Friday, August 12, 2011

Family vacay!

This past week, Eric, Hendric and I headed up north for a little R & R.  I was just a little excited.  This was our first vacation (other than our honeymoon) since we got married 5 years ago!
I might have overpacked for the 3 of us.  For 6 days.  

 There was also a counter full of 9 grocery bags full of food and 4 bags of clothes.  Yowza.

We took off to my parents' cabin at Mormon Lake and couldn't wait for some much needed family time.

I. Love. This. View.

The afternoon we got there, we just hung out a little and played...

...which of course for my child, means shoveling rocks.

The first full day we took a little hike.

Apparently, we like to play in the dirt.

 We drove into Flag the next day to catch a movie, lunch, and a little ice cream.

How can you not love this face?

Later in the week, we did some more hiking.  Eric taught Hendric a very important lesson on how to pick flowers for momma.  

 And more dirt on the face.

I am pretty sure this is one of my favorite. pictures. ever.

It is a perfect shot of who my child is.  Contemplative.  Discerning. All while carrying a giant stick so he can smash anything at any moment. 

Our last full day, we took Hendric to fly his first kite.  I thought he was going to go crazy with excitement.

Afterwards, Hendric was so wound up from all the fun that he had a harder time getting to sleep for his nap.  So Eric went in to just lay down with him to see if it would help--even though he wasn't "really tired."

10 minutes later :)

What a saint.

Love these boys.

Monday, August 1, 2011


Wow.  Thanks God.

I woke up this morning and got (happy!) news from a friend and I my instant reaction was not pure joy.  It was "Waahhh.  Why not me?"  Yeah.  I know.  I'm a pretty good friend.

Then I opened up an email and read this:

 "As a wife and a mom, I consider myself the rudder of the attitude in my home.  I can chart the course of attitude in my home in a good way or a bad way...I believe that in all of that, attitude is the biggest determining factor for whether our day goes well or doesn’t, whether we achieve our goals or fail, whether we get along as a family or bicker, and whether we enjoy each other’s company or we don’t.  Attitude is something we can choose and when we are fully aware of that, we can choose to have a good one and that can make all the difference..."

The author went on to talk about an attitude of grattitude.  I have heard that phrase 1000 times before in my life, but it wasn't until that moment that I realized how ungrateful I had become.  I was letting someone else's fantastic news turn my heart bitter.

I can see it in my day to day.  When my attitude is negative, my child seems more touchy, crankier.  When I don't allow myself to see the good in my life, Eric and I seem to get in a hundred little arguments.  Clearly something needed to change.  And I was pretty sure it was me.

I had a serious heart-to-heart with God.   It wasn't pretty.  But it was necessary.  I could feel the walls of discontentedness being stripped away and being replaced with pure thankfulness.

So my encouragement for you all is to not get lost in the "Why not's?" but saying "thank you" so much to your Creator for every. single. thing.  It's a pretty freeing.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

More precious than rubies...

Lately, I feel like I have been hit in the face with how stinking important (and hard!) my roles of a wife and mother are.  Often I become (or allow myself to become) overwhelmed with having to be the perfect wife and mother.  It's as if I can't get it right, right NOW I will have failed in my job, and failed my husband and son.  If I can't get my son to eat his vegetables every day and to stop laying down in the middle of Wal-Mart just because he can, he might end up on the street selling PCP.  If I don't get every load of laundry done, folded, and put away by naptime my husband might be driven into the arms of another woman who can do that all while smiling and who (gasp!) showered before 4pm.  

I look at other women and I tend to think that they have it all figured out.  I seem to get a tunnel-vision perception and only see my child's tantrums, or my exasperated sighs.  I only see that I can't coupon with the best of them or that I can't keep my house spotless every day of the week.  I only see my drained energy and my ungrateful attitude.  And then I look at Scripture and realize that I maybe I am not the only one who struggles.  

Although the Proverbs 31 passage on the "perfect" wife is used ALL the time and I don't want to overharp on it, I do feel like is by far one of the most encouraging and challenging passages in Scripture to me as a woman.  For Heaven's sake, it stars off with "Who can find an excellent wife?"  It's not like it says, "okay there are lots of girls out there who love Jesus with every breath they have and basically do everything right.  Go pick one of them and it will be fine."  No, right out of the gate, this passage talks about how this perfect woman isn't everywhere!  Who can find her?  She is more valuable than all the diamonds in the world!  

And then it goes on to, what I believe, is the heart of this passage.  "Her husband can trust her and she will greatly enrich his life."  If every day my goal is to live up to the standards that I believe the world has set up for me, I will fail every. single. time.  However, if my goal is just to honor my Lord first and my family second by my life--well that seems doable!  

Then there's those pesky magazine covers that make me feel like I weigh 600lbs.  "Charm is deceptive and beauty will not last; but a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised."  Now if only I can remember that when I am standing next to another mom who looks like fresh off the runway!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

For the love of cute...

So I just read this post on a mommy blog about one of her kids getting lost at the pool and The Fear setting in.  And basically I was crying like a hooligan.  So, although it had a happy ending, I needed a little pick-me-up and I my stomach already hurt from all the cookies I just ate in my teary moment.  Instead I decided to make a list of all the cute things my baby boy has done (mostly said, because that's all he has does...say say say things) recently.  While this may be the most boring thing you'll read today, I liked it.  You're warned.

1.  He has learned every Sesame Street character's name.  He only watches one (okay sometimes 2 if I need a break) episode in the morning while he eats breakfast and wakes up.  And this morning he decided to give me a verbal rundown of the character list as they came on, as he points and yells,  "Mama ba-tis on! (I have no idea why ba-tis is TV)  Elmo!  Cookies!  Boger (Grover)!  Abbey!  Bah Dah (Big Bird)  Bert!  Eh-nie (Ernie!)  Mummy! (Murry!  This one is actually my favorite because it sounds like Mommy, although he only calls me momma).

2.  We finally had his 18mo checkup today and he grew FOUR AND A HALF inches in the last 3 months.  Uh maybe that's why he has been sleeping so dang much.

3.  At his appointment, his doctor said, "Wow.  He talks a LOT.  A LOT.  And in full sentences.  Usually at this age they can speak 10-20 words.  Do you know where he is?"  I said, "Well I made a list the other day and I stopped counting somewhere around 220."  Yeah.  I know.  His mother's son.

4.  Yesterday, I asked him to help me bake cookies.  He loves to help "cooooook" in the "kitten."  So I got him his own bowl that he got to mix in (he loves the whisks!) and thought to myself, "ahh, maybe he will be a baker just like his momma."  And then he found my wooden dowels for my cakes and pulled them out onto the counter.  I hear "dum dum dum!" as he started to drum all over the counter.  Yeah.  I know.  His father's son.

5.  At this age, he is either making me laugh hysterically because he is being such a weirdo or making me question my sanity.  Needless to say, we have our share of timeouts at our house (for both momma and baby).  And now he is trying to talk his way out of them!  He cries for the first 10 seconds and then tries to distract me by labeling (in rapid fire) and pointing at EVERYTHING in (and sometimes out of) the room, "Ball!  Cracker!  Book! Shoes!  Pants!  Belly!  Toes!  Cart!  Hat!  Car Car!  Ohgut (yogurt)!  Dit (sit)!  Pecket (ketchup)!  Mow (his lawnmower)!  UhJay (Uncle Jay)!  Cuhdin (cousin)!"  Sometimes he's just so dang cute that it works.

6.  He wakes up every morning talking.  As soon as he wakes up.  As soon.  Or if I have to wake him up from his nap, the instant his eyes open, words are shooting out of his mouth.  It's like they are connected:  eyes open, mouth talks.  First, he wants to tell us all about his crib, "Bear, puppy, bobie (Brobie), amb (lamb)!"  (All of his stuffed animals he insists are in there with him.)  Then onto what I can only assume is about his dreams, "uhuhboomgomamadadamamawpapawgopuzzlesbearshoesgopuzzlesbook!"  All the words at once.  Time for a 3 second snuggle.  Then "down! go!  door close!"  And so our day begins.

7.  He loves to "pin"  AKA spin.  He spins in circles while shouting "pin pin pin" until he gets dizzy and falls over.  Then gets back up to try again, falls over and laughs.  Then starts back over.  Ironically, he sometimes also does this at the beginning of a tantrum...just starts spinning.  Explain that one.

7.  This age, they are just sponges.  Soaking up everything you say.  Which is awesome until an unnamed relative teaches him "idiot" (sidenote:  that's how exactly how he says uncle elliot (ehdot).  same. exact. way.  kinda awesome).  So it makes me pretty excited when we get to teach him things to do or say that are in no way, shape, or form necessary for life.  Examples "raise the roof" where he lifts his arms up and shakes his hands.  "Smelling like daddy" where go goes and gets daddy's deoderant and rubs it all over his belly.  Holy Moley sounds like "moey ohey."  Boogerhead sounds like "bohga-ed."  Asking him to "sumo" and then he slowly (or quickly, depending on his mood) stomps both legs.  Asking him "can you get mommy/daddy/mamaw/papaw/annon (Andy) or whoever is with us" leaves him running to the person just so he can tag them and run away from them giggling.

8.  One of his FAVORITE books we read to him is his book about Moses and its the cutest thing eh-ver to ask him to pick out a book to read and and he "un un un!" (runs) over to the bookshelf and looks through all of this options while saying "Modis, Modis, Modis" until he finds it.

9.  I think this pretty much says it all.

I. Love. My. Life.

Monday, September 13, 2010

With a sad heart...

I know I haven't blogged in a month, so I am sorry that this one is gonna be a downer.

Saturday, Eric and I found out that a former student of ours from the youth group at FCC was killed in a motorcycle/car accident.  By a 17 year old girl.  Who was drunk.  Matt was only 19.  Now I haven't seen Matt in months, and haven't talked to him in longer but it has me shaken.  He was an incredible young man who loved the Lord --the world is a sadder place without him.  The outpouring of love and heartache I have seen in the last 24 hours to him from those who knew him best is such a testament to him and his life.

Matt's story

But this wasn't someone I saw on a daily basis.  Even when he was in our youth group, he hung with Eric (as it usually was the case with the boys) way more than me.  Although, he wasn't even that close to Eric either.

However, I am still reeling from this loss.

As I do anytime death is around me.  I have come to learn in the last few years that I don't deal well with death.  Okay that is an understatement.  I deal horribly with death.  And honestly, I haven't had someone particularly close to me pass away (although now that I say that, I am sure someone will remind me of a situation and I am going to feel horrible later for forgetting it).

I had a classmate killed in 5th grade.  A dear friend's mom pass away from cancer in 9th grade.  Great-grandparents when I was young.  A regular at my Starbucks just died of a drug overdose.  A few years ago, we had a youth sponsor take his life.  And recently, the story was told simillarly with our worship pastor.  

None of these people were ones that I had everyday contact with on a deep level (yes I cared for these people and the loss it caused the families and friends, but you know what I one whom I have grown up with or been mentored by or close family).  But as I get older, these deaths have hit me harder and harder.

And each time I can feel some element of evil wanting to take over my thoughts.  For days, my mind will be consumed with death.  I can't stop myself from imagining the worst for my friends and family.  Or even myself, and leaving them behind.  I cannot imagine what sort of evil game Satan will want to play when someone extremely close to me dies.

And I don't know how to stop my brain from going down these roads.  Yes, prayer.  Yes, reading my Bible.  I have drowned myself with those things in the last few hours and yet, here I am, awake because I could not shut my brain down (or quiet Satan's shouting) enough to go to sleep.

I know that for some reason, since I the time I graduated high school (haven't quite pinned down the event, but just the general time period) I have become a worrier.  Nothing used to bog me down.  Sure I had the typical teen angst or body image crud, but nothing like I am now.  I get consumed by worry.  (And yes, I have read Matthew 6 about a bazillion times, so thanks in advance for the suggestion--sorry for the snark).  I can't seem to shake it.

And death seems to be a hot button of worry for me.

I am 100% sure of my destiny.  And just as certain (or as certain as you can be without actually being them) of the destinies of those that I am close to.  And 4 out of the last 5 people that I have known that passed away were amazingly Christ-like and beautiful examples of love (the other 1 might have been a believer,  I just didn't know him well enough to know).  So I don't believe it was an issue of "oh no, I didn't share Christ's love with them" or "I just don't know if I will see them again."  Those that died that I was closest to, I am SURE I will be partying it up with them in Heaven.

So why such worry and saddness when it comes to death?  Why do I allow my thoughts to be consumed with it?

From what scripture tells us, death is (and supposed to be) and foreign concept to us.  We were never meant to die the physical death that we all will face.  Until sin entered the picture in the garden, we were all supposed to live eternally, physically and spiritually (at least from my understanding of the Word.  Please correct me if I am wrong).  Death was never something we were supposed to get used to or comfortable with.

Somehow, those words and thoughts still aren't a comfort to me.

I don't have any resolution to this (again.  I seem to leave a lot of my blog entries like this...sorry!)  But at least I got my thoughts and tears out for now.   So at least it was theraputic for was unintentional of it made your brain hurt reading it.

One thing I am sure of though, is that the joy certainly does come in the morning.  Night all.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

So now you know...

Several people have said to me lately "I've been reading your how are you doing?"  And every time, they would give me that sad little tilted head nod.  I think people read my blog and thought I was this melancholy person who only had things to complain about!  So from the bottom of my heart, I apologize for giving anyone that impression.

With all of the heartache and chaos I have seen in the lives around me lately, I have absolutely nothing to complain about.  All that should come out of my mouth are the stirrings of a grateful doesn't always happen, but I'm trying.

So how am I doing?

I have to say that I am so freaking in love with our church and its staff.  I have never been a part of a more loving and welcoming group.  The things that this church has gone through in the last 2 years were crazy enough.  And then bring on the last 4 months...holy stinking moly.  Sometimes I want to crumble at the weight of it all and I don't even have 5% of it on me that others do.  But still, they praise God and take on the next day.  We are so blessed.

So how am I doing?

I have an amazing husband who finally loves his job.  I have the most handsome chubby little boy who is becoming more fun (most) every day.  Right now I am hear him waking up from his nap, kicking his mattress, singing, and growling.  I am sooo blessed.

So how am I doing?

I am loved by a mom and dad that are 2 of the most generous people I have ever know.  I don't konw why it surprises me anymore when they shower their love, but it always catches me off guard with how much they love other people.  And I have the BEST brother, brother-in-law, and sisters-in-law the world could ever offer.  Hands down.  Nuff said.  They just keep rocking the house.  Oh and's cutest neice.

So how am I doing?

Well I finally found a hobby...I love cakes!  I am sure you read that and said, "duh...Sarah we know you love to eat!"  Muah ha ha you make me laugh :)  I am having sooo much fun baking and decorating cakes.  Each time I get to do another one, I get thrown into the world of creation and I am immersed.  I have caught the bug.  I would have never thought I would be good at something like this (and let me be the first person to tell you that I know personally at least 4 people who are light years ahead of me in this) but I seem to be picking it up pretty quickly!  It's nice to have something that is "my own."  Maybe one day I could even sell them.  A girl can dream can't she?

So when I look at all those answers to the sad head noddy questions, I can't help but wonder why I complain in the first place.  Sure it's like pulling teeth getting me to leave my family and go to work (boo lame-face work!  boo!)  every day, but there are tons of people who have been looking for jobs for well over a year now.  Where do those stirrings of a grateful heart go off to?

Alas, I must take it moment by moment.  That's right, I just said alas.  Deal with it.  :)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Crazy, thy name is me

About a week and a half ago, I turned into a crazy person.  I was yelling at my son for no reasons other than him being a toddler, I was being mean to my husband, and basically just being a big whiney baby.
It got to the point where I was sending Eric a long apology text every day, trying to make up a reason for my behavior the previous day.

It didn't feel like out of control hormones, this was different.  Usually if I am hormonal I just get sad and mopey (at least I think so.  Eric might tell you a different story all together).  I was feeling consumed by something I couldn't put my finger on.  Everything just felt harder to deal with.  I have dealt with a cranky teething child before and come out looking much less ugly than this last week.  The last few days, Hendric has been especially difficult for me but an angel for Eric when he comes home.  Usually I would blame that on me working and that I am a horrible mom to leave my child.  This time I tried to reverse it and told Eric that I must be so crazy lately because Hendric was having such a hard time.

Eric tried delicately to tell me he felt that wasn't so:
"Um, I think that's possible your crazy time started before Hendric had his bad days this week."

Ouch.  Take that one down your gullet.

And he was totally right.  What the hannah was wrong with me?
I tried to rack my brain.  I had gotten into a funk that I couldn't shake...a little depressed, a lot crazy!
As we started to talk it out last night (or as I word-vomited everything that was in my head and Eric graciously listened), I said something that I really didn't think had anything to do with anything, "I am really really scared about Sunday."

So for some prior knowledge for all ya'll, Sunday is my first week on the vocal team at church.  Now I have sung hundreds of Sundays on why the freak out?

I should have known there was something wrong in my head when we had the following conversation shortly after receiving the email for our July vocal schedule about a week and a half ago:

Me:  ERIC! (of course yelling)  Why isn't Matt (our worship leader) leading at all in July?!
Eric:  I have no idea.
Me:  What do you mean you have no idea?  Why don't you know anything that goes on at church!  You work there! (first of about 1000 overreacting statements that I made in the next 10 days)
Eric:  Yes, honey, whom I love dearly.  I do work there.  But I don't know the in's and out's of everyone's personal schedule.
Me:  Well I don't think I can do this if Matt's not leading.
Eric:  What?!  That's crazy. (If he only knew how crazy it was about to get all up in here).  Why would Matt leading have anything to do with you being able to sing?
Me:  He's the only one who's heard me sing and not suck so bad.  No one else has.  What if I suck on Sunday and then everyone thinks I always suck?
Eric: (using his famous male logic)  But you don't suck.
Me:  But I might.  And I pretty much suck at everything so I might as well suck at this.  And then everyone at church is going to know I suck and they are going to feel bad for you that you have such a sucky wife.

Yes, this conversation should have been my first clue at my crazy level.  But it wasn't.  And I got thrown right into Crazyland, USA.

Fast-forward a week and amongst the yelling, crying, and whining (all on my part) I have listened to the songs we are supposed to do this week about 105 times and have convinced myself that guessed it...suck.  I couldn't find harmonies that didn't sound like pigs dying.  I couldn't remember more than 7 lyrics in a row.  I suck.

Fast-forward again to last night during my crazy-filled rant to my husband.  Now I have said it before, and I will say it again:  I LOOOOVE my husband.  God gave me exactly the right man for me.  He balances out my woman-crazy with his man-logic.  He calls me out when I am just being mean.  Or stupid.  Or petty.  Or D)  All of the above.  I don't know how anyone could sit and listen to me when I am at my crazy threat-level 58 and not go insane themselves.  But he does.  And somehow he still loves me.

Anyway, we talked a lot about how Satan knows what gets me.  And if you know me at all, you will know it's worry.  And the Enemy was taking something that will bring glory to God and joy to me and was skewing it like crazy.

And when I look at it at face-value, I realize that's exactly what was happening.  I wasn't even allowing myself to worship or have fun while I was singing these songs.  And when that rejoicing is gone, I might as well kill the pigs myself.  Nothing good is going to come from that.  I was allowing Satan to turn me into a worry-machine on the inside and that manifested itself as a crazy-train on the outside.

So basically, Eric told me I couldn't quit without trying (I would have been too afraid to show my face around the church office after that anyway) and there wasn't really any way I was getting out of it.  Dang.  I hate when God uses my husband to stretch me.

So if you see me on Sunday with a bucket next to me, don't stare.  Just be grateful I am spewing in that instead of on your head :)

And to my husband,  sorry.  Really sorry.  As Darryl (from The Office--really what else would I quote!?) says, "I need you to access your un-crazy side".  I'm trying :)

On a positive note, I became an aunt on Monday at 9:36pm.  Taylor Marie Fleming was born to my rockstar brother Zach and gorgeous (and if that wasn't enough, she is REALLY REALLY nice and I LOOOVE her) sister-in-law Christina weighing in at 6lbs 13oz and 20".  Here is the beautiful new addition and her amazing momma.

Love you sis!




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