Sunday, January 31, 2016

Big Transitions

As of three weeks ago, Bob transitioned out of his full-time job at our church, Redeemer Fellowship. The timing of this transition was sudden, but not entirely unexpected, as he's wrestled for the last couple of months with the direction Redeemer wants to take his position, and whether that direction was a good fit for him. While we are heartbroken and still have processing to do, we trust God's care over our lives and the direction of Redeemer.

So what's next?

Well, we aren't entirely sure. We can tell you we plan to stay at Redeemer. It's our church home, our best friends are there, and what God is doing through Redeemer for the good of his people and the benefit of our city is undeniable.

We can also tell you that, for the time being, Bob will stay home with the kids while I work full-time outside the home.

Almost immediately after Bob's transition out of his staff role at Redeemer, God overwhelmed him with construction opportunities. This, in addition to his skills and current desires, is leading him to consider rebuilding his construction business with the hope of doing for others what he did to our home. We still find value in one parent being home with our young kids, though. Which is why the plan (and we know how perfectly those play out) would be for Bob to do a few projects here and there until Brooks is in school, then launch his business. We aren't sure if Bob will go back into vocational ministry. We are, however, excited to jump into Redeemer as lay members who continue to build up the body.

As for me: At the time everything happened for Bob there was a full-time opening within my old company, EPR Properties, that I accepted. Before staying home with the kids, I spent 5 years at EPR. I can't think of a better group of people to come back to. They're also giving me the space and encouragement to think through what role I'd like to hold long-term within the company (or possibly outside of it) and what it would look like to get me there. Nothing has been promised, and I still feel uncertain which career path to pursue, but I'm excited by the prospects.

If you want to know how you can pray for us, please pray that our next steps would become clear and that as we deal with very real human emotions, we would do so unashamedly with our community. We know we aren't the only ones who have dealt with huge changes or unmet expectations. God has proven he's strong enough to carry us through these things, and his presence working through his people is what we need to help carry our load--a huge thanks to those who have been doing just that!

While this is not how we would have written our story, and we're still quite raw as we step into our new reality, we can say with all assurance that God's kindness and goodness have overwhelmed us.

Thanks for all of your love and support!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Interior House photos

Well, friends. I had high hopes of taking pictures of the house with my fancy camera then putting together side by sides of the before and afters, but that's not happening. At least not right now. So instead of holding off, here are some super grainy, poorly lit, photos of what our house currently looks like.

Living Room


Dining Room 


Envision floor to ceiling, wall to wall, white subway tile
Our range will go to the ceiling once Bob finishes the install 

First Floor Half Bath

Master Bedroom

 Master Bathroom

Boys Bedroom

Avery's Bedroom & Kids Bath

Laundry Room 

Tiny as she may be, the ridiculously deep built-in shelves next to the washer and dryer make it super functional

There's still work to be done, namely our kitchen backsplash, fireplace tile, and closet doors/rods, but those projects are slow going for a variety of reasons.  The boys room will also not be decorated until Brooks is out of the crib and we get big boy beds in there. The house decor/organizing will continue to be ever-evolving and rooms like our living room won't look like I want them to for years, because buying new furniture is out of the picture. But I love this place and I'm so so happy it gets to be our home!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Life right now

We are creatures of habit, which means Monday through Thursday looks the same for us. Yes, even in the summer. We just love a good structure. Without one we are not good humans. None of us. Well, except Bob. He has an uncanny ability to thrive in chaos, which is what happens when us Giblers don't know what to expect for the day.

Let it be known, though. If we are homebound for any reason, and Brooks won't stop crying, I shut down from life and our schedule goes out the window. Like, I watch Netflix all day, don't brush my teeth, and, at some point, will lay in the fetal position sobbing. Thankfully, we don't have many days like this anymore. But they do still exist.

Here's what a typical day looks like:

I get up between 4:30 am- 4:45 am to work. I actually love getting up before the kids. This also means I enjoy an entire cup of hot coffee. Hot. Glory.

When the kids wake, Bob gets them dressed and gives them their breakfast before leaving for work. Yup. My husband is that capable. 

The kids watch a show (or 3) while I wrap up work and around 8:30 am or 9:00 am we hit the gym for a few hours. Not before at least two kids whine for a snack, though. Who cares that they just had breakfast twenty minutes ago.

When we get home they have a snack (of course), play (fight), we eat lunch, put Brooks to bed, and while Brooks sleeps the kids watch shows and I finish work.  Oh and there are approximately 15 requests for snacks. Sometimes they even ask for a snack while eating lunch. There's no logic in them, I swear it.

Often Brooks wakes up grumpy (surprise) which means 2:30-4:00 pm is not. my. favorite. I need to do a better job structuring these post-nap afternoon hours, because it's our worst time of the day. We tried going to the zoo, as Brooks does better outside the house, but apparently that's the animals indoor rest time. How dare they.

Around 4:00 p.m. the kids clean up their toys and bedrooms while I begin dinner. This too is difficult and requires wine, because cooking with a screaming, giant, toddler is no bueno. Sometimes Brooks gets distracted upstairs while the kids clean and when that happens I'm sure there's a God who loves me. I enjoy cooking, but it's not the same when there's an almost 40 lb man-child clinging to my legs. There's no joy in that. None. So lately, like the last year and a half, our meals have been simple, quick, and the same menu cycles every week. Sorry family. At least you're getting food.

Now, some of you awesome parents may cringe at how much TV I allow in our day. To that I say, good for you. Seriously. I think it's great you can make it through the day without turning on the tube. I cannot. And I don't feel bad about it. I used to, but then I realized that's silly. So I set my own screen time standards and most days we stick to it because I set those standards according to my family and our needs. It works for us. So if you find yourself feeling guilty in your parenting/family life, evaluate what you're feeling and see if you're trying to achieve standards you don't actually believe in. Sometimes we should alter our habits, we all have areas we can improve on, but more times than not we're stressing for no reason. Or is that just me?

Gah. No matter how difficult you are, son. You're totally worth it.

Playing paper-rock-scissor with himself.

We have some of the best people in our lives. From old friends, to our closest friends, to our neighbors, to family, to our church family. Despite my desire to deepen many of these relationships, Bob and I decided to make time for a few people and really invest in them. For us, that looks like connecting once a week through a playdate, dinner, or lengthly this-is-where-I'm-at text message. Which may not sound like much, but if I'm honest it's difficult to make a text message happen most weeks. Lame? yes. Which is why I'm praising God for friends with similar personalities who get it and get me.

Gosh, friends are so important and I don't want to be done with this parenting thing (not that we're ever really done) and find I don't know my husband and I have no friends. I'm confident I can't be who I need to be without these two relationships, marriage and friendship, and I don't want to lose sight of that, even if there isn't much time for it right now.

Well, that was a fun night.
Happy Birthday, Tracy! We love you!!
Brooks makes the best faces.
Happy Father's Day, Daddy!
I could eat these two dishes all summer long.

Boiled potatoes and green beans with loads of butter, salt, and pepper.
Tomato, cucumber, onion, basil salad. 

Hands down the biggest eater in our house
A friend took me to her favorite vendors at the farmer's market. I'm in love.
Drink of the summer.
One shot gin. One shot simple syrup. One shot lime juice. A few basil leaves. Taste. And alter according to your heart's desire. ( I typically add more gin and simple syrup)

Jami Nato, this drink forever revolutionized my drinking habits. 

Oh man, this was a hard day. We had so many battles, me and this one, that when it came time to leave for brother's baseball game I didn't have it in me to fight a wardrobe battle. So to the ball park we went, mismatched shoes and all. 

I suppose it's a rite of passage, preparing team snacks for the first time. Because this means you have a kid old enough to play organized sports and well, you feel like you yourself should be playing instead. But alas your leaky bladder and bum knee remind you this is, in fact, your time to be the adult

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Dallas, Bray's 6th Birthday, and 4th of July

A few weeks ago I got to leave my husband and three littles to visit a friend in Dallas. Our family needed me to get away. It's become too easy to lose sight of the person behind the mama and wife. And I have passions, and thoughts, and know I'm more than the sum of my roles, but when those roles consume most of my energy and time, I get lost in the mundane and forget the bigger picture and why of it all. 

And praise God, I got to see the bigger picture and be encouraged and inspired by some of my favorite people. I also got to eat and drink to my hearts content, which is always a win. 

To Naomi and Ben, thanks for letting me invade your lives and for loving me now, loving me when I was unlovable, and for always encouraging me with the way you live. I'm lucky to know you, friends. 

My pre-trip packing side-kick
MCI, I've never been so excited to see you.
Only in Texas will see you bible references used as bar advertisement.
I'm a sucker for cocktails, Americana food, and these two.
Emporium pies, ya'll. Totally legit.
She's pretty.
First time seeing mama after my trip. 
Bray turned 6 last Wednesday and for a number or reasons we opt'd out of a party with friends and settled on chocolate chip pancakes and a cousin sleepover. It was simple. It was loud. It involved lots of vacuuming. And it was awesome.

Morning chocolate chip pancakes

10:30 p.m. and going strong.
This Fourth of July we stayed in our neighborhood. While we missed family, I'm so glad we stayed close to home. We got to share good food with our neighbors. They had a meat smoking contest and oh man, Squier Park knows how to cook some meat. The kids had the best time running about, playing on the tire swing, lighting fireworks. And Bob and I got to catch up with friends which doesn't happen as often as it should.

It's actually surreal, how good we have it here in Squier Park. After all the houses that fell through in our real estate escapade. To now be on the other side, in the exact house we should be in. Well. It will always be a clear picture of God's love and kindness to me and my family.

Brooks' face kills me.

Always throwing a ball, this one. He even sleeps with Bray's glove on.
Future baseball player? or weirdo? Time will only tell. 

I don't love fireworks. I can enjoy a professional display every now and again, but amateurs lighting explosives? Not my thing. I've been this way since I was a kid and I remember feeling so conflicted, because I wanted to have fun like the rest of the kids, but inside I was miserable. Tonight, I saw the same struggle in Avery. Sister tried so hard to be brave, but every loud noise sent her running. So we left the boys to their fireworks and are now cuddled up in bed watching Curious George. And we're having the best time.