Thursday, June 24, 2010

It's no secret that, for about as long as I can remember, my heart's desire has been to be a wife and a mom.  I used to dream about the day that I would walk down the aisle, the day that my husband and I would welcome our babies into the world, and the days that would follow in my life of complete bliss!  However, I have to admit that, if it had gone according to my own plan, I would have married the wrong man.  I was so determined that my destiny in life was to be a wife and a mom; it was that determination that lead me in the direction of taking control of my life out of God's hands and putting it into my own, seeking first the fulfillment of my plan and ignoring God.  You see, I was engaged to be married when I was 18 years old.  The man I was engaged to was very nice and I truly cared for him, but the more time that went by the more I realized that, had we been married, my life would have gone in a direction that I really didn't want it to.  I had the idealistic perception that marriage would change things - that we would focus more on going to church and sharing a relationship with God, and that we would focus less on everything else.  Can I tell you that I am incredibly thankful that God got a hold on me when He did?  It was during this engagement that I realized my life was not headed in a direction that would be pleasing to God, and it was time to give up control back to Him.  Though the decision was not easy, we agreed that it would be best for us to end our engagement and go our separate ways. He remained in my hometown, and I moved a few hours away to live with my sister and her family and begin my fresh start on life.

I began attending church regularly and even joined a couple of small groups within the church.  I allowed God to heal my heart from the pain of this lost relationship and turned my attention to Him.  Unfortunately, in doing so, not only did I turn my attention to Him, but I turned my attention on the guys in my small group.  You see, I was still determined that becoming a wife and a mom was my life calling and I was still trying to maintain control of the "when" and the "with whom" this would be fulfilled.  Now, looking back over those years, it amazes me how much time I wasted focusing on the wrong things in life.

It wasn't until a couple of years, a few jobs and a lot of houses later that my priorities changed in the right direction.  At this point, I was living with my brother and his family (after having moved four times within the course of a year, I decided that move number five needed to be a bit more permanent, so when my brother and sister-in-law offered to let me live with them, I took them up on it pretty quickly).  I wish I could say that my priorities immediately changed and God had complete control of my life, but that is not the case.  I still spent the course of about a year still hanging out with the wrong crowds, dating the wrong guys and doing things that I knew weren't the way I wanted my life to be.  It amazes me so much how easily I let myself continue doing these things, even while knowing that they were not good for me, but not caring because it was instant gratification.  Guess what?  Instant gratification pretty instantly leads to long-term pain.  When I took the time to reevaluate my life and my priorities, it was very quickly that I knew I was not where I wanted to be and not where God called me to be.  I made the decision that it was time to stop focusing on what I thought I was supposed to be and to turn my focus entirely on my relationship with God.

I found a new group of friends, a couple of them having been friends from the first church I attended in the cities, and began spending time with them.  We made it a priority to get to church together every week and to really lift each other up in our relationships with God.  Through time, I began to find that my heart was so happily lost in God that my cares about being a wife and a mom were minimal and I rarely thought about them.  If single life is what God was calling me to, then so be it!  I truly had finally come to a point where I had a healthy attitude and outlook about where my life was going.  It was amazing to finally know the love of God to such a capacity that it consumed me!

I can't really tell you how long it was between the time that my heart transformed to being lost in God and when Monte and I went out on our first "non-date", but I can tell you that I was so focused on my relationship with God and where my life was going, lead completely by Him, that I never suspected that I could ever have feelings develop for any man.  To read about our (Monte and my) love story, click here.  All I can say about it is that, as I am reflecting on my relationship with God and my relationship with Monte, two things have proven to be very true, and they are two of my most favorite sayings: Love comes when you stop looking for it / Love comes when you least expect it and possibly my favorite: A woman's heart should be so lost in God that a man needs to seek God to find her.

My prayer is that, if you are walking in the shoes of seeking a future spouse, seek first a relationship with God and let Him take care of the rest.  His designs are far better than what we are capable of drawing, anyway!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Today we are 18 weeks pregnant.  According to the weekly pregnancy calendar, that means that my baby is the size of a pickle.  Sound odd to you?  It does to me, too!  However, since I have been receiving so many requests for a picture of my "bump" (which has just began to show, by the way), I decided to put one up here just for you.  In order to get that done, however, I had to do it right away, as I had already been procrastinating from doing this for awhile!  I was all set to do it last night, but the battery died on my point-and-shoot camera (and I forgot my DSLR camera at my in-laws' house this past weekend!), so I had to wait until this morning.  So without further adieu (and without any makeup, teeth brushing or hair styling), I give you me and baby at 18 weeks:

For those of you who didn't want to see my bare belly .. you have my apologies.  It's just ... you can't really see the bump any other way! :)

Hope you are all fabulous!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What an odd morning it has been for me.  You see, my eyes popped open just before 5:00am, and they haven't closed since!  I knew that I needed to get up early today, as my kids are going to the zoo with two of their aunts and they are leaving shortly after 8:00am ... and I need to finish the boys' laundry before they leave.  Maybe that's what caused me to wake up on  my own at the crack of dawn, maybe not, who knows.  Regardless, it is now 6:57am, I have already showered, done two loads of laundry, made breakfast for my husband, ate my own breakfast and now I am just sitting here amazed at the fact that I'm awake.  You see, normally I don't get up until about 7:30am (well, at least when the kids are on summer vacation), so to be awake this early is just crazy!

I know I've been away from the blogging world for a few days, but life has once again become extremely busy!  The kids are now officially on summer break from school, sports are keeping us insanely busy during the week, and this cloudy weather is just keeping us insane!

However, in the midst of all that crazy comes a great deal of joy, as my brother and sister-in-law are due to have their baby via C-section at 7:30 this morning ... so very shortly I will have a new niece or nephew!  This is Jeremy and Missy's third child and, considering that Missy is already well beyond her due date, the arrival couldn't be happier!  Congrats to the fabulous family about to welcome child number three!! :)

That's all I have for you this morning.  Hopefully I'll be able to get some pictures in here soon!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I had my check-up with my OBGYN this past week Monday.  It came as a bit of a surprise to me to find out that I'm currently 16 weeks pregnant.  I imagine if I went back and correctly calculated, it would have come out right, but somehow my head got confused (I want to blame my husband for this one because he's always playing tricks on me regarding how far along I am!) and I thought I was only 14 weeks.  Crazy crazy crazy!

So, Colin and I went to the appointment together and he sat nicely and played with the toys we brought along, tying them all up with a rubber band (it's amazing how simple things like that will amuse a child!).  The nurse came in and asked the usual questions and then asked me to lay back so she could listen to the baby's heartbeat.  She put the little sound machine on my belly and moved it around.  We heard only my heartbeat.  She moved it again .. and again .. and again .. and again.  After about two minutes of searching with no success, she decided to just let the doctor find the heartbeat.  At this point, my own heart began to race as I was wondering why on Earth she was having a difficult time finding it.  Every other appointment I have had resulted in the baby's heartbeat being found without an issue.  Naturally, this mama's heart began to beat wildly and with a bit of fear and anticipation.  I had about five minutes to wait before my doctor came into the room.  I think I'm good at hiding it when I'm nervous, but evidently I'm not because Colin looked at my face and asked, "what's wrong, Kami?"  I was honest with him and explained that the nurse couldn't hear baby's heart and so we were going to have the doctor try and see if he could hear it, and that mama's just need to hear their baby's heart beating to know that everything is okay.  He asked if that's why, when we're cuddling, I sometimes lay my head on his chest and just be quiet.  I smiled and said, "yes, baby, that's why."

A couple more minutes went by where I silently pleaded with God to let our baby be okay ... to let it be healthy and growing as it should.  Then the doctor came in.  He asked me how I'm feeling and I told him I was nervous because the nurse couldn't find the baby's heartbeat.  He immediately told me that we would do what we could to find it.  It still took about a minute, but the moment that baby's heartbeat was heard, my heart soared with joy!  It was such a relief to know that our baby is okay and that mama was getting nervous over nothing!!

We discussed some small questions and simple things and then I was free to go.  I'm incredibly excited for our next appointment, though, as we are having an ultrasound and will be able to tell whether we are having a boy or a girl.  Monte and I both have our heart set on one, but we also know that, if it turns out to be the other, that we will be just as fully blessed and just as happy to have this new baby in our lives!

God is good ... ALL the time!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Awww man, my little guy (a.k.a. Colin) woke up this morning not feeling so well.  This was evidenced in the fact that his cereal came back up about a half hour after he ate it (and I was thanking God that he managed to get to the bathroom before it happened, because he almost never does!).  So I laid him down in his bed and he fell fast asleep.  Poor baby.  Due to this fact, I had to reschedule my OB appointment that I had for today (as Colin usually comes with me, but I can't bring a sick kid to my appointment and I don't feel right asking a neighbor to watch my child who is throwing-up) to next week.  It bums me out a little bit, as I was really excited to hear our peanut's heartbeat again and see how things are progressing ... but I will wait it out a few days longer!

So, instead, today I will do some laundry and dusting around the house (because my house is still pretty darn CLEAN from the barbeque we hosted this past Monday) and probably take a nap in there somewhere.  I'm really trying to change my attitude and be a bit happier about my day at home ... but I think I was really ready for a day away from home!

Oh well ... I can only pray that Colin is feeling well again soon.  Guess I shouldn't be feeling bad about missing my appointment when my little guy really is feeling awfully bad.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Of all the things I could think of doing on a weekend, this past weekend encompassed the best of the best!  We had such an amazing holiday weekend and absolutely none of us were ready to start the week again this morning.

Our weekend started off on a high note with Friday.  This is the day that I got to drop Colin off at my neighbor's house (as she was watching him for me for the afternoon) and head to the airport to pick up my sister and her family of FIVE.  In case you haven't been following my blog for long, or in case you just weren't aware, my sister's family just got back from their trip to China where they picked up their adopted two-year-old daughter, Khloe.  Their journey is amazing; if you haven't checked it out, definitely take some time and visit her blog here.

I arrived at the airport nice and early and ended up sitting to wait for them, as international arrivals do not come into the regular baggage claim area as national flights.  I waited about an hour for them to arrive, deplane, go through Customs (as this is where Khloe officially became a US Citizen) and get their luggage.  As I waited, I chatted with a very nice guy who's wife and son were coming home from Chicago (and you could tell he was missing them dearly!).  It made the waiting go by much faster than it was, which was a blessing.  When Tanya and her family finally walked through the doors of international arrivals and into the baggage claim where I was waiting, I jumped up to hug them all!  This was a moment I had been waiting for for over two weeks.  I realized just how much my sister's family means to me when I had two weeks with only minimal email communication with them ... I missed them dearly!

They loaded their luggage into my Suburban, we all piled in and off we went to face Memorial Day weekend traffic back to their home.  I sat next to Khloe in the backseat on the way to their house and I'm certain that I fell in love with my new niece in those couple of hours!  We played games and she giggled and we had such a great time passing the time in the car.  What would normally be a little over an hour drive took almost two and a half hours, so I think Tanya's family were all feeling completely relieved when we pulled into their driveway!  My mom, brother, niece and nephew were waiting there to greet the family (as we were having a small "welcome home" barbeque for them that evening).  We were later joined by my sister-in-law, my dad, my husband and kids and Tanya's neighbor and family from across the street.  We had the barbeque, cleaned up and chatted for awhile before everybody headed out to give their family the rest they so desperately needed.  On the way home, Claire, Iain and I stopped through the McDonald's drive-thru to order some shakes as a sweet treat for their great attitudes about their drive up to my sister's house in that crazy traffic!

Saturday started off to be a fabulous day as well!  Monte, Iain and Ellis woke up at the crack of dawn to head out fishing (as this is becoming an annual tradition for the fishing opener!).  I got up around 7:30am and started getting ready for my breakfast "date" with some of the moms in my MOPs group.  I got Colin ready and gave him breakfast and drove him out to the dock at Surfside beach where Monte and the boys met us in the boat (as Colin was going fishing with them, but is too cranky when he gets up early in the morning).  After dropping him off and kissing Monte goodbye, I headed to Eden Prairie to have breakfast!  Though only three of us were able to make it that morning, it was such a wonderful time to get to spend time with and give undivided attention to these fabulous ladies!  The food was good, the conversation was great and I can't wait to do another breakfast with them!

After breakfast, I did some quick shopping at Target and then headed back home to spend the rest of the day with my family.  The kids and Monte were all home, so after a quick lunch, we decided to walk down to Surfside (the local beach) and spend some of that blistering hot day in the water.  We had a lot of fun while we were there, though our outing ended when Iain was hit with a dead fish that some kids were throwing back and forth (he didn't mind so much, but we were getting close to snack time for everyone and the other people at the beach were being too crazy to manage a family of six alongside!).  So we packed up and headed home to enjoy the remainder of a relaxing day.

Sunday we went to church and enjoyed a great sermon by our Student Ministries Pastor, Brian Suter.  He spoke about the importance of praying for and blessing your enemies.  While the series they are on is speaking more directly toward your work life, I really love how this specific sermon applied to our entire lives.  Monte and I both came out of it feeling very refreshed, which was a blessing in and of itself!  Sunday was kind of a cloudy and chillier day, so we spend a majority of it inside doing some unpacking of the things we had just retrieved from our storage locker (which we no longer have to rent ... YAY!!).

Monday consisted of the most fabulous way to end a weekend.  We spent the start of the day cleaning our house in preparation for our Memorial Day BBQ.  This has become an annual tradition for us, though this year's barbeque was the best one we've had so far!  We invited family members and close friends and spent the afternoon through the evening laughing and sharing stories, food and drinks with these fabulous people.  The food was great, the kids were great, our guests were the best!  We both agreed that this is something we need to do more than once a year, as we enjoy it so thoroughly!

So that was my weekend in nowhere-near-a-nutshell ... man was it amazing! :)