A Life Stirred

Some random thoughts before the snow

There’s a big snowstorm coming (12-18 inches!).  So naturally, I’m all kinds of excited.  I love winter.  And snow.  It’s just so pretty and white and cold and fun.  Plus, I love that a snowstorm gives you a legit excuse to snuggle up, drink hot chocolate, and watch a movie.  And if you go outside at all, it pretty much qualifies you to be the Mother of the Year.

My favorite snow bunnies.

My favorite snow bunnies.

Because of the pending snow, Ben swapped his President’s Day vacation day for tomorrow.  So right now, it’s our Friday!  And we’re hanging out, doing nothing.  De-light-ful.

You know what’s not delightful?  My infected finger.  So gross.  So painful.  So small…and yet I’m pretty sure it’s killing me.  (Don’t worry, I’m on the road to healing, but for the past 4 days, I’ve been dying.)  You’d think after giving birth twice I’d be a little tougher on the pain scale.  Nope.  The nurses asked me to rate my pain on a scale of 1-10, and I wanted to say 8.  I said  2 because that seemed more reasonable.

I find the faces helpful.  "Yes, I'm at a 2.  Because I'm smiling, but not all the way."

I find the faces helpful. “Yes, I’m at a 2. Because I’m smiling, but not all the way.”

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately.  More than normal, I guess.  Or at least more focused.  At the IF: Gathering (a women’s conference), Rebekah Lyons  talked about calling.  She said calling is where our burden and talents intersect.  So I’ve been thinking about what God’s burdened me for (oooof…grammatically, that sentence hurts).  And I’ve been thinking about my talents.  I’m excited to see what God will teach me about my calling.

I’ve also been thinking about this post by Ben’s cousin’s wife.  So my cousin-in-law?  Is that a real thing?  I feel like we’re best friends.  Her boys (who are stinkin’ adorable) are pretty much exactly the age of my girls.  So I feel like that qualifies us for best friend status.  Except I’ve never met her, and I just read her blog and out-loud agree with everything she writes and then spend days thinking about it and quoting it to anyone who will listen.  Does that make me a creepy cousin-in-law?  I hope not.  Because someday we’re going to meet, and I’m going to have to play it cool.  [“Oh, you have a blog?  How interesting.  I’ll have to check that out sometime.”]

Anyway, that post was really good.  I totally recommend it.  (And hey, if you read it now, you’ll have a head start for your next conversation with me…because odds are, I’ll quote it.)  It’s about encouraging one another.  A topic that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, even before her post.   I definitely have a burden to encourage others.  And maybe some talent?  Could it be a calling?  No idea.  So, yeah.  Gonna leave it hanging there.  I’m pretty sure I’ll come back to it, but it deserves it’s own post (or twelve).

Well, Claire is clamoring for food.  Even though she ate 1.5 hours ago.  But whatever.  It’s what I do at night.  Nurse.  All the time.  Sigh.

Hope y’all have a great weekend.  Enjoy the snow!!

Seriously.  Mother. Of. The. Year.  It doesn't even matter that everyone is crabby.

Seriously. Mother. Of. The. Year. It doesn’t even matter that everyone is crabby.

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Ten on Ten: A Normal Day

It’s that time again!!  Ten on Ten…finding beauty in the ordinary.  And today was pretty ordinary, and I’m not sure I really found much beauty.  BUT it was fun to document a day-in-the-life and to capture some ordinary moments with a 7 month old and a 2 year old.

I feel like this picture doesn't really depict reality.

I feel like this picture doesn’t really depict reality.

No, really.  I feel like I need to explain this picture, lest you think I have it all together.  Spoiler Alert:  I don’t.

Anyway, for the past few weeks, I have really felt the Lord was asking me to get up before the girls, and read and pray before I touch any technology.  But I ignored that.  I was disobedient.  Ugh.  Not cool.  I had excuses (some of them mildly legit, like getting up 3-5 times a night).  But really, there’s no excuse for disobeying God.

Then I went to IF: Local this weekend.  So good.  So many thoughts swirling around in my head.  I think I’m going to need about 213 days to process everything that was shared.  A few of the speakers talked about calling and doing big things for God.  And I desperately want to do big things for God.  But how can I pursue big things if I’m not willing to be obedient in small things?  (I suppose reading and praying isn’t really small.  It’s really the biggest and best thing I can do–to develop a deeper relationship with God.  But in my head, in my human standards, it seems small.)  Sounds a bit like Matthew 25:23–“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’”  Except I wasn’t being a good and faithful servant.

So, today was the day to be obedient.  To get up before the girls.  Which really shouldn’t even be that hard.  They get up between 7:30 and 8 (maybe 7, on an early day).  Yeah, I have it good.

I got up at 6:30, and before I even had a chance to get out of bed, I heard Joanna talking in her room.  I decided to leave her (she’s used to a bit of alone time in her crib in the morning).  By 6:45 (the time of this picture), Claire was awake, but content and playing.  By 7:00, she had filled the leg of her pajamas with poo, requiring an emergency bath and a load of laundry.  By 7:15, everyone was up, and the day was in full swing.

Not exactly what I had in mind.  And yet, those few minutes of reading and obedience was sweet.  There is a joy in obeying the Lord.  And I have hope that maybe tomorrow morning won’t be as crazy.

Ok, mini-sermon done.  Let’s pick up the pace, shall we?

Breakfast time!

Breakfast time.

Winter is beautiful!  Cold, but beautiful.

Errand time in the winter time.

Mini-meltdown when she realized her friend Thomas wasn't at our house waiting for us.  (He came 10 minutes after we got home.)

Meltdown time, Part 1.

Play time.

Play time.

Meltdown time, part 2.

Meltdown time, part 2.

Nap time, part 1.

Nap time, part 1…this lasted about 3 minutes.

Nap time, part 2...in her carseat because that's how we roll.

Nap time, part 2…in her carseat because that’s how we roll.

Selfie time.

Selfie time.

Monkey clapping time.

Monkey clapping time.

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My dear Joanna

My dear Joanna,

I can’t believe you’re going to be two on Saturday!  I’m pretty sure you were *just* a newborn.  (And get used to it, I’m going to be constantly amazed at how old you are.  Doesn’t matter if you’re two or twenty-two.  I’m always going to be lamenting that you were *just* a baby.  Oh dear, don’t be 22.  I can’t handle that.)

You'll always be my baby.  Sorry, kiddo.

You’ll always be my baby. Sorry, kiddo.

So, they say that when a baby is born, a mother is born too.  You made me a mom for the first time.  Which is so poetic and beautiful.  Except when you take a minute to think about it, that really just means I’m winging it with you.  But I think it’s going ok so far.

Someday, when you’re much older than two, you’ll probably want to know what you were like when you were two.  And since your little sister  doesn’t ever sleep for more than 2 hours in a row (and since that’s making Mommy go a little cray-cray), I thought I’d write it down now.  For posterity’s sake.

This past year has been a big one for you (though I suppose with only two years under your belt, they’re all big years).  But this year, you became a big sister.  And you are seriously the best. big. sister. ever.  You love Claire so much.  You bring her toys.  You let me know what she’s doing:  “Uh-oh, Baby crying.” and  “Uh-oh, Baby crawling.”  and “Uh-oh.  Poop.”  (That last one always makes me laugh.)  You are so gentle.  You are protective of her too.  You are everything a big sister should be.  I’m so proud of you.

And if Sister ever needs her socks removed, you are always there for her.

And if Sister ever needs her socks removed, you are always there for her.

Joanna, you love rules and boundaries and structure.  A lot.  I think you and I are pretty similar that way.  (Time will tell if you are an ISTJ too).  When cleaning up your toys (and yes, you actually help clean up), you make sure that we put the toys in the correct bins.  I like that about you.  

You organized the animals in the ark.  And you put all the stripe-y animals together.

You organized the animals in the ark. And you put all the stripe-y animals together.

You are a really good friend.   You are always concerned if someone else is upset.  And you try to share…sort of.  While holding on to the toy you want, you find a different toy for your friend.  I figure at the age of two, that’s not too bad.  And you like to make sure other kids are doing what they’re supposed to do (some may call that bossy, but I say you just really, really like rules).

You know all the Cars’ characters by name, and you request Curious George by saying, “Ooo-ooo, aaah-aaah.”  When the TV is on, you are absolutely glued.  You like to watch football with Daddy, and I love when you would say, “Touchdown!”

You love to help me bake (you’ll haul your chair across the kitchen so you can stand at the counter).

You love to help me with the mixer.

You love to help me with the mixer.  Oh, and I guess Mater likes to help too.

You are really starting to talk a lot, but right now, it feels like a secret language between just you and me.  It is so much fun to have interactive conversations (usually about where Daddy is).  I can’t wait for our conversations to go deeper.

I know there are about a thousand other little things that I want to remember about you at two.  Because before I know it, you’ll be much, much older than two, and this will have been a oh-so-quick blur.  But know this, Joanna Joy, my precious, joyful, gift from God–I love you so much.  I am so thankful that I get to be your mommy….even if I am just winging it most days.

Could you please stay little forever, Baby Girl?

Could you please stay little forever, Baby Girl?