Monday, July 22, 2013

1949-2000!

1949. Being on the other side (well, almost anyway) of a trial
1950. Friends, family & even strangers - sacrificially loving and blessing our family in our time of need
1951. Not having to cook for almost a month
1952. My mom "just so happened" to live in Maine when I got my hip replaced
1953. Recognizing that every moment with my family is a gift - especially after coming closer to losing those moments (at least here on earth) than I expected to
1954. The ability to walk
1955. Extra love & attention poured upon Teal (both by those who babysat him recently & by his mama)- our fourth little guy got to be like our first little guy for a few weeks
1956. Time to work on our website
1957. Missing my family
1958. Quiet days
1959. Returning to the norm - Loud days :)
1960. People who donate their blood
1961. Doctors who save lives
1962. Picking up Avonlea
1963. Three weeks worth of help with our children...and it all coming together so smoothly
1964. Ugly/Beautiful - allergic reactions to tape...I'm not sure what the beautiful is/was - but ALL is grace
1965. Ugly/Beautiful - low blood pressure = no pain medicine after major surgery...again, I can't see the beauty - but HE does
1966. A calm, confident, Christian nurse who so patiently worked with me during my roughest hours
1967. Home health care
1968. Insurance
1969. Ugly/beautiful - deductibles
1970. My mom's cabin
1971. A friend of my moms de-tangling my hair
1972. Concerned phone calls & emails
1973. Snail mail
1974. Flowers that last forever - thanks GiGi :)
1975. My dad encouraging me to get this surgery
1976. Being able to get in my vehicle without using my hands to pick up my leg (for the first time in years)
1977. Medical equipment (walkers, crutches, canes, grabbers etc...)
1978. Attaching Teal's car seat to a walker so I could push him around mom's house
1979. A kind, sweet, perfectionist surgeon
1980. A comfortable chair - and a friend so close that I could ask her to borrow it (right out of her living room)
1981. Being able to nurse Teal through it all
1982. The ability to drive
1983. Middle of the night oxycodone visions...and my mom's expression when I told her that my future self was trying to communicate through my rash
1984. My own fridge
1985. A smooth transition back into family life
1986. My sister's visit and her help (even though she wasn't feeling so good herself)
1987. Cousins
1988. Ugly/beautiful - cousins fighting
1989. Boys climbing walls - literally
1990. Avonlea's language development - Bwake, Teawy, Cowe, Dolly (dowwy) - putting words together & imitating everything she hears
1991. Snuggle bugs - Avi & Cole
1992. Flip flops - all 10 pairs that Matt brought home for the boys...and the fact that somehow they still can't find a match when its time to go
1993. The kids playing outside
1994. Putting toys away - and realizing/remembering that less truly is more
1995. Two sweet helpers coming out of the blue to help me get a bit more organized
1996. Ugly/beautiful - unwanted goodbyes/a God who comforts & proctects
1997. Two beautiful baby boys - neither of which I've been able to meet yet, but hopefully will soon.
1998. Our first vegetable garden, Blake - a green thumb, who knew?
1999. Eating our own lettuce
2000. TWO THOUSAND BLESSINGS - and thousands upon thousands of those left uncounted!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Mr. Mom

I've always been one of those "oops, I forgot to buy the orange juice" kind of moms.  I'm typically so busy chasing the kids around that I can't quite wrap my head (or hands) around all of the things that need to be done to keep the house running in an organized fashion.  So, we often run out of toilet paper - or use some random condiment on our steak (rather than the preferred A1). Matt has never quite understood what is/was so difficult about being organized and efficient.  And, to be completely honest it has been a source of contention.  Here's the thing though, I have always thought - "if he only knew how much energy it takes taking care of the kiddos all day, every day - he would understand that sometimes the other things take a back burner".  Well for the past three weeks (as I have been recovering from my hip replacement) Matt has been Mr. Mom.  I got home on Friday night and expected to find the house in complete disarray and in major need of my competent (or not so competent) hands.  When I first got home I headed to the rest room - and, I'm telling you, I don't think I've ever seen so much toilet paper other than on the grocery store shelves. The soap dispensers were filled,  the fridge was fully stocked, the pantry was organized, the basement was vacuumed - and even the kids rooms were tidy.  At first I thought, oh he must have spent all day yesterday getting the house ready for me to come home.  What a sweet heart.  But then, I asked him about it.  "Oh, I've kept it this way the whole time you were gone."
     "Even the kids rooms?"
     "Yeah, I just had them tidy up whatever they were doing before they moved on to the next thing"
Do you know how often and how hard I try to keep my kids on top of their chores?  It is a constant battle.  I feel like I am chasing tornadoes around the house all day long.
     I am not sure exactly how to respond to the fact that my husband is better than I am at home making.  My first response was/is to make excuses.  Well, he didn't have to feed the baby every three hours, or he didn't have to cook meals (friends and family have been bringing them) or he was at work all day and just had them in the evenings (he did have them two full weekends).  But, if I am honest with myself - I'm pretty sure that even if he had to do all of those things, he would still do them better than I do.  So I am humbled and not exactly sure what God is trying to teach me through all of this.  There is a part of me that wants to compete - to show him that I can do it too (even though I'm hobbling around on one leg), another part of me that feels a bit defeated and kind of like a failure, and then of course the part that is incredibly proud of my husband.  I have been talking to God about it some and the only thing I've come away with so far is that I need to admit my weaknesses and accept His unconditional love.  I am going to continue to try my best and ask God for help, but more than likely I will continue to fall short.  God loves me where I am at, though - dust and all. He is still using me...and hopefully my strengths are bringing other less obvious, but just as positive things into our home.  I try to keep our house in order because I know it is important to Matt and it has become important to me too - but, keeping our house in tip top shape is not my utmost priority.  My priority is my children's hearts, their minds, their bodies (healthy cooking etc..), their walks with God (not to mention mine) - and though I am far from perfect even in those areas - I'd much rather the tupperware fall out of the kitchen cabinets than let my children's hearts slip through my fingers.  Somehow, Matt was able to do both incredibly well - and my temptation is to prove that I can too.  But, right now I don't think I can - and, I'm asking God to help me be ok with that. I am praying that He will continue to strengthen my in my weak areas, but remind me consistently that He loves me right where I am...and even more importantly that "His strength is made perfect in weakness" 2Cor 12:9