Thursday, December 26, 2013

The End of 2013 Mini-Update

I cannot believe that 2013 is days away from being over. History...

It's been a while since I've I thought I'd do a little update. 

1) We took Breelee to see a pediatric neurologist about her breath-holding spells. He told us that what we described was very common...and even her worst one was considered normal. And thankfully, they are not seizure related. He believes it is something she will grow out of soon. That is a wonderful thing. She has passed out since then, but none of the non-responsive moments...which is a relief! But it is a wonderful thing to know that she is ok!

2) The kids and I spent 2 1/2 weeks in Buras with my parents. It was a fantastic visit!!! The kids had a blast playing with their cousins...I had a wonderful time fishing with my dad...and of course, eating the fish that was caught - along with a lot of other amazing food! Lee came in for Thanksgiving, and it was great to be with the family for the holiday. Such a special time. We even had a tea party to celebrate all of the cousins birthdays together. It was so neat!!! Such a great time!!! 

3) My dad has stage 4 non-Hodgkins lymphoma. It was crazy hearing him talk to Brennan about cancer. Again, this is another thing that made the trip so special. My dad isn't taking chemo...he has been taking supplements and eating super clean and healthy. He has lost about 20 pounds (that he said he could stand to lose) and he looks great! We are believing that when he goes back for tests in January, he will get a great report from the doctor that he has been healed!!! 

4) We are blessed to be a part of Connection Church. God is doing wonderful things in our community. We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with friends from church who are like family. It was a wonderful, relaxing time! These friends mean so much to us. I love living life with these people!! And I love doing things with our ladies...that is one of my favorite things ever!!!! We are blessed!!! It's not always easy...but this is exactly where we are supposed to be. And we love it. 

Thanks for keeping up with our family. We feel so loved!! We appreciate the prayers, financial support, and encouragement that we receive...and as always, it is exactly when we need it. God is good to us. 

We are excited about what is to come in 2014...

Saturday, November 9, 2013

To Relish in This Season... I go again.

I have about 5 blog posts that I've started...I just haven't finished them yet. Not quite ready to publish.

I was telling Lee last night that this is such a demanding season of life.

3 little ones - ages 5 and under...

I just seem to stay busy and feel like I am always in survival mode.

I just want to make it to the next day.

There are often dishes left in my sink.

Laundry in the process of being sorted/washed/dried/put away...and in various places of the house in those stages.

A floor that needs to be vacuumed...only to stay needing that vacuum because a baby has finally fallen asleep and the older 2 are being quiet enough that I don't want to take the risk of disrupting that sweet blissful moment.

I know this is a season. Just like it is fall right now...winter is coming...and before I know it, it will be spring!

I just had our parent-teacher conference with Bella's teacher.

We made the decision to keep Bella in preschool one more year instead of putting her in kindergarten.

Her teacher went on and on about the difference between the 2 years.

Bella was the youngest last year. She had difficulties using scissors, sitting still and following directions.

This year, she's older...and her teacher said that Bella is the natural leader in the class. She said Bella will be ready to move on next year...and she will have so much more confidence for her whole academic career. It's one of the best decisions Lee & I have made in a long time! 

Her teacher had so many wonderful things to say about our precious Bella. It's treasured words that I wrote in my journal as soon as I could because I never want those words to leave my heart. 

It seems like just yesterday she was wearing the same clothes that Breelee is wearing now. She was that tiny...walking around Cafe Chi Alpha...watching you tube videos of Sesame Street songs with her college friends. 

And now she's writing, coloring, drawing, singing, dancing, and becoming a beautiful young lady right before my eyes. 

And the other 2 aren't far behind her. 

Breelee will be walking soon...she's already taking several steps in a row. Her little personality is shining through, too.  

Brennan is getting taller...becoming more creative in his imagination and playing.

This is a season. I know that other seasons will have their challenges and demands. I know that there will be moments I will want to cry and pull my hair out...for totally different reasons than I am facing now...

So for right now, Lord, help me to embrace this season. To enjoy the innocence of my babies. To relish in the snuggles and giggles and the moments that will never be like this again. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Breelee's Breath Holding Spells

Being a parent has to be the hardest job on the planet. 

The responsibility of little ones' lives relies on the shoulders of those who raise them.

Wednesday was an extra hard day being a mom. 

At about 11 am, Breelee bumped her mouth on an end table that she was walking along side of. 

That's been the new thing. Standing. Walking along furniture. Taking 1 or 2 steps. 

I mean, she's almost 1 after all!

So, when she bumped her mouth, I immediately picked her up and held her. 

Breelee has a tendancy to hold her breath when she's crying. (Brennan did this too). 

It usually results in her passing out, and then almost immediately afterwards she comes to...takes a deep breath, and then usually cries. 

Well, that didn't happen today. 

She was holding her breath, so I blew in her face. She turned blue for about 5 seconds. This has happened before. And normally she passes out and then starts breathing normally again...and she may be out for a few seconds, but then she starts crying or comes out of it. 

This time she did not. 

She was non-responsive. 

Her eyes were open and glassy. 

Her breathing was erratic. 

This lasted for 1-2 minutes, so I called 911. 

Nothing I did was stimulating her. She was still not responding. 

I was on the phone with the 911 operator for 7 minutes before the paramedics arrived. 

Breelee was still breathing shallowly, and had closed her eyes. She was really pale.

I thought she was asleep, but she wasn’t waking up when I touched her or moved her. I just don’t know if she was non-responsive at that point or asleep. 

By the time the paramedics were looking at her, she was starting to breathe regularly, but she was still not waking up. 

It took a few minutes of moving her around, sitting her up, passing her to a paramedic to get her to wake up.  

She started crying slowly, and then she started to get color in her cheeks again. 

I refused to be transported to the hospital with her and the 3 kids. So, after signing things and giving info, they left. 

I immediately called my pediatrician and they saw me at 1 pm. 

Dr. Mason said that she was fine at that moment of our appointment...nothing seemed abnormal. But she asked us to go see a pediatric neurologist. Thankfully we will be going soon.  

I notice that Breelee holds her breath and is on the verge of passing out more often when she is tired. 11 am has become her natural nap time...the routine she’s made and is pretty consistent with. So I know she was tired that day when this all happened. 

I would say that she’s passed out 6 or 7 times before. Being tired is the only consistent trigger I’ve noticed. Anything can cause the crying that causes it: not picking her up when she wants to be held, something hurting her. 

It is such a scary thing. I would love to never repeat that day again. It's hard enough when she passes out and comes right to, but that non-responsive state is a sickening feeling. 

She's back to herself...trying to climb up the stairs in the house...pulling every piece of tupperware out of my cabinets. She did pass out again yesterday from crying, but just for a few seconds...and she was tired at that point too. Again, she's back to what I would consider normal!

It will be nice to see the neurologist and have it confirmed that she is ok. Our pediatrician said that she has sent more babies to the neurologist for these breath holding spells than most people realize...and most of the time it is a fluke thing. A phase they grow out of. (Like Brennan)

We are praying that this is a fluke thing!!! Thank you for praying with us. We believe God has given us a happy, healthy baby girl...and we will keep trusting Him through this all. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Homemade Stock

I love the fall!!!! 

And I love cooking for the fall!

Soups, chilis, gumbos...

I love the way my house smells when there is a pot of yummy goodness on the stove all day long. 

And I am really getting into making my own homemade stocks. 

I bought a bunch of mason jars at Goodwill a while back...and my original intention was to use them as drinking glasses, which I do and I love...but I've been able to use quite a few of them to freeze the homemade stocks I've been making. 

I've started filling a large ziploc baggie with the leftover veggies I use during the week...the ends of onions, celery, bell pepper, garlic peels...things that I might normally throw away. 

Then, when the baggie is full and I know I'm going to be home all day, I just dump the baggie contents into my stock pot, add water, and let it go for hours! 

If I have leftover chicken bones, I use them to add to the stock too...

But if I don't, I just use the veggies leftovers that I have. 

I don't even add salt or pepper or any other seasoning because I can add that to my cooking later. This is just to have a whole different level of richness to dishes as I cook...better than water!

I'm really trying to get away from processed's definitely not an overnight thing for our family, but it is something that we are moving towards. 

I want our family to be healthier than we are. 

This is a step in the right direction!

What kind of secrets do you have for getting away from processed foods? 

Friday, September 13, 2013

This Is Only the Beginning! Connection Church 1 Year Celebration

Connection Church is 1 year old!!! 

We are so excited about all that God has done, and all that God is doing in us and through us. 

Connection Church is a beautiful, diverse community. And to be honest, they have become  family to us. 

Lee was responsible for editing 100 minutes of video interviews to show at the end of our 1 year celebration service. He trimmed it down to 7 minutes.

Thanks to our AppleTV, I was able to help him make selections of what should be included without both of us having to focus on the computer screen (we were able to stream it to our tv). It was hard to decide!! There was so much good many good things said!! Such beautiful stories of how people became a part of Connection Church and what God has done!!

Lee and I decided to move to Colorado ourselves after reading a book called A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Don Miller. Shawn and Amy had already asked us to move here to be a part of the church plant...but reading this book together pushed us over the edge. 

It was all about living a story worth telling. If our life is a book, would someone want to keep reading, or would the book be put down after the first page? Would fiction have to be added to it to make it a movie that people would want to watch?

And through editing this video...we wanted to tell the story of Connection Church. 

This video really is just a short glimpse...I wish you could hear all of the stories...maybe someday you will!  It was awesome to know that each person didn't have a clue what the others said, and yet they all shared the same feelings: home, community, family, a place to belong... Lee and I just sat together crying as we listened to the stories and feelings each person shared!!

We are actually excited about next year's video as well...we know that there will be more stories, new faces, and even more reason to celebrate!!! :) 

Thank you for watching and celebrating with us!!! 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Brennan is 3!

I can't believe that my little Bear is turning 3 years old today. 

It really doesn't seem like it has been 3 years since I delivered him!!

I love that little boy so much. 

He's so full of life and energy!!! 

He is all boy... I mean all boy

He hits, spits, kicks, karate chops just about anything and everything...and everyone. 

Yet, he can be so sweet and tender...

One of my favorite things is hearing him laugh with Bella...they are so silly together. And in true sibling fashion, they can be hitting and screaming at each other one minute and then giggling and hugging each other the next. 

It really is a special relationship that I love to watch develop more each day. 

It definitely falls into the category of, "I can hit my sister, but you better not lay a finger on her..." We have have already heard him defend her before...which was awesome! 

He also has a wonderful relationship with his little sister. 

He can also make Breelee laugh with just about anything that he does. 

He also can be soooo tough with her...but I love when he starts singing to her to calm her down. 

It really is precious to see how much they care about each other and are concerned for each other.

I love that my kids love each other. 

After hearing a sermon by Brad Bullock in Louisiana a while back, Lee & I decided to come up with a few things that we want our kids to have deep in their hearts...

For Brennan, we have these statements for him - and he finishes them for us::  
We say, "You are my..." he finishes with - "Bear"
We say, "You are so..." he finishes with - "strong" 
We say, "And you say..." he finishes with - "I can do all things through Jesus!" 

We feel honored that we have been entrusted to raise a strong, mighty man of God. 

My prayer for him is that he grows up desiring to have a relationship with God for himself...not because he feels like he has to...not because he knows that we want him to...but because he wants to himself. 

(And I know that will come from how Lee & I show him our relationship with God now.)

I pray that Brennan is covered by God's hand of protection and provision. 

I pray that Brennan will continue to love to learn. 

I pray that Brennan will enjoy life - and help everyone around him enjoy life as well...just like his daddy...

Loving God and loving others...that is what I want for him. 

My heart is full today as we celebrate the first 3 years of his little life!! 

The best is yet to come!!!

Here are just a few highlights of my baby boy! 

 I'll have more pictures of the superhero birthday party that we are having this weekend!! 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

How I Love Lee

I feel so blessed. I love being married to Lee. 

We've been together for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health...definitely for better or for worse. 

And I absolutely love him. I love being with him. I love hearing his voice. I love being on the same page as him. 

I just feel blessed. 

I choose to love him every day. 

I know that there are days when we get frustrated with each other...we disagree on things...but I still choose to love him, and he chooses to love me. 

Love is a choice. Not a feeling. I think my feelings can change with the wind. But I don't have to make my choices based on feelings. 

I really like looking at 1 Corinthians 13 when it comes to thinking about "true love." I mean, it's known as the love chapter. It's often read at weddings...inscribed somewhere for marital celebrations. 

In verse 4 it begins giving a list of what love is and what love is not...

Love is patient.
Love is kind. 
It does not envy, 
It does not boast, 
It is not proud.
It is not rude, 
It is not self-seeking, 
It is not easily angered, 
It keeps no record of wrongs. 
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 

Those are strong images of what love is and what love is not. 

I don't succeed at truly loving Lee every day according to these verses. 

I'm getting ready to teach a Bible Study Methods class for our Deeper small group at Connection Church. I am soooooooo excited about this. 

And one of the things that is consistent with every method of studying the Bible is application. 

It's one thing to learn about it...but I am missing the point if I don't apply what I have learned to my life. personal goal is to memorize these verses again (I memorized them when I was a teenager)...and whenever I don't "feel" like loving Lee (or anyone else for that matter), I will meditate on these verses...I will make sure that I am applying them to my life. 

I want to love my husband even more than I do now. 

Marriages don't just get better over time...It's not like a fine wine that can be put on the shelf and get better by itself. 

A good marriage takes work...and a great marriage takes a lot of work!

But every investment in my marriage is worth it...and every effort to love like 1 Corinthians 13 talks about makes my marriage more delightful than it was the day before!

And that is worth it to me!!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Few Things in Life that I'm Enjoying...

I'm enjoying the weather right now...the days may be a little hot, but the evenings are absolutely perfect. Sometimes I even need a sweater as we sit on the's beautiful. 

I'm enjoy Lee's work schedule. It's wonderful getting to spend time with him when we do. 

I'm enjoying my Nike Fuelband. Lee & I both have one...we got them for our birthdays. We each have our own "fuel points" goals, and we are working towards meeting those every day. My goal stretches me...I have to do something extra to hit it...It's a great common interest for us...we are able to keep each other motivated as we work towards meeting our fitness goals. I am working towards having a 3 day streak!!

I'm enjoying my new Pampered Chef products. I am happy to be a new Pampered Chef Independent Consultant...and I am having a blast setting up shows on Facebook and in homes. 

I hosted my first party at my house last night. We had a salsa making contest using my new products. It was sooooo fun!!! I am looking forward to getting more comfortable with the process. Next week, I have a "Date Night" cooking show scheduled with a friend from college who lives here in Colorado...and we'll have the salsa making contest again!!! So fun!

I'm enjoying my kids. It is a demanding season, but our home is full of noise (sometimes good...sometimes not so good...), love, and laughter. Yes, there are many messes...and sometimes I feel trapped in the monotony of day to day things...but I know I will look back, and life will never be like it was when I had 3 little ones at home. 
(From when I began writing this post, Breelee pulled up on the couch...and not long after I picked her up, she fell asleep on me. These are sweet moments that don't last forever!)

I'm enjoying my church. Connection Church is a wonderful place that connects people with God and with each other. Megan, a young lady who has been coming to our church recently told me, "I've found nothing that can compare to the genuineness of what's happening in that auditorium." That's so awesome! And I get to be a part of that!! It really is a beautiful thing. 

What are some things that you are enjoying right now?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Days Are Long but the Years Are Short's been a different season of life for me. 

I have been here in this season before, but it looks different with 3 kids. 

Somedays I feel like I haven't had 5 minutes pass without the little people touching me!

Breelee doesn't want me to be out of her sight. Sometimes I have to be within her reach for her to be happy. 

Lee & I went on a date while his parents were here for a visit. She didn't last too long with them...they said she was even saying "Mama" while we were gone. They said she knew who she wanted. 

And I know that this won't last forever...but it does make the days seem extra long. 

Either I'm holding her and not accomplishing anything else in my messy house...or I'm switching laundry over or loading the dishwasher with a crying baby who has crawled to find me and is pulling at my legs. 

The days are long but the years are short...

It wasn't too long ago that Bella and Brennan went through that stage. Sometimes it is even hard to remember it. 

Lee & I watched a video of Bella at about 2 years old...where Brennan is now... and it is crazy to hear her talk...her sweet little voice...and before I know it...Brennan will be talking even clearer than he is now. 

Just a few months ago, he kept asking for what we thought was "Hungry Hippos..." only to find out that it was actually "Super Heroes" which he can say very clearly now. 

The days are long but the years are short...

I've said it before, and I mean it...I don't want to rush to the next stage of life. I know it will have its own set of challenges and demands...

But I want to enjoy this one. And I believe God has given me grace to do so. 

I'm not a perfectionist when it comes to my house...some days I wish I was...but I've been told by my OCD friends that I should be happy that I'm not. I can enjoy time with my kids in my messy house. And really, before I know it...I will have all the time in the world to clean it. But I won't have these days with my babies again...3 kids under the age of 5...

I have heard too many moms of older kids say that they miss the days when their kiddos were little. I've heard women who have complications having kids say that they would trade my noisy, messy house for their quiet, clean house any day...

So I choose to embrace this season, no matter what the days may bring...because afterall...

The days are long but the years are short...

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Teachable Moment:: How to Deal with Disappointment

I have found my newest role in motherhood is teaching Bella how to deal with disappointment.

There are going to be times in life when things don't go the way she wants them to.

Disappointment is a natural part of life. Even the Bible refers to it.

Proverbs 13:12

New Living Translation (NLT)
12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
    but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.

I know that I don't always deal with disappointment appropriately...

And I know that she's watching me.

Yesterday we went to our church's playdate group. It was at a swimming pool...the sun was shining, the water felt great...
this is from our first Connection Church playdate

We played for an hour and a half.

Brennan had eaten all of our snacks and was tired...Breelee was tired...but Bella wasn't ready to go.

We were the first family to leave.

And that was devastating for Bella. Absolutely devastating.

She cried. A real, genuine cry.

I tried to empathize with her...I told her that I understood that she was disappointed. I understood that it was ok to cry.

But her loud ceaseless crying in the car was waking up her baby sister...and to have 2 crying girls in the car would have been too much for me in that moment.

We got home...ate lunch...and she mostly recovered.

Later, she apologized for crying about leaving the pool.

Her tender heart amazes me.

I told her that I appreciated it...I understood she was disappointed...but it was important for her to listen to me when I say it is time to go.

Honestly, I could have given in to her...I could have let her have her way and let her stay...I could have turned the stroller around and said, "Ok, Bella, since you are crying and so thoroughly disappointed, we will stay the extra 5 minutes until everyone else leaves."

But that wouldn't have taught her an accurate way to deal with disappointment. It would have just showed her that if she cries enough...if she shows enough disappointment...if she throws a fit...she can get her way.

But that's not how I want her to grow up. I want her to learn how to move on when it is time to...

I am the one who sets the boundaries...not her...It is my role as her mom.

Today, she has recovered. She's playing. She's learning. She's growing.

She is learning that it is ok to cry...but she's also learning that she cannot get her way all of the time. It is not fun...but she will be a better person because of it.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Blakney Family Update June 2013

Life is moving very quickly! This weekend makes 1 year since we've moved to Colorado!!!!

So much has happened!

Breelee is now 7 months old. Can't believe it. She's grown so much...she's sitting up on her own. She's eating big girl food. She's still sleeping great. Just unbelievable how fast it's gone by!

Breelee loves loves loves her brother and sister...they can make her laugh like no one else! And she loves her daddy too...she gets soooo excited when he gets home from work!

It is delightful to see her personality develop. And I cannot tell you how many compliments we get about her being a happy baby...yet answer to prayer!

Brennan is potty-trained! He decided almost 2 weeks ago that he was done with diapers...he came home from church on Sunday and used the little potty and hasn't wanted to wear a diaper since. Yes, we've dealt with accidents, but he's getting better. And he's only had a couple of accidents during the night - he wears his big boy drawers to bed and keeps them dry! It is crazy to think that I haven't had to change his diaper in almost 2 weeks...

I mean, I've had to clean up his accidents, but before I know it...I won't have to clean those up either.

He is so funny...definitely all boy...rough and tough...but loves his momma! :) He has an amazing vocabulary and regularly asks to go back to Meme's house in Louisiana!

Bella is doing awesome. She is growing taller by the day! She finished prek at her amazing school...and we are debating on keeping her there next year (our other option is homeschooling...which if it doesn't begin this fall, we will begin the next one!!)

I've been working with her to learn to read...she's excited about it, and she can already read some short books! She has such a love for reading, which is an answer to prayers!

She still loves to sing and dance, which we hear and see all the time. She is sweet and sassy...and so much like me it is unreal. She is a helpful big sister...and I am so proud of the developing little lady she is becoming.

Her faith is growing in God...and that is beautiful to be a part of!

Our family is doing well. Lee is still working part-time with Apple. He doesn't have a "regular" schedule since he is part-time...and he doesn't always get a lot of hours, but we are praying that he will get to go "full-time" soon! That would be HUGE for our family!

We are so thankful for our support team members who continue to help us with their prayers and financial support. God is using you to provide for us...and we are blessed. A lot of times money is tight, but God takes such good care of meeting our needs!!

The church is doing great! I'm about to lead a women's online Bible study for our ladies, which I am sooooo excited about!! Plus I'm getting to plan some fun activities for the summer! I'm still helping teach kids church, running media occasionally, and singing on the worship team...but I'm also about to help more in the nursery...which I'm looking forward to loving on those babies!

Lee is doing great with the music and media. He doesn't have a ton of time to devote to meeting and finding new musicians to relieve those who are playing...but our team is dedicated to leading worship on Sunday mornings! We are so blessed to have them at Connection Church!

For those of you reading this, thank you for loving on our family. Thanks for praying for us and believing in us and with us. Thank you for encouraging us...even if you didn't know we even needed it! :)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

"All Things Work Together..."

I've been thinking about the Scripture verse Romans 8:28...

I've had it memorized for years. I often quote it to myself in good times and in bad...

"All things work together for the good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose..."

There has been a lot going on in our lives...and this Scripture has been in the front of my mind...coming up when I have a quiet moment...literally just a moment...but it comes up again and again.

When thinking about this...I know it doesn't mean that everything will be easy.

I know my dad is doing well, but it is not easy being so far from them right now. I'd love to go for a quick visit. But flying to New Orleans by myself isn't exactly worth it for just a quick few day trip...and I don't want to go down for longer right now because I want him to get rest and recover without added stress from me and the kids being there.

And Lee's part-time job is going super well. He has great relationships with his coworkers, which is awesome...he loves what he's's awesome. But we are having to make some decisions on

I think I often mistake God working things together for my "good" as "It should be easy..."

And life is not always easy.

Lee and I still have disagreements in our marriage...

Loved ones have graduations and celebrations that we cannot attend...

Hours are spent doing things we may not want to do but have to be done...

It is not easy...but it is going to be ok.

My dad is getting older. He has crazy health problems that he is getting taken care of...but I'm realizing more and more just how fragile life is... I never know when we will go to meet Jesus in person.

Often he will tell me, "Bri, if I died today, I will have died a happy man. I've lived a full life." And although I don't want to hear him say that, I know he means it.

But really, I want him to live so much longer. I want him to take my kids fishing...I want my kids to spend weeks at a time enjoying the land and life in Buras.

But, because of my dad's legacy...I know that no matter what happens, God is working on our behalf. He is allowing things to happen which will work out for our good.

I cannot explain the peace that I have right now.

Even when I cannot see it, I know that God is working on my behalf.

And I want to become more like Him in the events of each day...He loves me too much to let me stay the same.

Friday, May 17, 2013

A Phone Call or a FaceTime Away...

I am feeling very blessed lately...

I am feeling God's favor and abundance...

My dad had open heart surgery a little over a week ago to remove some blockages that were found. He is doing great...He had a hard time sleeping in the hospital...but now he's home, and he's doing so much better. Much better!! He really is recovering well.

I am so thankful for all of the love and support that has been shown to my family during this time. It was a wonderful feeling knowing we have been (and will continue to be) covered by others' prayers.

It was hard being so far from them, but I know it would have caused more stress for me to be there. It would have been hard with the kids. My dad would have wanted to see us all, but that would have been hard on him. And it would have been CRAZY with us in their house when they got home.

And I'm so thankful for the Apple products we have...we were able to FaceTime my dad using my sister's iPad while he was in the hospital...which was much easier for him to hold and see us on than a small phone or a laptop...

We've been able to FaceTime a lot...which is's so good to SEE and HEAR him laugh! :)

I love my dad. He's a wonderful man of God who has worked hard to give us such a legacy...

My dad has read a chapter of Proverbs in the Bible every day for as long as I can remember. Literally.

Any time I ask for advice from him, there is a Proverbs involved in it.

So it is fitting today to read Proverbs chapter 17...
And verse 6 says, "Grandchildren are the crowning glory of the aged; parents are the pride of their children." 
This is so true of my dad!!

I am blessed with wonderful parents who did their best to shape me in to the woman God created me to be...and then released me to respond to the call of God on my life.

It is hard being so far from Louisiana...but I am thankful to know that I have their love and support across the miles...

And I'm also thankful that they are just a FaceTime away...

Saturday, May 11, 2013

A Tired Mommy

I feel like I'm just dragging.

Just can't seem to keep up with anything.

Laundry is piling up - clean and dirty piles alike!!

The sink never seems empty...

And at times it feels very overwhelming.

I keep reminding myself that this is just a season...but sometimes it is hard to remember to remind myself that!

I remember seeing one of my friends with 4 little ones use the hashtag #sleepdeprived...and now I am definitely right there with her. I am definitely feeling sleep deprived!!

It is hard to make sound decisions when I am lacking sleep.

It is hard for me to keep a positive attitude when I am lacking sleep.

It is hard for me to have patience with anyone - even my kids - when I am lacking sleep.

So, how do I fix that? I cannot just take a nap whenever I want to...There's not a time to "sleep when the baby sleeps" right now...

So, I have to spend time in prayer...and this may just be a brief moment!! There is power in spending a moment with God...He knows the value of my time, and I know He appreciates my recognition of Him...and my need for Him to be with me!!

I try journal when I can. If Breelee is asleep, I'm usually able to do this...even if it means getting paper and pens for the older two to write along with me...
birthday party fun!!
Turning music on in our house helps too. It can definitely change the atmosphere...and my attitude.

I also am trying to take a deep breath before I say anything when my kids do something they aren't supposed to. This is not always my first reaction, but I would like for it to become it!!!

I am also trying to enjoy life with my kids. I want them to have good, positive memories of their childhood...

This is just a different, demanding season of life. I know it will go by quickly...and I don't want to spend all my time rushing and wishing for the next season to happen.

I want to enjoy matter how tired I am!!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Louisiana Lagniappe

I've MIA on my blog lately...It was because I spent 2 weeks in Louisiana...

It felt good to be back.

Honestly, part of it felt like I haven't been gone for almost a year now. Some things just haven't changed much at all.

I really enjoyed being at Crossroads Church in Lafayette for the Joie de Vivre Conference. Connection Church ladies, get ready...we're going to have a Joie de Vivre Conference of our own one day soon!

I walked away from that conference inspired and refreshed...ready to go back to minister to the wonderful ladies in our community!!

It was great to see hug necks and show off my kiddos...

And it was absolutely wonderful being with my parents. I'm so thankful for Skype and FaceTime...I get to "see" them a lot more often than I would if it wasn't for the internet...but there's something special about being in their home.

I've enjoyed my mom's cooking...hearing my dad play with my kids...and watching my mom put my littlest one to sleep. There's nothing else like that.

It was a good time had by all.

I know that Lee and I are where we are supposed to be in Colorado. We have followed God's call, just like our parents have taught us to do.

I'm thankful that I can get to my parents house in less than 3 hours on a plane...instead of 24 hours in a car!!!

Flying back by myself with 3 kids really wasn't bad at all. Bella had a minor meltdown due to another tooth coming loose and bleeding a little (she's totally my girl and gets freaked out by anything to do with blood), and Brennan's meltdown came at the end because he didn't want to stay buckled.

Other than that, we made it. No one was left behind or lost...not even toys. And no one got really sick on the plane (which is usually me...but I made it!) And I'm thankful for the super nice flight attendant who helped me fill water cups and make sure Bella was ok!! (Thanks Southwest Airlines!!)

And I know that I can do this again. And I plan on it.

I love Colorado. It is our home...but there is a special place in our hearts for Louisiana. We'll be visiting again as soon as we can!!!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Fancy Nancy Nightmare

I tried going to the library this past week. 

There was an activity I had seen advertise on a Facebook page...

 A "Fancy Nancy Tea Party..." 

Bella has a few Fancy Nancy books, and she's all about dressing up and being fancy, so I thought this would be great for her. 

So, we made it to the local library...our first venture there...

And I found out that I was supposed to RSVP for this event...

I don't even have a local library card yet...this is our first visit there!! So, we walked away from the sign up table. 

The librarian came to find me to tell me that there was room for Bella.

So we went back to the area where Bella was able to make a bracelet out of candy and fruitloops, a cute crown she was able to decorate...and then go in for the tea party...

There were cute cookies, fruit kabobs, fancy sandwiches...

And then there was Brennan...

He wasn't ready to sit on the floor for the tea party. He was ready to go back to the puzzles and kids books...

And he let me know that by trying to escape the room...even though they gave him some cookies and fruit too. 

So, after the first Fancy Nancy book was read, I left. I couldn't take it. I was trying to hold an infant and keep a toddler occupied...just wasn't working. 

So we went back to the kids area. 

My kids were fine until Bella saw another girl with a butterfly place setting...and Bella realized she didn't have hers...and she hadn't taken a picture in the photo booth...

So, meltdowns started then. 

I was dunzo. I walked out of the library with a drooling infant, a screaming toddler, and a pouting princess. 

I was so frustrated on my way home. I felt trapped all over again. Like I can never leave my house with my kids. It's just a nightmare. 

We got home, and Bella went out on the back deck. 

She said, "I"m done, done, done going to the library." 

I told her that was fine. We weren't going to go again any time soon.

She said, "I'm not talking to you...I'm talking to Jesus." 

Honestly, that made me smile. I am happy that she knows she can bring her frustrations to Jesus. I know He heard her. I'm so glad she's developing her own relationship with Him.

I don't know when I'll actually venture to the library again...but I'm thankful to know that in a moment of frustration, my little girl talks to Jesus.