Friday, January 19, 2018

Date Night - January Edition

Every year we resolve to go on monthly dates. And every year we go on about 4 total. One for Derek's birthday, one for my birthday, one for our anniversary, and a random one at some point in the year because we have amazing people who offer to watch our kids.

This year we've decided to be more disciplined and intentional. Derek is on a scheduling mission, making sure every last thing gets put in the calendar so that it is sure to happen. We've already gone on a date this year!

On our first date of the year I had the fantastic idea of blogging about each of our dates as sort of an accountability thing. And because it's fun.

This month's date had a title I cleverly came up with because it just randomly came to me. I called it, "Kohl's and Goals Date Night."

The evening started with dropping the kids at the parents and heading to Wings. Maybe since we're going to go on 12 dates, we'll venture to some place other than Wings or Penn Station. But probably not often because those are our FAVES. Suggestions are welcome, though!

While enjoying boneless wings and friend green beans, we discussed our goals for the year. Derek's list is a couple of miles long while mine... well it doesn't exactly exist. We had a good long talk about why I don't have goals. It's hard for my wonderful husband to understand what it's like to be a homeschooling mom of 5, and how typically "survive" is the only goal I'm capable of achieving. I didn't even realize that myself until I found that I simply couldn't come up with a list. Instead, my word this year is discipline. I want to work toward moving out of survival mode and into abundance. Only by the grace of God!

After dinner, we headed to Kohl's. We were generously gifted with a gift card to Kohl's for Christmas, and Derek was in desperate need of some shoes and work pants. It was a little weird being the one who had to sit around while Derek did the bulk of the shopping but it was certainly high time for it. I did buy a much needed belt though! And I picked out his shoes :)

Next month is Derek's birthday month so I'm thinking something a little more elaborate. Got any ideas for us??

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Best Year Ever

Dear Sweet LouLou Girl-

I just put you down to bed on the eve of one of the best days of my life- the day you were born one year ago. {Cue ugly cry!} Every day since has simply been the sweetest gift because you are pure joy.

Carrying you for that nine months was, well... difficult. But I wouldn't trade a second of it because you were the prize at the end of the marathon.

If you check Mommy's dictionary under Amber Louise, you'll find the oft used Shakespearean quote that I believe fits you better than any other baby girl on God's green earth:

You are so full of life and personality. You know what you want and how to get it. Sometimes I am sure I can hear the wheels turning in your head as you figure out how to get whatever it is you want.

You have no lack of Daddy's stubbornness or Mommy's moodiness. The nursery volunteers may not believe me, but you smile and giggle more often than not. You make yourself heard when you want to be, and you silently wreak havoc when your little heart desires to.

You think you're a big kid, determined to be independent. Just last night you joined right in with the wrestling ritual with your dad and big sibs; your tiny self amidst all the crazy big bodies was a sight to see! And you came out of it giggling in your usual grunty way.

Sometimes you prefer your big sister to Mommy, which can work in my favor as you are the fifth child. Big Sister takes wonderful care of you (although there has been some trial and error!) and adores you almost as much as I do. God absolutely knew what He was doing waiting 8.5 years before giving Marie the baby sister she'd been dreaming of. You will for sure drive her crazy as you both grow older, but something about your current relationship makes me confident that no matter what, you'll always come back to each other.

Since the day you were born, you've responded to Daddy's voice and have always had googly eyes for him. You have him wrapped, Little Girl. You will never be able to do anything wrong in his eyes. Milk it - the fact that you are his favorite - but don't take advantage of it! Your Daddy deserves the fearless love and affection you show him. Even if he does call you Chubs...

I often tell you that you are everything good in this world wrapped in one squishy package. You are my Angelic Beauty; my Perfection. Maybe there's nothing you can do wrong in my eyes either as I am usually saying these things while you're throwing a fit or trying to wriggle your way out of my arms. You are just so much more wonderful than we could have ever dreamt up. Our Creator crafted you so masterfully and placed you lovingly and purposefully into this nutcase family. Your Daddy and I have the privilege of raising you, and for that we are eternally grateful.

In a few hours you will wake up (since you still rarely sleep through the night!) as a one year old. My heart aches at the thought while my belly flips because, while I hate the very thought of you growing up at all, I'm so very excited to get to be a part of it!

Happy Birthday, my Sweet LouLou Girl.

All the love in the wide world,
Your Momma

Friday, November 17, 2017

Praise in the simple

It is drop-off week for Operation Christmas Child. Yesterday we dropped our box off and ever since posting a picture of our sweet babes laying hands on our box and praying for the little boy who will eventually receive it, I've felt compelled to write this post...

Because while OCC is an amazing ministry and we LOVE being a part of it every year, you don't have to be a part of it.

Because following a clever advent calendar full of daily activities and such is a beautiful way to celebrate Jesus, we don't have to do one.

Because while the elf is fun and exciting for the babes, we don't have to have one.

Because while Christmas lights hung around our windows would make this momma super happy, he doesn't have to hang them.

Because while serving at a local food pantry is an excellent opportunity, we don't have to drag our 5 littles there to add mass chaos to the whole scene.

Because while I LOVE sending and receiving Christmas cards, our bank account doesn't have to empty on the account of them.

We've tried so many different ways to make sure that this holiday season is fully focused on Jesus, family, and serving others, and have found that the simpler the better. For us. And there is so much peace with the decision to back off and simplify our praising. We've chosen what we believe to be top priority for our family and are careful to only add (or take away) what is in line with our family values in whatever season of life we are in.

I want to encourage you to do the same! As your friends post about the different things they do for the holiday season, build them up with encouragement! And be content with what God has called your family to invest time in. None of us can do it all. And no two families are the same. Relish your uniqueness!

We are going to focus on how we can best praise our Jesus this year and every year! And I'll be enjoying seeing how you all celebrate Him this year too :)

((If you are interested in packing a box for OCC, there's still plenty of time! Drop-off locations are open til Monday, and you can pack one online, too! Only if you feel so led, of course))

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Our Beautiful Bookend Baby

Two weeks ago, on November 29, 2016, we were blessed with this beautiful sweet face...

Amber Louise Jacobs
Weighing in at 9lbs, 9.7ounces and measuring 21.5 inches.

Here's our birth story - 

There are two things I dread about a csection:
1. The IV
2. The spinal block

Nope, not the surgery itself. Not even the recovery. Just those two parts that involve needles that I can feel. Apparently I have difficult veins so I always end up covered in bruises. Then the spinal block is just plain scary! And this time around it was quite painful. AND it didn't work nearly as well as expected. The "pressure" was so intense it was painful and I was on edge the whole surgery just waiting for it to fail! PRAISE THE LORD it did not.

Meanwhile, my amazing doc was training a nurse on her first csection assist (you did amazing, Emily! Thank you!) and I overheard him say, "See how thin her uterus is? I can open it with my finger. This is why we do sections earlier. If we had waited another week, her uterus would have ruptured."


Finally, our sweet Amber Louise was born! After 30 excruciating seconds of no breathing, she finally let out a single cry then was laid on my chest where she nursed for the rest of the surgery! Poor Derek barely got to hold her the whole first day!

Before closing me up, my doc asked us to confirm that we wanted a tubal done. After lots of prayer, a very difficult pregnancy, a scary painful surgery, and a nearly ruptured uterus, we both confidently gave the thumbs up.

Derek did get a couple minutes of snuggling Amber while I was transferred onto a different bed to be wheeled out of surgery (I could already move my toes at this point! So glad that's over!)

I was convinced that this would be the hardest recovery because I hadn't worked out in months (which was by the grace of God!! He knew that my baby was big and my uterus was weak. I'm oh so grateful for His intervention!) and because it had been such a rough pregnancy. But...

It has been the easiest recovery of all!

I credit it to my surgeon, my Plexus, and most of all my God.

So here we are, two weeks later, on our Bookend Baby's due date. We are all healthy. We are all so happy. We are all so blessed.

And Amber Louise is by far our easiest babe! She sleeps two 4-5 hour stretches every night. She eats like a champ. She is completely unfazed by the chaos that is this household. She fits right in with no effort.

I'll tell ya, there are moments when the weight of our decision to get a tubal weighs so very heavy. In fact it brings me to tears sometimes. It helps to remember the times when I was very confident of being done with pregnancy because God did make it clear. But the weight of such a huge decision... well I can't carry it alone and I'm grateful that I don't have to.

Moving into the chapter of life where baby bearing is over and it's all about baby raising is incredibly bittersweet. So I'm soaking in every last baby snuggle I possibly can and allowing myself to even get a little excited about what's next!

Stretches in my arms while I type this :) 
Happy Due Date to our precious LouLou. We adore every little thing about your sweet self!

Friday, October 14, 2016

My Why

This morning I was mulling over why I joined Plexus and decided to pursue the business side of it. It is totally and completely outside anything resembling my comfort zone to be a part of something like this. And so many times in the past when I considered joining a company like this, God always gave me a big fat NO. But over the last few months it seems God has been sorta preparing me for when Plexus showed up in my life.

I found Plexus because I was in search of the best probiotic out there. I didn't realize Plexus was it so I went a different route. Meanwhile, God was nudging my heart toward some kind of home-based business. But He was still saying no to the options I thought made the most sense. Instead, during my many middle of the night restless leg episodes, I kept thinking - "I should be taking Plexus."

Finally, I gave in with Derek's blessing, knowing that the only way we could afford supplements even just for me would be to pursue the business. And for the first time ever, after years of asking God if He wants me to be a part of this business or that business, He finally gave me a green light! It has been freeing and exciting and terrifying!

My WHY has always been (even when considering other businesses) to be able to afford to take care of my family's health. There were many times I would break down in tears telling Derek how desperately I wanted to naturally care for our family but how discouraging it was to not be able to afford it!

Because of Plexus, I now have the opportunity to afford the best supplements for my family!

Back to the mulling I was doing this morning... After time in my War Room God opened my eyes to another very important WHY:

Marie is in a ballet class with girls several years older than her at a level that is challenging to her. Dance has never been challenging to her. And making friends hasn't been difficult either. But now she's in a situation that makes her nervous, shy, and feeling insecure. She doesn't have any friends in the class and when encouraged to talk about it, she mentions how she's not sure she'll be able to keep up with the moves. She lacks the confidence to face scary and uncomfortable things.

Just like her momma.

God has called me to do something that my human nature simply doesn't want to do - leave what's comfortable to do what's right. I want to be that example for my biggest girl. I want to be able to wrap my arms around her and teach her about confidence in who she is as a Child of God, about how pursuing dreams means facing hard things, about how true joy is pushing through the hard, uncomfortable, scary to find the beauty on the other side.

Marie is my WHY.

These babes (and their dad!) are my WHY!

I'm sure as my business grows, the WHY of simply wanting to afford supplements will fade and a new WHY (pay off the house? go on vacation? grow our giving?) will take it's place. But my core WHY will always be my family.

What is your WHY for pursuing your dreams???

((Curious about Plexus?? Contact me!! I would LOVE to help you pursue your dreams!!))

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