Thursday, November 29, 2012

thanksgiving [week.]

our thanksgiving week started out awesome-possum.  [who really likes to put the o in front of opossum anyways?]

on friday, we drove up north and spent the night with friends in lincoln.  
and roman thought he was goldilocks, and insisted on scoping out carrie's house early saturday morning while most normal people were still sleeping.

and then we went here.
smiley face.
but then, it sort of slowly started to get "difficult".
which, truly? was so good for me.  because.....
jumping back a couple weeks, our moms bible study was discussing the idea of "choosing joy" in midst of the tiresome, hard, serving hours of motherhood.

so.  i got a whole week to try out the "choose joy" method.
and really, our trials are gifts.
James 1 tells us to find joy in them, as they produce perseverance.  
and well, we need a lot of perseverance as we plough through this life, maturing moment by moment as we walk with the lord.
so to you, thanksgiving week, i say,
 "i got knocked down...but i got up nevvva gonna keep me down"

my parents sold our childhood home.
1. sad/weird/sad
2. packing so.much.stuff.
3. mom and dad were busy moving all week, meaning didn't get to see them much
4. roman was confused, didn't know where gma linda's toys were all at.
moving on. [pun, intended]
we spent a lot of time at gma abbi's [mr leif's mom's house] so thankful to have another house to stay at!
1. roman had a fever/cough/runny nose from monday through saturday
2. visit the doctor, thanks to an SOS text to my friends, "where do i take my kid?"
3.  not a lot of sleep for me.  or him.  [mr leif was back in kc working until wednesday night] and then i got sick.
4.  dude still likes his milk bottles #judgersgonnajudge
but we did have a few good moments.
1. like this one in the bathtub.
2. warm baths = get the snot out.
3. and roman is obsessed with his uncle cameron and uncle colton, and all the tractors at gma abbi's :)
thanksgiving day
1. we have over 50 people on my momma's side.
2. most of them live in our hometown, of 1200 people.
3. lots of them gathered together at my aunt joan's house on thursday.  it was so good to be there
4. romy napped in lydia's bed and thought it was baby pieper's bed, either way he was pleased.
5. i ate for me, and the baby, and another mysterious baby that i was pretending to eat for.
6. and then we all laid around and talked and watched the macy's parade.
7. and they drank wine, while i salivated from afar.
7. romes didn't really eat much other than popcorn
8. but hudson let him play with the "big bobcat" and the "mini bobcat" so he was content, and full of snot.
and then we decided to go home.  we were worn out.
1. i was sick.  i thought i was swallowing swords.  do i sound dramatic?
i spent the drive home laying in the back of mr leif's truck.
[the backseat silly, not the way back.  but the way-back would have been funny. and cold]

so.  there you have it.
and my instagram told me all week that all sorts of people were having these lovely thanksgiving gatherings.  moments.  so much good stuff.
and every time i would browse through in the wee hours of the morning, because my kid would only lay on me, and thus i couldn't sleep, i consistently had to choose joy.
my situation didn't look like their's
and that was ok.  my week was still a gift.
i had to cancel on a fun girls day.
and that was ok.  my sweet friends understood.
i wore the same clothes 4 days in a row.
and that was ok.  no one saw me anyways.

choosing joy is a huge task.
things of this world tell you that circumstances will get you down, and you should complain, and pout, and want to run away.
but intentionally choosing joy, though difficult, rewards you in ways unseen.

and keep it singin....."i get knocked down....but i get up again... you nevvva gonna keep me down...."

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

first batch made. and ate.

little squishy fingers
hotttttt large white tshirt.  even hotter hair style.  
floppy finished product.
and in 2.5 days, they were consumed.
never did get'em frosted.

our sweet seranade

he loves to play duets with me.  and vice versa.
and they are beautiful.  thus the reason i added the background music. duh.
so thanks to the folka dots for their sweet seranade.
just pretend it's us.
ok? ok.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

every little nebraska boy's dream.

though we are kansas city folk now, we're huskers at heart.
or at least mr leif is......when we first moved here, we wasted a lot of time driving around KC, getting to know the place, while eating ice cream {because we were young.  no kids yet. and had time to waste..... remember those days???}.... anyways, we did that a lot.
and it didn't take me long to realize everyone had rocks in front of their house.  and on those rocks was either a blue and red jayhawk or a purple wildcat.  
i quickly said to my mr, "if we need to pick a new team to be fans of, lets be KU fans, i don't really like all the purple."
he basically laughed out loud and tried to shove the icecream in my face.  not really.  but actually, he told me that was a really dumb thing to say, as we were still most definitely going to be husker fans.
i should of fake cried and got a second serving of ice cream.  rude, mr leif.  just rude.
how was i supposed to know you "kept your team"?  i mean look at me....i grew up on a gravel road in a little village with 38 people.  and now.  here i am in the city?  i thought you just did all new stuff, and stuff.  and stuff like that.

so fast forward 6 years, and here we are, city folk, travelin north to join the whole rest of the state of nebraska, to scream "go big red".  

yes.  a couple weeks ago, mr leif and i went to a nebraska football game.
he was probably just as giddy as every 10 year old boy in the stadium, except that he's 29.
but really, it was so cute hearing him talk about his memories in the stadium :)

as a boy, he spent most saturdays in the fall watching the tunnel walk, dreaming that he would be a husker some day...and then later during the game, talking the ears off of anyone who would listen, while he tried to call out all the plays.

it was so fun for me to go back there with him this time......
we have been to countless games together in the past, mostly during our college days, but this time it was different.
this time, we went as parents, imagining our little boy getting to have the same dreams as his daddy :)

ok, enough of the mushy stuff.
i also ate pizza. a hotdog. and had a hot chocolate.
 mostly, i get distracted by watching people.
and the food, obviously.
but also, i enjoy parts of the game.  like this:
the crowd lets their red balloons go after we score our first points.
three cheers for pretty sky entertainment.
 since my momma was watching roman,
mr leif and i got to experience true relaxation.
there's something about knowing that your child is more than being taken care of.
i didn't check my phone.  i didn't worry.  i just got to be next to my man, soakin in the sun.
{and the wind, nebraska is windy"
and now,
i give you:
roman's husker debut.
[while making playdough birthday cupcakes]

oh. and the actual part when he talks?  it's really quiet so you might not even hear him unless you blare your speakers.  
i was too lazy to correct the audio.  crank up the jams, crank em up.

Monday, November 26, 2012


mr leif and i get to celebrate our birthdays together :)
we're four days apart.  well, technically, one year and four days apart.

i think the first birthday gift i got from him was a dark red and white striped shirt from american eagle.
i thought it was ugly.  but i wore it.  it was, in fact, my first gift from a 'boyyyyyyyy'.  
so i wore it proudly because it meaning?

i probably got him a blue shirt from the buckle.
because, obviously.  we were that cool couple that got each other shirts.
and then we probably got some sort of little heart flutter when we saw the other wearing the shirt we bought them.
or maybe that was just me?
either way, i worked hard long hours at the pool to buy his gifts.  

we've stepped it up a few notches from the shirt days.
we're married now.
so we do things like 
stay in lovely hotels.  eat at a fancy schwancy restaurants. and in general, pretend we were cool people.  
or at least that's what we did this year :)
and actually we got this room for 80 bucks.  some online deal mr leif snagged.  {my hero}
squinty mcsquinterson.
he always had....still has......trouble with that darn flash.

oh. i also ate cheesecake. 

happy twenty eight and twenty nine to us.
i love you mr leif.  my mcdreamy.  my first and only love.  my rock.  

Saturday, November 24, 2012

i entered something

i really like rap music.
actually, any music that would be playin up in da club.
i like it.  all of it.
if i could, i would go dancing on a weekly basis.
i like to shake it.
but now i'm getting off topic.
back on track: naughty music.... ok,
most of the time, it's full of naughty words.  and naughty stories.
but sometimes, if you try, you can find good in it.
because God is everywhere.
we just hafta open our eyes.

so i entered a contest.  i made this little ditty up the first day she posted the deets, but i never posted it until now.   and i'm pretty sure it's over.  but that's how i role these days, a bit dysfunctional.

i really just love reading jami's blog.  you should too.
her words are convicting. hilarious. and just plain awesome.

paul, you stud.  you dominated this song.

but really.  i'm reminded daily, this place is hopeless, in sin.
but because of Jesus.  and his precious blood.  we have hope.
when we were sinners?  hopeless, and worthless?  Jesus died for us.
shame on me for ever thinking this life is about me.
more of you, sweet Jesus, and less of me.

Friday, November 16, 2012

greatness in serving

i have a burning desire to be great.
don't we all?
all my life, i've pushed towards success.
whatever it took, i wanted to make it happen.
however, the lord doesn't just keep us "how we once were"
no. we are forever changing.  growing.  being sanctified.
and for me, this sanctification includes a shift in what it means, to be truly "great".

this morning i cried to mr leif, "i'm not doing anything right, in not one category am i doing great".
and it's not like i even have very many categories.
just two main ones: wife and mom.

...roman has been difficult, these last few weeks.  very difficult.
stretching me and my patience, and challenging me in new ways every day.  i don't know what to do with him most of the time.
i speak words to myself, "consistency will work"... "stick to your guns"...   "he's testing you"... "he needs more limits"...
and i try to respond.  but at the end of the day, i'm exhausted.  worn out.  and defeated.
though there is so much good in my day, so much joy, so many blessings, why?
why is it so easy to hold onto the bad.
the hard.  the exhaustion.  the constant serving.  and giving. and sacrificing.

sometimes when mr leif walks in at 6pm, sometimes i want to run out.  drive.  blare music.  and refocus.
but i don't.  i want to, but i don't.

and so, as i'm crying to mr leif about not being "great" at being a mom, about hating this feeling of failure i have, i move onto the subject of marriage...
and there too, i feel like a failure.  i have this vision of what a perfect wife does.  what she looks like.  how she acts.  
and, i'm not any of those things i think i need to be.
 i become selfish.  i tell myself i'm tired, that roman wore me out, that i just need some "me" time.
just a quick break from the serving and giving and sacrificing.

and yes.  i would tell you a thousand times, no, a billion times, over and over.
i love this role.  to be a mother.  to be a wife.  both are gifts that words can't describe.
but, it's in the mundane that my head spins. it's in the small moments, when i let sin take over, that i make it about me.

and so, as it normally goes, mr leif listens to me.  assures me that i am not what i say i am.

and then something speaks to me.  this greatness i'm trying to achieve?
where are my standards coming from?  whom am i accountable to?  where i am looking for feedback?

and it hits me.  like bricks.  because His word does that in it's convicting state.
"whoever wants to be great, must become a servant."
matthew 20.26

am i measuring my greatness to the things of this world?
how my child acts in the store.  what i wear out during the day.  the paint color of my walls.  my social life.  my status in attaining the american dream.
are those things weighing more than my call to serve?

it's a long process.  in fact, it never ends.  it won't until jesus comes again.
and so i say, come jesus, come.
because the hard moments are hard.  but the good moments, when His word is revealed?
it's then, i come alive.
i want to be great in Your name.  and so, i will serve.
my husband.
my son.

i will serve with joy.
when i find the butter that disappeared off the counter, and is now divided into little plastic pans,
and smeared on the walls.

i will serve with joy.
when he refuses to eat lunch.  but happily will hold it in his lap.  not eat it mom, just hold it.
and maybe throw it all over the backseat.

i will serve with joy.
when i've had an exhausting day, with my child, who cried more than he laughed today, 
who sat in many timeouts, who pushed every button his momma had.... 
i will serve our daddy, with dinner and cake and birthday celebrations.

. . .

this makes my heart leap:
"Will I someday be standing with scars to give account before Him that I wasn’t about my own comfort but Christ’s call, that I didn’t make my life about safe living but about dangerous dying, that I didn’t escape into a neat, saved American dream but into a messy, mission-driven God-sized demand."
-ann voskamp

Thursday, November 15, 2012

grace for the lazy wife.

happy birthday mr leif.
today you are 29.
this morning, roman and i lit a candle and stuck it in a cinnamon roll.
roman was excited to sing "happy birday" and even more gaa-gaa over the "hot tandle".

. . .

i could stop there, and lead you all to believe that i am such a good wife.
that i woke up early and made breakfast for my husband's birthday.
but i'm not a good wife.  i'm actually pretty sucky.
truth?  mr leif layed out the cinnamon rolls last night.
truth?  roman was up before 5 and mr leif went to give him some milk, and then preheated the oven.
truth?  all i did was frost them.  and stick a candle one.

i justified him being the one to get up early with romes, on his birthday, by just chalking it up to "part of their bonding time"

but then i felt guilty.  and it was the good kind of convicting guilt.
so i hopped out of bed, and mr leif went back to bed.
 and later, we delivered him his breakfast.

. . .

the category of wife is not a pretty one, for me.
there are a lot of ways i struggle as a wife,
but it seems the more i am aware of them..... and the more i admit to them..... and the more i realize that i make it "all about me"..... then that's when the Lord seems to intervene.
when i give in.  admit the struggle.  He rescues.
he supplies this astounding amount of grace, and fills in the gaps that are, sadly, so large.
he gives me the desire to change, to serve.
more of him+less of me=serve my husband.

when i truly evaluate my role as wife, i develop the desire to bring about change.
so, as it would go, i realize my laziness this morning.  my selfishness.
and my lack of desire to serve my husband.

and today?  i shall go to the store and attempt to cook up a feast for dinner.
i'm sure it will be a mini disaster.  but he knows that for me, trying to cook is as much as successfully cooking.

so thankful i get to walk through this life with mr leif.  for his patience. and his humble ways.

. . .

i'm soaking up this book:
{grace for the good girl, by emily p. freeman)
this part touched me:  "....i told myself that good wives keep a clean house and don't cry about paint color.  good wives make good food for their hungry men and anticipate their needs before they have them.  and by the way? good wives are beautiful.
that gorgeous good wife stood in the corner of my living room, just over my husband's shoulder.
she was so put-together, so strikingly perfect, and so very ashamed of me.
 i was a prisoner in my own home, a prisoner to my own impossible expectations."

and loving these words:
{psalm 62:5 in the bible, david and jesus}
so healing to me:  "My soul, wait only upon God and silently submit to Him;
for my hope and expectation are from Him."

Monday, November 12, 2012

happy christmas mail

hi friends!
i'm not sure if it's a mom thing or what, but every year romes gets older, i get more excited for the holidays!
we don't have any major traditions started yet, but as our family grows, 
i'm so excited to begin creating traditions together :)  [cue: major cheesy moment]

that really has nothing to do with this post.

well only kind of..... the holiday part.

i've created eight holiday photo cards and they are listed in my etsy shop!
now that i have a computer again, i hope to get at least a few more up by the end of this week :)

now a quick tangent on my etsy shop.
it's not really a venture i'm pursing to strike it rich.
i mean, lets be honest, if i was really trying to strike it rich, i'd pursue a singing career.
or even better yet? a find-cute-things-you-want-to-buy-for-your-home-but-cant-afford-them-career.
yes. definitely that second one, because i do that already. a lot. so much. too often.

but the etsy shop? it's just a fun creative outlet for me :)
and hey, one order gets me a cute pair of flats from tj maxx. boom.

oh, and i also tell myself it's like i'm still in school.
i'm just trying to teach myself how to use photoshop, so i anytime i learn a new trick,
i feel like i'm raising my GPA at "stayathomemom creative outlet school"

so anyways, that was a lot of random rambling.
here's a little peeky:

this is so much fun for me :)
i need to be creative like some people need a really clean house.
if creativity starts to disappear, then i get buried in laundry and leftover halloween candy.
like, we're talking at least 6 mini boxes of milkduds and 4 mini packs of now and laters. 


[my etsy shop is linked to over on the right, it's the weird small button that needs to be fixed, but i've been too lazy to do so, haters gonna hate]

Thursday, November 8, 2012

the motherload.

i feel like i've been running around like a madwoman for the last month and a half.
barely home to go again.

so.  i shall do a motherload update.  
because, well, i feel more balanced if i stay on track.
and, i wouldn't blame you if you scroll down really quick and decide not to read this.
because, it's really just a quick documentation of crazy whirlwind stuff.
but it's our life.
and i want to remember it :)

you see, i have this system.
i take way too many photos on my phone each day.  documenting the little parts of life.
some get instagrammed.  
and then about once a week, i load them onto my computer, and then they're dumped into my picasa web albums.
from there, i usually blog.
it's a nice little system i have going.  and as i mentioned, it keeps me balanced, and i feel like i'm sort of keeping up with this scrapbook/journal/familymemorymatriarchduty.

but then crazy stuff happened.
including.... my child attacking my computer with a spray bottle of vinegar water 
{i clean with it, he thought he was "cleaning" too....}
and my system got shut down. {pun intended}

but i'm back.
so hi.

let's go way back. like, end of septemberish.
mr leif and i went to pauldavidTripp's what did you expect marriage conference.
and well, what did i expect? i rocked my world. my heart. my mind.
i probably posted about this before. i can't remember. but it was just really good.
and also, my parents came that weekend to babysit.
and that's an important piece to the puzzle, 
because while they were here, my dad's brother unexpectedly passed away.
he went to be with Jesus, and that i can say with confidence.
so. my parents left immediately, and romy and i followed a couple days later.
we packed up our stuff,

 made some road snackies,
 and hit the road.
 he did good.  3 hours to omaha [where we picked up my sis and her girls].
and then 3 more to sioux center, ia.
as i heard how authentic his life was, the respect i have for my uncle compounded by the minute while we were in iowa for the 5 days,
though i didn't know him during the day-to-days, his children and their wives gathered together,
and as a beautiful family, they mourned and celebrated his life.
it was a blessing to our family as well.
we were able to reconnect and bond with our dear cousins.
and spend some time with even just our immediate family.
it's weird how tragedy can provide beautiful things as well.
while we were there, my momma turned 55!

and, roman and charlotte wondered the mall with uncle donavan.  eating lovely amounts of candy.
all too soon, family began to disperse and we headed back to nebraska.
5 days with our "ribbens" family could have easily lasted 30.
they are unspeakably beautiful in many ways.
tim and marilynn raised 4 wonderful boys, and i think we could easily be neighbors with each of their families :)

naturally, we stopped back in nebraska on our way home.
and naturally, after 5 days on the road, my little guy would get the flu.
puking. fevers. puking. limp body.
it was so sad to see him like that, and so difficult to be enduring it hopping between my mom's house and my motherinlaw's house, to try and not contaminate the world.
but we made it through :)
 and she never got sick.
that's what mattered most :)
our wittle hazel baby.
after another 5 days in nebraska, our 10 day road trip concluded.
we were headed home.
 to daddy :)
and the very next day, these two dapper men accompanied me to our family photo sesh.
i'll have to show the real pics sometime.  they're pretty fantabulous.  but hey, what mom doesn't gush over successful family photos?  i do! i do! i do!
we spent the next week re-cooping.
the park,  inhaling bags of candy corn, and snuggling in romy's crib were on our agenda.  
oh, and we spent a day at the pumpkin patch :)

 and then, just a quick week after getting back, romydoodle would turn TWO!
 we had a nice little pizza party.
grammy stayed for a few extra days.
and they spent lots of time outside.
romes didn't mind.  in fact, outside is still his mecca.
and then what do ya know.
just a week after romy turned 2, my sissy hit the big 3-1.
so.  i decided to surprise her by showing up on her doorstep, the night before her brithday!
and it really worked out awesomlyamazing.
off to denver i went. without my child. and wow, flying alone is easy.
it was such a great quick weekend with liza.
it just makes me wish we were neighbors.
sad face.
..... and i can't NOT put my plug in for my flight-home reading material.
i can't wait to tell everyone i know to read. THIS. book.
i've been following her blog for a few years now, and she's just a really beautiful person.
just three days after denver, i had a really bad day.
roman tried to clean my laptop.
apple told me he fried the hardrive.
i felt sick.
i hadn't backed up ANY photos. or videos. or photoshop stuffystuff.
basically my life. romy's existence. and let's get really drama here....every.thing.that.mattered....was gone.
poof.  gone.
but i couldn't really dwell on it, because
the next day, i found myself back in the airport.
without romy. or mr leif. but accompanied by my 18week babybump.
i was off to the bigApple.  
 it was my first time in NYC #inawe #wowlotsofpeople #everyonewalksfast
 and we literally hit the ground running.
or, errrrr, riding.  we took this "expensive" little rickshaw ride to dinner the first night.
 and then we ate our way through the chelsea market 
 i met lady liberty just as the wind was picking up
 and with our flights cancelled and the storm a brewin, we rented a set of wheels,
bought a ton of roadtrip snacks, and drove through pennsylvania to try and fly out of pittsburg.
 it was a wild ride.
my pitt flight ended up getting cancelled.
so i went to hotlantla.
they flew me home.
i wanted to kiss all of the flight attendants and pilots.
i just really was ready to be home.
because look who was waiting for me?
ok. we're getting closer to being caught up.
hang tight.
right after i got home from NYC, i mean, pittsburg, i mean, atlanta....
mr leif had an awards banquet :)
so an hour before the babysitter showed up, i ran to target.
they had a whole 2 maternity dresses to choose from.
one of them was hideous.
the other was black. and plain. and hid my chest.  so, practically perfect.
here is my 19 week belly :)  
and my 19 week butt :)
they're the same size.
i woke up to a cute little donut delivery guy,
we spent an afternoon visiting daddy,
and the next day, a big husker win!
 on sunday i was barely breathing.  i just wanted to crawl into a whole and sleep.
but i had committed to helping decorate for the holiday swing,
and it really was the perfect creative outlet.
just what i needed :)
and later that night, just a week after NYC, mr leif's brother came to visit!
so.  i took a deep breathe, and we were off again.
this time, to lawrence.
i was a first timer at the AllenFieldHouse. it was fun.
i ate popcorn and dip n dots.  they were both amazing.
now we're almost caught up!
we're to THIS week!
i had my HALFWAY sonogram.
we DID NOT find out what we are having.
but we have another sono in a month, so maybe, maybe we will?
i don't know if i can hold out :)
romes and i went with "uncle towel" [uncle kyle] to the nelson atkins museum.
romy preferred to roll in the grass, than view any of their outdoor structures.
and today?  today?  
today started off hot.
someone threw a huge fit wanting chicken nuggies for breakfast. 
 so i distracted him with blocks and before he knew it, 
he had eaten the pears and banana bread that he was refusing just moments before.
and, as i mentioned on IG, i literally made romy pray with me FOUR times by 7:51am
it was a rough morning.
 but guess what.
the reason i'm writing this forever long post with way too many pictures?
the reason you're probably rolling your eyes and thinking, just finish it up already?
well, today, i got a new computer.
i went with a desktop this time.  trying to play it safe with my wildchild.
and also, guess what?  they recovered my hard drive.
 and because mr leif is working late, and this baby head licker went to bed,
i'm here.  typing up our life from the last month and a half,
and just really grateful.
i'm 20 weeks along now.
and this week i've officially kicked nausea to the curb.
last night i even ate thai food.
wow. i know.
i need to go eat some more halloween candy from my hidden stash,
and you need a few sparkly star stickers for reading this whole thing.
nighty night!

yikes, do you feel like i was just really talking on triple fast forward through this whole thing?
because i was.  it was pathetically written, with really no other point then to catch myself up.
HA! take that.  and go eat some chocolate.  i know i'm gonna.