Friday, December 17, 2010

Note to Self - a reflection of 2010

“If I only knew then what I know now…”

Boy, do those words make you cringe as you say them, huh? But what a great way to learn and grow and challenge yourself in the future, too.

It occurred to me as I was thinking about my annual prayer for the coming year post (click here for 2009 and 2010) that there is just so much in 2010 to reflect upon. Some good, some bad and all of it I wish I knew then what I know now.

  • You will join the YMCA, hook up with Team in Training for another marathon (this time in San Diego) and raise money like a mad woman. Even when your hip hurts, you’re too tired to fit it all in and it seems like another chore, don’t quit….you WILL regret it.


  • Baby #3 will get braces. Don’t forget to tell her how beautiful she is inside and out as often as possible. She needs to hear it more than you know.


  • Baby #4 turns 10. I know, the last of your babies is no longer single digits. It’s sad, but not the end of the world. Your babies are growing up faster than you’d like, but enjoy the rollercoaster ride. On every curve, massive climb and then rush down hill, throw your hands up and laugh. Scream like a girl if you must, but the ride just won’t last long enough.


  • You will go on your first college visit with Baby #1. It will be hard and you will feel like you are about to have your right arm ripped off. Trust me….this gets easier. She doesn’t want to let go of you any more than you want to let go of her, but you both will be better for it.


  • Baby #2 will finally get her driver’s permit with a little coaxing. Drivers Ed will soon start and even though her driving scares you, you can’t keep her in the house and safe forever. She’s a good driver and with some practice she will be just fine. And the best part? You will also learn that you love her because you want to, not because you have to.


  • Suddenly, business will pick up. You won’t leave yourself enough time to enjoy the amazing gift that God has given you.


  • Baby #4 makes a competitive soccer team. You are so proud and could not be happier to be “that mom”, but you thought you were busy before? Not hardly. Don’t forget to schedule time for your family to simply sit in front of the tv together doing nothing.


  • You will shoot your first wedding – and fall in love with capturing people who are in love. Never forget to look at your husband with that starry-eyed look every time he comes in the room. He is your biggest fan, your sounding board and the one who really does love you for exactly the way you are. You two are that in love couple.


  • You learn very quickly that for every photoshoot you needed to schedule post-production time. You stress and sometimes do less than you should, but you are learning. Be open to better ways to do things and stop kicking yourself when you don’t do it right.


  • You turn 39. Last of the “under the hill” years begins. Don’t stress that either. No matter how hard you try, you will hit 40 regardless.


  • Because of your busy schedule, you will lose focus on hearing God's voice. Clean your ears out, dummy. He is speaking and you can't hear it because you have filled your quiet space with needless noise.


  • Your husband will take a massive leap of faith and start his own business. It won't be easy. He will need your support, your undying devotion, your wise wisdom about some things some of the time and for you to stop talking and just listen most of the time. He has a vision, a dream, a prayer and a hope.


  • Someone your husband dearly loves is slowly dying in front of you. She is a great woman. One of the best. You learn to love her, too, a second mom. Give her all that you have and don't leave anything unsaid or undone. You are learning what it means to just "be" with someone. Giving your heart, your time and your attention - it's priceless to her....and you.


  • Open your heart when you feel the desire to close it. Take off the blinders when its easier to move ahead without looking around. Choose to love instead of dislike. Learn from your mistakes instead of beating yourself down. IN ALL THINGS, REJOICE in the gifts you have been given. Good, bad or ugly, all of it is because you are loved by HIM and HE has a purpose and a plan.


2010 has been quite a year. I'm excited for the future and am for the first time in a really long time (if ever) ok with not seeing what's next. All I do know is in 2011 I'll hold fast and pray for God's wisdom, peace and understanding.

“If I only knew then what I know now…”

Friday, December 10, 2010

Mama said there'd be days like this....

What a day. Not really anything major, but I feel my heart pull the wrong direction.

I woke up grumpy for really no good reason. I went to bed grumpy last night just the same.

I have a million excuses for why I'm grumpy....all revolving around 4 children who can't seem to figure out how to do a single chore without having to be told, encouraged...ok....yelled at. How a child (she's EIGHTEEN) can be lazy enough to leave her laundry in the washer and dryer for three days even after I moved them for her twice, or how another child (she's SEVENTEEN) can't figure out how to get said clothes from the dryer to the lazy sister in order to do her own laundry without asking how to do it (and then proceeding to dump my DIRTY clothes on my BED to use MY basket).

Seriously. GRRROWL.

Oh, there's more. Like how someone can brush their teeth and not rinse the sink afterwords (can you say yuck?). Or how someone can leave every single thing they own practically on the couch tables every night and not care that it's all piled up around them as they sit on the couch (can you say claustrophobic?) . Or how someone can scoop out one cup of dog food for one dog while the other is outside knowing the one scoop is not enough for both dogs, but doesn't care to just scoop ONE MORE CUP (can you say selfish?). Or how I've worked ALL DAY at one job then get home at night to spend hours on the computer doing what needs done for the second job and everyone else in the house seems to be sitting around eating bon bons and watching their favorite tv shows (yes, I'm a bit jealous) and I have to STOP what I'm doing to get lazy children numbers 3 and 4 to take a SIMPLE shower (they are NOT babies!). All the while explaining AGAIN how it's NOT.OK.TO.BE.A.DIRTY.PIG.

I'm exhausted.

I feel disrespected.

I work hard and no one really seems to care.

I have to go to a holiday party (in my absolute GRINCH mood) and spend my precious time with people I don't really care about (I go because I love my husband, but seriously, I'm borderline anti-social here).

I feel like taking a nap and HOPING that someone other than me will load and unload the dishwasher without being asked and without a heavy sigh of "woe is me" from people who have NO IDEA what a woe is really about.

Don't get me wrong. Our home isn't horribly filthy, and I'm probably a bit hyper-sensitive to things that need done and simply ARE NOT getting done. Our home looks lived in and it's too small for 6 people so the problem is probably just compounded by that. Either way I CAN'T STAND IT. I should just clean it myself every week, but for cryin' out loud. I have TWO nearly fully time jobs already! I thought I raised my girls better than want to live somewhere at least decent enough for people to stop in unexpectantly (hell to the no!) or to want to be able to have friends over without being embarrassed (clearly they are not).

Oh, well.

Mama said there'd be days like these....

Thursday, December 2, 2010


44 years ago today the world was made a better place when the cutest blond baby boy entered the world.


Today my adorable husband turns 44. Sometimes he acts like he's 4 and other times he acts like he's 84, but ALL THE TIME, I love him.

It's been a crazy year since his last birthday. We've grown in our marriage exponentially. We've fought and made up and laughed and cried. He took a GIANT leap of faith and followed God's lead by starting his own business. He continued to give so selflessly of his time at church with the 2nd and 3rd graders (no easy task, but the boys look up to him and the girls fight over who gets to sit next to him during lesson time). He put on his cape (he is a super hero, ya know) and came to the rescue of many people in desperate need of God's truth regarding their finances. He held the hand of those who are sad and hurt by situations that make no sense. He continued to be a source of strength for his parents in times when no one else seems to be able to do so. He leads with a quietness that makes everyone around him feel safe and well taken care of.

He is MY husband.

Mark: I continue to thank God for you every single day. You are such an amazing person, someone to be respected, adored and admired. I pray that the next year brings us much happiness and that your work that God has given you continues to bless others, bring you joy and give glory to Him at every twist and turn. THANK YOU for choosing me. My life and the lives of our girls has FOREVER changed because you are exactly who you say you are....a man of God first, the husband of my dreams, the kind of dad every daughter dreams of and a friend many are lucky to know.


I love ya, babe.

"I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus." ~ 1 Corinthians 1:4