Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Today I...

Today I...

  • Before I even opened my eyes this morning, I was already praying for God's help in areas I knew I was destined to fail at as soon as my feet hit the floor.  I need His help turning opportunities and conversations and   pretty much EVERYTHING into spiritual opportunities.  Because I am missing them.  Missing them as is in:  Doing it myself and can't seem to locate them, kind of deal.    
  • Can't shake this book I'm reading.  I'm half way through it, and then I'll let ya in on it so you can read it and let it mess with you too.  Good stuff.  It's got me thinking about how even as a believer in Christ, I often live as though this life on earth is the real deal and Heaven is real, but not "real, real."  Clear as mud?  I say that spiritual life is eternal, that Jesus is really the only thing that matters...and then I get distracted by some shiny object and pretend that all this stuff on earth actually matters.  Someone kick me.  Oh wait, that book just did.
  • Ran hills this morning, even though I just ran hills on Sunday night and my butt still hurts.  But lately, the pain of running feels good...and it's been awhile since it felt good.  I'll take it.
  • Fed Lucy three sticks of string cheese.  I'll likely need to follow that up with feeding her three glasses of prune juice tomorrow.  You do what ya gotta do.
  • I'm watching the puppy chew on my shoe.   Normally I'd get up...but my backside hurts too much.  I don't really like the shoe that much anyways.  It's your lucky day, puppy.
  • On Facebook there are these For Sale Groups, you all have these?  Anyways, in the past two days I've scored a sweet retro-ish sectional couch ($75)  and little brown UGG boots for Lucy for $20.  I will show you them soon.  Yay me!  Side note:  Do you see how that is in the SAME POST as bullet point #2? Ironic is my middle name.  
  • I am so uber excited about The Olympics that I can hardly stand it.  July 27th.  Yippee!  I should have a party, since I'm gonna have a sectional couch now.  And then there's that new big addition.   But I'll have to have them promise to be quiet so I can watch every.single.minute.  The bios, the commercials, the background sad sob stories.  Oh I love it all.  I'm a terribly un-fun hostess.  Not even Pinterest can help me.
  • I just stopped writing because I realized I hadn't checked on Lucy for a bit.  Bad idea.  I found her dumping water out of the kitchen sink and onto the floor.  Seriously, she's a destructive force.  I can't take my eyes off her for a minute.  You'd think I would learn...
  • Also, I'm pretty sure I've declared that it's grilled cheese for supper.  "Make your own"  grilled cheese for supper.  And yes, I say supper and not dinner, because I'm all Midwestern like that.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

That's Just Who He Is

We are low-key kinda people.  Me especially.  Father's Day has come and gone, without any tribute (on said blog)  to my dear husband and father of our four kids.  But that's okay, because I have pictures instead.  

No need for flowery word pictures by me.  Instead, I have the pictures he took himself, while the boys and I were out shopping for Fathers Day presents.

We left Lucy and Daddy home alone.  No one purposely shops with Lucy.  You know those screaming kids who throw a fit when they don't get what they want?  That. is. her. right. now.  Ugh.  It will pass...hopefully sooner rather than later.

Anyways, while we were away, they made BLT's together and then sat at her new little table and chairs.  Together.  And then Ben took pictures because he knew I would want that moment captured, had I actually been home.

He probably didn't think I'd blog them.  ha.

Real life, real daddy.  Makes my heart smile.  

Friday, June 15, 2012


Cousins are so much fun.

Logan & Lucy

Ridiculously cute together.  But wait...there's more...

There's a new baby cousin...Halle.  

I know, don't worry...I just died from the cuteness too.  

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Summer Lovin'

It was just one of those picture perfect days in June.  In Iowa.  

One of those days that I dream of in January.  And February.  And March...

We played at the farm.  Ben and I both grew up about 20 minutes from where we currently live:  Tiny Town.  Ben's dad farms beef cattle and crops and we all love hanging out there...especially the kiddos.

I love you Summer.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

It is What it Is...

There's plenty of stuff I avoid blogging about.  Mostly because parts of the story are not mine to tell.  And figuring out what parts are, and what parts are not...is tricky.  And avoidance is easier.  

But lately I can't shake the feeling that it's time.  That ongoing inner dialogue with the Holy Spirit...Him nudging and me resisting...it's a dance we're both familiar with.  

So here goes.  Here goes honesty.  The unspoken thoughts turn to written-down-gone-viral-can't-be-taken-back words.

My words.  My experience.  My perspective.  Completely and utterly one-side of a story that has, possibly, a different view from every direction.  I'm not pretending to know the experience, or feelings of my other family members.  That's their story.  But I do know my thoughts.  My feelings, and my take on life. 

This is my story.  (insert that sound from Law & Order)

For eleven years now, I have been part of a step-family.  I may have just heard the whole internet mumble under their breath, who isn't?  I know, I know...it's common and old news.  Cliche.  And hard.  

Being in a step-family is odd.  And sometimes uncomfortable, even when you like them.  And during the times that it does feel comfortable, it almost always feels awkward to me, even after all this time.  Does that make sense?  

Movies are made about it all the time.  I mean, c'mon, we all know from Cinderella how mean and ugly step-mothers and step-sisters are.  There's always two options shown...the mean-evil ones, and the super nice ones where everyone loves each other...cue The Brady Bunch.  And then there's real life...

My parents divorced when I was 21ish.  My Mom remarried when I was 23.  By that time Ben and I had been married a couple years and I was very pregnant with my first-born, Noah.  My sister was a teenager, and my brother was 11ish.   

My Mom's new husband had three children as well, all in different stages of teenhood.  

Both families were sort of reeling from the loss of their nuclear family.  Mine, to a messy, painful divorce and theirs from the sudden loss of their mom (the details of which are not my story to tell.)  

Because I was the oldest, and already married, my experience of the whole combining families  is totally different than that of my siblings and step-siblings.  I missed a lot of the drama.  And because Ben and I were starting a family of our own, I was distracted enough, in all honesty, to just be content watching it all play out...from the outside.

My mom, and step-dad (whom I almost always referred to as "My Mom's Husband" rather than step-dad because I was grown when they married,  but now after 11 years I can say he is a great guy and very much a father figure to me and a grandpa to my children) wanted us all to mesh together as a single family unit.  They did not want it to be two families, but one family.  And to their credit, they did all that they could to foster that.  Their intentions were good.  

In the beginning, I think we all kind of went along with it.  Each family knew that there was no going back to their original family life...so the idea of The Brady Bunch was appealing.  We avoided using the term "step" whenever possible.  We worked hard at treating each other like real siblings.  And for me, that worked...for awhile.

And then time went on, and we all became older.  New people were added to the family by marriage, babies were born...and lines were drawn by all.  Sometimes visible one, and sometimes invisible.  Sometimes I wanted those lines there, and sometimes I didn't, but either way, the lines are there.  It's part of the complication of blending families.  Because you're family, and at the same time, you're family once-removed.  

And for me, it became too hard to treat everyone the same.  Because we are not all the same.  I care very much for my step-siblings and their families.  They are good people.  But the bond I have with them is not the same as with my sister and brother whom I share a father and mother with.  A childhood with.  A connection that just comes from being blood.  My investment in my sister and brother is fierce.  And my pretending otherwise is really beneficial to no one.  

It is what it is.  We were two families, joined into one...but we don't really become one, because you can't.  We are still two, who do their best to function as one when we need to.  And I think that's ok.  And it's not anyone's first choice.  And it's ok to say it.  Out loud. It's not disrespectful.  It's not out of anger, or apathy.  It's from the heart.  It's the truth.  

I think after 11 years, we are all learning to let it be what it is, rather than forcing it into what we wish it were.  And from what I can tell, it is sort of a never ending process.  Each person figuring it out for themselves at their own pace, with their own rules, at the same time trying to figure out each other's pace and rules...the very definition of blending.  It's tricky...which doesn't mean it's a bad thing...but it is tricky.

Sometimes the hardest thing to admit and be content with,  is that it is what it is.  

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

And I Crafted...

Last week I crafted.  And by crafted, I mean:  Copied Pinterest.

The inspiration was this:
new banner, new blog

The Pinterest version wasn't a tutorial, so I had to wing-it a bit.  I cut out letters from cereal boxes I dug out of our recycling box.  (It's such a good thing we wait for for-ev-er to actually take the boxes to the recycling place.)  Then I glued the fabric to the cardboard and cut around the letters.  

Ta Da:

So fun!

I told Ben I might just paint a headboard on the wall.  ;)  He thinks I'm kidding.  

Side Note:  *I used to be sort of cynical about that phrase.  Because, Duh, we all know that you need more than "love" to make a marriage great.  But after I sat on the idea of it for awhile, I began to look at it from a Biblical perspective rather than a Hollywood perspective.  And Biblical love encompasses so much more than feelings.  1 Corinthians...

  Love never gives up. 
   Love cares more for others than for self. 
   Love doesn't want what it doesn't have. 
   Love doesn't strut, 
   Doesn't have a swelled head, 
   Doesn't force itself on others, 
   Isn't always "me first," 
   Doesn't fly off the handle, 
   Doesn't keep score of the sins of others, 
   Doesn't revel when others grovel, 
   Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, 
   Puts up with anything, 
   Trusts God always, 
   Always looks for the best, 
   Never looks back, 
   But keeps going to the end.

That kind of love, is a supernatural love, that comes from God alone.  And it really is all we need.

Friday, June 8, 2012


I love Summer.  I do.  It's relaxed and crazy, all at the same time.  We're settling in to our non-routine pretty nicely.  Except when we're not.  And so goes life.

  • Jake, #3 son, baby of the boys, turned seven this week.  We started out his day with Strawberry shakes and cupcakes for breakfast.  His big brothers had a Little League game the night of his birthday, so in order to try to make it special for him I gave him ten bucks for the concession stand.  Nachos, suckers, Snickers, Gatorade, sugary strips of some sort of candy, you name it and he bought and ate it.  I still can't believe he didn't get sick.  We call that a birthday success.  
  • I've been sewing and crafting again lately.  It's been beautiful outside, and I should really be out enjoying it...but when the urge to create strikes, I think one should just go with it.  
  • I came to a conclusion this week: When I have PMS, there are certain people that I just should.not.speak.with.  Ya know what I mean?  Like...I can handle them three weeks out of the month and then *BAM*  PMS week happens and my brain switches to zero-tolerance.  
  • Noah (11) has $60 to his name.  According to him he is a "60 dollionaire"  
  • Lucy has been waking up in the morning with a dry diaper.  It probably means she's ready to be potty-trained.  If only I were ready to potty train her.  
  • I started back to running again after a two week hiatus.  If only running and I could get past our love-hate relationship that we've had going on since...well, forever.  
  • I went to a home party thing last week, where they sell designer denim. I bought a pair of capris that have bling on the butt.  I kid you not.  I tried to find the least blingy ones, but there is still some bling.  They're comfy and I like them, but the bling is still not me.  I picked some of it off.  Don't tell.  
  • This post would be better with pictures...if only I had them uploaded them.
  • Right now, my 11 year old has asked me THREE times if I'm sure it's Friday and not Saturday.  I'M SURE.  Sheesh.
  • Four years ago today, our tiny town flooded.  But today, it's better than ev-ah.  I have pictures to prove it.  And when I upload them, I'll show ya. ;)
  • I miss blogging regularly.  I could blame the four kids, puppy, husband, house, ministry for sucking up all my time...but really, there's time to squeeze out yet...I just need to DO IT.  
  • I'm off to upload some pictures so that my next post is less boring.  I'm kidding...it will still be boring but at least their will be visuals to assist it.
  • Happy FRIDAY!  Even though my child still doesn't believe me that it's Friday....*insert eye roll*

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