Monday, March 18, 2013

"I"m fine"

Obviously I haven't posted in awhile. I could say its because I don't have a computer but really I just choose to sleep or go to the gym when I have extra time.

I have had a lot on my mind to say lately but today we will talk about saying "I'm fine" when we aren't. I taught a Ladies Bible Class about this last week. 1 John says " if we say we are without sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us". I don't know if any of us would say we are without sin, but we do pretend like things are ok and present only the good stuff to people.

I think sometimes this is worse, or at least very prevalent in churches. We are scared or anxious to admit struggles to each other. In the class last week one woman brought up that most of our prayer requests each week are for illness or for those outside of our congregation. I know that people within out body are struggling with things (myself included) that we don't ask for help and prayers for. If I feel intimidated to share it would seem like visitors or those new to faith would be even more intimidated, feel like they didn't fit in at times etc. I also think that opening up can sometimes be a domino effect. In an effort to maybe start this trend of being real here you go:

1. I am struggling with not having a job. I love my kids and I am blessed to have this time with them but I am passionate about my career- it's not just a job to me. I'm also having a hard time just being home. I'm trying to fill our days with activities but its hard.

2. I have trouble being content. I see the ways some of my friends live and I get a little frustrated that we are in a 900 sq foot townhome in a not very safe neighborhood. Granted. We do live in beautiful Colorado but I would love for my girls to have their win rooms, a yard etc.

3. This one is harder to share but I did say we need to be real....I have struggled with depression at least since college when my parents divorced but probably before that. When I was pregnant with Morgan it got pretty bad and my dr was worried. Then after she was born I met diagnostic criteria for moderate post partum depression. This is a whole other topic, but I think mental illness is not dealt with well in churches. Anyway, overall I'm feeling better now but it's still a challenge.

So the point of this is not to complain or get sympathy. I am very blessed in a lot of ways! The point is to encourage openness and honesty. It has been said that people view Christans as  condescending and hypocritical (not really getting into thoughts about that today) but I don't want that to be me. I have no reason to look down on anyone and I don't want to be hypocritical by telling other people to ask for help when I don't. Jesus' disciples were far from perfect. There is no reason for me to pretend things are great if they aren't- even if I'm just stressed because my house is a mess and my cooking stinks. Please don't think I'm saying we should all wallow in self pity- that's not it at all! We can still be joyful and know we are blessed while being genuine with each other.

The last thing I want to say is to encourage us all to think about how we respond to people we know are struggling. Do we say "let me know if you need anything" or "I'll pray for you" but not do anything else? Those things are not bad but I think we should also consistently pray for others, do things for them, let them know they are loved and not forget when we know they are having a rough time. A verse I also read in Ladies Class last week is 1Peter 3:8 "be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble."

That's it for now!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

It's been awhile

Well, it's been about7 months since I posted anything. I now have a 3 year old and will have a new little baby soon - it's hard to believe both of those things!

Let's do a pregnancy update first:
Morgan Kay is due Nov. 7th but I'm already on bed rest so there is a good chance she will get here early. Basically she is sitting too low and things are already progressing early. I go back to the Dr this week so we will see what she says. I'm still working from home and doing my visits with my foster families as long as I can.
Bed rest is challenging for me. It's hard to ask for help but maybe this is a good lesson. Addie is super excitedc about the baby (she has no idea what she is really in for). She likes to tickle my belly and tell me she is tickling baby Morgan. I think she will really be a good big sister and helper!

Now for an Addie/Family update:
She turned 3 on Sept 23. We had a camping birthday party at Connie's house complete with a tent, an inflatable fire, binoculars for all the kids and "s'mores" (marshmallows dipped in chocolate and graham cracker crumbs). She has been talking about her party since about June and she knew she wanted strawberry cupcakes, party hats, presents, friends and balloons - she got all of those things.

I really can't believe she is 3 already. She is so tall and thin and growing so fast. I love her sense of humor and her vocabulary. One of her favorite things right now is to pretend. She pretends there are dragons or animals in our house, that she is a pirate/mermaid/princess etc. She pretends that we are on a bus or a train going different places, that she is a cook and countless other scenarios. I love her creativity and to see what she comes up with. The only downside is that sometimes she scares herself with her imagination. We have had to make a rule that no dragons or mean monsters are allowed in our house :)

Addie loves to sing, paint and read books. We could do those things all day long. I am still working 32 hours a week and have Fridays at home with her. For now she is still at our dear friend Connie's house the other days and Thursday School at church one day a week. Unfortunately, Connie will not be keeping her any more after October so I am trying to find another child care solution. I cannot express how grateful I have been for the love, lessons and attention she has gotten spending time with Connie. Having Addie spend time with a sweet, creative, godly woman each day has been an awesome foundation for her.

Josh and I are doing well - both busy with work. Josh had another successful (if not crazy) youth group summer. He had two great interns this year who were a big help. The youth group went to Honduras again for their mission trip and it was a great trip for all of them. I'm still working with foster kids and families. It's busy but I like my job and the work I get to do. Other than that I really can't think of any big news at the moment.

We are busy getting ready to be a family of 4 and enjoying the last few weeks as a family of 3. I am not nearly as on top of things or prepared for this little baby - the car seat is still in the basement, no clothes are washed or put away yet etc. It's actually stressing me out so I will try to get to all of this stuff soon.

If you are still reading this - thanks!Hope you enjoyed the updates.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Change of Plans

If you only read this to get updates on my child or stuff we are doing - sorry...this post is more about me sharing a few things that I can't get out of my head lately. However, Addison is doing well and is as cute as ever even though she is a little bit of a 2 year old terror sometimes.

So, this past weekend I was able to go to Austin, TX for the first time in I think 4 years. I consider Austin home even though I moved around a lot growing up. I love that city and I love people there. Unfortunately I don't have a lot of family there except for my aunt (and friends who can count as family). I got some really cheap plane tickets and decided it was time to take Addie since she had never met my Auntie Ann and never been to Austin. So we left Daddy at home and flex out last Wednesday night for 4 days. We had a great trip - I introduced her to Amy's ice cream and the cows, we hung out with some very dear friends and on Sunday we got to go to Westover for the last day of Stream Austin to hear Mike Cope speak and Ken Young speak.

One thing that seemed to keep coming up whenever I had conversations with people was that we are not where we thought we would be right now. I got to hang out with friends from high school, friends I have known since I was 7 and who were best friends to me for a long time, friends from college, friends who have been mentors, and I met some new people. It seemed to keep coming up that our plans do not work out - whether that means people are divorced, still single, struggling with an illness, not in a job they like, have kids, don't have kids, where they are living, or things are going well but its not what we pictured.

When I was talking to my friend Amy she shared a testimony that God had been reminding her to take things one day at a time and not to spend so much time and energy worrying. This was a great thing to keep in my mind as I had the rest of these conversations through out the weekend - God is still God and He works for our good. Even when our plans don't work out and they don't go how we plan - that's ok and it's probably a good thing because His ways are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:9). This is still hard for me to grasp and to realize at times. I know it in my head but to put it into practice is a whole different ballgame.

God has the ability to see the big picture. I try to get better at trusting His plans for me but man, it's a slow process.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Where is your heart?

So, besides being good for recipes and craft ideas, Pinterest has been making me think lately. I read something on the site a few days ago that I can't get out of my head.
"If you want to know where you heart is, look to where you mind goes when it wanders."

That is really interesting. Where does my mind go when it wanders? Sometimes it goes to old friends or family, or to things I would rather be doing, often it goes to my to-do list at work and home. I find my self thinking about things that I want to get done whether it's dishes, laundry or sending an email to someone I have been thinking about lately. I will start thinking about music I like, my next work out or the silly thing Addison did. My mind wanders a lot and since I have been paying attention to where it goes I have been embarrassed at how little it wanders towards Christ instead of the mundane things. I would love to focus more on what He is telling me and what I should be hearing rather than what I should make for dinner.

I'm not exactly sure how to change that except to start making a more purposeful effort to focus more at times. I don't want faith and the things that God has made me passionate about and that He is pulling me towards to be the things that I go to the least.

I want to be proud of where my mind goes and where my heart is. I know it will still go to the everyday and the mundane things and I will frequently think about that my to do list but I don't want that to be my first thoughts and my focus.

Thanks pinterest!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Idea

So, I saw this post on pinterest a few weeks ago that said the 4 gifts that kids get for Christmas: something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read.

I LOVE that idea. I could easily buy Addie tons of cool presents. I could make and get everyone else lots of presents too for that matter. I love to give people stuff that I think they will like. It makes me happy. But, I also think Christmas is way to much about "stuff" now.

I know that I don't really NEED much. Sure, there are things that I would like but as far as needs go, I don't need much. But, I also know that other people in my life enjoy buying presents as much as I do. Christmas has become about giving and joy and presents and I think that's ok as long as it doesn't get out of control. That's why I like this 4 present idea. Kids (or adults) can still make lists in those categories but it keeps things controlled and in perspective.

I want to make a conscious effort to be more deliberate about how I celebrate Christmas and make Jesus and celebrating that gift a bigger part of it. I want my some of my family traditions to be about helping others and giving back and not all about what we want. There is definitely room for other Christmas stuff - lights, trees, parties, Santa etc. But, I also want to be aware of the other side of it. I've been thinking about that more and more this year. I don't want Addison to grow up thinking about how much she can get each year and being upset if she doesn't get everything on her list. I want her to be thankful for presents and generous to others. I already see a lot of this in her now.

That's it for today! Hope everyone is having a great weekend.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Ninja Warrior -Please Read

I have posted before about my friend Nathan. Now let me tell you about his sister Amy. She is someone I have looked up to for a long time. We really got to know each other when I was going into the HS youth group and she had just graduated from it. We stayed in the same house in Minnesota for our youth group mission trip along with one of her good friends and my friend Kristen. We made a lot of memories that trip - we got stuck on the side of the road and sang VBS songs, we laughed until our stomachs hurt and we learned a lot about each other.

I learned that Amy fought to have her high school allow her to have a bible study on campus, that she marched to beat of her own drum and that she was not afraid to speak her mind. I also learned that she deeply loved Jesus and her family...and that she has MS.

The next summer is when I went to Africa and got very sick. Amy was a huge support to me even while she was away at college. Towards the end of that year we took a road trip to Houston together so I could go to a special clinic that dealt with headaches for a week. Amy hung with me in the hospital until my parents got there and even showed the nurse the best vein to use for my IV (she had lots of experience).

Amy has been pretty open about her journey with MS. she deals with weakness tremors,spasms and lesions on her spine and brain as well as other technical things i dont understand. her health has gone up and down with different medications and situations.

 Recently she has decided that she has had enough and that while she has full trust in God she is also going after a cure. I'm telling you - this woman amazes me. She has two blogs but the one that she recently started about this journey is called "Amy Goes Ninja on MS" - here is the link Please read it and find out about her journey. She is also raising funds for a procedure that could rid her body of this illness - what a blessing that would be! Pass it along to anyone else that you think would be interested as well.

Like I said, she is someone that I have always respected and looked up to. When I started writing I mentioned her younger brother Nathan. Nathan passed away almost nine years ago. The Dodd family has been through a lot but they have stayed focused on Christ. I keep thinking that if Nathan were here he would be Amy's biggest cheerleader right now encouraging her to kick MS's butt...i am thankful that she is fighting this and that she is letting the people that know and love her support her financially and prayerfully.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The most wonderful time of the year???

It's really no secret that I love Christmas time and always have. Like, I obsessively love Christmas. I love making and buying presents for people. I love decorating the house. I love Christmas movies and baking and lights and Christmas trees.

The past few years though, I have noticed that I have not enjoyed it as much as I have in the past. I'm not sure if it's because I'm so busy that I'm too stressed to enjoy it or if it just all seems like a little more of a hassle or what. This year has been more fun since Addison is really starting to know about Santa and Christmas. I hope she grows up to love Christmas time too.

So, the other thing this has made me think of is that Christmas is about family and for the past year (or a little less I guess) I have really been wanting our family to grow and that is just not happening like I want it to and it seems to frustrate me more right now than usual. Christmas time is always hard on people who have experienced loss, grief, challenges etc.

At work we tell our foster parents to except the unexpected from the foster kids in their homes as they all deal with being away from family differently. Some of them have happy memories of holidays with their parents but some of them have memories of sad and scary holidays. The kids can be angry, apathetic, sad, or grateful and happy (or all of those things).

This time of year brings out so many different emotions and unfortunately I think sometimes we get caught up in the joyful-ness (not a bad thing) and forget about people around us who may be hurting: people who lost a family member this year, are going through a divorce, have health struggles etc. 

So - thanks for letting me ramble a little bit. Praying that everyone has a blessed Christmas and new year!

Sunday, November 13, 2011


I'm not sure anyone looks at this anymore - not that I blame you since I haven't written in months. I have a bunch of cute pics to upload but first a little update:
My munchkin is 2! She had an "Olivia" party and loved it. She seems like such a big girl to me...and is full on in the two year old stage at times. We are talking throw herself on the ground when she is upset stage. It's not often and it doesn't always last long but oh my goodness it makes me crazy. She is also learning new words constantly and making sentences.She is recently obsessed with snow and pumpkins - adorable! She is doing great with potty training and says goodbye to her poop when she flushes - hilarious!
When we took her for her 2 year check up the doctor said that she was only at the 5% mark for weight and she was a little concerned since she had actually lost weight since an check up for an ear infection a few months ago. I am supposed to do the opposite of all my healthy habits like low fat cheese, not much butter, fat free yogurt etc to help her gain some more weight. We will do a check up in a few months to see how she is doing. It is hard on me that I have a child who does not eat veggies or fruit and is so picky. My favorite foods when I was a kids were veggies and fruits and I will eat anything. I want her to be healthy and eat more than chicken nuggets, grilled cheese and peanut butter and honey.

Anyway - Josh is busy but doing well. He was asked to be on the board of NCYM (National Conference on Youth Ministry) something he has been excited about for a few years. My job is crazy and stressful but it's a needed paycheck. And, I guess I would miss what I do, although I wouldn't mind having a less stressful type of job, working part time or working at a different agency. 

So, I think that's it for now....there really is so much going on but I don't really have much more time to type so it will have to wait.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Two Years Ago Sept 22

Two years ago today I had convinced my mom and Josh to let me out of the house by myself for a few hours. I was supposed to be on bedrest but since it was now ok for Addison to be born it was no longer as crucial and it was fine for me to do stuff if I felt like it. So, I went to the mall for a few hours to walk around. When I got home Josh had chili ready for dinner and I sat on my exercise ball that had become my regular chair.

Contractions started actually earlier that afternoon and I ignored them. They got worse about dinner and I waited, and waited and waited until I absolutely couldn't stand it or barely stand, any longer and then we went to the hospital. I listened to Weezer on the way to the hospital. I had Heartsongs in my head and it was great. We got there and I barely got the epidural in time. Minutes after getting the epidural my water broke. A few minutes later i started pushing and my little girl was here. (By this point it was no longer Sept 22, it was now into the 23rd).

It was a whirlwind  next few days and now I have an amazing, smart, sometimes sassy, independent, beautiful little girl who loves kisses, hugs, Oliva, Elmo, books and butterflies.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Vegas Vacation

Over Labor Day weekend we met Josh's family in Vegas. His brother Jared was there for a wedding and his parents have a condo/timeshare thing so it was a great place for us all to meet sicne we hadn't been together since last Thanksgiving. Plus tickets were pretty cheap.

Everyone was surprised at how big Addie had gotten and how much more she was talking etc. She says "thank you" all the time now and it is so, so sweet. She has also started saying "sorry" we are just trying to teach her when to say it. Josh and i were impressed at how well she did staying up late to accomodate the adults without being fussy. She is such a happy and flexible little girl!

We had a good time on the trip and saw some fun stuff (everyone had been there before except for Lauren), played at the pool and Josh even won some money. Gramps and Addie had a great time together and any time that Great Grandmother can spend with Addie is always special. I could obviously write more but it's the little Munchkin's bedtime so the picture's will have to do for now.