A Life Stirred

Almost 3

Joanna is almost 3.  It’s an awesome age.

And let’s get the obvious out of the way:  I CANNOT believe she’s going to be 3!!  She was *just* a baby.

Seriously.  Wasn't that yesterday?

Seriously. Wasn’t that yesterday?

So, almost 3.  Most of the time, I am really loving this age!  I love how she talks and interacts.  I love seeing her personality and language develop.  Sometimes she drives me a little crazy!!

Anyway, almost 3 looks like…

  • …a lot of “Whys?”
    • I’m sorry, Joanna, but I don’t know the internal motivations of every. single. person and thing we see.  The worst is the mouse from If you Give a Mouse a Cookie.  I have no idea why he does what he does.  No idea.
Why?  Why?  Why?!

Why? Why? Why?!

  • …a lot of “What will we do after…?”
    • This habit is simultaneously annoying and endearing.  I love schedules too, little girl.  Someday I’ll teach you about calendars and to do lists, and you will be a happy kid.
She just likes having a plan.

She just likes having a plan.

  • …a lot of random whining and crying.
    • I could do without that.  Use your words, kiddo.  Use your words.
Usually the crabbiness is not this cute.

Usually it’s not this cute.

  • …a lot of playing.
    • It is your job right now, after all.  You and sissy play dress-up and baby dolls and kitchen and blocks and games and Play-Doh.  It’s amazing to see you get creative with your play.
Best buddies...all four of them.

Four best buddies.

There are lots of things I love about this age (and a number of things I don’t love as much), and I’m sure I’ll write more about Joanna in 11 days when she’s actually 3.  But for now I just want to enjoy my almost 3 year old.

Even when she seems so old…

So big.

Big Kid Jo.

And even when she still seems like a baby…

Always my baby....

Always my baby….

(Also, you’d better believe I soaked up the “Let’s pretend I’m a baby” game.  Why, of course, Joanna, I’d love to snuggle you on the couch like you’re a itty-bitty baby!)

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Ten on Ten: The Birthday Edition

It’s my birthday!  Yahoo!

I’m 31.  Yahoo….?

It’s funny.  Last year, I turned 30…which is exciting and noteworthy.  It’s the kind of birthday that you can invite friends over and throw yourself a birthday party.  But then, turning 31, not as exciting.  Not as noteworthy.  I didn’t feel like I could throw myself a party either.

Anyway, today’s ten on ten is actually only 8 on ten.  And when you hear about my day, you’ll be glad I stopped taking pictures.

So, I kicked off my birthday with a bit of an intestinal bug, and I got to be awake from 2 am to 5 am.  Not fun.  Granted, I got to wish myself a “Happy Birthday” at my actual birth time (3:10 am).  Not something I want to repeat next year.  Thankyouverymuch.

Ben (awesome husband that he is) let me sleep in, so I started ten on ten late.  Whatever.  It’s my birthday.  I can do what I want.

They turn on the space heater together every day.  Melt my heart.

They turn on the space heater together every day. Melt my heart.

Birthday lunch--homemade chicken nuggets and fries (...and peas too).  So glad I was feeling better.  Yum!

Birthday lunch–homemade chicken nuggets and fries (…and peas too). So glad I was feeling better. Yum!

Tim's and Staples...a happy combo.

For my birthday, I requested time alone.  Tim’s and Staples…a happy combo.

A dressing room selfie?  Yes, ma'am.  I still can't decide how I felt about that stripey shirt.  It was either flattering or it made me look pregnant.  I couldn't decide...so I passed.

You’re never too old for a dressing room selfie, right? I still can’t decide how I feel about that stripey shirt. It was either flattering or it made me look pregnant. I couldn’t decide…so I passed.

Packing for a family outing to the pool...which didn't happen thanks to the intestinal bug making it's rounds to a few other family members).

Packing for a family outing to the pool.  Spoiler alert:  We didn’t go (thanks a lot, intestinal bug!).

Ben's a comedian.  31 candles and a fire hazard.  Ooof.

31 candles are a fire hazard. Ooof.

Claire and I headed into town for fluids. As you can see, she prefers not to wear shoes and socks in the car. Silly kid.

Picnic dinner and a movie.  An attempt to salvage the rest of the day.

Picnic dinner (for those who felt like eating) and a movie. An attempt to salvage the rest of the day.

And let’s just say, things went downhill from there, and I just stopped taking pictures.  You’re welcome.

Intestinal Bug: 3, Morses :1  (Claire is still holding strong…you go girl!)

Despite the rough beginning and ending to my day, I actually had a very nice birthday.  I can’t wait to see what this next year has in store!

ten on ten button

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Trickle-Down Identity

Ok, ok, so three days ago, I didn’t have a word for 2015.  But a lot can happen in three days.  A lot of thinking can happen…especially when you have a chance to take a break from everyone under the age of 3 in your family.  Not mentioning any names…

Why would I need a break from these two?  (Someday when they form a sister rock band, this will be their cover.)

Someday when they form a sister rock band, this will be their cover.

Anyway, I have a word now.


But specifically, I want to have a trickle-down identity.  This year, I want to…

2015 word--identity

1.  Be in Christ securely.

This is where my identity needs to start–in Christ.  That means 2015 needs to be a year marked by regular and focused time in the Word and in prayer.  I want to listen to God’s voice before all others!  (Well, what do ya know? My 2014 Word is making a 2015 appearance!)  I also pray that I will believe what God says about me through His Word.  Because as a long-time Christian, I know what He says, but I often fail to really believe it.  I want to be SECURELY rooted in Him.

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord,

so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith,

just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.  

Colossians 2:7 (emphasis mine)

2.  Be me boldly.

As I root myself securely in Christ, I believe that will free me up to simply be me.  To be who God created me to be without insecurity, comparison, jealousy, or discontent.  I want to be able to embrace who I am (weird quirks and all) and just live my story (and not desire a different version).  Honestly, this is my biggest dream for 2015.  I have lived in comparison and insecurity for waaaaay too long.  I long to break free from that and be me boldly!

For freedom Christ has set us free;

stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.  

Galatians 5:1

3.  Be in relationships selflessly.

This is the final step of the trickle-down identity.  As I find my identity in Christ and step out to be who He made me to be, I will be able to have relationships out of an overflow of love and grace.  Instead of looking to others to fill me or be my identity, I can simply serve and love and encourage and support others without expecting anything in return.  I believe this will dramatically affect my marriage, parenting, friendships, and leadership.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,

knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward.  

You are serving the Lord Christ.  

Colossians 3:23-24

Identity is a big word for one year.  I suspect I won’t have it all figured out in the next 360 days.  Yet I know that God is able to do big things in my heart when I am open and obedient to His voice.  And that makes me eager with anticipation for this new year!


2015: A Year Without a Word

Last year, I had a word.

So naturally, I wanted a word this year too!  In fact, I’ve been mulling it over for a few weeks now.  And I’ve got nothing.  Nada.  Zilch.

Ok, so that’s not totally true.  I think I have a theme.  A Theme of the Year.  That’s better than one measly, old word anyway, right?

The concept of identity and finding my identity in Christ, contentedness, being me, and telling/living my story has been everywhere lately.  And to me that means, “LISTEN UP, CARLEY!  YOU NEED TO LEARN THIS!!”  (Sometimes I need the Holy Spirit to skip the “still, small voice” step and go straight to attention-grabbing step.)

I believe (and pray) that 2015 will be year of learning who I am.  Specifically, learning who I am in Christ and letting Him to define me, as opposed to all the other things I let define me (motherhood, wife, friend, good at <insert talent here>, etc).  As I allow who I am in Christ to permeate my soul, I pray that I will shake off some of my old (and clingy) insecurities and be content in who I am and how God wired me.

It’s a big theme.  I may need more than a year.  But I’m excited to see how God uses this desire of my heart (to find my identity in Him) to shape me this year!