Thursday, May 2, 2013

Cloudy Days

I haven't blogged in a long time, because I haven't felt like I've really had anything worthwhile to write about.  But now I do, and that is why I am back!  And.....once I get sucked into blogging again, it usually sucks me in for a while, so I'll probably spit out a few "NOT worthwhile" posts after this...after all, I AM pregnant again, and since I blogged throughout all of my pregnancy with Gunnar, I wouldn't want this baby to feel cheated, right?

Ok...on to my Very Worthwhile Post. If you are a person who struggles with worry/fear/anxiety, maybe this post will be helpful to you.  If you don't struggle with that, you'll be completely bored with this, I can guarantee it, so save yourself the time, and go do something else : )

As a lot of you know, I struggle QUITE a bit with worry and anxiety.  Specifically (ok, actually TOTALLY) worry/anxiety centered around something bad happening to Nason or Gunnar.  I've dealt with this my ENTIRE life.  When I was little, I was obsessively afraid of something bad happening to my parents.  Then, I got married, and the obsession shifted onto Nason (lucky him).  Then, Gunnar came along, and he was the new unlucky recipient (good for Nason, as he was now off the hook, bad for Gunnar).  My anxiety goes far beyond the normal concern that most mothers occasionally have for their children.  I can turn a runny nose into cancer, faster than I can go get a kleenex to wipe it up.  No, I'm serious....I've actually done that before.  Some of my stories are really comical in hindsight, and are the source of many inside jokes amongst Nason and I, and our friends (the tale of the dry skin on Nason's nipple, that I was convinced was Male Breast Cancer, the time I was convinced Nason's heart was beating harder than it should be, which landed him wearing a heart monitor around town for a day, only to determine there was NOTHING wrong with his heart whatsoever..just something seriously screwed up with my head, the time I was so convinced that one side of Nason's head looked swollen, that I had our friend Joey exam it for me.  Joey's diagnosis?  Nason's head looked fine, but I needed to get on Lexapro or Xanax, ASAP)  Since Gunnar has been born, I've been convinced that he has had every kind of terminal illness under the sun, thrown in with some autism, and a little bit of good 'ole Tourette's Syndrome.

It's funny when it's over....when for whatever reason, I've concluded he does NOT have whatever ailment I suspected him of having.  In the moment (and sometimes the "moment" stretches out over months)'s not funny.  It's excruciating.  It's depressing.  It's miserable.  It's all-consuming.  It's stomach-ache producing.  It's draining on me, and on Nason.  It's awful.

This issue has consumed a LOT of me, for a LOT of my life now.  When I found out I was pregnant with Baby #2 in December, I prayed this exact prayer, "God, fear and anxiety has been such a HUMONGOUS part of every relationship I've had so far in my life...with my parents, with Nason, and with Gunnar.  I am BEGGING you to not let fear have anything to do with my relationship with this baby, starting now, and for it's entire life".

Well careful what you pray for.  I just went through (and in some ways, am still going through) an experience that I believe was a direct answer to that prayer, but not in the way that I WANTED when I prayed it.  I wanted God to free me of this horribly consuming fear and anxiety that I deal with....but I wanted Him to do it by just magically taking it away.   I did NOT want him to do it by allowing me to go through a fearful experience, and then growing me a TON, and teaching me some really crucial things I needed to learn, through it.  That's what happened though!

Super quick summary of The Fearful Experience:

- Gunnar started complaining of leg pain one day last injury that we knew of, to blame
- Next day, was completely unable to walk....crawled around the house on his hands and knees for two days
- Took him to doctor, doctor ordered bloodwork and xrays
- Bloodwork came back good, xrays showed some sort of "mass" in his knee
- Lots of (non-scary) POSSIBLE explanations were provided, BUT to confirm that it wasn't a "scary" explanation...ok let's just say it..."tumor", an MRI was ordered, which we had to wait a week for, AND which then got postponed for almost ANOTHER week.
- For a girl who can go into a tizzy over a runny nose....this was one of the scariest, maybe THE scariest, experience I've ever had.
- MRI finally was performed, no mass of any kind was found.  Some swelling was found near his ligament, which the doctor(s) theorized was what the "mass" was, and possible explanations FOR the swelling included: toxic synovitis (no big deal, look it up if you're curious), a torn or injured ligament,a Baker's Cyst that had ruptured, or POSSIBLE juvenile arthritis, which would be difficult to diagnose at this point.
- I was/am relieved that no mass was found, but still feel "unsettled" (which is a more favorable way to say "anxious") that we never seemed to get a definite diagnosis.

Ok...enough about that.  I REALLY don't want to talk about The Experience anymore, or the anxiety it caused/is causing. Like really...I don't want to talk about it anymore, so don't even ask me about it...unless it's to say, "Oh!  My kid had that exact same thing, and they're totally fine!" :)  I'm SO tired of saying the words "knee" "mass" "MRI" "etc". What I DO want to talk about are the 6, incredible, life-changing Big Lessons God has taught/is teaching me, through The Experience.

I've always thought, "if only I could have some guarantees, that nothing really bad was ever going to happen to Nason or Gunnar, THEN I could just chill out and be completely happy."  The distress came into play, when time and time again, I was reminded that I was NEVER going to get that guarantee.  It seemed like, if I can't ever get that guarantee, then I guess I need to just resign myself to living with anxiety.  The big breakthrough I've had in the last year or so, has been this: "it's TRUE that I'll never get that guarantee that I'm looking for,'s FALSE that I have to resign myself to living with anxiety about it."  So that is what the Six Incredible Life-Changing Lessons all center around.


Lesson #1
I was on Facebook one day, right in the very peak of this particular bout with anxiety, and someone had posted the following quote (by Joel Osteen, no less).  I'm not usually a huge Joel Osteen fan, BUT this quote really stuck out to me:

"If you are currently in a storm, God is saying 'Rise above it.  Quit fighting.  Quit trying to change things that only I can change.  Trust in me".

A lot of times, for me, when I am worrying about something, not only does the actual feeling of the worry itself really suck, BUT the feeling of "I don't want to be feeling worried.  I don't want to be dealing with this incident. It's not fair I have to have an unpleasant situation occuring right now.   It's not fair I'm having to think about this/stress about this/worry about this/try to figure this out, when everyone else around me seems to just be breezing through their life".  As if my life is supposed to be completely perfect and problem-free at all times.  This quote reminded me that whatever situation I'm in, God knows I'm in it, and could choose to get me OUT of it at any given moment.  If He's letting me continue to go through it, then it must be ok.  I may not LIKE it, I may not get WHY it's "ok", but it is.  So I need to quit fighting it, and just roll with it.

Lesson #2
"Faith is not a feeling, it is a choice, and an action"
I put that whole thing in bold print, because I literally feel like God almost AUDIBLY spoke those words to me one night...that's how clear it was...and it seems like God's audible words should be written in bold. :)

I've always known that "faith" and "trust" in God are important.  So each time I find myself in a situation where I'm feeling anxious (including this most recent time) I always tell myself that..."you just need to trust God"..."you just need to have faith"...and then I sit there and wait for the feeling of anxiety to go away...poof!  It never does.  Then not only do I still feel anxious, but I also feel frustrated...why don't I FEEL a warm, fuzzy faith "feeling" come over me??  This time, for the first time ever, God helped me understand that it's not SUPPOSED to be a's a decision.  "I'm going to CHOOSE to believe that God is good".  "I'm going to CHOOSE to believe that God is in control of this situation".  "I'm going to operate under the assumption that God can be trusted with the outcome of this, NO MATTER how I feel", etc etc etc.  Sometimes feelings would follow...I'd feel a bit calmer, a bit more reassured, etc.  Sometimes feelings wouldn't follow though, and that was ok, too.  I believe that as I continue to "exercise" the practice of TRULY trusting in God, the feelings/emotions WILL eventually follow.

Lesson #3
Trusting in the Character of God

One night, during the week we were waiting for Gunnar to have his MRI done, Nason took me out for a date night, to try to distract me for a few hours.  We went and saw a movie ("The Call" with Halle Berry...don't see it, by the way).  About 20 minutes into the movie, I saw a person out of the corner of my eye, come walking into the theater.  They ended up sitting down right behind us, and proceeded to be disruptive/semi-sketchy acting for the next half hour of the movie.  I whispered to Nason, "the person behind us is acting kind of creepy...don't turn around and look at them, though, because they'll know you're looking at them".  He said, "I'll get up and check it out".  So he gets up, under the guise of going to the bathroom, so that he can take a peek at them....and then actually goes to the bathroom.  My first thought was, "I can't believe he just left me in here alone with a creepy person!!" There was only like one other person in the theater, then me...and the creepy person!  Thanks a lot!  However, my very next thought was, "Ok....obviously the person is NOT creepy.  Nason would never evaluate the person, determine them to be creepy, and then leave me alone in here with them".  Sure enough, Nason came back a few minutes later, and reported that my "creepy" person was just an old lady munching on popcorn.  There is a point to this story, I promise.  The point is this:  The reason I knew with total confidence that I didn't need to fret about being left alone in the theater with the "mystery person" was that I DID know Nason...I still had no idea who the person behind me was, what they were up to, etc...and I certainly wasn't going to turn around and look now that I was left alone in there with them..but I did know that Nason loves me, that he always looks out for me, that he would never leave me alone in a situation that he knew was going to be bad for me, and that since he'd left me still sitting in that theater, it must be because he knew I was going to be fine. Basically, I know Nason, and I know his character. Which then got me thinking about the situation at hand with that point, I still didn't know what the "mystery" diagnosis was going to be, but I DID know God...who He is, what He is like, that He has my best interests in mind, that He has Gunnar's best interests in mind, that He is good ALL the time, and that He can be trusted.  If He determined that it was "ok" for me (and Gunnar) to be in the situation that we were currently in, then I could trust that it was, in fact, ok.

Ok.....there are actually three more lessons, but I just realized that this post is getting really long, and probably losing some interest, so the rest will be continued in a "Part 2".

Monday, July 16, 2012

(In)fertile Myrtle, and Gunnar's Greatest Weekend

No, the two things in the title have nothing to do with each other.  It's just that I'm going to write about both topics in this post :)

First off, we've officially reached the One Year Mark of trying to get pregnant.  Which means, according to the very definition of "infertility"....we have it.  Infertility, that is.  I mean, just if you're going with the textbook definition of it.  "Inability to achieve pregnancy after a year of trying".  Nason argues that that definition does not apply to us, because it took us a year and a half last time around, and we now have Gunnar, so how could we possibly be infertile?  I guess he's right, but......I want to whine, gripe, complain, vent, feel sorry for myself, and elicit sympathy, so I'm going to go ahead and call us "infertile" for now.

I'm trying to focus on the "spiritual/emotional/mental" implications of this, while at the same time taking some "practical", proactive steps.

From a "spiritual/emotional/mental" standpoint, here's where I am:

- starting to get a bit frustrated

- feeling a bit anxious (but less about "what if we NEVER get pregnant" and more about sort of stupid things, like "I don't want to be an old mom", and "I don't want to be left out, and be one of the only ones amongst my closest friends NOT having/about to have their second child right now", and "what if Baby #2 doesn't have a built in group of best friends, like Gunnar is lucky enough to have, BECAUSE I'm not having a baby at the same time as all my other friends", etc.

- starting to feel stressed (not a lot, but a little bit), and pressured, as though we need to start making big decisions ("Do we need to start considering infertility treatments?" "Should we just assume that maybe God doesn't WANT us to have more kids?" "Should we just forget about trying to have another biological kid, and maybe start considering adoption?".) Nason says I'm getting way ahead of myself, and I probably am.  Or...maybe HE'S stuck way BEHIND himself (as if that even makes sense).

I was telling Krista the other day  that I'm just going to make the best of it, and focus on reasons why it's AWESOME to not be pregnant right now, and maybe even go on some sort of crazy workout/diet regime, and get in the best shape of my whole life, because by doing so:

a) I'll be in somewhat of a win-win situation (I'm NOT pregnant, but in SUPER AWESOME shape), OR I get pregnant (and am therefore NOT in super awesome shape, but who would care at that point?  I'd be so pumped to be pregnant, I'd happily get fat all over again)

b) Murphy's Law would pretty much ensure that as soon as I got at my goal weight/shape, I'd get pregnant, and ruin everything I'd worked so hard for!  So kind of like some reverse psychology on my body....

and Krista, ever my wisest friend, reminded me that (even though it would be fine to do all that) the BETTER thing to focus on would be just that this is God's "portion" for me right now.  Whether I can find a way to construe my "infertility" as awesome or not, isn't the point..maybe I can do things to make it seem cool, or maybe I can't, but it doesn't's what God has for me right now, and His way is best, and just by accepting that, I can probably gain a lot more peace and contentment in the midst of it, than by scurrying around trying to make myself THINK I don't care about being pregnant.  So true.  So that's what I'm trying to focus on (while at the same time increasing my gym visits, and decreasing my caloric intake..ha ha)

Practical Steps:
1) Thinking about switching doctors.  Long story, but not loving her (she who shall remain nameless).  She's not nearly as proactive as my last doctor (Dr. Shaushua was the Doctor Love of My Life, who sadly, now only specializes in urinary tract problems.  Why would you want to focus on urine instead of babies all day????)

2) Making some healthier changes to my diet.  I've pretty much had the whole gammut of tests run on me (and Nason) and we're fine, BUT I have a pretty horrible diet, and sometimes poor nutrition can contribute to infertility, so I've decided I may as well give that a go (plus, it helps me in my "get in awesome shape" endeavor as well)

Ok anyway.  Enough about that.

On to..Gunnar's Greatest Weekend...

I think the stars must have been aligned just right for Gunnar this weekend, because the kid really couldn't have asked for a better weekend. We didn't AIM to spoil him rotten this weekend...there were just several things we'd be talking about wanting to do with him/get him lately, and for some reason, all of the things seemed to occur this weekend.

First of all, he had a playdate with the Magee Tribe on Friday, whom he adores.

He ended up having a surprise sleepover at Grammy and Poppy's house (which obviously was a nice surprise for us too!!).

He woke up to doughnuts from Poppy.

We picked him up, and went straight to Target, where Nason (I say Nason, because this was totally all his idea) proceeded to buy him a Spiderman, Batman, AND Ironman.

Chick-Fil-A lunch date with Nason.

Went and saw Ice Age after he woke up from his nap.

Poppy bought him a new fishing pole on Sunday, and tried to take him fishing, but it got rained out, so he got to go have milkshakes with him instead.

While he was gone, Nason and I went and bought a new DVD player, because ours broke a while ago, and we just keep forgetting to go buy a new one, so poor kid hasn't been able to watch any of his movies in ages.  I'm pretty sure that out of all the fun things that happened to him over the weekend, he was the MOST excited about coming home to the DVD player.  His jaw dropped, and he kept saying "I'm so excited about the CD player!  I'm so excited about the CD player!".  Funny kid.

Anyway, he's at such a fun age right now, and it's so cute that he's starting to have so many different things that he's "into".  It makes it really hard to not spoil him.

All that fun, and no pictures though!!  I have really become so lame in the picture taking arena.  I NEVER remember to take them anymore.  It's one of many MANY MANY reasons that I need an iPhone.  (other reasons include, but are not limited to:

-Everyone one else has one
-My life would be better if I did too
-T-Mobile is for losers
- If I can't have a baby, I should at least have an iPhone

: )

Monday, July 9, 2012

A Fun Week...

Last week, we had something fun going on almost every night of the week.  I aimed to take a picture of each occasion (SOLELY with the purpose in mind of displaying them on my "A Fun Week" blog post), but I failed....and, the ones I did take, kind of suck.  Anyway, it was a fun enough week that it's worth noting in my blog AKA "life scrapbook", so here goes...

Monday Night:
"Pool Night" with our small group.  We've decided to take a break over the summer, from "formally" meeting and doing an actual bible study, so we've decided to do pool nights every other week instead.  This was our second one so far, and the FIRST without the Barrington's (SAD!!!), but we still had a lot of fun. Nothing like stuffing yourself full of pizza and brownies, while baring it all in a bathing suit!  Hey, why not??  

(Forgot to take a picture of this one)

Tuesday Night:
Dinner and Game Night with both sets of our parents, and my little brother

(A picture of all my favorite guys)

Wednesday Night:
Fourth of July.  The whole day was fun.  Parade in the morning with friends.  Time at the pool.  BBQ at our friends Beth and Joey's house, and then fireworks at Milburn Park.  Here are a few pictures from the fireworks:

Thursday Night:
Oh wait...we didn't do anything fun that night :)

Friday Night:
Jake's birthday party.  Dang it!  Didn't take a picture!!  Grrrrrr.  If there was a picture, it would be of margaritas, cigars, the Box's back porch, and a really great group of people.  

Saturday Night:
Girls Night!  Hit up Hopdoddy's on South Congress. Loved it!!

That was it!

Looking forward to another fun week this week, hosting Backyard Bible Club!!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Two Best Things I Do Every Day

I'm in a parenting "season" right now, where every single day just seems super difficult.  Not sure if it's the age Gunnar is at, or if he's just an especially difficult child, or if I'm doing a crap job of parenting him,  or I have some sort of hormone imbalance that's making me especially irritable, tired, and impatient, or WHAT.  I just know that at the end of almost every day lately, I'm feeling a bit worn out, defeated, and guilty (guilty, because I've spent the better part of my day griping at, scolding, correcting, and disciplining Gunnar). That's not what I WANT to spend my day doing.  I WANT to have fun together, play, cuddle, you get the idea.  At any rate, there are two things I started implementing a while back, and when all else fails in our day, these two things remain so SO good.

1) In the mornings, during breakfast, we have a little daily devotional time.  We pray together, we say his memory verse from class, I ask him what he thinks the verse means (sometimes he provides me with an excellent explanation.  Other days, he says random things like "I love my friends", or "do the right thing", which, to his credit, ARE things we've discussed in the past, but, bless his heart, have NOTHING to do with the verse we're currently discussing), and then we read a story from his Jesus Storybook Bible.  At the end of the story, I try to give him some practical application from what we've read, and we talk through ways he could implement it during the day.  The whole thing doesn't last any longer than about 10 minutes, but I seriously think it's the most important, and purposeful, thing that I do all day long.  I want Gunnar to grow up going to God's Word FIRST for direction.  I want it to be familiar, and relevant to him.  I want him to see God as a real person in his life, who loves him, and who has important things he wants him to know, and do.  Gunnar literally NEVER sits still, not even for meal time, but he actually genuinely enjoys this time we spend together in the mornings, and because of that, he miraculously sits (somewhat) still for it.  I learn a lot from it, too!  You can't read a story to your child about Joshua marching around the city gates of Jericho, and how God expects us to obey Him even when it seems hard or crazy, and then not feel convicted yourself about how well YOU'RE obeying God, even when it seems hard or crazy.

2) We have "rocking time" right before he goes to bed at night.  Up until just a few months ago, after dinner, I'd clean up the kitchen, while Nason basically took over all of Gunnar's bedtime routine (bath, PJ's, and putting him in bed).  Recently though, Gunnar decided he wanted ME to take him to bed, instead of Nason.  Nason and I were both a bit bummed by this at first.  Nason, because he enjoyed being the one to tuck Gunnar in. Me, because I enjoyed knowing that as soon as dinner was over, I was "off" for the day.  My bubble bath awaited me.  However, I have come to LOVE and look forward to "rocking time" as Gunnar and I both refer to it.  We've settled into a ritual (I've decided I'm a "ritual" kind of girl).  We sit in his rocking chair and talk about our day, and recount all the things we did.  I pick one thing I think he did especially well that day, and really talk it up.  We sing a few songs.  We pray together.  It is SUCH sweet time, and I wouldn't trade it for anything, even my bubble bath (which I still have, just 15 minutes later).  I know there will be a time where he either doesn't want me to rock him anymore, or he's just too big for me to rock, and then I'm going to miss this time, so I cherish it while I have it.

So there you go.  The "daily devotional" time is over by about 8:45 am.  The "rocking time" starts at about 7:15 PM.  Everything between 8:45 am and 7:15 pm may be an absolute disaster, and fail in every way possible. I may have pulled all my hair out, found a mini pile of  Gunnar poop on the kitchen floor, forbidden Gunnar from speaking for ten minutes "while Mama's ears rest for a while" (that actually happened today), and been tempted to pour myself a stiff drink at 2 in the afternoon, but those two special times, are truly "the two best things I do every day".

Friday, June 29, 2012

Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That....

Friday afternoons during Gunnar's nap time USED to be my designated "do nothing" time.  Every other day during his nap, I would fill the ENTIRE time with a hefty list of to-do's, but for that one day, my naptime itinerary would be: 1) Do nothing 2) Read blogs 3) Play on Facebook 4) Do nothing.  In January though, after sitting down and kind of restructuring my days/time/priorities, I decided to scrap that habit, and use my Friday afternoons a little more wisely.  Today though, for this one Friday only, I'm doing NOTHING again.  Nothing that is, except updating my blog with "a little bit of this and a little bit of that"....

So here are some things we've been up to:

Well, for starters, it was SUPER hard getting back into the swing of things, after our vacation.  It seriously took me the whole week of being home, to feel like I was back in the groove.  That's a little excessive I know...we were only gone for four days, not a month....but it really did take the full week.

We took Gunnar to see his second movie ever (and it was the first one I ever went to with him.  Nason took him to see the Muppets, while I was out of town back in December).  He did really good!  A few times, we had to bribe him with Skittles to stay still and quiet (that's some incredibly awesome parenting, right there), but it did the trick.

In REALLY big news, Mission 82:3, the organization that Nason and I, along with our friends the Hunt's and the Box's, started up last year, put on it's first official fundraising event!  It's been a long time coming, and we were so excited to finally be able to put an event on a for a family that's adopting.  We did a movie night at Alamo Drafthouse, with a silent auction.  The family we are assisting, Jeremy and Ashley Self, received a portion of the ticket sales, as well as ALL of the proceeds from the silent auction, totaling over $6,000.  We definitely learned a lot through the experience...quite a few things we need to figure out better ways of doing next time around....but overall, we were very pleased, and were so happy to be a small part of helping to bring Schella home!

I already posted this video on to Facebook, but in case you missed it (I mean, in case you don't stalk my Facebook page non-stop, so as to never miss a SINGLE thing that I post), here it is again: 

If you want to know more about the Self's and their story, and/or donate to the fund to bring Schella home, you can do that here:

We started potty training!!!  I'm completely at a loss of exactly what kind of report to give you on this...if you'd asked me last week how it was going, I would have said, "SOOOOOO good.  Hardly any accidents, pee OR poo (oh the things you talk about on a blog, when you're a mom), one of the easiest things ever!  If you'd asked me Monday-Wed of THIS week, I would have said, "pretty good.  A few accidents, but overall, still doing good".  If you'd asked me yesterday, I would have probably growled in your face, thrown something at you, and then pointed to the poo smeared on my arm, the floor, and the toilet seat, because we seemed to have had nothing BUT accidents yesterday.  Now today, we're back to doing pretty good again.  So it doesn't really seem to be a gradual improvement each day, rather, it kind of seems to be all over the place.  Literally.  Ha.  A friend recommended this book/method to me, so I'm going to read that over the weekend, and begin implementing that on Monday.

We said goodbye to some great friends.  The Barrington's, our friends from church, and our small group, are moving back to California.  Like, they're actually en route this very second.  We've only known them for just under a year now, and for a good portion of that year, we've known that they were most likely moving back home to California, but it's still sad!  The one positive about the whole thing (well, except for the measly little "positive" of them doing what they feel that God is asking them to do, and the other measly little "positive" of them being close to family again, and the OTHER measly little "positive" of it being a great career move for Tommy...the one positive besides all that, is that we now have a great reason to visit California, AND somewhere to stay when we do!

(I didn't have any great pictures of their whole family...mostly just ones with only Janay in the I stole this off their blog.  Is that weird, Janay? ;)  )

I'm still reading the Hunger Games (almost done with Catching Fire now), and I still feel the same way as before...I LIKE them, but I don't get the whole craze surrounding them.  I give the books a solid A-, maybe even a B+, and I'm really just so surprised by that, because it seems like every person I know, no matter their age, personality, TYPICAL taste in books, etc all LOVED the series, and claimed to have not even been able to put the books down....and I'm just not feeling that.  Call me weird.  I'm more feeling like I want to hurry and finish them, so I can move on to the next thing.  I'm..dare I say it...a bit bored by them?!?

Oh, I was going to do some "picture dumping", until I realized that pretty much every picture I have on my phone, I've already posted to Facebook.  Wow, that's a bit much, huh?  Do I really need to share EVERY shot I ever take, with the entire Facebook community?  Could I not just experience an event without making sure all of Facebook sees it/knows about it?  You'd think my life was so exciting, judging by how I apparently feel as though everyone I know is dying to be privvy to all the details of it.  By the way, I've been thinking that the whole concept of "checking in" places, is so stupid.  I do it, for sure.  I may even continue to do it, but it's definitely one of those things that when I REALLY think about it, I'm like, "why the heck do I do that??".  "Hey Everyone!  I just checked in to H-E-B!  Isn't that awesome??" "Hey Guys!  Well, here I am having dinner at Chuy's.  I better go ahead and "check in" so that in case there's an emergency and you need to find me, you can come here and get me!". WTH??? No one cares!!  Right??? (Although I will say I KIND of care about other people's check-ins.  Gotta make sure they're not doing something more fun than me! Ha ha).  Anyway, I did find one picture on my phone that I didn't post on Facebook, that I thought was kind of funny, because the way Gunnar looks in it totally sums up in two words, what he's been like the last several weeks: dirty, and mean.

Dirty: I guess just because he's a boy, and that's how they are, but I just feel like I wipe him down a million times a day, and every time I look at him, he has some sort of nastiness smeared all over him (the last few days, poop). Oh but wait...that's not poop on his face in the picture!  It's chocolate.

Mean: He has just been crabby and mean lately!  I wish I could blame it on teething, but of course that phase is long over.  So I don't know what to blame it on!  His age?  He's pissed off we're making him use the toilet?  My parenting skills leaving a lot to be desired?  I have no idea.  He is just a crabby, crabby little thing as of late.

Ok, well that's it's for now.  Toodles!

Sunday, June 24, 2012


The saddest thing happened this week.  A 17 month old little boy in Cedar Park, drowned in the swimming pool in his backyard.  Nason's cousin Mary is friends with the mother of the child, and she is the one who originally updated me on what happened.  Instantly, upon hearing about it, I felt sick to my stomach.  I've continued to feel just down in the dumps, and kind of in a funk, since then (which obviously pales in comparison to the emotions that the family of the child is experiencing).  I felt (feel) so very very sad for the family.  Also, as is typically the case with situations like that, my mind starts going to, "what if that was Gunnar?" or "what if that happens to Gunnar?", and those are, of course, very sobering (more like, "gut-wrenching") thoughts.

I really just have not been able to quit thinking about the whole thing all week.  I WANT to quit thinking about it.  It's an awful thing to dwell on, and envision.  It hits really close to home, though.  Literally, for one thing.  The family lives really close by to us. Also though, we know the child's aunt and uncle.  The little boy was somewhat close in age to Gunnar (a toddler, at least).  We are in a season where we pretty much LIVE at a swimming pool lately.  I just can so easily envision how something like that could happen,'s awful.

Anyway, I've learned a few lessons this week, that I think are important:

1) Upon hearing about the incident, I felt depressed.  Depressed about what happened to the little boy, yes, and depressed at the idea of something so horrible ever happening to Gunnar, but more than that, depressed that we live in a world where things like that CAN even happen.  Why in the world does that have to be the case?  WHY are such senseless, tragic things like that allowed to happen?  One tiny little moment, an accident, and someone's entire life is changed forever?  That shouldn't even be ALLOWED to occur.  It seems so unfair.  It seems like we deserve to have guarantees that things like that will NEVER happen.  Why should ANYONE have to experience things like that?  Seriously.  The more I thought about it, the more depressed, and even angry, I got.  And then I started thinking (or maybe God started telling me): Those feelings are only valid, if you're operating under the assumption that we live in a GOOD world.  A world that is SUPPOSED to be good, happy, easy, and fair.  If that were the case...if that was the correct expectation...then yes.  We would be justified in being SERIOUSLY pissed off when tragic events occur.  That's NOT the world we live in, though.  There IS a world like that, that's's called Heaven.  We're not there right now. Why do we try to pretend like we are?? We're here...on Earth...and this is how it is.  God never promised that this world would be good.  This world is ugly, and things like this do unfortunately happen.  We would all do ourselves a huge favor to let go of any expectations we have that this world is going to treat us awesomely, at all times.  However, the very fact that deep inside, we expect something better..KNOW that this is NOT in fact the way things SHOULD me, is evidence of the fact that there IS something better, and this is NOT the way things should be.  THIS LIFE IS NOT ALL THERE IS.  There's another one coming, that's eternal, and in it, God is going to make right, all the things that went wrong here.

2) It made me absolutely cherish and savor every second with Gunnar this week.  I'm just gonna be honest...that handsome little dude can be annoying sometimes.  He can!  I'm just telling you.  He's two, for one thing.  He's also super rambunctious, loud, and whiny at times.  He asks the same question over and over and over again.  He can be moody. He can flat wear me out.  But every time this week that I started to get annoyed about something, I'd think to myself, "how much would the parents of that other little boy WISH that he was here "annoying" them?".  My perspective would then totally change.  One day, before his nap, after Gunnar had tried EVERY OTHER tactic in the book, to delay having to lay down and go to sleep, he asked in an oh-so-sweet (and clever and calculating) way, "Mommy, rock me for just a minute".  As sweet as the request may sound, I know my little one well enough to know he wasn't trying to be sweet..he just knew it was his best shot at buying a few more minutes of awake time.  I almost shot him down, and then remembered, "cherish the time".  So I picked him up and rocked him for a few minutes, and when it was all said and done, I decided I could think of no way I would RATHER have spent five minutes, than rocking my precious boy.

3) It was a reminder to me to WATCH Gunnar carefully.  Not that I need an excuse to be more paranoid, worrisome, and hyper-vigilant than I already am, but the truth of the matter is, accidents happen FAST, and it doesn't take more than a minute or two of taking your eyes off of your curious, fearless toddler, for something bad to happen.  I know I have to strike a healthy balance here, because again, I can tend towards paranoid, worrisome, and hyper-vigilant, BUT other times, in certain situations, I can get a little too lazy, a little too comfortable, a little too preoccupied, and that's really all it takes for disaster to strike.  Nason and I have decided to make it a point to VERBALLY acknowledge which one of us is "on", when it comes to keeping an eye out for Gunnar, specifically in large groups.  Yesterday for example, we had a BBQ at our house, with a lot of friends, and a lot of kids, and the kids were running in and out, and all over the house, and in the bounce house, and in various parts of the yard, and it's easy in situations like that to assume SOMEONE is watching him, when in fact, no one is.  So a simple "you got him?" to one another verifies that one of us is indeed supervising his whereabouts.

4) It makes me SO GLAD that we went ahead and did swim lessons with Gunnar this year.  He learned so much, and while I will NOT be taking my eyes off of him at the pool until he's like 15, he did learn some basic skills that I think would help give him a fighting chance if he were to fall into a pool.  For example, he can pretty easily jump in, turn around on his own, swim back to the wall, and pull himself out.  And at this point in the blog, I'd like to HIGHLY recommend his swim teacher, Joy McCain.  She is SO good, and goes far beyond just teaching kids how to get comfortable in the water, and maybe blow bubbles. She teaches them survival skills.  Her email address is, and really, I just can't say enough good things about her.

My heart and my prayers go out to the Manning family.  I don't even know them, but I have shared in the tiniest, most microscopic little bit of their sadness this week, and that small amount was a lot.  I can't even imagine how they are feeling, but I am confident that even in the midst of it, God truly is making all things right.

 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

This Time Last Week, We Were __________

You'd think I'd hate my "reality", from how much time I spend bemoaning the idea of having to get "back to reality".  I actually LOVE my reality.  (My reality being the sweetest little boy of all time, whom I missed like crazy while I was gone, and whom I LOVE getting to hang with every day).  And by the way, it really was SO SO SO good to get back home to him.  I enjoyed every single second of my first day back home with him today...watching his swim lessons, a date at chick fil a, a playdate at the sprinkler park, and even ANOTHER date to McDonalds for a cookie after his nap this afternoon.  But it ever nice to be waited on hand and foot, while lounging by a pool all day, dining out at amazing restaurants in South Florida, and then collapsing into the most lush hotel bed of all time at the end of your oh-so-exhausting day, only to get up and do it all again the next day.  Call me shallow, but I'm not totally sure I'd ever get tired of that.  Well, maybe I would.  But....maybe I wouldn't.

This was mine and Nason's second time to be away from Gunnar for an "extended" period of time (extended being: more than two nights), and both times, here is how I felt about being gone from him:

- Days Leading Up to Trip: I don't want to go after all!  I'm going to miss Gunnar too much!!  I wish I hadn't agreed to go on a trip.

- First Day Gone: I miss Gunnar!  I wonder what he's doing?  I really wish we were home with him right now!

- Second Day Gone: I still miss Gunnar.  This is pretty nice though.

- Third Day Gone: I still miss Gunnar, but this is REALLY nice, and I kind of wish we were staying a few extra days.

- Fourth Day Gone: I still miss Gunnar, but I could TOTALLY stand to have a few more days alone with his daddy!  WHY didn't we decide to do a solid week vacation?

Anyway, I'm going to write this post, recounting all the highlights of our trip, and then that's it.  I'll be done mourning the end of it, and ready to hit the ground running again here in the real world (which seriously, I really do love).


1) I'm not scared of flying anymore!!!  I seriously don't know what happened.  Last time I, the last probably five times I flew...I was terrified.  I basically had to sedate myself in order to even appear sane.  I was not being dramatic, or exaggerating, or attempting to get attention, or anything like that.  I was just seriously terrified.  This time, I felt the same way, leading up to getting on the plane, but magic....once I was on the plane, I was totally fine!  Completely cured of my phobia.  I even enjoyed it.  Enough so, that it's appearing in this list of highlights! Crazy!!

2) Our hotel.  Everything about it.  I'm not sure I can ever stay at another hotel again, after staying at the Ritz Carlton.  Here was our room:

Add a crazy big bathroom to that picture, and a balcony overlooking the ocean, and there you go.  Best room ever.

3) The Club Lounge.  There was some promotion at the hotel, and part of our package deal, was that we got full access to the "Club Lounge".  Typically, this would cost you $200 a day, and it would be well worth it.  It's this beautiful, comfy, lounge area, with indoor and outdoor seating, huge TV's, cozy couches, and.....all the food, drink (alcoholic, non-alcoholic, and coffe-ish) that you want, along with your own concierge to attend to any "needs" that you may have.  Talk about being pampered!

4) BMW Resort Driving Tour.  Here, we lucked out again.  Just so happens that BMW is currently doing a promotion, and they had this whole fleet of BMW's (various models, none of which I really know anything about), and if you were a guest at our hotel, and you wanted to take out a BMW for the day, all you did was mosey on down to the front desk, tell them which kind of BMW you wanted, and for how long, and it was yours! It really was that simple.  They even told us, "if you accidentally wreck it, call us, and as long as you aren't intoxicated, we'll just bring you another one of your choice".  What?!?  Anyway, like I said, I don't know a lot about cars...I don't really get all that impressed by even the snazziest of them....but Nason seemed to be pretty pumped, and the cars we took out did have some pretty cool features I must say.  Not even to was free! No cab fares for us!!

Here's a picture of Nason, in front of one the cars we took out.  The picture is crap, because Nason DESPISES posing for pictures, and basically refuses to do it, but he was in a good mood I guess, because he so graciously decided to grant me a one-second window to snap a shot and be done with it. This was the best I could do:

5) Las Olas Boulevard.  A charming "little" (not really) street, packed with restaurants, shops, bars, and salons.  Twinkling lights everywhere.  Perfect place to stroll around, stuff yourself with good food, and people-watch.

6) People-watching.  Quite possibly the best I've ever done.  Here are the three things that are apparently NOT frowned upon in Fort Lauderdale, that, while a bit inappropriate at times, make for some AWESOME people-watching:

- 70 year old guys dating/married to 20 year old girls
- PDA (and by PDA, I mean "Pretty much Doing it with an Audience)
- Wandering around with your butt-cheeks in full view

Here we are, drinking some way-to-expensive margaritas, in the second best people watching spot in Ft. Lauderdale (the first best being our hotel pool):

7) Our pool.  Ohhhhh it was heavenly.

8) Uninterrupted time and conversations with my Nasie Cat.  Didn't realize just how much we needed that until we got there, but we really did, and it was so nice.  Wouldn't trade it for anything...I love that guy.

9) Uninterrupted reading time.  I read two books while I was there (and had time to read a third, but stupidly only brought two).  One was....The Hunger Games!  I officially caved.  The whole idea of the book seemed kind of stupid and uninteresting to me, so I held off forever, but eventually, my curiosity got the best of me, and I jumped on the bandwagon.  My review of it?  I liked it a lot.  A lot.  It held my attention, kept me interested and entertained.  It was a worthwhile read, for sure. But......I'm not sure it was the best book EVER, and while I DID read it basically all in one sitting, that was mostly just due to the fact that I was at the pool for 4 consecutive hours and had the time to do so.  Not sure I would have been unable to put it down  (as most people claimed they were) if I were at home.  That being said....I am going to buy the second one in the series tomorrow :)

I'm sure there are more highlights, but I'm tired now, and ready to be done with this post.

HUGE thank-you to my in-laws, who not only kept Gunnar for five days, BUT showed him the time of his life while he was there.  I feel a MILLION percent comfortable leaving Gunnar in their care, knowing that he will be taken care of completely, loved on like crazy, and treated like royalty.

Another huge thank-you to my wonderful and amazing husband.  I know technically it's "our" money, but  let's get real "job" isn't generating a lot of cash.  It's generating a pretty awesome kid, but not cash.  So thanks to my sugar daddy for working so hard, and allowing us to be able to go on such an amazing vacation.  I love you, man!

(Speaking's that manly man of mine)