Saturday, July 31, 2010

Saturday Reflections

My legs are sore.

My arms ache.

My head is pounding.

We've been getting the house ready for the grand OPEN HOUSE on sunday afternoon. That means we have had to make the house look as if a family with two small children has not been living here. There is nothing but a microwave sitting on our counter in the kitchen. The toys have all been bagged up. The house has been power washed and the garden has been tended to. The massive amount of laundry that accumulates in a week when you are a family of four, has been cleaned and put away. The children have been instructed to "pick up and put away" anything that they get out.

Tomorrow morning we will get up at 5:30am to get everyone ready for church in such a way as not to disturb the "no one lives here" look of the house.

I sat down to rest a bit before getting myself and the children ready for bed (early to bed early to rise makes a little family not be so mean during church). I am currently reading The Story of the Trapp Family Singers written by Maria Augusta Trapp. It is what the musical Sound of Music is based on. It is a beautiful story and is written very poetically. Her writing style reminds me of Thomas Merton's in the Seven Storey Mountain.

I came to chapter 11, which is on page 103 and read a beautiful paragraph about life. You know how you have those moments of awe when you are reading a book or listening to music, when you feel as if the author has examined your heart and written it on paper? I had when one those moments. This is what was written:

It will be very interesting one day to follow the pattern of our life as it is spread out like a beautiful tapestry. As long as we live here we see only the reverse side of the weaving, and very often the pattern, with its threads running wildly, doesn't seem to make sense. Some day, however, we shall understand. In looking back over the years we can discover how a red thread goes through the pattern of our life: the Will of God.

I just might hang that quote up on the wall of our new home!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Paul Turns 5 years old

Paul turned 5 years old today. I can't help but be a little sad and happy at the same time. I mean, holy crap I have a 5 year old!!! How did he get so big so fast?

When I was pregnant with Paul my husband and I were still in college. I was miserable. I had to work two part time jobs and take 18 hours while I was in my first trimester. I thought I was going to die. I had an 8am life time fitness class followed by working the lunch rush at a local coffee shop. YUCK. On top of that I had stupid recrutment stuff to do with my sorority. I was pretty misrable and I swear I puked in every toilet on that campus. I think I even puked in the grass once on my way to the library.

As my belly got bigger I found it hard to waddle to class with a backpack on and squeeze into the tiny seats. One day in my English class I fell asleep. The professor kicked me. I started to cry and said "i can't believe you kicked me." He was and still is a jerk.

However, there were awesome professors that understood the situation and gave me a little more time to complete stuff. Dr. Redditt, after he had to wake me up because the class had left and I was asleep in the chair, told me he wouldn't count me absent if I couldn't make it to class. Another professor let be sit with a trash can beside my desk!! YAY

Since we lived on campus we stayed there during the summer. I loved those summers! The WHOLE campus was ours!!!

On July 24th 2005 around 7pm in the evening I decided to take a walk around the college campus. I walked until I couldn't stand the heat anymore and then I went into the chapel and walked around until I was too tired to stand. I wanted the baby OUT. It was hot. I was big. Class was going to be starting back soon. He needed to come out...NOW

On the way back to the house we stopped by the PHA house where Rob Clifton was living during the summer. He let us borrow a movie...Big Fish.

All through the movie I was feeling contractions. By the end of the movie I said "yep, that was a BIG one." So, we packed our bags, took showers and headed to central baptist hospital.

They didn't want me to push too long because of my heart condition. They put a oxygen mask on me and said "ok, you have 30 min. If the baby isn't out in 30min then I would advice you to go in for a csection. you could put your life and the babies life in danger if you don't"

I pushed and prayed and pushed and prayed and PUSHED AND PRAYED!!!

He came out in about 25 min!!! He was born July 25th at 11:59pm weighing 6ib 12oz. I couldn't stop talking to him. I just talked to him and kissed him and talked to him some more. He was beautiful!!! I couldn't believe that I had been given a baby. My own little baby boy! It was such a holy moment. All I could think was "I get to take him home and play with him and cuddle with him as much as I want! he is my baby. I have a baby! I'm a mommy!!"

While I talked he kept this funny little look on his face. It was almost like "hey, I've heard that voice before! But you look kinda funny. are you my mommy? I can't see ya too well"

We were worried for a while because he hadn't had a bowl movement. But then in the middle of the night he had a BIG one. The first bowl movement is just so nasty. poor little guy. welcome to the world!

Having a baby in college had it's share of challenges. First of all, class started back 3 weeks after I had given birth. Waddling to class after a vaginal delivery is a bit painful. Sitting in those hard seats was almost unbearable. Trying to study was horrible. It was a constant battle to get anything done. But I wouldn't have had it any other way. We really had a lot of fun...most of the time. You just adapt to the blessings that are before you! This is a picture of me studying Latin while I fed Paul dinner.
Roger typing a paper with Paul "helping."

In the library while I did some research for class.Roger was trying to write a research paper but Paul kept wanting to rip the pages out of the books.
When he started getting into things and the studying became even more challenging. we had to take turns going to the library. But there were times when we both had to do research and had to lug Paul along with us. We didn't have the internet and we only had one computer. I feel strongly that I was a better student after I had Paul. He really put me on a schedule! I took advantage of all the "free time" I had to study.

When we needed to do some things around campus or meet with professors, Paul went with us! He was our little mascot! He loved all the attention. He still talks about how much he loves the college and that one day when he is big he is going to go there and be a PHA. I sure hope he does!

I was a psychology major so one of my professors asked me to bring Paul to the child development class to teach us all about how to test the development of babies. It was so much fun!!Once he learned to walk we were in a whole new ball game. He was so proud and wanted to explore EVERYTHING. Those were very interesting months trying to baby proof all over again. "oh no he can reach that. move it move it move it. quick."

We took a family trip to the mall to get him his first shoes!! Little Buster Browns. He was so excited. I was excited and a bit nervous. "Oh boy, Now how am I going to study?"

After class Roger worked at a local coffee shop. We only had one car so I had to drive over to pick him up at midnight....with Paul. Paul would always insist that he help his daddy sweep up.
Even at a young age he was a super hero!
I tried my best to enjoy college life. That meant taking Paul (everyone called him baby paul) to parties. WE just had fun with it! This is a picture of my sorority's welcome back party. It was an 80's party. We dressed paul in a shirtless vest and spiked his hair. I thought he looked so rocking! He danced with all the lovely ladies! Such a flirt! Look how adorable with the little babies

When I graduated I felt like Paul was graduating college with me! Here is his graduation picture. It was such a happy time! There were several nights were I screamed and cried "I quit!" But we did it. We got a BA in psychology in only 5 super long years!Not long after I graduated I started itching for another baby. I know. I am a nut. Once again that first trimester was misrable. Paul had just turned 2 and had a massive amount of energy. As you can tell from this picture, he had way more energy than I did. Throwing up and taking care of a hyper 2 year old is not something I plan on ever doing again. However, Paul was really excited that I had a baby in my belly and would talk to little Anna all the time. He was amazed when I told him that he lived in my belly once. He was even more amazed when he felt Anna kick his hand for the first time!! It was so neat being able to experience a pregnancy with my curious little 2 year old paul.

When I was 6 months pregnant I woke up with blood all over the place. After rushing to the hospital, being informed my placenta had abrupted and that there was a good chance I could lose the baby, I was put on bed rest. I wasn't even allowed to stand up. Most of the time I had to stay in the bed with my feet up. I was able to go out of the hospital a couple of times but only in a wheel chair. It was really rounf being away from paul for 3 months. He would come visit me! While he was there he was ready to show his super hero powers and take care of me and the baby. He was so sweet!
In May of 2008 Anna was taken by emergency c-section after her heart beat was lost on the monitor. Everyone was scared. WE found out later that the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck and was choking her. If I hadn't been in the hospital being monitored, because of the placenta abruption, I would have lost little Anna. God works in mysterious ways.
Paul fell in love with Anna at first sight. He is a great big brother. Anna bugs the crap out of him sometimes but he really is pretty patient with her. They both ask for each other first thing in the morning. They are little buddies.

A couple of months after Anna was born, Paul turned 3! At that time he was all about being a skate board dude. This was his birthday present from us. We even took him to the local skate park where he sat on his little skate board and pretended he was a skate board dude.

The age of 4 was an interesting age. He was still hyper but even smarter. He kept me on my toes the whole 4th year.
He is such a lovable, kind hearted, imaginative little boy.

When Paul was in my belly I started a little journal for him. I wrote him letters "dear Paul, I can feel you kicking. love mom." I still to this day write him letters in that journal. Anytime he does something funny, says something that melts my heart, I write him a letter. I do the same for Anna. It is always a great way to spend mother's day...just reading through the old memories. Paul knows I have a journal for him but he knows he wont be able to read it until he is fully grown. Maybe I'll give it to him for his high school graduation or maybe college. I haven't decided.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Little Momma's Pitty Party

I'm on the verge of a pitty party. I get this way when I am tired and overwhelmed. I assume most people feel the need to have a pitty party before they have an emotional melt down. No? well, then you're weird.

This morning I sat on my porch swing with a mug of hot tea and my minister. So what does it matter that I am married to my minister. He is still my minister even though he is my husband. I needed ministering to, so my minister husband flipped into minister mode and sat completely quiet in the seat beside me while I complained.

I feel that it is good to just get the complaining out. I don't really need anyone to respond. I just need someone to listen to my rant. And boy oh boy did I rant.

Mainly I am exhausted. I feel over worked at the moment. If I could just have a day to chill out, be alone, not wipe anyone's butt or teach anyone how to "treat others kindly", I think I would be fine. I just don't really see that day.

We have so much stuff to do to get this house sell ready. Paul's birthday is this sunday and I am sad to admit I almost forgot and still have yet to make birthday party plans. It might have to be an august party.

We have an open house on Aug 1.

My brother's wedding is coming up.

Seminary is getting ready to start for Roger which means even more late nights alone with two children.

I am not going to be able to go back to seminary until he is finished......not sure how I feel about that just yet. part of me is ok with not having the extra stress of class and part of me is upset that I am always bending over backwards. I really love going to school. I enjoy learning and getting a break from being a full time mommy.

The kids have been great. They are just kids and kids are exhausting because they are on the go ALL THE TIME and they insist that you watch them while they are on the go ALL THE TIME. "hey mom watch this!" My energy runs low. I dream about how awesome it would be to have family near by to call up and say "hummm, I'm exhausted and Anna is driving me nutts. can they come over and play for an hour while I take a breather?" I just need to move my mawmal to whatever town I am living in. Everyone should have a mawmal!

Life just feels a bit out of sorts at the moment. I guess because it is out of sorts. But really, when has our lives been in sorts. Hummm never. Let me rephrase. I am personally a bit out of sorts at the moment. Life is pretty normal.

I am dreading the yard sale thing. I don't want to. don't make me.

I'm dreading the open house. preparing for an open house makes me want to vomit.

I want to run away to an island and come out when everything is complete. I'm just not a good runner. But I can walk there!!!

I'm just tired and want to enjoy being lazy with a good book and some tea. I would rather not power wash the house, paint the porch, fix the gutters, prepare for a yard sale, make countless trips to the thrift store and pack boxes all while lugging two small children who enjoy complaining about any and everything.

all I am saying is that I better be able to get a peanut butter milkshake when this is all over with and that I am demanding that beautiful daisies be planted in my new yard!

Monday, July 19, 2010

After Church Adventure

yesterday after church Roger had to go on a home visit. what to do with the kids and I? I thought it was a great opportunity to check out the towne mall's play area. So, roger dropped us off at the mall while he headed out to visit.

First thing first. I needed to change out of my church clothes. I didn't want to go to the bathroom to change (yuck) so we parked at the end of the parking lot for me to change. I got the pants on alright but then I needed to take the dress off. I looked around, saw no one, pulled the dress off to throw my shirt on. Oh crap...there is someone in the car beside me.....oh crap....there is someone in the car right in front of me. Oh well, now they know what my bra looks like. well, crap. oh well. I'm too tired to care.

When we got in the play thing anna immediately started introducing herself to the children by pulling a little girls hair. I did the "tell her sorry, give her a hug, go sit in time out. I'm so sorry about that" thing. The parents seemed to laugh it off. However, Anna, after every timeout session went back to her old ways. Every child, this is not an exageration, in the play area had either been pinched, slapped or had their hair pulled by my child. The parents started giving me the stink eye. I was feeling pretty horrible. I wanted to just get out of there. They wanted me to get out of there too. :) That is when I noticed my cell phone battery was dead. I couldn't leave the play area because when Roger got back from the visit he would have no clue where I was.

There I sat for what seemed like FOREVER, dealing with Anna's naughty behavior, while getting the stink eye from every parent there.

Then this nice Pentecostal woman came in with all her children. I thought "oh boy. here comes another stink eye." Sure enough, Anna pulled the cute little pentecostal girls hair. There was a LOT of hair to pull and she just could NOT resist. The mother, who was sitting right beside me, said "honey, don't worry about it. she is just at that age. just wait a little bit and she'll grow out of it." Then we had a nice little conversation about motherhood. It helped ease the "oh my gosh is Roger EVER going to come back to pick us up" panic that I was about to go into.

When roger finally did show up I said in a very loud voice "well, thank the good good Lord. I gotta pee sooooooooo bad!!" Turns out, paul had to go to the bathroom as well. We decided to meet back at the fountain, in the middle of the mall, after the emergency potty break.

As I walked around the corner I could tell that Roger had had one heck of a time dealing with Anna. he just had that discouraged look on his face. I kinda giggled inside to tell you the truth. He pointed to the fountain. There at the bottom of the water were anna's socks. Roger was trying to figure out a way to get them. I said "hurry lets get out of here." We took off to the car. Anna screaming about her socks and Paul yelling that we needed to get his sister's socks. We were all completely exhausted.

We got home at 5pm, ate dinner, put the kids to bed and I stared at the wall until I fell asleep. WEW!!! Next time we will go to bed earlier on Saturday!!

Article about stay at home parents

I know this is a small article to read but really try. This is the best thing I have read in a while. It is an ann lander's kinda column that a woman wrote in to ask about if her friend, that is a stay at home mother, is not being truthful with her about how hard it is to be a mother. The woman is mad that her friend seems too busy to spend time with her or call her. Just read the woman's question and the column writer's response. I am saying AMEN!!! It is the best little description of how it sometimes feels to deal with "friends" that don't understand or aren't willing to understand the demands of parenthood. It's sad, but I've pretty much done away with even trying to deal with the "friends" who aren't willing to even try to understand and work around my children. I cherish the friends that do understand and actually help with the kids when they are around. They mean the world to me!!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010


If you haven't already figured it out by now let me express to you how much we enjoy being around friends. We are always having impromptu get-togethers with someone, somewhere. Roger and I both love and adore the friendships that we have. The key to great friendships, for me, is the spontaneous "hey we just decided to do something just now and thought you all would love to come." So, any time we all get together it is a very quick process. One person calls another and then the phone chain begins.

This weekend we are having some close friends to my parent's house to have a "chill out" session. We are all in the midst of something that is changing. Two are currently in the Patterson School for Diplomacy, one is in Law School, one is in seminary with Roger and other is at a job she currently hates and feels is a waste of her masters degree. I am currently exhausted from taking care of two small children and trying to sell a house.

We are going to get together, chill out, do some hiking, hang out some more, complain to one another, cheer one another up and then head off early on sunday for church!

The last time Roger and I went hiking with friends was when I had just given birth to Anna. After almost losing my precious baby after my placenta abrupted and being put on bedrest for 3 months, I was totally ready for a hike when they called us up and said "hey, want to go camping and hiking!" It was a bit of a push since I had just had a c-section and hadn't really taken a walk since I was 6 months pregnant. But the camping/hiking trip was a blast. It was also a way to prove to ourselves that we can STILL do crazy, impromptu things with small children!

So, needless to say, I am terribly excited to see our friends!!! It is a true blessing to have them! It makes the rough parts of life more barable.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I have a major flaw in me that I must confess. I'm hoping that if I make it public by writing a blog about it that I will be able to just let it go.

Here it goes. When someone hurts me emotionally I have a horrible time with forgetting it. It just sits there in my mind and plagues me. All I can think about for years after is "poor me. poor little Jessica. they were so mean to me." I really need to stop that. A woman who heard I was going to seminary once said "well, that just aint biblical." I disagree with her on that but I can apply that to the way I hold onto hurt feelings.

Here is the story that has been plaguing me since college. I have confessed to several of my friends and family but I just feel the need to confess on the world wide web.

I got married young. I had just turned 20 nine days before my wedding. It was the summer after my sophomore year. It only took me a small 6 months to get pregnant. I was, after the initial shock of being pregnant in college, so incredibly excited. Being in a sorority when ever anyone gets engaged they have a candle light. Everyone stands in a circle, with the lights off, passes a lit candle around 3 times and then the person that is engaged, announces their engagement by blowing out the candle when it gets to them. I blew out the candle. Everyone was confused. I was already married. Then I let them all know my big news..."I'm pregnant!"

And that is the day many of my friendships disappeared. Not all of them. And I am thankful for those you stuck with me. VERY VERY VERY VERY thankful to them! But several of them just disappeared.

I tried very hard after that to connect with my "friends" but there was always this strange something fogging communication. At one point I went in the bathroom and cried very hard when the sorority told me they would fine me for not showing up to set up for rush when I told them "I am having horrible morning sickness and I am exhausted. Can you just let me sit this one out?"

When Paul was 3 months old the whole sorority decided to go on a sisterhood retreat in the mountains. We all rented a big cabin and stayed there together. The problem was that my husband had to work that weekend and I was still having the new mom "I can't travel with a baby" thing going on. But I found out one of the girls who kinda faded away, friendship wise, was planning on going and I thought several hours in the car and a weekend at a cabin, would be a great way to work on our friendship. She agreed to carpool to the mountains with me, even came over to watch me get the car packed with an ungodly amount of baby stuff. But then at the last minute, as we were getting ready to pull out of the drive, she decided she didn't want to ride with me. Another girl, Kendell, whom I am so thankful for. Carpooled with me and helped me with Paul the whole weekend and the rest of my college years!

When we got to the cabin the same thing happened again. All the girls decided they wanted to go shopping. I had a baby and NO MONEY so I was going to stay back at the cabin. The friend that I was trying to work on our friendship was there and had told me that she was going to stay at the cabin to work on some work. I was going to stay with her and work on some of my homework as well. Then at the last minute she decided she wanted to go shopping. We both packed up. I packed up the baby and a stroller. She climbed into the backseat with the baby and then said "hummm never mind. I'm going to ride with Steph."

The whole shopping with a bunch of girls and a baby that no one seemed to like, was horrible. I was left outside the stores, with the stroller, to hold everyone's stuff. The bag girl!

On the way back to the cabin we all (the whole sorority) stopped to eat at the big Apple Barn. They decided to take a group picture in front of the gazebo. They didn't want "the baby" in the picture. I stood off to the side, holding little Paul and watched as they took a group shot. When we sat down I tried to sit with the so called "friend" but once again she wanted to sit with someone else. When I finally got seated at a table one of the girls said "oh shit. do i have to sit by THAT BABY."

Needless to say I came home from the retreat completely pissed off and incredibly hurt.I later went alum so I didn't have to deal with all the crap any longer. And that "friend" that I tried so hard to get back in touch with. Well, I just kept working on it and finally, just several months ago, I kinda gave up. I'm tired of working on a relationship that doesn't really exist. I need to focus more of my attention on relationships that I do have.

The next year of college Roger was voted "Alpha Gam man of the year." He was the sorority guy! When it came time to get the pictures made for the composite the girls that were working on getting everyone set up, announced to the whole campus basically, that the reason why he was "made alpha gam man is because he got an AGD knocked up." How incredibly hurtful that was.

See, these are small little things that I should just forgive and forget. They have nothing to do with my current happiness. I am blessed with a beautiful little family and I MADE IT THROUGH COLLEGE! But I can't. I was so hurt. Here I was a young married woman excited about being pregnant, starting a family, sharing my life with my "friends." Then I was abandoned, alienated, made to feel like my child was an "it" and was not welcome.

The beautiful thing about all of this is that I was able to get really close to several guys in my husband's fraternity. You always hear about how great girls are at nurturing but let me tell you from experience, guys are way better. They helped take care of Paul and I. Played with him! Babysat him! Took him for boxer runs around campus. Made sure there was space for all of us at the table in the caf. They even put him in their composite picture as "house baby." They all stepped up to help. To be a part of our lives when we most needed someone. Still to this day they are uncle figures to both of our children. Paul calls them his "bestessss friends in the whole world." Anna thinks they are all hilarious and gets really excited when they come over.

I need to focus on the positive. There are a LOT of positive things in my life. A lot of fantastic people. But I have a horrible time at that. My brain can only think negative things towards certain people that treated me horribly. So, this is my letting go. I am throwing it into the space of the internet and letting it go. I am forgiving right now. I am going to try to forget. Paul is going to be 5 years old this month and I want to start with new. This has been on my mind way too long. There is no point in it festering in there any longer. So what they never said sorry or really thought they were doing anything wrong. I am still going to forgive. That is the hard part of forgiveness is forgiving someone who really never knew they hurt you.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


I can't not write a blog about the amazing things that have been happening in our lives.
Sometimes God speaks to you in subtle ways and sometimes God just throws blessings at ya. The throwing of blessings has been taking place. It is hard to really describe other than I have this incredible peace. A peace that I have never really had before. Here I am left alone with two
small children while my husband works as senior minister of a new church, in a new town. Here I sit until our current house sells, in our old town. Here I sit until our new house, in our new town, is complete. Here I sit alone. utterly alone. with no family around. yet, here I sit in peace. Here I sit in the most relaxed state I have ever been in. Here I sit in utter bliss.

Lauren Winner writes in her book Mudhouse Sabbath about what it means to be the church and I feel it describes, in a beautiful way, the church family that we have been welcomed into "....because it is part of what the church is suppose to be: a community of people practicing hospitality" (pg 43).

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Water Park adventure

What do mothers do that stay at home to raise their children? I know you are so curious aren't you. Well, when it is HOT outside we pack a picnic lunch and take our children to the pool. That is exactly what we do!

Getting ready to eat their picnic lunch
Paul enjoyed playing pirate Paul the WHOLE time. He even had me play the veggie tale song "the pirates that don't so anything" the WHOLE way to the pool.

This is the pirate ship that Paul and his little friends played in the entire time. Anna even slid down this slide with me over and over and over and over and over and over and over and OVERRRR again. The child never stops.

Here is a picture of all the little ones catching a gator! They played so well together and we are most likely going to do this again and again and again and again. :)

When we got home we took showers, naps and then had dinner outside. THE END