Monday, June 30, 2014

The past 3 weeks have been crazy and exciting. That's pretty much how our life goes. Roger and I have been married for 10 years now and each year consists of crazy AND exciting. This year  is no different.

Saturday we got back from a week long conference. We took the kids with us this time (that's a first) because Roger's mother, Scarlette, was being commissioned as a missionary for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. We wanted the kids to be part of the celebration. With Roger being in a program called the CBF Fellows, me being a CBF Leadership Scholar, and my mother in law being a new field personal, we were all crazy busy at this General Assembly. The only free time was forced between the hours of midnight and 3am. I am EXHAUSTED and detoxing from life lived out of a suitcase. On a side note, the kids did REALLY well at the conference. Paul and Anna tagged around with us through the meetings and were traded off between family members whenever one of us was free. I am beyond proud of those two!

Before we headed out to General Assembly we celebrated the wedding of a dear friend and while at General Assembly heard news of a terrible car crash that took the life of a friend's 19yr old niece. Just this morning we got word that the brother of the young girl who passed away was in a terrible ATV accident and is in a bad way at the University hospital.

Also, I woke up this morning to a man on our roof. Turns out the roofer decided to come today. So, I guess we are getting a new roof this week. We wrote a check, a BIG check. I thought I was going to pass out.

In all of this my emotions have been all over the place. Such is life. You take the bad with the good and try your best to focus mostly on the good.  At any second things can change drastically. I find comfort in soaking in the simple mundane tasks of life and feeling that sense of thankfulness that I have children to make dinner for, a husband to comfort, friends to pray for, a house to clean, clothes to wash, and a yard to tend to.  If I don't look at life through an eye of gratitude, life becomes too overwhelming.

While at General Assembly I picked up this book:
Laura Barclay is a sweet person that we first ran into at an out of town conference several years ago. When I first met her I was infected by her smile, you can't help but smile when she is in the room with you because she is just so bubbly and kind and funny and wonderfully down to earth. Since then she has become a family friend and I look forward to many dinner dates with her and her husband.  (she has, thank the Lord, moved to the town right beside ours)

This book made it into my hands at just the right time.  In the world wind that we are currently in, it has been a blessing to have this book to escape to the front porch with. Her stories resonate with me, through her words I can hear and see her smile. Every time I pick the book up to read I feel as if I am getting my own personal therapy session with the one and only Laura A. Barclay. "All of us struggle with a desire to belong, and the only thing that can soothe it is to love one another in community. This means not hiding our struggles but sharing the burden so that it is easier to bear." (pg 40)
 




Tuesday, June 17, 2014

June

It has been hard for me to slow down. A million things fill my brain and I find myself restless. Summer is always a busy time for us, lots of traveling and church work. But there are times that we find ourselves in the peace and quite of home with one another, and those moments usually give me the rest that I need to continue on in our busy schedule of parenthood and ministry. However, I have been having trouble turning off on those days of leisure. The tension inside of me has been unbearable. I've taken to running more often, but even that has not seemed to work the magic that it usually does.

This past Sunday i was so frazzled, having struggled to get the kids and myself up and ready for church knowing that I was to be the deacon stand in, that I almost ran over a man. As I was backing out of my driveway, the kids screaming in the back seat, a man ran by the car and smashed onto the windshield. I stopped, in shock, but he continued on his lovely Sunday morning run as if nothing had happened.  To the kids: "this is why you both need to be quiet while I am driving. I ALMOST KILLED A MAN."

Summer with the kids is fun, extremely fun, but oh so exhausting. At 6 and almost 9 these two have an insane amount of energy.
our redneck wonderland
Roger and I do our best to keep the kids outside and active during the summer months.

We realize these are the golden years of parenthood . . . or something like that . .  and we are doing our best to suck the goodness out of everyday.





These kids, they are too smart for their own good and Anna, let me tell you about Anna, that child has a wicked good sense of humor.  That girl is HILARIOUS. And Paul, well, that child thinks WAY TOO MUCH for a 3rd grader. The child refuses to go in the kid section of the library. He insists that he choose something from the history section.  And can you believe that he actually READS the books all the way through AND remembers everything that he has read?  Yep, he gets that from his father, not his mother.

Last night I met some lovely women for prayer. For about a month now a few women from the church have been gathering together on Monday evening to pray. It is a time for us women to get together to share the joys and burdens of our day to day lives and to pray. No bible study. Just time spent together in prayer. Last night I went even though I felt dry and numb. It has been hard for me to pick up scripture or to even pray. I'm pretty sure that is where my restlessness in coming from. It's my inability to spend some much needed time with the one who made me from mud.

After prayer and conversation I headed back home with a beautiful sunset to gaze at. It was stunning... and peaceful . . . and all together heavenly.

That drive home was a worship experience. A worship experience that my soul has been longing for. The honeysuckles, the cows, the corn, the horses, the country road, and the lovely breeze. It  was all a reset button on life that I so desperately needed.

This morning the scripture reading in my devotional was Revelation 21: 14-27. Yes, I was finally able to read scripture. I read those verses with awe, remembering the simple pleasure  I had the night before on that long curvy country road. When speaking of his vision of heaven the author of revelation writes. "The city had no need of the sun or the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light"

The beautiful setting sun that forced me stop my car to enjoy its splendor, is nothing compared to what the author of Revelation saw when he was given a glimpse of heaven.  The thought of that has humbled me and inspired me and given me peace today. 

When I am overwhelmed with internal tension I must remember that I need God and that most often I reconnect with Him/Her on long stretches of country roads.

 




Monday, June 9, 2014

Head Lice

Last night Roger and I were sitting on the couch after a long but fulfilling day, it was about 10:30pm, we had just finished binge watching a comedy show and were on the verge of heading to bed.  Anna emerged from her room scratching her head and talking nonsense. I gave a little giggle, "she must be sleep walking," and carried her back to bed. About 5 minutes later she walked through the living room scratching her head with both hands and headed towards the bathroom. That's when my heart dropped. "Oh my gosh Roger, I think she might have head lice."

What you need to know about me is that I always jump to the worst possible scenario. I figure if I jump to the worst I will be prepared. For example, if someone comes knocking on our door at 11pm at night, unexpected, when I open the door I ask "who died."  I guess it comes with being a pastors wife, it seems as if any unexpected phone call or house visit consists of a complaint or some tragic life/death thing. It comes with the territory I guess.

So, back to the head lice. Roger rolled his eyes at me, told me to calm down, and got a good laugh out of my insisting that Anna was in fact infested with head lice.

On her way back from the bathroom to her room I tackled her and began searching through her hair like a momma monkey.

HEAD LICE.

I threw Anna in the bath and began washing her hair and yelling to Roger for help.

Convinced that I was a complete lunatic, Roger calmly walked into the bathroom rolling his eyes and doing his whole pastoral care thing that he does with crazy hysterical irrational people. Being one of THOSE people, he brought out his handy dandy smart phones and googled head lice. Yep, it was head lice.  Roger started flipping out and yelling "call my mom.  AAAHHHHH" 

As I attempted to get Roger's mom on the phone he headed to the store to get a lice treatment kit. After several calls in which the answering machine picked up I switched my plan and started calling my mom. My brother answered the phone, "she's asleep. Is this an emergency?"   "YESSSSSS!"    Mom came to the phone. "Listen mom, no one is dead, but anna has head lice. WHAT DO I DO?"  My breathing became shallow as she described all the tasks that one must undertake to rid the house of the dreaded head lice. It was at this point that I began to hate all the people who have parents that live close, ours live 2hrs away.  Aren't the grandparents suppose to come over and help with this kind of stuff?  

When Roger got home we had a brief team meeting. "ok, we can do this. lets do this." We sat for over an hour on the floor in front of the tv plucking lice out of Anna's hair with the lice brush. We washed bed clothes and clothes, we vacuumed everything, we bagged up stuff we couldn't wash and took it out, and we ate cupcakes. Because that's what you do when life gets nutts, you eat cupcakes and 3am."hey Rog, you know those God hates fags people? We should call them and let them know that God doesn't hate fags, he hates us."

So far today Anna seems to be lice free. It says on the box to keep checking her and to possibly do the treatment over again in a week. "Please Lord let them be gone forever."

I have no clue where she got lice, but I do know it is a pretty common thing for kids to get. I was just hoping we would be lucky enough to never have to got through what we went through last night.

 Naturally I dreamed of lice all night and checked Anna's hair first thing this morning. No Lice!

Parenthood, right when I think I got this gig down pat I'm kicked in the ass.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

SUMMER


You all, it is OFFICIALLY summer break!
The view of our back yard through the windows of the master bedroom.

The kids had their last day of school today.
photo before heading to school for their last day

Anna is now a 1st grader and Paul is now a 3rd grader.
 That. IS. Crazy.

Anna's kindergarten graduation.


 Here's a video of the kindergarten class singing the fight song at the end of their graduation ceremony. Yes, they indoctrinate them with Panther pride even at a young age. But you must admit it is pretty cute, especially that little guy in the front with the bow tie and glasses. Oh my gosh he was cracking me up the entire time. 
Paul's 2nd grade awards ceremony.
Paul with his 2nd grade teacher Mrs. Watts.


Where has time gone?
Paul's 1st day of preschool


Anna's first day of preschool

Oh these kids, they crack me up and drive me crazy.  Summer should be a BLAST. . .  and utterly exhausting. These kids, they talk NONSTOP and have an insane amount of energy. I swear I get plenty of sleep and pop a multivitamin everyday, but I still can not manage to keep up with them.

Oh boy.

Happy summer break you all!!!

 




























Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Pacemaker Checkup

Today was my office visit with Dr. Christopher Johnsrude. 

He's the doc that is in charge of my pacemaker.

You see, I actually have 2 cardiologists.

Dr. Keller focuses on the actual functioning and structure of my heart.
the doc and I in March 2014


 Dr. Johnsrude tends to the electrical system that has been added to help my heart function.

I know!  Technology is so cool.

 Every 3 months I am seeing 1 of the 2 cardiologists.

Today was the day to get the old pacemaker checked.

The pacemaker likes to act up every now and again so Dr. Johnsrude and his team have had a good ol' time managing this hunk of medal that has been strategically placed in the left side of my chest.

The drive up to Louisville this morning was lovely. 
When I was a wee little girl the drive to see the cardiologist was a whole day affair. At that time we lived 3hrs away from my pacemaker specialist and 2 hrs away from the heart function specialist. 

But since then I have married and moved closer, by the act of God, to both of my cardiologists.  Going in for checkups every 3 months isn't that big of an adventure anymore. 

And, on top of that, if I ever need to go to the ER I simply drive up to the hospital that already has all my information. 

 It's pretty perfect!!   

They know me, my docs, my medical history, and I am sent on back in a flash.

Today was my first checkup since making it to the milestone of  30years old.

I AM 30!!!!!!!!

Saying that out loud puts a smile on my face every time.

I have been so bubbly lately that I'm even pissing myself off.

You know those people that are just happy all the time and joyful in every situation, to the point of absolute annoyance?   

Yep

I have been like that this past month.

I want to skip everywhere I go and show off my coffee stained 30 year old teeth by smiling until my face hurts.

Today's visit was celebratory. This lovely team of people have helped me to see 30.

my pacemaker tech holding up 30, me, my pacemaker doc, and my cardio nurse



They, along with Dr. Bradley Keller, have helped me to birth 2 children and to have the energy to thoroughly enjoy those 2 children.

age 6 and 8

The song Girls Chase Boys by Ingrid Michaelson has me dancing around lately.
I love specific lyrics throughout the song that I have made to be my little 30yr old anthem.
Here are the lyrics that I have plucked from it to give the song a whole new meaning for me.

"All the broken hearts in the world still beat
Let's not make it harder than it has to be"

" I'm a little let down but I'm not dead
There's a little bit more that has to be said"

" I got two hands, one beating heart
And I'll be alright
I'm gonna be alright
Yeah I got two hands, one beating heart
And I'll be alright
I'm gonna be alright"

Here is a link to the song if you would like to take a listen.  But you have to promise to dance if you click on it.





In regards to the pacemaker checkup, all seems to be well and I am set back to see the team again in 6 months.



(click here if you are interested in knowing a bit about my heart condition and the reconstructive procedure I had at 3months of age)



Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Tuesday's History Lesson with Brenda

Oh you all, my summer break is here!

Yesterday I emailed in my last term paper.

Good God Almighty, it took me forever to get up the will power to type that thing out. I just did NOT want to sit down to type out any kind of paper. I had gotten to the point of no return that takes place at the end of the semester.

I was burned out.

Done.

As soon as I emailed my paper to the professor I headed to lunch with the lovely Brenda, her gran-daughter Jillian , and my 2 children. 

 We were on a mission to explore an old farm in Glendale so we opted for the Whistle Stop for lunch. Over lunch Brenda shared stories of her time growing up in such an adorable Kentucky town.

Nope, I'm not going to tell you her stories.  You'll have to get them straight from the source.  That's the fun part of the stories, that they're from Brenda.  That woman needs to be on Broadway.

The farm we explored is owned by relatives of Brenda's so we weren't EXACTLY trespassing.

The house pre-dates the Civil War and has been passed on through the family for generations.

The kids and I followed Brenda around the old homestead as she introduced us to her relatives through the stories passed down from generation to generation. Oh, and to the actual relative that stopped by on the four-wheeler to see who in the world was poking around his old farm house.

Jilly and Anna were more interested in chasing each other than listening to history. But Paul, now that child LOVED listening to Brenda's wild stories of Generals and Indians . . . and ghost dogs.





The house is incredible!

And MASSIVE.

Family members are currently in the process of restoring it, which I think is fantastic . . . and a LOT of work.


Paul said his favorite part was the 30 foot hand dug, stone lined, well. There's no doubt this was dug by the slaves that lived on the plantation.
Brenda said there used to be a gazebo around the well that the family members would spend their Sunday afternoons around. "They'd just sit here sipping cold water from the well, talking the Sunday away."


Yesterday was beautiful! 


 I am in love with this bluegrass state


Monday, May 19, 2014

Oh Dear God will this semester EVER end?

Oh Dear God will this semester EVER end?

I am currently taking a break from typing my last term project.

It is excruciating.

I, no kidding, broke down into tears this morning and started throwing the F-bomb around because I am THAT done with grad school.

I need a break. 

Well, technically I DID have a break.

Roger and I got back from our week in Manhattan this past friday.

It was wonderfully enchanting

.

We were there to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary.

And boy did we celebrate!


Most of the days were spent meandering around the city taking in the energy, meeting people and taking the time to hear their stories, and eating at random spots that appealed to us at the time.






We stayed at a house on 19th Street in the Gramercy Park Area that is owned by Mennonite Missionaries. The house includes office space for the missionaries and living quarters for the missionaries, as well has rooms that can be rented out to guests visiting New York City. We shared the kitchen, bathroom, and living room with the missionaries and the other 2 guests, but had a private room. 





reading in the living room


Knowing that we were going to New York City in May, for Christmas Roger bought me tickets to see Wicked on Broadway . . .  ON BROADWAY!!!



Yep.  It was AMAZING!!!!

But alas, we are back to the real world of laundry, yard work, child rearing, and oh for crying out loud, PAPER WRITING.

I do not want to do it.

It is due today.

I have put off doing it until the last possible moment because I am sooooooo insanely burnt out. My brain can NOT take any more learning. . .  or thinking.   

I want to read something stupid.  I want to have a mindless conversation with someone.  I want to sit on the back porch drinking too much wine, laughing at the hilarity of these crazy squirrels that have taken over our back yard. 

I want to do ANYTHING besides this term paper.

A part of be just wants to email the professor and be like "sorry dude, I'm not doing it. Give me whatever grade. I don't care."

But alas, I shall go back to writing this term paper because my husband is on my case about it.