Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thankful for the mess


Life has been tough lately. My son developed whooping cough a couple months ago, which meant lots of weeks of constant throwing up because he was coughing so hard. James has had a lot of things going on with him that we're trying to figure out. But boy, he's such a cutie, and I love him. <3
     This week is supposed to be a week of Thanksgiving, and to look back at what you're grateful for. So, here's my post of thanks.
     Despite so so many hard days of Temper-Tantrums, messy house, dirty dishes, lots of laundry, snotty noses, baby spit up, and coughs, I'm thankful. You know, it's so hard to be grateful when you're in the moment of complete chaos. It's so hard to be grateful when you've barely gotten any sleep, you haven't taken a shower in a couple days, you've got a pile of tissues that need to be thrown away from snotty noses, and you don't remember when the last time was that you ate some food.
     But, looking back through the past couple weeks, months, and years, I am so truly thankful. I'm thankful for the mess my older son makes throughout the day, because it means that he's got an imagination, and that he kept himself occupied through part of the day. I'm thankful for baby hiccups, because it means that my baby has had enough to eat. I'm thankful for a messy kitchen, because that means that we have food to eat, and water to drink. I'm thankful for a dryer, because who knew something so small had such a significance in my life, and with all my dirty laundry, I'm thankful to have a working dryer again!
     I'm thankful for a husband who loves me despite my many sins and weakness, and my many days of lack of patience. I'm thankful for my two boys, because despite those hard days of their mommy having little patience with them, they love me, and trust me to take care of them.
    I'm so very thankful for those little phone calls and texts from friends and family, just checking in. I'm thankful for the ability to drive my husband to work once a week so that not only do I get extra time with my hubs in the car, but also so that my son and I can go to the Chiropractor on a weekly basis.
     I'm thankful for yummy meals that I've found on Pinterest, which makes diet restrictions so much easier to handle.
     I'm thankful for coffee!!!... something so small, but so delicious.
     So, that's only a small portion of what I'm thankful for, but it's good for me to get a different perspective every once in a while, and realize that I have so much to be thankful for!
What are you all thankful for? Comment below.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Finding Calm in Chaos

     As I write, the house is quiet. Both my boys are in bed, and my husband is getting back into the routine of getting some side-work done. The dishes are done, my living/dinging room is somewhat clean, and I feel like I can finally take a deep breath.
     It's been a long couple of weeks/months. James has the whooping cough, so it's been a long road of Vitamin C, staying away from people so as not to spread it, and throwing up from coughing so hard. In the midst of the whooping cough, he's got a couple other health things going on with him that we're trying to figure out. Being a mama to two cute little boys can be hard at time, and I wonder how other moms do it with more kids than what I have. However, with how difficult and stressful life can be with my two boys, they are an absolute joy to my husband and I!
     My husband and I have learned a lot about marriage, parenting, and how stressful life can get. It's hard to take a deep breath and find calm when life is so chaotic. There have been several times this last week when I'm taking my husband to work so that I can have the car for the day, and we've prayed on the way to his work. We've prayed when we've got one baby screaming because he hates the car-seat, and another baby who's making his own happy noises in the back of the car. It's funny; the sounds of the baby's are in the background, but somehow my husband and I are able to focus on praying. It's hard for me to personally remember to pray to God when life is so chaotic, that I can't even remember what I bought to make for dinner that week, or when my oldest son woke up from his nap.
     Finding calm in Chaos... it's hard, isn't it?! There have been several nights recently that I'm just in tears at the end of the night because I feel like I'm at the end of my rope, and there's nothing left of me to grab onto anything. It's in these moments that I need to hold tight onto Christ. After all, his power is made perfect in our weakness. (2nd Corinthians 12:9)
     Another thing to remember when you're in the middle of chaos, is to stop and smell the roses every once and a while. Find joy in the little things. God knew what we needed when He blessed us with little Ezra!... he smiles all the time! He literally only cries if he's tired or in the carseat. His smiles remind me to find joy in the little things, to take a deep breath, and find calm in Christ during chaotic times.
Have a blessed week! 

Friday, September 1, 2017

A letter to my husband on your birthday...

     To my dear husband who works so hard and is so faithful at being a daddy and husband, thank you! Thank you for being you! Thank you for loving me through all my crazy days when I'm crying for no reason. We’ve lived some lean, hard times interspersed with grace notes of abundance, but our years have been fruitful and God has blessed us with 2 children to show for them. Our faith has been tested, sometimes hope hard to hold, and we can testify that parenthood is certainly not for cowards. Oh, my word, no! We've had many trials in our life just with being parents, but all I can say through it all is, thank you! Thank you for not giving up on me when it's been a tough day of baby screams and grumpy's all day. Thank you for always cheering me up and for always being a shoulder to cry on. 

     This is a letter to you on your birthday, to recognize in public the things you do and the things you stand for. Often times, you and I tell each other the same thing, "I don't know how you can love me, but I'm grateful you do!" Josh, from the bottom of my heart, I want to scream to the world how much I love you! I love the absolute Joy on your face when you come home from work, and see James smiling at you and wanting you to hold him. I love the joy on your face when you make him laugh, and you know that you have a special bond with him. I love the smile baby Ezra gives you when you talk to him. 
    I love those times when we've held each other and cried over how to take care of our children, or how to raise them up. I can always count on you to cheer me up, and to encourage me when I feel like I've failed at being a mother and a wife. You're my constant friend, and the love of my life!
     There's not a day that goes by that I'm not thankful for you. I am more in love with you today, than I was when we were first married, and that love continues to grow every day!
     When I look back and see everything we've been through in the last year especially, I can't help but love you even more. You're so loving and hard working. You know how to make my day better when it's been a rough day. You know how to put a smile on James's face when he's been all but grumpy all day. You know how to remind me calmly that it's okay, and that tomorrow will be better.
     I am so in love with you, and that love grows even more every day. I love you to the moon and back! <3









Happy Birthday!
Forever and always yours,
Caitlin 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Introducing...

      Wednesday, June 28th, our 2nd son, Ezra Mark made an entrance into this world at 9:47a.m. <3 Weighing 7Ibs. 15oz, and measuring 21 1/4" in length. 








The Birth Story:


     It was Tuesday, the 27th, my sister-in-law, Ashley, and I had our midwife appointments together. (Ash and I had done this from the beginning because she was due 2 weeks before me.) At this point, she was 1 week overdue, and I was 9 days from my due date. Our appointment was great. Our midwives suspected that Ashley would go into labor any day, and that I could possibly be another week. Ashley had texted the ladies of our church later that evening, saying that she was having signs of early labor, and to pray. Ashley's husband, Jonathan, texted the "Narwold Clan" a couple hours later saying that the midwives were headed over since Ash was starting to progress in her labor. I was thankful for that, as I hadn't gone into labor at that point, and was hoping that Ash would have her baby before me, so that both midwives would be able to attend both of the births. 
     Around 4:00a.m., I woke up to go to the bathroom, and looked at my phone to see if there were any updates on Ashley's labor. I couldn't get back to sleep, and around 4:30, I had a little cramping. All I could think about was, "oh no, what if this is early labor?" I tried to fall asleep, but around 5:00 I was still having some cramping, and so I finally texted my midwives and told them that I was having signs of early labor. They told me to keep them updated if things progressed, to try and get some rest, and that they were right around the corner at my sister-in-law's house if I needed them. 
     I continued to have cramping, and knew that early labor was definitely in progress. I didn't want to wake Josh up quite yet, as it could still be a while, and wanted him to get some rest while he could, knowing it'd probably be a long day ahead of us. Around 6:30, Josh woke up, and saw that I was up. I told him that I was in early labor, and he asked if he should set up the birthing pool. I told him to try and get more sleep, because he wouldn't have the chance when I went into active labor. He tried, but was too anxious/excited to get any more sleep. At 7:00, my cramping was starting to get slightly worse, so Josh asked if I wanted to go downstairs and watch something to get my mind off of the pain. James woke up around 7:30, and Josh tried to keep him occupied while I was starting to get really uncomfortable with the contractions. At this point, contractions were 8-10 minutes a part. We tried to call our friends who were on call to take James, and couldn't get a hold of one of the families, so we called the other family that was on call, and they said they were on their way.
     I asked Kathy and Hannah (my midwives) if Josh should fill up the birthing pool. They said to wait until my contractions were 5-6 minutes a part. At 7:45, my contractions were 5-6 minutes a part. I let my midwives know, and Josh and I headed upstairs so that he can fill up the birthing pool. At this point, contractions went immediately to 2-3 minutes a part, and were intense. I had to pause at the top of the stairs because the intensity was so much to bear. My midwife (Kathy) said she was headed over. While Josh was trying to fill up the birthing pool (with James in tow) Kathy arrived at our house around 8:00-8:15. At this point, I was on my hands and knees on the floor, trying to hold onto something since Josh was occupied with trying to get things together. Kathy checked to see how far dilated I was, and she said, "There's not enough time to fill up the birthing pool. This baby's coming now." Josh grabbed some things out of Kathy's car for her, and our friend from church, Becky, arrived with her girls to take James. She passed James over to her girls to have them play with him at the park behind our house, while Becky came inside to see if Kathy needed any help. Because Hannah (my other midwife) was over at my sister-in-law's house, Kathy needed help, so with that, Becky climbed onto the bed next to me, grabbed my hand, and kept telling me that I was doing great. While Kathy was continuing to get set up, Josh and Becky were there, holding my hand, and telling me that I was doing great. Because of how quickly labor came, and how intense the contractions were, I was sweating like crazy. Becky went to get a cold washcloth, and patted my face with it, and boy was that nice! I think at this point, it was around 8:45-9:00. Kathy told me to listen to my body, and to push when I felt the need to. So, with every contraction, I pushed. Becky continued to wet my face with the washcloth, while holding my hand, and Josh continued to hold my hand, while saying, "Babe, I'm so proud of you! You're doing great!" During contractions, all I kept saying was, "It hurts!" And while I was waiting for the next contraction to come along, I was wondering how Ashley was doing. 
     Kathy, Becky, and Josh said, "There's the head! He's got a ton of hair! The next push, and he'll be out!" And with that, I had my last push, and baby Ezra was out of my womb. He was born at 9:47 weighing 7Ibs. 15oz, and measuring 21 1/4" in length. 
   
     It's hard to think that Ezra's already 2 weeks old! We love our little guy, and find him absolutely adorable to stare at! <3

     James is adjusting to not being the center of attention... although each day holds it's new challenge. We love seeing James interact with his little brother, and hope that they become best of friends as they grow up together. 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

To My Son...

     To my son, on your first birthday. I can't believe it's been a whole year since you've been born. You've prepared me for so many things that I didn't think I could do. I didn't realize how tough being a mom could be, but I also didn't realize how amazing it would be either. It's amazing to see your first smile. It's amazing to watch as you figure out how to crawl and walk. It's amazing to see your face brighten up when daddy comes home, and takes you into his arms. It's amazing to see how big you've gotten, and how much you've learned, and still have yet to learn.
     When I became a mom, I knew that it would be hard, and full of life lessons, but little did I know how much you'd teach me. In the months following your birth, you'd teach me how I can love someone so much who's so small.
     There was many hard roads to follow in the months following your birth. It was though God decided to put a tree in the middle of the road every few yards for us to get around. Your mommy didn't have much patience through this time, but with Gods help, and the loving hand of your daddy, we got through it.
     My son, there were many hard days of trying to figure out how to be a mommy, trying to keep a house clean, and trying to make dinner, all while trying to keep you happy. But, you know what? Those hard days taught me something. Your daddy was very good and continues to be good at reminding me that it's only a day. It was only that day that maybe didn't go so well. We have other days, and maybe tomorrow will be different. My son, even on a rough day, you made my day turn around when you were all giggly and smiling when daddy came home. The look on your face when he'd toss you in the air, and catch you, as you were giggling.
     My son, I can't wait to hear your first words, and to be able to hear your made up stories one day. I can't wait until you watch your daddy, as he's shaving one day, and want to do that too, just to be like your daddy. I can't wait until you can run into the arms of your daddy when he comes home.
     But for now, my son, I'm enjoying seeing all the little things you're learning at only a year old. I'm enjoying the excitement you get throughout the day, with various little things. I'm enjoying watching you as you love walking with your walker... the smile you get when you look like you've just found the biggest treasure in the world. You'll be walking soon enough, and holding your daddy and I's hand on walks in the evening. You're going to be a great older brother to your little baby brother, Ezra. I can already see it in your eyes, as you smile when I'm holding another baby. You're so curious, and full of smiles when you see there's someone smaller than you in my arms.
     So, on this day that you turn 1, happy birthday!... and remember that your daddy and I love you very much!!!
💙💙💙💙💙💙💙

Friday, May 19, 2017

Update


     It's been a while, I know. Life has been busy. February was full of us buying our first house! James getting his cast off, and Josh and I celebrating our 2nd anniversary. March was full of picking out things for the remodeling of our house... paint colors/flooring/lighting...etc... and April was filled with moving! We have officially moved into our new house!... there's still some construction still left to be done, but it's getting there.
     I have to say, while buying the house, remodeling it, and fixing the house up, has been a trying time for Josh and I's marriage, but it's been a good growing season for us. We've had to make decisions about the house, and what to fix or not to fix. There have been many late nights of painting, packing, and crying. I'm so grateful that Josh has been so patient with me throughout life but especially with the house.
     Baby Ezra Mark is due to make his entrance around July 6th, so it's been a busy season for us trying to prepare for baby #2. James is finally crawling, standing, and almost ready to walk! He absolutely loves walking with his walker!
     I just came back from Colorado a couple weeks ago visiting my family for my brother's Highschool and collage graduation. James is finally back into being himself again after having a rough time adjusting to a new surrounding and such in Colorado.
     I broke down a couple weeks ago, and cried. I cried because I was so overwhelmed with everything going on in my life, and the things to happen in the next couple months. I cried because I felt like I couldn't go any further. I cried because there've been some trials in my life the last couple days, and I just felt overwhelmed. God is still good though, isn't he?! My husband reminded me when he got home that night, "Caitlin, it's all in Gods hands. Don't be worried, God's got it!" Even in those times of need/stress/overwhelm, God is right there, guiding us through it all.
     Have any of you seen "Facing the Giants"? If not, I'd recommend this movie! In the movie, the main character and his wife go through several trails, and midway through the movie, they realize they need to change the way they think. They need to pray more, trust God more, and have more faith. By the end of the movie, him and his wife find out some good news, and all he has to say is, "God, oh God, I'm overwhelmed".  There are many times in my life that I've felt overwhelmed. Although, nothing like I am in the present. God gets us through each individual trial in HIS timing.
     While I was in Colorado, a dear friend and sister in Christ at our church passed away after battling brain cancer for months. She left behind her husband and 9 children, the youngest being 10 months. It was a tough death in our church. The first death for many of the young ones to understand. It was very overwhelming for our church to go through, but God was there. It's been a rough season, but a good season, and through it all, we've seen Gods hand at work in the many lives of our friends.

Isaiah 43: 2-3, "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God..."

   
How has your start of summer been? Do you plan on doing anything big this summer? I'd love to hear all about it! 

3


Friday, February 3, 2017

Burned and burned again

     Yesterday, I took James to the ER. After Doctors examining him, and giving his leg an X-ray, they found that his Femur was fractured. Yesterday, my husband took a tumble with our baby down our very steep set of stairs, and they fell a couple steps. It was enough for both of them to get hurt. So now James has a cast on his leg for the next month at least. It's funny. I feel like every time we leave the hospital, or get through something, God decides to bring something else into our life to give us a time to practice faith, patience, and perseverance.
     In between going to the hospital several times during James babyhood, and just challenging times with our little boy, I feel like I've been burned. I'm burned out quite honestly. I'm tired of getting burned. I'm tired of feeling tired. Every time I think to myself, "This is it! After we get through this, it'll be fine." Quite honestly, it is... just not the way I had pictured. It's funny how different our plans are from Gods, aren't they?!
     Every battle that we finally win with James, is a step closer to being who God wants us as his parents to be. But every battle that comes, there's another one to follow. On top of having my son in the ER yet again, we're trying to purchase a house, plus I'm pregnant, and there's constantly things happening throughout our week that make things challenging through one thing or another.
     I read this article today- Walk Slowly, Mama, and couldn't help but cry. Cry because this is where I am in life... that and I'm pregnant, so things are a lot more emotional for me. ;) The things we do for our children on a daily basis helps to grow us in many ways. We all get burned in one way or another. We get burned by yet another child sick and you've already had 4 days of restless sleep. We get burned because someone let you down. We get burned because we're tired of doing the same thing over and over again. It's funny though. When I think I can't go on any longer, God brings me the encouragement and will to fight. Today, it was my sister-in-law lending me her car to go to Starbucks while James slept. Some days, it's my husband sending me a sweet text telling me that I'm doing great as a mom, and that he's proud of me, and some days, it's reading a part of the Word of God that you just needed to hear. Whatever it may be, God brings you the energy you need to continue to fight the good fight.
     "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." ~2nd Timothy 4:7~