Thursday, February 12, 2009

Country Visits

The other day our neighbors rode down for a visit. Let me just say that the girls were ecstatic. Little One yelled neigh neigh from the time she saw them up the hill until they arrived in front of our house. She showed no fear or hesitation when WB lifted her up to pat the horse's nose. She fell in love instantly.

And if they were excited about seeing the horses you can imagine the response when they asked if they wanted to ride!! Umm, yes.

I love where we live. I love the fact neighbors stop by for a visit on horseback. I love that they may even leave a present behind for our garden too!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Counting Blessings Even In Our Failures

When WB and I had Em, our first born, she came into the world in crisis. I would spend a week in the hospital with her before we could go home. WB visited us when he could, but it was mostly my mom and I that stayed with her that first week. Then I had to have major surgery when she was just four months old. Again, my mom and I would take care of her while WB remained back at home working for most of the time. It was no wonder that bonding was difficult at times for WB and Em. Even though she looked just like him and resembles him in many personality traits. The road was a difficult one to say the least. Being a new parent is like being thrown overboard without a life preserver...sink or swim. Many days you do both!
WB was having a difficult time in many ways. He'd gained 40 lbs since we started dating, he had a job that was thankless most of the time and stressful to say the least. I'm sure the signs were there that he wasn't happy, but I was too busy to see. I was a new mom. Breastfeeding what seemed like 24/7 , not sleeping, not thinking my husband might need my attention as well, and adjusting to staying at home while all of my friends went off to work each day. Family was far away and we rarely, if ever, had a babysitter or went out without our daughter. Life wasn't exactly picture perfect, but at the same time it wasn't the end of the world either.
Then came our second child, I knew things would be different. It wasn't that WB was a bad father, it was more like he just needed more time and more practice. Unfortunately, our second came about the time his work situation was at it's melting point. He was laid off, things looked dismal. But at your darkest moments your faith seems to shine the brightest.
The same company that laid him off hired him back for consulting on a project. So now we not only collected severance pay, but also his consulting fees. We still had insurance and benefits and a little bit of the weight was lifted off our shoulders. We suffered through the whole finding a job and interviewing process. Had our hopes dashed a few times and then WB was offered a job. A job a half an hour away (no moving) and with a company that was thriving.
WB loved his new job. People listened to his ideas, asked him for input, and LISTENED. Something that had been severely lacking in his last job. He started exercising, eating better, and slowly began to shed those 40 lbs. We had our set backs, but we managed to weather the storm. The girls left their baby stages and WB had more time to concentrate and be comfortable in his fatherly skin. I learned to relax, not be so critical, and listen to that inner voice. I learned to sift out some of the other voices. The ones that might mean well, but didn't live in your marriage day to day. WB blossomed into fatherhood and I into our marriage.
Life was good. WB loved his job and began to move up the career ladder. The company he used to work for slowly began to fold and now 5 years later is no longer running the plant he worked at. Blessings, yes. We were bestowed many blessings, even though at the time they felt more like punishments.
So when I learned I was pregnant with my third child, I cried. I asked God if he was serious, three pregnancy tests later told me he was. I wasn't prepared, I had things to do, and I was not ready to start over. I was trying to finish a novel for heavens sake, on top of being a director of a school that had some major issues!! I cried to my sister like a big baby. I struggled with the gift I knew I had been given, but pouted with the timing never less. I dreaded telling WB. We weren't expecting this right now. In fact, I had cried months earlier over the fact I may never be able to get pregnant again. So I had moved on, told myself to suck it up, it just wasn't in the cards. I made other plans.
I told WB over the phone. I was in Houston and he was at home. I held my breath and listened as he said, "No way...Really. That is so wonderful." Really, even though it wasn't planned. He reminded me none of them really were and this would be great. I'd like to say it was all happy times from there but it wasn't. It was a difficult pregnancy, we moved an hour away to a new house. A fixer upper at that. WB buried himself in projects to prepare for the new arrival and for the whole family. I tried not to be miserable and to enjoy each day. Some days I was a huge success, others a terrible failure.
Blessings, they sort of sneak up on you. I sit today and watch my 22 month old as she holds her big sisters hands as they walk around the yard and my heart melts. I smile when her daddy lifts her up each night as she rushes to greet him at the door. I see the ease into which he handles all three of his children, an ease I have to admit I wasn't sure would ever be possible. He is an awesome dad. And I have become a much better wife.
God has blessed us in so many ways. Many of which I probably am not even aware of. He gave us everything we needed, He put people in our lives that have taught us so much. He steered us through the toughest of times. One of the biggest lessons I have learned is that even in our failures there are blessings.
So as I sit here today I am overwhelmed when I start counting my blessings. They are many. So are my failures. But thank God He has found a way to lift us up even when we fall flat on our faces!!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Strange Happenings

On any given day I am bound to walk outside and find some strange occurrences. The two large pots (the one's we spray painted) by my door have bulbs planted in them. Every morning the bulbs are scattered around the sidewalk, not eaten on, just scattered. I peer outside a least a dozen times a night and I've never caught the bulb digger in the act.

Sometimes I find what we called UCP (unknown critter poop) on one of our pathways. This always leads to a very imaginative discussion on what may have left it. Sometimes we can identify tracks left behind, sometimes not. The huge paw prints must belong to the wolf or mountain lion that lives over the canyon or maybe to the labs across the way!

But sometimes I follow a trail of unusual relics...

Bamboo sprouting paint brushes...

Dried goards and pliers...

Yucca stems out to dry, more bamboo, rocks...

Spears....which always seems to lead me to this....

And the winner to Wednesday's Give Away is...Doreen at Treasured Giveaways. Thanks everyone for entering, I'll have another soon:)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

WFMW- Beach Towels and Give Away!

I have been so off my game recently and in order to apologize for my lack of posts I'm going to have a give away! But first I want to share my WFMW tip. A couple of years ago I started acquiring colorful beach towels at the end of the summer season when they were on sale. By acquiring I mean snatching them off the clearance shelves and racing to the check out. I couldn't help myself. I just love a good deal and who wouldn't love a giant towel with bright green frogs all over it?!! WB asked just want we needed all those towels for. If I had replied "because they're so pretty" or "well, it's a good deal", he would have told me I didn't need anymore. He is not swayed by deals or prettiness when shopping.
Anyway, I thought really quickly and responded: "Well, not only will it be great for our trips to the pool, but I've decided the girls will use these as their bath towels." When he looked at me strangely I quickly added, "They are nice and long and will completely wrap the girls up when they get out of the shower. Plus, we'll know exactly which towels are theirs and which are ours. We won't have to share." Sharing is really not a problem, but it sounded good at the time.
He nodded his head and proceeded to ignore my half a dozen towel purchases over the next several months.
And I didn't tell WB this, because he just wouldn't get it, but these towels look really nice hanging in their bathroom or on the wall hooks in their room (I sort of picked towels that went with the decor, WB wouldn't get that either!).
Anyway, that is my tip for today. Beach towels for kids bath towels. And in honor of that I'm giving away a ten dollar gift card to TARGET. I purchased most of my towels there on clearance and I'm happy to report they have really held up and kept their shape and color!! All you have to do is leave a reply and a way for me to get in touch with you. I'll pick the winner on Saturday.

Head over to Shannon's for more WFMW tips!!

*Thanks everyone for your great ideas about beach towels and for entering the give away...I'll post the winner soon!