Sunday, February 28, 2010

...and now for a little bragging

Today was our first day meeting at the school.  I think it went better than any of us expected it to go.  I had these great plans of taking pictures of all of the kids rooms and giving you all a little tour.  But once I got there I had so much to do that I forgot to take my camera out!  So next week I will give you all a tour.  Here is the one picture that I did get today...  
Now on to my bragging...

My husband isn't always what you would call romantic.  I don't get flowers often, I am not always surprised with nights out, or overnight trips.  But I am okay with all of that.  That's not really us, you know.  But when Eric does do something out of the ordinary, or "romantic," he does it right.  Today when he got home from a meeting he had a brown gift bag with him.  I thought maybe someone gave him a gift at church today, and I really didn't think anything more about it.  But then he gave me the bag. 
I was very surprised and so happy.  He just wanted to let me know how proud he was of me.  And let me tell you friends, I love knowing that I make my husband proud.  I know how proud I am of him and the great things he is doing with his life, ministry, family, etc., and if I can make him feel one fourth of what I feel for him, well, that makes me feel so good. 
Inside the bag was...
As you are seeing the Reese's Pieces, I am eating them!  The thing laying down is gum, I couldn't get it to stand up!  So here is my bag of sweetness, straight from my sweetie!

Tomorrow I am going to a conference with the 4 other staff members from church.  Just me and four guys in a car...oh joy :)  At least one of them is my husband.  Actually we all get along really well, I pretty much get to hang out with my friends everyday.  We are going down to Rockford, Illinois to visit Community Christian Church.  They are part of a network we are apart of.  I am excited to see their facilities and learn from some of the best.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Humbled and Blessed

So I know I have been an awful blogging friend this week, I admit it.  The whole lets move our church from one building to another one across town thing has me really busy, stressed, on the verge of a mental breakdown, excited, scared, nervous, and emotional to say the least. 

Today I had to come back into the office to do more work to be ready for Sunday.  I feel awful, run down, fighting a gross cold, and just plain old tired, and the last thing I wanted to do was come to work the millionth consecutive day in a row.  So as I drove to work I had my own little pity party in the car, I yelled, I laughed, I cried, and I prayed.  I kept thinking this is not what I signed up for, I hate this, I want to be a stay at home Mom again.  I also felt bitter towards some people, and felt bad about myself.  I pleaded with God to have someone show up and take all of my burdens away, and did I mention I cried, a lot. 

Once I got here I realized there was no one else here.  So I came in the office and cried some more.  I know, you are sensing a theme here...Then as I was waiting for my computer to turn on I decided to check my email on my phone.  Thank you Lord for technology.  I had received an email from a wonderful, loving friend of mine that simply said,"I felt the Lord prompting me to pray for you today.  Just wanted to let you know that I am."  Wow...I felt very humbled at the moment in time.  The time stamp on the email was the same time I was in the car arguing with God.  Humbled again. 

So then I cried tears of joy, and a little bit of embarrassment for not trusting God to get me through this.  And I started working and feeling pretty good about the stuff I had to get done.  Not all of my stuff is finished yet, but I am heading home.  Tomorrow we move into the school, set everything up, and look around, amazed at an awesome God that provides, always.  Remember, He is always faithful. 

One more thing...a sweet lady from The Ridge fainted yesterday at work, she hit her head and was taken to the hospital, they found out this morning she has a brain tumor.  Please pray for them, and what lies ahead.  As of this afternoon they were unclear if it was cancerous or not, and if she was going to have suregry.  Her first thing she said to Eric was "tell Kate I am sorry that I can't help with the kids on Sunday."  I was humbled yet again.  I know they would greatly appreciate your prayers!  Have a fabulous weekend!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday Morning Enouragement

"Be beautiful inside, in your hearts
with the lasting charm of a gentle and 
quiet spirit which is 
so precious to God." ~1 Peter 3:4

Sometimes I don't feel very beautiful or loving.  I get caught up in the busyness we call life, and I lose my "niceness."  People may not see it, I am good at faking a smile, aren't we all?  But at the end of the day my fake smile doesn't seem to make me feel any better, I actually feel worse. 

Can I be honest with you...I haven't been reading my Bible like I should, and by like I should, I mean at all.  Sure I read it to prepare for lessons at church, I read it for neighborhood group, but I don't read it for me to actually grow in my relationship with God.  For the last couple of months I have been coasting on Christian fumes, and quite frankly, it isn't beautiful or charming. 

But now I have a goal, I am challeninging myself to be beautiful again, and to charm God again with the knowledge he is giving me.  I wrote it down in my journal, my love book to God, so now I am accountable to Him. 

Being beautiful can be hard sometimes, when you say something bad about someone else, even thinking it, when you talk harshly to your kids when really you should be harsh with yourself-not them.  When you roll your eyes after your husband asks you "hey honey where did you put my...?"  Okay sometimes they deserve it, I mean, I always lovingly find what my husband is looking for.  You get the point.  We start off each day beautiful and charming, but by the end of the day I don't even need to wash my face because all of my beauty has faded. 

I know I am still going to fail at having a beautiful heart, but at least I am trying now, I am making an intentional effort to stay beautiful and charming inside and out.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

An End to an Era

Today was The Ridge's last day at the movie theater, we are moving this week to a local high school.  It was a bittersweet day I think for all of us.  Eric and I did not have the privilege to be at The Ridge when it first started 3 years ago, we were still living in Ohio and had no clue that The Ridge even existed.  Funny how God plans things...

But we have been at The Ridge since it's 2nd birthday, and it's been truly amazing.  I know you all love your church, but I really love our church, and I really love the people at The Ridge too.  I mean really, where else can you hear Bon Jovi, or Ozzy Osbourne?  Today we left with the band playing "Carry on my wayward son..."  If it's from the 80's, we play it.   

We had a lot of help loading up everything into trucks and unloading it at our office/warehouse.  This week we get to sort through it all and load it back up to move on Saturday.  Please pray for us...we have a lot to do still!

As we watched a little "movie" from the last 3 years it was very apparent that God is in all that we do at The Ridge.  I am not sure how else to explain or word it, but I just feel God in all that we do.  Our church is not perfect, we are far from it, we have issues, of course we do, our church is made up of flawed humans, but our goal, our focus remains the same in all that we do...The Ridge exists to help people find and follow God.  And I feel very confident in saying that we are accomplishing that goal.  We still have a long way to go...85% of Milwaukee is unchurched.  But we are making a dent, I can just feel it.  We went from 30 to 500 in 3 years, that is ALL God.  Not us, not the preaching (sorry Mark), not neighborhood groups, God.  All of those aspects help reach the people and bring them closer to God, but God has absolutely orchestrated everything good that has happened at The Ridge. 

So an end to an era of our church meeting at a movie theater, and the beginning of our church meeting at a school.  I am so excited to see how God is going to use The Ridge in the next coming months, years, and forever in Milwaukee. 

Friday, February 19, 2010

Birthday Time!

Today is my 26th birthday!  Thanks to all of you who were encouraging about my new age, although many of you thought I was turning 30.  I meant I was one year closer to 30 now, instead of 20. 

One of my birthday gifts was a new blog design...don't you love it?!  Julie did an awesome job and was so helpful with everything!!  Thanks Julie!

My Mom and Phil flew in to celebrate with us, but sadly they have to go home tomorrow.  We have had a great week!  Yesterday we went to Discovery World for my birthday.  We had a blast!  It is like a hands on museum.  That's the best way I can describe it.  It was so amazing, and Eric and I both want to go back so we can actually read about the exhibits, and look a little bit longer at them.  We went yesterday because we thought it would be busy today, and I am glad we did.  It was practically empty! 

Here are some pictures of what we saw and did...

I totally touched the sharks in the picture above!!  I thought they would be soft, but they were rough like sandpaper!  We also saw the Les Paul exhibit...any guitar fans out there?  It was really neat! 

So far 26 hasn't been so bad...but I will let you know how I really feel 364 days from now!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wordy Wednesday

One word for you today...


GRANDPARENTS!

My Mom and Phil are here for the week visiting.  Molly is over the moon to have people to entertain and Eric and I are loving the little breaks we get.  Especially at 5:15am every morning when a certain 2 year old wakes up!  I know, it's been brutal!  She is in this bad habit, and there seems to be no end in sight, but she is so happy and ready to go the moment her feet hit the floor!

Hope you all are having a great week so far...the final countdown is on...2 more days and I am one year closer to 30, sniff, sniff, tear, tear.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!  I hope you all have a great day and get to spend it with those you love.  Today we will be at church, then we all will be home this afternoon!  I am so excited because this has not happened since before Christmas!  I can't wait to take a Sunday afternoon nap, awww.

For Eric's BIG suprise, which I could not wait until today to give to him, he recieved it on Friday morning, I got Molly's picture made!  I swore I would never take her back to the portrait studio again after her birthday pictures, but for some reason I got it in my head that I should try it again.  The place was running a special that was really good, so we went for it.  I told myself the whole way there, lower your expectations, lower your expectations.  All I wanted was one good shot, just one.  Oh no, my daughter did an amazing job and they took her picture for over an hour!  She was so sweet, did what they told her to do, and said cheese constantly.  It was like a night and day difference from the last time.  I was so happy, yet had such a hard time choosing which ones to get!

I would love to share them with you, but my computer decided to go on a mini-vacation, and does not want to upload any photos right now.  So I will come back and share them with you all, because really, they are just so precious.  Eric of course was surprised, and he loved them!  I told you all that I am awful at keeping gifts a secret!!  I was so excited to show him that I couldn't wait any longer.  Right now, I decided to share some pictures I already have on my computer...they are from past Valentine's Days, and they are of course of Molly!
 
First V-Day, 6 months
  

 
V-Day 2008, she was too cool to celebrate!

"Thank God! He deserves your thanks. 
His love never quits.
   Thank the God of all gods,
      His love never quits.
   Thank the Lord of all lords.
      His love never quits."
Psalm 136:1-3

Friday, February 12, 2010

Road to Healing

Yesterday at 11am I got a phone call from the cemetery saying that they were indeed during the burial, it was from 1-3pm, could I make it?  Umm, hello?!  In 2 hours, you give me a 2 hour notice, and there is like 15 inches of snow on the ground.  Eric and I figured since we hadn't heard anything all week, and with all of the snow on the ground, it was probably cancelled.

Sure enough, it wasn't.  Not to sound cold or heartless, but my first thought was "that's Molly's naptime."  That probably sounds selfish, but truthful.  Eric and I talked and decided we would go today and check it out.  That was an option the lady gave me on the phone.  She said we could come out whenever we wanted to.  Which had us curious as to what really goes on during the burial.

This morning Eric and I went to the cemetery.  The lady in the office gave us a map and showed us how to get there.  She said a path was cleared off so we could get back to the burial site.  So we drove around this massive place, seriously the biggest cemetery I have ever seen.  We found it, no problem and then got out.  I felt really good the whole way there, once we got there, then when I stepped out of the car, it was totally different.  Almost like all of my grief wrapped up in one emotion.

We got back to the burial site, there was a white cross with blue flowers attached to it, and some other flowers and "gifts" on the ground.  I never even thought about bringing something.  I guess I really didn't think the whole thing through to be honest.  I had zero clue what to expect, what we were going to see, and I don't really think I wanted to.  Eric and I stood there for awhile, I cried, and thought about how unfair this is, how next month I should be finding out if it's a boy or a girl.  I thought about how this sucks, and hope no one else ever has to go through this, and then I thought about how my baby is already sitting with Jesus, maybe being held by my brother, and how I can't wait to meet him/her someday.  Like I said, I felt all of my grief wrapped up into one big emotion.

It was good for Eric and me to go see everything for ourselves, and I am glad we were there alone.  I am not sure I could handle other people going though the same thing, all there together.  Not to sound hearltess, but I would have been more of a mess that way.  Now all that I want to do is put everything in a memory box that I got.  Once I found out I was pregnant with Molly I started keeping a jounranl, same thing with this baby.  So I am going to put all of my hospital bracelets, cards, letters, and my journal in the box.

"I do not know what the future holds, 
but I do know who holds the future" 
~Anon

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Made With Love

Eric and I received an early Valentine's Day present from Molly...
  
She made those at the babysitter's house.  Molly also made us 2 mini strawberry cheesecakes!  The babysitter insists that the kids made the cheesecakes, I am not sure I believe her or not :)  Eric will be all over those, I am not a huge fan.  But I am all over the hand-made artwork.  I am a sucker for that stuff!!

Stay tuned to find out Eric's BIG surprise for Valentine's Day.  I am really excited, and praying that I can keep it a secret for 2 more days.  Eric never reads my blog, so he will be clueless that he has something coming. 

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

WW- The View From Here

**All taken on Tuesday, we will see what Wednesday brings!**

Monday, February 8, 2010

2 Milestones Achieved

So let me just start with...there is something wrong when ALL of the bathing suits are out at Target and we are supposed to have 14 inches of snow by tomorrow afternoon!

Now onto the milestones...

Today Molly is 2 1/2!  I hate the cliche, but time does fly!  When I was looking at the calendar last week I saw the 8th and was like what's the 8th, well for starters it's my MIL's birthday today!  Happy Birthday to Beth!!  Love you!  And it's Molly's half birthday!  Growing up we totally celebrated half birthday's like they were real birthdays.  Eric does not really go along with this theory, but I tried to make the day special for Molls.  Between 11pm tonight and 11am tomorrow morning we are supposed to get 14 inches of snow, so it may be a snow day for all of us.  If it was just the snow it wouldn't be a big deal, but we are also supposed to have 40 mph winds on top of the snow.  So maybe, just maybe we all will have a snow day together tomorrow!

The second milestone is that this is my 200th post!  I know, for real.  I never thought I would get here, but I did.  When I first started this blog, I wasn't too serious about it, gasp, I know.  I mean I had hardcore dreams and a vision for my blog, but then I kinda let it slip for awhile, then got back on track, and now I love it!  My blog would not be still going if it was not for you all, so give yourself a round of applause, a shoulder pat, whatever makes you feel good, do it!  I LOVE meeting new people in the land of blog, and I love sharing my life with you, and feeling like you are sharing your life with me too.  You all are wonderful!  So sorry I don't have some amazing giveaway, that would require thinking ahead, and these days-that is just not happening!  But truly, thank you, thank you all for coming back each and every time and encouraging me to keep this thing going! 

Friday, February 5, 2010

Our Day in Pics, Well, Sort of

Today was the first day in a long time that the three of us spent together.  Well, we spent the morning and most of the afternoon together, but every minute counts, right.  I had this great plan to document our every move with pictures, but that soon failed when I realized we were already leaving our first destination.  So you will have to use your imagination to fill in the blanks, you know, where the pictures should be...

Here we are leaving for our first destination...the outlet mall!  I love shopping, that's not news to anyone I know in the land of blogging or IRL.  Eric and I both got some money for Christmas that has been burning a hole in my pocket, but we have been so busy to spend it.  But we figured we would try to blow it all today.  I was semi-successful, poor Eric, not so much.  I got a new coat that I can wear in the Spring and in the Fall from the Gap, and a pair of jeans from the Gap that I have been wanting for a long time.  I love Gap jeans, but I don't love the price.  So when I got this money at Christmas, I knew right away that I wanted to spend it on some jeans.  Here is my new coat...don't mind the dirty clothes behind it!
You can't really tell by the picture, but it's a lovely shade of red. 

Then we ventured to Hobby Lobby!  I love that store but the closest one to us is almost an hour away.  But we wanted to get my diplomas framed, and we thought that getting them framed there would be a god idea because everything is always 50% off.  So we got 4 framed, I have more, but these were my top priority ones...
Now I just need a wall to hang them on!

Molly scored this for her room...
Then becasue we were so close, we drove to one of the only Chick-fil-a's in the state of Wisconsin.  My husband loves (that's an understand statement) Chick-fil-a.  When we knew we were moving here and there were no ones around our new place, we ate at Chick-fil-a everyday for 2 weeks before we left Ohio.  Sad, I know.  We also gained a lot of weight, too!  But I had just had Molly, so I blamed it on her :)  Poor Eric just had to buy bigger pants.  

Then we came home to this...
Isn't cut-out "M" so cute?!  My friend, Jennifer made it!  You know the one that paints, well she is now getting into sewing.  She also sent me a lot of other nice, wonderful things that she called my box of "Happy."  And it did make me happy.  She sent candy, some personalized cards, a Willow Tree Angel, Molly's shirt, and a book called "Mommy, Please Don't Cry.."  It's all about losing a child, and the sweet little things that your baby would say to you now that they are in Heaven.  It made me cry, but in a good way. 

Overall it was a really good day!  Right now Eric is at the office working on some cabinets for me that I will use in the high school when we move there.  Tomorrow I have a training for my Nursery and Pre-school workers.  Then it's Sunday, and the week starts all over.  Hope you all had a great Friday and here's to a great weekend!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Story for Every Mom

"I pooped!  I pooped!"  This is what I awoke to this morning at a bright and early 6:13am.  I tried to make sense of what Molly told me just a minute ago.  I said, "you pooped?"  "Yes, Mommy, I pooped!"  Okay, I thought just go turn the coffee on and then we will change her diaper.  Mind you it's dark in our house at this early hour, and the only thing illuminating the hall was a night light.  As I was getting out of bed I thought to myself, "Holy, wow, what did she eat, this poop has a strong aroma to it." 

Thank the Lord for the light from the night light that revealed to me that my daughter had not only stripped herself of her pajamas, but also her poopy diaper.  I was in total shock, this has not happened before!  The pajamas yes, oddly enough, the moment she wakes up from sleeping she takes her pajamas off and puts them in her laundry basket.  But she has never just helped herself to her diaper.  I clearly could not lay her down without making a mess, so at 6:15am, pulling out like 30 wipes to lay her down on made a lot of sense to me.  I know, I am a genius. 

Okay so we get her cleaned up and I begin looking around and smelling for this diaper.  I looked everywhere and could not find it, nor could I find a trace of anything from the diaper.  I asked Molly where she put it, and she showed me to her waste basket that we put the dirty diapers in.  Smart kid. 

I have no clue how she managed to get the dirty diaper off, without making a mess, and how she walked into our room without anything falling to the ground, becasue trust me friends, something should have fallen off of her little bottom. 

I knew most of you, or all of you coul relate to this stroy, and hopefully you had a little laugh.  It's been enough time for me to find it funny now, at 6:13am, not so funny. 

On a totally different note, today was my first day back at the gym in almost 2 months.  December was a weird month for us, busy with the holidays, I started working, so I only went a couple times a week, not my usual 5 times a week like it was with my SAHM status.  Then I found out I was pregnant right before we left for vacation, then when we got back I was put on pelvic rest, then with everything else that happened, yea today was my first time back.  I didn't clear anything with my doctor, but I am pretty sure it's all fine.  I feel fine physically, and seem to have no complications from last week's ER visit.  I got my blood taken before we went to the gym, and hopefully we will know the results tomorrow. 

But the gym was fine.  I just did the eliptical for 40 minutes, and watched "Say Yes to the Dress" on TLC.  I loved every minute of it!  Molly did fine in the childcare, which I was a little nervous about.  But she was great, like always.  It was a little odd to be back, but it all went fine. 

Then Molly and I drove thru McDonalds and took lunch to Eric.  We had a little picnic in the conference room at the church office.  Now I am going to help myself to some left over chocolate cake from group last night.  Hey, I said I went to the gym, I didn't say I was going all healthy or anything :)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Catching Up

Well...it's Tuesday evening and my hopes and dreams of posting before now apparently have not come true! 
Life has been busy, but it's one of those busys that you can't exactly pinpoint what is causing it, you just know you are busy! 

Church is going great, and my transition from Early Childhood Director to the Director of Children and Families is still going well.  At times I feel so overwhelmed and then other times, I feel like I have a good handle on things.  We are gearing up for our BIG move from the theater to the high school.  There is so much involved with moving a church.  I am so glad that I have wonderful helpers that have guided me through the process. 

This week our Neighborhood Groups start, and I am super pumped!  We have had the largest number of people sign up for a group this session than ever in the church's history!  We are doing a new series called "Starting Point."  I think it's going to be awesome!  Usually Eric and a team of curriculum writers write all of the Neighborhood Group discussion guides, but this time we thought we would try something new, and clearly people are excited about it, since half of the church signed up!  Our group starts tomorrow night and I am excited to see all the current members and the new ones. 

We also started a new series at church entitled "Baggage."  I think it's going to be so helpful for people, and so eye opening for some.  Everyone has baggage, no matter how hard you try to hide it, it's still there.  So each week we are unpacking some sort of baggage from depression to anger, to bitterness.  We are talking about it all.  I already have had 3 new clients this week just from the opening message last week.  I know God is going to use this series to begin to heal a lot of people who need it. 

The cemetery called and said that the burial will be next Thursday, Feb. 11th.  Well that's if they have enough babies.  I don't even want to elaborate my feelings on that.  But the lady is going to call us back and let us know.  If not next week, then it will be some time in March.  I would prefer next week so we can really begin to grieve and not be worried about anything else.  I have to go on Thursday to get my hormone levels tested again.  I am hoping they have come down from last week, because when the nurse called me with the results, my levels were showing that I was still pregnant.  I am tired of being poked and prodded.  I guess I am not a "good" patient.

Don't forget to stop by my friend, Veronica's blog party!  She is giving some awesome stuff away!  Just click on the button up in the left hand corner of my blog to go to the party!!