Archive | Marriage RSS feed for this section

30 Days of a Thankful Heart {Day 24} Boomer, Baptisms, and Blessings

25 Nov keep-calm-and-boomer-sooner-13

The past few days have been a fantastic blur of family, friends, and some awesome bedlam football.  I am so incredibly grateful to be able to be close to family.

Our sweet baby boy, Kasen, has also been sick the past couple days and that has made for a very tired mommy and daddy.

I think we kinda look like the walking dead a bit, but The Hubs looks wayyy better on less sleep than me.  Life is so unfair sometimes.  Eh, whatcha gonna do?

I guess I am going to attempt to get some beauty rest before the wee one wakes, which should be in less than 3 hrs if sick patterns hold.

So, in order to get my tired behind to bed and keep up with the thankful posts, here is a quick list of what I am grateful for today. Continue reading

From Storms to Smooth Sailing

7 Aug

Hello sweets!  I know that it has been an extended absence on my end, and while I apologize for no new posts, I desperately need some grace.  I’m struggling to find my place, rhythm, and routine since Kasen’s joyous arrival into our lives, and this blog has been a casualty of that wandering war.  When I have found moments where I might put my “pen to paper,” I find myself utterly lacking in inspiration, leaving my blog stagnant but my draft box burgeoning.

Even in the midst of the struggle there are great rays of light and I give thanks.  I am learning to embrace the content life, but in this I am not my usual fast learning self.  I have found a friend!  Yay!  I will fill in those details later.  She has been a true blessing and I am enjoying the moments of growing together.  We walk early in the morning 4-5 x’s a week and it is not only good for my body, it is water for a parched soul, just getting to spend that hour communing.

But there is still longing; still fixing, healing, restoring that needs to happen.  There is the discontent that I am trying to stare down.

Facing the storms of life head on

As I was making my way through my incredibly long list of blogs I read, I stopped by the ever-gifted Leanne Penny at leannepenny.com and was once again blown away at her words and the way she always seems to reach right in to my heart and pour in hope and grace.  She was writing today about connection of the husband and wife variety; the very kind I have been missing so much.  She threw down a connecting gauntlet and idea sharing challenge.  Read about that here and contribute your own connecting tips and insights.

This was my response…. Continue reading

Enough for Today

1 May

It’s May 1.  When I found out I was pregnant, Aaron and sat down and looked at all we would have going on near our due date.  It was a lot.  Our church’s 10-yr celebration weekend, including an open house, birthdays, our 7th anniversary, Mother’s Day, and our denomination’s annual conference, on top of all the daily work and tasks.  Not only were all these things on the horizon, there was a lot of preparation we had to do in order for these things to happen.  We decided that we needed to set a goal to have as much as possible prepared for Kasen’s arrival by the beginning of May, so that when the busyness really hit, we wouldn’t be in anxiety overdrive.

Guess what?

Didn’t happen.  Guess who is in anxiety overdrive?  This girl, and I know Aaron is just as overwhelmed by the church and also wanting to give his best at home. I know neither of us was planning on me being sick for much of the pregnancy, and it just has not helped.

I was up late last night for multiple reasons, like heartburn, uncomfortableness, and also I could not shut my mind down with all the things we still need to do to prepare for Kasen, get the house ready, and again, just stay on top on everyday tasks.

I’m still dealing with this sinus infection which has sidelined me for the past few days, and this morning was not looking bright.  The anxiety had not diminished overnight, so as I sat down to do my devotion, I simply prayed that God would give me a few moment’s peace.  He did that and more.  Ask and you shall receive, right?

Here are a few of the things God led me to either during my devotion or right after that have helped carry me through the day so far.  I turned on the satellite Christian station to let God sing over me, calm my soul, as I surfed the web of His grace.  It is truly enough for today.

 

From my devotion at Girlfriends in God by Sharon Jayne: “Her lamp does not go out at night…” (Proverbs 31:18 NIV). Continue reading

Tent Grumbling

24 Apr

I have not been sleeping well.  Between the heartburn and not being able to get comfortable, despite being surrounded by tons of pillows, I am feeling the effects of lousy sleep.  I feel that dark cloud creeping overhead.  The anxiety of all that I still need to get done around the house and to prepare for Kasen’s arrival is crowding out happy thoughts.  I am becoming Mrs. Grumble. (Anyone else read these books as a kid?  I loved Miss Sunshine!)

As I was forcing myself (yes, I grumbled), into reading my devotion this morning, I felt like God was on vacation.  “Hello?  Are You taking an extended Spring Break?  Did you forget about little me?  Grumble. Grumble. Grumble.”

This was the scripture I read on Girlfriends in God:

13 But they soon forgot what he had done
and did not wait for his plan to unfold.
14 In the desert they gave in to their craving;
in the wilderness they put God to the test.

24 Then they despised the pleasant land;
they did not believe his promise.
25 They grumbled in their tents
and did not obey the LORD.”

Psalm 106: 13-14, 24-25

And there it was; God’s not so subtle response to my grumbling.  I was sitting there, grumbling in my tent, and God was more than happy to point that out.  I have been grumbling because I’m tired, stressed, and a bit overwhelmed.

Who isn’t? Continue reading

10 Tips for Spring Cleaning Family Style

14 Apr Kids cleaning

Spring has sprung for a few weeks for sure.  The pollen count is up and the tissues are everywhere!  Must be time to clean.  Ugh.  Really, again?  It seems every magazine I have opened or passed by in the store recently is pointing out the annoying reminder to deep clean everything from our closets to our over-scheduled lives.  One thing I noticed is that most of the articles and tips are geared towards women or a woman, as in the singular, you clean by yourself lady.  Why not make it a family affair if you can?

1)      Assemble the Team– Whether husbands, wives, and/or kids, gather the team, give a pep talk, and assign tasks.  You DON’T have to do it all by yourself.  Remind your family that a clean and organized home is better for everyone.

2)      Keep Tasks Kid-Sized– It isn’t reasonable or realistic to expect a toddler to scrub all the windows, or even for your tween to terminate all the dust bunnies by their self.  Creating small zones and setting time limits is a great way to keep older kids on task without overwhelming them.  Include younger kids and help them feel useful by keeping their capabilities in mind and putting their likes and strengths to good use.  Have a speedy, non-stop preschooler?  Give them a rag spritzed with a safe cleaner, and then tell them you will time them to see how well and quickly they can clean the windowsills.  Have a kiddo that loves to organize?  Have them check the pantry and cabinets for past-date food items.

3)      Set Goals & Rewards– If stickers make your little one happy, keep some handy to pass out as each task is completed.  Entice your crew with the reward of a trip for ice-cream or some other sweet treat if they tackle their tasks.  Or, get a roll of tickets and assign a number to each task, say 2 tickets per clean window or 5 for a spotless bedroom.  Then decide if the tickets can be redeemed for cash, prizes, or rewards such as a later bedtime.  10 tickets?  Step right up and claim your $5 iTunes gift card!  8 tickets you say?  How about an extra 30 minutes before bed?!

4)      Treasure Hunt– Tell yourself and your kids (especially if they are young) that deep cleaning usually means uncovering lost treasures.  Make it fun and create a “Lost Treasure Chest” out of a box or even a laundry hamper and then place recovered loot in it as it is discovered.  At the end, gather together to count and divvy up the spoils, sharing a few laughs at just how many pairs of socks had been MIA.  You might just unearth a few gold doubloons as well! Continue reading

Prep Mode: Day 24: Lent Journey

20 Mar

 

 

“”Now listen, daughter, don’t miss a word:
      forget your country, put your home behind you.
   Be here—the king is wild for you.
      Since he’s your lord, adore him.  Set your mind now on sons—
      don’t dote on father and grandfather.
   You’ll set your sons up as princes
      all over the earth.

Psalm 45:10-11, 16 (The Message)

Today, I am just going to let this scripture be the focus.  I am working on a little more in-depth post covering some touchy issues, and I don’t want to rush it.  The inspiration came late last night.  I feel like God is really wanting this message to be a bit more than usual, so please bear with me until tomorrow.

I also overdid it a bit yesterday!  The hubs took the day off (after a long week last week) and we worked on the yard before the rain hit; he mowed and I weeded some and picked up trash from the yard.  Our yard is a pass-through for people (aggravating), and they dump their trash.  I often see empty cigarette cartons lying in the grass.  Fun for the kiddo to find.  After the yard came painting!  Yep, we got the nursery painted.  Two coats in a room with no ceiling fan in humid, rainy, warm weather=no fun for this pregnant mom.  Even with breaks between walls, for me, I was done in.  So glad I put on a roast in the slow cooker so no dinner prep was expected later!

I went to pick up the little guy from his babysitter (whom he had been asking to go see ALL weekend), and we went over to see a family from the church so Micah could play with their 3 kids and the hubs could move some furniture back into the nursery.  I love watching Micah interact with these kids.  They love him, and he adores them. They are older by a few years, but they are so great with him.  It was a battle to leave, but once convinced we had to go home to see daddy, he was on board.  He is a very loving child and likes to give hugs and kisses, and he has started giving them to everyone when we leave somewhere.  As he made his rounds to say goodbye, he decided Ella, their 7 yr. old daughter needed some extra kisses.  He kissed her like 6 times until she kissed him back, even once on her nose!  Sweet, adorable, and funny, but oh my….he is going to be a handful when he gets older!  I got him home and his motor ran on full speed until I finally sang him to sleep at 9.  He’s really fighting sleep these days.  So not fun.

Needless to say, I am taking a day to rest some, recover, and focus on renewing my spirit in the gloomy rain.

Check out the above scripture and let it ruminate.

I hope to see you tomorrow for a few new posts!

Gracefully~~Heather

 

Simple Gestures

15 Feb Single Rose

Valentine’s Day at our house was a pretty quiet affair for most of the day.  Partly because I was away in Tulsa picking Micah up from an extended weekend trip to his Grams’ house, and partly because Aaron and I had decided to save money and skip gifts and cards this year for one another.  Whenever we go this route on V-Day, as we have a few times, I always find myself torn between saving that money and my desire to give.

I love to give gifts.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to receive them as well, but giving always brings me great joy.  Seeing someone’s face light up when they open the perfectly selected gift, especially if it is an unexpected one, is just one of my favorite moments to experience in life.  I’ve said many times to Aaron that I wish we had more money so we could give more away, in both monetary and gift form.  However, having a child has changed my perspective a bit on gifts.

How many of us have seen the ornaments, framed items, and other keepsakes bearing our tiny hand and footprints that our parents and grandparents have lovingly held onto all these years?  I have, and I have even been given a few to hang on our Christmas tree as heirlooms.  Most of these items are cheap, but they are cherished.  I know I absolutely love the hand-print turkey Micah made that is still adorning our fridge in the middle of February, in all its toddler splendor.  I helped Micah make some paintings on small canvases for the grandparents this previous Christmas at a cost of about $5 each and I’m pretty sure they are loved quite a bit.

What is it about these simple, inexpensive, often free gifts that make them worth keeping?  The thought behind the gift.  It’s the love, effort, and thoughtfulness that make them special, and it is the fact that they come from people we love that make them worth holding on to.

So back to Valentine’s Day 2012 at the Tiger house…. Micah and I had made it back home after a nice day of visiting Mima and we managed to beat Aaron home.  He had decided to run some errands in the “big” town, which almost always has to include a trip to Walmart to get essential items when you live in a town sans Walmart.  This time it was dinner, water, and prenatal pills (what a guy!)

Side Note: I had also made a trip to Walmart while in Broken Arrow that morning to get a small box of chocolates for my mom. A thanks for watching the in-to-everything toddler so we could do some major organizing at home.  I debated on whether or not to splurge and get Aaron a card and some chocolates at least.  I stuck to our agreement though and came home empty handed, apart from a re-acquired child.

Once home, Micah got to open his present from Aaron’s parents, which resulted in his lovely Valentine picture that went out via text to all the “ladies” in his life.

Micah was very excited to see his daddy and greeted him at the front door, and then went outside to “help” carry in some groceries.  On his return trip he was carrying one single, long-stemmed red rose which he happily handed to me saying, “Here, for Mommy.”

A simple, inexpensive gift given from the man I love, brought to me by the sweetest love of my heart.  For me, it was more than enough.

I guess I’ll forgive him for breaking our deal!

What simple gifts have you given lately?

The Five Year Mark: Thankful Thursdays

13 May My Love

Five years ago I said I do.  I do promise to love and cherish, support and help, trust and rely on, honor and protect, and give my heart to Aaron Christopher Tiger.  I’d do it all again.

The past five years has seen us live in 3 different houses and towns, 2 states, 12 different jobs between the two of us, 1 Masters degree, 10 months of pregnancy, and 7 months of a new life.  That doesn’t include all the hopes, dreams, losses, gains, changes, friends, fights, hugs, kisses, challenges, adventures, and journeys that define us as a couple.

It has been worth every little moment and each momentous event.  I would not trade a second of my life with Aaron.  We are at the end of one journey, ready to embark on a new path, and I am grateful I get to share this with my best friend.  We don’t know what the next 5 years will bring, but we will face it all, together, trusting in the One who created us for each other.  God will guide us, grow our love, and give us all we need to follow His path.

We are eager to continue this journey of parenthood; watching Micah grow and become his own person.  We hope to raise him with a heart for God that surpasses his parents.

Feelings can ebb and flow, but it is our choice to love one another each day and love God first, that sustains us and will carry us through the next 5 years and far beyond.

I love you Aaron.  Thank you for everything.  I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

My Love

Mommy Moment Mondays

10 May

I was greeted in bed on Mother’s Day with two things; a hungry baby boy and that same hungry boy holding a big, purple envelope.  Pretty nice way to start any day.  As I nursed Micah, I opened my card, greeted with a cute Disney trio, bright and colorful.  It brought a smile to my face, but not nearly as big as the smile Micah had.  His tiny hand reached up to grab the card as he laughed, apparently finding Mickey and Donald highly amusing.  Talk about a sweet gift!  He had even made a few squiggle marks on the card to ‘sign’ it.  Glad I have such a thoughtful husband!

After I woke up from a nice little late morning snooze, I wondered out to the living room and found my sweet husband unloading a scrumptious brunch from Cracker Barrel.  I asked Aaron to move a tv tray for me to eat on, but all I got in return was a smirk.  Really?  On Mother’s Day?  It’s not like I asked him to carry me to the tray.  So I asked again, a bit of exasperation in my tone.  When he continued to smirk at me even as he made his way over, I about threw a syrup bottle at him, until I realized what the cause of the smirk was.  Sitting right next to the tray was my present!

I blame bleariness from my late morning.  In my defense, the gift wasn’t wrapped, and it blended in with the couch perfectly.  Let’s just say I had humble pie with my french toast!  It’s nice to start the day with some laughter at my own expense.  I guess it’s a good lesson to teach Micah later.  I’ll mark it down in the Mommy mistake files.

The rest of the day was relaxing, as Aaron took the lead with Micah.  I got to love on my boys and take some time for myself; pretty great.  Flowers were delivered later from Micah (with my mom’s help), and I got a very sweet card, book, and gift card from my mother-in-law.  I’d say my first Mother’s Day was pretty memorable; though I think the smiles, smirks, hugs, and kisses may be the things I remember most.

Pregnant Pause

8 Mar

There was this moment, before I looked down at the pink stick to see one or two lines, that just paused, just a few seconds.  A moment before knowing that my whole life would change.  Then I bravely watched as the two, bright pink lines appeared so rapidly that my heart stopped and I had to remind myself to breathe.  There they were.  I am pregnant.  I am going to be a mother.  There is a life that relies on me for all it needs.  I am a mixture of emotion.

Continue reading