Sunday

Pumpkin

I made some excellent pumpkin bread yesterday and shared the recipe on the new blog. This recipe is definitely going into our family cookbook!

We’re Moving!

I’m posting over at the new blog today:

Every Little Blessing

6 Things Before ’12

I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is next week. I know it’s cliche, but this year has really surprised me in how swiftly it has passed. I had some great plans for what I wanted to accomplish this year, and there are some things that I abandoned (and with good reason) and others that I really should have stayed committed to.

So, in an effort to hold myself accountable, here is my personal goal list for the rest of the year. We have about 6 weeks left, so here are my 6 things to do before 2012. Most are already in progress, some will take a couple of hours of sit-down organizing time and others will take longer, but I need to buckle down and finish what I’ve started.

 

NaBloPoMo 2011

1. Successfully complete NaBloPoMo. I’m halfway done! That means I’m committed to posting every day for the month of November, so someone please hold me accountable. I’d love to have a “blog buddy” if anyone is interested.

 

 2. Develop a mission statement for our family (with the family). I read Tsh Oxenreider’s Organized Simplicity almost a year ago, and I was really inspired and motivated to implement some of her ideas in our family. But I got sidetracked and my home organization binder is still just sitting here. I’d like to start the new year off right by getting the family together to set some goals and define who we want to be.

3. Develop and implement a daily household routine. It needs to be flexible, but with only one parent home most of the time, we definitely need some organization around here. Like, when am I going to make it to the gym (after saying “I’ll go tomorrow” for three weeks)? What do we do about nap time on days when we have church or story time?

4. Develop and implement a weekly chore chart/schedule for the family. For all of us, with assigned chores for the week. In this house, we’re all motivated by checking things off a list.

5. Make the kitchen chalkboard wall. It will be a place to display our weekly menu and chore chart. I already have a list for the hardware store, but I haven’t buckled down to buy the stuff yet. I really want to get it done before the kids are home for winter break, though, so I need to get working on it.

 

6. Finish the books on my Goodreads “Currently Reading” list. I’ve all but abandoned some that I really need to read, and I’d like to have them finished before the new year.

Blessings {Thankful Tuesday, on Wednesday}

Surprise! I actually meant to post this list yesterday but was distracted by the baby’s birthday — although it was certainly a welcome distraction. We’ve had a very busy day today. First, we ate two Thanksgiving Lunches at the kids elementary school. In between the lunches, we came home so Caleb could eat his own lunch. After we were home from the school, I had to set up some technology and do some housework while the baby took a short nap, and then once the kids were home we had to go get haircuts and pick up dinner because it’s Awana night. Both kids finished their starter books so they’re moving on to the “real” program, and both are very proud of themselves.

In other news, the new blog design is on schedule. I’m still working on the organization end of things, but I hope to have it fully launched by December 1.

I am thankful for so many things this week. Here are just a few blessings that I’m thanking God for today:

— Both of our families were able to get together over the weekend to celebrate the baby’s birthday.
— All of the kids are healthy.
— I have two children who are excited about learning the Word of God, and are happily spending time at church (no fussing about it!).
— God has put new friends in our lives lately who have similar family situations (one has a husband who is away for work and kids the same ages and another is a mom to a large blended homeschooling family). I’m so thankful that God is helping us build a support system.
— We’ve had some cool fall weather. It might have been in the 80s today, but I still relish the slight snap to the air after sunset. This is my favorite season and I so love those windy cold-front days.
— And thank you, Lord, for yesterday’s rain! We need it so desperately here.

One Year

One year ago today, my husband and I waited in a hospital triage room to find out if we were really in labor or if we would be sent home.

One year ago today, we were a family of six, waiting on a seventh.

One year ago today, we prayed for a safe and healthy delivery, as we worried over the monitor readout.

One year ago today, I became a mommy again. It seems like yesterday, and at the same time, a lifetime ago. I can’t remember what life was like without this little guy.

We had such a scary pregnancy with this one. I have always had complications, including problems with placental attachment with my last pregnancy. But this time, I had a serious subchorionic bleed that kept me on bed rest for weeks at a time, more than once.

At ten weeks, I woke up in the middle of the night feeling a little wet and saw so much blood that we thought we had lost him. I remember sitting in the emergency room with my husband and the littles, trying not to cry while we waited for an ultrasound. Worrying about whether or not we should take the littles in with us and how we would explain it to all of the kids, because they were so excited about the baby. And the joy of seeing that precious heartbeat and knowing that he was still okay, combined with the fear of what was causing the bleed. God used this time to teach us faith and patience, as we learned to trust that we were all in His hands, and that whatever happened was beyond our control.

Later in the pregnancy, I had blood pressure issues that caused me to pass out without warning — a scary thing when your job is to be up on your feet in a classroom full of high school students all day. We were so thankful and relieved when he was finally born. He was preterm, but healthy and perfect, and we rejoiced and praised God that He had given us this little one.

I can’t believe it’s been a year. I can’t believe that the tiny baby we hoped and prayed for is now a big, friendly baby giant. Thank you Lord for letting him be a part of our family. We love you so much, birthday boy.

I Am A Writer {Write it, Girl}

<Cringe.>

Why is that so hard to say? Typing it was tough, but even then I can’t even say the words out loud.

My husband has been home for several days and it has been so nice to spend time with him. But have you noticed how short my posts have been? I’ve been sneaking time to write, hoping that he won’t ask what I’m doing. Why do I feel like I need to keep this from him?

Because I feel like a fraud.

I know my writing stinks. Would you believe that I have a degree in English? I graduated with high honors. I aced the dreaded Grammar, Spelling, and Punctuation test that all journalism students had to pass before gaining entrance into the program. I have a master’s degree, for crying out loud. And over the years, I have gotten seriously lazy. I’d like to blame it on the nature of online communication, but the truth is, that’s just an excuse. I am lazy. And I’ve forgotten half of what I once knew about good writing.

But why does that matter so much? Why am I so afraid of what people will think? Why do I feel judged when, truly, I don’t read other people’s work with a teacher’s eye. No one is going to give me a grade for this. No one cares if I can’t remember when to spell out a number and when to write it as digits (and yes, I googled it yesterday because I was paranoid about my last post).

But I care. It makes me feel less worthy of being here, out in the blog world, even if I am the only one reading my posts. Even if they are truly written only for me.

The stupidest thing about all this is that my husband would think that it’s awesome that I’m writing. He would be supportive. He’d hold me accountable, asking every day what I had written. He, too, dreams of writing. And maybe, if I’m honest, that’s a part of it, too. I want this to be mine, not ours. And I’m not sure if that’s okay or not — not just with him, but in the realm of healthy relationships. He would want to read what I’ve written every day, and I’m not sure if I’m ready for that yet. And, as a Christian wife who claims to want to strengthen my relationship with my husband, who claims to want to be transparent with him, that makes me feel guilty. I’m just afraid to say to him, “I am a writer,” as if that will make it even less true.

But I’ll type it again. I am a writer.

And I will keep typing it here, until I have the courage to say it out loud.

My Baby Is Almost One

Little man doesn't want to sit still for pictures anymore...

I can’t believe it. How could this year fly by so quickly, when the 9 (10) months I was pregnant seemed to last forever?

There’s a Party in My Tummy

So yummy! So yummy!

Custom cake by Shaleigh.

Today was the baby’s first birthday party and I still have Yo Gabba Gabba decorations in my kitchen. Just so you know, they’ll probably still be up until Thanksgiving. The baby, the kids, and the rest of the family had a great time. So did I, but I’m glad to have my house back.

I still can’t believe my baby is almost a year old.

 

Museum Day!

Getting chased by a T-Rex adds some excitement to the trip.

We went on a family field trip to the Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land today and had tons of fun. The one thing that could have made it better? If the biggles had been able to come with us. We almost had the museum to ourselves, and the docent even let us choose which movie we wanted to watch in the Dome. Next time, we’ll probably go to the big campus downtown, but this was such a great day trip. Even the baby enjoyed himself.

We loved the Discovery Zone.