the father of my children

Yesterday, we celebrated Father’s Day. I’m totally beyond blessed to have amazing dad’s surround my life. There’s my own wonderful daddy, the amazing father of my kids and my terrific father-in-law. As we gathered at our home for a classic bratwurst, baked beans and summer salads meal, I was very grateful for these three men. They have all relied on the Lord’s help to parent their children and to provide for their families.

Jack and I made Kyle a card and Jack gave him his first “#1 Dad” t-shirt (thank you, Old Navy for making tasteful, manly ones!). Weeks ago, I gave Kyle the “Insanity” workout program because I couldn’t wait for Father’s Day. πŸ™‚ He’s been using it and I must say…his hard work is paying off. Our afternoon was filled with love, laughter, good food and enjoying each other’s company. We are so lucky to have both our families close and willing to celebrate together.

There are many many reasons why Kyle is an amazing dad:

  • He leads his family with love, humility and grace.
  • He is willing to do the hard stuff of discipline and training.
  • He takes Jack along when he goes on runs, letting him stop and pick up sticks for the 100th time, even though the run turns into a walk.
  • He instills in our children a love for Christian hip-hop. lol. πŸ™‚ You should see Jack and Kyle rock out to Lecrae.
  • He’s always willing to change a diaper, rock a crying toddler, soothe a hurt ego, and have a tagalong while he tries to get stuff done.
  • He entertains Jack while I get dinner ready. This is HUGE. πŸ™‚
  • He looks after the spiritual well-being of his kids and myself. His prayers for us work wonders in the silent places of the work of God.
  • He loves adventure and is eager to show his kids the world.
Yep, I love the man. Not just for the wonderful father he is, but for the loving and caring husband he is as well. Parenting is 127% easier because we work as a team…for that I am SO grateful.

linky love: june 9 edition

what I’ve been reading on the interwebs lately…

On Parenting

  • I recently read this post, namely the “prayer” at the end of it, tonight and totally laughed out loud and teared up too. Finding out we’re having a girl freaks me out in many ways, and excites me in others. But God forbid we even end up outside a Hollister. No ma’am! Of course, she’ll grow up shopping at thrift stores and sale racks, so hopefully she won’t even know Hollister exists. πŸ™‚
  • While I’m on the parenting streak, my husband shared this wonderful post from Kevin DeYoung with me the other day. I really want this for my kids: “I want them to look back and think, ‘I’m not sure what my parents were doing or if they even knew what they’re were doing. But I always knew my parents loved me and I knew they loved Jesus.'”
  • I really like the flavor of parenting suggested in these posts: one rule and lowering the standard. I do not want to be the parent that makes my kids hate the rules or life under our roof, but at the same time, I want them to know how important it is to love God, love others and be a responsible person. I tend to be a very structured, “rules based” person and I want to avoid burdening my kids with a list of do’s and don’ts. basically, I want them to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with their God…not impossible, right? Right. And who wouldn’t LOVE family devotion time more if donuts and cocoa were part of the gig? :raising my hand:
Food
  • These brownies are amazing. With or without the cinnamon and a dash of cayenne tossed in. Oh. mother. Thank you to my friend Bethany for ruining my chance of the cottage cheese being eradicated from my thighs for a while. πŸ™‚
  • I started a batch of Kombucha the other day, thanks to another friend giving me a starter for it. Kyle swears he will not drink anything that has a jellyfish looking thing that some people call a mushroom (but isn’t of the mushroom family at all except for it being healthy bacteria, which could be called fungus I guess). I’m trying to convince him that the result will be a slightly sweet, fizzy drink that will refresh him and help his innards, but I’m not sure he buys it. We’ll see if it turns out! I feel so crunchy making something like this. lol.
  • And I guess I’m on a chocolate kick ’cause i tried these amazingly simple and utterly delicious fudgesicles the other day. Yeah. They will be a regular staple in our summer freezer for shiz. I am going to knock the sugar content down a little next time – they were a bit sweeter than I prefer. I have cute mini popsicle molds that are the perfect size for a tasty little treat after a meal or on a sunny summer afternoon.
Blogs I recently started following:
  • 101 Cookbooks – pretty crunchy, organic-ish, homemade food. I <3.
  • A totally cool concept: Dear Photograph. Taking a picture of a picture from the past in the present. I want to do this but I don’t know where I could…I don’t live near or in any of the houses where I grew up. hmmm…shall ponder. thanks to laura dye for linking it on HER blog!
  • another fabulous photog friend, Katy, is keeping up on her blog and has posted a ton of ADORABLE baby shoots this week. Oh. my. gosh. I wish I could fly her here to take pictures of my little miss taylor when she arrives! picture.me.fotoΒ I mean seriously, who doesn’t love a baby in a SUITCASE?! See?
by the fabulous katyhersey of picturemefoto
and with that, I leave you, dear readers. Tonight Kyle and I are taking engagement portraits for his sister Sarah and her awesome fiance’, Ryan in St. Paul. My head is BURSTING with ideas…hopefully we’ll have time and the right conditions to capture what’s in my head through Kyle’s fantastic lens/shutter ability. πŸ™‚ I’m creative director, he is the technical skill. we make a great team. like peanut butter and jelly…its just right.

the motherhood: being here when its hard

Tonight I’m feeling a little weary in mothering. Jack has been difficult lately – whiny, clingy, unhappy with the things I want him to do, demanding his pacifier when we’re trying to wean him from it, finally picky in his food likes/dislikes (darn it!), and just a little sinner in general. There are definitely bright spots, and I know much of his inability to handle his emotions stems from feeling poorly (he’s had croup and then a cold) – but I would love to just rewind about 10 months to when he would eat ANYTHING and be perfectly happy to gum a toy and crawl across the floor and back for hours. πŸ™‚ And crying was only a symptom of something being wrong, not a reaction to everything I suggest.

I knew these days would come. He’s only human and so am I. And I don’t want them or him to go away…I want to lean into this and learn what God wants to teach me about Himself and about Jack. I want to figure out the best way to instruct and correct Jack so he knows the world does not revolve around him, yet his mom and dad love him to the moon and back.

I’ve been totally blessed and challenged this year by a short, yet powerful book on mothering called “Loving the Little Years” by Rachel Jankovic.

In its 104 pages and short, easily digested and exceedingly practical chapters I found much wisdom and encouragement for this journey. If I could buy a copy for every single one of my friends that is a mom, especially in the throes of early parenthood with little people that need much shaping and love, I would.

Relating to my recent experience of Jack being restless and different, I found much comfort in her chapter called “Growth Spurts”.

Whenever this happens, this ambiguous restlessness in the house, I try to think of it as a growth spurt. It’s like they develop new needs. This is only a problem when Mom doesn’t have a growth spurt herself. If I pray for a growth spurt, for ideas on how to help them, how to make this a fun new phase, and how to appreciate their new needs, then the change on my part usually clears up a lot of things. I’m not saying it eliminates the need for discipline…but my attitude is no longer a player and it is no longer a big “situation”. It’s just normal life. Growing is, after all, what God wants them to do.

I also was really challenged by this one small phrase: “Who you are is where you are.” In this season of life, I am a mother. The Lord has led me here and while some days I do not love everything about being a mother, I amΒ inseparable from it. This is me! And I want to be the best child of God, wife of Kyle, mother of Jack and Co., and whatever others need of me there is. I can only be that by God’s never-failing help.

Last night when Jack was up for the fifth time in the night and was inconsolable to the point I was almost in tears – hot, frustrated ones, not sympathetic, sweet ones…I wearily tried to recall the verse that talks about coming to the throne of grace where we can obtain help in time of need. Or as John Piper has literally translated it: “A well-timed help.” I had no burst of inspiration and Kyle didn’t come running through the door to save me from a horrible night’s sleep with a screaming 19 month old, but I did find comfort. And eventually the cries of a very upset child calmed and elusive sleep came back to both of us.

The morning began with more tears and frustration on both our parts, but I hold on to hope that this growth spurt or whatever it is will pass and I will be a better mom and Jack will be a sweeter kid on the other side. πŸ™‚ I can pray, right?