Sunday, December 26, 2010

processing

The shock of loss can numb thought. I have no notion of how to go about fixing the deadening of my senses, as a total absence of what was tries to register. I catch myself staring without seeing, my thoughts cautiously testing the absolution of this sudden void. I don't like the numbness.

But, to let the truth sink in, to resolve the stand-still of my soul into reality, may be more than I can stand. I've always feared to let my heart feel pain, rather than ploughing through on my own strength.

I am tempted to ignore this tragedy, in an attempt to bear it without God's help. To turn my heart in cold indifference. To be busy about my life, rather than lingering without sensation or being strangled by grief.


My God! Make my response right! I know You cannot be glorified in a heart of stone, or one of numb wasting. If you are calling me to fall headlong into a chasm of pain, of which only You know the depth, I want to trust You. My flesh screams that I may never stop falling, but Your Word soothes with a promise that Your strong hands of acceptance and hope will catch me and balance my sorrow with joy.

The fierce joy in imagining her in Your presence, basking in Your love as You praise her faithful work during her fleeting life, steals my breath. I want both to boldly sing your praises like she is, and to cry for hours.

She's always been there, firmly rooted in You, standing in the power of Your strength, and so ready to love. I wish I had loved her as deeply as her sweet spirit deserved. Lord, fill me with deeply appreciative love for those still surrounding me, don't let me waste another hour in self-centeredness. Fill me with purpose, because life is short, and fill me with hope that in Your power I will finish the race strongly. Like my sister, Beth.

So hard to believe I will never see her again in this life, except in pictures. How can that be true?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

What has my hope been in?

Not Christ, lately. My hope has been in the extra money we have started making, in desiring to buy a house, in finally getting to buy things. I've struggled lately with the question of why I'm so discontent with what I already have: a wonderful husband, beautiful children, a safe home, plenty of food, the ability to buy the necessaries and sometimes the un-necissaries too. But having "so much" will not make me a good wife, friend or mother, and it hasn't made me content.

1 Thessalonians 1:3
...constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the presence of God the Father.

I have a great hope- I will be spending eternity with Christ. He looked at me in my hopelessness and with my sinful mind and actions and loved me so much He became a man and died in my place. Love like that is so beyond what I can fathom, but I trust that my sin has been forgiven. I am wiped clean!!

I must hold this hope with steadfastness! It is the only thing that will never be taken from me someday- and even those things grow strangely dim when my eyes are fixed on Christ.

He's just so stinking cute!!!!!!!!

I love my son being 2 1/2. He's talking more and more, and trying to figure out how this crazy world works. And when he tells me what he's figured out it has me cracking up all day long! I cannot tell you how many times he's supposed to be in trouble but Paul and I have to turn around with our hands over our mouths to hide that we're laughing!!!

We normally try to go on a walk every morning to get his wiggles out, but this week has been too cold and wet for Sissy to be outside. A few days ago West and I went to the window to check how the weather was.  We were being super silly and play shouting everything we were saying-
Me: "We can't go for a walk, it's raining!!!!!"
West: "IT'S WAINING!!!!.........AND IT'S COUWD (cold)!!!!!!"
Me: "It's cold?!!!!"
West: "YAH!!!! WE CAN' WALK!!!!!"
Me: "We can't walk?!!!"
West: "OK!!!!"

Maybe you had to be there, but it was so cute and fun to hear him figuring this stuff out on his own :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

our first (and hopefully last) call to poison control....

So, 10 min before we left for church this morning, my son walked in with an open bottle of rubbing alcohol saying "yuck!". After a panicked call to poison control, we found he probably didn't drink much because it's nasty and would have already have caused vomiting. We had to bathe him because it can be absorbed through the skin, and keep him within eyesight for the next 2 hours to watch for signs of drunkenness. Thankfully he seems to be ok.
How, may I ask, do they find the bottle of poison the one time you leave it out, and manage to climb onto the bathroom counter to retrieve it from the back corner where you left it? Is it some 6th sense toddlers have? Well, I guess every parent has to experience this once to be truly initiated as seasoned parents. I would have thought 500 dirty diapers counted for something.

One more question-
How do you tell if a goofy two year old boy is drunk? Is it when he begins to destroy everything? Is it when he can't hold still? Is it when he yells involuntarily? Is it when he begins rolling across the living room floor?

If so, there may be a great many drunk two year olds.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

baby's style and potato sprouts

Briella attended her first christmas party today. Which means she got to wear the dress. The adorable princess party dress I've been waiting months to put on my sweet, chubby little girlie :) Unfortunately I have no photos, as our camera is out of commission (over the holidays! so bummed). We (and you) will have to wait on grandma to see over the top tulle and roses cuteness.

 I do have a photo of my newest favorite in my baby's wardrobe. This floral hooded jumper is by Tea Time, and I am surprised at how much I love the color plumb on her! Something about it really works with her coloring. Thanks Hansen's! I'm so excited it finally fits her :)
My other favorite is not a recent addition, but I love it so much I'm considering making a replacement when she grows out of this denim and tulle tutu from Baby Gap. It's such an adorable new spin on a classic piece.
I love dressing my girl, in case you haven't noticed :) During this "transition" stage for my body I hate buying new clothes that I hope will no longer fit in a month. So Briella has become my shopping/fashion outlet. Mommy may be wearing the same boring cardi for the fiftieth time, but at least baby can be cute :)

On another, totally unrelated, note...
Last night we had turkey and scratch mashed potatoes and gravy for dinner. I reached into the bag to select roughly 1 1/2 lbs of red potatoes, and found one of them hosting an alien parasite.
I find this really gross, but oddly of fascinating. Why would God choose such a creepy way for potatoes to reproduce? I really don't know. But I do know I rocked my gluten and dairy free gravy recipe last night.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sharing a cup of "coffee" with my favorite little man :)

West and I had some special time while sissy was taking a nap this morning :) I'm treasuring these moments more and more lately, he's such a fun little boy :)

Friday, December 3, 2010

A few more contemplations...

As I read through the book of Numbers I'm realizing again something I've known for a long time- I need to have faith in the goodness of God. I don't understand all of the laws/penalties in this book and sometimes they don't seem fair. But "fair" from my perspective doesn't really amount to much- I'm nothing but one passing life on a spinning planet in the middle of an endless universe. He is eternal, created all things, and understands all things. God has a perspective I can't comprehend behind these laws and everything that has happened in my own life, and He tells me that He is good. The question is - Will I trust Him?


Remembering also today that marital love can't be passive if it is to thrive. I should be on the offensive with my display of loving respect for my husband. How many times have I read the book "Love and Respect", been impacted, changed, and fallen back into complacency? 


How many times have I read scripture, been impacted, changed, and fallen back into complacency? 


My tendency towards self-centered instead of God-centeredness frustrates me to no end, and sometimes causes me to despair of trying. How vast His love must be to forgive me over and over. My heart has always resonated with lyrics in the hymn "Come, thou fount of every blessing"-
"Prone to wander, Lord I feel it. Prone to leave this God I love. Take my heart Lord, take and seal it. Seal it for Thy courts above." 
Oh the sweet security of being sealed for, being promised heaven! I am so thankful for that promise, and so thankful for the honesty of the man who penned his heart in those words so many years ago. They are a great comfort to me.



Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Westly!!!!!!!!!

I hope no one is offended, but I'm excited and wanted to share...

Westly used the "big boy potty" for the first time last night!!! 

He missed completely, and this morning stood by the toilet demanding more chocolate, while refusing to sit, but this is still a big step for us! He is growing up so fast, and this makes it all the more real. 

A few other fun Westly facts...
He is now 2 1/2

He stirs cookie dough and spills less than mommy!

He is afraid of the lizard puppet on the Baby Einstein videos, and hides when it appears

I entered the room the other day as he was saying, "Uh oh, Sissy cold", and found him tucking her in with a (clean) pair of Daddy's boxers :)

He loves the Photo booth application on Daddy's computer:)

If mommy or daddy pretend to eat one of his toys he thinks we really did, tries to get it out, and cracks up when we "spit" it back out!

He prays for God to keep him safe from "hoo-hoos" (owls) almost every night

Whether walking or driving, he knows when we get anywhere near either of his grandparent's houses

He loves to tickle :)

He is a wonderful big brother, and loves helping Briella play with toys, suck her binkie, or buckle her car seat. He is also the first to hear her cry during the day

If he needs help he yells "Hel', oh hel'!" We're working on getting that "p" in there :)

He always organizes his blocks, cars, crayons (anything) by color, shape, and size

And now he needs his mommy!!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sugar and spice and everything nice...

Briella turned 4 months on the 16th of this month. I haven't been very good about posting her growth month by month, but as I snuggled her to sleep tonight I couldn't help reflecting on how sweet she is.

Briella still sleeps in our bed part of most nights. Her crib is in our bedroom, so if she wakes during the night we tend to be less than willing to let her "cry it out". She fell asleep in our bed tonight a few hours before Paul and I were ready to head to bed, but a little while ago I heard her fussing and slipped in to check on her. She was just laying there bundled in her swaddler, kicking her feet like a little girl on a too-tall stool, and smiling sunshine up at me :) That baby girl puts all the love she has into every smile.

(Better photo of the smile I see all day long :) Unfortunately, I don't have a current photo of her as our camera was thoughtfully given a bath by her older brother!

I laid down next to her and she snuggled her face in, fast asleep in minutes. I watched her thinking about how very sweet God made her. I feel so blessed to experience this sinless phase of life with her, only seeing need or goodness. Honestly, I don't believe she's ever been cranky just because, most times any crying is settled with a bottle or a cuddle. We joke about her being "snuggly to a fault", because she loves being squeezed and kissed and cuddled so much her little heart seems to break if I'm too busy to grab her at times. Her favorite thing at the moment is looking into your eyes as you talk to her, and babbling right back. It is a wonderful thing to reach the age that they really begin to love you. I know this time won't last forever, she does have a sin nature in there somewhere, but for now I love being so loved by my sweet baby girl :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

An Amendment

After mulling over my last post I felt led to make an amendment.
Although lately I have been struggling with feeling (like Job) that God is picking on me a bit, I know that I have nothing like Job's claim to righteousness. Meaning that although my body and mind are physically at the end of what they can handle, God may very well be trying to teach or correct me through it and I want to be soft to that teaching. Even though it's hard, and right now it stinks.

I also wanted to add that whatever God is trying to do in my life through these trials, I am surrounded by friends and supporters who are nothing like Job's counselors. Over the past three days we have had three families bring us allergy-safe meals or groceries, a doctor friend make an emergency Sunday house call, four friends offer to clean my house, a very wonderful friend take on some projects of mine that must be finished within a few short days, and numerous people helping and offering to help with caring for our children while I can't.

I'm ending the evening unable to sleep, but having spent time soaking in God's Word, and feeling chastened, stretched, and encouraged. Thank you all my awesome family and friends, and thank You Lord God for surrounding me with people who love me.

My life is a little crazy lately

So, I've been really sick this past week, but like most mommies out there, had no choice but to keep at 'em and wait until I got better. BUt...... I wasn't getting better. Actually, by Saturday night I had a 102 degree fever, difficulty breathing, and shaking chills along with my flu symptoms, and have barely been able to get out of bed for two days. Today I had the pleasure of being officially diagnosed with pneumonia. Why????

Not that we're there yet, but I can't help but draw a correlation with just having finished reading Job.....

Friday, November 12, 2010

My Funny Little Boy

This movie cracks me up! Please excuse my messy house :) video

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Yes! We are still alive!..... (I think)

Hello friends and family! We are still here, even though I haven't really posted (about our lives) in a long, long time. Things lately have been....hard. As in, vainly clutching the last tattered vestiges of my sanity in a futile attempt to prolong the inevitable kind of hard. I've mentioned before, two is harder than one, but it's harder in the same way that even a good marriage is hard sometimes. You love the other person like crazy and long to spend time with them, but the unexpected issues on "the outside" make life difficult to cope with in the context of marriage or children. At least for me. 

Paul started his new job the first of last month, which is a mixed blessing. Great job, but he's gone a lot and very tired when he gets home. Talking helps me deal with stress in a huge way, as do hugs, but when the kids go to bed at 7:30pm and he conks at 8pm (to be up at 4am), both are in short supply :( 
We also "bought" my parent's van, but had to replace the transmission (= lots of $)-this resulted in a hilarious video I will share if it ever loads. So in an attempt to help pay for it, we did not drive it, leaving me without a car for a month. I don't know how many of you have ever been trapped lived in an apartment with a high energy two year old and an infant-- it's a bit tough. Throw in an inability to eat "real" food, no insurance for a sick baby and mommy and a lack of date nights.
 The result.....a faaaairly large meltdown on my part, a realization that I'm not the "strong person" I thought I was, a much greater dependence on God, and an awesome talk/ time out together with my hubby figuring out how to make this work. Things are getting much better :)

Although this past month has been less than blissful, we have had some great times together.

Briella turned 3 months! She is such a sweet-spirited little girl, with a smile for everyone and SO much to say! She babbles at me all the time :)

 We added a leaf-canopy to Westly's bed :) I think it's fun with his jungle themed room- he only tolerates it because he is convinced it keeps the "hoo-hoo's" away. My son is terrified, not of monsters, but of owls.

 Westly loves cuddling his sister on the couch, and she adores anything associated with her big brother :)

 "Hey, look! I have thrush!" We couldn't see the doctor for this, but after about a month it went away on its own!

She's reaching for and grabbing things now

 What a snuggler! Napping with tired daddy

Sleepy Westly coloring in his fort. I love these pictures :)


Showing off his stickered his tummy :)

I just liked this outfit :) The lower one looks so much like Westly to me


Westly got his first major haircut. Which means my goldilocks is no more :( His new cut is rather uneven (try not to notice) as cutting a 2 year old boy's hair consists of crawling after him around the living room, and/or sitting on him.


 I've tried to find fun indoor games for my biggest monkey on rainy days, hence the fort in the above pics. This day it was "toddler bowling".




Goofy jammie time with sissy :)

Precious napper

Ok Thomas, you've got some explaining to do. See the look on my son's face? You getting your choo-choo-self covered in cocoa powder was an unparalleled tragedy in the Higgins household. 

.......until the day they towed the van away to fix it.
video
You may have noticed I was laughing so hard I could hardly explain why he was bawling. I'm such a bad mommy- but in my defense, I had spent the last 20 minutes explaining to him what the tow truck was doing.

Playing "keep-away" with sissy, she loved it :)


My cute little pumpkin

My other pumpkin, in the world's cutest jammies. Thank you Tara :)

Zonked

And I'll leave you with a little something special to think about......






















Heh heh heh (evil chuckle)... and while you're fighting off the nightmares remember, it's ok. He's my child, not yours :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

newborn and bro~sis photos

Newborn Briella Photo Shoot






 Fall 2010 Brother~Sister Photo Shoot










Thank you Kivetts!!!!