Friday, March 31, 2017

Houston We've Got A Birth Tub

1. The birth tub is officially being set up. My bigs has been itching for this to happen for weeks. I think her nesting is finally complete. She has her birth bag ready and on our dresser and her scrubs are ready to go. The girl is super cute.

2. My to do list is shrinking but still have a few things I'd really like to knock out. Finding a last minute sitter for Sat or Sunday would be kinda awesome too.

3. Feeling more anxiety about what is about to go down. I thought I'd be more relaxed as things got set up but the opposite is indeed happening. Hopefully if I can knock out a lot tomorrow I'll have some time to sit with Jesus and lean into the fear and anxiety.

4. I may not have more time to get to do's done and my head wrapped around labor but even so it will be just fine. Thankful for God's sweet graciousness so far.

5. Holy crap. I'm going to have another baby.

6. Thankful for a sweet Lent Devo. Perfect to draw my heart to remembering my need for Jesus and yet simple enough for my brain which is so rotten by now.


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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Free For Now

Well six hours of doctor, RX pick up, lunch and grocery shopping later we are free of harboring Pertussis. Well, at least we will be in four more days. It does seem like there is an outbreak of some kind going on according to another dr. Just saw that Pertussis tends to go in three to five year cycles and the last peak was the year Lilly got it and it's three years later. Feeling pretty content about seeking medical advice, doing our due diligence to be wise and trusting the Lord with the rest. I can't hibernate for six months but I can be wise in the choices we make about where we go and not being as free to pass around a cute Brown Baby.

Didn't get to my baby to do list or rather finish it so hoping this Babe will stay put for at least another night. I will be pretty surprised if I'm not holding a baby after this weekend. Lots of contractions just not coming together. Hopefully once my ducks are in a row I'll be able to relax enough to have a baby. It may not matter if I'm relaxed enough or not though.

Thankful for Jesus. I don't have the words to express how thankful I am to be loved by the King of Kings.


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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

My Cup Overfloweth

Thankful to have some hours of quiet. I completely shut down this afternoon and decided I was going to bed and I wasn't getting up until tomorrow. I was drifting off but then a kid kept banging on my door for various obnoxious reasons and I haven't been able to fall back asleep although I've tried. Just laying down and the silence has been quite lovely. Thankful to my hubs who got kids out of the house.

I'm feeling crazy today which I know is a solid mix of hormones, lack of sleep and my body fighting off funk along with this horrible pollen. I'm pretty sure I've been pretty hard on my adrenals lately too and I'm paying the piper by feeling wired and anxious. Psalm 23 is running through my head. He leads me to still waters and makes me rest in fields of green. He restores my soul. I've run to other things to "rest" and I'm suffering the fall out and those around me that I love are feeling the fall out of my choices as well.

But the Lord is good, He is full of loving kindness and compassion. He can take my ADD mind that simply can't take anymore information or figure out x, y and z and restore it. I want to crawl under my covers for days simply because it feels like my mind can't think anymore. I can't answer the rapid fire of constant questions from six sweet little people and I certainly can't figure out what to feed them or how to tackle even bigger things. It feels so lame but it is what it is. Yet I know the one who can quite my mind, my heart and my soul. I'm thankful for quite and for a labor mix that I got started on yesterday. Music that was thoughtfully picked out for Noah's birth was so welcomed. I even got to experience the beauty of God's perfect timing and playfulness while about to push. Can't explain just how loved I felt in that moment as the pain intensified to a peak and I felt Noah engage. I'd never had that experience till then and I figure it's simply from not fighting. Hoping to get this crew pumped full of antibiotics tomorrow and a few more things knocked off that to do list so I can finally just lean in and stop trying to stop what lies ahead and just lean in.

And just like that it's 12 again. Inconceivable!


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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Isn't It Ironic?

1. Found out whooping cough is going around this evening. Guess who was up last night hacking up a lung? I've got two others hacking as well. It would actually be kinda fabulous if we were carrying it already. Five days of antibiotics would clear us all up and we'd be caught up on our immunity. Just need to figure out where to get tested for it tomorrow and if we are, we hope that a sweet baby stays in for at least another five days. Regardless of it all the Lord is Sovereign and I'm thankful to at least know we have been exposed and that it's going around so that we can make wise choices.

2. Really tired and grumpy from hacking all night long. Didn't help that I have an uptick in contractions and my poor innocent children were forced to deal with an ogre mom who would have loved to have eaten them for her supper. Again I'm forced to face the reality that really I just want things to be easy and pain free. A lot of my grumbling and complaining or mood alteration is simply due to me being upset that life is not easy. Entitlement at its finest. Obnoxious.

3. You know what else is obnoxious? It's 12am and I started this hours ago. Need to go to BED!!

4. Got some more to do's knocked off. Still more laundry and swapping to do but got some baby clothes washed finally. Getting excited!


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Monday, March 27, 2017

Embracing The Seasons

Heart is aching for a friend in the throws of a hard and weary season. Summer will signal some relief but unknowns lay ahead that can make a Momma's heart grow faint. I'm so thankful that even though I hate seasons like this for beloved friends and for myself I know without a doubt that the Lord's gracious hand is upon her and her sweet family. We can grow so weary on just manna alone but a season is coming where milk and honey will once again be abundant. One day our hearts will no longer be crushed by affliction and things will be made to be as they were in the beginning. May I not loose sight of the hope I have found in Jesus. May I run to His throne of grace and eat the bread of life and drink the living water that nourishes and sustains. May I weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice. May I be bold in love and patient in times of affliction.

Today I sat in a gym and watched my Brownies play with friends. I looked at the many faces of women who the Lord has blessed me with and chatted with a dear friend and neighbor, who will one day not always be my neighbor, and chatted about the Lord. I am always so encouraged by her church experiences and although I have never met her pastor personally or joined the body of believers she holds so dear I am always so encouraged after I hear about how he leads and follows Jesus. God has been so faithful to open my eyes to see His church. Although the church has offered a lifetime of confusion and pain in my life it is still very much alive even in the very places that have caused searing pain. His prostitute for a bride is still His Beloved and He is and will woo all of us to unity in Christ Jesus. One day we will all worship in one accord and it will be more beautiful than we could ever imagine. I can not wait.

Thankful for the many seasons the Lord takes us through. Each one so very important in seeing the beauty in all of them. Lord Jesus please be the sweet lifter of your loved ones heads in their times of grief and affection. May they look back on their seasons in the darkest of valleys and see how you graciously carried them. Thank you for the sweet unexpected and undeserved blessings of a night of night swimming and an overnight in an awesome hotel. This is an experience that our family may never encounter on its "own" but you simply smiled upon us and gifted us with our last memories as a family of nine regardless. All that we have and all that we are is simply due to your gracious mercy and abundance. Oh Father may we not forget that and look down on your beloved ones as those lesser or with issues. It is simply by your grace that we are where we are.


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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Mercy Is Falling, Is Falling, Is Falling

1. Lingering obnoxious cough. Going to make sleep fun. BUT thankful that thanks to eye of newt and bat wings it seems like this funk is no longer digging deeper into my lungs.

2. Got some decent sleep last night. It wasn't good or great but these days I'm thankful for decent!

3. Woke up this morning and surprise surprise the feeling of impending labor was gone. I have switched into a very clear focus of getting my space ready to have a baby. Felt good to knock some stuff of the to do list and at least put a dent in some of the clothing swap debacle. Still have plenty to do but that will have to wait till Tuesday afternoon.

4. Took the kids to swim at the Gaylord this afternoon. The childlike wonder was so fantastic. Heck my childlike wonder was pretty struck too. Two ladies stopped us and complimented the kids on how loving and kind they were to each other. They were being awesome to each other. That's obviously not always the case but thankful for when they are loving on each other and enjoying each other. I can only imagine how God feels when we enjoy and love on our brothers and sisters in Christ. Thankful for the unexpected blessing of time at a swanky resort.

5. Thankful for a sweet friend who provided dinner and puke bug supplies. Feeding this crew has been the challenge upon challenges these days. We haven't had anyone else fall prey to the bug of doom and I'm hoping it stays that way. Hopefully Mudge has guts of steal like his brother Paul. Getting Bella out of the house for a couple days and then continuing the isolation with just the two littles might have spared us from more spread. If not, I'll give thanks for a down day and give all the more thanks for the sweet precious gift of today.

6. Today finally getting excited about meeting this baby. This pregnancy caught me off guard a tad bit and truly all of it seems surreal till the very end anyway. Thankful to finally start to be able to prepare for this little one that has no name yet. Trusting the Lord will place upon our hearts the right name for this little guy or girl.

7. Filled to the brim tonight with His undeserved mercies. Realizing just how much Days stacked upon days of mostly interrupted sleep makes it hard for me or anyone to cope with life.


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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Sometimes You Just Don't Get What You Want

1. Up most of the night with my poor Bit. Hung in there till it felt like Help Bit and let hubs sleep or stay laying down and keep baby in started to complete. This morning feels very much like the two times I stayed laying in bed not ready to wrap my head around birthing my two youngest girls. This can only take me so far but as long as my water hasn't broken maybe I can do this for weeks. Doubtful but you never know. I am trying to be kind to myself over the fact that today in the sunlight I hate my circumstances right now and I want to kick and scream and writhe around like a wild angry brat.

1. Stayed in bed almost all day.

2.My poor girl is struggling with anxiety big time but is too scared to come close enough to be comforted by anyone.

3.My oldest son stepped it up and took care of things and got what I needed as everyone survived off of tv and cereal.

4. My hubs didn't ended up working late so it was nice to have him home earlier. Tomorrow he was supposed to go in but looks like he can stay home and still gets paid. Whoop! Giving big thanks on both of those fronts.

5. Looked at my list of to do's and realized not a single one has been knocked off since puke Fest hit and operation keep baby inside started. I'm super bummed especially since I'm so incredibly exhausted from being up most of the night. But thankful Bitty finally stopped throwing up this afternoon. If she would have gone on much longer this evening might have looked a whole lot different.

6. Praying for rest and for some time to take care of some things before this baby comes. I know realistically all I need are some diapers, I have one pack!, but getting down the newborn stuff and washing it would bless me. Tackling the crazy clothing explosion all over our house and finishing up the little girls room and moving Noah's clothes too would also be self care. The thought of going through labor completely exhausted, fighting an upper respiratory bug in the middle of chaos doesn't sound awesome. Praying for provision and time because that's really all I can do.

7. Ugh! Bitty woke up crying probably from reflux and it got Bigs really wound up again. I want to kick anxiety in the face.

8. Benadryl, Jesus and bed. Please let the other little pass through the night throw up free. I might loose my mind. It's been a good week now of feverish kids moaning in the middle of the night.

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Just What I Needed!

1. The last two mornings I've woken up and felt as if labor could be a brewing. Oddly enough this afternoon I got hit with a wave of strange shakiness and what I guess was anxiety??? It's the same transition feeling I had the night before I had Noah. Not sure if this is a new hormonal birth thing but so incredibly strange. Definitely lots of having to lay down my wants and desires and trust the Lord with all the details and pieces of the birth of this baby. A baby before Sunday means either hospital or renegade home birth. I don't think I feel comfortable enough to birth without knowing a midwife was at least coming so if labor kicks in I'm resolved to head to a hospital trusting that is simply God's provision for Baby Frying Pan and for me.

2. Tonight I give thanks for puke. Looks like Bella had two bugs going at once because we have another puker in the house who is showing none of the other fluish symptoms. This Momma won't be able to birth a baby in the middle of puke Fest. I need to know my Little Bit is going to stop being sick and on the mend. I'm hoping my four bigs will escape unscathed. Thankfully my littles have been isolated a decent amount in tvland and the bigs have been taking eye of newt and chicken gizzards for such a time as this. I'm not sure little man is going to be that lucky though. We'll see. Hoping tonight won't be a long one and that we will all get some sleep at least eventually.

3. Thankful for puke bugs, Jesus, friends to laugh and cry with and for my hubs who loves me unconditionally.


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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Jimmy Cracked Corn And I Don't Care!

1. Had some fun moments of grumpy trollishness and refusal to look for the bright side of life. Give thanks in all circumstances!?!? Yeah that's for the birds! I really don't think it's for the birds and think there is much beauty and peace in finding gratitude. Today just made it clear once more just how much I value comfort and ease.

Although I couldn't in the moment give thanks for a puking kid with mom diagnosed flu, I could give thanks that the pukes waited till today and that there was no puking in the car on the way to FW or back home or even in FW. Really my sweet little flu bag sucked it up quite considerably. The Piper just had to be paid today.

2. Although having a baby in the middle of Flu Fest 2017 would not be ideal by any stretch of the imagination I'm not fearful like I was when the kids were dropping like flies with a virus causing pneumonia when Mudge was about to be born. Not much has been ideal or on my plan the past three years. God's provision and manna has been amazing. I can trust the Lord with timing and events even if it's not how I would choose it. Wish I could stay in this place forever because the don't be anxious about anything truly makes sense to me tonight.

3. Don't think this baby is going to be on my come at 38 or 39 week plan. Eh who cares. Probably a good thing I haven't wrapped my head around labor or that I even feel ready or prepared or whatever. I could have this baby tonight, which is an actual possibility, and it would be just fine. Ducks in a row is highly overrated.

4. Thankful for Jesus. Thankful He loves me regardless of my sinful nature. Thankful for the ways He is faithful to change my heart and reveal the yuck within. His grace is amazing.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

And That's A Wrap

1. A fistful of nights of little sleep has not done this Momma good. Driving with windows down during pollen fest has not helped either. Either I'm suffering from extra pollen exposure or I'm getting sick. I've got no time to be sick.

2. My five year old girl is a trooper. So thankful for the past two days with her. What a joy even if circumstances were not magical they turned out perfect. Thankful.

3. Thankful for my wonderful hubs and to be in bed.


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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Sometimes You Gotta Cry and Sometimes You Gotta Laugh

Five year old trip girl woke up with a fever and the sick eyes. Tears shed during the night and this morning over missing out on her trip. We threw some Motrin in her and it was enough to get a little pep in her step. This girl is a gamer that is for sure.

Maybe my favorite part of the day was her running up and jumping on the bed as soon as we got into our room. There was most definitely drama surrounding the room and the awesomeness of me crying in the hotel lobby. Crying in front of a bunch of strangers is of course my favorite thing EVER! This is what happens when you sprint and you are about to have a baby and you book a hotel room for the wrong flipping day. So the discounted room is now the price I wanted to avoid but parking is comped and we are VIP guests and had access to free dinner and breakfast tomorrow. It helps ease the sting and hey life with the Brown's is a freaking daily adventure. Our door lock stopped working so we were locked out of our room for a bit as sweet Boo's fever spiked. Thankfully I was over boo hoo Fest and could laugh about it. Really almost every single one of my "hardships" in life are first world problems. Sometimes it's good to get a grip and realize that.

Thankful for ten year old trips and five year old trips even when not ideal due to illness. It's been fun to really get a good look at just how different my two big girls are. One is go slower and one is go faster. One is an old soul who has a pretty good handle on sorting out her feeling and emotions and can understand things well beyond her years. One is more adventurous and throw caution to the wind, straight up silly and fun but less in tune with thoughts and feelings and needs more help navigating that world and more investigative work has to be done to get insight into her heart. One girl comes to me and doesn't need to be pursued in the same while the other is more fiercely independent and needs to be sought out more. Both are truly so beautiful and my heart is overwhelmed with gratitude for the two of them and for the five others and the one to come. I cherish this time with them. I look forward to possibly starting a new tradition of Dude weekend and Gal Weekend. I would love my dudes to get away on an adventure camping or hunting or whatever at least once a year and it would be lovely to get away with just my girls and focus in on the joy of womanhood. So crazy thankful for this crew. I am rich beyond measure.

Thankful for my hubs who is so gracious to me in my mess. He's not afraid to swoop in on a white horse when I can't pull myself together. He's not overwhelmed by messy and hormonal emotions. So thankful for so much beauty out of ashes. Thankful for a God who is faithful even though I lack so much faith. He's given me so much more than I deserve and then lavishes me with blessing despite my grumbling. Going to bed next to a precious little furnace of a girl with a heart fit to burst.


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Monday, March 20, 2017

Life Gets In The Way

1. Never woke up today. I was falling asleep in the shower this morning.

2. I have a cool hotel story for Belly's five year old trip. Too tired and bummed about a fever that spiked in my girl that was discovered moments after booking the hotel. I want to focus on the awe and wonder I had about the hotel when we rolled the dice and got the exact hotel I wanted more than half off but I also kinda want to slam my head against the wall too. Choosing to trust that either a fever will break, that I need a night away solo more than I could possibly imagine or that some other wonderful combination will be a much grander plan than I could have imagined. Already feeling better than my first initial reaction to melt into the floor in a puddle of tears. Learning to let go of my own plans is a most beautiful thing. I choose to focus on the blessing and give thanks for whatever may unfold tomorrow. I also choose to not get all spun up about the possibility of flu. God holds all the details in the palm of His hands.

3. I just got peed on. Sometimes exhaustion does wonderful things like the ability to just throw a blanket on it and move on with life.

4. Thankful that the Lord is oh so good.


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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Thankful for so much today. So crazy emotional these days. If I wouldn't feel like I'd freak everybody around me out I'd probably cry buckets on Sunday's. I am still incredibly confused by the whole church thing. In fact, last night had a good conversation about it last night. I feel much peace about trusting the Lord is going to walk us through where our hearts need to land over time. Thankful I'm the mean time to hopefully be laying down some of my arrogance and need to have answers or at least feel like I have them. There is just so incredibly much that I don't understand that I thought I did. Thankful for where we have landed even if becoming anything more than a regular attender anywhere makes me want to dry heave. I trust the Lord with that too. Oh how good is the Lord. How faithful He is! Thankful to be in a spot where I'm being continually reminded of His great love and faithfulness all the while faced with the hard truth of my humanity without the shame and guilt of it all. I've had my eyes on myself so much more than Christ in my walk with Him through the decades.

Thankful for God's provision in putting together the beginnings of a plan for a five year old trip with a precious girl on Tuesday. Thankful for the ways God has been knitting our heartstrings together and how He's faithfully giving me eyes to see this precious girl. Unfortunately, I know she's at times gotten lost in the shuffle as a middle child. This independent girl is growing up so fast. Five! How in the world did this precious girl who adores her big sister and dances around our living room possibly turn five!? My heart can barely stand it.

Really been enjoying the simple Lenten Devo I've been reading. Lent has not turned out to be the journey I was hoping it would be for myself or for my kiddos. I've done nothing with them and normally I at least do a devotional with them as well. With busyness comes trade offs. I hate that fully embracing this season of preparing our hearts and minds for Easter has been on the chopping block I also know God shows up in my failures and weaknesses. I'm sure some of the busyness is mostly a result of worldliness and majoring on the minors. I know celebrating my children is important to me but I know I miss focusing on the true important things and get bogged down by the less important things. It's all a beautiful learning process though. In life there's trade offs, plain and simple. I just pray that over the years I grow wise in the things I'm willing to trade. May I not trade what is real with what is simply an illusion. I know often I make the trade that shouldn't be made.

Mulling over a few things I heard in a talk about navigating the world of teen boys. Again with the overwhelming desire to weep over the culture we will be fighting as we raise our kids. How do I myself continue to fight against the hooks this culture has on my own soul? I really think for me personally and for us as a family fighting against too much busyness and guarding our hearts against wasting time on isolating pursuits and constant comfort/pleasure seeking will be key. There is no way to be able to determine what is simply an illusion verses what is real if I'm not sitting at His feet. I must sit at my Father's feet.

Dare I say it? I've actually enjoyed being emotional this pregnancy. Today I was thinking how I hope this state of being moved to tears becomes more of my natural state than just a hormone induced state. I still don't like to cry in front of others but have less of a desire to be strong or give off the illusion of having strength. I feel I've spent too much time seeking out ways to numb the emotion but it makes life so much more bleak and without color.


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You Gotta Keep Them Seperated

1. I find it fascinating that people who think they are Jesus are separated on different floors in psych hospitals. I would be so very tempted to make them run into each other as a social experiment.

2. Thankful for friends who love us and endure our crappy hospitality. Truly to be loved and known by a group of people for better or worse is pretty darn amazing.

3. I feel exhausted at the thought of all the to dos that are still breathing hot and heavy down my neck. Oddly enough I'm more mind weary than anything. Details and plans and organizing and blah blah blah is killing me softly. All good things but I really just want to settle in and get ready to have a baby.

4. Still mulling on a no drinking article I read a few days ago. It's not so much the drinking but definitely mulling that over but more the thinking through the staining of this world. This world is hard but truly I haven't the foggiest idea about what true suffering is like. How much has prosperity messed up my views on everything?

5. So thankful for Jesus.


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Friday, March 17, 2017

Hormonal Mess

I think I could use a really good ugly cry. We watched Pete's Dragon tonight and I teared up but I think I could use a really really good cry. I hate even writing this as I'm thinking of one friend in particular right now but I'm freaking exhausted. It's been three weeks of push push push and this lady is not built for that kind of crazy anymore. Still a week left of crazy before I can be a lazy sloth on my own schedule.

Off the battle heartburn and be with Jesus.


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Thursday, March 16, 2017

One More Down

Dude Fest done! Just Supper Club and a Five Year Old Trip to go till I can start focusing on having a baby. Contractions woke me up last night. This could go on for a good month but at this rate I think Baby Low Rider might just fall out. I just want two and a half more weeks!! Bake baby! Bake! Holy crap. We are going to have another itty bitty soon!

Thinking about a friend who got some hard news about one of her babies tonight. This fallen world can be so hard.


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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Hold It Right There!

I feel craptacular tonight. I'd load up on charcoal if I didn't feel the need to load up on magnesium. Hopefully tomorrow will bring new mercies.

Praying for sweet friends who I love dearly who have lots on their hearts and minds tonight.

Hoping Baby Low Rider Brown stays put for a few more weeks. I'm hoping to keep this stinker in till 38 weeks but considering how engaged this Babe feels I might be happy if this one stays put for two more weeks.



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Tuesday, March 14, 2017


I officially love papayas. Thankful for those wonderful little fruits! Heartburn has been insane. INSANE! Yesterday I reached a new to me pregnancy woe of retching from heartburn. I mean can't stop throwing up until it's nothing but bile throw ups. No fun. For the last 24 hrs I've had some relief. Real deal relief. I am so thankful! Papaya is supposed to help aid in digestion so I'm sure it's helping my once again off the wagon diet. I really need to live a paleo lifestyle to feel good but right now it's either been eat what everyone else is eating or don't eat at all. The first choice is better and I wish I was better at self care and planning ahead so I could eat in a way that benefits my body but for right now I've seem to have lost my big girl pants. So I give thanks for papaya and the relief it has brought!!

Pushed through on a scheduled family fun day even though my hubs and I were feeling junky this morning. Thankful we pushed through and had a great day having fun together. I was a tad on the slow side with BH contractions and a baby grinding in tender places. All par for the course. Thankful for this little frying pan.

Learned lots about God's creation today. Thankful for a place to take the treasures found in nature and for knowledgeable people willing to teach. God's handiwork is an amazing thing. Truly I think it takes much more faith to believe that all God's handiwork happened due to chance. Creation cries out and boldly declares the very work of His hand. I think it's why the announcement of a new pregnancy, a new life invokes such joy and celebration.

Thankful again to have my best beloved home. I think the best part of this travel thing is realizing just how grateful I am for my hubs. I take him for granted much more than I would want to. I fail to see all the ways God has blessed me with him and all the ways he is a blessing to me and our kids daily.


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Monday, March 13, 2017

Have We Got It All Wrong?

Sleep eludes me these days. I probably need a week to just sit around and ponder things. Details and ticky tack things and trying to constantly keep moving forward with a to do list drains me. I think I feel most anxious when my schedule is tight because I feel so incredibly boxed in. I truly hate being shoved into a box and constantly being constrained by time kills my spirit. Yet I know I shove my kids in their own torturous boxes.

My hubs had a good talk with one of our kiddos last night. My heart is broken over learning that this kid has struggled with fear and anxiety over the past couple weeks. I've been so self focused and focused on bdays that I missed this kid languishing right next to me. I've struggled with his disobedience and not getting on my program all the while missing what has really been going on. I hate that. That parenting near sightedness kills me as a parent. When it comes to obedience and my children how much have I failed to get it right simply because I've focused on behavior rather than heart? Behavior is so easy to look at and judge yet the heart takes time and understanding to truly get a clear picture of what's going on. It takes digging and wisdom and truly knowing your kid to see their heart.

My Father, the perfect parent who knows me so intimately is such a wonderful example of how I should parent my children. He knows me and He loves me. He knows my struggles,my hurts, my story and my personality bent complete with strengths and weaknesses and He loves me so incredibly well through it all. He is a gracious Father.

Reading the story of the Prodigal Son and an incredible blog post on why the author stopped drinking is running through my mind today. Truth be told I'd much rather have mind space to ponder things such as these than details of a daily schedule and all the various other things that have dominated my mind space lately. This is where I'm choosing to remain today even as I lay here feeling my body gear up for a labor I'm completely unprepared for. I may not get till 39 plus weeks that I'm hoping for but I know God's plan is the best plan and His ways often bring a smile to my face, tears of gratitude to my eyes or eventual surrender to how gracious He is in the darkest of valleys and paths. His plan far exceeds my own.

Last night my mind wondered to Abbie's dream of three babies and my hubs dreaming of us have a baby with Down's. Trisomy. Three. First pregnancy without a single sonogram. Anything is possible. Although Down's Syndrome does not phase me the way it does others trisomy 21 gives me great pause. Oh how my heart would break. Yet I'm thankful that I can look back on the almost 13 years my hubs and I have been married and know that I am simply not the same. Trisomy 21 doesn't strike fear but rather a sadness of our fallen world and great joy knowing that whoever this precious Babe may be he or she has infinite value and I'm thankful for every day I'm given with this precious one. Thankful to be able to grieve as one who has hope. Thankful to be able to take a deep breath and know My Father has me. Thankful for a Creator and Redeemer who is willing to give me insight into the children He has blessed me with so that the many times I only see behavior He offers me the grace to actually see my child the way He sees me.

The hormonal shift that happens at the end of pregnancy has hit full force. I felt it last night as three precious boys left our house to go back home. I've had my head down ready to attach one event after the next. This week is a week of rest and family time at least for a couple days. I think my body has fully given into that and the rush of hormones has set in. A new level of heartburn has also set in. Tums doesn't touch it in the least bit and today I've discovered third trimester puking in a way I never knew existed. Hoping papaya extract is my new BFF for my remaining time as a gestating Momma. Very emotional over this babe that is about to enter this world and all seven of my babes that I've had the blessing of mothering. I had no clue just how incredibly hard parenting would be or how much of a blessing it would be either. The responsibility is great yet I thank God that He is with me in the trenches of parenting and that He is leading and guiding me and even in the midst of my greatest parenting failures His grace is more than sufficient than my weakness. I love these little people in my life even though they drive me crazy at times. Their hearts are so lovely. When I can see past the outward behavior and I can get insight into who God made them to be it kills me that I get to be apart of molding and shaping them. May they fully embrace using all that God has given them strengths and maybe even more so their weakness so that they might glorify their Father.

Lent reading and time with my Beloved.


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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Rabid Squirrels At A Rave On Crack

Feeling slightly manic right now. I think I'm experiencing nesting gone wrong. Costume info for the play the kids are in started coming in last night and I've been on a frantic hunt to get all nine hundred costumes knocked out now. So not my style but I know whatever brain capacity I have right now is about to completely go out the window. Thankfully most of them are mostly figured out and I'm not ashamed to pull the baby card if I need to in order to get the other stuff done.

From costume insanity to bday party insanity to Supper Club insanity. My brain is working harder than it has needed to in a long time. Details and event planning and finessing a tight as heck schedule to get everything in by April is enough to have me crazy wired and manic feeling. I can't get rid of that nagging I'm dropping huge balls feeling. Having two birthdays that have been super extended due to my hubs being out of town and the stupid tooth fairy is the icing on my insanity cake. And the two Bday kids don't want to share a cake but they are going to because having to eat cake with dad for it to count makes total sense but it makes me want to check myself into a looney bin!!! I think what is really happening is that I'm dying to switch into get ready for baby to come mode but I can't switch gears till all the other to dos are done and it's all stupid stupid first world problems but it still makes me want to burst into hormonal tears. I need to get a freaking grip. AND!!!!! I've not had my normal constant contractions which has been amazing except guess what started today and they were the "hey don't forget labor is around the corner" kind. I was fine until today and I can feel the end is near psychosis that sets in. Fuuuuuuuuuu!!! I need another two months and a car seat for this kid.

I'd like to say I feel better after offloading all of that but I don't. I need some Jesus. He cares about my crazy and He even is gracious in the crazy.


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Saturday, March 11, 2017

Peanut Butter Jelly

Thankful thankful thankful to have my hubs home. So great to be in the other room and just hear his laughter. It truly is the little things that are the most missed.

Saw a piece of property that got me crazy geeked up. When looking at property is a hobby of your beloved you get to see lots of fabulous places. For whatever reason this one for the first time seemed actually attainable. Must have been the front porch and the view of a lake. Couldn't help but dream of watching the sunrise from my porch while sipping a hot cup of jo. Probably what is making it seem more attainable is a note left on our front door from someone wanting to buy our house. If we could walk out of this place as is with no realtor fees that would be in-freaking-credible. I would love to pack it up pack it in this summer but could see the wisdom in waiting it out for another 9 to 12 months. I'm so ready for some inspiring beauty and some land. Gotta get these kids out of the city before we have teens. Really feeling that sense of urgency.

Going off line in some capacity for a week starting Monday. I'm a little apprehensive to figure out just how reliant I am on this thing. I'm sure I'll be apprehensive to bring it back.


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Friday, March 10, 2017

Two Seconds

1. I am so tired.

2. Thankful my Beloved is home!! I can tell I'm still in full steam ahead self reliant mode. I think due to being tired I know if I stop for a moment I'm likely to not be able to get back up again. Hopefully we'll find our groove and balance again quickly. So so glad to have him back home in our usual groove or not.

3. Honestly I think until April it's going to be hard to not step back and breath. In two to five weeks another member of BrownTown is going to come onto the scene. Few more things need to be knocked out kidwise before I'll feel ready to focus on getting ready for a baby.

4. My hubs was home for hardly any time before he solved all my first world problem woes of wonky phones, broken cords and internet that was not working. BUT joy upon all joys I somehow managed to survive with no wifi or a phone for most of the day. Will the wonders never cease?!?

5. Lent Devo in the dark and hopefully a shower. Think there's only one little Bit left up in BrownTown. Thankful for the ten precious kids sleeping under our roof tonight.


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Thursday, March 09, 2017

Contagion Overted

I'm thankful that Mudgey's fever is looking more ear infection than flu. The kid is still allergy miserable and popping out some molars but seeing him wobble off balanced and his pain increase when lying down makes me definitely think ear infection for the win. Still giving homeopathic flu stuff just in case. The fever hasn't broken yet but hoping another day or two smelling like an Italian Restaurant will help.

Feeling a little apprehensive about re-entry tomorrow. Although so excited to see my beloved I know I can easily switch into self reliant mode and I'm not always considerate of the very real re-entry adjustments he will need to make as well. Maybe just even being realistic about re-entry is helpful in making it better. Praying to not be near sighted and only consider myself. Easy for me to put unrealistic expectations on my sweet hubs who will be exhausted from a long two weeks of work.

Tired and sleep and Jesus will do me some good.


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Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Rut Roh

1. Thankful for a good day. Kids played with friends this morning, we cranked out school and a sweet friend fed us breakfast and dinner AND brought me coffee.

2. Beautiful evening outdoors. Boo to pollen!

3. Sweet baby spiked a fever suddenly this evening. I'm hoping for an ear infection but bracing myself for possible flu. No fever then two hours later high fever. Oy! Either way, I expect a day of cuddling a sweet baby tomorrow.

Bible and bed! Almost made it!!


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Tuesday, March 07, 2017

One Hundred Days Crammed Into One

1. How can I possibly have an 11 year old and a 10 year old? Seems impossible. Thankful my precious boy had a good day despite some Browntown shenanigans and no cake. He did have a spectacular food day though. I'm going to need to eat salad for a month straight to recover.

2. Wish I had the energy to write all the ways God showed His sweetness to me today. So many things came together in such a way that can only be attributed to His gracious provision. From lung capacity to blow up balloons to windows being open God has been so so gracious to me. I know He sees me and He loves me even when I'm a brat. He knows us each so intimately and treats us according to our strengths and weaknesses. Thankful for such a loving and gracious Father and Redeemer.

3. So insanely tired but thankful for so incredibly much!


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Monday, March 06, 2017

Slamming Doors

1. Tired and trying to deal with my humanity tonight. Really just want to crash but Bday Surprises need to be done. Doing them solo just stinks because it makes what is missing all the more apparent. Makes me think of a family whose heart aches with an ache no parent ever wants to feel. Around every corner is a reminder of what is no longer there.

2. Heart burdened for friends with so incredibly much on their plates. Praying God would woo hearts to Him and for those who know Him that they would be comforted that He will never leave or forsake us.

3. Had an awesome Momma moment tonight slamming doors. My lid was flipped and I so wanted to chill the heck out but I simply couldn't. I at least shut my mouth but went around doing a kiddo's chore slamming every door possible. When I still couldn't pull it together I took a tip from a friend and went on a walk. It helped. Then got to come back and ask for forgiveness for my adultishness. Thankfully none of my kids were "scared" but were rather shocked that their mom was a door slammer. I did make all of them feel bad and when I got back the chores were magically done. Obviously I need to slam doors more often. Not really. Seriously hate being human sometimes. Thankful that grace abounds and that God's grace is sufficient in my weaknesses. I'm clinging to that hope tonight.

4. Heart just heavy and burdened by my sin and just the chaos caused by this fallen world. Jesus please come quickly. But I thank you that it's simply by your gracious love that you wait till every last person can come into your courts.


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Sunday, March 05, 2017

Seven Is When The Momster Comes Out!

I feel like today was a pretty good day but about seven everything started coming crashing down. Hate how Momster likes to come out and play around seven or eight. Everything is like an obnoxious chain reaction though. Bigs who run around crazy keep up littles and littles up means bigs will never settle down which means no kids will go to bed and I won't be able to get my stuff done so I can go to bed. I should be in bed right now but the silence is such a beautiful and wonderful thing. Hate my humanity. Hate feeling red hot boiling anger caused by lack of control and blocked goals. If only they loved going to bed as much as I do right now.

Today I'm thankful for:
1. Delayed rain that caused me to not have an excuse to not get out of bed. I prayed the Lord would help us get our booties to church and He answered. It was raining as we left but only caused me to realize His sweet provision.

2. I'm thankful for a boy who needed to change clothes which just so happen to keep me from locking my keys in the house. The Lord most definitely smiled down upon me.

3. Thankful for the way the Lord provided me a fun yet torturous alternative to Minute to Win It for PATH tomorrow. There was no way I could knock out my plans in the hour I have during choir and taking seven kids on a shopping trip that requires me to think was out of the question. The fact that God cares about providing things such as silly games truly blows me away.

4. Thankful for provision on a day that was out the door in the morning and back home at 7pm. Thankful for seeing the faces of sweet friends and for lunch with sweet friend.

5. Thankful for bed. Hoping I can wake up for tomorrow.

On a physical note my ear drum burst again today and my hip felt like I had wrestled the angel of the Lord today. Jacob was on the forefront of my mind today for sure.


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The Road Goes On Forever

A sweet friend took on my small army tonight and fed them so I could get some time solo. Bless that woman! On my way to knock out a burger craving I've been having I heard the song "The Road Goes On Forever". Oh I'm so thankful to be plucked out of the life where the party never ends. It's a lot like living as a zombie or a man or woman with no heart.

I had lofty goals of all the things I'd get accomplished. I managed to figure out March schedule Tetris and a few other things but feel as if I don't have much to show for my time. I should have put first things first but I didn't and now am regretting it. At the same time having quiet allowed me to figure out much needed things that needed to be plotted and planned out before Baby Frying Pan comes. I need to tack on an Eight Year Old Day Away on there somewhere but need to see how the end of March shakes out first.

My girl mentioned how we aren't doing anything for Lent, not even the Lenten Tree. I have my plan of attack and my oldest son is also reading the Lent Devo but I reckon I should figure out something for the rest. Self focus much? I'm not going to worry much about getting caught up but rather just read the corresponding day when it happens. Not sure why putting first things first is so darn difficult. I am certain that a Devo or whatever is not going to be the thing that saves my minions from the fires of hell but tradition and tradition when it's important is good. Maybe we'll skip the Lenten Tree and just hit the eggs this year. Oy!

Speaking of Lenten Devos I loved this from mine tonight.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Dang It!

Normally I use a Birthday as an opportunity to reflect over the year and think through hopes, dreams, desires for the next year of life. I decided I wanted to skip that this year and try to be less of a thinker and feeler today. Reading a Lent Devo and I seriously could laugh out loud over today's application.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Glitter Ashes

I could be crazy but I'm pretty confident I've been to an Ash Wednesday service before as a child at least a couple of times. Props to my grandparents for being devote Catholics who I truly believe understood the cross and the amazing grace one can only receive through Christ. Tonight was definitely my first experience as an adult. It was beautiful. I loved so much about it. As I look back and reflect on a life full of hurt, pain and confusion caused by church I truly think the final blow is also what has allowed me to see the beauty of church for what it is. Leading sinful man and leading men who are sinful can make things incredibly complicated. Or rather causes us to make things complicated.

I don't have any great words to describe tonight other than solemn beauty. So I get why there has been struggle or strife over contemporary versus traditional services. Just music alone. Holy smokes some of the music tonight was the most beautiful music. What's funny is that the music is not front and center like in many places I've gone. There's not a "worship" time but rather the entire experience is worship. I really don't have the right words but I can see why blue hairs have scratched their heads and balked as rich music has been replaced by a sloppy wet kiss.

I can't understand how the church once was the Mecca of amazing artistic talent and now is the cheeseball capital. The painters, composers, sculptors, etc were God fearing men and their giftedness reflected an awesome Creator. What happened? Why is the church no longer the hub for beauty?

I've been wrapped up in the emotion of worship before but I've never had worship experiences where I'm enraptured but the beauty of it. I love music but wow 38 years later I feel like I'm experiencing it for the very first time.

Enough about hearing heavenly sounds, I truly dig the heart of the service too. Had a good lead up today reading the Mark 13 to the kids and discussing what Jesus meant by chopping off hands and gouging out eyes. One kiddo said both hands would need to be chopped off then. Bingo! That's exactly what one of the points Jesus was trying to make. All of us would have chopped off hands and feet and gouged out eyes. In our natural state we are sinful wrecks. Lent is this season of remembering who we truly are. It's not so that we can wallow in shame and guilt but it's rather so that we can acknowledge that apart from Christ not a single bit of good resides in us. If nothing good comes from me apart from Christ it's just all the more reason to boast in Christ Jesus.

It's so easy for me to grumble about my circumstances. I truly wanted to believe that A + B = C in God's economy. Remembering that I am but dust and one day I will return to the dust helps give me the proper perspective. God owes me nothing and yet He's granted me everything. So why do I grumble? Why do I complain? It's because I forget so easily. So thankful for this season. So thankful for grace and mercy and love. So thankful for the Lord's faithfulness to work all things together for His glory.

On another note, thankful for another great audition experience. I had the privilege of watching four of my six kids audition and it was pretty awesome. Even with some nerves on a couple they walked in with great confidence and did what they do best, they were who God created them to be. Some of them may resemble me but they most certainly possess their Dad's talent. Maybe just maybe I'm secretly hoping one will fall in love with the piano and play music like I heard tonight. Regardless thankful for a place for these kids to build confidence, be inspired to try new forms of art and opportunity to be salt and light.

I didn't even get to glitter ashes but I'll just say that some churches were adding glitter to the ashes that they used in services today. I'll just let that sit there.


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