|Photos courtesy of Megan Hein Photography|
But lately I have been thinking about how the rest of us have changed in the past 6 months...so here's a rundown of what I've observed so far.
1. Leah has had more playdates at our house in the past 6 months than in her previous 6 years.
2. Autum can take her diaper off all by herself with her pants still on.
3. Autum has developed some great arm muscles from working on her food-throwing skills at dinner, thanks to her big brother!
4. I have changed from a multi-sport endurance athlete to a sprinter. Sprinting as in how many times I can get around the block running before the baby monitor sitting on the mailbox begins to light up and squall at naptime.
5. I am very protective of naptime. Don't even think of calling, stopping by, or planning an event between the times of 1-2:30 pm each day....that is MY QUIET TIME.
6. I can get ready for church in 15 minutes...pretty ponytail and all.
7. No one wears matching socks any longer.
8. The days I work out of the house are my 'rest' days.
9. I unload the dishwasher at least 2 times a day.
10. Family outings mainly consist of bulk purchases at the grocery store.
11. Jerad has taken up exercising more consistently and I think he is beginning to understand why its my only 'outlet' and de-stressor.
12. I measure large sums of money in terms of how many orphans could be saved, how many meals could be served to the poor, how many homes could be rebuilt from disaster...
14. We are recycling now and have a large garden planted.
15. I have become very educated on just how important nutrition is to my children's health. So I try to buy organic, fresh, local produce. We now drink farm-fresh milk. We eat mostly natural sugars.
16. Date night consists of Frosty's from Wendy's after the children are in bed with us both asleep in bed by 10 pm.
17. Stroller rides end when the snacks run out or when we reach a playground or park area. Not when I've reached my exercise goal for that day.
18. I find myself much more aware of the 'least of these.' In whatever setting that may be...I want to feel approachable no matter what situation I'm in and to be a servant in every way. I'm all the sudden very conscious of how I may be perceived in situations and constantly ask myself: "If someone was in need and saw me 'here'...could/would they feel like they could ask me for help?" This is a new sensitivity for me.
19. We are learning to live uncomfortably.
20. Making more money is no longer a concern of mine. Giving until it hurts is being practiced more regularly.
21. I'm getting good at doing my Bible readings while going to the bathroom with the door locked ...while all 3 kids are outside pounding on the door wanting in.
22. I am a multi-tasking fool.
23. We do laundry everyday.
24. I can make any type of meal, any time of day, with a tortilla.
26. We have forgotten and missed meetings/events we would never have missed before.
27. Cleaning the bathroom consists of scraping the toothpaste off the sink while brushing my teeth before bed.
28. Leah has become my 'go-to' girl.
29. We have discussed buying stock in Huggies and Pampers.
30. I can disguise any type of meat with 'sauce' so my kids will eat it.
31. I never leave the house without a cooler of snacks for entertainment.
32. We do everything in 2's.
33. I want to do everything I can to encourage others to adopt. Which includes probably driving people crazy with my enthusiasm and excitement in conversation...
34. I am still wrestling with the frustrating response of fellow believer's of: "I need to pray about it" "Think about it" "Not for me" when asked about adopting or helping with an adoption...especially when it's commanded specifically in Scripture.
35. Incredibly frustrated with my own lack of faith in year's past, with doubt in God's power and provision, unbelief in prayer and moving mountains. But super-excited about living this way from here on out.
36. I feel this incredible freedom in knowing I will never be pregnant again! (not for me)
37. Still trying to figure out what my role and calling in advocating for orphaned children is and will be...
38. Learning to let things go more.
39. Learning to be okay with not being at every event, helping with every activity, taking store-bought cookies to parties.
40. Realizing that my walk with Christ isn't dependent on going to church every Sunday and volunteering more, etc. which I am not able to do right now...but is completely faith and grace-based. So I am working to not feel guilty about not doing these things right now.
41. Rarely turn on the TV with 3 little actors in our house...all the entertainment we need. Plus by the time I get sat down to turn on the TV...I'm asleep!
42. Realizing how 'rich' we really are. And that we do NOT 'need' anything more.
43. We are in our pajamas until noon most days...its a requirement now. The baby's sleepers have become part of their daily clothing regimen.
44. Autum has been so crucial in helping Blake's progress. She is his number 1 fan in motivating him to do what he is doing. I tell people we have our own built-in trainer.
45. I'm beginning to truly love Blake like our own.
46. Learning to teach my kid's more (especially Blake)...
47. Don't know what I would do without Leah around to help me during the day. She has become so independent (in good and bad ways) :)
48. I'm learning the importance of listening to my body more. If I'm tired, I rest. If I'm worn down, I sit.
50. Have WAY more courage than before.