Tuesday, February 14, 2012

We Have An Announcement/ Tenemos Un Anuncio!

We welcome October,
We welcome the fall
Full of orange pumpkins,
Red leaves, and football

It's harvest time,
The farmers will sow
All of the seeds
They worked to grow

But wouldn't you know
A special seed got planted
That takes 9 months
For a wish to be granted

A baby is coming
During harvest will arrive
Our family is growing
From four to five!

Invitamos a octubre
Invitamos al otoño
Lleno de calabaza
Hojas rojas y rastrillando

Es el momento de la cosecha
A sembrar la semilla
A beber la sidra y tener un fuego
Cuando el aire se enfria 

Pero ¿sabes qué?
Una semilla se plantó
Que en nueve meses
Va a estar en nuestros manos
Un bebe ya viene
 Va llegar en otoño
Nuestra familia esta creciendo
Desde cuatro a cinco!

We told our families by making seed packets with the poems printed on the backs.

Another little pumpkin is being added to our patch come this fall.
We are so excited and truly blessed to be adding to our family.
Pray with us for a healthy and uneventful pregnancy, for God's provision,
and for the craziness in our house to be orderly!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Ten Years and Two Missing Kids

Ten years ago yesterday, my future husband passed me a note in our high school library. We had been talking for about a month, and our friends were desperately trying to set us up. And come to think about it, he didn't really pass me a note. I was sitting at a table with my friends, he walked up and handed it to me (folded all cute, oragami style of course), said nothing, and walked away.

It was the basic, high school style note from a guy putting out feelers and trying to figure out if you felt similar before he took the plunge and actually "asked you out." Like a test drive, if you will. But on the back was a question with two boxes:
Would you go out with me? Check yes or no.
I, smiling like a fool because he finally pseudo-worked up the courage to ask me, quickly checked the box yes. I walked across the library where he sat with his group of friends and dropped it on the table, and kept on walking. Later on, he said he was surprised that I checked yes because "it was only a joke, and I had a real plan on how I wanted to ask you to be my girlfriend." I say you don't practice purposing to someone, so it was the real deal.

And here we are, ten years later. Seven years of marriage under our belt. Two kids. Four addresses since we got married. Three surgeries (one for me, two for Jose). Weddings. Funerals. Picnics. Pets. Fights. Makeups. Valleys, hills, mountain tops, rocky ground, high roads, and everything in between.

We decided that we deserved a grown up night out by ourselves after all this time. Originally we wanted to go away for a night, but it just wasn't feasible after paying down our big debts, buying a new bed, and the fact that Levi is still not sleeping through the night consistently. I just couldn't do that to my in laws.

Jose worked the night before, so he slept all day. I didn't get to bed until 1am, the kids got up at 6:30am, and I was exhausted, so I took the kids to Jose's parents to keep them for the afternoon so I could rest a little before we went out to dinner. I was to call her later and let her know if we would pick them up or if she should drop them off at our house later. I left there at 2pm, laid down for an hour, and then met a girl I am mentoring for a little while. I called Jose's mom to check in at 5pm on the way home, and got a weird disconnected sound.

Not thinking anything of it, I continued on home and got Jose up. We didn't end up leaving until close to 6pm to drive towards Outback for dinner. I should have known our night was going up in flames. We were told it was going to be an hour and a half wait despite call ahead, so we left there and went toward Stuart to find a restaurant. Nearing 7pm, we decided to call Jose's parents and check in. No answer from Jose's mom. No answer from Jose's dad. Both numbers say they are disconnected. We try 3 different restaurants. Hour wait. Way too under dressed. Extremely expensive.

By now, I have hardly had any sleep, haven't eaten in 7 hours, can't get a hold of anyone watching our kids, and have had 4 restaurant disasters, so I started to fall apart in the parking lot. Jose could feel it, and was thoroughly agitated at his parents, so we left and headed towards their house to check on the kids. We pulled up to an empty house, lights off, no one home. I am ready to panic at this point. It's 7:30pm, I haven't talked to anyone since 2. Disconnected every time we call. Jose starts to drive to our house in case they are there. On the way, I remember that Micah said something about Chuckie Cheese (another blog for another day- one of my most hated places)- so I call there and they are being paged. No one fits their description.

We pull up to our house at 8pm, and no one is there either. We leave a note on the door: "If you get here, go to your house. CHECK YOUR PHONES, PLEASE." We head back to Jose's parents to wait. He says if they aren't there by 9pm, we are calling the police because we have no idea where our kids are, and can't contact any one. The worst starts running through my mind, especially since my in laws speak pretty broken English. What if there was an accident? They have no phone to call an ambulance...Nine o'clock comes and goes. Jose and I are on our knees in his parent's living room, asking for peace for us and protection for our babies...and protection for Jose's parents, that we don't kill them when they get there.

The truck rolls into the driveway at 9:30, nearly 7 1/2 hours since I kissed my little goblins goodbye and left them in hands that I trust. After all the events, Jose and I were mentally and physically exhausted. We were also enraged at Jose's parents. They forgot to pay their bill and got their phones cut off, and because they didn't think to ever call us and check in, they never checked their phones.

It could have ended so much worse. Every situation running through my mind could have been a reality. We rode home with two gorgeous boys sleeping in their seats, one kid sized and one bite sized, worn out from a date with the greedy, gambling, giant rat. We rode almost silently, hands laced and fingers gripped tight, thanking God that our babies were safe. Hunger paled, exhaustion didn't matter, they were safe.

I have no idea what it would have been like had things ended differently to our night, but I know one thing: we would weather it together, best friends, hand picked for each other by a God who has amazing plans for us. Ten years later, and a million hard moments, we were able to take a stress that could have decimated a couple and push right through.

I love you, Jose, and wouldn't change a moment we have had together. The naysayers came and went saying we were too young to get married, and where are they now? Standing in awe at how strong our love is.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Oh, The Little Things

This week has been full of "little things" that have greatly swung our course in one direction or the other.  

"Human felicity is produced not as much by great pieces of good fortune that seldom happen as by little advantages that occur every day." - Benjamin Frankin
Levi and I have started, very gently, to wean. I made it a year of breastfeeding exclusively and have since introduced cows milk. It was a HUGE milestone for us! I can't imagine any better way to have cemented a bond with my child- his name means "Attached; Joined in Harmony" in Hebrew. I couldn't have picked it better. I don't plan on weaning on any kind of time frame- baby led weaning allows for the child to do it at their own pace, when they are comfortable with it. He is nursing between 4-6 times during the day and 1 time at night, which is a huge improvement from before. We introduced cow's milk, and he loves it! We may keep going for another year, he may be done in 2 weeks, I have no idea- but I know I will let him stop when he is ready.

We are inching towards our "down with the debt" resolution. Our goals at the beginning of the year included no credit card debt, no car debt, and knocking down my student loan by 25%. Yesterday, we paid off our car and one credit card. One hefty card, one pretty slim card, and we are done. As a family, though, we are going to be pulling off some pretty "big ticket" things this year: a trip to Spain for a month, possibly a new vehicle (something that can seat 7, our little Santa Fe is just getting too cramped), and a few other things to be mentioned in future posts.

Jose and I got a new bed. This has been SUCH a long time coming. We joked before that we slept in a hammock because it sagged so much. Flipping your mattress every 5 days because your back needs a break is really just TOO much. So we too a little left over tax return money (thanks, Uncle Sam!) and headed to our favorite home goods store, no I say mecca: IKEA. It is our serendipity. We stumbled in with our friends Jess and Tommy on a weekend with friends at their house, and have never been the same.  Anywho, we went with a memory foam core mattress. We can trade it for something else in the next 90 days if we don't like it, and it has a 25 year warranty. I don't think you can go wrong there...

Unless you spend $600 over budget and have to take it all back. Every stinkin' time! It's like grocery shopping when you haven't eaten for 4 days and are drooling over every thing you see. We went for a mattress, and ended up getting a new bed (with the under bed slats that are able to customize how firm it feels, don't you know), a mattress cover, a blanket, a duvet cover set, a sheet set, and "OOOOO! Shiny! Let's get two of those"... "Oh wait, I haven't seen these in forever, I HAVE to have them"..."I hate that we don't have any dishes that match. We are down to 5 plates, and Levi broke another cup today. What do you think of these?"

Originally, we thought we were absolutely fine picking up extras. But when we got home, we discovered that two big checks we thought had cleared were actually floating around in bank space somewhere...so that meant loading every single box back into the Santa Fe - actually inside, because it was raining today- loading the kids in, and driving 2 hours to Orlando to take everything back. The boxes were so large on the bed we bought that I was driving, and could not see anything on the right side of the car. Jose joked that we were on that show "Blind Date" from the 90's because we couldn't see each other. In order for me to change lanes, Jose had to verbally guide me and I had to totally trust him because I had no way to look out a window or a mirror other than the windshield. Awesome, but crazy experience.

This week has been one of new discoveries, tears, worries, wondering how we will do it all, how we will make it, good news, bad news, and everything in between.... But I rest in this: 

"If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don't fuss about what's on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.
If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. "Matthew 6: 25-26, 30-34, The Message

Thursday, February 2, 2012


 I am aching for a different pace.
I see other mothers and, at first thought, am slightly jealous. Manicured lawns, no dishes in the sink. Leather couches with not a mark on them. Soft spoken children, never out of line, and never a toy misplaced. Husband always happy, dinner always organic and made from scratch, hair always perfect.

On second thought, I wonder what they are sedating their children with (hah!). Or what fairy takes away their dishes. Or why their children never jump on the couch. Or their beds. Or my bed. Why do they have everything together? How? And work? And clean? And and and?

Then I look at other ways of life. The style that I ache for: simplification. I long for a yard that doesn't need manicured, because it's full of tall grass, wild flowers, and stretches to meet the prairies and the mountains. I yearn for children that are exhausted at the end of the day because they have been in the garden gathering, in the trees climbing, in the barn exploring. I would love to bake bread every day, spend all day in an apron, and have kids that don't know what TV is. Or why there was a car bomb in another country. Or think that we can only buy Colgate because it "makes our smiles sexy." (Yes, my 5 year old said that.)
Someday, when we are older and more financially able to, I think we will be inching our way out of the surburban life style.

I just can't help but think that as a society, we are missing out on the pleasures of life. To me, those things are primarily to love the Lord and know Him personally...to be best friends with your mate...to raise your darlings up the best way you know how...to enjoy creation...and not let the world whiz by you at light speed.

For now I am stuck being half way crunchy: breastfeeding, cloth diapering, composting for the garden we don't have, and giving our kids a great but non traditional education. I am giving up trying to pretend that I can get it all done. If you come to my house, prepare your self for crayons everywhere, sticky floors, sticky faces, sticky hands, dirty dishes, laundry on the couch, and kids that will melt your heart.

It's just not worth working at breakneck speed to me.