Monday, September 28, 2009

A heart like His

"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws."  - Ezekial 36:26-27

I first came across this verse when reading "Having a Mary Spirit" by JoAnna Weaver.

The words seemed to leap of the page and I knew I had found the words, the prayer I have been searching for.   I stopped reading and headed to the computer where I typed up the verse and matted it.  It now sits of my desk where I see it everytime I walk into the kitchen.

A few weeks later I began a study at church called "Live a Praying Life" by Jennifer Kennedy Dean.

The first week of the study this verse was highlighted and I knew God was speaking to me.

I have been praying this verse for myself for several weeks now, and though the progress is slow and sometimes painful, he is faithful and is giving me that new heart he promised.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


She needs stickers for her bucket.
Chris won't be home until 4:30 and Evan will wake up around 3.
We'll go to Michael's...I have a coupon.

OK, I have a paci, blanket and toys for Evan.
Alyssa, please put on your brown shoes.  Here we go.
Is the stroller in the back...hop in Sis.

Do I have my phone?
Which way should I go...? less traffic, I'll go the back way.

When we're done at Michaels I want to go to Marshalls, so I'll park here.
Grab the stroller, fasten Evan in, get Alyssa.

Here's the sticker aisle, let's see...what are my options...
There's a baby screaming...Alyssa's asking questions...How's Evan doing...I feel overwhelmed...what if something happens...what if I lose it right here...I'm dizzy...Nevermind, I have to go...we're here, she needs these stickers...just get some Chris...where's my phone...please answer...I'll call mom at work if  he doesn't answer...Oh good, hi, I'm panicky... Ok, here's some...Alyssa do you like these? I just want to make sure I have found the best ones...I'll be ok, thanks, bye.

Ok, let's go check out.
"I want to go see that witch."  Ok, I think I'm alright, let's go see it... there it is, come on, let's go, there's a line...I want to go...I think I'm going to pass out...let's just go...I'll call Chris again...I can't, I'm next...Ok, "How are you?"  I'm good...

There's no way I'm going to Marshalls...Just walk across the parking lot...I don't feel right...I just want someone to come get am I going to drive home.  Get Evan in, climb in sis...Put the stroller in the back... I have to call Chris... I don't feel right... should I be driving... what if something I ok...I just want to be home.

My stomach hurts and I feel anxious just writing this...but this is my life.  It has been for years, and I fear it always will be.  I have Panic Disorder.  The severity and frequency of occurrences ebbs and flows, unfortunately I'm in deep right now.  It will take many many successful trips to Michaels...Target...wherever to overcome this episode which happened last week.  Garnering up the courage to head back is the challenge.

You never know what someone else is going through...  

Monday, September 21, 2009

Weekend Fun

Last year about this time, Chris was getting ready to head to Italy for a month.  The day before he left we headed  to the local cider mill and enjoyed a morning together.  It was such a bittersweet day.  This weekend we went again because we love cider and doughnuts, but also to celebrate that Chris will be here for fall this year and that Evan is with us now!!

Every year there is a hot air balloon festival in our town.  This weekend was that event also.  Saturday evening we went out to the fair grounds to see the balloons.

They were flying over head as we arrived.

Alyssa was so excited to see "all of them."

She got a little freaked out when this one flew right over us.  The noise from the flame was startling to her.  (Forgive my bright orange T-shirt.  I was in the middle of painting when it was time to leave...)

This is the balloon that was right over our heads.

It was pretty sunny so Chris shared his sunglasses.  What a guy!

We had originally thought we'd stay to see the skydivers that were scheduled to jump later in the evening, but decided to head home.  It turned out that the skydiver crashed into the crowd.  Really glad we didn't witness that!

All in all a pretty fun weekend.  Alyssa topped it all off with a sleepover at Grandma's and Evan topped it off with bedtime at 7:15!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A big day for Alyssa...and Mom...

We've been preparing Alyssa for today for a week now. Visits to the room, talking through what would happen before we went and what would happen when we got there. What we didn't prep for was how I would feel after I walked away.

Here is my baby girl the day she was born.

and here she is this morning...

This big girl had her first day of preschool today. I have never been so proud of her or excited for her as I was today, but at the same time, today marked an end to the ways things have been. I have felt this way one time before and it was the day before I went in to the hospital to have Evan. I realized that day just as I realized today that things will never be the same. That day, I realized it would never just be Alyssa and me again. And today I realized Alyssa will never be home all day everyday under my care again. Neither one of these realizations are bad, in fact they are both really good, never-the-less...

Alyssa always functions best when she understands what to expect, so we began last week by taking her to her new school to check out the room. She played and we walked through what would happen on her first day. Then last night before bed we talked about what would happen in the morning. It worked beautifully.

Here she is walking up to the building...very excited.

Waiting for the teacher to come open the door. Still very excited.

It's show time... Feeling a little less excited but...

She did it! Look way down at the end of the hallway. It took her a minute, but she walked down the hall by herself. I kept myself hidden so as to not discourage the bravery. I then had to convince myself it was ok to walk away....she'd be fine.

And of course she was. An excited Alyssa ran to greet me at 11:30. She was excited about the snack and the rhyme the said to learn everyone's name. She said she wants to go back...yay!

Evan and I had a productive morning. He napped, I did laundry, he played and then we ran a few errands.

So here's to change and bravery. I hope she always faces life with the courage she did today. Way to go Alyssa, I'm so proud of you.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Labor Day

Labor Day weekend was gorgeous. It really felt like summer was just beginning instead of ending. It just hasn't stayed consistently warm here. Anyway, we enjoyed the first part of the weekend here at home, and then went Up North to be with Nana and Papa and Uncle Eric and Aunt Alicia.

All summer we have been wanting a bike trailer so that we could go for bike rides in the evening. Evan was too small for most of the summer, but he's not anymore!!

It's been just as much fun as we imagined. We've ridden to the ice cream store, to Grandma's, and to see Papa. Tomorrow we are riding to Alyssa's pre-school for the Open House. So far, Evan has fallen asleep on every ride!

Our first night Up North, Alicia's parents threw a party to celebrate their recent marriage. It was very nice. Alicia had put together a slide show from their professional pics that really gave a nice summary of the day. Lots of people from Alicia's past that couldn't attend the Chicago wedding were there and happy to see the lovely couple.

The beautiful bride and I posing

The crew eating a little dinner

Chris and Alyssa had a ton of fun chasing each other around this tree.

Sunday was spent mostly at the pool. Who doesn't love that? Stefan had the water at a lovely 88 degrees, I love when you get in and can't feel that you just got in.

Eric and Alyssa decided to do some modeling/tanning. Too cute.

That evening after dinner Eric, Alicia, Chris and I went to dessert at the hot spot in town. Alicia and I had these amaing Martinis. Her's was called Chocolate, and mine was the Toblerone. So good. It was so nice to be able to sit down and just chat for a little bit. Chris was kind enough to run back to get the camera so we could have official documentation of the event. The poor guy was sweaty for the rest of the evening. But the picture is great...thanks Chris!

The last time we were Up North, we went for a walk with Eric and Aicia down to the beach, but it was a chilly day so we were all in long pants. There is a great shallow spot where the river joins the bay and it looked perfect for the kiddos to play in, so we really wanted to head back there to let Alyssa play. It really was the highlight of the weekend. Forgive all the pictures, there are just too many good ones

We had to leave the beach much sooner than we wanted to in order to get home in time to go to a baseball game. Unfortunately we have no pictures, but what a weekend... pool, dessert, beach, baseball, are you sure winter has to come?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Summers end...

It's back to school time here today and every year at the close of Labor Day weekend, I am so thankful that the anxiety I once felt as a student and then as a teacher I no longer feel. Never-the-less, the day is still a reminder of the change of seasons that is upon us. Things have become quite festive around here. Alyssa has been having fun finding all of the pumpkins around the house and Chris loves coming home to the smell of this candle. Mulled Cider, definetly a family fav.

It's been the year of creativity for me as I decorate. The first project I did to usher in the season was making this cloth for the stand in our entry way. Paired with a basket of flowers, I think it just sets the mood.

The next project I had seen in smaller scale in a magazine last year, so I modified it and made it work for fall. It adorns the piano in the living room.

And my favorite project this fall has to be this collection of frames.

I purchased these frames on clearance at Hallmark. They were cream and had a cat themed insert. I pulled out the insert and painted the frames to better match our decor. I purchased 6 different but coordinating pieces of scrapbooking paper, found some cute fall symbols, and voila artwork that can change with the seasons!

This beauty hardly counts as a project, wrapping garland around a candle is hardly creative, however this candle and his brother flank our television and create such a cozy atmosphere to cuddle in in the evenings.

Hope you're enjoying the beginning of the best season of the year!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Rub a dub dub...

A little bath time fun for your viewing pleasure...