Friday, December 25, 2009

2010 Baby Mania

As I begin to look forward to 2010 there is one thing in particular I am looking forward to with great anticipation - babies. No, not another one for me...but instead I get to help welcome a number of babies into this world as some of my dear friends are expecting.
January 1, 2009 was the day I found out I was pregnant with Maya. January 3, 2009 I went to the emergency room because I thought I had a miscarriage. It was frightening in so many ways. I had just come to know there was a little baby inside of me and I thought just days later that I was going to lose that baby. Luckily she was fine and as you all know Maya joined our family on August 15, 2009. Maya is one of the best things of 2009 - and it was a hard year, probably the hardest year of my life. There are many things in 2009 that I am happy to put behind me and I am happy to be able to say this year of my life is over. It was hard. And yet 2009 brought me Maya...and as hard as it has been to transition to having two kids (and a lot of other changes as well) it has been an incredible journey as Maya grows and changes and also changes me, Jim, and Amalea. Babies have that ability - the ability to change us and make us do things we never thought we would do. The ability to make us scream and cry because we are so frustrated and also to make us scream and cry because we are so elated. They make us better people, more loving, more caring, more free...babies truly are a gift that changes us forever.
2010 will bring babies to 5 of my dear friends.
In January we will help welcome Baby Girl Leonardo. This is especially exciting because the Leonardo's also have another daughter, Ania, and so we will be able to go through raising 2 girls together!
In February Everett David Vaughn will be arriving. The Vaughn's are dear friends and we are so excited to be a part of welcoming Everett and hope he loves music and soccer as much as his daddy, Devin, and Jim do.
In April Baby Girl Reed comes. The Reeds have been such blessings to us. They have volunteered countless times to watch our girls and we trust them like no others. They also live about 2 blocks away from us so we get to see them often. We are excited to return many favors to these two wonderful people and can't wait to love on their baby girl.
In May my dear friend Lindsay Pompey will be having a baby boy. This little boy is extra special as we have been waiting for him for some time. Shortly after finding out we were pregnant with Maya, Lindsay had her second miscarriage. There were a lot of emotions for me as I was pregnant with Maya and so badly wanted my friend to have her hearts desire - a baby. For reasons unknown that just wasn't the time...but now it is and I could not be happier. There are some people in our lives that just make us smile and Lindsay and her husband Chris are those people...they will be incredible parents.
Finally, in June my best friend is having a baby. This makes me want to move back to California so badly because raising our children together would be a dream come true. Andy truly was a person that came into my life at a crucial time. She has been there to walk with me through some of life's hardest things. She makes me laugh and challenges me to talk deeply and freely about some of the more uncomfortable topics. Andy and her husband Danny are such special people. I hope to be able to be there for their baby as much as Andy was there for me after I had Amalea - but I know with living in different states it will be hard...thank God for telephones, skype, and airplanes.

Here's to hoping for 5 healthy and beautiful babies. Congrats friends.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Why worry

I am a worrier...I always have been. In college I used to worry when my parents didn't call to check in when they said they would (a bit reversed, huh). When Jim doesn't answer his phone when I know he is somewhere he can I freak out and convince myself he is on the side of the road dead (pathetic I know).
So, when we realized a few weeks ago how tight our finances were with me not working I worried. There are other reasons I started looking for work besides just finances...we were hoping it could provide an opportunity for Jim to have more time with the girls and also for my mental health. But I was stressing...worrying...panicing even about it all.

But why do I worry...things always work out. When will I learn to trust in that, my past experiences, instead of worry and panic.

I got offered 3 jobs! And I am taking two of them.

Job #1: Teaching online. I will be teaching Junior English through Orange Lutheran Online which is a high school in Southern California. This starts the end of January and is an 8 week course. I am super excited because I get to work from home which means it doesn't take away from my time with the girls, but I get to keep teaching which I also love.

Job #2: Site Coordinator for ClubZ tutoring. I applied and interviewed for a position as a tutor in an after school program. I was hoping to get at least 6-8 hours a week doing this. I got called today and they offered me a position, but not just as a tutor, but as a site coordinator. What this means is I get 15 hours a week and will get paid more an hour than I would have as a tutor. There are 8 hours after school and the other 7 are on my own time contacting kids, scheduling, recruiting, and doing other organization things (I love organizing). So, the additional hours don't take away from my time with the girls.

Why worry, right? I feel like this is the story of our family. We realize how things are just isn't working and that we need to re-figure things out and then it all comes together...even better than we could have hoped.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Learning reversed

Sometimes I don't realize how much I learn from Amalea and Maya. As a parent I focus so much on teaching them.

With Amalea it's teaching her letters and numbers, how to play fairly and share, how to use her words instead of have tantrums, how to be creative and explore the world around her, how to love books and reading :-)
With Maya it's teaching her how to sit up, how to lift her head when on her stomach, how to grasp her toys and play with them, how to soothe herself when upset.

But...the learning goes so much deeper than that. In ways I don't even realize my daughters are teaching me every day. These are some of the things I learn from them:
  • To play. I get so stressed about life and things that are not important. They drag me away from the worries and help me see the joy of playing.
  • To sing and dance. Amalea loves to do these two things. It is so freeing to dance and sing and be silly. I feel a weight lifted every time I do.
  • To run. We have a long hallway and Amalea loves running up and down it...running with her while holding Maya makes me laugh every time.
  • To smile. Maya's smile has a way of melting me no matter what. I have learned just how powerful a smile can be.
  • To cuddle. The warmth of holding my girls in my arms makes me so happy and reminds me to enjoy the moment.
There are so many more things I have learned, but in the end what it comes down to is that my daughters have taught me to live freely, to enjoy the moment, to relax a little and to have fun.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hard decisions

I know I have blogged about this before and I'm sure 99% of you don't care to read more about my journey with nursing Maya - but for you 1% here it is. Actually, in the end I blog because writing out my thoughts and struggles really helps me process them - it's not about who reads it or who doesn't - it's about the journey I am on.
This morning I decided that I am going to be finished nursing Maya. I will try to still nurse her when she gets up in the middle of the night and maybe one other time before bed, but it is not going to be the primary way in which I feed her. For me this is one of the hardest decisions I have had to make as a mother. It was also one of the hardest decisions I had to make after Amalea was born. With Maya I was really determined to nurse her because I was really bummed it was so hard with Amalea. Yet, in the end it has been really hard once again.
I know that plenty of people have told me it's ok if I give her formula and while I believe that I don't think I was ready to give myself the freedom not to nurse. I needed to be ok with this decision and up until today I really wasn't. I was still struggling through it and trying as hard as I could to nurse...but I am now ok with this decision.
I am reading a really good book called "I was a really good mom before I had kids" and one chapter is on guilt and one on judgment and both of these have reminded me that this is my journey - the journey of my family and I need to be doing what is best for all of us. At one point the authors of this book asked mothers what the hardest decision they have had to make in parenting was. Some said whether or not to work and while that was also a hard decision for me I think the biggest struggle was the decision to stop breastfeeding. It weighed hard on me with both of my daughters and with both I endured a lot of pain to try and make it work.
I have come to realize that part of parenting is making hard decisions. I know this is only the beginning - just wait until they become interested in boys!!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

To work or not to work

When Amalea was 9 weeks old I went back to work in the mornings. I got to work about 7:00 in the morning, taught 4 classes and was home by 12:00. I didn't feel like I missed a tremendous amount of time with her and luckily I was home for all the major milestones in her life. Plus it allowed Amalea and Jim to have the mornings together - and if you know how Amalea is with Jim you know that time they had created such an incredible bond between them.
We were lucky we had this option - Jim was able to go in to work at 1:00 because he worked evenings doing youth group stuff and in the end he got all his work done with no problem. This also allowed for us to get great insurance (one perk of teaching) and to have a really great income between our two jobs combined.

When we moved to Portland I continued to teach and still taught just 4 classes. However, my hours were a lot worse this time. I worked from 8:00 until 3:00....the 7-12 thing was so much better.

I took a year leave of absence from my job this year to stay home with the girls. The 8-3 days were really brutal on me and I felt like I really missed out a lot with Amalea. I really missed being able to get home at lunch time (and I was making the same amount of money doing 7-12 as I was doing school in CA was much more flexible with me). We made the decision at the end of last school year that I would take this year off. It didn't make sense to have to pay for daycare just so I basically could keep working (because I do love teaching) and so we could keep benefits. That was a tough decision though...I mean you want to make sure you can take your kids to the doctor when they need to go and my insurance benefits were really good. We didn't know how everything would work out financially, but we trusted that this was the best decision for our family.

I haven't really missed teaching a whole lot....well, I take that back. I have missed teaching - I love Language Arts and I love working with adolescents - but I have not missed getting up every morning and having to be prepared and on top of things every day. There isn't much room to have an off day as a teacher. And things are definitely tight financially as we are trying our best to make it work with just one income...and our health benefits are costing quite a bit more than they did and the coverage is not as good.

I was asked this week to come back and teach 2 classes in the morning. My first thought was that I would love to do that. To be a part of the staff and get to teach and have a little time each day away from my kids (trust me, I love them, but my days have been really draining me lately). Jim and I weighed the option from a financial standpoint, from a benefits and healthcare standpoint, from a time standpoint and what it would mean for his job and the girls getting to have time with him possibly, from a daycare standpoint and if that was an the end though what made the decision was my gut. I couldn't get the feeling out of my gut that I just didn't want to go back - not yet. As much as I truly feel some days like I am going insane I am not ready to go back yet. I know I will have the chance to be in the classroom again, but for now where I want to be is with my girls. I want the chance to find balance with them, I want to see them grown and help them grow. I don't want to be gone every day for a few hours (not to mention that the hours wouldn't have been ideal since school doesn't even start until 9:30 - way too late in my opinion). I want to be here, I want to be present, I want to feel sanity with my girls.

I am so thankful I have an understanding husband who is working his ass of so that I can be home. I am thankful he is willing to make cuts in our finances so that I can be here. It's not easy on him to work long days and then come home and run up and down the hallway with Amalea and take Maya when she cries...but he does it. It's not easy for him to see me in my frazzled and slightly insane moments (sometimes with tears in my eyes) but he listens to me and helps so much.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Once upon a time...

...there was a young mother of two. Her daughters were beautiful and brought her so much joy, but lately she had really been struggling with how to give both of her daughters the love and attention she wanted to give them. She had an adorable infant who wanted to keep mommy in eyesight at all times and a vibrant two year old who wanted to run and play all day long. She had spent the summer months (the end of her pregnancy) going on daily adventures with her oldest daughter. They kept very busy and went so many great places. After the birth of her youngest the adventures slowed down greatly. Life was definitely easier if she just stayed home and played there, but the mother really struggled because though staying home was much easier with the baby she felt terrible for her older daughter who had to see all her adventures end. Now of course she knew that the adventures were only on pause for a short time and would continue in the future, but it was hard to explain that to an active two year old. The mother tried to take smaller adventures close to home, but often times those ended with at least one child in tears (though often both - and sometimes even the mother too). And so, the mother is left a bit confused on how to raise a toddler and a baby without feeling like she is neglecting one of them.

(OK, I understand this is third person, but it just seemed easier than admitting it as a first person story :-)

Friday, October 30, 2009

It clicks

I have been going to counseling for a few weeks now and one of the main reasons is because I wanted to better understand why I struggle so much with becoming frustrated or angry and not being able to move beyond that feeling. It's like I get stuck in this emotion and even if I feel like it is illogical I can't break out of it.
This last week in my time with my counselor I had one of those moments where it clicked - where it made sense and I understood myself in a new way.
There are two important pieces of this discovery: 1 - I don't advocate for myself and 2 - I am on empty.

First, I know exactly what I want and need much of the time, but I don't vocalize that. I am so afraid to say what I need because I don't want to be selfish, but I also don't see that in order to be healthy I need to take care of myself. I am so afraid to come off as someone who is selfish that I instead let my own needs go. I try to give hints as to what I need and I do for others what I would want to have done for me and then if it doesn't happen for me I get into a funk - which often means I am frustrated or angry. I then get frustrated with things that probably wouldn't normally frustrate me, but I am so caught up in the emotion of it that I become almost irrational.

Second, I am on empty because I am not speaking my needs and I am getting frustrated and angry and then also giving (yes sometimes hoping to be given to in return - but please don't mistake this to mean that if I have given of myself to you that I did not want to or that it was because I wanted in return...most of the time my giving is 100% genuine) so I am left feeling empty. I feel exhausted (emotionally, spiritually, physically) because of this. I so desperately need to be filled up again. I need to speak up what I need so that I don't become empty and thus not so much fun to be around.

One of my favorite things about teaching is when I see a student have a moment where it clicks for them. When they have struggled to understand a concept and I have worked so hard with them on it and all of a sudden they get it - it clicks - it is such a great feeling as a teacher. For me this week I was on the other side where something about my own self clicked - I was not the teacher, but the student - and it felt so good.

It is hard for me to write about this because it is a level of vulnerability I am very uncomfortable with, but Jim has inspired me (through his own blog posts) to be more vulnerable. My friends have also inspired me to share these parts of myself by encouraging me and helping me to see that sharing these parts actually helps others relate to me. Sometimes we feel so alone in our emotions, but the truth is that we probably are not...but sharing the "crap" is so hard to do because it sets you up to be made fun of or for people to walk away from you. We want friends, we want to be liked...but we so desperately want to be safe. For me safety means protecting myself from being hurt by others - but I will never get to know anyone and will never let anyone know me if I am always safe.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mom Brain

I have always prided myself on my ability to remember things. And not just remember basic information, I have a knack for remembering details...what people were wearing, what the weather was like...those kind of details.
And all of a sudden I am so incredibly forgetful. I spelled someones name wrong - and this is not someone who I should have forgotten how to spell it; I forgot to call my dad on his birthday; I forgot I was making a meal for another new mom and did it one week late because I got mixed up....what!!!! I don't do those kinds of things. What has happened to me???

Oh yeah, I have two kids. A needy infant (she doesn't like to be put down much) and a growing toddler that is testing her boundaries. I am so exhausted so much of the time that I can't remember the basic things.

I am realizing how much my life needs to shift now that I am a parent of two. I just can't manage as many things as I used to. I can't plan to go to friends for dinner whenever I want or run to the store really quickly to pick something up. I need to write things down or else there is a good chance I will forget. I also need to be better about voicing myself. Some things are just too hard to manage right now, but I need to tell people that rather than make plans and have to cancel. I have a lot to learn about being a mom of two!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Am I 13?

Why do I care so much what people think about me? At times I feel like I am driven to do certain things because of what other people will think about me because of it. I know it's so wrong to feel this way, but it's a struggle sometimes.
I had a really hard time nursing Amalea and stopped at about 4 weeks. With Maya I have had a bit of an easier time, but it has still been really hard. I won't go into any details, but it's been 9 weeks and at times I just break down and cry because its so challenging. And yet...I care too much what others will think if I give her formula that I continue to struggle through it.
There are other reasons I really want to keep nursing - its the best thing for her, it saves us money, its convenient - but in the end I know one of the biggest things holding me back is that I don't want other people to think less of me because I give my daughter formula.
This is just a moment of total honesty...I don't want to care. I want to be confident enough in my decisions for myself and my family that I don't need the approval of others...but it is so hard.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

So impressed

I never would have guessed that a 2 year old could love a newborn so much. Every day I am more and more impressed with how Amalea loves on Maya. When Maya cries Amalea comes to tell me she is crying (as if I didn't know). She tries to give her a pacifier, she pushes her in the swing, she gives her toys to play with, she cuddles with her, tries to pick her up, rocks in the rocking chair with her, and gives her enormous amounts of hugs and kisses. It blows my mind. I am so thankful for my girls and the love they already have. I pray every day that the love, care, and concern remain with them throughout their entire lives.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


I haven't really figured out how to find balance just yet as a mother of two. Some days I think I can do everything I used to do without a problem and set out with the kids in tow. Usually at some point I realize I am overwhelmed and am trying to do too much. Other days I decide to just stay home and play here, but then Amalea gets a little stir crazy and tends to find trouble at that point. So, where is the balance? I think I need to find a few things to do to get us out, but they need to be things geared towards my kids (mainly Amalea at this point), not towards me.
I know a balance of taking care of my needs and my girls' needs can be found, but I am still working on that.
With all that said...Amalea is at such a fun age. She is listening really well and usually when she doesn't listen its a choice of hers, not that she doesn't understand. She has started to speak in full sentences and can even carry on a much fun! She is very accident prone - maybe as a result of her vision problems - so I always feel a little nervous, but I she is definitely tough because of that.
Maya is growing into her own little person and is almost two months old. She can't fit into her newborn clothes anymore and I feel like she is growing even faster than Amalea did. She has a lot of strength and is starting to play and smile more. I love when I walk into a room because she focuses on me and follows me with her eyes...we've definitely been bonding!
My girls are incredible and I am so thankful for them. I know balance will be found as we live each day and learn from the things we do well and the things that don't go so well.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I have been thinking a lot about joy lately. After a tough year of transitions and change Jim and I started to see a counselor last week. I started to do a lot of personal reflection in preparation for our meeting with the counselor. It's hard to say, but what I have come to realize is that for awhile now I have not been a very joyful person. I have SO MUCH in my life to be joyful about, but I get into these funks where I cannot smile and enjoy my life. I realize I need help working through my "funk" periods so that my family and I can be more full of joy.

I want to be a person of joy. I want to bring laughter and fun back into the areas of my life in which I have let is slip away.

I don't know why I focus on the bad things rather than the good. I don't know why I can't let things go more easily and why when I am frustrated or upset it takes so much for me to move beyond it.

I don't even know why I am blogging this and am willing to share it with the world (or whoever reads this), but for me I think this is part of the process of finding joy again. For the most part I don't want anyone to know I am not perfect or that I don't have it all together so I put on a happy face for the world, but true joy is what I long to find - not a cover or a front. Maybe I hope admitting my lack of joy will help me find joy.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


One of the reasons Jim and I moved to Portland is that we were seeking community...people our age in our stage of life that we could experience the joys and challenges of life together. Picking up and leaving everything we knew was not easy and it took us awhile to adjust to all the life changes (not just a new place, but new jobs and even leaving a career for Jim), but alas we settled into an amazing community.
What I love the most is that there are many layers to this community. There are the people we really connect with that we have gotten to have more intimate friendships with. There are people we see weekly, people from our jobs that we have connected with, and even total strangers that are a part of our lives.
Just today I went out for about 3 hours and walked with the girls around our neighborhood.
What I love about community is that people look out for each other. At the library Maya got a little fussy and Ben (who we just ran into at the library) took Ami and read her a book while I calmed Maya down and Mallory (Ben's wife) stayed with me so I didn't feel so embarrassed with a crying baby). Then at the park Amalea was playing with this little girl so I started talking to her mom and dad who were there (and probably the same age as me). Maya got cranky because she was hungry and the couple offered to keep an eye on Ami so I could go sit and nurse Maya (don't worry I could still see her).
It is moments like these when I realize the power of community...when a mother of two can go out and about for a decent amount of time and not feel alone and can get help when it is needed. I am so happy we have found this place, that we live here, that this is our life, our support system, our friends, our community.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Staying Home

I've always been a worker. I was the odd kid who the second I could get a workers permit I got a job. I even worked before that (under the table for neighbors and such). I actually always really liked having a job and liked working. I never really thought about what I would do once I had kids (because I never thought I would get married and have kids). I guess that I thought once I had kids I would find a way to continue to work...and here I sit with two kids (so amazing) and I am not planning on working.
Part of me is nervous to be home so much and worried that I will get a little "cabin fever", but for right now I have so much peace about this stage of my life. I can't wait to spend so much time with my two girls and get to see them grow and develop.
I did apply for a job teaching online, but I did not get it. Yes, a part of me feels the sting of rejection and feels like that is a direct shot to my teaching ability...but I am trying not to take it personally. It's a rough year in education.
Part of me is now worried about money and insurance, but my ever trusting husband keeps telling me to trust and not to worry - it always works out. It's just such a different position for me to be in and I am so excited for the adventure to begin!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

My big girl

Many of you know of Amalea’s eye adventures that started at 2 weeks of age (well birth technically, but we didn’t know until she was 2 weeks). Today Amalea got her first pair of glasses to try and help her use her left eye more. I was so proud of her and she was a total hit at the eye doctor...telling everyone hello and waving and being her normal goofy self. It's hard to believe that she is almost 2 years old!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

My joy

I will be honest and say that parenting is definitely not always easy. Some days I feel like Ami and I are just a little off from each other. But there are also days (and moments even on the off days) where I am so captivated by her. I watch this child who is so thrilled by the little things and am reminded that no matter what happens in life I need to smile a little bit more. I watch her get caught up in a book or playing with a toy and she reminds me to have more fun.
I cannot imagine what life is going to be like with two girls to give me such joy. My prayer is that I slow down more and enjoy the moments more.
It's been a tough year of transition as we have been in Portland now for just about one year. I have made a lot of mistakes and wish some things hadn't happened the way they did. And yet they happened just as they did and I vow to learn from everything and makes changes so that this next year can only be better.
I will find my joy in my family. I will commit to be better to them; to laugh more, to smile more, to relax more, to love more, to give more hugs and kisses. This year will be a better year.

If you follow Amaleas blog I posted some pictures today from a fun morning ( This may be the last post on her blog as we are moving to a new blog for our family ( that we will start using once Maya get's here - any day now!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Maya remains in the breech position (head up instead of down and ready to enter the world) and it is getting really tight in there so she doesn't have much room to actually turn at this point. I am trying what I can to get her turned so that we can have a natural childbirth. I know that a C-section is always a possibility and that for us it is an even higher possibility at this point and I am coming to terms with that.
It's not that I think a C-section is such a bad thing...but I long so much to birth my child and have the doctors put her in my arms in that moment as she takes her first breath and lets out a little cry. I didn't get to have that moment with Amalea and it makes me sad that I may not get to have that moment with Maya either.
When Amalea was born her cord had been pinched and she was immediately responded to be a pediatric emergency team. They cleaned her right away, cut her cord, and treated her. She was breathing, but not strongly...not strong enough to let out a cry even. It was one of the scariest moments in my life watching them work on my daughter I had been preparing for for the last 9 months. Jim and I just prayed and cried together as they reassured us she would be ok (and of course she was).
I guess a part of me needs to let go of the "ideal or perfect" birth and realize that whatever it takes to have healthy child is most important. It's not about me or my experience, but about my daughter and her safe entry into this world.

The elephant in the room

I had a job interview yesterday and felt fairly confident going into it except for one thing...I have a giant belly that is obviously very close to popping! I thought for sure as soon as I walked in they would want to ask when the baby was due and they would realize that Maya should be here pretty close to the start date for the position.
Instead my giant stomach was like the elephant in the least to me it was :-) The 3 people who were interviewing me never asked about it. They did go over the dates a couple of times (maybe to make sure I knew), but they never said anything direct. At one point I said "obviously I am expecting a baby soon" and one of the guys sarcastically said "no way!" and then proceeded to tell me that they could not ask about it. Pregnancy cannot legally effect whether or not I get the position so instead it was just avoided.
Obviously at every second of the day I feel the baby and am pretty uncomfortable at this point so to me it is something I always am thinking about...this is why it was so odd to just avoid the topic. But it is probably better they don't realize how close the dates actually are.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

It's Done

Those of you who know me know that I have major test anxiety. When Jim and I first started talking about moving we heard that Oregon accepted the CSET which was the testing I had to do in order to get my teaching license in CA. It was perfect because I wouldn't have to take more tests. Then we got here and I started working and realized that in fact OR did not accept the CSET, but that I had to take 4 more tests here in OR in order to get my teaching license. The anxiety set in big time!!!
I put off the tests until I got pregnant and then figured I better get it done before the baby came so I didn't have that worry in the back of my mind. First I took the ORELA which is a multiple subject test (something I didn't have to take in CA since I taught high school). After a few months I took the PRAXIS (the harder of the tests and more similar to the CSET).
I never feel great after taking a test. No matter how confident I am I just can't convince myself I did well. In addition there was some serious life anxiety happening the day I took the PRAXIS and I wasn't as focused as I would to like to have been so I really didn't feel great about it (or life at that point).
Today I got news that I passed the PRAXIS. I passed the ORELA a few months ago. It is all finished now!!! I can officially get my OR teaching license and be finished with all the horrible tests.

Monday, July 6, 2009


I feel like I use busyness as an excuse all the time. I am too busy to make plans with people. I am too busy to take time for myself. I am too busy to write in my journal. I am too busy to read a book. I am too busy to make dinner. In the end it's just an excuse and I need to stop giving it because it really is not legitimate. I haven't done the things I love in way too long (reading, writing, being alone) and it's time for me to make time rather than make excuses.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


We've had a few rough nights lately as Amalea transitions to a toddler bed. Initially she did great, but about a week in she started getting up and not wanting to go to sleep. Today this is what I thought...I don't know how single parents do it. Or...I don't know how parents do it when all the responsibility of child rearing falls on one partner.
I would be a mess without Jim. I have learned so much from Jim about patience and loving guidance and truly feel pretty often that he is a "better" parent than I am. I know I have so much to learn about parenting and raising a toddler, but I am so thankful I have someone to learn with. I have someone who wants to help and wants to be involved and wants to give me rest when I need it. I would be so lost without Jim and I am so thankful that though the last few nights have been rough we've been able to do it a team.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


I finally got the results from the glucose test and they were normal. I do not have gestational diabetes, but I do need to take better care of myself. Like Jim said the whole experience was a good kick in the ass which I needed. I need to be better about eating healthier and exercising more. I am just thankful there is not an extra thing to worry about going wrong.

Friday, June 5, 2009


This week I took a glucose blood test as part of my pregnancy and unfortunately my numbers came back really high which means I am high risk for having gestational diabetes. In order to determine whether or not I have gestational diabetes I have to take a follow up blood test. This test takes 3 hours and I have to have my blood drawn 3 different times. In addition, I have to fast for 10 hours prior to the test as well as during it.
I am not looking forward to this test for a number of reasons. Ultimately I am not excited because the outcome scares me. I know gestational diabetes can be treated, but of course I hope I don't have it. It's another thing to put on my plate and I already feel overwhelmed by a lot of other things at the moment. I also am not looking forward to the fasting part or the part where I actually have to get my blood drawn so many times - I don't do well getting blood taken.
I am guessing we won't know results until Monday. Thank you for your prayers.

Monday, May 25, 2009

My family

In just a few short months we will have our second child and to be honest I cannot even imagine how life will be. I am so excited and yet there is a bit of me that is anxious. It's walking into the unknown - I don't know how it will be. Then I remember that at one point I didn't know how life would be with one kid and as soon as Amalea was born it all fell into place. I don't think we can ever be completely prepared for major life changes because there is no formula that explains the change...instead we must experience the change as it happens and learn as we go. I love my family of 3, but am so incredibly excited for our soon to be family of 4.

(there are more pictures of Amalea from our beach day on her blog at

Thursday, May 21, 2009


I don't know much about music - ok, I don't know anything about music - except that I like it. I watch Jim play and I am in awe of his talent and gifting. What I do know is that music is a great relaxer for me. Music can literally change my mood.
Lately life has been a bit hectic and with all the unknowns for the future I have truly been depending on music to help keep me calm and level. I find myself listening to worship songs more than anything, and specifically listening to Jim or our friend Devin. The words remind me to keep perspective in life and I need that. I tend to be someone who gets a little excited about things that haven't even happened or I get worried about something that might happen - I need people to remind me to stay calm and allow time to reveal what it will. I feel like both Jim and Devin write music in which I am reminded of these things and I am thankful for them and the music they create.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Trimester 3

I am now officially beginning my third trimester of pregnancy. I started my 27th week today and the tired feeling has already hit. I think it was a combination of a few other things, but I do find it ironic that the night before the third trimester I went to bed at 8:45 and then took a nap also...oh's starting. It's not even 8:00 tonight and I am so tired.
They say that at this point the baby weighs just over 2 pounds. We are in the weight gain phase now where she has pretty much developed completely and now she just grows. Of course this means I will grow also - sigh.
I wish it was August 14 now!!!!!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Leap of Faith

A little over a year ago Jim and I began to discuss the possibility of moving away from Southern California. We got to the point in the process where we knew we needed to take what some would call a "leap of faith", so we did. I remember having moments of thinking we were totally insane, but we trusted that we were doing the best thing for us and our family. It amazes me to think back on the entire process and see where we are now. That leap of faith was the best decision and I am so happy we did it. So, if you are reading this and wondering what the future holds for you and if you should take that leap I encourage you to do it. You might feel a little crazy or unwise, but if you're like us it will be the best decision you ever made.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Recently I have come to realize just how spoiled I am and the thing is I've been spoiled my whole life.
PARENTS: Growing up I wasn't spoiled with money or even material things, but I was spoiled by having great parents who were really involved in my life. They never missed an event I was a part of (and that includes playing something like 6 sports and being involved in lots of activities at school), they taught me incredible lessons on wisdom and most of all they loved me even when I probably didn't deserve it. Later in life, my parents have spoiled me financially and given us help when we really needed it and encouraged us when we made big decisions.
HUSBAND: I am spoiled all the time in my marriage. Jim treats me with utmost respect and constantly reminds me how special I am and how much he loves me. He sometimes even forces me to spoil myself. He is selfless and truly puts me first all the time.
FRIENDS: As has everyone, I have been through friendships that were hard and not very healthy, but in the end I have encountered some of the most amazing ladies in my life. I look at all the stages of my life and there are friends I consider close from each stage. Some friends I talk to more often than others, but in truth I have friends from High School days, Junior College days, APU days, Thousand Oaks days, and now Portland days that I know will be there for me through any joy or pain.

Sometimes I think that being spoiled only means you have a lot of money, but what I have come to see in my life is that I am incredibly spoiled by knowing amazing people and being a part of their lives. I thank all of you that spoil me and make me feel loved. I thank those of you who have come to visit when we moved, those of you who have supported us financially in different trips or adventures we take, those of you who clean the house without being asked, and those of who love me even when I truly don't deserve it.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Pregnant and...Emotional

Today I went through feeling a very wide range of emotions. I'd like to blame some of it on the pregnancy hormones, but seriously I don't know. Excitement, Joy, Frustration, Depression, was a lot. When I was out driving I pulled over for an ambulance to pass and the next thing I knew I was crying - I mean seriously sobbing. I was so sad for whoever the ambulance was helping. And then, not 10 minutes later I felt total contentment driving with Amalea with all the windows down and the music blaring - we were both laughing so hard. It was perfect weather and Amalea and I had a blast being silly. I felt depressed about having to go back to work tomorrow (not your normal dreading of Monday, but seriously depressed with my whole body to the point that I was in tears).
Needless to say, I am exhausted. It's not even 9:00 yet and I am longing for sleep...ahhhh...the emotional roller coaster I ride.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Another girl

All my life I wanted to have baby boys - I was such a tomboy and that made me so nervous to have a baby girl. Then I got pregnant and I didn't care if it was a boy or girl - I just wanted a healthy baby. We found out it was girl and I cried tears of joy. I didn't realize how much I would love having a girl. Amalea makes my life so much fun and I couldn't imagine life without her. Then I got pregnant again. Again, I didn't care if it was a boy or girl, but once again when I found out it was girl I cried. I am so thrilled that Amalea will have a sister and that they will be so close in age.
It's funny how you think you want one thing and then when something else happens you realize how happy you are with that thing and you can't even imagine wanting the other thing (not sure if that makes any sense). Basically, I am so excited. I will have two daughters - so fun!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I just had another friend miscarry her baby. I don't get it. I just don't. All the excitement and joy and then it's taken away so quickly. I feel sad and a little angry.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Invisible Children

So, each year I have been teaching I have shown the documentary "Invisible Children" to my students. This year I debated whether or not to show it - I wondered if it was too much for them. However, I decided to show it because it fit well as a post discussion from the novel we just finished, "The Wave".
I have been so surprised by their responses. In many ways they are much more serious than my high school students. I'm not sure why this is a surprise to me, but it is. Many students have left in tears and most have had questions filled with frustration and anger.
We are writing letters to the president in response to the film and I have been impressed by what they have to say. I work in a fairly wealthy community and to see these students open their hearts just a little means so much to me.
One student came to me and asked where I was sending the letters and said she wanted the address herself because she wants to do something on her own.

Why is it that we, as a culture, doubt the care our teenagers have? I think we so often underestimate them - I know I do. I want to remind myself to challenge them and give them awareness because they have so much to offer this hurting and broken world.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


So, I didn't initially commit to giving up anything specific for Lent this year. I don't know why I didn't, but nothing stuck out to me as something I really need to work on doing without...and then yesterday it hit me...I need to give up searching for a new home.
We are in a lease out our current place until August so really I don't need to be looking yet. However, I am so anxious to move that I look every day to see if anything new has come on the market. It's really pretty pathetic. I know the exact neighborhood we want to live in and the schools I would want my kids in and the schools I would not want my kids in and so I think to myself "something perfect is going to come along and I don't want to miss it". And then I end up spending hours looking on multiple websites and it's just silly.
I need a break. I need to trust that when the time is right we will be able to find what we need. I need to remind myself that the time is not now. I need to not let stress rule me and cause me to panic and look for a new home. I need to be content with where we are for this time. I need to not have my entire future planned out. I need to be more flexible.
I don't know that simply stopping looking for the perfect house will help with all those areas, but I know that it will help with some and I know that it will be a challenge for me.
So, I embark (a week late) on my Lenten journey. May God bring me to the place he wants me to be.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I have come to realize that I am too emotional about my students. When they get in trouble I feel so bad for them, even if they deserve it. I hate it when bad things happen to them and I get so upset. I have 4 students suspended right now - one for fighting, one for ditching, one for stealing, and I'm not sure about the other one - but as I find out about each one I get sad. In my head they are perfect little teenagers and even though they can seriously drive me insane at times I don't want to believe they could do anything that wrong. Does this make a good teacher or a bad teacher? Hmmmm....

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Convergence 2

I don't think I can really explain all that I processed this weekend at Convergence. To some degree I feel like this was the first time I have really processed through some of the aspects of our move to Portland from California. It was refreshing, inspiring, motivating, relaxing, and tiring. It was exactly what I needed.
So often ladies retreats are about being taught what a Christian women is, what a Christian female leader should be, or a Christian wife or mother or whatever context you may be discussing. This weekend was simply about being where we are NOW and being encouraged and inspired in that. It wasn't about feeling like we are falling short in some area or about being given a model of what we should be. This weekend was a chance to be real and raw and transparent with a group that was welcoming, accepting, and loving. We shared our stories - the good, the bad, and sometimes the very ugly. We cried, we laughed, we created, and we connected.
There was no keynote speakers or experts - it was 95 women learning from each other and all were equal and had something to bring to the discussion. It was so nice for me to see that a "womens retreat" could be done differently - that church can be done differently.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Convergence 1

I am spending this weekend at a retreat/conference type thing for women. This is the kind of thing I usually resist being a part of as it means putting myself out there for others - I love to listen and be a part of things in that regard, but sharing myself is another story. Yet, I was pushed to attend this weekend. Part of the reason I wanted to go is that a couple other ladies from my community were going and I wanted to spend more time with them. In the end the others that I knew did not end up coming and I was left attending with 4 people I don't know and just met. A part of me really wanted to back out - it was too much putting myself out there and I'm just not that bold. Luckily, I have an incredible husband who encouraged me to still come and I am here. If nothing else, that alone is a big step for me. I have been able to hear the stories of other ladies and be encouraged by their lives.
This morning we sang a song that I really enjoyed the lyrics to and wanted to share them on here for anyone who reads this to think about:

This broken heart of mine has been mended a thousand times
This broken heart of mine has been mended a trillion times
Something like hope is coming
Something like peace is coming
Something like joy is coming

Can I let it? Can I let it? Can I let it?

I am clean
I am new
I am changing
I am changing

Can I let it? Can I let it? Can I let it?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Say Cheese

These two people make me smile more than anyone else.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

They Know...

I've been waiting to tell my students that I am pregnant - not because I didn't want them to know, but I was hoping that they would ask. I was curious to see who would be the brave student who would venture to ask why I was getting fat.
Wednesday last week during my first period class I overheard two students who sit in the front talking. This is their conversation:
Student 1: "Ask her"
Student 2: "No way, that is so awkward."
S1: "It's Mrs. Krill - it isn't awkward." (not sure what that really means) "Just ask"
S2: "No"
S1: "Can I ask for you?"
S2: "No, it's embarrassing."
Finally, I interrupted and tried to speed along the process. I told student 2 to ask me whatever it was she wanted to ask (of course knowing what it was she wanted to ask). She got all red and tried to blow me off. I proceeded to tell her that I would not be offended, upset, or embarrassed. She just couldn't bring herself to do it so student 1 finally asked (side note - student 1 is a student whom I am fairly close to and feels she has the right to tell me anything and everything about her life or what she thinks about others or me).
My answer: "Yes, I am."

The class then proceeded to erupt as news quickly spread through the room. No joke, my students were running around the class freaking out. One boy even asked if he could go tell the other classes (we teach on teams so for the most part we knew the whereabouts of the other students I teach).
As each class came in that day they were all asking me if it was true. During my second as I was getting them started on their journal entry one boy raised his hand and asked, "Can we talk about the baby first." It was so cute to see how excited they were. Junior highers seriously make me happy.
Thursday and Friday last week were parent conferences and probably 95% of the parents who came in told me that their kid had come home and told them my good news. I was shocked that they were even talking about it outside of school.
If I ever doubted it before this just reminded me that I am so incredibly blessed to be teaching a great group of kids - I mean really they are pretty incredible. For as often as they drive me crazy they make me laugh a whole lot more.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

My words

My friend Jamie found this site called and what you do is put in text from something and they create a picture using those words. The words that are bigger are the words that you use the most. So, she put in text from my blog and the picture above is what was created. I found it very entertaining to look at - thanks Jamie.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Insane Friday

Today I was incredibly thankful for my time spent in youth ministry - I understand the need to be flexible.
Today we had an odd schedule at school. In the morning we had an assembly to listen to speeches of students running for student council and in the afternoon we had a special activity day planned. The students earned this activity afternoon which should have happened before winter break, but because of the snow it happened today. Our schedule was crazy with 2 classes being an hour long and the other 4 being 20 minutes. I was prepared for a little bit of insanity.
To add to the mix someone pulled the fire alarm after first period. This was not a scheduled drill so we went into serious mode. We waited outside in the cold while the fire department was called. Luckily the fire department responded quickly and we were cleared to go back in after about 25 minutes.
At this point students were so wired up knowing that now there classes would be even shorter than 20 minutes. Kids are dancing down the halls, whistling and yelling. It was quite a sight to see.

Luckily I was able to laugh through it all. A day in the life of a junior high teacher!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

One year ago

One year ago on this weekend out of jealousy I said something very offensive to another person and when all was said it done it basically ended up ruining two budding friendships and causing one existing friendship to fall apart. It is something I am not proud of it. Part of the reason this still bothers me one year later is because I was never forgiven for what I said. The existing friendship that fell apart should not have ended that way and in truth it is one of the most heartbreaking things I have ever been a part of.
This morning at church for a brief moment our pastor talked about forgiveness and all of this stuff from last year really hit me. I think I have been so bothered by the fact that I was not forgiven by this other person that I did not allow myself to forgive me. And to some degree I think that has held me back in other friendships. I am nervous that I might say the wrong thing or that some seemingly simple thing I do will be taken completely wrong and again friendships will fall. I can't think that way anymore. I must move forward with the confidence that I am forgiven and that yes I make mistakes, but I am not a malicious person - that just isn't me. By not allowing myself to forgive me I have been living thinking I am like that - malicious - and I'm not. I am forgiven and loved and allowed more chances. I can't be so concerned about what could have been (or what I feel strongly should have been) when it's done and when I did all I could to ask for forgiveness. I need to accept that God forgave me and doesn't think I am a terrible person and I need to forgive me too.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Emotional Rollercoaster

I tend to be a pretty emotional person. I cry at every wedding I go, sometimes even at silly television shows, lately every time I hear Obama really is kind of pathetic, and yet...this is who I am.
You can imagine all the emotions I felt when I initially found out I was pregnant. So much excitement and yet also a sense of fear - the life of a baby inside of me is very fragile business. My emotions have continued to run all around.
Two days after I found out I was pregnant I went to the Emergency Room because I thought I was having a miscarriage. I had somewhat resolved within myself that if indeed a miscarriage is what had happened it was okay - it wasn't the right time. When I saw the baby moving with the little heart beating on the ultrasound I nearly jumped off the bed - everything was ok.
One week after we found out I got devastating news from a very dear friend that she had just had her second miscarriage in a row. I felt so much confusion. How is this fair? To be totally honest there was a part of me that almost wished I would miscarry too so I could be there with her. Of course I didn't wish my child would not make it, but I wished there was something I could do to be more empathetic. The pain I felt for her was so intense that I just cried and asked why. I have this very odd feeling in my celebration these days because I want to be celebrating with my friend instead of mourning. I don't understand why these things happen. I don't know the right words to say and because I live in a different state I cannot be there with her. How do I celebrate when those around me are hurting? It just feels odd.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Meet Baby

Yes, it's true...we are having another baby. The baby is due mid August.
We are very excited and looking forward to the sick phase being done. Amalea knows there is a baby in mommy's belly and gives the baby hugs and kisses all the time (she really has no idea, but is a great listener).

Monday, January 12, 2009


Tonight Amalea had a fever so she was walking around without pants on trying to cool off. Jim and I were sitting on the floor next to each other and his head was on my shoulder. Amalea managed to move her way on into the middle of us and lay down with her us. It was one of those moments when you close your eyes and thank God for your life. Jim said, "Life is Good" and I couldn't agree more.
Many people around me have been dealing with death of family and friends in the past week along with some serious health things: the loss of an unborn child, the loss of a father, a daughter, a friend, another father, brain cancer, trips to the Emergency Room. It is so overwhelming.
In the midst of this I welcome the simple reminder from my daughter that "Life is Good" and am reminded by those around me to cherish each moment. Life happens so fast.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Today I spent the morning in the Emergency Room (but I am ok). In the end I was told that I needed to rest and stay off my feet for a few days. To me that request seemed impossible. I go back to work in two days, we have literally about 6 loads of laundry still to do from our vacation, the Christmas decorations need to come down, the drain in our bathtub is clogged because I cut my hair in there, and I have an adorable daughter that needs to be played with. Yeah right, stay off my feet. And yet, I have not got off the couch all husband is incredible. He made me soup and then a burrito, refilled my water cup many times, made me take my vitamin (though I complained the whole time), kept Amalea from treating me like a jungle gym, unclogged the drain, and did the laundry. He is now at Trader Joe's with Amalea getting some groceries. Amazing, truly amazing.