April 7, 2010

Does life ever slow down???






I feel like we have been going 100 miles an hour lately. We've been everywhere, at least it feels like we have. And it seems like every time we put our foot down and think "no more", something else pops up. In two weeks time we went on two major trips and one weekend trip. We've been on 8 different planes and in four different states (sure, one was just during a layover, but it counts).

The first trip was to Tennessee. Logan's grandpa passed away and we went up for the funeral and to visit with family. I believe Grandpa Ingram was around 85 years old and had lived a very good life. It wasn't a time of sadness or mourning, but a time to reflect on "a life well lived" (as the family said). He was ready to go home to the Lord. His body was worn out and he had accomplished everything he felt he needed to. He was ready for his new body and his new home! It was inspiring to know how confident he was in his eternal fate. It's a valuable tool to live every moment knowing that your home is not here, but is eternally in Heaven with our Father. How scary and awesome and wonderful that thought is!

We really enjoyed our time in Tennessee. We loved introducing our kiddos to Logan's family up there. We were able to spend an evening around the campfire just enjoying nature and visiting with one another. I met some new family members, and old ones, that I'd never seen before. All in all, it was worth the effort! We love our extended families! We're thankful for the examples of how to live life for God and take care of your family.

Our next trip was to South Texas for some good old hunting with the Stokely family! It was a great weekend getaway. We met little baby Colton (Joshua's new best friend/hunting buddy) and were able to see Paige master motherhood with two children. Chad and Logan had their precious time together. ;) Logan shot a turkey and Chad shot a hog. Carley and Parker smooched on each other and held hands and we took a lot of pictures so that we can blackmail them in about 15 years. Paige's brother and girlfriend also came, along with Chad's boss and his wife (who cooked up the best ribs I've ever had!!!) We had a lot of fun hanging out in nature, and by Sunday we were all ready to go home.

The last trip we went on was to California for a family reunion on my mom's side. It was a long trip, and it was pretty hard, but it was so great to see my family. We spent time with cousins we hadn't seen in a few years. We showed off our babies. We ate really good food. We drove through beautiful parts of California. We ate In-n-Out Burger (if you haven't had it you're missing out). We celebrated Easter with candy and eggs and family and church. I found out I'm allergic to Aleve (swollen eyes and sinuses for about 12 hours). Carley had a fever and was sick for two days, one of those days being the reunion. We had seven women, two men, a 5 year old, a 2 year old, and a 6 month old, all staying in a four bedroom house. Logan was surrounded by estrogen. (While we were at Steckel Park, where the reunion was held, Logan took off walking in the woods for awhile to gain back his manliness.) The flight home was miserable. The first flight the kids cried the whole time, but finally fell asleep as we were landing. The second flight they were out (thank goodness!) We landed in Texas at 11:45pm, and got to bed at 1:30am. LONG DAY!!! But, it was all worth it!! Don't ask me when I'll do it again, but I'm glad I did it.

So, that's the past two weeks in a nutshell!! It's been a whirlwind, and I'm glad it's over. Are we staying home this weekend, you ask? No! The Beast Feast is taking place and we don't miss out on the Beast Feast! (I'll explain later.) We'll be driving to Magnolia on Friday or Saturday. At least our kids will be adventurous...right??

I have to say, despite all of this running around and craziness that's been taking place, it's been an awesome experience. One of the things that really stood out to me is how wonderful it is to have a partner during all of this. God really has blessed me with a solid marriage. Logan and I could have been picking at each other and taking all of our stresses out on one another, but we stood as a united front! We were a team, and we worked so well together. When we started getting stressed out and frustrated, we talked it through. When the kids were driving us crazy, we looked at each other and said "I love you" and got through it together. I'm so thankful to God for blessing me this way. It's the best gift I could have ever prayed for.

“And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.” Colossians 1:10-12






March 17, 2010

Super-Mom! (not so much...)

"The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17

I feel that sometimes being a mom is about surviving the day! And with two children under the age of 2, it seems like I have a lot of days like that. Some of you know how much of a struggle it's been to get Joshua to sleep at night. I've had so many nights of every 1 or 2 or 3 hour feedings. I can't remember the last time I slept for more than 3 hours. It wears me down a lot at times. So, I have days where it's all about making it to naptime, or bedtime (if naptime is a disaster).

Lately, however, I find myself wanting to do more than just survive the day. I want to make memories with my kids, and I want to end the day with them feeling like they were fully loved by me. I have found that the only way to have days like this is by asking God for them. I know I can't be Mary Poppins every day :), but I can do more than just survive. Recently, I've been asking God (especially after a rough night) for supernatural mom-powers. I got the idea from the leader of my "Mom-to-Mom" group. She prayed that prayer one day and it made complete sense to me! The only way to truly be involved in my children's day, fully engaged with an unnatural level of patience, is for God to give it to me. It's made such a difference. Being a mom is hard enough, but doing it by myself is nearly impossible. Sure, if my only goal is to get through the day, I can do that on my own. But, if my goal is bigger than that, if it is more about showing my babies how truly loved and special they are throughout the entire day, then I need God to walk with me and give me those "Supernatural powers" that only He can give.

It is really amazing what this has done for my level of patience, as well as my level of stress. I've also come to discover through this that God gave me my children so close together in age because He wanted me to truly need Him, and I do. My walk has gotten so much stronger and I grow closer to Him every day because I need Him to make me a better mom than I am on my own. I know that this doesn't mean that I won't have any more days where it's all about survival, but it means that on most days I can be more than just a walking zombie, I can be a godly mom.

As I've mentioned before, I'm reading a lot of different books right now, especially ones that are geared towards marriage and family. I want to share a book that I've recently read called "For Women Only" by Shaunti Feldhahn. It is an amazing book that has opened my eyes to the inner workings of men, in particular, my husband. This book answered so many questions I had about why Logan (and most other men) thinks or acts certain ways, for example: why he doesn't see the messy house that I see, or how confusing it is for him that I ask him to come home when he feels the strong need to work an extra hour, etc. I recommend the book to every woman, married or single. There's also "For Men Only" by Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn, and it explains the inner workings of women to men. Logan read it and if you decide to buy one, you should go ahead and buy both. :) It's a very interesting read!

My little sister, Christelle, was here with us this past week. It was really awesome to have her. She was such a help and Carley loved to have her "Aunt Stelly" to play with. We went to the park, and had a shopping day, and we went down to San Antonio to eat lunch with Logan. We had a lot of fun with her and hope she enjoyed spending her Spring Break with us.

I brought Christelle back to Houston on Friday and was able to visit with some friends while I was in town. I met my two best friends from high school, Erika and Ashley, at Davids Bridal in Houston where we tried on bridesmaids dresses for Erika's wedding in July. I'm so excited for her!! It was a lot of fun to have that time with my friends and to celebrate this memorable time in Erika's life. I was also able to visit with my friend Dawn before I left town on Saturday. I brought the kids to her house and Carley just took to Dawn immediately. She was resting her head on Dawn's shoulder and was pretty much attached to her hip the entire time!! It was cute, and Dawn was great about it. Dawn also took some pictures of the kids, and I'm just hoping one or two of them turn out (Carley and Joshua were ready for a nap). If they do, I'll have to post them on here for everyone to see. Dawn took some pictures of Carley when she was about 5 months old and we have them hanging up in the house, they turned out great. So, I'm hopeful that we can get some of both of them.

(I should add that I came to home to a nice, clean house on Saturday. Logan spent a lot of his free time scrubbing the kitchen, sweeping and mopping floors, and organizing some of the "kiddie clutter" in our house. That's a pretty good husband!!!)

I'm posting some pictures from Averie's 5th (I can't believe it!!) birthday party. It was last Saturday in the park by my parents house. After her party we went back to Mom and Dad's and sang on her new karaoke machine, which was pretty funny. She's a sweet girl and I'm glad we were able to celebrate together.





March 12, 2010

Growing








So, I've decided to get better about my updates. :) I think it would be really neat to have a sort of "journal" for our family to look back at. We'll see how long this lasts. Having two babies makes every little bit of time to myself extremely precious!!

God has really been doing a great work in our lives lately, and it's been an awesome experience to go through. Logan and I have been reading together a lot and putting a lot of effort into the things that matter. We know that our marriage is the foundation for our family, so we've really put a lot into making it the best that it can be. It's been so awesome to watch God work in our hearts and our lives and show us what He desires our marriage to look like. He has truly blessed me with a wonderful man. I have to say that Logan is the type of husband that a girl dreams about loving for all of her life, and for some reason God picked me to be his wife. So, I might as well do everything I can to show Him how thankful I am for such a wonderful gift!!

I've joined a group called "Mom-to-Mom". It meets every Wednesday morning at the Baptist church in New Braunfels (yes, I said Baptist). It's really been a wonderful break for me and it has allowed me to grow a lot in my relationship with God, Logan, and my children. It's helped me to get on a track of making God the center of our lives, and it's made life so good! I want my kids to know God and I want them to grow up in a godly home that is full of love, joy, and forgiveness. So, that's where my focus is every day.

Carley is going to be 2 next month. I can't believe it! I'm so loving this age. She is growing into her own person and definitely making us work hard, but she is showing us how truly sweet and loving she is. She's so much fun and loves to just laugh and sing all the time. I've never seen a little girl sing as much as she does. She loves "Row, row, row" "Jesus loves me" "Twinkle Twinkle" "ABC's".....you name it, she can sing it! She also loves "All the single ladies"! I can't tell you how much joy she brings into our home. She is the cause of many frustrations (did I mention she's almost 2???), but she brings so much laughter into our house, and she's teaching me PATIENCE. :)

Joshua is 5 1/2 months now. He is growing, growing, growing! He grew 3 inches in the last 6 weeks!!! Yay!! He's a pretty chilled little guy. He just likes to sit there and smile. He has such a sweet smile, it can melt anyone's heart. He also has one of the most pathetic little cry's I've ever heard. It's not very manly, so we're working on that. ;) He loves his big sister. He watches everything she does. I love watching them love on each other, it's one of the most precious things. We're working on his sleeping habits, which are the cause of some more frustrations, as well as his serious tummy aches. Other than that, I believe we have a sweet, happy, laid back little boy on our hands.

Logan is working a lot, but we anticipate his arrival at home every day. He's the best part to the end of the day. :) Carley runs for the door squealing and smiling when he turns the key. He's a great help with both of the kids, even after a long day at work. They really love their daddy.

I'm posting pictures from our adventure at the park yesterday and their bath last night. I took the kids for a picnic and to feed the ducks. It was almost a complete disaster....both kids took turns crying, Carley kept getting uncomfortably close to the water, she fell in mud, Joshua was hungry.....on and on and on. Eventually Joshua was fed and fell asleep and Carley was able to run around and have some freedom, so it turned out to be a positive experience. Do these kids require patience, or what??? Good thing they're completely worth all of the effort required. :)

This has become my favorite verse in the past few weeks, and I wanted to share. Colossians 2:2-3 "My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."

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About Me

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I'm a stay at home mom and I'm very thankful that I'm able to have that opportunity. My husband is a loving/caring/handsome/hardworking man and we have a beautiful little girl and a sweet baby boy. Life is wonderful and God continues to bless us.