Tag Archives: Daily Life

30 Days of a Thankful Heart {Day 1} To Good Health and Happiness

1 Nov Micah on his tree at three

November has long be regarded as the month in which we reflect on thankfulness.  Family, friends, and lots of delicious food.  What isn’t to be thankful about those things?

During this month, I will post everyday on at least one thing or person that I am thankful for.  The posts may be short or long, but they will all be straight from my heart.

Here we go….

Day 1~~Health and Happiness

We recently took a day trip in to Broken Arrow to surprise my mom for her birthday.  I made sure to pack the camera and come cute clothes for the boys because we were also going to try to swing by a pumpkin patch and capture some perfect pictures.  Right.  Do things ever go according to plan with children in tow? Continue reading

AAA of Marriage

30 Oct

I cannot claim credit for the catchy post title today.  I stole it directly from my morning devotion app, GIG, Girlfriends in God.  The very gifted Sharon Jaynes penned the devo, AAA Club of Marriage, and it really spoke to my heart today; my husband heart.

Marriage Survival Tool Kit
Photo courtesy of theweddinggals.net

Jayne states that the AAA of marriage is adoration, admiration, and appreciation.  While she does say that these things need to flow both ways, her focus is on how a wife can build up and love her husband by living those three principles on a daily basis.

Easy right?

Ephesians 5:33 has this to say:

33 However, let each man of you [without exception] love his wife as [being in a sense] his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly].” -Amplified Version

I’ll be honest, I have always chafed quite a bit under biblical directives to submit to the husband.  I come from a long-line of strong matriarchs and slide into the role of domineering wife easily.  I am letting God work on me in this area; softening the rough edges and sharpness of tongue.  However, this is not what this verse focuses on.  It is lifting up the virtues of adoration, admiration, and appreciation, for both husband and wife.  Continue reading

Straw Survival

4 Oct

Each day is exhausting and I’m drowning.   I feel like I am bailing myself out with a straw.

Okay, so a straw and Diet Cherry Dr.Pepper are helping with survival

I don’t have any money to make an adorable fall wreath or even the energy to arrange my fall décor.  And it makes me feel like a failure.  My house is beginning to feel like it’s aiming for a spot on hoarders (ok not even close), but the bathrooms are dirty, clothes are piled up, and crumbs were being carried off by ants (literally), until the bug guy came out.  If we get the dishes cleaned, and the toys somewhat contained, we consider it a victory.  It all feels like too much and I’m not enough.   My worry over not enough of this and too much of that is consuming my joy day to day.  I am finding it hard to focus on all the good amidst the clutter of my heart.

I’m clinging to a few things right now.  I have started working out with a great group of girls every weekday morning.  We meet from 5:30-6:15 (Yep, A.M!) and are led by a few girls who completed GFit.  We have jokingly nicknamed it Equate GFit since it is sort of a generic form of the popular workout.  We don’t pay in $, but believe me, we pay in sweat.  I’m so grateful that I asked to join the group and convinced my friend to join me.  I am even more grateful that I have gotten up to attend, although I am somewhat less than grateful when every movement causes me to grunt in pain.

My boys are another source of hope, love, and grace for me. Even when Micah has tested every boundary possible and Kasen refuses to stay asleep longer than 30 minutes, I am grateful to have two precious boys to love.  I’m not a perfect mom by any means, and most days feel like the furthest thing from it, but I am trying.  The other boy I couldn’t make it without is my husband.  Aaron loves me enough to stick by me.  He helps out so much with the boys and the day to day operations.  When he sees me at my limit, he is quick to step in and give me a little while to regroup.  He is truly my prince and my other half.

The other source of strength right now is the daily devotional I have been reading.  It is much easier to find the time for this when my day begins at 5am!  I have been devouring the words that the ladies over at Girlfriends in God share and it never fails to speak directly to my heart.  I have the GIG app on my phone so I have access to devotions wherever I am.

Today’s scripture particularly spoke light and truth in the darkness of my heart. 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

Hello World

5 Jun

Kasen Cross Tiger arrived Friday morning, June 1, at 9:27 am.  He is already an incredible blessing for our family and we are loving every minute with him.

Kasen Cross Tiger says hello

Kasen was delivered via C-Section and was 7 lbs. 4 oz and 19 1/2 inches.  He is incredible and on his way to being as big a charmer as his big brother Micah.  I adore watching my boys begin to interact and love each other.  Holding them both in my arms was an amazing feeling.  I look forward to playing with them both and watching them develop into the incredible souls God has created them to be.

I am recovering slowly from my C-Section and hope to be up and about without much pain soon.  So far it has been a better experience than my last C-Section recovery, apart from a couple bumps.  I am excited to take, edit, and share more pictures soon, but need to focus on our little family and my recovery right now (as my loving, doting husband reminds me!)

Hope you are all doing well.  Enjoy the few pics for now.

Big Brother enjoying the local splash pad

Getting to hold Kasen for the first time.

My sweet Kasen

Our little foursome

Micah is being such a good big brother. He loves giving gently kisses on Kasen’s forehead

 

Gracefully~~Heather

What to Wear Home

2 Jun

When I found out I was pregnant with Micah one of the first things I purchased for him was his going home outfit.  It was a sweet little one-piece sleeper with vintage Tigger and Pooh on it.  I loved it instantly.

Apparently it was asking too much for that to happen again!  I searched and I searched, yet nothing caught my eye and I was not falling in love with any outfits for Kasen.  It’s not that we didn’t receive tons of adorable and love-worthy outfits as gifts.  We did.  I love them and am STILL working on all my thank you notes.  I just wanted the going home outfit to be something I or we (Aaron and I) picked out lovingly, hand-selected.

Finally, inspiration struck when we did DIY onesies at my Baseball Baby Shower (pics still pending!)  I knew I wanted to ‘hand-make’ Kasen a onesie he could wear home saying, “No Place Like Home.”  I didn’t get a chance to make anything at the shower, but I received a really cute onesie with a monkey holding a baseball bat, and I thought, what a fun play on words and I could have the cute image to boot!

Big problem; the iron-on letters would not fit around the design.  I was so sad, and so quickly running out of time.  I looked and looked for another onesie, preferably with color to put the letters on.  It was not happening!

So, what to do the night before we leave for the hospital?  Pull out the plain, white Gerber onesie and hope there was still a cute decal in the booklet we used at the shower!

Here is what I came up with for Kasen’s going home outfit (and with help from my mom who ironed for me!)

I really like how it turned out.  I decided to add the initials at the last minute to the bottom; Kasen Cross Tiger.  Obviously, with an actual cross representing the C.  I plan on pairing the onesie with some simple gray pants.

I think he will look pretty darn cute!

What are your thoughts?  Experiences with your own going home outfits?

Gracefully~~Heather

Interview with Big Brother

1 Jun

The big day is here!  It is Kasen’s birth day!  He should arrive by C-Section around 9-10am (CST).  We are all so excited to finally meet our new little man and start our journey as a family of four (with me totally outnumbered by males!)  Since I will be a bit preoccupied over the next few days weeks years, I figured I would schedule this fun little interview with the new Big Brother, Micah.  I was trying to keep him entertained the other evening as Aaron prepared dinner.  Why not interview him?! He put up with me long enough for the following:

1-     Are you excited about being a big brother?  YES Mommy! (Said in a very high-pitched squeal.)

2-      Do you know what a big brother is? No. (Blank stare)

3-      What’s a big brother? I don’t know.  Kasen? (He asked me!)

4-      Is Kasen going to be your little brother? Hmm MM (He began losing interest quickly)

Apparently, he was multi-tasking during his interview!

5-      Where is Kasen? (Points at my tummy in between bites of Cap’n Crunch cereal which he calls Mima trix* and ‘reading’ a DVD ad) In Mommy’s tummy!*My Mima gave him the cereal at her house one day and he has since asked for and referred to it as “Mima Trix.” Go figure!

6-      Are you going to help Kasen?  Yes, go to the park. (Um, ok?) Continue reading

The Final Countdown

31 May

It really is the final countdown.  The last day.  Things will never be the same after tomorrow.  Any way I choose to see or say it, life changes tomorrow.

Kasen Cross Tiger will arrive via C-Section sometime between 9 & 10am Friday, June 1, 2012.  My heart is all aflutter as my arms eagerly await the new bundle of joy to love on.

Kasen Cross at 38 wks. He is sucking on his hand, and is all scrunched up.

Still, I know today will either fly by or creep along.  I will feel like I didn’t get everything done, and I’m pretty certain that not much rest will be had tonight.  So imagine my delight when I read my devotion earlier:

“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.

He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.

My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.

Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.”

Psalm 62:5-8

Even though my C-Section is scheduled, I believe it is the best option for my and Kasen’s safety, and I have full confidence in my doctor’s ability to deliver Kasen successfully, there is still anxiety clinging to my thoughts.  The what if’s and uncertainties are not easy to shake off.  How glad I am that when I am weak, He is strong.  I will need that strength not only tomorrow, but most surely in the days, weeks, and months ahead as I adjust to life as a mother of two darling boys.

So I will pour out my heart, I will pour out my soul, trusting in God’s grace and provision.  I will seek rest in Him instead of relying on my comfy fort of pillows that have been my bed fellows for the past 9 months.  I will rejoice in the great gift God has given when we hold our sweet new baby boy and know that God will continue to guide our journey, one step at a time.

Gracefully~~Heather

 

Ready or Not…Here He Comes?

22 May

Today just might be the day.  Kasen’s birth day that is!

I know.  What happened to June?  Well, when we went in to my OB for my check-up and ultrasound Friday we were told by my wonderful doctor that my amniotic fluid levels were low.  Huh?  Apparently this can happen later in the third trimester and it can send the baby into distress if not monitored closely.  The fluid levels are supposed to be between 5-20, with 5 being the danger zone.  Mine were at a 7.7.  My doctor said we were in the cautious zone, to go home and hydrate and rest, then come back in Tuesday for another ultrasound.  He said if my levels dropped or even stayed the same, he would likely deliver Kasen right away.

I hydrated really well and rested some.  Resting wasn’t easy to do in the midst of our huge 10th anniversary celebration all weekend for the church, including the open house here at the parsonage.  Good news: My house is cleaner than it’s been in 2 years and I survived!  We had over 100 kids join the celebration at the church carnival, almost 200 for worship Sunday, and raised almost $49,000 for our Miracle Sunday offering, cutting our church payoff in half! Micah also suffered an injury at the carnival; a black eye courtesy of a stray foot on the inflatable slide.  He is quite proud of his “blue eye!”  My Mima also ended up in the hospital with some irregularities in her heart, so I was so torn not being able to be with her.  (She is doing a bit better and might be released tomorrow!)

Monday then rolled around and it was all about Micah day. Continue reading

To C-Section or not to C-Section, Is that the Only Question?

4 May

Yesterday, I reached my 35th week of my pregnancy, and I was expected to have a decision ready for my doctor.  We were supposed to decide if we would schedule a repeat C-Section for Kasen’s birth, or if I will attempt a VBAC (Vaginal Birth after Caesarean) through a trial of labor.  Despite already knowing most of the information concerning either route, in the two weeks I had between appointments, I devoured all the resources available from my “What to Expect” book, the web, and friends and family.  As my appointment drew nearer I wavered back and forth.  I just didn’t feel settled.  No sense of peace could be found about a decision.

During my first OB appointment this was one of the topics we discussed, and my doctor’s answer at the time was that we had time to make a final decision, but he was willing to let me try a VBAC.  Since that first appointment, way back in October 2011, I have been pretty set on going the VBAC route for a number of reasons. Continue reading