Friday, April 3, 2015

hello again.

I wanted to write a facebook status about my chats with Roman about heaven.  But then i just kept typing and typing.  So i decided i should probably just blog again.  I miss it like crazy.

. . .

We've entered the Heaven chats over here.  Roman is asking ALL THE THINGS about heaven.   And I've never loved being a momma more.  "Momma?  Will heaven be one giant cloud?"..."Momma? Will I get to play with tractors in heaven?"...  What an amazing God we serve, that in the midst of the mundane, the exhaustion, the frustrations, the tantrums, and the mess, He gives us hope.  And it is my privilege to pass on this HOPE to my babies.

This past year has been brutal on our family.  I cannot imagine experiencing this without the hope of glory, without the assurance of a Savior, without the knowledge of HIS love for us.  People will let us down, but HE remains faithful.  I KNOW that in the broken and the mess, HE is unfolding an even more beautiful story.  He will use our hurt and our pain to grow, to stretch and to mold us to be more like Him and to bless others.  There is purpose in the pain.  And it's beautiful.  I used to think being a Christian meant going to church and learning the catechism (hello, fellow hope reformed church friends! ha!)  and just knowing a whole bunch of doctrine and religion stuff.   I had no clue.

BUT... I understand now it's a relationship with Christ.  And ironically, most of the time you don't really grasp what that means until you find yourself smack dab in the middle of a trial.  It's what makes this verse in James completely make sense, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."   Consider trails joy?  YES.  They bring us to our knees, in front of our Heavenly Father, reaching for Him.  and that is the most vulnerable and beautiful place you could be.  It's leaning on Him, when everything else seems to be swirling.  I am thankful for our broken family, as it continues to be a tool in which He draws us near to him.

Friends, in the darkest times, and the loneliest of nights, and even in the purest moments of Joy... what or where or who does your hope come from?

"I have made you, I will carry you, I will sustain you, I will rescue you."  - Isaiah 46:4

I now understand what this song by Hillsong really means.  Total surrender.

"You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior."

Listen Here!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

my sweet roman.

oh roman, my heart swells with love for you.
i know your strengths, your weaknesses, your loves, your passions, your fears...
i know what makes you laugh, what makes you smile...
and, i know what makes you sad, and scared, anxious and afraid.
i know what sets you off, i'm usually three seconds ahead of you trying to assess the environment to make sure you'll be ok.

it's easy for me to jump ahead to the present.
i want to talk all about where you are as a vibrant 3.5 year old.
but, i don't want to skip the tail end of your 2's. 

your august was delightful.
i found out we got into a great preschool, located in a church.
we got to be outside as much as possible, and you thrive in the fresh air.
your love for "your neighbor grils" only continued to grow as you became more comfortable with them, knowing their names, and which ones lived in which house on our street.

but it wasn't all unicorns and rainbows.
i wasn't very sure how to best parent you.
nothing seemed to be working, and i was certain preschool would be the trick.
you loved being at home.  with me.
you loved that archer could watch you play and he wasn't mobile, so he didn't come into your space! 
it was a win win for you both :)
i continued to try play dates, trips to the library, the park, and other adventures when i mustered up the courage to venture out with you and your brother...
but most of the time your brother would scream in his car seat, which made you scream, which made me want to scream.  and run away.
many times we didn't even make it to our destination.
and one time, we even stopped in a random parking lot so i could cry, and feed the baby, and try to calm you down.

some people might look at this part of our story and wonder, why share such a difficult season?
well, little roman, it's our story.  
and so, we'll share it.
we'll share it in hopes to shed light on the glorious thing that is the Father's love.
a love that is so secure, so precious, that it picks us up in the darkest moments, and propels us forward with grace.

my dear sweet boy, a mother's love knows NO limits.
in the most difficult days, is when i loved you the most.
i was exhausted, and weary.  confused and sad.
my expectations of motherhood were being shattered.

but your eyes still shined.
you still lit up with the most giant smile.
we thrive together.
you love to be near me, and your joy fuels my existence.

roman, we had a lovely august.  
we're a beautiful team.

oh sweet archer

oh my dear archer.
not only do i wish i could freeze time, i wish i could rewind.
most of your first year i feel like i've just been trying to survive and get through the day.
i wanted to be more for you.
and then, as quick as i speak so harshly to myself, critiquing myself in the worst way, i'm reminded...
God chose ME to be your momma.
He has orchestrated every tiny detail that has unfolded and still is yet to unfold in our story, a story we share.
and my dear archer, you're a beautiful gift, a ray of sunshine, in my life.

i avoided blogging most of your milestones, because in a way i thought if i didn't blog about them, time would slow down...i always thought i would catch up...and then the next month came.
you're almost 11 months now, but here in these photos, you're a sweet little 5 month old.

you were full of giggles and squeals.  i have some pretty good videos of your laughter.  
and it's the sweetest sound i have ever heard.
you ate around the clock, in fact, you ate more during the night than the day.
that's part of why this year has been so hard.
until you were 10.5 months old, you were still eating at least 3 times a night. 
i felt like most of those months i was walking around in a tired baby haze.

however, i know that God sent your shiny eyes, your big beautiful smile, and your vibrant personality to pick me up and help me to find laughter and joy in a dark season for me.  
you're beautiful, my son.
inside, and out. 
even at 5 months...i am so confident God has began a good work in you, and i'm beyond overwhelmed with excitement to watch, to mold, and to cheer you on as He will be faithful to complete it.

most of your days were spent watching your brother play, you nursed anytime i would let you, and you were attacked by my tickles all day errrrr day, because i couldn't get enough of your laughter.  
it was august when you were 5 months, and we spent most of our days watching your brother bask in the great outdoors.  you love your brother so SO much, and i know a flame was lit inside of you, even as a baby, that drives you to adore him unconditionally.  your connection with him is deeper than words can describe, and i am so grateful to be given the gift of motherhood, so i can watch in awe as your relationship with my sweet roman begins to bloom.

thank you, archer, for your joy.

ready to write.

oh hi!
it's been so long. too too long.
too long since i've let my fingers loose on this keyboard.  and i've missed it.
there's been a gaping hole in my routine, the way i process life, and i attribute it to my absence here.
writing, for me, is my therapy.

not only do i find freedom in releasing my thoughts, my dreams, my joys and my sorrows, i also find that it fulfills my desire for a connection on a deeper level with people.
people fuel me.
being vulnerable and honest, is like fresh air to my lungs.

in this small space online, i feel free to be me.

now hold up.
before you all go, "whoa. who is this insane person and what did she do with sane lindsey?"
let me explain.

i've battled with the desire to write and write and write over this past year, but my desire has been met with the most forceful insecurity on what to share.
i'm an all or nothing kinda girl.
should i just put it all out there?
or should i just keep it in my private circle?

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

how do i boast in my weakness without being real?  
how can His power be made perfect, if i can't accept, embrace, and celebrate my areas of weakness? 

so then, i found myself with a craving to share.
but i couldn't just share my story without making it about my children, and husband, as well.
and there's a part of me that is willing to be REAL about myself, but hold back out of "respect" for my boys and my love.  i mean, who am i to reveal their messy stuff?

well, i've prayed, and stewed, and prayed, and am confident in what has been revealed to me.

I know the Lord will be glorified in my mess, if I use it to point back to Him...His perfectness...His Son who came to rescue....and His grace that so incredibly meets not only me BUT my boys, and husband, right there in our mess.
and. well.  i guess i feel like i'm blowing out my flame if i don't share it.

it's our story.  so i'm ready to share.

Monday, December 9, 2013

christmas 2013

Thursday, August 15, 2013

a good day.

today was good.
it started with the sun pouring in.
actually, since archer wakes up every 1-2 hours, there's hardly an end or beginning to these days of mine.
but when the sun comes up, i declare it the next day :)

we had a slow morning.
archer took a nap longer than 20 minutes (miracle!).
so i took a shower.
and then he wasn't crying by the time i got out (miracle!)
so i had time to blow dry my hair.  totally have no clue the last time this happened.

little arch has been sick for a while, bad cold and ear infection, but today he was on fire!
like a good fire!
squealing machine.
so happy.
oh i love him.
and i guess i love antibiotics? cuz dang they worked quick!

finally, about noon, we were all ready and dressed and groomed.
so we decided to go visit daddy.
i dread car rides with these too.  archer HATES the carseat.
my anxiety about took over somewhere between K-7 and K-10, when both kids were screaming.
but i pushed through and we made it without any major momma breakdowns.

upon arrival, romes had a potty accident right on the lobby of the office, but a quick clean up and pants change plus some nice subway sandwiches made for a mighty fine visit to daddy :)  oh, and roman gets gobs of candy from the secretary, so that always helps too.
roman didn't nap when we got home, but neighbor girl ashley doesnt start school until monday, so she came and played "workin on the house" with him (his dream, to work on the house with the neighbor girls, totally combines both of his loves)

but the nap thing..... instead he passed out on the couch at about 5:15, so when mr leif got home a bit after 6 we woke him up to go see the machines (behind our house....ahhh road construction)

we never did have dinner tonight... i think romes had some yogurt while meandering through the house for dinner, i had gobs of chocolate covered almonds and a bowl of coffee ice cream, and mr leif warmed up some left over lasagna.  archer of course had milk.

mr leif had lots of work to do, so he was off in the dining room on the computer after he gave our little snickers chunky a bath (that's archer).
i got archer to bed around 8:30. (note....archer has since woken up multiple times, ugh, and i've feed him once)
and then, it was just a romes show, he loved it.

he watched john deere for a bit, he could watch that movie forever.  the dvd has begun to wear down.  i know more about those dang machines then i could have ever imagined, purely from second hand listening.

and not long after it began, he got his machines out, and soon the living room rug was covered with back hoes, tractors, dump trucks, trash trucks, and a big red toy van.

he was driving people to get pizza, instructing that they all "sit down if you want pizza!"
and he was crashing his dump truck into archer's baby mat over and over, giggling hysterically.
he was naked, too, of course, because we're potty training over here.

but anyways.
it ended with romes finally going up to bed at 10:20.
he was happy. goofy. and a wild mess.

it was a good night.
and i just want to remember these years, these days, these moments.
i love being a momma. i love being a wife.

these days are challenging. the nights are so long.  but they are so so good.

a date with my roman

this summer has been so graciously sprinkled with lots of family time :)
 a long visit home to nebraska in june, and multiple visitors (mostly including our grandmas!) and even a his second solo trip back to nebraska by romes!

he could tell you all about sutton.  
he could tell you all about the farm, and probably label almost every piece of farm machinery that gpa kurt owns.
he's smitten with our little small town nebraska ways.
walking to get donuts with gma linda, visiting great grandma leona on their way home...
hours and hours at the farm with the cows and "workin' on stuff"...
tinkering around out in the country at gma abbi's...
and meandering through gma linda's backyard.
he's in love with it all.

the downside of this, however, is leaving nebraska, or having to say goodbye to our visitors.
poor little roman just cries and cries... he wants to go with his grandmas when they leave, and after spending 4 days in nebraska without momma - all by himself - he told gma linda that he didn't want to go back to kansas city.  ok, REALLY?  what kid doesnt need their momma? wahhhhh.  
(probably the kid who is spoiled just a TAD when he's back in nebraska)

one morning (see the photo below) roman was particularly sad...full of tears...needing his gma's

since i've been feeling so out of it lately, mr leif and i decided i needed to get out of the house and it was time to take romes to a movie!  he's never been to the movie theater before :)

daddy got roman dressed, and did his hair 
(while i almost had a mini break down in my closet trying to fit into my clothes...ha)


when you get to experience life through your child's eyes, it's so much more beautiful.
they see things with such a raw sense of awe and wonder.  i love his enthusiasm.

i think he would have been satisfied to stay right here, in the "lobby" of the theater.
he kept saying "wow momma, it's like an airport!!"

of course, we got the snack pack, and he is still talking about his pop, popcorn, and skitties (skittles)

we went to despicable me 2.  
we haven't seen despicable me 1, but neither of us knew the difference :)

i just couldn't stop staring at him, so little, sitting in such a big theater seat!
his little body couldn't keep the weight of the seat down, so it kept sandwiching closed on him.  
i had to hold it down for the majority of the time.
but i didn't mind, seeing my little boy next to me in the theater made me all nostalgic for the good old days with my mr leif - - - our high school dating days were full of trips to the movies.
i felt so blessed to be able to sit in the theater with my little guy.
towards the end of our time there, i just grabbed him and plopped him on my lap, he snuggled right in!

about 45 minutes in, roman looked up at me and said "i'm ready to go now momma!"
"ok romes!" i said...
i used to be more picky with "getting our money's worth" with things...
i always thought i should finish my drink at a restaurant, or stay til the end if we paid to see some sort of event, but mr leif has since cured me of this guilty feeling.  he's always been more of the "we already paid, it doesn't matter how long we stay or if we finish what we ordered" type of guy.  
having that attitude is actually really freeing :)

so i had no problem with getting up and leaving when he (so politely!) said he was ready to go!

we walked out into the lobby, and he was again obsessed with looking around, and imagining all sorts of crazy things that would take place in such a tall space.  he talked about a crane taking him way up on top of the "biiiiig buildin'!" so cute.  oh, i love him and his bursting vocabulary!

he held tight to his "pop" until we got home :)

oh my roman joe, you are a light in my life.
many days you stretch my patience thin, but you sure fill my love tank up fuller than full, little buddy.
i love you my romedoggydog.
and, i can't wait to go on another date with you my little love.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

our neighbor grils

when we lived in the green house (sniff sniff, still miss that neighborhood) we didn't really interact with neighbors.
it was always my desire to get to know them more, but all of the women worked during the day, so i didn't get to see them out on walks or at the park.  and the evenings and weekends--they all seemed to disappear into their back yards or maybe they just stayed inside?  regardless, even though we were there for 5 years, we rarely did more than a wave or occasional small conversation with our neighbors.
SO, naturally, my extroverted self was really hoping for a neighborhood with great neighbors when we moved!
i love to think about how God works, about how He goes before us and orchestrates things in order to meet our needs.  because, dang gina, God totally saw my heart, my desire, my need and he more than fulfilled this longing.

i dreamt of having older kids to help me with my children, i dreamt of a kid friendly street, i dreamt of sipping wine with the other parents, i dreamt of people hanging out on their front steps, and in the front yards, and my dreams have come true.

roman has 6 "neighbor grils" as he likes to call them, swarming him daily.
they think he's cute, they adore him, and the best part for him? strangely they love to watch him play.
and for romes? that's the key to his heart.  he loves having the big kids watch him work. HA!
there's also a few elementary age boys that he's got his eye on too!

the nice thing about these lovely girls is that they are ranging in age from 11-16, so i have had a lovely summer actually having someone to talk to other than my little toddler.  
i'm a BIT of a people person, so sometimes i can get lonely being home all day with roman and archer...
having these cute middle and high school girls around me is so fun!
i can't wait to watch them as they learn to drive! and get boyfriends! and go to prom! eeeeek!  
with a house full of boys, i can sort of get my girly fix through these cute little neighbor girls :)

i snapped some photos of roman and riley this week.
riley is such a blessing.
she's often times bored at home, only having an older brother, so i get lots of texts that sound like..."is roman up yet? can i come play?" or "does roman want to play with me?"
um YEAHHHH. yes he DOES! 

she's been around us enough this summer, that she knows the ropes and now i find her putting his shoes on, filling up his drink cup, wiping his nose, and even reminding him he shouldn't say poopy and butt. 

i'm so thankful for this neighborhood.
we've only been here for 4 months, and the relationships we've made have been so beautiful already.