Thursday, April 23, 2015

Sharing a Room

I'm writing this in a blog post instead of posting directly to Facebook because I know there are some readers who aren't on FB and won't be able to comment there. 

Our house has three bedrooms -- two downstairs and one upstairs. The Husband, Ella, and I have been sharing a room since she was born, and Jack has his own room. The upstairs room has been a guest bedroom, but it's not used often because we only have an A/C window unit up there, and it's either horridly hot or frigidly cold most of the time. 
Because of many reasons, The Husband and I have kicked ourselves out of our room (namely, I want my child to sleep and her father is the loudest turning-over-in-his-sleep-person out there), and we've been sleeping on the pull-out couch.  It's not the most comfortable sleeping arrangement, and after about a month of this, The Husband said enough is enough. He moved our bed upstairs. 
I have a big problem with my children sleeping downstairs and us being upstairs. I made it one night, and since then, I've been back on the couch. It felt wrong, and my mommy senses wouldn't quit tingling. 
My original goal was to have the kids share a room -- at least until they're 7 or 8. But, The Husband thinks it's a really weird (bad) idea. He's never heard of a brother and sister sharing a room. 
Y'all, they're SO close in age (12 months and 18 days apart).  I can't imagine that they'd have had separate rooms until they were older if they had been born twins, so why is this such a big thing?
Regardless, I'm having a hard time convincing him, and I'm hoping you guys and gals have some good anecdotes I can share with him about either yourself or your kids sharing rooms with an opposite sex sibling.  Good experiences preferred haha, but I'm open to hearing the cons, as well!
Please, please help me out. I want to sleep in my bed in my room with my husband again. Help me convince him it's not a crazy idea, and I'll love you forever! 

Monday, April 20, 2015

It's Her Birthday

Warning:  this blog post contains poor-quality pictures from the late 90s and early 2000s of girls with sad style (both hair and clothing). 
Viewer discretion is advised. 

It's my best friend's birthday today. 
I have known her since 6th grade. 
This girl knows me, and I know her. I know how she'll respond to a text before I even send it. She knows how to set me straight when I'm being moody. We share a love of good books and fun window-shopping trips. We can talk for hours about nothing and everything.  We kinda rock this friendship thing. 

We have been BBFs (best buds forever, duh!) for over 20 years. Geez, when did we get old?!

What follows is a brief recounting of a few memories brought to life in horrible quality pictures of pictures. 

You're welcome. 

I went upstairs last night to page through my old photo albums--those things we used before we had a camera in our phone with 1000s of pictures saved to it--and found some real gems.  
Instead of folding this giant pile of clothes, I paged through 5 different albums and ate a bowl of ice cream. 

1997
Be. Jealous. 
I have no other words. 

1998
This was taken on a church youth group trip to Disney World (Hi, Jennifer and Tammy! You both look tall and lovely!). The hat? Anything was better than my hair. My home-dyed-blond-but-looked-orange hair that stayed frizzy 99% of the time. Hats, bandanas, braids. Anything to contain that mess. The Bestie, on the other hand, has great hair, and I've always been jealous. Anywho, this trip was awesome, except for the fact that we liked the same boy, not awesome, and she got him, even less awesome. I mean, come on! What attractive teenaged male could resist that hat action?

2001
Prom. Her dress is freaking gorgeous!  Mine has a cross-shoulder purse. Geez. 
We were friends but not quite as close. She had gotten married and was doing the whole married-gal thing, and I was a senior in high school doing the lonely, begrudgingly-single thing. I didn't rock that part of our friendship. I kinda sucked. 

These next three were taken in Hawaii (2002 or 2003?). She and her husband had moved there after we graduated from high school, and two of my friends and I planned a trip to go visit her. We stayed with them for almost a week, and that was such an amazing vacation. She was a fantastic hostess and showed us all the great spots on the island. She was such a great tour guide that she drove her car until it over-heated and died. Right next to a field (group? patch? plot?) of pineapple plants. In the horrid heat. Hawaii's only ever that hot when we visit apparently. 
I was so white at the start of that trip. 
And so white at the end. 
And so very red in the middle. Check out that forehead action. H-ot. 

I remember one night being in such sunburn agony. I knocked gingerly on her door and begged for help. She put ice on my back for what seemed like hours until I could finally rest--Her nursing skills put to good use before she was ever a nurse :)

2011
Seriously. Look at her fantastic hair!

2011
She was there on my wedding day. She was also pregnant and tired and we barely squeezed her into her dress. 

2012
She was there when I lost and delivered Hadley. 

2013
She was there for the birth of Jack. 
Without her (and The Husband) by my side, I don't know that I could have managed. She took this first photo of our new family. 

This girl has been my rock and held my hand (physically and metaphorically) way too many times to count . Simply put --
she's pretty darn amazing. 
Happy birthday, Bestie!  

You are the BEST friend any girl could ever hope for, and my wish for your girls and my Ella is that they are lucky enough to find and hold onto that same kind of friendship because it, like you, is priceless. 

P.S. I know you'll forgive me for sharing those horrible pictures of us. I figured that we are now far enough removed from them that we can laugh and laugh instead of weep and cringe :)

Sunday, April 19, 2015

These Little People

They were wearing hand-me-downs, and they both looked terribly adorable, and their smiles were squeezing my heart JUST so, and. Oh. My. Goodness. So, I sat them on the bench and took some pictures with my phone before jumping in the car to head to church. 

I took four of each before my phone told me I had no more space.  I was bummed I didn't have room for a shot of them together.  I deleted one of each that was blurry with movement, and these are the moments captured. 
Ooof my heart. 

I love our porch. 
I love that bench. 
I LOVE these little people. 

The LORD is good to me, and so I thank the LORD. 
Over and over again. 
"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward." Psalm 127:3

This one I cling to and hope for as my children grow.  
"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth." 3 John 1:4 
I will do my best to continue to share the Good News with them often so that they may know the gift they've been given. I want them to always do what the Lord requires of them (and of me!):"...to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with [our] God." Micah 6:8

Isn't that something beautiful to want for our children? For them to be just, to love and be merciful, and to be humble? 

I think it is. When I was looking for the correct wording of the above verse, I came across this one, and it really struck a nerve. 
"Parents, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord."  Ephesians 6:4

How often do we want our own way which leads to anger or frustration in our children? I'm not referring to house rules being broken or children doing something that could be dangerous. I'm talking about personal preferences that, when it boils down to it, it's not worth the battle or the anger of either person involved.  I'm guessing those moments happen far more often with teenagers, but we have had a few battles of our own already :). 

I want my children to obey and I want them to do it joyfully (as much as they can), and right now, it's pretty easy. Jack obeys pretty well for such a little guy, and he usually does it with a happy heart because he likes to please us. There are moments of disobedience, but I'm learning to pick my battles and to help him obey instead of getting irritated that he's not listening.  

I think what I'm most desiring is for a friendship with my adult children. I want them to look back on their childhood with fondness. I know several people who can't remember much good from the years of being reared by their parents, and it makes me so incredibly sad for them. I had a wonderful childhood full of sweet memories. My parents loved me and disciplined me and held me to a standard which was high but not out of reach. There were rules and chores. There were consequences to my actions--good or bad. And now, though I still see them as my parents, I now count them as friends. 

My good friend Tina (who never reads this blog but who I love anyway haha!) has that kind of relationship with her kids, too, and in the nearly 10 years I've known their sweet family, I have been in awe. I've seen the way they relate to one another. They are kind and loving.  They laugh and joke (but never in a mean or caustic way) with each other. They LOVE their momma with a fierceness, and they call her their friend.  They are kind human beings who have grown into such Godly people. I want THAT for my kiddos. 

**
Side note: 
Her son Ryan (my Man of Honor in our wedding) is a worship leader in our old church. He's an amazing singer/musician with a heart for the Lord and for people. He has recorded an album (which we got in the mail a few days ago!!!) that is phenomenal. Watch some videos and hear some music here: http://www.ryankennedymusic.net/#!music-page/c1q4n 
**

Y'all, I just feel the Lord speaking to me today, and I want to write it down because I don't want to forget. 

Maybe you struggle with these things, too. Or maybe you've found the balance, and your children "rise up and call you blessed."  Maybe they see a woman who loves them more than she loves having her own way. A woman who puts others above herself and rarely reacts out of anger. A woman who sets the example for her children to be Micah 6:8 people. 

I want to strive to be that woman, and I think having these as our family verses will help me:
"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for it is right. 'Honor your father and mother'--which is the first commandment with a promise--'so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy a long life on the earth.' Parents, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." Ephesians 6:1-4

Do you have a good relationship with your parents or your adult kids? What did you do to foster that? Do you have a family verse or verses? 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Early Morning Surprise

I stepped outside in the early morning mist. It's going to rain today. A lot, I think. The air was heavy with moisture, and there was only a whisper of a breeze. I wanted to see my weed garden, and I wanted to see if the amaryllis had bloomed yet. As of yesterday afternoon, it hadn't. To my disappointment, it still hadn't, but I was delighted to see that the second spiderwort had.  Working in the flower bed yesterday, I thought it might be soon because of all the tiny buds I saw, but I was surprised to see the small flowers weren't bluish/purple like the first plant. They're white. Sweet white blooms. Three of them.  Free beauty. 
Ok. It's now Friday morning. 24 hours after I started writing this post. Two kids under two happened. Apparently. 

And, honestly, I don't even know where I was going with this post. 

It began raining after lunch. It poured and stormed and thundered. Jack slept through it. Ella slept some, but not as much as she normally does. 
After Jack woke up, and while Ella cat-napped, I took Jack outside to play on the porch. It was cloudy, and I knew the rain would start up again soon. He played with water (his favorite activity). 
We came in, he took a bath, I fixed supper, and he and Ella had blanket time together. 
This morning, I peered between the slats of the blinds and saw the amaryllis had finally opened up. The purple spiderwort has 6 blooms, and the white one has 3 again. I love my little flower garden. 
And, while I looked outside, Jack did this ;)
Parenting at its finest, I tell you. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Sunday Funday

This. Girl. Has. My. Heart. 
I love my early morning quiet time with her before the rest of the house is up and moving. 
On the way home from church I noticed that one of our neighbors had thrown out almost the exact same storage system I got at the consignment shop the other day. So, after lunch, I walked down there to investigate. The owner was outside, so I made sure he didn't want it. He said that his grandkids had outgrown it, and he offered to walk it down to our house. It needed a lot of cleaning, so I set all of the bins out in the rain to get a good soaking. We'll see what they look like in a day or so. 
After naps today, I decided that Jack could explore with some cloud dough that I made a month ago. 
Smart gal that I am, we did that little activity outside. 
Ella wanted her picture taken, too. She helped. 
Then, Jack decided to play with the water in the bins and containers. That was great fun, and besides being very cloud-doughy, he also got soaked from practicing pouring and scooping. 
I stripped him down outside and gave him a good, long bath.  :) 
I had to add this one. I was loading the dishwasher after dinner, and I looked over to see Jack helping Ella build. I hope they continue to play this well together ;)

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Buzz

You know the flowers I moved the other day?  Well, I fixed my hot chocolate and then headed outside to check on them this morning before I got Jack up for breakfast. 
Here they are, alongside the amaryllis bulb I planted the next day. I'm aware amaryllis flowers usually bloom in December, but this one had already started growing out of the bulb. In the empty pot. In the garage. In the dark. So...I went ahead and planted it. 
Each morning after breakfast, Jack has Art time (play-doh, coloring with crayons or markers, painting, stickers) for 30 minutes before playing in his room. 
This morning, I pulled out the gallon bag of stickers his Nonny gave him, and he set to work pairing up stickers that matched. I guess technically today our Art time was Math time. 
Also, he's 22 months old today! I can't believe he's almost two years old :(. 
After running errands as a family, I popped some bacon in the oven (300* for 28 minutes...my reminder for next time!), and it turned out so yummy and perfectly crispy. I can't stand floppy bacon (I know The Bestie feels me), so I had to keep watching (and poking it) to see when it was crisp. I fixed sandwiches for The Husband and me that were so tasty! And pretty :)
His-spicy blue cheese sauce, leftover grilled chicken, tomato, Monterey Jack cheese, and bacon.
Mine-sauce, cucumber, cheese, and bacon.

And, you know you have a pretty cool hubby when he suggests watching an episode of "Friends" while eating lunch. 
This afternoon after The Husband went to work and while the kiddos dozed, I cleaned and cleaned the kitchen. Yesterday, I moved some things around in there (including this consignment shop find!) and reorganized drawers and cabinets. 
(It currently houses all of the art and learning activities.)
 I really like having the island as an island again :)

This gal played while I cleaned. 
And, the title of this blog? Yeah. We have bees. A lot of them. They're trying to burrow into our garage wall near one of the upstairs windows. Not cool. At least one has already found its way in. 
I called a bee remover, and I'm hoping he can make it out here tomorrow morning. I like bees, and they have a really important role in nature. I just don't want them in our house. Or in big groups near where my son plays. But, I love honey and I love flowers, so I hope the remover can remove them to a spot far away from here where they can do their thing because I don't want to have to call an exterminator, which will be who I call next. 

It's been a long but good day. I hope you've enjoyed yours (without any insect swarms).