I can breathe again. I can see the light. It’s really shiny and bright, so I have to wince a little and I still don’t know what is in front of us exactly, but it doesn’t even matter, I am sure of His faithfulness to see us through. No matter what today, tomorrow, or this week hold. He has already gone before us. He already knows our days.
The past three months were filled with more stress than a person should allow their lives to be filled with at one time and boy did I feel it. I knew it was a season and so I made up my mind to endure, but I almost burnt out trying.
I am reading Margin by Richard Swenson (side note: if you even feel a little bit “too busy” – do yourself a favor and read this book. I know, I know you are too busy. Just put your phone away for 30 minutes each night and punch away at it). Anyway, I was relaxing last night and reading this book and every source he was listing off for being on the brink of burn out due to being overloaded I had happening in my life the last 3 months. Every.single.one.
Can you relate to any of them?
- Activity Overload
- Change Overload
- Choice Overload
- Commitment Overload
- Debt Overload
- Decision Overload
- Expectation Overload
- Fatigue Overload
- Hurry Overload
- Information Overload
- Media Overload
- Noise Overload
- People Overload
- Possession Overload
- Technology Overload
- Traffic Overload
- Work Overload
The weight was crushing.
It’s no wonder I got sick 4x in the past couple months, lost weight, drank more than I’d like to admit, was making purchases to the point I asked my husband for accountability, resorted to weird habits like picking at my feet (don’t ask), etc!
Our bodies are not meant for the kind of weight we subject them to. It’s for a good reason the good Lord tells us to REST. Our bodies need it to not only thrive, but just survive.
So, a week here in our new season and I am coming out of the rubble (and boxes).
I am starting to feel great – mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically – the best in months. Well, emotionally is questionable since I miss my friends already… haha
I am just so overcome with gratitude and awe to my Heavenly Father for getting us through that season and putting so many friends and family in our lives to come along side and help us reach the end of that season. Seriously, I cant thank Him or y’all enough.
He is faithful.
You sweet thing.
This has been a hard month in terms of anxiety for you. Your separation from da has turned into major separation anxiety and it comes off in clinginess to me. I definitely like that you love me but um multiple times a night isn’t necessary, k? ;)…
Some of my favorite things are…
You LOVE to sing different songs. In the car, if you decide you are done singing or even talking to me really, you shout “MUSIC” – I can take a hint…
You yell your daddy’s name “miCAH” and can say mine too. You are starting to be able to say Haddon “Isaiah”.
You just love little babies and like to say their names and then say “cute”. So for example, “Addy’s cute”. You tell me “mama’s cute” too. I have your future little brother or sister’s names picked out for if God should choose to bless us with them someday and sometimes I ask you to say them to see which you can say the easiest…
You finish songs that you are familiar with when we take turns singing.
You can help read with a select few of your favorite books. If we stop and let you interrupt, often times you have the correct words. Your memory astounds me.
You are learning to count but so far only really get, 1-3 and then go immediately to 8 its hilarious. Then you can get 8-10. I’m not sure where the others go but we might have to practice with blueberries or cheerios.
You point to our print in the hallway and say “train up” – I melt every time, thanks for reminding me of my job buddy.
You started to love these particular books about Jesus and ask to read them every day. One of my best Amazon purchases ever. As much as I love the Jesus Storybook Bible it doesn’t grasp you yet, too many word and too much to look at I think. These are perfect for your age. Sometimes you will read them on your own as well.
You have a sweet tooth – big time. I try not to feed it often but it is also really fun seeing you enjoy things so much. We took some cookies to the neighbors and you were not old enough to understand why we weren’t eating them, but you still gave them away.
This is our last weekend here Haddon, here in Newport News. Where you were born and raised for the first year and a half of life. You wont remember so sometimes that makes it easier to leave but it makes it harder as well.
When we take walks you know which house is yours. You know where MiMi lives and you can even tell in the car seat when we get on our road – “almost home”.
One thing that makes it hard is that you are so loved here little boy. People know you here. Not just as another little toddler boy but they really love you Haddon. I am praying for new friends for you and new people to love you well like our friends here.
I will cherish our pictures and memories here and remind you of your very first friends.
When we talk to you about your “new house” I tell you all the things that will be there, and always end it with, but most importantly – DA!
We’re going to be living together as a family in 3 days, at our “new house” that will over the days, weeks, and months become our home.
Throughout the course of a couple months I thought I was going to get fired, laid off, transferred, the company shut its Newport News location, etc. Each are long stories, none of which matter now.
I am so thankful for my time at C2 Technologies, Inc here at Newport News. It’s what brought us to Newport News. Well, God did, duh, but this is the mode He used to do it. I am forever thankful.
It has been a wonderful first job. I met amazing people, made great memories, gained invaluable experience on a variety of different projects, used my degree, helped my family, etc.
The plan for now is to work for them remotely.
I am in awe of God’s goodness and provision.
More to come on this topic…
Part 2: Our New Home
We are moving to Frederick, MD! I have been so eager to announce this for months but I didn’t want to make it “Facebook official” (what the heck – when did that become a term anyway?) until it was a done deal. Well we signed our next 30 years over today so that sounds pretty done to me.
As I mentioned in Part 1, we have been long distance since December. We have our rental home until March 1st. I figured I would help earn some more money, stay in our home since we were paying for it anyway, and see friends. I am very thankful for a gentle transition to leaving friends, church, my job, and home the last 3 years.
Micah was transferred to the MD/NOVA area, it is a large territory with highly trafficked roads.
Here are some major things we had to weigh while considering a new house:
- Oh my!
As you can see, that list doesn’t even include the normal “what to look for IN a home” type list. That was a big struggle for me. I wanted to look for my “dream” home.
When we started the hunt, I told Micah to pray for us because I thought we were going to fight more in the next couple months than ever in our relationship. I also reached out and asked friends to pray for us to have unity.
I can honestly say Micah and I were more united in house hunting than I could have ever dreamed possible. I am so thankful to God for that and to friends and family for praying.
Someday I will write about what God is teaching my wretched heart about contentment, satisfaction, and standards through this process, as I’m sure it will become even more apparent as I have a new home to decorate, etc.
Without further ado, here is our first home:
It is a three story townhouse with three beds and 2.5 baths. I’ve never had so many toilets in a house in my whole life!
It’s in a sweet little neighborhood with sidewalks, a pool, a tennis court, basketball court, playgrounds, etc. You pass a farm to get to the neighborhood! If you have been to my parents house before you know why I love this so much.
It was very important for us to put down 20%. We aren’t Dave Ramsey “followers” per say, but he does have some great advice. Doing the math that you pay in interest over 30 years alone makes my head spin – so with the added mortgage insurance we just didn’t want to put down less than that, which is why we didn’t buy a couple years ago and I guess now it’s a good thing that we didn’t.
Someday, I will also probably write about what it feels like now that my “security blanket” is gone… or at least in the dryer for the next 30 years…
Thanks to living at friend’s places for a few months over the last few years (Feldman and Borges family – special shout out to yall!), working hard, and not always having the latest and greatest we were able to do it.
I am so excited for a place to call our own! I’ve never painted one room of the four places that we have lived in together and I am SO excited to move in and make it ours.
We closed TODAY and will move in at the end of February (once all the painting and what not is finished).
As thrilled as I am, it is so bittersweet to leave. Transition is hard. Please pray for a church, for community, for people to minister to and people to minister to us, and also… that I learn how to budget!
We have a lot of life happening right now and sometimes it feels like we can hardly catch our breath.
Nothing like the pace of a child to remind you to slow down and focus on what matters though
Haddon is 19 months old today and this is the first month I haven’t prepped his monthly blog post a little ahead of time. We have just been so busy.
Micah and I are long distance right now and so Haddon doesn’t understand that… he misses his da and is starting to understand that da comes for a little bit (weekends) and then leaves for a while. Micah and him have this new thing where they smell Haddon’s feet and Micah acts so dramatic and pretends they smell, he falls on the floor, makes crazy faces, you get the picture… Haddon thinks this is the best thing in the world.
If we Facetime… he holds his feet up to the phone. If we are driving and Micah is on speaker, Haddon is in the back with his feet in the air. One time we were home alone and Haddon found a picture of Micah and him and stuck his foot up to the frame… oh boys.
He is still associating really well and its so cute.
He calls Micah’s dad “Pa – icecream” because over Christmas he gave him a lot of Hagen-Daaz.
He calls my dad “Pa-wind” because over Christmas it was windy at my parent’s house and Haddon was very curious about the sound and so my dad taught him about wind… haha I told him he better come up with something cooler than wind by the time Haddon is three.
My siblings all got Haddon things with wheels for Christmas… Tim got him a truck, Caleb a place, and Stephanie his first Brio train set! He calls it boo boo’s train. Once he picked up a frame and kissed it and when I said who were you kissing, he said: boo boo. He also associates my phone with Stephanie because they Facetime a couple times a week. So if I pick up my phone he asks for her.
Also, he is always putting things in the craziest of places… his trains, trucks, and stuff… Ill find them behind the toilet, frames, etc!
He is getting a lot more picky and voices a lot more of his opinions… if I get out one of his bibs and he sees a different one, “no – that one”, likewise with drink cups…
He is getting a lot clearer in his speech, although I think his favorite word right now is “no”. He says it in the cutest, sliest way… (of course).
His memory is sharp – he has mastered a couple puzzles. He is like an elephant that never forgets… I spilled coffee all over the kitchen the other week and he is still calling it “uh oh – boken” (I had to lift the stove to clean it up) no matter how many times I say “no Haddon mama cleaned it up, its all fixed!” Micah changed a light bulb a couple months ago and he still calls the light “boken”.
He is into singing right now…some of his personal faves: wheels on the bus (which he calls “up and down”), twinkle twinkle (which he calls “star”), 5 little monkeys (which he calls “no moe monkees”).
He is still really into the little blue truck, buses, and now trains. I think we may do a planes, trains, and automobile 2nd party! I still have a little time to decide… haha
He sort of helps me clean before we go to bed at night. He will see that I start to put away his toys before its almost time I guess, and he will start singing “keen up, keen up”. Sometimes its just a couple pieces but hey I will take what I can get! I’ve started organizing his toys more and I think it is reallllly helping him know that everything has a place. When Micah came home and saw it last weekend he was a little appalled. My husband doesn’t love to keen up. love you babe xo
Micah taught Haddon who the bible is about… “jeesas”
He makes this cute little face where his whole mouth goes into the shape of an oval when he hears something. He looks at you to either a) tell him what it is or b) tell you what he thinks it is. I love seeing this creature God made develop daily, life is so incredible.
There are so many things I never want to forget… but those are what come to mind!
We are so thankful for every day with this boy.
Living long-distance sure has its struggles.
For Micah, it’s more mental/emotional exhausting I would say… he misses Haddon.
For me, it’s more physically exhausting… I miss his help with Haddon.
Micah is a rad dad and that led to him doing most of the driving to and from the babysitters – which was awesome. I saw Haddon last in the morning at the house and I would see him in the evenings at the house. Most of the time Haddon doesn’t even care when I drop him off, he loves his babysitters and he loves his little friends. It’s those times that he runs to the door and says mama that get me though.
Anyway, one thing I appreciate about being the one to drive him now is that we get sing time and prayer time together. We pray for daddy, our days, our babysitters, etc.
This morning I had to wake Haddon up because I had an early meeting.
So in the car, I was praying “and thank you God for waking us up in warm clothes, with a warm roof over our heads and food to eat,” and then I added “with these things we shall be content”.
Then I teared up and got quiet – “so please help us be” and… “show us why we aren’t, in your son’s name, amen”. (backseat: “AMEN”)
I was reading this morning in my devotional about how we need to get quiet with God in order to let him teach us who we truly are. When we think we are good and have figured ourselves out we are in a dangerous place. In a very short summary, the devo was saying how God will keep bringing things up in different ways until we learn.
So instead of my quick half-hearted prayers of repentance (sometimes I don’t even think it counts as true repentance), I am seeing more and more clearly I need to not pray quick spurts of “Lord, please fix me”, “help me not xyz”. I need to get to the root of my discontentment, jealously, envy, pride, etc and let Him shine the truth down in the dark soil so that He can bring it to light and make it beautiful.
I need to quit asking for the brown leaves to get cut off and instead uproot the ugly mess.
Anyone ever feel like this!?
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain, 7 for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. 8 But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. – 1 Timothy 6:6-8
For months we had been curious about what was going to happen with Micah’s job.
In November, he was offered a promotion to be a Territory Sales Manager. We are so thankful!
He has been in his new position since December 2nd.
Not only did he get the new job, but his best friend Andrew is his Field Sales Coordinator. Micah referred Andrew to Nixon last year, so to have them working in the same territory is like their dream come true.
It is so encouraging to see the way God has always carefully laid our plans. When he first heard about Nixon (his company) we thought the opportunity sounded a little crazy. Micah didn’t have sales experience; it wasn’t in his field of study at all, etc. However, we had a baby coming and he wanted to provide for his family and so he took it!
What a blessing that open door has turned out to be…
We have been working so hard together this past year and a half – outside the home, inside the home, with church, to maintain relationships with friends and family, etc.
Micah is a man of integrity. He is kind. He is cute. He is honest. He is godly. Really, I could go on and on. I want to be more like my husband when I grow up.
I am so so proud of him.
With this promotion came a transfer and so we have been long distance except on the weekends since the end of November.
That stuff is no joke. I have a new respect for military families and single parents.
I have been dwelling on Proverbs “Train Up a Child” in the past couple months.
At some point, I’ll share a short devotional I prepared for some sweet expectant mommies at church on that verse and Deuteronomy 6.
Today though, I want to remind myself of something I don’t want to forget when the next baby comes along. Maybe it could help someone else out there too.
As it is for most things, children need to be trained.
I am as “hippie wanna be” as you can get. Well that’s not true, I could be much more haha but one thing that I do not adhere to when it comes to my personal preference for parenting is not getting good and private sleep. It wouldn’t be healthy for me, for my husband, or for our marriage. Personally, I don’t think it would be healthy for Haddon either.
Now, don’t get me wrong…
- Do I sleep well every night? No
- Does Haddon sleep through the night every night? No
- Does my husband sometimes wake me up snoring more than my son? Yes
However, overall Haddon is a good sleeper unless there are factors like travel, teething, and so on.
I don’t attribute this to his personality, that he has a comfortable bed, etc.
I attribute it to prayer and training (and that he gets his pacifier lol).
He had to be trained to sleep and to sleep on his own.
Now, I know some may not agree with “crying it out” and truthfully I hate that terminology for sleep training.
Yes, I used to let Haddon cry for a little bit, but you know what – it never took more than two or three nights before he would “get it”. So we have trained Haddon to sleep multiple times, after teething, after growth spurts, after sickness, etc.
In my opinion though, if there are no contributing factors – babies need sleep and so do parents!
I know hearing babies cry can be the worst, but it doesn’t happen long and sleep is so essential for health.
Like most goals, think of the end result. Think about when adults have to learn something… it isn’t always easy, it’s sometimes painful, etc but it is always worth it.
Training is hard work. I don’t even want to think about the day when we work with Haddon to train him to sleep without his doe doe, but it will happen someday (not soon) because he isn’t going to be three with a stuffed animal hanging from his mouth.
Some of my “must haves” for getting my best sleep:
- freshly made sheets
- my fan on
- water beside my bed
- super comfy loose clothes
- wash my face, brush my teeth, put on acne treatment gel, astringent, and moisturizer
- go to the bathroom before I drift off (even if I went when I did my face and teeth regimen)
- read (whether its blogs, books, or whatever – just to wind my mind down)
I liked this blog I read this morning on family bedtimes and mornings. It’s not so much about sleep training but about the culture you create around bedtime and mornings.
My favorite line was: “I think age has so little to do with when our kids should be in bed and more to do with what you want your home to look and feel like.”
In our house, I think every night should begin with cuddling and praying and every morning should begin with cuddling and saying: “happy day”! Apparently that is how I used to wake my mom up when I was little and I am trying to teach Haddon to do the same.
Don’t even ask what I do when Micah tries to wake me up… I really like sleep!
What do you like in place in order to sleep? What are your family’s nighttime rituals? Do you sleep train? Did sleep training work for one kid and not the next?
Haddon is a year and a half (well on Sunday). What?! Where did my baby go?
Well, he will tell me he is a baby.
Me: “Haddon are you mommy’s baby or big boy?”
Haddon: (grinning) “baby”
He is SUCH a delightful child – seriously.
He thanks you for changing his bum, giving him his drink, helping him with something, also… when he rips things out of your hand…perhaps that makes it okay to him haha
He is sleeping and eating well despite lots of transition.
We can reason with him – “you can’t get down and play until you eat one more bite”
He learned how to do a shapes “pubble” – mostly memorization… but it’s still awesome to see his gears going.
He is getting more descriptive in his speech. He pointed to my nightstand and said “mama’s cup”. This morning, he asked me to “open that”. I don’t think it will be long before he is really talking!
One of my favorite words he says is: peeeeple (about his fisher price people).
He is a lot more demanding:
“Come?” – When he wants to come if you walk out of a room, etc
“Pull” – When he wants you to pull him on his little blue truck. I could list so many… really, I think now that he knows what so many things are, and so he wants to express them.
Haddon really knows some of his family members now. He loves to say “Pa!” and calls his Aunt Stephanie “boo boo”. She is the queen of peek-a-boo with him and he loves to facetime her.
Haddon is really obsessed with his wubanub (which is pacifier with a stuffed animal attached to it… Micah calls his pacifier a stogie and somehow from that he got doe doe) and blankie. He literally shrieks when he gets to have those things. We try to limit them to sleep time so he gets super excited to get in his bed. So sometimes he will ask to play in his crib so he can have it. The only picture we have of him smiling from our Christmas shoot is because he was wrapped in his blanket and Micah was waving his dag on doe doe in front of him like bait.
I went on a 5 night business trip to TX this past month (that was hopefully the longest and last time I have to do that) and I did okay except for a couple tears one night. When I finally saw him, I bawled my eyes out when he ran to me and hugged me. It’s typical that if I haven’t seen him he will squeeze me and say “mama, mama” over and over and then step back and look at me like… its really you. I lose it every time.
I am so thankful for this child that points me to the wonder of God and creation, every.single.day.