Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Bunch Of Updates.

I don't really feel like blogging right now, but I was just now wasting a bunch of time of Facebook, you know when you just scroll through the feed completely mindlessly? So, it's probably better to just blog.

Pregnancy Update: I've been feeling close to awesome. It's bad because I tend to think I'm invincible and tonight I ate after Aria who has been getting over a cold. We will see how invincible I am. Yikes. The only thing is the hunger. It's like clockwork, basically. We got out of church this morning and started to talk about lunch, I was like, I'm not really hungry, those whole wheat pancakes really stuck with me today. About ten minutes later I felt like I could eat a horse. I'm trying to be really conscious of what I'm putting in my mouth, but it's hard when you feel like you are about to die of starvation.

Levi Story: His new favorite bedtime song is Come Thou Fount, today he totally sang almost the whole first verse with me. I'm pretty sure he has no idea what the lyrics are actually saying, but it's super cute. Also, each evening and nap we read a chapter from the Jesus Story Book Bible and a Clifford book we got from the library. So each night it's Jesus and Clifford. Yep. Jesus and Clifford.

Aria Story: (which one do I tell?)  Today she took the stool from the bathroom, carried it into the living room and set it on the coffee table. She then proceeded to climb on the table and then onto the stool. Let's just say she likes to walk on the wild side. She also loves wrestling and playing with Levi, until he gets a little too rough, then she lets loose her blood-curdling scream. Gotta keep that one in the back pocket.

Ben is off his "crunches" (as Levi calls them) and knee cart. Every so often Levi looks up at him and says, "I'm really sorry about your achilles dad." He's a thoughtful little kid.

We are in the midst of re-doing the kitchen. For some reason the Lord has given me a love for sanding and tearing down wallpaper lately. Ben is the resident painter. My prayer is that we will keep our momentum going. It's fun to see the progress and exciting to think of what it will look like in the end.

God Is Teaching Me: That I'm not a perfect parent. And that's okay. I realized the other day that even though I don't want to and I know it's wrong, that I base my worth so often on what my kids do. Sometimes they are angelic and sometimes they are demonic. I feel maybe the most judged in my parenting. It's not that I have had people talk to me about it, but maybe it's that I've been the one to judge. Maybe it's that I feel eyes on me when I'm out and about. Maybe it's that I don't have complete control over my children. You can never truly have complete control over them unless you harness them or put them in a straight jacket. Seriously, they will always have a desire to do what they want to do.

Lord, help me to rely on You. I do things that break Your heart all the time. I speak in ways that I should not, I disobey, I rely on myself. I need You. Help me to release control to You. Give me strength to discipline not out of anger, or feeling frustrated, but to discipline because my child needs it. Help me not to worry about the opinions of others, but to be respectful and teach my children to be kind and considerate. I need You.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Pregnancy Update

It's hard to believe that this is the third time I've been pregnant. It just doesn't seem like I'm old enough or experienced enough. For the record, I'm 28 and we've been married for a little more than 5 years.

I'm now 15 weeks and a few days. My belly is still in that awkward phase where it just looks like you ate too much for dinner, not that you're really pregnant yet. I'm totally okay with that. After a few pregnancies I've learned to really just enjoy not having a humongous belly and not worry about how I look. Right now I'm still trying to wear my old jeans, just wearing them a little lower and making sure my shirts are long. I'm learning that I'm just not a huge fan of the panel until I have a belly to hold it up. Even then, they get itchy and stuff. Or maybe I just have cheap maternity wear. 

As I said last time, I'm totally nesting. For some reason I have a crazy amount of energy and I'm wanting to exert it on our house. I think it's finally hit me that it's a worthwhile investment and I would really enjoy living in a prettier house right now. So... we are working on the kitchen. Yikes! I like to bite off more than I can chew. Anyways, I'm peeling away the wallpaper right now... only to find more wallpaper. I feel like an archeologist uncovering the hideous 1990's paper. It's exciting. 

Can I just say I'm really proud of the fact that I didn't gain any weight this past visit? Can I just shout that out?! I had gained about 5-6 pounds the first one and realized I needed to really watch it. (No more late night ice cream.) Now that I've been feeling better, I've definitely eaten healthier. The main goal is not to gain a million pounds. With Levi I started out heavier but only gained 30 pounds. With Aria I thought, "What's the big deal? I lost it all with Levi, I won't gain that much weight will I?" and I gained more like 50 pounds. I was almost 2 pounds shy of 200. Oh my. 

Well, it's so far, so good. Let's see if I can get things right the third time around. :) 

Until next time. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Looking Back

The other day was Cow Appreciation Day at Chick Fil A (our favorite restaurant EVER).

Instead of fixing dinner all afternoon I "made" "cow costumes" Ah, the work we will go to in order to get free chicken. It was worth it.

I took some old t-shirts I had painted for my "music career" and just painted spots over them. You could still kind of see the "Jody McCall Rocks" underneath.

All of this led me to start thinking about my former "music career" ... I keep using quotation marks because this is all just hypothetical. I like to say jokingly that I had a music career, but really, I only made about $50 for the whole year. You can ask Ben. He and his dad did my taxes. Thank goodness I had those other three part time jobs to support me.

I kind of live my life in a make it up as you go along kind of way. I went to UCA because they gave me scholarships and it was free (who doesn't want a free college degree??). I majored in music because I like music, I get music theory, it sounded interesting. I took up Music Education because they told me to. I dropped the Ed part because I didn't want to take the three Praxis and pay tons of money for something I didn't really want to do (teach choir... no thank you). I didn't want to major in performance because then I would have to do Opera. Maybe I could have gone the Musical Theater route, but I wasn't trained in acting. Anyways, all this to say I happened to get my Bachelor of Arts in Music, graduated and just wanted to play, write and sing.

Right now I'd like to reflect on the things I would have done differently. From start to finish.

- I don't think that I would have majored in music. I definitely would have at least minored in writing or in poetry. Maybe I would have gotten a business degree. The music industry is just that, an industry. When I started to get my feet wet I realized I had no idea what I was doing.
**The reason why I say think is because there were things that were beneficial l about the music degree such as voice lessons, ear training, piano lessons, choir and playing in the jazz ensemble. I would not take those things back. The other parts were not applicable to what I actually wanted to do. (But what degree is completely applicable anyways? Or am I way off on that?)

- I probably would have moved to a more music-career-friendly town such as Nashville (although Nashville might be a little too overpopulated with music careers already, I'm not sure) or Austin. Even just a big city like Dallas would have been better to play in than a small city such as Little Rock.

- I would have worked more on branding and design. I made t-shirts with my name in huge letters on them. I think what I didn't realize then was that it's not about having your name on things, it's about producing something that people want or like. I probably would have still made my own t-shirts, I'm just not sure I would have put my name on them. Just not to be so obvious. It was a difficult line to walk, being my own promoter. You want to put yourself out there, but you don't want to look prideful or inflated.

- I would have worked on my myspace more or tried to find someone to create a website.

- I would have played fewer shows and just promote them better. I played WAY too many shows.

- I would have been more choosy about my venues. I would not have played three-hour cover shows at places like Grumpy's. Even though they paid me $150 for three hours of music, it just wasn't worth it. I didn't need to be background music somewhere, I just needed to play real shows at real venues that are for playing music. Not venues that are just for getting drunk and smoking.

Now, to match all those negatives and just to be fair, I will say that there were some things I am glad and proud of doing.

I'm thankful I had the different musical experiences in college, and even relational experiences which led me to write many songs. I'm thankful I had a friend, Justin Adams, who was willing to spend many hours helping me record these songs. I'm thankful he helped me make a CD that I could be proud of, referred me to Disc Makers where not only did I get to print a thousand CD's but also was able to get my music onto iTunes. (This still blows my mind that I'm on iTunes, yes, I just checked, I'm still there, I get about 60 cents on the dollar if you want to buy my music on there.)

I'm thankful I had the support of so many friends and family. I'm still blown away by the fact that friends would pay actual, hard-earned money to come hear me play music. Amazing.

I'm thankful for the random shows that got me connected to certain friends like Colter McCorkindale who showed me cool things to do on the guitar that expanded my songwriting in huge ways. He also got me in to work backstage at Riverfest, an experience I will never forget.

I'm thankful for my many friends who played in my bands and were gracious and willing enough to play my music. Looking back I should have tried to collaborate more with other musicians. I had this idea that being a one-man show would be easiest, no one to fight with at least, but I think it would have helped creativity blossom and flourish a little better had I had someone else to bounce ideas off of. I don't know.

Wow, so many things to think about. I feel like I could write a book of the mistakes I've made. I guess I could live in regret, but I don't think we were created to live that way. I'm thankful that I at least tried. Even if I failed in some ways, overall, I am proud of what I have done.

Thank You Lord that we can learn from our mistakes. Help me to always have a willing heart. Thank You for the gift of music.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Expecting Baby #3

I have no idea what to title this post. I was sitting there thinking and then I thought, I'm wasting precious time that I could be blogging. So, I just stuck that in the title. :)

Alright, this is kind of just a pregnancy update. It's not so much about the baby as it is me and how I'm handling things right now.

News Alert!! For the first time ever in any of my pregnancies I think I am actually nesting. This crazy. But good. Our house needs some TLC and I need to make some decisions about how I want my nest. More than anything, I need energy and motivation to actually DO the projects I want to do. I'm not a project person. I like the idea of sewing cool curtains or refinishing a chair or painting the hallway or stripping off the wallpaper in our kitchen so we can paint it to look pretty and fun... but yikes, doing it is often a different story. Lord, I need help and wisdom in this.

I think all these projects mean that I'm going to have to keep facebook and instagram at an arms length these days. I'll still get on, and do stuff occasionally, but I'm going to try to keep it super limited. Lord, help me in this too.

The good thing is that I'm pretty much in my second trimester. I'm not big yet. I often forget that I'm even pregnant (until I try to fit into my jeans). I have no more food aversions, vegetables don't repulse me any more!! I can go to the grocery store without wanting to vomit! Life is good. Life is beautiful.

The only thing is that I'm hungry, the kind of hunger that you have skipped a meal or something... all the time! It's about every two hours it seems. The good thing is that I'm starting to swing back more towards whole foods, vegan, organic, healthier choices. Thank goodness those things don't make me want to gag any more. Those six weeks of feeling that way are not beneficial.

I have a cold right now, but I'm pumping the vitamin C (my doula said you can take up to 1500 mg per day) and drinking Braggs Raw Apple Cider Vinegar and honey (it's basically the nectar of life!)

Exercise is hit and miss these days. I found that if I push myself too hard I'm pretty much a zombie for the rest of the day. Usually just a good 1 mile walk is all I can handle. Hopefully all these projects will help me with just getting moving and I can count them as exercise! Ha!

Lord, help me to glorify You in this pregnancy. Thank You for bursts of energy. Help me to use them well. Help me not to get too focused on the house and it's needs and forget the needs of my children. Give me wisdom in all of this. Thank You that Ben is able to hobble around without crutches and the help he has been these past few days. Thank You that he is a helpful husband in general. Thank You for this new life forming within me. Help me not to be resentful, but to be grateful.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Letters to Littles

Dear Aria,

You are 18 months old today. I can't even believe it. The days pass slowly, but time is flying. (That will only make sense to you when you are older, don't worry.)

You are transforming from a sweet little baby into a (dare I say) sassy little toddler. Oh my, do you have some sass! There is still a lot of sweetness there though, thank goodness. You are still very different from your brother in that you love to just sit and cuddle. You get your little thumb in your mouth and just lay your head on my shoulder. I love it.

I'm amazed at the things you can understand. Full on sentences that you seem to completely grasp. Like, "No, no Aria, you need to have the insert in your little potty before you sit on it." You get up, I put the insert on the potty and you sit back down. It's amazing. Speaking of the potty, we are only dabbling. I have no expectations or hopes that you will have it down before baby #3 gets here. For some reason, I'm totally okay with that. You seem to really enjoy sitting on it and making pssss sounds right back at me.

We are working on obedience. Sometimes you obey completely and right away, but sometimes you test the waters. You look back with this glint in your eye as if to say, "Make me." Oh dear, my little one, I'm praying that God will give me a diligent heart in this area. I usually don't have to spank hard, I think you are pretty sensitive right now, much more than your big brother was. It's just that when you get upset, there is no going back. It's usually the end of the world. That's often when I put you in your crib for a few minutes so I don't lose my mind. I come back and you are nice and composed as if nothing has happened. I'm so thankful for short toddler memories.

You are unafraid. Ladders, slides, heights, water, you're definitely keeping me on my toes. You are busy busy busy. I have to make sure things don't get too quiet, otherwise, you're getting into something.

Your favorite book is Mister Brown Can Moo by Dr Seuss. You are starting to repeat words and sounds. Most words either sound like "Mimi" or "Dada" your please sounds like "eeeese!" And thank you sounds like "Dah Doo!"

Best of all, you love your daddy. He is the one who hung the moon in your little world. You obey him much better than you obey mommy. You sit still while he reads to you, you love to show him your new outfit or shoes. He loves you too. He holds your hands so you can go down the stairs, he spins you in his desk chair, he is tender and sweet with you. This is precious to me.

I love you my little sweet girl. You make life more challenging, but you make me better for it. You are a gem, a precious gift.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Pregnancy Update

This is just for the record. I don't necessarily have a title for this third pregnancy yet. I was thinking yesterday, I need to blog, but I can't think of what I want to call this thing and then I started to get overwhelmed and think, maybe my "series" are dumb and lame and maybe no one has ever told me that and here I am thinking I'm so clever and cool, and just everything got overwhelming. Goodness.

And then I realized, I just need to blog and let it be just a paragraph, an update and not worry about all that stuff right now.

So, here we go.

I'm twelve weeks, I'll be thirteen on the 4th. I'm starting to feel better in general. Praise the Lord! Second trimester is about here! I realized yesterday after the grocery store that I didn't want to gag the whole time. This is life-changing. You have no idea... unless you've been pregnant before.

I'm hungry like a crazy person. All weekend I kept asking Ben, "Are you hungry? Cause I am." His response was always no. I'm trying not to eat my face off. I just don't want to gain 50 pounds again... I probably need to continue to give up ice cream. I should also make sure that if I make cookies not to eat four or five in one sitting and make sure and give away the rest. I've been craving sour things.

I am wondering if this is another girl.

The Lord has blessed me with lots of energy. I honestly have no idea how I have kept the house running with meals on the table and the house being moderately clean. Two kids can make serious amounts of messes. Thankfully Levi is slowly learning how to help and do chores. I try to keep encouraging him and speaking life over the fact that I am proud that I have such a big helper. He THRIVES on encouragement.

Aria's been getting into more and more. I need to pick up the blanket training again. Jesus, help me. Also, help her to stay alive. That would be good.

There's my update! Much easier than I thought. Whew.