Thursday, May 24, 2012

The wheels on the van

This happened last week, yet life was busy, and I didn't post "post". So here it is ~J

I was driving home Thursday afternoon with Rebecca, a warm 92 (from my dashboard) outside, when I started to hear this rumbling noise, and the steering wheel began to shake. There was no apparent reason for it, but it caused me to head to the right-with the hopes of making it off the freeway to look at what was going on. I never made it. This is where I ended up

 ~stuck in between the furthest right lane of traffic, and the oncoming lane of traffic from the exit right before me. Stuck. I hit my driver's side rearview mirror on the sign that was right behind me, thankfully it smashed that instead of me hitting it head on. I had to shift the van into park, as the brakes weren't working-as it turns out-the rear tire on the driver's side screwed everything up-and made it hard for the car to stop. We (Rebecca was in the carseat behind me) were fine. Scared but fine. She stayed asleep-thankfully for the 45 minutes it took for the tow truck to come. I called Robert and we both called CHP-and I also called a friend who worked near by (who thanks to picking up extra work, was still at work). Robert came home to pick up the boys, and my friend took me and Rebecca home. It was quite the ordeal-trying to work as quickly as possible without freaking her out-getting her car seat switched over from one vehicle to another-in the middle of the tiny space we were standing, with cars zooming by on either side of us. We brought the van to the repair place in town we've been using the past two years. From what he could tell, it appears the tire blew. I found out Friday morning, that's all the damage there was-besides the body damage done when I hit the sign saying a lane was merging on the freeway. Overall, very happy with the outcome. $200 later, there was peace of mind that the car was running and a new tire was in place. I have a dear friend, Heather, who by chance happened to help again Friday afternoon by giving me and the two younger ones a ride to pick up the van, so we didn't have to walk 40+ min in the warm sunshine to pick it up. I am so glad she's in my life-and Rebecca is safe and sound-the outcome could have been worse, and I'm counting my blessings.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Daydreams and reality

I "met" this woman Alice on an expecting board years ago when we were pregnant with our eldest, and since then we've both added to our family-both with three boys-and then I had my last, a girl, and she was blessed with twin girls last year. She wrote this inspiring post, Daydreams, which was guest written for Jennifer's blog. It was perfect timing for me to read and reflect, for the past week had me going in all sorts of directions.

First, the crib. It is gone-that and the changing table. I dismantled both, and along with two boxes of newborn girl clothes, they were brought to my friend last week. She's expecting her first child, and was super excited to receive any hand me downs. We went for lunch at Chevy's with the two younger ones-and I have to admit-considering the weather and dealing with the prep related to getting the delivery made, the kids were awesome. It calls to mind though-realistic expectations. 

This weekend. Complete perfection-on the side that I didn't want for anything other than not to cook or clean, and I did neither for Mother's Day. I slept in, Robert made me breakfast, kids brought me flowers and we relaxed all day. We went to a park, ha a picnic lunch and the kids splashed in the water feature, it was great. The kids ate left overs for dinner, and I didn't have to cook. Perfection. 

This week-multiple field trips, late nights at work, two back to back nights out for me this weekend. Its do-able, but I'm wondering if its insanity or controlled chaos. It changes with the moods of all the kids, or so it seems. 

This brings me to where I sit today-reflecting on the summer with these four incredibly active, entertaining, joyful children of mine. I am wondering how much to sign them up for, what our overall expenses should be, if there's something else that looks better, the list goes on. And then I get this picture today: When I saw it, I laughed, and told Robert, look at us, this is us. We're a hot mess. This is what we look like after a busy day, yet at the end of it, we're together-one mess. This is my treasure. 

I was worried this evening about summer plans. Wondering how I was going to keep four children entertained all summer long; Yet looking at this picture, seeing how we've been blessed with four healthy children within a six and a half year span, and the kids (while they fight like mad sometimes) really love each other, we are so lucky. I count my blessings at night-and have to admit-the "first world" problem of wondering how I will keep my kids entertained this summer is silly. We'll manage. We'll hang out with those who love us for us, who deal with the same stuff as us (or doesn't snub us if they don't). We'll have ice cream for lunch, and make tents out of boxes. Swimming lessons and mountain hikes. We'll more than survive, we'll thrive. 

Tonight I'm blessed to have friends among me whose like minds inspire me when I need a boost ♥

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Tomorrow the second crib comes apart.
Tomorrow the changing table gets disassembled.
Both have been unused for, well, a really long time.
The crib had been a toddler bed for Elijah since the one we had for Gabriel, and then him, was no longer usable. The changing table-it has been storage since Elijah was born. It has stored baby clothes, books, diapers, and wipes. It was time for it to move on.
My friend K is expecting her first baby, a girl. I have already given her baby clothes-now I get to give her newborn baby girl clothes, a changing table, and a crib. I am so happy for her and her fiance, both are grounded and ready for this new adventure called parenthood. I offered her what we had-since they are usable, and she is practical-and for what its worth, if she doesn't keep them, I know they will end up wherever someone else can use them. The main point is they are no longer in my home.
Tomorrow will free up some much needed space so the boys and I can map out what our plan is for making their room, their room. No longer the baby, toddler, little boy room. But the cool room.
Matthew has an idea of black wall and flames. That's way too extreme for me-but it goes to show, my boys are growing up.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

How it goes

I made this awful dinner tonight-I muttered to Robert under my breath "If you don't eat it, I understand." He looks at me and says "If we were completely down on our luck and had no other food, we would have to eat it." Seriously-who is this man? He did tell me never to make it again. The kids-varying degrees of cleaning their plates. That's more than I can say about my own. Who are these kids? Tonight was definitely an off night in the kitchen. Tomorrow's a new day. Here are pics from this evening.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Women's Retreat Spring 2012

I've been meaning to post, and coupled with this new blogger set up (when did that change?) and the life of a mom of four kids, writing had been on the back burner. Yet for a brief interlude, everyone is occupied, and I have time to sit and reflect. 

Last weekend I attended a women's retreat at Redwood Christian Park with my friend Heather and the church we've been attending for the children's program and family dinner. It almost didn't happen-but by grace, plans fell into place. My fee was paid for by someone-who I don't know-but I am grateful and feel blessed. Robert attended his Saturday college class, and I arranged for a babysitter both Friday afternoon after school, and on Saturday morning during his class. Cell phone reception was spotty (thankfully ;) ) but I was able to remain in contact with the family-who did just fine without me. Robert gained a new appreciation for all that I do around the house, and Rebecca managed without breastfeeding for the weekend (thanks to a  manual pump, I was able to resume once I was home). We had one scary incident-Robert was panicky about us needing new brakes while I was gone-but I was unfazed-having the emergency fund in place-well, it was an inconvenience, not an emergency. I was well rested, well fed, and brought to peace with issues weighing on my mind and heart. I didn't really get all that until I saw the pictures I took below and saw how different I looked and felt after the weekend. 

The workshop I attended, "Beautiful: Understanding and Appreciating Your Identity in God" resonated with me. It allowed me to reflect on the roles I have, how sometimes life gets overwhelming, but in the end, everything works out. It heightened my awareness to let issues go-for I don't want to be defined, nor should I allow myself to be, by how others see me. It calls for my to focus on Truth, making choices for my best interest, and being able to love without defensiveness. I cannot fully describe the impact it had, yet one of my friends, saw a difference in me once the workshop was complete. 

I opened myself up to new experiences-and was honest with others around me. We talked about kids, husbands, the lives we had growing up, and what we we want for ourselves. We talked about past hurts, letting go, and finding peace so we can move forward and enjoy each day we have. There was a speaker, Judy Hampton-whose message about living a contented life-was moving and powerful. It was peaceful in the mountains, there were early morning walks with the crisp mountain air, and late night talks in the cabin after noshing on chocolate dipped strawberries in the dining hall. It was everything I didn't know a retreat could be, and more. I learned that a family camp is offered three times during the summer-and I'm going to see if we can pull it together for next year. It was amazing. Here are some pictures I took of the weekend, enjoy :)

Our view, everyday
Our cabin

The last day of the retreat

Heather and me

Mini and me-oh how I adore her-and what a wealth of wisdom on marriage and having a large family she was, so blessed to have met her (and have her in my community)

Heather, me, and Mini-completely relaxed and rejuvenated, so blessed to have each other as friends

this sums up our weekend-open space, open time, sunshine, relaxation

This song was played at Saturday night's worship-with the 340 women holding candles, beautiful and moving. It resonated with me, spiritually and emotionally. I found myself having the visual memory playing in my head during challenging times this week, and had inner peace, not so much the craziness I had felt in the weeks before. I am excited to make changes in my life, given all the reevaluation and perspective I gained from this retreat.