I remember 23 years ago today very well. I had my first baby – a baby girl we named Ashlee Renee.
It’s funny how some events in our lives we never forget no matter how much time goes by – or things happen to us – good and bad – as a mom – I will never forget the day I delivered both of my babies. And the first baby is very special. I remember feeling very ill prepared for the task ahead. I remember being very emotional. And I know that was normal – and still today I feel the same when I think about those days.
My labor was not text-book at all. I was admitted to the hospital because I was a favorite of my doctor – and I think he took pity on me not having any air conditioning in our home. We lived in New Castle, PA – a VERY hot a muggy summer! And since it was cool and comfortable in the hospital – and I was having some signs of labor – he let me check in. At first I was happy – in no real pain and left to watch TV or play games with Greg – talk on the phone to relatives and just relax. My sister thought it was really unfair that I had no pains and was dilated – but I was pretty happy about it ☺ My mother told her, “they will come” and so they did – after they had to break my water.
5 hours of labor later – our baby girl was born – 7 lbs 10 oz. And they put me in a room to try to get some sleep – she was born at 2:27am – and I did not sleep the rest of the night. I had sent Greg home to get some rest – but then called him back first thing in the morning – and tired though he was – he actually came back!
That very day Greg locked his keys in the car – he’s never done that before or since – so I know how befuddled he was! Being a first time parent was certainly taking its toil – and the excitement was more than he could handle!
We look back at those early days of parenthood and laugh at some of the silly, crazy things we did – and poor Ashlee was our experimental child – so I know we did many things wrong with her – I’m just so glad she didn’t hold it against us – and in spite of us – she turned out beautifully!
Blessings on my married daughter of 23 – may the next 23 be even more wonderful – filled with parenthood and many other precious memories!
Being “39” isn’t so bad after all – what’s a decade or two among friends? I actually have liked being in my 40’s and being that this is the last year of this great decade – I am trying to enjoy every moment starting with a great birthday celebration yesterday. I feel very blessed and rich indeed to have so many wonderful people in my life right now. Laughter and sharing life together binds the spirit of friends and mine have been a godsend for me. Some do not live here and we are still connected by this modern technology called “the internet” – and I am grateful for it – without it – it would be difficult to “do life” on a daily basis with them – and feel like they are right there with you. I have a friend that has been going through a struggle with her health – she does not live around here any more and being connected has been a lifesaver for her – there are a few of us that have stayed very close with her while she was walking through this difficult journey. I also have a friend and his wife from out of state – and staying connected with them has been such a godsend for them – as my friend just lost his mother the other day. I have another friend from college days that I stay connected with – we are “blogging” buddies. He has found himself on a journey that though circumstances are very different than mine – in some ways we are on a parellel journey of healing and trust with people and friendships in our life. He and his wife are also not in the area – and the internet and our “blog sites” have been a source of encouragement and healing for both of us.
I also have a few close friends that DO live here and we get together as often as we can – but I’m afraid it is not as often as we would like because everyone in our “season” of life is so busy just trying to keep up – pay the bills and deal with the ordinary pressures and concerns of raising children and just live. Again the internet has been so valuable to have that “connected ” feeling – even when most of us are too busy to pick up the phone – nor do we want to with so many other things pressing. I’m fortunate that everyone in my life understands this – is in the same place and we do the best we can – while still “doing” life together.
I had the priviledge of being with some of these special people in my life yesterday. They make my life better – we encourage one another to be better – I feel blessed to be around them.
But the best thing that happened to me yesterday was a HUGE handmade card from my 18 year old son, Shawn. I plan to buy a poster frame for this and hang it in my bedroom. The card says it all and I have included it below.
Thank you to all of you who make my life more beautiful. I am priviledged to know you and be a part of your life. ♥ God Bless
I can’t believe how fast this last year has gone! March is here already. I love March – it has many great memories over the years. March is my birthday month – it is also the month I became engaged when I had just turned 20. Now 29 years later – it is with very fond memories that I look back – but also look forward too ☺
I have learned much over the years about how different people process important events in their lives – by knowing the 4 different personality types – and also by learning and studying the 5 love languages. If you are not familiar with those – let me list them for you:
1) Words of Affirmation
2) Quality Time
3) Acts of Service
4) Physical touch
5) Gift giving
Most of us – Okay – ALL of us make the mistake of giving what WE like getting. It is only natural – it’s what makes us – US. However it can feel very disappointing when things are not returned to us – in the same manner in which we are giving them – because – it may not – (and most likely IS NOT) their love language.
I love “Words of Affirmation” and “Acts of Service” the best. It doesn’t mean that I don’t like the other things – just not as much. Gifts are nice – just not MY love language. So I’m not a great card and gift person – but I do understand that others really like this – so I really try. I am an encourager so I will use my “words” to build up and encourage others. It is what I like – so it’s what I tend to give. But I’m also a very private person – needing quite a bit of space. And even though I love “physical touch” especially with Greg, my kids and my special close friends – I would also say that I love my times alone too. I tend to give people a lot of time and space – because it’s what I like. I don’t like to talk much on the phone either – I would rather write – because that’s where I’m more comfortable – and it allows me that “space” while still connecting. My family and close friends understand that about me.
My husband LOVES “quality time” and “physical touch”. He doesn’t like being alone – but he knows that I do – so he’s had to compromise on this point over the years – allow me some time and space by myself to regroup and refresh. He wants my TIME more than he wants my WORDS. And a hug and kiss go a LONG way with him. He gives me “acts of service” because he knows that it speaks to me – so he does MANY things around the house to help me. And since resigning his church position over a year ago now – we have logged HUNDREDS of hours talking – in the “talking room”. I have really needed this from him – and he has been willing to learn how to connect with me emotionally and to really listen. It has been great!
For others of you – it may be a card or a gift that you need to give someone. You may need to offer an “act of service” to someone you love. Or you may need to give someone some “space” – or some “time”. Find out what their love language is – and then do it!
Learn how others can recieve love from you – by learning what speaks to them. Do you like a lot of fuss on your birthday? My husband and many of my family members do. But I like things in a more quiet way for mine. I love the “words” from people – gifts are nice too – but I don’t like much fuss – it makes me uncomfortable. Celebrating with people close to me is the best – very quiet like. My husband knows this – and is great about making it special for me – in a way that speaks my “love language”.
How do you celebrate special occasions? Do others speak your “love language”? Remember we tend to “give” what we want to “receive” from others. Be sensitive to others today – be a “love language” expert to those closest to you today!
Have a super AWESOME March 1st!!
It’s the 20th – My dear husband’s birthday and our big OPEN HOUSE to celebrate!!
But it’s also five days before Christmas!!! And I’m NOT panicked are hurried or in a frenzy this year! It’s sooooooo different than last year at this time! And I’m glad ♥
Things get easier when you’re children are grown-up and have their own lives – no little kids anymore around here – just my MANY students – whom I LOVE!!
This last week was a very special one with my students – they came bearing gifts and smiles and hugs! We watched the recital video and I opened presents ☺ So much fun! I love children – and especially the ones that are in my home every week – we have a unique and wonderful relationship!!
Are you ready for Christmas this year? Are hugs and smiles from family and friends enough for you? Do children warm your heart? Do you like being around them at this time of year? I do! So precious through the eyes of a child!
We are blessed with friends – and feel very rich indeed – especially when a big birthday comes around and you get to hear wishes from friends near and far – “He who has friends – is rich indeed” That’s what we feel like ♥♥♥
Yes it’s Official. This Man of mine turns 50 tomorrow. The nerve. Not only has he passed right “over the hill” – but he had the audacity and unmitigated gall to be born right BEFORE CHRISTMAS!!! What WAS he thinking??? Okay – maybe it wasn’t his fault – but his irresponsible parents – how unthoughtful of them! Someone must be to blame for this unfortunate occurrence.
Every year it’s the same thing – We put up the lights and tree – all the decorations and we’re in CHRISTMAS mode – and then – WHAMMO – we’re hit with a Birthday – 5 days before Christmas!! Unthinkable.
Well – tomorrow we will fuss over him and make him feel really great to try to sooth his masculinity – after all – he IS pretty old. He can’t help it – it happens to us all – I myself am never turning 50 – I have decided it’s not for me. Even though 50 is the new 30 – or something like that – and I’ve never looked or felt better – Nope – it’s not for me ☺
I feel as though I must say some things about this wonderful man I’m married to. He’s one of a kind – and I know I could never replace him. No one could put up with me as he has – shown love and graciousness as he has done and been the example to me and our children of God’s patience, humor and consistency through the good and bad times. I’m in awe of him. He’s one of the most “perfect” human beings I’ve ever met – never a cross word in 28 years of marriage – hardly ever loses his temper – I’ve only seen it happen a couple of times and is always positive and loving – and it’s been a good thing too – because I am so flawed and make so many mistakes. But he is steadfast and dependable – always seeking – always doing the right things – always believing the best and wanting me to be better – his encouragement and strength have been a “god-send” and daily I’m reminded how lucky I am. He is truly the best man I’ve ever had the privilege to know. All his friends would say the same thing about him – they feel lucky to know him. His parents and brothers can’t say enough good things about him either. He is blessed ♥
Tomorrow we celebrate with Eddie Duarte cooking Mexican for us and having all the family and friends come through our home for a Birthday Open House. We are getting the house ready for everyone today – and excited to see everyone – old friends – some we haven’t seen in a long time – some we see all the time. We are thinking today of our out of town friends that we wish could be here too – our thoughts are with you today ♥
Below is a baby picture of my dear husband and a picture of what he looks like today – He’s a handsome, sexy 50 year old!! Much love to you, Greg ♥♥♥
My Baby is 18 today. I remember exactly where I was 18 years ago today. I had been up most of the night before sitting up in a recliner in our family room in Northern California where Greg was Senior Pastor for 3 1/2 years. I was timing some early contractions on the clock on our VCR and trying to sleep. When morning came Greg and I took a long walk hoping to bring SOMETHING on. But there was NOTHING.
Later that day we decided to attend the “Apple Blossom Festival” happening in the small town of Fortuna, where we were living. I felt so good I even had a chili dog! Then there were hay rides for the kids and 4 year old Ashlee went on one with her Daddy and then one with a friend. By then I was starting to feel a little something – and told Greg and my Mom who was down visiting – that we needed to go home. We left Ashlee with the friend on the hay ride in hopes that my Mom would be able to go back after her. She eventually found it 🙂 I tried lying down a little but by then – the contractions were coming and we thought we should go to the hospital.
When we got there they broke my water – something it never seems to do on its own – they had to do this when I delivered Ashlee too. THEN the contractions CAME!! 4 hours of hard labor and about 45 minutes of pushing and out Shawn came – at 8:27 pm on a Saturday night. Greg had to preach the next morning – and I know he didn’t get much sleep that night!!
I never slept right after giving birth to either Ashlee or Shawn – no matter how exhausted I was!! So I remember my Mom and Ashlee coming to see “the baby” and them moving me to a private room (the perks of being in a small hospital) and them telling me how much Shawn weighed – 8lbs 13 1/2 ounces!! No wonder my back hurt!!
But the “frozen moment” in time that I remember MOST of all – is when everyone left. My “call” button didn’t work in my room – and I couldn’t reach the phone either. Good thing there wasn’t a real emergency. No – they all just left me holding Shawn. For a LONG TIME – or so it seemed to me. I remember humming the Brahm’s Lullaby to him over and over and snuggling him close to my neck so I could breathe him in – and he could breathe me in too. There wasn’t a sound in the room – and he wasn’t making any noise at all. Just a real bonding moment that I just KNEW I would remember ALL OF MY LIFE. And I have.
That seems like yesterday. So much life has happened since then. We’ve moved several times and arrived back in the Northwest when Shawn was only 3. This is really all he’s ever known.
He’s grown into such a nice young man – tall and handsome and talented too – but what I’m most proud of – is that he hasn’t really changed too much since he was a baby and a little boy – sweet and gentle in spirit with a true sensitivity to others. He’s always been the “favorite” in both families and has many friends. He is a very solid and genuine human being and we couldn’t be more proud of him. Is he perfect? Not at all. But his strength is in his relationship with God and with his family – and that keeps him grounded even when he blows it – or when things around him can seem unsettled.
He and I have always been very close – we have similar personalities – so it’s never been hard to stay a “step ahead” of him – so to speak. He can’t really put too much over on me 🙂 And I know whatever he chooses to do in life he will be successful and well liked by all – and we will always be close.
What I didn’t mention above is that I don’t get pregnant very easily. When it took a year with Ashlee and nothing was happening for much longer than that with the second one – I began to think I was not going to be able to have another baby. I remember walking around a park and just pouring my heart out to God about this issue. I felt a real peace about it – and really felt like the baby I would have would be a very special child. And to that answered prayer I would say – yes! He was and STILL IS!!