Tuesday, October 29, 2013

My "Job"

Back in May, I took a contract position with All Blessings International to do home studies for local families wanting to adopt.  It was a HUGE answer to prayer and orchestrated totally by God.  If you have known me long enough, you know that adoption is a big deal to me.  Adoption has had a large chunk of my heart for 12 years and I have prayed and prayed to one day be able to work in the adoption field, and here I am.

I have been surrounded by adoption for a long time.  My near and dear friends who have adopted have heard me time and time again say to them, "Adoption is HARD!"  In my heart of hearts, I don't believe God's perfect plan was for adoption to even have a place in this world.  But, in case you've lived in a hole your entire life, we live in a fallen world.  One full of sin, bad decisions, pain, and heartache.  Adoption is both beautiful and ugly all in the same boat.  It requires hurt and restoration.

But, boy oh boy do I see God all over adoption.

I sincerely believe that God has a soft spot for the orphaned.  Those innocent babes are held in His arms and it is a beautiful thing.  He calls families to open up their homes and hearts and places these precious babes in forever families.  I have been a part of home comings, first meetings, good byes, and referrals.  The tears of joy and pain abound.

In the adoption world there are the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.  Recently, I've seen a low. ABI partnered with an orphanage in a very remote location in DRC two months ago. In the last three weeks there has been a dysentery outbreak which resulted in 33 of the 52 orphans losing their life. Two of these babes were twins who were recently matched with a sweet friend. This hit close to home and my heart was broken.

BUT GOD (famous Jenny words)...

He knew this pain was coming and held these babes when their moms and dads couldn't. I believe these 33 babes are no longer suffering and now all who know of their story; the moms and dads, ABI, friends of the families, and anyone who has read the information and blogs about this story, get to be a part of stewarding their story well.  We get to be a part of the highest of highs. 

ABI is currently raising funds to help with immediate and long term relief for this orphanage and the community surrounding it. Right now, they are trying to raise $15,000 by Friday to provide materials for a team leaving this weekend. Will you please consider making a donation?  Even $5 can make a huge difference. You can donate here and read more about this situation here

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Looking Back

It hit me today while watching Henry walk around the house (he is everywhere now that he has this walking business down) that this little guy has been with us for a year. We've thrown the big party, we did the pictures, but for some reason it really sunk in today. 

I am sure every year will be a learning experience and with it will bring all kinds of new seasons, but this year is one for the record books.  I love Henry oh so much. His personality is the sweetest and by golly if he doesn't have the cutest fluff in the world.  There were times this past year though that I thought I wasn't going to cut it in this mom business. 

The first eight weeks for me were brutal. BRUTAL. I was a crazed clock watcher. The night time brought on the worst anxiety.  I would intentionally leave for work early just so I could sit in my car for 20 minutes in a parking lot as an escape (only then to be pelted with feelings of guilt for leaving my babe).  The mom guilt and insecurities of comparison were always there. Life the first few months was just hard. 

I am far from an expert. I have learned no mom is an expert, just more seasoned and experienced.  I am slowly getting more comfortable in this new mom skin.  

The importance of community takes on a whole new meaning when you have a child.  We rely on our parents more. I am so very grateful to have friends with kids close in age that can play together while we attempt to have a meaningful conversation.  When a friend can get Henry to giggle with delight I melt because I know that friend is god fearing and a great example. It takes a village and I am embracing that fact. I used to hide away and freak out if Henry was the slightest bit fussy, now I am totally ok with calling someone up to get out or letting Grandma or Grandpa spoil him rotten.  The pressure of always being perfect doesn't weigh as heavy. 

I have been studying Gideon and the focus over the past week has been being faithful through the monotony. That God shows up in our daily lives, he doesn't always come in a burning bush or in an audible tone. What I have been called to do, is what I am doing right now. My work looks different during this season. Instead of getting dressed to the (somewhat) best every day, I am lucky to blow dry my hair. Crockpot dinners are the best creation ever rather than a meal with 50 ingredients that can wow a crowd.  Having a few dust bunnies adds character to a home (ha).  My name isn't in the papers, I'm not leading a revival, but I am serving my purpose for right now.  The monotony is staggering at times, but it makes me listen harder. It makes me more eager to step out.  It builds discipline and contentment.  

I have always struggled with putting others first. Yes, I can be genuine and care for others' needs. But, when it came to sacrificing my little bubble of comfort, it was hard. This year has shattered that. A friend of mine posts periodically on twitter or on her blog, "I must become less so that He can become more."  Self sacrifice and submission are the front runners, in my opinion, to a healthy home.  It has been a humbling and great lesson to learn. 

Thanks for letting me have a soap box today while I enjoy my 20 minutes of alone time in my car (hey, I still like my occasional Sonic drink to myself at times).  This first year has been good. So good. Ready to see what else I can learn from this wise little one. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Dragging my Feet...

A while back I posted a whole diddy about being content, embracing living in our small house, starting to do more projects, yada yada yada.

That didn't happen.

The house is still on the market (for sale by owner now).  We are getting several calls, but doors aren't opening right now.  To say I'm "okay" with this would be a lie.  BUT, I am trying to put on my optimistic glasses and stay focused on the positives.  Lower mortgage, less house to clean, rubbing elbows with the loved ones, you know the sappy things people say when they live in small houses (and for the majority are true but at times you just want to scream GET UP OUT OF MY SPACE!!).

Truth be told, we are fine.  We know there is a reason we aren't moving, unbeknownst to us.  Someday we will look back and that reason will be so clear and we will be thankful.  But, one must not live in the future or one will miss out on the present.  So...  I do what I do best, I make a list.

I had a come to Jesus with the husband last night and went over the list with him.  I have categorized things by monthly goals and waved my hooray pennant in attempts to fire him up to get on board of the project "keep my wife from going insane by renovating and changing a few things in the house."  Up first is the guest room.

Our house has two, technically three, rooms.  Our tiny room is devoted to Henry's space.  This used to be our office/library (because we have more books than we know what to do with).  So, when Henry was cooking in the oven, we decided to keep the guest room as is, move the desk to the living room, store several books, and transform the tiny space to a lovely nursery.  Because we would totally be out of here by his first birthday.  Note to self, don't put a timeline on life events.

Now that Henry is getting a little older and his toys are TAKING OVER MY LIVING ROOM, plan C is going into action.  Our guest room will be changed into an office/play room by the end of September, so help me.  Because we have a tiny house, the bed has camouflaged nicely as a storage unit.  Under the bed are several bins of shoes, wrapping paper, and who knows what else.  Project purge is underway currently.  I am finding new homes for the shoes (and getting rid of several pairs, sigh), selling my large stash of gift bags in a garage sale, and clearing out closet and drawer space.

The donate and sale boxes runneth over.  

Once I have cleared out under the bed, the bed itself and my beloved bedding will be posted for sale.  Then, the magic happens.  A blank slate to do with as I wish.  Painting will happen (cough, cough, husband doesn't know this yet), a new furniture piece will be bought, and I will have my office space back.  Not to mention the toys will have a home. 

So, here's to the first thing on the list.  Now I finally have something to write about!!! 

If you know of anyone looking for a magnificent queen bed, adorable gray bedding, and striped sheet set, you just let me know. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Road Trippin'

My car has gotten some miles on it in the past two weeks. I've been to a small town close to Arkansas for a home study (such a sweet family, I really love my job), Henry and I adventured to KC to see my college gal pals and all their littles, and we are currently on our way back from OKC where we attended my cousin's wedding.  Through all of this time in the car I've come to terms with something about myself...


Oh good gravy people!  According to my husband, I am quite the backseat driver. Which is silly.  I like to consider myself as extending my roll as his helper in all areas of our time together. So why not in the car?  Aren't statements such as; "You're driving like a grandma, speed up!", "You have no idea where we are! Why don't you EVER look up directions!?", "Seriously, if ya drive over the butt tingles again, guard yourself cause you're gonna get hit."  helpful?  He totally loves it and it draws us closer and closer with each passing mile. 

Just last night while venturing back to our hotel... Late... Following my brother in law (who didn't know where the heck we were)... In a city we are never in... I revealed to Chris I die a little each time we are in the car.  All the while placing the seatbelt over my forehead and leaning forward.  Dramatic?  I think not. 

I like to keep things interesting and the husband on his toes. 

Now, driving by myself can be both good and bad. I love controlling the radio, I love my quiet space, but I hate having a numb butt after 30 minutes and knowing I am trapped for the next x amount of miles. Add a kid to the mix who hates stop lights and being restrained and I'm surprised I still have hair. 

But, alas... The past two weeks of traveling have been filled with a rewarding meeting with an amazing adoptive family, tons of laughs and love with the ladies I did life with during my growing up years, and a sweet reunion with family I don't see enough.  So, I am cursing the Dunkin' Donuts coffee which is not decaf and which is making me feel like I am crawling out of my skin. Because I've still got 3 and a half hours in the car and the warm fuzzy feeling I currently have can only last so long.  Freaking toll booths and husband who wants to be the next American Idol are bound to wear on me. (I love my husband. And he loves my sarcasm. Have no fear.)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

11 Months

Let's see if I can post your 11 month entry during the week you turned 11 months.  Wouldn't that be an achievement?

I have been sappy all week due to you hitting the 11 month mark.  I don't know if it is how pictures are starting to look little boy like rather than baby like, the fact that we are one month from your first birthday and the planning is actually underway, but I am so sad.  My itty bitty baby isn't so itty bitty anymore.  You don't cry as much when I leave, the cuddle time is minimal (because you are always on the go), and those rolls are slimming down.  Dear Henry, you are growing up too fast.

You are a curious little boy who wanders around the house.  I love taking you to new places and watching you explore.  You are starting to stand on your own, but you don't realize what you are doing yet.  I am totally fine with you not learning to walk yet.  You get around just fine with your bear crawl ways, walking is just another step in the growing up process that I am not ready for.

You continue to be a healthy little eater.  Popsicles are a fun treat that you enjoy.  It is a messy mess, but so stinking cute.  We are sticking around the seven teeth mark.  I see a few more starting to come in, but for now we've got seven.  You have a gap between your two front teeth that is adorable.  I'm crossing my fingers you inherit your father's "perfect bite". 

Your personality is hilarious.  You focus on details and squeal with delight.  You definitely are an observer and it takes you a little while to warm up.  Once you feel comfortable though, watch out!  You give grins out freely and have the cutest little wave.  Everyone loves to hold you because of your fluff, you prefer to be down exploring. 

You can say "dog" pretty clearly and continue to look around for "Jaja" when he isn't in the room.  You mimic syllables which is so fun.  You are definitely more vocal over the past month.  

You are as cute as cute can be and I can't get enough of you!  I give you a million kisses a day because someday I'm sure that will be embarrassing.  Fair warning child, you're still gonna get them. 

10 Months

Another very delayed post.  Mom of the year award, thank you so much.  I am terrible about uploading pictures.

I can't believe we are already at month TEN!  You're little personality shines more and more each day, little one. Every night after you go to bed, Chris and I sit and talk about how cute and sweet you are. We are smitten beyond belief.

You have SEVEN teeth now. SEV-EN!  Four on top and three on the bottom. It is so silly to see you giggle with your mouthful of little toothers. You like to bite your momma still.  You think it is hilarious, I however beg to differ. Pureed food is very rare nowadays.  You love table food.  Chicken, veggies, fruit, whatever you can get into those chubby hands and shoveled in your mouth.   

You are everywhere. You have started to cruise a little around the furniture, but crawling is your preferred mode of transportation. You bear crawl on the hard woods to keep those nubby knees protected. 

You are a sweet, happy little fellow. We chit chat through the day. "Dada" is your favorite phrase now. I think you say hi every so often and you say Jaja when you see Jasper. You light up when you see other kiddos. We are very blessed to be surrounded by lots of littles, so we have lots of fun play dates.

You recognize your grandparents now, which they love.  You reach for your grandmas and give lots of smiles to your grandpas.  We are so thankful to live close to them.  They ask to watch you often and it is so fun to see you bond with them.  You will be begging to go to their house before too long. 

We couldn't imagine life without you. It is hard to believe we are starting to plan your first birthday party!

Getting pictures out of you is a full body work out.  You just go go go.  I love it!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

9 Months

LOOOONNNGGGG overdue nine month post.  Like two months past due.

Whew, another fast month.  When I wrote your 8 month post you had just learned to go from your belly to a sitting position.  It seems like from there you just took off.  Before we knew it you were standing up in your bed and then crawling.  Now you pull up on EVERYTHING, crawl EVERYWHERE and are a busy, busy boy.

Your top left tooth is through and the right is shortly behind.  The teeth on either side are starting to show as well.  That means that pretty soon you will be a six tooth wonder.  Teething has not been too bad (knock on wood).  You still drool and chew on everything.  You have also picked up the new trick of biting your mother.  So not cool, child.  You've put your new teeth to good use in the feeding department.  You still eat your pureed food for the most part, but you are into table food.  Peas, carrots, puffs, eggs, bananas, and perhaps a few nibbles of whatever is on my plate (you love pancakes).  If your rolls are any indication, eating will not be a battle with you.

You are much more vocal these days.  Momma and babababa are your favorite sounds.  You've got until Father's Day to master the dada.  You sing and dance, which is awesome.  You have also started to reach to the sky for no apparent reason from time to time.  It is hilarious and you talk to me while you are doing it.

You are still a momma's boy.  You love your dad and I am so excited to see your relationship grow as you become older.  I am eating up this time though because I know it won't last for forever.  The day will come when you will be off at the batting cages with your dad or on the golf course.  For now, I will gladly pick you up when you reach for me.

Your facial expressions crack me up.  I would love to get inside that little head of yours to hear your thoughts.

We are spending much more time outside which has been so fun.  You love to go on walks, swing, play in the grass, and explore.  This month has been chopped full of learning.  I am excited to see what is next, but again am ready for things to slow down.

Love you little baby boy. 

I also failed to take a picture with the chalk board for month nine.  Thankfully, the wonderful Meg White took pictures on his ninth birthday, so it's all good.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What a Month!

June has been a cra-cra month you all. 

CRA to the ZY!!!

We have been go go go the majority of the month. From family visiting, weddings, get aways, garage sales, and a whole other slew of things I can't even recall because I'm over it. 

Over it I say!

I'm ready for June to be done. 

We've got a handful of days left in the month and I am dreading them the most. Particularly Friday when I will be making a trip up to KC to pick up my great grandparents' piano. Why I am I so sentimental about some things?  Seriously!  Why couldn't I have latched on to say my Pa's old marble collection or Granny's kitchen chair. Nope. The piano. My uncle has been kindly storing it for several years and now the time has come to retrieve it. (Don't even get me started on how we will be putting it back into storage because our house continues to sit on the market. Grrrr) 

Today was the icing on the cake. I pray my husband doesn't glance at the blog. 

Some good friends are headed out to get and see their babes from Ethiopia and so we were all gathering at Panera to celebrate the birthday of the daughter of one friend before they take off.  Henry had decided 6 was a great time to wake up this morning (I can't really complain here. He typically sleeps until 8. But rarely does he wake up crying and that was the case today). After some cuddle time, he was quiet enough for Chris and I to get ready. 

Henry and I headed to Target to pick up a gift and all was well (minus him chewing on the cart. Whatever).  We were towards the food section of the store when one wheel decided to stop turning. Rather than looking like a fool and carrying a 22 pound babe and an armload of items to the front of the store I decided it would be brilliant to lift the handle up and wheel the cart on the front two wheels the remainder of the way. Seriously? Not only did I look ridiculous I'm sure, but my arms are burnnnniinnngggg!!! 

I gathered myself and headed to Panera. All was well. Gifts were opened. 510 calorie breakfast sandwich was eaten (and perhaps half of a pumpkin muffin. And coffee. Don't hate).  And then nap time crept up and my son lost it. Not too bad, but my arms were burning and holding a wiggling giant child was not helping. 

So, I gave hugs to my friends. One who is going to pick up her little girl, the other who is meeting her son for the first time (get me a tissue, I can't even handle it) and started to look for my keys. Child still wiggling. Frantically looking through all the diapers (why did I take 12 diapers for a morning outing) I could not find them.  I told another friend I would probably be back in and she might be driving me to my husband's office because I wouldn't doubt if I locked my keys in the car. That's the kind of month it has been. 

Go out to the car.  Doors are unlocked. Radio is on. Keys are in the ignition. 

What the frick?! 

Praise Jesus I live in Springfield. 

Praise Jesus it is June 26th. 

And most of all praise Jesus that I get to meet/see two precious Ethiopians very soon. 

Yup, that sums it up son. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Yet Another New Chapter

No, I'm not pregnant. 

Now that that's cleared up. I have a whole slew of posts pending. But I forget to attach pictures in a timely fashion. So, apologies to my son who is going on 10 and a half months and his 9 and 10 month posts are sitting and waiting. Apologies to my husband who I wrote a sweet post about last week for our anniversary and intended on including a photo montage. And there are a few attempts at witty posts thrown in the muck, but there's no need for apologies in that department, you all aren't missing out on much. 

But, this post doesn't really have a picture, so we are all in luck. Get excited. 

There's a new chapter beginning round these parts and I'm pretty pumped. My counseling license is up for review this weekend (throw up some prayers about that if you don't mind). So, it's time for something new, cause that's kind of what I do. 

Let's rewind. 

Adoption is a part of my life. Because it is such a big part of who I am, I crave to be involved with it. I love to listen about it, I am blessed to be surrounded by friends who are a part of it, I desire to educate people about it (those kids are cute, but adoption is hard folks), I just have a heart for adoption. It has been a long standing desire to incorporate adoption into my career path. Hence the counseling degree. 

A few months ago during a nap time which at times allow adult conversations to occur, Chris and I hashed out my career. What I have been doing for the past two years has been eye opening and much needed to change my heart in so many areas, but I knew it wasn't something long term. I still have a few clients and will continue to take a few on here and there, but I wasn't settled. So, on a whim I emailed a girl I went to college with who works for a local adoption agency. Sometimes you just gotta put yourself out there. Twenty minutes later, I had a response.  God is so good to answer prayers. 

A couple of months later, lots of paperwork, and some shadowing, I am on my way to writing home studies for an adoption agency!  I am so excited!  This will still allow me to be at home a majority of the time with baby boy, but gets my foot in the door with adoption. It is refreshing!  I'm overly excited to be a part of this process in the adoption journey. 

So, a slight career move is taking place. I admire the counseling practice I work for so much and will continue to be on staff for the boss man. I hope to continue keeping clients here and there because I really do love counseling (despite the crazy frustrations at times). But, happy dance for home studies! 

Now to hopefully get my license in hand soon. Then I can sign my name: Ashley Boschen, LPC. 

 And because I can't leave you without a picture, here's Henry boy reading my quiet book from when I was a babe. He tore a few strings off. We are learning our son is crazy string and destructive, aka all boy. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

30 Before 30

Yesterday was my birthday.  The big 2-9.  The last birthday I will celebrate in my twenties.  Whoza.  I am getting up there.  HA!

The day was very enjoyable.  Chris went out and got me donuts in the morning.  So, little man and I had breakfast together (he may have had a nibble of my birthday treat, no judgement folks).

We headed out to see my mom afterwards at her office.  Henry always enjoys going to see Granma.  He gets to do whatever he wants!  Huge basket of toys, a box full of paper, kid was in heaven.

I had to work in the afternoon, boo.   But, Chris surprised me when I got home and had made arrangements for my mom to watch Henry so we could enjoy a meal out.  Perks of having family close who are more than willing to spend time with the babe. 

Chris also sent flowers.  They are a sweet surprise from time to time.  I love that guy!

While we are at dinner I asked Chris to help me with a "30 before 30" list.  I love lists, I am one of those people.  So, I thought it would be fun to think of 30 realistic things I would like to do before I reached the age of 30.  So, here they are:
  • Get counseling license (they are reviewing my application June 28)
  • Volunteer somewhere
  • Run in two 5ks (I was reluctant on this, whatever)
  • Read To Kill a Mockingbird again 
  • Go to the beach
  • Follow through and do something with the 7 Experiment (this counts for 7 things, it is intense)
    • This book is LIFE CHANGING!!  That's all I'm gonna say on that soap box topic... for now.
  • Wear more accessories (or get rid of them if I don't)
  • Keep Henry's baby book up to date
  • Finish Henry's first year memory book
  • Complete the embroidery project I am doing with Wirth.
  • Learn to bake bread
  • Make a new friend (or hang out with Jenny Lotz in real life, I think this should count)
  • Pay off student loan
  • Go visit Katie and the kiddos
  • Take a class with Henry (music, gymboree, another swim session, we shall see)
  • Do a Wednesday night Bible study
  • Do something with adoption
  • 2 date nights a month
  • 2 family nights a month
  • Make homemade ice cream
  • Meet up with friends for play dates
  • Go on a tour of Askenosi Chocolate Factory
  • Cut back on my fast food addiction (limit one time a week perhaps?)
  • Complete a somewhat major home project
I think most of these are fairly measurable and doable.   I will keep you posted on my success. 

I can't believe I am already 29.  This age used to sound so stinking old to me.  It is fun to reflect on how I thought my life would be at this point and how amazingly awesome it is.  Lots of fun things are yet to come in this next year.  Can't wait!!!

8 Months

In my defense, I wrote this over three weeks ago and just haven't sat down to put the pictures on.  I have GOT to be better about getting pictures off of the camera and doing something with them.  

I am a little behind on your 8 month post... What else is new? I am in love with this age. I wish that I could freeze time and keep you this size and sweetness for forever.

You are a rolling fool and have started to rock on your hands and knees. You push yourself backwards easily and have been known to trap yourself under furniture. Silly boy.

Our favorite thing as of late is to lay on the gray bed for "cool down" time before nap time. This used to be our time to read books and cuddle, but is now your time to roll around and let out some giggles. Love it!!!

On your 8 month birthday you learned how to sit up from laying on your belly. This will be interesting I'm sure.

I love to see you learn new things every day. Whether it is a new sound that you repeat over and over, a new dance move, or just something in the house that you've never noticed. Watching those little wheels turn is precious and priceless.

You continue to be a great babe and even though we might have a rough nap day or you might fight to go down some nights, I am reminded it is typically just a phase and is short lived. You are dreamy and I am spoiled.

You love your momma and I am smitten with you. When I come home from work your smile is amazing and you wiggle and squirm until you're in my arms. You have the best baby fluff and I could snuggle with you for hours. I hope you continue to be a snuggle bug as you grow, not ready to give that up.

This mom gig is clicking more and more every day and I love it. So glad you were placed into our lives.

As seen in the pictures you roll constantly and are on the move.  Might have to get more creative on taking your pictures in the upcoming months.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

Fifty three more minutes of this day set aside to honor moms. This year was the bomb-diggity. This year was my first official, baby in my arms, Mother's Day. Whew, heart is melting with gratitude. 

And my oh my how blessed I am to be a momma. The thankfulness, patience, humility, reliance, and all around eye opening experience it has been.  

My husband made sure to make the day extra special for me. A gift card to a spa :), a dozen of my favorite cookies, and twelve little coupons of sweet gifts for the twelve years of waiting. 


This little boy has stolen my heart, so thankful for his little "momma" pleas, giggles, kisses and even the bite mark on my shoulder he graced me with today.  He's my baby boy. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

A Big Day

So, today has been fun and it is only 10:45 am.  Wanna know why this has been a fun day?!?!?!  Because this morning, this went in the mail...

Now probably 99.9% of the readers of my blog know exactly what this is because I have been talking about it for some time.  BUT, for my own documentation purposes, allow me to expand about this thick envelope that went into the mail today.

Back in the spring of 2008 I was at a fork in the road.  I had been teaching for almost two years and knew I wanted to get my masters in something.  Helping others has always been on my radar and I was interested in finding a degree program that would help me do this either in or out of the school setting just in case I ever wanted to get out of education.  After much prayer, I decided to apply for grad school at a local seminary to pursue a masters in counseling.  This particular spring was full of life altering events.  I was a single lady who was ready to take on the world, bought my little blue house all by myself, and was accepted to AGTS.

I started classes the fall of 2008 and was quickly overwhelmed.  Grad school is so much different than undergrad.  Papers on papers on papers and I am not a great writer (round of applause for my mom for editing all of my papers for me and helping me in this department).  I had to quickly accept that I probably wouldn't be getting a 4.0 (I still graduated with a cool cord, but I had to accept the fact that I had to sacrifice grades to a degree for sanity).  Low and behold towards the end of my first semester I met a dashing fellow named Chris.  God has fun plans.  Here I was ankle deep in a 60 hour degree program and I met a guy waist deep in optometry school up in St. Louis.  

I was determined to complete my degree and Chris wouldn't have had it any other way.  So, we had "study dates" three hours apart and life as a grad student continued.  Through lots of tears, late nights, praises, and prayers, I wrapped up my degree in December of 2010.  Five semesters of papers, tests, flash cards and comps.  I was in my fifth year of teaching, engaged and playing that what now game.  Chris had applied for a residency and was placed in Mount Vernon and so we knew we would be in Springfield for another year at least.  

Now here's a kicker.  Remember how I graduated?  That was fun and all and a huge accomplishment, but I wasn't technically done.  See, I had my counseling degree, which means a lot, but not a lot at the same time.  There's another step in the process, becoming licensed.  Which takes another stupid test and 3,000 supervised hours.  THREE THOUSAND!!!  So, the question was do I teach for another year, sit on my degree and see where Chris' career took us?  Or do I start applying for jobs and step out in faith that God will provide a way for the hours to be completed in the five year time period.  

I started to look for a job.

Nothing was overly promising at first until I stumbled across a post about a local private Christian practice.  The boss man decided to have an interview with me and I reluctantly went.  I figured it would be bogus and my teaching contract would be signed for another year by the end of the week.  Remember how I said God has fun plans?  I walked out of the interview with a strange peace that this was what I needed to do and immediately called Chris and my mom in tears.  

So, here I was a wedding coming up, I turned in my notice to my principal (that was another tear fest, I miss my teacher friends), and Chris and I were going to start our marriage BOTH with new jobs and in essence new careers.  

I started my supervised hours that summer and started seeing clients in August.  EYE OPENING!!!  I work with low income families primarily and do in home therapy.  I learned a lot about myself and society as a whole real quick.  

Things were going smoothly until I peed on a stick in December and two lines appeared.  Seriously God?!  Here I was again, just ankle deep in a long process and a baby on the way.  I forged through sessions over the next nine months trying to get as many of my 1,200 direct client hours done.  

Baby boy made his appearance in August (I don't think I need to go into how delightful this surprise in life was and has been, he is perfect).  I dreaded going back to work, DREADED!  But, I had about 900 hours to wrap up.  Chris pulled his "head of household" card and said push on sweetie, push on.  I wanted to stay home so bad, but we made adjustments to life and I returned to work in October.  The days and weeks have plugged by and that leads us to the present.

As of June 1 I will have completed 1,200 direct client hours and 1,800 "other" counseling related hours (research, notes, phone calls, supervision, etc.).  My application went in the mail today for a board of about eight people to review and give me their stamp of approval or denial in June.  Everything should be fine, but there is always that "what if" fear.  I pray I am not doing a follow up post in June with sad music in the background that something wasn't completed correctly or I messed up my addition on my hours between supervisors and I am short x amount of hours.  But, I can't think that way, ha.

These past two years have been HARD and rewarding.  I sat in front of the mailbox and said a tearful prayer over this thick envelope before putting it in the blue box.  The next chapter is unknown but I am so excited to see what God has in store.  

There have been countless times I have prayed to God a prayer of frustration that I don't see BIG things in my life anymore.  I look at how He vividly answers prayers for other and I was a big baby and wanted the same for me.  Oh how He has opened my eyes over the past several months.  I cannot go through these past five years and deny His hand in EVERY STEP!  He has answered and continues to answer my prayers.  I am so, so very thankful.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A New Look on Things

I've been in a funk for a few months. An "overly ready for the next chapter to get here, hurry up God, ok I will surrender, but not really because I don't like to give up control" kind of funk.

I know I've blogged about these funks before, but I have found myself in the middle of one again.


Where I'm ready to move so bad it hurts, but ya can't move when your house hasn't sold. Where I just want to open our home up to friends, family and everyone in between, but we are a tad tight on elbow room. Where my desires seem to be pure and good so I just get flustered with God for working on this whole patience and contentment thing that I always struggle with. Point taken big guy, reading you loud and clear. Where I want to be home more, but I know my job is a calling and my clients need me.

Just stuck.

So, today I need a new mindset. I need to refocus and take a step. Because that's what life is, one step at a time. If you run or look too far ahead you become overwhelmed. If you drag and look behind you seem to stop moving all together.

Our tiny home is just that, our home. All 900 square feet of it. I love our little home. It was my first really big kid purchase (well adult purchase, let's be real). I met Chris is this house. He proposed in this house. We brought Henry home to this house. My little blue house might be tight, but it is home for now and I need to make the most of that.

Starting today, this little house and my mind are getting a little face lift. Closets are going to start being cleaned, I might hang a few new pictures or tackle the spray paint projects I've been putting to the side.

I keep thinking things will wait until we move, but right now that is unclear. The perfect buyer could come tomorrow (because our house is pretty cute and lovely). But, God might want us here for a while longer for some unknown reason, and that's ok. Because He always works for the good of those who love Him and I trust the next turn will be great if I walk beside Him rather than in front.

So watch out donation box at Walgreens because purging is under way. Chris, if you are reading this, a honey do list is being made. You ugly black shelves that have been hanging for 5 years, you're about to hit the curb. I'm ready to live in our little home again rather than be frustrated every other day. This is going to be fun!!!

And what post is complete without a cameo appearance from this fellow? We had just pulled into the driveway after being gone all day and I had said we were home. He smiled real big and let out a big sigh. Love that answers to prayer come in the simplest ways.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

That Moment

I won't deny it, Henry has never been itty bitty. He was over eight bounds when he was born and has far surpassed all of his friends close to his age. His rolls are irresistible and you can't help but hug his fluff when you hold him.

But, he's still my itty bitty babe.

I was holding him yesterday when he was sleepy and cuddly and happened to walk past a mirror.

Where did my little baby go? I feel like he takes over my whole body when I hold him now. I tell him on frequent occasions that he is too heavy to be held for so long. I will shut my mouth now. The moment came when you realize they grow too fast. When your newborn has long since left you and your infant will be a toddler in no time.

So, the sleepy time cuddle talks and the desire to be held and just walk around exploring won't be rushed little man. I know the day will come when I have to ask you for lovin rather than the other way around.

Now off to have our morning conversation over a bowl of cereal and cup of tea.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Seven Months

From six to seven months FLEW by.  I blame this for my failure to blog your seven month post in a timely manner.  We are on the down hill slope to a year now and I feel like it is going to be very quick.  This makes me sad! 

You are an eating fool now.  You have days where you are not very interested, but when you are, whew!!  It is still difficult to fit this into our schedule at times.  More stuff to pack when we leave, more time to sit and eat, etc.  But, it is fun.  You have had pears, carrots, peas, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, apple sauce, bananas, prunes, and oatmeal.  I made a lot of these items and so we will probably stick with them until the freezer clears out a little.

Sitting or standing is your favorite position.  You sit very well now and will pull on my fingers to hold you in a standing position all the time.  This is so cute, but you are not a light weight!  You roll around a lot in your bed, but continue to be frustrated when you are on you stomach on the floor.  Your dad and I are both ready for you to crawl!!! 

You have the best belly laugh and it comes out often.  You love your Aunt Erin's dog, Tilly, and she can get you laughing pretty easily.  We went to Texas right at the end of your six month period and I think it is confirmed that you can say "mama".  Granma said you would say it over and over if you were upset.  Unfortunately, we can't get you to say it when I am around and you are happy!  Stinker.  You make the Ba-Ba-Ba sound a lot and will look so intently when we talk to you.  I think you might be more of a listener like your momma than a talker like your dad.

We took swim lessons over the past two months and you had a love hate relationship with it.  I did too though, the water was cold!!!  It was fun and I hope to do more things like this with friends in the future.  We are so ready for warm weather so we can have play dates with your friends Miles, Evelyn, Bennett, Tess and hopefully Kettie and Lewis.

You are fun as fun can be and we are LOVING this stage.  Stop growing up now, please :)

Friday, March 22, 2013


Last week was a week I had been highly anxious about for sometime.  One of Chris' close friends from undergrad popped the question to a fine lady a while back and their wedding date was set for March 16.  Chris was asked to be in the wedding and I immediately went into panic mode about leaving or taking Henry with us.  My loving husband convinced me it would be best for us to leave Henry with the grandparents and enjoy a little time away.  As the time drew near, we compromised a little.  Chris drove down on Wednesday before the wedding in order to enjoy some golfing and guy time.  I flew down on Friday and met up with everyone for the rehearsal, had the day to myself on Saturday until the wedding and we drove home together on Sunday.  Here is a brief synopsis of the long weekend...

Since Chris took the newer car down to Texas, Henry and I were left with the Mustang for a couple of days.  Whewy, a two door car and a car seat are not my idea of fun!  But, I got to look back at this sweet face at stop lights.

We attended a baby shower of a sweet friend on Thursday evening.  I was exhausted by this time and needed to get out of the house a little before the shower.  So, I strapped Henry into his Beco carrier and we headed to TJ Maxx to look around.  He had never faced forward and loved it!! 

No pictures of the rehearsal dinner.  It was delicious though and nice to catch up with Whitney and Ryan.  I could sit and talk to Whitney for hours!! (I'm sure anyone could though) Hilarious, sweet lady!  I ventured out into Dallas afterwards on my own to a hotel for one that evening.  King size bed all to myself!!!  I slept terribly though. 

I was pretty pumped to have a day to myself on Saturday, not gonna lie.  Had full intentions of going to Ikea, HOWEVER all the local guys told me it was an hour drive (Mapquest said 26 minutes, we will never know who was correct).  I opted to stay close rather than driving out to an unknown territory to a place I could really go crazy at.  My fear was I would be sucked into Ikea wonderfulness and seeing as how the house is still on the market and we have no idea where we will be next, house decorative items are really a no go right now.  So, Wirth suggested a fun mall I hit up and boy did I hit it up!!!  The place was huge and so fun!  Wish I had a girlfriend there to enjoy it with, but venturing around with no agenda was nice.

The mall had one of these fine cafes inside.  I've heard so much about this place from friends, I had to stop.  It was scrumptious. 

I had a little time before check in at the second hotel (we stayed at the reception sight the second night together) so I ventured over to Crate and Barrel.  What do you think of this sectional Danavee (in gray of course)?

The wedding was at the SMU chapel.  Beautiful and fast, my idea of a wedding!!!  I think Whitney said it lasted 18 minutes :)  Andrew and Bailey are two of the sweetest people.  I am a blessed gal that Chris has so many great friends from high school, undergrad, and grad school who have welcomed me into their circles.  I love seeing them and it is so fun to see Chris interact with his buddies.  Hate that everyone lives so far apart. 

The reception was at the Adolphus in downtown Dallas.  Fancy, smancy!  It was classy, simple and elegant.  This was the centerpiece at our table.  Lovely!

Yummy grub!  They had an assortment of southern foods; crab cakes, pulled pork, chicken, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese...  I could have had three plates, but I held back.  This gal is a bottomless pit (have you seen my son's thighs?).

The Mizzou gang in the wedding.  Wish I would have gotten a picture of our table. 

This is Patty and Allen.  I went to their wedding with Chris way back when we first started dating.  It was fun to catch up with them and actually talk to this couple whose wedding I crashed (I was a newbie girlfriend back then). 

And of course, I was SOOO excited to get home to this little man.  Remember how I went shopping?  Umm, I bought A SHIRT for myself (and mugs from Anthropologie).  Everything else was for Henry.  I missed him just a little.  Oh, and Jasper was missed too of course. 

I am sure many more weekends away are in our future.  Henry did great and we love that he has grandparents who want to steal him away from time to time.  Before we know it, he will be begging to spend the night at Granma and Papa's or Grammy and Doc's.