Our Family

Our Family

Friday, August 9, 2013

Month 4: Weeks 13-15.

The month of July was filled with travel. A lot of time was spent visiting with my parents, family, and friends in the twin cities. Rand surprised me and we took a spontaneous trip over the fourth to visit my parents and celebrate America. Ellie and I stayed for 10 days and vacationed. And we went to a few weddings.  One of which included a wedding ceremony at a real life vineyard. Yes, we were in minnesota. Yes, it was so incredibly beautiful. No, it was not the same as you see on I love Lucy. Needless to say, we are looking forward to a quieter month.

We all grew fairly accustomed to the five hour stretch. Strategic Rand would ration his water intake and use the salt in sunflower seeds to soak up the liquid and help limit our pit stops. Ellie would typically have the most say in this, though. She makes it pretty known when she is hungry. I was pretty impressed with how tolerable she was in the car. Whenever you hit 65, it kind of intensely vibrates, so I can't blame her. Three side notes I want to say about our car. It is my favorite and I seriously feel cool in it, ha. It is a ford focus 2000 WAGON. Not the back seat rear facing I grew up on, but still a wagon.   It has those family stickers on it, a dad, mom (with a ponytail), and baby.

Here are a few of the latest.

She likes to eat...everything. It has been neat to watch her go from being a non-active participant in the world to someone who interacts, speaks, eats, and watches everything. My favorite development so far.

A favorite memory was the first time I heard her really laugh. My dad had told an horribly lame joke involving not-cho-cheese and started laughing. Ellie proceeded to cackle along with him and pretty soon we were all dying.

She is beginning to laugh and chuckle, more frequently. Sometimes I will leave the room and come back to her cooing and carrying on a conversation...with herself.

I attempted to try and document her sleep and feeding times to create a more predictable schedule, but lately it has seemed to just fall into place. I am still waking up at least twice a night with her, but I find it a lot easier as of late.

She is now completely able to sit in her bumbo chair. She can sit in her bouncer, play thing, but hasn't quite caught the hang of it.

Her favorite book is a rubber animal book that lists like 6 animals.  She lights up when I take it out.  The bird page has a thing in it that tweets and she goes ecstatic when I push it.

Her favorite toy is a plastic seahorse. She loves to rattle it and eat its face.

When she is pooping she grunts and makes a face. Not so sly.

She had her 4 month check up and now weighs nearly 15 lbs and is more then 25 inches long!
Vommitted in Auntie Angie's Hair
Rand's impersonation. 

Bonnet from Auntie Michelle
Minnie Mouse Ears from the Disney Store. 
Sister night out on St. Thomas's Campus. Angie had too many one-liners to count. 

Meet Mary Magdalen 

Matchy Matchy. 
Green Bean Smile. 
Her bouncer. 

She likes to chew on it more then jump right now.
Her favorite book... she likes to eat it. 

Love playing with my sweet gal. 
Cousin Hannah's Wedding>> at the vineyard
Angie and Joe >> leaving for Italy soon!

Grand parents and Great Grandpa. 

Tiger face. >> Sis and Bro in Law
Take 2. 

Rand and I have been enjoying this season.
 Rand has continued to learn more and more web design stuff and he really likes it.
 I am undertaking the adventure of cloth diapering through trial and error. Trial being spending hours researching inserts, covers, and laundry detergent and making my first purchases. Error being, staining multiple inserts, handwashing the especially poopy diapers, and having a few explosions. I also decided I wanted to start coaching sunflake soccer. So starting in September I will get to do that. I am so excited!  I have also been enjoying starting to purchase more eco-friendly household products, like soaps and cleaning products and fresher produce from places like the farmers market and amazing grains, a local health foods store. 

We both feel like we are going to be entering into a new season soon and are excited to see what it brings! ... no I'm not pregnant ;)

Typical Day.

I want to share a little blurb of what goes on in my heart in a typical day.
I'm a recovering legalistic. What this often means for me is:

I like rules.
I like plans.
I like schedules.
I like black and white.

Are these things wrong? Heavens no. But often, as I examine my motives behind them, they come from a messy place. These things help me to know that I am okay and that I am safe. They point to me wanting to know deep in my soul that I am valuable as a person. Well and can you blame me, who doesn't want that?

Some days my heart feels the freedom found in Jesus, who says "You are my beloved" "You are my treasure" "You are precious."

Other times there is fear. Especially in this new season in being a stay-at home mom.
Fear that I really am not okay.  That I am not doing enough to justify why I can be at home with Ellie.
Panic and scrambling usually follow. Then I can start to spiral. Here would be some of those thoughts that hit me just this week.

 I need to find a job. I need to finish my five papers.  I need to scrub the tub. I need to vacuum. I need to sweep the floor. I need to make dinner. I need to go on a walk. I need to figure out a routine for cloth diapers. I need to organize our finances. I need to organize all my photos on my computer. . I need to figure out a way to upload my instagram videos on my blog. I need to organize how I blog. I need to spend more time playing with Ellie. I spend way too much money. Why can't I be more content with what I have? Why can't I just start running, its only like 30 minutes of my time? Why can't I be a better listener? Why can't I just get my homework done? Why am I scared to call that person back? Why can't I just figure out a schedule for Ellie? I should have by now. Why can't I love my family or my friends better I should.
...and these are just a few.

Can you feel it? The panic. The harshness. The weight of those things on my shoulders. I sure can. It's exhausting reading all that gunk, let alone trying to put my soul through attempting to get it done. Its not freedom and Jesus has more for me.

Im reading this book bondage to bondage which spoke to my soul the other day.

"Trusting in grace feels more demeaning than earning our salvation. Coming alive to hope is more painful and cruel than being dead to our emotions. 

And once we've tasted being alive, we can't go back to being dead. Aliveness in God is addictive."

My desire. Whelp. I want to feel free to fail.  I want to know the depths of His grace and taste the warmth of His love in my core.  I want to discover the real Jessica, the Jessica free from the bondage and chains of who I should be or need to be.  I have begun to taste this grace, lately. Is it scary? Yeah, the freakiest. It means I actually will fail. But it means I will actually get to taste this Grace stuff. And I want to be alive as a a person, mom, and wife. And as I am tasting this stuff more and more. I'm discovering a few things.

Im discovering I actually don't like a spotless apartment. I prefer to not do the dishes right away... or for a few days. I don't really want to unpack immediately when I get home.  I think my daughter is freaking adorable and my husband is beautiful, in a manly way. I can be crafty. I do not like scrubbing poopy diapers in the tub even though it is more economically then doing multiple loads in the dryer to save money. I cry and get angry with God when I don't understand why children are starving or being mistreated I like a good light read more then a christian theology book. I actually would prefer getting a C in a class to putting my soul through the torture of having to right a paper in this beautiful weather. I would prefer cuddling with my husband to going to play tennis... some nights.  I want to coach little nuggets who want to play soccer. I still enjoy swearing, shit. I want to make banana bread for my new neighbs. I really am curious about people, differently. I feel less inclined to schedule out my time and day. I enjoy making homemade pizza sauce. I don't need to put a smile on for the checkout lady at target... but I can if I feel like it. Things are more gray now then ever. I like my nose piercing because its sassy.  I like to paint?!  I just decided I want to try to make leg warmers for Ellie, like as I typed those words.

Yeah, this stuff is neat. I feel softer. I'm more ... me.
"It is for Freedom that Christ has set you Free"
Yes, I painted. Yes, these are my favorite colors. Yes, that is a paper bag.