Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A story

Once upon a time, there was a little girl.

And she loved beauty.

And she loved to color.

And she had a mother who absolutely, completely, unashamedly ADORED her.

The end.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


December 13, 2007.

It wasn’t a good night.

You can read about it here.

I was alone, and I was tired, and I was ready for it all to just be over.  There were a lot of emotions running through this momma-to-be’s heart.  Anxiety.  Love.  Uncertainty. Fear.  Hope.  Fatigue.  Questions.  Confidence.

But all the pain Seth caused me on the eve of his birth was worth it.  In fact, it most likely saved his life – the pain he caused and what I had to endure to resolve the issue at hand.  So, of course, it was worth it.

December 13, 2011.

It wasn’t a good night.

I was alone, and I was tired, and I was ready for it all to be over.  there were a lot of emotions running through this momma’s heart.  Anxiety.  Love.  Uncertainty. Fear.  Hope.  Fatigue.  Questions.  Confidence.

Seth caused me some serious heart-pain on the eve of his fourth birthday.  He is acting out, and while I know it’s in response to Jim being gone, to the the move, to the chaos that we are living daily, to the lack of attention he’s getting from me.  However, his behavior this night was out of control, and he needed to be punished accordingly.

And it got me thinking about the verse in Proverbs 13: “He who spareth the rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him correcteth him betimes” (or, in the more familiar vernacular: “spare the rod, spoil the child.”

I did what I know was right to do in punishing Seth, and I have to believe that it was worth it – that the pain he caused and what I had to do to resolve it may in fact, in the long run, save his life.  Building his character now, even on the eve of turning 4, will serve him his whole lifetime.

On that note, I pray tomorrow is as joyous a day as December 14, 2007.  Granted, at 6:06 pm, I’ll be in choir rehearsal, rather than hearing the sweet cries of my firstborn, and those two hardly compare, but, even still…

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Seth, you’re worth it.  You always will be.  I love you so very, very much.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Chaos. Beautiful chaos.

I've been living in chaos -- out of boxes, amid packing tape, among slowly dwindling furniture -- since the first week of November.  It's not fun, but the end is in sight.

Monday night, I made lasagna (more in an attempt to use pantry and freezer staples than a desire to have Italian), but realized as I pulled it from the oven that it is the last meal I'll cook in this home.  Tuesday is mac n' cheese, Wednesday is a birthday dinner out, Thursday is a send-off girls' night out, and Friday more than likely will be pizza.  So......lasagna.  Who would've thought?

There is hardly anything left in the house -- 2 TVs that need a new home here in TN; a crib; 2 beds; 2 chairs; and the kitchen table.  Erin's mirror; several boxes of toys; my desk.  Suitcases ready to head south for the holidays.

It's surreal -- this season of decking the halls -- to be in an empty house completely unadorned for the holidays.  It makes me all the more exciting to decorate my new home next year....a new house, with a new child rolling about under the tree.  Again, who would have thought?

When we came to Tennessee just over 3 years ago, I truly thought that this little country town and this beautiful house would be our forever home.  I couldn't have imagined the life Jim and I would experience during this chapter, or that it would be so full but so brief...

Monday, December 12, 2011

Tis the season...

For changes, that is.

As of this morning, Jim's ZIP code went 500 miles north (and the rest of ours will follow suit in a couple weeks).  New job, new house, new opportunities, all wrapped up in the security and familiarity of our original hometown, with much of our family nearby,

Equally news-worthy and life changing...

Our Christmas cards were signed,

Love, Jim, Monica, Seth, and Erin ..... and our final addition, due May 2012.


More on both bits of news in the weeks to come...things have been crazy around here for a solid month, and, obviously, the blog has taken to the back burner.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Hello, Monday 11.28.11

Hello, (again), rain and 40 degrees.

Hello, washing machine and dishwasher both running before 7 AM.

Hello, ginger ale and english muffin.

Hello, makeshift racetrack on storage bin lids.

Hello, Christmas cards-to-be-stuffed.  You're even prettier than I expected.

Hello, anticipation of our one solitary holiday party this Saturday.  We're gonna make you count, for sure.

Hello, Monday.  Please be good to us.

I'm linking up with Lisa for Hello, Monday.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

In the blood

seth cleveland

I love, love, love this picture my dad snapped of Seth on their recent day trip into Cleveland.

Dad moved to Toledo, essentially, when he was 18, to attend the University, and has lived here for 35+ years, but he has always said that Cleveland is his home – that he is “from” Cleveland. 

So, to see him being able to adventure around HIS city with his grandson, the way he used to do with me, is so special.  I’m SO very thankful that we have the opportunity to foster amazing relationships between our children and their grandparents.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Vacation: Recap

Well, it’s almost December.  Just about time to finish up my vacation blog posts. ;)

If you’re interested, you can read about each day of our summer vacation in Brown County, Indiana by clicking on each day’s picture.

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If you’re ever looking for a great place to vacation, whether you want to stay busy, or just relax, I’d point you towards Brown County/Nashville, IN, and Moondance Vacation Rentals.  We had the best time, and I’m sure over the course of our future vacations, we’ll be back.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Overflowing with gratitude

Grand promises for more consistent and regular blogging always lead to absolute failure.

Oh, well.

Today, I am thankful – oh, so very thankful – for two little miracles that keep my days so full that there is no time to blog.
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May your holiday season begin with as many blessings as your heart can contain.

From our family to yours,

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 14, 2011

A day at the zoo

75 degrees in mid-November?  Yes, please!

Christina and I have been going at full steam for a few months now, and we’ve not been able to Maddie and Seth together for a playdate in much too long, so we took advantage of the beautiful weather to head to the zoo.

Some pre-trip fun in the yard while we loaded up 4 carseats and strollers:

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  Checking out the chimps:

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Sweet baby Alex:
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Breaking for a snack:

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Onto the train rides!

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My little daredevil on the playground:

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We couldn’t have asked for a better day, and I know we couldn’t ask for better neighbors and friends.  Maddie was Seth’s first BFF here in Tennessee, and I know that relationship is one that, I, as a mommy, will cherish forever.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Just a day...

Black leggings and a gray tee, with the tiniest baby bump peeking out...

Caedmon's Call on the stereo...

Little helpers raking leaves....

Getting in the packing groove (18 days to go!), even if it is only dishes and towels and craft ribbon...

A disaster of a cheesecake, but knowing it won't matter to the friends gathered...

Friday, November 4, 2011