Saturday, December 31, 2011

top ten of eleven!

i've been planning to do this all week. it's been a little crazy around here ;) nothing like waiting till the last minute! this would be the top ten highs and lows of 2011!

10. what we not so affectionately refer to as "The Great Lice Fiasco of '11". five kids. five heads of lice. two heads shaved and countless hours of nitpicking later.... they got it again. a total of four rounds of washing everything in the house. three weeks of hell. hopefully to never be repeated!

9. our new van! first vehicle with a/c in 5 years! woo hoo! i never thought i'd be so overjoyed at a minivan. but i still say a prayer of thanks every time i get in it!

8. medical woes x 7! strep throats, hand foot and mouth, ear infections, surgery for me. but no ER visits, no hospitalizations, all minor illnesses. not bad!

7. breaking dawn! i have waited a lot of years to see that wedding. it was every bit as good as i imagined. which is why i had to see it two three times. only 11 months till part 2!

6. the passing of "old papaw". my last remaining grandparent. while we were sad to see him gone, we were rejoicing with him for being reunited with nanny!

5. good business in a bad economy. theMr's side business flourished this year. his best year yet with lots on the books already for 2012. proof that God is so much bigger than our economy!

~the final four are all good. because there was much more good than bad in this year!

4. four weekend trips away for me! january was my first weekend away alone in eight years. it was followed by two trips to the International House of Prayer, a weekend Beth moore conference, a women of Faith conference and a Twi-Moms sleepover! after ten years as a stay at home mom, it was good to find some time for myself this year!

3. the birth of a ministry (and not a baby!). more later on that one :) soon, i promise!

2. the official end of childbirthing. bittersweet for sure. but it was time.

1. the renewal and revival of our marriage. we took a long, brutal road to find it. i wouldn't want to go through it again for anything. but it was worth every tear, every heartache. sometimes in order to make something all it can be, God has to take it back down to the foundation and rebuild. and He did. i will forever be thankful that in 2011 i fell in love with my husband all over again. i eagerly await what is in store for us in 2012.

thanks for reading this year. thanks for caring what happens to our family. thanks for comments and emails and earrings and love. who knew blogging came along with a new "family"? what a wonderful surprise. cheers to 2012! ~theMrs

Thursday, December 29, 2011

happy new year

it's normal to reflect at the close of each year. the highs, the lows, what you want in the coming one. when i try to put 2011 into words, i find myself at a loss. it has been such a monumental year in so many ways. much of which i'm not even ready to express. yet i find myself needing to quantify. it's a trademark at my core. i always need to quantify things. it helps them make sense to me.

it was the year i found my calling.
and lost my last surviving grandparent.

the year that held the first time i thought my marriage wouldn't survive
and the moment i realized it would.

the year we felt the Lord's hand on our lives more clearly than ever
the year we learned what He meant when said He'd never forsake us.

a year that started with questions
and is ending with transitions.

new friends, new jobs, new homes, new cars, new vision.

what will 2012 bring? answers to many of these things... joy, peace, love, happiness, fulfillment, change, growth, renewal, passion, direction and hopefully a bit of grace.

another chance to start again.
to say thank you.
to hold a hand.
to chase a dream.
to move on.
to make amends.
to rejoice.
to LIVE.

at the end of the day, through the extreme lows and the mountain HIGHS, we are still here. we are healthy. we are a family. we are at peace.

that's all that really matters anyway. the rest is just details.

happy new year to you and yours. may you walk in the peace and blessing of your Savior's plan. may your days be filled with laughter and joy, hope and contentedness. may you count your blessings and endure your struggles with the faith that they will pass. may you smile at those who bless you and those who don't. may you find the Lord's favor upon your life.

from our family to yours....

Saturday, December 24, 2011

12 days of theMrs Christmas

12 shatter-proof balls...

11 stocking stuffers

10 christmas toenails

9 lights not working

8 chores not finished

7 moose(es?) waiting

6 snowmen smiling

5 Christmas Quiches!

4 Santas sitting

3 kids snoozing

2 days till Christmas

and a crown on the Christmas tree!

Merry Christmas from theMrs & a Blessed New Year!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

i see a lot of bloggers are sharing their Christmas traditions and beliefs so i thought i'd do the same. i've been in a bit of a slump anyway. i have a hard time writing when i'm really happy. much of my inspiration comes from either irritation or sadness. weird but true. when things are going really well, i don't have much to say! but i digress ;)

i have some particular views on the Christmas season and how it should be celebrated. ( i know, you're so surprised that i would have strong feelings on something, huh?) we choose not to do the whole santa thing. however, a few years ago the big kids decided they wanted to pretend santa is real so they could put cookies out. we were fine with that. as long as they know the truth i don't see any harm in pretend. last year they pointed out that the cookies were really for daddy and the carrots for mommy, lol. i'm also somewhat particular about not making Christmas about receiving gifts. for that reason, i don't allow a list made of what they want. while i don't inherently think there's anything wrong with it, i don't want the focus to be detailing all of the things you want. it's really not what it's about. so we don't do it. i know what they want without them making a list anyway. at our house, each child gets four presents on Christmas morning and one to open the night before Christmas eve (which is always a book). this helps me stay on task and keep it manageable. that's still 20 gifts, not including stockings! i will admit i go a bit overboard on the stockings. i love little gifts. each child gets a new toothbrush, a box of bandaids, duct tape and other misc items in their stocking. last year i couldn't fit it all in!

the night before Christmas eve, we let them open one present. this year we are starting a new tradition on that night of roasting marshmallows over the fireplace and watching a movie! i think they will be really excited about that. they like anything that involves smores... they get that from their mother!

on Christmas eve, we all take a long nap and clean up the house. that evening we celebrate Christmas with my side of the family. i love being in my parents house with all of my siblings. now that my brothers are growing up and off at college and whatnot, it's not often we're all together. it's always fun and there is something about it that makes me feel young :) we eat lots of unhealthy food and open gifts and have a time of worship led by my brother, Tony. we come home and tuck in the little people after they've set out the santa snack. we wait until they're sound asleep and put out the gifts. we don't have any under our tree until then. i think it adds to the excitement to wake up to that. plus i don't have to worry about peeking!

on Christmas morning, the kids wake us up as early as they can get away with. the rule is no earlier than 7! theMr and i get our coffee first while the kids vibrate with excitement. they open their stockings first and then take turns on the others. i give each child a tupperware storage bin to put their presents in as they open them so we don't have to separate after. with five kids it helps keep the chaos to a minimum. afterwards. they take their toys upstairs and play while we relax for a moment. we head to theMr's parents late morning and spend the rest of the day with them. we now have seven grandkids on that side so it's lots of fun. we eat and laugh and open presents and eat some more. by that evening, we are worn out! every year we hope that the kids are going to sleep in the next day but they never do!

what kinds of traditions does your family observe?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

school Christmas program...

Smile and act like you love each other

if you ever want to go home we have to get one good picture

i'll take what i can get!

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

top ten ways you know you are done having children.

as you know, theMr and i made the decision this year to be finished having children. a lot of thought and prayer went into this choice, only a tiny bit of vodka (just kidding!). we made it official, uh, surgical, this past april. leading up to that point there was always a tiny fear that after all was said and done, i'd regret the decision. that i'd hold a new baby and mourn that i couldn't do it again. well guess what.... not at all! as time goes on, i find myself more and more relieved that i'm finished with that phase of my life. here are just a few ways to know if that's true for yourself...

10. any time you feel even remotely nauseous, you find yourself praying you are coming down with the flu!

9. you purchase bunk beds... for the master bedroom.

8. when holding friends' new babies, you are secretly thinking how glad you are that you can go home and get a full night's sleep!

7. you take great pleasure in getting rid of each piece of baby paraphernalia as your youngest outgrows them.

6. you are mentally calculating how many more episodes of fresh beat band you will have to watch.

5. you find yourself afraid to get to your pre-baby weight because that's when you always end up pregnant.

4. when talking to your doctor about any health issue at all, you suggest a hysterectomy. sore throat... dry skin... allergies... let's remove my uterus!

3. you now find new enjoyment in activities purely based on the fact that you can do them without lugging a baby! tonight i will attend my first ever school christmas program without a nursing baby! you'd think i'm going to a broadway play. i don't even have to take cheerios!

2. you're already looking forward to empty nest syndrome.

1. you begin to appreciate the perks of this new season in your family. planning outings without concern for naptimes, feedings and diaper changes. not needing a highchair. the joys of relationship with older kids. FREEDOM!

no regrets, folks. no regrets :)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

love and other things...

when you're a teenager, you think you know love. you have fantasies of your wedding dress, your honeymoon, taking home your first baby. but as you grow older, you begin to realize that the big moments are such a small part of life. that life is in the details. that love is in the little things even more than the grand gestures. and the longer you are married, the more those little things matter.
love is giving your spouse the last bite of your drumstick cone, the one with the chocolate at the bottom.
love is meeting you at the gate instead pulling up at the baggage claim.
love is rubbing an achy back when you'd rather be watching tv.
love is getting up with the kids even though it's not your turn.

while days like the proposal or the wedding or the first baby are incredible moments, they are only threads in the tapestry of your life. it is the everyday that determines what your life turns in to. when the excitement fades along with the natural color of your hair, all of those minute details become the things we hold most dear. sometimes, it's only after standing on the brink of losing that love, that we realize how precious it truly is. how much we would sacrifice and give and bend and fight to hang on to it. we realize that at the end of the day, we are fallible and human, just like the ones we love. and true love isn't just roses on valentine's day. it's saying i'm sorry even when we think we're right and buying the kind of coffee he likes instead of yours. it's recognizing all of the blesses instead of focusing on the irritations. it's never thinking there are other fish in the sea. it's holding tight to the vows spoken for better or worse, through sickness and health, for richer or poorer, for as long as you both shall live.