Saturday, October 30, 2010

Please pass the pumpkin pancakes!

Fall. Pumpkins. Foliage. Apples. Long shadows. Ah, fall is my favorite time of the year! I love pumpkin-anything: pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, etc. I had a gluten-free pancake mix from the Black Barn Bakery that I bought at the farmers market, so I decided to make pumpkin pancakes out of the mix for Seth's breakfast this morning.

"Hmm - I'm not so sure of this new taste. Let me try more."

"MMMM - I love pumpkin pancakes!"

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Weekend Wrap-up - October

After several busy weekends, we had a low-key weekend at home. Friday was still pretty nice outside, so we had to have our last bonfire of the season.

But before our bonfire, we went to an open house for the North Metro Midwive group at the new hospital. These were the midwives that took care of me while I was pregnant and also delivered Seth. The main certified nurse midwife that owns the group hosted the open house to introduce the two new midwives. Lord willing, if we are pregnant again in the future, I would love to go through that midwife group again.

It was like going to a family reunion, seeing Kathrin and all of the other families who have had babies delivered by the midwives. It was like going to see your favorite teacher from your previous school year. She is very passionate for all the women she sees and the babies she "catches". I'm so glad I came across this group. As usual, Seth warmed up after we had been there a while and then he entertained us with squeals, fake laughs and copy-cat screams.

On late Saturday afternoon, the three of us went to the mall just to get out of the house. It was so much fun! We walked around. Seth people-watched. We sat in the rotunda and fed Seth his dinner. He got a kick out of his echo in the rotunda, so he kept squealing and happy-screaming. We ate a quick dinner and then we were home in time to put Seth down to bed.

After church on Sunday, it was a lazy day of hanging out at home. Seth had a good time in the church nursery. He really enjoys himself and keeps so busy with all the toys. The church nursery girls always comment how busy he is playing with all the toys. He never screams when I leave him at the nursery!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Weekend in Door County

We finally made a trip to Door County to visit Dave and Carrie! It was Seth's first trip to their home. We couldn't have asked for a more fun weekend.

When it was just me and Jason making the trip to DC, it would take us just over 5 hours. With a 10-month old sitting in the back of the car, it took us over 6 hours to get to DC! Joyce came with us, so we had a fun road trip. We stopped two times - once for a quick rest stop and then a second stop that was longer to have lunch, feed and change Seth.

Seth is a trooper in the car! We gave Seth special toys that he's not used to playing with and then we took turns sitting in the back with him to play and talk. He had two decent naps.

We got to Dave and Carrie's home the same time Jason's Uncle Dennis and Aunt Marcia were dropping his Grandma Inge. Grandma Inge was also spending the weekend at their home. There was a full home with us, Grandma, and Dave and Carrie's "kids" - Gunnar, Allie, and Bucky. Jason's Grandma Inge asked, "What should Seth call me?" and I asked her what she wanted to be called. She thought for a second and said, "How about Oma?" So, Oma it is.:)

The dogs and Seth had a mutual love for each other, although I think the dogs thought Seth was a new toy every time he squealed or screamed. Seth would be standing with hands on the living room gate with the dogs lined up on the other side of the gate in the dining room. They hung on Seth's every movement. But, if any of the dogs got a little carried away with kissing Seth on the face, he just gave them the hand and pushed them away. He's a very assertive little boy.

Seth and I shared a room in the house, while Jason slept in the trailer in front of the house so his allergies wouldn't bother him. I love my husband, but boy - it was fun sleeping in their huge king size bed! Seth slept in his pack and play next to the bed. I was trying so hard not to make loud noise because Seth is such a light sleeper. He didn't wake up upset at all during both nights.

Saturday morning was really sweet. I cuddled with Seth in the big king-sized bed before he had breakfast. After Seth played with the dogs, he took a nap. In the afternoon, we took a gorgeous drive up to Sister Bay to stroll the annual Sister Bay Fall Festival. Carrie was working at the Door County Humane Society booth all day, so we made sure to visit her at the booth. Seth was entertained by Doorie, the Door County Humane Society's mascot. He just studied Doorie and tried to figure him out.

It was such a BEAUTIFUL fall day - in the mid 60's and sunny. It seemed like everyone and their uncle was at the festival. Seth got a kick out of watching people. He just squealed and laughed out loud. He really enjoyed himself. So much so that he took a nap on the way home.

After dinner and after Seth went to bed, the adults played a card game and then we all kind of konked out.

Sunday morning was leisurely and after Seth woke up from his nap and ate, we got back on the road. We even sat in a gas station someplace in Wisconsin and fed Seth his dinner. We were listening to the Vikings game on the radio. We'd say "Yayyyy, Vikings!" and wave Seth's left hand when they did something good. Seth caught on and before you know it, we'd say "Yayyy, Vikings!" and Seth would start waving his hand with a big smile on his face.

Seth became a Viking fan before he learned how to wave. Yep, it's true - I've been trying to teach him how to wave good-bye to me before leaving for work. But teach Seth how to cheer for the Vikings and he's got it down in no time! Maybe he's in denial when I leave for work. Yep, I'm sure that's what it is.

As we got closer to home, Seth was getting to his limits. He wanted to be out of the car seat! We couldn't agree more - the drive seemed longer on the way home.....or maybe it's because I didn't take a nap on the way home.:)

It was really fun to just spend the whole weekend with everyone.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Crinkle nose

Seth crinkles his nose when he's not happy or doesn't want to do something.

But as quickly as the crinkle comes, just as quickly does it go.

Weekend Wrap-up: October

Whew - it was a whirlwind weekend of family and friends! I was excited the whole week because Jamie and Paul were coming into town for the weekend. We had to have a "cousin's get-together".

Our "cousin's get-together" included Josh, Becky, Jamie, Paul, Jayson, Jen, Kyle, Jenni, Jason and me. Since we were the cousins that grew up together, with the exception of our spouses :), we love to all get-together, tell stories of our growing up years and act silly. Because it's what we do!

We had a very long dinner at Cooper Pub, that fun new Irish Pub in the West End. We had so much fun - lots of goofy laughter, usually at the expense of one another. There were no little kiddos, but Jason did have to stay home and watch Seth since we couldn't find a sitter. Boo!

Jamie and Paul spent Friday night at our house. We chatted up late until our eyes were too heavy. Jamie and I got up early to take Seth for a walk up to Starbucks and get our favorite Pumpkin Spice Lattes - yummy, yummy! It's kind of a tradition for us to go walking around the lakes in the fall and treat ourselves to a Pumpkin Spice Latte, so this was pretty fun to get to do this.

While Seth took his morning nap, Jason and I got ready for our fall photo shoot with JS Photography at the Maple Grove Arboretum. We had family photos taken in the GORGEOUS fall foliage. Seth was dolled up with a cute brown sweater, but at 11:30am it was already 70 degrees! I think we got a lot of good photos because Seth had a ball playing in the foliage. Sonja was really good and interactive with Seth - she caught his attention!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Waited for a husband & a job, waiting to be a SAHM

The point behind this post is about how I waited for my husband and a job. Now, I wait to be a SAHM.

Like Kelly at Kelly's Korner and her blogger friend Amy, I wanted to get my 'CLICK' moments down on paper. It's how I'm getting real about how God is in control of my life in these areas for two reasons: 1) as a reminder to myself during this waiting mode, and 2) to encourage others.

Waiting to get married:
I married Jason when I was 28, which at the time seemed SO OLD and LATE. My joy to be married to Jason was (and is!) overwhelming. He is exactly the man that God wanted me to wait for. Boy, am I glad I did! There were no reservations, only a fulfilled and long-awaited joy. I still receive blessings for waiting.

What I wish people said to me then:
1) You are exactly where God wants you to be right now.
2) I am proud of who you are – not what you do or what your “status” is.
3) Your job right now is to bloom where you’re planted. Tell me about your job, hobbies or your involvement in church. (Stay away from asking if I'm dating anyone.)
4) I’m not going to lie and promise that you will find a husband because that’s the desire of your heart.

What I wish people hadn't kept repeating over and over:
“Just wait, God will give you the desires of your heart.” I desired to meet a godly man that would be God’s chosen husband for me, get married and start a family. Those were great, noble desires, right? So, why did God not bring them when I really wanted them? Sometimes I felt like that Bible passage was taken out of context. I didn’t want my waiting experience to reduce my view of God that He was a genie in a bottle. I believed that God enjoyed giving gifts to His children, but it was hard when I saw that He was giving those gifts to my friends and not me. For a few years, I dated a handful of potential men, but something didn’t feel right and I knew the Holy Spirit was leading me to move on.

“You’re such a quality, beautiful Christian woman that I’m sure it’s only a matter of time until you meet the right one”. So, as time went on, did that mean I wasn’t a quality Christian?

Why I’m glad God brought my DH and my baby son into my life when He did:
1) I learned tangible ways of waiting on God and how to deal with disappointment early in my life.

2) I have experiences and memories that I may not have been able to have if I had married at a young age:
- I’ve traveled around the world, lived in another country and have friends in other countries. Sure, I may have been able to do these things after my kids are off in college, but maybe I will not have the money then I'd rather use our money to help send the kids to college or be around to help aging parents. If I'm really honest, at 20 years old, I was more physically able to climb Long's Peak instead of waiting to be 48 years old and maybe not as physically able to climb Long's Peak (or have the desire to!).
- I’ve been a bridesmaid in 14 weddings. Who can say that other than Katherine Heigl in 27 dressses? If I were married, I may not have had the money to buy those dresses or time to be in those weddings!

3) There is SO. MUCH. MORE. JOY. in experiencing a long-awaited gift.

4) I've been told by other younger women that I've been an encouragement to them as they wait for their own husbands.

Waiting for a job after being laid off two times:
The first time I was laid off from a dream job, I immediately drove over to my husband's office and had a good cry - well, a few days of a good cry. The second time I was laid off, I immediately drove to my favorite coffee shop and enjoyed a nice fall afternoon.

I tried to speculate God's reason for letting me lose my job both situations. At the time, I couldn't see the reason. I have come to see that my next positions enabled certain things to benefit my future situation. I believe God orchestrated those positions for those times. Let me explain...

Layoff #1: Two months after being laid off, I found a position at a company that would later prove to be super flexible with me 6 months later when my father-in-law was diagnosed with stage-4 glioblastoma brain cancer. My boss let me work from my laptop at my in-laws' home most days of the week so my husband and I could be close to his dad and mom. They let me have quite a few days off, no questions asked, as we had many hospital visits. My previous job involved a lot of travel, so it would have been very stressful to travel a lot and be gone from my father-in-law and be a support to my husband. When my father-in-law passed away, I was given extra bereavement days off.

Layoff #2: A few months after my father-in-law passed away, I was laid off from that position and two months later, I found a position at my current company. This job has provided excellent health insurance for a major brain surgery that my husband unexpectedly went through in August 2009. He had trigeminal neuralgia, which is chronic pain that felt like a bolt of lightning through his jaw and head. He underwent a very successful microvascular decompression surgery and had no complications or regressions whatsoever.

Going through these layoffs has benefited me in these ways:
1) It has helped me to not rely on my employer, but God as my provider.
2) There is no guarantee that for any job loss in the future, I will always find a job within a month or two.
3) I can take advantage of being off from work by doing special things I couldn't do while working: taking walks in the middle of the day on gorgeous days and having coffee with a friend in the middle of the day.

These experiences are now helping me in my current period of waiting. I'm waiting to be a stay at home mom to our baby boy. My heart longs to be home solely nurturing Seth, teaching him and helping him grow, while taking care of our home. I feel like it's what I'm meant to do. But it's not that easy for me to just quit my current marketing job because I am the sole income provider in our family.

Jason took a step of faith and quit the mortgage industry last June when he felt like he was being led by God to pursue something else that would allow him to be the sole income provider. He is now exploring new career options and trekking on the job search trail. I am so. very. proud. of my husband to do something bold like this. He has organized our financial situation so we don't debt except for our mortgage while we wait for his job.

I can see that my current job is needed because it provides the income we need to pay for our mortgage and living expenses, so Jason can find the right job to provide for our family.

And, yet.....I still struggle to wait. I ask the same questions that I asked when I was waiting to meet Jason: why would I have such a noble desire, but God has not brought it to fruition? Am I disobedient to God's calling for a mother if I have to work while Jason waits for his job?

So, despite the fact that I've experienced many blessings from waiting, I'm still learning the value of waiting for God to bring about His plan for us.

My beautiful rewards for waiting.:)