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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Anticipation

I am sitting here at my desk trying not to obsess on when.

What does that mean, you might ask? Well, let me give you a couple hints...

-I am almost 37 weeks pregnant.
-My first child was born the first day of week 36.

We have done much better this time around with getting ready before the baby is here. Our son was four weeks early and we were not prepared for him to be here that quickly. So, this time around, I set a soft "deadline" of 36 weeks to get things taken care of, just in case. Maybe that is one of the reasons why it feels like things are dragging more this time around.

I know another reason I am sitting here in such eager anticipation of "the big day" is that I wanted for so very long to have another child. For reasons I may never know this side of heaven, God chose to not let us conceive this precious little one in the time I thought it would happen. He made me wait a long time for this pregnancy. In fact, I was seriously starting to doubt that I would ever have another child and that was devastating. (I will likely write more on my struggle with infertility at a later time)

Praise God for miracles!! I truly absolutely believe with all of my heart and soul that this pregnancy is a miracle. Now, I will confess that at times (especially in the first trimester when I was beyond sick) I have wondered what I was thinking wanting this again, but I have never looked back and I am so excited to see all that God has in store for this precious girl.

We finally got around to registering at the hospital last night. They gave us a tour of the labor and delivery wing as well as the post-delivery wing. As we were walking around being told where things were and what the process was going to be when we come in, it really hit me that this is going to be happening soon!

We're going to be having a baby soon. I can hardly believe it. To be so close to the very thing you have prayed for for years. Yes, YEARS. I am sitting here a bit stunned and definitely overwhelmed by the grace of our loving Father. He heard my heart's cry and chose in His infinite love to grant my request!! Praise Him!!!

I am very excited for my little Nathan becoming a big brother. I have already been amazed at the brother heart God is growing inside him and she's not even here yet. He is so eager to share things with her and have her here. Just last night we were watching a movie together (family movie night) and he scooted over on the couch and patted the spot next to him and said that was where his sister would sit when she got here. I mean, if that doesn't melt your heart, I don't know what would!

Nathan has been one of the hardest parts for me of struggling with infertility. I have four siblings and I love how close we are and that I had so many playmates/friends growing up. I have seen my son lonely a lot over the years and it has just broken my heart. I cannot wait for him to have a playmate/friend here to play with and love on. It's been so fun to hear him talking about the things they are going to do together once she is here and I truly hope they do every single one of them.

I have to confess there are things I am nervous about (LABOR!!) in this time of anticipation, but I know every single moment will be so worth it when she finally decides to make her debut. I know there will also be the realities of things like sleep deprivation to contend with in the weeks to come, but I am determined to do my best to maintain an attitude of thanks throughout it all.

Anticipation is a good thing, I think. It helps us remember that there are things in this life we have to work and wait for. So, in the time I still need to wait, I plan to do my best not to obsess! Easier said than done, perhaps, but I will give it my best go!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Beauty of God's Creation

As parents, there are so many things that we need to teach our children. One thing that I really want to instill in my children is the beauty of God's creation around us. Luckily for us, we live in a beautiful state where that beauty is all around us!

Nathan and I recently went on a camping trip with some family members and it was so much fun!! I love hiking with my son and letting him experience nature. We also like to go to the zoo to see all of the animals God created. There are so many and it is so much fun to watch him start to engage more with them.

We also like to work in our backyard watering the plants and maintaining the grass. I can already see a propensity to be outside on nice days (of which there are plenty here!!) and I want to do my best to instill that preference in my children.

What other things do you do with your children to get them outside in God's beautiful creation?




Monday, March 14, 2011

Less is Better

We have decided to put our house on the market at the end of this month (March). We have outgrown our current town home and want to get into a larger home while the market is still historically low. I want a yard for a garden and a safe place for Nathan to run around in. Fraser wants an office. So, we are preparing the house for selling.

One of the things we have done in preparation for getting this place ready to sell is that we have taken a lot of extra stuff from various closets/storage areas and have rented a storage unit to get it out of the house. I have also made half a dozen Goodwill runs in the past few months (since we decided we wanted to sell in the spring) and cleared a bunch of stuff out that way, too.

We've lived in this home for almost 7 years, and we have also had a child in that time. So, you can well imagine the amount of "stuff" we have managed to accumulate. WAY to much!!! And, for those who know me, I can be a bit of a neat freak. I like things to be in their place and for order to ensue in my home. Granted, since I became a Mom, I have lost some of that drive for perfection, but I will still readily confess that clutter makes me insane at times. Literally. I get really stressed and have to go on a de-cluttering spree to get everything back where it should be. Once that is able to happen, I can literally feel my stress level decrease. Might seem crazy, but that is just the way I am wired I guess.

So, we have been busting at the seams here for a couple years and it has been driving me crazy!! Kids have a lot of stuff don't they!? They are the smallest members of our families, but they have a lot of things. Mostly toys. I have culled out a lot of Nathan's old clothes/toys over the past year, but there is still some stuff I am not ready to part with, so we have a lot of stuff.

I started pulling stuff out of storage/closets a couple weeks ago in preparation for getting the storage unit and I was shocked at how much there was total. Much more than I thought there would be. Fraser took a day off of work last week and we got a small moving truck from the storage place (how handy was that?!?), loaded it up with our excess and removed it from the premises. Happy Day!!!!!

I was a bit concerned that the little 5x10 space we rented wouldn't hold it all, but it did (except for a couple of Nathan's larger toys, which are now being stored at Granny's). We've even taken a couple more trips out there with more of our stuff and it has been awesome! Especially in the kitchen. To have fewer dishes and cups has meant it is easier to stay on top of dishes (you have to, or nothing to eat on). It's also been nice to have Nathan's toys be confined to his bedroom and a drawer in the basement. The main level is being declared a toy-free zone for while we are trying to sell. Now, that I am LOVING!!! I know, I know, I sound like a horrible Mom, right? Trust me, there are PLENTY of toys still in this house. I have just done a good job hiding/disguising them.

I have been so please with the amount of space we have regained in this place. It has been so calming to me to not just look everywhere and see STUFF. I have to say, taking our photos down will be a bit sad, but I am hoping it will really start to help make this place feel less like our home and more like a house. Get my heart better prepared to leave well.

We still have a few minor things we need to do around the place before it is officially ready to sell, but I can definitely see the end of the tunnel now and I am getting STOKED!!!

This whole process of de-cluttering has made me wonder if I even want all that stuff back form our storage area. Some of it we will keep, but I don't think we really need everything back. For one, what am I supposed to do with three boxes of binder from Seminary? I think I am going to be very careful when I unpack everything and really evaluate how much of it we actually use/need.

Suffice it to say, I have learned a valuable lesson in all of this. Too much stuff is mostly a bad thing. In a case like this, less is better.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

AAA all the way

About a month ago, Fraser and I decided to go down to Colorado Springs for an overnight stay to celebrate out 7th anniversary. It was absolutely perfect...until we were about halfway home.

Our car stopped working on I-25. It completely died. No warning, nothing. Driving fine one second, completely dead the next. So, we had to pull over onto the shoulder to try and figure out what was wrong. We tried to start it...nada. After trying to get it so start a couple times, Fraser turned to me and said, "Well, honey, do you want to call AAA?" Oh yeah. I forgot. I have AAA. "Ok."

I never thought much about AAA before because I never knew anyone who had it. A couple years ago, we were going to drive down to TX to see my family one summer and my Scottish Mummy (Fraser's Mum) insisted on buying AAA for us. So, we let her. And the last couple years I've gone ahead and just done a straight renewal of the membership because I have decided that it is important for me to not get stranded by myself somewhere, especially with a young child in the car with me most of the time.

Until a month ago, the only thing I had ever used AAA for was a flat tire replacement. That alone was super handy as I have very little interest in doing that myself when it is 15 degrees outside.

So, back to the story. I called AAA and explained to them that we were on the side of the highway in a dead car. They got my information and put us in as a priority case (because we were on the side of the interstate). They told us it could be up to an hour and asked us to hang tight inside the vehicle. I was asked where I wanted the car towed and told them my preference was our mechanic's garage, but I wasn't sure how much that would cost. They asked me where it was and I explained that it was a few miles south of downtown Denver. They then told me that my membership was the "Plus" membership and I could get towed up to 100 miles free of charge! So, we told them to tow us to our mechanic.

The tow truck driver was at our car within 15 minutes and we were back on the road very quickly. He told us that the total amount for this tow out-of-pocket would have cost us $300. It cost us $0.

Fast forward a few days... We got a call from the mechanic and found out that the timing belt had snapped and that we needed a new motor because of it. Boo!! Well, they found us a used motor and after 10 days in the shop (bad weather slowed them down) Fraser picked the car up after work on a Monday and drove it home. No problem.

After dinner, we piled back into the car to go get Fraser's car that was left at the mechanic's. I drove. We did not get out of our complex before we noticed things didn't seem right. The clock died. Ok, that's weird. The lights on the dash were low. Huh, that's strange too. Then, a few miles down the road the car shows no rpm's and no speed (even though I was still driving). Incidentally, this is exactly what happened when the car died on the highway 10 days earlier. I told Fraser and he told me to pull of the road onto a side street. I didn't want to because I wasn't ready to admit defeat (that the car was broken again). But, I did. We pulled over, turned the car off, tried to turn it back on and nothing. Are you kidding me?!?! Ten days in the shop and this is the best we can get?? Oy!!

We called the mechanic and told them what happened and they said it could be the battery (something about it being out of the car for a long time and it could have been nearly dead already). So, Fraser called Rick to come and take him to a local shop to get the battery tested. In the meantime, we had called AAA again and I waited in the car (with Nathan) for them to get there.

They were there within 10 minutes and I told the driver what had happened. He asked me to pop the hood and he took a look. Well, wouldn't you know it, but the tow truck driver we had gotten had been a mechanic for 25 years before he began towing! He looked around and immediately found the problem. Our mechanic had forgotten to reattach the cable from the alternator to the battery. They also had not moved the fuel pump clamp back to where it should be. So, I asked the tow truck driver if he could fix it for me. He did!! And when Fraser got back with a new battery, he attached that for us and then canceled our service call (the new battery had "solved the problem"). God's hand was in that driver coming to us, for sure!!!

So, the car has worked like a champ since. And another good thing is that our mechanic is going to repay us for the battery (since it was their fault it died because they didn't attach it to the alternator). Yay!

So, the point of this long narrative is to tell you that I am completely sold on the value and validity of AAA. Especially for mothers who have young kids with them in the car most of the time. I hope you never have to use it, but I have kept it to give me peace of mind in case I am ever stranded in the car alone (or with my kid). It is totally worth that to me and I hope you will consider getting it for yourself (at least while you have younguns in the car!).

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I am married to an amazing man, who is also the love of my life. We have three kids who constantly keep me on my toes! God has richly blessed me and I am grateful for all He does for me.