Monday, December 19, 2011

stars of glory

so, i listen to "stars of glory" about 10 times a day.
at least.

because, when i discovered the lowerlights christmas album a couple months ago,
it found a comfy spot in my itunes, immediately.

needless to say, when i stumbled upon this version {the one in the video below}, live?
my heart was glad.

do you want a happy heart too?
then listen ;)

but first pause my music player, down a bit & to the right of your screen!

and for your resonating pleasure:

Stars of glory shine more brightly,
Purer be the moonlight's beam,
Glide ye hours and moments lightly,
Swiftly down time's deep'ning stream.
Bring the hour that banished sadness,
Brought redemption down to earth,
When the shepherds heard with gladness
Tidings of a Saviour's birth.

See the shepherds quickly rising,
Hast'ning to the humble stall,
And the newborn Infant prizing,
As the mighty Lord of All.
Lowly now they bend before him
In His helpless infant state.
Firmly faithful we adore Him,
And His greatness celebrate.

See how Mary loves her Boychild
In the light of Bethlehem.
Lowly ox and ass breathe warmly
On the little Lord of All.
Now the world is hushed in stillness,
In the joy of knowing God is near!
Hope and love have come to dwell here,
Driving out the night of fear.

Hark! The swell of heav'nly voices
Peals along the vaulted sky.
Angels sing while earth rejoices,
"Glory to our God on high!
Glory in the highest heaven.
Peace to lowly ones on earth.
Joy to these and bliss be given
In the great Redeemer's birth."

Friday, December 16, 2011

i ate the whole bag.

i mean, mr leif might have had a couple.
but in one day.
i ate the whole bag.
mini chocolate cadbury christmas eggs.

so good.

loving well

jacob and leah {i know! just like in the bible!} are having a BABY!!!!
they ARE having a baby boy, however, they aren't planning on naming him levi, judah, reuben, or simeon, hehe.....

the straws and twine are from etsy, and the rest was hand-made {with love} :)

our sweet church, oak hills pca, is full of wonderful women, and we had a rather lovely group all smooshed into the little leif abode :)

throughout the weeks leading up to the shower, the Lord began stirring up something in my heart...
why do we give showers?
why do we think we need all this decoration stuff?
are we trying to impress?
how are we glorifying him through this?
when i host things, i get all anxious last minute thinking everything needs to be perfect.
but, when i examine my heart and intentions in hosting, i see that it truly has nothing to do with impressing others and looking perfect.
it has everything to do with wanting to love a sista WELL.


for me, opening up my home is one way i can love someone well,
when anxiety/stress/perfectionist tendencies ease in? then my intentions are heading down the wrong path.....
although i don't feel i have ever intentionally been a host merely to impress or be perfect, however.....i was letting those things slowly seep into my hosting experiences.
and this time?
being conscious of those tendencies?
it was so freeing.
my heart was so different.

i was curious to know specifically how the bible refers to hospitality, and such a beautiful charge to us as hosts:

1 Peter 4:9-10

Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.

i know, I KNOW none of this is about me.
it was leah's baby shower for pete's sake!
learning experiences that are all around us.
every day.
even when opening up your home.
drawing us to become more like him.
refining us.
glorifying HIM by loving others well.

MAKING KNOWN HIS GRACE, by opening my home.

i'm challenging myself to become a better host in 2012,
whether it's a coffee date, a playdate, a shower for baby or bride, or a dinner served.....
i want to intentionally love my guests well, making it nothing about me, but making about the LORD, serving in HIS name.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

what IS the romanator up to these days?

so glad you asked ;)

at 14 months our little romes is..........

brushing his teeth!
every morning with daddy, and pretty much any time he finds his toothbrush.

playing in all things kitchen. and all things bedroom. and all of the things he can get his little hands on. ALL OF THE THINGS IN THE HOUSE!
but i love it.
and most of the time? i find those things in my armoire ;)
so far?
strainer, cellphone, wall hooks, dollar bills, medicine, lotion, pizza sauce, mustard, plastic tools from his toolbench.....remotes!
if i can't find it? i go to the armoire!

if daddy's doin it?
so is roman.
the way he looks at his father? it keeps me in love with his daddy too :)
it's this look of, "wow. you're my dad. and you so strong and smart and amazing"
rather different than the way he looks at me, "haha....momma, you're so FUNNY, and chase me!!! and you're silly, and giggles, giggles, let's play!"
i love the way he sees us differently.
one as a father
one as a mother
he so intricately watches daddy, so as to pick up on every move, because DUH, he's gonna be just like him someday!

roman is a travelin' tropper :)
he LOVED playing with uncle cam back home in the NE over thanksgiving, and CANT WAIT! to see them at christmas. a bathtime buddy? yes PLEASE!
it was a wild bath time, that's FOR. SURE!
i'm loving that he has slowly eased out of his anxiety.
his stranger danger is diminishing.
still a momma's boy? BIG time.
still takes a while to warm up to friends? yes.
but does he come around and enjoy a good playdate, even with uncle cam?! oh yeah.
loving this sweet little social blooming baby of mine ;)

the fridge.
there are no words.
he's in love with all things inside of it.
the end.
{but it at least gives me a moment to whip up a mean grilled cheese for lunch!}


and he's walking now {a bit bow-legged/pigeon towed} but it's cute.
and he's babbling away.
and he's giggling all day.
and he's pointing at things all of the time {with his middle finger, HA!!!}
and he's hammering on the walls
and he's saying MOOO for cow, AHEEEHEEE for horse, and EEE-EE -EEE for puppy
and he's obsessed with all animals {both fake and real}
and he's bringing books to me all day long
and he's eating better!
and he's still drinking milk from a bottle, HA! {i don't care!}
and he's using straw sippy for water and juice, and boy is it cute watching him with a straw
and he's still napping twice a day!
and he's going to bed around 7:30 and waking around 5:30/6:30
and he's amazing. and we love him.

and oh, my little one. those eyes. they're captivating me more and more each day.
{and i'm quite in love with your little quirky right eyebrow, and your fluffball of a head at the moment, too!!}

i'll love you forever my dear sweet one :)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

coffee, shall we?

good afternoon my friends ;)
i've seen a "virtual coffee date" before and thought, eh, why not try it?

so, let's have a coffee date, shall we?!
if you were truly at my house....

.....i would share with you that i've started thinking about all of the options for educating roman. {and our future children} i would tell you i've been recently excited about the option of homeschooling. i would go on to say that how blown away i am by the huge homeschooling community in kansas city, and that homeschooling families don't really wear jeanskirts that are ankle length, with hair that goes to their butt. nope. they are trendy. they highlight their hair! i would go on to share the {obvious} fears of homeschooling........but then i would share that i think i want to try at least one year!" i would tell you about what i read from a momma earlier, "At the end of the day, we were happy. I thought a lot about homeschooling today--how much we learned, what we experienced, how good it felt to be out, doing, seeing, learning and how good it felt to be with her while it happened. There are days I think it might not work out and days like today when I could happen. There are pros, there are cons, there is a bit of time before we need to decide." [found HERE]
and how i LOVE experiencing my child learning.
but, then i would also share that i'm not oppose to public school, or private school. because as a recent educator in public schools and as a previous student at a private school, i understand how wonderful both of those experiences can be too. plus, i would get to send off the older kids and then i would love the slow mornings on the couch sipping orange juice and eating oatmeal with the little ones still at home, just like this momma does [HERE] :)

.....i would share with you the anxiousness i feel with parenting roman. he's very strong willed. very full of energy. moving non stop. and as his momma, i'm realizing HOW much more time i spend with him verses mr leif who comes home in the evenings for dinner, small playtime, and the bath! that means that I GET to do a lot of the parenting, and I GET to set a lot of the limits and I GET to struggle with how, and what, and being consistent. it's a weight on my shoulders.
i would start laughing, as i went on to explain that
i've spent countless hours in the past, while getting my counseling degree, learning about how to facilitate parenting groups, reading and discussing the issues behind the struggles of parenting.
and that
i've spent countless hours in SIT meetings {StudentInterventionTeam} at the school I worked at, helping parents, special education teachers, the psychologist, the principal, the teachers......coming up with new ways to reach children, coming up with new ways to teach them at their level, coming up with new ways to meet their needs.
and then i would share with you the irony of now:
my own child? i find myself confused, i would say.
i find myself wondering if i'm doing everything wrong?

.....i would share that i'm loving my time with roman. i can't imagine spending my days doing ANYTHING else. not even shopping for new boots {a girl can never have too many boots, folks} nope. even on the most wearing days, i smile. i laugh. i love.
and then i would make a small confession to you that sometimes, i look forward to his naptime. actually i would have to confess again, that i almost always look forward to his naptime. but that i'm ok with that confession. BECAUSE, i'm like a kid counting down til christmas for the time i get to sweep him out of his crib, once he's awake. that time is priceless.
i would explain to you the joy i get picking my baby up out of his crib. i would share that he's so sweet during that "just waking up phase". snuggly. yummy.
and then,
i would tell you that i usually kiss him 30 times on the cheeks telling him how much i love him.
of course, i wouldn't forget to let you know how often and EASY it is to thank GOD for him multiple times a day. seriously. i stop throughout the day, pause for a moment, and just THANK HIM. motherhood is a pearl. such a beautiful thing. such a delicate and precious thing.

....and then we would pause for more coffee, and some snacks.
who doesn't love snacks?

.....but now? as we return to the couch?
i would apologize for rambling on. i would ask you to share with me.
what's on your heart? what's in your mind? do tell?
and then i would listen as you shared your inner thoughts. the depths of your mind.

we would reflect on what proverbs 19:20 tells us: when we listen to each other's advice and accept each other's instruction, we might gain wisdom in mothering and as wives.

....and now we would end with a very sweet moment of thanks, for our friendship, for the ability to share, the ability to listen. for the ability to be real, and honest, and forgiving.

but before you walked out the door, i would ask you.....pray for me?
pray that i strive each day to become a better wife?
all of this momma talk sometimes drags me away from my duty to mr leif.
pray that i create a happy home for him?

and after you share how i can pray for you, you'd be off, heading home to your warm and cozy house, while i resumed duties:

thank you for coffee, please come again?

Monday, December 5, 2011


yesterday i woke up from a sunday afternoon nap to this:
you can't explain the feeling that comes when you see such a sight ;)

we're loving december and all that comes with it.

mr leif and i are beginning to plan all sorts of little family traditions for the this beautiful time of year.......ones that will be woven into the memories of our children.
{and let's be real, some that look good on pinterest but won't actually get done....}

so, here's to accepting the imperfections of this holiday season, and to get totally all cliche on you:
here's to remembering what the true meaning is.
here's to celebrating the beauty of CHRIST ;)

today i'm a guest of "dwell" over at olivia's :)


and now, for a quick catch-up.
a little PHONEdump:

1. november provided beautiful park days
2. daddy turned 28 on november 15th!!!!
3. roman passed out after one of our {many thanksgiving} events back in the NE
4. little romes also was battling an ear infection :(
5. but that didn't stop him from some fun in da tub with his uncle CAM!

6. meeting daddy for lunch. best family time. ever ;) provides such a fun break in our day!
7. playdates with cait and carter.......loving the twins more and more {&their play kitchen}!!!
8. another tree fell in our yard.
9. going to asher & bram's in my pj's ;) play time for both baby AND momma ;)
10. teething.
11. oh great, my ear infection turned into a DOUBLE {&muchworse} ear infection
12. roman brings us books. ALL. the TIME. but we LOVE it. such a sweet season.