naps, wineskins and staff advance

Saturday, July 19, 2014

"enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes. for you will spread abroad to the right and to the left, and your offspring will possess the nations and will people the desolate cities."
isaiah 54:3

the last six summers, for a few days in july, jared and i have had the honor of being apart of meeting with all the staff and spouses of our church for our annual staff advance. the theme this year was "stretch marks" and it was all about the skills it takes to allow yourself to grow and stretch and how we do it together as a church. there was so much wisdom and it really hit a nerve that i feel like the Lord has been speaking to me lately.

a few days before, i had been reading a chapter from a book called "loving the little years: motherhood in the trenches" by rachel jankovic. it's a short book with chapters that read more like devotionals and it is so helpful.

the first time i read it there was a paragraph that stood out. it was right around winnie's second birthday and she was determined to quit naps. getting her to slow down and stay in her room took nothing short of a miracle (and that miracle wasn't coming.) 
in the chapter, she's talking about change in your routine and growth spurts in your home and your children and she says:

"whenever this happens, this ambiguous restlesstness in the house, i try to think of it as a growth spurt. it is like all my children have a growth spurt at the same time and develop new needs. this is only a problem when mom doesn't have a growth spurt herself . it's even more of a problem when mom refuses to have one and demands that everyone else gets back into clothes that are too tight. just like the wine and the wine skins, you can't make the old schedule work with the new needs. naps, when filled with children who no longer need them, crack open and make a big mess."

since we were very literally going through the same scenario at the time it stuck out to me, but over time it stayed with me. the picture of my resistance to growth looking like the wineskins that jesus talks about in luke 5:37-38:

"and no one pours new wine into old wineskins, otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. no, new wine skins must be poured into new wineskins."

as we move on to new stages and settle into what is "normal" at each stage of life, it is so easy for me to get comfortable and to want to go back to "old wineskins." and being comfortable makes growth a foreign object, something that like a virus that we fight against.

and the thing is my kids aren't just growing physically. sure, there are physical hurdles to get over, like learning to live in days without naps. but truthfully, for me, the most stretching things go beyond naps and pacis and things that seem more concrete.
like, what about when i realize that my child's strengths line up right with my weaknesses. the things that come so naturally to her are so many of the things that i feel like i am still grasping to learn. and in order to help her grow into who the Lord made her to be, i'm going to have to do a lot of growing, too.
 i have to choose that growing and having some stretch marks is far better than not growing and eventually bursting open.
so, with lots of grace, i want to grow well.

new york shopping.

Friday, July 4, 2014

last christmas, jared gave me a really generous gift of some money set aside just to spend on shopping when we were in nyc.
(side note: we actually did this with most of the money we took on the trip. set it aside outside of our account, so that when vacation came around it didn't feel like a chunk of money was leaving our account. mental note to do that again, much less stress when i am supposed to be relaxing.)
we spent a lot of our trip walking around and eating and walking around and shopping and walking around.
it's always a treat with two kids when i spend money on clothing for myself, so it was fun to get a few new things.

we walked around anthropologie and i got this top and dress. the dress i wore on our actual anniversary dinner. and both were on major sale, so even better. 

clovelly peplum top // tonnelle dress
this j.crew shirt (and the madewell stuff below it) has been one of my favorite summer mom outfits without being a summer mom outfit.
vintage cotton tee
madewell can sometimes be a little pricey, but you can catch some really great sales and the price has reflected the quality so far in anything i've bought. also, the shorts remind me a little bit of the cheerleading shorts we all wore in middle school and high school (even though we never did cheerleading.) just a lot better and without weird phrases written across the back.

track shorts // shape study earrings
we knew we wanted to bring home the girls something special and on our last day walking around the city, we were having lunch across from this little store in chelsea. it was so cute inside and we picked out a little dress for each of them. 

my little sunshine

we got the dress on the left in pink for olive and the other dress for winnie. they are both made my a company, siaomimi. really cute stuff.

all in all, it was a great weekend!

new york city.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

a few weeks ago, for our five year anniversary, we took a long weekend trip to new york city. we hadn't been out of town just the two of babies, no pregnancy, no work since, well....our honeymoon.

the girls and i got really sick right before we left and i actually ended up getting pneumonia. it was a long two weeks of sickness that lasted right up until we left. but thanks to lots of medicine and rest and a doctor clearing me to travel, the morning we left we felt like this...

we stayed a the roger hotel and i can not describe to you how amazing the terrace off our room was. new york, outside and that high up, feels a lot different and more peaceful than the manic city right below it. we spent the last night there with takeout and a view of the empire state building.

on the actual day of our anniversary we spent the day walking around and shopping and eating. a few of my favorite things. also, there were a group of men playing ping pong in bryant park, so clearly jared needed to stop and watch awhile.

on the night of the anniverary, we ate dinner at butter and went to the broadway show, once. i fell in love with the movie and the music when it came out in college and the show did not disappoint. 

the next day we walked up through central park and stopped at two super important landmarks, the fountain that giselle danced around in enchanted and the balto statue. i am pretty sure winnie expected us to actually run into giselle and balto while we were there. 

we had brunch at the boathouse in central park. so good. 

we ended up at the museum of natural history. jared loved seeing all the fossils and i had forgetten how beautiful all the animal displays were. also, little teepees. 

we walked around so much that day. and we're usually not great about taking pictures together (or correction, i just can't ever seem to be not awkward in pictures) but we sucked it up and took a few together. baby steps.

we left later in the day on sunday so we were able to spend the morning at hillsong nyc. carl lentz preached a great message and it was fun being able to see community and church taking place in the center of a city like nyc.

oh, don't mind us, just practicing our picture taking/selfie skills.

as much as i love nyc and loved our weekend away, we were ready to get back to our life at home and our girls. and nothing makes you want to go home more than spending six hours waiting for a delayed plane.

until next time, nyc!