Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Goings On...

Here's a few pictures of what's been going on around our home the last few days.  I'm trying to make an effort in finding beauty and joy in the simple stuff.  These moments, uncaptured, may seem insignificant...but when paid attention to, particularly when viewed through a lens, they are indeed magnificent.  What a splendid time for our family.  A time when play and painting abound.  When daddy gets to be home a little more then usual.  Baked bread is smelled throughout the house.  My littlest little is into everything.  My oldest little helps fold her sister's diapers.  And mommy gets to catch up on her reading.
Thank you, Jesus for my life.

Blessings on your day,

Friday, September 16, 2011

{this moment}...

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
~Inspired by SouleMama

Sisterly love.
Being silly.
Playful make believe.
Handmade treasures.
Cool weather PJs.
"Pause, savor, remember."

Weekend blessings to you.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011


These early days of Fall find us all learning in our home.
Papa is learning to rest. Most days you'll find him working from home, enjoying both his trade and his family. He's a good daddy and a wonderful husband...but what makes him amazing is he is always learning how to be better at both.
Together, we are learning to enjoy one another and how to pause in this whirwind of an experience called life. It's good. And I for one count myself as blessed to be his partner in everything.
Miss Emma is learning all sorts of fun stuff in our preschool co-op, awana club and her bi-weekly moppets group! It has been so delightful watching her make new friends and bloom and blossom in these learning environments. Best of all, she's learning Scripture and I think that is pretty cool.
Kaelah is learning to talk! Her first word was mama just about a week ago! The rest is just coo-ing for now, but we all do a great job of thinking they sound like dada, Emma, hi and love! She is also a scooter! She scoot scoots everywhere! And before too long I know learning to crawl will be underway!
Mama is learning to be a quiet mommy...both in voice and in spirit. For too long I was just too loud. I would raise my tone and my brain was noisy, too. I'm working on that though. I like having a quiet home.  We are certainly a work in progress, but it's comforting knowing we are working towards more peace.
I have a whole heap of new hobbies of which I WANT to learn...hopefully, one day I will be able to post on the progress of that!
Most of all, I'm learning to be present...at all times. These moments I'm so blessed to experience right now are so short lived. I've committed to striving in being present today and the rest of my days.
I'm learning not to take myself too seriously...to give of myself generously...to love unabashedly...and to explore outside the conditions I've limited myself with for too long.
So many lessons to be gleaned! I could go on and on. I think Fall brings the thinker...and the student out in me. Or maybe the Holy Spirit is pressing upon me to be attentive in all I do. Maybe its both.
But this new season feels good. It's refreshing.

Friday, September 9, 2011

{this moment}...

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
~Inspired by SouleMama

(I know it says no words, but I just have to say something!)

My littlest little loving her avocado.  Boy, it's so messy (that and sweet potatoes), but it gives me the greatest joy to clean up after these fun-filled, food slinging, baby meal explorations! 
She's just so darn cute!

Weekend blessings coming your way!


Monday, September 5, 2011

Beach 2011

This is what happens when you wear the same sandals all week at the beach.
Happy End of Summer, all!
Here's to cooler weather, turning leaves, comfy sweaters and sock covered feet.


Monday, August 29, 2011

A Letter...

Dear You Know Who You Are,

In light of yesterday's post on my being mad, I thought it best to address why (at least partially why) my days are spent living in the past.

I should have had this on my to-do list as I've been planning a letter of this sort for quite some time.  I just haven't had the courage to put pen to paper. But seeing as there has yet to be any closure for me, I felt this might be a therapeutic exercise in not just release, but possibly even forgiveness.

Consider this public diatribe the best, most gentle emotion I could muster. Especially since I have wanted nothing more then for this to end up in your mailbox...with a few more choice words included.

So I hope you're reading. In fact...I'll count on it that you are. Regardless, I will consider myself done with this...with my hurt...and with you as soon as I hit the post button. Suffice it to say, this letter and my washing my hands of my experience is the first step (in what I'm sure are many) to my piecing my faith, my self-esteem, and my heart back together after what you put me through.

First of all...to call yourself a midwife is comical. To label yourself as a helper is laughable. To claim your services a ministry is blasphemous.

You have scarred me for life in attempting what you knew from the beginning you were not capable of. You have taken my dreams and ideas of what birth is and you have jaded me. You have given good midwives a bad name. You have made me doubt my body...the process...and trust.

After preaching how to dissolve fear and build confidence...you were the one that instilled fear in me and shot the amount of confidence I had in my body to have my baby. I have had to forgive myself time and time again for what you did...or didn't do rather. It wasn't ME (or my issues) that was preventing my labor from progressing as you stated over and over. No. It was you. My body was simply protecting itself and the baby within me from you and your warped sense of birth.

You gave up. You grossly overestimated your qualifications. You wanted to leave me when I was 8cm. You argued with me. You lied. You even told me you were in no condition to help me since I'd been in labor for so long. 

You were supposed to lend encouragement.  Comfort.  Sincerity.  You asked me three days before I went into labor what I wanted my birth to be.  And my answer was simply...the calmest, most stress-free experience possible.  You successfully gave me the exact opposite.  And everything you have seemingly worked torwards in your study and practice of midwifery...you marred that day.  You abandoned your duty and your commitment.

Even in the aftermath, you reminded me that what you promised was to be my servant, not my Savior.  And trust me, I never once expected to be saved.  But you did indeed fail miserably at serving.

Because of this I likely will never have the birth I had so hoped for.  I don't know that I could now find the courage to attempt a homebirth again.  Certainly I want more children, and I believe God will guide me and protect me in how they arrive, but thanks to your antics, I do now fear birth.  Certainly I still believe that women can have beautiful homebirths and no doubt I will always support it, but how can I bounce back from being one of the ones who didn't...not due to medical emergency, but instead because of selfish gain.

I have to say now that up to this point, the blame has been entirely directed towards you.  But in all honesty, I have to accept part of it, too.  I was negligent in choosing you to attend my birth.  Because I trusted you and your price was right.  Because you were a follower of Jesus.  Because you spoke soothingly and had glowing credentials, I allowed myself to be fooled.  I believed what I wanted to believe and ultimately I made a wrong decision.  And beyond that wrong decision, I went on to have the exact opposite birth (c-section) that I had originally planned because I gave up.  I have blamed giving up and requesting a surgical birth on you, but the truth is, that's not your fault.  I chose that.  You simply contributed to the exhaustion prior to my  making that decision.

I think it's important to note that I wish you no ill will.  I don't hate you.  And from this point on, I will commit to praying for you.  I can be thankful that God was with me when you were not.  I can praise Him that through all of it He protected me, my baby and my family.  And I can only turn to Him from now on as He has placed a desire on my heart to one day become a birth professional myself.  To educate.  To protect.  To advocate for.  To be a voice.  But most of all, to love and truly minister to women and their babies.  I can only be appreciative in accepting that you were part of that grand plan for my future, because God is going to turn my pain into something beautiful I'm sure of it.

And so the moment we've all been waiting for...I know I have...  After all the hurt of these last seven months I choose to move on.  I choose joy.  And I choose to forgive you. 

I do...I forgive you.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

My To-Do List...

I was in the van going to CVS this evening and it was one of the few times when I was able to listen to the radio, in peace.  My oldest girl was at home with her daddy so I was spared listening to Tangled DVD for the thirty gazillionth time.  The baby was with me, but she doesn't care what I listen to.

I immediately turned it to the local Christian station hoping to hear some praise and worship songs (which my soul in in desperate need of), but instead I got some talk show.  Couldn't tell you what the name was or who it featured.  All I caught was one sentence and then all I could do was replay it in my mind over and over and over.  Funny how you often think you need one thing (worship), but God has a way of knowing you need something else (hardcore truth).  And boy did He give it to me.  I needed to hear that one sentence.
Because it's me to a T.

I expected Toby Mac, but this is what God delivered to my ears...

"I talk to women all the time and it's like somewhere in their twenties or thirties they wake up mad one day and don't know why...they are so used to living in the past they are too scared to move on to what the future holds for them."

Um.  Wow.  Thanks, God.  That was a little...uh...raw.
But geez does He know me.  Like, it's His job and all, to know me that is.  But I'm still amazed when He SHOWS me how well He knows me.  Even when I've been keeping my distance from Him lately.

See, I am mad.  And I could probably tell you why.  Boy oh boy could I...but that's another five year blog project so I won't do that to you.  But it has a lot to do with living in the past.  And most of all, being fearful of the future.

It effects all I do.

It mars everyone I come in contact with.

It's all consuming.

And to put it simply, it really sucks.

So there.  It's out there.  God basically spoke through this radio personality what I have been feeling for a while now and I'm supposed to do something with it.  Like every good blogger I decided to write about it.  I'm being accountable and sharing my shortcomings with an albeit small audience.  I am embracing vunerability.  And like every good Type-A, I made a list, too.

A list to signify where I've been and where I'm going.  A list of what I hope to accomplish in the next three years, most of it because God has placed it on my heart, some of it just because.  All of it because Jesus is an Awesome God.  He is Healer, Redeemer, Daddy and Cheerleader and no matter past, present or future, He loves me and has plans for my life.

So here it is...

My (hopefully before I turn 35, stop living in the past, let Jesus heal and look forward to the future) 
To-Do list:
(in no particular order)

1. Reclaim my relationship with Jesus.  Establish a routine of spending time with Him and in His Word.
2. Memorize all of Proverbs.
3. Compile my writings on faith and share.
4. Become a birth professional, expounding upon my own expeience so as to educate and guide others in theirs.  Obviously this would take some more education myself.
5. Write.  Keep writing.
6. Learn to live with joy.  Smile everyday for no reason.
7. Become the mother I so long to be and pass joy on to my children.
8. Learn to take a decent picture.
9. Learn to knit.
10. Travel to Ireland.
11. Have another child.
12. Be at peace with {my} birth, no matter what that looks like.
13. Learn to love me.
14. Be a better wife.
15. Be a better friend.
16. Be a better believer.
17. Walk a straighter path, like that of Jesus.
18. Learn to play with my girls, and enjoy it.
19. Develop my creativity.
20. Learn to nurture my ______. (marriage, children, self, faith, etc.)

There is probably a ton more I could list, but this is good for starters.

Sorry I've been absent lately.  Have had a lot going on.  Writers block for one, but it seems in most cases once inspiration sparks, it's hard to tame the flame.  Let's hope this is the case.

Thanks for reading.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The You through Me that I Call You to Be....

Most days I feel like a speeding frieght train, out of control, charging down the tracks to pending doom.

When my head hits the pillow at night I feel like my train has crashed into a mountainside, or down a rocky ravine. Scores of movies involving locomotives plague me...no brakes, conductor jumps to safety and the bridge is out ahead.

Most days I'm a momma on a mission and my ability to sit and enjoy my children, exhibit calmness, patience, and lovingly instruct, isn't even a thought in my mind.
I rush from thing to thing...from to-do to the next to-do all while trying to manage a nursing babe and an emotional preschooler.

I hear the squelch of my brakes starting to give.

Though my thoughts often turn to Jesus, my heart seldom does in these moments...when I need Him most. And I wonder who I am and what I've become. A wife and a mom, but who else? Where is the Kelli I once knew?

My identity seemingly jumped ship a long time ago.

The fruits of the Spirit are not mine. They are mine for the taking, but I overlook them as I grab for the controls instead. My temper is quick, my tone is harsh and just like coal being burned up by the second...I've allowed the joy, His joy, to be sucked right out of me.

I slam through the "DANGER AHEAD" sign and the broken tracks are right there...

The alternative to this, quite frankly, seems boring. Even annoying in the throws of my day.
A passenger train going from stop to stop. Letting people on, letting people off. Getting a little taste of each town. Boring?  Maybe...but certainly Calm. Sure. Safe.

I've seen these passenger train people before. Gliding through life almost effortlessly. Enjoying each day as if it's a city they've never seen. Not to say they don't have trials...it's just how they handle their trials and everything else in life. I want that and at current I don't have it.  They are quick to give credit where credit is due...they are not in control...rather their Almighty is. They have joy. And peace. And confidence. They know who they are.
In Jesus.

My identity should be... is in Jesus.

And if I would let Him steer me, not only would He guide me to safety, but He would reveal little bits of who I am in Him along the way.

What this looks like...

Simply, time with my God.

Prayerful meditation in the Word.
Carrying my cross with thanksgiving.
Living it all out...changed.

Next stop...the me He calls me to be.

Dear Jesus, I am out of control. But I long for Your Spirit to transform me. Here...take it all. And show me who I am. I love you.

Friday, March 4, 2011


I took a bath last night.

It was the first bath (in my big tub) since the birth of my daughter over a month ago. 

You might wonder why this is worthy of a blog post, but if you know my birth story (I'll have to share it on here sometime) it took that entire month for me to even be able to look at the tub, much less get in it.

It was there that I did most of my laboring.

It was there, in that tub, that I pushed...only to be told to stop pushing because I wasn't fully dialated like we originally thought.

It was there that I argued with my midwife about her responsibilities.

And it was there that I decided to go to the hospital.

That tub, to me represented for the longest time, the place in which I would birth my baby.  But in the end, it became the place where my plans for a homebirth would take a drastic turn.

In that month I've thought so much about that night and all the details of it. 

I've gone from numb to angry to sad to defensive to numb again.

And now I've come to acceptance.

I planned a homebirth.

It didn't go as planned.

Even once at the hospital I could have stuck to having a natural labor and delivery, but I gave in and requested a c-section.

Didn't have to have one.

I asked for one.

I've had to heal from the whole ordeal, but mostly this desicion alone.

As a self-proclaimed semi-crunchy mom, it hurts a little bit knowing I allowed myself to get to that point.

Once we decide we want things to be a certain way, it's hard to come to terms sometimes with the fact that we might change our minds.  That we are allowed to change our minds.

I was allowed to change my mind.  And I did.

Yet I still felt I failed somehow.  After 32 hours of labor, 24 of which were natural and drug-free...I felt like a failure because I asked for a c-section.

I was so concerned about Jon being disappointed in me.  Of course he was my rock...and my pillar of strength.  He supported me every step of the way.

The only one disappointed was me.

Before last night in that tub, despite seeing God's hand and hearing His prompts in the whole situation, I felt like I needed to defend my actions. 

I am a homebirther...at heart anyway.  So when given the opportunity I think I have to spill into detail about how I had this grand plan.....blardy, blardy, blar...

I don't have to explain myself.  Nor do I have to defend anything.

I have a beautiful, healthy girl.

I'm healthy.

And I'm still a semi-crunchy, co-sleeping, breastfeeding, non-vaxing, all while feeding my eldest Mickie D's nutty mom.

I'm so proud of who I am.  And most of all who I'm responsible for...my precious family.

Last night in that tub I was reading a mommy devotional that was titled, oddly enough, "Mommy's locked in the bathroom."  And at the end of the devotional the Scripture listed was...

~Even youths grow tired and weary, and young stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
Isaiah: 40:30

I've been tired and weary from the moment I went into labor.  I stumbled throughout the whole experience.  I've fallen more than I care to admit since then.

But all throughout I have had hope in my Lord.  That He would renew me and my strength.  He has done just that.


But His guidance and reassurance the entire way has renewed my strength both mentally and spiritually as well.

My plan was not His plan, but His plan has shown me the true meaning of healing.  And healing is exactly what I'm doing.  It's a good feeling.

Because goodness gracious...I love my tub.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Hello...Is it me you're looking for?

I had hoped I hadn't lost you forever.
The way pregnancy tends to go, I was beginning to wonder.
But you're back and I'm oh so glad.
With a few new tweeks of course, but that's ok.
Now you have lumps and bumps, a little more sag and some stretchmarks, too.
Even a battle scar to prove your latest babe did in fact come from your womb.
Your skin is reaking havok and your hair is a wirey mess.
But, let's look on the bright side...
You can fit in your pre-pregnancy jeans again.  And most importantly your wedding ring, too.
Welcome back my non-pregnant self.  I have missed you terribly.
You don't know how nice it is to see you again.
Stick around for a while if you don't mind.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Having a newborn has proven to be very time consuming.  Having a newborn and a toddler...consequently all I do is nurse and discipline.  Cuddle and rock to sleep.  Laundry and dishes.  But I think it goes without saying I rarely have time to myself.  To bathe, much less blog.

Sorry for the long absence.  But doesn't it makes a heart grow fonder?  I've missed you.

Motherhood taught me so much the first time around...about myself.  This time I'm learning equally as much...about God's grace.

As I sit with my baby to my breast, I notice how intent I am that she recieve that nourishment.  Despite the pain that goes with it in the first weeks.  I revel at the dedication it takes because breastfeeding isn't fun, particularly in the beginning.  The enjoyment comes, at least for me, later on once we've grown accustomed to one another and babe has figured out their latch. 

It makes me think of those Tribal women on the front of National Geographic with a baby nursing from their lap.  The image I have is one of a malnourished woman often with a toddler latched on.  It looks painful as her breast hangs from the child's mouth.  But how else would that baby thrive?  Where else would it's food come from in a world where food is sparse?

The mother is...Intentional.  Dedicated.  The baby is...Fed.

As moms we look to our futures with our children with happy hearts at all the joys they bring to our lives.  But it isn't until we're in the thick of parenting that we realize how hard it is.  The sacrifice that's required of us so that our children thrive and are healthy and fed. 

Being a mom is a joy.  But it hurts sometimes, too.

No one tells us girls that when we're stuffing bridal magazines and baby names in our keepsake boxes.

Yet, with all the physical pain nursing can bring, and all the emotional and spiritual pain I know I'll feel as my girls grow, I look down at my babe and peace has overcome her.  My milk is calming her very being.  Filling her tummy and making her sleepy.  She clings to my shirt with one hand.  And a smirk crosses her little face.  Contentment to the max.  Happiness like nothing we've ever known.  She's safe...she's fed and she knows it.

This makes me think of my relationship to Jesus.

How painful was it for Him to carry that cross to Calvary.  And then hang there on it, bound and nailed at both His hands and feet?  How painful was it for Him to bare my sin.  And your sin.  Everyone's sin from begining to end, right there in His sinless body?  And finally, how painful was it for the Son to feel that inevitable seperation from the Father as He took on our every indescretion?

Pain is nothing that Jesus hasn't felt right along side of us.

And how intent is He that we live in relationship to Him?  How dedicated is He that we thrive and are whole and healthy?

It is His biggest wish that we find joy and peace...contentment and nourishment in His love and grace.

For me, to sit and nurse for an hour, though tiring, is nothing if it's for my girl.  But to sit in the presence of my Lord for 15 minutes a day so as to be fed myself...well, I just can't find the time.

If I could speak for Jesus, I would guess He yearns to look down on us, clinging to His robe looking peaceful and calm.  Full spirits and full hearts.  Smiling...knowing that we are safe and cared for.

He does for His children just as we do for our own.

I know I'm in the habit of not making Him my habit.  I know I will make any sacrifice for my children, but I have yet to make a sacrifice for my God.  And now, as a mother of two, it's a realization I'm even more aware of.  To be the mom I so long to be, it's time these sacrifices be made.  And allowing Jesus to feed me is the first step.