Saturday, January 11, 2014

Five Things Friday: January 10th Edition

Obviously I started this post yesterday but didn't get around to finishing it.  So here are my five things Friday on this Saturday morning :).


1.  On Thursday evening Nic had a meeting at our house so I took Sadie out on an ice cream date to the local Dairy Queen.  It was pretty quiet in the place with the occasional DQ patron stopping by every five minutes or so.  There was also a TV so we were taking in a little Reba with our sundaes (which by the way, that show makes me miss cable).  Anyways, a commercial for Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls came on with the Pillsbury Dough Boy.  After it went off, Sadie in her loudest, most inquisitive 3 year old voice said "Mommy, who's that white guy?"  After I picked my jaw off the floor I realized who she was talking about and in my loudest, most clear voice said "Oh, you mean the guy on the commercial?  That's the Pillsbury Dough Boy silly girl."  I had to have some kind of redemption.  The girls working behind the counter just laughed.  I feel like we've got some great material ahead of us for Kids Say the Darndest Things

2.  I started reading Bob Goff's Love Does the other night.  So far I highly recommend it.  It's a really easy read & thought provoking.

3.  I mentioned Sadie started preschool this week.  Well, I guess you could say that, she's only been one day so far, STILL.  Anyways we made quite the impression on our first day.  Monday was the first day of the bitter cold arriving and of course when we got to school (eager beaver mama was ready to GO) the doors were still locked.  So we waited outside for a bit, I made Sadie check the door again, and eventually other parents and their wee ones joined us outside in the cold.  We were all trying to protect our young from the harsh elements as best we could, when one of the other moms had her daughter try the door again, and what do you know?  It was open.  Way to help your kid make new friends April.  I wanted to scream "It was locked, I swear it was locked" but it was no use, the concerned stares from all the other parents said it all.

4.  Thursday afternoon, while coming home from a play date, I'll admit I kind of made a bone-headed driving move.  As soon as I did it I regretted it.  But unfortunately for me the dump truck driver who my decision impacted was not looking to show me mercy that day.  I looked in my rear view mirror and started to freak out, seriously it felt like my life was flashing before my eyes.  And meanwhile Sadie was in the back seat going "What's wrong mommy? What happened?"  By the grace of God, we didn't get in an accident that day.  And I spent all afternoon a bit shaken up but praising God that he does show us mercy!

5.  I'll also admit that over Christmas break I've been binge watching TV on Hulu Plus a little.  The Mindy Project may be my new favorite show.  But one show that I am absolutely done with is Downton Abbey.  I think Nic thinks I'm kidding when I shoot him the "stinkeye" every single time he asks me about watching this season.  Oh no son, fool me once Downton (or kill off a lovable main character), shame on me, fool me twice- well you know how the saying goes.

Happy Weekending!              

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Cha, Cha, Cha Changes

The past few days have been full of change around our house.  Sadie started preschool on Monday morning and hasn't been back yet (thank you polar vortex). I am officially a Stay at Home Mom (SAHM) as we count down the days to U2's arrival (5 1/2 weeks till my due date, in case you're wondering).  And last but certainly not least Mabel (our dog) has now lost the ability to jump off of furniture thanks to an "ACL" tear.  Yes you read that right, dogs have ACLs.  Well technically it's called a cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) in dogs, but you get the point.  By the way (random tangent here), Sadie checked out this Snoopy book at the library today called Your Dog Plays Hockey?.  The whole premise of the book is Snoopy gets hurt playing hockey and has to have knee surgery.  Only at the end he doesn't actually end up needing surgery because "dogs don't have knees."  Oh no my friend, they may not have actual knees but they have the equivalent of one!  Perhaps I should write Charles Schulz's foundation?

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Anyways, it started Sunday night when we noticed Mabel wouldn't jump up on the bed.  Despite incessant coaching on my part she kept refusing and we immediately knew something was up.  She never ever refuses a chance to be on the furniture and so (enter stage right) began my panic.  Here we were supposed to be going to sleep but all I could think of were the thousand and one terrible things that could be wrong with her.  Don't you just love anxiety?  It comes at the best times.  The next morning (after a terrible night's sleep may I add) she was still hobbling around so I called the vet & got an appointment early that morning.  I couldn't eat that morning, the whole drive there I was freaking out (in my head, mind you) about all the things that could be wrong with her.  After 5 minutes of examining her the vet looked at me and said "I think there's a tear in her cruciate ligament" and you know what?  I didn't fall out of my chair, I didn't scream bloody murder, it was just like "ok, so what do we do now?"  It is what it is and I'm ok.  It was like this strange, "divine" (wink, wink) kind of peace came over me.  So much of my anxiety had been wrapped up in the scary unknown, the what ifs, the make believe scenarios I'm so good at conjuring up.  But the truth is even when the worst happens (p.s I realize there are way worse things that happen in life than this, it's just my current situation), God is still there, he didn't forget me, this doesn't surprise him.

The funny thing is our pastor had just talked about all of that stuff the day before.  And here I was taking notes, nodding in agreement, not knowing the very next day I would need those reminders.  My dad called that morning just to check in (again with the divine appointments) and one of the things he said to me was "Well when those kinds of things happen to me I like to ask, Ok God, what are you trying to teach me here?"  Instead of wallowing in self pity and complaining about how much this stinks, I can still choose to praise God.  Be upset, grieve, sure.  But gaining a deeper trust in God through this experience is hopefully what I'll take away.  I certainly don't do this perfectly.  In fact last night as I was laying on the couch sobbing because this sub zero weather is awful,  I can't eat dinner because of pregnancy heartburn, and my dog has a torn ACL, my sweet compassionate three year old left the dinner table to come over, give me a hug & say, "It's ok mommy."

And she's right.  Not because of me, not because "all's well that ends well," because God is still in control and my hope is in Him.  Yesterday I mentioned a few hopes I have for this blog, one I didn't mention but hope to write more on is the affect anxiety has had on my life.  Can I just say I hate anxiety/worry/panic attacks?  Over the past few months I've met several people with similar struggles so I figure it might be time to talk about it.  Again, not because I'm some kind of expert or have it all figured out, but I think we need to talk about it.  Fear has held me captive for far too long.  And it's a new year after all :).

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A New Year, A New Me (just kidding, well slightly)

*Author's note* I actually started this post on January 1.  I just didn't finish it until tonight so bear with me when I talk about what seems like old news now :).

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I know there are lots of people who dislike New Year's resolutions and hypothesize (quite accurately may I add) that the gym will be empty come March and all those promises to "make it right" and "start new" will be long forgotten.  But there's something about a fresh start and a time to reflect on the past and ponder the future that I really value.  So last night I set down to come up with my own resolutions and in a seemingly divine moment it happened to be the last page of my journal.  I realize that my life is about to get turned upside down in a few short weeks with Baby U2 making her arrival so maybe it's not the best time in life to be making "resolutions" but at least come March I can be like all the others who can say they tried.   So in no particular order my New Year's Resolutions for 2014 are:

1.  Be intentionally generous at least once a month.  We've been trying to save more than we spend the past few months as we anticipate the newest addition to our family but I've noticed lately it's made me kind of stingy.  I don't like that feeling at all and more importantly I know it's not what I'm called to.  So it can be something small like buying coffee for the person behind me in Starbucks or donating money from my personal spending money to a charity, either way it must be some kind of a sacrifice.  Last year I came across this exercise in the Spiritual Disciplines Handbook by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun where you give away one of your most treasured items.  Needless to say I haven't done that yet because that is SO HARD for me but I would like to at least attempt this before 2015.

2.  Record one high & one low from each day.  I've heard of people doing this in all kinds of ways.  Some take a picture a day, others write down a mini-blurb of their day, or one specific activity.  The idea is all the same: to give thanks & remember God's faithfulness.  (I've actually done this every night before bed so far & I've really enjoyed ending my day with some reflection)

3.  Write more/blog more.  I know I say this every year and every time I blog but it's so true.  Writing is so therapeutic and life giving for me when I take the time to do it.  Our pastor actually gave a challenge to the congregation on Sunday that I'm now considering my main motivation behind this goal.  He asked us to "Be verbal about what God is doing in your life and how you're changing."  And since it seems I'm better at writing those things out then talking about them sometimes, I hope for this blog to be a place where I can share just that (though I'm also not excusing myself from talking to real, live people either :0.)

4.  Have people over to my house more.  It is simply not ok to talk about how lonely I am and how "I have no friends" and not take some initiative to invite people over.  Plus, I absolutely love having people in my house, it makes everything seem so warm and full of life.  This one is going to get really hard for me after U2's birth because I like to have my house clean and in order for visitors.  But from experience I now know that's not always possible when you have a newborn.  So to borrow the theme from MOPS this year I'm going to have people over and invite them into my "Beautiful Mess." 

5. Keep track of the books I read.  This one is a late addition and is largely in part to this blog by Steve Lutz.  I also noticed as I was reading year end posts by many of my favorite bloggers they included a "Reading Summary for 2013" or something like that.  I'm not setting an exact count or particular type of genre goal because I typically read at least one book per month anyways.  But I am going to start writing them down and I would love to post at least one book review on here each month!

So there they are.  Nothing life shattering, just a few hopes and dreams for 2014. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

A little "cry cry" on this cold Monday night

It's currently pretty darn quiet in my house.  I'd like to take a moment to thank Daylight Savings Time for that (begin slow, painful clap).  I know, I know-it's so stereotypical for people with young children to rant about how their kids don't understand the whole "fall back" thing and how we're up at 5am everyday now.  But friends, have a little mercy on us because it is painful!  I don't even care about the waking up early thing (we're learning quiet independent play as a result) but the OVERTIREDNESS, the nighttime woes, the napping woes.  Have mercy (if only Uncle Jesse knew how I would twist his trademark phrase)!  I know everyone will adjust eventually & to be honest I am finding myself much more productive in the morning hours (who cares about waking up at 6:30 when it still feels like 7:30).  But I would also be ok if we removed this one from our law books.  Can I add that on to my ballot at tomorrow's election?

Saturday was one of those days that makes you feel like a total failure as a parent.  Sadie had been (notice the past tense there) doing really well with potty training so we promised her a morning at the local "bounce house."  Turns out after driving 45 minutes to arrive at said "bounce house" we should have done a little more research.  The one we were planning on going to closed 10 MONTHS AGO & the one across town had no Open Gym hours on Saturday.  To say we were scared to tell Sadie was quite the understatement.  In the end she actually ended up handling it ok & our attempt to do something else "cool and fun" seemed to be a win in Sadie's book.  We rode up to the Roanoke star, where you can see the Roanoke Valley for miles & miles, & "hiked" the loop around the star.  While we were looking off the overlook Sadie kept saying "I can see the bounce house.  They closed today."  Poor child.  Oh but it doesn't end there.  After the star we headed over to the mall where I promised Sadie there would be a Disney store with lots and lots of princess stuff.  As it turns out the Disney store closed oh I don't know, almost 4 YEARS AGO; again with the fact checking.  So we walked away with our tails between our legs to the indoor playground & Sadie forgot the word princess even existed (until we got back to the car where Princess Belle was waiting for us). 

See how I casually mentioned potty training earlier.  This challenge is certainly not for the faint of heart my friends.  And I kid you not that every time I see someone walk into a public restroom, I want to give a shout of praise to the kind soul who taught them how to do that!  I know this is just like the whole Daylight Savings Time thing & she'll catch on eventually but it is certainly producing some perseverance & character in the mean time :).  

I think that's enough "cry-cry" for now.  As I near the beginning of my 29th year of life next week I hope to have some more meaningful thoughts on life.  For now enjoy a little 'Bippity Boppity Boo' from Princess Cinderella!



 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Again I find myself apologizing for my long absence from the blogosphere.  I've still been reading other people's blogs, I just haven't felt like I've had much of a voice or content to share lately.  But I've been inspired by my hubs and other blogging friends to pick back up the 'ole keyboard and start typing.  So here are some random thoughts for now, hopefully I'll be back later and more frequently with something more valuable :).

I finished the second book in the Divergent series on Tuesday afternoon.  In case you're interested it's called Insurgent not Allegiant.  Much to my dismay (and stupidity), after finishing the book I was so desperate to talk about it with somebody or hear other people's opinions that I googled Allegiant.  I started seeing all kinds of *spoiler alert* warnings but smarty pants me thought "It's ok.  I just finished the book so this isn't a spoiler."  As it turns out you should take the extra two seconds to push Home -----> Title Page on your Kindle before googling a book.  Apparently there are MAJOR events that happen in the third book and I am now the proud owner of such knowledge without reading the book.  Yea, not cool.  Interestingly enough this also happened to me during the most recent season of Downton Abbey. Apparently they air the British episodes a full six months or so before they release it across the pond.  Their Facebook account operates for both countries so when something says "What did you think about last night's episode?, don't click it. (Warning: Season 3 Spoiler Alert) That whole Sybil dying thing, yeah, heard about it, like SIX MONTHS before you did.  And the best part: Nic wouldn't let me tell him, something about he didn't want to have the experience ruined for him.  Hmmph. 

In other major news, tomorrow I'll be 25 weeks pregnant with Baby Uebel #2.  Sorry about the long delayed announcement there, this poor baby is already destined to a life of second child syndrome.  Every time I go to the doctor they ask me how far along I am and every time I respond "Actually can you tell me that?" I think they think I'm kidding but I'm really not.  This pregnancy is flying by!  With Sadie I could've told you down to the exact day how "pregnant" I was and which vegetable/fruit she most closely resembled.  This time around I'm lucky if I remember to EAT any fruits or vegetables that day.  Poor baby- I promise I love you & am excited to meet you!

We're headed out tonight to do some trick or treating with Cinderella.  Sadie has been obsessed with her lately so there was never a doubt in our minds who she would be dressing up as for Halloween. A friend of mine suggested I dress up as the pumpkin who will ultimately be her carriage, seeing as I'm in such a pumpkin like state as of lately :).  I think I'll pass for now.  I'm afraid I'd be more likely to back up traffic when people saw a giant orange blob in the road!  Happy Halloween! 

  

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Not what you thought

So the post I promised ain't happening today.  It's been a much busier day than I expected and well So You Think You Can Dance is on, so you know.  I promise I haven't forgotten about it & I'll hopefully have the continuation up in the next couple of days.  For now enjoy a little picture from some of our adventures today.




Monday, July 8, 2013

And we're back....

As I sit here on campus on this beautiful, not rainy Monday morning I would be remiss if I wasn’t given to a posture of thankfulness & gratitude.  It’s the first week of freshmen orientation and there’s an excitement to this place that only a couple hundred rounds of “Let’s Go Hokies” at 8am in the morning can bring.  Nervous freshmen wander around with nametags around their necks announcing their past, present, and future.  Proud parents follow behind them, taking it all in, with a look in their eyes that says “Please tell me they’re going to be ok.  Please promise me you’ll take care of my baby.” 

It’s hard to believe I sat in their place eleven years ago.  In fact sometimes it’s so hard to believe (and imagine) that I almost feel closer to the parent end than the student.  Perhaps that’s why with every year that passes the pleading in their eyes gets a little clearer to me, will Sadie really be one of these bewildered students in just sixteen short years?  Eek!  Somebody please stop time now.  

Right now Nic & I can do no wrong in her eyes (well ok, except for maybe when we cut the TV off).  We are her favorite people, her superheroes.  And yet here I sit watching the exact opposite: eye rolls, deliberate efforts to walk at least 10 ft in front of your parents, all the while exerting a little more independence with each step.  When does such a cosmic shift happen?  Or is it already happening?
I know the end goal of my parenting (the one that can seem so very far away at times) should be to raise a responsible, independent adult.  And deep down I do truly want this (besides I don’t want to be changing diapers and reading “How do you hug a porcupine?” for the 50th time today when she’s eighteen).  But why does it have to be so hard? 

Whether I like it or not, what God has been teaching me lately isn’t so far off from what the parents of those college students are experiencing.  Learning to trust God isn’t an easy lesson, whether you’re the parent of a two year old or a twenty two year old.

A few weeks ago our pastor said something like “Life’s lessons are better learned in a lab than a lecture.  And it just so happens that our lives are one giant learning lab.”  Admittedly I cringed a little at first because the memories of General Chemistry lab still haunt me, but he’s definitely got a point.  Who’s a better lab partner than my two year old, careless (ahem, carefree) daughter anyways?

I don’t know if it’s a toddler thing or a Sadie thing but that girl can look at a step and fall over.  In fact a few weeks ago she fell down several steps or excuse me, lack of steps.  We were hanging out at the playground with several other moms, I was holding another little girl at the top helping her go down the slide, when I felt Sadie touch my shoulder and then suddenly I felt her no more.  One minute she was there, the next she was gone. 

Almost immediately I heard a loud thud and shrieks of horror.  I look down and see my little sunscreen drenched, floppy hat wearing girl covered in mud and screaming at the top of her lungs.  I wish I could tell you I immediately kicked into super mommy mode and swept down in one leap to scoop her up but I didn’t.   Even though I was staring at what was clearly my child all I could think was “That’s not Sadie. I know where Sadie is.  Sadie would never fall like that.  I take good care of Sadie.”  And then somehow reality broke through. 

Thank you Lord we somehow escaped that accident without so much as a bruise (no really, praise to God for that).  But as I raced home to clean off all the mud and mulch from Sadie’s knees I could almost hear God saying “She’s not yours April.  You can’t protect her from everything.  You have to trust me.”  All afternoon and evening through tears, I wrestled with what could have happened and what didn’t happen and yet I still kept hearing that faint whisper “She’s my child first.” 

I love James 1:17.  I’ve written it on my nifty, Pinterest-inspired chalkboard, I’ve memorized it, I’ve even recited it to other people in situations where I deem it necessary.  But this time it was like I was hearing it for the first time “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights.”  Sadie is a beautiful, lovely, precious gift but are you more in love with the gift than the giver, April?  Hard words for this mama to swallow.  

[to be continued....hopefully tomorrow]