Friday, April 30, 2010

some things never change

I love journals. I have probably six or seven around the house at different spots. Some are filled, others halfway, and some barely started. I have a love/hate relationship with journaling. I love the idea of it, and may do well for a week, but then life gets busy and I don't take the time to write out my thoughts. I have friends who keep a journal throughout each pregnancy, and I thought that sounded like such a great idea, but I never followed through. Same with scrapbooking. All I can say, is Larissa's is half done, Alaina's I at least have a book, and poor Charlotte has nothing! And I only told myself I would scrapbook the first year!!!  I have other friends who journal on their computer. I know I should really look into this idea, because my thoughts come out so fast at times, that I can't write it down fast enough. But then I get hung up on the idea that computer journaling seems so impersonal. And I have this romantic, sentimental notion, that perhaps someday my children will come upon my journals after I am gone, and how much more meaningful would it be if it was actually written in my own hand?
But I had a read on another friend's blog how she keeps a journal by her bedside and every night she goes to bed, she writes down everything she has done that day, something her own mother did. And I was thinking that 's a great idea. It would be fun to look back and see what I do get accomplished in a day. I know somedays it feels like a big fat zero. So this morning, I found a small journal that I had gotten at a ladies retreat last year, or was it two years ago? Anyway, I opened it up and found a prayer that I had written at this retreat, and so of course I read it. And it's amazing how a year later, it all still applies. The cry of my heart has not changed.  So I thought I would share it here:
              Pour down. Rain down, O Holy Spirit. Take me as Yours alone. Broken, imperfect, but love and treasured by You. Mend my brokeness, smooth the rough edges, and raise up in me the person You've called me to be. Let me feel the fire again, the burning in my soul. Let me not be the same again. Let your glory light shine upon my face. Be the lifter of my head. Break my heart and make it like Yours. Enlarge my ability and capacity for love, to love and be loved. I pray to believe You for all things. I'm tired of running, of trying to keep up the facade. Transparency is what I seek. Make me Yours, I want to jump in head first. Fill me to overflowing. Let me see the world the way You do.
   I love finding stuff like this. It takes me right back to that moment. I can picture myself sitting at that table, writing this entry. I also found this quote that I had written down, "You are not obeying God's Word when you let your kids disobey you." Wow, that's tough, isn't it?  Kind of along the same lines as delayed obedience is still disobedience. I know I have trouble with that one.
So, yet again, I am going to make a sincere attempt at journaling. At least writing down what I do each day. We'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

She's turning six!

Our firstborn is turning six today. Not until 8:20 this evening, if you want to be exact. I can't believe it was six years ago today that I became a mommy for the first time. And life hasn't slowed down or been the same ever since!
Larissa is pretty much a typical firstborn. She likes to be the boss, she has her own ideas, can be quite headstrong, yet she likes being helpful. Definitely girly. Pink and purple are her favorite colors, and she can still be found running around the house with a tiara on her head. She's not real crazy about animals, any kind, really. Except for her own dog, Doc. She was the one Nate and I cut our parenting teeth on. And still are. It's amazing how different three little girls can be, coming from the same two parents.
Larissa is very sensitive to how others are feeling. She notices when someone is sad, or out of sorts. She is very affectionate and likes to give hugs and sit close to you. Larissa is very quick to suggest praying if someone is sick or sad. It's a good reminder for us adults, who typically try to immediately "fix" things. Sometimes...most times, we'd probably be further ahead praying about it. It's been fun watching her grow up and mature. One thing I have to get used to is the fact that the girl never forgets. Anything. Seriously. Drives me crazy. Nate and I have to resort to spelling things sometimes, and I know that all too soon, that won't work anymore either!
One amazing quality about this child, is her love to travel. She can sit and ride in a truck forever! And you rarely hear the girl complain, unless she needs to use the bathroom, or is hungry.  Which is awesome, considering we live 36 hours from my family, and make a trip back there at least once a year.
To our birthday girl, we just want to say how much we love you and feel blessed that God saw fit to give us you. I know at times we can butt heads, with both me and you being the oldest in our respective families, but your heart for people and desire to see them happy, your sensitivity to spiritual things is truly inspiring. We hope you have a very special and happy 6th birthday!!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Three years

Our baby is three years old today! It seems hard to believe that the time has gone that quickly. And what a bundle of personality graced this world on that Easter Sunday three years ago. We definitely didn't know what we would be getting, although we knew she would be special. Each one is. We call Charlotte the "ham" of our family, and there is no doubt that it is true. When we have friends or family over, she can quickly steal the spotlight, by her loud laughter and teasing, sassy ways. When I first had her, I didn't know how on earth I was going to raise three little girls, less then three years apart. And I had two in diapers. But God has blessed us tremendously with two older little girls who were excited for a sister, and Charlotte was a pretty easygoing baby. So here we are now, she's three, finally getting the potty training deal, and I may only have ONE child in diapers when the baby is born. That is something that hasn't happened since I had our first baby.
So, today, in celebration of Charlotte's birthday, I just wanted to write how much we love this little girl of ours. We love the way her brown eyes light up and sparkle when she laughs. She has "almost dimples" and has the best belly laugh in the world when her daddy tickles her just right. There is no pretense with Charlotte, what you see is what you get. She will just come up to me during the day and say, "I like you, mommy." And even though she hasn't met her new baby brother yet, she will sit beside me and just lean over and kiss my tummy, telling me she wants to kiss the baby. One night, she was playing with a little tractor and she sat beside me and held the tractor in front of my belly and told me that she wants the baby to play with the tractor! Where does she come up with this stuff?
I love how she so desperately tries to keep up with her older sisters. And I feel sad for her at times when I see them leaving her behind. Her heart is just broken everytime. Of course, that is getting less and less, but her little legs can't quite keep up all the time. I love how she insists on praying at every meal, and if her Daddy lets someone else have a turn, she shoots him the look of death and sticks out that lower lip so far! Pouting is something this girl is excellent at!
Oh, Charlotte, life is definitely so much fun when you are around! We love you so much....Happy Birthday!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter 2010

Here is a little of our Easter 2010.
Our girls by the peach tree, Palm Sunday

I just had to include this one. As you can see, Charlotte looks anything but pleased. She did this to me Palm Sunday, and Easter Sunday. I guess there has to be one in every crowd.

Alaina, me, Larissa, and Charlotte. I don't get too many pictures of me and the girls because I am usually the one operating the camera. Nate gave me a hand this morning.

Daddy and his girls. My poor man was raised in a family with three older sisters, and now he has three little girls. He is learning to embrace and deal with the need for twirl skirts and lots of pink in the house!

Larissa likes to take pictures, so we obliged her this morning. Besides, it's rare I get a picture with my girls, it's even more rare to get one with my husband! Here's to over 7 years together!

I just love this picture. See, they really do love each other most of the time. I guess I should frame and hang this one in their room, so they can be reminded of that when they are fighting with each other!

Here is my brown-eyed girl yet again, a.k.a. the "party pooper". What is up with this face? All I can say is, it must be tough being almost three!

 The Zuck and Paris cousins after hunting for eggs
down at Grandma Zuck's house.

Praise the Lord, there is a smile in there somewhere!

Uh oh, she's back! This is Easter morning.

Nate and I, Easter morning.

Well, this was our Easter in a nutshell. We had lots of fun painting eggs Friday night, and  then hunting them at Grandma's on Saturday. We also celebrated Charlotte's birthday early since the family was together. She turns three this coming week! I can hardly believe how fast the time has gone. I thought I would leave you with one more picture......
He is risen! He is risen indeed!
I think that's a good reason to be joyful, don't you?

Friday, April 2, 2010

A Night Off

The other day,  my mother-in-law offered to take the kids after lunch and keep them until after lunch the next day! I would have a whole 24 hours with no kids. And I gotta confess, that was a really hard day for me. I went to the grocery store after I dropped them off, and it felt so weird to not hurry back to get them. I could take as long as I wanted. And then I got home and put everything away, made myself some dinner, watched some television, waiting for Nate to come home. I thought I would revel in a quiet house, but I absolutely hated it! All those days where I just wished to myself...if only I could have a day to myself....and here I had one and I didn't know how to handle it. Nate came in and we were talking and I was just like, what in the world did we do before we had kids? We didn't wait very long to start our family after we were married, so it kind of feels like they have always been here. He laughed and said that this is how it will be once they are all grown up, married, or at least moved out of the house. And as I think on those words, it actually makes me sad! What will I do with all my free time? Now, I realize that this is many years away, but the first six years of parenthood have gone extremely fast, and I am pretty sure the next several years will go just as quickly. I realized that as a couple, it is so easy to forget how to talk to each other and spend time together without the kids. And as an individual, being a mother is not who I am, it's part of who I am, but it doesn't make all of me. I have come to realize that I thrive off of being needed, and when that is taken away, I feel useless and lost.
Wednesday, I then had the opportunity to sleep in. Something I have been wanting to do ever since becoming pregnant. Mornings are very hard for me to get out of bed. But do you think I could sleep in? NOOOOOO!!!! I woke up at 6:00 and just dozed in and out for an hour before becoming totally disgusted with myself and rolling out of bed. I did get the hall bathroom painted before lunch, and that is something that probably wouldn't have happened if the kids had been home, but at lunch the house just felt so empty without the kids here, talking and making noise.
It's funny how we think if we could just get this one thing, and once we get it, we realize that it really wasn't that great. I do have to admit that I am not used to getting big blocks of time like that off, and if it happened more often, I would probably be able to relax or find things to do. It would have been nice to go out for dinner, but where we live, to go some place you have to drive an hour to get there, and if your man doesn't come in until after six, that makes a pretty late dinner!
I do not mean to sound ungrateful. I am so GRATEFUL!!!! I hate to ask anyone to watch my kids, not because I think they are terrible kids, they aren't, but I hate the thought of inconveniencing anyone. So I feel like through this experience, God has shown me that I need to continue to work on my relationship with Nate, and how we relate to each other without the kids. Because one day, that will happen, if the Lord tarries.  And also, just being comfortable with silence, with being alone. Just me and God.
I feel like this one day has brought a lot of new thoughts in to my brain. And I feel like this post I just wrote is not organized and totally will not make sense, but I just felt like writing it out. So good luck navigating through it!