Friday, July 26, 2013

The Sneakiest of Sneak Peaks

If that title didn't grab your attention... well, then I pretty much stink at titles- which we all know I do anyway. =D

So, I couldn't decide if I should call this a 'sneak peak' or not... it isn't really, but sort of is.... confusing, yes??

Well, I'm going to give a very brief 'sneak peak' into something I've been working on. I don't have a video or pictures to upload- yet. So, I'll just grab some of my inspiration photos off of Pinterest (Yes, I went and got an account... shame on me). ;-)


*None of these are my own photos. All taken off of Pinterest*

I'm hoping to get some actual photos of our projects up later on but we'll see how that goes (as we all know I'm awful about putting up photos... ). ;-)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Country Girl Through and Through...

I'm the kind of girl who likes to walk in the mud without shoes. 

I'm the kind of girl who really prefers the country scenery to a movie anytime. 

I'm the kind of girl who thinks that a little dirt won't hurt. 

I'm the kind of girl who thinks that simpler is better. 

I'm the kind of girl who prefers worshipping the Lord out in His own creation instead of some fancy, fitted up cathedral. 

I like my tea sweet, my boots worn, my old trucks,
 and my britches stained. 

I like my horse rides, my country views, and my starry nights. 


It may sound terribly romantic, but all of the above is true. I was chuckling to myself as I was checking out a few things on Pinterest. People seem to have this view that being 'country' makes you cuter, better, or something. I only wish I could show them what I look like after a long day of working cows or building fence... dirt and sweat don't mix to make something pretty. Just sayin'.
   They also seem to have an idea that country basically means you go around in a fresh, white dress, cowgirl boots, picking flowers and putting them in the basket that's swingin' from your arms... oh, and that you pose for photos so everyone else can get a glimpse of this perfect country life.

Well, I'm here to put all those ideas to rest. Pretty much none of them are true. That's the sort of romantic country that people experience for a day or two on vacation. It isn't the real thing, though. Don't get me wrong, we do have our fun, but there's usually more work than fun.  We still clean house just like everyone else, we still have meals that pretty much look like everyone else's, and we don't have that romantic porch with the wooden swing at the end (not that some country folks do).

In short, it really isn't all it's cracked up to be... and yet it is. There is something about living out in the open spaces, ridin' horses, checking fence, and driving the old feed truck. Yeah, I guess it is pretty 'romantic', in it's own way. Country living isn't fun and games, and it certainly isn't photo worthy in 9 out of 10 cases. When you're covered in cow, um, patties, wipin' sweat from your face, and wishing the wind would stop blowing dirt in your eyes, it most certainly doesn't feel "romantically country"; and it most certainly doesn't feel 'romantic' when you watch a newborn calf die after you've spent the night trying to nurse it.

So where in the world did we get this idea that country living was so great and romantic? Discontentment, perhaps? All the folks that I see pinning 'romantic country' photos tend to be city, or slightly outside the city, folks. Not that it's wrong to pin cute photos and whatnot, but I think it's wrong to give ourselves this picture in our mind of something that doesn't exactly exist. Sure there are places that have picturesque scenery, and cute farm animals, but that doesn't mean that they exist for real everywhere.

I don't want to accuse people of being discontent. I'm not the judge of a person's heart. However, it has been a good lesson to me on many subjects. I should be content with what I have and not scheme up this idea of what it should or will be like. I could pretty much apply that to everything in my life right now...
Relationships, marriage, homeschooling, being a mom, book publishing, etc, etc. Just about anything. It's easy for us to get caught up in this romantic idea of how any of those things should look.  I tend to think that relationships will be like those in the Jane Austen movies. Friends can tell each other anything, sisters have the closest relationships.... but who am I kidding? It isn't perfect, and it never will be.

What about marriage? I sometimes catch myself thinking about the wonderful things that come with marriage (taking care of your own home, romantic 'dinner for two', moonlight walks, fresh flowers from your husband, etc). However, it will more than likely hurt me if I ever get married and have these views stuck in my head. I know that marriage can have those wonderful aspects, but I can't expect it to be like that all the time either. There will be the hard days of feeling utterly exhausted after you've been up with the baby all night. Days of washing dirty laundry all afternoon only to find another basket that was hiding away in the closet. The day when you realize that there is something your spouse does that really annoys you (and vice versa for your husband!).  If I only think that it will be romantic and flowers and loving words, then I'm likely to hit a very hard wall  later in my marriage when the 'honeymoon is over'. (Don't get me wrong, there could be those things, but I can't expect them 24/7).

I used to have this notion that I would be a famous author, be on Oprah, go on the Morning Show, and hit New York's Top Selling Book of all time. But, those expectations are dangerous. Dangerous because it caused me to be discontent with anything else. Very discontent. So much so that I pretty much went against what God wanted me to do.

The other day when I was taking a walk and having a 'talk' with God, I was praying for some certain things in my life. Things that I really wanted to have happen. I felt like He gave me a very clear answer. Until I was content with my life and HIS plans, my plans would never match up to His and we would constantly be wrestling over the issue. My heart has many desires, but that doesn't mean all of them will come true. Instead of pining away for things that I wish would happen, I should keep my focus on God's will for my life and what I can do to bless or help others. As soon as we get these selfish ideas and wishes into our heads and begin to listen to them instead of God, we are headed down a very dangerous path.

Discontentment is a worm that can eat at anyone about anything. I certainly don't want it to get a hold of me!!

So, for all those folks who think country living is romantic, well... I'd say to just look around you and find the 'romantic' things that are in your life right now. Because I could list off a whole bunch of things that aren't romantic about the country! :-) Every life can be good if you choose to make it so, or it can be drab 'compared to' other places. Your choice.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Happy Birthday, Caleb!!

13 years ago today, a miracle happened. The miracle of my baby brother being born. Most of you don't know his story, so I figured that it would be fitting to share it on his birthday.

(Celebrating his 6th birthday- I think- at the CO zoo)

Mom and Dad first found out about what a difficult pregnancy it was going to be with Caleb when they went in to check up. The baby had O positive blood and Mom had A negative... not a good combination. In fact, such a bad one that Mom's body viewed Caleb as a threat and was doing everything possible to get rid of him. His is a rare case, too. So rare, in fact, that everyone knew about it and if they ever saw mom they knew exactly who she was. I believe the statistics for something like this is 1 out of 10. (don't quote me on that, though.)

11 weeks before Caleb's due date, mom went in for another check up. These were frequent as they needed to give blood to Caleb often. My "Aunt" Marie was the one who donated blood for Caleb (thus why we call her 'Aunt'). :-) She was so sweet to everyone involved in this ordeal and didn't mind donating one bit.

I should explain how Caleb received blood infusions, for those that don't know. The doctor has to take an extremely long needle and try to hit the vein in the umbilical cord. There is also an artery (possibly more than one, but I don't know those details) on the cord, but you have to avoid hitting that. Dad said the procedure looked like he was trying to stab a spaghetti noodle in a bowl full of water with a tiny needle (I tried that once... trust me, it's hard!).

Well, on this particular check up/blood infusion, the Dr., ended up hitting the artery and not the vein on the umbilical cord. Mom and Dad watched as his heart beat sped up suddenly, then just stopped. Having had 3 other children who were emergency C-Sections, Dad knew he needed to get out of the way. He kissed mom on the forehead, told her he loved her, and ran out the door. Praying for the safety of his wife and child were next on his list.

(Manning the gate while working cows)

Mom didn't know what was going on. The nurses seemed to suddenly jump into action as they prepared to get the baby out. A call went through the hospital to get certain nurses into the operating room. They gave mom the 'knock out medicine' and began preparing for yet another emergency C-Section.

Here's where we get to see God's amazing hand in all of this (of course, we know He was protecting Caleb the entire time he was in the womb, but here is where His hand was most visible). There had to be two of these particular surgeons present at the operation for these rare pregnancies/babies like Caleb. Well, it just 'so happened' that the first one (which was the one that mom and dad had most contact with) was already there, of course, but the second, who usually resided in another state, also 'happened' to be there at the hospital. So they were able to do surgery on Mom right away without waiting. It also just so "happened" that one nurse was walking down the hall on her way to help out when another nurse came up and asked, "Hey, where are you headed?" The first nurse explained that she was on her way to the "RH" baby (as he was known in the hospital). The second nurse decided she'd join her friend and they headed up to the operating room.

The surgeons had Caleb out in 8 minutes. The two nurses who came in did CPR on him (one holding him, the other doing the CPR) as they ran him down to the NICU. If they had gotten Caleb out in 10 minutes, he would have had severe brain damage. If it has been 12, Caleb would have died.

Caleb was in the hospital for 56 days on oxygen tubes, feeding tubes, and everything else imaginable. We weren't allowed to hold him until after he came home. I remember the first time I even got to see him (which was several days after they got him out). I was so excited, and nervous. Would I like him? What would he look like? Was he a nice baby? Well, in the words of my brother, Josh (who got to see him first, I might add), "He's kind of fuzzy. He looks like a kitten with no tail." Well, after first glance, I knew that my new baby brother had stolen my heart. I just couldn't wait until the time that I got to hold him.

Now, I look at him as he is getting ready for his special birthday with Dad and Mom. 13 is the big number in our household, because it's considered the 'hood' year (ya know, woman'hood', man'hood'.) I look at him and I see a young man who has grown up so much. A young man who has matured in the last year to such a degree as to astonish me exceedingly. Well, perhaps not astonish, but it has certainly been a joy to watch. He is such a wonderful brother and friend to me. He's extremely tender and caring and always has a hug for me whenever I need (or seem to need) one. He's very forgiving of all of his sister's faults and has an awesome sense of humor and great wit.

I love you tons and tons, Caleb!!! I don't know what I would do without you and I praise the Lord that He protected you and gave you to us. :-)

(I promise to come back and post pictures from their evening and his birthday morning at a later time). :-)