Mama Monday: Remembering…

I don’t have a lot of words this week.

Tomorrow we will be remembering the life of a wonderful man. Photos have been smiled at, stories shared and tomorrow we will say goodbye amongst our friends and the many others who loved our friend.

I am just sharing the words to a song that comforts me. I share only the lyrics because the words are what matter. I pray all of you have a blessed week.

When I get where I’m going
On the far side off the sky
The first thing that I’m gonna do
Is spread my wings and fly

I’m gonna land beside a lion
And run my fingers through his mane
Or I might find out what it’s like
To ride a drop of rain

Yeah when I get where I’m going
There’ll be only happy tears
I will shed the sins and struggles
I have carried all these years
And I’ll leave my heart wide open
I will love and have no fear
Yeah when I get where I’m going
Don’t cry for me down here

I’m gonna walk with my grand daddy
And he’ll match me step for step
And I’ll tell him how I missed him
Every minute since he left
Then I’ll hug his neck

Yeah when I get where I’m going
There’ll be only happy tears
I will shed the sins and struggles
I have carried all these years
And I’ll leave my heart wide open
I will love and have no fear
Yeah when I get where I’m going
Don’t cry for me down here

So much pain and so much darkness
In this world we stumble through
All these questions I can’t answer
So much work to do

But when I get where I’m going
And I see my maker’s face
I’ll stand forever in the light
Of his amazing grace
Yeah when I get where I’m going
Oh When I get where I’m going
There’ll be only happy tears
Hallelujah
I will love and have no fear
When I get where I’m going
Yeah when I get where I’m going

~ Brad Paisley

Mama Monday: Ahhhh!!!

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Well, my little world here on the blogosphere has sure been quiet….

I have been disgustingly busy and I have to say I don’t really like it! I really like quiet. I like predictable. I like slow days at home with my boy.

I, along with my husband, have been preparing to do our first crafty type of market this Saturday. It is exciting! And it has been fun to do it as a couple, but I am ready for Saturday to come. To do this and than have a little break.

It could be because of the growing bean in my tummy, but I just want to curl up on the couch and knit something! I would really like to be in a little cabin in the woods with a blazing wood stove and hot cocoa. But, I will be thankful for this opportunity. Thankful for extra time spent with hubby.

I will share about the market next Monday, cross your fingers for us that it all goes well. We are a little nervous!

Oh and speaking of said bean, here we are at 18 weeks. And yes, I still have arms.

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Have an incredible week!!

Mama Monday: Over Again

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This time of year is always bittersweet. Although I love fall, the impending end of our time at the cabin is always a sad one. We arrived home this weekend from our last trip to the cabin. We had the most wonderful week as a family. Spent time playing games, watching movies and the boys had way too much fun exploring outside.

The trees were beautiful, dressed in their fall colors of orange, yellow and red. The lake was calm and the air chilly. The wood stove kept us warm as we snuggled under covers and read storybooks. What a wonderful escape, so thankful to have that cozy place to visit. And even more thankful for an uninterrupted week with my little family.

It is so hard to believe that this was Gray’s third summer out at the cabin and that next year when we return he will already be three and a half. Time is just slipping through our fingers!!

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Gray loved hauling leaves and branches around with his Daddy, getting the yard ready for winter!

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Finding ladybugs became a fun game. Gray finally let them crawl on his small hands, giggling as they went.

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Photo Friday

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Little Boy loves his Dad!!

Feeling grateful this week for,

#201 – Safe trips home
#202 – reliability of a really great friend
#203 – Falling leaves
#204 – Art supplies, these are really fun!
#205 – yoga pants
#206 – Help Me Find It by Sidewalk Prophets
#207 – my Moms homemade French fries!
#208 – the sweet smile G gets when Daddy comes home
#209 – “Praves” (aka prayers) with my adorable son, they always have to include his dump truck, backhoe and many other miscellaneous toys!
#210 – this post from sweet Amy
#211 – Faith and trust
#212 – library books
#213 – 1, 2, 3 GO!!!!
#214 – pumpkin recipes
#215 – With God all things are possible ~ Matthew 19:26

Hope you all have a great weekend!!

A Little Book Nook

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I really wanted to do a little book nook for Gray, but we don’t have any cute extra closets hiding anywhere around this house! We don’t even have a linen closet!

I made very simple shelves, again using plans from one of the most awesome people, Ana White. Am I obsessed? Maybe, maybe just a little ūüôā

The shelves are from a plan called Ten Dollar Ledges. Reason being, it costs about ten bucks for an eight foot section of shelving. Which means my three little shelves only cost about ten bucks!

We made three six footers of these for our lower living room to house a whole lot of picture frames.

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I built the book nook ones slightly different than Ana’s plan, only because these are in a small hallway and I did not want them to stick out quite as far. So if you look at the plan you will notice that a 1X4 and a 1X2 sandwich in an additional 1X4. What I did was put the 1X2 and the 1X4 on top of the 1X4. I secured it underneath. This meant a lot more finishing for the front, but it gave me the result that I wanted.

This is a fairly awkward space to take a picture of because it is just a tiny hallway right outside Gray’s room. This is what I started with.

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I marked my studs and put these babies up. Piled them full of books and brought Gray upstairs to see, I think he approves!

IMG_4086EDWM IMG_4092EDWM IMG_4100EDWM¬†I also hung an¬†ABC poster up. I hung it at his level so that we can look at all the pictures and letters together. I couldn’t find something store bought that I liked so I downloaded this really cute digital kit from Zoe Pearn. I bought this one, which is considered the boy one. I personally think it is more gender neutral. There is also this girl one, and this flashcard one. All pretty cute!

I used Photoshop Elements to design my own poster. I sent it to staples and a couple days later I picked it up. I put it in a frame we already had and now had some art that Gray and I can learn with.

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With the poster, the rug and the shelves this project came in under $30. Not bad for some storage and a cute spot to read. I find Gray reaching for his books way more now that he can see all the fronts.

Do you have a spot in your house where you enjoy to read?

Mama Monday: Thank Goodness it is Friday!

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Ok, I know. Currently it is Monday, hence the Mama Monday title. But, last week when Friday came I shouted for joy. For reals.

It was a really LONG week.

One of my close friends wrote “Thank goodness it’s Friday,” on her facebook status and I was thinking, man are we on the same page.

It starts in early September. My handsome Hubby drowning in work, welcome to audit season. By the way audit season, I don’t really like you. I am thankful for Hubby’s job, I am thankful I am able to be at home with my sweet boy and I am thankful that my Hubby works so very hard for our family. But, I don’t love being a single Mom 5+ months of the year. Kudos to you beautiful ladies who do it every. single. day. You are amazing!

My week started ok. I decided to take Gray to Grandmas and Pakes for a visit. He loves going there, spoiled rotten. Watching Toopy whenever he wants, his favorites foods stocked in the fridge. Yes, for him it is a magical place. I also am taken care of, fed my favorite foods and get to relax while Gray demands his darling Grandparents to jump and walk and march and giggle. Did I mention that my son is slightly bossy. Ahem…I wonder where he got such a gift!?

The weather has also been so warm that playing outside in their yard was such a blessing. Ours has been dug up for the majority of the summer, leaving very little play options for us.

So the week continued and I barely slept due to deep congestion, thank you allergies. Two nights of the week, Tuesday and Thursday I had asthma attacks, my personal favorite! If you have asthma attacks or know someone that does, you know they are exhausting. Not only did they leave me with very little sleep but I was also put right out for the next day. I felt very guilty last week with little Gray. He did not get the attention and patience from me that he normally does and I felt downright awful. A lot of mom guilt last week.

Then Friday comes, its almost over right??? Well, I woke up after getting between 3-4 hours of sleep and I could tell right away that this was going to be a headache type of day! I try to get up and take a nice hot shower when I feel it coming on, it seems to help it from progressing as dramatically. I hopped in the shower and I must of stepped on the shower curtain or something because a crash swiftly followed. And yes, the shower bar fell right on my pounding head. Dripping wet, I proceeded to try to reinstall said tension bar. Well, it won and my lip lost. Head pounding, swollen lip growing, I stomped downstairs to finish my shower.

Our day consisted of hurt feelings, tired bodies and way too much leapfrog videos. But, we made it and here we are and it’s Monday. Our week is off to a great start. Allergies are still attacking me, but we made it to the park. G-man is having a much needed nap and I am getting a little downtime with you.

So here is to a really good week! Sorry for the blog post about pretty much nothing.¬†But, it felt good to get all that off my chest ūüôā

Mama Monday: Loving not Longing

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Every night when I lie down in my bed I ponder the day. Sometimes I beat myself up for something I did or did not do. Maybe I raised my voice or wasn’t as active with Gray as I should of been. Maybe our day was full of temper tantrums (both of us!) or maybe it was quiet and connected. No matter what happens, every night I go through it. I think that always leads to wondering if I am doing a good enough for my young man. Am I spoiling him? Do I hold him back? Does he have fun during the day? Did he eat healthy enough?

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Do you do this?

Most Mamas do. We question and research and look at our jobs as Moms. Mama guilt creeps in from time to time. Exhaustion is often knocking on our door. I was also finding this year, that longing to expand our family or to get the house completed, etc. took away from my time with my son. That precious time that is just slipping through my fingers, whether I like or not (I don’t, by the way – slow down!!). Me, thinking or wondering what path we were headed down, where we were going, worrying about what was or wasn’t going to happen. Time just wasted on things that don’t improve by worrying.

So, I started to trying to figure out what my boy needed. I already knew these, but simplifying and breaking it down ensured me that I could get it all done and that I could grow and improve in the process. His needs are not many, food, water, cuddles and as much love and affection that we could dish out. So what was I missing?

I realized that what I was missing was the fact that the love¬†I was giving was¬†often interrupted. The phone would ring, the house would need vacuuming. my mind would wander as we were conducting a very important car race around the living room. I was physically there, but sometimes I was¬†mentally missing. Zoning out my precious boy who looks up at me with his big brown eyes asking me to, “come see, come see!!”¬†And I think that I finally connected it all,¬†Gray wants us, just as we are. He wants loving parents not longing parents. He doesn’t need parents who are sitting with him and thinking of something else. Parents who can’t log off their email or put down their phone. He doesn’t need parents who get swept away in worrying instead of playing hide and go seek. He needs us, regardless of what we need to do an hour from now or what condition the house is. When he¬†remembers his childhood I don’t think he will be focused on how many dishes were in the sink. I want him to remember that we made time for him. Time to listen to his stories and to practice counting or colors. Us, focusing on him,¬†praising him, hugging him and playing with him. Loving him fully every single day.

This boy we have been given is a gift. And I try my best¬†everyday to make sure I am not taking this precious soul for granted. That I am giving him all that God expected when He entrusted Gray into our hands. Everyday takes some shifting, some adjusting. Some days don’t always go as planned. Our life isn’t perfect, I am not a perfect Mom. But, I am a Mom who tries her very best for her son, who tries to give him all I have. In the evening when I ponder, I pray that the Lord would direct me, that I would know how to raise Gray. That He would show me what Gray needs in his life. If our day was messy and disappointing I pray that tomorrow I would do better, give more, love honestly. Remember each day is a new day, don’t be hard on yourself for yesterday, start anew today.

Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.
~  Charles (Chuck) Swindoll

Photo Friday

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Well, I have been away from blogging and regular life for the month of July. How wonderful! It was relaxing and time was¬†spent with my awesome family and beloved friends. I took about a million pictures, but something really special¬†happened in the month of July.¬†My sister and my nephew came to visit,¬†we had not seen them in nine years!! Last time we saw them we were in Portugal visiting them and my beautiful nephew was only two! Whoa how time flies. I was so grateful to spend time with them, even though it wasn’t nearly long enough!

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 Bursting with gratitude for:

#186 – hubby’s vacation days – feeling so blessed to be able to spend so much time with him
#187 – that the world really isn’t that big!
#188 – answered prayer – don’t you just love that?
#189 – tiny, tiny wild strawberries for Gray to pick
#190 – beautiful sunshine
#191 – encouraging daily devotionals
#192 – “The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise Him, my Father’s God, and I will exalt Him.” – Exodus 15:2
#193 – a best friend who is always there to listen and hold my hand
#194 – fires and marshmallows
#195 – new slippers
#196 – solutions
#197 – a hardworking husband – I swear this guy can do anything!
#198 – cars, trains, planes and boats that make Gray smile from ear to ear
#199 – a day spent with a beautiful friend in an ugly place
#200 Рbeing a Mom and getting uninterrupted hours of fun with my boy

Photo Friday

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IMG_4705EDWe got to dance in the rain the other day! Man, this kid can make me giggle.

He sure loves raindrops!

Thankful for:

#171 – “I’m sorry’s” written in bath crayon
#172 – this cool guy in our neighborhood who rides a scooter and beside him trails his furry companion, these two always make me smile
#173 – hero’s in the time of crisis
#174 – understanding and patient friends
#175 – pure, simple sunshine
#176 – the beautiful, two year-old, broken version of the ABC’s
#177 – Toopy and Binoo (I know, I know…but it makes him unbelievably happy)
#178 – our new saw, can’t wait to build, build, build!
#179 – conversations with Dr. Sarah
#180 – God’s forgiveness and grace, everytime….
#181 – good lab work
#182 – great “babysitters”
#183 – disappointment, because it always leaves me wiser and stronger
#184 – new recipe night – yummy, yummy wraps
#185 – time to unwind

Happy weekend everyone! Love and prayer’s to all of you in Calgary. We are all thinking of you!

Speechless

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Do you ever just feel completely overwhelmed? When you have to just throw up your hands and announce that your done?

Well, I have been¬†feeling that lately. Sort of the burdens of the world on my shoulders in a way. Although, I am the one who placed them there…or did I? God does work in mysterious ways.

I had a bit of a blog break. Not intentionally, it just turned out that way. One day streamed into the next and before I knew it¬†I hadn’t written in¬†a few weeks. Wow! Where does the time go?

I had a hard time wanting to write after posting about sweet Hope. I kind of didn’t want there to be a post after Hope. You know? I just loved logging on and her beautiful face popping up into the middle of my screen. Taking a moment to pray each time I walked by¬†the computer,¬†for Amy, for Shawn, for Sadie, for Charlotte. Sort of breathing in the moment and simply accepting the peace the Lord can bring. I didn’t want to move on, not wanting to move past that beauty on my screen. And yet here we are, moving forward; remembering.

I am an emotional girl. I know that may sound cliché, but for reals, I cry at commercials. Like, a lot of them. And lately my emotions have just been swallowing me up. I was feeling a pull to focus and just put those emotions and all my love into praying when I sensed hurt. I gotta say, I got overwhelmed. My emotions got the best of me and putting those into prayer created an opportunity to continue to walk forward and be supportive when I could.

I suppose sometimes I just wonder the world is coming to, I watch the news and I can barely handle the sadness, the stories of abandoned children and hungry families. People that are homeless and poor and sick. Sad and angry people taking guns into schools. Corruption in government, the devastation of war. Although I know as long as the world has gone round, these things have been happening. Probably due to our increased access of technology is what makes it seem like there is more awful now than ever. Either way, I refuse to be numb to it.

Than there is the¬†grief that is occurring¬†in my own circles and in the lives of those I love. Death, cancer,¬†sickness,¬†infertility, affairs, divorces, abuse, brokenness, depression. People going through the unimaginable.¬†I sometimes wonder why God gave me a heart of compassion. Because although I have this one compassionate heart I can’t always make the impact I desire.¬†I am not swimming in a bunch of money,¬†I don’t have clout in a high powered company, I am not a genius and I don’t often have the right words to bring comfort. All I have to give is me.¬†Maybe a kind word, a little note or just an understanding nod across the aisles at the grocery store. Generally all I can do is fall on my knees and pray. Praying for guidance, praying for inspiration and for refueling.

In that refueling we find His good. Our friends that pick us up when we are broken. Our families who love us no matter what we do. Giggles in a little boy that ran barefoot in the grass for the very first time. Flowers that come up year after year despite the terrifying cold that comes every winter. The smell of a new baby. Coffee with a dear friend. The softness of a brand new puppies fur. The pleasure in doing something that you enjoy.

The little things and the big.

Realizing that at the end of a really big storm you will see the sun again. You will.

I promise you.

And so does He.

Psalm 107: 28-30
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble and He delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed.
Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and He brought them to their desired haven.