Tuesday, September 16, 2008

ten smile tuesday...

its been another week packed full of blog-worthy moments...and yet not a moment for sitting down and sharing. bear with me as i condense it into this one "highlight" post. i must admit that its been a week where God is humbling and stretching me. a week of long overtime hours for mike...meaning extra long days with the girls. a week of fiery, nasty diaper rash for kate...one day i went through somewhere around 14 poopy diapers (YIKES!)...which, of course, equals fussiness for kate...and that helpless feeling for me. oh how i longed to simply take the discomfort away...to fix it for her...and yet, i couldn't. and yet, it was also a week of simple moments spent together with the girls...curling up with elizabeth to watch a movie on a rainy day...sharing in giggles and cheesy grins with kate....story time, creative time, expeditions out of the house when we simply couldn't take it anymore. there was quality time with good friends...a freezer full of applesauce...and so much more. tis' the season...laughter one moment....frustration the next...a season for stretching and growing...a season in life that reminds me all the more that i cannot do it in my own strength....a season for learning to fully trust in the strength of the Lord.

i feel the urge to leave a disclaimer, as i have on occasion in the past. as a woman, a wife, and a mom i struggle and fight against that pressure to look and act like it is all "together"...i struggle so much with that pressure we so often place on one another as women...to have our ducks in a row (or at least present the illusion that we do). often i want to simply plea for "realness"....i long that as women we would simply share in real life...the struggles...the battles....the ugliness of our own hearts....that we might encourage one another in truth. and then i come to my blog...and i very often finding myself sharing the moments when it all seems to be together...only the good and not the 8 "tough" hours that came before the "smile" snapshot. please know...i do not intend for my ten smiles to be something i "hide behind"...but this has truly become a blessed time of the week for me. i find it makes me focus on what is good and true, what is noble and praiseworthy in the midst of sometimes overwhelming "mama moments". this is one way for me to give God the glory for His goodness...to reflect on all that i have to be thankful for. but please know...my life is messy. i struggle with "snarling" at my husband and children. some mornings i struggle to get out of bed...much less do anything productive. i struggle with my appearance...so often feeling trapped by the world's view of perfection or beauty. i struggle with the longing to be in the "in" crowd...in real life and blog-land...to please the people around me and find worth in their eyes instead of in my Savior. so please know that these ten smiles are only a piece of the puzzle...just one snapshot into the reality of our family and life. and know that if you come here...if you read these, i long that we can join together on this journey of life...as we grow in being the women, wives, and mothers God has called us to be.

1. easter egg hunting. okay...i have to admit, this was initially an act of desperation....after kate's 8th dirty diaper of the day (around noon!), day three of daddy's overtime, and a bored out of her gourd elizabeth (ie...whiny!) i spotted a bag of easter eggs in the closet and a lightbulb flashed in my head...E week...easter egg hunt...outside...this would definitely mean "happiness" (for at least an hour or so!)...and it most definitely was one of the hit activities of the week!

2. enjoying the outdoors...both our own backyard and the park. the weather most of the week was perfect for playing outside. kate has decided she LOVES slides...both trying to climb up them and going down. getting outside was definitely a good change of scenery for ALL of us!

3. discovering some fabulous recipes at a year of crockpotting. last week i made the cheedar, bacon chicken and the barbeque chicken and cornbread (pictured)....both were fabulous, and oh so easy (and frugal!). it tasted even better served in the wonderful bowls my sister made...you really should check out her etsy store "lazy dog pottery"....but really, every time i use the dishes she gave us as a wedding present...i do smile.

4. rain. seriously we haven't had rain for SO long...so it was a welcome sound on the roof and windows...greening up our parched grass...and a great excuse for curling up under a blanket to watch a movie.

5. the third annual apple day with our dear friends nathan and jill (and brennan too!). elizabeth was thrilled to be old enough to help crank out the sauce this year. and we were all thrilled by the 53 bags of applesauce filling our freezer for the coming months...YUM! (and apple butter too!).

as for kate...well, she just loved lovin' on brennan...patting him, bouncing him, trying to do "under-doggies" with the jumper...seriously, she is our wild woman!

6. the arrival of our grain mill and four 5 gallon buckets of fresh whole wheat. bring on the milling and baking!

7. sunday afternoon movie time. elizabeth snuggled up on one end of the couch and mommy was snuggled at the other, and we watched "the piglet movie" together. precious moments.

8. this face...needless to say, she didn't stay snuggled and still during the movie! she preferred to roam from place to place, occasionally popping up to snuggle with us for a bit!

9. fishies! its F week around our house...so we are doing lots of talking about frogs and fish and friends and flowers and footprints and on and on...elizabeth was really digging these fish magnets. i must be honest...so was i. as you can probably tell, a couple of them were mommy's creations. have i mentioned how much i love having a particular time set aside for "school" and crafting with libs...and she is definitely loving it. my struggle is often keeping in perspective that she isn't even three yet...and having reasonable expectations...ie. keeping it fun, not organized and perfect.

10. our neighborhood hot-dog social last night. so fun to walk down and meet some neighbors...not to mention not have to cook dinner...and it was a nice diversion from daddy being at work. don't you love kate's new "cheese" for the camera...seriously, you pull a camera out and this little peanut gets the biggest cheese face ever...of course, just when elizabeth is learning to smile without the crazed cheesiness. i think the reality of getting a "non-cheese" photo of the two of them together is definitely a few years off! (which is okay with me...i kind of like the "cheese"!).

in other fun....we were able to meet daddy for lunch at costco after Bible study this morning...always a treat. and tonight mike and i are starting a class at church on the book "Shepherding a Child's Heart" by Ted Tripp...and we are quite excited about it. i've also found moments here or there to finish up some crafty projects...including an apron with this fabric--which i simply adore (incidentally, it was the perfect fabric for apple day as well!)...even better, i have plenty left-over to make some kind of dress or shirt for the girls.


Rhonda said...

Sorry Kate has been feeling yucky. If her rash is still flared up, you should pick up some Calmoseptine. It is an awesome ointment. I don't know what I would have done without it when my boys were in diapers because they got rashes all the time. It doesn't require a prescription, but I always have to ask the Pharmacist for it. You can order it online as well. We first got it by recommendation from my oldest son's pediatrician. He said he didn't even waste his money on any of the other over the counter diaper rash ointments. It really is miraculous how quickly it cures a hurting bottom.
I will pray you have a better week this week.

Rebecca said...

enjoyed your smiles and pictures. we are blessed, indeed! i have to tell you that libbs loves to look at the pictures of elizabeth and kate! how fun to be doing a bible study with the ted tripp book. i started reading that book a while back, but then lost it and recently found it again.
you're definitely not the only wife & mama & woman out there struggling with all the day-to-day things of life! isn't it great to know we're not alone...that we not only have the Lord on our side, but other wonderful women as well?!
i hope kate is feeling better with her diaper rash. a couple of things i use are cornstarch and black tea bags (separately). there's something in black tea that releases when kids pee that helps heal the rash.
i guess that's all for now. praying for you this week.
oh yes...i love that fabric you made an apron with...so so fun!

Aminta said...

Oh Amanda. I wish you didn't feel the need to explaine your precious life to us. I LOVE IT! It reminds me to take time to reflect one the good in everyday that God gives us. It is more like reminder for me then..... well, anything.
Tuesdays are a favorite for me around her.
Tonight I painted 3/4 of the guestroom. I guess turning thirty yesterday gave me a new lease on life! LOL
Anyways, if the rash keeps up, try egg white, let them dry on there? I guess it is supposed to sooth and protect.
Loves and I hope you have the BEST week, and NO MORE overtime!!!

kt mac said...

Lovely post Amanda.

It's true isn't it? we all have struggles and as women we should share and build each other up. I myself am often selfish, not very good with patience and feel insecure and not conifident in myself many times - Thank goodness for our lord who believes we are worthy and who can continue changing and shaping us to be more like him. So I wanted to say that you are beautiful and so is your family and your writing and i love your little spot.

And thank you for coming around and leaving kind words on my blog. :) you are so kind.

enjoy your day!

Hope Kate is getting better so many dirty nappies can't be much fun.

Amy's Blah, Blah, Blogging said...

Oh girl, it can be so hard just to be a wife and mother, much less the perfect one. Surely, she does not exist, because, of course God made us imperfect. But isn't that just perfect? :)

Hopefully that butt rash has subsided. I totally understand as Lilla has had one since like day one. We just can't shake it. I thought with her basic nudity lately, trying to potty train, it would go away. Not so much. Poor thing...

Thanks for sharing your smiles! I particularly love the applesauce one. Mmmm...nothing like fresh applesauce. I need to head over to the orchard!!

Noah and Ryders Mommy said...

Amanda, you are beautiful through your writing, through your soul and through every picture I have seen of you! You don't ever have to explain the reasons for so much happiness in your life. We should rejoice in the blessings that God bestows upon us and anytime there are struggles in life, hard days to deal with, trying times with our children, always feel free to share as well because at least you will know that we are always here to give you prayer, support, comfort and encouragement. No one's life is perfect, I definitely struggle every day especially with my husband gone four days of the week...I find myself crying a lot more than usual becaue these are the days when I know he is going to miss the most from our boys.
I love you friend and it has been SUCH a true blessing getting to know you and reading about your sweet family and your sweet life even if there are a few flaws in it, that is what makes it so special and real and worthy.
Know that you are an important person to all of us and look forward to sharing many more good and bad times with you ;D
love you

PS: I read where Rhonda used Calmoseptine...thats the ONLY thing we use when a rash occurs...it works wonders :D

Nancy M. said...

I hate those bad tummy days with lots of diapers. I hope she's feeling all better now.

Mine is going through teething with a vengance. He's getting his back molars (I think). I thought it was kinda weird since he hasn't got all his front teeth yet. Who knows?

I always love to see your smiles! It does help to focus more on them than the hard diaper/teething days.

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Absolutely no disclaimer necessary! I think it's wonderful that you take every Tuesday and remember what it is you are thankful for. I always enjoy reading it. :)

MoziEsmé said...

That cheesy face is adorable!

I love the crafts you are doing. Wish we could come join you! That egg hunt looked like fun. I know the feeling of wanting the craft to turn out as "I" envision it and having it end up far differently . . . :)