About Me

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I love Jesus. I love my family. I love photography. I love books. I love thinking. Probably in that order. I have a wonderful husband, five beautiful daughters, a house, and a camera. I enjoy spending time talking to my husband, playing with my girls, redecorating my house and shooting things with my camera. In my spare time, I sleep.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Benny & the Jets

Okay so...it all started with 27 dresses...the movie. I happened to watch it one day while the girls were up and running around. Several days later, me & the girls were walking around Kmart when it happened...Eden started singing.."Bbbbenny and the Jets!" I busted out laughing in awe that Eden remembered the song so clearly after watching the movie several days before. Of, course the laughter was probably encouragement enough but I HAD to tell my mom about it and so it became typical to hear a 3-year-old's rendition of "Benny & the Jets" at my house. (and a 28 year old's...dare I admit?) At any rate it became just something we do around here...a part of our family culture. But I was still blown away when I heard it come out of my 1 year old's mouth at dinner a few weeks back! We were sitting eating supper and somehow we all began singing "Benny & the Jets" together...(isn't that what every family does together at dinnertime? ;)) when Jasmine piped in with a meek little "benny n the jets"...with every syllable. Now, let me explain. Jasmine speaks really well for her age. There is generally only a small amount of guesswork that goes into figuring out what she wants...but still this flabbergasted me. Did my sweet little daughter actually say what I heard her say? I literally gasp! I looked at Russ to see if he heard the same thing I heard...his expression told me he did...but I asked him anyway. We tried to get her to say it again...and she said "benny" plain as day. After a few more attempts we got a little "jet" out of her but she never would say the whole phrase together...but we were satisfied that our ears hadn't deceived us...my one year old daughter was singing Benny & the Jets with the rest of us! As a mother, nothing could bring me more satisfaction than knowing that my daughters are enriching their lives through the great educational facet known as "television." A movie, anyone?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Praying with Expectation

We started praying with Eden when she was about 1. When we put her to bed at night, we'd read a story together and then we'd pray. As she got older she began to pray more & more and also praying at meals. Now, at age 3, she is an "old-hand" at this praying thing. She is typically the one who prays at meal times at our house and if any of us gets hurt, she is always quick to pray or suggest prayer. It blesses my heart to listen to her pray so sweetly and so sincerely without reservation. Sometimes at meals (I must confess...) Russ & I sometimes wish she didn't have quite so much to be thankful for! ;) But the thing about Eden's prayers that blesses me (and challenges me) the most is how she structures her prayers to God. Oftentimes when I approach God in prayer it is to ask and hope for His intervention or blessing but when Eden prays, she speaks as though her request has already been answered. While I may pray, "Dear God, Please heal my wound", Eden prays, "Dear Father, Thanks for making mommy's owe-ie to heal." And where I would pray, "Dear God, we can't afford to pay our dental bill, could you please help us find a way to pay for it?" Eden prays, "Dear Father, Thank you for getting the money to pay for Mommy's teeth." She prays with faith that only a child could have. I guess that's why Jesus said, "unless you become like one of these little ones, you can't come to me." (gina's rough paraphrased version or GRPV. ;)) I wish I could recapture that faith in myself. The saddest part is that I remember having that kind of faith as a child. And God honored that faith. I remember one summer as a kid praying that God would keep all the snakes away because we'd had a lot of snakes the few years before that...we've hardly seen a snake in parents yard since that time! And when I was a little older (probably about 12) I wanted to go to a concert and I knew someone who was going and I knew without any doubt that she was going to call and invite us to go with her so I was anxious for my parents to get home after church that day because I didn't want to miss the call. I knew that God would answer my prayers. And He did...about a half hour after getting home, the call I was waiting for came! But, it's not like that anymore. Logic and experience have taught me that God isn't always going to answer our prayers the way we want Him to. And even though I know that God is full of grace and he is our Daddy who wants to spoil us, I have unfortunately "learned" that I may do something that will make God not want or not be able to answer my prayer. My faith is tainted. I now feel like God's love is somehow dependent on me...and that doubt in the unconditional nature of God's grace is keeping me from praying with the anticipation I hear (and envy) in my daughter's innocent 3 year old conversations with our eternal Daddy. I know that I have much to learn from the faith of my children. When I pray, I want to be like her when she prayed for someone who was sick and when she was finished she turned to me and asked, "So, do they feel better now?"

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My Little Nebraska Cheerleaders

So, even though my family isn't big on sports and we don't really keep up with any football teams...we are still deep down in our hearts supporters of the Nebraska Huskers. (It would be unpatriotic and downright blasphemous to live in Nebraska and not to be, I think.) And as such, both my girls have Husker cheer leading outfits or "baseball" clothes, as my dear Eden calls them.

And today I had a blast shooting my girls in their Husker gear (with my camera, sillies!) and I thought I'd share some of my shots with all of you. Aren't they the cutest?

Five years and still in love!

This past Saturday (Aug. 16), Russ & I celebrated our 5th anniversary. Russ' Mom was a dear and came up to stay with the kids so that he and I could go to out of town for an evening alone together. It was fabulous! We stayed at a historic mansion bed & breakfast, we walked the historic district of town, we ate dinner at a nice restaurant and talked the whole time. (The food was really good but I barely had a chance to savor it, I was yapping so much!) We really were in need of time away from the girls. I love them dearly...but, geez, kids really have a way of working out a mother's nervous system. Some R&R at a B&B with my DH was exactly what I craved. (was that too cutsie?)

Anyhoo...I just wanted to mention how blessed I am to have snagged myself a husband like Russ. We were pretty crazy about each other when we exchanged vows five years ago but now we not only find each other irresistible but we also have grown to understand each other so much more. Don't get me wrong, we're still learning (which I think is a good thing...gotta keep things interesting) but the depth of our relationship has come a long way in five years.

I love you, Russ! ***smooch***

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The "Poopy" Side of Mommyhood

Okay. So I love being a mom. Even when I was in college pursuing my degree, I always knew that ultimately I wanted to get married and have kids, hoping that my husband's job would allow for me to stay at home and concentrate on raising my kids to love the Lord, be well-behaved, considerate, loving people and to know without a shadow of a doubt that they were loved. The times I love best are the moments when I just sit down with the kids and play. Building towers and knocking them down, reading Eden a story and having her "read" it back to me, helping Jasmine put the oversized plastic coins in the slot of her toy piggy bank and clapping for her when the pig's electronic "clink" announces her success. Oh the joys of being a mom...BUT...there are days when the joys of motherhood seem to be overshadowed by what I will call the "poopy" side of mommyhood.

Today has been one of those days. This morning, Eden, decided to empty every drawer of toys in her room into a BIG pile on her floor and has since refused to pick any of it up. It has been a battle of wills since ten this morning. I say she can't come out of her room until she picks up her toys...she stands in her doorway and screams for 20 min. She calms down, starts playing, comes out and gives me a hug, goes back to her room, I discover she hasn't picked up a single toy since an hour ago, I ask her to please pick up her toys, she says she doesn't want to and begins to throw another fit. She slams doors, I yell (desperation tactic, which doesn't work), I say no lunch until she has made some progress, she ends up sneaking food from the table while I am in another room, I send her back to her room, she screams, calms down starts cleaning, I get excited go in to help her, she dawdles, I get frustrated, I leave, she cries, she calms down (still no progress on her room) she plays, I check in on her to discover her playing "teaparty" and a big puddle on the floor, I get upset again, tell her once again to please pick up her room or she's going to get a spanking, she cries, I leave, she slams her door (three times in a row), I come in and give her a spanking, more crying...I am out of energy and ideas by this time...I leave again and next time I check on her she is asleep on her bed amidst the disaster that is her room. What is a mom to do during these poopy times? Eden is usually the sweetest child. Generally very obedient...but for some reason today she has decided to test out her willpower against mine...and as my mom will tell you, my stubbornness is unmatched...that is, until now. Somehow, the love a mother has for her child always softens the will, so that the child always has the advantage in these battles. I don't want to hurt my precious daughter. It feels like I've betrayed her every time her face scrunches into crying mode because I've "layed down the law." Especially when she has been happily disobeying me and the crying follows a cheery smile. But I can't let her think that disobedience, defiance, and backtalk are okay...so I must issue the discipline, enforce the mandate, and teach her that while it is okay to be mad or disappointed it is NOT okay to behave inappropriately (a hard lesson to teach when I, myself, have resorted to inappropriate behavior in my frustration.) So although at the moment my darling, disobedient child is sweetly dreaming, 3 yr old dreams, I know that the battle is not over and I am at a loss for how to navigate this. My hope is that the Eden who awakes will not be the same Eden that fell asleep and when I say to her, "honey, please pick up your toys." she will answer with a cheery, "Yes, mama!" and proceed to tidy up her room. (Aaaahh, mother's can dream, too!)

As for my other daughter, Jasmine...14 months old and spunky as can be, she made me quite aware of another "poopy" side of mommyhood this afternoon while I was setting up this blogspot. And when I say "poopy" I mean that quite literally in this case. I put her down for a nap in her crib. She was quiet and I therefore assumed she was asleep. After awhile she began to fuss--one of her half-hearted cries. I decided to check on her..assuming she just wanted up. Come in to find her standing in her crib naked with poop all over her legs, chest and (oh, my goodness) mouth! Her diaper was sitting neatly in the crib as if she had just stepped out of them. I snatched her up, ran to the bathroom and threw her in the tub. A thorough cleaning followed but not before some poopy fingers were placed in the mouth for comfort and this mommy flipped a little thinking of all the nastiness my daughter had eatin'. (eeeewww!)

I know that although at the moment I treasure the sweet moments of tenderness and play, someday when the task of mothering has taken on a new look, it will be the "poopy" side of motherhood that I will look back on and smile...remembering not the fear and doubt but instead the ridiculousness and the accomplishments.

Perhaps someday it will be the "poopy" side that brings me joy but at the moment...it mostly gives me headaches!

To Blog or not to Blog...

Well, I decided today to try this thing called "blogging". More for me than anyone. I feel like a more complete person when I consistently write/journal but I find that since motherhood struck...time to sit down with my paper journal is seriously lacking and that I suffer for it. So...in its place I am daring to try the blog. Since I am on the computer half the day anyway...perhaps finding the time will prove to be easier and working under the illusion that someone besides myself may be keeping up with what I write may motivate me to dedicate the time thus...although the downside is that I am sure to censor myself a bit more than I do in my personal journals. Oh well...Here I am... Hear me blog!