Monday, July 30, 2012

Proud Mommy Moments: Riding with Confidence

For those of you who know our little Grace, you probably know that she can be very shy at times and has a difficult time trying new things.  She can be extremely anxious about new things... going from complete-calm to total-freak-out in no time.  After lots of talks, Joel and I think that 3 deployments in 4 years has caused her to cling to routine and things she knows well.  She struggles with things outside of her little comfort zone. She thrives on routine and the things she knows.

The last few years, I've been waiting and watching - wondering what things will interest her.  What will her hobbies be?  Will she like sports?  What will catch her attention?  What will she fall in love with?  I've tried hard not to push her... but just let something grab her.

That something has grabbed her and it's horses.  I know loving horses isn't unusual for a 6 year-old.  But it's the one thing that she's totally in love with.  She has STACKS of horse books that she pours over.  I mean, seriously, pours herself over... studying pictures, memorizing pictures, asking a million questions about something I know so-little about.  Pretty regularly, I will go into her room at 11 pm, ready to go to bed myself, and find her bed covered in horse books.

So, horses are her thing.  And now that's she's found her thing, we were excited to get her involved.  I found a great place in our area that offers riding lessons.  They work a look with disabled kids - from extreme physical disabilities to learning disabilities and anxiety issues.  I knew they would be able to work with Grace, so I couldn't wait to let Grace know she was signed-up for riding lessons.

For the last several months, Grace has asked me daily when riding lessons would start... and a billion other questions about riding that I know nothing about.  And then the big day came and both of us were bursting with excitement.  Well, me with jealously.  But she was totally excited.

And she did awesome.  My little girl who is so anxious about nearly everything was so ready to meet the horses, help groom them, pet them and get on one.  She's gone three times now and each week, she grows in confidence and skill.  This past weekend, she did her first trail ride, and did so well.  She was in her element.

These last three deployments have had their effect on her.  They've caused her to cling to the known and feel anxious about things beyond her control.  We continue to pray that God would calm her heart and anxieties.  And I know He will.  Right now, we are just thankful, that these horses seem to be a part of that process.

Head over to EmmyMom and link-up with us for Proud Mommy Moments!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

9 Years!

Today, Joel and I are celebrating our 9 year anniversary.  Probably like most couples, we always think back on the years we've been together - those sweet first few months of marriage, the times of uncertainty and challenge, and the times that are just plain tough.  The past nine years have been both blissful and painful.

All in all, we have grown together through it.  We have learned our own strengths and weaknesses because of each other.  And we've learned that in all things, we have to work together and not against each other.

Joel's deployments have created their own challenges for us.  If you've been following this blog for a while, you've probably read about them.  But if you're new here or are new friends of ours, please read Part 1 and Part 2 of our first homecoming story.  Joel's first homecoming from Iraq was a major turning point in our marriage.  And it's those months that I think back to often - remembering how much we struggled, how much  we hurt and how much grace God poured on us during them.  We never want to go back to that place, although we're grateful for the experience and the refining God did in our lives during that time.

Nine years ago I was starry-eyed about marriage.  All I could see was rainbows, hearts and fairy dust in our future.  But marriage is not those things.  And I'm thankful for the man God gave me - to push me, grow me, love me, pick me up and help lead me through our lives together.


I love you more today than I did yesterday.  Thank you for always loving me, always encouraging me, always seeing the best in me.  Thank you for working so hard for our family and for standing up for what's right, even when it's hard.  I can't imagine my life without you.  I can't imagine life without our little family.  Through all the obstacles of life, I'm honored to walk this road with you.  Praying that God would grow us together this year and that He would show us how to love each other better and more purely.

All my love,

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

It Hasn't Felt Right to Write

I just realized that it's been well over a month since my last post.  I've gotten lots of requests for new posts... but I always respond that I only post when I'm inspired.  This blog has, since the beginning, been about transparency and honesty.  And I simply can't write when it doesn't feel right.

But just because I've been away does not mean life has been quiet.  I feel more busy and a whole lot more overwhelmed than I have in months.  But it's a good overwhelmed - Grace is on break from school, we've been on vacation for the past several weeks and we have lots of projects brewing-away.

Now that vacations are over, I have some posts I'd like to do soon.  So, I'll be back - sooner than later, I hope!