Thursday, May 21, 2015

STATE OF THE SPENSTS

Consider this as a sort of snapshot of what life feels like right now - a little State of the Union for our family.

We are coming to the end of our first school year, and there seems to be a tiny bit of light at the end of the tunnel.  But - I've got to be honest here, we are tired.  You are probably sick of reading that, but the good news for you is that you can always stop reading.  Unfortunately, I haven't stopped living it yet, though I am hopeful that there is rest on the horizon.  This week I've found myself irrationally angry at people when they have asked us for anything.  This is not their fault - it's mine, and I know it.  It just feels like we are responsible for a lot of things, and I want to quit addition and only work on subtraction.

John and I often liken being at home with our kids to a Koi Pond.  Anytime there is any food out or anything going on, you get swarmed.  Actually, you pretty much get swarmed by children any time they are awake.  That is just the stage we are at, and it takes a lot of energy.

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As another indicator of what things have been like here, Violet had been struggling for weeks with bad eczema and allergies.  I had a follow up appointment with her allergist and had been really looking forward to what we would find out.  When we got in to the room, he asked how her regular meds had been going.  That's when I realized that he had prescribed stuff back in November that I had never once given her.  The prescriptions were filled and sitting in my kitchen cabinet unopened and had been completely forgotten.  I felt like an idiot and a terrible mother all rolled into one.  The doctor noted that those things would probably really help her.

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Also this week, we were cleaning out the mini-van and discovered mouse droppings.  It is easy to see why mice would be drawn to our car - there are regularly left over crumbs for them to devour.  So, when the Bug Man came to our house yesterday, I mentioned this to him, and he set a trap in the very back corner of the car where we had found the droppings.  When I got to a play date today and went to get the stroller out of the back, I saw it.  A stiff little mouse body.

I died a little on the inside and tried to keep it together, because I had my three youngest and one of my friend's kids with me.  Thankfully, my friend is a braver woman than I, and she fished it out of the car.  We did manage to dispose of the wretched thing (#reasonsyoushouldalwayshaveplasticbagsinyourcar), and now I am praying that it was a very lonely mouse with no mouse friends who liked to party with it in our van.  But, John has already said we need to set another trap.  Sick.

I promised my friend that I would post a picture of her with it on the blog if she did the deed.  Thanks, Jenn.  Friends don't let friends drive with a dead mouse in their car.

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Between the Koi children at home, pests in the car and life pressures pressing in at every turn, life feels a little daunting.  So, when life feels like this, what are we to do?  Well, it dawned on me the other day that we have everything we need to make some changes.  Sort of like going to the doctor and realizing that we had the medicine all along.  We can slow down.  We can regroup.  We can continue to ask the Lord to guide our decisions with how we spend the time he allows us to have.  Some of this is just seasonal, because we will not always have two year old twins who think that any moment not spent eating or looking for food to eat or throwing everything everywhere is a moment wasted.  I am hopeful that we can make some of these changes and be able to enjoy the good things about having young children.

The other thing I personally need to do is continue to look outside of myself.  As John has reminded me in just the last week, "We got everything we asked for."  And we did, and I am truly so thankful.  So many things are so sweet, and I have a choice about how to think about them.  In the meantime, I am asking the Lord to work in my heart continually.  To align it to see things through his eyes.  To truly view all of the resources at our fingertips as his and to not want to hoard any of them for ourselves.  I know there is a balance somewhere in there, but I think there will always be a healthy push and pull here trying to walk in a way that is pleasing to him.  It's like a tight rope that I will regularly fall off of, but it's not far from the ground, and the Lord will always catch us.  He's good like that.

So to sum it all up - we are tired, but God is good.  And I don't like mice.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE BABY SHOWER

Well, I've been sitting on this one for a few weeks, because the adoption was not public news, but I am thrilled to be able to share about it today.  I've gotten to know Lynn over the past two years by being in the same D-group together.  She's got a quiet strength, and I am always wondering what wisdom she will share next.  She and her husband Jeremy love Jesus, and it has been a joy to watch their adoption process unfold over the last year.

There are usually twists and turns in an adoption story, and their's certainly had a fair few.  But in March, it looked like they were finally going to meet their new son, Micah.  He is precious.  He rocks an extra 21st chromosome, and he is thriving as their 4th child with an older sister and two older brothers who adore him.  (You can see pictures and read more of their story on the blog post Lynn wrote yesterday!)  I love seeing God work, and seeing the Hagues walk in his plan for their family has been such a privilege.

As soon as the Hagues got home with him, we began planning a shower.  It was an afternoon shindig with a few fun treats and lots of talking and presents.  I loved the theme we used - You Are My Sunshine.  It was perfectly appropriate for the sweet sunshine that is Micah.

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It's fun throwing showers with friends, because everyone pitches in so the work load is significantly less than doing a party by yourself.  The whole affair turned out quite lovely.

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I didn't get any pictures of the other people there, because I was too busy talking.  But - I did snap this shot of the precious mother opening gifts.  Love you, Lynn!

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So looking forward to loving on Micah for years to come!

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(All printables from Lauren Haddox Design on Etsy.  We loved them!)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

EASTER SEALS FASHION EVENT

William and Violet get six hours of therapy each week.  Five of those hours are at Easter Seals of Arkansas here in Little Rock.  They do Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy with a team of therapists.  I have been so thrilled to have a support system there.  They have known us since the twins were 8 months old and have been cheering them on from rolling over to walking and from saying nothing to saying a host of words.  Easter Seals has worked with our rather complicated schedule and been incredibly accommodating and supportive.

Now that I have children with some developmental delays, I truly understand how valuable these services are.  I could do not what I do without the work that they do.  Our therapists love my children even when they throw tantrums, throw sippy cups or flat out refuse to do what is being asked of them.  I'm so thankful.

So, when I got an email asking if we would like to have Lily walk as a model in the Easter Seals Fashion Show, I didn't hesitate to say, "Yes!"  We picked out some clothes at The Toggery on Wednesday afternoon and headed to the Marriott on Friday afternoon.

It was such a great event!  Lily was partnered with a boy that she met that day, and they held hands as they walked the runway.  My heart was beating out of my chest as it neared her turn.  I think I was far more nervous to watch her than I would have been to actually walk myself.  Being a parent is a thrilling ride that certainly never gets dull.  Thankfully, she did great.

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Many of the models who walked were clients at Easter Seals and seeing the reception they received from the crowd had me in tears much of the night.  One girl, Haven, walked the runway without help, which was a HUGE accomplishment for her.  Her family attends our church, and her father is planning a dirt bike ride across America as a fundraiser for Easter Seals this summer.  For more info on Haven's Road and how to support them - go here!  (William makes a tiny cameo in the video!)

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A couple of our therapists were up on the catwalk as volunteers helping to shepherd little ones in the final walk.  I'm so thankful for their role in our family!

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John, Bella and I had a great time watching the event, eating hors devours, bidding on silent auction items and riding the escalators.

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All in all, it was a great event, and I'm so glad to have the chance to support an organization that gives our family so much support and encouragement!

Friday, May 15, 2015

COOKIE HIATUS

I love doing sugar cookies.  Truly.  However, I've come to a place where I need to take a break, and the fact of the matter is that cookies are time consuming.  I am facing several months with limited childcare, and I know that having the stress of cookies on top of that would not be helpful.  It's time for me to take a little hiatus.

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It's sort of funny to start a break when life is already slowing a tiny bit, but I need it to slow way down, so I am pulling out all the stops.  Most of my friends have said that it is about time for this, and that has helped me realize how many cookies I really have done.

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I'm hoping to focus some of my creative energy in other directions in the coming months, and I look forward to seeing what I'll be able to do with the newly freed time.  I will do a very few orders here and there, and if I feel like it, I may offer a couple of flash sales, but mostly, my kitchen will be cookie free.

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I feel like doing cookies is a gift that God has given me, and I am so thankful for the opportunity I've had to use it so much in the last year and a half.  It has been so much fun.

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But - it also comes with its fair share of stressors - like, "Will these cookies make it to their destination in good shape?" or "Will this person really like the designs?" or "Please children, don't touch anything I am working on."  So as I look at the energy that I will be freeing up and the stress I will be releasing, I really do get excited!  I'm sure there will come a time when I begin accepting orders again, but this is not it.  Thanks so much to those of you who have ordered and any of you that have given encouraging words.  I really appreciate it!

(These cookies are all from April and May.  And this is not all of them - no wonder I am tired!)