Thursday, July 28, 2011

THRILLED!

These past few weeks have been a little rough. Poor Jose's eyes are bloodshot from studying so much. (He's been taking the Bar for the past couple of days.) I've been trying to stay out of the house/meet new friends to stay sane and keep Mirabel entertained and not missing her dad. (It's so sad. She would often stand at his office door by the end of the day and yell out his name/crying for him to come out...not understanding that he didn't actually want to be in there away from us for so long.)

But let me tell you, today has got to be one of the happiest days of my life. I am married to a man who's always got his head in the books. Yes, he's a hard worker, but he's been a student the entire time I've been married to him/while we were dating. Yep, he did graduate a few months ago, but the studying became even more intense after that. This test was/is brutal. He can usually feel like he's got the information down by the time bigs tests roll around. But he said this one was different (and I bet it was). Poor guy!

But today, we are both the lucky ones! No more studying, no more test-taking after around 5 PM today! Can you believe it?!!!! I'm thrilled. Seriously, I think I'm gonna go bake a cake or make some chocolate ice cream. :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Freedom to Find Peace

Satan mounted his rebellion through the power of one idea: God doesn't have a good heart. Though it seems almost incomprehensible, he deceived a multitude of the heavenly host by sowing the seed of doubt in their minds that God was somehow holding out on them. After the insurrection is squelched, that question lingers in the universe like smoke from a forest fire. Sure, God won, but it took force to do it. Power isn't the same thing as goodness.
From The Sacred Romance by Brent Curtis and John Eldredge

It seems one of the biggest questions out there, among those who wonder whether or not God truly exists is: If there is a God, and he is all loving, then why is there suffering? I used to ask the same thing. Though I always believed, I never quite understood how a perfect God could allow so much imperfection and injustice. But after reading a couple of different thoughts/answers surrounding this question, it makes more sense.

If God stepped in all the time, that would get in the way of freedom. If he is truly good, then he wouldn't need to use force to attract people to him, like the quote above suggests. God also cannot contradict himself. If he is perfect, he cannot act in an evil way which is why he cannot cause of suffering. This means his motives have to be completely pure. In our freedom, we often choose to do wrong, though. Sometimes we even have good intentions, but mistakes are inevitable so long as we're stuck in our human bodies. But with God as our spiritual guide, we're given clarity, and the right decisions can follow.

Still, not everyone listens to his quiet voice, and suffering is usually the result of a decision made without considering perfect love (aka God). But some people don't want anything to do with him. Because of freedom, they have that right; God allows us to accept or deny him. As a result, there is a constant battle on Earth between good and evil; peace and suffering. So peace can only exist temporarily, and only in some places at different times. Of course, not all suffering is self-imposed or caused by sin. There are illnesses that bring pain to truly loving people. But the beauty of their situation is that if their hearts are in God's hands, they will know peace on this imperfect soil and in heaven.

In the end, isn't that what we all want more than anything? True peace that doesn't rely on the sun shining, perfect health, or flawed humans? Imagine the peace that comes with knowing beyond doubt that we are loved perfectly by a God who can do no wrong. I'm still working on fully embracing that truth. I think it's a lifelong thing. God isn't the one holding out on us, we're the ones holding out on him.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Color. Unconventional. Quirky. Eclectic. Home.

Can you guess what my favorite color is? :)...
Found the pillow on Etsy, the lamp at TJ Maxx, the frames at Goodwill (brown, spray painted them turquoise). I don't have a very traditional style. I really love color and cute things. I don't think I'll ever outgrow that.

Finally added more to the walls! I found this great frame (bottom) at Hobby Lobby that documents every month of Mirabel's first year with a photo (because you can't have too many photos!).
Instead of hanging a family photo in the living room, I printed out that picture of our silhouettes (middle).
And...Katie Daisy. I love her work. I found some of her cards and decided to frame a couple (top).

I found a wicker chest on sale to store her toys in. I think it works a little better than the bright pink playpen :).

And because you want to feel like you're entering a fun, inviting home before you knock on someone's door, here's a recent craft: A button flower wreath for our front door...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

More Progress

Now that we've settled into our daily routine, things are really smoothing out. After hearing about Mirabel's anemia, I became overly anxious and stressed out. The doctor suggested that I try to take one feeding away each day. But when your kid hates solids, that isn't such an easy task. I often found that when I tried to skip a feeding and offer solid food instead, Mirabel would scream so much, and show an even greater aversion to eating food. So I started nursing for about a minute or two before offering anything else, just to take the edge off. Then she calmed down enough to actually try something. Initially it was just a few bites, but I tried to stay hopeful.

Then I discovered how much she loved spoons. One morning I made her some cereal, and she ate a good amount of it with her Elmo spoon. It was messy, but it was progress! Then we decided to start eating dinner on the floor. Before, this didn't really phase Mirabel. Then, I guess because I kept trying to offer her food about every hour, she finally figured out that food is for eating when you're hungry. (What a concept!) So she ate dinner with us that night. The next day, she ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner with me too. It was one of the best days of my life! OK, maybe that's an exaggeration. But I didn't know what to do anymore. I felt like a terrible mom because of how anemic she was. But I also felt terrible earlier on when I tried to give her the iron supplement and she'd start to throw-up. Then I figured out that if I mixed it with juice in a syringe (the kind the pharmacists give you when your kid needs a prescription), I could get it down her throat fast enough without inducing any vomiting. Yes, she still fights us, but at least she doesn't gag anymore.

I feel like I've climbed Mt. Everest. Again, I know that sounds like an exaggeration. But I was just so worried that she might be deficient in something else. I was also worried that she would never, ever wean. She is still nursing, but now that she's eating more solids the idea of weaning her doesn't seem so impossible. And, yeah, I know there aren't grown adults who drink breastmilk (ha!), but I somehow felt that I would forever be a milk machine, and that I'd never be able to have another kid as a result. Oh yeah, and that I'd never sleep thru the night again (still not happening, but again, it doesn't seem like such an impossibility at this point. :)

Wow, I never thought I'd write a blog post like this haha!

Anyway, I was feeling pretty low before this pinnacle event took place. And I was also feeling low because I needed to begin establishing my roots here, but I wasn't able to focus much on anything else...until last weekend. We went to a great church. A church that I think we'll call our home church because the people were so sincerely inviting, and the service and sermon were both lovely. And the day before we visited this church, or maybe a few days before, I got an idea. Well, I'd had the idea for awhile but I was too much of a weenie to go thru with it until that day. I started a meetup group! Yep! The first day, only 1 person joined; now there are 23 members! It's a group of moms in the area with similar interests. Our first meeting is this Friday and I can't wait.

Yay! A social life; a social life that also involves other kiddos Mirabel's age! So happy mom and kid! Mirabel is suuuuuch an extrovert. She goes up to random kids and touches their hand, or just their shoulder. This is her way of being affectionate. She really loves people in general. She is also so much happier when she's around other people/kids, so this will enhance both of our lives. I'm looking forward to seeing how her extroverted personality will blossom as she grows up.
 

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