Monday, January 31, 2011

A Very Proud Mother

This morning around 10am I all of a sudden got VERY sick. 

Actually  it was 10:10am and I know that because I was in the middle of sipping some tea and writing in my journal. 

I had just finished writting the first line when the wave of nausea hit me.   

I ran to the bathroom.

You know that sick feeling that you get when you just start praying for death?
I had that sick feeling for 2 whole hours.

2 hours

It was horrible.

The main thing that was running through my mind was "how am I going to take care of the kids when I am this sick?"

Roger left this morning before the kids got up and he won't be back until past 10pm.

I was on my own.

As I was hugging the toilet, praying that I wouldn't pass out (I was feeling VERY faint) Anna, my little two year old Anna, walked up to me, started rubbing my cheek "Anna is here. Anna is here. Are you sick? Do you need to go to the doctor?"

I said "Oh Anna I am so sick.  I am just so so sick. Can you take care of me?"

I got up, walked into the room.  
Anna followed me.
As I was getting into the bed she came running up with the heat pad "thank you Anna."  
Then she crawled into bed with me and began rubbing my hair "it will be ok mommy. God will take care of you." 
She then held her little hands together and started to pray "Dear Lord make my mommy feel all better AMEN."

 I am so proud to have two wonderful children. I mean, seriously, that was super sweet what Anna did for me today. She comforted me in a time of need. She let me know that she was there with me, that she wasn't going to leave me and then she prayed for me. 

I felt as if I had my own personal chaplain!

Paul was wonderful too. He kept an eye on his sister and entertained her all day.

They both were absolutely incredible. 

All day.... ALL DAY.... they played together in the living room and in Anna's room.


They even "read" books to each other!

I kept thinking "it is happening. It is finally happening. All the hard work I have put into teaching them how to care for one another, how to pray for one another, how to put others before themselves, is finally clicking in their little heads!"

Tonight after their baths I let them watch a few shows.  Paul announced "let's watch Dora first because Anna loves that show and I want to let her watch what she wants to watch first!"

Oh my gosh!  What a kind, considerate little person my Paul Calvin has become!

I love this little family that is forming before my eyes!

I am one very proud mother!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Where's the Love

As I walk around my neighborhood I am constantly reminded that we are in war. The sounds coming from Ft. Knox, when we first moved here, scared me. I kept looking around very confused until someone said "that is Ft. Knox.... they are practicing."  It sounds like a car crash.  I'll just be walking around minding my own business and BAAAAAAAMMM.  It has taken me a little while to get used to the sounds.

It is also taking me a while to get used to all of the army gear every where.  I have never lived in a town that it is a normal occurrence to see army vehicles everywhere and people in their army gear.  I feel like I am in a different world.

I have always loved this song..........

As I was walking around the neighborhood, feeling VERY safe and not fearing for my life, I couldn't help but feel blessed.  Blessed to be where I am.  Blessed to have never experienced the fear that some people experience on a daily basis

I don't understand war. I HATE it. I hate the thought of human beings killing one another. I am sickened by the thought of innocent little children being gunned down, tortured, burned alive.  I just don't get it. I can't wrap by mind around it.  I can't wrap my mind around people being trained to kill others.  I don't get it.

I'm so confused.

I'm thankful for the safe place that I get to live in. The safe place I get to raise my children in. But I am sickened when I think about what is going on around me to keep this home of ours safe.

I guess we all wish there was some other way?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Snow DAy

The last couple of blogs I have written in a kinda bad mood so now that I have stuffed myself full with homemade brownies, I thought I would type out a happy mood blog while I still have the sugar rush.

Today was pretty good. Paul's preschool was canceled so he was super excited "honey, you only go for 2 1/2 hours a day. I'm sad that it was canceled"  

The kids started getting on each others nerves around 10am so I decided to do bath time early. While Anna played in the bath with her dinosaurs, Paul played in the living room with his fire trucks. Yep, our living room has been made into a fire station. 

Who got Paul the REALLY loud fire truck for christmas? 
I am going to have to ask that you mail me some more Tylenol.
That thing is SUPER loud and he LOVES pushing the same button over and over and over again.
I can not form a thought when he is playing with that thing. All I can do is sit and stare into space.

I got anna out of the bath, dressed and sent her into the living room "Paul mommy says it is your turn to take a bath."

Paul boy always has the most interesting things to say while I wash his hair "oh yeah, this is so relaxing. I love getting my hair washed.  oh this feels so good! the water is so warm.  mmmmmm that shampoo smells sooooo good."
It cracks me up.

I especially love when he looks up, with a big smile on his face, as I am rinsing his hair, and says "you are the BEST mom in the world."

That is our thing now..... he says I am the best mom in the world and I respond with "you are the BEST son in the world."

After the baths I got lunch ready "mmmmmm MOMMY this is delicious!'  

I love that I have worked hard to teach my children good manners because they are, most of the time, praising me and giving me thanks.  I LOVE THAT and soooooo need it sometimes. :) 

As we were eating lunch I announced "who wants to play in the snow?"  At which point we went out to make two small little snowmen with stick arms, cranberry eyes and carrot noses. 

Anna thought is was SUPER hilarious to throw snow at me. She LOVED when I was over dramatic when a snow ball hit me "AAAHHHHH you got me, you got me"  as I fell back into the snow.

After their naps (and mine) I said "hey do you want to make brownies for our craft today?"  We all did a little brownie dance through the kitchen!!!   Paul was in charge of stirring and Anna did a GREAT job holding the salt! We made the book club brownie recipe from the Joy of Cooking. 

 "Mom you are really messy when you cook. you are getting stuff all over the place." -paul

We turned the oven light on and watched the brownies cook.  They both thought that was the most AWESOME thing in the world to watch them rise and bubble. 

I thought it was awesome that they thought it was awesome because I got to sit, in quiet house for a whole 25 min! 

When Roger got home I went for my 45 min stress relieving power walk. It was a bit interesting because there is ice and snow all over the side walks. I opted to walk on the side of the road, jumping into the snow when I car came by, instead of the sidewalk. "man alive I need a gym membership or to buy a tread mill.  This is nuts"

we had tacos for dinner, the kids ate REALLY well and then our brownies for dessert.  I totally had WAY TOO many brownies but whatever.  I felt I needed some after the tension I have been feeling :)

Now the kids are watching frosty the snow man in honor of their two little snow men outside "did they melt mom? I think our snow men are gone?"   "No, Anna, it is just dark and your little eyes can't see that far into the yard. They are right over there."   

Ps: our newspaper is somewhere under the snow. I guess I'll send Paul out on an adventure to find it!!!!

A Link

One of my cousins sent this link to me yesterday.  I REALLY needed it!   Yesterday was one of those days where I kinda felt like shouting out "leave me alone".  I love my job as mom, but sometimes I need a little bit of a break and sometimes I just don't get that break that I so need.  Just to be able to sit alone for 30 min without someone yelling "MOMMY I NEED YOU" or "hey, what are you looking at?" They follow me around all day long, going in and out of every room "hey look at this...... did I tell you this?"      

I get the whole blessing of being a mom and how I am going to look back one day and miss all of this..... that is why I am a stay-at-home mother. That is why I have dropped out of seminary until the kids get a bit older.  That is why I spend hours playing little kid games, hours of taking mini adventures around town and just about every evening watching Dora the Explorer snuggled in a blanker with two  little people who like to slobber on me.  

So I can enjoy this time as much as possible. 

 I get it.  

I get that in a blink of an eye all of this could be gone.... I think about death WAY TOO MUCH because, well, when you have a congenital  heart defect and a pacemaker you think about death a LOT and take every day as a mini miracle.  

In fact, it is a miracle that I even have children and a miracle that I have enough energy to care for them. I used to not be able to walk up the stairs before running out of breath.  I was purple ALL OVER...ALL OF THE TIME because I wasn't getting enough oxygen.

however, there are moments in my day that I need to vent a little frustration.  I tend to think that is pretty normal and pretty healthy. Keeping things inside eats away at you.  

Or should just only talk about the JOY of parenthood and let those who have hard days with their kids feel as if they are inferior to me? "Look at me. I am joyful all the time. Even when my children are driving me completely nuts. I just take an aspirin and continue on!" 

I can't do that.

I am too honest.

Sometimes I want to be selfish and announce "can I not just have like a second to brush my teeth?  seriously?  just like a second?"

In fact, I haven't even brushed my teeth this morning.


I know

I'm taking my teeth brushing time to type this.

 I can only still away so many seconds.

That is why I loved the link that my cousin sent me.  Take a little time to read it.  It really is such an up lifting thing to read on a gloomy, over worked, winter day. 

Well, I better get back to work. Anna is taking a bath and Paul is playing very loudly in the living room with his fire truck.  I know this moment of "silence" wont last forever.

ps: It cracks me up to see Anna (2 years old) dancing to this song! she loves it


Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I heard this song this morning and it moved me to tears.

Anna noticed I was crying, ran up to me, started patting my back "mommy it'll be ok!" then got me a tissue.

Little did she know that I was crying about almost losing her when I was pregnant.

recap: 6 months into my pregnancy  I woke up in a puddle of blood. My placenta had abrupted.  After weeks on bed rest i was sent in for an emergency c-section. At which point I was told I should not have any more children.

I've just been through a LOT of stuff these past couple of years and haven't had time to process it all because life just continues even though you are caught in the moment.  Losing my pawpaw, almost losing a baby, being told that I can no longer have children, getting a new pacemaker, being unable to sell our first home and getting those horrible inflamed appendix taken out in the middle of it all has left me feeling....... heavy in the heart.  

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Diggin' up groundhogs

ok, so the next couple of blogs are going to be special stories that I have from my childhood. Most of the stories will center around my pawpaw and the family farm because that is where I spent most of my days. .

here we go.....

The farm across the street was for sale. It had been sitting there for years not being cared for. The orginal family had all died off. Pawpaw heard that there was going to be an auction and was determined to buy the farm that we had all been staring at for years. The farm was directly across from mawmaw and pawpaw's house.  We would sit on the front porch to stare at the farm.  I remeber many days spent sitting in the tree in the front yard, day dreaming about how beautiful the farm would be if only someone would take care of it.

I went to the auction with pawpaw. I watched him sit there in his fold out chair that he always carried in the back of his truck, smoking on his pipe, and scatching his head under his blue Mid-State hat. I was nervous. Rumor was going around that someone might buy it and make a subdivision. I didn't want to see that beautiful farm turned into a subdivision.

where in the world would I ride my motorcycle if that happened?  

Pawpaw sat back very calmly in his chair and won the auction.  "yep yep good piece of land!"  he said when he had won.

My little self was SO EXCITED.   a farm!!!  a farm!!!  we have a farm!!!! Over 100 acres to explore.   

The first major task of the farm was getting rid of all the groundhogs. Because no one had taken care of the farm in years, the groundhogs had taken over.  Pawpaw opened the farm up, telling people that he would give them $50 for every groundhog that they killed.  That made for interesting days at mawmaw's..... a knock at the door would bring some dead nasty groundhog.   

There was one specific groundhog that no one could manage to shoot.  He was the sneaky one!

 Pawpaw was starting to get very aggravated with it and declared "then we will just dig it out." 

He sent my uncle Travis to get the backhoe and another uncle to get a shot gun. Us grandkids overheard the conversation and began screaming  "can we watch Pawpaw?  can we watch!"   At that time there was me and 3 boys. 

We sat in the back of the truck watching pawpaw directing the backhoe "Dig right over there Trav.  Yep right there...... oh there that damn thing is.........  Shoot it David...... shoot that damn thing (he spit on the ground) were too slow it got away....... (wiped his mouth with the back of his hand before putting in some more chew)
  Dig over there Trav.... right there...I SAID RIGHT THERE.(almost choking on his chew)  there that damn thing is .... shoot that damn thing David.  SHOOT NOW!"

As a child I thought "wow this is AWESOME!!"   I was watching my pawpaw dig up the farm to find and shoot a groundhog. It was very entertaining. 

They ended up getting the farm groundhog free.

Next came fixing the old barn.......

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Article on Parenthood

I came across an article on parenthood and life changes that take place.

I thought I would share it with all the new and expectant parents out there.

I wish someone would have shared it with me.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The One Who Knows

The Lyrics to the above song:

Time it was I had a dream
And you're the dream come true
And if I had the world to give
I'd give it all to you.
I'll take you to the mountains
I will take you to the sea
I'll show you how this life became 
A miracle to me.

You'll fly away
but take my hand until that day
So when they ask how far love goes
When my job's done, you'll be the one who knows.

All the things you treasure most
Will be the hardest won
I will watch you struggle on
For the answers come
But I won't make it harder
I'll be there to cheer you up
I'll shine the light that guides you down
The road you're walking on

You'll fly away
but take my hand until that day
So when they ask how far love goes
When my job's done, you'll be the one who knows.

Before the mountains call to you
Before you leave this home
I will teach your heart to trust
As I will teach my own
But sometimes I will ask the moon
Where it shined upon you last
And shake my head and laugh me say
It all went by so fast

You'll fly away
but take my hand until that day
So when they ask how far love goes
When my job's done, you'll be the one who knows.

I've been back and forth for several months about whether or not to continue blogging.  I get a lot of support when I blog that I would other wise not get but I also get a lot of criticism.

Guess any writer gets their far share of that.

For the longest time I got emails about how I "didn't enjoy the blessings of being a parent" and that I needed to stop complaining about all the struggles that I go through because "I was so blessed to have the opportunity to be a mother."

I take every comment in deep consideration.  I thought and thought and thought.    I came to the conclusion that I was going to TRY to focus my stories more on the positive aspects of being a parent or at least TRY my best to look at the moments of parenthood that bring me to tears (sad, frustrated tears) in a more blissful way.

I believe I have been focusing on the immense amount of blessing that I have. The joy that comes from being a mom. But in doing so I was informed that I have been making people feel as if the only TRUE joy in life comes from being a parent.

I hate that I have made people feel that way. I hate that I made people mad for talking about how HARD being a parent is and I hate that I have made people mad for talking about how JOYFUL being a parent is.

This blog is not intended to point fingers at anyone but to get support so that I do not feel so alone in this joyfully hard role of mother.

It gets REALLY lonely.

I can't help but feel different now that I am a parent. I can't help but walk around with this unexplainable joy and want to tell people about it.

I also can't help being brought to tears because of the hardships that I face that are so unique to motherhood.

I just write for me.  To keep me sane, to help me reflect.

please don't be offended.... I'm just writing about my journey.  The jounery in which God called me out and said "Jessica, you are meant to love this beautiful family that I have placed before you."

Monday, January 17, 2011

Out of the Water

I went to a friend's baby shower yesterday.

It was nice to see some people from college that I haven't been too good about keeping in touch with.

But as I was leaving I made a peculiar observation.

Most all of them do not have children yet..... some aren't even married....... 

Not that that in itself is peculiar but let me explain.

When I first walked into the house a friend from college came running up to me. She had just recently gotten married. "Jessica, I get it now. I understand all those stories you would tell me about how hard that first year of marriage is. I used to think I was a really caring person but now that I am married I can see what a bitch I am. Man, I am a bitch. But I am working on it. That first year is a real adjustment."

I thought that was the most christian thing I have heard in a long time ....."I am a bitch but I am working on it."  How often do we admit our flaws in such a passionate way and follow it up with "but I am really trying to change?"

The peculiar thing about yesterday was seeing first hand how much you change, as a person, when you get married.  You are no longer worrying about yourself only, but you have this whole other person that has entered into your life. This whole other person that you have to adjust to living with.

It is a big adjustment....... at least it was for me and my friend.

Then I got to thinking. "Man, I have had to adjust from only taking care of myself, to  learning to live with a husband, to learning to care for two children. I have changed A LOT."  

This change, for me,  is similar to baptism. I have been dunked in the waters of humility and self sacrifice. I have left my old way of living to become a new being that sees life through a different lens.  

I find it appropriate to mention that when you give birth...... there is WATER........ out of the water comes new life.  A baby!  A new you!

As I stood there looking around the room at those who haven't been through this transformation I couldn't help but see the self I was before. 

The self that only had to worry about ME. 

What I wanted!  
What I needed!  
What was best for ME!

I felt a warming in my chest as I left the house. That feeling I have learned is associated with being a mother. That feeling that fills you up when you think to yourself "I need to get home. My children and husband are waiting for me."   

I can't explain that feeling.  You just have to experience it.

But once you do, you will be transformed! 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

At Peace

Life as we know has changed drastically over the past couple of months

For years Roger and I have lived in this constant state of uncertainty. What are we going to do? Where are we going to live? What is our purpose in life?

The questions that we all go through at one point or another have been with us our entire 6 years of marriage.

We got married young and had a baby young. Everything happened at once. All the different steps that people tend to go, marriage, job, house, baby.....well, we just threw those all in together in a big hat and made do with what we got. 

That resulted in being a married sophomore in college with a baby on the way.... then a married junior with a tiny infant and a job at a psychiatric hospital.... then a graduating senior with a toddler and a full time job at a psychiatric hospital.

Roger and I took the kids to Target yesterday. Why? well, because we wanted to talk and the kids were a little nuts. While the kids were quietly looking at all the toys Roger and I stood together sharing a pretzel and a blue slushy. I smiled at him "this is a HOT date Mr Roger!"  The little moments that we get to still away together are the best. The moments that aren't necessarily planned but just happen! However, I don't think things "just happen."

As I stood there in the toy aisle, having a small spontaneous date with my husband, I started feeling giddy about life. I am so happy!  So content!   

I remember when I was little and thought that I would never have this. A husband and children. 

I was told when I was younger that I wouldn't be able to have kids because of my heart condition. They said trying to have a baby might put too much strain on my damaged heart.

I never listen to anyone.  I got pregnant anyway.  

In the 4th grade I had one of my best friends, Kim, ask Roger to be my boyfriend. He said no.  I managed to get him to marry me anyway!

As I stood there in Target, with my husband that I have been friends with since the 4th grade and my two beautiful children I was told I would never have, I was at peace. 

celebrating our 11 years

at 15

in high school on hero day. 

with our first baby

getting married at 20

in high school taking a nap on the bleachers before one of my volleyball games

anna helping to pull my hair out

taking the kids to a baseball game

good thing I have a pacemaker now so I can keep up!

Anna's second bday

Saturday, January 8, 2011

National Festival Of Young Preachers

What a wonderful way to start the new year!

The past three days I have been at the Seelbach Hotel in Louisville Kentucky taking part in the National Festival of Young Preachers. My husband, although he has been a minister for almost 8 years now, is still considered a young preacher.

The days were filled with sermon after sermon. The evenings were filled with fellowship! The nights were my time to explore.

Thursday was the first full day. We went to a fabulous worship service packed full of young ministers and minister's spouses. It was empowering to be surrounded by people of different color and denominational backgrounds, all around our same age and all so excited about their call into the ministry.

Thursday evening came to a close with a wonderful Kentucky style dinner of hot browns, greens and derby pies. I couldn't help but feel the “wow factor” as I looked around the room full of intelligent people, all with the same calling to preach. There were students from Yale, Harvard, Duke, Wake Forest, Morehouse, Baylor, Vanderbilt .............the list goes on.

I must also mention that my Husband was recognized for being in his first published book!!! YAY ROGER!! One of his sermons has been published in the book A Beautiful Thing edited by Lee Huckleberry and published by Chalice Press. 

Friday evening was very special! Roger and I got the opportunity to hang with a bunch of students from Morehouse College. For those of you who don't know, Morehouse College is the college that the Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr attended. For me, it was incredible to be able to sit at a bar, listening to jazz music, while talking to students from Morehouse College about Rev Martin Luther King Jr and the differences between the white and black culture in regards to the ministry.

I never get to talk about that stuff with anyone so to be able to talk about it with intelligent students from Morehouse College was AWESOME!

Later we all noticed that it was snowing outside and took a small FREEZING walk through the snow together before going back into the hotel  to watch some incredible young black preachers fire themselves up for “My Jesus!” By this point it was midnight and the pulpit was still occupied by "The Holy Ghost."

What an awesome experience that was! Lots of dancing, yelling, hand clapping and the “MY LORD OH MY LORD!” from the congregation. I loved that!

The past 3 days have been healing and empowering.

I went to the Festival broken and confused. The past 7 ½ years of our ministry have been devoted to finding our voice, discerning our call and swimming threw the muddy waters of The Church. It leaves a person discouraged to look around only to find older ministers who are experiencing ministerial burn out. I actually had one minister tell me when he found out I was attending seminary “don't do it. It isn't even worth it. There are nothing but back stabbing people in the churches today.”

Being able to have the opportunity to be surrounded by young people so excited about being called into the ministry was powerful. Being able to have the opportunity to listen to young preachers, of both genders, from different denominational and cultural backgrounds, was so encouraging. I learned so much about myself, about my ministry and about my culture while discovering the uniqueness that each of us bring to the pulpit.

I have become fascinated with the fact that so many young women have stepped up to the pulpit and declared “yes, God called me to preach even though I don't have a penis!” I love it! I love our generation! I love that our generation sees a God who isn't limited to only using one gender to declare His love to a broken world. I LOVE THAT!

Your Sons and Daughters shall prophesy!

Acts 2:17 “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.”

The Festival was a sanctuary for this young ministerial couple. A place where we were both given the chance to find our voice and be mentored about the joyful yet challenging role of pastor.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Anna at the Dentist

I took Anna to the dentist for the first time today.

She was a little bit scared but once I sat in the chair she climbed right up into my lap. 

The dentist came in, introduced himself to Anna and let her look at all of his dentist tools. 

She was fascinated by the light and the little mirror.

He then let her pick out which mask he would use. He had one that looked like a kitty cat, one that looked like a clown, one that looked like a dog and one that looked like a rabbit.  Anna chose the clown.

He then asked her to open her mouth so he could take a look.  She did a wonderful job. She sat in my lap, with her mouth wide open, for the entire time. They checked her teeth. brushed her teeth, flossed her teeth and cleaned them.  

She sat quietly the whole time!

She got super excited about getting a new tooth brush and new tooth paste.

As soon as we got back home she insisted that she use her new tooth brush.  

When I wasn't looking she opened up her tooth paste and started eating it  "NO NO NO Anna NOOOOOOOO"  She was sucking on the tub like an astronaut trying to eat her dinner.  I don't think she managed to get TOO much.

Next up is Mr Paul!  I'm sure he will not be as easy as his dear sister.

Then it is mine and Roger's turn.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A New Year

A New House.

A New Town.

A New Church

A New Pacemaker

A New Beginning.

Last year was full of newness.

I am still trying to get used to the transition as we begin this new year...2011.

My goals for 2011 are so exciting.

I mainly want to meet people and get involved in our new community!

I want to join a MOPS group

Start a knitters circle

Have lots of dinner parties

Join a reading group

Explore the city and surrounding areas

Take TONS of walks, hikes and bike rides

Get my fishing license

Go hunting

Plant a vegetable garden


Go camping with the kids

Force my dad to take me fly fishing

And last but not least.....

Start writing my book!

I am sooooo ready for a new year.

Last year was ROUGH.

Months and Months of uncertainty followed by months and months of traveling....

........ending with our water heater busting, 2 major surgeries, a move and a new home.

And did I mention that my brother got married!
I'm so happy for them!

Every year I have a theme song. This is the theme song for 2010.

Take a listen

 I feel our life is calmer now than it has ever been!

I have that happy butterfly feeling that 2011 is going to be so much better.
the lake by our new home

I just need to get over the shock of the rough 2010!


May God bless you.