Thursday, September 30, 2010

My 100th Post!

So when I sign into my blog, it always tells me how many posts I have made. And today I noticed that as of yesterday, I had 99 posts, making this my 100th post! Man, I guess I have a lot to say. I love what my sister is doing with her blog...making it like a digital scrapbook so she can remember the ordinary ins and outs of daily life. I am planning to download all of my posts and pictures to a book as well. Since I'm so on top of the kids' scrapbooks and all. NOT. Would you believe there is NOTHING, yes NOTHING in Zoe's scrapbook and ummmm....Tate....well I haven't even bought his scrapbook yet. I have all of their baby milestones recorded, but that's about it. So yes, I am thankful to have this outlet to help me remember the days of my little monkeys. But I decided that today I would do my 100th post about this guy:

Since he doesn't have a scrapbook and all. :) My sweet baby is almost 2! He is 6 weeks away from his second birthday and it really doesn't seem possible. Did you know that by this time with the Max and Charlie, we had another baby on the way? And with Zoe, she was just 2 1/2 when Tate was born. So baby fever you're thinking? Yes, I believe I have a serious chronic case of baby fever. And I probably always's just how I'm wired. But alas, there is no news to report here. :) Thought I had something fun to tell you? Nope! Anyway, that does relate to my almost-2-year-old baby because I definitely baby this baby. I carry him everywhere. It's a wonder that he has figured out running because he barely runs anywhere; Mommy picks him up and carries him. Just the other day at Target, I got him out of the cart, and put him down so he could walk out holding my hand in the parking lot. He loved it--and then I realized "holy cow, that is the first time he's ever done this!" With all my other 2-year-olds, I was either pregnant or carting a carseat carrier...unable to carry them too!

Other fun things about Tate: he can pretty much repeat any word you say to him, but he is still a boy of few words. Favorite word? "No." We all get a kick out of asking Tate random questions and hearing him say "No" as the answer. "Tate, do you like ice cream?" "no." "Tate, do you love Mommy?" "no" "Tate, where is Max?" "no". He said his first 4-word sentence the other day when I sneaked a bite of his granola bar...and it was "Mama, no eat mine!" :) That's my boy, holding his own.

Tate loves balls of any kind and after watching his brothers and daddy play football in the front yard, he can now get down in the football ready position and say "hut, hut, hike" and then run around in circles. He is also very artistic, expressing his innermost thoughts anywhere he can--this morning it was marker on Max's school planner--which made for a VERY unhappy Type-A older brother. I've said this before but Tate has an uncanny radar for markers. It's like he can sense there is one available to him to draw all over with.

One of my very, very favorite parts of the day is getting Tate up from his afternoon nap. He is usually pretty peaceful when he wakes up, and he usually in his crib playing with his pacifier or some other stuffed animal friend. He is so warm and squishy and his hair is all sticking out everywhere. I pick him up and he cuddles right into me. Ahhhh, pure joy.

As you can tell, I am enamored with this guy. He makes me laugh every single day. He is independent and joyful. And he is still my baby. And one of these days I will buy him a scrapbook but until all are stuck reading the mundane things about him. :) Have a great day...

Oh and P.S.--Do you like the new pictures across the top? Thought it was time for a little update and these are a few of my favorite pictures from this summer.

Monday, September 27, 2010

How I love teacher in-service days...

Artistic expression was followed by a gourmet breakfast...

Next we downloaded some more TobyMac songs to the iPad courtesy of Max (seriously he's better with that thing than I am!), and what's on the agenda next? Shopping for Halloween costumes! And all that before noon. Wonder what to do for the afternoon? Perhaps a nap? Yeah, right! Oh how we love teacher in-service days! Have a wonderful day!

Friday, September 24, 2010

On judging and EGR

So right now, I am in the midst of 2 really, really good Bible studies. I don't typically do 2 at a time, as I find I need to process things over and over to get a good grasp on whatever God is trying to teach me (I'm kind of stubborn like that--God teaches me the same things over and over and over again!). I'm in the middle of a Beth Moore study with like 200 other women at a large church near our home, and then our couples small group is doing a study called "Emotionally Healthy Spirituality". Both awesome in their own ways. I know God is using these studies to force me to dig in to the Word, learn more about the character of God, and finally to learn more about myself. This is a perfect "life season" for me to be doing these things! So in the coming months, you may find me going on and on about one or both of these studies. Just forewarning you!

One thing that "Emotionally Healthy Spirituality" talks about are the problems and symptoms related to emotionally unhealthy sprirituality and one of the symptoms listed was "judging the spiritual journey of another." Oh, my did this hit me hard! While I pride myself on being opinionated, it definitely gets me into trouble as well. My opinions come off as judgment--and a lot of times that's exactly what it is. Me judging the spiritual journey of someone else. One way to counter-act that judgment that always pops into my mind and my heart came from the workbook from this study. Instead of judgment, turn to "wonder." (And I'm talking to myself here): Ask yourself, "I wonder what happened in their life to bring them to this place" and "I wonder how they are feeling right now." Kind of a "put yourself in their shoes" attitude. Which may sound trite, but I fail to do this so many times. I don't know where people are coming from and what life experiences have brought them to the place they are now. And while I hope and pray that people can approach me and my life circumstances from that attitude, I certainly don't offer that to others as much as I should.

Which led me to think about a great conversation I had with an old friend (old in that I've had this friend for a long time!). I was talking about a person that I had a hard time being around and how difficult this person was. And he said "oh, so she's an EGR friend"? And of course I said "What's EGR?" and he replied "Extra Grace Required". :) I had to smile because I think--no I KNOW--that God looks at me pretty often and says "Oh, Laura...goodness, extra grace required today." :) I think talking about situations with that "EGR" friend made me see my own weaknesses even more clearly. We are all EGR people--and thank you, Lord that you provide it. Any amount of grace we need at any time. Here's hoping you have a wonderful grace-filled weekend!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Busy week!

We had a very busy week last week! Dance, cheerleading, football practice, soccer practice, tae kwon do--plus school mixed in as well makes for a busy family of 6! But we made it and have another fun-filled week ahead of us. We are looking forward to our couples small group starting up again tomorrow night (at our house--which meant I had to dust tonight, and break out the vacuum tomorrow! ha!). Do you know what else I love about this week? TV PREMIERE WEEK!! I am not a huge TV-watcher, although Buck would probably argue with that since he watches virtually NO TV, except whatever I have on. I really only watch shows after the kids have gone to bed--who has time for TV during the day?? Anyway, the 2 shows I am most excited about--can you guess??--"House" and "The Good Wife". Cannot wait! And we are practically living in the dark ages because we don't have DVR at our house. My friends (and my mom for goodness sake!) tell me that DVR will change my life. Not sure I want my life changed in that way, but on nights like tomorrow, I do wish, wish, wish we had DVR--the "House" premiere along with small group. Buck suggested we watch "House" for our meeting--tomorrow night I would agree! Believe it or not, my mom said she would DVR it for me so I will probably be at her house at 10 pm tomorrow night watching it...I would do crazy things like that for this show I am addicted to. :) What shows are you looking forward to??

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Home sweet home...

Heather and I with our girls
This is what "big Maya" thought of Zoe trying to hold her :)
With my favorite 3-month-old in the whole wide world
Baby Maya loved her new "Maya" pillow made by Crystal

I was so thankful to re-connect with two of the dearest people in my life--my oldest friend Sarah (we met in 5th grade, and have been friends ever since!) and my sweet college friend Heather (without whom I would have transferred colleges after the first semester!). Both have adorable baby girls, and it was amazing to spend time with them in their homes, see what their "mommy lives" are like and discuss the joys and challenges of motherhood and family life. Much different than our high school and college conversations, but also so much the same--I feel like we can always just pick up where we left off and be off and running.

We are back in the swing of things around here. Zoe had her first cheerleading practice (I know, I know...she's 4...but it's so cute!!), and Charlie has been practicing hard to earn his white belt in tae kwon do. I am so excited for him!! He has to recite his first "student creed" and we've all been practicing it with him. It's cute to watch Max try and give him memorization tips. You know, because he's soooo much older and wiser. :) It's a great creed, and as I now have it memorized as well :), it makes a lot of sense for all of us to say this every day. Check it out:

"I intend to develop myself in a positive manner and avoid anything that will reduce my mental growth or my physical health." (And picture Charlie saying this, then putting a big "SIR" on the end. Awesome!) I'm happy to be home but oh-so-thankful for those enduring friendships that mean the world to me! What a blessing. Have a great week!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Maya on my mind

I have been waiting for this weekend for well over 3 months and lucky me, my weekend starts tomorrow! Zoe and I are going on our first (of hopefully many!) girls' weekend. We are heading north to Wisconsin, where interestingly both my best friend from high school and my best friend from college call home. My dear friend Sarah gave birth to her sweet baby Maya in June and you know me and babies! I have been itching to get my hands on that girl! So here is my chance. And another blessing on top of that--my other dear friend Heather has her own precious Maya who is now 16 months old and bad friend/busy mama that I am, I haven't met that Miss Maya in person yet either. So I am armed with gifts and a darling 4-year-old girl who can't wait to "take care of the babies". So Maya (times two!) is definitely on my mind, along with Sarah and Heather and girl time with MY girl. Here's to a very happy weekend!

An almost Wordless Wednesday...

Look close and see if you can see the familiar names of the lakes we found on this map of Minnesota. :)

This one's for you, babe!
Happy Wednesday!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

What do you do exactly?

So I had one of those moments this past week that was a little frustrating. I was talking to an older guy, a sweet man who has known Buck and me since high school and he said something along the lines of "I can't believe after all those years of school, you don't work at all anymore! My daughter is an RN and would love to go to school to be a nurse practitioner, but she can't afford it. And look at you, not even working!". I wish I could tell you that I am absolutely secure in myself and my choices, and that words like that don't affect me at all. But I'm human, it does bother me a little--not a lot--but a little.

Do you other stay-at-home moms get that? That sort of "so what do you do exactly?" sort of question? I have had that question A LOT lately, especially as school has started and I'm seeing more of the kids' friends' parents, and they wonder if I'm working, if I'm not working, how much, who watches the kids, etc. etc. So here's the scoop: I have a great job. My #1 job is that I'm at home. Yes, I went to 8 years of college to be at home. My first bachelor's degree got me absolutely nowhere, except that I knew I wanted to go to nursing school. I think I figured that out in the second semester of my junior year of college (the first time around). By that time, I figured I might as well finish up with the Degree That Would Get Me Nowhere since I was only 2 semesters away from finishing. So I did. Then right away jumped into nursing school pre-requisites, of which I had NONE. So I finished those up, went 2 more years to get my BSN and worked for a few years as an RN in labor and delivery. During those years, I tried every conceivable option of working--full-time (for a very short amount of time, just until Max was born), part-time, days, evenings, just weekends, PRN...nothing really seemed like the perfect fit but I kept trying a new schedule, a new job.

Finally I went back to grad school...since the whole point of me going to nursing school was that I really wanted to be a nurse-midwife. After 2+ years of grad school, I finished up that degree and got my license to practice midwifery. I have tried a couple of different ways of working in that profession as well. Part-time, half-time, not at is tough. I love helping moms and babies, but the schedule of it and the overall intensity of it was too much for my family life--and me. For 18 months straight I had migraines and crazy insomnia. So what do I do exactly now? Like I said, I have a dream job. The vast majority of the time I am at home...BUT I have been helping in an OB clinic for several years now, and now I have a more predictable schedule there where I work 2 days a month. Yep, 2 days a MONTH. One of my friends just yesterday said "Geez, I want your job." :) Nope, you can't have it, it's mine. So I'm a stay-at-home mom, where a couple times a month, I get to get out of the house, use my work brain, put on work clothes, talk with other adults, and get paid for it! I love it.

So what I've figured is absolutely impossible for ME to "have it all"--to work more than I am now and have the ideal family life. It doesn't work. For right now, the dream job is 2 days per month, and that in turn means sacrificing parts of my job that I really love. But it is so worth it. That doesn't mean that it isn't possible for other people to have it all. We all have to do what works for us, and making judgmental claims about others' choices (or necessities) doesn't help the situation one bit. We all are working on making peace with whatever situations we are dealing with--so let's make that a little easier on one another!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010