Monday, December 27, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

100th Post!

It's Christmas Eve, and my 100th post! I suppose it's a good time to reflect on these past few years that I've been blogging. I started up this blog right after Nate was born as a way to post pictures and updates on our new little one, because our internet was too slow to send pictures to far away friends and family via email. I'm thankful for this way of keeping record of major events and general happenings in our lives; I'm not a journaler (is that a word?), nor did I manage to keep any sort of baby book for Nate or Cody, so this is it!

Nathan was a wonderful surprise, as was Cody. But as a person who tries desperately to live a life completely planned, safe and predictable (sounds boring, I know!) both surprises threw at me major curve balls. We can predict and schedule our lives all we want, but in the end all we end up doing is making adjustments to our tidy little plans and going with the flow. We really have no control at all. And as I'm sitting here now, doing a little reflecting, it's hitting me that I needed to learn to let go. And being thrown into parenthood, with very little financial security or long-term plan for the future in terms of working, housing, etc. has taught me first-hand how to trust in God. This blog is way of keeping record of those invaluable life lessons so I can look back and remember how He has loved and cared for my family and I.

We've dealt with stress over money matters, real estate decisions, and job outlooks. I've faced serious anxiety over loving my family so much that the thought of possibly losing them paralyzed me emotionally. We've grieved over several who lost their lives before it seemed like their time here was done, and tried to find justification in that - those losses brought me many questions that still remain unanswered. And even now as we felt we were coming out of a tough time, we're facing different struggles... It just never ends as long as we're here on earth, and I'm thankful for the promise of a perfect life when we're through with this one! It's what I want my boys to learn as they grow; life can be tough and unfair, but we're promised that God will never leave us. Tomorrow as we celebrate Christmas day, we'll remember that day in history. He sent His son so long ago, and it has changed us now, forever.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Art of Leaving the House

I used to pride myself on being a multi-tasker. One of my first jobs was working in the photocopy department at Staples, where I could have seven machines running, answer the phone, take copy orders and ring people through all at once without a second thought. It was so satisfying to be that productive. I'm learning as a stay-at-home mom that productivity is irrelevant, and attempting to be efficient at any task will only cause frustration!

Take leaving the house, for example. I dread it. I remember when Nate was first born, learning to add 15 minutes to my travel time if I had to be punctual, as so many variables could cause delays, even just in the attempt to walk out the front door. Now with two boys, sometimes I wonder how bad would it be to become a hermit? Here's how the average attempt to leave the house goes...

I get Cody's socks on, which he immediately pulls off, so I straddle him to quickly get his shoes on as well, which will hopefully secure his socks long enough to get into the car. Wrestle him down to put on his hoodie and vest - one down, another to go! Nate's much more compliant, and able to put on his slip-on shoes by himself while I get his hoodie and vest on. But by this time, the dog staring at us through the sliding door has figured out we're about to go outside and starts barking and jumping at the door, panicked to be apart of our outing, and Cody is crying at the front door because he's dressed and ready to go, so why aren't we going? And then the phone rings, and I can't find my keys or I've lost the list I made to keep my outing on track. While I'm putting on my own shoes and jacket, I sense a smell coming from the littlest one demanding a visit to the change table that would entail stripping him not only of the outerwear I struggled to get him in, but all his clothes as well. Dirty diaper changed (and I'm now hot & sweaty as I'm dressed for winter weather inside); attempt #2 to wrestle my wiggly worm back into his layers of clothing. Grab my purse, keys and list, run out the door with both boys, get them strapped into their car seats and sit down to take a deep breath. Finally able to stop for a moment I realize I have to visit the little girl's room, but there's no way I'm doing all that over again so I run my errands with a different kind of urgency, and with two boys soon complaining of hunger since it took us a half hour to leave the house! Ahhh! Can you tell I get easily overwhelmed? It's safe to say the idea of adding another child to this household is very happily placed in the "maybe one day - but not now" category.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Most Wonderful Time of Year!

It's here!! December is underway, and the countdown to Christmas has begun! This is by far our family's most favourite time of year. And while we're unusually busy this year, I'm still determined to slow down enough to savour every special moment of the season.

Last weekend kicked off the first of five Christmasy weekends, with a visit to the Christmas Show at the Tradex (not worth paying for, by the way unless you're in the market for a Dr. Ho or a steam-cleaner -- thankfully we wasted no money, as we were given tickets through doing business for the Wired Monk) and our annual Christmas shopping date. Today Nate & I went along with my parents and sister to pick out their Christmas tree, and then decorated the outside of their home with lights. I have never missed the tradition of inspecting every single tree in a Christmas tree lot (or sometimes, three or four lots!) to choose the perfect tree, even since getting married and having kids, and I don't intend to skip out on that tradition any time soon. Then tomorrow, Monte & I will attend Broadway Church's annual Singing Christmas Tree. We look forward to next weekend as well, when we will help out with the Abbotsford Community Services Christmas Party and we will also take the boys to Bright Nights at Stanley Park.

Christmas is such a special time of year, with various traditions holding a special place in my heart. I'm so thankful to have my family close by, so we can continue many of the same activities we began when we were young. And I can't wait for my boys to remember and anticipate the traditions we've incorporated into our own family's Christmas. Most of all, I am grateful for the reason for celebrating Christmas: Christ's birth. Christmas carols, advent and scripture around Jesus' birth often overwhelm me. To think that God sent his son for me... for you. How could it not be the most special time of year? What an incredible gift.