Sunday December 2, 2012

dear blog (readers),

                       How Are You?!?! it has been such a long time since i have sat down to ‘chat’ with you! actually, let me rephrase that; i have sat down numerous times to tell you about something, and then, something happens that is more pressing or urgent and i walk away telling myself i’ll try to finish up later that day. or the next. and, before i know it, the next day turns into 2 or 3 weeks!

         two weeks ago, i sat down to tell you about a morning i do not care to repeat anytime soon.
or ever.
it was one of those mornings where a certain someone named Ava woke up on the very wrong side of the bed and everything, Every.thing. was a problem.
she came down with a horrible outfit and i sent her back up.
she came down again with ugly cries of ‘i don’t have anything to wear’.
i (not so gracefully) told her that she has tons of clothes and there is no reason she cannot wear something from her drawer or closet, and told her if she could not pick something decent i would come up and do it for her.
well, i ended up going up and yanking out a decent outfit and told her to ‘wear this or stay home’.
(yes, i am aware that is blackmail. and yes, i realize there may come a day in the future when that tactic will not work, but for now, not going to school is devastating and i’m going to capitalize on that when and if i need to)
i slammed the door and went downstairs to try and finish breakfast.
she came down the stairs WAILING and sobbing that ‘this skirt doesn’t fit’.
and, truly it was too big.
so, back up we went and it was all downhill from there.
every thing i pulled out was a problem.
there were tears and loud voices and wishing to bang my head on the wall.
there are just moments when i know i would easily win ‘worst mom in the world’ and that was a morning filled with them.
and, then, i stopped.
i hugged her tight to me and begged her forgiveness.
i realized that i, once again had dropped the ball.
our earlier arrangement of  i pick a couple outfits and she chooses from them had fallen by the wayside without really even realizing.
i had left her to herself and given her too much freedom.
the reality of it is, she needs boundaries.
she needs guidance.
she is learning, and i, am supposed to be teaching her.
it was a morning with very high and very low emotional moments.
like i said one i do not care to repeat.

my dear Ava is growing right up and in fact, we celebrated her 6th birthday last week.
6 years old?
how can that be?
wasn’t it just yesterday she was tiny and bald?
i think when i first started writing to you, she was less than a year old.
how the years have flown.

i was also going to tell you about the survival mode that i/we have been in around here with little Miss Kate.

she had a slight sick-spell right on my birthday and it was literally all downhill from there for the next 3 weeks.
she had a case of croup and the doctor put her on a once-n-done dose of steroids which took care of the cough.
let’s just say that she fully embraced the increased appetite and trouble sleeping side affects full-force.
for 48 hours straight, she was eating every two hours and sleeping fitfully in between.
right on the heels of that, she went into teething full-fledged and finally, finally on Thanksgiving day she cut her two bottom teeth.
i’ve said a couple of times to my husband these past days and weeks, that i just feel like a robot.
going thru the motions.
wishing for a break.
sometimes overwhelmed by the blur that has become my life.
it’s a stage, yes.
i’ll survive, indeed.
but, in the midst of the survival, i wish, i long, i need to have more…
more patience.
more wisdom.
more grace.
i look around these four walls of my home, at the people who share it and i want to just pause.
to just be.
how to balance it all?
how to grow in grace in the midst of life’s stresses and frustrations?
how to embrace and accept this now, these moments of ‘blur’?
i don’t really know.
but, i know i should also be getting back to more of Him and less of me.
indeed, this is a case of less is More.
more Jesus in my vision equals less of me in the focal points of my lens.
big gulps of shame creep up in my throat as i realize how i have let me and myself crowd out Him and His vision for my life.
i’ve been realizing it more and more these past days.
in our semi-conscious, sleep-deprived state, Tim and i talk about these things and i realize through my husband’s much wiser and mature place in life that i’ve let a lot of shoes drop.
with His grace and forgiveness, i want to move on, to move forward, to reconcile the days lost, to try and redeem the time that is left.
the moments from yesterday are forever gone.
mistakes and all.
but, this day, this now, is all i have anyhow.
to embrace it and walk in His vision and purpose
this is my most urgent ‘should be’.

 i was able to put up some Christmas lights yesterday.
we have a few other decorations up this year, but here again, we are taking the ‘less is more’ approach.
i am pretty happy that we had our Christmas shopping wrapped up before Thanksgiving this year.
the kiddos are getting one gift and then a few stocking stuffers.
we are going to have ourselves a very merry little Christmas this year with no travels.
as much as i will miss not being with my family over the holiday, i will certainly not miss the long and grueling 24 hour road trip.
we are counting down the days til Aunt Esther and Uncle Tim and the cousins come for New Years and much merry-making.
the older our kids get, the more i know that the Christmases are going to be memorable.
starting our own traditions and enjoying the holiday here wherein we live our everyday lives.

 we had our first snow this week.
it was bee-u-ti-ful!

i sent the eldest two out the door for school with their snow boots and warm mittens on and then this little guy wanted to play in the snow.
i was surprised at how long he lasted out in it alone.

it was fun while it lasted.
this week, we are expected to have temperatures in the upper 50’s and 60’s.
i’m actually not very excited about that.

while there are things about the cold that get a bit old, i am always glad when the temps stay cold enough to kill the germs and bugs that make their rounds.
oh well.

a sweet friend gave me this beautiful agate pan for my birthday.
it is old and has a few chips on the edges.

but, the inside is just right.
 i have so enjoyed baking cakes and bars quite a few times in this since her giving it to me a couple weeks ago.

another friend sent me a very pretty sweater/belt combo for my birthday.

packages in the mail?
they are da-bomb!

and, it’s much after the fact, but i did want to tell you about the Thanksgiving luncheon at Ava’s class.
it was so cute.

those little programs that are really so very basic are just the cutest thing.
all of us parents smiling and beaming and snapping pictures.
all of our kids singing and acting shy simultaneously.
it was great.
Ava was very happy to show me her classroom and her friends.
she is LOVING school and plans and anticipates every single day.

and, i’m sure there are more things i will remember i wanted to tell you about after i send this.
but, for now, this will do.
i am looking forward to a week of projects and baking and all things homey.
our evenings will be full as well with 3 Christmas dinners this week.
i hope you have a good week.
i hope to be back in touch soon!



17 thoughts on “Sunday December 2, 2012

  1. So good to hear from you! I am sorry about the rough time you are having with little Kate. I know that kind of thing can feel NEVER-ENDING at the time!  And the clothing battle with Ava…let’s just say I can fully relate!  Thanks for taking the time to catch us up, at least a little bit. I enjoyed it!

  2. i always enjoy hearing from you. motherhood is such a busy busy time. and its so hard to juggle everything. i will pray that this week will be a good one for you. the snow pictures look awesome. i want snow!

  3. It’s so hard to stay focused in the middle of baby/sickness/hurrying routines! You’re not alone in this. You may have dropped the ball here or there but someday you’ll be the one still juggling when someone else drops it. Such is the way we help each other! Snow?! It’s 79 here today. No winter in sight. Beautiful pics as always!

  4. O dear friend, I think you need a friend hug and Im to far away to do that. I wish I could come spend sometime with you and also that i could watch those little ones for you so you can have a little “Rachel Time”. Sometimes this kind of communication is so nice, easy and fun, but the bad thing is, is I feel like I am kinda keeping in touch with you, but the reality is Im not. And I can just assume that life is all good and ok because of all the beautiful, fun filled pics I see an fb, and I forget/neglect actually making “real” contact with you. And yes i know 10 min of phone time for a mom can actually cost you about 30 min of sanity. I can so relate to the mothering stuff but I love your heart. i love how you always come back to God. So challenging for me. Thank you for showing/telling us what “real life” looks and feels like for you. Will pray that God grants you a peaceful, restful Christmas Holiday.

  5. sometimes mothering is just so hard! especially when the kids are sick and/or grumpy. it definitely shows me for what i really am, and it’s not pretty.but, i am SO thankful for God’s forgiveness, and the forgiveness of my husband and girls. it’s so humbling how much they all love me in spite of the many times i mess up. i hope little kate gives you a break… gives you some sleep so it’s a little easier. 

  6. Rachel, your post is beautifully written and your heart even more gorgeous.  Let me just say… I’ve been there, done that.  And ironically was talking w/ a friend over coffee just yesterday and talking about some of these exact issues. -less of me.-more of the Living Breath to fuel me.-regretting past mistakes, but moving forward and not letting that old accuser get me hung up on those past mistakes.-repentance.-redemption.-grace.-strength for the 24/7-ness that mothering/nurturing requires.-loving my life….loving my family till it hurts.-trying to live more fully in the moment – even tho a blur.Thanks Rachel!  I think you are amazing!!

  7. so very good to hear from you rachel.  i just want to say  hang in there with the baby and life flying by in a bit of a blur… regardless of doing life less then perfect, there is no one better suited for your kids then you and i know you are a wonderful mother.  as carmen said, i too think your amazing.

  8. oh, those times of dealing with girls and their CLOTHES!!! yes.. lots and lots of grace needed for that one. πŸ˜‰ and sick babies and sleepless nights.. i get tired just reading about it with you. every moment of this mommying thing, how we need a strength so beyond ourselves, eh. you’re so not alone, girlfriend. and you’re doing good! really you are. with little ones – and not just a baby, but all your kiddos are still quite young, it’s so hard to see the forest for the trees… but i love your realness and just plain honesty about it all. your kids, i know, do too. and at the end of it all i think that’s the main thing w/ parenting – not about IF we make mistakes, but WHEN we do, doing what we need to to make it right. move on from there. know that there ARE sleep filled nights in our future once more!! ;)) and let’s be honest, for most of us mama’s, ain’t nothing wrong with us but a good solid 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep won’t cure!!! :))) love all the pictures too. kate’s eyes, oh my word! so big and just straight through to her little soul. and the snow and lights. so peaceful. and the cookies.. yes, please! i’ll take some. not baked.. just the dough!! yum. :))always love a rachel update. stick your head in when you can. ~ happy fresh new week! xo

  9. @appalolly – @jennieanne84 – @aSeriesofFortunateEvents – @oneblessedwoman – @richlyblest – @clearlyhis – @grace_to_be – @singingrachel – thank you all for your sweet and encouraging comments! i almost feel like i need to give a disclaimer that i am not amazing, nor is my heart beautiful, etc, etc. but, i also know that accepting compliments and encouragement is something i don’t always know how to accept, so i’m not going to fuss too long and hard about all the things i am not. instead, i just want to say thank you. thank you for being comrades in arms…fellow mothers and women of faith who are walking a path similar to mine. love~R

  10.  I don’t have that little girl drama about clothes, but the boys give me a test almost everyday. Instead of crying they get angry. Manytimes I allow them to wear mismatched clothes that are repeats because I simply cannot deal with the awful stress of choosing the perfect outfit. and goodness it’s just a shirt and pants. I cannot imagine doing dress/skirts/shoes/hair/bow/socks/top.  Glad you got to spend some time to decorate for Christmas, we need some refreshing here and there even if it isn’t much. Love that pan, I have a green one like it, it used to be new but looks rather old now and I use it all the time as well.  Hang in there, as others said, you ARE doing a good job…..

  11. i feel like you described some of our mornings here to the T. ugh. I hate that these battles have to happen first thing in the morning, just sets everything off on the wrong foot. It’s not that she really knows what she wants to wear all the time, just whatever outfit I suggest is not ‘it’. fun hearing about all the other events of your life too. beautiful pics as always.

  12. Everything looks so pretty there.  Looks like Christmas has arrived! If I had to feed a baby every two hours for days on end and be all sleep deprived, I think I’d have a bad morning too!   Thank God for grace!!  Love all the pictures!!!

  13. Oh, I love a Rachel post!And I loved this! You are so real, so alive, so beautiful.The bad mornings with clothing… yes, been there. 😦 The realization that it’s actually ME that made the problem, not my daughter. The repentence, the apologizing, the hugs, the love again…And little Kate… so sorry about her lack of sleep! If there’s anything that can make a mother feel on the edge of sanity, it’s lack of sleep!! I do hope that changes soon, for you both!And thank you again for that afternoon spent in your lovely home… That was a very special time for me!xoxo

  14. Don’t you love when you get life down in writing and post your pictures with it, how you realize that these are the best days! I feel like as I was reading this blog post that you must understand that. Despite the stress, chaos, tiredness, and our mom mess ups life is just priceless. Your writing and your pictures are beautiful. 

  15. “i look around these four walls of my home, at the people who share it and i want to just just to balance it all?how to grow in grace in the midst of life’s stresses and frustrations?how to embrace and accept this now, these moments of ‘blur’?i don’t really know.”I don’t have a baby and my nights aren’t sleepless except for the staying up way too late part, but this really resonated with me.  Homeschooling has put demands on me as a mom that I have rarely experienced with so much intensity.  The more of Him and less of me has been my only answer and what I have to keep coming back to over and over to learn the same lesson.  What’s strange is how when it’s more of Him, I don’t resent the more needs from my family half so much, even if it means less of me than ever.  If I could only stay there longer than the first ten minutes of school. πŸ˜‰  Hang in there, my beautiful friend!  

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