a little hello

May 31, 2014

it’s been so long. life has been intense these days – a word i keep coming back to, and fitting. self-employment, long long work hours for hubby, unstable income, parenting challenges, 2 small and nonstop boys, josiah’s consuming skin issues and subsequent sleeplessness. three years of fatigue and sleeplessness *does begin to impact one’s sanity, i’ve concluded. it’s pretty real.

that said, it’s also a time of fullness – and growth. a precious dear friend said this to me last week: this is one of the most difficult but also one of the most valuable times of my life (her words were more eloquent). indeed. for starters, we are completely dependent on GOD’s provision and have experienced it and HIM in ways that we *never* would have, were we still ensconced in the system of jobs and steady paychecks.

hard and good.

and i am being stretched way beyond my capacity and skills as a parent, particularly with my precious teenage daughter. my instincts are just not there – or really, my instincts lean way too far toward the comfort and happiness of my child. i *know* what i want as far as character training and i *know* the deep lessons and discipling that i am called to do and yet i fall so short. i am so thankful for a partner with  great wisdom, strong instincts and who is the leader GOD has given our family. and most of all, i am seeing that perhaps in this area of struggle and lack, GOD is really calling me to HIM: to His strength that He promises for me, His wisdom that he generously supplies. oh, that i would move quickly out of discouragement (self-focus, really) and look UP.

and now, for a few pictures? many of these are repeats from instagram ( oh, i love that social media outlet that allows sharing of lives through pictures!) …

this is happening right now: my beloved, taking the boys on an adventure, sporting the dora backpack filled with snacks and drinks :))

this is happening right now: my beloved, taking the boys on an adventure, sporting the dora backpack filled with snacks and drinks :))

 

 

yesterday, when he figured out he could spray me! cracking up!

yesterday, when he figured out he could spray me! cracking up!

 

and another, because Oh.My.Word.

and another, because Oh.My.Word.

 

 

a little painting time with my boys which they love - for about 15 minutes. a ton of mess and effort but worth it  :)

a little painting time with my boys which they love – for about 15 minutes. a ton of mess and effort but worth it 🙂

 

 

this boy is serious and unwavering in his love for balls. all balls. last week, it was the basketball at the park - watched these folks mesmerized by the ball for several minutes.

this boy is serious and unwavering in his love for balls. all balls. last week, it was the basketball at the park – watched these folks mesmerized by the ball for several minutes.

 

 

my big boy, at the same park last week.he is fearless with slides!

my big boy, at the same park last week.he is fearless with slides!

 

 

*such a fun time at sweet zeke's 4th bday party last week. love those bigboys

*such a fun time at sweet zeke’s 4th bday party last week. love those bigboys

 

 

speaking of big boys (lol), where did my baby go?!

speaking of big boys (lol), where did my baby go?!

 

 

loving our time with dear friends and their littles - the boys love their friends, i love my mama friends, and love the sweet learning (sharing, playing together, etc). good stuff. especially with friends who show abundant grace, don't sweat the small stuff like messes and funky kid's behavior, etc.

loving our time with dear friends and their littles – the boys love their friends, i love my mama friends, and love the sweet learning (sharing, playing together, etc). good stuff. especially with friends who show abundant grace, don’t sweat the small stuff like messes and funky kid’s behavior, etc.

 

 

friends! super fun play time with winter last week :)

friends! super fun play time with winter last week 🙂

 

 

this day? they were driving me bonkers!! grabbing each other, hollering out for me to stop running, walk a certain direction, pick up their dropped toy etc etc etc. oh boy.

this day? they were driving me bonkers!! grabbing each other, hollering out for me to stop running, walk a certain direction, pick up their dropped toy etc etc etc. oh boy.

 

 

this picture is *huge. had to capture it to show hubby, who wasn't at the appt. josiah is complying with the nurse - typically he *flips out. so thankful this day that he was obedient and delightful. (and this was a visit back to see the derm to get back on the high powered ointments to stop a *MAJOR* un-liveable flare for him. hate it. )

this picture is *huge. had to capture it to show hubby, who wasn’t at the appt. josiah is complying with the nurse – typically he *flips out. so thankful this day that he was obedient and delightful. (and this was a visit back to see the derm to get back on the high powered ointments to stop a *MAJOR* un-liveable flare for him. hate it. )

 

 

perhaps my FAVORITE PICTURE EVER!! taken at the jville park a couple weeks ago. LOVE them.

perhaps my FAVORITE PICTURE EVER!! taken at the jville park a couple weeks ago. LOVE them.

 

 

an indescribably sweet night out with a lifelong friend.

an indescribably sweet night out with a lifelong friend.

 

 

had to capture his growing hair :) it's actually much shorter and less curly than josiah's was at this age.

had to capture his growing hair 🙂 it’s actually much shorter and less curly than josiah’s was at this age.

 

 

 

 

 

what a waste

April 15, 2013

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i love this picture.

it brings me back to our glorious days at my aunt and uncle’s cabin celebrating 4th of july … sunshine, sparkling blue lake at the base of the mountain, barbecue, family and friends, the fresh air of the forest, fireworks, a big campfire. so much goodness and joy.

when i found this picture the other day, it brought back other memories, too: was mad.  i was actually pouting and grumpy as this picture was being taken.

hubby and i had argued over something stupid – so stupid and silly, in fact, that i cannot even remember what it was.

all i remember was the feeling. my emotions completely undergirded that moment; i couldn’t move past them or get over them and as a result, this beautiful memory is tainted. i was agitated and frustrated at him, for something ridiculous! it was one of those times when the irritation feels like it’s sinking so deeply in and it can’t be quickly shaken.

i wish i could go back and shake the woman in that picture: enjoy the moment, emily! get over the stupid stuff, quick. it’s not worth it.

i love this guy SO much!

“a man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.” (proverbs 19:11)

i have a choice

March 4, 2013

my hubby is gone on a long business trip – already 5 days and a few more to go.

i made a decision when he left this time: i will *not* add to his burden while he’s away, but will instead choose to help and encourage and uplift even from afar.

it can be so tempting to vent and share issues and annoyances and problems on the home front … and yet, i am so thankful for this deep sense of awareness that i have for the important work that my husband has before him, and the need for him to be able to fully concentrate on what he needs to do {no small feat: two days of speaking at a regional conference on economic development in mississippi; followed by organizing and moderating his own panel at SxSW – with one speaker cancelling less than 24 hours before the panel; and finally, creating – organizing -engineering a national summit in austin that 150 key stakeholders will attend with the focus on saving america’s black boys}.  GOD has given an incredible vision to my man and he is tirelessly pouring his heart and mind in to faithfully carrying it out.

and so the choice is mine: do i whine about the logistical dilemmas i face here? because they are real (the dilemmas) and i *do need help and yes caring for these two babies under two on my own (maddie’s been gone a lot for rehearsals) has been insane at times!

but here’s what i know: there is nothing he can do, really. and i can manage this. really, besides for some crazy wild chaotic moments (read: josiah waking screaming at midnight, consoling him while hearing baby caleb wake screaming in the other room to nurse) … things are fine. good, even.

take right now, for instance: both boys are napping (!!), maddie is at her CC seminars all day, and i have this time to write, read, drink my yummy coffee, and see the sun shining through the windows. i don’t have to rush anywhere. i don’t have to get dressed fancy. i can just be here, home … and grateful.

and when my man and i talk or text? i can love him up, speaking life and sharing the good reports from home that are spirit-lifters for him. i can send fun pictures, silly things the kids say, that bring him a smile.

 

speaking of pictures that make him smile ... here is Siah, kissing his beloved great grandpa (papa).

speaking of pictures that make him smile … here is Siah, kissing his beloved great grandpa (papa).

i was so glad to have hubby home late friday night, after being gone all week in cleveland! i miss my man when he’s gone … which doesn’t mean i sulk and that we don’t enjoy our time with him away. we do and i am intentional about special adventures and moments, as well as making the most of having an open living space (his home office is in our living room!). but i am absolutely ready to have him back when he returns.  life is just better when he’s here.

me and my girl got all ready for his return flight friday night, as is our tradition! however, this time was a little less … enjoyable. haa. i kept josiah up past his bedtime and he was NOT happy during the ride to and from the airport, screaming at the top of his lungs. welcome home, babe. LOL (won’t do that again!).

beautiful girl got all dressed up!

 

 

on saturday, after maddie’s awesome volleyball game, we decided to check out the opening day of a local park up on the top of roxyann mountain. the park features zipline and various other crazy treetop activities!

the adventure was … interesting. i hadn’t thought through the fact that a park at the top of roxyann would involve driving up there and how would that work? we found out that we could only take our car so far, and then we could either take a shuttle or hike the mile up the gravel road to the top. on the way up, we took a shuttle. WOW. scary! the driver was busy looking at scenery far down in the valley below. maddie kept insisting that we were all going to die. i continued reassuring her while wondering secretly if she might be right. haa.

we made it to the top and ended up having a good time. maddie loved the activities offered and josiah wanted only to get on the ground and explore. unfortunately our boy who is a confirmed, 100% walker, refuses to wear his one pair of shoes that fit. he *freaks* out when we put them on, so he just had socks on … not the best for walking through the forest. so it was interesting trying to keep him from wiggling down and escaping!

we ended up opting to walk the mile down to our car when we left. (well, me and maddie preferred to walk and hubby reluctantly joined us, while reminding us how enjoyable it would be to hike down while carrying a wiggly baby – knowing the shuttle could get us there in seconds. LOL)

it was stunningly beautiful throughout …. a gorgeous, fresh spring day and the views of the valley were amazing.

here are a few pics …

where we parked our car to get a ride from the shuttle on our way up ...

 

gorgeous views!!

 

the hiking road 🙂

 

 

he LOVED this rope!!

 

 

 

fun to run in to some friends who were able to take a family shot!

 

 

maddie took a shortcut on the way down 🙂

 

 

heading down ... !

saturday sundries :)

April 21, 2012

:: it’s SO BEAUTIFUL out this morning!!! after a week (or many weeks?) of gray cold rain, it’s absolutely glorious! i am SUCH a weather person – realizing more and more how much my spirit and mind and body respond to the feel of the air, the light in the sky, the breeze. i have our windows open, sunlight is streaming in, and i just want to be outside!

:: this morning is maddie’s first volleyball game … ever! bless her brave heart, for (again) trying a sport she’s never done before. her first practice was thursday (2 days ago) and first game is today.  i went over some basics with her, and she is a little nervous – the unknown makes us nervous! but i am thinking that she’ll have another experience like she just had with basketball: huge learning curve, lots of nerves and ultimately the best feeling of accomplishment at having learned and achieved.

:: little man is *finally* falling asleep on his own! this has been a major goal in my mind in the whole sleep training madness. and i am thrilled that for the past few weeks, the efforts are paying off: he pretty much happily falls asleep on his own. in fact, the past few days he’s been restless during our usual cuddle rocking time before i lay him down, so i more quickly put him in his crib with his sister’s beloved bear (“kirby”) and some blankets. he doesn’t utter a peep and is sleeping happily when i check on him later. yay! now, if this will translate in to better nighttime sleep …

:: hubby is working harder than i think he ever has … days will pass where he spends 18+ hours/day at his desk, on his phone and computer … skipping showers, sleep.  he is under *intense* pressure. i am desperate for GOD to bless  his efforts in overwhelming ways!! i miss him. and i am *so* thankful for him and his faithfulness to following the path GOD has set before him, being led daily and having our manna needs supplied, always just in time. phew.

:: i think i felt baby green bean move!! wednesday, april 18 … laying down on the couch, hand on my belly and i felt a pop/push feeling … waiting, feeling and then again a sudden little kick(?) or was it a gas bubble?! at that moment, i felt pretty certain it was the baby. i lay there grinning! i haven’t felt anything similar since, so we’ll see … i was 19 weeks before i felt josiah, and i am 17 weeks with green bean so anytime i’ll be feeling more. yay yay YAY!

a word that’s been encouraging and challenging me this week:

“finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.” (1 peter 3:8)

have a beautiful weekend, friends!

wants and needs of a wife

December 26, 2011

i am going to share my heart and the thoughts and stirrings therein … never wanting to uncover my beloved hubby but instead wanting to encourage us on as wives.

my thoughts and convictions are likely very unpopular for some, and certainly counter-cultural. it flies in the face of the messages we are bombarded with as wives: prioritize yourself, you “deserve” XYZ, you should demand to be treated a certain way regardless, all work and roles should be split 50-50,  etc etc.

{and by the way, this was my paradigm for many years – i endorsed the ‘egalitarian’ relationship model.}

let me preface also by saying that my hubby is truly an incredible man and undeniably my dream guy … has always been, and continues to be. but, he’s not perfect. 😉 and he can’t do and be and say all that i want and need, all the time.

so here’s where my mind and heart have been camping these days:

instead of complaining to my husband about what he isn’t doing or saying or being, how about i spend that same energy focusing on what i can do and be and say?

it is totally simplistic and something i can explain and talk about and YET, the application is where it is honestly hard.

am i the only one who has those sour moments where my mind is meditating on how he isn’t doing/being/saying what i need in that moment? where i get just stuck in that negative, complaining mental space?

and by the way, the things i am rehearsing and focusing on in my mind during those moments – those things are likely “justifiable” desires; things that i could look and compare that mr. smith does for his wife, etc. noble, good, Godly things.

and yet …

i am not called to complain. i am not my hubby’s change agent.

what if, for instance,  instead of complaining that he isn’t giving me the attention i crave, i instead worked on becoming the wife he is drawn to attend to?

because honestly, does complaining or being negative or resentful accomplish our goal (of attention and intimacy) anyway??

telling my man, ‘you aren’t being romantic’ does not engender in him romantic feelings … lol. right?!

i know this is uncomfortable and sensitive … and again, super counter-cultural.

what if i spoke words of life and uplift and respect; what if i devoted myself to the building up of this man?

and what if i used the opportunity to really press in to my LORD as my need-meeter, during those difficult moments?

i have some personal goals for this coming month in this area … knowing i will stumble but eager to step in and step up, being stretched and grown as a Christ-follower and wife.

“be devoted to one another in brotherly love. honor one another above yourselves.” romans 12:10

my hubby’s return!

November 21, 2011

we have a little tradition in our family …

whenever my hubby flies home from being out of town, we love to pick him up at the airport dressed up a bit. i like to wear something i know he’ll love … usually a skirt! :), wear my hair down, put on some perfume and lipstick, and welcome my man home! it’s so sweet to see how maddie has loved doing the same … taking care to pick out a special outfit, do her hair nice and overall just greet hubby with great excitement and welcome.

josiah joined in, too, wearing his “my daddy rocks” outfit. 🙂