Monday, April 1, 2013

My Prayer for My Girl

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These words, they are uttered every night as I lay my girl down to sleep. Clutching her "lamby" and her soft little giraffe blanket, she sucks her thumb as I rub her head and arms as she drifts off. I absolutely love bedtime. It's a sacred time for us. Bath, jammies, stories and bedtime prayers. I know she doesn't understand the words yet... But I pray them every night just the same.

I write these words here just to remember, for days to come when she is a teenager and I won't be cradling her in my arms at bedtime anymore. 


Dear Lord,

Thank you so much for Maya and for the wonderful blessing she is to her parents and everyone who meets her.

We pray that Maya would have peace as she sleeps, that she would wake up rested and refreshed, and ready to start the day.  I pray that You would be refining her character, even as she sleeps and in her dreams.

Protect her body, Lord Jesus; keep her safe and healthy.

We pray that Maya grows to know and love the One who knows and loves her; that You would call her and nothing would hinder her from coming.  We pray that she chooses You, Father.

We pray that if she chooses to get married, that You would bring her a man that loves You, loves her, and together they can love You more.  Bring her a man after Your own heart Lord.

We pray for wisdom to raise Maya in the way that she should go, so when she is old she will not turn from it-- and we pray that we would be worthy of the honor to be her parents.

We love you Lord and we love Maya!  Thank you so much for our precious little gift.  Thank you Lord for Maya.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013


5728 SW Natchez St, Tualatin, OR 97062
Our old house

Sometimes being an FTW is hard.

A couple days ago I closed my eyes and mentally walked through our old house in Oregon.  I started by taking a walk around the park, getting a cup of coffee at the Panera bread, and watching the ducks on the way back home.  I walked into the house from the garage and through the laundry room, smiling at the ugly, brown-tiled countertops in our refaced kitchen as I passed through.  I walked up the stairs, down the hallway, past the guest bedroom and into Maya's nursery.  I looked around at the room I had so carefully painted and put together for our baby girl.  I walked outside to the back deck and remembered all the get-togethers and wine tasting parties, baby showers and barbeques.  Then I opened the front door, stepped out, and closed it behind me.

I got a little teary.  Okay, maybe I cried a little :)

Don't get me wrong-- I am so happy we are in New Jersey.  I know it's where God has called our family right now.  It doesn't mean that it's not hard sometimes, though.

I can remember my Ebenezer Rocks but after being here for three months I still miss our old church and friends and wine club and coworkers and...

Starting over is hard, isn't it?  Whether it's a new job, joining a new group or learning a new skill, beginning something new is both exciting and hard.  It's beautifully stressful.  The kind of stress that reaps strength and beauty and courage but is scary and intimidating.

Holding on to the happy memories of our life in Oregon but not holding back.  Grateful for New Jersey and all there is here for us!  Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I'll Judge You Not

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Judging.  Assuming.  Speculation or presumption.

I am totally guilty.

I have judged you, in one way or another; and for that, my friend, I am truly sorry.

After reading this post a while back, I was painfully aware of how I have even subconciously judged my fellow women.  I know how awful I feel when I am judged; actually one of the things that irritates me most is when I feel judged by someone.  Sometimes it's easy to brush off and not care-- other times it marinades for a while and cuts deep.  You see-- we may have reasons for why we do what we do or don't do, or maybe we don't have reasons at all-- but it's not my place to judge any of that

Enough said.

Why all the internal reflection you ask?

Ahhhh motherhood.

I remember sitting at a bridal shower a few years back, when Maya was just a twinkle in God's eye and I was just a newleywed myself.  The bride was sharing with us how overwhelming registering for items was; that there was so much to choose from.  A friend next to me whispered, "Just wait until you have babies."

She went on to explain how the choices continue to manifest to the smallest of details.  "Will you breast or bottle feed?  For how long?  Organic cloth diapers or disposable?  Homemade baby food or storebought jars?  Vaccinations or no?  Demand feeding or Parent Directed Feeding?  The list goes on and on..."

I will never forget that conversation.  Although it was years before I had my little bundle of joy, it stuck with me.  What on earth?!  Did people actually spend time worrying about all these things?

Turns out, sometimes they do.

And sometimes, they don't.  At all.  Or maybe they're somewhere in between.

Each decision we make, whether it be a parenting decision or not, is ours to make...  And we should feel confident and happy about our choices.

In my family, I can be known as an opinionated and strong willed person.  I have often voiced my feelings toward something with a certain level of joy or disdain.  Motherhood has taught me that those opinions and feelings are just fine-- however, I am not to project them on to someone else or make someone feel wrong for doing different.

I know mothers with ten children; some who's intention is to have only one.  I know mothers who breastfeed, bottle feed, or don't do either exclusively.  I respect mothers who won't touch a disposible diaper, and those who feel similarly about cloth.  I understand mothers who choose to vaccinate or not to vaccinate and can appreciate the reasons for both. Organic or not?  I know many women who feel extremely convicted about both sides of the equation.

This is not to say that I am still not an opinionated or strong willed person!  I have my feelings about many things-- especially the things I do concerning my daughter-- but I've learned that these things are what works best for our family and may or may not be right for someone else.

So here's cheers to all of us, doing the best with what we have for the people we love.  :-)

~Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


We've finally hit a bit of a groove out here in New Jersey!  Our first few weeks were spent at starbucks while our laundry was finishing at the cleaners next door.  Oh yes I love Starbucks, possibly more than going out for a nice dinner- but I love that we've set into a bit of a routine here even more. :)
My how things are different.  At first I thought I might cry every time I opened a moving box filled with things that reminded me of our home in Oregon.  My throat tight and tears on the verge, I'd remember my Ebenezer Rocks and that we are here for a purpose... Even if I'm not sure what it is yet.
Life continues, even when I am a bit 'stuck' in the remembering and reminiscing.  Phone calls with friends across the miles and my mama-- reminding me that this lifetime of good-byes also means there's a lot of 'hellos' to be had too.  I become brave and go to a mom's group night out-- and sign up for the pizza afternoon at the library and the community swap. 
Oh how life has changed!
A few short months ago I was reviewing media kits and preparing yearly goals while changing diapers and answering phone calls.  I can't say I miss the juggling of working and mama-being, but it is a transition to being home full time!
A transition that I LOVE.
I.  Am.  So.  Grateful.
I know that being a SAHM isn't for everybody.  But it is definitely for me.  I am loving every single second of it.  And while I would take an opportunity to work again if it was the right fit for our family, I am sooooo grateful that I get this time to focus on my little girl and my man.  It is such a gift.  I never want to take it for granted.  I won't pretend that it's hard for me to be home, I'm so thankful that I can be here, all the time, for my family-- at least right now.
Of course I'm still figuring out the cooking every (most) nights thing.  And the ironing thing (my husband has to wear a shirt and tie every day so there is a lot of ironing going on in this home!).  I kind of feel like a newlywed with a baby to take care of.  I'm so thankful for ironing and meal planning and cooking and swiffering (is that a word?).  One day when I'm annoyed at all of this I just want to remember how grateful I am now to be here.
And I'm still grateful for Starbucks.  In a town of Dunkin Donuts, I'm SOOOO glad there's a Starbucks a mile away.  I already have a favorite chair :).

Friday, January 4, 2013

My Ebenezer Rocks

Lately I've had to remind myself of the story I'm going to share with you.  In the midst of the busy-ness and excitement the holiday season brings along with a cross country move, there's also a bit of loneliness and sadness from all of it too.  I knew these feelings would come; being a FTW you know things are temporary.  It doesn't make it easier though-- leaving a place you love is hard and acclimating to new surroundings takes time.  So in the throws of it all, I remind myself that God led us here and we are here for a purpose.

"Samuel took a single rock and set it upright between Mizpah and Shen.  he named it 'Ebenezer' (Rock of Help) saying, 'this marks the place where God helped us.'" ~1 Samuel 7:12 (The Message bible)

Here are just a few of our Ebenezer rocks in our story to NJ:

We originally thought we might be headed to Kansas City, MO.  
David's boss in Portland told him to apply for the same position in both the Kansas City and New York regions.  David flew out for both interviews, but we were far more comfortable with the cost of living, pace and population density in Kansas City vs. New Jersey.  David prepared quite a bit for his interview in KC; for NY he just let it happen...  And now here he is in the NY region.

There were two similar positions open in NY and David was only interested in specifically one.  
Things can get tricky when you're applying for a position and there is another position open for a similar yet lesser role.  We wondered if they would offer him the lesser role since he had less experience than some of the other candidates.  And then if that happened, would it be detrimental to respectfully decline?  Were they interviewing the same candidates for both roles?  Turned out we didn't have to deal with that, because David was offered the specific job he wanted.

Our house sold exactly when we needed it to.
I called our realtor and told her the date I wanted to close by.  "You realize you'd have to get an offer in the first 10 days, right?  It's aggressive but let's go for it!" She told us.  We got an offer on the 9th day, and they wanted to close two days earlier than my original date.  Eventually we extended the close date due to loan funding, but they were the perfect buyers and everything went incredibly smoothly.  Our home inspection came back 100% clean too so there were no repairs or anything we had to worry about.  I still think about that and am left in awe at how God tied all that up!

We now rent a darling, old, charming HOUSE in New Jersey.
In looking at living arrangements on the east coast near the city, I found that we were going to have to significantly downsize being on our budget.  Bye-bye 2000+ square foot home, hello less than 1000 square feet and maybe a washer/dryer if we were lucky in the unit.  I frantically began listing everything we owned on craigslist, only to pull it off because someone in David's new office had a friend who wanted to rent out their home and was willing to work close to our budget.  We now live in a house that is pretty much the same size or bigger than our house in Oregon, and we don't have to do repairs on it because we're renters!  :)  It is more house than we need and our lease is only for a year, so we may not be here long, but for a year I am going to enjoy every moment of it. :)

There are a multitude of other things that 'just so happened to line up' as well, like the lease on my car ending the day before I left, being able to qualify for unemployment benefits and getting almost all of the money we'd put into our flexible spending account for Maya's daycare back (which is awesome because we'd put too much in there to begin with and it's a use it or lose it kind of account).  

I never want to forget.  I never want to forget these 'Ebenezer Rocks' that are the reminders of God's provision and faithfulness to our family right now.  When things get hard, when we are lonely, when we feel like why the heck did He bring us here-- we can look back on these 'rocks' and remember.  I never want to forget.

What kind of Ebenezer rocks do you have in your life?  May we never forget!  Thanks for joining us on this journey!  I look forward to the Ebenezer rocks of 2013 :)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Daily Bread (again)


I had a couple people tell me they couldn't view this post...  So here it is, again!  I originally wrote this back in October, 2012 when we found out David received a job promotion and we'd be moving across the country to New Jersey.  Tomorrow, I'll finish the story and tell you how it all came together...


We are in the midst of selling our house, purging our things and preparing for a cross-country move.Questions surround me everywhere.

Where will we live?

When will our house sell? When should Maya and I make it out to be with David?

Should we get rid of our furniture or keep it?

How big/small will our new place be?

Where will we go to church?

Will we meet new friends? Will we ever meet as good of friends as we have here?!

Is the house priced to sell well?
How will we fit in on the east coast?

I ask God daily all sorts of questions, mostly around the sale of our home. He is so faithful, yet He requires my faith to grow by giving me just enough—just what I need for that specific day and not the entire plan all at once. I’m reminded of the Israelites as they wandered in the desert for 40 years, living on manna alone. He gave them exactly what they needed, and those who didn’t trust Him for tomorrow had smelly, rotten manna on their hands as a result.
“Moses said to them, “It is the bread the Lord has given you to eat. 16 This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Everyone is to gather as much as they need. Take an omer for each person you have in your tent.’”
17 The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. 18 And when they measured it by the omer, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed.
19 Then Moses said to them, “No one is to keep any of it until morning.”
20 However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them.” (Exodus 16:15-20)
And so God continues to give me my daily bread as well. If I try to hoard and make plans for the future right now, the smell and maggots turn up their ugly heads and I’m reminded He’s given me what I need for today—and He’ll take care of tomorrow too.

Right before David flew out to interview for this position in New York, we talked about our house because it would be the biggest hurdle to a move like this. “If God wants us on the east coast, He can work out the details of selling our home.” I had said those words believing their truth, but not realizing how soon I would need to put my money where my mouth is and trust that! In all honesty it is hard to trust that He will do this for our family. I often believe that the Lord can and will do big things, but rarely internalize that He can and will do big things for me. Have you ever had similar thought patterns? I know I serve an amazing God and I need believe that He can be amazing for me, too.

I don’t know how our house will end up selling. It may not be this jaw-dropping story or anything, but I do know it will be in His timing and for His purpose. And through every step of the way, he’ll give me my daily bread.

Thanks for reading and sharing this journey with me! May you be blessed today by the daily bread you receive. :)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

My 2012

Our family of three.. Maya at 2 weeks old :)
I am sitting here in my living room reflecting on the past year... And oh what a joyful year it was!   
We welcomed our sweet Maya baby on May 5th (no, her name has nothing to do with the month she was born in.  I've always loved the name!) and she changed our world forever.  I've never felt so scared and protective and happy and overjoyed all at once.  She is exactly what I expected... And I am so grateful for her and the blessing she is to us.  One day I will write the story of her making her entrance, but it still makes me terrified and anxious when I think about it so maybe in a few months when I am ready to remember :).
2012 brought some crazy changes.  I went from going on maternity leave, to coming back to a different position at work, to quitting two months later due to a cross country move.  David received a promotion and led our family to the great (and congested) state of New Jersey.  We sold our dear home in Oregon-- the first home we ever bought together and brought our baby girl home to-- bittersweet. :)  We rent a house now that's over 100 years old!
2012 brought some challenges too.  Working from home with an infant wasn't as smooth as I thought it would be (even though I only did it for a couple months).  Adjusting to the needs of our little person presented a shift of perspective and deciding to leave the place we'd made a very comfortable home for ourselves in wasn't easy... 
But oh how I will forever cherish 2012 for the growth it cultivated in my heart and our family. 
And now, on to 2013!
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