Monday, April 26, 2010

That would just be totally crazy...

If I told you after spending 5 years renovating our beautiful home on a small lake that we were going to try and sell it...
And build another house before we even sold this one...
And sell my car...
And doing all this while being pregnant with twins due in less than 6 months and a two year old who is a human tornado...
well...that would just be COMPLETELY crazy right?
Yeah, we are thinking we like to live on the edge! I'm joking about the liking part.
But, what if I told you after Andrew took a new job last year, we started bringing in 40% LESS income...and by doing all these things would result in much better financial place for us. And what if I told you this would mean I could stay home with my three beautiful children while they are young. And what if I told you that instead of Andrew having an HOUR AND FIFTEEN MINUTE commute one way 5 days a week, Andrew would then have a 20 minute commute. Oh, and what if I told you it was only 2 miles from a great mall with a Crate & Barrel, Z Gallerie, and Pottery Barn/Pottery Barn Kids...ok, I'm just kidding about the last part...sort of (I mean, we're talking Z Gallerie people!!!)
Would you still think we are totally crazy? Or should we trust that God will work out all the details and that He would want us to make changes to be more frugal?
In two weeks, all the hardwood floors will be in and the bathroom will be finished. I might shed a few tears with this decision no matter what we decide. Who am I kidding...I've already sobbed a few times!
But did I mention Z-Gallerie? And a house on a culdesac? A NEW home with no need for ANY upgrades...less house, less yard, less maintenance...more time for family, 1/4 the commute time, no pulling money out of savings every month. It could be a beautiful thing...
Would you pray for us...and my sanity??

Monday, April 19, 2010

When the Wisteria blooms...

In April 2007, as my due date closely approached, I laid in bed and daydreamed about how this baby was going to change my life forever. Of course, since I wasn't a parent yet, I really didn't grasp quite how much it would change me. This change I speak of isn't the less sleep, less time for me, or less money for shopping. This change is what having a baby would do to my heart...the ache it would cause me when she was sick and the amount of unselfish love I would discover even when I was exhausted.
I spent my days of bed rest daydreaming about sitting under our willow tree reading her books. I dreamed about family vacations and teaching her to ride a bike. I dreamed about finally looking into the eyes of part me and part Andrew...a baby that we had prayed for for so long. And when she was born on May 5th, my heart grew a million times. That night, Andrew quickly went to sleep and I laid awake the entire night just staring at her...partly out of complete awe and partly because I was afraid she was going to stop breathing. The following night I wasn't worried about her not breathing...she screamed all night to remind me she was ok.

So, when we took her home 2 days later a new emotion came over me...this huge sense of emotion as we packed her up in the car. I remember thinking "Holy cow. We're on our own." As we drove home, I looked out the window and saw the abundant amount of wisteria blooming. I chuckled as I remembered how I use to think it was wild grapes growing when I was a child. I wondered what silly things this little child would think of...where her imagination would take her. During the final ten minutes before we reached home, I once again found myself daydreaming of what lied ahead. I could envision us picking wisteria and other wild flowers in the spring. I could see us making wishes on dandelions. But, mostly, my heart was full of the most amazing love that I wondered how I had ever lived without her. So, when I see the wisteria bloom every spring it reminds me of that day I became a mother to Ella. It reminds me of God's promise that He will never forsake us. This beauty that blooms every spring is God's reminder to me of his love for me, His daughter.

In the dreariness of this winter, I found myself forgetting about God's promise. After the miscarriage and trying for yet another long year to get pregnant, I felt forgotten. I started to doubt whether prayer really mattered. How many more times could I possibly pray for another baby? I believed the lies that Satan told me: "you got your one baby, God isn't going to bless you AGAIN" and "you can pray all you want, but He's just going to do whatever HE wants."

So, I stopped praying about it. I didn't stop praying completely...I just stopped asking God to give me a baby. In the midst of all this a friend told me "Sarah, you'd never want anything God didn't want for you. If only you could see into the future. Just trust Him." She was right. But, I still felt such a strong desire for another child. So, I prayed again. But this time, I prayed for God to help me find contentment with my life, but to not grow complacent in the prayer for the desires of my heart...or for Him to at least take away those desires. I prayed every night "Loving Father, if you really love me, please take away this desire for another baby. And if you don't, then I'm going to keep believing you will somehow give me another one."

That's the funny thing about God. We can't see His mighty work at hand until we see how it all turns out. After I gave up this control, I felt a HUGE amount of peace. I started choosing to be happy again. I refused to let another day go by that I spent sulking in my sorrow and missing out on the blessing I already had on this daughter and husband. They were more than enough family for me...more than many women have who are still waiting on a husband and/or a child. This feeling of peace came around the holidays of last year and Andrew and I made a promise to enjoy 2010.

But God...he had not forgotten about me. He has always known my heart. He is the one who created it after all. And when we let Him, HE will bless us more than we could ever imagine. You see, God was ok with me not understanding Him. He knew that He had something so much better for me than I had imagined for myself...

So, as I drove home from the doctors office this afternoon, I see how beautiful the wisteria looks. You see wisteria multiplies each year. It grows rapidly...especially in the spring. Although a very hardy plant, it is hard to transplant because of its deep root system. It also has a very long life span.

And I look down at my ultrasound picture of 10 week old twins. Two absolutely perfect little babies who much like the wisteria have deep roots that are growing very rapidly. And I cry because even though I have known for weeks, I still just feel so undeserving of such a blessing. How foolish of me to have ever doubted the greatness of our God.


It still doesn't feel real. I saw them moving on the monitor, but I just can't believe that my womb has been healed.

And once again, I will think of the abundant blessings and miracles God has given us when the wisteria blooms each spring.

Dear Ella,
There will come a day, hopefully a long time from now, that I grow weary and tired. My hair will grow gray and I will not be able to run as fast as I do now when we play chase..or as you call it "I'm going to get you game!"
But, when I am gone, I hope that you will remember me every spring when the wisteria blooms...and always remember that I will love you here and in eternity.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Easter Sunday

It just feels wrong to skip church on Easter Sunday, but I told Andrew if I couldn't sleep in that morning (I haven't been sleeping good at night) I thought I might die! And since all of my side of the family was coming over for the afternoon, I desperately needed to rest up. I think God understood. Thank goodness He does not base his love for me off of whether or not I make it to church every Sunday. And since Sunday is the day of rest, surely God approved of me giving my body much needed rest...can you tell I have guilt! Anyway, enough about that.
So we ate and ate. We hunted more eggs. We dyed eggs. We painted eggs. We even ate some eggs! And what's Easter Sunday without breaking out the baby pool?...I know! This crazy weather!

That's Ella with her cousin, Emma. When they are together we can't keep their names straight. I am sure there will be some trouble making stories to come from these two girls in the future.

I mean, really. There was no way I was going to let her use dye and keep her clothes on! That would just be asking for trouble.

Yes, we do have a small lake in our backyard. And yes, it is fabulous! It is why we bought this fixer upper that we have spent 5 years renovating. It will be PAINFULLY sad to sell it...yes, we are going to sell probably very soon. But, more on that in a later post.
It is fun seeing how much more Ella understands about certain traditions, like egg hunting, that she didn't get at all last year. I can't believe my baby will be 2 years old in about 3 weeks!

Dear Ella,
In you Easter basket this year, you got the DVD Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and a chocolate bunny. Naturally, you were most excited about the chocolate. You are your my child! You loved hunting eggs! You did it with such a serious attitude. You also had to stop and eat the candy before proceeding on to finding another egg. But the dying of eggs...well, next year that will be an outdoor activity.
Love you 1000 times!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Ella's Second Annual Easter Egg Hunt Eggstravaganza!

It's become an annual event at our house. Ok, so it's only the second year we've done it, but that's because we didn't have a little tyke of our own before that. We lucked out again this year with great weather. We had our Easter Egg Hunt the day before Easter and boy, it was hot! We went straight from winter to summer in one week. This mama isn't ready for shorts season yet...but, I digress...

My little love with her huge Easter basket

little Gabby all clad in purple

Cari-one of the most beautiful toddlers I know (besides my Ella)

Myles and Kennedy-the twins

little man Carter

After all the egg hunting was done (which lasted about ten minutes!!), we grazed on snacks and juice boxes.
Annabelle counting her eggs

Miss Olivia-who was more interested in playing than finding eggs.

the youngest hunter-Chad-he was probably thinking "Oh you all just wait until next year when I can walk!"

And of course, what's an Easter Egg Hunt without free boat rides...only at our house! Hey, we have to have some way to bribe people to come hang out with us. Apparently all it takes is candy and boat rides! I seriously think next year I'm going to bribe Andrew into wearing a bunny costume!

Monday, April 5, 2010

The first day of Spring...

I took these pics of Ella after I did a client photo session at a park. I wasn't sure how long the daffodils would stay so beautiful, so I had Andrew and Ella come meet me up at the park for an impromptu photo shoot. I don't recommend shooting's way too bright and your pictures are going to be spotty. But, nevertheless, sometimes you just have to take "snapshots" of your child and not always worry about them being perfect. In fact, a lot of times I just leave the fancy camera at home so that I can enjoy my child (and not just watch her through a viewfinder!)
So, without further ado, here is the first day of Spring.

Dear Ella,
How beautiful you are!! Your curly hair, giggles, and smiles all make me smile. I can't wait to spend this warmer season smelling and picking flowers with you!
I love you a thousand times!