Category Archives: Day to Day

Big news for the Haggards

Since I last blogged in May, a lot has happened.  I may as well just dive right in with it.

1) We bought a house

and . . .

2) We’re pregnant.

Yes, I know.  When it rains, it pours.  And even if what’s falling out of the sky are good things, I’m going to be honest and say I still feel at many times that I need to run and duck for cover.

And I mean, didn’t you expect this from the Haggards (even if we don’t even expect it from ourselves)?  Have we ever failed to shock or entertain you?  (Dear God, may we please fail you someday, for my own personal sanity and my husband’s well-being.)

Many of you know either by direct conversation or in some roundabout way about either one or both of these things.  If you didn’t, well I suppose now you do because it’s on the internet.

As far as the home-buying is concerned, some of you will find it ironic that Jason got himself into the real estate market.  That is because you’ve heard him go on and on about how buying a house in Seattle is ludicrous because the market is so overpriced and yada yada yada.  I have liked renting for its security; if anything unfortunate were to happen financially we could be out of our house immediately.

But, at the beginning of May we started thinking about a house.  This was propagated by the fact that Jason’s parents were in Seattle and we were discussing the possibility of finding a home with a MIL unit that they could live in while they were helping us.  In future seasons we could use the unit to host friends and family and for our family as it grows.

We weren’t thinking all that seriously.  In fact we told our new realtor, “You know, we just want to warn you – this could be a year or two from now . . . or maybe never.” Ha.   She was probably smirking on the inside.

But despite our hesitations, some big things needed to get resolved for us in the month of May, and where we would live was one of them.  The other two were as follows:

1) Will my in-laws stay in Seattle or move on?  They weren’t having much luck finding permanent housing and figured they should make a decision by June.

2) Am I pregnant?  Yes, a little off topic.  But I knew there was a slim possibility.  Because it was so slim, I was not thinking much about it, but because God designed nature as it is, I would eventually (as in a month) find out if I was or wasn’t.

I remember very distinctly my prayers about these things.  I prayed with hopeful expectancy, which is very unlike me.

The first answer we received was that I was in fact pregnant.  I must have, deep in my subconscious, dismissed this as a real possibility because I was completely shocked.  And sort of freaked out.  I am a crazy lady and now I’m a crazy lady having another baby What, people, could possibly be next for the Haggards?!

[I will interject to say that I am pro-having babies and I am pro-having this baby.  But I was shocked nonetheless.]

Jason was also surprised but of course supportive, and he’s a flexible person to begin with. He jokes that he got what he wanted with the time frame moved up, which is fine by him.  If we found out we were having twins he would consider it an absolutely perfect situation.  Maybe, that is, until the twins actually came out of the womb and I handed them over to him.

Now that we had to factor into our living situation another human being, we knew we were going to have to move in the next nine months – whether Jason’s parents stayed or not.  Hmmm.

We had looked at one house at the beginning of May (minus a few at-home Redfin stalkings I did on my own). Amazingly it had fit all of our requirements.  It already had a MIL unit, the layout was great, it was in a pleasant neighborhood, had a backyard, was close to friends, there was easy access to the freeway, and it was not a complete dump.  If you live in Seattle, you know this is a gem.

But we both decided it was just okay.  We didn’t get any major impressions when we walked in or afterward when we talked it over.  We dismissed it because at that point we thought we only had two children.  And we moved on for another week or so, waiting for answers.

But now that I was pregnant that house was looking better and better to me.  And not even in a desperate sort of way.  I started to be excited about its possibilities and the space it did afford.  I started to feel like I could see us living there.

In a totally random sort of way we put an offer in on the house.  It had sat on the market another week and our realtor thought we could offer what we wanted to, which was significantly less than the asking price.

And that began a journey that only included a few brief conversations between Jason and I on the couch and the conclusion that we’d take one step forward, and then another, and we’d see what would happen.

And now we live in this house.  And it has been truly, truly a blessing.

In the end, our in-laws decided to move back east.  This was really hard for us. But, it has brought about a great God story.  As of a few weeks ago we have a couple living in our MIL unit, JT and Sarah, and their 10-month-old son, Josiah.  In exchange for the living space, Sarah takes care of Ian and Imogen during the weekdays so I can rest.

I cannot tell you how truly great this has been, in numerous ways.  It is helping me get better and it is a comfort to know there will be extra help when the baby comes.  And we really like JT and Sarah, and we are glad our families can mutually bless each other.  They moved out here from Michigan and were looking for housing when they saw a post I put on the Mars Hill’s website.  And now they are here with us.

[This is where I was going to post a picture of our new friends, but I figured I didn’t want to totally creep them out if they ended up reading this.]

JT is looking into church-planting and Sarah has plans to finish a nursing degree and become a midwife.  How perfect to have a future midwife in our house!  Sarah and I have had some good conversations on the subject.

Jason and I took possession of the house at the beginning of July and for that month Jason worked away, getting some things remodeled, re-plumbed, etc.  Thank you to friends and family who also helped, you are very much appreciated.  You worked so that I didn’t have to.

The kids and I came back from Mother T’s at the beginning of August and JT
& Sarah moved in shortly after that. And now we are that couple who works on the house after the kids go to bed.  We’ve spent more money at The Home Depot than I care to think about.  I’m hanging pictures on the walls, Jason’s out gabbing with the neighbors, and the kids are scratching the newly refinished hardwood floors.  I guess that means we’re making it home.

Not many have actually seen the house, so I will give a few glimpses.  I preface this with the fact that you will be disappointed with these photos – they are few and not all that exciting.

Here’s the white trash side of our house.  Note the appliances and furniture in the driveway, and I left the garage door open for the full effect.  I would personally apologize to the neighbors, but I’m too much of an introvert at the moment to do so.

This is the other side of the front.  The picture doesn’t do it justice, but it’s beautifully landscaped (not by us).

Ian requested I take a picture of him, of course.

Here’s the first room we finished.  Yes, it is light pistachio, and no, Jason does not like it.  But, he loves his wife so that’s the way it is.

These are photos of the MIL unit. Technically this was the first area we finished, as we wanted it ready for JT & Sarah.  We mainly painted, cleaned the carpets, replaced some appliances and did some plumbing. (“We” means Jason).

I promise to take more photos.  I really wish I had taken some befores, but that didn’t happen.  But, here’s more general photos from July and August.

So, in the end, I still ask myself “How did we get here?!  What is going on?  Am I still having this baby and do we really live in Shoreline?”

I know I’ve fully explained it, but I still wonder sometimes. Jason and I are amazed at God’s impeccable timing and His provision.  And how simply it came together.  I mean, as simple as buying a home and being pregnant can be.

The last time I posted was over two months ago.  I was, of course, thinking about all the what-ifs, and I did imply that some in my writing.  But I was also stuck on this: “Let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him” (1 Cor 7:17).

How fitting that was when I found out I was pregnant – it was assigned.  And so was the house.  And our new tenants.  And even my struggles with depression and anxiety, as I work to overcome them.

There is peace in knowing that God’s will happens.  It is happening for us Haggards.

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It goes both ways

Some good things, in no particular order.

  1. Though sleep has been difficult the last two weeks, it didn’t slow me down today; I played hide and seek with my kids in the woods.  And trust me, two hours a night is a lot worse than the status quo.
  2. I didn’t yell at my husband when he wandered off in Costco yesterday.  Now I did yell at him when we were trying to order photos, but I still consider this an accomplishment.
  3. My wonderful, dear children.
  4. My in-laws, who I really like and who have been an immense help to me and good company many days as Jason works long hours.
  5. A restful Mother’s Day. Jason served us an amazing meal which he mostly prepared the day before so he wasn’t hermiting in the kitchen all afternoon (this was upon my request).
  6. I’m making jewelry, which I haven’t done since childhood.  I like giving it away and I have really enjoyed Jessica and I’s evening jewelry-making sessions.  My mom, Becky, and Linda have given me lots of old jewelry to work with but of course that doesn’t keep me from building my own collection of material to work with.
  7. I’m taking more photos and enjoying my camera, which was a wonderful gift from my dad a few years ago.
  8. Hanging out with other ladies at Jane’s clothing swap and finding some great things to take home.
  9. Finding a Vietnam-era military locker at Value Village.  Becky says her kids used Bill’s dad’s locker as a toy box when they were young. I like having meaningful things around my home, things with stories attached to them.
  10. Having some other creative projects I’m inspired to do.  In fact, being inspired is something I’ve needed for a long time and it’s coming back to me.
  11. Meeka’s post.
  12. The mornings are sometimes hard, but things usually get better as the day goes on.
  13. My psychiatric NP said I’m doing a lot better and when I actually thought about it, I agreed with her.
  14. I’m celebrating six years of writing on this blog.  For me, doing anything for six years is pretty amazing.
  15. Goodwill Hunting and Silver Lining Playbook.
  16. Reading a book on Bonhoeffer and how it has given me insight into my family’s German Lutheran heritage.  I want to learn more.
  17. The trail gator we just got for Ian.  More family bike rides are in our future.
  18. Ian’s preschool Mother’s Day party and how he showed me his classroom and told me I’m the best mom.
  19. The bags of girls clothes Adelle sent home with me and the box with filled with goodies from my Mom.  It felt like Christmas!
  20. Ecclesiastes.

Some hard things.

  1. The sleep thing.  I laid awake for two hours last night, filled with anxiety. When will this end?  What will it take?
  2. There’s a good chance Bill & Becky will leave in June.  Their renters in Georgia fell through and we don’t have a place for them to live here long-term.  Like I said, I really like them.  Even if I didn’t have the struggles I have at the moment, I would still be sad to see them go.
  3. Struggling with the idea of living elsewhere (in the Seattle area, not out-of-state).  I am intrigued by this and yet the uncertainty, the cost and the stress of moving makes me anxious.  I keep coming back to the fact that I love living where we are and that is a blessing.  And Jason and I are working pretty well together as we talk through this topic (maybe he would disagree on that?).
  4. I think you’re sensing a theme here — anxiety.
  5. A day last week when I felt discouraged and didn’t want to get out of bed.  The dark cloud was hanging, but I just had to sit up and put my feet on the floor.
  6. I’m having trouble eating regularly and being interested in eating in general.  Food is a passion for me so it’s hard, but I did get two enjoyable meals in with Dad & Linda at Ballard Pizza Co. and The Whale Wins.  If you go to Ballard Pizza Co., which you should, get The Big Moses.
  7. My children are watching way too much TV and I’m not really monitoring the content they are absorbing.  Don’t worry, it’s all of the kid persuasion, but still.
  8. The temptation to lean on other things, which is strong. But, God brings me back when I wander.
  9. I felt convicted the other day that I frequently call myself a depressed person.  But, I’m not depressed a lot of the time.  Besides, that is not who I am.
  10. I’m sad BSF is ending.  I really enjoyed my small group and I will miss our stimulating conversations.  This has been one of the most impressionable years of BSF for me.
  11. The fights I pick with Jason.
  12. My efforts to try impress people; I want them to notice me (how does this work, since I’m an introvert?). It’s tiring, and really a person struggling with mental illness doesn’t need the pressure.
  13. Jason’s working and he can’t help but keep his mind on that a lot.  But, at least he has a job.

I feel like ending with my hard things obliges me to say I’m not hanging off a cliff here and I’m not trying to be hard on myself. I just can’t help being an honest person.  I think that’s a good thing.

In fact, I am glad God uses me to say things others can’t or won’t.  I know some can relate in some way.

“Let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him” (1 Cor 7:17).

Somebody else’s poop

The last few weeks have been a bit out of routine for the Haggard family.  Rebecca, my mother-in-law, had plans to visit her mom and sister in California mid-March and since I still need a babysitter for both myself and my children I decided to take the kids to my mom’s.  Jason would stay at home and decompress and then we would return and he and Ian would head off to New York to see the Franci.

I was on an upward swing mood and energy-wise, and so I felt pretty confident I could handle the day’s drive to my mom’s alone with the kids and the preparation it would take to pull it off.  Rebecca would be around to help me and watch the kids so I could pack the day before.

And really, once you’ve got the car packed and the children restrained, they can’t do much damage.  I can deal with intermittent crying.  And, as my friend endearingly calls all minivans “rolling studio apartments,” I would be driving in relative ease, with cruise control.

For merely my own entertainment, I would like to go off on a rabbit trail to explain how I view “drives.” There is the leisurely Sunday afternoon scenic type.  There’s the epic road trip, the usual high school “I’m bored, let’s just go drive around” and the unfortunate ambulatory type.  There’s the classic “let’s just keep driving until we resolve this fight and then we’ll go to our scheduled social function” kind.  I understand that all these kinds of “drives” can be necessary for both sound mind and/or body.

But, if you’re driving across the state of Washington, you just want to get there.  Let me rephrase that–I just want to get there.  That’s the “drive” you’re taking (with me). I’m with children, people.  This could take all day (and in my mind it should not).  We must NOT stop unless absolutely necessary.

Yes, I have strong opinions about this.  Ask my mom, who drove back to Seattle with me and made the mistake of having both a coffee and a Coke which caused her to have to pee more frequently that I thought a human being ought to.

(Note: Nursing or potty training children also throws this expectation all off for me.  I know they have to eat and pee, but in my opinion you might as well just not leave your house at all, which is what I, and some other moms tend to do.  Heck, if people love you enough they’ll come visit you.)

Anyway, back to the start of our trip.  Packing went very smoothly the day before.  I got to bed early, and loading the van in the morning by myself was a cinch (I prefer to do this alone anyway, because I am very particular about how it’s done–I think you see the theme that’s developing here).  We were out of our driveway at 9am (that’s a PR for me) and heading out toward 1-90.

We breezed past the outlet mall in North Bend (stopping there is one hypocritical exception I will make, but I figured we’d go there on our way back to Seattle).  We then reached Ellensburg, and then the halfway mark at the Gorge.  This was major progress!

Somewhere past George I started talking to Elysia. Our conversation lasted about an hour and as we got to the end of it, I was hearing Imogen moaning in the back.  We were close to Moses Lake and I had promised Ian we would stop there for lunch.  We pulled up to a Subway/gas station combo and I said goodbye to Elysia.

Feeling extremely good about how things were going and that it was only around noon, I opened up the van doors to free my children.  Unfortunately, what I found was Imogen covered in wet, runny poo.  It had soaked through her clothes and down into the car seat.

This incident only slightly threw me off.  Moms, we’ve been here before; it’s known territory.  You just go with the “flow” so to speak and pun intended.  I got Imogen out, wiped her and her seat down with a million wipes, did my best to contain the poo in all the places it had ended up while keeping her from wiggling out of the van, put fresh clothes on her, and put the changing pad in the car seat to cover the wet areas.

This was, I might add, witnessed by everyone walking in and out of the store since I had parked right in front of the door (for our convenience, of course).

I was hand-sanitized and with children, onto the next potty stop for Ian and myself.  I decided to take with me only what was absolutely necessary, which was my keys and the little wallet that is attached to my key chain which contains my credit cards and driver’s license.

The gas station bathroom was very tolerable and included a handicap stall, which is a must for not only the handicapped, but also those of us with munchkins.

When we entered the stall, it was hard not to notice there were quite large skid marks in the toilet (I warned you with my title this post was going to contain foreign poop, so don’t blame me now for your own imagination).  The term skid marks almost seems to understate the amount of poop that was actually in the toilet, but that is indeed what was in there.

I flushed the toilet, but it was to no avail. We would deal with it–I was not giving up the space this handicap stall afforded me.

Now I will say I also get kinda OCD about public restrooms.  My basic motto with my kids is “Put your hands in your pockets and DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING!!!”  I have developed a system with Ian where he can pee and still obey this rule.

With Imogen, I’m just going to have to discuss this with my counselor.  I don’t know how I will emotionally manage seeing her bottom and hands on a public toilet seat.  Shall we move on, please?

Ian had peed, Imogen was remaining mainly in one location and keeping her hands to herself, and so I took a very quick moment to go pee myself.

I completed my deed, thankful the children were not moving from their locations.  But as I pulled my pants up I heard a dreaded “Ker plunk!”

I knew what it was before I turned around–my keys and key chain wallet were in the toilet–WITH SOMEONE ELSE’S POOP.  I had stuck them in my back pocket since I didn’t have my coat on.

In moments like this you do not think; instead you act (I reached in and grabbed my keys)–and, admittedly, you say a cuss word or two.  At least this is what I do.

But once that’s over, and this is really only a matter of seconds, you start thinking–there’s a small pause–you say another cuss word just to set in stone how you’re feeling in the moment, and then you assess.  You wonder what you should do with the keys dangling from your finger and dripping onto the floor and the poop you can see on the side of your wallet.

And what about the children?!  My solution was to just start yelling “Nobody move! NOBODY MOVE!”

And I still hadn’t pulled my pants up all the way.  Agghh.

With a bit more yelling and frantic toilet paper grabbing I managed to set the keys down on a wad of TP (why I thought I needed to keep them “clean” from the floor germs I do not know).  I tried not to think about how much my nasty hands were touching my undies and pants as I pulled them up.  Any time the kids moved anywhere near the toilet I yelled “DON’T GO OVER THERE! STAY WHERE YOU ARE!”

Did I mention there was someone in the stall next to us?  I bet if she had a button in her purse that said “Mom of the Year” she would have handed it over the stall wall and I would’ve proudly pinned it to the front of my shirt.  But how I would have done this with poop germs on my hands I do not know.

We got ourselves out of the stall and I started frantically dousing the keys, wallet and everything in my wallet with water and soap, while trying to keep one eye on my children, particularly the smaller one who would want to wander back into a stall. My other child was just giving me the evil eye for yelling at him and all kinds of back talk was flying back and forth between he and I.

At a certain point I realized that dousing my key fab in water was probably not a good idea so I stopped that.  And then the lady in the stall came out and I sheepishly looked at her and said “Why don’t you go ahead, we’re going to be a while.”

She turned out to be really nice and told me this long story about how she dropped her iPhone in the toilet once and how she was able to save it.  She didn’t mention any poop was involved.  And then she left.  Sadly, no button, but also no condemnation.

At that point I decided we just needed to get out of Dodge.  We were in a serious danger zone of germs and at least I could take the nasty germs I had with me, leave the rest in there, go out to the van, put a haz mat suit on, and get down to business.

“NO, we will not be stopping for a sandwich at this moment, Ian,” I said as we walked by a wide array of tempting Subway toppings.  The response: more evil eye.

I put the kids in the back of the van and went to work.  No, I didn’t really have a haz mat suit, but now I’m seriously considering getting one.  What I did have were lots of baby wipes, Clorox disinfecting wipes and antibacterial hand stuff, all within hand’s reach.  These are the kind of moments when having OCD tendencies comes quite in handy.

All my cards and wallet (still trying not to think about that wallet) ended up Cloroxed.  My keys were scrubbed down as well and I doused myself and the kids with antibacterial rub.

And now we were going to go back in the store and eat?  Yuck. But, I had promised Ian Subway, which is his all-time favorite.  Plus, it is kinda negligent to not feed your children if they are hungry and if you have the ability to do so.  So, we went inside and got our food to go.  We were getting out of Dodge, remember?

As we got down the road Ian happily sat in the back and ate an entire 6-inch.  I forced myself to eat because I figured part of my emotional state was because I was hangry in the first place.  Imogen was just happy to not be sitting in her own poop.

It took me about ten miles or so down the road to stop being angry.  And then I felt relieved it was over and all I could do was laugh at how disgusting it all was. I figured it was a milestone for me; there would’ve been times in the past where I would’ve stayed mad a lot longer and in the moment of drama acted a lot worse to my children or those around me.

I will say, I was glad Jason was not there.  I don’t think I’m mature enough at this point to not have thrown my wrath on him, for no unexplainable reason or fault of his own.

I will confess that the first thing I did when I got to my mom’s house was to gruffly say to her “I don’t want to talk about it right now,” wipe down the car with more Clorox wipes, put my children in the bath, wash my clothes, and take a shower.

I threw the wallet away.  No amount of soaking it in bleach would erase the memory of seeing someone else’s poop on it.  And it was a nice wallet, too, and kind of sentimental to me.  But now I use my cheap Fred Meyer one because why have nice things if they’re just going to end up in the toilet?  (I acknowledge the irony and/or hypocrisy of this statement since I had left my new iPhone in the van before entering this traumatic scene).

There’s really no good way to end this story except to say that though awful, I’m growing up a bit.  Even in the craziness that is my current emotional troubles, on a good day, we did okay with something unexpected.  I did not curl up into a ball, burst into tears and let my children wander aimlessly through a gas station convenience store (or play in a public toilet).  In fact, everything else about the drive was enjoyable both before and after the incident–and we made record time, too!

This just proves in a small way that God gives you what you need exactly when you need it. For me right now this isn’t a picture perfect response in a troubling situation.  I’m just asking for a sound mind–and that’s what He gave me.

This season’s bucket list

Lately I’ve been thinking of things I want to accomplish. Maybe it’s me having this fanciful idea that I am more in control of my life than I actually am (not uncommon for me) or maybe it’s just me feeling better and looking forward to the future.

Actually, it’s probably both.  I do have this sort of Jekyll/Hyde thing going on in my personality (ask my husband).  And life is rarely black and white anyway.

This list is not really for when I’m better, but more things I want to accomplish on my journey. I don’t have a lot of expectations or a time frame. Well wait, that’s probably not true.  Somewhere in the far corners of my mind I almost always have expectations and deadlines for myself, but that is what therapy is for.

But, I digress.  Here is my list:

  1. Go blonder.  It really does a help a girl.
  2. Train and do an olympic duathlon.  I imagine myself crossing the finish line and having an emotional breakdown (the good kind) because LOOK AT ME I’VE COME SO FAR!!! (and I will mean in the figurative sense, not the literal one).
  3. Paint that blue wall in my kitchen that I don’t like. Well, I’m not totally committed to this.  I just know I’ve been staring at it for four years and I don’t like the color, but I don’t know what color to paint it.  I think one day a burst of energy will collide with a burst of creativity and my husband will come home to crabby children who’ve been neglected all afternoon because “TAH DAH!!!” the wall is now a different color and Mommy was the culprit.
  4. Start a collection of children’s books (and not for my children).  Actually, I’m already starting to do this with my own childhood books.  Some of them are on my shelf, some exist only on a Pinterest board for now.  What copies I do have I will guard with my life because my youngest is currently an obsessive compulsive page-ripper.
  5. Mat, frame, and hang our marriage vows in our bedroom.  Oh, how flowery and hopeful we were when we wrote those words!  But at least I can look over at them when we’re fighting in bed and they’ll remind me to shut up and dang it,  just say I’m sorry and MEAN IT.
  6. Have a “redo” on my marriage.  Ugh, that sounds so doomsday, but I don’t know how else to put it.  There was enough drama before we got to the altar, but since then we’ve had two miscarriages, four pregnancies, two children, and gone back to school and changed career courses.  We’ve had lots of fights and not as much laughter as we’d like.  Oh yes, and I’ve turned crazy for a while (well, more crazy, that is).  It’s time to slow down the drama and get to know each other and just heal and have fun.
  7. Can I say go to Kauai?  I just want to go there, PPD or not.
  8. Play the piano.  I’m not playing right now and God’s gently reminding me my soul needs it, but it’s scary to step into that creative realm with what little knowledge I have.
  9. Stop racking up medical bills.  I’m going to love the day when that line item on our excel spreadsheet has a black number in it instead of a red.  It’s not just about the money; it just seems that at the end of the month that number (whether black or red) correlates emotionally to the state of my health. It says something about progress.
  10. Make a PPD scrapbook.  This sounds so weird.  I wish I wasn’t using the word “scrapbook” but I’m not sure what else to call it.  I was reading this article, and it got me thinking it would be cool to document in tidbits the things that happen (good or bad) during this process and include some pictures, words of encouragement, etc.   I am an avid journaler so I guess I’m already putting this season into words for myself and for God, but to me this documentation would be more public.  It would be for my kids when they are older and for my 40 or 50 or 60 year-old self to read.  Or, maybe my daughter or daughter-in-law will find it useful someday.  Or maybe I’m just being redundant because I’m already doing that on this blog, I don’t know.

After this season, I have thoughts of also becoming a mushroom forager, learning how to play the banjo and cello at least relatively well, singing publicly, making jewelry, living on a farm, collecting doll houses, taking good pictures, and writing a book people would want to read. And I’d like Jason to walk me through Europe. Some of these just exist as dreams (because I’m afraid maybe I can’t accomplish them), others are more real to me.

I would also like to buy a house that I can spend years filling with antiques, books, photos, gifts from friends, family heirlooms and things I find on the side of the road or in little shops or in attics somewhere.  Actually, sometimes I imagine this house is my childhood home, but I’m not sure how that would ever become a reality.

But, these things are for later or for heaven or for never.  Some of them require me to be brave, others require money, time, energy or maturity.  For the sake of my sanity, I will just stick to my current bucket list.

Or maybe I won’t stick to it, only God knows.  No expectations, remember?

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).

Enough about me, here’s my cute kids

You all tell me on a regular basis how stinkin’ cute my kids are, and I agree.  So here’s a bit of a photo recap of the last few months.

At the zoo on Ian’s birthday back in December.

Our first family gingerbread house.  It was very easy and fun.  And, as you can tell it’s a traditional German Hexen Haus (going back to our roots).  Also, my youngest has crazy, wild hair all the time.  Which leads us to the next picture . . .

Imogen’s first haircut.  Here hair’s still pretty wild, though.

My children aren’t all that into actually brushing their teeth, they just play with their toothbrushes, which I find lying in random places around the house (the brushes, not the children).

Just even more proof of which of my children is photogenic and which isn’t.

I’m thankful both of my children are in a snuggling phase.

We got out the antique kitchen again (I watch it like a hawk and if Ian is in any way rough with it goes into the basement cave).  And of course there’s the girl with the wild hair again.

Typical Ian dance/ninja/Spiderman move.  The facial expression can also, at times, express his “I’m being a pill” mood, although that is not what was happening in this artistic moment.

Imogen’s moves.  The bed is her typical dance floor.

Totally unscripted, but so sweet.

Many of you have seen this one on facebook, but it’s worth sharing again – Ian’s first day of preschool.

And because of preschool, Ian’s getting way more into arts and crafts.  Here’s one of his creations.  I also think it’s kinda cute and fitting that the t-shirt he was wearing at the time says “Explore.”

Dress up time.  I promise she was smiling two seconds before this picture was taken.

That’s all, folks.  I will try to keep up on our flickr photostream.

Not much to say

I really do love this blog and I really love writing.  But, as I still deal with health difficulties I’m finding I just don’t have anything very profound to say about it at the moment.  And I’m just too tired and out of the groove to provide some written updates on what we’ve been doing as a family.

Hopefully sometime soon.

But, I have taken some photos and I just updated my flickr photostream for your viewing pleasure.

  • September – camping at Middle Fork, a visit to Remlinger Farms
  • October – dining room table chairs Jason redid, biking in Victoria, making apple pie, and Halloween costumes

A good day

“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psa 118:24).

Today was one of those days when it was easy for me to rejoice and be glad.  I felt more like myself than not (the self of about two years ago), which is really saying something.

Because it was one of my good days, I want to memorialize it with the hopes that I can look back on it on one of my hard days and be encouraged that one of the good days will indeed come again.

1. I slept in until 8:30am.  I got ten hours of sleep!  This is monumental for me and it hasn’t happened in a long time.  I woke up feeling pretty refreshed, not so frazzled and anxious.  And I went throughout my day having a good amount of energy.

2. It was a beautiful Indian summer day.  I am really loving the weather here right now.  The warm has sort of a cold, fall feeling to it, if that makes any sense.  The sky was bright blue, no clouds.

3. Ian and I spent some time out on the deck painting with watercolors.  In all the art classes I’ve taken, I never really liked painting with watercolors.  But today I changed my mind about that.  I have a nice set and the pigments are so deep in color.  It was fun playing with them.

4. In order to bless Jason I battled Home Depot.  I use the word battled because when I walkin there I feel like there is no rhyme or reason to it and I can never find someone to help me.  But Jason suggested I go and get a few things we’ve needed and I felt I had the emotional reserves in case things went south.

So, I took the kids and you know what, it wasn’t bad at all.  There were people in orange aprons left and right to help me.  One guy even said “You look confused, can I help you?” and I don’t even think he worked there!

They didn’t have one item I needed but a nice man directed me to an appliance store that was right on the way home.  They had the utensil holder we’ve been needing for months.  Now utensils won’t fall through and jam the bottom rack when I’m trying to close the dishwasher door.

5. I thought about exercising.  I didn’t actually do it, but I thought about it in the way that I used to think about it when I considered myself an athlete–if that makes any sense.  Like it was real, like I could do it.

6. I only needed a short rest in the afternoon  and I spent that time reading a bit, which was lovely.

7. I got all the laundry done.  This is probably my favorite chore.  It produce immediate tangible results and it’s one thing in life (and there really are few) that can get neatly put away in its place.

8. I found Ian’s Sally car (no, we didn’t pay $37 as Amazon now offers it).  She disappeared right after Imogen was born.  I knew she had to be in the house but it seemed she had vanished.  14 months later I found her underneath a heat register (albeit one I was replacing via Home Depot) in the ductwork.  I pulled her out and was in total shock.  Ian carried her around the rest of the day (part of the time in the broken dishwasher utensil holder I replaced).

9. I got a surprise email from my neighbor who told me she had boxes of organic tomatoes she was selling out of her yard.  She helps run an urban co-op and the last tomato order I wasn’t able to get in on.  But she unexpectedly received another one (and they were cheaper) . We ran down and got ourselves 60 lbs. (I know I’m crazy but look at these beauties!)

10. Jason came home as Imogen was going to bed and we got to pray and sing with her before laying her down.  It’s not often we can coordinate that.  Imogen just loves her dad–she wanted him to hold her and kept giving him kisses.  It puts such joy in my heart to see how much Jason loves being the favorite.

Off to bed now.  Jason is behind my shoulder say “You are going to regret this . . .”