Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Okay, so Samuel had surgery and chemo and came home on Wednesday night. Thursday was a special lunch with Mike's family and extended family. Thursday was bachelor night. Friday was rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. Saturday was the wedding and reception. Monday we had some of Mike's family over for a pancake brunch. Whew. Barely a moment to catch one's breath.

We discovered that the one vehicle that holds our whole family is in need of some major repairs ($1,400) just to pass inspection. Thankfully we're borrowing my in-laws car... no air conditioning... which is hot but fine when we get moving. The poor babes are covered in sweat when we travel.

But then the a.c. isn't working at the house. So, it's the land of heat. Hot at home. Hot when you travel. I have come to realize I don't like being hot. I get irritable and cranky and everyone's tempers are prone to flare.

I took Samuel to the clinic today while Mike taught. He did really well. Bandage changed. Blood checked. Chemo administered.

Next week is another evaluation... CT scan and EKG.

Well, Peter is fussy. Poor teething baby....

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What on earth am I doing up? I'm wasting valuable sleep time. But the dog is barking because the moon is full. I'm lost in the rhythmn of listening to Peter snore. My eyes are glazed over and I'm ready to sleep. The night is a bit warm and balmy but thankfully the fan is running.


Samuel has surgery tomorrow. His CVL cuff has come through so it needs to be put back in... if unsuccesful they will have to put in a new CVL... we hope that's not the case.

Samuel will then stay overnight and get chemo. Hopefully he'll come home Wednesday night... at the latest Thursday morning. Thursday wedding festivities commence and friday is rehearsal and dinner. Saturday is the wedding.

With Mike, Libby, and Samuel in the wedding it will be busy. Easter is Sunday. This week is spring break but with all that's going on I don't think it will be much of a break. I'm tired just thinking about it.

The twins completely enjoyed their birthday party yesterday. They had a lot of fun. I can't believe they're 3.

Well, I really do need to get some kind of sleep to function....

Sunday, April 17, 2011

So Samuel just handed me something. He said, "look Mommy it's shaped like a candy cane." It is. But it's a dried shriveled up worm. Do you know that worms make me sad. It's not as though I have some affinity for them in general but everytime I walk up my sidewalk and see these dead dried out shriveled worms my heart gets sad. Weird I know. It's not like I feel bad when I squish a spider or an ant... but it's like I know these worms died some horrible death... drowning in the flooded underground and then dying baking in the sun once they have made it to the surface. What a horrible way to go.

The twins are 3 today!

I have had so much going on. Samuel has been screaming and crying a lot the past two days. He's been in a lot of pain. A combination of constipation, nausea and trying to work out what's going on. It's been awful. Actually this has been going on the last several weeks. It tears my guts out. In fact I slipped outside last night and beat the Sh** out of Mike's 100 pound punching bags. Even with wearing gloves my knuckles are raw.

I just paused to hold a bowl so my son can throw up in it.

The streamers are hung. The cakes are in the oven. Yes, plural on cakes. Ian and Michael each have their own...

My heart hurts. It's heavy with longing. Longing for things to be made right. Longing for the cancer to disappear. For my tears to dry up. For the ache to be over. This waiting... this painful waiting is where I'm at.

This mixture of balloons that are happy with throw up buckets. The joys of opened presents and the crying out in pain. My life is a blend of these things.

The cakes rise their sweet smell filling in the air.... the roses wilt and droop in their vase. The fresh scrubbed countertops and the dirty floor filled with crumbs and the remains of lunch and playtime of playdoh and scraps of paper.

I have just enough time to change the diaper of the screaming babe when the second timer goes off. The cakes are done. Peter now plays in his little activity seat, blowing raspberries and grasping for the plastic toys just out of reach.

I am tired but i say this guiltily... my husband let me get extra sleep this morning. He was so kind and gracious.

I just realized I forgot the napkins. I bought plates and cups and have balloons and streamers. do you think my three year olds will even know the difference :) probably not.

Yawn. A cup of tea is just the thing. Much to do. Much to be said, spoken, thought, felt, written, heard, done, undone, cleaned, wiped, prepped, disposed.... but I sit and write.

these thought spill out of me and I find comfort in knowing that I am still here. There is a piece of me that is still just Jennifer. Not mommy, not lover, not housekeeper or glorified maid, ..... but me. With all my quirks. And randomness. And sometimes sadness.

there are some great pictures I need to download and post... but they will come... it will happen. Just not this second.

The dishwasher hums and I am thankful that I don't have to wash THOSE dishes. The wind blows cool through the screened windows. And I take a deep breath... and exhale. To slow my mind and slow my breath. What a gift.

The house is imperfect but the kids are happy and clean and fed. The twins are napping. Peter has milky cheeks from his last nursing. Libby & Samuel are playing puppet shows and cleaning up the playroom. Mike is picking up the aquarium and fish for the twins. It's their birthday present.

So I am going to boil water and have a cup of tea and wash the cakebattered dishes and enjoy just being. Enjoying the present and now.

Friday, April 08, 2011

What is with me and my desire for perfection? I wish I could understand it better. I freak out if things don't go according to plan. I beat myself if I don't anticipate everything perfectly... utterly ridiculous. It's as if I think I'm God.... or that God expects me to be God. I am a creature. Weak, imperfect and in desperate need of perfection. And that perfection is found in Him. Not in me. Not in my frail attempts to get it right.

Take a deep breath. Live. That's what I have to repeat to myself.

I want to do it "right". All of it. Every part of my life. Mother. Daughter. Sister. Wife. Aunt. Niece. Friend. Role model. Home maker. I want to do things perfect: Exercise. Meal choices. How I dress. How I care for my kids, my home, my car. How I love my husband.

Sometimes I wonder if God has fashioned my life in such a way that with my present reality I am reminded of my need for Him. I think I would be so independent and self-sufficient if I had less challenge and struggles... less children, easier financial circumstances, etc. I wouldn't "need" Him. But in His awesome Sovereignty He allows me to have more than I can handle... so I look to Him. I am desperate for Him just to survive. I am aware that I am insufficient. Our God is so merciful to me.

He is reminding me to stop looking at others and comparing. Don't compare circumstances. Don't compare parenting styles. Don't compare my figure with theirs. Don't compare my car, my home, my children. God has given me unique circumstances and situations. Just as God has given them unique circumstances. I need to instead fix my eyes on what is pleasing to Him. I need to ground myself into His truth. Look to His Word and pray and meditate on it and then direct my steps based on what the Holy Spirit is leading. He is so good. He longs for me to follow in His ways. And He has a special path for me. And He knows me intimately.

I long for understanding. I want to be understood by others. I want to relate. I want compassion. I want empathy. I desire for people to know where I've been and where I'm coming from. The only One who knows that is God Himself. No other. He knows me intimately. He is the Only one who can know my heart of hearts and the depths of my soul. He longs for me to know Him too. I often draw back in fear. I long for intimacy but also dread it. I dread it because it would show me for what I am... my true colors... my imperfections. I'm afraid I'm not beautiful or intelligent or kind or talented or creative or sophisticated or wise or funny or godly enough. I'm not enough.

Yay! This is what boils down to... I AM NOT ENOUGH!

What a beautiful reminder. What a beautiful gift. This is truth. I am not enough! But Christ is! He is more than all my lack. He is complete and utter perfection. He is true beauty. He is love. And grace. And He is more than enough. So to rest in these truths. To let them soak in and sink in to the deepest parts of me.

And to repeat over and over like Luther as I breathe in and out, "I am yours. Save me."

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Call me Auntie Jennifer.

Oh dear Lord. I posted on FB but forgot to mention on my blog that my niece was born! Where is my head????? Or did I mention and forget? I don't think so. Wow. You should be worried. Yes.... I am that tired! I was also in the hospital with Samuel so things got a little crazy.

Madison Rhea Wratten

March 29, 2011
6 lbs, 13 oz.
21 1/2 inches long
4:57 a.m.

(precious and dearly loved!)

Kristin and Madison are home and doing well. Kristin is recovering from a looooooong but unproductive labor and c-section. She might not feel great but she looks great and is doing a wonderful job. She is a super Mommy!

Madison is a dollie. She has beautiful dark hair and lovely coloring. She is so long and slender. She reminds me of Libby that way. She smiles all the time... which is crazy weird (at this early) but fun. I am totally smitten with this little girl. I'm really proud of Christopher and Kristin and so happy to have us all in the house together.

Confessions of a mouse gone wild.

So I’m a little paranoid. I’m sitting on my bed with my feet crossed and I don’t want to touch the ground. I knew we had some kind of rodent problem. I’ve done my best to secure almost every food item in hard plastic containers in the pantry. They will bust into (okay, technically chew or gnaw into) hard cardboard boxes of our wholesale items… granola bars, cereal. I mean the tough kind of cardboard… the “double bagged” stuff.

I have my packaged instant oatmeal out of the cardboard box it comes in and in Tupperware for goodness sakes!

But, they have crossed the line.

Last night I saw them TWICE in my bedroom. I thought it was a rat because it was relatively large. Today I met the culprit.. but that was before they crossed the line… I digress.

My favorite treat is dark chocolate peanut butter cups. They are not sold in a bag but in a package of 2 and can only be found at the check out counter of specific stores… Target, 7-11, and recently I found them at the Dollar Tree. But not everyone carries these amazing delicacies.

Because these items are somewhat precious to me (think of Bilbo with his ring in Lord of the Rings, okay…) I tend to keep them out of sight and out of reach of my offspring. These treats are for savoring… they help keep me straight on my WW program. I know exactly how many points they are and they keep me from feeling deprived.

Last night I went to retrieve a package of this delicious peanut butter and chocolate goodness and behold… my stash had been broken into! Now I keep these items “locked away” in a drawer. I mean I have no idea how the little devils, I mean creatures, could possibly have gotten in.

But oh, they’re sneaky. And wily. And my beautiful orange and brown wrapper was shredded in a pile…. I know there’s “no wrong way to eat a Reeses” but what if a mouse gets to it first? Oh the shame. I decided to leave the package there. I closed the drawer in sadness… what will I do with the remains of my favorite candy… I will place them on a trap. Indeed, I will bait them with the ruins of my chocolate. That will teach them!

Then this morning… I got up at 5. Got Libby & Samuel off to school. Was fixing myself some breakfast… opened the pantry… and there we met… eye to eye… face to face… from the second shelf to the top was a sweet oversized country mouse. He looked at me, not even interested, or fazed… almost this look like, “What?!” Oh well excuse me fat mouse who eats my candy. His eyes were black and shiny and unfortunately he was a bit cute. But what he did next daunted me. He nonchalantly climbed down the pantry. A shelf at a time and proceeded to stop and poop every few boxes. The nerve!

But there was this part of me that felt nervous and scared. I wanted to scream but didn’t want to wake the rest of the house up. I almost went and got our housemate, Ben. I wanted to get Christopher but didn’t want to wake up Kristin and Madison. Oh my. So what did I do.

What any other brave woman I know would do. I stood there. Slightly shocked and more paralyzed than anything. Do I dare grab that box of cereal? I literally stood there 5 minutes… intimidated by this little mouse who I’m hundreds of times bigger than.

I finally heard him munching on something on the bottom shelf… I gathered my nerve …I quickly reached in and grabbed my cereal (in one of those Tupperware containers) and backed away slowly like a robber with his hostage.

Now the question is do I love my son enough to go back to that same pantry and fix him some breakfast… Maybe he’d be happy with some cereal that I just happened to not put back ….

Sunday, April 03, 2011


I love this song. It's really encouraging. Definitely experiencing the raindrops.

Blessings- Song lyrics by Laura Story

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering

All the while You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You're near?

What if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise?

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough

And all the while You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You're near?

And what if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise?

When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It's not our home

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You're near?

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst
This world can't satisfy?

And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise?