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Happliy married to my bestfriend and the love of my life. New stay-at-home mom. Lover of running. Friend of Jesus. I am trying to just find my way through life with the help of my friends, family and the love of Jesus Christ.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Falling in Love All Over Again

Worldwide Marriage Encounter is a positive and personal experience for a couple, which offers them a technique of loving communication that they can use for the rest of their lives. It’s an opportunity to look deeply into their relationship with each other and with God. It’s a time to share their feelings, their hopes, fears, frustrations, and joys.Worldwide Marriage Encounter is not a professional counseling service. It is not a retreat, nor is it a marriage clinic or sensitivity course. It is not a time to look at the past, but rather to look to your future together. The weekend is a positive, simple, common sense experience between a husband and wife that revitalizes marriage.

A few months ago we were invited to a Marriage Encounter weekend from some of our friends. We'd heard about them before, and thought about attending, but the timing was always off.

I decided to pray on it, talk to Andrew about it, and when found out he was on board, it was time to reach out to family to see if anyone would be able to watch the kids for an entire weekend. One big problem? I had not left Fin, ever, for more than a few hours except one time when she was 12 weeks old and I left her to go back to work for one day--for 8 hours and you know what happened? She didn't eat, sleep or anything but cry, for 8 whole hours and we were both miserable. Within one day, I decided to stay home. Forever! ok, ok,, I know, drama!!

Fast forward two years now and we finally decide to go. My apprehensive is growing. I talked to several people who'd been. They all say they loved it. I talked to one of the couples who facilitate the weekend. She was so excited for us to be there. She said they love taking pictures of the couples who come in, and then seeing them when they leave looking like they've been beaten up by toddlers. This comparison did not ease my fears.

We were to leave Friday night. Before we agreed to do this though, I also agreed to train for a marathon. Which left me with a 10 mile run that I needed to complete that weekend. Committing to a marathon is a HUGE time commitment and I didn't want to admit defeat so early on. There was a gym at the hotel but when I asked the facilitator she said if I couldn't go and give it 100% then we shouldn't come at all. Point duly noted. So, I new I had to get 10 miles in on Friday before we left. I then had to get the baby to my sisters across town and back within two hours. All was on schedule except there was an accident on 670 which had left a 30 minute back up. So I was not about 45 minutes OFF schedule. We were to be there at 7:15 and I still hadn't eaten. I called Andrew, we had some words (not nice ones), he offered to get me some food which I declined because I knew it would be cold by the time I got home. It took me longer to get home than I anticipated due to sitting 4 cycles at a stop light to get a left hand turn on the freeway so getting food before we left was becoming obvious--not happening. I got home, we loaded in the same car, and off we went. We were a few minutes late, but got there in one piece. Problem is, they said 7:15 and they didn't start until 8:00. I could have eaten. Plus, we had no idea how long they would be going that night. Well, we got through the introductions and started right away. By the time we got our second part in it was 10:15 and I was done. My body had completely shut down. I was tired, I was weak, I was shaking and crying. People must have thought I was losing my mind. I had "bonked"...runners jargon for hitting the wall. My mind and body completely shut down and I had nothing left. So, we left the hotel and grabbed me something to eat. I inhaled a Jimmy Johns sandwich (closest thing to the hotel still open) and a bag of chips. It fueled me up enough to be able to sleep but I had a very unrestful night. I woke up at least once an hour. And, we had to be back downstairs at 7:50 for day 2.

But, I desired it. I longed for this time alone with Andrew to work on our marriage. Was I intimidated by Day 1? Yes. Was I a little hesitant to move on to Day 2 but I knew Andrew and I were on the same page and I was assured by him that morning. I don't want to relinquish too much information (not like I have a large reading base) of what the weekend entails. But it requires you to SEARCH deep from within, TRUST with all your heart, BELIEVE with all your soul, and every single second, I had to keep reminding myself this is WORTH IT. You truly do spend a whole 48 hours with your husband. Rediscovering each other. Remembering each other and trust me when I say, falling in love all over again! Remember how I described Day 1 (see above), well Day 2, I had plenty of caloric intake, a little sleep, far far far less aerobic activity unless sitting on your butt for 15 hours is included, and I looked like that dreaded detail of being beat up by a group of toddlers. I actually slept far better that night but I was emotionally spent, drained. Not one drop left in the bucket. But I went to bed spiritually awakened, but my soul weary. I went to bed like a giddy teenager falling in love for the first time, except, I wasn't. I went to bed completely falling in love with my husband all over again.

But Day 3? Day 3, I woke up refreshed and rested and ready. Funny though, that one of the facilitating couples kept coming up to us (at least 3 times if not more) and said Andrew and I looked drained. That we looked like how they felt when they went through many many moons ago. I wasn't sure if this was a compliment or not, but it seems like they kinda took us under their wing. I was getting more and more excited to see what the rest of the weekend held. At the end of day 3, we broke bread and took communion as a couple. And I remember thinking, how cool would it be if I could ask this pastor if he would renew Andrew and my wedding vows before we went home. (sidenote: Andrew and I were not married in a church, but were married by a Pastor. I was not saved. I did not have a relationship with Jesus). I remember thinking how awesome it would be to celebrate these vows , the same vows--although different, multi-dimensional, rooted now in Christ. A covenant not a contract. I was thinking, I am so going to pull this pastor aside and ask if we could and would renew Andrew and my vows. However, we get done with each individual couple taking communion and we are asked to join hands with our spouse and they pray over us. The prayer was lovely. I was honestly so teared up looking in my husbands eyes. He adoration for me shining through--I could only pray that he could see the same emotions coming through on my face.

 We had been blessed, we chose to make our marriage --the foundation of our home--a priority. And in that moment, what I had been thinking of happening, happened. We renewed our wedding vows--and I seriously couldn't have been more overwhelmed. I was now a slobbering mess. I didn't think I had more tears. Honestly, I had shed so many this weekend. Good ones, bad ones, happy ones, sad ones. But oh my, these tears, these tears were the tears of God, weeping, finally binding our marriage in a "cord of three" with Him. He was waiting. He was biding His time, waiting for me. Waiting for us to come and bring our marriage to Him. He has the most amazing, perfect timing. We always had a future. We just now have a future so bright and so welcoming and so HOT that we just might have to wear shades!

Is this "encounter" for those that have marital problems, yes. Is it for those that have a good marriage? Yes. Andrew and I have a great marriage, but it can only get better. If you have any questions about this weekend please let me know and I would be happy to answer them for you.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Happy 6th Birthday, Beckett

I was kinda waiting to write this post because we haven't really "celebrated" his birthday with his buddies yet. Thanks to the weather and the flu virus that attacked our home the last few weeks his "gathering" kinda got postponed...indefinitely. I'm so done with this weather. Honestly..I'll leave that for another post.

Well, bubba! First, I love you. I can't say this enough because I sometimes wonder if you believe me as much as I tell you. You are such a loving boy. You will stop at nothing to try to "impress" me. You constantly give me hugs and snuggles and kisses. Although, these are mostly staying at home and no longer do this in public. I tend to do more to embarrass you than I ever thought possible. ((sigh)) You still call me mommy or mama and I love this so much. I hope you never let go of it.

You are all boy. Nothing much has changed regarding that. You continued with football this year and added in some tae kwon do. You've accomplished so much in this past year. HUGE. You figured out how to ride a two wheeled bike, catch a football, do a roundhouse kick. You love playing games on the Wii or the Kindle. Your favorite TV show is still Phinneus and Ferb.

You started Kindergarten--Full Day. You are so smart and so logical. You love to figure out problems and are so quickly becoming a math whiz. You are reading at a high second grade level and love to bring home all these books from the second grade classroom. Livie from next door gets to be your school buddy often and read with you in class. Mrs. Wise thinks you are just as wonderful as we do. You love to make up silly jokes (even if we don't understand them or think they are funny). Lego's are you toy of choice right now and if you get a new set, you tend to work on it until it is done.

You love your sisters so much and you and Finley are the best of friends. She missed you so much when you went to school in the fall. I think it was a bigger adjustment for her than it was for you. You and Tatum still argue a lot, but when you play together, you do play together well.

Oh my dear boy. I hope such good and wonderful things for you this year. I know this will be a HUGE year for changes. BIG changes. We will try so hard to keep things easy for you and try to help as much as possible. We love you so much and we know we are doing all we can to help you succeed in things:) We see you growing so big and tall every single day. There are days we wake up and know the good Lord decided to grow you just a little more. You weight in at 52 lbs and are 47 inches tall.  We keep thinking you will surpass Tatum soon.

For your birthday dinner date with mommy and daddy you again, chose Noodles. I know you love this place. Anyplace that has mac and cheese is a place for you. (or used to be).

We were suppose to take you and a few of your buddies out for lunch and to see the Lego Movie for your birthday but you were not feeling so well and then your buddies were all sick. So we have had to postpone this event until a little later. We will get you to that movie with your buddies, bubba, I promise. If it is the last thing I do, we will make it happen.

Please know that we love you so much baby. So so much. We are so very excited for what the 6th year of your life holds! We love you to the moon and back!

I hope soon we can get you out and post some pictures of that. How fun!!

Friday, February 14, 2014

ADHD Journey Week 1

What a whirlwind week. Andrew was home with flu like symptoms starting Monday. He went to work Tuesday and Wednesday and by Thursday was home with all its glory. Tuesday afternoon, however, we took Beckett to his doctor and got our diagnosis for him. We started his meds on Wednesday as we had a snow day for the kids so we figured out it was a good day to start his meds so we could keep a close eye on him. Problem, is, he came down with flu like symptoms too.

So, day 1 we had no idea if he was experiencing flu symptoms or side effects from the meds. It was so hard. I was on the internet all day long and had a phone in my hand with the pediatrician and 911 on speedial. He took a nap, didn't eat, had a high fever, and he was very mellow. He slept like a dream that night. We kept checking the symptoms on the internet and decided we would keep an eye on him through the night. He did very well.

Day 2 was pretty much a copy of day 1. The fever would break and then go higher, break and then go higher. Day 3, Tatum started having symptoms so we were pretty clear that the flu was making its way through the family. Wooh...wiped the sweat off my brow!

Day 4 he started feeling better and was able to eat and drink. Except we noticed that this appetite was gone. This kid could eat us into a budgetary hole. OK. The pantry could be bare on any given hour. Now we can barley get him to take a bite out of a peanut butter sandwich.

The rest of the week has been a blur. I'm not gonna like. I have been sick. The rest of the time, I've been on pins and needles--keeping my phone with me at all times. I'm bribing the kid with food. BRIBING my kid with food--the ONE who (used) to eat like a crazy mad man. He's now moving on to upset stomachs, getting sick and crying at the drop of a hat. I'm trying to remain calm. I feel more like pulling my hair out now than I did just going through the motions with his behavior prior. So right now, we are trying to make sure we are doing things right. Do the benefits far outweigh the consequences? If you can please keep praying for him, for us. Its still a lot of changes--FOR EVERYONE!  I feel like I now have two babies. One who demands my attention and one who NEEDS it. And pray for Tatum too, that she doesn't get lost in the mix. I took her out yesterday and kinda told her what is going on so that she didn't get the left out vibe from me. She's so understanding. She's the best big sister!! I'm so blessed with amazing children. Lord knows that my patience is tested at any given point. I'm so overwhelmed. I need to be the very best..the very best advocate for my son--all of my kids! I'm hoping soon things will start to calm down and his body will start to accept the meds and things will start turning around for him. Week 2 has to be better!!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Flying Feather

Oh my! So much to catch up on.

I've run so many races this year. I love it! This is one I was really looking forward to. I got in early so I didn't have to pay a whole lot and the race sells out quickly. The race is on Thanksgiving morning.

First, it was COLD. Second, it had snowed a few days before hand so there was no telling how the trails were going to be. Third..did I mention it was COLD?

Enough already, I'm in Ohio, it is suppose to be cold. I got up early and met my friend Jeanine so that we could ride up together. I know that the parking was limited so we decided to carpool. Once we found a parking space we tracked up the half mile to the course starting line. We hit the porta johns and lined up in our corral. It wasn't a huge race. They capped it at 4000 people but I can almost guarantee that 4000 people were there, running or walking! Lots of families. I thought that was pretty damn cool. The prize at the end wasn't pie...but wine. Yummy, yummy, wine!!

I wanted to keep up with Jeanine and we were going to run together but quickly said that she should go ahead because I couldn't keep her pace for the whole 4 miles. We parted about mile 1. I ran alone with my music. Not too bad. Just trying to keep warm. Around mile 2.5 I ended up behind a couple of girls and they were running a pretty even pace and I needed to pace with someone because I was going too fast and everyone knows I have a hard time pacing myself. I would have crapped out around 3.5 had I not found these girls and paced with them. Problem is at 3.5, they sped up! Like a 9.5 ppm sped up. I had a hard time keeping up with them and found myself alone again. But I pulled a 9.5 for about a half mile. I was pulling a 9.3 as I sprinted to the finished...then nearly lost my breakfast. I didn't even pick up my medal first. I crossed the finish line and headed straight to the open fields (facing away from everyone) and dry heaved. Thank goodness it was only that. Talk about embarrassing.

After I finish gagging and go back to grab my medal I wait at the spot where I told Jeanine we would meet. I see Lynne and then Angi for a bit. As soon as I find Jeanine and we are on our way to get our wine and head out we see Stephanie and Lori and Gail. So fun to run into your best buds while you are at a race!! Overall, I had a great race. I got my personal best on this race too coming in with a 10:42 ppm.

Flat Kim ready to go...


Jeanine and me. Can you tell she doesn't like the cold? Fooled me!

Jeanine doing a little jig before we head out into the cold!!

Christmas 2013

Well, this Christmas was much more "jolly" thank last year. If you recall from last year's post, Santa, did NOT come to visit us. The kids needed a hard lesson to be learned and we needed to follow through. So, this year, the kids were very cautious, especially the closer we got to Christmas. The kids did get lots of gifts from Santa this year, I'm happy to report!

It was a pretty nice Christmas. We did all of our "normal" Christmas activities and tried hard to fit them in because our break from school was a little shorter than it in years past. I love our traditions and I try to stick to them as much as humanly possible. ((photo heavy))

We baked cookies!

We adopted our Christmas Child from Operation Christmas Child. We went to all of our Christmas parties. Andrew's office Christmas party and then his office also holds a Children's Christmas party which the kids enjoy going to each year. This is where we visit Santa. Santa was very aware of our Christmas situation last year, so he was very quick to make sure the kids were behaving. Beckett was a little blown away, that Santa remembered. They always have a lot of fun here, decorating cookies, seeing the magician and getting to eat and drink lots of cookies and hot cocoa.

We celebrated Christmas number one with my parents. My sister and her kids were there. Her husband was home with the flu. Boo :(  The kids all had a good time and dinner and dessert were very good. We were fortunate that the weather held out.

Next was Christmas at home. We went to Christmas Eve service at our church. I don't have to tell you how much I love this. It really is my favorite part of Christmas. I also try hard to dress the kids nicely like my mom always did. I do this twice a year, Christmas and Easter. It is very important to me. Don't ask my why, because I simply don't have an answer. The only thing I can think of was that is was important to my mom that my sister and I dressed nicely for Christmas and Easter. It's trivial..I know. Sorry. Our pastor always sits on the stage and invites the kids to come up and he reads a new story each year about the birth of Christ. They then get a goody bag to play with while he reads the adults the story of the birth of Christ. A story that will never tire. After that we sing carols and then turn out the lights, light the candles and sing Silent Night. Perfection!! Afterwards, we came home to Santa's elves leaving us all a nice surprise of popcorn, a movie and a surprise for the kids...Christmas jammies :) I got the "christmas crack" ready to pop in the oven the next morning and we got all set to watch the movie.

Christmas morning seemed to be a blur...I hardly remember taking pictures. The kids each got a few things for each other and some gifts from Santa. No one was hurting for gifts. This year was kinda fun as Finley was really into it. No one really had to help her open them. Problem is, she wanted to play with everything as soon as it was opened. LOL. I don't want to let these days go though because soon all will be lost to clothing, electronics and anything else for parental avoidance. :)

Christmas afternoon was very uneventful. I'm happy. It was a good time to just be with each other, put together toys, lego mansions and spend time playing games. The next day was Christmas number three so the kids were equally excited.

Andrew's family came here this year to celebrate. That was a nice change.  We ordered pizza and really just got a chance to enjoy each other's company more. It was so very relaxed. Perfect, actually. This was an exciting Christmas for Tatum as she was gifted her first (and only I'm sure) American Girl doll. She and Uncle Mark picked out this doll together and she got her a few days later. It was so fun to see her reaction.

We all had a great Christmas season. I enjoyed the kids really getting into their gifts this year. We enjoyed the laidbackness (my own made up word) of this season. We have a great family and we are so very blessed to get to spend time with each of them. We were missing Andrew's sister though. We will get to see them in the next few months for Christianna's graduation. 

We hope everyone had a great Christmas and a wonderful new year. 

Now to catch up on the rest of what I've missed!!