Tuesday, September 25, 2012

the week we were circus freaks.

either it's just momma issues.  or maybe it's being preggo.
regardless, i can't sleep very well.
it seems like around 2 or 3am i wake up.  
and then i'm all MUST.THINK.OF.ALL.THE.THINGS.
for about 2 hours.
and then i usually wind up on my phone, pintresting random things that i'll probably never refer to anyways, stumbling upon all these cool instagramers that obvi use way better filters than i, and of course, old faithful himself: facebook.

this particular night, union station basically said, hey guys!  the circus is coming.
so.  romes and i made a week of it.

we watched the train roll into town and unload the elephants and horses.
 and we watched them walk to the sprint center.  tails in trunks.
the next day, we watched them devour whole fruits and veggies for lunch,
as they prepared for their opening night.
and then romes and i had lunch too.
at the P&L.
i told romy, momma and daddy used to have quite a bit of fun here.
but i didn't get into any specifics.
{ahem, celia.........cartwheels?}
romy heard my speaking of fun, and took it to his own level.
he chose to "raise the roof" and sprint around the entire P&L "living room"
and, then we capped off our week by officially reaching groupie status.
we went to the circus.
i'm trying to look like a mormon mommy blogger with my ruby lips.
they're painted red, compliments to celia, who sent me this fabulous
"lip marker" by TopShop.
i'm in wuv.
you should get some too.
back to the circus.
romy only asked to be "all done" a few times.
he loved the elephants.  the tigers.  the horsies.  
and the people who climbed "up and up and up" (the ladders)
oh.  and he gobbled up the popcorn.
by the end, he had mastered multiple sounds of the circus.

Monday, September 24, 2012

grace in the storm

last weekend, mr leif and i went to a marriage conference, given by paul david tripp.
i don't quite have the words to describe it yet.  it was just that good.
for now, i'll just say....if you ever have the opportunity to hear him.  go.  run fast.  get there.
he's good.

on sunday, as sort of the cap to his weekend in KC, he preached the sermon for the church that was hosting the conference.  

and, i'd like to share something with you, from his sermon on sunday morning.
something that stretched my mind to see grace in a different way.

do you remember the story of jesus walking on the water?
it's from mark 6.
anyways, there's this huge storm.  and the disciples were out in a boat.
they were scared.  they were exhausted.  they didn't quite know what to do.
and y'all know jesus had the power to calm those waves from his view at the shore.
i mean, all he would have needed to do was simply say the word, and the storm could cease.
however, do you know what he did?
he walked out to them.
he WALKED OUT to them.
they were out there, in the middle of the sea.
and he walked out, on top of the water, right in the middle of the storm.  to be with them.
he could have rescued them first.
but instead.  he kept the storm going, and let them see, he was right there in the middle of it. with them.

. . .
we might think that his grace came once the storm had calmed, once they had been rescued.
but you know what?
sometimes it's not just the rescuing or the relief that comes to us as his grace.
it's the storm.  it's the trial. and it's the place where we find ourselves exhausted, scared, and confused.  that's when grace comes.  because though he has the power to keep us from our storms, we still go through them.  and he's ALWAYS right there in the middle of them, with us.
he BRINGS us to these places.
it's his grace that brings us TO the hard stuff, and it's his grace that brings us THROUGH it.
he's always there, standing, amongst the waves.  we just need to look for him.

he knows our storms produce perseverance and hope; they produce our faith.

. . .

on sunday as we walked out of church, hearing all about grace in the storm, we found out my dad's brother unexpectedly went to be with jesus.  and as we had lunch, my dad and i couldn't help but reflect back to Tripp's message, helping us to know that Jesus would be right there in the middle of this stormy week.

and today? it's our sweet cousin's one year wedding anniversary, though back in may, she went to be with jesus too.

it's a hard week.
it's a sad week.

you know, we can't always see our trials as gifts while we are enduring them.
and that's ok.
but if we can look back and know, they too, were part god's grace?
grace to stretch us, and shape us, and mold us to be more like him.
then i think we can grasp, even more, the endless love he has for us.

look for him.

Friday, September 21, 2012


it seems as if the craziness of my week, has doubled as a gateway to normalcy.
this morning, a big white unicorn showed up at my doorstep.
so, i hopped on the unicorn and flew off to "i am capable land".

i know.  y'all probably think i'm speaking gibberish.
but plain and simple: today? it brought a taste of regular life again.

i've spent the last 2 months feelings crappy.
tired. nauseas. and like a really bad wife.
i kind of checked out and hid in a cave.
mostly i made grilled cheeses for lunch.
and often times repeated them for dinner.
unless mr leif made something else.

i spent all my time and energy during the day trying to be a good mom.
and then evening came, and i dumped romy onto mr leif.  while he cooked. 
and probably switched the laundry too.
i did a lot of laying on the couch.
which, though i felt crappy, when you just lay on the couch a lot and sort of stink at your role as a wife?
then you really start to feel crappy.
but i didn't do much about it.
i felt sick.  and tired.  and i just didn't really want to try.

but marriage is a beautiful thing.
especially when your husband rocks at his role as provider.

but, let's get back to that unicorn.
for some reason, i woke up this morning with energy.
and the desire to serve my husband.  
and it felt so good.  so right.  so where i need to be.
and by 8am, romes and i were out the door.
off to the store.
mr leif needed to bring treats to the office today.
for me, this was an opportunity that was busting through the door.
also, he had to leave for a meeting at 9 so if we wanted to say hi, we needed to throw on the turbo jet speed.
we practically sprinted through the store.
we totally went with the premade cookie bag stuff.  you know, the ones that just need a stick of butter, and an egg.
and i've never whipped up cookies as fast as i did this morning.
but mission complete, we made it to the office by 9:04.  
you know how good it felt to deliver treats to my husband?
i mean, so what if they only 20% from scratch.
i gave myself a wife gold star.  actually 4 of them.
 but i told you it was a unicorn i was on.  
and so the magic continued.
we went back to the store, and i got all the ingredients to make homemade chicken noodle soup.
and cinnamon rolls.
. . .
so after a delicious lunch of you guessed it, grilled cheese, AND broccoli, romes hit the sack.
and i hit the kitchen.
it was like momma vs. food, and i was determined to win.
raw chicken is pretty much my arch nemesis.
i don't even know what arch nemesis is, but i think it's an enemy.
so go with it.
i dominated that bird.  
and then two loads of laundry.
and currently, as i type, i'm in the middle of whipping up a mean batch of soup.
i WILL have dinner waiting for my love.
i'm BACK in the game.

it's not that i enjoy cooking.  really, i can't stand it.  i always mess up.  and i don't really like messing up.
but i sort of forgot how it felt to serve my husband.  
even if it means baking him cookies.  attempting soup.  and having a clean house.
the sweet guy doesn't ask for any of those things, ever, but i need to do them.  for me.
i need to serve him.  because when i don't, i turn into an ugly person.
i'm serving myself, instead of him.  and by serving him, ultimately, i'm serving the Lord.

i know i may wake up tomorrow and feel like crawling under the covers, wishing he would deliver me donuts in bed again.  
but today was nice.  i felt competent. 
i'm going to try and repeat this again.  soon.  and maybe, hopefully, make it my normal.

oh snap. {do i sound like a 6th grader?} i totally forgot to thaw out the cinnamon roll dough.
see?  mistakes.  always.  erg.  i better go, i need to google for some sort of rushed dough thawing magic.

Monday, September 17, 2012

soccer game. junk food. and cam.

a little while back, mr leif's family came to visit 
{well, all but his older brother and his bride to be ms bayley, sniff sniff....we missed them}

while they were here, we hit up a Sporting KC Game.  
yeah, i know.  what in the world is Sporting KC.  
soccer teams have weird names.
earlier that day, romes got some new kicks.
and he also wore his socks pulled up high like cam.
cam is pretty much his idol.
they're two peas in a pod, cam and romes.
and really, romy lights up whenever he gets to see tamrin {cameron} or toltin {colton}, 
but for some reason colton always successfully escapes the camera.  
 seriously though, check out these dudes:
sharin' a little popcorn, sharin' a little juice and sharin' a little hot dog and pizza. 
{cam says it was gatorade, i think it might have been that red mt. dew stuff, based upon romy's wild night following the game}
as i mentioned.  someone was just a tad hyper back at the hotel.
i spent an HOUR post-bath, in bed, with romy, and it was pitch dark.
he literally goofed around for an hour.
like trying to tickle me.  put his paci in my mouth. touch my eyes and my nose.
jump in the bed.  get down and run around the room.  you, know, those kinds of things.
an hour might not seem like a lot.  but to a very tired preggo mom.  it was.
really though, it was pretty fun.  and i may have egged him on a bit when i got my second wind.
 but back to cam.
can you really imagine having a cooler uncle?
nope.  romes is one lucky dude.
oh. and, i should probably mention, it's been a month since the soccer game.
we are STILL daily talking about "socca, pizza, hot dog, tamrin's juice, & BOOM-BOOMS {fireworks @the game}
seriously.  now that this kid talks? parenting got a whole bunch more fun :)

Friday, September 14, 2012

our little roman.

well, hello  :)  
i have to tell you, i've had all these pictures of roman, just sitting in this post, for about 3 weeks now.
and i've began writing multiple posts to go with them,
but i never finish them, i come back to finish, and decide to rewrite it,
and then i don't finish that one either, and the cycle continues.

so.  i'm going to stop the cycle madness.
and just let my fingers flow with typing, as they slowly open up the door to my thoughts.

  if i could just freeze time right now.
and life was just the three of us? well, and baby too :)
and we were just sitting in the living room building legos, happy as ever?
and we could do this every day for the rest of our lives?
and you wouldn't grow up. 
and we wouldn't have to deal with other stuff?
well, then my sweet son.  it would be a perfect world.
 you see, like so many children, amongst his energetic, life-loving self, little Romy has another side to him.
one that's confusing to us.
of course pictures don't show it.
because, well, when he's having a moment.  it's not like i'm thinking about pulling the camera out.

and i've been hesitant to talk about it, because i know that no child is perfect.  they all have their moments, ones you wouldn't choose to photograph.  but sometimes, there's something that pulls on your momma heart a little bit stronger.
sort of like when your child isn't sleeping well and is fussy.  and you just know it must be an ear infection.  and then. you go to the doc.  and you're right.  double ear infection.
it's that momma instinct.
that's what i'm feeling.

 some days will be hard.  i know this.  it's part of parenting.
but sometimes things happen that really overwhelm me....
like when we practically got asked to leave the hair salon yesterday, because little roman can't quite handle/process the noise and the act of getting his hair cut.  
or seeing roman struggle in our PT/OT therapy session this morning, 
i'm sort of just bleehhh. and overwhelmed. and tired.

i mean, i knew that parenting didn't come with a manual.
but sometimes you just really want a manual :)
oh romy.  you thrive at home.  with your momma.
and while you do have a small group of kids that you "trust"..... for the most part?
we'll just say social situations aren't your forte.  
it's been a confusing and frustrating road for me.
and, well, trying to help you process the sensory overload of certain noises? i'm in new territory.

i've shook off my insecurities, thinking people probably just assume i baby him,
and now i am certain, i have a momma instinct that is telling me to advocate for my child.
because, it's my job.

so, along with physical therapy to help your intoeing [pigeon toes!]
you also go to occupational therapy for your sensory processing needs.
they both take place at the same clinic, and these women are gifts.  
they're blessings that have swooped in and wrapped arms of knowledge, care, and empathy right around you.  and me.
i'm more thankful than words can describe, for the therapists and their ability to see your needs, and that they share a concern for them with me

but at the same time, i'm confused. and worried. 
however, i'm learning to slowly turn my worries over to the Lord.  to losen my momma grip.
and though it might just be one finger at a time,  i can feel with each moment of release, that the Lord doesn't skip a beat.
He so smoothly slips right in, and takes over.
calming my heart.  reassuring me He's right here, and that our life isn't supposed to be easy.
did i just think this momma gig would be a cinch?
when i read romans 5, i can't help but smile, as i think if the struggles i've  come through in my role as a momma so far, to our little roman.  and i can't help but have hope.

because i need help, i struggle.  i need a savior.
but when i suffer, i learn how to persevere, and that builds character.  and through that, i can hope.
and to hope is a gift.
my savior died for me.  not because i had it all together, and rocked at this thing called life.
nope!  he died for me because i stink at life.  and i need him to rescue me.

i guess for me, once again, it confirms why we hit bumps in the road.
if we didn't have bumps?  we wouldn't need a savior, no need to be rescued.
and sometimes those bumps are just a really big pot hole.
and, that's where i'm finding myself at the moment.
one. giant. parenting. pothole.  
i know we'll be on our way again soon, out of this "hole".
and i know it's just part of parenting - one decision after another :)

but, right now thoughts are swarming.
this morning at his therapy we talked a bit about the future.
meaning, we began talked about school for romes and what our plans were.  
yikes. i thought he was still my baby?! :)

ahhh.  why is parenting so scary?  can't i just stick to figuring out how to cure his diaper rash, and not have to think about how to help him process the sound of another child's loud voice without freaking out?

obvi.  way too many lots questions are bouncing around in my brain.
so.  there's my thoughts.  all splattered out in this post.
giving you a glimpse into our lives at the moment.
 and maybe you find yourself struggling too.
if so, hopefully reading about mine, will help you feel not so alone.

i know romes was knit together fearfully and wonderfully.  i know these issues are more mine than his.
and while we are most definitely in a state of decision making, worry, and prayer,
don't you worry - - - we're still having fun.

this momma done went and became a circus groupie this week.
tuesday, we tracked those elephants down and watched them hop off the circus train.
wednesday, we went and had lunch with the grey beasts.
and this weekend?  we're goin to see'em in action.  

we know what lights up our little guy's eyes.
and we won't let scary big parenting issues get in the way of enjoying the animals.
about a year ago, i was in such a low place - - - the tug at my heart to stay home with my child was raging, more than i'll ever be able to explain.  little did i know at the time, the Lord would eventually answer my prayers :)
and now, look back on this past year, me as a full time momma at home. and romes as a full time one year old?
i can't think of any place i'd rather be, then right here.
at home,
raising my child,
making these difficult parenting decisions,
sometimes making grilled cheese for lunch 4 out the 5 days a week,
and of course, learning about every truck that ever exists.

we might just have a really long shaggy mullet because we can't seem to cut that hair, 
but hotdang.  we'll master the sound an elephant makes, even if it means stalking the circus.

and now you get 74 gold stars if you read this whole post.  yikes. i didn't realize it was this long.

Friday, September 7, 2012

the zoo.

i took roman to the zoo one time this summer.
but really.  every day was pushin three digits.
who wants to walk around smelling sweaty animals in that kinda heat?
that wasn't a rhetorical question.
someone really DOES want to walk around smelling sweaty animals in the heat.
because someone doesn't really care about those things.
he just loves animals.
 we were blessed with an invite to the zoo by some sweet friends from church.
they have a zoo pass, so not only did we get in free....
 but we got to ride the train for free. 
[here's romy looking all emo on the train]
really, he loved it, but we were just pausing to allow more people to load on and he was just sitting there all sweet and content.  truly a moment that needed to be captured :)
AND we got to ride the carousel for free.
we like free.
scratch that.
we LOVE free.
[but really, we just love friends]
 don't ask why we were wearing long sleeves and pants.
it wasn't a "cool" day.
we went early in the morning, and like i tried many a times this summer, i thought if we dressed for fall, than SURELY we'd get fall.......
and nope.  still hot.  still summer.  still at least 99 degrees.
[bad momma move]
we were sweaty. just like the animals.
we had a great time together :)  
it was SO fun to bring romes to the zoo.  
why is it, as soon as kids start to show interest in something you practically want to run out to all the stores and buy all the stuff that has anything to do with their interests?  oh my goodness, i fear if we had a million dollars we'd be floor to ceiling in bob the builder and truck stuff.  and now this zoo thing?  dang, we'd probably have about 19 pets too.
i guess i'm just glad we're on such a tight budget.  [wink!]
but really.
it was such a great day for us.
i hadn't been feeling well, and was stuck in my "yucky place" and this day was a gift.
and now,
two more pictures of the polar bear.  because he's freakishly-huge and awesome.
the end.

[that's 2 posts in a day, i'm on a roll.  i think i'll go eat a popsicle for my prize]

we love "home"

so. last month we went to nebraska.
'we', as in me and romes.

mr leif had a fishing trip planned, and i wasn't about to sit at home all weekend with romy, inhaling the cool air from the ac vent and eating 56 popsicles a day, just to keep me from throwing up.

we snuck off and didn't tell anyone.
actually, we were sent off with smooches from mr leif, & our families were ready for us when we arrived :)  
so i guess, my family knew and mr leif's family knew.  but really, no one else.
it was kind of fun to be secretive. and it was really nice to not have to feel the pressure i put on myself to try see e.v.e.r.y.o.n.e. that makes up our huge extended family and friend circles.
it was nice just to go home.  and be home.  and not have to drive all over. just, be home.

i put my big girl boots on and drove the 4.5 hours back to the good life.
it was lovely drive.  
full of truck movies, mcdonalds (see the sack on the left?), sour candy, and random toys being thrown through the air.  such sweet times.  

romy gobbled up all the farm had to offer.  he loves his gma abbi, toltin (uncle colton), tamrin (uncle cameron), and PAPA!  i mean, really.  it was practically a toddler boys taste of heaven seeing papa's farm.  romes could hardly contain himself when he got to sit INSIDE each of papa's trucks and tractors.
yes, 2 semi trucks, tractors, combines, forklifts, bobcats, loaders, pickup trucks
oh and toltin has "2 biiiiiiiiig cows".  seeing the cows alone caused him to practically pee his pants.
i mean, diaper.
i think romy was born for the farm.  we'll just have to be better about getting back there more often.
maybe i should get a mini van.  i mean. i will be toting two kids here before long.
{and i had no pictures of anything that went on above.  i was just trying not to puke on the farm.  i didn't feel very good that day.  i could have cared less about yankin my phone out ever 2 minutes like i normally do.)

we spent the rest of the weekend at my parent's house.  
they took us to gourmet restaurants such as the american legion.  {no really, it's pretty tastey}
and thriving kid favorites like the sutton city park.
roman thought the park was basically disneyland.
this tank?
this "biiiiiiiiiiiiiig tink"
well.  let me just say, hot stuff mc hotterson must not have a fear of heights.

 this momma had a bit of nostalgia, as we walked up the hill (romes on gma's shoulders) to look at the big swimming pool.  i very seriously explained to romy that this pool meant a lot to mommy.  
it's where she held her first real job (other than baby sitting or detasseling)

it's where she created her first list of future baby names (of which none of them she'd use now)
and i'll share one of those beauties: kamma rae. HA!???? sounds like a rapper or something.  oh dear. 
ok, i think lexis was also on there. HA. oh my......  i wish i still had that list

and it's where she used to watch mr leif drive by on his way home from lifting weights, or playing bball, or whatever else he did in town.  because the pool was on the same street that he took to go home.  and every single time she would wish he would stop and come inside to say hi. 
and every single time he didn't.  but it's ok.  
he played hard to get.  [actually he was just shy and didn't really want to be all loveydovey like some high school romances were back then]  
he liked to make sure we were "keeping our space"
HA!  look where that got him?  hitched with 2 kids :)  [and we're still madly in love hehe]

and, also, it's where she earned all those lines around her eyes when she smiles.  she never really wore sunscreen and she liked the idea of getting a tan.  whoops.  
[speaking of, anyone have any miracle eye cream out there for me??]

oh it was so nice to be home, romy.
i laid on the couch a lot, eating food.  and you played with gma and papa.
it's pretty nice having someone else love on your kid for a bit :)
sometimes here in KC i feel like it's all up to me, to keep things going.
i know that's silly talk.
i have an amazing, loving, selfLESS husband who embarrassingly (to me) does more around the house at times, than i do.
i have a loving heavenly father who is ready to carry my burdens, as soon as i release them at His feet.
but still, 
i try to carry it all on my shoulders.
and when i'm back home.  and when there are grammies around to take care of romy?
i get to sit back a bit. and rest.
 and lick all of my momma's homemade caramel off my fingers.

and then.  before long, reality snaps into play.
we're back on the road home.  to our other home.
kansas city here we come.
not before a quick mommy/roman date at pizza the hut.
it's a great halfway point.
a great place to stretch our legs.
and a great place to consume cheese pizza. 
and noodles for romes. (i was trying to decide if that was healthier for him than cheese pizza.  HA who am i kidding)
. . .
an awesome trip home.
family is such a blessing :)