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Sunday Chat

So Ryan was gone in London all week. LIKE ALL WEEK. Today was day 5 and I kid you not, we were still in pajamas at noon, Hannah’s goodie bag of candy from a birthday party yesterday constituted breakfast, and the kids spent more time in front of screens than should ever be allowed. But we made it. We are survivors. (Costco pizza for dinner in front of the TV on paper plates survivors….. but survivors)

Last week was especially crazy because everything seemed to suddenly get put on the schedule last week. We had a field trip, a concert, a baseball game where Hannah’s class sang the national anthem, a birthday party, a piano recital, oh an all the other normal lessons and things that happen from week to week. It got a little dicey there from time to time, but we made every event semi-on time and all in one piece. Whew.

So while I was spinning a million plates in the air, Ryan was gallivanting around England. On an expense account. And I am not the least bit jealous or bitter. Not. The. Least. (keep repeating until it is true). We would have loved for me to tag along, especially since it is our anniversary next week, but it just didn’t work out. It is actually a good thing it didn’t because asking the grandparents to step in and handle all of last week would have been insanity. So instead I will just remind Ryan quite frequently how much I did while he was gone and guilt him into giving me extra foot rubs and ice cream. In the end we all win really.

Next week is hardly any different, but I am happy to have someone to split the load with. School is winding down and with that comes millions of class parties and teacher’s gifts and craziness. Throw in an anniversary, 4 family birthdays and a holiday and it just makes for a whole pile of insanity. But it is the absolute best kind of crazy because it means a great school year is coming to a close and a whole bunch of people get to celebrate another year on planet earth. I can look at the next few weeks and resent the busy or look at it as one long party. It is all a matter of perspective.

I love this little life of mine.

Sunday Chat

Have I mentioned how crazy May is. Holy cow, how do I forgot every year? It is like childbirth I guess. You have to forget or you would pull your kids out of school in April and just be done with it. Come to think of it…..

It is funny when I look back over last weeks calendar it doesn’t look so bad. It actually looks a lot like most other weeks. But something about May just puts everything on hyperspeed. I don’t know why it seems so overwhelming.

Last week I hosted a little party on Thursday night (more about that tomorrow). This, of course, means I cleaned the house. Anyone else have kids that ask who is coming over when you start cleaning like crazy. I can rock parenting and cooking as a homemaker, but keeping things spic and span is not my forte. But whenever I have people over and look around I always think, dang, this isn’t so bad. Someday I’ll get my crap together.

Saturday we spent the whole morning at a retreat for a ministry team we are part of at church. The learning part was fine, but we spent a good hour cooking together in a commercial kitchen. Roasted tomato soup, Caesar salad and a brie and chicken grilled sandwich. I love cooking with groups of people. You get to have the most interesting conversations while you are preparing food. I wish there were more opportunities in life to do this. Or maybe I need to start a cooking club. Clearly I need a few more things on my plate.

Saturday night we went to see a choir from Uganda. Once again I reminded of how pure the joy of Christ is so often displayed in those who have very little material possessions. Yet here we are in America surrounded by every possible comfort and we can’t seem to find happiness. Kind of makes you want to sell everything, donate all the money and live a more meaningful existence. Anyone else feel that tension?

And that brings us to today. I keep my expectations for Mother’s Day in check because I am still raising relatively young ones and they can’t possibly pamper me all day long. It is a success when I get some sweet homemade cards and a few extra snuggles. We ended up inviting all the moms in the family over for lunch. Ryan cooked and cleaned so it was heavenly. So good to have all the moms in one place and looking around to see how many wonderful women I have in my life to show me what motherhood looks like.

We ended the day as our own little family again. Popcorn for dinner and Back to the Future on for family movie night. Ryan and I forgot just how much language there was in the movie (yowza), but the kids loved it and it is always fun to talk to the kids about how things were “in the olden days”. Of course that included the olden days of 1985. We also spend time wondering why there aren’t flying cars yet.

I know Mother’s Day isn’t an easy holiday for everyone. But I hope you felt loved and appreciated by the people in your life. And I hope you took the time to tell your mom or a mother figure in your life how much they have impacted you. If not, it isn’t too late. Call them now!

What is new in your neck of the woods?

Sunday (Fine Monday) Chat

Sorry I missed Sunday chat by a day. For some inexplicable reason my kids did not have school today (shoot me) and so I am all off on my days. Last night was a BBQ, let the kids stay up late, enjoy the first summer-esque evening kind of night. And that was followed by a “crash at 10pm” kind of bedtime. So no blogging for me!

Last week flew by in a whirlwind of activity. I love all the special moments that happen at the end of the school year, but any mom of school aged kids will agree it is also maddening to try to hop from one thing to the next and keep all the plates spinning. Last week was two different “Grandparent’s Day” events at school so thankfully the grandparents shouldered much of the responsibility and I got a little time all to myself. Can’t tell you for the life of me how I spent it which must mean it was just what the doctor ordered.

Thursday night Ryan and I hit the town for a charity event. We got nice and gussied up for the occasion:

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All the stars aligned for my gussying. I got my hair colored on Tuesday and we lightened it up a bit for the summer. Then I got my April Golden Tote with this amazing dress in it. I wanted a cool thick belt to go with it so I ran to Goodwill and scored this one. Even our tree cooperated and bloomed at just the right time! We had a lot of fun hanging out and staying out until 9:30. Wild and carefree on a school night!! (my 20 year old self is shaking her head in shame).

Friday night I took Hannah to a local high school production of Music Man. I am a giant musical junkie and totally want my kids to be too. But taking them to plays all the time breaks the bank. So I am always on the lookout for high school productions. They usually do a really good job and I only have to shell out $10 a ticket. Win and win. Lily didn’t want to see Music Man despite my insistence it was awesome (and about my home state of Iowa!!). I think Hannah momentarily regretted saying yes when I tried to sing along to a lot of the songs. Whatever. She doesn’t even know how cool I am. And because it wasn’t a school night we stayed out until TEN. It’s like I’m some sort of party animal.

Lily was home with her dad and stumbled upon my self tanner I had put on earlier in the day. So Ryan thought “How hard can this be?” and let Lily have a go. I came home to a streaked Oompah Loompah. Good times. Thankfully she had really only applied it to her arms and so we just wore long sleeves all weekend. It was 80 degrees but no matter. She had a HILARIOUS sense of humor about the whole thing. Actually she has a great sense of humor about most everything and has no problem poking fun of herself. It is one of my favorite things about her. So she called herself “orange-y” all weekend and kept laughing about her streaks. Awesome.

The weekend excitement was topped off when Grand Rapids experienced a 4.2 earthquake. We were playing outside all afternoon and I checked Facebook and all anyone was talking about was this earthquake. I told my family and we looked at each other all “What earthquake???” In our defense my niece and nephew were over and with 5 kids running around it pretty much feels like an earthquake anyway. Amiright?

Hoping your week was just as fun and eventful. What is new in your world?

Sunday Chat

Once again the end of the school year is trying to kill me. Raise your hand if you are feeling the same. Oy vey!! The calendar is ugly my friends.

Last week we had Fine Arts night at our school. It is probably my favorite event there because all the kids art work for the year is plastering every wall. Our kid’s have the most amazing art teacher and seeing it all from preschool through 8th really makes me realize what a great school they go to. The sixth graders work really hard on a project all semester detailing the country of their choice. Lily got to have it on display with all her classmates and it was really fun to see it all come to fruition.

Friday I went to my naturopath for a check up and took a moment to reflect on how much my health has changed in the past year. I spend too many years absolutely exhausted and thinking it was just a normal side affect of parenting. It was my struggles with depression and anxiety that caused me to seek out treatment. And after a few rounds of doctors without answers I ended up in a place that finally gave me the answers I had been craving. I’m still not fully healed but am so much closer than I was before. Grabbed this book at the library and am excited to dive in.

We finished off the week with a dinner at friends. And then I served on the worship team this weekend. I am gearing up for another really busy week and need to hit the hay. Sorry things aren’t more exciting in these parts. What is going on in your world?

#imbornto Change The World

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I have birthed three babies (don’t you just hear “I don’t know nuthin bout birthin no babies!!” in your head?) and each birth was radically different from the other. My first was a bit of a nightmare, although at the time I don’t think I realized quite how bad it was because I had nothing to compare it to. Intense back labor, a late epidural because of my stubbornness, over 3 hours of pushing, a frantic forceps delivery. Lily’s head came out like a member of the Coneheads and I was so bruised and battered I could barely sit (is that TMI? It feels like it might be TMI).

Hannah came flying out 45 minutes after we got to the hospital. No epidural (no time), I barely pushed and I rolled off the bed, and walked up to my new room feeling like a million bucks. Because that experience was so lovely I vowed that Silas would be born the same way. But the little bugger seemed to like life on the inside and once my labor started it kept stalling. Although I also delivered him drug free it was nowhere near as easy as Hannah had been. I recall pushing for about an hour and telling everyone I was done and he was just going to have to stay in for life.

What I learned through all this is that you simply can’t plan for what is going to happen once you get pregnant. We can make birth plans and get due dates, but at the end of the day those kids are just going to come out how they want to come out. We can simply do our best to have healthy pregnancies to minimize complications during delivery. Many of us know all to well there are one million variables that can go wrong.

My story is a bit of a “things go wrong” story. I made my way into this world almost 40 years ago (yowza) and surprised my parents by coming 3 weeks early. While that isn’t super early by today’s standards it is still less than a full term pregnancy and it wasn’t too long before my grandfather noticed that something wasn’t quite right. Sure enough I was having trouble breathing and had to be whisked out of my mother’s arms and to a hospital with a NICU where I had to be put in an incubator and observed until my lungs further developed. Scary stuff, but thankfully I turned out fine (well…. it’s all relative).

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This month I am honored to be part of a team of 39 bloggers, representing the length of a full term pregnancy, spreading the word about March of Dimes, their work in preventing premature births, and their #imbornto campaign.

I had NO idea all the things the March of Dimes is responsible for until I started this project. They have been around for 75 years and if you were born during that time period, you likely have been affected by them. Yes YOU are a March of Dimes baby.

Have you?

  • Received the polio vaccine
  • Taken a prenatal vitamin with folic acid while or before becoming pregnant
  • Received an APGAR score immediately following birth
  • Been born prematurely or had a premature baby

Yep. Thank the March of Dimes. Currently one baby is born prematurely every minute and approximately 72 children die each day before reaching their first birthday. In America. In 2015. This is still very much a current problem. Worldwide, over 15 MILLION babies are born too soon. The March of Dimes funds important research into preventing premature births and improving prenatal care.

In the next few weeks I will let you know some really cool ways you can support the March of Dimes around Mother’s and Father’s Day (teaser- it involves SHOPPING!!). But I think the first step is just being aware of all the great work they are doing and giving them some social media love.

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The March of Dimes truly believes that every child born was born to do something great. Their chances of success are greater if they are born healthy and on time and March of Dimes wants to celebrate that. So take a post a picture of your kiddos or yourself with the hashtag #imbornto and let the world know what they were born to do. I love a campaign that celebrates babies and the moms and dads that would give their lives to keep them safe and healthy. They have been doing amazing work for 75 years but their work is far from done. Let’s help them continue their work for 75 more!