How We Met 2

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I am pretty excited, okay EXTREMELY excited about the 2nd annual installment of “How We Met”- a series of love stories. I’ll be kicking it off on Monday, but before that I wanted to take a look back at last year’s couples and give an update of what’s gone on since this time last year. I’ll give you a hint. It starts with a B and ends with abies!

Karin and Cameron (the couple that were found to be compatible in a Lifespan development class)12565401_10153815637325930_1320024551978135448_n are expecting their first baby! They are having a girl and she is due in a couple weeks. Congratulations to them. I can’t wait to get the text when that sweet little bundle arrives!

Kailei and Brad (the couple that met in preschool) had a baby last March and her name is Kymri. Kailei emailed me recently and says “She has made our life even sweeter and we have loved every minute of being parents!” Congratulations to them too. She’s beautiful.

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Andrea and Mike (the couple who met at the gym) ALSO had a baby! Solomon James was born November 3rd. He is their 8th boy in a row which the Doctor said is extremely rare. He sure is a precious little bird.

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Nancy and Richard (the couple who met in the school parking lot) have a new grand baby! It’s my sweet Elle.
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She is the 7th grandchild and my sister in law is due any day now. That will make 8 grandkids in 8 years for the Weavers.

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The next baby is a boy so it will be 4 and 4!

Anyway, I couldn’t help but share the baby news I have from these lovely Messy Mom contributors. Be sure to come back on Monday when “How We Met” returns.

By | February 19th, 2016|Marriage, Uncategorized|3 Comments

Mini Van!? Help!

What is significant about September 24th? For me it’s that my due date is November 24th and that means 2 months from now I will more than likely be holding my baby girl. So things are starting to get real and now that J has a job, getting a mini van is our next priority.

I love my Toyota Highlander, but we cannot legally pack one more child into my car. 

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So it’s time to upgrade! We haven’t even started the hunt yet, but we have some ideas in mind. 

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We bought J’s 2000 Toyota 4Runner in 2007. It’s hard to believe we weren’t even parents yet in this photo, but I was pregnant with Z. J just recently hit the 300,00 mile mark on his car and we’ve been very happy with it. Out of our two vehicles it’s the only one with a tow package and we own a trailer, so this is our truck and we do not intend to trade it in anytime soon.

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About a year after falling in love with the 4Runner we bought my 2002 Toyota Highlander, which my husband refers to as the “glorified minivan”. That’s what he calls any SUV that isn’t really sport utility material.
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All though it’s seen better days aesthetically (thanks to my messy clan) I have loved this little gem we found on Craig’s List 8 years ago.

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Needless to say we are Toyota fans and so we would like to stay in the Toyota family for this next upgrade. We also have had success with purchasing USED, but staying around 6 or 7 years old. So we are thinking about a 2008ish Toyota Sienna minivan. We aren’t set on that though! A Honda would probably be our next choice in make, and it doesn’t have to be a minivan, but you would really have to talk me out it. I look forward to the day the doors slide open and I don’t have to panic about my children leaving dents in the unfortunate cars parked next to us. Also, gas milage and safety rating are things I definitely like to consider.

So I would love any and all feedback about vans, brands, amenities, you name it. Both of our cars are paid off and we like it that way so we’re definitely wanting to keep things somewhat simple while still upgrading. Because if things continue the way they’ve been going for us we won’t be thinking about another car for a close to a decade. It’s such a big decision! Alright, let me hear your thoughts and I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

By | September 24th, 2015|My Life, Simple Living|11 Comments

Goodbye 2nd Trimester

 

I was explaining to the kids that I was in the last trimester or the final third of my pregnancy. I said “It’s like if you were running 3 laps, we already ran two of them! Only one lap out of three left to go!” Z responded in a total serious tone, not being sarcastic at all “Yeah, but it’s more like we walked.”

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Okay, fine. So maybe I didn’t sprint through the first two trimesters, but I really can’t complain about this pregnancy so far. I’ve had some rough moments, but I am grateful about how uneventful it’s been for the most part.

 

Looking back at the past three months there have been some really great memories.

Of course we found out that we are having a GIRL!

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The gender reveal painting was so special and memorable, I can’t thank my brother enough for making this video possible! I will cherish it forever!

We also did our annual dress like a cow tradition for Chick-fil-A cow appreciation day. This was my second year to be a pregnant cow. The last time was with Ezie 3 years ago. I was just one month further along then.

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I know I am such a nerd, but one of the first things I got excited about after finding out we were having a girl was knowing next year she would get to wear SJ’s little Baby Gap cow overall dress for cow appreciation day.

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Our little trip to Michigan was also a very memorable part of the pregnancy

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and lastly, this past weekend we did the Color Dash Bubble Bash 5K and had the best time.

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We did run part of the race, but I’ll admit I am not in running shape! That might be what Z was referring to when he said we walked 2 laps. I am still proud of myself for staying active all summer even if I’m not a runner.

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The funny thing was when we got home I realized my belly (and ONLY my belly) had been stained blue! Of course it washed off, but it definitely caught me off guard because that did not happen last year.

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As far as all the little prego details, my glucose tests came back with good results, other than the anemia. My SPD actually hasn’t been bad at all, so thank the Lord for that. I am starting to feel the acid reflux increase. Last night I went ahead and took one of J’s antacids for the first time because it felt so yucky and the chewable definitely helped. I crave ice the most, but anything crunchy hits the spot- baby carrots, rice krispie treats, ice cream cones, cashews. These are not things I normally eat!

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Everyone wants to know about the baby name and I am going to be a meanie and make you all wait. This is by far the longest we have ever gone without knowing the baby’s name. We are on the brink of finalizing it! In fact we talked about it yesterday, but I was on my way out the door and I said “Well, I am definitely not ready to make it official right now when I’m in a hurry, but that sounds good”. At this point I think we will wait until the birth, but maybe not.


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As you can see by the pictures we are all in love with her already and even though I am not ready for her to be here I am awaiting the day with great anticipation.

We get to tour the birth center and have an orientation in two weeks! It’s all starting to get real and I couldn’t be happier!

By | September 2nd, 2015|Pregnancy & Birth|6 Comments

I Fell In Love and Married Too Young.

I was engaged 15 years ago (so I was barely 18) and I got married 3 months later.

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Statistically speaking people married under the age of 25 are at a much higher risk for divorce. Low income families are too. Short engagements make your chances of success even lower.

We were all of the above and then some. Some would call our marriage a recipe for disaster, yet we’ve already beaten the odds just getting past the 10 year mark.

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So how is it that we have a  strong healthy marriage after 15 years even while undergoing so much struggle?

First of all it’s because we have a redeeming Savior that we rely on to get us through the hard times. “There but for the grace of God go I” is one of my all time favorite sayings.

I don’t want anything I say to be hurtful or judgmental. Marriage is SO COMPLICATED and each situation is completely different. We’ve seen many dear friends and family members walk through the pain and difficulty of seperation so I am not trying to sum up the key to marital success in under a thousand words.

What I do want to say is that I see a trend in our culture that I think is misleading. I call it the calculated marriage.

On average most people will spend a quarter of their life single. Then they spend a few years dating and being engaged to their spouse. At this point you would have MOST of your life ahead of you.

Here’s a terribly unscientific pie chart to explain what I mean.

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What I see happening is that everyone (Christian or not) is putting ALL the emphasis on that tiny fraction of the pie that I have labeled courting (shown in orange).

Some suggest living together during courtship so that you really know what life is like. Others suggest a parent led courtship where the families are heavily involved. There are websites designed to match you up with your most compatible partner. I’ve seen advice that you should stay single longer, date longer, marry someone you’ve known for a long time, be financially stable, have a college degree, get plenty of counseling, own a pet first, marry someone who has never been divorced, or I saw an article shared on Facebook yesterday that talked about the stigma of having divorced parents.

The list goes on. Don’t get me wrong, these things are important to consider, but I am going to make anunpopular claim and say that we are putting the emphasis in the wrong place.

I believe that the reason J and I (and the many many other couples I know in the same boat) have defied the odds is because we put the work in before we even met each other and then really got our elbows dirty after we sealed the deal. So we may have rushed through the “orange” phase, but you see all that green and yellow? We have invested a lot into those years and hopefully the years to come.

We were taught to believe that marriage takes work and divorce is not an option. We were working on our relationships with the Lord while we were single (and therefore working on what it takes to have a successful marriage). We have had to fight for our marriage especially in those first 5 years! I’m glad we had no way out in those dark moments because now I get to see all the wonderful things we would have missed!

Let me use an analogy. Let’s say there is a young woman that dreams of having a nice car some day. She carpools and rides the bus as she diligently saves up for her dream car. Her focus and motivation is getting the perfect car. She believes that if she does all the research and gets a car that has great gas milage, high safety ratings, a history of longevity, and luxurious amenities then she knows she will be happy.

The day comes that she finds the ONE. It’s perfect. She doesn’t rush in and buy it either. She finishes saving up and pays CASH! It sounds like the epitome of self discipline and responsibility.

The problem is, she goes to get the car without a drivers license! She assumed she would be able to learn to drive once she had a car to practice with.

To make matters worse she doesn’t keep up with the maintence on the car. The car she worked so hard to get is banged up and run down fast because she doesn’t know how to drive it or take care of issues when they arise. She was completely focused on the vehicle and her checklist, but put little thought into what it really means to drive or take ownership.

The point I am trying to make is that while the vehicle and the purchase is important it’s not even the most important part. Of course there are things you can do to make wise choices while you date or are engaged. For starters the Bible talks about being equally yoked and that’s HUGE, but it’s only a part of the equation. You have to learn about commitment and choose covenant everyday in every aspect of life. Then when you are married you implement what you’ve learned. You walk it out. It takes two and that’s the hard part, but it’s so rewarding.

There are some people that operate with caution by nature and if you want to get a license, save up for the perfect car, AND take good care of it too then that’s great. My concern is for those that think the calculated marriage is going to solve the divorce epidemic.

Marriage is a big decision that should not be taken lightly, but deep down I still stubbornly believe that some of the best things in life are uncalculated.

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By | July 21st, 2015|Marriage, Uncategorized|7 Comments

Behind the Scenes of the New Messy Mom Video

 

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Baby Face

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Baby Hand

Last week I had my 20 week ultrasound. Everything went great. The baby is healthy. I’m right on track with measurements. The kids enjoyed seeing the baby on the monitor and yes, we did find out the gender.

I texted my brother from the doctor’s office to announce the news and tell him I had a gender reveal video that I wanted to try to put together as soon as possible. He was on board and days later he and my sister in law came out to turn my idea into reality.

Some of you may remember last time we did this (back in March).

That video was obviously scripted whereas this next one (which I have not seen any of yet), is totally just documenting the moment.

I can’t share too much because I don’t want to blow the secret, but we used paint to make the announcement.

 

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This was the first drawing on my story board. Don’t critique it! It’s just a really quick sketch to get the idea across and that’s just about all I can show you other than this photo of set up

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and the two paint cans

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and here we are getting ready for some fun.

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I can’t wait to share our news with everyone!!! It is an honor to have my brother help out with this project. He has a busy schedule and he literally travels the world shooting films and commercials. Yet, he and his wife jump in with both feet to make a short film for their new nephew… or niece. Ha! Just kidding. I’m not telling.

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That’s my brother in the orange jacket on set in Iceland. Photo Credit: Paper Lantern Productions 

 

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Here he is wearing some kind of gear that I don’t know the name of. Photo Credit: Drive Media House

 

Subscribe to my youtube channel so that you know exactly when we release the video. The big reveal is just days away!

By | July 17th, 2015|Creativity, Pregnancy & Birth|2 Comments

Prayers to the God of Miracles

2 years ago I wrote a post called “We Need a Miracle”. It was one on the most vulnerable posts I’ve ever had to write. We were living in the basement of my brother’s house driving an hour to get SJ to school and the money was about to run out. We knew we needed to move across state lines so that she could qualify for scholarships, which meant we had 3 months to find a job and a home starting from scratch with zero connections. We truly did need a miracle and we got one! We found an apartment crazy enough to accept the pay stubs from J’s temp job he was wrapping up and we lived off of savings for a few weeks while he tried to find work. While volunteering at SJ’s school he met a guy that gave him a job! We knew he still needed a “career” in the long run, so that is why he went back to school. All that happened 2 years ago and the Lord has provided for us this whole time.

Last year I wrote another post titled “We’re Not Moving”  where I boasted about the sense of relief I felt by renewing the lease on apartment for another year. At that point we had just moved 3 times in less than 3 years, so I was thrilled to finally not be going anywhere.

However, this year is a different story. We gave the notice to the apartment management that we would NOT be renewing our lease. I am all for “Lots of Hope for the Little Home” and I don’t mind living in a small space at all, but I’ll spare you all the details and just say that we definitely need  something more accommodating for a family of six. Trust me. We also need a van because after three kids I have learned that a baby doesn’t need much. However, we can not legally fit all 4 kids in our current vehicles so this is a non negotiable upgrade. As if that weren’t enough J needs a new job. He has to have a co-op for school, so something in the field of computer programming. Do you see how I might be just a tiny bit stressed? The baby is coming in 5 months and all we need is a car, a house, and a job. No big deal.

I say no big deal sarcastically, but it truly is not a big deal for God. You’ve probably heard the songs Oceans by Hillsong United. The line that says “You’ve never failed and you won’t start now” has been resonating deep within me. We find ourselves desperate for another miracle, but thankfully I serve a God of miracles.  He is a mighty savior with infinite resources.

So here we go again. We need a house, a van, and a job. We need a miracle. Will join me in praying and believing for that?

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By | June 5th, 2015|My Life, Uncategorized|9 Comments

Our 5th Annual Cow Day

Chic-Fil-A time, cow day, dress-like-a-cow, free food, cow appreciation day- whatever you want to call, it it’s a fun time and something that is starting to become one of my favorite days of the year!

This year I was saddened when I realized Z would be out of town for cow day. I had already planned on painting the kids faces this year and almost considered changing our whole summer schedule around  the event just so that he could be a part of the action. That was unrealistic though. So instead I decided we could still dress up and take pictures like we do every year, but we would do it before cow day at my aunt’s barn.

The weather was gorgeous and the children really ate up the chance for some extra special pretend play.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then later they ate up the free food when all but Z went in dressed like cows on July 11.

On the left is my niece for her first cow day wearing the same dress SJ wore 5 years ago on her first cow day (pictured right). It was so sweet! 



Between all the free meals we’ve gotten over the past 5 cow appreciation days, my family has ordered at least $75 worth of free Chic Fil A. That’s a pretty sweet deal. I am cheap, so I usually just get a couple kids meals and share with the kids. I don’t mind because it’s still delicious, but on cow day you better believe I get myself in full garb and I order a chicken sandwich meal with a LEMONADE all for me. YUM.

The whole experience just makes me smile! I’ve decided at this point it’s worth it for me to come up with a permanent costume. Every year I dress in white and tape black spots to myself, but I think next year will be different. Yes I am already planning for next years cow day. I am a true CFA fan. Moo.

 

 

 

By | July 28th, 2014|Creativity, Frugal Living, Uncategorized|1 Comment

Independence!

I love the 4th of July, it is such an uplifting, lively holiday. On Sunday we all wore red, white, and blue. It was a last minute thing. Since we made the effort to coordinate I asked my sister in law if she could snap a quick picture of us. Ezie was literally asleep in this photo and we had a slew of unattractive vehicles (like my own) in a very bland looking parking lot behind us. I still loved the photo though, as we have very few of all 5 of us. So I learned how to photoshop around strands of hair so that I could tweak the background, then I made some color adjustments, added the text, and BAM- I’ve practically got a personalized greeting card now.

Here are some throwbacks to other times that we wore patriotic colors. 

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From our family to yours, HAPPY 4th of July!!!
By | July 5th, 2014|Creativity, Uncategorized|1 Comment