Overestimate, underestimate

“We overestimate what we can do in one year and underestimate what we can do in five years.”

Kelly Williams, pastor of Vanguard Church, told that to Matt and me several years ago.  We were in the middle of the LONG adoption process for Desta. The timeline seemed endless and frankly we were really discouraged. destaIt’s been 5 years since we brought our Gracey girl home.  Five years since this little 8 lb, 5 month old was placed in our arms.  She was so sick she hardly made a peep.  She just wanted to eat and eat and eat.

That first year home with her was filled with round the clock feedings, doctor’s visits, and a whole lot of growing.  Matt and I were thrown headlong into sleepless nights again.  We had two other kids who were adjusting to a new sibling.

That first year was filled with a lot of overestimation’s.

Five year’s hindsight and I’m amazed at how much we’ve done.  We had no idea how our family would change these past five years.

We’ve moved to Florida, lived there for 2 years and back to Colorado for 3.  Our kids were in Elementary and preschool.  Now we have a teenager (almost), elementary kiddo and a kindergartner. familyI entered the workforce; finally finding a place at Biblica that I love.  Matt has changed jobs three times. At that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

When you begin to look at your year with doubt and frustration, think of that phrase above.

Don’t underestimate what you can do in 5 years.  And cut yourself some slack for what needs to done this year.


My Links this week


Sometimes at night I want to read snippets of things but frankly don’t have the energy to figure out what types of words I need to put in the search engine.

Yes, I should just go to bed but I don’t.

So here are a few links I’ve enjoyed viewing this week.

  • This mama of 12 writes real; she doesn’t keep the hard stuff hidden.  One Thankful Mom - This blog post has made me stop and think about how to add more joy and life into our home.

“Sloppy parenting quickly results in subpar behavior.”

That line, oh that line has made me wince and stop a few times this week.  Go here and read it!

  • I like to eat.  And I love to travel. This post combines those two things. Take a tour around the world and see what others eat for breakfast.  Some of the meals I’d be all over. Others look like a gluten attack waiting to happen!

06 - Brazil

  • Kari Jobe is my new favorite singer. I listened to her entire album, Majestic, during a trail run this week.  It was exactly what my soul needed.  This song, I Am Not Alone, has spoken my life’s verse in such beauty.  Is. 43.  WE ARE NOT ALONE!

  • The weather has turned cold. (I’m not ready for summer to end yet Colorado!)  We made caramel corn and drizzled in chocolate because sometimes sugar is important.  (Just make sure you don’t watch this before you make this popcorn!)

Stovetop Caramel Corn

  • Kristin Armstrong always has a nugget to mull over. This post, this post got me.  “There is a vast difference between giving up and letting go.” It’s a good one.  Read it.
  • I love NPR, particularly the Morning Edition.  Today I heard this fascinating piece on a  discovery from the Franklin Expedition, which went missing 169 years ago while searching for the Northwest passage. Steve Inskeep talks to Paul Watson, a Toronto Star columnist.  Go here to hear the piece.  Pretty cool stuff.  20140906_090811_Android
  • Tobin and I did the Color Run last weekend.  We had so much fun.  If this run is in your area, go.  It is well worth the money for the laughter and mess alone!

Parenting is Hard Work

I recently was listening a talk on Stitcher.  This app is a compilation of all the podcasts you’ve ever wanted to hear – free.

The speaker summarized parenting in four categories.

Ages 0-5:  Disciplinarian
Ages 6-12:  Teacher
Ages 13-18: Coach
Ages: 19+:  Friend

These simple categories have transformed my parenting perspective.  We currently are managing three of the four categories.  Once I figured out my job for each kid, I’ve been learning how to talk with them, engage them and do life with them.

For our youngest, we are still in that disciplinarian stage.  Take this morning for instance.  We’ve allowed a lot to slide but disrespect and disobedience are non negotiables.  From the moment Desta woke up at 6 am (She didn’t fall asleep until almost 9:30 last night!) she was a crankypants.  Everything was LOUD, VOCAL and IN MY FACE.  I finally pulled the tv card — only non digital play today.

Discipline is not fun.  This has not been a quiet morning.  She is not happy with her consequences and we are all suffering for it.

20140831_122512_AndroidWith our second born, we are heavy in the instruction phase. Yesterday it was a 20 minute lesson on why the dog needs to be walked and why responding with anything other than, “Yes Mom” is not an option.  Tobin has been learning how to make a bed properly–and it does not involve merely pulling up the covers and calling it a day. Teaching is tiring.  VERY tiring.

There are days that I feel like I am teaching the same thing over and over again.

Early this morning I opened my Bible to Proverbs 6.  Just like that I have the verses that Tobin and I will be memorizing.

“My son, keep your father’s command
    and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
Bind them always on your heart;
    fasten them around your neck.
When you walk, they will guide you;
    when you sleep, they will watch over you;
    when you awake, they will speak to you.
For this command is a lamp,
    this teaching is a light,
and correction and instruction
    are the way to life.”

As for our oldest and coaching–while the conversations are hard and the reality of life is challenging to navigate, this is by far my most favorite season right now.  It has been so rewarding to see Caroline make decisions based on what we’ve taught her these past many years.  She is making wise choices; albeit hard ones.

20140906_115524_AndroidMatt and I have a few goals for our family.  One of the main goals is this:  Be intentional now to create long term, relationships with our kids as adult friends.

To reach this goal requires intentional parenting.  It’s not easy, it’s actually exhausting and sometimes you just want a break BUT with a goal in site, we’ve got a race to run!


No rest for the worried

I was tired.  So tired that 8:30 pm looked daunting to get to.

Just when my head hit the pillow, the coughing began in the next room.  Our youngest has this dry hack that begins every night lately.  It wakes me up out of sound sleep.

Yesterday afternoon a friend told me about this new super virus that has escaped to Colorado.  Within hours of coughing, kids have trouble breathing.  It’s fast and furious.

All night long I wandered back and forth between my room and hers, checking her chest.  “Is she breathing?”  Making sure she was fine.

20140614_185544_AndroidWhen we made the decision to have children, no one told me about the hours of sleep denied AFTER they began sleeping through the night.  Hours denied because of my fears, my concerns, my crazy train thoughts at 2 am.

As a child we memorized huge portions of Scripture.  The ones that continue to come back, back to my mind are about peace, perfect love.

“Perfect love casts out all fear.”  It was on autoplay last night.  Coughing fits, walking, listening, hand gentle on Desta’s back with the words spoken out loud…”perfect love casts out all fear.”

Each time my children face a giant, sickness, bullying at school, weakness, I am reminded of my inability to do anything about it.  I cannot control and change the course of life they are on. BUT I am very aware of the ONE who can.

I look forward to a better night tomorrow.  I wish and hope for rest.  If that is not so, I will remember that I am not the one holding these children in his righteous right hand. I am not the one saying “Beloved, do not fear I am with you.”  

No, someone much greater than me is doing that today.  For this I am grateful.


Tackling a 13′er

On Friday Matt surprised me with a day getaway.

20140905_121800_AndroidAll the details were taken care of.  As I told him throughout the day, getting the kids and the dog managed is like an act of congress. It is extensive and time consuming; all the parts and pieces have to be in sync or else the entire thing fails. He was able to get it all done with an A+!

20140905_123508_AndroidWe headed to Breckenridge for a day of hiking and pampering.  The rain was steady and cold as we left Colorado Springs, making us wonder if we had made a poor choice.  As soon as we began our mountain ascent, the skies cleared and we had a perfect sunny Colorado fall day.

20140905_121827_AndroidIf you’ve never explored around Breckenridge, go back and do so. We didn’t have time to climb Mt Quandary, a 14′er so instead did Mt Fletcher, the tallest 13′er in Colorado. It’s connected to Quandary and a beautiful, albeit bushwhacking type hike.  After scaling rocks and the side of the mountain on the way up, we found the trail headed back.

20140905_121606_AndroidHiking is what Matt and I do.  We found this hobby several years ago. Thanks to REI’s garage sales, we finally have most of the gear to make hiking fun, enjoyable and safe.  Trekking through the mountains, smelling the pine (which was amazing this hike), searching for trails and seeing wildlife is therapy.  It’s our time to talk and laugh, share dreams and goals and flush out what’s not working.

20140905_134301_AndroidMatt has been leading our family in forming what we want our family legacy to be.  These conversations have been filled with ideas and goals, taking what has worked in the past and sorting out what we don’t want.

20140905_132217_AndroidAs we hiked Mt. Franklin, we defined so many things that had been pushed to the back burner because of schedule, travel and lack of uninterrupted time.

As a complete and total surprise, Matt had arranged an afternoon of pampering for me.  A massage, facial and nails–just me and the quiet of the spa.  It was a true surprise and a gift of rest and relaxation.

Matt knows I speak the language of gifts and quality time.  He abundantly poured into my soul this weekend.  Soul tending.

While life is full and often feels like we are running on warp speed, days like these fill us full. We are a team again, able to handle loud children, work travel, and big moments of coaching in our children’s lives.  We are on the same page, something that we have come to value more and more as our children age.