Monday, September 29, 2008

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet."



Hmmm.... my name.  I really like to be called Jennifer.  Most people call me Jenn.  It's funny.  When I introduce myself to people they either automatically start calling me Jenn when I tell them my name is Jennifer either that or I'm introduced  as Jenn.

Sigh.

It's really not a big deal.  But I thought maybe, just maybe if I put it on my blog people might start calling me Jennifer.  I really like my name.  So there it is.

cupcakes & God.


I made cupcakes with Libby a few days ago.  After we made the batter and poured it into the cups we put them in the oven.  That's when it began... "are the cupcakes done?"  No, honey.  "Are they done now?"  No, Libby.  "Are they done yet?" and so on and so on.  I was amazed at how many times she asked and how quick she was to think that we were withholding from her.  She assumed we wouldn't tell her when they were done.  I had told her she could watch me take them out of the oven, that we would let them cool and then frost them with pink frosting and put sprinkles on them.  And yet she persisted.

It struck me as I was sitting on the couch hearing her whine, beg, plead, and make absolutely positive that they weren't finished baking, how much she was like me.  I'm so quick to assume God is withholding.  I am so afraid I'm going to miss out on the good thing God has for me.  I'm afraid I'm going to miss it frankly.  I'm afraid He doesn't know what He's doing.  I'm anxious about when it will be done, when it will arrive, when this burden will be lifted, when this trial shall pass...  

But it's a process.  And I'm not done yet.  I just need to wait patiently.  Patiently.  Just like I told my daughter... "Be patient, honey.  It will be done soon."  And so I will wait.

Psalm 27:14 "Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

Hebrews 13:20-21  "Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd fo the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen."

Thursday, September 25, 2008

What? Me? Crazy? Of course.

I'm learning to laugh at myself.  I feel so AAAAAGGGGH! Is that a feeling?  I want to order something absolutely delicious and soothing like a Chicaco Uno's pizza and not eat this healthy Kashi pizza.  I don't want to deal with screaming children.  But I do.  I want to hit a pause on the "mom" button but I can't.  Sometimes you just have to let your hair down.  And so as I'm sitting in the office, nibbling my healthy dinner and longing for something super cheesy and delicious I think, wow, my life could be worse.  

I am thankful for God sparing the lives of my children.  I am thankful for God saving me.  I am thankful for having a roof over my head.  The day is gloomy and depressing but I am thankful for the rain- watering the earth.  And yes, though there is healthy food there is also a strawberry and blueberry "cobbler" to anticipate at the end.

I am tired.  But I am not without hope.  I am discouraged by the kids' racking coughs, the slight wheezing, the watery eyes, dripping noses, and sneezing... a combo of asthma and allergies, but I am thankful for medicine, for inhalers, for doctors, for medical care.  

I laugh at myself.  I am so funny.  I get crazy thoughts in my head.  My imagination runs wild.  I have to grab hold of myself and say, "hey, self, wait a second here.  What is the truth."  I stop and think of who God is and His promises and I am reminded that it's okay.  He's God and I'm not.  He is in control and I am not.  He is changing me... left to myself I would remain a lump of cold clay.  But under His hands, His care, and His refining fire He is making me something grander than I could have imagined- His instrument.  

So stick out your tongue at the day and praise the Lord.  Rejoice even when it's raining and gloomy.  Give thanks even when your life sucks.  Know that He is faithful even when you screw up really, really bad... He won't forsake you.  He's not finished with you or me yet.  Sigh.  And blaaaaaagggggh.  Just shake your sillies out... it will get better.

Monday, September 22, 2008

5 years.

Mon coeur.
On September 6 of 2003 Mike and I got married.  Wow, 5 years ago.  It's been a wonderful, crazy, difficult 5 years.  Lots of adventure.  Lots of heartache.  Lots of children.

Baby, I am so blessed to have you as my husband.  I wouldn't trade you for the world.  You amaze me everyday with your love and kindness.  I fall more and more in love with you every day.  Thank you for your faithfulness, your loyalty, gentleness and patience with me.  You make me bloom.  Here's to the next 5... and 50 years!

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Diaper Bag.

This is what my diaper bag looks like, except mine is blue and brown, not pink.  I love my diaper bag.  It's a wonderful thing.  It's large and in charge while remaining cute and stylish.  Beyond the typical diapers and wipes there are also the following items:
water bottle
infants tylenol
gas drops
homeopathic teething tablets
my ducky plastic bag holder to contain dirty diapers dispenser
Lysol Healthy Touch Gentle Sanitizer Foam
extra hair band
band-aids
burpcloths
small notebook for lists & ideas
change of clothes for the twins
emergency Twinning's English Breakfast Tea tea bag
orbit gum
Trader Joe's Just a Handful Go Raw Trek Mix
Kleenex

Sunglasses
Burt's Bees Fig Lip Shimmer
Method Baby's Squeaky Green Diaper Cream
nursing cover by peanut shell
Goldfish
Mott's Applesauce


Papa's Girl.


There is something breathtakingly precious about the way Mike loves our daughter, Libby.  She loves and trusts her Papa! She is sad when he leaves for work and eagerly anticipates seeing him every day when gets home.  Recently Mike took Libby on a date.  As she was getting ready to leave she even let me "twizzle" (braid) her hair so that she could look extra pretty for Papa. They went to a Chinese Pagoda in Norfolk and looked at the fish in a huge koi pond.  She was very eager to tell me all about her date.  She got to have a cookie and a "special milk" (chocolate milk) from Starbucks and they went and looked at the big fish!  The next day she asked me if they were going to do it again.  I told her not today.  I love that she looks forward to time with Mike.  She's definitely Papa's girl!

My little monkey.

I love to watch Samuel interact with Mike.  He laughs, plays, screams, yells, runs around and treats Mike like his personal jungle gym.  I love to see Samuel laugh and see his cute dimples when he smiles.  Samuel is very lean.  By that I mean he's very skinny but strong as an ox.  His language skills have been improving and some of my favorite new expressions are: while chasing after Libby, "Leeettttss go!" or "Waaaaaaiiiiit!"

Hm, I guess I just grow more in love with my kids everyday.  I love you Samuel.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom!



It's 12:11 a.m. in the morning.  Today is my mom's birthday.  I have friends all over the place who have just had babies.  And more than 20 years ago and some change (wink-wink) my  mom was born.  And did I mention I am 28?  Okay, so more than a little bit ago my mom was born.  Thank God for her.  Where would I be without my mom?  

My mom is an amazing person.  She's had a very strange, hard, challenging, anxiety-provoking life and yet she is a wonderful, patient, kind, generous, thoughtful person.  She is also slightly crazy, but where else did you think I got it from?  She lets me know that she loves me and she tells me that I'm her treasure.  I love that.  I really do feel treasured by her.  She's one of those moms that you know still love you even if you've done something absolutely awful.  And she's my friend.  My mom is my best girl-friend.  Know what I mean?  Mike is my best friend but when it comes to the female sex my mom takes the cake regarding friendships.  And I'm glad it's that way.

I remember baking cookies with her when I was little.  I remember her singing songs.  She valued my art and decorated the fridge with it.  She never played favorites amongst me and my siblings.  She would always bring a special snack upstairs when I had friends spend the night.  My mom is honest and transparent.  She loves God and is unafraid to ask Him honest questions.  She seeks God even in the midst of deep gut-wrenching pain.  She has born three children and lost a beautiful daughter and grandson.  My mom is beautiful.  One of the most beautiful women I have ever met.  She is compassionate and tender hearted.  She taught me what it is to love Jesus.  She reads His Word and grows in knowledge of Him.

I remember when I didn't get a sports award in cheering.  She took me to a restarant and let me get a Shirley Temple.  My mom was great about letting me feel special.  I'll never forget when I was a young teen she told me that even though my life was relatively normal that she knew I still had struggles and issues and that it was okay for those things to be hard for me.  I knew I could always tell her anything... and I still can.  My mom is trustworthy.  I know my secrets are safe with her.  I am so blessed to have such a mom.  

I know our relationship wasn't always this good.  There was a time in my life when I was living in deceit and I broke her trust, but that was a long, long time ago and I am so thankful and blessed to have a restored friendship and relationship with her.  She is the best person to go shopping with.  She's been a blessing before and after the birth of the twins.  She knows when to speak and when to stay silent.  She lets me cry about my sister.  She knows the pain.  She makes me laugh.  Remember before I had my surgery after Samuel was born and you were reading me that crazy women's devotional and we were laughing so hard and I was in horrific pain but you kept making me laugh anyway?  Do you remember the song you made up when I was in labor the last time and we were driving to the hospital (our revised version of "this little light of mine"?)  Ice-cream for breakfast? Hershey kisses anytime!

And now that I'm a mom myself oh the depths of appreciation I have for all your kind, loving, and self-less acts of love and service.  Thank you mom!

I am a blessed woman to have you as my mom.

Thank you for being a wonderful child of God, woman, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend and example.  I love you Mom, always have and always will.  I hope I can be just like you when I grow up.

What I do.

I manage this. 

Everybody is everywhere.  Libby is still getting dressed.

crying. craziness. challenges.


Twins at 4 months.
Ian
Michael
Michael & Ian
Oh yes, by the way, I had a stomach bug for 2 days.  I am much recovered now.  Just tired.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Tired. Quotes.

You know you're tired when you almost:

-put the Saran wrap in the freezer
-the opened soymilk in the pantry
-the crackers in the refrigerator
-you realize you're very hot but didn't realize you could turn on a fan :)
- your children (Libby) tell you to go take a rest
- you sleep 10 hours and wake up still exhausted.

Libby's recent quotes:

"When I grow up I want to be a robot."
"Actually, I don't want to."
"I don't want to try to go to sleep.  I'm NOT resting.  I don't like this!"

Samuel:
"Gookie?"  Cookie
"Go-gos?" Goldfish

and my latest favorite "Mwah-Me"  which sounds an awful like "mommy" but it isn't the same thing.  When we give kisses in our house the sound "mwah" is accompanied with it.  So when he says "mwah-me" it means kiss me.  Isn't that the sweetest?

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Meanderings.

It is 9:43 p.m. and this is the first time I can remember sitting down today (besides nursing) or to quickly shovel food in.  Hm.

Today was a mix day.  What I mean by that is that it was good but it was very full and it had a lot of mixed emotions.

We started school today.  I woke up late.  Fed the kids.  attempted to do dishes and start school.  After nursing Ian, I got right down to it.  But there was one problem.  Libby understand that we were going to have school at home.  She even understood that I was her teacher.  But what she didn't understand is where the other "families and friends" were.  "Where is Gracie and Gundo?" Her friends from the nursery school up in Philadelphia.  Sigh.

Finally, she was content to just "pretending school".  We sang songs and practiced a Bible verse (Genesis 1:1).  We colored.  We talked about colors and shapes.  We played with play-doh and she painted two pictures.  We even had a snack.  

The laundry is all done.  The dishes are done.  I've juiced. I exercised. I showered.  It's like a miracle day.  I made dinner (salad, jasmine rice, steamed broccoli, egg rolls and orange Chinese chicken).  I even made home-made rice pudding for dessert.  I've set up breakfast for tomorrow and even have Mike's coffee press ready to go. I even made water balloons for the kids to play with outside.  The truth is that the WHOLE day I have spent clinging to God.  I kept asking for help and direction and guidance.  And when I didn't know what to pray I recounted His faithfulness and goodness and told Him His character (like He doesn't know).  But I find when I say, "God, you are love.  God, you are Holy.  There is none like you," when I say that I'm reminding myself of who He is, not reminding Him.

So it was a very grace filled day.  I found more joy in the fact that I sought Him out today rather than all that I accomplished.  I have a tendency to cling to all the things I have done and how much I got to cross off on my to-do list.  But today, even while being very productive, I find more satisfaction in having spent time with Him.

I've really struggled with how to maintain life, in which I mean, how to set boundaries, know what my priorities are, and take time to rest and enjoy life.  I have discovered more and more lately that I tend to be very driven.  Mike suggested a book that has been really helping me.  It's called "Ordering Your Private World" by Gordon MacDonald.  In the book he discusses the problem of being a "driven" person and the difference between a person who is driven and a person who is "called".  It's really good.  It's also very revealing.  I'm not good at resting.  I'm not very good at using my time wisely.  Well, you think it's wise: laundry, dishes, etc. but often I should be doing other things like resting, reading, playing with the kids, laughing, etc.  So I need to grow.

I'm tired.  Really tired and I'm going to go to bed because tomorrow is another full day and I'm not sure if I will accomplish as much as I did today... but I do know this, that God will be there tomorrow.  That He loves me whether or not the laundry or dishes are done.  That He loves me whether or not I washed the floor or organized the office... and even if I don't make my bed, you guessed it.  He still loves me.  

Well, I'm going to go eat some rice pudding.  Enjoy some bedtime tea. And savor reading a book until I drop off to sleep.