I'm moving

Not for real though, just for play play.
My thoughts are moving to: http://jennbhouston.blogspot.com/
Come visit whenever you'd like.


A Broken Down City

I'm on a journey of practicing self-control. Sounds exciting, huh? A week or so ago I felt like I needed to practice this character-building tool as I can very easily say things without really thinking them through. Or, my emotions and excitement can have me signed up for a marathon in 3 weeks when I've only run 2 miles in my training. Get it? I'm emotional and I act and speak from passionate life-desires, without refinement or a realistic perspective. I also over-commit myself (out of good intentions) but I have nothing left to give to my husband or children. As I alluded to in my most recent post, I'm at a point in life where I feel like I'm ready to experience true freedom, through exposing the things (sin, self-illusions, my past, fears) that formerly held me back and had weak stitches on my heart that acted as a false sense of protection. Its time to remove the stitches and let the flesh grow back and allow true healing to complete itself.

This can get messy. I want to be wise. I want to share things with those who need to hear about the journey. I need to learn how to not 'throw my pearls to swine'. I need to learn to stop talking, to listen, to be able to wade through a conversation with a friend and not just dive off the high-dive and into the deep end every single time. I need to apply the concept of self-control towards my husband, my kids, my desire to check facebook every hour, my eating, etc.

I'm not trying to be religious about it. In all honesty, like I told my husband this week, I want to squeeze every lesson out of this season so I don't have to re-learn it over and over again (like most lessons in my life).

The reason for this post is this: I read Proverbs 25:28 that says,
"Like a city whose walls are broken down, is a man who lacks self-control"

Its poetic, right? But I am a visual girl. I needed to see a city with broken down walls to really get what is being said here. The words I jotted down about a city with broken down walls are as follows:

Exposed, vulnerable, not pretty, weak, cannot defend itself, intruders can easily get in & capture what's inside*

I want to be vulnerable as I journey through this time, but I do not want to be weak, ignorant and unready for the task at hand. Maybe you've got some stitches that are barely holding your heart together. They may be providing a false sense of security and holding you back from true healing and freedom. I'm about to do some heart surgery and I trust that my Jesus is going to be faithful to rebuild the walls as I move towards freedom.

*About this time my 4 1/2 year old entered the room and my train of thought got a little foggy. She was so proud of herself for staying in her room until she saw a 7 on the clock as opposed to a 5 or 6. Now, if I can teach my 13 month old how to tell time, then we'd be getting places!!

Photo found here: http://www.orangeparents.org/please-take-self-control-seriously/


Spring Cleaning

I have about 3 minutes before my little man wakes up but I wanted to jot this thought down for further digestion later...
Why is it that its slightly more enjoyable to clean someone else's house, dishes, child, car, etc ______ (fill in the blank) than your own home/mess? I reckon that its because we don't have nearly as much emotional connection to that task. Once cleaned, you probably never have to clean it again, or you realize that its not a regular occurance that you will have to return to clean that other person's mess.
A thought hit me today, which I will eventually get to below, as I was slaving away by cleaning my bathroom (blah blah blah) and totally not enjoying it. Yet, recently I went over to a friend's house to borrow a dress and I happily wanted to help her clean up her after-dinner dishes. I wanted to lighten her load (as well as have an excuse to hang out a little longer). My thought this afternoon was: its more enjoyable to clean at other people's homes, but I never really get to enjoy the outcome and relish in the now-clean environment because at the end of the day I too must go home and face my mess (issues, if you will).
On to the point. My mess is continual. I keep having to address it regularly to maintain cleanlines. If I simply clean up other people's messes I never get to enjoy the outcome for too long because I need to go home and face my own mess. I'm now talking personal -very personal. Did you catch that? I'm talking about my internal mess. My pride, my past, my 'issues'. For the first time ever I am ready and I want to face my mess/issues in humility and be able to enjoy the view and freedom for myself. I want to celebrate the freedom and cleanliness that comes with gettin' down & dirty with my mess and sin. I want to experience the freedom that is promised in Galatians 5: It is for FREEDOM that Christ has set us free!
I can help other people all day long and it be a lot easier than dealing with my own mess. BUT, the real enjoyment and real freedom is going to come when I first deal with my own issues/sin/crap/what-have-you. This is where I want to be. Free. Then, I believe we will be better used and able to share about the true enjoyment of freedom, which will spark hope, humility, and freedom for others.
SO - pick up your own toilet brush & get scrubbin' and enjoy the view and freedom that is promised!
What good is a blog w/out a pict (so I've been asked)? Here's my second-born getting his scrub on and cleanin' up ;)



Unfortunatly, Blogger deleted my latestet entry. One which I spent precious time writing and recalling the details of Coen's birth story. Maybe one day soon I will have the time to type it out again....in a document and then copy it here.
Until then...


Coen's Birth Story

Yes, there are about 1,000 other things I should be doing right about now but instead, I am here at the computer and realize that I have yet to write out Coen's birth story.
What a sweet miracle, I don't want to forget so here I sit and type...
It was 4:30 on Saturday morning, February 12th. I woke up with a pain in my abdomin. I laid there for a minute to assess the situation. Was it AM or PM? Had it been more than 2 hours since I last went to the bathroom? No, I just went in the 3 o'clock hour. Was my whole stomach tense? I couldn't tell. I decided to get up, do the inevitable and empty my bladder once again, I got a large glass of water and I decided to lay back down to see if it happened again. Another contraction came about 12 minutes later. Since I had experienced a 2.5 hour period of consistant Braxton Hicks contractions 2 nights before, I decided to let Chris continue sleeping while I went into the living room to pace and rest on the couch.
With my note pad near by I began to keep track of the contractions. They went from 12 minutes apart to 5 minutes apart within an hour so I decided to call my doctor. The OB on call told me to sit tight and let them get to 5 minutes apart for an hour, then call and head to the hospital. This is the point in which I remind her that my first labor was 7.5 hours total and my sister's second baby was born in the car on the way to the hospital.
I heeded her advice though and sat tight. Chris came out and laid on the living room floor as I rested on the couch. The strangest thing began to happen. My contractions began to space out. I thought FOR SURE at this point that it was just another false alarm. They went back to 6, 7, 8, 12 minutes apart.
At 7am I had 2 pretty intense contractions so I told Chris that it wouldn't hurt to go to the hospital to get checked out - the worst they'd say is 'go home' or 'go walk around the mall'. I still wasn't convinced that I was in labor because I could still talk through the contractions. Yes, they were painful, but I always expect the worst and I kept saying to myself, 'I would know if I was in labor, these are just practice contractions'.
Since my mom was staying with us, and we'd pretty much had a full night's sleep, and it was a Saturday, I reasoned myself into going to the hospital. I only had about 2 or 3 contractions on the way to the hospital so I was still expecting to be sent home. In Triage we were told that I was 6 to 7 centimeteres dialated. This is when I quickly reminded them of my first quick labor and my sister's second labor. I got checked into a room immediately.
I knew I wanted a natural labor again so I requested the exercise ball to sit on. My contractions were still pretty spaced out and with no pattern so I felt like we were just hanging out with our amazing nurse. Surreal was the overall feeling.
Since my water breaking with Kayna was the first sign of labor with her, I had no concept of how long this labor would be.
Once on the ball I began to really feel my contractions, but I didn't know when to expect them due to the lack of consistancy - even at this point. They were getting very intense very quickly. I stood up and leaned on the bed with my elbows and I buried my face in the bed for a few intense contractions. I didn't want anyone touching me at all and I didn't even want attention on me. This is exactly how I felt when I ran the 1/2 marathon in 2009. I was my own best competitor and felt more mentally empowered on my own. Although, Chris's sweet encouragement sure helped between my contractions! :)
All of a sudden I just had to push....but wait a minute...my water hadn't broken! What was happening? Before I could complete any of those thoughts a huge-o gush of amniotic fluid splattered out. What relief I felt for about a half of a second. The nurse and Chris were shocked. I had no time to be shocked. It was constant intense pain after that. Our amazing nurse urged me to get on the bed but I resisted since I was frozen in pain. Thankfully, I found the strength to get on the bed and assumed what Chris calls the 'Spiderman Position'. Apparently, I was contorted in such a way that I looked like Spiderman doing some acrobatic move. All I knew was that I felt like the bed was keeping the baby in. As my midwife ran into the room I said loudly, "I don't want to be checked again!" -thinking she was just coming in to see how far dialated I was. My eyes were closed tight from the pain as my amazing midwife coached me through pushing. Her encouragement and gentleness brought an instant peace and I knew exactly what I needed to do.
Since I had pretty bad tearing with Kayna I was so nervous about this part. Thankfully, I felt way more in control with my pushing than I was the first go-around. With each push I didn't give it my all, in order to not tear as badly, but I still felt like progress was being made. Yes, I had the thought that I was going to die and that I just...couldn't....do it.... but, just as I was having those thoughts it was over! At 10:35am and after about 10 pushes, our little Coen Wylee was born!
As soon as he came out I uttered, "that was it? it's over?" I still couldn't believe or compute that I was in labor, let alone just delivered my baby! Chris was able to announce the gender and we were both in awe. A BOY!!
The placenta delivered beautifully and I was shocked at my own inquisitiveness. I wanted to see everything so my midwife showed me the placenta, inside and out, the cord attachment, and the amniotic sac that housed my baby for 9 months. It was so amazing! I never saw any of that with Kayna - and honestly, I didn't care to, I was in so much pain.
What a beautiful experience Coen's birth was. It took a whole 2 minutes before I said, "I could do that again!" -this in itself is an answer to prayer as it took me 2 1/2 years to utter those words after Kayna's birth.
Well, there it is. I would definately say that we've moved beyond the surviving phase and on to the thriving phase. Kayna loves her brother SO MUCH - I just love seeing her hold, tickle, talk to, and care for Coen. Its priceless. I often sit back with my heart full as I survey the beautiful children that God has blessed us with. Yes, there are dirty dishes in the sink and dust on the shelves most days but I am really soaking up this season, as I know it flys by too quickly.
Thanks for reading. I will post a few details and answered prayer from this birth in another entry.
Now, on to the tasks that can only be done when both children are sleeping.... ahhh-peace and quiet.


The Mallards and the Muskrats (aka The Birds and the Bees)

Spring is in the air and 'something's in the water'!! Do you recall the posts I wrote about our backyard neighbors, the beavers? Well, add to that, Mallards and Muskrats. Last week I was in the sunroom nursing Coen and I noticed a male Mallard duck 'choking' on something in the small pond created by the beaver dam. I watched for what seemed like several minutes as I thought this duck was trying to carry a huge stick to its nest or eat a large fish. It was hard to tell. After what seemed like several minutes (i'm sure it was roughly 30 seconds!) a female duck surfaced. I felt so violated! Here I was trying to figure out how to help this duck when I discover that he certaintly didn't need my assistance as he impregnated his mate. Fast forward 1 week. Chris and I have discovered a Muskrat that's also been enjoying the beaver pond. We've been trying to show it to Kayna but it disappears before she's been able to get a closer look. Until this week. Again, I was in the sunroom and I hollar for Kayna to come see the Muskrat. She finally sees it and we're so excited to discover nature together until...a second Muskrat enters the scene. It all happened so fast. All of a sudden one of them makes a move and tries to mount the other!!! What looks like an unsuccessful attempt turns into 10+ attempts before we finally exit the sunroom. I'm not quite sure why there's so much friskyness going on in our beaver pond. All I know is that we're not getting any ideas. I've got my hands full at this time!


Its a BOY!

We are excited to finally announce (on the blog) that our Coen Wylee Houston was born on Saturday, Feb. 12 at 10:35am! He was 7.7 lbs and 19 1/4"
We just took him to his one month check up and he's a whopping 9.14 lbs and 21 1/2"!! That's a lot of growing for just 4 weeks (and a LOT of breastfeeding!!).
We're so so thankful for a healthy and content precious boy.

There were certainly concerns that I had about this pregnancy (which, i'm sure are totally normal to have) but the Lord fully answered each prayer and graced us with a beautiful, quick and easy delivery and strong healthy boy.

I will write his birth story and share the details of each answered prayer in another post but I wanted to get this up before another 4 weeks passed by.

Enjoy the sweetness :)
Leaving the hospital (below). Coen was due on Valentine's day so we received a red hat, sweetly made by the volunteers at the hospital:

Sister kisses are the sweetest!

Big sister is certainly a big help :) She's "washed" all the dishes you see here. It only took her almost 1 full bottle of dishwashing soap! Next time i'll have to breastfeed in a place where I can keep an eye on the happenings in the kitchen.