Monday, August 8, 2011

have you found the new blog?

Have you found my new blog yet?

There's a new post and another one coming tomorrow.  Make sure and "follow" me over there so you can continue getting my blog updates!

You can also LIKE my new page on Facebook!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

come EMBRACE my NEW blog!

Embrace This Day

I have a brand spankin' new blog!

Come check it out!

I've migrated all my previous posts over and of course there is a brand new one introducing the new site.

I have a brand new URL, so you'll need "Follow" me over there and update your RSS feed if you use a Reader.

Can't wait to hear what you think!

*I've disabled comments here.  Come comment on the new site*

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

pardon my absence...

First of all, summer is kicking my butt!  The kids have so much energy and are constantly wanting to do something new or different.  And Lily at 2 and a half wants to do whatever her big sisters are doing.  And she needs supervision most of the time.

My kids are also eating a TON!  We send snacks and lunch to Grandma's house and today they ate all the food we sent, plus a bunch of her food.  And they are only 7, 4 and 2.  And they are girls.  I can't imagine if they were boys, who typically are said to eat more.  I'm going to try a few recipes this weekend for homemade energy bits and fiber bars.

Secondly, Bean and I are doing Insanity.  Today was Day 9.  Of 63.  There's one rest day per week, and one day of Yoga, but it's pretty intense.  Insane if you will.  Most days we workout right after work, before dinner.  In the backyard with the laptop because the fresh air (even though it's hot) and the space is much nicer than our small, stuffy living room.

These workouts kill me.  In a good way.  But still, they kill me.  By the time we get through dinner and getting the kids to bed, I am toast--physically and mentally.  My brain power for blogging is mush.

Thirdly, I have a new blog in the works!  Like with my own url and everything.  Which is connected to the mush in my brain right now.  The design is there, thanks to my friend Liz.  But I still have a lot to do on my end.  But, the mush.

My goal is to launch it by August 1st. But in the meantime, when I do have brainpower, I'm going to put it towards the new blog.

So, there is a reason behind my absence.  But you can always find me here and a little bit here too.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

a good morning!

Another quick update:

Lily woke up with a normal temperature today!  This is the first time her temp has been normal (98.6 or below) since this all started last Monday.  And we didn't need to give her any medication during the night.  I'm really hoping her fever doesn't return this afternoon.

My awesome doctor's office called again and my Pediatrician consulted with the Immunologist and the Immunologist feels that Lily has Periodic Fever Syndrome, which my doctor has mentioned before also.  My nephew was also diagnosed with this syndrome, although the removal of his tonsils (which coincided with his 3rd birthday) significantly decreased his fevers. 

I'm still going to keep an eye on Lily's joints and will ask the Immunologist about it as well.  We will get to see him late next week now, instead of August.

Most of all, I was thrilled that she didn't have an elevated temperature this morning.  I feel like my other girls have been neglected a bit through all of this and I'm hoping for a couple of fun days with them all when I'm off the next two days.  We're gonna hit the beach!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

the latest on Lily (calling all medical sleuths)

I wish I could say she was back to normal, or that we've figured out what's going on.

But she isn't, and we haven't.

My pediatricians office considers a temperature of 101 or higher a fever.  Lily's temperature seems to spike to a fever later in the afternoon.  Her temperature has not been below 99 since we came home from the hospital.  Monday it spiked to 102.6 and this afternoon it was 101.4.

I talk to the nurse at the doctor's office daily.  They are trying to get us an earlier appointment with the immunologist.  Our current appointment is at the end of August.

Lily has continued to complain about pain in her legs.  The antibiotic shots she received two days in a row last week are quite painful, but usually that pain dissipates after 72-hours, and that was the case when she had the shots last month.  It seems that her joints might be bothering her.  This morning she didn't want to step up a curb, saying that her legs hurt.

Joint pain and the fatigue she still has and the fevers could point to a juvenile arthritis.  I'm still trying to determine where the pain is from and how present it is.  Lily was very opposed to me touching and flexing her leg joints when I told her what I was doing.  I'm experimenting with manipulating her legs without warning to see her reaction.  A few times she has withdrawn from me but once she didn't have much of a reaction.

If you love a good medical mystery, feel free to Google my kid and give me suggestions of what to check for or consider!  Anything is game at this point.

While I'm not overly worried, I am concerned and very frustrated.  It's also challenging because Lily is very fussy at times and wakes up with an elevated temperature at least once a night.  I want my happy, playful baby back.

I am thankful serious things like leukemia have been ruled out, so I'm not letting my mind get away from me, but it has to be something.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

this is the fever that never ends

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that it's been quite the week for us.  I shared this sad photo on Wednesday.  It was a rough week for our Lily-bug.

Monday (July 4) she woke up from her nap a little out of it and fussy.  By 4:30 we realized she had a fever.    After last month's episode, I knew she needed a doctor visit immediately.  We went for bloodwork first on Tuesday morning and then visited the doctor on Tuesday afternoon with the results.  Once again, her white count and CRP were elevated.  Poor munchkin had to get antibiotic shots again.  (click to read about my crazy Tuesday)

Wednesday afternoon, her fever was still raging, so we went back for more shots.  As soon as I tell Lily we are going to the doctor or when she recognizes the landmarks as we drive, she says "all better, no doctor" in the saddest, sickest voice.  And Thursday, fever still there.  We paid a lot of co-pays this week.  The doctor said if Lily's fever went up to 101 on Friday, he would admit her to the hospital.

So, guess where we ended up on Friday evening?

She actually looks happy here.  Which was obviously before the IV.  When a fever-reducer was in effect in her body, she was pleasant and would even play some.  But once her fever kicked up, she was one sick little girl.

It was an intense 24 hours.  I have such a new respect and understanding for parents of chronically ill children who spend a lot of time in the hospital.  At times I felt like I was in a different country. Everything was focused on Lily's health.

They did a pretty full work-up on her including an x-ray and ultrasound.  Thankfully, they didn't find anything serious going on, which was our biggest concern.  Lily was pretty dehydrated, so being on an IV for 24 hours was a very positive thing.  Her urine output had been very little and the IV increased it dramatically, which helped with the fever.

Unfortunately, they weren't able to identify the source of the fever and since it stayed low while we were there, they felt good discharging her.  Since she had improved and actual sleep and rest in a hospital is difficult, we were comfortable with that.  Her temperature has stayed 1-2 degrees above normal, but overall she is improving.

We will be seeing an immunologist to follow-up and hopefully figure out why Lily has these frequent fevers and if they are infections or viruses or another cause.  Right now I'm focusing on the fact that she is improving and even though this is the 7th day of her fever, it is very low and decreasing.  It is concerning to me that she has had 15 fevers in 13 months.

I am very happy that Lily is in her own bed tonight (and keeps calling us for silly things tonight) instead of in a hospital bed.  Although she actually was never in the hospital bed because it was a crib that she wanted nothing to do with.  She spent her time in the fold out bed if she wasn't in my lap.

More pictures tomorrow and things I learned being in the hospital with my daughter.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: sick, sick, sick

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

this day

I have been trying to live by the phrase "embrace this day."  I read it somewhere on the interwebs more than a year ago.  And it keeps coming back to me.

The idea being, I need to live the day, whatever it holds, the good and the bad.  There will be things about each day that I wish were different, there will be challenges and circumstances beyond my control.  But wallowing in self-pity and always looking at the "greener" grass in someone else's life will get me nowhere.

If I trust God, I trust what each day holds.  I need to be able to say, "this is the day the Lord made" even when I don't like what it's the day.  To embrace this day, as well as those days.

You'll be hearing more about this from me soon., has been one of "those days".  A day that I struggle to embrace.  A day that threatens to swallow me.

I've had a cold for almost a week now.  Sunday it took my voice, which has been lovely.  I sound like a lifelong smoker today.  Monday I ran a 9.3 mile race.  I enjoyed it, but it was tough due to the cold, difficulty breathing and a very nasty raw piece of foot.  The house is a disaster, because we've been having too much fun this holiday weekend.

I was up at 5am on Monday for my race.  I arrived back home around 9:30am and we headed to Bean's moms condo to swim for a bit.  I tried to nap in the afternoon, but for some reason was only succesful in heavy dozing and daydreaming.

We headed to some friends for a 4th of July tradition of BBQ, sundaes and firework viewing from their front driveway.  Within 30 minutes of arrival, Lily was hit hard with illness.  Again.  Her fever quickly rose and I ran to get some Motrin.  She perked up for a few hours, but was down again later in the evening.

It was a difficult night for her.  Bean and I didn't get much sleep.

VBS started today for the older girls.  I was able to call the doctor office and get them to order bloodwork in light of last months illness episode.  This way I could go to an afternoon appointment with bloodwork results already in.

This was my morning.

Pick up my niece (on my way, so no big deal)
Drop three girls at church for VBS
Drive 20 minutes to lab...stopping off to get cash because I have to pay for parking
Call the DMV 800 number to reschedule an appointment I had this afternoon for my expired license because I needed to bring Lily to the doctor instead.
The lab doesn't have our bloodwork orders
While I'm calling the doctor's office, the DMV calls me back, and it takes FOREVER for her to reschedule my appointment.
Call the doctor office again.  Leave a message.  Call the emergency line, which I guess was for true life-threatening emergencies.  They call me back and I wait on hold again to talk to the nurse.
The doctor hasn't signed the orders, so he does.  grrrrrr
Finally get the bloodwork done.  This was our third visit, and she knows what's coming.  On our way there, in her lethargic voice she said "all better, no doctor."
Take Lily to my mother-in-law's
Race to work for a meeting, for which they are waiting for me
Almost to work and the nurse calls.  Bloodwork is already back and her counts show infection again.
Meeting, coordinating kids for the afternoon, speed through the must-do's for today at work (already a short week with the Monday holiday)
Pick up Lily and spend over an hour at the doctor waiting, talking, getting shots and waiting some more

It has been a difficult day to find gifts.  But I've tried.  I didn't get to eat lunch.  Which resulted in a headache, which I still have.  It's sticky today.  I've had a feverish baby laying on me much of the day.

Oh, did I mention I stunk?  And I was a sticky, sweaty mess myself?  I've been experimenting with wearing deodorant only (no antiperspirant).  Today the deodorant wasn't strong enough.  (thankfully I have back-up antiperspirant in my desk).  It was also the wrong day to wear a skirt.  I'm pretty sure I flashed a few people at the lab when I stood up with my hot, heavy toddler and my skirt was stuck to my skin and all bunched up.   Sorry folks.

A hard day to embrace.

But I have a flexible job that cares about my family and is supportive of my priorities as a mommy.  I was smart enough to request bloodwork first, instead of two visits to the doctor office in one day.  I was really hoping it wouldn't show anything.  But the pattern is the same, and deep down I knew.

I just wish I really knew what was going on.  I wish someone knew.  Toddlers shouldn't get strong bacterial infections 4 weeks apart.  They are doing a few cultures to try and identify the bacteria.  And waiting to see if the antibiotic shots knock down the fever.

Looking back, I see I never posted a true follow-up to last month's illness.  Her urine culture never grew anything.  So the doctor said there was no way of knowing exactly where the bacteria originated from and how long it had been around, since she's been having these monthly fevers almost all year.  Repeat bloodwork was normal, so we thought all was good.  Guess not, because this nasty thing is back.

I just want answers.

Those I can embrace.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Happy long weekend

Practicing Yankee Doodle Dandee for church on Sunday.

All-Star Baseball games, dusty lots & blazing heat.

Sprinklers topped with otter pops.

BBQ and family.

Bathing suits on doorknobs all through the house.

Summer is here. June and most of her gloom are gone. My quarter-Mexican (with a dash of Cherokee) children are bronzing quite nicely.

However this mama is trying to not get pink and achieve a slightly darker shade of white.

I hope you are enjoying your long weekend. Ours is full as always, but we are together and thats what matters most.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

a little easier

It's summertime!

And the living is easy a little easier.

It always happens when summer hits, especially now that I have one child in school.  I ask myself, "why didn't I become a teacher?"  Because being off for the summer, stretching your 9 or 10 months of paychecks into 12 months, sounds pretty nice and doable.  But then I remember what it would mean to teach in a class all day everyday for 9 months, and I'm incredibly thankful to those who are called to be teachers.  Because although I probably would make an okay teacher, it just doesn't sound all that appealing.  Now teaching college students, I could do.  But it doesn't pay enough and it's hard to break into.

But still, in the summertime, the living is a little easier for me, and I appreciate it.

Although I still have to get up 4 days a week and get myself to work, the kids don't need to be up as early.  They can sleep in and just throw on whatever clothes they want.  There is no rush to get Miss Rose to eat breakfast before school.  I don't stress as much about messy hair.  And in our house of curly-heads, there is a lot of that.

On Mondays, the kids are at home with a babysitter.  Tuesdays and Wednesdays they head to Grammie's house for the day where swimming in her condo pool is usually one of the orders of the day.  Sundays is a work day for me, but since Bean is home, there is no rush out the door for them.  Although Bean does have quite the task of readying three girls for church on his own.  They wear jeans and tshirts a lot, but that's ok.

We don't have to rush to eat dinner by 5:30pm, in order to give time for reading, homework, showers and family time and bed by 7:30pm.  The younger girls are still going to bed around 7:30, but we have started letting Miss Rose stay up until 8pm since she now has her own room.  There are a few kids on our street she enjoys playing with who get home a lot later with their single moms and it's nice when she wants to go ride scooters at 6:30pm to say--sure, go for it.

We all love Thursdays.  Finally a morning they can sleep as long as they want.  Although Lily is usually up by 7am and her greeting lately is "hungry."  But we stay in our jammies for a while, I drink a leisurely cup of coffee (or splurge on two) and the girls enjoy a lazy morning of a few shows and running around playing with each other.  They all often end up in their underwear, or shirtless. 

Come mid-August, we will all be ready for more routine again and Miss Rose will need the intellectual stimulation of school.  We'll make sure to hit the beach a few more times and all our local funspots before school starts after Labor Day.

But for now, we're enjoying some easier living.

I'm linking up today with Work, Wife, Mom, Life.  Even if you aren't a working mom, tell me how you're enjoying summer so far.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

this & that

It's been six days since I last blogged!  I am inspired during the day for various blog posts, but by the time the evening hits, I'm so tired and have lost all my ideas.

So here's some this & that, also know as micro-blogging :)  (are smiley faces professional in blogging?  Probably not, but I still like typing them)

Miss Rose & Gracie began their second week of swim lessons today.  They are both really enjoying them and Gracie is learning to swim!  Hopefully once her lessons are done we can ditch her floaties for good.  Miss Rose has a pretty strong and broad upper body.  I'd love to have her on a swim team sometime in the next few years and see how she does.  She love the water.  They get to swim at their Grammie's house quite a bit.

Lily is having some potty-training regression right now, which is driving me crazy.  She's been almost fully-trained for a few months now.  After the first few days she didn't have any daytime accidents, starting staying dry during naps and 4-5 nights a week her pull-up is dry.

And now all of the sudden she has had 2 days in a row of naptime accidents and peed in the highchair, on the carpet and the couch.  And I know it's a control issue because one time she told me she wanted to go pee in her highchair and yesterday she told the babysitter it was apple juice in the highchair not pee.  This is a sneaky one.

I am not sure what's causing it.  Nothing has changed.  Hopefully after having several days off in a row later this week I can get her snapped out of it.  That's one of the hard things about being a working mom, you can't deal with this stuff right away.

Bean is out on the town at a punk rock show, re-living the days of his youth.  I've been to a lot of punk rock shows myself.  He doesn't do a lot of fun, social events--so I'm always very happy when he does.  Everyone needs that.

I am SO in on this book series right now.  I confess, I've loved Christian fiction my whole life.  I've always been a reader and I devoured the church library as a girl and continued on.  I read fiction books so fast though, I typically wait until the local library has them and I check them out.

But on my birthday, I splurged for a Kindle version of the first book in the series, which I read on my iPhone Kindle (LOVE!).  And I couldn't wait for the second book, which was just released.  So I bought it from Amazon and it came yesterday.  Maybe I finished reading it tonight.  I bought the actual book and figured I'll try to re-sell it on Amazon .   And now I have to wait until Fall for the next book and March 2012 for the last one.

Karen Kingsbury's tagline is "life-changing fiction" and I can't tell you how many times a Biblical truth or scripture verse from one of her books (or the countless other authors I have read) sticks with me and inspires me.

For instance, Ezra 10:4 is quoted in the book  I just finished and it's really stuck with me.

"Rise up; this matter is in your hands. We will support you, so take courage and do it.”

It doesn't necessarily apply to any current situation in my life, but it's a great verse and I'll remember it.

Sometime during the night, I got a sore throat.  And it hasn't gone away.  I feel a little under the weather. I really hope I don't get a full blown cold.  Because it's summer, and a cold in the summer is the pits.  And I have a race on Monday that I want to feel good for.

Today I realized I have a long weekend, kind of.  I have church on Sunday, but Monday is a holiday! 

I told myself I'd get to bed early tonight, since Bean isn't home.  He doesn't need as much sleep as me and I always stay up too late with him.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

where I'm from

I read this on Stephanie's blog and I was so captivated, I had to join in.

I am from books, from Diet Coke [although not anymore] 
and coonskin caps.
I am from many houses, all made home by family and 
Ancient sheets and towels and rattan furniture.
I am from the roses and homegrown sprouts
I am from waiting until Christmas Eve to get a tree and 
Playing guitar and singing as a family, 
From YZ and Rose and Marie Durfey.
I am from the brutally honest and laughing your way through tragedy.
From "rub a dub dub thanks for the grub" 
and children should be seen and not heard.
I am from grace and forgiveness, from healing and wholeness, 
from friendship and relationship with Jesus and the gift of his Spirit. 
I'm from Seattle, San Diego, Texas and Louisiana, 
Texas Sheet Cake and Cheez-its, black beans and rice
From the family who folded newspapers together, rode bikes and sat on the back of station wagons to deliver them.  
From siblings who share the same nose, 
the same voice and facial expressions, saying both like "bolth"
who share memories and life, but really look nothing alike.  
From grandparents who collected and 
Grandparents who never figured it out.  
I am from miniature doll houses, Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone, 
from Little House On the Prairie and homeschooling.  
From baby dolls, but never Barbies.  
I am from a little girl, full of dreams, plans and desires
Living them out in ways unexpected
Trusting.  Embracing.  Believing.  Hoping.  Dreaming.

If you'd like to join, here's the original and a template.  Link up in the comments on Steph's blog too!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

almost wordless wednesday: the fair

{a very loaded down stroller}


Miss Rose was turning their cup SO fast, Gracie looked petrified, although she was having fun.  
We had to yell to Miss Rose to slow it down


{my girly girl and her necklace and her current favorite outfit, a skirt and matching tank top with Ariel on them}

She really wanted me to go on the ride with her.  Please note my knees out to the side and how squashed she is because these really aren't made for adults.  But she loved having me with her and that's all that mattered.
{go carts}

{how sweet is her smile?}

{we cannot believe how big our skater girl is getting.  she wears that hat almost every day}

And for fun, check out our trip to the Fair in 2008.  I guess I failed to blog the other years.  Interestingly enough, I was very newly pregnant with Lily in these photos--a fact I was completely unaware of and wouldn't learn for another month or so!

Monday, June 20, 2011


I seem to lack the time and the dedication to keep up with life happenings on this blog.  So here are five micro-blogs.

We went to the fair on Friday and had lots of fun. I love annual events like this. I remember going with my mom when Miss Rose was 3 and Gracie was just an infant. And then they were 4 and 1, and we went as a family for the first time. And I was unknowingly pregnant with Lily at the time. And we've been there every year since.

Sunday was Father's Day. And my 34th birthday. I spoiled Bean and it felt good. I should spoil him more often. But I guess if we both were prone to spoiling the other, we'd be super broke! Maybe we both need to find balance.

Even though Sunday was my birthday, I wanted it to be a special day for Bean, and I spent the morning at church of course. So I took today off for "self-appreciation." I got a mani/pedi, did some shopping, went for a run. A couple bumps in the road made it slightly less than perfect, but it was nice to choose what I wanted to do all day.

I have 34 reasons that show I'm getting older. Feeling older. Acting older. Looking older. I'm working on embracing it, but it's not always my favorite.

Girls are just as crazy as boys. You may think that because we have three girls, that our lives are not as full of chaos, energy and craziness as a family of three boys. I beg to differ with that opinion. Come over some day, when my beautiful daughters are running around our small home playing tag, sliding in their socks on the wood floor, wrestling, yelling, hitting and kicking one another for fun, dancing, stripping down to their panties to do these activities, and the list goes on. My girls are rough and tumble. That's for sure.

I may or may not get to elaborate on these topics.  May not is more likely.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Kicking it off

Monday was this girl's last day of school.

Thursday was my first day off this week and we had some fun at Sea World.

And today, the fair!! With Daddy!

We are having our usual "June Gloom" but we are kicking summer off nonetheless.

(sorry for the wonky spacing...can't get it to change after posting from my phone)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, June 12, 2011

alone together

The Mister and I had a wonderful day together on Saturday.  It was the second meeting of a marriage discipleship group we are a part of.  It's geared towards investing time in ourselves individually and as a couple, with God.  It's such a great experience.  We highly respect the leaders of the group (in fact, one of the pastors who married us) and we couldn't say no!

It's an incredible maneuver coordinating our life to have an entire day away from the children and life.  The group meets about 100 miles away, so drive time is involved too.  Last time we took the kids to my sister's house who lives near there, but this time she was going to be in town and stayed with them at our house.

Our marriage is worth the investment.  Even when this group is over, I hope to keep up this routine of getting away, even if it's only half a day, at least every few months.  We spend time by ourselves and time together and a small amount of time sharing as a group.  It's such a rich time.

We meet across the street from the beach.  It was cool and overcast in the morning and the beach was deserted.  Perfect.  I spent 2 hours with my Bible, my journal, our guide for the morning and music.  Sometimes I like the beach best when it's like this.

Once we joined back together, Bean and I headed to another local beach area for lunch.  The Wedge is a rather famous spot and we saw a few good sets.  There were a few more people there, but it still wasn't too busy.

I love roses.  Someday I want to have a rose garden.  Or at least a bunch of rose bushes.

A day with this man?  Perfect.

We capped the night with dinner with lifelong friends...about 10 of them.  We have a number of good, lifelong friends who live in the area and almost all of them were able to meet us for dinner before we headed up.

My heart is full.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

how we roll on a photos

I've posted before about how slow most Thursdays are.  I've just worked 4 days in a row.  My kids have been up and ready early and haven't had a lot of time with mom and dad.  Wednesday nights we are at church.  

So Thursday mornings are bliss.  We don't have to get dressed, well except for Miss Rose going to school (although this is her last full week!).  If it's my week to drive, usually the rest of us are still in jammies in the minivan.  I try to not schedule things early, if anything at all.

Do you know that even kids of two-working-parents get tired during the work-week?  I can tell on Thursdays, my kids are tired. They are ready to be in their own home all day and play with their own toys. Sometimes they resist getting dressed at all during the day.  I let them lounge on the couch and watch a little extra TV.  They love to play, so if they are actually still, watching a show, I know they need the downtime.

Not a lot of housework gets done in the early part of the week.  Sometimes I get an urge to do deep cleaning or organization on Thursdays.  Today was one of those days.  It was gloomy all day--typical June for us--but it made me want to hunker down in the house, and the girls didn't mind either.

A few weeks ago I moved Miss Rose into Lily's room and moved Lily in with Maleah.  Miss Rose actually was the only one who had a hard time the first night, but it's been great.  However, the little girls' room still needed a lot of attention.  So I decided to tackle it today.

I love the cubbies.  But they get crammed full of random stuff so easily.  And stuffed animals.  We have so many.  But Gracie knows each and every one.  I don't have the heart to get rid of them because she truly cycles through them all.

So I organized, cleaned, and threw stuff away while the girls played.  Gracie loves weddings and requested to wear a wedding dress.  So it was flower girl dress day for a few hours.  Gracie played with her figurines.  She has such a wonderful imagination.  Even if a lot of the talk is about boyfriends, girlfriends and Justin Beiber.

Lily was a little mama, singing Jesus Loves Me to her baby over and over again.  Melt my heart!  She has the melody of the song down really well, but you can only make out every few words.  I recorded her singing it on my iPhone.  Sometime I'll figure out how to get the clip on her for you to hear it.  Absolutely precious.

I rolled in my pajamas.  All.Day.  It was yoga pants and a tshirt.  But still, I did sleep in them last night.  Sometimes though, that's how you roll.  Once I made it past lunch, what was the point of changing?  And my neighbor was able to pick Miss Rose up from school, so no need to get dressed for pick-up (which requires walking into the school).  I didn't get in the van once today.  If I had a picture, I'd share.  But, oh shame, I don't.

We did walk about half a mile to sign Gracie up for soccer, and half a mile back.  I just threw on a sweatshirt and we went.  Gracie rode her Coaster Car the whole way.  This is what happens when she rides her coaster car.  She flies on that thing.  And propels herself with her toes.

Thankfully, we have a lot of hand me down shoes from friends and Miss Rose.  She's gone through about 4 pairs already.  I need to invent shoes that have thick rubber soles on the toes.  I try to limit the shoes she wears to ride her car, but inevitably she gets out there without me noticing what shoes she is wearing, or it's when a babysitter is here, and once the damage begins, might as well make them play shoes.  These were super cute shoes though and I'm sad they met this fate.

Gracie is excited about soccer.  She will either be the girl picking flowers from the grass, or she will be up in the mix.  It's really hard to say.  She wanted to wear her practice shirt to bed, although she didn't want a picture taken.  She has normal eyes.  I promise.

In the midst of cleaning and playing, Lily wanted to climb into a wooden cradle.  This cradle is older than I am.  There are photos of me laying in it as a newborn (for fun, not for function).  Then, Lily was taking pictures while in the cradle.  I love these chubby feet.

When we got home from soccer sign-ups, I had to change into fresh pajamas.  After 24 hours in those ones, I couldn't bear another 12.  

Oh, and Miss Rose's haircut?  Here it is in the salon, blown dry.  She wasn't a fan of the flip at the bottom.

The other day I told her she should do extra chores and earn money to buy me a super nice birthday present.  She said, "I know what I'll give you."  Sweet.  And sassy.  Doesn't want to spend her money on mama.  That's ok.  I'd rather have her love anyday.

Most days her hair is crazy as ever.  Just like her.

And, that's how we roll.

(oh, I do have somewhat of a conclusion to the saga of Lily's illness this week.  She is doing much better.  I'll post about it tomorrow)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

when it doesn't pay to be a medical-info junkie

I've always been fascinated by all things related to the medical practice.  I didn't play house with my dolls, I played hospital.  When I was 9, I got a bad case of chicken pox and then I passed them on to my three younger siblings.  Since I had them first, I got better before they did.  My mom still has charts I made to keep track of their medicine dosage.

Some of my friends tease me about how much I know about illnesses, diseases, medical procedures etc. I love most medical shows.  My friends call or text me their medical questions.

When it comes to my kids, this fascination I have is usually a positive thing.  I typically know when my kids have an infection and need antibiotics or when it's just a virus.  I hate wasting the $15 co-pay to be told it's a virus and will have to work itself out.  So I learned and listened to the doctors explain things.

However, it also means I tend to overthink medical things.  Like right now.  Lily still had a 103 fever this morning and was downright miserable.  I was hoping to go to work and leave her with my mother-in-law to rest and watch movies.  But she needed so much attention this morning that I knew she needed mama.

The doctor told me yesterday that after the antibiotic shots I should see some improvement today.  Still having a 104 fever at 4am and then 103 at 9am was not on par with the improvement I was expecting.

I spoke with the nurse who told me some signs to look for of other serious medical issues that would necessitate an immediate appointment (none of which she has).  He also told me that so far, her urine culture wasn't growing anything.  If she does have a UTI, the culture will grow the infection.  (sorry if that just grossed you out.)  24 hours is the typical incubation period, and it had only been about half that when I talked to him.  Which is why our follow-up appointment is on Wednesday, when those results will be conclusive.

And now my mind races.  What if it isn't a UTI?  Where is the infection in her?  How did she go from perfectly fine on Saturday night, to an average fever on Sunday to a raging fever on Monday complete with a bad bacterial infection.

This is when it doesn't pay to be a medical info junkie.

I'm thankful I was able to stay home and care for her today and her fever is coming down, a degree at a time.  The antibiotic she received yesterday is effective for a wide range of infections so we are on the road to recovery.

We'll see what our follow-up appointment holds tomorrow.

Monday, June 6, 2011

"grossly abnormal" makes a mama nervous

In true Mama Bear fashion, I marched my feverish Lilybug to the doctor this morning, determined to leave with more than "it's a virus."  It may be a virus.  But then she's getting a virus every 3-4 weeks, which I don't feel is reasonably normal.

I love my pediatrician.  Most of the time.  We go to a practice with several ped's but we see one particular doctor the most (he's the "headlining ped" there).  He sounds like Ben Stein.  He's a middle-aged Jewish man who talks to me about how he prepares ribs and chastises me when I don't bring Miss Rose in soon enough when her allergies turn into a sinus infection.  Sometimes he's a little old fashioned in his thinking, but I can easily brush that off.

I wasn't sure today whether I'd love him or be annoyed with him.  No one is perfect.

Turns out I love him.

While Lily showed no symptoms beyond a fever and a red throat, he listened carefully to my concerns about the reoccurring fevers and he spent a lot of time looking at her records.  Since her latest illnesses didn't have any upper respiratory symptoms he wanted to investigate the possibility of a fever syndrome and refer her to Infectious Disease.  He ordered bloodwork, which was of course at a different location.  I debated getting it done today or waiting until tomorrow.

I decided to just get it done today.  They told me the basic work-up results would be available later in the day, but the main test he wanted would take a few days.

So I was a little surprised to get a phone call this afternoon asking if I could bring Lily back in because the doctor was concerned she had a bacterial infection.  When I asked exactly when to come--she said come now, and she'd notify the front office we were coming.

That makes a mama bit nervous.  I was trying to figure out what infection she might have that required us returning and what it meant.

So I left work early, got Lily and went back to the doctor.  They wanted a urine sample from her.  She's potty-trained now, but miserable with fever and a little confused why mama is holding a cup in the toilet under her.  She just cried during my first two attempts.  If I couldn't get her to pee in the cup, they'd have to catheterize her--which is awful.  It's been done before.  I prayed out loud in the bathroom before attempt number three, and she PEED IN THE CUP!  It's the little things, that are the biggest, you know.

The doctor walks in and says " well, her bloodwork came back grossly abnormal."  REALLY?  Did you need to use that phrase?!  One of the tests should be at a 1, she was at 13!  Her urine test showed a lot of infection.  Enough that she needed two antibiotic shots in her legs.  It was A LOT of medicine in that syringe going into her legs.  Which are very sore tonight.

We go in on Wednesday for a follow-up.  I got the feeling the doctor wants to make sure the UTI is all that is going on since her bloodwork was so off.  He said she should be much better in the morning due to the antibiotic shots today.

I am blessed to have a otherwise healthy child though.  It gave me a new perspective on parents with children with terrible diseases and chronic illness.

I am blessed we have great insurance from Bean's job.  I am blessed I could leave my job early to get my baby cared for.

But please Dr. Sounds Like Ben Stein, let's not use the phrase "grossly abnormal" again.  Cause this mama is still anxious about the next few days!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

mama bear

Lily woke up with a fever this morning.

It's been about a month since her last one, so I should have known it was coming.

I haven't kept exact records, but I'm fairly certain she's had a fever at least every four weeks since last November.  Serious.  True story.

So it's time for this mama bear to flex her muscles.

I brought up an ENT consult at a recent doctor appointment (I believe the LAST time she had a fever) but they weren't quite ready to hand it over.

This time, I'm insisting.  There may be nothing causing all these viruses and infections to fester in my sweet girl, but then again there may be.  My irl friend over at The Wonder Years shared with me how her insistence on an ENT consult revealed large adnoids in her constantly sick son and their removal drastically improved his health.

I'm certain it's a virus again.  And I think the third virus in a row to attack her throat.

But that doesn't make it right.

I don't want unnecessary intervention.  But I do want to know she's been thoroughly examined by a specialist and they've determined what is or isn't necessary.

Wish me luck tomorrow!!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

In case you wanted to know

In case you wanted to know...

Miss Rose made up a card game for us to play, which was a mix of war and poker.  But she informed us there was no betting involved.  I asked, and still can't figure out how she knows about cards and betting.  She also asked if we had any dice or spinning wheels to incorporate into the game.  I can't make this up.  And all the holy roller pentecostals rolled in their graves.
{and just so you do know, we are not a betting or gambling family.  we don't frequent casinos.  honestly, no idea where this all game from}

And if you're interested...

Lily told Gracie tonight at dinner "no talking back."  The admonishment did not fit the situation, but we were quite amused that she's picked up that phrase.  I'm not surprised though.  Out of the mouths of babes. And there you have our number one problem in this house.  Lily also loves to tell us "one minute" when she's not ready to obey.  She also talks non-stop.  It's amazing how a child who usually strings just 3-4 words together at a time can talk incessantly.  But she can.

Oh, and by the way...

Gracie thinks I should get another wedding dress so I can get married to Daddy again.  But when I suggested that someday she'll get married and she could wear my wedding dress, that is "bisgusting" because she would have to kiss a boy.  Even though she talks about kissing boys, I'm very glad she is "bisgusted" by it.  Gracie also has never seen Glee, but lately her life resembles Glee.  Much of her imaginative play happens in original song.  The characters sing to one another.  Sometimes it gets real loud.

Friends, this life is a circus.  And often I am a poor ringmother of it.  But I sure laugh a lot.

(oh, and photos of Miss Rose's new hairdo are forthcoming.  I think I need to get them off my phone.)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

latest happenings

Did you know that Miss Rose cut the side of her hair, because she had frosting in it?  Which resulted in an expedited full hair-cut (which was in the works already).  It's very cute!  And just like her mama, she wasn't a big fan of having her hair blown-dry straight.  She's a natural girl, as crazy and unpredictable as our hair may be.

Have I told you that Lily is now potty-trained?  She's pretty much a potty training superstar.  She had a few accidents the first few days but after that--all pee has been in the potty!  We still use pull-ups when we are out for a long time or at church, but she NEVER pees in it.  Poop took a few days longer than pee, and there were some pooplets on the floor, but she did get it.  She hasn't pooped in her pants even once, now that she's wearing panties full-time.  We do make a lot of trips to the bathroom.  But still better than buying diapers and wipes.

Gracie is going to make her first foray into sports this fall!  We are registering her for soccer soon.  Miss Rose goes back and forth on whether she wants to play again or not.  Gracie is very much a girl, but a feisty one.  She wrestles and roughhouses with the best of them.  If she likes soccer, I think she'll be a go-getter!

Stay tuned for more.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

in photos

I, among women, am blessed.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

oh so proud

I'm a pastor.

My kids have cut their teeth on the church pews.

Yeah, that last sentance makes me sound VERY old.  But I still like it.

I sang and lead worship while the older two were in utero.  I went on a missions trip pregnant with Miss Rose and she came to Mexico with me three times as a newborn, 1 year old and 2 year old.  I took Gracie on a missions trip when she was 2.5 months.  Gracie came to work with me until she was 6 weeks old.

They have probably been in double the amount of Sunday School classes most kids are--because when they know I'm at church, they want to be there too.  They rarely miss Sunday School.  Unless someone in the family is sick.

So, you'd think they really have the truths of Scripture in them, even at their young ages.

Which is why I was so proud tonight when Miss Rose said:

"Sometimes I like being bad.  I think I'll make Satan my friend."

And not ten minutes later, Gracie said:

"I'm going to kick Jesus out of my heart."

They were in separate rooms, and did not hear what they other said.

Proud doesn't even begin to describe how this pastor-mommy feels.

I'm going to need to have a chat with their Sunday School teachers.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Every so often I have an experience that reminds me that I am an over-achiever.

I'm no perfectionist.  It's not about perfection per say.  It's just about what I think is best, what I think is excellent and I won't settle for less.

Case in point.

Last month I took a team to Romania from my church.  Yes, the trip I've written one blog about, promised more and haven't delivered yet.  Well, this morning we were schedule to give a report on the trip.  This usually consists of a person or three sharing some stories and details of the trip and maybe some photos on powerpoint.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with this form of sharing about a missions trip.

But I'm an over-achiever.  With a Mac computer.  That has iMovie.  Don't you think it would be cool if I made a video of our trip using photos and then had our team members share brief anecdotes that I would record with the built-in microphone?  Yes, I think that would be fabulous.

Oh, I spent at least 15 hours working on my 4-minute presentation.  I know that's pretty much par for the course.  It drove me crazy.  I am not meant to look at the same screen for hours and hours on end.  I had no idea what time of the day it was when I was working on it.

No only am I an over-achiever.  But I'm a bit of a procrastinator too.  I'm motivated by that adrenaline of a deadline.

So I put the finishing touches on my project last night.

Where I found out, googling my issues, that there is a glitch in the version of software I have, causing the audio level adjustments to not work.  I couldn't get the music to lower, when the narration came in.  I gave up.

Exporting takes a long time, so I started it and headed to bed.  Morning came and I grabbed my flash drive and the computer and headed in.  Time to upload the file for service.  But it wasn't on the flash drive.  Begin export again.  Still not working right.  Try again.

By now, it's time for our first service.  During which I went up and shared about the trip and showed one photo of our team.  Thankfully, I succeeded in exporting the file and uploading it for our tech team right before I had to go teach a class.

It was a super stressful morning.  During which I was mad at myself for procrastinating.  Mad at the software for not working properly.  Mad that I was such an overachiever because it would have taken an hour to create a powerpoint with music.

But no, I'm an overachiever.  So I have to always go one up, on myself.  I never compete with others.  It's always my own brain. I'm the girl who gets a B+ and is mad I didn't get an A, while most people are rejoicing they got a B!  (if I was a perfectionist, I'd have been a straight-A student...but I wasn't)

This is pretty indicative of my life.  I always try to do more.  I always over-commit.  I never want to take the "easy way out" because I expect more of myself.  But I need to take it a little easier on myself.

While cleaning off the "counter of death" (aka where we stack everything and random junk collects) I found a few Christmas cards that were addressed, but had no stamps on them...and were never sent.  Then I found thank-you's Miss Rose wrote for her birthday in January, that hadn't been distributed.

I have to send out Christmas cards.  I have to do hand-written thank you notes.

Good execution, poor follow-through.

Sometimes, mediocrity is good.  Especially when it preserves your sanity.  But, I will always strive for excellence in my life.  I can't help it.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

last week in iPhone photos

Sick baby. Too many of my weeks have a sick baby in them.(she's doing better now)

What's missing here? {it's more fun to eat the seeds in the green beans} #ohgracie

So grown up

Rough morning...reset button

Sickie #2 this week

Somebody is wearing big girl panties now!

Ready to go running

Love her style

Small neighborhood parade in our big city. The best.

Free Home Depot aprons are a good place for our kettle corn snack :)

Post-dinner walk. Also known as, we are too hyper and our house is too small and we need to get OUT
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

running through my head

Yikes!  I haven't blogged in 10 days.

I am really ready for summer.  I'm ready to not worry so much about when kids go to bed.  I'm ready to not rush in the morning to have Miss Rose ready for school.  I'm ready to go enjoy the sun with the kids on my days off.  About another month, and summer will officially be here!  I am ready.

Miss Rose got her first true haircut yesterday.  She looks so grown up, it kills me.  She's had her hair trimmed up to a few inches, but this included several inches some layering and framing around her face.  It's crazy how much like mine her hair is.  The stylist blew it dry and it looked exactly like mine does when she blows it straight.  Although the only time I ever have straight hair is after a haircut.  I'm too lazy to straighten it.  And I'm so used to curly hair I think I look weird with straight hair.  {she has asked I not share pictures of it yet.  she's self-conscious.  but next week after more people around us have seen it, I'll share}

Dare I say, in one week, Lily is almost totally potty-trained?  I'm surprised, but I'm not.  I knew she was ready and that she'd catch on quickly.  But she's had very few accidents and even stayed dry in pull-ups while out and about and woken up dry from naps.  This weekend I'm going to not use pull-ups at all.  Except for church.  Sundays are too crazy and if she has an accident, it might be hard for one of us to get to her quickly and that's not cool.

Lily has been sick again.  Which adds to my surprise at the potty-training success.  She came down with a fever on Sunday night and it's lingered.  I took her in on Monday, since it was just two weeks ago her 7-day fever finally broke.  She has another virus, including a sore throat.  Even with fevers and not feeling well, she's kept going on the potty.  It's the saddest thing for your barely 2 baby to whimper out "potty" from her feverish spot on the couch.  But she did it!  Her fever is coming down slowly and she's mostly back to herself.  I am very close to asking for a referral to Ear-Nose & Throat doctor.  I really think something about her anatomy makes her susceptible to these infections and viruses.

Although she did vomit all over her carseat yesterday.  I think she let mucous build up from not wanting to swallow, choked and couldn't stop the gag reflux.  It kept coming and coming.  We had just pulled up to the house.  I jumped out to get her, but every time I went to unbuckle her, she'd start puking again.  You know you are a pro-mom when you pull a diaper out of the seat pocket to catch some of the puke in!  Luckily, she's held stuff down since then.

Gracie.  Oh Gracie.  She's going to be my boy crazy one.  She's only 4, so I hope she grows out of it.  She talks about wanting a boyfriend and wanting to kiss him.  I blame Tangled!  She has watched that movie so many times.  But, if you ask her, she will tell you her only boyfriend right now is Daddy and she's not allowed to have a boyfriend until she's 16.  So there.

So, what's new with you?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

one crazy hour (every night)

This blog serves partially as a record of our family life, an electronic journal if you will.  Because I type way faster than I can write with pen and paper.  I like that people enjoy reading it, and if more people want to start reading, that's super cool.

You will laugh, and you may cry at the antics I am about to recount.  I know I did a little of both.  I publish this, because many years from now, I may not remember these details and if someone else were to tell them to me, I may not believe it.  But here, published in my own words, I have to believe it.

The hour from 6:30pm to 7:30pm is the craziest, hairiest hour each day in our household.  I'm sure it's similar in many homes with young children.  Infants and young babies are often extra fussy in the evening and it's called the "witching hour."  I would propose that the "witching hour" continues to exist as children get older, just in different form.

We typically eat dinner around 5:30pm.  By 6:30 it is time to start getting kids ready for bed.  Bean typically cleans up after dinner while I start bathing children.  We like this set-up.  I would rather be with the kids and he loves cleaning the kitchen.

Sometimes I shower all three kids.  We have a removable shower head that I use for the little girls.  This is the most expedient method, but the little girls usually protest and fuss and sometimes I am just not up for that.

Before baths and showers tonight I trimmed everyone's finger and toenails.

Tonight, a joint bath sounded much easier.  I run the bath and undress Lily.  Gracie comes in and poops on the toilet, stinking up the small bathroom.  Gracie loves to lay down in the bath, putting her lady parts right in Lily's reach.  Which is starting to interest Lily.  I can't tell you how many times I tell Gracie to sit up.  And then she lays down again.  Gracie spent the first 10 minutes of tonight's bath with her ears underwater, singing her rendition of the chorus of "Firework" over and over again, quite loudly.

Miss Rose always protests getting in the shower.  It takes her way longer than necessary to undress.  Usually because she is cavorting around half dressed or naked--often in full view of our picture window in the living room.  This is rather awkward because she is a 7-year old trapped in a 10-year olds body.  Hear head almost reaches the top of my shoulder.  The kid is tall and very solid.  She's like this pre-teen running around, yet with a child's spirit.  Awkward is just the best way to describe it.

After demanding and sometimes yelling, she's finally in the shower.  Then I have to fetch the brush for her, because no matter what I do, Miss Rose's hair is terribly tangled by the end of the day and the best solution is to saturate it with conditioner and brush it while soaking in the shower.  And we still have to brush more tangles after she's out.

Miss Rose spends the last half of her shower singing made-up songs into the shower head.  She is never happy when I say it's time to get out.  I have to dry her hair enough that it's not dripping.  She tries to talk me into drying her whole body, but I usually make her do it on her own.

Back to the other bathroom where Gracie and Lily are playing and Gracie is saying "Lily's gonna bite my bottom"  Then for goodness sake SIT UP!  A quick scrub down and conditioning of hair.  (curly hair girls, we don't use shampoo usually)

Miss Rose is taking forever to dry off, and is singing again in our bathroom.  So I have to continually call to her to go get her jammies on.

Get the little girls dried off and they insist on being wrapped in their towels.  They love running to find Bean and talk about being naked and there is often mention of nipples.  Bean is usually done with the kitchen at this point and helps with the rest of the extravaganza.

Lily always runs away when it's time to get jammies on.  And lately she's been insisting on choosing her own.  She wants "pink" although I don't think she always knows what is actually pink.

Then it's time to brush out tangles.  Miss Rose thinks I'm torturing her on purpose.  I think she will get a significant haircut in May.  Her hair is long, so there is some to spare.  Gracie's hair doesn't tangle as much, but she still hates getting it brushed.

Miss Rose goes into the bathroom to brush her teeth and do her fluoride mouthwash.  When I check on her, she's making silly faces in the mirror.  She somehow gets toothpaste everywhere while brushing.  Lily tries to get in the bathroom, but this only distracts Miss Rose. I have to drag Lily out, while she tucks her legs up, and close the door.  Lily plants herself right in front of the door and screams at me.

Finally it's time for the little girls.  Gracie stands on the stool, Lily climbs on the toilet.  Both girls start out themselves, then I finish up.  Lily plays with the soap and mouthwash bottle on the counter, knocking them over.  I usually have to sing to get the girls to focus on the task at hand.  I go back and forth, telling them not to touch something, to focus, to not fall etc.  I floss Gracie's teeth, because they are close together and that's

I've been wanting to read more from our children's Bibles and so tonight I put my foot down that Mama was reading and everyone else was listening.  Miss Rose wanted to read "but Mom, you always say that it's important for me to read, so I don't know why you won't let me."  Gracie wanted to look at her own book.  And Lily had to be on my lap, and kept grabbing the Bible.

It was a comedic 8 minutes.  Gracie was sent to her room for moaning and whining and writhing on the couch.  Lily started being goofy and saying "poop" and "pee".  Miss Rose was laughing the entire time.  And then Bean started laughing.  Lily kept going to check on Gracie.  Finally Gracie returned.    I could only get five words out at a time before having to direct a child in something.  Bean thought it was all hilarious.  I told him I had no use for him.

Gracie flips through the children's Bible and comes upon an illustration of Naaman washing in the Jordan River.  She thinks he is naked and it's funny.  I tell her he has shorts on, they are just underwater. Then she starts talking about seeing his nipples.  Seriously.

Finally, bedtime.  We pray, we sing.  During which Gracie is singing her own song.  Miss Rose is trying to hold hands with all family members from the top bunk. She gets mad when Lily doesn't want to hold her hand, which is almost every night.  Lily insists on being held.  She's getting heavy these days.  I rest my foot on the bunkbed ladder so Lily is sitting on my leg instead of my hip.  Which Bean thinks is a great opportunity to tickle my leg, so I'm laughing while we are singing, and from the top bunk Miss Rose thinks she's missing something.  Sigh.

During this crazy hour, I hardly ever stop talking.  I'm always telling a child to do something, or stop doing something.

The kids finally in bed, we collapse on the couch.

And I wonder, 10 years from now, when they can do all of this on their own, what are we going to do with that hour?

It's crazy.  But I'm sure I'll miss it.

What are your nights like?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Missionary Mama part 1

When I was in 4th or 5th grade I felt called to be a missionary while at Kids Camp.  For a few years, I was pretty sure this meant I'd live my life in a foreign country.   As I continued to grow up, it was something I filed in the back of my head.  Maybe it meant something different.  Maybe it meant just ministry.  Maybe I was just an impressionable kid.  But I have always been pretty sensitive to the presence of God, so deep down I knew there was something to it.

Fast forward to my sophomore year of college and I went on my first missions trip to Mexico.  I was hooked.  I love it.  I was actually super sick when I went.  I Nyquil-ed my way through cold nights in a tent.  But I was so glad I went.  The next year, I became part of the leadership of the missions trip.  The next year, I was the trip director.  And with a team of people I started a second trip taking youth students to Mexico.  I directed that trip for 7 years and took anywhere from 175-300 students to Mexico every Spring Break.

As a youth pastor, I traveled to Bolivia, Florida, Costa Rica and Ireland on Mission trips.

God certainly did call me to missions.  As a young girl, full-time missions was my only frame of reference. But there are so many ways to be involved in missions.  I now know I will be involved in missions for the rest of my life, and that could look many different ways.

Out of all the trips I've taken, this trip probably required the most obedience.  It was easy to bring Miss Rose to Mexico with me as a newborn, a 1 year old and a 2 year old.  It was even easy to bring Gracie with me to Ireland at 3 months old (pretty sweet that she has a passport photo at 6 weeks old).  Easy decisions to make, although missions with a child is definitely more exhausting.  I won't go into detail about Miss Rose screaming for hours on the last leg home in the car or Gracie struggling to adjust back to California time.

Initially this trip to Romania was supposed to take place last Fall.  Before Lily turned 2.  When the need arose for leadership, it wasn't difficult to offer to go.  I hadn't been on a missions trip in almost four years.  And I would just take Lily.  Making it easier on my heart, and easier on Bean home with the other 2.

Then a variety of things pushed the date back to the Spring.  And after Lily's birthday.  Which meant she could no longer fly free.  I was going solo and Bean would single parent three girls for 10 days.  Several times, I thought long and hard about how to get out of it.  I wanted to go.  But I didn't want to leave my family.

But I knew I had to be obedient.  And God wanted me to go.

It wasn't easy.  It never got easy leaving my family, being away from them.  Especially when I found out a few days before coming home that Lily had been very sick, which changed everything and although Bean was doing amazing--dealing with a sick toddler, who doesn't have her mommy, and two other kids--he was just treading water, as any of us would do.

Obedience isn't usually easy.  Abraham had to put his son on an altar.  Moses' mother sent him down the Nile in a basket.  Hannah kept her agreement and gave Samuel over to Eli the priest.  I could go on and on.

God simply asked me to spend 10 days in Romania.

You know me, always full of words.  So I'll share about my trip in a few different parts.

It was wonderful.  But so is being home.

With Pastor Aurel in front of the church

Standing at the Danube River.  Serbia is in the distance.

In front of the Romanian Orthodox Church in Timisoara

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