Sunday, January 12, 2014

"um...actually, I think God is like Belle!"

I love having a 3 year old. 

They can say anything! 

Last night, I'm not even sure how it came up, but Hannah started talking about God. She asked where God lived. We talked about how He lives in Heaven, but we believe He is also here with us. We just can't see him. We don't actually know what He looks like. 

So I asked out of curiosity, "Hannah, what do you think God looks like?" 

Her response, "Well...I think maybe He could be a princess....or maybe like a cat or a actually, I think God is like Belle!", she ended confidently. 

Interesting responses to say the least, but seems fitting she decided finally on God being like Belle in her mind. 

She adores Belle! She is by far her favourite princess (and she is very into princesses right now). She loves to tell people how nice she is and how she taught the Beast how to love. And of course points out how beautiful she is! 

Later on I started thinking about it some more. I love trying to see the world through a child's eyes and it is so fun for her to translate things she learns about God into her own life. 

Thing is, like God, 

  • Belle is beautiful
  • Belle kept her promises (she did leave once without being let go, but came back)
  • Belle showed unconditional love. 
  • She did not judge from the outside, but looked into the inside and saw the best in people/the beast
  • She stood firm in who she was (did not change herself for the acceptance of people) 
  • Belle is incredibly patient
  • Belle is forgiving
  • She is selfless
  • And the list could probably go on!

But my favourite thought of how Belle can show us a glimpse of God, is how she gave up her own freedom/life for that of another person. 

Her father was in the Beasts dungeon and although when the Beast found her in his castle he gave her a way out, she cared more about her father and his well being than her own self. She offered up her whole life to be his prisoner so she could save her fathers life. 

God did that for us. He cared more about saving us. He cared more about us having a chance to live life to the fullest and have eternal life and joy, than his own comfort and life. He sent Jesus down to earth where he would be hated, he would be shunned, he would be beaten and would have to die on the cross for us, so that we could be saved.   

Not an exact parallel by any means, but... 

Who knew we could get a glimpse of the beauty of God through a Disney princess! 

Friday, October 25, 2013

We don't see it all

For the last little while, Ive had a certain thought in my head often. That thought?

"I can't imagine life without him!"

"him" being our little man, Owen.

This is an old picture from a couple months ago, but it captures him so well I couldn't pass up posting it! This is Owen, full of immense joy, huge smiles, lots of motion, chubby legs, pure joy to be around!

I could not love this little boy more. He's not perfect. He's totally stubborn sometimes (a trait our kids get more from me, but I am determined will be a great asset when they are older when put towards the right things!), but overall, most of the times, he's incredible! 

He has added to our family in such a wonderful way. I can not get enough of the sound of sibling little giggles at each other. Hannah was the first to get the deep belly laugh out of Owen and by far still gets the most laughs! They adore each other! 

She adores him!

Here's the thing though. The flip side to my thoughts lately is going back in the past and reflecting. Reality is that if we had not had the miscarriage last year, we would have a little 1 yr old right now (assuming if not the miscarriage they would have been born without a life altering diagnosis). I can't even imagine a different baby or our family dynamic that way now. And I don't think I'm supposed to. 

I am not saying that I'm glad I had the miscarriage. It was heartache to loose a baby like that. But what I am saying is that I am grateful that even though I don't see it all, I have a heavenly Father that does. 

Our baby we lost is thriving more than thriving in Heaven right now. We grew in our marriage going through that experience. We grew in greater sensitivity and understanding in the tragedy of loss in a way we couldn't have without experiencing it. God used it to strengthen, teach and use us. 

And months later, God blessed us with another pregnancy. A healthy, full term pregnancy where we got to have this incredible little man become a part of our family here. 

Owen's birth in so many ways was a blessing. The timing (which we did not "plan", all we knew was we wanted another baby) was amazing, as it actually allowed Matt to take some paternity leave and we had some wonderful time as a family to make memories and adjust to life as a family of 4. (I know I had a list of other things, that I can add later, but its escaping my mind at the moment.) 

Ar my cousin's wedding in Florida - the start of our road trip of a life time!

The thing is, going through the miscarriage, having a little man I can not picture my life without and seeing how God used everything in between and is continue to use - it all makes me trust even more in God's sovereignty. I trust in God's character. How He is loving, trustworthy, has our best interests at heart, and so much more. I don't see the whole picture. And although sometimes that drives me crazy, simply because I like to know, I know God's sees it and He's got the best plans. He will work it all for good (not always by our definition in the moment mind you). 

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:27-29

So I look back and look ahead and keep going, trusting in my Savior and enjoying the moments I have been blessed with. 

An awesome pic taken by Matt's sister at thanksgiving, capturing Hannah and Daniel's love for running! 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

"I want to go to school!"

It's that time of year and I guess Hannah has heard many people talking about "going back to school" (how can you not?). This has prompted her to ask me a number of times in the last couple of weeks if she can go to school. The other morning she sat on my lap, cupped my head in her hands and said "mommy, I really want to go to school".

She's not even 3 yet!

She can't go to school! She's still my little girl!

2013-09-02 15.54.17.jpg

Thing is, I know she will love school. She loves learning, and can be so focused on things - as seen in this pic. Although, not all was coloured by her anything coloured really dark was for sure hers and yes is mostly in the lines! It reminds me that she is growing up...

It has gotten me thinking about preschool...

Here in Nova Scotia, there is no pre-kindergarten. Just kindergarten (which they call primary). So if she/we want her to go to "school" earlier she has to go into preschool, which costs money (which would mean big sacrifices to pay for something extra like that)! I have always been 100% sure I was not going to even think about putting her in preschool, because I can easily teach her all she can learn there (she already knows numbers, letters, abcs, how to write some of her letters, etc) and there are a tonne of other programs I can put her in to have the class like feel and peer interaction.

But should I reconsider? What do/will you do?

At least I still have guaranteed 1 more year with her home all the time with me!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

A couple of days ago, I came across this quote on Pinterest. 

I loved it and felt super convicted all at the same time! 

It came after a week of many, many rough moments. Mainly, being a result of a 2 year old's behaviour. I realize that no 2 year old is perfect. No 2 year old listens all the time. I have even heard quotes like "if a toddler listens/behaves 60%, you are doing good". Sorry, but 60% just isn't going to cut it. Especially when most of the time, I have a beautiful little girl that is pretty good. We are blessed I know! And we have also worked hard in helping her understand boundaries, rules, etc, while balancing fun. 

That said, she has times in life where she just tests everything. She tests those boundaries of how far she can go. She tests us to see if we will both say the same thing (already I know! We are in trouble). She tests her limits in how far she can go and what will happen as a result. Ie. if we say "Hannah don't throw that" what happens if she throws it just a little. Or if I say, "Hannah, you can't colour on your brother! Only paper" and she colours on our ottoman behind my back as I look at Owens coloured foot, what exactly will happen? 

This was our week. To top it off she was fighting sleep like no tomorrow. 2 hour naps were 1 hour. 12 hour nights were more like 10, and sometimes with waking up for water or pee (which usually does not happen!). So not only was she testing us, but she was loosing it very, very easily herself! Oh and Owen was discovering his ability to reach all kinds of levels/tones in speech so we had on average 45 min monologues or songs to listen to in the middle of each night as he practiced. Cute, but total lack of sleep for us too!

So the quote? 

Have to remind ourselves of this

So I stopped. 


And prayed. 

We were coming away from having the grandparents down the visit, which meant getting spoiled, getting away with things with them that she wouldn't normally, lots more special attention and lots of treats. She was testing to see if that could be the new reality all the time. Can you blame her? 

She was caught in a cycle of sleep deprivation. Could totally understand that! I lost it more than normal. I made exceptions for me because I was tired, but did I do the same for her? 

It was crummy weather, resulting in being inside all the time. She was stir crazy and so was I! 

So this week, I have been praying, I would be more patient, talk through and ask Hannah more how she is feeling and help her out of this cycle. 

Bedtime was bumped to 6pm. 

Expectations were explained beforehand as much as possible. 

Special quality time has been a priority when possible, allowing her to be okay with times she doesn't get it. 

Im not saying all behaviour is excusable. There are still concequences when kids act out and I don't regret the ones we did last week one bit. But we can also stop, give our kids a little grace, put our place in their shoes and help them to thrive the best we can. Not spoiling and giving in all the time, that doesn't help. But small things can make a big difference! 

This week has been so much better! And we have seen and enjoyed sun!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Owen's second month

(Fair warning: This post has lots of pictures!)

Well my dear boy Owen, your second month has been quite the adventure! Here's the highlights of what we did...

Week 1: Daddy was on paternity leave, so you got lots of play time. You were dedicated at church on Mother's Day! (hope to get pictures soon)

Week 2: We started our massive road trip and ended up in Florida. You got to meet your Papa, Aunt Tara, Great-Nanny and whole lot more of your American family!

Nanny with her 7 great grandchildren (you distracted her from the camera!) 

Week 3: You attended your first wedding. Went in the ocean for the first time. First time at the zoo. Lots more driving. First time swimming in a pool. You got to meet your Auntie Ali!

Taking it all in...
shocked by the first wave...

then enjoyed having the waves hit you!

not too interested in the animals...

getting snuggled by Aunt Tara was much more enjoyable!

Week 4: More driving. Went to your first Aquarium in New Orleans. Went to your first baseball game in Pittsburgh. First time to Ontario. Got to meet Grandma and Grandpa. First time in the nursery (at the church where Mommy and Daddy grew up).

family pic with Auntie Ali

we got special seats since you were sleeping in the stroller at first 
which gave us lots of room, eventually we moved down 
to watch the end of the game in our real seats though since they were closer!

fun morning chat time with Grandpa!

It was quite the month! 

At the start of the month you were just starting to respond to our voices and we could get some smiles out of you. With each day it felt like you became more expressive and full of not only smiles but lots of things to say! 

You are growing fast. At your 2 month check up you were weighing in at about 14 and a half pounds and 24 and a half inches long! You are outgrowing clothes like no tomorrow. If you want to slow down just a little I'd be okay with that. You are still my little baby! 

You also probably set a record with how many times in a day a baby can wet through a pampers baby dry (up to 12hrs) diaper. I have learnt to bring not only a bunch of changes of clothes for you but also for myself (yeah that's a pee mark on me in our family pic at the aquarium)! 

This coming month we promise not as much driving since you have let us know you don't really love it. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The things a toddler says with her Uncle

Hannah has always had an awesomely cute relationship with her Uncle Nathan. Now that we are at my parents visiting, and Uncle Nathan is home from Scotland they've been having some good times together.

Here are some of the best quotes and convo's so far between them.

Hannah, "It's not scary (referring to his crazy beard he grew while away)...I don't need to be scared".

Nathan, "Hannah, did you have a good sleep?"
Hannah, "No, I didn't sleep very well"
Nathan, "Why not?"
Hannah, "Just not anything"
Nathan, "so no reason you didn't sleep well?"
Hannah, "No, I just didn't sleep very well"
(she slept through the night without a peep...)

(While running into the living room after having a bath)
Hannah, "Uncle Nathan! Uncle Nathan! Do you want to smell my hair? It's all nice and clean!"
Nathan, "wow that smells good!"
(someone asks if she wants to smell his hair and if it smells good)
Hannah, "No!'s doesn't smell very good"
(lots of laughter)
Hannah, "Maybe tomorrow you can have a bath...(all excited now with her idea), okay tomorrow you can have a bath and then later it can smell good!"
Hannah, "Okay, tomorrow I will put Uncle Nathan in a bath!"

(while hugging him and saying goodnight, she looks at him all adorable)
Hannah, "I really want to give you a goodnight kiss, but your beard is in the way..."

*And I've just been informed she said a lot more to him while they were hanging out alone together this morning too!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Owen`s first month of life

Well dear Owen, you have had quite the first month of life! It has been crazy - full of joys, trials and everything in between, but we couldn`t imagine life without you now!

Here`s the highlights what your first month brought:

First 24hrs: - you were a superstar - we got discharged early and had a bunch of friends visited us at home to welcome you into the world.

Week 1: -The flu hit the house! Everyone except for you and mommy were sick that week! Not a week we really want to remember. (you also thought night was day for most of it!)

Week 2: - A taste of `normal`! Everyone was healthy, Mommy was feeling better, you were sleeping and we got to get out and explore - hitting up the library, harbour front and local coffee shop!

Week 3: - Your first cold! Your sister already wants to do anything she can for you and I guess figured sharing her cold was the nice thing to do. Two days were deemed sick days with us all feeling awful, but you, my boy, got better first!

Week 4: - Dad started paternal leave and a heatwave (for the start of May in Nova Scotia) hit!

No week or even day at that matter has been the same! Your first month flew by fast and was full of many, many, many new experiences (starting with breathing and eating on your own!).

You are loved and celebrated for being here! 
(Hannah showing Owen her card she made saying, Happy 1 month birthday Owen!)

I hope you are prepared because month number 2 is gearing up to be even more adventurous - full of new experiences!