But however big our troubles may feel or however impossible they may appear to beat... God has given us opportunity to experience true peace in Him and the promise that anything we will face on this earth has been conquered by Him.  Nothing is too big for our God.  

I am resting in that today.

Monday, February 6, 2012

ER Over the Weekend

Over the weekend, Jeremy and I had our first (I'm sure of many) visit to the emergency room with our boy.  Bentley seemed to be fighting a normal cold on Saturday.  He has been abnormally fussy over the past few weeks due to teething, so I didn't think it was bizarre that he had trouble napping on Saturday.  I'm SO thankful that my mother-in-law (an operating room nurse) has been staying with us, due to her own recovery after her knee replacement surgery, because she was the one who alerted me that Bentley's labored breathing was abnormal and something to be concerned about.  We called our doctor around 3:30pm and they confirmed that we should take him into the ER.  I still wasn't ultra concerned at that time, but again am so thankful for the extra eyes because half way into the drive Bentley's breathing was significantly worse and Jeremy sped us the rest of the way to the hospital.  The doctors worked quickly to relieve his breathing and were able to eventually rule out RSV and pneumonia.  It ends up he had a random upper respiratory viral infection.  We spent a fun handful of hours at the hospital and had our exhausted boy in bed by 9pm.

I know this stuff happens all the time to little ones, but our family hasn't dealt with of this type of scenario too often.  Jeremy and I joked that Harper cost us all her expense up front within her first 6 months and never had these instances.  It gives me an extra large dose of empathy for parents who go through even scarier instances and illnesses with their children, because it was so sad and heart-wrenching to see Bentley go through the "little" that he did.  I'm so thankful for the Lord's protection over our little man and for health when we are graced by it.
Safe in Daddy's arms

He was so cute in his little hospital gown...

Snuggles with mommy and his doggie

Love, love, love my boy

Peek a boo!

I see you!

So confused by the reverse camera on mommy's iPhone ;)

Hey, it's us!

My bubu boo!