Showing posts from 2011

Half full.

Half of my day my gut was in knots and I wrung my hands walking in circles and feeling like I was going to throw-up on something. Today was Samuel's CT scan. There were some frustrating experiences that kind of exacerbated the anxiety. It wasn't until after 3 in the afternoon that we got results.

Samuel screamed a lot today. We had to do an IV because he no longer has a CVL that we can draw blood from and push contrast through. So... that was painful. He was writhing, shaking, hitting, kicking and pushing. It's heartbreaking. It's frustrating. It makes me want to go punch a wall. But instead I rub my husband's shoulders as he has our son in a bear embrace to keep Samuel from moving as he is being poked with needles. The first stick didn't take... so guess what... you do it over again.

The problem started early on when the radiologist tech told Samuel that he would need an IV before she had anything to start one with. She wasn't ready or prepared. If looks c…

Christmas reflections

Holidays have this way of bringing out the best and worst in people. I'm constantly amazed by people's hostility and rudeness and also overwhelming kind-heartedness and generosity.

Some people are happy. They are in a new relationship, just got married, got a promotion at work, had a healthy new baby added to the family. And others are devastatingly sad, juggling grief, loss, and painful memories. Others are bewildered. Just tired, overwhelmed, and burnt out.Whether it's loneliness, a loss of job, family member or friend, or just plain exhaustion the holidays tend to exacerbate the situation.

The days run short. The nights run long. The bills stack up.

And then all the events started. School winter programs. Holiday cookies. Reminders to provide hot cocoa for the class event. Pajama day at school. Bring this. Buy that. Remember this. Blah.

I don't mean to sound scroogey but I'm kind of over the chaos of the holidays. People dragging whining children in stores (yes, …

Happy Endings.

Last night was a normal night. Preparing dinner. Getting kids into bed. Doing the teeth brushing ceremonies. The pajama dance. And bedtime reading ritual.

And then I got a message. "They are okay. Kristin and Madison were in a car accident." My stomach dropped. The love I feel for my sister-in-law and my baby niece is intense. If things weren't "okay" I would have been undone.

It's moments like those that I recognize how blessed I am. And how much I love.

The thing I appreciated about how I was told was the first sentence. "They are okay." I know the end result before I even knew what happened.

It's kind of a reminder of where I'm at. I have the promises of God and the hope of Heaven to propel me forward. So the bad thing that happen now are okay. I know the ending.

I wish I could remind myself of this reality regularly. In the end all will be well. This isn't the end of the story. We're caught in the middle right now.

Can you imag…

In the Storm

I don't know how good you are at reading between the lines so let me spell it out for you... I'm not doing well right now. My mind has been tossed to and fro and I've been shaken to my inmost parts. I feel like a fragile bird's shell. The slightest pressure breaks me and spills me out. And it's messy. Very messy.

The intensity of life has been building over the years and I'm so worn out. I no longer have a shell to protect me. My skin is vulnerable. No scales to cover or shield me. I'm completely exposed. Raw. Pathetic and broken.

I have gone to some of my close friends and sought help. So much good encouragement. My Grandma reminded me to listen for God's answer. And this morning in the middle of cleaning the kitchen I heard Him. Nothing audible. Nothing life-shattering. But a simple prompt in my heart, "I've already lived life perfectly. You are released."

Whoa. You mean I don't have to keep trying... I had found myself saying over …
I'm lying in bed waiting for the alarm to go off. The reminder that my day needs to officially begin. I didn't sleep well last night. I couldn't fall asleep until after 1:30. I could hear Mike getting up at 5:30 to wrangle the kids into their clothes and see them off to the bus. 6:55 my alarm reminds me to take some action. So I set my alarm for 7:15 and I lie in bed sick to my stomach with anxious thoughts swirling in my head. Thankfully my son comes to bother me a few times so I can't fall back asleep. He needs me to help him open his wrapper on his breakfast bar among other needs.

My eyes sting and feel itchy and scratchy. My throat burns as it has for almost a week now. And I lay in bed unsettled, restless and wild.

I don't want to start this day. I want to fall asleep with the blankets over my head and just pretend it all away. Maybe I don't need to be responsible this day. But I do. And I need to get ready now. And yet I keep typing.

Maybe if I type long …


I've been weary. The kind of weariness that almost takes on a dream-like quality. I find myself trying to do things but I keep going slower and slower. It's like I'm moving through mud... or maybe even quick sand. Because not only is it hard to keep pressing forward but I find myself sinking down, down, down. Almost afraid that I will soon be in over my head.

Tomorrow (December 7th) would have been my beautiful sister's 29th birthday. And she's not here to celebrate with. She's having the best party imaginable. In Heaven. With Jesus. And her son. And those who have gone ahead. Lucky.

In the meantime I'm still in this sinful, painful, broken world. And frankly it sucks.

I find myself going through the motions. doing laundry. Washing dishes. Preparing meals. Giving kids their medicine. Reading books. Exercising. But I feel so on the brink of breaking. Imploding. Collapsing in on myself.

Even the normal and mundane tasks feel more than I can bear. a fatigue ha…

A few thoughts after the fact.

So how do you follow up a post on Disney?

I've had so much to say... so much inside my head that I've been wanting to verbally express and a lot that I'm trying to process... being tongue-tied has left my post a blank. So instead of carefully composing I'm going to slap my paint on a canvas and start somewhere. It might be messy... less than ideal... but it's real.

Our time away was good. The kids did an amazing job traveling and we really enjoyed watching them have so many new, different and exciting experiences. It was a blessing to be able to go somewhere where we didn't have to worry about the cost of parking, park admission, hotel costs, etc. And with a family of 7 and with our friend Alexis to help us... well, 8 people... it's a lot.

I found myself so grateful yesterday... so much God has given us. Above and beyond what we need. I'm a rich woman indeed. The Lord is truly our provider. And He is a giver of good gifts.

I also found myself heartbroken…

A glimpse at us at Disney


Best of Friends.

Libby and Samuel are truly best of friends. I am so thankful for their love and affection for each other. They are sensitive to each other, aware of each other's feelings and how the other is doing. It was really hard for Libby when Samuel was diagnosed with cancer. She had to adjust to a new school, new teacher... and no little brother to walk alongside her... She was so worried about Samuel dying and struggled with being unable to express her feelings and concerns. I'm so thankful and blessed that they love each other so much. I'm grateful that we have now... over a year later, able to enjoy seeing them in all their sibling-ness. Playing and talking, pretending and laughing with one another. It's such a gift.

Mike's Message.

Mike spoke last Saturday night to Access our Church's Singles Group. You can listen to him speak here.

He did a great job. He discusses Suffering and our testimony of our life together and specifically with Samuel's cancer. He also talks about Psalm 41. I highly recommend listening... it helps you understand where we're coming from but also is a good exegesis on this Psalm.

Isn't Peter precious? I can't believe he just turned one on Monday. Happy Birthday Peter!
This video was taken when he was just a wee little thing. Shortly after Madison was born!

Okay, whoops! Just realized that this is the video of Madison crying while I'm trying to film Peter. Kind of funny.... Sorry Kristin! I promise she wasn't always crying like this :)

Taking the Road Less Traveled.

Often I find myself when I drive thinking of the poem by Robert Frost "The Road Not Taken". The roads I take on a daily basis greet me with green. Trees are everywhere. Now they're becoming colored in scarlet, orange, and brown. And becoming bare. Shedding their layers and showing off their long limber physiques. I love the drive that I take. I love the roads I choose to venture on everyday. Living out in the country might take longer to get places but it's almost always a scenic path and peaceful. I have plenty of time to think, listen to music or NPR or books on tape. Always time for conversation. The kids are used to being in the car for extended periods of time. These are my roads I travel... from home to the front of the driveway :)

The Road Not Taken- Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as j…

Help Us Whip Cancer.

A friend put together a fundraiser for Samuel. It's a pampered chef show where 25% of sales will go to his fund. If you are interested in purchasing go to

Click on shop online.

And purchase. I am your host: Jennifer Napier if you need to put it down.

Any local orders I would be happy to arrange drop-off/pick-up of your order.

The guest special is if you spend $60 you receive a cookbook or bamboo kitchen towel for free. If you spend $100 you get to Choose one cookbook, Bamboo Kitchen Towel, Easy Read Measuring Cups or Smooth-Edge Can Opener FREE

Slow down.

Having a quiet moment before I burst into a flurry of activity. Trying to slow myself down. I'm so tempted to rush, rush, rush that I'm  not even savoring anything of my life. I don't like it when I live from event to event or one "to-do" to the next. I don't even appreciate what I accomplish... I gulp down some caffeine and push myself to the next thing. Sigh.

Why do I measure my productivity to my happiness... and even worse- to my self-worth. I forget at times that I am valuable even if I just sit and read a book. I am valuable even if my to-do list is not touched. I am valuable even if I screwed up really badly. BECAUSE I am valuable because I am in Christ. Because I was bought by His precious blood.  Because He says I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Created in His image. A daughter of the King.

So as I sit and ponder and think and write I just want to embrace the truth like a warm blanket on a cold morning and wrap it around me. I am valuable because…

Kids, Carseats & other feats of amazing significance.

Most people think to themselves, "I want to go somewhere" and then grab a bag (maybe), their keys and walk out the door. They get in their car. Start the car. And go. That doesn't happen in our world. It is a task that sometimes feels as grueling as climbing a mountain. First, is the gathering. The bags. The diapers. The wipes. The returns to the store. The shopping lists. The sippy cups. The snacks. The activity bag (no getting bored). The coupons. The directions. The agendas. Next is the ushering out. This sounds simple... open a door and have children move towards the car. But sometimes the direction goes askew. The play ground beckons. The tricycle must be ridden. The water hose must be tampered with. A hershey's kiss must be deceptively snuck out of gramma and grampa's nest (efficiency apartment). If I can get them to the car and still have them avoiding the appealing mud puddles or rocks from the …

Fall Barbie Princess Party.

Libby's Birthday party was a lot of fun. We enjoyed pizza, decorating pumpkins and a cake. I used a bundt pan for the cake and then bent Barbie in half... the cake was her "ball gown" style dress. It was a lot of fun to make. Pictures didn't turn out great... hope to eventually get a better camera so I can take better pictures... but thankful I have what I have. Should have taken pics in the daylight time... but that's hindsight, isn't it. You always see 20/20 looking back. Libby had a great time. She enjoyed her party. That's the important thing... Not my silly desires for perfection.

My Libby Girl.

Don't you love the pumpkin grins. She's missing her front two teeth and one on bottom. So cute! Hard to see in the pics.... but they are missing.

My thirty-one party.

My friend Shelley sells thirty-one products. I'm hosting an online party... and you're invited! Go and browse and shop here! The party closes at 5 p.m. on the 30th (this Saturday). Orders are done online. Here's a sweet deal... if you spend over $31 you get their organizing utility tote (valued at $25) for just $7. From their signature purses and totes to storage solutions that help organize your life, you'll find something to fit every personality and situation.

Hunt Club

Pictures from my time with Samuel & Libby and my cousin Emily at Hunt Club Farms li