Saturday, September 29, 2012

Our engagment

I am participating in a link-up over at The Journey of Parenthood and you should too!

SO, our engagment. feels like so long ago.  It was September 13, 2007.  It was a Thursday night and we went to eat at Olive Garden.  There were flowers on the table and candles, which I totally did not notice!  Poor guy, he tried.  We ate and then after we were done, the waitress brought over a large-ish wrapped package.  It was a gift from Chris for me.  It was so big I was totally not thinking it was a ring.  And I was right :)  It wasn't a ring.  It was a beautiful bible that had my future name on it.  I saw it and looked up with total shock on my face and there he was, holding a wee square box with a diamond in it.  I have no idea what I said or did after that.  Well, I know I gave an affirmative answer and all that, but that's all I got :)

All the waitresses came over and fawned over the ring (girls will be girls!).  There was group of Red Hat Ladies eating in the other room who caught wind of what was going on so they bought our entire dinner (including drinks and dessert so it was probably kind of expensive).  We called our parents.  At the time I was living with one of my best friends (well, 2 of my best friends if you count her husband) and they were waiting up on us so they could see the ring.

Inside the Bible, Chris had written these words:

Presented to Meghan, the love of my life, on the day of our engagement  September 13, 2007.  May these words of God ever be the foundation under our lives and the bond between our hearts.  I love you always, Chris

Isn't that beautiful?  I debated about not using the Bible, but I thought even if something happens to it, I want it to get used, I want it to be lived in.  I am so glad it is not sitting on a shelf somewhere "safe".  I love it so much.   The Bible is covered in kangaroo leather and has my initials embossed on it.  He found someone online who does that kind of thing and I really do cherish it.

This is probably my favorite pic from the night.

It shows us how we were back then-silly and carefree and in love :)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Joyful Morning

This morning Chris and I took the kids to a park we had never been to before.  No pictures :(  My camera was "lost" and now it's found so next time we go we are going to definitely bring the camera.

 Anyway, Chris and Autumn were playing on different toys and I was sitting with Caleb.  I had brought my to-go coffee and it felt very fall-ish outside.  Autumn and Caleb both were wearing their adorable knit hats.  With my baby boy on my lap while watching Chris and Autumn play, I realized something.

I was happy.  This may happen every day for some of you, but I have been struggling so much lately with life that I almost started crying tears of joy.  It has been so long since I felt such peace and contentment.  It was a gift from God.  I have gotten up to spend time with God the last two mornings and  I have every confidence that it is helping my crazy emotions.

Chris and Autumn played for awhile and then we all went over the small lake to watch the ducks and there was a beautiful swan hanging out.  Autumn had never seen a swan before.  We were both surprised by how big it was!  Chris took Caleb for awhile and all 4 of us walked around the lake and enjoyed the cool weather.

Then something else awesome happened.  I was holding Caleb again while Chris pushed Autumn on the swings one more time.  I was just enjoying Caleb in his sweet, sleepy state and for the first time since he was born, I didn't want him to get any bigger.  This was a sweet moment for me.  As previously mentioned, I have been struggling with depression (such a heavy word!  I guess I could say struggling with feeling blue) for most of his life.  This has caused me not to appreciate the hard stages of newborn and infant babies.  Today I appreciated exactly who he was right now.  He deserves that from me every day.  He is such a precious gift from God that I am so not worthy of receiving.

Today I am overwhelmed by God's grace in my life. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

I Actually Acted Like An Army Wife!

This is new for me.  I, ahem, did not embrace this life with open arms like some fantastic wives out there.  I pretty much do the minimal.  And then I complain about that.  Ok, actually, I'm being too hard on myself.  (See, I'm trying to get better about that!!)  Part of the problem is we have are coming up on our 5th move in 2.5 years and it is hard to for me emotionally transition between places and hard for me to get out there and meet people which means I never have a baby-sitter so that makes it even harder to attend things with Chris (sorry for the long, probably run-on sentence).  I am planning on jumping into life with both feet once we hit Oklahoma in a month or two.  We've lived there before so I think the transition will be easy on me.  I HOPE so at least ;)

Anyway, night before last we hosted 16 adults, 2 children, and 3 babies in my home.  I can safely say that it is first.  And it was pretty dang fun too :)  I have learned a few things about myself, some I pretty much already knew, but they were confirmed:

* I enjoy planning meals for groups of people and bringing it all together
*I enjoy cooking
* I enjoy hosting things in my home
*I enjoy serving people and being kind to them

*I do not enjoy cleaning my house.  Hate it, in fact
*I do not enjoy picking up after everyone has left
*I do not enjoy excessive cussing in my home (but that one comes with army territory)
*My son does not do well with others (I knew this to be true outside our home, but I thought he'd do better in his own environment. Wrong.)

I had it all planned out and we had done prep work the night before so everything would go smoothly.  My husband was getting off work at 4:30 to come home and help (i.e. watch the kids) while I finished everything up.

It was a good plan.
You know what's coming.

My husband had to take one of his soldiers to the military police station (30 minutes away) at 4 pm.  He got home at 7pm.  Yes, that's right.  He was the last one to arrive to his own little shin-dig.  I got one word for you: STRESS.  Ha!  I was sooooo stressed out! Mostly because of my little man.  Have I mentioned he likes to be attached to mommy A LOT??  Yes, I know I have so I'll spare you, but try taking lots of baked potatoes out of a 400 degree oven while a 9 month old is climbing your back and screaming bloody murder because you dare to put him down for 5 minutes.  Try making cornbread with a baby on your hip.  It can be done, but it ain't fun.

One of the soldiers that I already knew came a bit earlier to help me and praise the Lord for that man because help he did!  He set the table and wrapped the potatoes to keep them warm.  He handled anything that was hot since I had the baby.  He carried chairs out to the family room.  He tried (twice) to hold Caleb, to no avail of course, but he did try.

After dinner, Chris had bought all his soldiers hand blown pilsner glasses and had each soldier stand up so he could something that they do well and how proud he was of them.  Then, they, in turn (without instruction to do so) went around the room and said nice things about their peers and leaders.  It was so awesome!  These men were all in Afghanistan together so after dinner I heard stories about life over there that my husband hadn't shared so that was neat for me.

I was so proud of Chris.  He thought of this all on his own and helped me execute the planning.  Despite the chaos that happened right before everyone arrived, it was a lovely evening and I'm sure we'll do something similar in the future!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Pregnancy Journey Week 14

At long last, I am no longer sick.  I am still tired, but I do have two kids I chase all day so that is to be expected.  This baby in my belly is now the size of a lemon! Woo hoo! That's pretty dang big.  Baby Center tells me that this baby can now possibly suck his or her thumb and since my 2 year old and my 9 month old both are thumb suckers, I betcha' this one will be too!  Right about the time this one finds their thumb, I'll need to start breaking Autumn of her habit.  I'm so not looking forward to that!

I don't know how people write out these things every week.  I guess if I was super in tune to my body I would notice little tiny changes, but much doesn't seem to change from week to week.

Symptoms: Some kind of muscle or ligament is hurting me below my waistline!  If I stand up too fast, yowers.  It used to just hurt on my right side and now it hurts on both.  I'm sure it's normal :)  Hmmm, what else?  I still have to eat every 3 hours or so.  It used to be more often than that so I guess it's gotten a bit better.  Like, right now, I asked Chris to go get me some popcorn and I'm trying to wait patiently ;)

Cravings: I'm finally having some cravings which I think is fun.  Pretty much anything greasy.  Yet, another symptom that reminds me of my pregnancy with Autumn.  Some other random things.  It's not any one thing, but I'll see a recipe online and I want to make it immediately!

What I Miss:  Oh golly, I don't know.  I have LOTS to be stressed out about right now, so I would say that I miss not being stressed about having a baby, but what's one more stresser on the list?  I guess I miss the days back when I could just drink coffee for breakfast :)

Best Pregnancy Moment of The Week: For me, I guess it would be the last 4 weeks :)  I'm going to go with "Don't feel like crap anymore"!  Pretty good one, eh?

Questions/Concerns:  Well, other than that ligament pain I was talking about, I don't have much else to worry about.  Once we get to Oklahoma, I'm going to have to find a doctor and all that jazz, but I'm putting off that stress for awhile and focusing on leaving Germany.  God worked out my second pregnancy when I moved so he'll work out this one too.  Plus, Fort Sill has a hospital on base so it will be easier than trying to find a civilian doctor like I had to do with Caleb.

Goals for The Upcoming Week(s): Try to find a boy name.  Try to find a bible study in Oklahoma to join pretty quickly after we arrive.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Fun stories about #3

Since I have mostly shared on here the struggle I have been having with this pregnancy (which I believe God is going to use one day to encourage someone else at some point!), I thought I would share some fun things about this baby :)

How We Found Out:  I was late.  With my you-know-what.  However, I had taken a test once already (after I was late) and it was negative so I really didn't think I was pregnant.  There are these little roadside trucks here that sell German food and when we see one, we always get some meat and pomme frites :)  I got a pork sandwich and Chris got half a chicken (yes, he eats like a MAN.  All the time.  I am not looking forward to feeding him and Caleb one day!).  I just couldn't eat mine.  I hadn't gotten the pork before so I just thought I didn't like the meat.  So we traded.  I couldn't eat the chicken either.  I said something along the lines of, "This is nasty.  I can't even swallow it".  Chris looked at me and said, "Get in that bathroom and pee on a stick"!  Haha, I just think that is hilarious!  He said it because we both love the roasted chickens!  So, I obeyed and then came out, handed him the stick, and didn't speak for a full 7 minutes.  Ok, I didn't time it, but I was silent for quite awhile.  It was like my mind just wouldn't grasp what was right in front of me!  Chris, of course, the best husband in the world, was all smiles and joy.

How We Told People: For my parents, we were on Skype so we held up 3 clues for them to figure out. The first was an Arizona mug (where we thought we were going to be stationed.  We were wrong).  The second was 3 baby dolls.  The third was the positive pregnancy test.  They got if after the dolls :)  For his parents, we were unable to Skype so Chris said, "We need your all's opinion on something.  We are looking to buy a car that will hold 3 car seats".  His mom got it immediately.  It was funny because she said the same thing that she said when we were pregnant with Autumn which was, "You are kidding me" about 3 times!  (Caleb's was less of a surprise since everyone knew we were trying with him).  Chris' godmother replied with, "Ok, I'll look into the consumer reports for you" :)  Totally over her head! So then Chris said, "Well, let me know because we are going to need one in about 9 months".  Then she got it :)  My sister was super surprised and super happy.  I never call my brother.  We pretty much communicate through email so when I called him he said, "Are you pregnant again?"  Haha, he was the only one who actually knew before we told him!

Another fun little thing is we think it's a girl.  We are still debating about whether to find out or not, but this pregnancy has waylaid me in a similar manner that Autumn's did.  Caleb's was, by far, the easiest pregnancy I have had, even counting my miscarriage at 10 weeks with my second pregnancy.  That one must have been a girl too ;)  We'll find out in Heaven I hope.  However (there is always a "however" with me), God tends to keep me on my toes (sometimes I say it not so nicely by saying he enjoys throwing curve balls at me!) so I will not be overly surprised if this is a boy since we think it's a girl.

My due date is March 13th, 2013.  We are almost positive we will be living in Oklahoma at that point. I'm a little bummed we are going to have a baby in a state we don't really care about, but it was God's choice, not ours.  We have zero boy names we both like, so feel free to give me suggestions!! :)

Friday, September 07, 2012

There I Go Wearing My Heart Again

This is a family portrait we took last spring while Chris was home visiting from Afghanistan.  It is a lovely picture and I'm quite pleased with it. 

However, I have to tell you a secret.  Sometimes, I look at that picture and I wonder whose those people are with those babies.  I mean, they look so happy.  They look so put together.  That looks like a mom who keeps a clean home and whose children obey her.  Those looks like children who always have their hair combed and who only watch 30 minutes of TV a day.  That looks like a dad who always puts playing with his children after work as his main priority.

And, that, to be blunt, is total BS.  

A lot of times when I blog hop around, this is what I see.  Perfect families.  Maybe not perfect, but better than me.  Better wives, better moms, better housekeepers.  A lot of it is in how I perceive things of course.  I don't expect people to put pictures of themselves in their bathrobes or anything.  I have a tendency to consistently compare myself to others and always see that I am the one lacking.  

Some days my children drive me so crazy that I turn on the TV and lay on the couch with a pillow on my head.  We are getting ready to move again and I have moved so much in the past 2.5 years that the thought of moving again makes me want to curl up in the fetal position and cry.  I am still having emotional issues with my current unplanned pregnancy.  That last one really gets me.  It makes me feel really really bad.  But it's the truth.  Emotionally, it has been one of the hardest things I have faced and it's even harder because I'm not supposed to feel that way!  It's a precious gift from God and I know a number of people who are dealing with infertility and miscarriage who would do just about anything to be in my position.  And, yet, still, I am having issues.  Sometimes, I even fantasize about the mom I "could have been" if we hadn't been uprooted so many times.  I think about the friends I "could have had" if we had stayed in our first home...the place where we got married and where our daughter was born.  

I look at that picture and I want to be that woman who is smiling and who has a firm grip on life.  I want to have things under control.  I want to be content in any circumstance.  I want to always discipline my children in love and not frustration or impatience.  I want to always do our laundry in a timely manner.  I want to get up early and read my bible every day.  I want to be a better me.  

I don't think that is necessarily bad, per se, but it can be dangerous ground.  It's dangerous because I was created flawed.  I am not Jesus Christ, the only perfect human.  I think what I need to learn to do is love myself despite my imperfections.  This is so hard for me.  I don't really know where to begin either.  I think processing it a good start, acknowledging it.  I am hoping that God leads the ways because I'm pretty worthless without Him.  Of course the church answer is, "Of course God will show you the way", but I mean, I hope He really does and I really let him because I'm not kidding when I say I'm worthless on my own.  I have learned that lesson time and time again!  

Isaiah 58:11
"The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong, and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail"

That is what my soul cries out for today.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Mr. Man 9 Months

This post is going up 2 days early! Trust me, no one is more surprised about that than me ;)

Holy cow!  This boy is 3 months away from being ONE!  It is truly hard to believe.  I feel bad for him because the first several months of his life I struggled with depression due to post-preggo hormones and Chris being in Afghanistan.  Then, we moved back to Germany and all was good for about a month until I get pregnant again and sick as a dog and depressed-again due to preggo hormones.  I am *finally* feeling like a normal human being and the mom I want to be to him (and Autumn as well).  I am sure I will carry around this mommy guilt the rest of my life!  In truth, I know I shouldn't and I hope I don't.
 So, onward to my chubby man whom I love so very much.

He still takes 2 solid naps every day- 10-12 and 2-4.  He sleeps roughly 7p-7a.  It took a long time to get here and I am enjoying it ever so much!  When he doesn't sleep well, I know something is wrong with him so it's a good indicator of how he's doing.

The boy eats like a champ.  He is round and chubby even though he crawls like a mad man.  He drinks 28oz of formula a day and eats 2-3 solid meals (cheerios, rice, graham crackers, and fruit are staples plus pureed food).  He no longer cries when meal time is over.  However, he does cry every single time I wipe off his face.  Seriously.  Every time!  He's got a flair for the dramatic ;)

His favorite games are: follow Autumn around, chew on everything, and pull books of the book shelf.  Why do we have all these toys again? :)  I surely can't remember when Autumn's obsession with books began, but so far he is not equally inclined.  If I read 5 books a day to him while he actually sits still and "listens", I'm doing well.

Oh my word, y'all, this man child has been through the ringer this month!  He has sprouted his two top teeth, got stung by a wasp on both of his hands, had a double ear infection, and battled Roseola.  That just doesn't seem right, does it?   I joke and say "at least he's Army Strong" ;)  He has actually handled everything really well except the ear infections.  He has had ear infections before and he is super sensitive to them.  Both times I caught them really early because he just gets super fussy as soon as they start!  Not that I have another baby to compare to since Autumn never got them, but he just seems sensitive to them in my opinion.

He is so different than Autumn.  I mean, I know every child is different, but it's weird to me.  Me and my husband are actually very similar in our personalities (that is a good thing and a bad thing!) that I guess I just assumed our children would be like us (which if you are into personality tests, we are both Melancholy/Sanguine) And Autumn pretty much is our little clone.  There are stronger parts of Chris in her than me for sure, but she is also what I would call "malleable".  She just takes things in stride most of the time.  She certainly has a stubborn streak (Chris), a perfectionism tendency (also Chris), super emotional regarding change (me), but overall she's a chill little girl.  Caleb?  Not so much.  He is pretty demanding even as an 8-month-old.  I've mentioned before how we can't leave him with anyone other than me or Chris because he literally cries the whole time we are gone and I just can't stand to do that to him.  Ideally, we would leave him several short times throughout the week to wean him off of us, but with very few friends and no family, it's just not really an option for us right now.  He also gets so MAD if you eat in front of him or if you don't pick him up the second he decides he wants to be held.    The plus side of this more aggressive personality is he laughs harder and louder than Autumn ever did/does!  He smiles much more easily and is generally a very happy little guy.  Autumn is much more subdued in her emotions.  Of course, she has her fair share of temper tantrums like every other 2-year-old!  There is a lot about his personality that hasn't emerged yet, of course.  I tell Chris I am worried he won't ever want to leave my side, but Chris assures me he will grow out of this stage!

Ok, I really did not intend to write that much about his personality!  Children are complex little creatures, no?