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birthday

a birthday for a girl

Dear first born daughter,

You and I went to the beach together to watch the sunrise on your first day as an 8 year old. I woke you up, put you in the car and asked how you felt now that you were 8. You made a surprised sound and said, “I’d forgotten! Sometimes you forget things when you go to sleep.” We started the day with a laugh.

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You have continued to blossom this last year. You’ve found a love in gymnastics and dance. You’ve added round offs and pirouettes to your still near constant cartwheeling through life. Piano has also been added to your repertoire and I am in wonder watching you play. You have a regular practice time, but it’s so rarely the only time you play. The only time I enjoy hearing Let It Go is when you play it. Though I still enjoy the Star Wars Theme and your favorite Hall of the Mountain King a bit more.

Baking has been big for you this year and you made your own mermaid cupcake cake for your party.

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You’ve also been somewhat obsessed with tiny houses. You make your own in the bedrooms, you plan how you will someday make a real one, you watch documentaries on them. I, for one, would be very interested in seeing a tiny house you made. You’ve also been taking your faith more seriously this year. You read through your entire kids’ study Bible and are in the process of considering being baptized. It is very exciting for me to see you begin to rely on God. He is the one who made you who you are, and He is so vested in your life.

You throw all of yourself into the things and the people you love. You are kind, generous and caring toward the people in your life. You consider what they like when picking out gifts, even when you’re tempted by what you like. You are excited about life and having adventures. You are so many things it took me so many years to learn and it gives me such joy to watch you.

As you grow into the approaching pre-teen years, these years that seem to start earlier and earlier these days. I will try to make sure you hear the good things I think and believe about being a woman said out loud. I will try to show you how to love yourself and your body. I will try to show you to not internalize the guilt and shame others will try to put on you. I will try my best to be free, so you will know the path to staying that way. I know they’ve shown that children, you, learn best by example. Nothing has made me try harder to be the whole person God intended me to be, so you’ll know how to do the same.

As always, I love you, for who you are,

Mommy

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sunrise sunset sunrise sunset

I want to start by thanking all of you who prayed, sent messages and texts last week. I do believe they made a difference, we seemed to reach a turning point after the post. Thursday early morning was our last panic attack. Bycemaster has been function and back at work since Thursday afternoon. We are still continuing on with the cardiologist appointment this afternoon, but not out of any real need anymore. We are continuing on with our chosen course of actions and are happy and excited that life has, for the most part, returned to normal. As quickly as it came, it went, and now life goes on.

This weekend was my sister’s birthday and with Bycemaster feeling good again I was able to do some celebrating with her. We spent her actual birthday morning up way too early. We drove to the beach to watch the sunrise. It was good. I think we are both ready to put the night behind us and start new in the sun.

Thanks for walking this journey with us, enjoy the sunrise 🙂

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a brief baby update and a big girl dances

I’m breaking radio silence. Briefly. We (read I) have dealing with a bit of an emotional upheaval the last few weeks and have not really been in the frame of mind to write. Things are still sort of in limbo and I’ll share more when we know what’s going on, but for now.

Here’s our brief update

We heard from  one of the other grants, and we were declined. This one was kinda of expected because they prioritize their money to people with no children first. But it was an easy application and we went for it anyway, oh well.

I had a birthday, it was low key and nice. The kids got me blue hair, new pens, rubber grippers (for those pesky jars my sore hand has been having trouble with lately) and straws with spoons on the end. Minus that last one, which I’m pretty sure was just for them, the others were all very thoughtful and insightful gifts for me. Maybe they are listening more than I realize. I also got a beautiful new journal from Bycemaster, very much looking forward to that.

Our Jena had her dance recital this weekend as well. She was in dance when she was in preschool, but preschoolers just kinda sway back and forth and spin in a circle for their recitals. This was actually real dance and she did amazing. I’ll claim credit for her love of dance, but she got her physical ability from her daddy. Just to clarify Bycemaster used his in sports, I’m sure he’d like you to know, same difference to me! Regardless, it made a good combo 🙂

Here she is afterwards.

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That’s all for today! We gotta run, ’tis the season!

what do you want to be when you grow up?

Our Jena has decided she wants to be a baker. The whole ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ question has never really been something we’ve focused or even broached in our home, I mean they don’t really have context for that when they’re little. But this one spontaneously decided recently, and it’s been kinda fun to explore it with her. We’ve had a number of opportunities lately for her to use her new found passion.
IMG_0730Here she is mixing up batter for baby cupcakes for a baby shower. Someone gave us a toaster oven and I bought her a mini pan to fit inside. She made 60 minis in her toaster oven last week. She also discovered that the regular muffin pan on the counter behind her fits too. We are clearing out a cupboard in the kitchen for all her baking goods. She is very excited. Down below are her finished product. Getting to fancy frost them was her favorite part. Plus sprinkles, of course. IMG_0731
IMG_4080But this was her true masterpiece. She made her daddy a chocolate fall out cake, for all the non gamers please enjoy the Wikipedia link to know what the heck I’m talking about :). That is the pip boy surrounded by atomic bombs. It’s a post apocalyptic game so I suppose the end of the world had to be depicted too.

I wish I could have gotten some mid process photos of this one, but I was napping! I helped put the cake in the oven and color the frosting after my race and then laid down. I woke up and she had decorated it all up! The photo below is her practice drawing before she drew it in frosting. Marker is a little easier to work with than frosting. It really does look just like the pip boy to me. IMG_4102
IMG_4099Here she is giving daddy one of the MANY presents she made for him. I love this picture cause she didn’t know I was taking it. No goofy face, just the joy of someone receiving something you’ve given them. He’s also proudly wearing the purple sparkly “watch” she made him, go daddy.

But we also had my race this weekend! Bycemaster’s birthday and my race being tied together is providential. Without him (and my running buddy!) I would not have done near as well this training season. They both kept me going when I wanted to quit. He kicked me out the door and she dragged my butt along when I would have stopped if I was alone. It was a hard training season, it’s been a hard year.

I talked a little bit about my expectations for this race last week. They were lower than low, given what my goal for this year way. After I wrote the post, I did more figuring based off our training runs and became even more discouraged. It really looked like even coming in under our OUC time of 2:28 was going to be really pushing it. But neither of us quit things we commit to, so that wasn’t even really considered.

4am sunday morning I was up getting ready to go. My devotion that morning was on finishing the race. It spoke about how often the journey is hard and no fun, but the end is always great. I remember laughing thinking God you have a sense of humor. I also remember thinking it’s the end, I’m trained up, and about to run this thing, and it’s not great. I still was not looking forward to it really.IMG_0734But here we are at the start, psyching our selves up and trying to talk ourselves into being happy with finishing at what we thought was reasonable. Excuse the awfulness of this pic. It’s the only pre-race shot I’ve got.

However, below is our finish line shot. We were maybe 10 yards from the finish, actually able to sprint and coming in about 15 mins sooner than we could have ever dreamed in the picture above. We were elated. This was the real end, and this was fantastic. We came in at 2:15:03 not even 2 mins over our PR and way under our expectations. sprinting toward the goal

This running/racing thing is so much like life sometimes it amazes me. So many things we are journeying on, down and discouraged just barely putting one foot in front of the other and then the unexpected happens and we are able to finish, sometime even finishing strong.

Right now as our adoption stuff is beginning to expire (we are approaching the one year point of when we started the paperwork) and it’s just one foot in front of the other I’m focusing on that finish line. It will be here eventually, and the journey is part of the joy of the end. I prefer to enjoy each step of the way, and often I can find the good in it all, but some things are just hard. But I know hard does not equal bad, quite the opposite I’ve found. Generally speaking the harder it is, the greater the potential for joy at the finish line.

But just as importantly, the hard part is bearable when you are not alone. The joy is also exponentially greater when it’s shared. So I’ll just be here wading through my hard with all of you, thinking about the joy I’ll get to share at the next finish line.

Thanks for journeying with me.

a day late and a dollar short

Just a quick update on all the things over here.

The computer has become a hot commodity. We’ve switched the majority of our schooling for the big kids over to easy peasy and it’s mostly on the computer. Add that too the reading eggs/mathseeds for the little two and unless we are all out (when I couldn’t use it anyway), someone is on the computer. So far it’s working fairly well, but every now and then I want a turn (could you parents here the whine in that voice, it was there, I was channeling my inner 5 year old.) Some things, like typing, do not work so well on the iPad. We’re figuring it out, in the meantime…here’s our updates.

1)I know you’re all only here to see a baby update, so I’ll end the suspense. There is no update. But someone from our training class is in the hospital now, hoping to take home their baby tomorrow! We are very excited for them, they’ve had a number of disappointments and we are so praying this one is it for them! I’m sure they would appreciate your prayers too.

2)Race day is this Sunday, bright and early. This is a smaller half so I don’t think there will be online tracking like the Disney races, but I will post our end time. We’ll be done before 8:30am hopefully! The hope was to break the 2 hour barrier this year. I can tell you right now that is NOT going to happen. Someone, me, severely underestimated the effect of the stress of everything that has been happening this year. If I can pull in under 2:28 I’ll be satisfied, if I can PR and go under 2:13 I’ll be thrilled. Even PRing this year will take everything I have and potentially more, it’s within reach though, maybe, close enough to try for anyway. I’ll keep you posted.

3)No hair pics cause I haven’t done anything! I have been thoroughly enjoying the short hair though. No regrets, I’m loving it. The color will get there. Purple is the current winner, with blue being a close second. Purple has had limited success in my hair, but I have some new strategies and I’ll give it a try again.

4)Not an update, but still giving it a number. Got away for 48 hours with Bycemaster for an early birthday present for him. Best thing ever. Getting away from everything and going some where with no pressures or expectations just us, it was glorious and so needed. I feel like I can tackle the this phase of life again, instead of it tackling me. It’s been tackling me for months now.

On that note, I’m off to round up the gang. It’s Aldi time! (I will share my new obsession with Aldi shortly I’m sure, I’m in love) Then back to schooling and cleaning and baking with my little baker. Full day, we’re off!

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