Tuesday, January 22, 2013

our home.

our house is for sale.

actually, it's been for sale since october.  for 4 months.

we're staying in kansas city.  we're just praying and pursuing a different home.  
one with more room to expand our family.  and one that is a tad closer to our church family.

yes, we're the geniuses that put our house on the market right when winter strikes and the house-sale market slows way down.  but we're also the proud parents bringing in a wee little baby in march, and thought, we better try now, before things get cray cray up in herrrrrrrr.  and before we try and stuff the two kids into the same room :)  sleeping nightmare?  could be.  but hey, it could also totally work!


i wasn't going to write about it on here, and maybe just announce it later when we ended up moving.
but you know what? this has been such a process for my heart, for my contentment in the unknown, for releasing control, and....i want to document this part of our life

i want to look back and read about this season, and remember.

i want to remember the hard days of having a messy house, a fussy toddler, and a being sick or tired pregnant mom rushing around trying to pick up so someone can come look at the house.  sometimes happening three times a week. 

i want to remember the process of working on our budget as we look to our next potential home, whatever the size, wherever the location, as a gift from the Lord, and not as something we're entitled to because we live in America, and because we work, and because we think we deserve a nice home.

i want to remember how the Lord has humbled me as i fed myself lies, telling myself, i need more closet space so that mr leif doesn't have to hang his clothes in the living room, or a another bathroom, or a place for our guests to sleep other than the couch, 
when really, we have all we need.
He always supplies, ALL that we need.

so i'm going to write about it today, while we're smack in the middle, while we don't know the outcome.  we'll look back in a year, and see where the Lord has taken our family.  we know it could mean a different home.  or, we know it could mean being right where he already has us.  He is good, and He is the mastermind behind our little life, we are trusting in his timing.


so. you can't tell from this picture below, because i hid the sign, but this beautiful little home went on the market last fall.  we've had over 30 showings, sometimes 3 a week,  and still, the Lord has not provided a buyer.  and that is ok.
deep down, we don't really want to leave our home.
we've spent almost 5 years here.
so much love and hard work has been poured into this little house, to make it our home...
mr leif has spent countless hours building things, remodeling things, and keeping up with all the maintanence that a home built in 1949 requires.

and, even more dear to our hearts, it's where lots, and lots, and lots of memories have been made here.
it's where we started our family and it's where i braved the scary first years of becoming a momma :) 
it's within these walls, that our marriage has grown, we've taken our bff status to a whole new level.
and, it's where we've had longggg discussions, on how we will possibly make ends meet this month, just to follow them up with prayers of thanksgiving the following month, as we've seen the Lord meet our needs so faithfully.
it's where we've taken on big projects, and squeezed them into our budget, and it's where a daddy and son relationship has bloomed into a beautiful gift :)
it's where we've celebrated life, and it's where prayers have been answered :)
and, it's where we've been blessed to be surrounded with creation :)
but, we're open to moving.  we're praying.  and pursuing.

we live about 30 minutes from the majority of our church family.
 and as our family expands, i've realized how much i am leaning on them for support, for friendship, for my social life, for fellowship :)  we don't have any family around, so they are IT, they are our family.  and we long to be closer. hauling two little kids around the city isn't always the most convenient, or gas-friendly!  living near them would be a gift.

and yes. some more space would be nice.  not necessary, but nice. more space would be a gift.

could we make it work here in this little home forever? yes!
can we continue to fill this home with children and love and good times?  you betcha!
i think about all those apartment dwellers in NYC, they squeeze their little fams right in!

we're trying to take things one day at a time, but sometimes, this house on the market thing is just plain exhausting!  
especially with a wild, messy, toddler and a preggo momma, and NO family around to lean on.
on any given moment of the day, my house looks like this in almost every room:
and then, we get a phone call and are notified of a showing at such and such a time.  so then, i race around cleaning up, and roman races around tearing things apart.  we do a quick wipe down, lay out fresh towels, vacuum up a bit, and rush out in the nick of time.  sometimes, the showings are during meal time.  this isn't too budget friendly, because most of the time we've ended up needing to eat out.
romy doesn't mind though :)
but sometimes?  sometimes the showing is smack dab in the middle of his naptime.  actually a lot of the time.  so then i have pick up the house with a cranky kid, and then drive around while he sleeps, and pray that i can transfer him in to continue his nap after the hour has passed and we return home.

and then i realize... 
those are SO first world "problems."
it's a heart check, every single day.
am i pursuing control, or contentment.

and pretty soon, we'll have a baby.  so who knows, maybe we'll just stay here for a while longer.
maybe we'll be moving right when the baby comes. HA!  maybe we'll move this summer? maybe we'll wait a couple more years?   maybe maybe, baby.  it's limbo.
and it's trying to drive me crazy, but i'm not letting it.

paul tells us in philippians 4.7 that the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard our hearts and our minds...and then in verse 8, he tells us to meditate on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable.
no where does it say to worry.

i repeat to myself, all day long,
"fix my eyes on things above, look to the heavens, where my heart is-there will be my treasure also"
over and over.

i want to share with you a quote that is helping me work through this season and my battle to want control ALL.OF.THE.THINGS. on my own:

‎"When a woman has a kingdom heart, she has an active understanding of what matters most to the heart of God. She lives in the balance of passion and contentment. She learns to love well, give without regard to self, and forgive without hesitation. The woman with a kingdom heart may have a duffel bag full of possessions or enough treasures to fill a mansion, but she has learned to hold them with an open hand. Hold everything with open hands. I don't think we are ever allowed to grab hold of anything or anyone as though they matter more than the kingdom of heaven. When you hold your dreams with open hands, you get to watch God resurrect what seemed dead and multiply what seemed small." 
- - - from the book "A Beautiful Offering", by Angela Thomas {an awesome book!}

love well.
give without regards to self.
forgive without hesitation.
hold whatever possessions i have with an open hand.
pursue a kingdom heart.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

baby number two.

dear little baby,

you haven't made many appearances on this blog yet.
but don't you worry, that will change as soon as you arrive :)
 i could sit here at type that i feel bad about not documenting this pregnancy more, but i don't, because i know that  mostly i've been in a processing state of contentment, while at the same time focusing hard on parenting your big brother.  he's 2 now, and he's quite the little guy :)

you see, dear baby, your daddy made me promise not to find out if you were a boy or a girl.
he tells me, "hey! we have a 50/50 chance!" with a big witty grin.
so, i have kept up my end of the deal.

and with 3, THREE, different sonograms at 20+ weeks, i've had THREE different times to cave,
to beg him. 
and i've joked about it with others, that, "i should totally just find out, i should demand it!"
but, deep down, i've known from the start, i'd let your daddy win.

and, as i begin to piece together these last 7 months of this pregnancy journey, i come back to that same word, contentment.

and so, because i haven't known your gender and because of another a logistical reason, that i shall write about soon, i haven't been able to set up a baby room for you, or begin to wash and buy teency weency baby things.  i haven't been able to settle on any names, because it's been so hard to pick one of each.  and, i haven't been able to make a prediction when people ask me, "what do you think you're having?" 

in the beginning those "cant's" drove me nuts.  insane.
i thought, what if you're a girl? i'll have no girl things to prepare for you? gasp.
i thought, where will you sleep?  roman is still very much into his crib?
and, we don't have another room available for you! gasp.
i thought, where will i put your blankies, and swaddlers, and clothes, and your things? i don't have a closet or dresser available! gasp.

but, as time has gone on, the control freak in me and the "i need to know these things so i can properly prepare!",  has slowly diminished and been replaced with: contentment.

little baby, you shall sleep in our room.  in a pack and play!  right next to our bed.  
and if you're too noisy? i'll wheel you out into the living room :)
little baby, we'll find a place to put your little clothes and your things, maybe i'll make your daddy clean out his tshirt drawer, and you can have that space!
little baby, you'll get a name, and it will be just perfect for you!
little baby, none of these silly nesting things will even matter to you!
and maybe? by some miracle, i can even put you in your big brother's room with him!
...just promise not to wake him up!

i'll probably look back at this post someday, and think, how silly was i to let these things bother me.
why did i really struggle to not know all those details, it all worked out!
and i know it will!
but the impatient, overly organized and prepared person that i am has been challenged.
for me, to work through this season has been so good for my heart.
now that i stay home full time, i have had plenty of time to dream about preparing another room, washing little clothes, telling roman about a "sister" or "brother", and those dreams have been met with reality and that reality has forced me to sit back, relax, and just be.  

so i thank you, little baby, for being the tool that the Lord has used to bring me to a place of contentment.
a place that some would have arrived at much easier and sooner than i, 
but i'm here.
ready to soak up these last 9 weeks.
ready to hear those words, "it's a _____!!!!!!!!!"
ready to bring you home, to our little home.

babies change their mommas hearts. they become toddlers, and toddlers become little children, and at each step of the way, they challenge those hard parts of their momma's hearts.  they find those buttons to push, and they reveal what their mommas often don't want to see in themselves.
but, it's such a perfect reason for us mommas to turn to Jesus, because we can't do this mother thing alone.
so fancy that, that i would already be challenged by you, little baby, and the unknown that you have provided me to be ok with.  thank you, sweet baby.


and now, for a little photo recap.
 19 weeks,
momma had a hott date with daddy.
 20 weeks,
the morning of your sonogram
 24 weeks,
on the escalator at nordstroms, it easily goes on your brother's list of favorites.
25 weeks,
a late night target dressing room sesh.
 27 weeks, 
cooking, with swiper off to the left :)
 28 weeks, 
getting ready for a date with your daddy.
29 weeks,
you're a resting place for roman's arm.
30 weeks,
a sweet round accessory to me.

. . .
and now, for my own memory's sake, a little pregnancy journal update.
baby 2:

i felt so yucky up until about 19 weeks, but now no more nausea unless i go too long without eating something!
i still don't have much of an appetite and a lack of cravings, other than my usual love affair with sweets.
i try to make healthy smoothies, because they always seem to sound good.
but other than that, i struggle everyday trying to think of what sounds like something i can eat.
i'm so ready to have a normal appetite again.
[much like my first pregnancy] 

my heartburn is a little worse this time, it wakes me up a lot, but my doctor has helped me find some medicine for that.  and though it's unrelated, at our last sono, the sonographer saw lots of hair on your head, yay!
[much like my first pregnancy]

i can't lay on my back for more than a minute before i start to feel sick.  it's almost a feeling like someone is sitting on my chest and my gut.  it makes it hard to breathe, and often times i wake up in an awkward dizzy pain if i've rolled over on my back in the night.  these are all normal things, as laying on your back can shut off circulation to your main vein circulating from your heart to lower body.  i think i will buy a body pillow to help prop me up on my side better.
[this never happened with my first pregnancy, i could easily sleep on my back!]

wiggle mania.
this baby does.not.stop.moving.  actually it does, but rarely.  and when he or she gets moving, i swear, it's a dance party up in there.  i'm praying for a laid back, easy going baby.  but i suppose the Lord could very well have other plans.  :)  :)  :)
[much like my first pregnancy]

while i look at that list, i think, hmmmm, that may come off as a negative journal.
however, i've truly embraced, or am embracing each of those symptoms.
i am so grateful to be able to carry this baby.
i know that having a baby knit together inside of me will most likely not be an easy ride :)
though each of these symptoms affect me, i welcome them as part of the pregnancy process!
and, as i've learned with roman, motherhood is a selfless act of service, all.the.time.
so, it's quite logical, the growth of a baby would take its toll too :)

signing off.
it's the middle of the night.
i need to go back to bed
and tomorrow, i need to go buy that body pillow!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

a boy and his dadda.

oh roman, you've started calling your daddy "case" on a regular basis now.
though, on this blog i refer to him as mr leif, most of y'all know, his name is casey.
and i usually call him "case" or "babe".

i suppose if i had to choose which one romy would latch onto, case does sound better than babe.
however, it's almost to the point that we need to like put him in time out or something, he says "case" all the time!  
"case, i need help"
"oh that be awesome, case!"
"oh case, soccer ball!"
"i promise did it, case!"

it's so adorable, but so not.
i want him to call him daddy.

but i don't really think mr leif minds.
he usually just gets this little evil grin on his face :)

so anyways.
romes and case.
they've become best friends.

and this is so good for my momma heart.
though roman still wants me RIGHT there with them, saying, "momma come too", non-stop....
he truly becomes happiest at 5:45 when his daddy gets home.

he used to run and hide and only want me.  thinking i was going to leave or something? i don't know.
either way, it's such a blessing to see them together.
and mr leif has taken full advantage of their blossoming relationship.

they play from the moment he walks in the door, until romes goes to sleep.
literally.  he does the bath (which is now a shower, because roman thinks he's cool) and bedtime.
it's like a little mini vacation.
mr leif comes home and swoops up his boy, and then i'm sort of like on "break".
and i love it.

and i also know our world will be rocked in about 10 weeks, so i'm soaking it up, as much as i can.
i love that mr leif.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

movin' on up.

roman, it's time.
time to start carrying your own weight around here, literally.
grandma linda was here for a couple days last week and we decided to find you your own little bag.
one that you could carry around.
because, momma's gonna have a baby, and dude, you've got to start stepping up to the plate.
 and my, oh my.
you are the cutest little toddler i ever did see.
your own bag.  full of diapers, wipes, a juice cup, a paci, and a couple backhoes.
oh, and a front pocket stuffed full of candy, from gma linda.

go romy go!

oh, one more thing, you call that your "kansas city" shirt.
not quite sure why.  but every time i say it's new york city, i think you hear "city" and just go with what you already know :)  regardless, i think it's cute.

Monday, January 14, 2013

lunch love.

in the past couple years my lunch experience has made quite the transition.

there are days when i miss (some of) the conversation of the teacher's lounge, and days when i miss eating with students in friendship group, anger management group, and social skills group, and.... there are definitely days when i miss being able to just shut my door at work and have a nice little lunch in the peace and quiet.


nothing quite compares to my lunches now.

and, i'm rather quite fond of my daily lunch date.
this one tops them all.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

snug as a bug in a....crib.

well my little roman joe,
your obsession with "big machines", trucks, helicopters, airplanes, and basically any form of transportation continues to expand.
just when i've think we've hit full bloom with your love affair for these things on wheels,
you reach another level of obsession.

it's been quite enjoyable watching your vocabulary blossom along side, as well.
you've stepped things up a notch and seem to make real world connections everywhere we go.
you're constantly on the look out, ready to label anything that goes, when we're out and about.

and, your favorite venture is heading down south on US69, because you get to see cranes, rollers, pavers, scrapers, backhoes, dump trucks, skid steers, and some guys workin'.
i know.  one might think it silly to type out all those trucks.
but you truly have a sweet little relationship with big machines, and i couldn't leave any one of them out.

did i ever imagine that at age 28, my time spent in the car would be taken up by looking around for construction sites?  no.  no, i did not.  but, at the slightest view of a big machine, romy gets all freaky excited, so a momma's gotta do what a momma's gotta do.

ok. i'll end rambling about my son's first love.
and, i'll move on to his second love.
his crib.

it's his little safe place, his comfort zone.
and boy do i love how i can combine the three of them....

a boy, a truck book, and a crib.

oh, and his three blankies.

Friday, January 11, 2013

happy new year.

i'm on a roll with all these holiday posts.
i'm giving myself 13 gold stars.


ok. so one thing's for sure, when you become parents, your social life gets a bigggg adjustment.
but, when you get to parent with someone as sweet as my mr leif, the adjustment isn't as bad as it sometimes seems.  
too often i take for granted how seamlessly he has transitioned into fatherhood.
and i am SO grateful he has just as much fun in this stage as we did before kids.
don't get me wrong, we talk all the time about how different life is.
before romes, life was a lot simpler, packed with a much bigger social agenda, and we seemed to always make our way into a mexican restaurant for chips and salsa and happy hour weekly.  
just the two of us.
it's different now.  but it's so beautiful.
it's filled to the brim with the excitement of life that a little 2 year old boy bounces around exclaiming.

so, even though in the past, we may have gotten all fancied up and hit up the town for a rockin new years eve.....we weren't bothered one bit that this year our nye plans included a party at church, getting so excited about romy doing "flips" in the bounce house, and then getting home by 9pm, was glorious.
it's funny how things change :)
 it was such a pretty snowing night here in KC on nye.
mr leif and romes had a little snow ball fight when we got home.
but basically it consisted of daddy trying to nail his son with a snow ball, and roman chucking his sippy cup into snow drifts and laughing.

when we came inside, romy literally said to me, "mommy i wanna snuggle".
obviously i got all crazy excited.
so snuggle, we did.
 i wuv him.

and then roman's night was concluded with the daddy-son ritual, "push-ups".

 and mr leif and i popped a little bubbly.
mine, apple juice version.
his, the real deal.
me: jealous.
and then on new years day, i had this amazing dream develop.
how cool would it be if mr leif could work from home.
i get awfully lonely during the day without adult interaction.
this would be perrrrrrrfect.
oh my goodness, of course.
it was just a dream.
reality sank in on january 2.
mr leif went back to work, and romy jumped right in to his role as my little sidekick.

happy new year :)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

11 days of christmas

i know, i know.
enough with the mid-january christmas posts.

but we went to nebraska for 11 days.
and i need to tell you about it!

i'll go really fast, ok?

i think i will use a "letter to roman" to narrative this lovely photo dump.

dear roman,
it was a thursday morning, and i packed up our car, we were headed back "home"!
daddy was going to join us on saturday, but you and i? we couldn't wait!
your aunt liza and cousins charlotte and hazel were already there, and we just had to join them :)
so, amongst the road closures because of the blizzard that had just concluded, we navigated our way home.  you actually slept for about 2.5 of the 5 hours that we were on the road!
but the other 2.5 hours were filled with your favorite, and totally boring to me, non-fiction john deere tractor movies and construction machine movies.
thanks to you, dear romy, i know when the john deere dozer was invented, why it was invented and where.  {something to do with orchards, and yakama, washington}

anyways, we made it "home" and the party got started.
because, hey, we like to party.

  1.  beautiful {um, holycow beautiful} beautiful snowy view out my window, on our drive home
  2. tryin out your new snow gear at mommy's aunt marce's house.  she's really your great aunt, but you call her aunt marce.  and you also ask to go to her house every single day.
  3. there's hazel.  she was taking a bath in the sink :)
  4. oh, that?  that's a massive train table that you were obsessed with at gma abbi's house.  you played with uncle cameron and the trains.  and then cameron said you could have it!  so now we have it at our house!  i think he's too old for it now :)
  5. ahhh, yes.  that's you with daddy's "sone" {you can't say your "f's" yet}  you are obsessed with daddy's "sone" and can successfully pull up a digger, loader, or dumptruck video all on your own.
  6. and there.  it began.  our first of many christmases.  though you can't tell, while you are playing nicely with a dozer and an excavator (i know, listen to me and my construction knowledge!) there were over 50 people in mommy's aunt elaine's house.  you did great!  until you had a meltdown.  then daddy took you back out to his mom's house, so you could go to sleep.  you like sleeping at gma abbi's house because you have a crib in the basement and it's pitch dark!

  1.  oh, there's hazel again!  all of these next photos are from our christmas with gma linda and gpa don, in the hotel!  you gave hazel that fluffy hat and mittens for christmas!
  2. you had so much fun with charlotte :)  she likes to kiss you and tickle your ear, and you usually don't like it, but you're getting better and telling her that.  she just loves you SO much!
  3. you ate lots of cookies.  you were on a silly sugar high one night until after 10pm!
  4. there's hazel, charlotte, and aunt liza singing on charlotte's new microphone!  they're gonna be in a band someday.  i think you'll be their biggest fan :)
  5. the rest of the pictures in this little group are self explanatory.  mommy's getting tired of typing :)

 after our hotel stay with mommy's family, we went to have christmas with daddy's family!  which means pack up our bags again, and go to another house, and another hotel!  you were a trooper :)  and, well, you LOVE swimming, so you were psyched to spend more time in the pool!

we ended our week with a haircut by megan!  she's mommy's cousin.  you call her aunt megan.  mommy is really close with her cousins so they are practically your aunts too :)
and then, mommy played a wild game with a bunch more of her cousins.  they were laughing so hard, i think some of them pee'd their pants.
you were getting pretty worn out by the last two days, but romes, you were such a trooper!
i counted up and we stayed at:
2 different houses, 3 different hotels, and we had 5 christmas celebrations to attend!

we are so blessed little romy, we have such big families that love us SO much!
every single day, you ask me "can i go to gma linda's house?" and "can i go to aunt marce's house?" and "can i go to hudson's house?" and "can i go to gma abbi's house?"
it breaks my heart that we can't just pick up and head to their houses, 
but we live in kansas city.
and we needed to come back home.

we'll start counting down until our next visit!
who knows, we'll probably have a little baby to take with us that time :)

your momma!

the tree and stuff

i know. it's january 10th, and i'm posting about a christmas tree.
but listen, i have all these photos that i took.  and i took them for a reason: to remember.

not necessarily to document our beautiful holiday home.  because, just shootin it straight here.....we only had like 3 decorations up.
1. a tree
2. a plastic toddler nativity set
3. a collection of spray painted, sparkly pinecones in apothecary jars.

i know.  and i wonder why i didn't have any bloggers asking me to guest-post a "holiday home tour".


our first attempt at decorating for christmas 2012 was a failure.
mr leif hauled out our hand me down, pre lit tree.  which should be handy-dandy, you know, because it's pre-lit.
but with many attempts made, we couldn't seem to connect the three different sections of lights together.  and frustration grew.
so, we collectively decided the tree needed to go back into the box, and back into the garage for a bit.
we tried again a week later, and things went much more smoothly :)

romes went to town decorating with dad.
i've gotten pretty good and smiling and accepting what might not be "what i had in mind" for things like tree decorating.  but how much more enjoyable is it when i just let them do their thing?
so much.
and heck, then i didn't have to mess around trying to put all the ornaments on nicely.

mr leif put most of the ornaments up top and clustered to the front.
and romy played around with a handful of them towards the bottom, rearranging them on a daily basis.
and taaaa-daaaa.
 daddy tried to explain the birth of jesus to romes.
 and, consequently, roman thought mary needed a "lift" to the stable.
much better than a donkey in my pregnant perspective!
 and there you have it, a massive collection of spraypainted and sparkly pinecones on the mantle.
a christmas tree.
and a nativity scene.
those three things concluded our christmas decor.

and......our tree is still up.
i took this photo just this morning!
isn't she a shining beaut!

it probably needs to be taken down.
but those twinkling lights at night?  they're too hard to say goodbye too.
i'm thinking we'll give it another week.