Friday, February 19, 2010

This Season

Unfortunately, I’m not just talking about the weather. I’m talking about a season of life.

I’ve been reluctant to post anything in the last several days, because I don’t want anyone to think I’m seeking out sympathy or attention. I don’t want to complain. But right now I feel as though perhaps we could be an encouragement to someone else. So, here goes.

In recent days, we’ve definitely felt like things are crashing in around us. I won’t go into everything because, frankly, there’s a part of me that is afraid of making a “list.” It’s hard enough not to keep a list going in my head, and become overwhelmed. To see it all “written” down would be a bit much right now.

Last week, we found out that Josh’s Grandpa Reed had gone into a coma. He was suffering from a “brain bleed” and was sent into surgery. He came out of surgery, but did not wake up. On Wednesday, Grandpa passed away. He has had a bad heart for many years, and we are so blessed that God granted him so many more years than the doctors thought he would ever have. Grandpa and Grandma Reed spend the winter in Florida, and they were still there when this happened. We are thankful that my mother-in-law was able to get to Florida and be with her dad, mom and brothers before he passed away. They’ll be traveling back to Iowa this weekend. We’re missing Grandpa very much.

Yesterday (Thursday) I got a call from my parents letting me know my Grandma wasn’t doing well. She passed away just a couple hours later. My parents made the drive up to Western Iowa and are there now making arrangements. I’m thankful Grandma lived a long and full life. She was 91 years old.

These things alone would be enough to overwhelm. Both at once? Nearly suffocating. And unfortunately we’re struggling with other issues, as well, that would have been (are) big deals on their own. Our truck isn’t working properly and needs to be fixed. So we’ve been without a second vehicle until we can do that. Yesterday, our stove “blew up.” I went to use it to make lunch and smoke started coming out the back of it. So we’re without a stove until we can get it fixed. Unbelievable.

And that’s where I’m going to stop. I honestly can’t bear to add anything else, and don’t think I should either. But do you know something? God did not let this season of life come upon us without preparing us for it. He is so merciful. He has surrounded us with new friends from our church who are so supportive and encouraging. He has brought me into studies of His Word that have helped me grow so much in my walk with Him and learn so much more about who He is. He has brought Josh and I closer and closer as each day passes. Our God is amazing.

I want to share with you a few verses that God has used to bring me such comfort right now…

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4)

I’m not saying it’s easy…but we are striving each day (each MOMENT) to count this season pure joy, for we know that the testing of our faith develops perseverance – and we DO want to be complete, not lacking anything. We seek to be joyful, to pray continually, and to always give thanks. Even during THIS season. ESPECIALLY during this season.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Worth a Thousand Words

Recently, my friend Elizabeth did me a giant, awesome service. She took pictures of my precious family. :)

Elizabeth has taken photos of some other mutual friends of ours and when I saw them (click her name above to see photos on her blog) I just thought how much I’d love to have her take pictures of my boys. Well, after months of trying to get together (we’re both busy ladies!) we finally did and wow was I ever thankful! (and still am)  She was patient, kind and caring and managed to get awesome photographs of my “energetic” boys. Of course, knowing her personality (read: patient, kind, caring) and the fact that she’s a mommy herself, I knew she’d be able to capture what so many studio photographers just haven’t been able to. Elizabeth, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: “You are a blessing!”

So, without further ado, below are just a few of the amazing photos that came out of our session with Elizabeth. I’m one happy mommy. :)


My sweet Austy…




My big boy (and aspiring super-hero), Zack…


Daddy and his boys…


Me and my honey…


And me… (probably the best picture EVER taken of me… THANK YOU, Elizabeth!)


Pictures are worth a thousand words… and in this case, a thousand thanks. (to Elizabeth) :)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Boys

Had to share a couple of recent pics that show the boys’ personalities OH so well…

Zack (the ladies man & actor)


And Austin (the silly boy & sweetheart)


My Journey into Skinny Jeans…

So, really I was thinking the title of this post should be, “My journey into skinny jeans that isn’t over yet because I haven’t reached the final destination.” But, then I thought maybe it was a little wordy.
At any rate, many of you know I’ve struggled with my weight for awhile (technically since college, but the real trouble started after pregnancy. Big surprise, huh?). So now I’m on a mission to lose weight. It’s a difficult process, but I’ve been making strides and seeing success. Nothing quite so dramatic as The Biggest Loser, of course (can I just say, I LOVE that show!) but success none the less.
And so, we come to the title of today’s blog. I’ve not been unaware that skinny jeans have been in the realm of “fashionable” for awhile now. Trust me, I wanted a pair. I love how they look with certain boots, shirts, etc… But let’s just say Mamma’s backside was a little too wiiiide to be wearing anything with the word “skinny” in the name. ;)
So, last month, I finally got down to a weight (and no, it’s not my goal weight…yet) that I felt I could at least TRY ON a pair of skinny jeans. It wasn’t exactly a touching victory moment like you’d maybe see on a reality show like the afore mentioned Biggest Loser. Instead, the trip looked something like this…
Mamma pushing a double stroller through Jordan Creek mall, trying to maneuver through the racks in a department store. Mamma then looking for jeans on sale ‘cause Mamma ain’t no rich Mamma. Mamma finding cute skinny jeans (on sale!) and trying to take said jeans to the fitting room while still trying to get a wound-up 3 year old, a quickly-getting-sleepy 1 year old and the mondo double stroller around the racks of clothes.
Well, after I got all of us and the stroller into the fitting room it was a pretty happy moment. The jeans fit – and not just that – I *liked* the way they fit! How often does THAT happen?! (with ANY jeans) So, I hauled my crew and this glorious pair of jeans to the checkout and then we hauled tail OUT of the mall.
And here they are… my FIRST pair of skinny jeans. (Notice, it’s hard for Mamma to get a picture of herself without having some kiddos in the pic, too)
*Note: I’ve since bought a second pair of skinny jeans. (I think I might be addicted)