Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sometimes They Just Don't Know

Yesterday was our 2nd Anniversary, so maybe that started my mind rolling. Then this morning, I went to my old journal to find some stuff and ended up reading through a few old entries. I'm thinking of where we are now and where we've come from, then I begin to realize what those around us don't know.

It always amazes me when our Pastor asks us to talk about those times in relation to these times. He wasn't around us a lot then, but he knows. He gets it and I think it crosses his mind regularly. And now, I start crying.

Two years ago was probably the most difficult time in my life and one of the most difficult in Justin's. It was hard! For different reasons, we lost people around us that we needed. If you are were one of those people and you are reading this, please don't feel guilty or upset, you weren't the only one and continue reading because it gets better. We often found ourselves struggling, seemingly, alone and that was hard. We prayed for better days and we prayed to be together. I prayed to come home. The whispers say that we married that day purely so that I could come home. The truth that many never asked is that the day we got married, we honestly thought it would harm our efforts more than help us. There were lots of reasons for our decision that day, but that's not the point of this entry. Those were hard days and the months following only got harder and harder. I read a few of those entries and I don't miss those days. Not for a minute.

When I was finally able to come home, it was sunshine all around. When I say "Sometimes They Just Don't Know", I don't mean that those around me don't know about that paragraph up there. I mean that they just don't know how much I value them and how sentimental it makes we when I think of being home.

I read the entry that I wrote the day of Migc's 7th birthday party. That was the day that I had my parents, Justin's parents and his little brother and sister, and my brother and his family here. That was a surreal moment to me and I've had those moments 1000 times in the past year and a half. I value those moments more than those around me could ever understand.

Now that we are trying to move back to Ark City, I've had so many people tell me that they never imagined me back there. I never planned to be back there and neither did Justin. I always felt like if I came back, it would be a personal failure. I feel so much differently now. I've been "out there". I've experienced the things I set out to experience. I didn't fail. But now, I value those things back there more. "Out there" is not my home. There are small things along the way that I've marveled at - that others just don't know. When is the last time that a fire truck pulled up in your neighborhood for something small and you stood on your front lawn and cried? I did that because where I've been, no one comes to the front lawn when a fire truck pulls up. No one wants to be seen as meddling in their neighbor's business.

Are there drawbacks to being in a small community and so close to your family? I suppose so. I suppose that the disagreements and everyone knowing your business can be drawbacks, but I remember when I was so far removed that disagreements didn't effect me because I probably would never see the person again (and that includes family - I could disagree with my brother and it be no big deal because I could easily go 8 years without crossing his path). I remember when no one knew my business and I was so isolated that I went through 4 years of depression and because no one was close enough, no one saw it nor the reasons behind it. I remember when I was so isolated that other's could have such enabling effects on me that when I finally came out of it, others couldn't understand how I had gotten to such a place in my life. Disagreements and knowing my business are not drawbacks to me.

Thank you for those that have shared this journey with me - even when you didn't know that you were in those moments where I sat spellbound and in awe. Thank for being a part of my life, even when we didn't agree. Thank you for those that have loved me consistently through it all. Thank you to those I've been able to count on time and time again. I'm so thankful for the big and the small moments. I look forward to even more and I make a promise to myself that I will never take those moments for granted.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Random Stuff

This morning, I left Jaden on my bed with Migc while I went to the bathroom. I came back to find Jaden crawling to Migc, who was laying down, giving him a kiss and laying his head on Migc's shoulder. Collectively, we all say, "awwwwwww".

He's fully mobile now - crawling, pulling up, cruising furniture (and his favorite seems to be Daddy's big screen tv), and yesterday, he had a good attempt going up the stairs. Migc and Kristen are so good with him. Sometimes, I worry that they might resent him because I spend so much time taking care of him and they get the back burner sometimes. They don't though. They understand and go with it. In fact, Migc is really ready for me to have another baby.

He was talking about Arkalalah the other day and I told him that we might be moved there by then and, in fact, we *could* have another baby by then. He smiled really big and said, "cool!" I asked if he would be excited about that, since Jaden was so much work, and he told me that he wants another baby! He's always telling me that he wants lots of brothers and sisters. He's got his Momma's heart!

They didn't have school on Tuesday, so I made them watch Obama's inauguration. I don't agree with his politics and the kids are well aware of it and even aware of why we don't agree with him, but it was a moment that I hope they always remember. I would have made them watch it if they were white too. In fact, Justin picked up a newspaper for Jaden's keepsake box. It was history and important history at that! I cried as I watch those little girls walk down the stairs. They don't fully understand yet the significance of it all - they can't yet, but the fact that there are little black girls playing in the White House today...living in the White House today, is remarkable and life changing. I wanted my kids to see it and to say when they got older that they watched it. I want them to tell their grandkids about watching it.

So, I seemed to have severed a rib from my spine. That sounds horrible, doesn't it? Justin says it is, but I don't really think it's that big of a deal. I can still do tons of stuff. In fact, yesterday, I did laundry, painted all of the trim upstairs, vacuumed, took care of Jaden, etc. I just can't do anything with a torso twisting action. I have to face things full-on and be aware of my every move. I have to do that for 4 weeks. Sounds fun, huh?

Well, Jaden is sleeping and I need to take advantage of this time, so off I go!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Mother of Updates

It's been a month since I've done any real update. It's been a month since I've really written at all. Amazing. I guess sometimes, life just gets busy and finally, maybe I'm learning to live *in* my life completely. Not that I don't often envision moments with my children being blogged about, but those rarely make it here anyway. I'm too much of a scatterbrain at this point in my life.

Anyway, I've had several messages through various forms asking about different things that I haven't shared. I'll do my best to cover those tonight. :)

Starting with our holidays in Texas
We spent, I can't remember, about a week and a half, I think, in South Texas near Corpus Christi with Justin's mom and step dad. Justin's brother, his wife and their three kids spent the time with us as well. It was in the 70s throughout much of trip, with a few cold days. We spent Christmas day beach combing. It was a nice time. I know Justin's mom enjoyed having the boys and their families together for Christmas. We were spoiled, terribly and enjoyed good coffee every morning. I fell in love with South Texas and can't wait to return when we can spend more time with Justin's mom.

Moving on to the kids spending Christmas in Chicago
I solicited lots of prayers and others solicited prayers for us. At the last minute, we found out that the kids, in spite of the things that happened the summer before, had to go to Chicago. There was legally nothing I could do to stop it. We very reluctantly decided to leave early for Texas and fly the kids out of San Antonio on December 23rd. On the morning of the 23rd, we drove 2 1/2 hours to the airport in San Antonio, only to find that Chicago was under a weather advisory and the airline was, therefore, not allowing unaccompanied minors travel to Chicago - for the remainder of that day. They booked them the next morning. We got a hotel. Justin, Jaden and I had no clothes, deodorant, toothbrushes or even enough cloth diapers for an overnight trip, but we made due. I was overwhelmed with joy that I got even a few more hours with them. We returned the next morning to find the same thing, so they booked us for later that day. Within 30 minutes, we were notified that it would be in effect for the rest of the day. I decided that I would not have the children traveling on Christmas Day, so we headed back 2 1/2 hours to Bayside to spent Christmas with my children.

I'm sure that some were looking forward to having a few less people in the house. I'm sure that some were not up for the back-and-forth challenge of booking and canceling flights, but neither was the case for me. Nothing, and I mean nothing, could have made me happier than getting more and more moments with them and the time that God continued to give. On Friday and Saturday, the kids were on very single flight available and then had those flights canceled. Thankfully, we were calling in and not having to make the drive. We finally decided it was time to head home and ended up getting the kids a flight out of Oklahoma City Sunday morning the 28th. I got 5 more days than originally planned! And it was 5 more days that they didn't have to endure in Chicago.

Their time there was crazy. He was the same as he always is - manipulative and selfish. I sent a phone with them and he would only allow them to talk to me twice a day, no matter how much they wanted to. He did and said so many horrible things while they were there, but somehow managed to redeem himself on their last day there. The first 4 days, they called wanting to come home, then suddenly on the last day, he was fine. Ugh! They flew home early on Friday, January 2nd. They spent about 5 days total there. Much better than 10!

Since then, there hasn't been a ton of fall out from their trip. There has been a few things, but nothing as major as it was during the summer. I'm thankful for all of the prayers and I can tell you that they were answered. I got to spend Christmas with my kids! And they didn't endure nearly as much as they did during the summer.

Now Jaden has learned to sleep
For the past 4 months, Jaden hasn't slept. We thought getting him well from the dog allergy would make him better. Well, him getting better happened during vacation and tons of other stuff, and it didn't seem to help much except that now he didn't have a sinus infection. By the time we got home, he had been carried nonstop while he slept, except at night, when he slept very poorly with Justin and I. I would be up with him at night, literally 8 times. He would sleep for 2 hours then be up every hour. He would wake up at 11:30pm, it would take me 15-20 minutes to get back to sleep and he would be back up at 12:30am. Then by 4am, he'd be up 5 minutes after I laid him down. I was at my wits end. As my last post says, I was losing my mind.

I took him to the doctor last week and she found nothing wrong with him, but told me about a method to putting babies to sleep. I'm anti-cry-it-out, but this is a form of it that is more acceptable to me. I put him down and go in to him every 5 minutes, then lengthen the time between visits to his room. When I visit, I rub his back, pat his back, just let him know that I'm still here, I didn't leave him and that I love him. I don't have any horror stories of it taking 2 hours. In fact, it has worked beautifully and he is now so happy! He takes naps, regular two-hour long naps too, during the day. The change it has made for him is unbelievable! Last night, he slept from 8:30pm to 5:30am, nursed and went back to sleep for 3 more hours! Praise God!!!

Finally, moving is in our future
As I've mentioned, I think, we're planning to move back to Ark City. We have been house hunting (it's about to overwhelm me) nonstop. We've found some houses that we *love* and then some that we don't love but would really like to see ourselves in for the rest of our lives. Right now, our focus is getting our house on the market. That should happen within the next couple of weeks and we're eager for that moment...and for moment when we get to go home.

Oh and back to work
Justin has officially returned to 5-day work weeks and for that, we are thankful!

So, that was a lot of stuff and there are tons and tons of stuff that I'm leaving out, but that is basically it. I'm thankful for your prayers and your support and your encouraging words and for just thinking about us. God has been unreal! You know, my pastor started preaching on revival 2 Sundays ago, and it's done something big in my heart. I need(ed) revival! I see the way He has moved and is continuing to move and I'm amazed that at times, I've grown cold to seeing Him. Lord, I thank You for the works of Your mighty hands, which are able to do exceedingly abundantly more than I could ever ask or think! He is good!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Save Me

I am about to lose my mind. I have had absolutely not one minute of sleep tonight. It is 4am and my baby is upstairs screaming. I'm taking a 10 minute break.

Please before someone tells me that he really isn't that bad, please spend every freaking night awake with him.

I'm losing my mind, right now.