Tuesday, June 30, 2009

If there is anything that I have learned about myself recently, it is the fact that I internalize far more than I would ever care to admit. By no means is this meant to be a way to say that I'm unhappy because I'm NOT. What I am, however, is someone who is realizing that her opinions and feelings about the things surrounding her are far more intense and extreme than she ever realized.

I thought I was prepared to be a wife and a step-mom. I was certain that it was going to be a breeze. I'm not saying that I expected to never have conflict, to never have a hard day. I am saying, however, that I expected the transition from working woman to stay-at-home step-mom to be ... well easy. Guess what? It's not. Managing the Physical Therapy clinic was easy - it was bookwork. It was something I was trained in and something I was good at. Managing our home, however, is NOT. I will admit it: I DON'T LIKE TO COOK!!! I used to enjoy it, I truly did. Now that it's something I have to do on a regular basis, something about the excitement of it faded away. Cleaning is a chore that never ends! I could literally spend HOURS cleaning our home and it would take our children only minutes to dirty it! One thing that I have learned, though, is the fact that I was good at managing the physical therapy clinic because I was trained to do it. I am still in my training period of being a step-mom, so being imperfect, while it's something I don't want to be, it's still okay!

I'm also internalizing the pain of my miscarriage and the pain of wondering if we are ever going to be pregnant. Every single time that I take a pregnancy test and see that "Not Pregnant" .. every single time I get a period, I wonder why. Why on earth did it happen that I got pregnant right away when we weren't trying, but now that we're ready to be pregnant it's just not happening? Why does my heart still hurt SO badly for the baby that I lost? I know that it's because I lost that baby, because there is a void in my heart that needs to be filled, that is the very reason why it is so hard for me that we're not getting pregnant right now.

I know.

There are a lot of things that I know.

I know that this post sounds completely negative and that I am truly not a negative person.

I know that I truly AM happy in my life, but my stupid wisdom teeth are hurting more than they ever have and trying to be happy is difficult when you have 1,000mg of ibuprofen running through your body while NOT stopping the pain. Don't worry, I go to see the dentist in a couple of hours. No worries.

You know what I truly know? I'm talking REALLY know - so much that it is in me down to my bones. I know that God is God alone. I know that He is in control of my life. I know that I have to have faith that He has me on the right path and that everything in my life will happen in HIS perfect timing and not mine. While RIGHT NOW may seem to be a great time in my eyes, He sees the future and sees where I'm headed and knows when the right time is.

I know that He has my heart, my life, my family and my future in His precious, loving hands. You know what? That's all I ever really need to know.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Today was a fabulous day! It started off with me, my kiddos and my daytime nanny, Holly, travelling to enjoy the lake with my MOPs group. What a great time! We spent about three hours playing in the water, building sand castles and catching some rays from the steaming hot sun! It was really fun to get to spend more time with the ladies of my MOPs group - I love getting to know them!

After that was down time at home which, for me, meant relaxing with a cup of tea. Aaaahhhh! I planned out our evening and relaxed relaxed relaxed!

This evening was date night for the hubby and I! We took our boat out on Lake Minnetonka and spent most of the night cruising around the lake. We had BBQ Ribs for dinner (ordered to go and eaten on the boat) and swam a bit and just had a wonderful time! We got home to find all of our kiddos tucked into bed and snoozing away ...

It was an AMAZING day ... and I am completely sunburned!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I really don't know what it is, but I am NOT a morning person by any means! I've been up for about a half hour (yep, on summer days I do sometimes sleep in until 8:45am) and I am still dragging. Coffee has yet to do any sort of work in helping me function. I can honestly say that mornings are my least favorite time of the day. I want to just sleep until whenever my heart desires, get up and get ready, get my stuff done for the day, hang out with my hubby and the kids and go to bed as late as my heart desires. Guess what? Having for kids allows zero room for this. So, now that it's almost 9:20am, I suppose I am best to get up, get moving and get my day started.

Dear Energy and Motivation,
I miss you. Wherever you have gone, please come find me again.

Monday, June 22, 2009

On the drive home from Colorado something awful happened: after filling with gas, we were leaving the gas station, our Suburban started shaking violently and it felt like it was going to stop running at any moment. Then it happened: the "Check Engine" light lit up, but not only was it on, it was flashing at me, as if to say "Hey Lady - something's wrong! Stop and check it out!"

Being the absolutely desperate to not make this trip any longer excited to get home people that we were, my husband and I decided that we were just going to keep on going - with a prayer said over our vehicle, we continued on our journey. We did not break down. With the help of God and our trusty vehicle, we made it all the way home.

Today, two days later, I was driving that same Suburban down the highway - still shaking and that light still staring me in the face (but this time only flashing when I was accelerating).

That's when it struck me how often in our lives God is the "Check Engine" light that we ignore. What on earth do I mean by that? I'm so glad that you asked! How often in life do we feel the signs, the shaking of our lives and see God's warnings (that Check Engine light), but choose to ignore them? We walk right past them and continue to do things our own way. As long as we are in control of our own lives nothing can go wrong without us expecting it, right? Wrong. God gives us those warnings in our life for a reason. Whether your warning come through that still small voice in you (often referred to as our conscience), whether it comes through another person or if it's just a big knot in your stomach .. whatever the sign may be - when we choose to ignore it, it will eventually lead us to a break down. A time when we need the Master Mechanic to do some work on our operating system (our heart, mind, body and soul) and send us off in the correct direction.

When I look back over my life, there are so many times that warning signs were screaming at me and staring me straight in the face, but I chose to look past them and continue doing things my way. I have this need to control my own life, and God continues to tell me that I have to let Him do the driving, and be content in the passenger seat of my life. By ignoring those warnings, I walked straight into the pit of a break down. Something majorly went wrong.

Thankfully, I do know the Master Mechanic, and His love and grace go farther than I can comprehend. Thankfully, He doesn't send me to the junk yard because I ignored his "Check Engine light". He workes on me, slowly but surely. This is not a quick fix, this is a time when He is truly doing a very good work in my life. Each of these experiences have been huge turning points in my life that I am forever grateful for. My Master Mechanic has always loved me, forgiven me and helped me. He can and will do the same for you ... but I pray that, rather than it being through a break down, you will pay attention to the "Check Engine" lights in your life and seek the Master Mechanic before the break down happens.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

YES! We are FINALLY home! :) Not that I'm at all complaining about the wonderful vacation we got to take, but let's just say that the road trip home was hair pulling, poke-my-own-eye-out frustrating a little bit stressful. I think we were all just so sick of being in the car and our youngest child (dear, three-year-old Colin) was going positively crazy. So, we rolled in a little after 4pm yesterday and I was MORE than ready to be here! We unpacked - we rejoiced at the fact that we didn't have to mow our lawn (thanks to our good friend, Chris, who mowed it for us while we were away!) - we were excited at the fact that we got to have a REAL meal tonight instead of eating out (I will be SO happy if I don't have to eat out again for a YEAR ... with the exception of my date to Benihana with my good friend, Becca!) .. but I think the BEST part of coming home was that we received our Engagement Pictures from Moments In Time Photography (we were at fault for not having these, as we had our engagement pictures taken two weeks prior to our wedding, thus we requested our wedding pictures first and only recently did we request our engagement photos!) and our wedding video finally arrived!!

I was thrilled to be greeted by so many surprises and by the thought of "normal life". I am SO happy to be back home and to be surrounded by the things I love! I was also incredibly happy to enjoy my first cup of Teavana tea when I got home .. you don't realize how addicted to something you are until you can't have it for a week! I think tea is a good thing to be addicted to, though, so I'm not concerned! :)

I will end this post by wishing a Happy Father's Day to my very own Price Charming, Monte. He is an incredible father, a hard worker, a loyal and loving husband and my dreams completely come true! I hope today is amazing for you, my dear love!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Many of you know the story of my friend and neighbor, Jennifer McKinney, and her sweet baby boy, Stellan. Unfortunately, six-month-old Stellan is in the hospital again fighting the SVT that is trying to take over his heart. I'm writing to call all of you prayer warriors to lift this sweet baby boy and his family up in your prayers. Not only do we need to be praying that this bout of SVT be stopped, but we need to be praying for a completely NEW heart for Stellan - for 100% healing of his heart. I believe that this is the miracle that God wants us to be asking Him for. So I'm calling all of you prayer warriors (and even those who aren't!!) to lift Stellan and the McKinney's up in your prayers.

"The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." - James 5:16

I truly believe we need to be in FERVENT prayer for him. Take time today to lift him up. Imagine if this were your baby and it were your family going through this - you would want the prayers of everybody in the world being lifted up for him.

If you don't know their story and want to follow it you can visit Jennifer's blog at: http://www.mycharmingkids.net

Thank you so much everybody!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I have several things on my heart to write about, so I'm hoping to combine them all into this one fabulous posting! Colorado has been beautiful, wonderful, restful ... everything that I could have wanted it to be. Yesterday, Claire and I went horseback riding through the Rocky Mountains. It was SO wonderful! I will admit there were times when I was a bit nervous - times when the trail we were on was a little too narrow and the fall next to it a little too steep for my liking. Thankfully, God was and is in control and we made it through the ride without any problems beyond a good case of saddle seat for both of us when we were done!

Today was a wonderful and very full day of biking. Our entire clan (Monte, me and all four of our kiddos) left Breckenridge at 10:30 this morning on one very long bike ride. We rode to Frisco, had lunch at A&W, ran a few errands and returned our bikes and rode the shuttle back to Breckenridge. All in all, we rode 12+ miles in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. The views were gorgeous, the air was cool and crisp and the sun was shining. As I was riding my mind couldn't get over the fact of how completely awesome our God truly is to create something as beautiful as the mountains - and yet He loves us far more than any of His other creations. It sends chills up my spine and puts a precious peace in my heart to know the awesomeness of our Heavenly Father.

I also couldn't help but to take a couple of pictures while we were starting out ... this one is my favorite:

One thing that has truly been on my heart since we arrived is something I believe God spoke straight to my heart on our way here. It was on Sunday and I was driving our last leg to Breckenridge (and no, I did not take this photo!) ...

... Monte was asleep in the passenger seat next to me (though I did take this photo!) ...

... and the only thing helping me to find my way was my navigation system

... this is when I realized just how completely dependent I am on my Garmin (the navigation system). [Sidenote] My navigation system has a female voice with an Australian accent - I have yet to name "her" .. any suggestions?! ANYWAY - I was realizing how completely dependent I am on listening for her voice tell me when my next turn is coming and to look for it. I was completely lost, somewhere in the middle of Nebraska, only knowing where my destination was but completely unaware of what the journey from where I was to getting to my destination would take me. I believe it was at that moment that God was speaking straight to my heart. There was a whisper across my heart as if I could audibly hear God saying that He wants me to be that dependent on Him - to listen that intently for His voice and to know that I can trust Him to get me to my final destination. Our God is faithful to get us from here to there, but somehow I think I end up hitting a lot of road construction simply because I don't wait for the detour signs. It was a huge wake up call that sometimes I do need to just wait for Him to tell me when my next turn is - that I can ride the same highway in life for a LONG time and that I need to trust God and know that He has my best interest in mind, He has my life in His hands and He sees the path I'm on and can get me to my destination far easier than if I try to get there alone. What an awesome God we serve!!

On another note, I'm experiencing a bit of a difficulty this evening with breathing. I have asthma and, if you know Colorado at all you know that there is much less oxygen here due to being at such a high altitude. That being said, I would greatly appreciate your prayers that my airways would be completely open, my coughing would stop completely (this is the main issue as I have "dry cough asthma", so when an attack comes on, I can't stop coughing). I just want to enjoy this vacation with my family and not have to feel this misery in my chest. Please pray that God will release that pressure and take away any and all asthma and breathing problems that want to hold on with everything they've got.

With that, I think I'm going to turn in for the night! More mountain goodness updates to come ... I promise :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Welcome to Not Me! Monday - a place where we get to spill about the things we would normally NEVER admit to doing! Get in on the fun of other Not Me! Mondays by visiting MckMama's blog here!

Kami's Not Me! Monday: Roadtrip Edition

While packing my children in the Suburban at 6:15 on Saturday morning, I did not snap at them that they needed to stop whining that they were tired and just get in the truck and be silent. I also did not get frustrated when, shortly after leaving, I realized that NONE of them fell back asleep!

While enjoying an Apple Fritter and a latte from Caribou Coffee, I did not respond by saying, "nothing that you can have!" when my three-year-old asked me what I was eating. I'm not selfish like that, I always share my food with my children and am very happy to do so!

I did not choose to drive almost all of the journey entirely because I didn't want to have to deal with the children. If I focused on the road, it would be Monte's job to focus on the chaos in the backseat ... but I would never take that route to get out of it!

When stopped at a rest stop for lunch, I did not put Colin's chocolate covered hand in my mouth and lick it clean because he was whining about the fact that it was dirty.

At the hotel we stayed at on Saturday night, I did not check in stating that there were just two people staying in the room (as my priceline.com reservation indicated) and then proceed to walk past the front desk as the huge group of SIX that we are. I would always make sure to pay the additional fees for all of our children!

Upon driving into the mountains yesterday I did not allow my husband to scare our children by pointing out the funnel cloud that was within a couple of miles of us. I would never allow them to become so freaked out of the potential tornado that it would cause me to say in irritation "it hasn't even touched ground yet!"

Finally, I would never be so thrilled at the thought of peace and quiet that I gladly agree to my husband taking two of our boys out fishing while I stay back in the condo with our daughter our sleeping son. On top of that, I would never ignore everything around me just for a chance to get online and post a Not Me! Monday!!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

At very long last, our 'long drive to get there' part of our road trip is complete! We left Kearney, NE around 8:30 this morning, stopped for a couple of bathroom breaks and a half hour lunch break, and rolled into Breckenridge around 2:30pm. It had been a long day in the car, and since it was our second day of travelling, I know the kids were starting to get antsy! This came to life after we got here - they were running around and screaming like nobody's business! I was close to turning them loose on the city and telling them to come back when they were tired (side note: I'm not a terrible parent, I would never DO that!). But instead, we all went on a hike to wear out some energy, played a game of tag, ran around some more, went to dinner, walked a lot more and came back for bed. Now, I'm sitting here in bed with swollen feet! I don't know if it was from walking in shoes that weren't the best (when we set out for our hike we weren't intending on a hike, it just sort of happened!) and my feet were mighty hurting by the time I got back. Oh boy oh boy! That being said, I think my tired feet and I shall catch some rest. Look for some pictures tomorrow - we took some GREAT ones! :)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Today marks the end of the first day of our family vacation to Colorado. We are currently in Kearney, Nebraska at a hotel. My husband and two of our kiddos are downstairs in the pool, I am upstairs in our room with our other two kids, watching a baseball game and just relaxing. What a day it has been! We hit the road at 6:30 this morning, which was a half hour later than we had hoped, but we didn't mind. We drove straight through to Kearney with the exception of a 45 minute lunch break at a rest stop (we packed sandwich makings and other yummy food for lunch) and a couple of quick bathroom breaks/driver switches. Monte let me drive for a majority of the trip, which I LOVED! I'm kind of a nerd like that, but I truly do enjoy driving quite a bit! Now I'm just waiting for the kiddos to get that pent up energy out of their system so we can go to sleep and enjoy another long day in the car tomorrow! We made 10 hours of our trip today and have about another six to go tomorrow. Not too bad!

I really don't have anything to write about at this point - the trip has been going really well and the kids have been AMAZING at travelling! I was really surprised how well it went (as Colin has a really hard time on the six hour road trip to see my brother and his family in North Dakota!). Now I'm just ready for whatever the next week holds for me. My true prayer is that God will make Himself far more evident in my life - that I will not be able to go through a single moment without knowing the awesomeness that He is and that He has created.

That, and to kick the phrases "buttox region" and "you little wretch" from my boys' vocabularies! Oh sheesh :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I truly feel like I am in a season where I see the enemy trying to rock my world and trying to rock the world of people I love, and I'm tired of it. I'm tired of feeling like things are so crazy that I don't know which direction to go. That being said, I think it's time that we unite together and share our hearts - share our prayer requests - and truthfully spend quiet time before God, allowing the King of Kings to take control of our lives once again. I have a few prayer requests that are very dear to me and very heavy on my heart, and if you could devote some time to praying for each of them, I would be completely blessed and forever grateful.

The first is for my step-son, Iain. That darling boy has been through so much in the last year and a half, and he is at a place in his life where he is experiencing so much sorrow over missing his mama and wanting to see her again that he is desperate to be loved. It's a hard position for me to be in, to be the one who comforts him in these trying times. He has so many emotions that he experiences and that he identifies, but yet he doesn't know how to deal with them or how to correctly express them. To top it all off, he had his second bout of head lice that we found today, and we had to shave his beautiful locks down to a buzz cut (which, if you know him at all, you know that he was NOT happy about it). Thankfully, he handled the haircut well (did I mention that we paid him off? $10 to let us cut his hair instead of having to comb through it!), but somehow it feels like the icing on a cake of cruelty that was baked just for him. Please pray that God will protect his heart and protect him while he works through everything that is going on in his life.

Secondly, I would appreciate it if you would pray for my sister and her family. They are in the process of adopting a beautiful little girl, but the enemy is trying to throw loopholes in the process. I can't give out many details right now, due to the position they are currently in regarding their adoption process, but please pray for God's hand to be in the adoption process. Pray that other people who may have the chance to view the baby's profile will somehow overlook it, that she will be reserved for my sister's home, as we all know deeply that it is the one God has prepared for her. Please also pray for peace for my dear sister and her family, because it tears me up inside to see the way Tanya's (my sister's) heart longs for this little girl and is so anxious to bring her home. We all are praying for that day to come and are praying that God will expedite the process. Please pray with me!

My third request is for my friend Jennifer's little baby boy, Stellan. He was diagnosed with a heart condition while Jennifer was still carrying him. I'm praising God that Stellan has been able to live to see his six month birthday, but I'm also believing that God has a bigger miracle for little Stellan. Right now, he is fighting a battle with SVT and it's one that I truly believe God is going to carry him through to true victory. Please, oh please, pray for a true healing of Stellan's heart, for God's miraculous touch to be present in Stellan's life and for Jennifer and her family to be able to return to a normal life - one that does not involve SVT in their precious baby.

These are only a few of the many things that I know God has placed on my heart, but these are the few that I feel need to be voiced, need to be prayed for by believers near and far. The Bible says that "When two or three are gathered in My name, I am there in the midst of them." (Matthew 18:20). I truly believe that this is a time for us to fall on our knees before our loving Savior and present these requests to Him. He is the healer of our hearts. He is the director of our paths. He is the healer of our bodies. He is the One.

Lord, please hear my prayers and please show Yourself and allow Yourself to be glorified in these situations. I love You and I lay my life down for You. I am nothing without You. Bless those in my prayer requests and bless those reading these words. We love You Lord - forever I will live my life to praise You.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Today I woke up and found myself here:

Not that it was an accident by any means. I am in my hometown, visiting with my mom and step-dad. My boys decided they wanted to take a trip "up north" to do some fishing for the weekend, and thus a trip was formed.

Now I'm sitting here enjoying the company of my mom and my step-Bob, loving the sight of my boys fishing from the paddle boat in this frigidly cold cool spring weather, and looking forward to another evening of playing cards late into the night. *SiGh* It feels so good to be here and just rest - particularly because I'm trying to kick this bronchitis I've got right out the door. Tomorrow we're heading back home and begin another busy week of soccer and baseball games - only to head out again on our family vacation to Colorado this coming Saturday. The funny thing about it all is that I am by no means stressed out by everything on my plate - by the loads of laundry to be done before we go, before the packing is done, before the kids go out to their sports and I have my doctors appointments and other miscellaneous errands to run. I am in a place of complete peace about it and am thankful that God has given me this weekend with my family to rest and get well. :)

I have more on my mind, but my mom just informed me that I need to get off the computer and pay attention to her - so that I shall do! :) Ciao for now!

Friday, June 5, 2009

You heard me right, today officially marks the start of summer vacation! I have a special date set up for my kiddos and I today and am truly looking forward to it!

As I look ahead to my summer, I am truly excited for this time with the kids. As many of you know, they officially became my step children this past December, which means that this is our first summer together! By no means am I under the impression that our summer will be all sunshine and rainbows; after all, we are five separate people with five very individual personalities. That being said, I am looking forward to it being more than just me and Colin - I'm so excited to have my other kiddos at home! :)

Yesterday I chaperoned Claire's end-of-the-school-year field trip to Valleyfair and what a day that was! I loved seeing how happy she was and how much fun she had on the trip, though - that was worth the hours of watching kids on the rides! :)

Now I'm looking forward to planning the MckBrunch with one of my friends, having more time to go "north" to my sister's house and visit, spending more time exploring everything that this community has to offer (I moved here in the middle of winter, you can't go exploring in this frozen Tundra for all that long before you freeze completely!), and just enjoying spending quality time with my amazing husband and my loveable kids.

God has blessed me far greater than I could have ever asked or imagined - and I am more and more grateful for it each and every day!

Monday, June 1, 2009

I was determined to get my lawn mowed this afternoon, but alas, it is NOT going to happen. Here's my story. I moved the vehicles out of the way and drove the lawn mower out of the shed. I had a hard time getting it out and couldn't figure out why (but wasn't going to stop and get off the mower as it was already on the ramp) - so I floored it in reverse and it was out.

So - crazy long grass, HERE I COME! I get to the lawn, turn on the blades and start mowing. I near the first corner and turn the steering wheel. Holy moly the thing didn't move! I ended up in the bushes. Okay, maybe it's me - reverse out of there, take a wider turn and move on. Second corner comes (note that I'm mowing along our hedge at this point) and once again I ended up in the bushes. Now I'm just starting to get irritated, as I only have a certain amount of time to mow the lawn, and having the lawn mower cooperate is essential in completing this task. Instead of turning this corner, I reversed and took a wide turn into the middle of our lawn, and that's when I saw it:

The big fat flat tire that was staring me in the face.

So now I am back in the house and getting ready for this evening's activities, all the while my lawn mower is still in the middle of our lawn and my husband has yet to return my call so I can figure out where I might find a spare tire (if we have one at all)! Oh boy.

Today, I am not a fan of our lawn mower. In fact, I think that instead of a lawn mower, I need to get a cow. Then I won't have any grass at all! ;)

This morning I did not tell my 11-year-old that she can do her own laundry because I'm tired of the never ending piles. Nope, not me!

While on a boat ride yesterday, I did not hold my three-year-old son upside down at the front of the boat so he could touch the water while the boat was moving, I would never put my son in such a position of potential danger.

I most certainly did not fall down my spiral staircase for the fifth time in six months, while knowing my children have never fallen down that staircase in their entire lives.

I did not allow my friend to change my son's dirty pull-up yesterday and play with him all while relaxing and enjoying a cup of tea. I would never put my parenting responsibilities on someone else like that.

To top it all off, I did not get so excited when the planning of several upcoming events got placed in my lap that I danced around my house. I am by no means that big of a nerd that organizing an event sends me into extreme excitement - not me!

Share in on other people's Not Me moments by visiting MckMama's blog here!