Sunday, November 29, 2009

10 Years of Joy

I remember finding out that I was pregnant again. I'd just miscarried weeks before. I was thrilled and yet fearful. The midwife had told us we should wait a while to try again. Let my body recover. But the "Rythym Method" for me was.. not very effective. My rythym was to be pregnant.

We calculated the due date and found out our baby was due December 25th! What a present! I loved being pregnant. I loved watching my belly grow. I loved the first flutters of movement and that gradually changed to looking like I'd been taken over by an alien. It was amazing. I felt like an alien. It was so foriegn to all of life before. Of course there were things I disliked as well, but looking back.. I'd do it all again.

We stayed at my parents house for Christmas. I don't exactly remember why.. but we stayed a couple of days early as well. We went to bed on the 23rd not expecting what was about to happen. About 2 hours after falling asleep I woke up feeling as if there was something "down there". This freaked me out! In our birthing classes they had warned us that sometimes the cord can begin coming out first.. and then you HAVE to call 911 right away and get on all fours with your rump raised up so that circulation wasn't cut off to the baby's air supply. I frantically woke Bruce and told him he had to look. (the things poor husbands have to find out about their wife because of pregnancy and labor)

When I moved my leg for him to look there was a gush of water. My water had broke! A day before I was due! He asked me what he should do and I said, "I want my mom!". So after taking me to the bathroom he gladly went and woke her. She suggested calling the midwife who said since I wasn't contracting much I should shower, relax and make my way to the hospital which was about 30min away. I was so nervous. I was HAVING a BABY!

Before leaving we opened our Christmas present from my parents early.. it was a camera! They'd got it for us so we could capture the beauty of this miracle. I'm so thankful for photographs. My brain doesn't keep all of life very clearly remembered.

SO, we made it to the hospital about 1:30 or so. I was admitted and told I should get some sleep. After about 4 or 5 hours I was beginning to really feel the contractions. We tried out all sorts of postions to keep me comfortable. Rocking chair. Standing with my arms around his neck. Squatting in front of the couch on towels. But the best was the tub. NOT with the airplane jets on.. just the warm water that alleviated pressure. I remember laying in there breathing through contractions hearing myself making noises that were.. not very ladylike. But completely that of a woman. I am not much into women impowerment.. but I LOVED the feeling of knowing what my body was doing and doing whatever it took to calmly allow that to happen. Later I found out my sister's could hear me in the waiting room. I never screamed mind you... but I sure breathed LOUD!

About 4 or 5 hours into full labor I felt it was time to push. That was the hardest part of this labor. She wasn't nearly as far down as my others were when I began pushing with them. And I remember pushing and feeling her moving and then when I'd quit.. "Schwoop!" she'd go back in. I don't know if someone said this or it was a thought of mine. But it was as if I had to coax her into coming out. Out of what she'd known as her world. Out of that perfect place where she had been formed and grown. Out of that place where I know she dwelt with the Spirit of God. Into a world where she would now have to CHOOSE to do so.

Finally after about an hour, she came out. Beautiful. Amazing. So completely perfect. Our Naomi Noel. All 7lbs 12oz's of her. Although I'd carried her within me for 9mo.. it felt as though after just 6hrs... I was a mother. Mother. What a priveledged title.

As she's grown and we've gone through all of the emotions that parenting bring.. there hasn't been a second where it felt "not worth it". She has always been a joy. Always been a gift. Even when I discovered how much like me she is. Even when we've sat up worried over illness or broken leg, or cut finger, or broken NOSE! She is our treasure. (one of them!)

Now she is turning into a young lady. She is full of energy. Full of life. Full of confidence that I never felt growing up. I remember my mom uused to say that she hoped we'd go further than she does in her life. That by her overcoming things in her life she'd given us a chance to start ahead of where she did. I get that now. And I get to see the fruits of our parents faithfulness mixed with ours provide her with the opportunity and ability to become a strong woman of God.

She won't be 10 for almost another month. But because of her upcoming surgery to fix damage done by a broken nose last spring.. we are throwing her a party early. Last year because of family crisis we had to move her party, as well as Jesse's, to January. This year because of family crisis we are having her party a day early. But the thing is.. she hasn't complained. She hasn't put herself above the needs of the family. This makes us want to be sure to celebrate with her extra hard! ;) So next Friday she is going to take some girlfriends ice skating and have them over for pizza. Then as her Grandparents and Aunts and Uncles are able they are going to celebrate with her.. date her. I love that we have family that wants to be involved in our children's lives. That they love our children enough to value these times with us when they WANT to celebrate with us.

Thank you Jesus for knowing what we needed in an oldest daughter. Thank you for making her resilliant to our shortcomings and pliable to our guiding. Thank you for this amazing gift you've given us in parenting. Help us to always do it to the fullest, with all that you've put within us to do it right. Thank you for making them all so unique and individual. May we always see them as that, training them each in the way THEY should go so that when they are old they won't part from it.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A time for Sorrow and a time for Joy

As I wrote a couple of posts ago, my husband and I chose the 21st of November as our wedding date. He asked if he could marry me after waiting through 2yrs of desiring to do so. Both of being sure of what we wanted and seeing no reason to have a long engagement, decided 3mo was what it would take to pull of a wedding gala. That left us at the 21st of November.

Now, since then, when it comes time to celebrate Thanksgiving. We are desiring to go spend time together to relish in the wonderful gift marriage has been to us. But we always have to be sure to leave time for preparations of food and whatnot. I always wonder to myself, "What were we thinking getting married so close to a holiday?".

Then, I also mentioned in a previous post that we were blessed to have our first daughter born 13mo after we were married. She was born on Christmas Eve to be exact. Now, she came naturally, I was not induced in any.. medical way. Then our third blessing came on December 30th! So we have two "Christmas" babies. Again, while trying to juggle Christmas get togethers and shopping with Birthday celebrations, I wonder, "What were we thinking?"

Last Christmas Eve my Dear Mother-in-law passed away from Lymphoma that spread to her brain. It was a shock to all of us as the Dr's had been saying she was making progress and would soon be done with treatments and back to her normal self. Then about a week before Christmas she was forgetting names of people who were dear to her. When she was taken to the Dr. to find out what was going on, they gave us news we didn't expect. They said, "You know this is terminal right?". I still get a little angry when I think about it. We weren't the Dr's all we knew was what they had been telling us, and that had been that she would recover. Less than a week later she passed away,, on our oldest daughters birthday, Christmas Eve. I had stayed up late the night before she passed begging God,, please take her tonight, don't let it be on Naomi's birthday. When I got the call about 6:30am I wondered, "God, what are you thinking?"

Now, less than a year later we are getting ready to celebrate our first Thanksgiving without our beloved Maga Becky. If I'm not careful, I get lost in grief over the lack of her presence. Of course I KNOW that she is better off. Of course I can picture her worshipping our Saviour in complete freedom, in absolute beauty. But it still hurts. I grieve for my loss. I grieve for my husbands loss. I grieve for my children and her children and my family and her family and all of her friends and those who by merely being aquainted with her, were touched by the life she lived for Jesus.

My husband is on his way to California. His grandparents traveled down there last week to go see one of their grand daughters get married.  On Saturday Grandpa was having a hard time breathing and chest pains.  His children that they were staying with are volunteer firefighters and suggested he go to the hospital.  Upon arriving he suffered a heart attack which caused his heart and breathing to stop.  In trying to resucitate him the ER personell broke his ribs which punctured some organs causing internal bleeding that they didn't find until this morning.  Monday they put a pace maker in.  Today they stopped the internal bleeding.  The thing is he is a dyalasis patient who has now missed 2 treatments.  His kidneys are shutting down.  So, my Bruce, his Dad and brother are going to be with Grandma and say good-bye to our loving Papa Norman. 

Before he left today we got a phone call that my Great Grandma suffered a stroke and has been unable to take food at the Group Home she's been in for the past 2yrs.  They don't expect that she will make it much longer either. 

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and me and our children are preparing to drive to Seattle to spend the day with my Mother-in-law's sister's family as well as my Sister-in-law and her husband.  With a heavy heart I am asking, "Why God?"

I feel like he showed me a connection between my two whys.  I thought that our getting married so close to Thanksgiving and having children so close to Christmas was just poor planning on our part.  But I am seeing that God knew we would suffer heartache around these time that are supposed to be filled with joy and Thanksgiving.  I feel that He is showing me that He orchestrated all of these events to fill our joy cup to overflowing so that it would mix with our sorrow cup.. bringing joy into our time of sorrow and easing the pain that these losses bring into our life. 

I am thankful today for the CONSTANT hand of God in my life.  Wether I am able to see it or not.  May I always remeber His promise to never leave me nor forsake me, and that all things work together for my good.  May I always give Him glory for it.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Catchin' the Horse!

I woke up this morning with a scratchy throat. In all honesty I've been waking up like this for about.. I don't know how long. But today I had a runny nose too. As the day wore on my voice began to fade. Finally this afternoon I vacillated from having no voice to sounding more like a man than I usually do.
When I picked up the kids from school they all immediately noticed my lack of usual sound. I told them, "I don't know what the deal is, my throat hurt and now my voice is hoarse."

As we continued our drive Naomi asked me, "Do you think I'm gonna catch the horse?". I had to ask her what she meant 'cause I'd forgot my earlier comment. But when I realized she was asking if she was also going to loose her voice I had to keep myself from laughing and just say.. "I hope not!".

It's so funny how they hear what you say so differently from what you mean!

Just a little FYI!

So, just a short note to let all you women know that if you walk into a public restroom and see small children crawl out from under a stall door and run to a woman at the sink.. assume there is ANOTHER woman in the stall still!! 

Today I walked into the bathroom at our local Winco to this exact situation.  Except I hadn't been warned to assume there was a 2nd woman in the bathroom!  I walked over to the stall, the handicapped one which any woman with children will agree is the Hilton of bathroom stalls, noticed that the lock was broken and could easily be unlocked from the outside, proceeded to unlock it, and got the shock of my life.  There WAS a 2nd woman in there!  She screamed, "Ex-cuuse ME!", and I hurried and hid myself and child in other stalls IMMEDIATLY.  Ok, well first I rambled something about having seen the small ones crawl out from under the door (which btw I would NEVER allow my children to do, GROSS!). 

I don't think I've been that embarassed in a long time. The worst part for me, as an oldest child, was that I KNEW it was MY fault! She had every right to be upset with me. Only, I didn't give her the chance to express it. I took my time in my own safe little stall... until I noticed my 5yr old had come out of her stall.  So I rushed to get out thinking how they were now thinking I was a bad mom for not supervising my child while she is in a bathroom with strangers.  By the time I'd got myself together and come out, they had left.  But my poor innocent little 5yr old Annah was tearing up at the sink where she was dutifully washing her hands.  She looked at me in the mirror and said, "Mom that one lady was looking at me mean!".  Boy, could it get any worse?  I walked all through Winco feeling afraid of turning a corner and running into the woman, who I never saw by the way!  But I had seen "her" children and the other woman in the bathroom with them.

So.. if you desire to preserve yourself from such embarassment.. no matter WHAT you think the status of occupation may be for any given stall, like you would teach your children, Knock First!

Friday, November 20, 2009

November 21st 1998

Eleven years ago tomorrow I married my best friend.  It was the best decision I could have ever made.

Two months after we were married we found out we were expecting.  About three weeks later we went through the first difficult time in our marriage when I miscarried.  We both can't wait to meet our special baby who God saw fit to keep close to Himself.  Then, thirteen months after we were married we had our first child, Naomi.  Seventeen months later Ethan arrived.  Nineteen months later Jesse.  Then twenty-one months later Annah.  So, by the time we celebrated our 6th anniversary we had 4 children!  I had been pregnant or nursing from 2 months into our marriage.  Let's just say I wasn't the most emotionally stable woman on the planet. 

I thank God for sustaining our marriage through those first years.  We were both young, had a lot on our plates and came out on top!  With a life full of blessings!!  The first and most obvious is the 4 beatiful children God entrusted to our care.  We are so enjoying the gift of living life with these amazing little creatures, watching them grow into full brained adults and having the responsibilty of training them so that they use that brain is... hard work. :)  But a job we are both fully committed to and enjoy!

 Another is my husband's advancement in his line of work.  When Naomi was 8 months old we moved in with my parents.  My husband, Bruce, quit his job with Les Schwab where he'd been training for management and began attending college full time to become an Electrical Engineer.  Nine months later he got on with Bonneville Power Administration (BPA)in a student program.  He worked as a Technician for 7 years until he had enough experience to take his Engineering Licensing tests.  He passed!  So he is now an Engineer with BPA.  There are others working for the company for 30 years who still have not been able to advance like this.  I see it as another of God's blessings and continuation of His hand in our lives.

There have been many rocks in the road, as there are with all marriages, and I thank God that unlike alot of marriages.. we have been able to stick it through.  We both know this is due to His provision of all we need for any circumstance.  We have seen that going through rough times together truly leads to deeper, purer love.  When we were first married my wonderful guy came to me and let me know that he had figured out how we could elude problems in our marriage.  If we both wanted for the other person what was best for them more than our own personal desires,, we would never have problems!  Needless to say we've not always done too well at that.  ;)  But, I can say that as we stick to it we are able to achieve that more and more often. 

I can't wait to see what the next years have for us.  I feel that we have made so much progress in "life".  Looking at where we've come from and how God has brought us through together and "ahead of the game" in so many respects.. I truly believe that, "We can be a winner at the game of life!"

Thank you my love for your friendship.  Thank you for your love.  Thank you for accepting me for who I am and loving me not in spite of it.. but because of it.  You are and always will be my Babest Guy.

Annah's Bath

My five year old Annah is taking a bath right now. As I was helping her get her barrettes out and put in bubbles, I noticed a daddy long leg floating in the water. I was trying to get it, but she kept moving and causing the spider to float away. Finally, without thinking of the consequences, I said, "Here, watch out, there is a spider in your water." Ya, not so smart. She jumped up screaming and came flying at me out of the tub. Next time I'll have to remember to simply say, "Excuse me Annah". Good gracious.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

It All Began In A Storm

Or so I've heard. I don't remember.

Whatever that story is.. I'm only going to talk about the end. Kinda. When my mom was pregnant with me, ya so not really just the end, she was told I was a boy. Crazy huh. Here comes the end.... I wasn't! Then, they called me Summer.

I do remember as I was growing up seeing a plauqe on the wall. Actuallly, one for each of the six of us. Each of them had the name of one of us kids, the meaning and a verse from the Bible that went along with that meaning. The one that I remember, minus the verse, is mine!

"Summer- A time of growth"

Now, as a child this didn't mean much to me. I thought maybe I'd be tall. However, as I've grown into adulthood, the meaning of my name has become symbolistic of my life. I feel like there is something inherent within me that thrives on moving forward. Not remaining in any situation that causes the feeling of "being in a rut". I don't think this is unique to me. It is more my viewing it as purposeful "to" me by God that gives it symbolism.

So, this is the most recent example of God growing, or in some ways pushing, me. A blog. I've wanted to start one FOREVER! Or at least since I knew they existed about 4 years ago. I love the idea of sending random thoughts out into cyber space for my friends, family and COMPLETE strangers to see. I love reading the blogs of other women of my age group and/or time of life. (if I don't know the woman.. I think a more accurate term is "spying".. I like spying)
But my sister beat me to it. Then my dad. So. In my heart, I resigned myself to spying. However, recently my mother randomly said to me, "You should start a blog". Then she listed all of the reasons she believed I would be "good" at blogging. Most of her reasons were my reasons. So.. here we are.

I am a bit fearful that the "look" of my blog won't add up to my sisters. Or that I'll post once and then forget how to post again. But I'm jumping into this knowing that it is good for me and that my husband will appreciate me thinking things through, in a productive way, before sharing them with him.

Thank you for walking with me as I am "growed" in this new and to me.. exciting way.

(fyi. I am told by my sister that I use .... or ,,,,, way too much. And I know that I use !!! WAY too much. As well as ALL CAPS. I feel that while it may be incorrect grammatically, it expresses language in a way that shows some of me in it. It is my accent in type. So, while I refrained from using any of those.. oh, or emoticons.. during my first post, future posts are sure to arouse feelings of frustration to all of you grammar... snobs. And for that I say,, it's your fault for being snobby!) :)