Thursday, June 28, 2012

The many faces of Audrey

Hi! Yes, I know I'm gorgeous. Just look into these perfect and innocent eyes. They could do no wrong.
What do you mean I'm in trouble? Don't you remember that God says children are a blessing? What about that song you sing about Jesus loving the little children?
If I act like I am going to cry, will I still get punished?
Ok, how about if I make a silly face? Does that change anything?

This little girl is almost indescribeable. She is the sweetest most loveable child, yet proving to be so incredibly naughty. Although I think Jacob tends to be the instigator, he at least is easily disciplined. He has a sensitive heart just like Ella. But Audrey...she is going to be my child who rather do what she wants and is ok with a consequence. We thought she was going to be our easy going, happy child. She is indeed both those things. But along with that easy going attitude is also an attitude of not caring if she is in trouble. For example, the other day I said "Audrey, if you do not get down from the table, I am going to spank you." Do you know what she did?  She took her hand, popped herself on the thigh and laughed (in other words, she spanked herself).

My friends, don't be fooled by that sweet face. She's a tricky one. She is a natural comedian. She is cute and she knows it.

But you know what? To get through everything she has in her short little life, you'd have to be both easy going and feisty all in one breath.

She is officially mobile...both a blessing and a bit of insanity for this mother. She is still going to physical and occupational therapy, however, we are going to be going less now that she is walking. She is being fitted for ankle braces to help give her a little more support and balance. She still has some low tone issues, but I don't know that it would be anything noticeable to someone who wasn't really an expert on such things (ie-a doctor or therapist). I am ridiculously proud of this girl. Do you know how excited mothers get when their child learns to walk? Well, when you have a child who has really is like watching Jesus walk on water. It's like seeing someone who has trained for the Olympics finally win their gold medal.

She and Jacob have also started speech therapy. Audrey has very quickly picked up sign language. Whatever the girl may struggle with physically, she makes up for in intellect. She is smart and funny and a hard worker. She is silly and witty. The speech therapist calls Audrey the comedian and Jacob the engineer. That describes the two of them exactly.

So while she challenges me daily with this new attitude of hers, I must say I am thankful God made her that way. I am thankful she stands up for herself (although, the hitting and pushing thing does need to stop). And I LOVE seeing my other two children help her when she falls or needs an extra hand. There is nothing like seeing her twin brother run up to her and hug her when she has fallen and is crying. And they may fight...but, they love each other so much.

It's just beautiful. And they are beautiful. And I am so blessed.

So, don't ever feel sorry for that little girl who maybe walks a little funny and wears braces on her feet. She is stronger than you know.

I love that little face.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Breakfast at Tiffany's: Our version

So are you still wondering what was inside that Tiffany's box? Probably not, but I'm going to tell you anyway. So, for about 4 or 5 years now, I have been trying to be careful what I buy when it comes to adding things to my wardrobe. Part of it is because I no longer bring home an income, but the other part is when we starting thinking about having less things. We have had 4 addresses since we have been married and it is always embarrassing when you pack up boxes and see how much junk you have. The third part is just coming to peace with myself that I'm not really a trends kind of girl...I'm an old soul who loves the classics. I love clean lines and simplicity.

Anyway, around this same time I told Andrew that I wanted to start collecting classics for my jewelry box that I could later give to my girls. My brother bought me a beautiful silver bracelet from Tiffany's one Christmas (which is totally shocking if you know him...he is very generous, but I never would never expect him to step foot in a jewelry store.). Besides my wedding ring, this was my only other classic piece in my jewelry box. Through the years, Andrew has added a strand of pearls (both necklace and bracelet) and diamond earrings to my collection (all at various times). I also bought a silver necklace from Tiffany's when my dear friend and I were visiting New York one Christmas (before children)...I'm pretty sure we told our husbands we were picking out our own presents that year.

 So having Mother's Day, my birthday, and our anniversary all within 3 weeks of each other usually means I get one "clumped together" gift. For me, this is great since we are on our pursuit of minimalism.

For our anniversary this year (our tenth), we actually got a babysitter for the afternoon. We ate lunch at our favorite cafe and enjoyed uninterrupted adult conversation. That in itself was a huge gift. At the closing of our lunch date, Andrew gave me two options to end our afternoon: we could either go to a museum or we could go to Tiffany's and pick out a classic to add to my "collection."

Huh? This seemed like a trick question. "Do we have money for something like that?" I asked. To this, he smiled and told me he had made some extra money with his side business and would be happy to buy something for our ten year anniversary so long as it was reasonable.

Would you believe I almost said no? I almost did.

And then I realized these kind of offers don't come very often. (And I know it made him (the giver) feel very happy as well...even though we have been married for ten years, I think men still have that need to "woo" their wives every now and then. And I was very "woo'ed"!!)

So, here is the classic I added. I have worn it proudly almost every day since. (It's a necklace by the way).
So, I had my Audrey Hepburn Breakfast at Tiffany's moment. We didn't make it to Paris. But, this was the perfect day for us.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

That iconic Little Blue Box

Don't you wish I'd tell you what's in this little blue box? 
I know...I'm such a tease. 
You know I love a good story. Who wants to guess? Come on...amuse me!

(Yes, I might love Breakfast at Tiffany's: I have an orange cat, a child named Audrey, and now this little blue box.
All a coincidence...I promise.)

Friday, June 1, 2012

Unexpected Surprises: Part 2 of 2

I know. That was really mean of me to leave everyone hanging like that. I was shocked how many people sent me messages via facebook trying to pry it out of me.

Let me just start by saying, since many people asked if it was a plane ticket to Paris, the ending of this story may be a little anticlimactic for you. However, that would make for a REALLY good story! So, if anyone would like to send me a ticket, I'll gladly change the ending to this story or give you your own blog post. Should I set up a paypal account on my sidebar? I kid. I kid.

 OK. So, before I tell the ending (because I just love story telling and drawing things out to keep one in suspense), I'm going to tell you something I have learned about giving. There are different types of giving, and although I always feel equally grateful for any gift, there is a certain emotion that is evoked when a gift is given to you that is truly sacrificial. For example, I periodically clean out my closet and either give my unwanted clothes to a friend or to goodwill. Although this is a type of generosity, it truly isn't anything I am feeling a loss over. The same could be said for money or anything of monetary value that doesn't really put a "dent in my wallet" so to speak.

 I pretty much felt like the world took care of us when I was pregnant with the twins and I'll never be able to repay the kindness. And I struggle with pride...really, really struggle with it. I don't like "needing" anyone. I would probably just drown before I asked someone to throw me a lifesaver so to speak. Being a nurse, I was called to serve. I enjoy serving. But when someone serves me...well, I just don't even know how to respond.

Am I talking in circles? Yes? I'm sorry. I'm still a little overwhelmed.

Because I know this person would never want any attention brought to this, I am going to have to be very discreet. She is a true example of Matthew 6:2. You also must understand that this is someone who I am going to guess does not have many extras in life. I know she works several jobs. She works very, very hard and has the best attitude of anyone you will ever meet.

So, I'm opening this letter with a big smile. Although I could not tell you when her birthday is, it is no surprise that she would remember my birthday...because she's just one of those people that keeps up with those things and always tries to make others feel special and important. But, when I opened the letter, a very large sum of money fell out of that envelope. It doesn't matter how much it was, what matters is that the amount she put in that envelope I am sure was a huge sacrifice for her. It was money that I am sure she had to put in extra hours to give away.

 But there was more. You see, this wasn't really a birthday card. Inside was the loveliest letter that also included a list of babysitters that she had found for me. People she knew and trusted. She had also remembered that it was my tenth wedding anniversary. And she told me to use that money to go out as well as towards a babysitter on that list.

 But, there is even more to this story that even she does not know. The money she gave, was exactly the amount of money Andrew and I had budgeted for going out for lunch and getting a babysitter for the afternoon. The EXACT amount. (And when I say budgeted, I mean that we were taking money out of savings to celebrate...because we did not really even have the money without dipping into that account).

 And at first, I thought about giving that money right back. Because I just couldn't accept something so generous from someone who I know really needed it herself. So, I prayed about it a lot the past 24 hours. I even prayed for God to tell me someone else who could use that money more than us...someone in true need and not just simply celebrating an anniversary.

And last night, I got an e-mail from someone who was inquiring about a photo shoot. This someone is also walking through some very, very difficult trials. I also knew that money was certainly an object for them. And I felt this divine presence of God. I read that e-mail and I saw that money fall to the floor in my mind. I replayed the scene over and over. I didn't need to physically hear God's voice. He had made it very clear. He had given Andrew and I a gift, and in return, I could gift someone else with my own gift.

At first she refused...saying she knew I ran a business and wasn't a charity. But, I made her understand that God had been very generous to us. And it was my turn to pay it forward. And I have never been so happy giving away a photo session.

I cannot wait to share with my friend how her gift blessed more than just me...but, that it blessed someone else. And the fact that God had given exactly the amount we felt like we needed...that just blows my mind. And then how He immediately showed me how to give back, friends...I have never been so overwhelmed at seeing God at work. Because only He could have orchestrated that whole event.

So, I may not being going to Paris. But, this is WAY better than that plan. This will forever leave an impression on my heart. I got to experience God in a huge way. And that is priceless.