Saturday, December 21, 2013

Today marks two years.

Last night I was trying to find something in my room and ended up looking through old photos of the family. This is something I love to do, look at photos. Little moments of time captured for us to remember. Marveling at how much my kids look alike (SO many of Amanda that look just like Mabel does now!). In the back of my mind though I kept thinking about how the photos we have of Josiah are finite. There will never be more, no new ones to add. I was feeling pretty blue about it. I just prayed that the Lord would give me strength, since obviously on my own this just plain stinks. 

And you know what? The Lord cares. He loves us SO much! 

So much so that that prayer that I sent up in the midst of my little pity party, He chose to answer.

 First thing I see this morning was a message from my sweet friend Michelle. She (unbeknownst to her) sent me a picture that I'd never seen before, that very hour I prayed. How amazing is that!?!?

I'll tell you.

It's pretty stinking amazing.

But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
Psalm 5:11

Friday, December 13, 2013


Today a customer brought in a play kitchen with a boat load of accessories, food & dishes. My Toddlers are having a ball being the official toy 'testers'.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

How others see us


   A couple of months ago I watched this video and it really resonated with me, as it probably did with millions of others. We beat ourselves up so much, and not just over appearance either. 

Did I say the right thing?, act the right way......did they think I'm odd or crazy? 

    To see first hand how others viewed them is eye opening! Don't you wish you could see yourself that way? Not so much as to make you vain, but to give yourself a little more grace. We are made in the image of God, we are His beautiful creation!    

     Have you had people compliment you, yet you shrugged it off thinking 'they can't really mean that' or 'they're just saying that to be nice'? Do you stand in your closet getting ready for an outing (or anywhere for that matter) and put on one outfit only to change because you think it makes you look fat, or frumpy....or ______ fill in the blank? Do you leave a party and wonder just how many times you put your foot in your mouth? I know I sure do!

   I received a very sweet encouraging email the other day and it made me look back in time. Back to a few comments people have made over the years that made me stop in my 'beat myself up attitude', making me long to get a glimpse of myself from their point of view. 

   It makes me want to be more intentional about telling people how I see them. How they inspire me. Not by just saying 'you inspire me' but including details. Writing a note, email or text. 

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. ~Maya Angelou

So, I'm challenging myself (and you!) to tell people more often how you see them (the good stuff) and what they mean to you. Allow them to feel Christ's love through you.

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! 
And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1 


Saturday, November 2, 2013


We are a year & a half into running our own business. It's a lot of work & stress and I have to keep reminding myself of the things that make me happy about it instead of looking to the future at where I want to be.

  • Witnessing two ladies picking out & buying SIX bags full of clothes to go to a family in need.

  • Watching someone pay for a set of cloth diapers to send home with a missionary who would not have access to disposable diapers.

  • Providing a place for families to be able to purchase homeschool materials that I know they wouldn't be able to afford new. 

  • Having many people comment on how much they love hearing the Christian music playing in our shop.

  • Being able to ask my boys to help a customer carry a box of books and see them not skip a beat, but jump up to help with a smile. 

There is happiness in the moment. This day, this moment. Lord, help me to keep seeing it.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween 2013

It's hard to believe that the Halloween picture above is from two years ago! Someday I may replace it with a current pic, but for now my hearts content to keep it there.

Any who~ I wasn't intending to go down a sad road with this post. We decided to keep on with the tradition of having a family theme, this year: Movie Night!

We got them all dressed up and they trick or treated at the businesses downtown last week. And can I just say, I am SO glad that we did because Halloween night it was raining! The costumes were made of mostly poster board & markers that would completely ruin in the rain. All day long the kids had a solemn attitude thinking we would not be able to go. We closed up shop at 3pm and started driving home, with a van full of disappointment. If you read my last post, I'm trying (and praying for His strength) to be fully engaged with the kids, putting in a full effort.

So, I turn the van around.

A quick stop back at the shop, one quick trip to the dollar store & we came up with 8 new costume ideas that wouldn't be ruined by rain! Yay! We ended up with (in order from oldest to youngest): Spidergirl, Soldier, Football player, Princess, Ninja, Biker dude, Punk rock girl, & a blue alien (Mabel & Nicholas stayed in the van). In all the rush for plan B I forgot to snap any pictures. Boo. But the kids had a ton of fun and gathered enough candy to ensure high dental bills in our future. Success! :)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Giving up & Selfishness

Today I read this post: 

The selfish side of grief 

...and can I just say, wow!

and ugh.

I don't think all of it applies 100% to me, but I see the attitude just the same. 

She writes, "You see, when Emily diedI never wanted to want again.  I had lost my daughter and I had to go on living here on earth without her.  I felt deprived of her presence.  I felt I had lost enough.  I never wanted to feel any kind of deprivation again.  So, I started filling the void."

For me I think it boils down to distractions. Things I've used to keep myself from thinking too much, because if I think below surface level I'm sad. My distractions have come in a variety of forms: let's eat out, let's go shopping, what fun thing can we do?

....let's START A BUSINESS for goodness sake. 

In a lot of ways these distractions have been a blessing. A way for me to not completely fall apart. I love that. I see the downside to this though. I see myself not engaging as much. Not withdrawing completely, but not allowing myself to live fully out of fear. Fear that it'll hurt. I see myself not putting in a full effort like I used to. Birthdays for the kids, holidays, special events used to be SO much fun for me. I was fully invested. Now? Eh, not so much. Halloween for example we've done quite a few family themed costumes. This year (and last) I'm just not gung ho about it. My attitude has just been 'okay, I'll participate and keep the tradition' but on the inside I'm just holding back. Giving up and being selfish. 

Reading her post was like a light bulb this morning. 

I want to be fully engaged with my kids. So, I'm done.

 I'm done giving up. I'm done being selfish. Even if it hurts.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Time for a happy post!

 Mabel girl is walking around more and more!

A view of 'em all in the van. 

My snuggly in the morning Theo buddy. 

Nicholas is 3 months old!
and super smiley!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

My soul thirsts

Sometimes I have all these thoughts that go through my head and I'm not sure any of them would make any sense if I said them out loud.
The thoughts are random, mostly quick and fleeting.
Counting out plates for a meal I go through the kids' names in my head, I pause between Abram & Noah not wanting to skip over Josiah's name but not wanting to say it aloud either.
Folding laundry I'll see a shirt and have this ache...he used to wear that.
And then I look at Noah. My lively, full of energy, adorable guy and realize that tomorrow...
...tomorrow he will be the exact age Josiah was the day he died.
Saturday he will 'pass' his older brother in age.
May 1st, he will turn 5...the birthday Joe never got to.
Then the tears flow.

and I pray. Pray for strength...for comfort.
He answers.
I open my bible to read these words:
O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
2 So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
3 Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
4 So I will bless you as long as I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Emotional hormonal wreck

Hello, my name is Laura and today I'm a wreck.

Struggling with feeling like a failure in every part of life.

Housework falling behind.

Children who bicker.

Homeschooling, not thorough enough/consistent....not enough past the 'basics'.

Our store, will it be successful?

My health...I know I just had a baby, but I have a bunch to lose.

I feel like I have a face that everyone sees, this put together calm non-frazzled person. Ha! If only.

I stress, I yell, I cry.

I think I'm capable of quite a bit but I just seem to skim the surface of so many things without doing a great job at any of them.

So I remind myself:

“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning, great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22,23 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Birth Story

Introducing the newest member of our family: 

Nicholas Cecil 
born February 18th, 5:38 pm
weight 7 lbs 8 oz
21 inches long

If you are anything like me than you're probably just a wee bit curious too hear how the birth went, so here goes.

     Friday & Saturday I had mild contractions kind of sporadically during the day only for them to come to a complete stop by Saturday evening. Sunday we got up went to church and went about our day pretty normally.
     Some time between 10-11 pm I started having contractions again, only this time they were more intense and maybe 10-15 minutes apart. By the middle of the night they'd picked up to be more around 4-5 minutes apart so we called a friend (thanks Jen!) to come sleep on the couch. We arrived at the hospital to be checked & monitored, they put me at 4+ cm but as soon as I sat they slowed way down again.

     Back home we went (this was about 9 am at this point). I tried to sleep a bit, walk a bit....still felt like things were progressing and frustrated that they sent me home. I already had a regular appointment set up at my ob's office so we headed there at noon to see if anything really was changing. My contractions are still coming around ten minutes apart. At 1:00 the doctor there checked me, saying 'you're a good 6-7 cm and 80% effaced, I think you should head back to the hospital'. She mentioned that I should go get checked in and if I'd like she could come break my water to see if that would be enough to push things really into gear.

   The doctors office is connected to the hospital so we just walked on over, this time they had a room ready for us though! Discussing all of the bazillion questions with the nurse she suggests that if I'm leaning towards having an epidural sooner may be better. If I wait until the doctor breaks my water and things speed up I may lose the window of time in which to get one. I'm torn. Part of me says NO! You can do this. The other part of me says DO IT, you're tired, this hurts and you are really tired!. Exhaustion wins out and I tell her yes, I'll take an epidural pretty please.

   In the next few minutes waiting for the anesthesiologist I'm pacing back and forth trying to move as much as possible before I'm bed ridden....and POP! my water breaks. And I mean like bursts! It was almost hysterical really.

    They hook me up with the epi and I only have a few more contractions before I'm numb and can't feel a thing. The last epidural I had numbed  me but didn't completely take away all of the pain. This one? Worked amazingly and I really could not feel a.single.thing. not even pressure. Now I'm a happy camper. What's an exhausted lady to do now that I''m numb? NAP. Yes, at this point I'm 8 cm and I fall asleep. Maybe an hour later the nurse wakes me and checks me. Complete, time to call the doc and see if we can deliver this fella.

    Literally, I wake up from a nap feeling pain or pressure and they watch the contractions on the monitor to tell me when to push. 5 or 6 pushes later I'm holding my boy.

    Aside from the frustration at the beginning of labor I'd have to say this was probably the easiest birth out of all of mine. :)

Thursday, January 31, 2013


This blog has been neglected.


Life is crazy busy (in a good way) and I've not really had it in me to write out my thoughts for...what, over a year now really? Sigh.

The next few weeks should be interesting.

Stephen will turn 10.

Mabel girl is about to have her first birthday on the same day that marks Ian & I being married for 13 years.

Three weeks from today baby boy is due to make his entrance into this world.

Most days/weeks just blur together and I'm left at the end of the month thinking, what happened to January?

I guess I'm writing all this randomness just to record that yes, I'm still here. Hopefully I'll be inspired to blog more again, I do miss it. ~