Friday, March 27, 2009


I'm not sure if it's the extra weight, the extra blood volume, the fact that had an extra workout this week, or what...
But I'm dragging...
I would love nothing more than to head into my dimly lit bedroom with a book and a big glass of water and be alone for a day or two...
PLEASE don't let me be getting sick!
PLEASE don't let the rest of my pregnancy be this way!
Whatever it is, it needs to pass...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The countdown begins!

Seven more days...that's it...
In one week, little Levi and I will be driving to Norfolk and hopping on a plane to Texas.
I realized a little over a month ago that one of my closest friends' kids was turning three and I hadn't really spent time with her since he was weeks old.
I'm very guilty of taking advantage of "easy" friendships, using the excuse that "we are always able to just pick up where we left off...isn't that sweet?"
It's time for a break from all of the "Mommy...mommy...mommy"'s that I hear daily. Instead, I will relax, enjoy some much needed girl time, and actually nurture one of the most important relationships in my life.
Woo hoo! I can't wait!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Going up...

I had another midwife appointment this morning. It was actually quite enjoyable to get up, shower, dress, leave the kids with Greg and head out into the chilly sunshine all by myself. I am 26 weeks this week, with only another 1.5 weeks left until my last trimester. Holy smokes...
I stepped onto the scale to find that the inevitable had happened. I gained five pounds this month. Yikes! My midwife, who steers clear of discussing weight during pregnancy, did give some advice for me to "make better choices", something I rarely think about during pregnancy. I've never gained more than 20-25 pounds, and never cared too much. It's afterward that's tricky.
I'm writing this next bit for myself and for anyone else that sees me heading into an ice cream shop (Stop me!):
The breakdown:
Month 2: -5 lbs. (I was SO SICK!)
Month 3: -3 lbs. (Still sick)
Month 4: +3 lbs. (Feeling a bit better)
Month 5: +5 lbs. (Feeling a little too good)
Month 6: +5 lbs. (Still feeling good and eating everything in sight)
That puts me at +13 lbs, at only six months...okay, Heather...easy now...
Let's hope I can report a measly one or two pounds next month so I don't have to buy all new pants after this baby's born...

Monday, March 23, 2009


It's a busy day so this post is going to be quick and to the point.
Yesterday's message was one I needed to hear.
We've been studying Colossians at church on Sundays. The past two weeks have been on Colossians 3:18-19, the familiar, "Wives, submit...Husbands, love..."
While spouses have been abusing these verses for centuries, we took a look at the context of the gospel when you consider what leads up to those verses. It revealed something I've never realized before. I won't get too deep into it, but you can hear the messages in their entirety here: The messages were from 3/15 and 3/22.
Ironically, I was out last Sunday, when the wives were addressed, and Greg was out yesterday, during the message for the husbands. Normally I may be a little upset about that, but not this time. Turns out I needed to hear the message for the husbands. I know...weird, right?
I needed a good slap in the face to show me what my husband's been working so hard at lately.
The husbands were given much encouragement and many challenges. The basic idea is that husbands are supposed to love their wives as Christ loves the church. What does that really look like? Sacrifice. Servanthood. Nourishment. Grace. It is not a love based on performance or what is deserved.
Over the past couple of months, Christ has shown me what His grace really looks like. How has He done it? Through my husband. More and more, I'm seeing examples of how my husband puts me first. It makes me want to put him first. How he forgives me and loves me, not what I do for him. It makes me want to do more. How he loves me unconditionally. It makes me want to drop my conditions.
And that's what God's love can do for us when we realize its magnitude. It makes us want to love Jesus in a more authentic, more passionate way. If we stop looking at ourselves and our own ideas of love, and focus on His love, it is clear how our opinions of love are skewed.
As Christ loves the church...not as I love. Thank goodness!

Friday, March 20, 2009

I miss you, my friend...

Yesterday was a sad day. While rinsing out the glass carafe to my coffee maker, I accidentally smacked it against the sink.
This morning I dragged myself down the stairs, a baby in my arms, a toddler holding my hand, and a protruding belly full of find my poor coffee maker, void of its most important component. I nearly cried.
Within the hour, I had all four kids out in the cold car and took a little drive to Dunkin' Donuts for a coffee. If only our Starbucks had a drive-thru. I'm officially an addict. And a pregnant one at that.
As I sit here enjoying its warmth, there's a part of me that misses Western New York, just a little bit. What do I miss? Timmy Ho's...we need you here! Nothing is the same!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

We did it. We rented the movie that all Christian couples are either raving about or critiquing. Last night, Greg and I watched Fireproof. I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical before watching it. I mean, a Christian movie about marriage? Just didn't really sound like an edge-of-your-seat-can't-miss-it blockbuster. Even during the first five minutes, I had to let go of the "the acting isn't that great, this is going to be cheesy!" attitude. Doing so allowed me to receive an amazing message.
I actually loved it. I think it has a lot more to do with what God has been doing in my own heart and marriage than anything else.
I have spent ten years married to a guy that I always knew was a good guy. I have always admired his zeal for God and ministry. I have also been jealous of it. I have appreciated his dedication and determination to accomplish anything he sets his mind to. Sometimes. Other times I get just plain frustrated over it. Not sure why.
So for ten years, I looked at HIM for everything from affirmation to security to provision. Always critical, always frustrated. I wanted a robot, someone who wouldn't fail me. Someone who would always say the right thing and put me above EVERYTHING else. Sheesh...
Unfortunately, it took ten years for me to see what I was really doing. And even then, it's been somewhat gradual.
The simplest way to put it is this: I have always seen myself as the victim of all that's around me. Greg is supposed to rescue me from it all. If he doesn't, it's because he "doesn't get it".
WHAT? How about realizing how blessed I am and being thankful to the point of tears that I have such a great guy to share it with?
That's been the big change. Instead of fighting all that I wish he was, all that I wish I had, I'm seeing more and more of how lucky I am. Goodness, I could've ended up with anyone. Thank you Jesus for giving me EXACTLY who I've got. And thank you for keeping him here when what I really deserved was for him to run out the door.
Watching the movie last night was very emotional for me. It was like God was saying, "You see? This is what I have been trying to tell you!"
When I got married I was 20. I was oblivious. I had crazy expectations, which led to serious disappointment. Poor Greg!
Finally, at 30, I'm realizing a bit more of what this marriage thing is all about. And boy, it's far from what I thought! Less romantic, sure, but also so much more amazing than I ever thought it would be.
While watching the renewal of vows scene during last night's movie, I thought back to my wedding. I thought back to the person I was at that time. I wish I could go back. I wish I could have been the wife that Greg really deserves. I wish I could have given him so much more over the past ten years. I am thankful for the opportunity to change. And, hopefully, to give him fifty more years with a wife that sees him for who he really is.
God has been good. I am incredibly lucky.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Praying for my babies...

Last night, I spent 2 1/2 hours in the middle of the night cleaning up after a sick two year old. Poor sweet Avery threw up five times. Thankfully, it wasn't much each time. She has only thrown up once before, about 3-4 months ago. We were in the car one morning, about to run errands, and this time, it was a terrible mess. She still talks about it ALL THE TIME, definitely traumatized.

As I lay in bed just a few hours ago, half asleep, between her little episodes, I thought about how little of our children's lives are really in our hands. I had no way of stopping her from getting sick (and scared) other than praying that God would soothe her.

We have come to a major decision-making phase in our parenting lately. We need to decide things we've never had to consider so deeply. Emily is officially in her "tweens" (seriously?), and is into things like High School Musical and the Jonas Brothers. We've had to carefully guide her in fondness of these things.

And, here it is, I am going to say it: We are trying to figure out what to do for their schooling next year. This fall, I will have three little ones under three years old. Dear Lord! Homeschooling is just not going to happen. We have enough distractions as it is.
This has been hard on me. Four years ago, I wanted nothing to do with homeschooling Emily. I thought, like most people do, that I could never possibly give her what she needs, or have the patience to do so!
I was wrong. Homeschooling my kids has been the hardest but most rewarding thing I've ever done. I don't always do the best job, I'm sure, but I have had the honor of being with them every single day. I have been there for the aha! moments when they just "get it" with reading or with a math concept. They have grown in their love for each other by learning together. We are a closer-knit family than we would be if we didn't spend so much time together. And I have been able to protect them from more than I'll ever know.

Now, here we are, about to send them out "into the world" for school for the first time. My Emily, the socialite, will love it. But will we love the fact that she's hearing and seeing things that she'd never experience here in our home? And my Kaleb, he's so sweet and innocent still...will it all end when he's "out there"?

Just as I did last night, hoping and praying that Avery wouldn't be sick or afraid, I am learning daily to trust my little ones in God's hands. It's a cliche that has never been so real before. I know that he cares for them on a level that I can't even begin to grasp, why wouldn't I trust that? Still, it's so hard!

It's so much easier when they're in the womb...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Ups and Downs

We've found ourselves in a bit of a roller coaster ride this past week. Not in a dramatic, live or die sort of way. Just in a twilight zone sort of way. The past twelve hours have pretty much summed up the whole week. Let me explain:
A couple of weeks ago, Greg declared it officially spring, and therefore, time for spring cleanup in the yard. We spent two Saturdays attacking our heavily-treed half acre lot (it often seems like several acres), and it was well worth it. After a couple of months of winter (although VERY mild winter compared to what we had each year in Buffalo), the kids spent ALL day outside both weekends, worked their little hearts out helping, and loved it. Ahhh, spring in Virginia...and it wasn't even March.
That's what we thought...
..until last Sunday.
Jack Frost hit our area hard. We hit the grocery store Sunday afternoon, along with every other person in the Richmond area, and fought off crowds for the last gallon of milk. It was insane. We sort of laughed, not knowing what to expect after spending our third winter here and not witnessing more than an inch snowfall.
That night, into the next morning, our house got about eight inches!
The kids spent 48 hours sledding in our backyard, at the sledding hill, cross country skiing, you name it--winter sports galore. The schools were closed Monday through Wednesday, with a two hour delay on Thursday. Holy cow. When it rains, it pours. (Or maybe, when it snows, it...whatever...)

How funny that we had 50 and 60 degree weather on Thursday and Friday.
How crazy that it was in the 80s today. Sweating and dehydrated at the playground, just a few days after our arctic blizzard. Total twilight zone.

I say that the last twelve hours have summed up the roller coaster week because it was an example of our ups and downs smashed into one day:
We spent the night as a family at the home of good friends along with another family. It was great and I may blog about it soon. Anyway, this morning, all of the kids went for a walk up and down the street, the big kids pushing the little ones in strollers (...don't get all worried, if you saw the area you'd understand that I use the term "street" loosely. More like giant driveway...) and all three couples had some quiet time over coffee and banana bread. It was a blissful time that comes along far too rarely. We went to the playground and took the kids out for ICE CREAM instead of lunch (first time ever...definitely not the last).
We got home, dropped everything, Greg worked peacefully outside, and the rest of us took a nap. Then the roller coaster hit its freefall.
We had someone show up to look over our house to give us an estimate on some work, unannounced. It would normally be fine but my house has probably never been messier. I met him in my pj's and messy hair, and then scrambled around trying to straighten up. I threw dinner together, our family ate, Greg took the older two to a basketball game and I cleaned up what appeared to be an entire taco salad and pot of rice from under the dining room table. I took the littlest two upstairs, cleaned out the tub, started running their bath, and Avery appeared next to me. She was holding a wipe and a hunk of poop. Not hers--Levi's. She removed his diaper, tried to wipe him off, and he crawled around, leaving a trail. This all happened in 30 seconds, right behind me! I got that cleaned up, set Levi on the bathroom floor next to the tub, and he peed all over the floor.
Yep, back to reality.
Sadly, the morning of bliss was the true twilight zone time for today, not the crazy few hours I had this evening.

Time for an hour or two for Mommy. I think I'll eat watch a chick flick and wait for the other monsters to arrive so it can all start over again before I hit the sack.