Wednesday, July 16, 2014

mysterious ways.

to say the last few days/weeks have been a whirlwind would be a giant understatement.

we have battled some hard trials.
-fought with fleas in our yard...and eliza being their favorite feast.
-learning of a friend losing their daughter at 20 weeks.
-another friend's miscarriage.
-saying goodbye to magglio. my 11 1/2 year old beagle. my first baby!
-back troubles for james.
-leg pain for me.
-car trouble. mostly the air conditioner, but some other minor things too.
-knowing that money will be tight in august because james will be on break from school (meaning no hours at work or gi benefits through the army)

and so it goes...

until sunday. then we were dumped on even more.

through it all though, we have been reminded that there is nothing we can do but trust.

yes, i wanted to throw my hands up. just give in, break down, and cry. i was reminded though that all of us are alive and together. we will survive.

and wow, God has proven his faithfulness time and time again.

so sunday, we packed up for fort wayne. the girls and i were going to stay in the apartment with james for a couple weeks. we know with bug coming in october that we will be spending more time splitting between here and there. we need to be together. for family dinner, for play time, for books and prayers before bed. i need to see him more than on weekends. the girls definitely do.

on our drive up we had a few hiccups with the car. nothing major...or so we thought. then we get about 20 minutes from the apartment and the car (the one we bought in february after finding out about bug, and realizing we'd need a third row) completely died at a light. it wouldn't start back up. we assumed it was the battery. thankfully help (and jumper cables!) were on the way. i didn't pack a lot of toiletries or things we'd just be moving back and forth (pillows, towels...) so we thought we would make it to the store before heading to the apartment.

but even after a few jumps, and a brand new battery. we realized that it was just dead. done. unable to move.
so in came another friend to help unload and haul the things we packed (did i mention we had a trailer with a bed and mattresses too?) those two guys moved everything, and me and the girls to the apartment. carried everything up on one of the most humid nights. all while james sat on the side of the road waiting for the tow truck. i could not thank them enough, and i felt awful that i wasn't much of a help. i was just so happy to get the girls in bed, and crash myself. smelly, and with nothing under my head but a toddler pillow!

the next day we woke up to a text from my dad that a tree limb had fallen at our house and ripped the electrical off the side of the house. really? yep, apparently there was a bad storm.
then news of the car came. all it needed would be a whole new engine. awesome.

cue freaking out.

thankfully, more friends came to the rescue. with dinner for us, a van to borrow while they are on vacation for two weeks, offers to fix the electrical so we didn't have to drive back home. people are good. our people are really good!

we finally got to go shopping. pick up some groceries, soap, and those pillows.

sidenote to keep in mind - we have had the same pillows since we got married. gross, i know. not as old as The Rock, and i haven't mended them, but i am sure they are filled with all sorts of lovely things. also they were never king size, so our pillow cases are huge. it's been an annoyance of mine. especially with every pregnancy. i just want new pillows, but never seemed to spend money on them. here was my opportunity. i could swap the ones at home with ones i buy for here. except with the car, and the stressful shopping trip, we ended up getting the cheapest ones we could find. not king size, and ridiculously unsupportive. i tried to keep my mouth shut, but man, i did not like those pillows!

so after many phone calls, words of encouragement, prayers and support we finally admitted that yes, we need help. it's so hard to ask for help. it's also so hard to be in the seminary, doing God's work and also trying to raise a family. our church has always been wonderful, and there they were. putting out a call. requesting support through this season of our life. new baby, no car, house problems.

soon it grew to not just our church, and area churches, but our friends, our family, facebook. then it just goes from there, and wow! people are good. a friend from far away requested a gofundme (link because someone will ask!) be set up in our name, and not long after we had enough money for option one of fixing the car. weight? lifted. breathing? easier.

the thing about this support. seeing friends from all aspects of our life. help us out. it just blows me away. i only hope that we can be a blessing to them as they have been to us.

our first donation came from an army wife i met in korea. sadly she lost her husband earlier this year. we drove down to georgia to be there for her. to lend a shoulder and hugs. to know that she was paying it forward, in graham's name, well, that was just extremely touching. i have mentioned before about those friends in korea. how they were all we had as soon as we found out about delia. they were the ones awake, and close by. that bond has proven strong, even as we are all spread out.

just to see God working, and how He pulls all things together, i just can't explain the feeling. humbled. awed. loved.
so, you are probably wondering why i kept mentioning those pillows. well, today we went to chapel with james. afterwards eliza requested a library trip, and i wanted to hit up the co-op to see if we could find some random things that we needed for the apartment. the co-op are things that people have donated to the seminary, and we can go and shop there anytime, and it's all free. clothes, kitchen items, toys, baby stuff, furniture, electronics. you never know what you will find.

today, as my friend said "it's like you put in an order, and God delivered."

the first big find was a chair and a half glider and foot rest. i got one for my birthday for home, but we had no rocking chair up here. hattie still loves to rock, and with bug coming, and hattie being attached to me, a chair and half is perfect!

then as i was looking for kid's books i thought to myself "i just need to stop." flipped through a few more, and found my favorite book as a child. the one i lost. the one my aunt that works in a used bookstore found for me. the one i lost again (too many moves!) there it was. the exact same version.

a dustbuster that i had been eyeing for who knows how long. (yes, as a mom those are on the list of things you eye!)

as we loaded the (borrowed) van up two women were carrying in donations. and wouldn't you know, the first one had two king size pillows. still in the package, which said in large letters "extra firm" i just laughed. shook my head. nodded to james. gave him the eyebrows, and we stopped them before they even walked in the doors to drop them off.

seriously. God. amazing.
new pillows!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

american girls.

it started with eliza at vbs for the morning, a cooperative hattie, those piggies and this picture.
then i couldn't help but turn it into a photo shoot. i haven't edited any of these, but i couldn't wait to share.

 nana asked if hattie could get any cuter. i replied "yep! just add piggies!"

 she is crazy about these sandals...and i am too!

 girl loves her belly.
 and with that, she was done. until after we picked eliza up. she loves this rock, and thinks she is big stuff when she can stand on it.
 eliza wasn't thrilled that they both couldn't stand on it.
 hattie wasn't happy that she had to share her rock.
 this is all eliza. she was born to be an older sister. the way she talks to hattie, melts me.

 they always make me wish i had a sister.

 hattie is pretty smitten with eliza too. although lately she has been getting a little annoyed. :)
 oh eliza, this should be a fun shoot!

 this is her "singing stomp" (stump) she was having a hard time keeping her arms down by her side. girl has flair.

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