Life on Cottage Hill: PAGES

Sunday, August 28, 2011

most of all let love guide your life -col. 3:14

I used to pride myself on being a perfectionist- of having it all together, of being in control, of needing every little thing to be 100% perfect. And while I still strive for all of these things, I am also finding the peace and beauty that comes along with letting go a little.  

I think that is one of the reasons God gave me Dan. He is not an anal perfectionist. That doesn't mean he is lazy or careless (like most perfectionists tend to think "others" are). Rather, he seeks perfection only in the things that deserve that kind of energy and attention. And that too I am learning to do.   

I have been beyond tired lately. The kind of tired that I have only experienced a couple of times in my life- one being the first week of Jackson's life when Dan and I literally were awake 24/7 with our brand new little man (more out of our neediness than his) and second being the worst jet-lag I ever experienced when I went to Singapore and was too upset about leaving Jackson behind that I didn't sleep well on the many, many plane rides.  The point of my stories is that I'm realizing that I need to take better care of myself (and Audrey for that matter). I need to stress less about the "small" things and soak up all of the really big things (that often come in small, adorable packages).  

 This weekend was great practice for that. I picked up yet another virus (the 3rd in 3 weeks)- partly due to my weak pregnant immune system but probably more so for everything I just mentioned. So, I'm more determined than ever to get back on track. We began with a Reds game on Friday night. We took Jackson a few times last summer when he was a tiny little guy who would sleep through the games, but this time his bed time hit around the 2nd inning which means we only made it to the 4th. On the walk back to the car he was fighting to keep his eyes open on Daddy's shoulders, pausing for a quick photo in front of Mama's office. 

This child would pass up any toy, any day for the chance to help Daddy work. He loves it and he takes it seriously. 

Tonight he and Dan went into the addition to get a little work done- notice the appropriate working attire Dan dressed (or failed to dress) Jackson in. We tried to get him to go outside to go on a walk and to play, but he said "NO"... he had things to do and we were interfering with his chores. 

There are some days when I am so anxious to meet Audrey that I am not sure how I'll manage to get through another 2+ months without her, but then I look out to the addition that still needs so much work and reality hits me that I so badly want this room to be finished before we bring our little girl home.  

This week we are waiting on the brick to be delivered and then the addition and the back of the existing house will be bricked (the other 2 sides of the existing house will eventually be bricked, but we have to do some foundational work before that can happen, so it will wait since it's not a priority at the moment). 

Surprisingly, in my heart I know that if every detail of this is not perfect by the time Audrey comes home I will be okay with that. It will be finished in time and really there's nothing worth over-stressing about when you have all the blessings in the world to be thankful for.  

And one of those blessings... 8 months of maternity leave. Have I mentioned lately that I have only 8 more working weeks until that begins? I can spit out that countdown like no other. 

The amount of ideas and projects I have piled up in my mind for Jackson, Audrey and I during that time is endless. There are clear sacrifices being made for this to happen financially, but I can already tell you it will be more than worth it. 

I came across this bible verse today and completely fell in love: "She is clothed in strength and dignity and laughs without fear of the future" -Proverbs 31:25.  

That is my vision for me over the new year- to become that woman. The one who allows herself to let go of perfectionism little by little without sacrificing her drive and her vision for the fulfilled life.  

I read this week how Benjamin Franklin used to write down a list of attributes that he wanted to possess and a list he wanted to get rid of. He would then grade himself on how well he did towards these goals on a daily basis. I immediately opened up an excel file, wrote down a list of the visions of my life and then started to grade myself, just like Ben.  

Then I stopped myself. I maintained the list of visions in my journal, but deleted the excel file. I decided I have enough excel files.  

The visions are important to me- they are my priorities and the goals and dreams that I will achieve, but I think I just might be okay if I only check in on them every once in awhile to stay on track.  

I came across another quote the other day that says "What if you woke up tomorrow only with the things you thanked God for today?"  

Does that thought scare you? It scared me. Because as many times as I talk to God every day, I will admit that I still don't thank him enough for the most important parts of my life. So, off I go to close out this weekend with some relaxation and many, many prayers of thankfulness.  

PS: I know this is a very blurry shot of Jackson, but I love it anyway. He is giving me his "smile" face... a little scary and a lot adorable.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

boy things

A couple of short videos from today: the first is Jackson showing how to throw a baseball & the second is how he plays with playdough (by squeezing it as hard as he possibly can). Such a boy! Hurry up and get here, Audrey, so I can pass along my girl skills.

Monday, August 22, 2011

I have exactly 44 more working days until my 8 months of maternity leave bliss. Each day is getting harder and harder- partly due to the fact that I am completely burnt out and partly due to the fact that Audrey loves to lay on my sciatic nerve making it painful to get through the day in meetings and such. But, tonight was yet another example of why it is all beyond worth it...

Monday, August 15, 2011

a little bit of this, a little bit of that

I remember being pregnant with Jackson and feeling like those were the longest 9.5 months of my life. Every week seemed to drag by. We were just so anxious to meet our little man, our first baby, that time just couldn't pass fast enough. Now, being pregnant with Audrey, I am just as impatient to meet her, but time seems to be flying by at lightening speed.
Maybe it's because I'm trying to hold tight to my last one-on-one days with Jackson. Maybe it's because we are trying to fit too much into life right now or maybe it's just something that comes along with having gone through this before. In any case, I can't believe that it's already the middle of August, that we're only 90 something days from meeting our daughter and that fall is right around the corner.
This weekend was full- as the best weekends are, but with so much going on I felt like our little family was pulled in too many directions. A theme that has become too common these past few months. Thankfully the business was woven together with a lot of family time and best yet for JP, a lot of cousin time.

I still can't get over the fact that we will soon have 8 of these perfect little people running around, all 4 years and under. That's a lot of best buddies for Jackson and Audrey to grow up with.

Between wishing Grace a happy 3rd birthday, comforting Jackson who is cutting teeth, spending as much time as possible outside and visiting Dan who was working at the annual festival at the church where he grew up... there was also more progress on the house front. 

We were so grateful to have so much help again, both from our contractor and the additional help he brought as well as from my father-in-law and brother-in-law, Dennis... although I'm not sure Dennis knew what he was signing up for. 3-stories and incredibly steep roofs make for some spider-man-like moves that make for a lot of holding our breaths.

Thankfully, all ended well and we now have a fully roofed home. This week will include putting all of the windows in and seeing the roof finished with shingles. The end is (somewhat) in sight!
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