Friday, December 30, 2011

How Lucky We Are

I am exhausted.
It has been a long time since I have had to function on so little sleep.
Roger and I got to the hotel room 4am our time,  3am Nashville, Tn time.

The Zac Brown Band concert was great!
I loved the energy of the big venue. 
I have never before experienced that. I have always wanted to attend a big concert but people have always discouraged me, saying that I wouldn't like it, that the performer would look like an ant and that the concert goers would annoy me. Basically everyone has always told me that I would have a miserable time. In fact, when Roger gave me the tickets for Christmas he even said "now you'll finally learn how absolutely misrable attending a concert in an arena is."

I ended up loving all the things that everyone told me that I would hate.
I knew I would!

The concert made for some WONDERFUL people watching and I LOVE to people watch!
The people behind us were wasted before they even got in their seats. They were a bit younger than us and VERY loud. They yelled out "WOW!" (in a really funny voice) all through the concert when the lights changed and "oh shit, oh shit",  exchanging friendly punches, anytime the band started singing one of their favorite songs.  They danced the ENTIRE time. At one point they started discussing the solo cups that their beer came in and decided to collect the cups and take them home "these cups look sturdy enough for the dish washer. Hey and they look like GREAT cups for beer pong!"

To me, the drunk country dudes were all part of the experience, and I was eating it up.  
I laughed sooooo hard.
I'm not quite sure Roger thought the same.

In the stand right below us stood 3 young guys dressed in jeans, plaid shirts and baseball caps. They too danced all......night......long. They kept getting so excited that they would exchange hugs 
with one another and high five each other after each hug. They reminded Roger and I of our friends Nathan, Colt and Justin.  At the end of the concert the three guys decided to hug any and everyone that they could reach. This also included the event staff that they managed to chase down.

singing along

trying to chase down the event staff

she wasn't really that into getting hugged

For some reason some strange rapper dude came out on the stage with the Zac Brown Band (it was really weird), all three of the guys stood completely still, saying "what the hell is THAT."   
Roger and I had a blast watching the 3 dudes stop dancing and exchange awkward glances amongst each other.
"hey Rog, the country boys don't like the rap."

The warmth of the concert made me feel as if I were at an old fashioned front porch picking.......with THOUSANDS of people packet on the front porch.  

Once the concert was over I was a bit nervous about the logistics of getting that many people out of the arena. It was packed. A sold out concert. 
Roger and I had to hold hands tightly to keep from being pushed apart by the sea of people heading towards the stairs and exits. I will admit that I got a tad bit panicked and started feeling a little claustrophobic.  But I ended up relaxing and thoroughly enjoy the experience of it all. 
It was amazing to see that many people in one area.

Once outside of the arena the sea of people completely filled up Broadway in downtown Nashville,Tn. 
It was incredible.
There were people all over the place.
The police, in anticipation of the concert being let out, had shut off the roads to traffic. 

Our good friends Amanda and Travis attended the concert as well.
In fact, before the concert began Amanda and I stood and waved at one another from across the arena.
"Hey can you see me?"
After the concert was over at 11pm we decided to meet up with Amanda and Travis for drinks at my new favorite place on Broadway, Layla's Bluegrass Hillbilly and Country Inn.

Earlier that day, way before the concert, Roger and I took to hopping in and out of each music venue, sampling music. We both fell in LOVE with the music that was played in Layla's.  
Me- "Roger THIS is the kind of music that I adore!  THIS!! THIS!!!  I LOVE THIS!!!!"
Roger- "Jessica, you need to stop telling people you like country music because what you really like is what they call roots music." 
Me- "WHAT?  ROOTS WHAT??   who cares. Let's dance!"

 In Nashville, as you might imagine, any place you walk into, at any hour of the day, on any day, has someone playing live music. As Amanda said at the end of our evening, as she stepped out of Layla's Bluegrass Hillbilly and Country Inn and onto Broadway "Welcome to Nashville!  Where dreams come to die."  
So many musicians fill all of those little stages and so few of them actually "make it."

Amanda and Travis were having their first night away from their 11 month old daughter. My duty was to make sure Amanda didn't try to sneak away with her phone to check on the baby "amanda, the baby is fine!  no need to call. If something were to happen I'm pretty sure your mom would call you. Now put that phone away and lets dance!"

On the drive to Nashville, Tn I wrote this in my journal
"Roger and I are on our way to Nashville, Tennessee! We are listening to the song January Wedding by Avett Brothers. The sun in shining vey brightly. I kinda feel like we are going on our honeymoon and our life is some sort of indie film. This moment is so beautiful. I want to package it up nicely and put it in my pocket. I am so in love with the man to my left. He gets me when no one else in the world does. I love sharing my existence with him!"

Roger surprised me with a hotel room in Nashville so we were able to stay out as late as we wanted and not worry about having to drive all the way back home. 
Roger -"Merry Christmas!"  
Me- "you are too sweet!  now that is pretty darn hot, getting me a hotel room for christmas, don't ya think?!?"

It is always so nice to have those long dates with my husband that extend for several days. 
When you are trying to raise a little family,  your relationship often times gets put on the back burner. These long dates away from the demands of child rearing are vital to our relationship. 
Keeping this marriage strong is one of the most important things to Roger and I. 

(I'm so appreciative to our parents for watching our children.)

This morning the hotel was having trouble with the water heater so we got a BIG discount on our stay and a FREEZING cold shower.  
But I'm tell ya, the cold shower was well worth the money that we saved.
I kinda feel like we cheated the system!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Country Songs That Make me Smile

So I am standing in my kitchen listening to my country station on Pandora, drinking a glass of wine.  It's another lonely friday night. 
Roger has to work late. 
Christmas Eve is tomorrow. 
The kids are super hyper. 
I am antsy for a date night.  
I'm tired of these friday nights full of sweat pants, old college tshirts and a bottle of wine.

I NEED a date night. 

Roger got me tickets to see The Zac Brown Band in Nashville Tn. 
I am so flipping excited. I'm excited about the concert.
 I'm excited about spending a WHOLE day exploring Nashville.
 I'm excited about being completely alone with Roger!!  
I'm excited that Roger is sucking it up and doing something I want to do for a change. 
That is so darn romantic don't ya think?!?!?

When we were dating I took Roger out on the family farm to enjoy a day full of 4 wheeler riding. He refused to get on the 4 wheeler, clamming that it smelt like cow poo, "well what do you expect it to smell like. Flowers. We ride it through a cow pasture." The day ended up being Roger sitting on the side lines while my brother and I rode. 

When we first got married Roger refused to let me listen to country music. When I say 'he refused to let me" what I mean to say is that any time he caught me listening to country music he would make fun of me to the point that I would turn it off.  For years I have had to sneak around to listen to it.

This past year things have changed.  I've pretty much let my whole self hang out. It's kinda my way of saying THIS is who I am so deal with it.  

it's been VERY refreshing! 

In the past year Roger has agreed to let me teach him how to ride the dirt bike, has agreed to one day in the future buy a small farm with me and has bought tickets for us to go see one of my new favorite country music bands in Nashville Tn.  Just a couple of weeks ago he even sang along with me to an Alan Jackson song in the car!!!!   This new husband that I have all of a sudden, seems so incredibly hot to me!  I can't keep my hands off of him!  My heart skips a beat when he walks in the door!   I feel like a giddy school girl whenever I am around him.  

I guess this is how he feels about me when I ask him to borrow one of his seminary books!?!?

Just for the heck of it, I have compiled a list of some of my favorite country songs. They are in no particular order.

This is what I do when I am antsy on a friday night!  i dance in my kitchen with a glass of wine, just waiting for my husband to get home so I can attack him with kisses! 

The little man - Alan Jackson

Fishin' In The Dark - Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (love love LOVE this one)

When you say nothing at all - Alison Krauss

You never even called me by my name - David Allen Coe

Forever and Ever Amen - Randy Travis

You Aint Woman Enough (to take my man) - Loretta Lynn

Marry Me - Dolly Parton

Different Kind of Fine - The Zac Brown Band   (this is my gym song! everyone has a gym song right?)

All your Life - The Band Perry

I Just Realized - Matt Wertz

Sunday, December 18, 2011

sharing an old journal entry from college

 Yesterday I was looking through some old journal entries from back when I was in college.
Now keep in mind that when I graduated from college in 2007 I had already been married for 3 years, had a 2 year old son and a job as an orderly at a state psychiatric hospital.
It was a CRAZY time in my life that I look back on now and feel that it made me a stronger person. 

I wrote this journal entry after a particularly hard day.
It was finals week of my senior year. ( fall semester 2006)

Yesterday my morning went like this. I got up about 7am took a shower. Got paul up and fed him and me breakfast. TRIED to fix my hair while Paul pulled on the hairdryer and screamed at my feet. Got him dressed. Got myself dressed. Then came the big fight. I had to put his shoes and jacket on. I placed his socks on then he pulled them off. I put them back on and he pulled them off again. That happened about 5times. I FINALLY got his shoes on. Then came the jacket fight. I put it on...he took it off. Then he ran down the hall screaming. So I gave up and just walked out the front door. He followed and I grabbed him fast and put on the jacket and zipped it up before he had a chance to take it off. I started putting him in the carseat and realized he had pooped (AHHHHHHH) I went back in the house and changed him. I got him back in the car and started driving to the daycare only to realize that I had forgotten my backpack. I went back to the house got my backpack and then finally dropped Paul off at daycare. I rushed to campus and ran to class. 

Today Roger had to take off work to watch a sick Paul
Our son has Rubelle and I have finals and major class projects on my mind. I am so tired.

When I got home for my lunch break between class I found Roger being so handsome and sweet,  cooking us beef stew for dinner!!! I then found mr paul in the bath soaking because of the rubelle.  I also found a surprise in there. He had pooped in the TUB. AHHHHHHH    So on my lunch break, between class, I had to clean poop out of the tub and then feed the baby.

On top of all that I have tons of research to do, finals to study for and what ever else gets thrown at me. Oh and I HAVE A JOB...yes I work, go to school and take care of a 1yr old. 

The other college kids have no clue how hard this is.  I am so tired of hearing them talk about how stressed out they are over finals.  I feel like yelling SHUT UP.  

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

We are nearing the end of the semester!

Welp folks, it is nearing the end of the school semester! Which means I am seeing a LOT of this.....

And this.......

The poor husband is completely worn out.
This is his last year of seminary and by far the hardest. 

The good news is that the kids are still thriving in this exhausting environment!

Paul is still enjoying sneaking around the house playing practical jokes and setting up booby trabs. A word of warning to those parents of young children who CAN NOT wait until their child is old enough to enjoy the movie Home Alone.  Be prepared for a Kevin in YOUR house.

Anna is still VERY talkative and a tad bit demanding of any and everyones time.
The child NEVER stops playing baby doll and restaurant.
Today we had to take the baby dolls with us to the fitness center.
It was quite adorable.

Meet my grandchildren!   Sarah and Sarah.

She LOVES the name sarah for some reason.

She refuses to let me take any pictures of her so this is all I got.

I however, am NOT thriving in this environment.  On most days there are seconds throughout that day that I feel like I could either explode, run away or find a corner to cry in.

I am emotionally drained.

The constant go go go go go and breaking up fights and little people in my face at all times of the day and night has been a LOT to deal with on top of the whole semester of seminary thing.

I look like utter CRAP on most days because I have NO chance to really get dressed.
It is a miracle that I even have clothes on.
As soon as i get out of the shower there is SOMEONE or SOMETHING needing my utmost attention....IMMEDIATELY.  

As I was taking out the trash before heading out to pick paul up from school Anna mentioned how funny I looked.

welp, I guess I do look pretty darn funny but at least you are clean, dressed and have a full belly!!!



Sunday, December 11, 2011

Anna's 7 days of Terror

The past 7 days have been pretty darn interesting in the Jasper House.

Anna Catherine is my ENERGY child. She goes and goes and goes and when she gets tired she goes even more in order to keep herself up.  
She is the child that tests my patience on a daily basis.
She is child that I believe God gave me to make me a more humble person.

On Tuesday evening while I was sitting in the living room, the kids playing in the bathtub, I kept hearing this sloshing sound. When I went into the bathroom to investigate I was startled by a bathroom COVERED in water. And I do mean COVERED. Anna was standing in the tub full of water with a BIG plastic cup in her hand. She was filling the cup with the bathwater and then sloshing the water ALL OVER the bathroom, soaking the floors, walls, the toilet and even the toilet paper. 

I was so tired by that point in the long day that I simply got her out of the tub, kicking and screaming, dressed her and made her help me clean up the mess.  Not saying a thing until I had calmed myself down enough to speak to her calmly.  

On Monday while I was unloading the groceries and making Anna lunch, she snuck off into the bathroom, filled the sink full of water and ripped off squares of toilet paper, one at a time, and mixed them into the sink, clogging the bathroom sink with a WHOLE ROLE of toilet paper. 

On Sunday morning, while Anna was eating breakfast, she informed me, matter of factly, without anger, that she wanted a new mommy. I told her that I would miss her terribly but that I understood if she felt she needed to live elsewhere. I opened the back door and wished her luck. She informed me that she couldn't leave just yet because she was in her underwear and asked if I could get her dressed.  
I did, pig tails and all.

I jumped in the shower while Anna and Paul played, thinking that her grand idea to find a new mother had ended. When I got out of the shower I heard a LOT of crashing sounds coming from the living room.
 I ran through the house soaking wet, in a towel, and THIS is what I found.

Anna was taking every toy out of her room and was "packing" them up. She even had her tooth brush, tooth paste and mouthwash packed..

Paul said he wasn't going to go with Anna because he thought I was "the best, most funniest mom in the whole entire world." He then folded up a little quilt that he made at Vacation Bible School, handed it to Anna and said "take this so you'll remember me. I want you to have it."

I was running a bit late for church (like always) so I rushed back to the bathroom to get ready. When I came back out to gather up the kids, Paul looked at me sadly as he carried a big bunch of his toys into the living room, "Mom, I've decided to go with Anna. She's my best friend. I can come visit you any time."

At church Anna asked Ms Carla if SHE would be her new mommy.

After church, when Carla left without Anna, Anna got REALLY upset. I calmed her down by saying "Anna, you have to go back home to get your stuff before you move out."
I was thinking that by the time we got home she would forget about the whole new mommy thing.

Well, she didn't.

While she was in the bathroom she yelled out "Mom. Can you come wipe my butt?"
I said "remember Anna, I'm not your mom anymore. But I'll gladly call Ms Carla to come wipe your butt. however, it might take her a while to get over here."

She yelled again, "MOM. can you come wipe  my butt?  PLEASE?!?!?! I've changed my mind. I don't want a new mommy. Can you please come wipe my butt?"

On Wednesday of that same week Anna emptied all of the hand soap into a travel coffee mug. We STILL haven't gotten all of the bubbles out of the travel mug. Not to mention that she wasted a WHOLE container of hand soap. 

On Thursday Anna spent the ENTIRE day going around the house locking all of the doors and shutting them.  Any time I wanted to go into a room I had to hunt down something to pick the lock. At one point she ended up locking herself in her room and her brother in the bathroom.

On Friday while we were trying to decorate the tree as a family, Anna INSISTED that she do it all by herself.  THIS is was the end result.

She is seriously a nut.

Paul, as the big brother, has his hands full with this little bundle of energy.

I try my best just to sit back with a cup of tension tamer tea and enjoy the craziness that is my life.
(click the link to order some for yourself)

To finish off the 7 days of complete havoc, I found Anna butt naked in my room last night (saturday night) drawing a master piece on the mirror with my lipstick. "hey ROGER. Come check out what your daughter is doing?"   

Shortly before that she had taken my brand new ball of really good yarn and attempted to "knit" with it. Making a MASSIVE knot for me to spend the rest of the evening trying to untangle. 

Anna is such a funny, strong willed, little girl that seems so incredibly curious about the world and the people in it. My Dad says she reminds him of a little Jessica. I must have been a hoot to have around as a child and a heck of a lot of work.
Man oh Man.

Ps: Roger redecorated the tree once the bundle of energy crashed in her bed.

side note: Anna is now wearing 4t in clothes size and just moved from a car seat to a booster seat this morning. Oh my goodness she is growing up so fast.  I can't believe she is nearing the 4 year mark.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Talking with the Cardiologist

This morning I had my annual pacemaker check up.
It doesn't matter what the news is, every single time, the whole car ride there is filled with anxiety and the whole car ride home is filled with tears.

Throughout the year I don't allow myself to dwell on the fact that I have a serious heart condition.
I just go on living my life and dealing with the stuff that each day brings.
But for some reason, that car ride to and from the appointment  gets me every time.

I start thinking about my future and my past, dwelling on all of the negative stuff in my life regarding my heart condition. I start wondering if I will get to see my children become adults and become curious as to whether or not Roger will remarry after I die.
During that car ride the thought that runs through my mind  over and over again is "I am going to die young."

I know, it's really stupid to think like that and that is exactly why I don't do it but for 30 minutes each year.
I get really sappy on that darn car ride.

When you are 27 years old, sitting on an exam table, hooked up to an EKG machine and a pacemaker checker machine thingy ma bob, it is kinda scary.
It's scary when your doctor says that 96% of the time your own heart is NOT beating on its own and that the pacemaker is working THAT much. 
My own heart beats only 4% of the time? 
That scares me.

It is scary to think of HOW much my heart has changed over the past 20 years.  From medicine to pacemakers.  How much worse will it get and how fast?
I met a girl with my EXACT SAME condition a few years ago. She is in a wheel chair and on oxygen.

That scares me.

The cardiologist found a few things today that  my pacemaker had picked up from my heart and decided to set me up to have a halter monitor that I will wear for 30 days.  I'm kinda dreading wearing that darn thing for 30 days, especially over the holidays, but I am excited to possibly figure out why I have been having these awful symptoms. 

When I got home this afternoon Roger allowed me to cry for about 15 min before telling me how absolutely  ridiculous I was for even thinking such negative thoughts. He gave me a ginormous bear hug, "jess stop."
I agreed, laughed and began to feel a LOT better.

Now it is off take care of these two rambunctious kids who BOTH happen to be sick today.
They both have a doctors appointment tomorrow afternoon so hopefully we can kick this little illness, that they both seem to have, in the butt before the holidays!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Wendell Berry

I just now got a chance to read a small section of the Wendell Berry book, Traveling at Home, that Roger got me for our "12 years together" anniversary. I have yet to read any other author  that mesmerizes me and moves me with their words like Wendell Berry does.  His books have been the only books capable of evoking so much emotion from me. While I am reading them I truly feel lost in his field of words.
(I'll admit it, I cried while reading Hannah Coulter and The Memory of Old Jack.)

I began reading Wendell Berry's novels after the sudden death of a very kind old lady in our church, Mrs. Emily.  Mrs. Emily was the sweet childless widow that sat in the pew behind mine. We both shared a love for mangos and she would occasionally bring me one to church if she noticed they were "good and ripe at the grocery store." Every Friday Mrs. Emily would drive to Lexington, an hours drive, to get her hair fixed.  She formed a bridge club in her younger days that she still had going and never missed a Bridge game with her gals. 

We didn't really know much else about Mrs. Emily until the day we were called with the terrible news that she was on her death bed. You see, all that time that Mrs. Emily was bringing me mangos and patting me on the back with a big smile as she sat down in the pew behind mine, she was suffering with colon cancer that she was refusing treatment for. She later told us why, "I'm old and tired of fightin' to live. let me go home"

As we walked into her old, beautifully decorated, farm house to meet with her one last time. I couldn't help selfishly wishing, as I sat by her beside, that I had a little more time to get to know Mrs. Emily, to hear her story. 

She asked Roger to officiate her graveside funeral. 
It was his first funeral.  
A reception for close family and friends was held afterwards at Mrs. Emily's house.  
As I stood in the foyer of this grand old home, now empty of its last owner, yet full of her memories, I overheard someone say "It is weird being in here with those curtains open.  Emily always had the curtains closed."  As I stood in the foyer, looking out the windows, I could see Mrs. Emily's grave. I then found out that she did in fact have a child, a son, that had passed away at a young age, shortly after the sudden death of her husband. 
No wonder she kept her curtains closed.  
Mrs.Emily lived in the house directly across the street from the grave yard. The front windows faced the exact spot where her little family had been buried. 

A few days after Mrs. Emily's funeral my husband handed me my first Wendell Berry book, Hannah Coulter. Reading through that book somehow helped me mourn the death of Mrs. Emily. It gave me a small sense of closure even though I still wonder about Mrs. Emily's life story.

Tonight while reading through the first section of Wendell Berry's book, Traveling at Home, which is about this old man going for his daily walk across his property with his dog, the words began to fill me with memories of my Grandfather (pawpaw).  For the 15 minutes that it took me to savor the first little section of the book, I felt as if I were walking around in my Grandfather's mind. I love that about Wendell Berry's novels. He has such a unique gift for writing down the wonderings and ramblings of the simple minded in such a poetic way. 

I am brought comfort, unexplainable comfort, through his writing. 

I hope to one day pass these novels on to my children and grandchildren.

This is a picture of Wendell Berry and me following one of his poetry readings.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Applying for a Job

I just finished applying for a job.
yep, that's right, a JOB.
A job other than the mom job that I have had for the past 6 years.
Well, I don;t know if you would say that I have been full time stay at home mom for 6 years but I've been a mom that long. 
I've only been a full time, no other job but the mom job, for 3 1/2 years.
It's been wonderful, crazy, exhausting and a BLAST but I have GOT TO GET A PAYING JOB.

Although I feel that being a Parent is the most important job in the whole entire world, i also feel like being able to have money to feed your family is pretty darn important too.

I found an AWESOME job (or so it seems) at a local mental health facility.
It requires a BA in psychology (CHECK!!) and the hours are from noon - midnight on Saturday and Sunday (CHECK!!)
The BIGGEST obstacle for me getting a job is the kids. Who's going to pick Paul up from school and take care of Anna all day.  Daycare is CRAZY expensive so that is not an option and Roger works really bizarre hours (late nights, random calls out, class).  So when I saw this job posting I jumped on it.  I mean seriously I JUMPED on it.  I saw it last night and I have sent in my resume' just now, after hours and hours of updating the darn thing and writing a cover letter and getting new references.......
Applying for a job is a LOT of work.  

Roger is nervous about our marital relationship if he works during the week and I work the weekends but I have assured him that if I get the job we will still have plenty of time to see one another throughout the week and in the mornings on Saturday and the fact that we will no longer have the stress of living paycheck to paycheck is well worth it.

Honestly I am REALLY excited about the possibility of getting this job!
I have been itching to go back to work in the mental health field. I really love working with that population of people. I get so much joy out of it.

The most wonderful thing of all is that I'll still be able to be a full time mom throughout the week and on Saturday mornings.
That would be such a HUGE answer to prayer. 

Pray. Pray. Pray. that I at least get a call back.
I know that in this economy it is super hard to get a job. Everyone is applying EVERYWHERE for anything.  This job sounds like absolute heaven to me. The hours are wonderful for me and my little family and the job description is right up my ally.  It would also be such a wonderful opportunity for me to gain even more experience in mental health field.

I'm giddy with excitement even though I know applying for this job is like throwing a needle in a corn field.   But what if I do get a call back!!!!   what if I do get the job!!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Parenting is a life long commitment to love unconditionally

This morning after getting Paul fed, dressed, teeth brushed and backpack on, he made a gasp,
 "oh no, my book is due back and I haven't read it yet."

I immediately thought he was talking about a library book but then he explained to me that he had reading homework that was suppose to be done. 

I was confused.  
Every day as soon as he gets home I check his backpack and folder for papers and homework. Yesterday I didn't see anything in his backpack or folder.

"Mom my teacher sent home a book that I was suppose to read to you and I didn't and it is due today."

He was in a panic.
He can't stand getting in trouble and ALWAYS does what ever he is asked.
"Ok ok he have like 7 min before we have to leave for school. go get the book."

We dug around through the backpack, found the homework and began.
We made it through the reading sheet ( a list of vocab words for the week) and made it a little ways through the book before having to leave for school.

As the door shut I couldn't help saying to myself, 
"Man, I swear this parenting gig is getting harder"

I said the same thing last night while Anna was running through the Kroger with her very own little shopping cart, running into the backs of my heels and grabbing random items off of the shelf, screaming when I made her put them back. (she was a mighty adorable angry Kroger shopper though)
"I swear I think this parenting thing keeps getting harder." 

Right after I said it this morning I sat down to think about how often over the past 6 1/2 years I have said "man alive this parenting thing keeps getting harder."

When they started solids.
"this is getting harder."

When they started crawling.
"this is getting harder."

When they started teething.
"this is getting harder."

When they started walking.
"this is getting harder."

When they started talking nonstop.
"this is getting harder."

When they turned 2 1/2 and formed a will of their own.
"wow this is SERIOUSLY getting harder

When Paul started kindergarten.
"wow boy this is getting harder."

I also said the same thing when I woke up one day and had to chase a toddler through the house while holding a baby in my arms..
"ummmm this is getting to be pretty hard."

Just think about all the other stages I have yet to reach. My goodness how hard does it get?

My parents have reached the stage in which all of their children are married and moved away. However we still manage to drop in unexpectedly, eat all of their food and mess up their weekend by havin them watch our children and dogs.  Some of us STILL don't clean up the bathroom floor after taking a shower and some us STILL sneak into their house late at night accidentally scaring them to death. And yes, we STILL fight over who gets to sleep in which room when we are all at the house at the same time.

As I watch my parents deal with all 3 of their grown children I start to panic about this whole parenting thing.  IT NEVER ENDS.  It really NEVER EVER ENDS. 

I am always going to have Paul and Anna running up to me arguing about something.  I'm always going to have to remind them to pick up after themselves. I am always going to have to fight to keep them from getting into the refrigerator and eating up all of our food. And I am always going to have to be there to pick them up when they fall or cheer them on when things get rough.

But you  know what? 
The more I think about it the more I am ok with that.
Well, as long as they grow out of the whole "barging into the bathroom while I am trying to take a shower in peace" thing. I'm telling ya, if they are STILL doing that as adults I am going to run away.

A note to my Dad:
sorry Dad for banging on the bathroom door the last time I was home, having you get out of the shower to hand me some tooth paste through the crack.  I guess I could have waited to brush my teeth.
Just remember that parenting is a life long commitment to love unconditionally. 

beware of the adorably angry kroger shopper

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I have been busy......

.......making this cardigan for my husband.

unfinished back

unfinished front

We are coming up on our 12 year (dating) anniversary and I wanted to make him something VERY special for the occasion. Something that he has been asking me to make him for years.

I just love that man so much and feel so incredibly blessed to have him in my life.
He makes me laugh, holds me when I cry and humors me with intriguing late night discussions over the meaning of life.

I know it is a cliche' thing to say, but he is my best friend!
I am a better person because of him.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Book Signing

Hello Saturday!

Roger left the house around 7am this morning. I got up when he got up to take a shower so I could have a little bit of alone time this morning before the kids got up. I am always such a better mom when I get that alone time in the morning to read, eat and pray.

Roger's first book signing is this morning in FRankfort, Ky at the Kentucky Book Fair.

copy and past this link below to see the book being talked about on the news

And click the word book above to order your very own copy!

I was hoping to go with him this morning but it is rather unrealistic to try and drag two children along to a book signing that is a couple of hours away. I instead stayed back to take care of the home front!

I'm a bit bummed that I didn't get to go with him but I am still super excited for him and Amanda and the photographers.  The book is really pretty awesome if I do say so myself!

Friday, November 11, 2011

I am not good with titles

Oh boy, here it comes.  Here comes the I am tired blog.
That dreaded blog that readers role their eyes and say "if only she knew how blessed she is."
This is THAT kind of blog, so if you don't want to read a blog like that then I would advise you to stop reading.

Like seriously, I would stop reading right now because I am getting ready to start the rant.

I am sooooooo tired.
Not tired in a physical sense, I get plenty of sleep at night, but tired in an emotional sense.
These kids are NONSTOP.
WHew Boy!
I miss the days that they would sit on the floor chewing on some teething rings.
The days that I wasn't constantly having to deal with this:

It is rather exhausting to be in a constant inquisition.

Why mom? 
Can I help? 
What is that? 
Guess What?  
Watch me do this? 
Can you help me with something? 
Why are you cooking that for dinner? 
Do I really have to take a bath? 

I'm good to go until about 6pm in the evening.  By that time I am super tired and ready for someone else to step in to parent but Roger has been super busy with work and school.  
I have found that saying the Jesus prayer CONSTANTLY in my mind throughout the evenings (Lord Jesus Christ, Have mercy on me a sinner) has helped give me the strength and patience to push through until bed time.

Like for example, right now at this very second Anna is looking over my shoulder and Paul is sitting on my legs giggling because he finds something that I am doing absolutely hillarious.  I can barely see the screen to type because Anna keeps trying to push buttons on the key board.

I was vacuuming the floor upstairs and ran into the ceiling.  I love these old houses but that upstairs ceiling gets me all the time.  It about knocked me out.  

Did I tell you about the time I was putting some stuff away in the little closet upstairs and forgot I was in the little closet?  You have to bend down to get into the closet but it is big enough inside to stand in. I was standing in it putting things away. I heard one of the kids scream "MOMMY" and turned around real fast to take off running. I ran smack dab into the wall, forgetting that I had to bend back down to get out of the closet.
That really hurt.
Have I mentioned that I have done that several times?

I have moved several different places in the house to sit for a second and type out this blog.
It is hilarious but a tad bit frustrating that the kids keep finding me and crawling all over me.
I now understand why my Dad would hide in the bathroom when I was little.
But then again, I tried the hiding in the bathroom thing. The kids found me and started pushing stuff under the door and banging on it while saying "Mommy why are you in there? What are you doing?"

Most hours of the day I so enjoy these two blessings in my life, they crack me up!  But the nonstop talking, question asking and occasional sibling rivalry on top off all the house work and food prep is EXHAUSTING.
Not to mention trying my hardest to make sure that Roger gets enough quite time to prepare sermons and work on homework when he isn't in class.   I honestly think that the day he graduates I am going to have a hard time not crying. It is going to be such a relief.   I am THAT excited about his graduation.  I bet he is even more excited than I am.  It has been 5 years of FULL TIME grad work on top of his full time job. Plus all the driving to and from Georgetown (4 hours round trip)  I don't even want to think about how tired he must be.     

Anyway, I want to have a whole weekend of bubble bathes and sitcoms on HULU.  
That's what I feel like.

Can I tell ya a secret?  
I have been pouring me a bubble bath, sitting the laptop on the stool in the bathroom and watching the news on HULU while I soak away the day in the tub.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

they actually cleaned the kitchen

I don't know what in the world is going on but my children are actually helping me!

Ever since they could "help" I have let them.
They are always following me around "helping" with the house chores but tonight I actually sat back and watched as they completed a chore.  I wanted to cry that Roger wasn't here to see it but hopefully they will keep it up and he will be here to see our children growing up in the near future.

After dinner was over Paul and Anna cleaned their dishes off, loaded the dish washer and wiped off the table.  I just sat there in awe at how willing and excited they were to help out.  
They even put away the cooking stuff.
I am being totally serious when I say that the only thing that I did was sweep the floor.

Get this, when they were finished cleaning the kitchen Paul said to me "mom, can I do my homework now?" and anna went into the living room to read books to herself.


Oh and have a mentioned before that Paul bathes himself now?  He gets the bath ready, gets in, scrubs his body and even washes his hair.   Anna has gotten the body washing down but I still have to get the bath ready and wash her hair.   They are growing up SO DARN FAST.  

I am so thankful that I decided to do the seminary and work thing once they reach an older more self sufficient age. I am really enjoying watching and guiding these two spunky kids into become self sufficient little people!!   

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I just want to be a sheep

Like I mentioned in  a previous post, the kids went to the grandparents house this past weekend.
I usually help out with the nursery sunday school that Anna is a part of (often times she is the only child in there) and this week Mrs. Karen B was teaching the lesson.  
Although Anna wasn't there we did have one child show up!!  
For the craft Mrs. Karen, who is a former kindergarten teacher and principle (she KNOWS her children's crafts) brought in supplies to make little sheep.  It was such a cool little project that I asked to take home supplies for Anna and Paul to make a sheep sometime this week.

I saved the stuff for such a day as today.
Paul has a double ear infection and strep throat so the Doc told me to keep him home from school.
Plus, it was all rainy and cold outside.

After lunch I set out all the materials and pretended to be a kindergarten teacher.

Paul did EVERYTHING himself.  I just sat there in amazement at how self sufficient the little dude has become in the past year.

I even made a little sheep for myself out of the left overs.

I decided to place the sheep in an odd place in hopes that Roger would find it and declare "what in the world is THAT?"  

Anna got a little crazy with her sheep design.  She, like Paul, did not want ANY help from me.  But unlike Paul's sheep, her sheep looked like some sort of creature from the book of  Revelation. 

Maybe Anna is in fact the artist of the family!

I throughly enjoyed chasing the children around with my hand monster!

Oh and by the way, yesterday while I was cleaning up the kitchen after dinner I had to run in the back room for something.  When I returned to the kitchen THIS is what I found.  Paul and Anna had gotten the broom and dust pan and were helping me clean.  Watch the video!  The helping mom thing was short lived but super sweet and hilarious.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

barn dancing, leaf blowing and coffee sipping kinda weekend

The kids stayed the weekend with my mom and dad so that Roger and I could have a bit of a break from being parents and spend a whole weekend just being a couple.

I am always suprised by how freeing it is to drop my kids off at the grandparents.
This MASSIVE weight lifts off of my chest and I can't help but think "man, raising kids takes so much energy."
When I am in the midst of raising them, tending to them, playing with them, I am completely consumed with them and although I have set times throughout the day and week for ME TIME it is not the same as having a whole weekend of FREENESS.  

Paul and Anna are at a very interesting age right now.
They don't need me as much as when they were super little yet they need me MORE than when they were super little.  If that makes any sense.

Rog and I met my parents at the halfway point between Etown and Somerset which is about an hour drive for both of us and an hour drive back.  Making the round trip 2 hours instead of 4 hours.  
When we arrived back home, childless, we crashed on the couch and did the lame married thing of catching up on the sitcom that we both LOVe, Modern Family.
We went to bed early.

The next morning, although it was saturday and the kids were not there, I got up at 6am.
I am an early bird!!  I love, LOVE, those early morning hours before the sun has risen or my family is up. I take that time to eat my breakfast in the quiet, read my Bible and some sort of classic Christian writing. I love sitting by myself, sipping tea, reading and watching the sun move through our house as it rises.
That is MY happy time!

At about 9am, after 3 hours of HAPPY TIME, I took a shower and got dressed for the day.

Roger has been going to this local coffee shop since before we moved to Etown. The owner, Julie, her husband, the main barista and a few locals who frequent the place have become good friends of his. Julie has decided to close the shop for personal reasons so Saturday was her last day open. Roger and I went into the coffee shop to share a bagel, some coffee and good conversation with everyone.  It was so nice to meet all the people that Roger has been chilling with in the wee morning hours while he studies for seminary and/or prepares a sermon. 

After saying goodbye to Julie and her husband, Roger and I decided to head on over to Freeman Lake for a hike.  We have this BEAUITFUL man made lake beside our house that has wonderful hiking trails through out the woods and around the lake. We take the kids out on nice days for a  hike but you can only hike so far with a 3year old and a 6 year old before having to turn back for the car.  I have wanted SO bad to hike the whole thing.  So that is what we did.  It took us about 2 solid hours of fast pace hiking to get around.  We spent about 30min sitting out of the dock area taking in the beautiful day and watching the ducks.
And you are never going to believe this but while we were walking I happened to look up and see a massive bald eagle perched in a tree. I have NEVER before seen an eagle outside of the zoo.  It was seriously the highlight of my weekend!

Once we hiked back to our car we were COVERED in mud. It had been raining the day before and that combined with the construction that is going on around the lake, our shoes were caked in the yuck.  We really wanted to go have lunch together somewhere so we opted on Cracker Barrel.   "yeah, you're suppose to go in there in your farm clothes and muddy shoes, right?"  We cleaned our shoes off as much as possible and headed for lunch at cracker barrel.

We spent the rest of the afternoon chilling at the house. We took naps and did the old person thing and watched 20/20 while I knitted on his cardigan that I am determined to have done by the end of this month.
Then we packed up and headed to our friend Tyler's house for a barn dance/potluck.

Tyler bought a little farm outside of Etown a while back and has been fixing the place up. He had everyone (old friends from college, new friends, family members) over for an open house sort of thing.  It was so nice to get together with old college friends that we hadn't seen in FOREVER.  We spent the night eating, singing karaoke and catching up with each another near the bonfire.

Yesterday (Sunday) after church, lunch and a quick walk, Roger and I headed down to Somerset to get the kids and see his family.  We all met at Roger's grandmother's (gran) house for chicken and pie before retiring back to my parent's house to sleep.  We decided that since Rog can work from anywhere and since Paul is out of school on Monday and Tuesday, that we would just spend the night and head back home Monday afternoon.

Last night, in the middle of the night, I heard a small cry. I went in to check on the kids in my brother's old room and didn't find anything. I went back to bed. I heard another little cry. I went back to check and found Paul in miserable pain, screaming out "MY EAR HURTS!!  AAAAHHH"   

The first night back to being full time parents Roger and I were frantically running around my parents house trying to find some ear drops, pain medicine for Paul and a heat pad.  We sat by Paul's side, each rubbing his back, as he screamed out in agony while we waited for the pain medicine to kick in.  I felt so incredibly awful for the little guy.  I guess we are headed to the doctor today when we get back into town.

Roger is at the local library working on some stuff and I am sitting here at my Dad's computer typing this blog while the kids play throughout mom and dad's house. They are so incredibly loud and have drug tons of stuff out into my parent's livign room that we are going to have to clean up before we go.  

I am so thankful that Roger and I got to spend so much time resting and catching up with each other this weekend. Having a quiet weekend was just what we needed.  I'm telling ya, raising children is a LOT of work.

Here are a few pictures from the weekend:

barn food

Becca and Bethany

Adam playing and Roger singing

showing some love 

can you believe that Tyler painted this?
 Later in the evening a bunch of us gathered in a circle and sang together.

When we got home this afternoon (monday) Roger and I had a lot of fun (not joking) working in the yard. I started up the leaf blower then could not for the life of me figure out how to get the leaves where I wanted them to go.  They were blowing all over the place, Roger was laughing hysterically.  He took the leaf blower from me, I grabbed the old fashion rake and the rest of the time Roger chased me with the leaf blower.  I got leaf all OVER me.  Roger claims that next time it might be a lot more fun if I wore a skirt.  HA HA HA.  

He ended up climbing up on the roof and blowing the leaves out of the gutters.  I was standing underneath it when he got to the ends, where all the water was piled up, and I got soaked with old leaf/rain junk.  And of course we laughed pretty hard at the yuck stuff all over my white shirt.
We seriously have too much fun playing in the yard.
Roger and I decided to clean up some leaves when we got home.  

Paul was loving all the leaves blowing everywhere. Rog and I are a big source of entertainment for our children.

look at the difference. It is CRAZY. We have leaves raining from the sky constantly.