My Crowning Moment as Mother...

For the last 4 days I've had a nasty head cold. You know the kind where snot drips to your chin with no notice whatsoever? The watery crud that won't blow out unless you sneeze your brains out for a good 10 minutes? Yes, that kind.

Well, I'm getting better, but I still can't smell. Today we needed to get out of the house to run errands. We went to the bank, Wal-Mart and another local business. I was so proud to get all this down without one melt-down! The weather outside is lovely and the kids are being pretty good.

Got home and told them to go play in the yard while I got a few business things done and they happily ran outside. I had one of those nice little sneezing fits and blew my nose. Ahhhh! A glorious moment of being able to smell. But what did I smell?


B.O. and urine. Surely that's not ME?! But oh yes...Corbin had leaked pee on me earlier and by the time I could change my shirt it had dried and I had forgotten, (don't judge me. If you have more than one kid you know what I mean. LOL) I had also forgotten to put on deodorant this morning.

So to any of the merchants who saw a cute, smiling young mom approaching with a gaggle of children and was then met with a odiferous funk--I apologize. You can blame Texas with it's menagerie of allergens. *sigh*



Things have been...strange here. We're settling into things well. I'm not nearly as manic about homeschooling/gardening/housekeeping/being a wife as I thought I would be. In fact, one might argue that I'm doing very well at keeping it all under control considering the insanity in my head. I have one thing to say about that: It's not me--it's all God.

Because in my head, this is reason number 281 I should have been born a boy:

I can build a pretty rockin' fire. And I like fire. I jest, but a lot of times, my head does work more like a man's than a "typical" woman's. You know that joke you hear about men walking past a mess and not seeing it? Yeah...that's me. You know how women get together and complain about their men throwing clothes around and just piling up dishes? Yeah...I'm always embarrassed at those conversations because that's me. I could go on, but you get it. You'll probably argue with me, but don't. I know myself pretty well by this point.

But in God's world...these are reasons #1, 3, 4 & 5 I'm glad He made me a girl. I used to think it was a curse to be a woman, but I'm so grateful that I got to be a part of the miracle that is my marriage and my children.

I can't even sit here and fathom what to type. It's been a LONG, HARD few weeks. Make that a LONG, HARD month and a half. If I wanted to, I could make that a LONG, HARD year. But my God has plans for a future and a hope for me and for my husband and for our children, so I will trust that He has a great purpose for this mess that's been made and I look forward to that future and hope.

Victory becomes evident as we watch our little homestudy group turn into a family of people who uplift and encourage each other to be better than we were before. Victory becomes evident when a nasty fight turns into two people more united and driven toward the same place than ever. Victory becomes evident when a piece of mail comes saying I've been accepted to a program on the same vein as the one Allan completed last month. I'll be starting online classes October 4th and I'll be flying to Syracuse University in New York in early November. Victory especially becomes evident when it is more natural than ever to not yell at any little thing and peaceful, calm solutions come to mind more frequently than sarcastic remarks.

Loving and thinking about you all. Praying you're having a Blessed week.


Weekend Away

On Friday evening, after cleaning the house so well I didn't even want to leave it, (Allan took the kids to see a friend in the Lubbock area, so it was quiet) I took off for Alla's Bed & Breakfast in Duncanville. It's only about 30 minutes away, so it was perfect for some "away" time, but not so far I couldn't come back if I got totally homesick.
When I got there, the innkeeper, (Alla) welcomed me with a HUGE hug and a warm greeting. (to the tune of WELCOME, MY BABY! in a beautiful eastern European accent)She walked me through the house and showed me to my room.
I had the house to myself that night and because it was late when I checked in, I primarily just found a place to eat and read my bible for a while. It was great to be able to sit and read quietly, I don't have much time to do that. In fact, as I type, I have children running around the kitchen hollaring and entertaining themselves/each other.
I had ordered the organic European breakfast. Alla said I could choose when to have it made by, so I asked for 8:30. That way I could "sleep in" (HEY...8am is sleeping in when your baby normally gets you up at 6!) eat and then start my day.
I had seen the pictures on her website, but even they could not prepare me for this feast! Everything was absolutely fantastic and considering I don't even *like* eggs, that's saying something. I had coffee imported from Germany and I didn't even have to add sugar. The crepes were served with homemade organic jams. I had the strawberry and it was TO LIVE FOR! I didn't fully believe her when she said it, but Alla was being completely honest when she said I wouldn't want to eat but a snack until dinnertime. I ate the leftover fruit around 2pm and didn't eat again until 6pm. It was amazingly filling and I felt SO GOOD all day.

Alla and her husband, Rick (who ate breakfast with us and is an amazing man!) knew I wanted to run and suggested the Cedar Ridge Preserve. I was excited to give it a go. The first day I hiked about 5 miles and the second day I did a more treacherous trail and clocked about 3.5 miles. I LOVE to hike. I wish we lived closer, I would go daily.
Can you see what the sign says? Surreal.

I'm sure you can't get the scope of just how steep this is for real, but let me just say that I had to stop a couple times for a breather at different moments on this hike. I had such a blast and God revealed and clarified so many truths to me in the quiet of the cedar trees. I am so in love!

I'm a dork, I know, but I LOVE the way this looks...

Texas is so perdy!
This is amazing to me, but Alla said there is 1 open-air surgical center in Europe and it's in the cedar forest. Apparently it's the cleanest air on earth. God certainly does make amazing things!

By Sunday I was itching to go home and see my babies. I did my studies and decided to head to Cedar Hill to shop a little. The first stop found me a little 50's style dress at Ross that I then spent hours finding accessories for. I called the sitter as soon as I found the perfect red nail polish and lipstick and scheduled a surprise lunch date for Allan and I. I decided that since I put God first all weekend, like I was supposed to, I'd make sure Allan was my second priority and the kids third.
I found a beautiful red bow I intended to wear in my hair, but when I tried it on it looked AWFUL against all the grays. So...I drove around and around looking for one salon that was A) open and B) did color. I finally found one and that was totally a divine appointment. The stylist and I had an amazing conversation while she worked on bringing me back down to my age again. She straightened it for me when she was done and even the next morning it still looked great!

So after I had my third and final amazingly fantastically perfect organic European breakfast lovingly prepared by Alla, I was on my way home looking like this...except looking now, I guess I had forgotten to put on my stockings and pearls.

Allan and I had a wonderful lunch here in town and went to get the babies presents afterward. He was STUNNED, (I have such a great husband) when I pulled into the driveway. All his favorite things...ME, in a dress, in heels, with tights with a seam, with red lipstick and inviting him to lunch just us. I'm so lucky to have such an easily pleased man. LOL

Then we came home to my babies!! Ugh, I swear the best part of leaving is coming back! I didn't even come into the house when I picked Allan up for our date because I knew if I did I would scoop them up and snuggle them and not leave. I'm not sure they would have let me leave again anyway! Except maybe Corbin. He wasn't down with the hair/makeup. I don't think he recognized me.

There's Violet playing with her tea set next to the beautiful roses Allan got me to match my lips and nails :)

Aaaaaand, I had to put "normal" clothes on and put my hair in a ponytail before he would let me hold him. What a funny boy! But once he recognized me again he didn't let me put him down for a LONG time. I don't mind, I love my cuddle bugs.

So...I had a really great time, and I wish I had more time to write about what I learned while I was gone. Rest assured I have pages full in my notebook. I learned 2 things when I came home, though, that I'll leave you with.
1. You can let the separation move you apart from the ones you love, or you can let it move you closer. I pray I always choose to let the time apart move me closer.
2. It doesn't matter how much sleep you "caught up" on or how well rested your weekend was, the first night back home with your kids who wake up 4x will throw you right back to the exhaustion you suffered before you left.
Hope ya'll have had a Blessed week. I love and miss you all :)