As having nothing, and yet possessing everything

During Lent, many people give up certain things as a form of penitence.  I have been taught in my Christian journey, that although is is important to give up, it is also important to take on.  Some years I chose to do one or both, and sometimes I did neither.  I am Lutheran, and wasn’t raised with this being a requirement during Lent.  In recent years I was either pregnant or nursing, and I felt that I was making a large enough sacrifice as it was.  This year, I wanted to put Jesus first, instead of me.

So I decided to give up Facebook.  That sounds trivial to a lot of people, but it had become an idol in my life.  I would check it while driving if I saw I had a notification (mostly at red lights), I would check it while nursing Eloise, and I would check it while playing with Lincoln.  My smartphone would be on at the dinner table, in the car, everywhere.  It was my idol.

Giving up Facebook is a true sacrifice in my life, and one that I am hoping leads to taking on.  I will be taking on more time with my husband.  I will be taking on precious moments with my little girl who is growing up so fast.  I will be taking on wrestling with my adorable toddler.  I will be taking on God.

I am so excited.

in the beginning

My life has been blessed.

I grew up with amazing parents, a wonderful sister, and an extended family that is truly the crème de la crème.  I live in a beautiful place where I’ve met true friends, my forever love, and Jesus.

I’ve had my share of sadness.  Depression and I have a persistent dance, but I’m usually leading.  Marriage is always a challenge, but one that I find exciting.  My faith is strong and steady, although sometimes muffled by the everyday.

Then I had you.

My world was the same, but so incredibly different.

And then I had you.

My world, no… the world became better.

My life is blessed.  I am no longer who I was, but who I was meant to be.  And I am so excited to see what is next for us.

 

Loving Two

In two days, my sweet little Lincoln will turn 2 years old!  I cannot believe how exciting and wonderful these past two years have been, or how (stereotypically) fast they have flown by!  Link is his own little man completely.  He has opinions and moods, and is so curious.  He puts together many, many word sentences and asks wise questions.  He loves to help do dishes and laundry, and gets so excited to watch his daddy mow and water the lawn.  Link narrates our day and sings songs, and asks me to tell him all about my day on our way home from school.  He “uh-huhs” like he is actually interested in my workday.  I am so incredibly proud of him.

I have loved every second of being the mom to a son.  I am so excited to see where our relationship goes each day and year.  I cannot imagine anything as wonderful as mothering a son.

Except, mothering a daughter.

I cannot believe that in a few weeks here, I will have a daughter.  I will have a sweet little girl who I will teach so many exciting things that only a mom can.  I will watch my husband have a daddy’s little girl.  Watch our parents grandparent a girl.  I was nervous at first because I know how challenging teenage girls can be, but just imagine – I have 12 years to raise her and love her, and pray for her until we hit that stage.  Then I have countless days more to continue raising, loving and praying.

I do not understand yet how I can love a second child when I love Lincoln so incredibly much.  But I do know that because I have so much love for him, I am meant to love this little girl so incredibly much also.  I am so excited to welcome our daughter into our family and I cannot wait to meet her!

Smooth moves

About 3 weeks ago now, we moved into our new home. “Blue house”, as Link calls it, has been an incredible blessing already.  We went from a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom townhome with awful neighbor dogs and no safe yard to play in, to a 5 bed 4 bath mansion (not really, but it feels like it somedays) with amazing neighbors, my parents down the road, and a beautiful fenced in backyard overlooking a pond and a park down the road.  We are so very happy in our new home, and we are very blessed to have had this opportunity.4356695_0

Lincoln has been adjusting fairly well.  He likes his blue room, and loves to go into Baby Sister’s room and run around the random furniture we have in there.  He has his very 0wn bathroom and playroom, and loves the rare opportunity to go to the basement!  We don’t go down there much yet, and it still feels like such a surprise every time I go down!  We never had this much space before!

Speaking of Baby Sister, we are into the third trimester now!  She is growing well and moving around constantly!  I have had quite a few contractions already (just Braxton Hicks, so not painful) so I have been restricted to not lifting anything over 10 pounds.  This means not lifting Link, which doesn’t work out very well.  I still lift him plenty!  But everything looks fine, so chances are she’s going to stay in there as long as she needs (but hopefully not quite as long as her brother did!).

Otherwise, life is good.  We are happy.  And as long as Link stops having nightmares about cows and dogs, we will be talking big kid bed transition soon!

Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun…

Link and I are anxiously awaiting Mr. Sun to come out and shine on us!  We are sick of the cold and snow.  Link can’t say s’s well, so he calls it No! which is a perfect interpretation about how I feel, even though he says it excitedly.  I have been slacking on my exercises, unfortunately, so once it starts to warm up I am determined to have nightly walks with Link, around the neighborhood and to our park.  I will be excited to see how he interacts on the park this year compared to last fall.  It’s just amazing to me how much he is growing and learning.  It is so fun to watch.

Can I have daddy's Pepsi?

Can I have daddy’s Pepsi?

I love to climb on the table!

I love to climb on the table!

Link’s new favorite thing to do, though, is get “in trouble”.  He loves to climb up on the kitchen table, and grab whatever is on there, such as daddy’s soda bottle.  If there is any food left on his highchair, that sits next to the table, he likes to try to get at that also.  One of the problems with this all, is that he is just so darn cute while doing it.  I’ve read a lot about child behavior and discipline, and I’ve been to a couple of classes on it, and I’ve learned some things that help us encourage him to do other things, while not disciplining, per say.  The thing is – he’s 19 months old!  He isn’t really being naughty, or a “bad boy”.  He is just doing what toddlers do.  He is exploring, and testing his boundaries, which is very healthy.  We do have a “take a break” corner, where I set him down and tell him what to do, and then walk away.  This basically just removes him from the situation, which is all we really should be doing at this age.

Overall, we have a very well behaved, happy little boy.

And next week we start Montessori School! I am so very excited for him to start.  I am slightly nervous of course, because it will be a new experience for him (which is good) and a new experience for me (which is the nerve-wracking part).  I think he will just thrive in that environment, and it will help him learn and socialize like a kid his age should.  We are sending him to St. Croix Montessori School.  I have been to this school once, and I really liked it.  I have also heard great things about it.  I just have to finish getting his “school supplies” this weekend.

Justin and I are also trying to do a few more fun family things when we can.  On Sunday night we went to Coldstone for a little ice cream treat.  Link’s favorite things to eat are stringed cheese and blueberries, but he sure does love a bowl of ice cream now and then.  Well, I’m sure he would love a bowl daily, but that just won’t happen! 🙂

Enjoying ice cream with mom and dad!

Enjoying ice cream with mom and dad!

We are 16 weeks now with Baby2.0.  This baby is a bit different than Link was so far.  Not sure if that means anything, just is interesting.  I am still nauseous daily, but I did discover last night that Life Cereal was an amazing cure.  We don’t really talk about the baby much with Lincoln yet.  It’s too much of a wait to start getting him ready, but when he decides it’s time to bounce on mommy’s tummy, I do tell him that he can’t because of the baby in my tummy.  He thinks the baby is a girl, and that we should name her Big Girl.  I’m pretty sure that name won’t stick.  2.5 more weeks until we find out if baby is a she or he.  We will likely make that news public, but not the name.  We are going to keep that part a secret!

15 months and Halloween!

Link turned 15 months old October 20, which means we are almost to the next month marker! We had his 15 month checkup, which went fairly well.

At Link’s 12 month checkup they had to draw blood, and they did not do that well, so it was very traumatic (for mommy too!).  Our smart little boy remembers that too well, and has a hard time at the doctor now.  He cried the minute he saw the room, then when the nurses came in, then when they measured his head, then when the doctor came in, and so on.  He was just so scared that he was going to be in so much pain again.  Oh just thinking about it makes me sad and angry!

Link likes our doctor though, so he did pretty well showing off for him.  Link told Dr. Khoury that he is one (you ask how old are you, and he holds up 1 finger).  Then he gave Dr. Khoury “five”.  Then the Dr. asked if he played peek-a-boo and Link immediately put his hands over his eyes.  “That answers that” the Dr. said.

Link’s stats: 23 pounds 3 ounces, 30.25 inches tall, and head size was 18.75 inches.

The doctor was very pleased with Link’s vocab (20-25 consistent words and 5-10 sign language words) and everything else!  We talked a little about discipline, and the Dr. said that we might be able to try techniques that are usually for older kids since Link “is smarter than most kids his age”.  That was totally a proud mommy moment!

Two shots, and then the appointment was over.  Even though it was pretty terrifying for the poor boy, he was strong and brave, and recovered quick after the shots.

Then last week was Halloween!  Link is still too little to go out trick-or-treating, but we got him dressed up in his costume and spent the evening at my parent’s house with Justin’s parents also.  Link went as ‘Link’ from Zelda, the video game.

I made the costume, and had a lot of fun doing it!  What a great ‘mommy’ project!  You can see more pictures from Halloween here, including some of Link’s best friend Liam, who was a lion!  The cutest little lion I have ever seen with an adorable mommy lion.

We are now truly in November, and I am just itching to start the Christmas music.  It’s strange because I really have been a Scrooge about buying gifts this year. I don’t want to do it, I just want it to be over with, but yet, I am in the mood for Christmas.  Scrooge is a classic after all, so it isn’t the worst thing to start out the season as.  I will come around, and be the end-of-the-story-Scrooge.

And so the countdowns begin…

1 week until Cities Sampler
2 weeks until Thanksgiving (and I get to see Amy and Collin!!!!!!)
6 weeks until Graduation
7 weeks until Christmas