Friday, January 31, 2014

I never made a birth plan

As Steve, Bethany and I walked among the avocado trees, I asked them if they were ready.  They looked at each other, laughed and said “I guess so?” I loved their response, because it reminded me a lot of how I felt when I was weeks away from having my son. I thought I was ready, but ready for what? Everyone told us, Oh, your life is going to change!! But what does that MEAN?! I had no idea. And really, I could set up as many hypothetical scenarios in my head as I wanted, but I had no clue until I experienced it for myself.

I never made a birth plan. What's funny is that I am a rule follower, a cross-off-my-to-do-list type of girl, and yet, I wasn't remotely concerned with having a step-by-step plan of how I wanted my labor to go.  I guess I felt that voicing my wants and desires on how I envisioned my delivery to go was like setting expectations for myself on something that I had never experienced before.


And we all know how that goes… the disappointment that comes with not meeting expectations. I knew that for me, the disappointment that would have came with those un-met expectations  would have held me back from fully experiencing my son's birth. From experiencing the JOY when my son was first placed on my chest. From being completely wrapped up in him and all the sounds he made. From recognizing that his eyes are his daddy's, and his chubby cheeks are mine. From understanding the depth of my love for this little tiny human, who I was now responsible for. From getting a glimpse into how much He loves me.


 I didn't want to be let down that I couldn't handle the pain on my own, because I wanted to do it all natural.  I didn't want to go in to my labor knowing that I was going to get an epidural as soon as I could, because I had never done it before. I didn't know what I could handle, and I wanted to give myself the option.

Mostly, I wanted the focus to be on my healthy baby boy, not on my own ability. Because, lets face it, I will disappoint myself. I found that when I turned my focus onto the GIFT that was given to me, I realized that God surpassed ALL of my expectations with my boy.

 PS. These last two photos are special to me.  I had asked Bethany to change her position slightly by placing her hands right on top of her belly.  Right as she put them there, baby girl kicked.  It's like she was telling her mom Hi!

Friday, January 24, 2014


Something a little different than Friday-faves...

Confession time.. Ever just believe a lie about yourself, and before long, you notice you're way off in a far away land, when everything you want and envisioned for yourself, are miles away?

Lie : I should have it all together.

Most days, I feel like I have my stuff together.  I meal plan, and do laundry, and spend time with my husband and son, I blog, I work full time, I go to church, etc etc.. and before long, I start believing that little voice in me that tells me, "Man! You have it all together, Christina!" and "You are doing such a great job! Look, Will is happy, and bathed, and dinner was on the table by 6pm! You got this thing DOWN."

Usually, dinner time is what gets me.  This is how it's been going lately... I pick him up from my sister, and go home.  It's 5:00pm.  Crap, I forgot to pull the chicken out of the freezer!! I plop the bag into some hot water in the sink.  Will is getting into that drawer again, the junk drawer with all of the tools in it, which is right at his level.  I pick up the Phillips screw driver and pliers and put them up out of his reach. He cries, upset that I'm taking his toys away.  I start prepping the veggies for the meal, that will likely be ready after 6:30pm now (I HATE eating late, and that is late to me). Chop. Chop. Chop. Will is at my feet, crying, whining, hitting my legs and biting because he wants me. Rich is home, and in the living room, but my boy wants me.  Its pretty hard cutting stuff up with a very wiggly and curious boy on my hip.  Doesn't he just understand that I NEED to get dinner ready? Why does this have to be chaos?

Does this all sound silly to you? Because re-reading now, it just sounds silly. Why does this get to me like it does? So many other people struggle with far more, so why am I not handling this well? Since when have I decided to be perfect? I have unknowingly set some very HIGH expectations of myself. Most of all, where is God in this?

I read this post the other day, and I asked myself, what is he learning? What example am I setting? When I get frustrated in the kitchen, what does he see mommy do? I probably look like a stress ball.. I feel like a stress ball. If I keep this up, he'll grow up thinking that the kitchen a is stressful place. Every day. That I don't have time to answer his questions or play with him. Better yet, that to avoid that stress, he just shouldn't ask at all. Even though I may be saying the right things, are my actions backing that up? I know he's still young, and won't have any memory of this, but, I can't help but think that if I don't stop some of those behaviors now, that IS what his memory will be.

Here's the thing.  I actually REALLY like cooking! I like making a warm, home-made meal for my family.  I enjoy it!  But, man, do I show something different. My behavior, the way I handle dinner time, is really just a reflection of my heart. A selfish heart that is obviously desires to cross things on my to-do list off way more than seeking what He wants of me in this moment, in this short time, when my family is young. I so badly want to do right by my kids. What parent doesn't?

Truth is, I've believed in Jesus since I was a little girl, and I struggle with the entirety of the gospel. Sure, it brings life after death, but it also brings life TODAY. I will fail my own perfection every. single. day. But that is not what He asks. He simply wants me to want a relationship with Him. And He will take a legalistic, perfection-ist wanna-be, like me, and make me new.I trust that He will make all things new. Even my little ol' dinner time. Because He loves me that much.

I've been thinking and talking to God about this lately, and, here's some things that I think need to change.  The TV and phone need to be off and out of reach (unless I'm using the phone for a recipe :)) Lord knows I don't need any more distractions.. spending time with my family and making dinner are enough! Maybe play some music? Also, give my boy some undivided attention right when I get home, for maybe 10 minutes.  I can tell that he misses me during the day, and when I get home, he wants some mommy time. I need to let go of making dinners every night.. and that there will be nights where everyone needs to fend for themselves.. and that's OK.

One day I will BEG him to play with me. I'll probably fight him to get off of the computer or video games or whatever it is, and spend time with me. I want to cherish this time that I have with him now.

Still with me?? That was pretty long :) I reward you with some pictures of my boy. We had just taken out the trash, and the door was open. Of course, he thinks it is the coolest thing. I turned around and found him inside :)

 And a few from our house. He is concentrating so hard on filling up that cup with dirt and rocks.. his little tongue sticking out just kills me. I wonder if that'll be what he does when he's concentrating, as he gets older.
 Helping clean up! Gotta start 'em young ;)

I'm working on a blog post of our house and the progress we've made thus far.... I'll post it one of these Fridays :)

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Carpenter/Werland/Delavar Family

When I was little, we lived in San Diego. My mom worked during the day and my dad would work graveyards so he could watch my sister, Jen and me during the day, and not have to pay for daycare.  He also watched my cousin Marissa.  We are 5 months apart, and were inseparable.  I have the fondest memories of spending time at her house, being the older cousin to her sister Alicia, and playing with all the neighborhood kids on Appleton St.  My cousin always had something fun planned. She is the adventurous one.  She likes to try new foods, and go to different places. I was always more cautious.  That's why I love her so much. I wanted to be around her all the time, and so it forced me to try new things also.  I'm sure I was annoying, but she never let on if I was :)

My cousin has moved a few different places, and now lives with her husband in New Mexico.  They came out for Christmas, and I was honored to be able to take some pictures of my family :) They are a big, blended family now, with lots of love.

The whole gang!

Marissa & Chris

They love their mama!
Brandon, Justin and Devin
My Uncle Mike and his girls!

I don't know who made them laugh, but thank you!! They both had the same response, and I caught it!

My pretty cousin Alicia with her boyfriend Connor.

Pretty sisters! Love them!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday Faves

1. Worth it: Are you one of those people who loves to find bigger items online for the best price? (If anyone said no to this, you are obviously crazy... :)) If you have some time to hunt, this website allows you to keep track of those items, and it will only email you when the item goes below a price that you designate as "worth it" on various reputable websites.  I've been using this a TON lately with camera items.  It basically watches the prices on different items and lets you know when they drop. It's great!  In the market for a new BOB stroller, or have your eye on a fancy handbag?  Track their sale prices with this site :)

2. The cutest paper-goods from Greylein on Etsy.  Kimi is a very talented friend of mine who started designing invites and cards recently and her shop has just taken off! My fave is this print.. you guys, its only $5.99 for the digital download! Get it NOW!

Home is wherever I'm with you // tribal / teepee / arrows / home decor / poster

3. I'm a huge Katie Daisy fan, and one of my sweet co-workers bought me this calendar for my birthday (which was Monday).  I'm in love with it, and I'm even  more excited to frame all the artwork after I'm done with the calendar next year!

And for some pictures! My niece turned 3 two weeks ago, and I got a couple really awesome pictures of her blowing out her birthday candles!
 My boy and me
 Princess Bell (I think??)

Me and my seestars :)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Wood Family

I met Tom, Sarah and little Harper down at Shelter Island just before Christmas.  I know its probably hard to remember how cold the nights were around Christmas time with how HOT and dry its been lately! It started off really nice, but then got really cold! Sarah brought the cutest little fur hat, hoping Harper would keep it on for a few pictures before she took it off, but it ended up being so cold that she wanted to keep it on for most of the session! Poor little thing! She was so cute and warmed up pretty quickly to me.  I love it when that happens!

Harper loves her wagon! She was perfectly happy riding around in it, rather than wanting to get out and run around like most toddlers I know.

I'm in LOVE with how this one turned out! Definitely one of my all time favorites!!

How sweet is she?!

Thank you Wood family!  I had the best time getting to know you guys!