Monday, November 12, 2012

After the pumpkin patch

...we had a wonderful visit from Uncle Jon, Aunt Lydia and cousins Caleb and James.

It was a fast, busy, but super fun visit.

It started with the great ole Sate Fair of Texas!

Calvin LOVED Big Tex. He kept pointing and saying "bah!"

 Playing in the fountains with cousins

 Watching the Amazing Dog Show!

The petting zoo....the hot, sticky, muggy petting zoo!

Caleb loved to walk with us by the stroller. He was my little escort!

 Stroller tantrum. There were several of these.

Ending with a sweet treat...chocolate covered turtle cheesecake on a stick!

The next morning we drug our tired selves out of bed and headed to the Fort Worth Zoo. I was skeptical about how much Calvin would enjoy it and be in tune with what was going on. It turned out being a great day full of discovery and fun.

Family pic!

Caleb admiring the flamingos.

Calvin admiring the flamingos. He pointed and baby talked the whole time we were by the exhibit. I could really tell that the little gears were turning inside his brain..processing all that he was seeing.

mama and son.

James LOVED the fish. When Uncle Jon tried to take him away he threw a cute little protest.

Caleb feeding the birds

Where's Calvin....


Can you see the orange spot above my shoulder?? That's the tiger!

The next morning the crew packed up and went home, but we made tons of fun memories and are already counting the days till we can make more.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Catching up....

I'm playing blog catch up. Why? Cause in typical Karen form, life is busy, and when things aren't busy I just want to sit. Not sit while doing other things. Just sit.
More on what has caused a busy life later this week. First, let's get to the fun part.

Grandad Norvell was here for a quick overnight stay on his way to a conference. Wanting to do something fun while he was here, we went to the pumpkin patch. While it was fun, it was also a challenge.
In the words of one of my friends on facebook..."17 month olds and pictures don't mix."
Calvin wouldn't sit still for any picture what-so-ever. And he fixated on the wagons real fast. So fixated that if we took him away from the wagons a screaming fest began that didn't stop until we reunited him with said wagon. Observe below.

Boy meets wagon.

Boy takes wagon for a walk. They become friends.

Mom and Dad try to stage some pics with pumpkins in the wagon, 
but that proves unsuccessful as well

Mom and Dad push their luck and attempt a few pics outside of the wagon. No such luck.

Luckily, Grandad was more than willing to pull Boy around in wagon to keep the peace.

Family pictures were attempted and, well, attempted again. 

Not too bad...but certainly not the pics I was hoping for. Oh well, there is always next year. Although my friends tell me that instead of throwing temper tantrums, two year olds just run away from you when you try to take their pictures. Maybe I should hold out for age 5 or 6. 

Wednesday, October 03, 2012


Every once in a while, if you look real closely and don't blink, you'll find that rare gem that comes along only about twice a year in TX...nice weather.
This past week it was so beautiful outside, Dave was off, and the park was calling our name.

We drove our car...

and zoomed down slides.

Threw wood chips and dirt...

and practiced our climbing skills.

We twisted and turned with mommy....

walked a tight rope with daddy,

Then we became king of the playground when we climbed to the highest tower
 (which, judging by this face is very hard work!!)

When the weekend rolled around, I packed up the car and took a nice drive down south to visit my bestie. We'd been trying to get together since April, but sick boys and sick mom's had prevented us. But, third time is the charm, and when departure time came, we were all healthy. Luke and Calvin are about 6 weeks apart.

They shared breakfast....

and loved crawling all over mommy's air bed.

We took a hot and sweaty walk...

and made beautiful music.

In the afternoon we played, well, maybe around is the better word to describe it....each other, 

and then washed the dirt away.

And when the boys were all snuggly tucked in bed, me and this hot momma went out for a night on the town.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Pain of Pride

So the past week or two have been busy...

I've started my new job as a substitute preschool teacher. I now have a whole new respect for professional childcare workers. While I have loved every minute of the adorable children, If I had to manager 8 to 12 prekinders, 2 or 3 year olds a day, I'd never have children of my own. I'm thankful for the extra money, the sense of purpose it provides (which I miss ALOT after quitting my job), and the fact that Calvin gets to go with me and get some good social exposure. But I'm definitely not called to childcare as a future career.

MIA has kicked into full gear (shout out to all the MIA peeps reading my blog!!!) What is MIA?? Well...heard of MOPS ( Mothers of Preschoolers)??? Well, MIA is my church's equivalent. I wanted to find a ministry that I could really dive into, and I'm really excited about this one. Lots of planning and preparation goes into making it welcoming for all the moms, and again, it helps me have a sense of purpose. I'm in charge of finance (Lol!!! why do I always get the finance jobs in stuff I volunteer for???) and registration. At our first meeting we had about 50 moms show up. Yay!

My 15 month old has become a full fledged toddler. Losing interest in all toys, wanting to do everything, touch everything, and discover everything that mommy is doing. It's super cute, but can be a bit of a hassle too. Here is a pic or two of his new favorite game...

Dave is working days right now, which is awesome cause I don't have to worry about being quiet while he sleeps, but is a bummer, too, cause I really do single parent-it-up for three or four days in a row. He leaves before Calvin wakes up and gets home after he goes to sleep. I've discovered the key is getting out of the house. Errands, parks, all those for the days that dad is working.

Also...I've recently been introduced to the tv show for kids called Yo Gabba Gabba. about Yo Creepy Creepy!!! The characters aren't that bad, but the cartoons they show and fake bands...strange! And I can't get over DJ Lance. That poor know when he moved to Hollywood to pursue an acting career he never dreamed he would end up dancing around in an orange jumpsuit bringing life to imaginary monsters.

Ok...on to the title of my blog...the pain of pride....
This summer I learned a hard lesson that I wanted to share. I'm sure many of you have learned this lesson already, but if not, maybe I can prevent you from the same pain I went through.
This summer when we were going through all the crazy things I mentioned in the previous post, I wanted nothing more than to be Super Wife. I decided that I was going to handle everything. After all, my husband was going through brutal police academy, exposing himself to things he had never been exposed to, and I wanted him to succeed. So, the obvious way for that to happen is to take on all the other responsibilities so that he could do nothing but focus on police academy, right? Right.


About 6 weeks into police academy, moving, over commitments, and daily life I had a break down.

A. Break. Down.

I realized a few things about my above noted attitude that were terribly wrong.
First, I realized I couldn't do it all. Coming to this realization also brought on a new emotion, anger. I was angry because I had actually entertained the idea that I could do it all. Stupid me...of course I can't be a wife, mom, housekeeper, babysitter, friend, daughter, someone who cooks, cleans, manages the selling of the house we were currently living in by keeping it "show ready" 24/7 (with a one year old I might add), take care of all responsibilities of purchasing our new home, continue with church leadership positions, plan our move, volunteer for VBS, travel to see family, and all the other things that I already did AND fill all the vital roles my husband does at the same time. I should have known better. And then, the more I got mad about thinking I could do it all, the more I got angry that I couldn't do it all. Like... physical couldn't. That I wasn't strong enough, organized enough, emotionally stable enough, Proverbs 31 woman enough to do it all. This made me feel weak. I felt weak that I couldn't even handle taking on these responsibilities for a few months so that I could take some burdens off my super stressed husband.

Break down #2 commenced.

So by this time I 'm a total mess. Which lead me to my second realization.
My motivation to be this woman who can "do it all" was one of pure pride.
I wanted my husband to look back on his time during police academy and say..."geeze, my wife was amazing. She did everything and all I had to do was worry about my academy work." I wanted other people to look at me and say "wow.... Karen is going through alot, but she is handling it all with so much grace."
I didn't want to be this woman for the security of well being of my family, I wanted it so people would pat me on the back when I was done and sing my good graces.

Break down #3.

How painful is our pride? How much do we let it motivate us without even recognizing that it is the true motivator?   I don't know what caused me to be able to self diagnosis all that was going on inside my head, heart and soul. I do remember having a very conveniently timed (eh hem...or Divinely inspired) phone call from a dear sister in law (thanks, Rachel) who was able to talk me down from break down #2. But I'm thankful that the Lord was merciful enough to me to allow me to see my sin, to feel guilt over it, and to realize that, with God's help, I can change it. And the sense of relief I felt when I was able to put all of this together and conclude that I was the one causing my own pain, and that once I gave up on all this dumb ambition things would get better, was amazingly comforting.

                           Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
                                       (thanks, Lauren)

What's that saying....Pride cometh before the fall....????
Boy, did I fall.

But getting back up has been so freeing.