Saturday, June 28, 2008


Today I got to hang out with my best friend from High School!!!

She was in visiting her parents, and drove a few hours with her husband and 3 little ones to visit us for the afternoon.

Mindy and I first met during our freshman year of High School. We hung out, double dated, and shared clothes. We did silly teenager things. We measured how high our bangs were with a ruler. We even had a bet going at the end of our senior year to see who missed the most days of school! (I won...). She was the Maid of Honor in my wedding.

But for almost 10 years we've lived over 1000 miles apart.

So, most of our true "knowing each other" was done before we both became mommies. But when we do see each other, it seems like no time has passed.

THIS time, it DID feel different in a way.

This was the first time I have met her youngest daughter, who is only 6 months old. And it was the first time I had ever observed her being a mommy to 3 little ones.

I sat in the family room, with every toy we own scattered around me. And I said,
"Mindy, what are we DOING??? Here we are, with 6 KIDS between us. CRAZY!!!"

It is crazy. It's also really cool to see who my friend from so long ago has become as a wife, and a mother.

It was a fun and hectic day, and I was sad to see it come to an end so quickly. But what a blessing it was! I hope it happens again soon! :-)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Two Awesome Things

Two great things have happened in the past 24 hours!

Last night, Ryan came home from work with a beautiful bunch of white roses. (for me, of course.)
He said it was a thank you for the past week while he travelled and I was alone with the kids.

Isn't that so sweet?

I'll have to post a picture of them, if I can figure out how to post pictures.

And THEN........

This afternoon I received an email that I won a dinner gift certificate to Lucky 32! (one of my favorite restaurants!)

Here's the random way I won:

A few months ago, I went to see a home on the market, looking at it for my mom. When I got the agent feedback request, it asked me to predict what the final cosing price of the home would be. The agent whose guess was closest would win dinner for two at Lucky 32.

I felt bad, but I guessed REALLLLY low.

Like many, many TENS of thousands less than listing price.

So guess what? Turns out I was RIGHT!!!

Lucky 32? Lucky ME!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mom of the Year

What a week!

Ryan has been gone for 6 days. I started the week by keeping the house clean. I even thought that I would finish tackling all the clothes in my bedroom while he was gone, and SUPRISE! he would come back to a spotless home. Yeah - the best laid plans.........

Cuz here's the problem. I'm EXHAUSTED.

I'm thinking that there should be some kind of special award for me this week. Here are some good reasons that I should be in the running for mother of the year (or at least the month...)

* I put a two year old to bed numerous times this week at 10pm.
* I gave the same two year old enough coffee to keep him awake past 10pm.
* He also had pizza four times this week.
* Should I mention that he's swallowed about 39 pieces of gum in 3 days? (well, almost...)
* Within a few hours, I rescued him from diving into the deep end of the pool, and another mom caught him after he ran out of McDonalds into the parking lot. (maybe his extra energy came from the mocha he drank at Harris Teeter??)
* During those same few hours, I "lost" Clara for a few minutes in the culdesac while I enjoyed a little wine with the neighbors.

BUT. My kids did all sleep (some) this week. They had (mostly) clean clothes. They ate (kinda healthy?) food. No one got sick. They got hugs. We even went walking late at night looking for frogs. And every popsicle in the freezer is gone.

I guess now that I think about it, it was a pretty good week. :-)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


I know I'm not alone when I say that in so many areas of life, I feel like I take two steps forward, one step back.

Some things are little, some are big.

A small thing? Cleaning the house. I've realized that it actually takes less than 1/2 day for everything I've done to become undone. A few weeks ago, my mom was over, and I had everything really clean before she arrived. We had tea while John slept, and the girls were at school. She stayed the rest of the afternoon, and then my dad came later, and we all had dinner. After we finished eating, mom looked around, and said "Wow, everything was so nice and clean earlier!" Uh, yeah. It was.

Other things are less tangible. I think about where I'd like to see myself one day. How I'd like to grow spiritually. What areas of my heart I want to be changed. And so I make different goals, and set out to see what happens. I start prayer journals, and Bible studies.

And then you know what happens? LIFE. Life happens. Sometime I don't finish the study because I've spent days on end with sick kids. Or was working nonstop. Or I was just lazy. Somtimes life is difficult, or people are hurtful. And upon closer inspection, I realize that my heart is still carrying the burden of unforgiveness. And then I'm so disappointed with myself and my progress. I even wonder once in a while if the little bits of progress I do make even matter. Does God even notice?

Oh, how many times I've envisioned the Godly woman that I want Him to make me. And for every time I've envisioned her, I've wished that He would just make it happen NOW!

But I read something written by Beth Moore this week in my Bible study that has given me such encouragement and peace about my journey.
"I don't stand over my children impatiently and wish they were suddenly grown. I celebrate every step they take. Why do we think our Heavenly Father, who designed our bodies, souls, and spirits to operate just as they do, would be any different? No, God doesn't enjoy a child's stubborn unwillingness to grow up any more than I'd enjoy my kids still crawling at six years of age. But I am convinced God thoroughly relishes every hint of maturity even if we feel as if we're not making progress."

Sigh. That was just what I needed to hear. If it's enough for God to notice, then it's enough for me, too.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Adventure and Anticipation

I might be taking a trip this summer.
With my husband, of course.

It started very innocently. I thought it would be nice to get away for 2 or 3 days together. It's been a long time since we've been anywhere. The beach? The mountains? How far could we get in just a long weekend?

Then my sister went to the Bahamas. And she had a blast. I looked online at the place she visited, and almost had the guts to wonder if we might take a trip like that. (I haven't noticed any money growing on our trees.....) I casually mentioned to Ryan that supposedly there are inexpensive trip packages out there, and wouldn't it be nice to really get the most bang for our buck?

A few days later, I saw a friend from church who has a travel business. I mentioned to her that we wanted to get away for a few days. She sent me an email with some trip suggestions. Mexico? COSTA RICA? Wow. My imagination hadn't travelled further than off the coast of Florida. She said these places were possibilities, and wanted to know what things we enjoy, and what we like to do.

When was the last time I stopped to think about something like that?

Me, with no kids to look after. What would I want to do?

I wasn't sure at first. But then I realized.......

I want adventure.
I want to be wowed.
I want an experience I'll never forget.

This realization kind of shocked me. I mean, I spend my days driving 3 kids in a minivan, and making ramen noodles for lunch. My adventures have to do with the hissing beetles Clara finds in the woods and sneaks into the house.

This whole idea of a trip has snowballed into something that I never thought it could be. It started as a quick trip to just "get away from it all." It quickly became more costly, and more exciting, than I would have given myself permission to envision at the beginning. And that is exciting to me.

If we had started from the get-go by saying, "Let's go to Costa Rica," it would have been great. But that would have been the expectation. There is really something fabulous about being happy with things that are small, and then being wowed when they turn into so much more.

It's reminded me to do a little more anticipating. Anticipate the good things that God has in store for my life. Anticipate the adventures He has waiting for me. Because I just know that it will be so much more than I could ever envision it to be on my own.

Lavish Love

The girls went to sleep at Granny's tonight, and John was not happy about it. Daddy is out of town for a week, and once the girls left, John was upset. It was just he and I.

I started trying to distract him with toys. But he had other ideas. He went straight to the freezer and asked for a popsicle. He had already had one earlier today. And it had been a day FULL of giving in to him, over and over again about silly things. But, whatever. I put him in his highchair and gave him another. Once the treat was finished, it was on to more fun. He wanted to watch Wubbzy on TV, and I tried to snuggle with him. For just a minute, he put his little toddler hand on my head and patted me. I wanted to squeeze him closer.

Then we started reading books. Goodnight Moon was read multiple times, at his request. On the page of another book, he thought a boy was eating pretzels, so he insisted on having pretzels too. Lucky for me I had just bought a bag 2 hours earlier. "This is silly," I thought. Why should I give him yet another snack just because he sees pretzels in a book? Then I thought, "I can, so why not?" We snuggled some more with pretzels, milk, and more books. I read the tractor book over and over.

Determined to get him in bed for once before 9pm, I bribed him to come upstairs with the new Sponge Bob toothbrush I bought today. That kid LOVES to brush his teeth. I reapplied miniscule amounts of toothpaste multiple times, and he brushed and brushed and brushed. I decided to rock him and sing before laying him down. Each song was sung in the order that he requested them, and one was stopped in mid-song because he wanted Rock-a-Bye-Baby instead.

I held him close and watched his little eyes get sleepy. And I wondered to myself, how much longer will I have the privilege of rocking this precious little boy to sleep? I smiled to myself, thinking that he is SO spoiled rotten. Running around all day, doing things at the whim of a two year old. But I can, and I want to. I love him.

Isn't that so much like the love that God has for us, his children? There are so many things that we want, and don't need. So much that God could say "No" to. But He doesn't. He knows the difference between the things that are good and things that are harmful. And because He loves to lavish His love on us, He says "Yes" to so much. Why? Because He can, and He wants to. Because He loves us.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Birthday Bash

Emma turned 10 this week.
I know what everyone must think..... "No way Kristin can have a kid that old!"
But it's true.

For her birthday breakfast last year, we went to Baskin Robbins to have ice cream. I figured she would want that again, but she chose to have breakfast in bed. She also decided that she wanted to open most of her gifts in the morning before daddy left for work. So at 7:30 am, there we sat, as Emma opened horse-drawing kits, books, a horse whip, and outfits and jewelry from Justice.

(Don't know what Justice is? Oh, it's just a store that charges more for a kids t-shirt than I spend on a whole outfit for myself.....)

Anyway, Emma LOVED the outfits. After her breakfast, she immediately put on a turquoise tank top with sequins, a white skirt (with sequins), dangling earrings with silver glitter, and a headband (with sequins.) She thought that she looked at least 15. Sad to say, so did I!

I'm realizing very quickly these days how fast she is growing up. This is the first birthday she has ever had where she hasn't gotten a Barbie doll from anyone. She actually ASKED for clothes and jewelry. Between our family party, and then her roller skating party with friends, I think she had a blast. And she was thankful. That's what I'm most proud of. My little girl is becoming a fine young lady.