I do feel like I have stumbled upon a new "revelation" of sorts for myself as a young mother of two very young girls.:) Whenever anyone asks, "How do you do it?" or I find myself describing our current status in life (residency, no family, 2 babies under 2, poor as dirt, husband less most of the time, etc.) I have responded with, "I just try to survive each day until I lay down, fall to sleep, and wake up and survive again." Truthfully, with young babies that is sometimes what it feels like. But I have decided that I am tired of SURVIVING. I want to THRIVE! I have the secret ....and I'll share it with you! :)
Jesus. That's it...plain and simple. The truth is that if I attempt to do everything that is on my plate by myself, my own power, my own understanding, then I truly will be simply surviving...trying to keep my head above water. But the most exciting news is that I don't have to do this alone (although it sometimes feels that way.) I have the holy spirit living and dwelling inside of me as a Christian and He promises to lead me, and even better...He promises to lead me in the RIGHT direction, never the wrong one. So, this has been a mental reminder, spiritual check point for me in a way- I need to release my control, and allow God to take over. The crazy schedules, absent family, and tiredness that my little sweeties bring my way are all blessings. While my tasks are extremely simple and mundane most each and everyday- diapers, picking up toys for the 16th time, washing/loading dishwasher, doing laundry, putting babies to sleep- I want to invite the Lord- the Glorious- into my simple everyday tasks to make them learning experiences that draw me closer to the Lord. The bible says that all we have to do is ask the Lord to come near...even when the stinkiest diaper is near :)-and He will!! So my challenge for myself, and maybe for some of you other mommy's out there reading this, is to invite Jesus into your everyday, mundane tasks. See what happens. I am trusting and believing that it will produce a more joyful wife for my husband, a happier mommy for my children, and a more healthy family member and friend for all those around me.
The first step that I am working on is placing a priority on my time with the Lord, before babies, before husbands, before daybreak probably. :) Along with that I am going to figure out how to get some exercise/alone time for me to physically, mentally, and spiritually get into shape. Oh how wonderful it sounds to get outside (by myself!!) listen to praise music on my ipod, and take a run/walk. So those are my first tangible goals. Can't wait to do it...especially since MAYBE it's about to get a little cooler and the weather is so nice.
Ok...totally different note. And some completely random thoughts about my precious family.
Grammie came for a visit last week! She was here Monday-Saturday and we had a blast with her. Caroline adores her and follows her around like a little puppy. We got to go shopping, out to eat, to the library, cook together, and Caroline got a special date to the zoo. She was in heaven. And I was in heaven....I got to run out alone and run errands each day while the girls napped. Brad and I got to get away one evening for dinner and a movie- although he slept most of the date, I still enjoyed our time together. I have been pretty out of it as far as taking pictures lately, but I did grab the camera for a few shots. Thanks Gram for coming to visit- we missed Grandpa terribly, but we'll see you all again soon for Birthday and Thanksgiving celebrations!
Emily loves Elmo. She does. He makes her giggle and coo. She adores the tickle me Elmo that Caroline got for Christmas. She will kiss him and hug him and waller all around on him. So sweet. She is getting 2 of her lateral incisors (lol that's what my medical hubby called them! I call them her side vampire teeth...) Once those come in, the middle top teeth should follow and we should hopefully be about finished with teething for a little while. Ha. We'll see. She is SO ready to be able to stand up and crawl it's funny to watch her frustration. She can get into the crawling "stance" but can't move those sweet pudgy legs yet. Soon though, I know it. Same thing for getting her to pull up. She now latches on with her tiny little hands to anything, usually your leg or face, or something fabulous, and squeezes for dear life as she attempts to pull herself up to a standing position. I can't wait until she does, but then again, another sleep stumbling block will be present. Oh well. This doesn't last forever....sadly they grow up at lightening speed. :(
Everywhere we go people tell me how beautiful she is...of course I agree! She has the sweetest little features and the prettiest face. And of course the comment that always follows, "look at those sweet little legs!!" Yes. They are sweet. Yes. I know they will go away when she starts crawling. Please don't remind me. Let me eat up this sugar for just a little while longer. :)
Caroline is a trip and a half. As if you haven't known that already, but she truly is developing her sense of humor. She laughs and is able to share jokes with me now...she calls things "funny" appropriately and likes to giggle and revisit thoughts and actions that made me laugh previously. She is a star and shines wherever her little feet take her- the grocery store, the library, the zoo. Attention is always on her...could be her red hair, or the little personality that accompanies it. Either way, I love to stand back and watch her. At church she jumps up on the stage in the kids praise area and dances and moves to the music and is starting to attempt to sing more. I can envision her leading praise and worship one day on that stage....so precious. I think that when Caroline hits the 2 mark we will truly start the potty training seriously. She is so ready, but I am not. So until then, she is using the potty (#1) simply to get prizes. Yes, she will go 7 times in a row simply to get a snack after each time. Is she a camel?? How does she store this up and save it for all these snacks. That's bladder control if I've ever seen it. She is manipulating us in this area, but the wheels are about to turn because when we start the new training, she gets a prize for being...DRY! We'll see how that goes. I bought her a big yellow Tonka dump truck at a flea market the other day- I knew she would love it bc she loves all things boy. She did love it. I tried to hide it from her until her birthday, but that didn't work. (She's only 1!! I can't imagine how hard it will be to do that when she's 10, or 16!) So she now has her truck. And just so you know, the truck does not just haul rocks, dirt, and leaves....she uses it for her baby dolls to get around too.:) I am sure one day Emily will be riding in the back of it...LOL. Jk. She wouldn't fit. Anyway, the other day at the park someone asked me if she had brothers (first of all, did they see me carrying Emily?? Do they think I look THAT old to have MORE children around??) because she was trying to play football with some boys and ride some boys hot wheels bike. And bc the dump truck was with us. I love her and her tomboy ways...she evens it out perfectly with her little girly girl whims as well. Can't think of any off the top of my head...but she has them. And finally, our neighbors just hung a green monster thingy from their porch. Caroline is obsessed with a song on you tube called "Go away big green monster". (FYI if you go look it up, it is really sketchy, just warning. Not sure why or how we found it.) Well now the big green monster lives across the street and we are singing about it all day long. She has continually asked if we can go say "hi" to the neighbors so that she can get a closer look at him. We will tonight. She will love it. Oh the simple joys!
I haven't told you much about my true love, Dr. Hobbs lately. He is doing a fabulous job being a doctor (sometimes we giggle and laugh at the fact that he is truly a REAL doctor!) He takes such good care of all his patients and enjoys the learning process. When he comes home after a long day at work he usually tells me about the new and exciting surgeries he got to do that day and how he loves getting to do new things. I love this boy- and I love how he loves to learn. He works his tail off and spends so many hours making sure he is doing the best he can do. Who WOULDN'T want a doctor like that?? He is currently Children's hospital this month and we love that...lol...anyone that talks to us on a regular basis knows that when Brad's at Children's he gets a stipend at the cafeteria and gift shop....which means dinners and yummy snacks that don't come out of the budget. A running joke at our house is when someone asks "Where did that come from?" or "Where did you get that?" our answer is "Childrens"....actually, we pronounce it "Chill-rens" to make it sound just a little more silly. :)
Ok. So that was a huge array of things that are happening. Hopefully posts to follow won't be so lengthy! Not promising though. And now for the pictures.
Emily LOVES puffs...in her mouth, or around it.
Playgroup fun! Levi and Rosemary taking a ride in Caroline's wagon. She loves having everyone over to her house each Tuesday.
So- 2 things. 1- Caroline fell in love with these gloves one day. She took a nap in them, and even managed to keep one of them on the entire time. Is that bad?? 2- New game!! Who can bang the pots and pans the LOUDEST!!
Caroline- gave up....
They look forward to bath time every night. Daddy usually makes bath time fun for everyone.
Then he and Caroline get to relax a little bit together- hmmmm...looks like we have a copycat. :)
On the ONE cold day a few weeks ago...
Daddy took the girls to the park.
Admiring the new and improved way to NOT carve pumpkins with toddlers for Halloween. JK, I will eventually carve one with Caroline, but not that day. Cookie is like our 3rd child- the girls love him.
Gram and Caroline making cookies...with sprinkles of course!! Sprinkles are now one of the most important food groups to make sure and eat each day. They make oatmeal, yogurt, and everything else much more delicious.
New hobby- washing her food and playing with water at her sink. She looks rather distraught here because we had just finished having our debate about how much water could be turned on, and how we DO NOT POUR the water on the floor. I promise she usually loves it- this picture just captured the wrong vibe. We are not using her for child labor.