Monday, June 30, 2014

An Excellent Day

Yesterday was a good day. A really good day.
I would say good days for us are far and few between. Don't get me wrong. We have a list of things we are thankful for daily, and we have great moments each day. But generally speaking Emmaus has a lot more hard moments than good ones. And So I have conditioned myself to have pretty low expectations. For example. I took treats to school on her birthday and she basically lost her shit. She freaked out, pulled her hair, screamed, threw the pretend cake her teacher had set out. She did enjoy the singing. And I enjoyed the grace her teacher extended to her. And the fact that her teacher knew the music that would make Emmaus happy and played it during snack time. But overall- I wasn't surprised by her reaction or disappointed- like I would have been six months ago. I am learning to keep my expectations low and then when a good day comes- I am pleasantly surprised!
And yesterday we were surprised by a really good day.
She woke up happy. She went to target with her dad and sister and didn't have a single melt down. She walked around all day embracing the knees of those around her giving the best hugs! I heard her say words I have never heard before! (Strawberry, downstairs) She took a nap. And all of this happened on the day we had planned her little birthday party.

I even had a little craft time in the morning to finish this book garland- which always is a plus. Creating anything is good for my soul! 

She was ecstatic to see some of her favorite people. She didn't freak out when we sang to her, or cry when she got overwhelmed. She just was a fun happy girl.

She even enjoyed opening her presents, which has never happened before! 

 And then baby sis capped off the party by taking 5 big steps in front of the remaining family! I have been convinced she would start walking while Dan and I are out of town this week.  We missed Emmaus' first steps because they happened during physical therapy at school- so it was very fun to see Shiloh's!

I am thankful for the rest a wonderful day provides. Yesterday will be a shining memory in my mind for a long time to come. Happy girl. Stepping baby. Sweet times indeed.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I'm starting a new club

Fear is a funny thing.
My best friend and I talk about fear a lot. She is a naturally fearful person. I do not happen to be a naturally fearful person- but I have a lot of fearful things generally present in my life. 
She generally fears the typical "parent fears". Horrible germs, strangers, "I heard on the news" scenerios.

I tend to fear things equally as dark. Seizures that we could miss- leading to the ultimate fear of any parent- death. Okay- well basically that is my main fear. (I also fear vomiting and explosive poo- cause OMG so gross-)

What I am saying is we both fear. A LOT. Whether our nature (or nurture- however you want to look at it)  is prone to fear, or to be more go with the flow- fear is a daily struggle for BOTH of us. So I assume we aren't alone in this little fear club of ours.

Somehow we have convinced ourselves that by worrying about things and fearing things we have some control over those things. Which is just absolutely false.

I shared with a friend today that I was unreasonabily fearful about Emmaus right now. She has been acting a little off, and my mommy gut tells me something is up. Her response was so life giving.
"That means we need to pray. Our God loves to deliver us from all of our fears and bring healing and peace into our souls and our famlies."
And the good news is- I believe this! Fully.

I believe being a parent is such a good tool to drive you close to the Lord. Because you ultimately are not in control of the lives you have been give to guide. And while you must guide and protect where you can... You must trust in the Lord to do the rest.

So today. As I struggle with being overwhelmed with fear. I just figured I would name it. And instead choose to stand in the place of truth. A place where reality still exists. Something may be brewing with Emmaus- but that no matter what- in that the Lord will not forsake me. He stands with me in this place of truth- and reality. And while the reality of our lives may mean seizures are present or lurking under the surface. Reality also is-
That the Lord is faithful.
He Loves me.
And He is bringing good news.

You can join my truth club if you want. (Positions for co-encouragers and retrivalist- (those who go get members who have fallen back in to fear) are currently open)  


Monday, June 23, 2014

Cinnamon Sugar

Few things make me quite as nostalgic as sharing some of my favorite childhood things with my daughters.

This morning it was cinnamon toast.

Perfectly made. Crunchy, but somewhat soft from using too much butter, and then saturated with sweet, cinnamony, goodness. Just like my mom made it.

The typical chaos slowed amongst the signs, and spoken "muh muh" and squeals from the small one  (who had woken up super early and had already had two breakfast's)  Never fighting each other for the next bite but each knowing there was plenty to be had. It was a moment in time I will remember as a mom.
              Two girls.  Their rose bud sugar coated lips. And and lots of bites and happy girls later.

Now... Maybe we should try orange julius. Hey mom- can you email me the recipe?


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Starbucks Love

I met my husband working at starbucks.
Well I suppose I really met him while studying at starbucks. We both worked there. He was the new assistant manager and while reading some assigned reading after my first day of nursing school (I assure you that is the one and only time I actually read the assigned reading- first day vigor I tell you) the store manager introduced us.
It wasn't love at first sight. Well I mean- he swears he thought I was the "hot girl" of the store- so he was interested. And I truly just wanted someone to be interested.

I was coming out of a 4 year long very messed up broken relationship. I was down on myself due in huge part to lies I believed about myself spoken from an immature young man (we both were) who I was so madly-abandon all your good sense and principles- in love with.

Anyway, our relationship started slowly. In fact for a long while nothing happened. I jokingly refused to call him Dan- instead I called him STAN- because Dan was the name of the guy I had dated before.
Can you imagine? I actually called him Stan for months.

By Christmas I liked him.

He dressed up like Santa for the PV Starbucks christmas party. Which showed me he wasn't above a little self embarrassment for the greater good. And for the employee christmas party I was crushed when he sat next to another girl the whole night and volunteered to leave early to close the store. However- a friend and I took his white elephant gift to him after the party.

By spring I went out of my way to "stop by the store" when I was off work looking all cute cause I knew he was working.

We had our first date in March- which truly wasn't a date at all and involved me heading over to his house after babysitting and hanging out from 12-5am. We played heads up poker all night and got to know each other. The whole night he kept saying "lets wager something" knowing he meant a kiss- but I refused to offer, and he was too polite to ask.

Early summer I transferred to a new Starbucks so we could "legally date"- since he was my boss.

By late summer I was in love.

Dan's natural calm, his quiet confidence and his sense of humor caught my attention.  His incredibly hard work ethic, and him being my intellectual counterpart captured me. And his honest, incredible love for me made me fall right back in love with him.

This is super simplifying our relationship- it wasn't easy- because I still had many feelings for my ex,  however Dan never pushed me. He held our relationship very openly and never made any demands. Yet he was always so good to me.
He still is.

He asked me to be his forever

We just celebrated being married for five years. He got me the most thoughtful gift. Our vows carved on wood.

The last line of our vows says "I promise to walk confidently with you on the Path God has chosen for us.

I had forgotten about this part. We wrote our vows together- and I love that before we had any idea of our life path, before we knew the trials we could meet we promised to walk confidently together.

Sometimes I wonder if had known what our path would hold, and how hard marriage truly is if I would have chosen to get married.
But I guess that is the truth about anything. If you aren't willing to endure the hard stuff- the good stuff gets missed. And man our good is SO sweet. Because we have lived in the desert, when we get to rest in the meadow we truly appreciate the calm, the cool and peace of life.

I am thankful every day for the Man I get to spend my life with. He is incredible. And he loves me so well.
Our life is beautiful, and so very messy. And I wouldn't have it any other way.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014


This week I found myself filling out information for Emmaus' first IEP evaluation. IEP for those unfamiliar is the special education plan for those that have special learning needs.
It basically was one of the more discouraging moments of my life. There is nothing quite like filling out "No" on page after page of skills that your child cannot do.

I finally stopped working on it after the question "What are your child's strengths".
Que crickets.....
She has lots of them. But I know the ones that immediately came to mind were not what the question was looking for.

1.Emmaus is an Excellent Cuddler.

2.Emmaus is very affectionate.

3.Emmaus loves her sister fiercely.
4. Emmaus is an excellent teacher.
             -Especially in the areas of patience, hope, and Lord's faithfulness.

Emmaus reminds me that this earth is not my home. And while I struggle still when I have to look at the reality of "where she is"  verses  "where she could be".  I am very proud of her strengths.  (Very proud of her in general)

Overall her evaluation went well. She showed she has "behavioral issues" and "transition problems" by screaming/refusing to participate for the first 30 minutes. Then she began to warm up and show off some of her skills.
After being told multiple times by several different sources that she likely would not qualify for classroom preschool services. She qualified for FULL services!
We are both excited about this- and sad at the thought of leaving her current school that we love so very much.
The actual hours spent in school will be less, but it will be more of a routine. And since we will not be paying for private education I will be able to be home with the girls more. Giving more stability overall to her daily schedule.

Sis- you are incredible. You teach your mommy every day. 
You are my biggest challenge, an incredible joy & seriously- the BEST cuddler I know.