Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Apparently, we now have two cases of the chickenpox to celebrate. I think Cole has them too, although its still under observation. It looked suspicious enough to keep him home from school today, and we'll see what he looks like tomorrow. He's running a temperature (100.8) and just doesn't seem to feel well. So, the good news is that maybe they will have them at the same time and we can just get this business over with.
This afternoon I borrowed some movies from my girlfriend Amy just to help keep them entertained. Lucky for me, she was unable to refuse my
bribe friendly offering of a Starbucks caramel macchiato. We've already watched Muppet Treasure Island and have moved on to Popeye, which Cole has always loved! I believe we will round out the night with Ferngully. Everyone is in fairly good spirits, with the help of a bottle of wine and sedatives with the help of lots of calamine lotion and snuggle time. They don't seem too uncomfortable and have enjoyed spending the bulk of the afternoon in the bathtub playing.
Oh, what fun things may lie in store for us tomorrow?!
Just when we thought we had already experienced our share of good luck these days, today we embark on the very exciting journey of.....chickenpox! Yep, the darling and fab-U-lous Gracie has TOTALLY (insert her trademark hair flip here) come down with them. Her pediatrician's office didn't want us to bring her in so we don't expose anyone else, (other than every single person she's been around over the past few days). So, after talking to the nurse on the phone, I guess I'll just take their word for it! She did get the vaccine when she was a baby, so hopefully it will be a very mild case. She's got about 15 or so, all below the waist right now. The fun part is that we have to keep her home for 7 days after the last one surfaces. As you can imagine this will be very fun with our work schedules, but I think we've got it worked out. We'll find out in a week or two if Cole's going to get it. He has also had the vaccine so I'm hoping he doesn't!
This is the 5th time she's been sick since getting out of the hospital! Geez. At least she's in good spirits and doesn't seem TOO upset about missing a bunch more school because she has the chicken-pops.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
I've been hoping, wishing, and WILLING the phone to ring to hear that soccer practice would be cancelled tonight. Its really cold and windier than heck. Alas, no such luck. Guess I better bundle up and show up with
I'll let you know how that goes.
After getting Cole in his soccer clothes, packing coats, hats, gloves, water bottles, and driving to practice, it turns out the coach cancelled practice when he got there. SO, all of that effort wasted! Oh well, at least we aren't sitting outside right now!
Monday, April 27, 2009
tossing the ball with Dad...
Cole and Brian spent a good deal of time playing legos, and Gracie just loved hanging out with the girls. We are sad that they had to leave this morning, but I am still hoping to go to Virginia this fall to visit. So, we will cherish the time we had together and the chance to meet Brian, who truly is such a wonderful person. We think he's a keeper! Here's a great one of Kelly and Gracie on the swings...and another....
Gracie and I swingin...
Did I mention that Cole scored a goal at his game on Saturday? His second one EVER! It was exciting that it was when there was family there to see him, since last season when he scored his FIRST goal ever, I was the only one there to see it! He is really improving so much and is gaining confidence!
Now that life has quieted down a bit, I will be back to my usual blogging behaviors. That's the best news you've had all day, isn't it?
I thought so.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Prince Charming and I don't have a perfect marriage. But the thing is, until rather recently, we had a much less than perfect marriage. (C'mon. I can get really vulnerable and real with you guys, right? I feel safe enough and bold enough to do it tonight, so, before I change my mind, I'll plow ahead. Plus, in a way similar to Not Me! Mondays, I think great good can come from being willing to be open and honest with others about what life is really like on the inside.) And our marriage was definitely less than perfect.But that, my friends, was then. Now, we have a perfecting marriage. Get it? It's a verb. We are being made perfect. By God, of course. And, while we will never see this perfecting come to complete fruition on this side of eternity (In normal people speak: We are human and are never going to be perfect until we die and go to Heaven.), we are reaping grand rewards here on earth for making choices to view our marriage relationship through the lens we believe God intended us to use.It's been a long road so far and it's mind blowing to think that, in the grand scheme of things, we are still just in the beginning legs of our marriage journey.Oh, but back to God. He is performing a miracle in our marriage. It is not about us; we could never have willed for this to happen. It's all God.This summer, when we learned that Stellan, as yet unborn, was gravely ill and I was hospitalized for nearly 3 weeks while we alternated between waiting for Stellan to die and waiting for God to reach down and do the impossible, our marital relationship was stretched to say the least.I was used to being in control. Scratch that. I was used to the false sense of being in control that I formerly clung to. But that sense of control I used to need was ripped from me when I could do nothing to alter Stellan's situation. It was drastically difficult for me. Prince Charming was probably experiencing something similar. Not that I would have known. We were both pushing each other away at that time. Men like to be able to fix things (Their broken three-wheelers, their sick baby, their wounded marriage...). And I liked to think I could control things (My organized kitchen cupboards, our children's eating habits, my husband's behavior...) by keeping such a tight grip on them that there was no way to go but my way.It wasn't until the precious unborn son inside my body and my relationship with the precious husband I made vows to five years earlier nearly slipped between my grasp that I finally listened to God:It isn't my grip on things that keeps our little life chugging along so nicely. In fact, it was at my own hands that the life was being drained from my own marriage. It is God's grip on us, whether we choose to believe in Him or not, that is the only true grip. My grip was just an illusion.There was nothing on earth I could do to fix Stellan, to make sure he didn't die inside of me. Likewise, there was and is nothing I can do to guarantee a fulfilling marriage with my husband.Nothing, that is, apart from choosing to follow God's will for my marriage.And, as I almost learned the very hard way, God's will for my marriage is not for me to try to manufacture some false sense of equal partnership with my husband, in that he must meet my needs and honor me and make me happy before I will feel willing to reciprocate the same for him.I am beginning to strive to speak nicely to my husband even when he is not doing the same. I seek to respect him even if he is not acting respectable. After all, I enjoy being loved even when I am unlovable! And Prince Charming very often gifts me with just that kind of love.And God always loves us even when we are unlovable.What if marriage were meant to make us holy and not (simply) happy? I wish I could say I came up with that insightful question, but I didn't. My husband and I have been reading a chapter a night together from a wonderful, life-changing book called Sacred Marriage by author Gary Thomas. Because of that book, our eyes have been opened to some amazing, God-breathed truths about marriage. What if by striving to honor Prince Charming even when he hasn't earned that from me, I then am able to be more like Jesus? Wouldn't that be an awesome outcome of marriage!? We get so much from God that we do not earn. By learning to give that way to my husband, I thereby honor God. I glorify my Savior when I submit to my husband.Submit is not a word that is in my everyday vocabulary and I know it can rub some folks the wrong way. For goodness sake, it has rubbed me the wrong way for much of my marriage! But I cannot deny that the Bible freely uses the word submit when referring to marriage. Ephesians 5:22 says, "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord."I have neither the time nor the desire to tackle a discussion of all of the misconceptions that abound about the word "submit" in our enlightened (Tongue firmly placed in cheek.) culture. What I do feel a tugging to speak on is how submission (Or honoring, respecting, and putting Prince Charming first in our marriage...) plays out in my relationship with my husband.Oh, but before Biblical submission began to play out in our marriage, first I tried to stamp it to death by demanding my way. Of course, I demanded in oh-so-sweet MckMama fashion as to attempt to get my way without Prince Charming realizing I was overstepping my bounds.Um, that did not work. Our marriage derailed and landed in the ditch, due in large part to the havoc I'd wreaked.Instead, as my husband and I are allowing God to now rebuild our marriage brick by brick, God has gone from whispering in my ear and tapping me on my shoulder to gently shaking me with both hands and speaking directly in my face: "Don't try to demand your way, my daughter! Stop fabricating rules that your husband must follow before you'll let yourself be happy. Quit seeking happiness in your marriage by trying to find meaning and emotion in every single cotton pickin' thing your husband does or doesn't do. Just relax. Just be. Just serve me with your marriage. Prince Charming can never make you ultimately happy, anyway. Being happy isn't the goal I even created marriage to help my children attain! Find a true joy, my daughter, a sustainable peace in your marriage from letting go of your need to control your husband and meet him in the middle in all decisions, big and small. Give him leeway to lead you, for I have put your Prince Charming in that role for you."Okay, God. If You say so.And, to be honest, at first, when God struck me with these principles (I was struck with them through reading the Bible, reading books on marriage, talking things through with my sister and mother, seeing a marriage counselor and developing beautiful relationships with a small handful of more mature mentor wives who have befriended me), I was a bit dethroned. I was willing, but I dragged my heels. "Okay, okay," it was as if I told God. "I will stop requiring my husband to make me happy, stop sulking when he doesn't use exactly the right tone I wanted him to use, stop reminding him of all the big and small ways he is not succeeding in making me happy. I will. But then, that will really stink. I'll just be unhappy all the time, while I honor You. I mean, honoring You is great, but what about me!? I'll be like a doormat, letting my husband do and say whatever he wants, while I have to overlook it just to obey you."And I was prepared to do just that, because God was asking me to follow Him without any promises of how I would feel or what I would get in return.But lo and behold, friends, when I gave up my claim to require Prince Charming to serve me before I would love him back...when I gave up my so-called right to be made happy by my husband in all things...then I began to find something ever so much better than fleeting happiness. I have begun to find an unspeakable peace, an enduring joy and a lasting satisfaction within my marriage.In surrendering my need to be fulfilled by another human being, I thought I'd be left with a bit of a hollow feeling. But the opposite has been true! In fact, I was just telling Prince Charming yesterday that I feel a weightless freedom that I have never known before. To not require him to meet my happiness needs doesn't leave me feeling unhappy; I feel happier and freer than ever! I simply choose to stay in my marriage now. I am choosing to not force Prince Charming to try to fulfill me or meet my happiness needs. I have been finding so much lasting joy in loving Prince Charming because I decide to, and not always waiting for my feelings to lead me to love him. The feelings come, though, my friends. Oh, boy, do the feelings come.Forsake myself and my desires, follow God by putting Prince Charming first, choose to seek to make him happy instead of myself, and it all flows back down. His desires are becoming mine and we are enjoying life as a team now. My husband can hardly wait to meet my needs, now that I am not demanding that he do so! He sees my side of things ever so much more than he ever has. I respect him, he loves me, God is honored all around, and truly, everyone wins! And man alive am I as hot for my charming husband as I have ever been since the day we married each other.Did I really just write that!?Life is still most certainly not perfect. I am not always happy. But I am coming to learn that that is okay. And putting my husband first will never be a bad choice for me.Please, my friends, feel absolutely free to agree or disagree that this is how marriage ought to work. There have got to be endless scenarios in which the answer to marriage problems is not as simple as this. Women cannot singlehandedly heal marriages by putting their husbands first. There are acts of God involved as well as details too eternal for my finite mind to comprehend. I mean only to share a bit of our journey of love with you. Because for Prince Charming and me, the proof is in the pudding. And neither one of us plan to have our fill of this pudding anytime soon.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Unfortunately, from the looks of things, they had a miserable time being away from me.
They really do look SO unhappy and homesick. Bless their little hearts for putting on brave faces for the camera.
How DID they survive without their Mama hovering over them?
Did I mention they were forced to enjoy pizza and ice cream too? Okay, Okay, maybe they kinda sorta had fun. I practically had to beg them to come home with me (as is usually the case when they are with Bubba and Jeremy). How quickly all the sacrifices of a Mother are forgotten.....
Yes, I was annoyed.
Friday, April 17, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Given that my day began 13 hours and 19 minutes ago, and that bedtime won't be feasible for another 3 hours at least, it would seem that coffee is in order. I will be so glad when tomorrow is over and I have a few days to myself. The past few weeks have been brutal, but I made it through. Should be smooth sailing from here for the most part.
I had a call from my Dad today saying that my Grandfather had a slight stroke yesterday. We are keeping him in our prayers and hope he has a speedy recovery.
The sun is shining, and its supposed to be in the mid-70's this weekend! Sounds like a good opportunity for some fun outside, even if some of it is "yardwork" kind of fun!
Well now, this wasn't a very exciting post at all, was it? What can I say, my life isn't ALWAYS as thrilling as it seems. HA.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Okay, so I've given myself a bit of an attitude adjustment and am feeling better than my earlier post. Plus, look what darling husband did! He brought Gracie and Mommy flowers this evening. As Gracie would say (with accompanying head toss and hair flip), "Daddy, you are TOTALLY the sweetest!" Look at her adorable flowers..just perfect for her!
and here's a close-up of mine..aren't they lovely and gorgeous? Perfect for me. Obviously.
Kids have homework, soccer practice has been upped to 2 days a week, the yard's a mess and I am only one person. School class pictures, soccer pictures, dr.'s appointments. Yes, I am bitchy. I haven't been able to get to the gym in several days due to work and/or I have the kids, and I know that is contributing to my crabbiness. I need to burn off the stress. Paco and I are rarely home together anymore, and we are both frustrated to the hilt with our jobs. So, yes, I am still even more bitchy. I am tired of being two working parents who feel like they are doing it alone.
My refrigerator needs serious attention, as does my basement. I have oodles of half-completed projects around my house. I have a slab of red paint on the wall in my kitchen that I was "testing out" 2 years ago. It's still there. I am irritated because there is still a big pile of hair on my bathroom floor from where my husband cut my sons hair exactly one week ago. I am years (and years) behind on the kids' scrapbooks. I am tired of being responsible. I am seriously tired of having pets. I am tired of the neighbor kids hovering at our fenceline asking to be invited in.
I am tired of the bizarre weather. It's sunshine-y and hailing right now. I want warmth. I am tired of the crappy stock market. Im tired of the 1-800 phone calls every night. (apparently they found a way around the do-not-call-list). I am tired of the extremely annoying salesman that I deal with at work. I'm sick of being expected to accomplish the impossible. I'm tired of the stress of being a working mother, and the endless list of crap that has to be done every day after work just to keep the house and family routine running.
Yes, I know I have many, many blessings to be thankful for, and, more likely than not, tomorrow will be a better day. I recognize the irony of this post compared to my happy, feel good Easter post from yesterday. How quickly things change. But for tonight, I remain bitchy. Because I am tired.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
and I love, love, LOVE this one of them together...
and of course there had to be ONE with a cheesy smile...
As I sit here Easter morning, sipping coffee and stewing about having to go in to work today (yep, still whining about that!), I reflect on the true meaning of the day. Jesus died on the cross for ME!! How often I take that for granted....I don't have to carry the guilt of my sins, all I have to do is ask forgiveness for them and live my life the way HE wants. That's ALL! In return, I get eternal life. Not a bad return on my investment!
What a powerful thought.
Paco and the kids are going to church with some friends this morning, at a huge church in Post Falls, just a short drive away. We have been "shopping" around for a new church and haven't quite found what we're looking for. Maybe today will be the day. I'm feeling sad because I wont be with them, and I won't get to see Gracie in her Easter dress and Cole looking all handsome-ish! However, whining about it won't get me anywhere, and with inventory tomorrow morning, the work HAS to get done. I'm at the 11th hour. I will bring the paperwork end of it home with me this afternoon so I can at least be with my family.
Oh, look what the kids found this morning? Looks like the Easter Bunny stopped by!
I've just put a ham in the slowcooker, basted in orange juice and brown sugar. Along with that we will have parmesan asparagus and scalloped potatoes. Should be yummy!
Happy Easter to all of you!
Friday, April 10, 2009
OOOPS..wait a minute...lets fast forward a few years...
He's getting dreamier by the minute, don't you think?
and for the grand finale, my personal favorite...
That guy is one handsome devil!
I am one proud Mama.
This afternoon we colored Easter eggs with Cole and Gracie's friend Carollynn. The kids had fun making glitter eggs, and painting eggs with puffy paints. As you can see, we had alot of fun...
Gracie and Carollynn are soooo cute together....
and by the end of the afternoon things were getting pretty goofy!
Now, if I could just get this egg dye off my countertops...
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
By the way, Cole has won the battle of the stomach flu. He crashed on the couch yesterday afternoon at 4pm, and slept 14 1/2 hours until 6:30am this morning. Needlesss to say he hit the floor running!! My boy is back!
Monday, April 6, 2009
On to less disgusting things. Yesterday was a fantastic day! It was gorgeous outside and, dare I say, WARM! I spent the day cleaning out flowerbeds, raking and so on. The kids had half the neighborhood over (ok, well it seemed that way) and they had fun with sidewalk chalk, playing in the fort and having snacks. Last night we celebrated the last day of Spring break by getting ice cream at DQ. Little did we know that Cole had one more day of Spring break tucked in his sleeve...haha!
Did I mention that Gracie gave rock wall climbing a try last weekend? She did ok but decided halfway up that it just wasn't for her. Check it out...
Where's Cole's rock wall picture, you ask? Anyone who knows him is well aware that this kid is not really a risk taker! Nope, his feet were firmly planted safely on the ground. Honestly, after all the stories I hear about the things his Daddy did as a kid, I have no problem with Cole playing it safe!
Oh, and here's a photo of Cole, Gracie and their cousin Sydney...aren't they a cute trio? We miss her already...
and another cute one of Cole and Sydney enjoying a cold treat...
Well, back to my motherly duties of pillow fluffing, temperature taking, barf-bowl holding, laundry doing, straw holding, and sick-kid cuddling! Wish me luck!
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
3 - 3am to be exact, the first time Gracie threw up today
2 - times my travel mug leaked onto my shirt on my way to work
30 - minutes late to work due to throwing up and other early morning difficulties
3000 - number of pricing changes we had to do today
2.5 - hours of overtime and my work STILL isn't done
1 - great assistant who I couldn't do my job without
11 - times Gracie threw up before it finally stopped
4 - days until Cole loses his mohawk
5 - girl scout thin mint cookies I indulged in because my day was crappy
45 - minutes it will take on the elliptical machine to burn off damn cookies
1 - white chocolate mocha delivered to me by Amanda because she's that fabulous
(and because she was even more tired than I am, and certainly would have been
made to feel immensely guilty had she showed up with only one)
30 - minutes it will take on the elliptical machine to burn off damn mocha
4 - members of the Sutton family who are all home together tonight!
1 - load of "post throw-up" laundry left to run
2 - subtle hints dropped before husband offered to make dinner tonight
6 - number of times Cole has left the slider door wide open in the last 20 minutes
1 - how many times I had to lock Cole out before he got the hint to close the door
2 - times Gracie has told me she loves me "all the way to Jesus and back" today :)
1 - time Cole has told me that his heart is full of "Mom-love" :)
Guess its not such a bad day after all.