Thursday, October 15, 2015

Oh Shart

Today was not anything out of the ordinary, but today just was. I was reminded this morning that it was National Pregnancy and Infant Loss day, which is indeed a special day of remembrance. But really it was an ordinary day for me with school volunteering, a SAMs club stock up, Trader Joes run, school pick up, etc. Like any normal and busy day I think often of the little one we lost a few months ago. The void is still there. My womb still aches with the feeling of loss and sadness. The tears were unusually accessible today, right behind the eye balls. But as I pushed back discussing my feelings today, or letting myself cry, the day got heavier and much less ordinary than most. This evening as my hubby and I kissed briefly as he left for the evening for practice at church, the dreadful school night routine set in. 

First dinner, that two thirds of my children didn't eat. My mood felt a bit heavier. Then bath time, they use conditioner instead of shampoo, and water is everywhere, ugh.  It's officially time to graduate from the tub to exclusively showers. And after brushed tangles and pajamas, I send them in the other room to read and finish a math game. Oh how I loath homework math games. I hate homework, I hate math, I hate games. Torturous combo for me. But upon tossing the dinner dishes in the sink I can hear giggles from the other room. The loud and sort of naughty giggles, you know the kind. I yell down the hall an inquiry to the noise, with a quick response,  "(Blank) is farting so much and it's so funny!" Yes, I have girls who fart, a lot. And think it's hilarious. One in particular was gassy and taking the stage as master tooter for the evening.  But when I go and check in on the reading, and stupid math game...and fartiing... I have discovered this superstar farter has sharted in her pants in the middle of her performance. Awesome. Yes, this really happened. *Disclaimer for my friends without kids, kids are gross. They poop themselves trying to fart, they lick playgrounds, eat their boogers, and just plain smell! Guys, it was not funny at the time and just about sent me over the edge. After finishing homework with what felt like a pace of knee deep mud walking, I notice bedtime has come and gone. Another 10 minutes spent on teeth and actually laying their bodies still, in a bed, I keep peeking on the clock. 40 minutes past bedtime. Oh motherhood is draining. 

October 15th ended with prayers, and the normal stalling of sleep. But the normal stalling somehow led to the discussion of their lost baby sibling. They asked how big the baby would be now, and how sad it still makes them. We don't discuss it enough. First of all because we just get so busy, but also its just hard. I hate seeing their sadness that still lingers, but it's getting better with time.  I feel uncomfortable with answering all of the "why" questions, when I myself struggle to comprehend it all. But it was wonderful. They knew I wanted and needed to talk about it tonight, even if I didn't. More importantly, Jesus knew I needed to talk about baby tonight. Thank you, Jesus, for your faithfulness at the end of the day. You show up in the small things, in all things. Thanks for showing You really do care, and You really want to listen. Thanks for using my girls to do that today, even if they shart. See? He can even use the most unclean and unworthy of us! My smelly children are a prime example of that. 
On a very serious and amazing note...
My husbands cousin is doing an amazing thing, check it out:

Monday, October 5, 2015

Don't Forget Leg Day

You've all seen the memes, the ones about leg day.  The dudes who only work out their biceps and chests, leaving their legs scrawny and unproportioned to their upper body. If you haven't, you need to Google that ASAP.  This last year as I have been working out and running and lifting again, I can feel my muscles. I can see my muscles. Even under the chub I'm still trying to loose I can feel the strong muscle under all that. Results I have enjoyed seeing through the grueling pain and long mornings in the gym, (or at the park :). But the last couple of months I have not been able to workout as much as I have been working out a different muscle, my heart. In August I found out that I was pregnant, a very shocking and almost scary discovery as we were not planning on having another child. But then soon after we fell in love with our unexpected blessing, we found out that I had lost the baby. We had to break the news to our girls who were elated at the idea of being big sisters. As we mounrned and cried as a family, we were left asking, why? Why did we all have to go through this? We were left confused and sad. I always said that I could never endure a miscarriage, and never understood how women get through it. And here I am, I made it through. But It was one of the deepest pains I've ever felt. 

While I may never know why I went through what I did, I do know that my heart muscle is indeed stronger front the experience. Like so many difficult things I go through, I hate the pain and suffering, but enjoy the outcome. I am stronger, wiser, and my heart can handle more. I cannot forget that my heart muscle also needs a workout. Otherwise I will just have a small, puny, and weak heart. Incapable of handling stress and hard times. And with little capacity to love and unable to feel others pain as they go through the same struggles I have. As I look back into my past heart aches from years ago, I see more clearly why I went through what I did. I hold onto hope that the same clarity will come when I eventually look back at this time of my life. 

“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
Romans 5:3-5 

As as my heart recovers from its massive workout, I can count my blessings that it was a short time. Many struggles can be long and seem never ending. I have a friend going through an ugly divorce, another looking for a job for months while she single parents her daughter, and an old neighbor fighting cancer. These people, who are undeserving of such trials, are still in the storm. Although God is not the creator of our hardships, He does promise to never leave us. So I pray that He makes himself known to them, and to you today as you battle through life's most difficult times. I pray they, and you, know their hearts will be stronger in the end.  Life is BRUTIFUL, as a favorite blogger of mine has said. I couldn't have said it better myself. 

Living by His grace and mercy daily, Nina

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Weak Sauce

Since my last blog post I've been trying to write a lighter and funnier entry. But it doesn't seem to unfold as I begin to write. The difficult things in my life are what materialize into blogs most often. The lessons I find in my weaknesses usually are more worth sharing. 

There are plenty of joyful and fun things that happen to me daily, but none unravel  into a profound lesson quit like my short comings do. And the main reason for this is because quite frankly, I am weak. Did ya hear me?? "I SAID I'M WEAK!" At every confession of this I am able to then boast on the strength that is my God. Through every hardship I encounter and every mistake I make I can allow The Lord to show His greatness through my weakness. Which allows me to be a million times stronger with Him than I could ever be on my own. 

Kara who has stage 4 cancer and writes the blog, Mundane Faithfulness, says this: 

"Faking strength leaves us all weaker in the end."

Isn't this so true? Even admitting when I'm feeling weak gives me strength as I let go of the pressure to be strong all the time. 

Check out her amazing journey, blogs, and book here

"Each time he said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me."
 2 Corinthians 12:9  

So stop pretending you have it all together when you're feeling inadequate. Being a mom, wife, and plain ol' human being some days is just tough. 

So expect many more posts in the future that follow my current writing trend :)

If you can relate to this, than try other related blogs of mine:

Bored and Restless:

I Got This:

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Investment

Last week was one full of sadness and obstacles. All week I was fighting off tears each day. Running through the daily routine with little tiny speed bumps put in my way. I can only think of my roller blading days (yes, my sweet middle school mode of transportation!) when I used to get tripped up by a twig or giant gap between sidewalk tiles. I would often lose my balance and feel as if I was heading for a nasty fall (which I'm sure occasionally happened) but I would recover and stay on my feet to keep on bladin' to the pool. Oh the life of a middle schooler in the 90's! And those wrist guards! Wowsa.

Life feels like there is no return lately. Like I'm investing in so many areas in my life and I'm yet to see my investments pay out. Living in a society where we feed off of instant gratification, I have a hard time waiting for results. When the girls were younger I often felt restless when mothering got mundane. Feeding after feeding. Diaper after diaper. And some days all I felt like all I was doing was discipling them. Only to see no changes in the following day.  But now I can say that my children are healthy and (for the most part) well mannered and sweet girls. Making those deposits into their lives visible years later. 

Now I'm currently focusing on myself attempting to change. I'm once again on the rocky weight loss journey. Again. I'm investing into myself which is hard to begin with. Then investing 4-5 workouts a week makes it harder. It's been an investment of time and money. After my initial weight loss I have now plateaued. Of course the holidays had some effect on this. But as I continue on I'm frustrated with no results. And just like the twigs I used to trip on roller blading, so many things this week have tripped me up. I was told that I had a baby in my tummy by a 4 year old. Yikes. A day later I figured out, in a round about way, that  I was being told that my brand new heart monitor can't find my heart rate through my fat. Ouch. And to top it off the scale went up.  After 5 workouts this week. It. Went. Up. 

Speed bumps. Waiting. Discouragement. I know you can relate.  

But the bottom line is this. The investments we involve ourselves in will always take time. At least the most worthwhile investments will. Whether you're a pastor building a ministry one person at a time. A mom raising children, littles OR teenagers. A man working his ass off for 4 years with no raise. A women taking fertility treatments and blood tests trying to get pregnant. The time and wait can be disappointing and incredibly frustrating. Just like investing in the stock market, there are ups and downs. There is so much on the line. 

Today I wanted to quit. As I rowed on that stupid rowing machine and fought back tears of inadequacy, fatness, and failure I wanted to walk out and cancel my next week of workouts. But I didn't. I saw through the lies. I stuffed the tears and rowed through the pain. I reminded myself why I was there in the first place. Years of not investing into myself. So this investment will take awhile to finally see my return. I will deposit a little piece of myself daily. I can't see exactly what my heart rate is doing when I workout, but I do know that it's doing something. I know I'm sweating my face off and I can't breath. And my clothes are fitting differently, even if the scale doesn't reflect it. The results will come. I press one. Well....row on, to be exact 😊

"He reminds us almost everywhere to walk by faith in a promised future and not by the sight of immediate gratification (2 Corinthians 5:7)."

Monday, January 5, 2015

Mop Up and Recovery

As my blogs become fewer and fewer as of late, I've had numerous people ask why. I only blogged twice in 2014.  My sweet friends have been inquiring as to when I'm going to post again. Honestly, I'm just not sure anyone really cares about what I have to say. Plus, there are WAY too many blogs floating around about the craziness that is mothering small ones. Far less chaotic and funny things happen in my day-to-day life as my kids grow. I mean, it's still crazy, but now my chaos consists of getting in and out of the car for school drop offs, trying to balance a baking business, teaching part time, play dates, and telling my kids to get off the ipad because they've been on it too long. Opposed to my previous chaos with 3 kids under 2 years of age, which was mostly diapers, bottles, naps...survival. I was in survival mode. And guess what, I made it! The kids made it. AND my marriage made it! But now what?

Now I'm in survival mode. I was sitting outside my friends apparent building the other day waiting to get my kids. And I saw a man carrying an industrial fan inside, which was no doubt for a lot of water. My friend had experienced a pipe break last winter which drenched everything. They had to quickly try to save everything they could from the water, And after, they had the big fans plugged in to dry out everything. Life with littles is like this (especially with twins). You can't count everything in your life as a total loss, but it is all somewhat damaged. Everything is drenched and dripping with water and goo, literally poop and boogers everywhere from kids.  Nothing has been untouched from the craziness that takes over your life. My friendships did not remain untouched from this damage, neither did my relationship with God, and certainly not my body and health! 

I'm feeling like we have pulled out the fans, and we are waiting for everything to dry as we are in this new season with the girls. Time to bring out the fans and see what can be salvaged in our life. What can be saved. The mop up and recovery season begins. A season of needing my mom less, and the gym more. Needing to wash clothes less frequently, and seeing friends more. Less little butt wiping, and more "me time".
For those of you still in survival mode, hopefully this will give you an idea as to what's ahead. Or feel free to go back and read my old blogs. The one about all 3 girls getting the stomach flu at the same time was particularly amusing.

Happy mothering! No matter where you are in the flood 😊

Saturday, September 6, 2014

What Does Your Heart Carry? ❤️

Today the girls pulled out some Christmas movies, in September!! I haven't even gotten used to the approaching Fall season yet, let alone Christmas! Stupid Fall.  Anyway, they picked The Grinch. I overheard the girls talking while they watched and Lili says, "THAT'S his heart?!", in shock of how small it was. Bella answered "yep". Followed by Gabi's informational, "Yea, the heart carries the love."  After melting from the cuteness of Gabi's statement I began to think. So cute and so true....What else does the heart carry? What does my heart carry? 

This led me to look deep into my heart. I would like to think it only has love in it. Love for my girls, my husband, and God, etc. But what am I harboring in my heart that is making it Grinch like? Then this ugly word came jumping out at me, Jealousy. I've never thought of myself as a jealous person. I truly am genually happy for people when they succeed. When they get well deserved gifts and accomplishments. But as of late, I seem to covet those successes and blessings. I want them! My heart asks, "Why do I have to coupon and budget at the store every week and then hold my breath to see what my total is?" "How come my neighbor has a nice new car when mine looks like there is a bullet hole on the side and that I could deal drugs from out the window?" AND "why does SHE have a husband that makes so much money?" Then my most common heart question, "Why do they get to have a yard and a beautiful home and we don't??" Things. I'm coveting and jealous over THINGS. Ew. What a horrible and ugly thing for my heart to carry! God tells us "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Luke12:34) I often want things to be my treasures. But it shouldn't be. I should not let the wants of my mind take over my heart. 

What does your heart carry today? Hate, anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, or jealousy? Sadness, selfishness, or pride? 💔

The Bible says, "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." (Proverbs 4:23) I need to keep the uglys out of my heart. Guard it from the jealousy. So these things I hold will not seep into every aspect of my life. I want grace, mercy, love, and gentleness to overflow from the heart and get into everything else I do. 
Last night we attended a wedding of a couple from our church. The maid of honor gave a lovely speech. This one piece of advice she gave the couple really stuck out, "Love Jesus first every morning before you attempt to love anyone else". Simple and true. When I love Jesus I find it SO much easier to love the people who mistreat me. To love my kids when they annoy me. And to love my husband better when he walks in the door after a long day of work. 

Our hearts are in need of a Savior. We all fill our hearts with things that don't belong. Thank you God for sending your son Jesus. The Redeemer of all short comings and sins. It's exhausting trying to keep up with the Jones'. Trying to carry it all myself, it's too much. Jesus has filled in my gaps, replaced my emptyness and fear. What. A. Relief. 

Listen carefully, watch this video

Now go and Google "bible verses heart", Do it. ❤️ 

Friday, August 22, 2014

It Could Have Been Worse.

Opening up Blogger to see I haven't made one post this year. Not one wittle blog. But who has the time these days? Clearly not I. This week leaves me on the couch, breathing in the rainy air from the open patio door, and enjoying my musky smelling Paris candle burning next to me...having just washed bright red blood out of Gabi's precious white cardigan sweater. 

This week has been a hell of a week. School started for Isabella, full days, a first for us all. Our condo went on the market, 12+ showings in less than 24 hours. The cleaning, and leaving. Then cleaning again.... and then leaving, again. Oh, and there is the realtor letting herself in as I step out of the shower. Yep. Plus a notice to get out by October 1st by our landlord. Which wouldn't be such a big deal if the renting AND buying market wasn't a disaster. $1700 for a two bed one bath? $2200 for a 3 bed 2 bath? Ummmmm WHAT!? Am I the only one looking around saying....WTH?!?! Everyone is just digging deaper in their pocket and mine seems to have a hole. Well that's a whole different blog entry, which I might get to next year at this rate!

But the blood, oh man. After Gabi toppled out of the car attempting to sit in her booster seat, blood. Lots of squirting dripping bright red blood. As I looked for the source all kinds of things ran through my head. All of the left field "what ifs" a mom's brain can entertain. But after a long visit to the ER, observation, a little staple, and lots of tears, we are home. It could have been a lot worse. A head first fall from 3-4 feet could  have rendered a real serious injury, hence my crazy "what if" thoughts. But it was also the thought "is this really happening AGAIN?" All of our girls have had an emergency fix up of some kind. Myself included. Our medical debt can testify so.

I have a hard time not feeling guilty when I am frustrated with life. When I feel bombarded by sickness in our home (the entire last month), I have to tell myself, at least its not a long term illness. And our housing could be worse, I'm glad we aren't homeless? Or a glance at our empty bank account, well, my husband could be unemployed? But the relentless shots at our family have been just that, relentless. 

But I've learned that your problems are your problems. They still hurt. No matter the size. I often feel bad for feeling bad. If that makes any sense. But we each have our own cross to bear. I am thankful that God has chosen me to deal with these things rather than heavier ones. And we can't discount what others are feeling and going through because their hurts seem "smaller" than ours. 

I hope your August has been more peaceful than mine! And that your hurts are short lived and eased by the Comforter Himself. Because Jesus carried the biggest burden of us all and paid us up in full. We can find true Joy and Peace in Him alone as we walk through our trials. For that I am SO could be worse...what if I didn't know the Savior that carries me through? That would be worse.

I lay my heavy heart at your feet Jesus. Thank you for my salvation and happiness found in you. 

"Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, he does. " 1 Peter 5:8-11 MSG

Living by His grace and mercy daily,