Monday, February 20, 2012

Glass Children

A few weeks ago, in our Sunday School class, another member shared a documentary that a high school student had made about his daughter, Sophia. She is the older sister of Eli (who's story you can read at Pray for Eli), an extraordinary little guy who has already faced a huge number of challenges in his little 5 years and continues to face many more as he grows, but he does it all with God-infused love and devotion from his family.
The documentary about Eli's sister is called The Glass Child, and it is about siblings of children with special needs and how they often grow up feeling as though they must over compensate for their sibling, by achieving more, doing more, entertaining more, helping more, etc, as well as being more compassionate and understanding. As we watched the video, I couldn't help but think of my husband's struggles that he faced early in life by being born with a cleft palate, and how his older brother must have been effected by that. An older brother who, by any and all observations, is extremely successful and has achieved a lot for himself and his family. To say he is driven is, to me, an understatement. Does his drive originate from nowhere other than his own determination? Is it from birth order, and he is just another example of an over-achieving first born? Or is it a product of overcompensating for a younger brother who struggled through multiple surgeries and other difficulties during his childhood? As someone who has only been in the picture for a little over a decade, it's impossible for me to actually specify the point of origin for my brother-in-law's resolve, but after witnessing for 11 years the love and devotion and admiration between the two of them, I'd say that he was monumentally impacted by his younger brother's start in life.
A few days later, as I was driving home from work, an old memory surfaced. Our middle son's teacher is acquainted with my brother in law, and had remarked at one time in the past that Pot Pie is very much like his uncle. I shrugged it off as being a comment that Pot Pie is a ham and loves to make people laugh and capture their attention, but as I drove home that day, the memory came back to me, and I realized how much deeper her comment goes.
Pot Pie was just 15 months old when Pumpkin Pie was born 4 months early. At a time when I should have been at home, cuddling a very much still little baby Pot Pie up to my ever growing pregnant belly, I was at the hospital, watching and praying and crying over his struggling little brother who was born too soon. From Pot Pie's age of 15 months to 19 months, I was absent, perhaps at times even when I was right beside him, my heart and head, if not my actual physical body, planted in the NICU at the hospital. From 19 months to 4 years of Pot Pie's life after Pumpkin Pie was discharged from the hospital, we spent so much time going through surgeries and rehabs and dealing with breathing difficulties, and Pot Pie was just the easy child to deal with, who rarely complained about anything. Even from 4 years to just recently, my thoughts and plans were being motivated by Pumpkin Pie's future and what he has in store for him should his vision get as bad as the doctors say it might. This, coupled with the fact that Pot Pie's older brother struggles with ADHD, Pot Pie has been the child I have rarely worried about because everything seems to come so easy to him. In fact, I've told people that I wish he did have some kind of struggle, just so he would know how to overcome it. I am in tears as I write this because it is hitting me full force now that I realize just what he has overcome to be who he is today. He is so smart, and incredibly intuitive. His powers of deduction astound me. He is the child who will get up earlier than anyone else, get ready for school without being asked, grab his breakfast of yogurt because he wants to eat something healthy, and then sit down and turn on the news because he likes knowing what's going on in the world and what the weather is doing so he can help his little brother get ready for school and dress appropriately when he gets up. Many mornings, he will make our bed just because he wants to help out. He goes above and beyond when we ask him to do something. To say he is a people pleaser just doesn't cut it. He is compassionate and caring and hilarious and so talented. I hope and pray that this realization I've come to will help me to support him even better as he grows up. Above all else, I will not overlook him anymore, and I will never take him for granted again.
Wishing my little Pot Pie a very Happy 8th Birthday this week!

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Big Loser

A year ago, I started a journey towards a healthier me. It was hard at first, getting into the groove of working out on a regular basis when I had basically been a couch potato for the majority of my life. After hitting the gym and not seeing a lot of results, I knew I needed to make another change; this time, to my diet. I went through a healthy lifestyles program with my husband, and worked very hard to change the way we eat, and not on a short term basis. The changes we made were changes we knew we had to make for the long haul if we wanted to be healthier. Everything was going great...until early June...
The company my husband worked for was purchased by a larger company. Thankfully, he was offered another job at the larger company, but the new position meant a change in schedules for both of us. Mr. Morning-Person, who happily went to work at 6am in order to get off in time to pick our kids up from school, had to move to a regular 8a-5p schedule, leaving me, Mrs. Not-A-Morning-Person-In-The-Slightest, to have to make the change to 6am-3pm. Due to this change, I started slipping on my workouts. In May last year, I was right in the middle of running a Couch to 5k program. Once I completed the program and ran my first 5k on July 4, I couldn't muster up the desire to run any farther than that. So, I just quit.
With the switch to mornings came the craving for caffeine in order to keep my eyes open at my desk, which meant back-sliding back into a Pepsi habit I thought I'd kicked.
Now that I've been on my new schedule for 6 months, it doesn't feel like getting my butt out of bed every morning is any easier, but I am much more well-adjusted to it than I was. I started training for my first half-marathon, which will take place in April. And I entered a Biggest Loser type contest. Weigh-ins are on Mondays, with cash prizes awarded weekly and a big cash prize awarded at the end. What could be a better motivator than cash money? Here's hoping that the fifth set of pictures I add to the one above will have me with a lower weight than pictures 3 and 4.
Check back here often, as I hope to post at least weekly updates about my progress.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Starting a New Decade

Today marks the beginning of a new era for me...an era of no longer being in my twenties.
While it may feel strange that my age now starts with a 3 instead of a 2, I really don't think I'll notice that much difference between the 2 decades.
For every single year of my twenties, I was a wife to my awesome husband. I became a mother at age 20, so I've been wearing that hat for the past decade as well. I also started working at my current place of employment at age 20.
Barring any major upheavals/catastrophes, these three things will remain true for my next decade on earth as well.
I'll still be completely head over heels in love with my wonderful husband.
I'll still be mom to my three great sons (even though by the end of my 30's I'll have one in *GULP* COLLEGE! How freakin' crazy does that sound???).
And I will still work for the same hospital, though I am hoping that I will continue to move up to new positions as the years go by.
The Bucket List of my 30's
-------------------------------
* Run at least 1 half-marathon
* Run at least 1 full-marathon
* Complete at least 1 triathlon
* Get my Master's degree in healthcare administration
* Reach and maintain my goal weight (140 lbs...50 lbs to go)
* Do not get admitted to a mental facility for incurable incessant worrying when my 3 sons get their driver's licenses (You might just want to avoid me in 2018, 2020, and 2021...)
* Get baptized...I know I did this when I was 8, but I feel very strongly that I want to make that public commitment again because I don't believe I fully grasped at the time what I was committing my life to and, more importantly, I don't feel I fully grasped the unmatchable sacrifice that Jesus made for me. I want to make this declaration again, knowing what I know now.
I can't say I will feel this comfortable with turning 40 in 10 years, but for now, my 30's sound pretty darn awesome.
Now I'm going to spend my birthday evening eating pork fried rice and tempura vegetables that my husband cooked for me, followed by a couple of rounds of Uno with the boys.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Dinner with a Side of History

Tonight at dinner, instead of giving in to the kids insisting on watching something on TV, we left the TV off and started a conversation.

Me: What did you study at school today?

Cutie Pie: We learned about Lewis and Clark.

Me: You did? What did you learn about Lewis and Clark?

Hubby: (Correcting me.) Lois and Clark.

Me: What?

Hubby: LOIS and Clark. (Blank stare from me.) I think it was Lois and Clark...

Me: No, dear, that's Superman.

Hubby: Oh...oops.

Me: (To Hubby) I'm totally blogging about this later. (To Cutie Pie) Please continue.

Cutie Pie: Lewis and Clark set out to find...

Pot Pie: (interrupting) SUPERMAN!

(Laughter from everyone.)

Me: Please continue.

Cutie Pie: Lewis and Clark were two explorers who...

Pot Pie: Peed their pants!!!

(More laughter.)

Me: Please continue. Pot Pie, no more interruptions.

Cutie Pie: Lewis and Clark were two explorers who were sent by Thomas Jefferson to see about reaching the Pacific coast. They had a Native American guide named Sacagawea.

Hubby: Wasn't she an Indian Princess?

Me: I think you're thinking of Pocahontas, sweetheart...

I love having these conversations with the boys as a family. I look forward to every day, asking them what they learned at school. Even though they usually answer "Nothing.", I know they are learning because our conversations are becoming much more informed, much more opinionated. I hope to be able to challenge their thoughts as long as I can, until they are smarter than I am. Then maybe I'll learn a thing or two.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Speaking Of Baptism...

Tonight at dinner, it was me and the 2 younger pies. We sat at our favorite restaurant and had a wonderful discussion about whatever crossed their minds.

Pot Pie: "When can I get baptized?"

Knowing that in their church camp and VBS this is something that is discussed a lot, it didn't surprise me that this is what they decided to talk about.

Me: Anytime you want. You just have to proclaim that Jesus is your Lord and Savior and believe it with all your heart.

Pot Pie: And you have to know one thing about Jesus...like....Jesus died for our sins!

Pumpkin Pie: Well...(if you have never heard Pumpkin Pie say well, you must...he drags it out with a little baby Southern drawl. It sounds like "whaaaaale"...it's hilariously precious)... He can touch power lines. That is one thing I know about Jesus.

Me: Well, Nothing is impossible for Jesus...this is true...

Pot Pie: Who will baptize us?

Me: Our Pastor, Deron. You know, Seth's dad. Or Ethan's dad, Brian. He is a pastor.

Pumpkin Pie: (in complete shock) He passed away!?!?!

Me: NO! No, he didn't pass away. He's a PAST-OR! He's the pastor at Center Cross.

This led into an entirely different and much more somber discussion about heaven. I wish I knew all the answers to their questions. Pot Pie wants to go to heaven, but he is very concerned because he knows (barring some tragic accident) we won't all go to heaven at the same time and he doesn't want to be separated from mommy and daddy. I try to reassure him that being separated is something he won't have to worry about for a long time, but his tears brought tears of my own. Praying and searching for guidance are high on the to do list now.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Headboard - Before and After

I am on currently vacation for 2 weeks, which means I have a little extra time to clean and organize, as well as take care of a few projects I have been wanting to do around the house. One such project is the headboard in our bedroom. Here is a before picture:
At the time when we built it, we wanted something functional that we could put our glasses and our phones at night that was in reach (since I have to check my email just one more time before I close my eyes each night...) But as we lived with it, functional was no longer fitting into what I considered nice to look at.

Now, the after:


We had a ton of fence pickets left over from when we added our backyard fence a few years ago. I've tried to think of different projects to do with them, but never really thought about using them for a new headboard until I saw this post at ana-white.com (which is, by far, one of my most favorite places on the internet.)


So, I took the leftover fence pickets, sanded them like crazy, and built this simple headboard a few days ago. A couple of coats of stain and it was complete. I love it! I'm so thrilled with how great it turned out.


Next, I'll be making some matching bedside tables to go with it, because we still need a place to set our glasses and phone at night.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

In My Neck of the Woods - Celebrating America!

The RHOK

Yesterday was a fun filled day celebrating the 4th of July with my husband's brother's family, and we started off the day in a big way!
For the past 9 weeks, my sister-in-law and I have been doing the Couch to 5k running program. She has done a few races in the past, but I have never considered myself to be a runner in any shape or form, so this was a great way for me to work my way into it. Yesterday, we completed the Firecracker 5k in downtown Tulsa! My husband ran as well, and it was an incredible feeling to make it across the finish line. My official time was 42:30. My goal was to do it in under 45:00, so I was happy with it! I'm so glad I did it, and I can't wait to run another one! I am so lucky to have such great cheerleaders rooting for me!



After the 5k, we rested all day in anticipation of a night full of fun, food, and firecrackers!




Here is our beautiful niece's reaction after she threw down a popper.




And here is our crew of boys, each happily blowing up one thing after another with their cousins. Fun was had by all!





Did I mention she's beautiful? She's adorable.