Life on Cottage Hill: PAGES

Sunday, March 20, 2011

when forever doesn't feel long enough

I have no idea why I am still awake. I made this pact with myself at the beginning of the year that I was going to try my best to be in bed by 10:30 every night. Yeah, right. That has happened maybe a handful of times. So, I think I'm just going to give up on that goal and be okay with it. Life is too short to sleep when your mind is dancing and your heart is just aching for more time, more time to just live.

This morning I was helping in the kindergarten class at church and the lesson was around 'everlasting life' - and as we were going through the bible stories my mind was filling with visions of what heaven will be like and how we cannot even begin to imagine the paradise that awaits us- and that in itself is mind-blowing. 

But, the thing is... the thing is that my life- our life- the life of my little family already feels like heaven. Sometimes I feel like I probably squeeze Jackson too tightly and that the way I sometimes watch Dan sleep is borderline creepy... but I do it because I am so in love with being in love with them. And in moments like that- in moments like right now- forever just doesn't feel like long enough. 

Tomorrow brings the start to another week of opportunities- and most certainty a lot of chaos will sure to follow. I am realizing that life is too short to get caught up in the drama of 'busy' and 'stressed' and 'tired'... so I pray that I'll take this week one day at a time, living in peaceful balance. I pray that I will live in the moment, because life happens in the moments that we all too often are hurrying along. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

and.... pause.

As much as I want to slow life down right now, like it or not, we are living on fast forward. The next few months for our family are going to be a big test of faith, patience and energy. But, we'll pass- we'll pass with flying colors, but that doesn't mean it's going to be easy, comfortable or fun every day. 
If I were to find a bright spot in the fact that Dan will be working straight through the weekends until this summer- it would be that Jackson and I will be getting in a lot of one-on-one time together. I have a list of all the adventures we're going to go on- some of the best I'm sure will be played out in our little spot on top of the world.  
As many times as JP has been outside with us over the past year, he has only begun to explore this place that he calls home now that his chubby little feet have found the sweet freedom of running. Thank you, thank you for this pause button that we've been handed for the next couple of days. I can't remember the last time we've needed it more.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011

hello, my name is jessica and i am in my late 20s...

Yesterday was my 27th birthday. Yesterday I officially entered my "late" 20s. 

I hadn't thought about this year being pivotal in any way- not like '16' or '21' was and not like '30' will be, but then a good friend pointed out today at work that I am now in my late 20s. What? I hadn't thought of that! Umm, not sure how I feel about that one... but, I've thought about it a little more and I'm still not phased. Early 20s, mid-20s, no longer in my 20s... whatever. I wake up every day completely in awe that I get to call this life mine and when you're that genuinely filled with joy, age becomes nothing but a label. 

Although it is just a label, that doesn't mean there shouldn't be ample celebration... and we did just that. Dan and I had date night on Saturday and then we spent all day yesterday together as a family- Dan and JP gave me the most beautiful necklace with our names engraved and embedded with Jackson's birthstone, they made me a birthday cake and we spent the day soaking each other up. JP provided unending entertainment as always, the highlight being when he taught himself how to walk backwards. He looks like he's doing the moonwalk and he cracks himself up every single time- hilarious. The perfect little weekend of us- just living, just loving.

That little man of ours. He has no idea that he carries our hearts with him everywhere he goes and I can't help but wonder where he will be and what he will be doing when he is 27. But, more importantly, who will he be at the age I am now. I pray that he'll be in a place where he truly understands the different between happiness and joy... and even better, that he lets that joy shine out of him unfiltered wherever he goes. 

And I'm realizing more and more every day that the best investment I can make today to ensure that he is that person then is to live by example that Jesus and our faith is the only way, that the love that Dan and I have for each other is unconditional and unending and that same loves holds true for him. 

And so I will hold those three priorities closer and more dear to my heart than every before in this 27th year. I will put my relationships with God, Dan and Jackson above all else and I will work every day to be the person that I was meant to be. To work every day at living the life God wrote out in his heart long before I came to this world. A plan that makes me expect miraculous, beautiful, amazing things this year. 

I am on the edge of my seat waiting to see what is in store for us next... whatever it may be, I say bring it on. Bring it all on, any day, because the foundation we have built our family on is stronger that I could have ever planned and that is what gives me complete peace and confidence to say... bring it on, late 20s. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Juggling is hilarious

I love how Jackson laughs at any thing and every thing. 
Always smiling.
Always happy.
Always loving life.

Last night he was to the point of falling over he was laughing so hard as I attempted to juggle for him. Funny boy, I love you!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

100% random

We have a lot going on right now. Almost entirely all really good stuff, but still a lot of it. It is putting my mind into over-drive. When you're a 'type A' and you're already overdriven mind goes into an even higher gear the only solution is to make a list. So, I am making a list of all the random things flying around in there in hopes of letting some of it fall naturally into place.

1. Beginning on March 18th Dan will be working 7 days a week, every week, for 3 months. Not a single day off. To make it even harder, he will be gone for even longer hours than normal. In other words: A. He's going to be burnt OUT, B. I will basically be a single mom- which means I need to fit in a full time job + taking care of JP on my own + everything else I do into the same amount of hours & C. Dan and Jackson will get to see each other for maybe 30 minutes a day, if that.

2. We decided that such a stressful time would be the perfect timing to begin a major home renovation which I have already briefly talked about. I am hoping we can take a mini break on this for the most part during Dan's crazy work phase.

3. These few months also happen to ironically coincide with the biggest projects I've ever had at work. Biggest meaning... hardest, most time-consuming, cannot-mess-them-up, strict deadlines. You get the picture. 

4. God has answered a couple of big prayers of mine recently. 1: I found a regular volunteer opportunity at Church that I am already loving. I am helping to teach in the Kindergarten class on Sunday mornings. Let me just say that Kindergarteners say the MOST hilarious things. 2: I have joined a bible study with some lady friends. We meet every other week and have really inspiring, funny conversations- I am so blessed to have been given these new friendships that I will cherish. 

5. Within the past 2 weeks I have purchased family annual passes to both The Museum Center and The Zoo. Jackson LOVES the museum already and as soon as this spring weather cooperates I'm sure he's going to love the zoo too. (PS: Dan if your'e reading this: we bought a zoo membership, I think I forgot to tell you that...) These passes are going to come in really handy for the many, many Mama/JP dates we are about to have over the long string of Dan-less weekends coming up.

6. We have decided (as of an hour ago) to take a spontaneous trip this weekend to Charlotte. Dan needs to go for a quick work thing so we're going to turn it into a fun family thing and go for a long weekend. We haven't packed, we haven't dealt with the logistics of completely moving our work calendars around to allow for the time away, we haven't arranged for a place for the doggies to go, we haven't fixed the headlight in the car that needs to be changed before we leave, we haven't ... done anything EXCEPT totally soaked up this opportunity to spend total Dan-Jessica-Jackson time together road-trip-adventure-style. I'll figure all that other stuff out tomorrow since the plan is to leave right after work on Thursday.

So, with all of that said, making this list actually ended up doing nothing but making me realize how much I have to do, so I'm off to do it! Good night!


I was so excited this morning to learn that one of my absolute favorite websites to visit for inspiration on everything babies (and children) came across Jackson's birthday party blog posting and decided to feature it today!

Here is the link to the feature:

Saturday, March 5, 2011

a day at the museum

We all have our roles in this home renovation. Mine happens to be to get the little man out of the house (and out of the way) for days like today when Dan and the work crew know they are going to be especially loud (and especially dusty I might add). Throw in the fact that they had to turn off the water all day and I needed no more reasons to run far far away from this disaster that it is our home at the moment. 

So, off to the museum and to run errands we went. Jackson is feeling SO much better after our scare this week. It's amazing really and we are beyond thankful that he is out of pain and back to being himself. His happy, hyper, hilarious little self. 

After we checked off trips to the bank, the museum and Target we are back home and by some incredible miracle he is now taking a nap despite the loud, LOUD drilling and hammering happening directly below is bedroom. This child is the lightest sleeper ever, so when I say this is a miracle, I am seriously thinking this is a little gift from God. I may be being dramatic, but am still very thankful!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

anything goes between 8am-5pm

Well, our 13 month superstar run of no ear infections and no antibiotics for JP has officially come to an end with a big bang. The long story short: he has double ear infections caused by Bronchialitis and possible pneumonia. In other words, he has never been this miserable. Poor guy. Yesterday ranks amongst one of the hardest for me as a mom- it included rushing him to the DR after a horrible night, where he was diagnosed and then put through a breathing treatment and a few other tests. We spent the remainder of the day glued to each other, giving me major flashbacks back to the first 2 months of his life when he literally would not sleep unless I was holding him. He is starting to improve and even slept the majority of the night in his bed soundly, but I still woke up every hour or so to go and lay my hand on his back to ensure he was breathing easily. 

So, to the point of my quick post: Today Dan is on daddy doctor duty, at home with JP. I had to sneak out of the house this morning because me just leaving the room has caused major meltdowns over the past couple of days. Well, Dan just sent this photo to me at the office entitled "look what I have"... our cell phones. This is a BIG "no no" in our house. JP is NOT allowed to play with them, well clearly Daddy is breaking rules today to make JP happy. I wrote back saying as much and Dan responded with "anything goes between 8am-5pm" - aka "anything goes while mama is at work." I'm all for that today, as long as my little man isn't totally miserable. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

slammin' sammy

This video is concrete evidence to support the following:
1. Sammy's world has been not only turned upside down, but also thrown around on a daily basis since JP entered the world. Poor guy. Totally abused (yet still very loved!).
2. Jackson is 100% BOY (i.e. loud, hyper, slightly evil).
3. When you have children, you no longer need a TV as they provide far more entertainment.

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