Sunday, June 24, 2012

6.24.12 - Finally some pictures!

The house is all quiet...ahhh.  Finally time to upload all the pictures that are burning a whole in my laptop!    First off, our recent trip to St. Louis where we visited my family

We started off with 12 hours in the car...luckily between here and there there was plenty of interesting places to stop for potty breaks and snacks...This was one of them...

The McDonald's that was built on a bridge over the highway, somewhere in Oklahoma.  Liam LOVED it! 

He was waving at all the trucks and cars, while mommy was acting like I was making the cars appear all of a sudden from out beneath the was too funny - we spent a good 15 minutes here and didn't even get anything to eat!

When we got to St. Louis, it was off to the grocery store to stock up on essentials for the "bunny crackers" that Liam is clinging to.  He and cousin Lukas were a hoot together!  Although, as my cousin and I realized pretty quickly, it is MUCH harder to say no to two toddlers than one...Ha!

Let the silliness begin!

And I had to add here, the DE.LI.CIOUS. meal my cousin made from said groceries...homemade Chinese food, complete with the BEST crab ragoon. Ever.
On to the next day, where we were off to the zoo!  Liam took a little cat nap in the car

Thank goodness for the double cousin is expecting and she just got this is the day we arrived.  Thought we'd test it out!  Here the boys are reading the map and deciding where to go first!

Children's that they had sand.  We could have spent the entire day in this one area.

Liam was having a blast!

My cousin and I were flashing forward to when the boys would someday do this in a REAL car!

Just LOVE that sweet face!!....Even in a cutout of an otter...

He looks thrilled to be posing for another picture! Ha!

He's somewhere between a Koala and an Otter...hopefully closer to the latter!

This cracked me up...this little goat was just chilling on the bench!

I made Liam sit next to him...He was not impressed.

Lunchtime sillies!

This was one of my favorite parts...the elephants!

So adorable, we actually got to see the baby elephant!  I always have the impression that you'll never really get to actually see the animals at the they are always hiding during the day! Ha!  I was pleasantly surprised here

Mimi (my mom) with the boys!
Waiting patiently for the Carousel

Don't let the look fool you, he was really excited!  Was his first time on one!

Lukas and Lindsey

See?  He was excited!

Last stop was the penguins - too bad the line was SOOO long, it was the end of the day and we were beat - Glad they had some little ones outside to peek at!

Liam's first (and last, if it were up to me, Ha!) Harley ride!

He's got style!

Cousin hugs!

Last day at the splash park!

We had the BEST time!  The drive up and back went better than expected, Liam did great both pottying and eating (which are always top 2 concerns when traveling!).  And the meet-up I posted about here with Maxson and his mom was so wonderful.  Wish we lived closer to everyone up there!!

Thanks for checking in!  (And for looking at a ga-zillion pictures!)

Friday, June 22, 2012

6.22.12 - Quick Funny for Friday

My post title came out better than I thought! LOL  I had planned on getting a bunch of pictures posted of our recent trip to St. Louis and recent outings we've had, but to no avail.  If Liam doesn't nap, I don't get much done! 

But, I thought I'd share a quick funny that just happened a few minutes ago.  As I was changing Liam's, oh, about FOURTH poopy UNDERWEAR of the day, this was our conversation:

"Mommy, where does poop come from?"

Ummmm, ok...hmmm "Well, it comes from your food."

Blank stare.

"You know, when your food travels to your tummy to go to the party (this is how we explained eating!), they give their gifts they brought (in my mind, this would be the nutrients...although I'm already thinking I've probably said to much at this point) and then they dance so hard at the party, they get smooshed together with the other food there and travel together until you push them out into the potty (or, in today's example, your pants)."  I am feeling quite pleased with my response, thinking it was a creative and brilliant way to explain poop to a 2 year old.

Blank stare.

Then Liam starts laughing, "You remember how I threw my broccoli on the floor?"

Yep. He gets it.

Happy Friday folks!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Kitchen Sink Moment

So much has been going on around here.  Not so much in a physical sense, or even in our immediate family, but spiritually speaking there seems to be much heaviness.  This may sound a bit strange, but I feel like God has opened my eyes to really seeing very clearly some spiritual battles going on around me particularly in my church family, and my heart is heavy with all the real suffering that is going on.  Our church is like our family, so I've been heavy in prayer and just asking God some questions to glean some wisdom on why He's allowing me to "see" these things.  Of course, this also comes in the midst of our upcoming move, and all that that entails.  This being our first home as a family, it's starting to feel real that we are moving on to a different place and leaving this one behind.  Even now I am getting teary eyed just thinking about it...

So, given that my physical feelings and emotions are screaming out in complete opposition to the truth I know and am trying hard to speak to my weary soul right now, I've been struggling.  And so in this "place", I sit to write my thoughts them out in words. 

First off, I had a kitchen sink moment tonight…I feel like God always speaks to me in my mundane things, like washing dishes, but that’s kinda exactly what he was speaking to me about….

I’ve been feeling something for a long time now.  The sense of a greater purpose, but not quite recognizing exactly what it looks like.  I’ve always thought I have a ways to go, thinking to myself, when will it be my time to really get to show you off, Lord?  I’m struggling, WE are struggling in many areas of life right now…all the things mentioned above, plus finances, time management, an almost 3 year old who needs a balance of love and discipline, etc….I don’t have it together...It’s the striving to become, the constant doing, changing, moving this way a little or shifting around...I long to be what He wants me to become…but fleeting are the dreams...

Having a beautiful voice like this
Ministering to thousands, like her
Or writing a book that touched lives, like this one
And writing and teaching bible studies like her

But this kind of life gets exhausting...I am growing leaves me thinking when will I get to where God wants me...when will I break free from where I am at now?  I know others have thought the same thing.  We desire more…there’s got to be more than this, right?  Can we just catch a break?  Where is the light at the end of the tunnel? But, what if we are already in the light?   What if we are believing the lie that this couldn’t possibly be the light, so we keep our eyes SHUT…and accept it as darkness? 

I’ll admit, I’ve been doing that.

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

What God stirred up in my spirit tonight, while standing over my kitchen sink doing dishes, was an awakening.  There are so many people around me going through what our world would label terrible, terrifying, awful realities…but what does it look like to God?  What does this place we desire to move out of, look to the one that matters most?

It is joy…
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”  James 1:2-4

It is Glory…
"All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.2 Corinthians 4:15

It is purposed…
“We sent Timothy, who is our brother and co-worker in God’s service in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith, so that no one would be unsettled by these trials. For you know quite well that we are destined for them.”  1 Thessalonians 3:2-3

It is good
“for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”  Philippians 2:13

I kept thinking how little I am impacting for His kingdom…how much more I should be “doing”…how much I just keep praying in these trials…this too, shall pass

Thinking as if world standards were also the measuring tool for God’s kingdom…but it's not...
What if God’s love for a thousand is equal to his love for ONE?  The Cross 
What if reaching millions is equal to reaching across your own dinner invitation
What if your “terrible awful” ministers to only one but equals thousands coming to know Christ…our child
What if God is the only one who sees you?  What if God is the only one who hears your cry…
or your prayers?...this loneliness
What if you believed God has you right where He wants you to be….washing dishes...fully listening to the one who matters most.

What if God’s only desire is to be loved by YOU.  That’s it.  Nothing more.  Just YOUR love.  Would that be enough for Him?  Is He enough for you?  What if your pain or heartache keeps you turned toward Him…toward LOVE…is it worth it?  What He requires of us is far less than we make it out to be sometimes.  But worth more than any precious jewel on earth. 

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”  Micah 6:8

Can I trust that His love is enough…and that I am where I am because He first LOVED me? 

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” 1 Peter 5:10

The trials, the mundane, the doing to become….I lay it down….with a thankful heart, I choose to bow the knee and give God the glory…and praise Him.  Grateful He loves me on my kitchen floor.

Better is one day in your courts, Lord, than thousands elsewhere.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

6.17.12 - Happy Father's Day

We watched this video at church this morning, and I thought it was so sweet...God IS the PERFECT father.  I am honored and blessed to call him mine. 

I am so thankful for my own dad, and his loving and encouraging ways.  And for my husband, who is a great father, loving, nurturing and kind.  I am BLESSED!

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!

Prayer Request:  Liam's little buddy from church and our friend's son, Corbin, is having surgery tomorrow morning to remove one of his kidneys which has a tumor.  They will be doing a biopsy to see if it it benign.  This was very unexpected, so please keep this sweet family in your prayers. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

6.4.12 - The Best Surgiversary

2 years ago our life looked like this...

6.3.10 - Repair Surgery - Open Heart Surgery #2
Yesterday, our life looked very different.  Because celebrating surgiversaries is a whole lot of fun, especially when it's with people who also celebrate them.  This journey has led me to meet people we would have never met; the CHD world has sparked many new friendships for me, and for that I am so thankful.  Yesterday we got a chance to meet a special family that has been near and dear to my heart since the early part of our CHD journey.  We got to meet heart hero Maxson and his family.  His mom Michele and I have been friends via emails and texts for about 2 years now, and we finally had a chance to meet up and let our little heart heroes meet each other for the first time.  Maxson was born two weeks after Liam, and has the same heart defect, ToF with Pulmonary Atresia.

Maxson and Liam (and the giraffe in the background!)

Playing on the rocks...such boys!

Running up and down...

Snack time!

Liam, Ella (Maxson's sister) and Maxson

Michele and I got to talk about things and share what was on our hearts and know that we understood.  Even though our journey's have been different, I know I found comfort in knowing we were traveling this together.  Our momma hearts were formed for this friendship!

Mommas and our boys

Me and Michele
We had a blast at the St. Louis Zoo where we met up.  The kids had a great time, mainly just running around everywhere.  Maxson was just as adorable as ever, even cuter in person if you can imagine!  Ella was such a cutie too!  It was a great day and I am so thankful for the sweet time we had together!  I know this will be one surgiversary I will never forget!

Too cute for words...precious heart buds!!
Our trip to Missouri has been the best time so far!  Can't wait to share the rest of our trip soon!!