Wednesday, February 14, 2018

My Phone Call with Jacob

This is just one of those stories I feel like I need to write down it was so perfect and funny! On Tuesday nights, I have choir practice which means that I get home after Jacob should already be asleep. I like to call and talk to him when I get off work to remind him of this fact. Generally I'll call one of my parents' cell phones - whoever has Jacob. Last night I decided to call the house. This is what happened. 

[Small voice]: Hello.

Me: Hey Jacob!!

Jacob: *Gasp* HI MOMMY!!!!! I'M TALKING TO YOU ON THE PHONE!! 

Yes, you are! Did you answer the phone by yourself? 

Yes!! I'm talking on the phone to you Mommy!

Where's Papa? 

He's getting the mail. 

{This is where I start to wonder... Did Jacob answer the house phone by himself? Something he's never done? Or are Papa and Jacob teasing me?} 

Papa's getting the mail? So are you in the house by yourself?

Yeah, I'm talking to you on the phone. {Then he just starts talking away...} Guess what? I had school today and we made bird feeders! And I'm going to hang them up so I can see them from the window! 

That's awesome buddy! So, where is Papa? {I can't figure out if he's telling the truth or teasing me still....}

He's getting the mail. I was by the window. Mommy, I went potty. I'm talking to you on the phone. 

Wow, that's great!

Yeah, I went potty and I heard the phone ring and I yelled "JUST A MINUTE" and then I ran to the phone like Papa does and now I'm talking to you on the phone Mommy! 

{At this point I think he must be telling me the truth and I can't stop laughing.}

I'm glad you answered kiddo! {I hear some noise in the background and then Papa is on the phone} Were you just out getting the mail? 

Papa: Yeah, Jacob didn't want to come so I told him he could stand at the window and watch. 

So, he really answered the house phone by himself? 

I guess so! 

Then Jacob proceeds to tell both Papa and I all about how he answered the phone again, just chatting away like it was no big deal! My dad made a comment like, what do you expect? He's a big boy! 

While this is certainly true, it also makes me a little sad he's growing up so quickly. Although, the whole thing was super funny and super cute. Luckily, it was just me on the other end... guess we'll find out what happens if Jacob keeps answering calls! 

I just can't get over how nonchalant Jacob was, like this was something he's done dozen of times, not entirely sure why I couldn't stop laughing at him. :) 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

2018: A year of HOPE

So this story actually begins back at the beginning of November. I was in a meeting with one of my bosses and we started discussing things like vision boards, resolutions, goals, words etc. that we set for ourselves in the new year. I explained my 2017 word and that I'd felt pretty successful about the year. I admitted I hadn't really thought about what 2018 should look like yet, but I wanted to do something similar - a word to focus on. 

Just a day or two later, I was at the Women's Leadership Conference. There were vendors set up and many of them had stickers available to add to your name tag. I think it was probably the first booth I stopped at, asked me if I wanted a sticker. I randomly picked out the word hope because I liked the font. :) 

Later I stopped at another vendor, a Christian book and decor store and entered my name into a drawing. I mean, that's just what you do at these things, right? To enter, I had to put down a word of inspiration. Well, hope was still on my mind so that is what I wrote. During the afternoon session, my phone buzzed. I had won a prize and to stop by and pick it up when I could! During the next break I went to check it out. I had won a 2018 planner and the word on the front cover? HOPE. I started to get the feeling someone was trying to tell me something. :) 

The word stuck with me. I planned to do some more scripture reading to see if I could figure out why this should probably be my 2018 word, but things got busy and I didn't really ever get to that. But I didn't forget the word either. I decided to make it my 2018, even if I wasn't entirely sure why this was my word.

It wasn't until right at the end of the year, having it confirmed on January 1, why HOPE needed to my 2018 word. 

As I thought over the past year, I was happy with goals that I reached. But it was also a hard year. There were a lot of frustrations, a lot of dark times, a lot of struggles. They had to do with a variety of things... the divorce, job searches, being a single-mom and even other little unimportant things.

During those times, I was often in a bad mood. Angry, hurt, depressed. Whether or not I confided with anyone about what was going on, it usually showed through my actions. In fact, I can point to more than one occasion, when someone was trying to cheer me up, I literally said out loud I would rather be in a bad mood. It felt easier. I wanted the sympathy, I wanted to dwell in my self-pity. I wanted to be in the bad mood. But I also know that's not healthy. 

One of these occasions was when I was lamenting about hitting the deer and having to deal with all the car insurance stuff. Well my mom - ever the optimist - wasn't going to let me get away with it. She immediately told me to take out a piece of paper and start writing down the things we were all thankful for as a family. Week-long visits from Meg. That I wasn't hurt in the accident. Being employed. Having a washer and dryer. Strawberries (Jacob's). 

While it takes a shift in mindset to do this sort of thing, it always makes you feel better about your current situation. This, I realized, is what I need to be better at in 2018. 

I'm still going to have bad days, struggles, stress. I'm still going to feel overwhelmed or resentful sometimes. That will never change. But what I can change, is how I choose to look at those situations. Or how I choose to focus on gratitude instead. 



When looking at the definition of HOPE, you may think that the word OPTIMISTIC might be a better word for what I'm trying to achieve. And while that is a word I'll try to focus on as well, I think HOPE is more encompassing. 

During those dark times when nothing seems to be going right, I can be hopeful that it might be a learning experience I need. And maybe even try to see what that lesson might be right then. During times of anger or resentment, I can hope for things to change. And if I'm focusing on hope for things to change, I'm probably going to be putting in more effort to make those things change. 

This is not where I saw my life taking me. And in all honestly, I'm not at a place I want to be at. I want more (even if I don't know what that is most days...). HOPE is my reminder that there can be more, will be more. HOPE is my reminder to have a better outlook on life, on specific situations. And HOPE is my trust in God and His plans for my life.  

Monday, January 8, 2018

2017: The Year of Liz

It's time to say goodbye to 2017. When I started the year, I was determined to make 2017 the year of me. While there is no way I could possibly pick one word to describe the past year, I will deem it a success in terms of following through with my 2017 word of the year: me. 

But first, a recap of the year...



One thing I decided to do was to track how each day went - just a quick snapshot. I had seen the idea on Pinterest and wanted to give it a try. Then I got an email with this Bible Journaling tracker from Illustrated Faith and adjusted it to my needs. :) My scale was really great, good, okay, not good, really bad. On top of this page, I added the quote: "Just remember, even your worst day only lasts 24 hours". Such a good reminder. As I look back on this now, I can definitely pinpoint some of those pink and blue and tell you exactly what happened on those days. But overall, the year was good! 

January

In January, I volunteered helping tear down the Kiwanis Holiday Lights. We did a lot of lifting and removing of trees. It was a good workout! I also visited the Luther Exhibit at MIA for Reformation 500 with Christ the King. That was really neat. I also shared that incredibly hard blog post about making the divorce situation. I personally write these blog posts as a reminder for me of what's happening in life and something I can go back and read through. So sometimes I'm surprised by the comments that other people actually read these too! :) That being said, for that blog post, I was met with an overwhelming feeling of support, love, encouragement, and kind words. It was a feeling that filled my heart. And at the same time, I felt like a little piece of me was taken away every time someone read/liked/commented on the post. Those were very personal things to share and so those two mix of feelings were interesting. 

I also had the fun experience of kidney stones! Well, I guess technically, it was just one... That was something else. So much pain! Seriously, I remember labor feeling better than this. However, I will say that having kidney stones made me drink water like I have never drank water before. And because of that, I was able to give up drinking pop. That was a really great feeling. But the kidney stones stuck around. I ended up getting a CT at the beginning of February because I was still having pain. It was there they discovered the 3mm kidney stone - too small to do anything. To be completely honest, I'm not even sure when the kidney stone went away. The pain just finally stopped one day. 

On January 21, I participated in the Women's March in the Twin Cities. It was an amazing and historical event to be a part of. In St. Paul alone, there were over 90K people! It was empowering! A day I will not soon forget! However... I was still dealing with the kidney stone at this point. And this was pretty much a full day of walking and on my feet and definitely not enough water. That night, I was in so much pain. It was honestly the worst. I needed all of Sunday to recover. 

As for Jacob, he had his first dentist appointment since moving back to Minnesota. It did not go well. Haha. Jacob and I switched bedrooms so that he would have a dedicated play space and I could move some toys out of the living room and into his bedroom. He also started "big boy" swimming lessons - meaning no parents in the pool. He rocked it. 

February

In February, Jacob started his winter ECFE classes and I loved seeing how much his play experience changes as he gets older and his imagination grows. Jacob also got registered for his first year of preschool. And he got to spend a long weekend in Iowa at the end of the month - something he always enjoys. 

February also included our tax appointment with H&R Block, signing my portion of the divorce papers, buying a new mattress and no longer sleeping on the waterbed, a small blizzard, a successful 5th Annual Pedal Past Poverty and my Grandpa being placed on hospice care. 

March

In March, I decided to take some control over my health and I joined Weight Watchers. I had previously done this through GE, where I didn't have to pay, and really enjoyed it. I convinced myself it was worth it to sign up again because I got a new free Fitbit with my sign up! :) I got a flat tire on my car, which my dad graciously came and put on the spare for me... only to end up in the hospital that evening which was the start of some unknown medical issues! I felt pretty bad about making him change my tire!! There was also some crazy weather! On one day, it was 69 degrees with thunderstorms and then it snowed overnight! 

I sang the Holden Evening Prayer for some of the Lent services at church. We celebrated Austin's birthday a little early and took Jacob bowling for the first time. We also had a chance to visit my Grandpa. I spent a day in St. Paul for Homeless Day on the Hill, advocating for bills that support ending homelessness. It was a great day, a lot of learning and a lot of walking! 

In March, we also dropped Austin off at treatment and helped his parents move him out of his apartment. Those were hard things to do. We were able to visit him the day before his birthday which was good. 

April

April was a tough, tough month. It started with a lot of singing. A Hymn Festival at church, followed by Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter. I also spent about a day and half in South Dakota for the family program and Austin's treatment, which was emotional. The day after that, I was standing in a courtroom while our divorce was finalized. Austin finished treatment at the end of the week and was back in Mankato. 

During Holy Week, my Grandpa also passed away. While we knew it was coming, it does not make it any easier. He had a military burial at Fort Snelling and the next day we had a beautiful service followed by some much needed family time at the farm. Spending some time remembering him and sharing memories and learning even more about him was something I'll always treasure. 

I ended the month purchasing a new car! My plan was to spend a little extra on the car and this would be a good car I take care of and drive for a long time. (Apparently, my plan was not to survive... ha!) I purchased a 2014 Honda CR-V and I absolutely loved it. It was the perfect size, drove great and got decent gas mileage. 

May

This month started with a new fundraiser event at work. It was a lot of work and a lot of fun and a lot of lessons learned. The day after the event, I was so sore from all the set up and clean up! But it was a good experience. 

Jacob spent a little bit of time in the tractor, helping plant, but he also got his hand caught in the tractor door one night which probably took away some of the fun. :( He was also dealing with an ear infection. On the plus side, he had a great time singing at church with the Rainbow room and did great attending two church services while I was the only one there with him (no extra help!). 

I enjoyed quite a few days of rain and thunderstorms this month. And I also increased my exercise, trying to do more walking. I also accomplished walking the huge outdoor stairs on the School Sisters of Notre Dame campus! While Jacob spent the last weekend in Iowa, I gave myself a "me" day which included a massage and catching up on some TV shows, followed by a much needed mini girls weekend in the Twin Cities with two close friends. 

June

Halfway through the year. It was surprisingly low-key. We spent as much time as we could outdoors - Sibley Park and Minneopa. We enjoyed the Battle of the Bands parade in Lake Crystal and celebrated Jacob's birthday with a big dinosaur party! We also took Jacob to his first movie at the theater - something he really loved. I also went to a Twins game with Dan and Josh. 

There were some low days with mixed feelings of sadness, guilt, not being good enough, feeling like a failure, wanting more than what was possible... But I was also reminded that Jacob truly is the light of my life and can make even my darkest days brighter. 

Dad's (then unknown) health issues started at the end of the month and made for a few stressful weeks. 

July

The first couple of weeks were spent worrying about dad, in and out of the hospital, some scary episodes and trying to figure out what was going on. Finally, after getting transferred to Rochester, they found the problem and got it fixed. It was a huge relief. 

We spent the 4th of July weekend in Iowa, having another birthday party for Jacob. Austin and I started to have some rough patches and decided it was time for us to continue our lives separately. We started focusing everything on Jacob. 

Jacob had another dentist appointment, which he did better at, but still had some tears. We also took him to see a play, the Little Mermaid, at MSU, which he loudly asked questions the whole way through. Haha! We went to some parades and Jacob did VBS at church the last week in July. 

I also spent a weekend working at TEC - Teens Encounter Christ - as an Adult Table Leader. It was a great experience and something I hope to do again! Big props to my parents for all the help with Jacob while I was gone. 

August

Jacob got to spend some more time in Iowa in August. While he was gone, we had a day of freezing corn, which let me tell you, it not nearly as much when you only have three people working! We spent more time outside, going for walks and bike rides. Jacob and I even went camping in the backyard one night! 

We took a family vacation up north, where it was a little chilly. But we managed to have a nice relaxing time and even spent some time out boating. We ended the month with a trip to the State Fair, which included staying late for a Pentatonix concert with Meg! It was a super fun day!! 

Jacob got officially registered for for preschool and I accepted a new job offer! A job with more pay and benefits! Imagine that! :) 

September

I had to tell the PAH team I was leaving for a new job, which was not fun. Hard to say goodbye to such a great group of people. 

Jacob had his preschool conference and a preschool screening and had no major concerns. He started preschool and after just a tough first day, really enjoyed going to school. I started my new job and my second season at Fun.com. We had a great day for grape harvest and a very successful harvest as well! Jacob also started at a temporary daycare while his current provider had a new baby! Jacob and I survived a week on our own while my parents took a vacation. Jacob started swimming lessons again and we had a very enjoyable day at the Children's Museum for their Harvest Festival. I also started to work on Jacob's Halloween costume. 

October

October was pretty much a blur. Most of my time seemed to be spent working - at the new job and at Fun.com. I did manage a weekend in the Twin Cities for a Harry Potter pub crawl which was so much fun. Jacob spent some time in Iowa and we got some new family pictures taken (that I have still not uploaded to Facebook...). I also spent some time resting up after getting sick and losing my voice. Jacob spent as much time as possible in the combine. Jacob went trick or treating at the mall as a Dinosaur/Frank the Combine. :)

November

The month of November started out great as I was able to attend the YWCA Women's Leadership Conference. It was two inspiring days surrounded by women of our community. Jacob got to finish up combining the rest of the corn. There was quite a bit of singing at church this month too - I'm definitely not complaining. ;) 

I had some struggles this month, as a single mom. It can just be hard sometimes. Jacob's bedtime also became much worse and I really struggled with how to deal with that. I needed to find some consistency for him and set some hard rules. We started a routine. Jacob also had a tablet-free week the week of Thanksgiving, and I was very proud of him for doing that. 

I got myself a new tattoo, a daily reminder to "let go and let God". I love it. I also noted in my planner that November 14th was the first family dinner we had (this includes Jacob, myself, Nana and Papa) in over a month! Fall is always a busy time. November was also the month I said goodbye to my car, after hitting the 16 pointer. That was not fun. I spent the rest of the month dealing with insurance payments, warranty refunds and searching for a new car - something I absolutely did not want to do. 

Thanksgiving was good - too much food, not enough time with family. :) I hate how those holiday weekends always go by too fast. Luckily, Meg did come down for a whole week so it was nice having her around. 

December

The final month. I started the month by purchasing (another) car. I decided to stick with what I knew and bought the exact same car, same year, just different color and a little more miles. Seemed easiest. :) Jacob spent a few days up north with Nana and Papa, visiting Meg and just taking some time to relax. He also got to spend two weekends in Iowa this month, which he just loved! 

Jacob had a Xmas program at church, where he didn't really sing much. He also had a Xmas program at preschool, where he also didn't sing much. :) But he was super excited to show me around his classroom at school and tell me where everything happens. 

We had the Christmas Cantata at church with the Worship Choir and I also agreed to sing at the church services for Christmas Eve. In total, I made it to five services on Christmas Eve. I also got a haircut and for the first time I can remember, was not happy with it. I ended up calling and asking to get it fixed, which they did. Still not great, but better. Good thing hair grows. :) I also had a chance to hang out with some high school friends who I don't see nearly often enough - even though some of us live in the same town! Life with little kids is hard. I also gained some new political experience. My aunt is currently running for state representative and I'm helping out on her campaign. It's been super interesting so far. 

And then it was Christmas, which I already wrote a post about so I won't repeat that here. :) 

The Year of Liz 

I wanted 2017 to be the year of me. The year of Liz. The year of self-care. I struggled with this sometimes, having to define what self-care looked like for me. I stayed true to myself on keeping up with my list of accomplishments and self-care measures. I want to share with you what some of my goals were and what made my list of "wins". 

Goals:

  • Commit to a healthier lifestyle; lose some weight 
  • Buy a new car
  • Get hair cut/styled more often
  • Look for a greater job opportunity 
  • Become more financially secure
  • Continue to pay down debt
  • Take time to play with Jacob 
  • Read more books 
  • Love myself and who I am
2017 Year of Liz Wins
  • Stopped drinking pop (for nine months...)
  • Stayed on a budget, able to put money away in savings
  • Participated in the Women's March
  • Starting saving towards retirement again
  • Got a new mattress & then a new bedding set 
  • Organized/cleaned out a number of boxes that haven't been unpacked for months/years
  • Bought a new car!!
  • Got a massage :) 
  • Saved $90 in $5 bills from January - May
  • Lost 20lbs - about halfway to my goal 
  • Paid off ALL credit cards!!!! 
  • Worked a TEC weekend as an ATL
  • Started dating; taking time for me
  • Accepted a new job offer with increase pay and benefits; negotiated for a higher pay even
  • Went to a Pentatonix concert with Meg
  • Got my tattoo
  • Upgraded my 10+ year old wallet (sometimes, it's the little things!)
  • Bought (another) new car... :-/ 
  • Updated my wardrobe 
  • Read a total of 43 books 
  • Volunteering on a political campaign 

Looking back over the past year, there were plenty of lows but I think even more highs. There were things that I wish I would have done differently but am committed to learning from my mistakes. All things considering, I think I did probably the best I could making 2017 the year of Liz. And I'm ready to have the same sort of success as I look forward to 2018. 




Sunday, December 31, 2017

Christmas 2017

I love Christmas.

It is by far one of my favorite holidays. I love the decorations. I love the music. I love the lights. I love the family time. I love the stories and the movies. And I love the meaning of Christmas. Hearing the Christmas story, hearing God's word.

This year has been no different. I will admit, I was a little nervous about how this Christmas would go, the first one since the divorce. How would time get split with Jacob? I was selfishly wanting him to be with me on Christmas but didn't want to take away an opportunity for him to see family he doesn't get to see very often either. Luckily, everything seemed to fall into place. Jacob was able to go down to Des Moines the weekend before Christmas and my dad picked him up on Christmas Eve day to bring him back home.

What from I can tell and was told, Jacob had an absolutely fabulous time in Iowa. He seriously loves his cousins so much!! I saw a few short videos of them playing and it just warms my heart. I hate that they don't get to see each other more. I'm also jealous of the fact that I'm not there anymore to really watch and enjoy that interaction between the three of them. They're at such a fun age with great imaginations. Jacob, of course, loved opening up presents as well! Who doesn't!? And he came home with plenty of new toys and clothes! Although, strangely enough, his favorite "toy" was a tape measure! :) It's always the little things!

I was certainly wrapped up in a lot of Christmas music this year. The Advent Cantata put on at Christ the King was a big one this year. Our director certainly put us to work with a lot of music and not very easy music. But all the hard work absolutely paid off, and we had some great performances. We heard a lot of great compliments. I still find myself singing some of those songs too!

I also agreed to sing at the services on Christmas Eve. While there were a total of four services, the praise band only sang at three. And we had three very difficult songs that included quite a few instruments. I was pretty nervous we weren't going to get the songs ready in time for the service, but we did and they were some really fun songs to sing. While my performing was done after three services, I also went with my mom out to Butternut; she had volunteered to play the piano. And then, Jacob and I went along to the 10pm candlelight service at CTK. So there was plenty of more singing!

But in addition to the singing, I really enjoyed the two messages I heard that day. And I enjoyed how they tied into each other. If you want to hear one of the messages, you can view past services of CTK on their website. But I have a bible journaling entry in mind for these messages so I'll let that speak for itself once I have it done. :)

Once we got home, very late and very much past our bedtime, a very tired Jacob helped me put out cookies and milk and reluctantly let me take his picture in front of the tree before climbing into bed. The next morning, Daddy joined us to see what Santa had brought Jacob! It took a groggy Jacob a moment to realize that Santa had brought presents but when he did, the first thing he noticed was "the booger game!!" Yes, Santa brought Jacob a Gooey Louie game. If you're not familiar with this, you basically pick booger's out of Louie's nose and try not to be the one who blows his brains out. This was what Jacob asked for. Boys. As Daddy worked putting that together, he went through his stocking, getting very excited about the chocolate and wanting it for breakfast. There was also a stuffed toy that Jacob had basically thrown aside in his excitement to get to the booger game, but when I held it out to him and asked him what it was, he happily yelled "It's the Grinch!!" How the Grinch Stole Christmas has been a favorite book and movie of Jacob's this year. He can practically recite the whole book himself. He was very excited to have his own Grinch. He opened some other presents that weren't quite as exciting - new PJs, socks, underwear - and then got to open the biggest present under the tree. It was a dinosaur attack playset from his dad. As soon as Jacob saw that big dinosaur, oh boy! He started yelling and jumping up and down - "dinosaur! dinosaur! dinosaur! dinosaur!" :) Let's just say, it was a big hit.

Later that day, we had a nice mid-afternoon meal of appetizers and desserts. Meg made it home and Missy & Joe and Grandma and Grandpa joined us. Jacob also got to open another present from his great-grandparents - a big book on the t-rex! These people know Jacob. :)

Daniel and Josh got home on Wednesday night and Daniel brought the flu with him. :-/ On Friday, we celebrated our family Christmas. We opened presents that morning while we ate sticky buns. We had a big Christmas dinner that evening. It finally felt like Christmas was here. Mom and Dad both got exactly what they wanted for Christmas, without any surprise, thanks in part to Amazon and Jacob. haha For a sibling exchange, we did books. It started out as a cookbook exchange but a well known fact about me is that I don't cook. So I have no need for a cookbook. Well, Dan had my name and when I opened the box - a cookbook on the basics, including over 1000 pictures! My brother is so funny. My dad said I have to cook supper twice a month now. I must think of some sort of revenge. But Daniel also got me two books that were actually on my list, so maybe not any big revenge....

Jacob, of course, continued to get spoiled by everyone. Books and dinosaurs and toys! He also got a new dinosaur bed set and dinosaur lamp for his room. I'm hoping this will be exciting for Jacob as we transition him into sleeping in his own bed again. Wish me luck. He also got a toy from Nana and Papa that he had seen in the store - Mr. Dusty - a dump truck that scoops up toys like legos. He literally jumped up and down when he opened that gift. The only problem with this toy? The noise was not on when we viewed it in the store. It's loud and obnoxious and has a very short list of phrases. Haha. But Jacob loves it. Actually, I don't think there was anything that he didn't really love.

We also played a small "game". Mom bought a bunch of small gifts from the Dollar Tree and wrapped them all up. Then we took turns pulling gifts out of the bag and opening them. Or if someone else got something we wanted, we could steal. It was pretty fun, but Jacob was definitely the most excited! He just loves opening presents! :)

On Saturday, we had another family gathering with my dad's side of the family. There were a lot of people in our house, a lot of kids and noise, and a lot of food and drink. It was nice to see so many family members and enjoy that time together. The basement did become a bit of a madhouse when the kids discovered the trampoline... hehe

The rest of the holidays were spent just spending time together, binge watching the Crown on Netflix and playing some games. It's always hard when we have to say goodbye to everyone, but it definitely makes us appreciate our time together.

Overall, it was a very successful Christmas season.


Thursday, December 21, 2017

Jacob's Anecdotes vol. 3

These never get old...

***

One night that AJ called to say goodnight to Jacob, we were still at church so he left a voicemail. When Jacob and I got in the car, I gave him the phone to listen to the message. Jacob listened to it over and over and over. When he handed me back the phone, I asked him if he liked listening to that voicemail. He said "Yes!" I asked him what his favorite part was. Jacob said, "When daddy said no momy's bed." (We're still trying to get Jacob to sleep in his own bed....lol) I asked Jacob if that meant he was going to sleep in his own bed like a big boy! He said, "yes!" I said, really?! And Jacob said (in the most serious voice), "No." Oy. The next morning when we were on the phone with daddy again, he asked Jacob if he slept in his own bed the night before. Jacob said, "You said no mommy's bed so I slept in mommy's bed" with a huge smile on his face. He's too smart for his own good.... He still asks to listen to this voicemail, insisting that the "no mommy's bed" part is the funniest.

***

No matter what Jacob says or does, whenever I laugh at his antics, he has to ask me, "What are you laughing at?" Then once I tell him, he'll laugh too and then, of course, continue to try and make me laugh again and again.

***

Jacob was going to spend the weekend in Iowa with his favorite cousin! The night before he left, I asked him, "Will you miss me?" And Jacob says, "No. I love Evie. She's my cousin. My cousin Evie." He's always saying things like this! He loves his cousin Evie! :)

***

Sometimes when we're reading a story or if we start doing something, Jacob will hold up his hand and say PAUSE! Then he'll go grab some toy or book, cuddle back in next to you and say "okay, you can go now" or sometimes he'll "pause" us because he wants to be the one to say the prayer. Super adorable. 

***

One night as we were driving home from church, a bunch of houses had their Christmas lights on. Jacob asked if we were at the park. (Sibley Park does a huge Christmas light display that Jacob loves!!) I told him no, that those were just people's houses. He asked if we had Christmas lights up on our house. I said, no and when he asked why, I told him because it's a lot of work and Papa didn't want to do it. I said to Jacob, maybe when we have our own house one day, we can put lights on it! Jacob got excited and agreed! But then he got all serious and said, "But I won't be able to help you." When I asked why not, he said "Because I'm too little! I'm sorry!" He was so sincere! 


***

We took Jacob to see Santa the other week. The photographer kept saying, "Say cheeseburger!" And so Jacob said cheeseburger. After a couple of times though, you could see something click in Jacob's mind. The next time the photographer asked him to say cheeseburger, Jacob proudly says "Cheese sandwich!" Haha 

***

One night at supper, Papa handed Jacob the dish of pickles. He said "Take one and pass it to your mother" (meaning the pickle dish). Jacob took one pickle out of the dish and passed it to me. HAHAHA! At least he was listening!! :) 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Coming to an end...

It's hard to believe that 2017 is coming to an end already! I definitely plan to do a recap of the whole year, but for now, let me catch you up on things since my last update post. 

I survived working at Fun.com for the Halloween season. I think it was harder on Jacob this year, having me gone so much. He was so excited when I told him I wouldn't have to go to work at night anymore. While I love the extra money, I might have to reconsider doing it again next year, or at least cut back some of my hours. 

Speaking of Halloween, Jacob went as a dinosaur to school and then, because he didn't want to take that costume off, a Dinosaur/Frank the Combine for trick-or-treating. Ha! I managed to finish the Frank the Combine costume, with some help from my parents on the final touches. It was indeed A LOT of work. And I probably made it too big because Jacob would only wear it for a while at a time before wanting a break! I think I've learned my lesson and will just be buying a costume from now on. :) 

Jacob of course clocked in as much time as he could on the combine again this fall. Something he never gets tired of. We also got some family pictures done and I absolutely love how they turned out! 

November came and went pretty quickly. Things at Eide Bailly are definitely keeping me busy. I was able to go to the YWCA Women's Leadership Conference at the beginning of the month and really enjoyed that experience. I also spent a full Saturday-Sunday-Wednesday singing at all the church services so let's just say I really got the sermon that week. :) 

I got myself a new tattoo - something I had been thinking about for a long time, but really decided what I wanted just this past year. I have the words "Let God" on the inside of my wrist. My daily reminder to let go of those things I can't control and to let God take control. It is the thing I struggled with most this past year. 

I also hit a deer and totaled my "new" car. That was an awful experience but I'm thankful it wasn't any worse. I have finally bought a new car (the exact same one as my old car, only different color and with more miles). It's been quite the learning experience dealing with insurance and warranties and car loans. When all is said and done, I'll still owe about $1500 on the old car loan which hurts, but could be worse. 

Megan came down for a week of vacation and Thanksgiving and it was super great having her around. Jacob LOVES his aunt Megan! Thanksgiving was good - we ate out in the barn at the Butternut farm, which was super fun. And of course, good food! 

The following weekend, Jacob went up north with my mom and dad to visit Meg and spend a couple days at a resort near Duluth. I think even with Jacob, they had a pretty relaxing time. :) 

Jacob is still a ball of energy. He seriously never slows down. He's still enjoying preschool and not only is he learning a lot academically, he's learning how to play with other kids his own age. We've been discussing this a lot at home recently. As an only child, he's use to playing by himself or playing with grown-ups. At daycare, most of the kids are younger. It is a learning experience for him to know how to interactively play with other kids and doing things like taking turns. 

He still loves to learn. He still comes home singing songs. He loves to count and often wants to count all the way to 100! He loves asking us "what does this say" on a book or a sign. He likes to ask "what does ______ start with?" and together, we figure out the answer. He still likes writing letters and even some numbers but coloring or drawing still isn't high on the list. He still loves for us to read him stories but he also likes to take books and read to himself. It's super adorable and I hope his love of reading continues. He also still loves all things dinosaurs, tractors, trucks, cars, bugs... typical boy things. :) 

Some things have been hard. Due to a number of reasons, Jacob was spending too much time on the tablet and we needed to cut some screen time out. Thankfully, we were able to start that the week Megan was down and having her around really helped make this easier. We've also been struggling at bedtime. Again, there are a number of reasons why this is probably happening but it's exhausting to say the least. 

But for the most part, Jacob is a healthy and happy kid. He continues to be the joy of my life. He is funny and smart and adorable. :) 

I think that's about it for now. Watch for my year recap soon! 




Monday, November 20, 2017

Oh Deer.

Let me tell you a little story....


It was a Friday night, in November. It was dark, foggy and spitting rain. Interstate 35. I had just got done meeting Jacob's grandparents so Jacob could spend the weekend in Des Moines with the family.


I was cruising right along. Listening to my audiobook, anxious to get back to Mankato for a hockey game. I was driving in the right hand lane when suddenly, there was a deer. It looked like it was just walking across the road, but because of the fog, it appeared before me quickly.


I managed to hit my breaks and brace myself for impact. Is that what you're suppose to do? Brace yourself? Tense up? Anyway, that's what I did. I hit the deer full on. The impact caused my airbag to go off, which I remember only briefly brushing against my face. The car skidded and jerked to a stop but I had no idea where my car was - on the road? Near the ditch? I didn't think I had gone in the ditch.


Everything was dark and silent. I struggled to remember where my flashers were, finally grabbing my phone to light up the dash. I found the button but when I hit it, nothing happened. The entire car was dead. I had no lights, no nothing.


It was about then that I noticed all the lights in my rearview mirror. The lights of the fast oncoming cars, headed right at me. Headed right at me and unable to see me. Hitting the deer was no big deal. Sitting in a dead car with vehicles approaching from behind, unable to see me, terrifying. I thought for sure I was going to get hit. I was waiting for the impact.


I was literally talking out loud to myself. I was trying to call 911 on my phone but it wasn't working. (Side note: has anyone else had this problem trying to call 911 on a cell phone???) I kept asking myself if I should get out of the car or stay put. I was buckling and unbuckling my seat beat. I was telling myself a car was going to hit me. I was questioning why no cars seemed to be stopping to help me.


I opened the driver door, as much as I could from the impact anyway, when I finally saw a gentleman coming to me. He asked if I was alright, if anyone was else was in the car and told me I need to get out of the car right away. He ran me to the middle of the ditch. I was shaking. I couldn't catch my breath. I had thought for sure I was going to get hit by another car and couldn't even imagine what might have happened then.


Once I was out and away from the car, I could see where my car was. In the left hand lane. I was not near the side of the road. I was near the center of the interstate. I knew then it was a miracle that I wasn't hit from behind.


The two gentlemen started to direct traffic into the one lane the best they could with flashlights, while we waiting for highway patrol to come. I was still shaking. Walking in small paces around in the ditch, trying to slow my breathing. I noticed the hood of my car was peeled back and laying on my windshield. That was why I couldn't see where in the road I was, not because I didn't have my lights on.


Apparently, the accident had been reported as a three car accident and soon after highway patrol arrived, a firetruck pulled up. There was another on the way along with two ambulances. Luckily, they sent those back. The gentleman that came to my car later told me he was driving behind me and saw me hit the deer. He was able to swerve, driving in the ditch, to avoid hitting me, but clipped the deer. Once his truck stopped, he came back to help me.


I was taken to the firetruck for some questions and to get out of the rain. I declined any medical treatment. The firefighter told me that I had hit the deer in the area they called the Bermuda Triangle, because there are so many accidents that happen along this stretch of highway.


After a while, another firefighter came back to the truck to inform me that I had hit a 16 point deer. Well, at least I had something to be proud of.


I had called my parents as soon as I was out of the car. I told them roughly where I was and they said they would come to get me. And here's the thing. They had been in Rochester, my dad was getting a small procedure done. It was scheduled to take place Friday morning but had been delayed, causing my parents to remain in Rochester long after they wanted to. So when I called at 6pm to let them know I had hit a deer, they were only an hour away.


Finally, they got the road cleaned up of all the pieces of my car I had lost. They had loaded the deer up to take away (I later heard in the patrol car that someone was given permission to take it... I should have thought of that), and the tow truck came and loaded up my car. The officer was going to drop me off at the Welcome Center, where my parents were waiting for me. We drove to the tow place to clean out my car.


It was only then that I really got a good look at the damage. And it looked bad. We spent the next 20 minutes or so, trying to clean out my car by flashlight, unable to open the back door, all while I was on the phone filing my claim with Progressive and making sure they were covering this tow.


It was around 9pm by the time we got home. I decided I wasn't leaving the house and instead put on my PJs, took some Tylenol, got the heating pad and watched a movie. My weekend plans to relax, do nothing and worry about nothing were pretty much gone. While I did get some relaxing in, I'm also dealing and waiting on the insurance claim, waiting to hear that my car is indeed totaled, waiting for them to tell me they have no money to give me after paying the car off, and starting the annoying search for another car. I am mourning the fact that I haven't even had that car for a full year...


However. I am thankful. I am incredibly blessed. I am so so so thankful Jacob was not in the car with me. Every time I think about hitting the deer, I thank God Jacob was not there. I thank God that I was not hit by another car. I thank God that I was not hurt. I thank God that no one was hurt. I thank God my parents were close by. I thank God for watching over me. Because he was obviously doing just that. God is good.


My first view of the car

This is where my car ended up

Coming off the tow truck



My airbag went off

Unbelievable


My poor car...