Thursday, December 31, 2009

So it begins Pt 2

Once Officer Hottie got the call to do backgrounds he had a ton of paperwork to fill out. He had to come up with references and give the names, addresses and phone numbers for just about everyone he knew. When I would see someone at church or run into them while shopping it seemed almost inevitable they would say something to the effect of, "Oh, so I got a call from the City asking about OH!" It was exciting but really nervewrecking too. I was concerned something would come up from someone who didn't like him or his family and that would be it. His parent's had recently gone through a trial at their church with nasty accusations thrown at them and I was worried those accusations, although false, would somehow sway the City's view of him. On my way to the zoo with our kids one day, they finally called me. The call went differently than I had thought it would; the gal seemed a little scattered and unorganized. But, I had two kids, so I usually was too and it didn't concern me at all. The two most difficult questions she asked me were "What are OH's three best qualities?" and "What are his three worst?" It may sound cheesy, but narrowing down what I loved about Officer Hottie was really tough. I don't even know for sure what I said, but I do know I mentioned how important maintaining his integrity and character were. He just doesn't compromise, which is one of many things I adore about him. Coming up with something negative was even more difficult. In the whole time we'd know each other I had made a conscious effort to overlook those things I didn't like about him, and things I couldn't overlook I certainly didn't broadcast. Officer Hottie is aware of his weaknesses; I don't need to nit pick and broadcast what they are. I also have a strong sense of loyalty to him and a fierce sense of protection, so digging around to come up with something negative was totally against my own character. I think I finally said I didn't like that he played video games. How lame. I truly hope they saw how I really could find no wrong in him.
Whether they liked what I had to say or not, I don't know. But I do know he was then made a conditional offer of employment, dependent upon him passing a medical and psychological exam, which he did. Then he was in. He had the job. All we had to do now was wait until there was an opening in the academy. It was another three months before the City was able to find a spot for him. Those were a difficult three months; he was anxious to be done pushing mowers and changing light bulbs. Since we worked in the same building as the police department he would find every excuse he could to be over there chatting with the officers. He was getting tips and advice and everyday he grew more and more restless. I think he knew the finish line was just around the bend, but he couldn't see around the corner so it was hard for him to truly believe the end was close. He finally received an academy start date of October 5, 2005. We didn't know it then, but the real challenge lay ahead. But for the moment, we enjoyed the thrill of the accomplishment.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Character and Integrity

Last night Mike and I had a fight. We don't fight very often and when we do it usually isn't one of those knock down kind of things, and last night wasn't any exception. In fact, I don't even know if you can really call it a fight, but it did include crying (on my part) and us falling asleep without kissing each other goodnight so fight is really the only word I can think of. Here's what's going on...My sister is due any minute with her first child. And I mean literally, any minute. She was due on Dec. 18 so today makes her officially nine days overdue. That baby is coming out sometime very soon! I am so honored that she asked me to be her assistant labor coach. I am thrilled beyond thrilled. She and her husband have decided on a home birth, which I am also thrilled about. They have an excellent set of mid-wives and they have spent a lot of time preparing, even taking a 12 week Bradly method birthing class. Mike and I are done having kids, barring some sort of miraculous intervention, and so I have to get all my baby fixes where I can and I am thrilled (have I mentioned that yet?) that my sister has asked me to be a part of her child's birth. I can hardly sleep through the night for fear that I won't hear my phone, which lays about three inches from my head. I am almost as excited for this baby to come as I was for my own kids. Mike has told me, over and over, that if he is at work he won't be able to come home. And that if he is supposed to be going to work, he has to go to work. The whole "he's already at work and has to stay there" thing, I get. I totally totally get it. I've have a plan(s) for if she goes into labor while he's working. But I thought, really truly, that he had to be kidding about having to go into work if he's scheduled. I just knew that he would call his sergeant and let him know that he couldn't make it in because I was gone and there was no one watching the kids. He would look at me and shake his head when I said this, but I knew that's what he would do. And so, last night while I was setting out my clothes, yet again, in preparation for when my sister would call to tell me she was in labor Mike said to me, "Honey, if she goes into labor you can't go. I have to work tomorrow." To which I responded that he must be joking to which he responded he most certainly was not. And there began our fight. I realize now, looking back, that I was asking him to do something that bothered his conscience; to call in sick when he isn't actually sick and neither am I or any of our kids. I realize how much character and integrity he has for not wanting to take advantage of his sergeant's kindness and flexibility. I admire how committed he is to his coworkers for not wanting to leave them in a position to be short staffed. I understand that my needs and wants, most of the time, come before everything else in his life and he will rearrange, to the best of his ability, his life, his needs and his wants in order to accomodate me. But in that moment, in that fight, all I could think was, "Is this IT?" I kept wondering if this would be the fight that would ruin us. Would I disregard him and go to my sister? Would he forgive me if I did? Would I forgive him if I had to miss her birth? Could our relationship survive the potential fall-out from something like this? Was I really going to have to make a decision? For me this was the impossible choice. I think that was what upset me most...that I knew, in my heart, what I had to decide and it hurt me. It still kind of hurts me. And if I talked to my sister and told her my decision it would hurt her. But when I really had to think about it, when I really allowed the Lord to speak to me (which I recognize He was doing the whole time) I know that I would rather hurt myself and my sister than disregard my husband and force him to do something that would hurt him. That I would choose peace between the two of us over all else. That I can be at war with the world, with my family, and even with myself, before I would go to war with him. And he, being in the industry that he is, can know that he does not have to compromise his integrity or character just to please his wife.
To end, I know this story isn't finished. I know Mike is going to do everything he can to make sure I am at the birth of my newest niece. I knew that last night, even if I doubted it for a bit, and I know it today. I know that the Lord knows my desires, and that He knows what I choose, and that He will bless my decision. I'm not saying things are going to go exactly how I want, that would be foolish, but I am saying, there is a blessing in the obedience. And I won't forfeit the blessing.

(As a follow up...Dec. 30 at 5:04 am my niece was born. Mike did not have to work so I was there from beginning to end. God is so good to me...taking care of my desire even when the moment doesn't belong to me. Welcome to this world little girl! And thank you Jesus for giving me the wisdom to make the right decision, even though it was tough. Thank you for the blessing.)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Fear

This morning, as is usual, I sent Mike a text before I got out of bed. Most days he won't be able to get back to me right away, he's in briefing or doing school zones, but I like to send one anyway so he knows I'm up and that he can call when he gets the chance. This morning he called back about an hour later. It is always so good to hear his voice. We made the usual chit-chat; "how are the kids?" "how did you sleep?" "what are you having for breakfast?"...boring really! When I asked him what he planned on doing today he said, "Well, right now I'm on my way to meet my dad for coffee." Wow. One small little thing and my heart started racing. Coffee. I'm pretty sure every spouse of a police officer has had a near panic attack during the last month when having coffee has been mentioned. (google Lakewood police shooting if you are unaware of what I'm referring to.) But what good does worrying do for me? None. I have cried, I have whined, I have worried, I have prayed...Mike has told me that God has a plan and nothing we do will change that. He also said he believes that God's plan for him is to come home every night. I like to believe that, but I don't want to be naive and think that God's plan is always what we want His plan to be. Regardless, whatever God's plan is for my husband, for our family, I need to just trust Him. Rest in Him. Give my worries and fears and concerns over to him. And then let my husband have coffee with his dad.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

So it begins Pt 1

When Officer Hottie and I first started dating he told me he thought about being a police officer. That made me nervous. A little queasy actually. Then he said something I will never forget. He said, "I changed my mind though. Once I am married and have a family I feel that I have an obligation, a duty, to go home to them every night." A huge sense of relief filled me. At that point in our relationship I knew we were serious and would probably be getting married; from my perspective I had just been reassured that my husband would return home every night.
Fast forward a few years and we're married with one son and one child on the way. Hottie is frustrated. A lot. He doesn't take it out on me or our son, but I can tell something is off. One night, while he was bathing the dog, she pooped on him and something in him broke and he reacted by punching a wall. This was so out of character for him I could hardly believe what happened. Looking back I probably should have been frightened or worried, but my only concern was to understand what was going on. There was turmoil going on in the man that I loved and my heart was breaking for him. While we're laying in bed that night I asked him what the real issue was. He told me he hated our dog. I continued to pry, gently, and finally he told me what was happening to him; He felt worthless. He worked in Public Works. He pushed a lawnmower for a living. He was embarrassed by his profession. It was difficult for me to empathize and not be hurt. I wondered, did he not see the value in our marriage? In our son? In our home or cars or the fact his "meanial" job had provided for our family, enough so that I could stay at home and raise our kids? I prayed for the Lord to help me let go of these questions. This wasn't about me and my insecurities...it was about my husband and his. What I asked him next kind of surprised me, "Let's get you a job as a police officer." He looked at me with so much love and tenderness, and I knew the Lord had spoken through me and given my husband what he needed. Value. Worth. A sense of doing something. And God gave me peace. I not only wanted my husband to find what he needed in his profession, I wanted to be the one to support him, to be his cheerleader, to let him know he had my permission and my ok. It wasn't even difficult for me. It seemed to be the only decision and I have never looked back.
Officer Hottie applied to what seemed an infinite number of agencies after he did his testing. He received many letters telling him he was on their "list" and they would call him when his number was reached. He did get to interview a few places. His first oral board he had tennis shoes on. He wore his nicest slacks and shirt but had no dress shoes. I took a picture of him I thought he looked so cute. Once he was late for an oral board. He had written down the wrong location and couldn't find where he was supposed to go. He was mortified. I told him it wasn't meant to be. It was too far to commute anyway. He would place #5 among the applicants when they only had one spot open. It took months before we finally got the call we'd been praying for...one of the cities wanted to start doing backgrounds. We were over the moon. OH didn't want to get too excited, but I knew this was IT. I knew he was going to be starting his new career, his new profession and he was going to be the man he always wanted to be, the man I always saw him as. He was going to serve and protect and he was going to be a man in blue.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ooo....ooo...turning 30

This last weekend I turned thirty. It is so bizarre to say that I am actually thirty years old. What kills me is how, in my mind, I still feel seventeen. Kind of like, I still shouldn't be able to drive after dark and I need to be home by 10 p.m. But then I have four kids and am coming up on nine years of marriage and by most people's standards I should probably be a little bit older. Anyway, my request for my big birthday was some alone time with my hubby. He took me to my aunt and uncle's "cabin" (term used veeeeeery loosely as it is more of a dream home than anything remotely resembling a cabin) for three nights of quiet peaceful solitude. It was wonderful. I love LOVE LOVE my kids but I needed a break and some time to remember how much I love them.
Thursday I dropped all the kids off (B with my sister and the three boys with my folks), stopped by the library to get a few books (I had to see what all the Twilight buzz is about) and picked Mike up from work. Later his co-worker told me we looked like giddy newlyweds. I think we felt like giddy newlyweds. We got over to the cabin around 9:30 that night and I started reading my book while Mike watched TV (aren't we exciting?).

We spent the rest of the weekend completely relaxing. Sipping wine, watching movies, laying in bed, listening to quiet. It was more than perfect.

Even so, by Sunday I was anxious to get home. I missed all the kids, but especially S; I was achy for that little man. Literally achy. I hadn't nursed him in three days and even though I'd only been nursing him once a day I was still engorged and in pain. TMI? Sorry.

When we arrived at my folks house there was a billion (or so) cars in the driveway. I started crying. I knew what was going on. I think Mike has spent every birthday trying to make up for the awfulness that was my 21st birthday. He's outdone himself every year.

I walked in to about 100 of my closest family and friends. And my kids. Those beautiful kids.

Being thirty isn't so bad. In fact, being thirty, so far, is pretty stinking awesome.


















Love my little family!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Graduate


Today my oldest baby graduates from Kindergarten. In four days he turns six. I'm looking at this little man, in his polo and khaki shorts, and wondering what happened? When did he get so big? Sometimes I feel like Mike and I have missed out on watching him grow because we've been so busy tending to our other three children. Somewhere in the middle of poopy diapers and 3 a.m. feedings Lincoln learned how to read. While I was mushing bananas he learned how to ride a bike and while I was folding laundry he began counting to 100. What happened? I can remember the big milestones but what about the little ones? A few years ago my friend Kimberly gave me a book titled Let Me Hold You Longer by Karen Kingsbury. It's about a mom who is watching her son grow and the whole book she wonders if she'll recognize all of his "last's". And I find myself wondering if I will recognize them as well. The last time he sneaks into bed for a snuggle, the last time he holds my hand in the grocery store, the last time he needs me to kiss an owie...the list goes on. I really hope I can start doing a better job of savoring each moment with him because the last's seem to pile up so quickly!
I'm so proud of Lincoln. He really blossomed in school this year. As much as I hate to admit it I think getting out of the house and having a purpose for the day was good for him. He really loved school and I know he's looking forward to going "all day" in first grade. And I know he'll do well. It has been a tough transition for me, sending him to school and admitting that he is growing up. I know it is inevitable but I still see that squirelly little 6 pound 13 ounce baby when I look at him. I love you Linc. Good job this year.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Whadya Say?

Proverbs 21:23 "A person who is careful about what he says keeps himself out of trouble."
This was the theme verse in the little devotional book I use for the kids. The little story that goes with it talks about saying kind things and being nice. It's perfect for kids. We read this during breakfast, and then after naps that day Judah was playing outside. He came back in after a few minutes all red and sweaty and says, "Mom. I'm so freaking hot." (Although with his little speech difficulty it sounded more like "oh wee-ing ot" but I knew what he meant.) I laughed because it really did strike me as funny. It must have been the next day that my sister called me and was talking about a situation with her in-laws when she dropped an f-bomb. It took me by surprise since I don't hear it very often, but it didn't surprise me that she spoke that way. It's just the way she talks, although generally she tries to be more careful when she's talking to me. What really upset me was that she was talking that way in front of her children. What upset me even more than that was what she said to justify what she was saying..." I just can't think of any other way to say this except for ... "
These two incidents got me to thinking about how I talk in front of my children, as well as away from them. Why was I ok with my son using the word "freaking" to describe things, but so appalled when my sister used the other "f" word? I began to wonder how often I must use 'freaking' in conversation. It's a lot. And if he has picked up on that, what other things am I saying that he is going to repeat?
I've already had an experience, with Lincoln, where he repeated something I specifically told him should "stay at home". We had been discussing some family friends and he had questions, that I felt should be answered honestly, but I also didn't feel like our conversation should be repeated back to them. Of course, only days later, his Sunday school teacher pulls me aside to let me know that he repeated, pretty much verbatim, everything he was told not to say. What should I expect? He's just a kid...a little kid. And, when he heard me repeating the same information to my husband, my mom, my sister, and my other friend, and probably posting it on facebook, I'm pretty sure he got the impression that when mom says "don't talk about it", she doesn't really mean it. (Um...oops.)
I wonder when I'll get it. My kids are paying attention to what I say. My children are learning from me, on a daily basis, how to talk to others and how to treat them. My sister did send a text awhile later that apologized for her foul language. She reminded me that she isn't perfect. I, oh so gently and motherly, reminded her that it's not about perfection. It's about being aware and being careful. And then I reminded myself. Be aware. Be careful. It's good to keep out of trouble.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sibling Torture

video

The kids torture their poor little brother. But it was pretty funny I have to admit. No one was crying, so I have to count my blessings. 

Needs a Break

I realize my last post is all about how much I love motherhood. And yet...
This morning my facebook status was "seriously needs a break". And I do. Seriously. And one of my friends told me I should write a book, so that all the mothers who are hiding from their kids in the bathroom will have something to read. She's not the first person to say that to me. It makes me wonder if I really should start blogging more. Maybe people think I have something to say? I don't really feel like I have that much to offer - maybe some comic relief every once in awhile - but I think I really truly want to start writing more. I don't think I'm going to write a book. I don't have the energy. But, I can find a few minutes every day to blog. I'm so high tech.
So I'll get to it. But first I have to go hide in the bathroom. Because I really truly need a break. And because Mike put the air conditioner in our bedroom today, so the Master bed/bath is the nicest room in the house. I also need some lunch...

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Embracing Motherhood

www.islandreefjob.com
I was going to apply. I was really truly excited about applying. I dreamed about applying, I dreamed about winning, I dreamed about living in Australia...and then I didn't apply. As the cut off date grew closer and closer I became more and more nervous about actually applying. Mike told me, "If you don't do it now, you won't do it." I kept insisting that I would. And what really held me back from applying? Nursing. I am not kidding. From the first second I looked at the website in the back of my mind I thought, "Wow...if I actually get interviewed for this job, I'll have to leave Simeon at home, which means I will have to wean him...I don't think I want to do that." I could never verbalize that to anyone. Although, I'm sure Mike wouldn't have cared. He probably would have laughed a little and teased me about trying to make Simeon a "Mama's boy", but he wouldn't really have cared. But because of that one little thing, I didn't apply. That, and I couldn't figure out how to make a video and I really hate how I sound on tape so watching anything I've recorded of myself is exceptionally painful...but really what it boiled down to, is nursing.
This is where I'm at. I'm a milk machine...and apparently, I like it. A lot. I like it more than the possibility of $100,00, more than living in a dream home for free, more than six months of paid for vacation, more than the Great Barrier Reef. After nearly six years of motherhood, three and a half of which I've spent with a baby attached to my chest, I think it's time to embrace it. I like this thing called motherhood. And since my oldest child is halfway through Kindergarten, and the baby is halfway to one year old, I think it's time I start enjoying it. Because it's almost over, even though it seems that it just began.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Rolling Over

Simeon rolled over for the first time last night. It was fabulous. Except I missed it. I saw him get ready, I got the camera...and then screaming from the other three so I ran in to check and when I got back Sim was smiling oh so happily on his back. I know there will be more, but it still sucks to miss a milestone because of something so lame. At least Mike was there, and he rarely sees "first's" so I'll let him have this one.
video