Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bloom where you're planted

I feel like I have probably written a post like this before but alas, I need to hear it again. Blogging is therapeutic sometimes, like I'm writing to myself. I don't do it often but when I do it's always fun to look back on and read.

Tuesdays mornings I go to a Ladies Bible Study at my church and I enjoy it so much. This morning though, I almost didn't go. Tuesdays are a bit crazy. The little guy I watch gets here around 7:30. I usually get ready before he gets here which means an early morning for me. Then I have to keep him entertained as well as get my two kids up, fed and dressed, with a bath for Emersyn because she has the craziest bed head that can't even be calmed with getting wet. It has to be washed in order to settle down. Anyways, needless to say, it's a lot of work. Then I have to pack milk for the boys, make sure Brett switches the car seats to the van, bring my workbook, make sure I have a bar snack for the road....just a lot of prep and with three kids no less. (I am sounding really whiny and first world problems-ish, sorry). As I drove to church this morning I was totally beat and thought to myself, why even go? It's so much work to get there and plus, Everett has been so fussy lately that he might not even stay in the nursery and then I'll have a whiny fussy toddler that just wants to get down and crawl while I'm supposed to be participating in a discussion. Ugh!!

I got to church, dropped the kiddos off in the nursery and could hear the echos of Everett throwing a fit through the church. :/ Thankfully we have an amazing nursery staff and I knew he was in good hands, he just needed a nap. I prayed that the pager would not go off and that I would have a few hours of sweet relief.

Listening to Beth Moore speak via dvd absolutely amazes me. Her words just drip with wisdom and her cute little southern accent is just too cute. Today's lesson was wonderful and totally met me where I'm at.

"We will either wrestle all our lives with unmet expectations or intentionally rest our souls in God" said Beth. Oh man, this resonated with me. I feel like I have been wrestling with unmet expectations and often find myself with resentment in my heart as hard as that is to admit. I love having two children but I thought that having two children meant I'd have the Pottery Barn catalog life. You know, perfectly put together children and amazingly organized rooms. I assumed that by the time I was the age I am at with two kids that I would have a big house, nice car, STUFF to show for it. A husband that brought me flowers and showered me with affection and adoration. A daughter that obeys my every command and a little boy that plays quietly with just a few toys. I thought that when I became a stay at home mom I would have TIME to actually get things done. Expectations.

Instead, I've been blessed with a rather defiant daughter at times, but with a heart that longs to please her mama. She's talented and gifted in ways that I can't wait to see cultivate as she grows up and I don't take the responsibility of raising a daughter lightly. I've got a very curious little boy that can crawl up the stairs with lightening speed and loves getting out my new glass tupperware to play with. With Emersyn we didn't childproof except for one cupboard with chemicals in it. I don't think the story is going to be the same with Everett. :) I've got a very sweet and loving husband who has a crazy busy work and school life and God bless him, he just doesn't think about things like flowers that often and that's okay. And my time is spent caring for the three of them, our home, and other ministry opportunities that have come my way. My time isn't spent doing the things that I would like to do sometimes. In fact, RARELY is it spent doing the things I want to do.

I know that this is a season but it's been wearing on me. I've been having thoughts of maybe going back to work part time but I'm not sure who would watch my kiddos and also, with Emersyn going to preschool it complicates things. Paying for childcare could make working pointless but there are days when I long to drop my kids off somewhere and go to work with grown ups and get some recognition, some validation for my talents and abilities. Plus, when I was working my house stayed so much cleaner...there was no one home to mess it up! :) However, I feel strongly that Brett and I brought these children into the world....it's our responsibility to raise them.

I was sharing with my table this morning about how I've been feeling unsettled lately but in a good way? Not unsettled like with worry or fear but unsettled, like I'm wanting more out of life. I feel like I'm stuck between seasons. I shared how I feel like maybe I'm wanting to go back to work part time, find something for ME outside the home. I feel like ME is important, right? A dear friend that I respect very much gently said that she disagreed. She said that as she's walked in motherhood (her oldest is a few years older then Ems), she's learned that it's important that she bloom where she is planted and serve her family and her husband during this season. She has a degree in education and loved being a teacher before becoming a mother and would love to go back to teaching but knows that the Lord has her in the season for now and she has to bloom where she's planted.

I started thinking, if I focused as much energy on thinking about how to better serve my family instead of how I can get away from them (in a sense) and better myself, I would be a much better wife and mother. Yes, taking care of myself is important and mama deserves girl time and me time every so often. But more importantly is taking care of my family and deciding that I am going to master THIS season of my life.

"Trust in Him at all times, O people, pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge". Psalm 62:8. Beth talked about how we can run to our refuge but that our faith is meant to be lived out in the real world, not from the shelter of our refuge. Running is a big tendency for me. When I'm having a tough day I get on Groupon and think, I need a weekend away with Brett....that would fix everything. When I have rough chaotic days with kids I think, I need to get away and get a job!! Running. But in the wrong direction. God is calling me to run to HIM with those struggles. Run to HIM in my exhaustion. Run to HIM with my weary soul. And in HIM I will find rest. Now is the season to trust him. Not when the kids are in school (which some days I find myself counting the days until), not when I finally achieve that Pottery Barn Kids organization, not when I finally have all my stuff together because we both know that day is never going to come.

"Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him". Psalm 62:5. This is a truth that I hope to pass onto my children...Lord that I would find rest and hope in YOU alone.

On Sunday morning a minister from Uganda came and preached at our church and described how he was on a school bus once that was attacked by rebels and he had to climb over bodies to escape and felt bullets whizzing by his head as he fled. Kind of puts my *chaotic* life in perspective. :)

Finding rest.....how do YOU do it? What does that look like for you? It has to mean more then going out and getting pedicures every so often...it's something we must do daily. An act of pouring out all the hurts, worries, frustrations, and fears in our heart to make room for what God wants to pour in. Love. Joy. Peace. Patience.

As the three children in my home are sleeping (hallelujah) and I listen to the little fountain in my backyard, my soul is at rest as I share this with you and it's right where He wants me to be.

I pray that you can find your place of rest today too. :)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sunday ?'s

 While Brett is watching football, I'm blogging. :)
To each their own!
{ONE} What is something you have wanted to do but are afraid of?
Something on the water, like kayaking or canoeing. I know those things shouldn't be scary but I'm kind of a scaredy cat.

{TWO} Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
A happily married mama, maybe back in the workforce, maybe living in a different house....lots of maybes I know but one things for sure, I will be happy (and thinner, ha!).

{THREE} What are you looking forward to by the end of 2012?
Acheiving some weight loss related goals, participating in our church's Christmas concerts (ten performances) that I used to do as a kid and teen but never as a grown up, going to visit my BFF in Wisconsin in October, seeing my parents again in December, Great Wolf Lodge with my parents (so fun!!) and a night away with Brett to Timberline Lodge. Just a few things to look forward to. :)
{FOUR} What are your hopes for your blog?
To keep writing about my kids milestones and occasionally be struck with an encouraging word maybe for myself to read back on someday or to bless another friend with. I was such a better blogger back when I could blog at work, ha!  

{FIVE} Do you always see yourself living in your current town/city?
Yup! Maybe not this exact city, though I do love Hillsboro, but for sure in the Portland Metro area. (Knock on wood)

{SIX} What is your morning routine?
Usually Emersyn comes in our room and starts chatting away and then we beg her to go back to bed. I will often get desperate and give her my phone to go play with in hopes of a little more sleep. Then if it's a day that I watch my 16 month old little buddy (T, W, Th) I get up and make a cup of coffee and wait for him to arrive, around 7:15. If it's not a Tanner day, I stay in bed until about 7:45. Then Brett gets up and in the shower, I get up and get Ems ready for school, give Everett some milk to drink if he's up, make Ems breakfast and pack her snack in her backpack, send Ems out the door with Daddy to school, give Everett breakfast, playtime with him, sometimes I pack up Everett's breakfast and we go to Starbucks so I can enjoy coffee while he eats. Some mornings I get up earlier and get ready if we need to go somewhere important in the morning but otherwise I get ready during his morning nap. It's an exciting life I lead but such a unique season and I'm savoring it. :)

Friday, September 21, 2012


{1} Super excited for the weekend! Saturday is busy with co-hosting a brunch for new moms at our church at a friends house, getting some work done at my office, Emersyn is going to a birthday party, and Brett and Everett will get to watch some football! Sunday we have church and then I'm doing an open house at my listing. I'm jazzed!

{2} Today Emersyn's preschool celebrated the birthdays that took place in the summer before school started so of course, Emersyn falls into that category. I was assigned to bring fruit as a special snack and decided to bring in my smoothie maker and make the kids smoothies. It was a little bit of a hassle and while I was packing it all up I thought, I should have just done something simpler. However, when I saw my daughters beaming face as I made her class smoothies, it was totally worth it. She looked SO proud that I was there (Everett too) and the kids loved the smoothies. Such a fun mommy moment for me. I'm really enjoying this "school mom" gig. 


{3} Today I started a Biggest Loser DVD for "Weight Loss Yoga". I ordered it off of Amazon after Brett said that all his co-workers think yoga is amazing. It was kind of ironic to put my yoga pants to use in the way they were intended for. :) Emersyn did the warm up with me and was like, peace out after 5 minutes. It was cute to see her do the poses though. It was a 35 minute level one workout and hard work!!! Afterwards I had a snack and only had the appetite to eat half of it and drank a huge thing of water. Awesome side effect! Plus, whenever you work out, you get that satisfaction of having completed it for the day and then there's no guilt for the rest of the day! I have lost a decent amount of weight to where I'm starting to feel a little *flabby*. Hopefully starting yoga will help trim things up!

{4}  Fall seems to have arrived here in Oregon, at least in my neck of the woods. Hooray for long sleeved shirts and pants! I start to get sick of the summer wardrobe and it's fun to see the kids move into a new set of clothes. I don't have a lot of fall clothes that fit anymore, guess I need to go shopping! :)

Alright, Everett's up so time to go. I had such a great two hours while the kids are napping today...yoga, a Grey's Anatomy episode (almost through season 7), blogging and a snack. Mama is feeling refreshed.

Have a wonderful weekend!!!!!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Emersyn's 4 Year Old Interview

{Again, better late then never right? I stole this from my friend Kristi's blog....thanks for the idea Kristi!}

Emersyn Grace :: 4 Years Old

1. What's your favorite color? purple
2. What's your favorite toy? my minivan (Loving Family doll mini van)
3. What's your favorite show? Little Einstein
4. What's your favorite holiday? Christmas just 'cause I do!
5. Who's your best friend? Stella, Isabelle, Katharine, Emery, Ellie
6. What's your favorite song? "Baby you're a firework" and "Nothing is impossible" {Priority Album}
7. What's your favorite book? The Napping House and prayers book
8. What's your favorite animal? pigs because they are pink (? ha ha) 
9. What's your favorite food? peanut butter and jelly
10. What's your favorite snack? Pirate Booty
11. What's your favorite ice cream flavor? chocolate vanilla swirl
12. What's your favorite restaurant? Pasketti Factory {Old Spaghetti Factory}
13. What's your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Mimi Cereal {Shredded Mini Wheats}
14. What's your favorite game? Chutes ad Ladders
15. What do you want to be when you grow up? a teenager {haha}
16. What is your favorite thing about Mommy? playing with her, loving her, painting nails rainbow-y, watching mommy sing on stage
17. What's your favorite thing about Daddy? going on dates to Lowes, playing cars, snuggling in bed
18. What's your favorite thing about Everett? Playing with him, waking him up in the morning,
19. What was your favorite thing to do this summer? Go to the fountain

Dear Emersyn, 

Where do I even begin to describe you as a 4 year old?? To sum it up, you are totally your mommy and daddy's girl. You are fiesty, creative, a bit stubborn at times (you get that from Daddy), compassionate, loving, silly, generous, caring, hilarious, talented, and totally my favorite little girl in the world. I love the age that you are at....you're my buddy! I love our times together when Everett is napping and how I can totally talk to you. I can vent to you about how the laundry is never ending the the way you nod your head tells me that you really get it. :) I love how your favorite game to play is "church nursery". You love to check the babies in to the nursery, slap stickers on their back, give special instructions regarding feeding and changing diapers, give me a pager for my baby and assure me that my baby will be just fine while I go to choir. I love your love for singing. You can make up a song about anything at the drop of a hat and love performing. You can make Everett laugh and distract him like no one else. We totally miss you when you're at school! I love how you mimic how I talk to Everett and even call him the same ridiculous nicknames that I do. I don't know many 4 year olds that call their brother doody the way you do. :) I love how sweet of a hostess you are when you have friends over and how you appreciate a beautiful table scape like your mama. I love how you like to pretend you're working on your laptop when I am and how you know I'm a Realtor. I love how you diligently care for your babies by taking lots of time to put them down and love them. I love how you love projects and crafts. I love how you love helping your mama out and do such a good job picking up toys and organizing the plastic's cupboard. I love how you have started picking out your own outfits and have your own little sense of style. I love how I can say sassy pants and you instantly strike a hands on your hips pose. 

My dear Emersyn, these are only a few of the things that make me love you as much as I do. God blessed me beyond what I could ever have imagined when He chose me to be your mama and I'm so so glad that He did. Your daddy, brother and I love you soooooo very much!!! 

All my love, 

Your Mama

Everett- One Year Stats

Better late then never, right? :) 

Everett David @ One Year Old

*Weighs 24lbs (68%)
*31.5 inches tall (93%) 
*Head circumference 48.5 cm (95%) 
*Wears size 4 diaper
*Wearing anything from 12 mos to 2T depending on what the clothes are. I have started buying all 2T though...some of it fits big but mostly it's just long. I learned with Emersyn that some sizes like 24 months aren't needed depending on the kid. Needless to say, Everett is my big boy! Emersyn was very true to size for her age. 
*You wear size 4 or 5 shoes.
*LOVES big sister. It's funny....with Emersyn she had Twinnie, her beloved monkey. Everett hasn't really attached to anything like a Twinnie because I think Emersyn is *his* Twinnie. He just adores her. 
*Loves music. If he's cranky in the car, I can crank up a song and he'll turn from cranky to ecstatic, moving his head to the beat, laughing, clapping. It's adorable! 
*Not a big fan of meat yet.
*Has lots of teeth! 4 on top, 4 on the bottom and also two molars on the bottom. 
*Goes to bed anywhere from 8-830 and wakes up around 8-830. Perfect! 
*Not walking and not showing any interest in doing so! Initially I didn't want him to walk yet but now I do. He's ready to explore and always wants down in public places where it's icky to let him crawl. It's time for him to walk!
*He's a big flirt in public. Emersyn was always so shy and would look kind of cranky if a stranger tried to engage her. Everett flashes his cheesy grin and usually gives a giggle or two. 
*He has started reacting to discipline and it's funny. There is this one squishy ball that we have that he can't have because he'll bite chunks out of it. He digs for the ball amidst the toys and when he gets it, all we have to say is "Everett...." and he does this whiny shriek. He knows he's busted.
*He's crazy about our stairs and constantly wants to climb them. We didn't even have a baby gate with Ems, she wasn't as adventurous. A baby gate is going to be essential for Ev. Right now we block him in the living room by putting our leather cubes (that we use for coffee table/foot rests) on either side of the couch in between leather chairs. It's works well but he gets annoyed at being penned in. Once we get the baby gate in, I'm prepared for him to have more freedom and probably start tearing my kitchen apart. :) 
*He aren't too interested in talking. I think his sister talks enough for the both of them. He says very basic words like mama and dada but not much else yet! 

Monday, September 10, 2012

First day of 4's class!

 Emersyn's first day of preschool (3's class) 2011

 First day of 4's class!

I cannot believe how different the two girls look in the pictures above! What a difference a year makes. Look at those long legs this year! Today was Emersyn's first day of the 4's class at Kids of the Kingdom....sorta. Today was a parent orientation so we were at the school the whole time and it was a shorter today. So really, Wednesday will feel more like the first official day because I will drop her off and then buh-bye. :) I'll miss her the most on Wednesdays; that is one of the days that I watch a little 16 month old and he's pretty much in love with Emersyn and she keeps him busy for me. :)

I knew it wouldn't be a traditional day at school full of projects and dirt so I opted to put her in a dress. I just love pink and navy on her! She also requested that I curl her hair and I was only so happy to oblige. I love the way her hair looks curled! 

 Little brother wanted in on the photo shoot action. I can't believe how long he looks in this picture!! He looks like such a little boy, not a baby. Speaking of which, I don't think I blogged his one year stats yet...note to self. :)

I'm so thankful for a great school to send Emersyn too that teaches about the love of the Lord as well as academics! Next year she will be in pre-kindergarten and then the year after, the real adventure begins! I'm not in any hurry though, I know I'll blink and it will be time for her high school graduation.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Just a season

A friend of mine on Facebook posted this picture on Tuesday and it made me LAUGH. 

I have a confession to make. I see all these moms posting pictures of their kids first days of school and talk about how they cried when the dropped them off, yada yada yada.....but I find myself secretly thinking, oh my word, how magical would it be to have time to myself every.single.day of the week!?!?! 

This morning I had a LONG list of errands to run, which included several stops to stores and running in and out of places with my two children. One of these children has a voice that can sound like nails on a chalkboard is a little whiny but generally okay with running errands, especially when those errands involve going to Sonic for a limeaid. The other child is fine in the car but when he's out he wants to be crawling and putting his mouth on everything, not sitting nicely in a car or even in the Ergo sometimes. Oy. This morning was exhausting! But life is busy and there are things to be done! I know that before I know it, I will have kids in school and I will miss hauling them in and out of their car seats while running errands. Or at least I think I will right? :) 

There are so many things about this season of life that I am that are challenging. For one, maintaining my home is near impossible. I keep thinking that I just can't get anything done while my kids are awake....or sometimes even when they are sleeping. I struggle with being productive during nap time...or eating a popsicle and watching an episode of Grey's Anatomy. Mama needs a break sometimes! I have ministries that I am a part of that need my attention, friendships to maintain, projects pinned that I want to accomplish, meals to organize for sick friends and new mothers, real estate deals to do (which are a priority as they are my job!), thank you cards to write, birthday cards to send, devotional and prayer journal writing to do and I just can't help but think that I will never really be able to accomplish anything until my kids are in school. Which, by the way, is a ways off considering my youngest just turned one. 

But then I learned of a friend of a friend who lost their 4 year old daughter in a tragic accident yesterday and my heart physically aches for this family. Being the Facebook stalker that I am, I looked at the family's page and saw a picture of a 4 year old who is now resting in the arms of Jesus while her family grieves and mourns. Oh how this mother probably wishes that she could have a home messed up with barbies, legos and dollhouse furniture....how she wishes that she had a whiny 4 year old preventing her from making a phone call....how she wishes that she had laundry baskets full of pink laundry to wash, dry, fold and then put away.....how she wishes..... 

And so today I sit blogging amidst chaos in my kitchen, barkdust tracked in from Emersyn playing outside yesterday, carpet lightly stained pink from her stepping on her popsicle and then walking through the entire downstairs, and toys strewn everywhere in my living room. This is just a season. And while the OCD in me longs to have order and organization, my body and mind is just too tired at the end of the day. But that's not what matters....what matters is hearing my daughter singing to her babies in her room while she's supposed to be napping and hearing Everett use his binky as a hammer on the side of his crib while he too is supposed to be napping. I'm grateful for my messy little distractions and know that there will be a time that I'll get my house back under control and I'll have time to accomplish the things that I want to. In the meantime I'll find time here and there and do what I can. This may involve staying up late or getting up early at times but those little munchkins are worth it. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Everett's 1st Birthday

I had so much fun planning Everett's party! I decided to do the same theme concept that I did for Emersyn's first birthday, the same theme of his nursery! Plus, I had adorable decorations that I got to reuse from my baby shower that I had saved for this very occasion! I'm a planner, what can I say? :)

My talented friend Rachelle, designed his birthday invitation. It turned out so cute! 

We had the party at the same park that we've had several of Emersyn's parties. It's a popular park so I made our reservation back in February. My only complaint about this park is that it gets a little windy which makes it hard to have balloons. However, since there is a helium shortage, balloon bouquets were out of the question anyways. So instead, we did a rustic balloon look by tying them onto twine and then hanging them. I loved how it turned out. It's not a party if there aren't balloons in my opinion!!

We got Everett's cake from our favorite bakery, Lamb's Thriftway. We decided to mix things up and get a banana cake this year and it turned out very yummy! Their cakes are always amazing!

I made cupcakes for the kiddos. I was going to make pinwheel cupcake toppers but they were too darn hard to make thought the flags looked cuter! 

We served pulled pork shoulder (that turned out amazing), buns, chips, veggies, watermelon, goldfish crackers for the kids, coleslaw and then dessert. I had planned for about 35-40 people and there ended up being 60!! Needless to say we ran out of food. We'll have to plan better next year. Usually you have less then you anticipate but I think some people forgot to RSVP. It was all good though! :)

Such a skeptic, ha ha! He seemed so confused during the party, like "who is all this for??".

I love Emersyn's face peeking out of this picture. She was beaming the entire time we sang happy birthday to Everett. She just adores her brother. It is so so sweet.

It was such a wonderful party and I'm so thankful for all our friends and family that were able to come celebrate with us.

My friend James took pictures for us and then my brother made a video of the party with me reading a letter to Everett as narration. It's very special and I'm thankful for talented friends and family that use their gifts to help me capture memories. You can view the video HERE

I hope you enjoyed your birthday party Everett David!! I love you with all my heart!!