Monday, July 28, 2014

Remember, I have sin in my heart

            Recently I was driving home from a busy morning out with my kids. It had been a fun time, including lunch, so as we approached home I began to review what they needed to do when we arrived, specifically how important it was for them to obey at rest time. Emma chimed in, “But it’s so hard to obey! Remember, Mom, I have sin in my heart.”

            A million thoughts raced through my mind in an instant. She’s listening! She remembers! Obedience is hard! She’s getting it…sin is real to her! Ok, great opportunity here, God what do I say? Shoot, we’re almost home, gotta keep it short. Rest time is going to be great today! They get how important obedience is! No more thinking, say something…woops, light changed!

            And so we talked briefly about how very hard obedience is, especially because we have sin in our hearts. But God hasn’t left us to do it on our own, the Holy Spirit is God with us, our helper to show us when we are doing something wrong and give us strength to obey and do what is right. And that even though we still sin, we ask forgiveness and God always forgives.

            We arrived home and the magical moment passed as suddenly as it arrived. There was the usual fighting over using the bathroom first, another fight over who got the favorite book first, and still another arguing about what to listen to at rest time. “So much for obedience!!” I grumbled as I left their room.

            Emma’s words echoed in my mind, “But it’s so hard to obey!”

Give them grace.
            Remind them gently.
                        Teach them faithfully.

Deep breath, quick prayer. Rest time, take 2!

            Ten minutes later I’d left my grace in the other room, my words could never have been called gentle, and I was angry that my quiet time was interrupted. I wasn’t an example of faithfulness to anything except my own selfish desires.

            I left their room with a self-justified huff, my words “you need to obey now!” hotly ringing in my ears. How quickly I deflated. Like running full speed into a sliding glass door.

Give them grace.
            Remind them gently.
                        Teach them faithfully.

Fail. Fail. Fail. It’s so hard to obey. Remember, Abba, I have sin in my heart. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

            So my forgiven and humbled self walked back into the kids’ room to ask their forgiveness, to remind them again how hard it is to obey but how God freely forgives, and to tell them how much I love them.

            The remainer of rest time was hardly perfect. Likely I broke up three or four more fights, didn’t get the laundry folded, and probably read more of my book while walking back and forth to their room than while actually sitting. And anger burned in my heart toward them yet again, and I had to ask forgiveness of them and of the Lord again.

            So like Emma said, I need to remember that obedience is hard for them, and so I need to be quick with my grace and forgiveness. I need to remember that obedience is hard for me too, and so I need to be quick to ask forgiveness and seek the Lord when I’m wrong. And while I’m learning to see the sin in my own heart, it gradually becomes easier to not take so much offense when others sin against me. The struggle with sin is in the hearts of everyone I come into contact with, so while I’m giving grace to my kids, I can also lead them to give grace to others. Remember, it’s hard to obey.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Feeding herself

Gwen has been a great eater from day one, which is something I do not take for granted after the various eating struggles with W and J.

Her enthusiasm extends even to a bottle (unless it has something other than milk in it!) and she has been holding a bottle herself for a few weeks now.

And even though these pictures were taken at least two weeks apart, Gwen is in the same PJs :)

What a big, happy girl!!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Go Orioles!

I got some great pictures of them the other day...


And then things got silly,


...and super silly!!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Run or dye 5k

This past weekend I participated in the Run or Dye 5k again! It was so much fun and perfect weather for running. Last year I was 16 weeks pregnant, so it was great to be able to run and push myself!


Sarah and I ran together the whole time. She's used to running half marathons, so she held back and helped push me and was a great motivator!

Throwing our dye at the end!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

What a difference a poop and a nap can make

A recent afternoon, Gwen was all kinds of miserable...

She wasn't eating well, was overtired but not sleeping well, and it had gotten to the point of being almost amusing. After two huge poops, she took a great nap, then woke up and ate well, transforming back into our sweet Gwen!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

With Oma

Great Oma and her great-granddaughter!

Monday, July 14, 2014

"Only child"

Gwen's "I have mommy and daddy all to myself" picture from this past weekend.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Jamberry nail review

If you're reading this, you probably know that I'm a pretty low-maintenance kind of girl, especially when it comes to fashion. I don't like spending a lot of time getting ready most mornings because I have plenty of other things I'd rather read a book! :)

I found out about Jamberry nails this summer and was intrigued. I like to have some polish on my toes during the summer, but I usually leave it on until it's looking much worse for the wear, and I never paint my about an exercise in futility! But Jamberry claims that it's nail wraps won't chip (for up to two weeks on your fingernails and six weeks on toes) sounds too good to be true, but I have been VERY pleasantly surprised!

I kept my fingernail wraps on for over two weeks and I've loved them (let's be honest, by the end a few nails on my right hand were looking rough). My toes are holding up awesome, and I'm fully confident that they will make it the full six weeks in better shape than my fingernails after two. (And since I'm being honest, likely they'll stay on longer than six weeks!)

(I totally forgot to take picture when I first did them, this is the only one I have!)

It took me about 30 minutes to put the wraps on my fingernails. The process was simple, especially because there are so many great videos to help with application. I tried my consultant Michelle's plastic Baggie method and was impressed with how well it smoothed out any wrinkles. I used nail clippers instead of scissors to trim the extra wrap from each nail, which gave me a really nice fit to my nails, and just my hair drier for heat. There was definitely a learning curve, but by the end of the set I felt much more comfortable. And when I did my toes I was much more comfortable and confident (and faster with the application!).

One of the biggest perks about Jamberry nail wraps over a manicure for me was the ability to trim my nails and still have the wraps looks great. I actually trimmed them a few days in because I had a few of the first nails that I didn't get a perfect seal, so the tips started to come up. I trimmed the nails just a little and they were perfect. I also am a fan of no dry time. Since I have a few (adorable) interruptions in my house, it was great to be able to stop part way through when I needed to help my kids and not worry about anything messing up the work is done.

(Here's a look after 2+ weeks)

(And a close up of my right hand starting to look rough but the color and pattern has held up great!)

I was super impressed with how well these held up. I am not gentle on my nails at all. In fact, while I had these wraps on my fingers I made bread 4-5 times, picked crabs, went swimming, did plenty of dishes, and was basically as rough as I could have been! Polish never would have held up the way these did.

At $15 for a set of wraps, the prices turned me off a little bit at first, especially since I don't frequent nail salons (if you do, this is a killer deal!). But each set of wraps is good for 2 pedicures and 2-3 manicures. And since I never paint my fingernails, it's opened up the possibility of having my fingernails done, which has been pretty fun, even for low-maintenance me! :) there are over 300 different styles, so there's something for every style, from simple and classic to bold and bright.

Let me know if you have any other questions...and please check out my Jamberry party on Facebook or on the Jamberry site directly ( If you do place an order, just select me as your host :)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Reading outfit

Don't you read like this too??

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Napping: Will style

Will fell asleep in the car on the way home a few days ago. I brought him in so he could sleep on the couch, and he slept for a solid hour before stirring and climbing onto the floor.

Where he curled up and fell asleep again, this time for about 5 minutes.

Then he got up and stumbled over to me on the opposite couch, where he tried a half-hearted and unsuccessful attempt at climbing up next to me...then slid down the couch and collapsed to the floor for another 15 minutes.

Summer is wearing this boy out!!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

5 months old!

How the time flies! Little Miss Gwen has truly blossomed into a fun, happy, laid-back baby. She's always been pretty easy to please, but we are in the "baby sweet spot" right now too.

She's sitting!

Gwen loves hanging out in the kitchen while I work on dinner.

She's also perfected the glazed over look while watching Frozen. Emma set her up in front of the iPad and she sat so well all by herself that I let her stay for a few minutes. Emma really wanted her to "watch all of Frozen with us!" but I am not generally a fan of baby screen time.

Unless it sets up something cute like this:

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Beach photos

These were from our trip to Rehobeth a few weeks ago...

Gwen, unsure about sand.

Will, very sure about sand!

Beautiful day!

Emma's castle, compete with a ballroom filled with snow from Elsa (it's the spot closest to her knee)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014