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.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

the zoo.

if you're within a 5 hour radius of omaha, you've probably been to the ahhhhhmazing omaha henry doorly zoo.  if you haven't?  you should go.  even if you're not a huge animal fan (me) you should still go, it's just really cool.  and if you are freaked out by butterflies everywhere (me), sometimes landing on you, then just don't go into the butterfly exhibit thing.  and, if you live in kansas city (me) then just skip the KC zoo and head north to omaha.  because this zoo can not even compare.
sorry kc zoo fans.  but really, get your booty to omaha.  you'll thank me later.

but anyways, we went to the kansas city zoo a couple weeks ago.
it was so hot and sticky and muggy that day.
but we actually had a really great time.
and i didn't pack us any lunches or drinks, so we got to eat yummy zoo food! (nasty hot dog and pretzel with way too much salt!)
but romes earned himself a yummy cherry zoo slushie, so all was good in toddler land.

me, being the momma bear of the family is always trying to get us to do these "fun family things!" other mommas probably understand this kind of thing, we like to formulate radiant ideas in our mind, and think they'll be just perfect!  trips! picnics! family outings!  mostly, they're more work than we ever imagined, and mostly, one could say it's just easier to stay home, but us momma's...we like to try and make a memory or two :)

SO, it was off to the zoo!

Monday, August 12, 2013

a slump.

i've been in a slump.

i looked up slump in the dictionary, well,, and it says it means to fall or sink suddenly.

that's what's happened.  i've been falling and sinking, and though there are so SO many good things going on, and so MANY good moments happening, the sinking is still happening too.

one could call it post partum stuff, or maybe it has to do with my low iron + a baby who is waking up every 2-3 hours for almost 5 months now, or my ever worrying mind about my decreasing milk supply, or maybe it's my toddler that stretches me so thin i feel like i'll break.  maybe it's all those things.  regardless of what you want to call it, anxiety, depression, exhaustion, or a slump?.... it's consuming and some days, it takes everything i have just to make it through the day.

i can sit here and list what i'm grateful for. and the list would pour onto the floor.
it would overflow with abundance of gifts and blessings and love and support.
it would make me feel good, and it does.

but then something happens when the baby cries and i can't get him to fall asleep and the toddler spills all the crackers on the floor, steps on them, and then screams at me because he's hungry.  something happens when i look around in this house, and though we've lived here for almost 5 months, it still doesn't quite feel like home.  something happens when i watch the clock and it ticks so slowly until my mr leif gets home at 6pm.  something happens when i try to leave the house and the baby screams in the car, which makes the toddler scream in the car, which makes me want to cry and just turn around and stay home.  something happens when i open up my tub of clothes and try on those jeans again, the ones i wore before sweet archer came, and they still don't fit, actually, nor do any of the shirts. and the scale? something happens when i step on it and it just sits at that number, never lowering, and though i can be told, "but you just had a baby 5 months ago!" it doesn't comfort me, and my unhealthy view of body image.  and something happens when think of all those things, and i get angry at myself for not handling this better, for feeling so pathetic, for letting these things consume me and swallow me.  why can't i overcome this?  i'm a believer...are christians supposed to feel this way?  and where's my joy?  that joy that's unspeakable?
and when all of those things keep happening - it makes those blessings get foggy.
it covers up my gratitude and overwhelms me with a feeling of, i can't do this.

i want to write more in this space.  i desire to write every day.
i want to pour my heart out, unleash my mind, and let my fingers flow with what's inside.
but it's not always cute.  or funny.  or worthy of publishing.
and i feel frozen when i can't be real.
if i continue to try and ignore what's going on in my heart, and just write about all the good stuff? then for me, it's not worth writing at all.
i want my children to read about my hard days too.
i want them to see that life is weary.
and i want to show that i am so so broken.

and then i want to do one thing, and one thing only, i want to point up.
to christ.

i want to share that i am struggling, and my only way out is to breathe in gulps of His living water.
i want to share that it's ok to be weak, and that it draws us closer to our Father, and when we are weak, it stirs up His compassion.
i want to share that though i am delicate, i am grounded in truth, and when your foundation is on solid ground, you will flourish.

motherhood is so refining.
marriage is work.
life is hard.

but, oh my.  oh my, oh my. it's beautiful.
it's good.
it's lovely.
it's so SO sweet.

i look at my husband and am in awe by how much love i can have for this man.
i look at my children and overwhelmed with how my heart beats for them.
and, i look at my life and even though i see so much good, i also see the bad, and together, they paint the most beautiful picture of a sinner, running and clinging to the only hope we have in our Savior.
i see his grace, and i see it pour out from the moment i hear the baby cry, to the countless times my toddler wears me thin.  he sees me weak, and weary, and he pours his grace down upon my broken attempts to mother.  and he meets me in my mess, and together, we love these children.  and together we serve my husband.

these trials that happen to us believers, they are so good. so SO good.
it's through them that we hear the Father whispering, Come to me, come to me, come...
His vast ocean of love is so big, i can not comprehend.
and when we are weary, and weak, then he is so very strong.

i'm meditating on proverbs 18:10 today,
the name of the lord is a strong tower, the righteous run to it and are safe.

>>> scenes from the leif house <<<

and, loving this