A Wife Loved Like The Church

Posts Tagged ‘Jonathan

Our family is still trying to sort through how exactly we plan to celebrate Easter. Will there be baskets? Candy? Eggs? Thankfully, the girls don’t ask too many questions and seem oblivious to the commercialized side of Easter and have only learned the true meaning.

With that said, we did do an egg hunt this weekend. Our neighborhood held an egg hunt and several of our neighbors were attending with their kids. We decided to go. When we arrived, there were long lines of cars and people so we just kept driving by.  We figured maybe a family breakfast would be much more fun.

Then, as we drove past Walgreens, we saw several workers standing outside advertising an egg hunt that started in 20 minutes. It was free and no one was around, so we figured we would give it a try. By the time the hunt started, there were more parents than kids, so every kid walked away with a big bag of eggs.

The girls "smiling"

Our loot

Despite being tired, Hannah was not going to lose out on getting some goodies

Two of my favorite people {and the loot}

Now, for this next picture, I realize it’s not the best, but it’ll have to do…

The growing baby bump:

I nearly burned our house down on Friday.

You might think that is a slight overstatement, but it’s not. I put a pot of stew on the stove, walked outside to play with the girls and that was the end. I had no concept of the time passed. I had no clue what was taking place, literally, feet from me. No alarms. No smell of smoke. Nothing triggered me, but Jack’s barking.

Jack {who was outside as well} started barking and barking. At first I dismissed him, then when he persisted, I went to the back door to find my kitchen/living room filled with smoke. Black, nasty smoke. In the moment, I calmly removed the pot, opened the windows and began to air out the house. Thankfully, nothing was damaged beyond the charred pot, though the smell of fire still lingering this morning.

Saturday morning, I flooded the girls’ bathroom. The toilet got clogged while I was cleaning and water started flowing everywhere.

I panicked. 

My first instint was “Don’t tell Jonathan.” You see, I’d already failed miserably the day before and we were still paying for it {by way of spending all Saturday morning cleaning and washing our smoke filled home}. I didn’t want him to see my failure again. I was ashamed. Embarrassed. Guilty. I wanted to run. Hide. Escape.

Finally, I called out for Jonathan. Even though I knew he was frustrated, he still loved me through it. He stayed calm. Fixed the situation.

And that’s when I lost it.

I ran.

I hid.

I sat in our bathroom and wept.

I calculated all the ways I failed. All the things I’d done wrong. Again. All the ways I didn’t deserve love. Didn’t deserve a second change.

Then there was a knock at the door. It was Julia.

“Mama, why are you sad?”

More tears.

Then another knock. It was Hannah.

“Mama, sad?”

More tears.

Then another knock. It was Jonathan.

“Babe, come out, please. You have two adorable daughters and a husband that loves you. Come out.”

Then a final knock. It was God.

“Sarah you are loved. By Me.”

I opened the door. Both to my family and to my God.

When I am in pain, I run. When I have failed, I run. When my trials are too big, too overwhelming, I run. I hide from the pain, from the failure, from the trial. I run and hide because I am afraid that maybe this time – this time – I’ve gone to far. I’ve messed up too much. This time I can’t be forgiven. This time I can’t make it right.

But that isn’t true.

Through Christ’s blood, I will always be forgiven.

Through Christ’s death, I will always be made right.

This weekend, through my failures, my family’s love spoke to me. My husband’s kind direction and warm embrace. My daughters’ gentleness and sweet innocence. Through them, God reminded me that I can run, I can hide, but He will always find me. He will always knock at my door. He will always pursue me. Because, in my failures, He loves me most of all.

Jonathan and I went on our first real “grown up” date Tuesday night. By “grown up” I mean, our sitters {lifelong friend Melinda and her husband Preston} were in control over evening activities and bedtime. Aside from our anniversary trip, we’ve never had someone else put the girls down for bed {read: we’ve never had anyone put super-clinging-Mama’s-girl Hannah to bed}. They did splendid and woke up talking about how much fun they had {Thanks Mel and Preston!}.

Now on to the real adventure. For our date, Jonathan took me to Alamo Drafthouse – a super fun restaurant/theatre.

You have a waiter that serves you food/drinks before and during the show. You write down what you want on a slip of paper and they pick it up as they come by. Despite living in Austin before, I had never been to the Alamo Drafthouse and was super excited. In fact, I was so excited, I wore this:

{Finally, after a year, I post a picture of me in “the dress”.}

We watched The King’s Speech, which was really quite good. But what made the date so much fun {besides just being with Jon} was all the excitement leading up to it. In fact, I blushed just a little when Jon emailed me this: “I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t wait to be with you…. ALONE!!!!! OMG!!!!! I feel like a teenager!!!!!” Shameless flirting may, or may not, have taken place through the course of the day via email and text. 😉

When we came home, we received great reports on the girls {Hannah cried for a bit right in the beginning but then calmed straight down} that it was the cherry on top of a fabulous night.

Here’s to more “grown up” dates!

Visit Alicia at Alicia’s Homemaking for more Try New Adventures Thursday.

Visit Jill at Diaper Diaries for more Things I Love Thursday.

{Sorry for the fuzziness - I'm still figuring out our Point and Shoot. And Jack does look a little evil in this one...}

Yesterday marked the 12th month of our monthly family photo. It’s hard to believe an entire year has passed since I first started this project. It has a been wonderful documenting how the girls have progressed. So much has happened in the last year that our lives seem so different now.

Hannah is talking up a storm. Every day she adds something new to her vocabulary and it’s awesome. My favorite phrase is “I did it!“. She says it with such pride and enthusiasm. Hannah has completely transitioned to a twin bed and isn’t waking up nearly as much to crawl into our bed at night. Watching her always imitate Julia has made her seem advanced for her age. And while she isn’t even 2, she seems so much older than she really is. It makes me want to pause life for a while and capture all these little moments.

Julia, as always, is acting like a little mama. She’s taken charge of several responsibilities – putting away dishes, helping with Hannah and cleaning. Julia’s been learning a lot in preschool lately. She’s very fascinated with sciences, so we have been spending time watching educational videos on the planets, the ocean and wildlife. She can’t get enough. I secretly believe she’s going to be a scientist.

Jonathan recently became part of Toastmasters – an impromptu public speaking group. It suits his personality perfectly and is teaching him how to be short and concise in his presentations. In addition, he has been spending a lot of time researching houses here in town, narrowing down what part of Austin we would want to live in. While we haven’t found a house that we want to buy {or rent}, we have at least settled on living in south Austin – for now.

I’ve spent the last month training for the Austin Half Marathon, which happens February 20th. It’s been good for me to get back into a real running regimen again. However, I’ll be happy to have long runs of only 5-6 miles instead of 10-12 miles. I got back yesterday from Blissdom in Nashville. It was a awesome. Overwhelming {with information and content} but I am hopeful that I can really implement a lot of the things I learned this week.

I’m leaving today for Blissdom. And much like when I left for New York last fall, I have taken some steps to help Jonathan out while I’m away. Because, while some days I’d like to think my full time job is my blog, it isn’t. My full time job is taking care of my family. I take a lot of delight in my work and want to make sure that I can still fulfill my wife/mother roles while away. So here are some ways I’m helping Jonathan cope with me being away:

1. Organize the girls clothes –

Each day is bundled together, with the girl’s name on it. Unwrap, dress and you’re ready to go! {I did provide layers, in case the weather goes all crazy on me.}

2. Organize meals –

I have the freezer stocked with dinners and the pantry loaded with quick and easy snacks. I’ve also made a list of side options to go with each meal.

3. Organize activities – While Jonathan is super active in the girls’ lives, he doesn’t quite know what activities there are to do around town like I do. So I made a list for each day to let him choose.

4. Sticky notes –

I did this when I traveled to New York. Jonathan said it was helpful {for other things – like coffee}, but the dog never did get fed…

5. Movies – While I tend not to want the girls to watch much television during the week, I know it’s an easy pass time. I’ve made sure there are several episodes of their favorite show recorded so they can watch a set amount as needed.

6. Diapers/Wipes/Pull ups – Jonathan isn’t as into cloth diapering as I am {read Jonathan doesn’t cloth diaper}. To prepare for the week, I stocked up on disposables. Because there is nothing worse than having to run to the store just for diapers.

7. Back up help – We were very blessed to live right by three close families while in Iowa. At the drop of the hat we could ask for help and they could be there in no time. Now, as we are still meeting people, I’ve had to do a little more planning. Still, we’ve been really blessed with people willing to help Jonathan {even if it is just inviting him to playdates} so that he doesn’t feel alone in the process.

8. Answering my phone – I’m notorious for not answering my phone. And it drives Jonathan bonkers. Because of that, for the next few days, my phone will be attached to my hip {not literally – not a big fan of those hip holders}.

9. Sweet loving – I’m making sure Jonathan gets some sweet loving before I leave. And… It’s not what you think. I made him a batch of cookies {as bribery for girls} and am currently baking some blueberry muffins – which are his favorite.

10. Grace – Taking care of the girls and being a homemaker isn’t Jonathan’s full time job, it’s mine. I need to loosen up any expectations I might have for how things should go – or honestly, how the house should look when I get back. I need to be overwhelmed by the fact that my husband is showing me this grand gesture of love and respond in kind, with grace and love.

What do you do to help your husband prepare for you being away?

Visit Oh Amanda for more Top Ten Tuesday.

In early December, Jonathan and I started talking about business cards – specifically me getting business cards. We knew with Blissdom approaching, it would be nice for me to have cards to pass out to the other attendees. I started doing some research, but never fell in love with anything. I wanted something practical, but expressed me at the same time {a lot of pressure for a little card, huh?}.

Then Jonathan mentioned the idea of a bookmark business card. Immediately I loved the idea. A bookmark {because I love to read} that has all my information on it. Perfect. Now to find a design/designer. After going through Etsy a few times, I came across DesignsByThoughts. As soon as I saw Tiffany’s work, I knew it was a match for me. So I contacted her, discussed some ideas and this is what she made:

Isn’t adorable? I just love the red roof on the church. And the adorable flowers. And the stain glass. And the…. okay, I just love the whole thing. Seriously.

The other day, Jonathan said “You really tricked me about who you are while we were dating.

Those words might seem to sting, but they didn’t. Because it’s true. Well, at least what he was referring to: My love/hate relationship with Chinese food.

While we were dating, we loved eating at Asian restaurants. One we found while visiting friends in Boston, Pho Pasteur, was amazing.

Madam Mam's Spring Rolls*

We ate there two, maybe three times on a week long trip. When Jonathan would visit me in college, we ate at some favorite haunts: Madame Mam’s and Thai Noodle House. Yum, yum, yum! And since Asian food is one of Jonathan’s favorite, he was thrilled that his girlfriend loved it.

And then we got married.

While we lived in Iowa, we didn’t find one Asian restaurant that we both enjoyed. Not because they weren’t good, but because I am incredibly picky. I am no fan of Panda Express buffet style Asian food. Yet it seemed that was our only real option in Iowa. So whenever Jonathan would ask “Do you want Chinese food?”, I’d sigh and say “No.”

And Jonathan felt duped. All this time I claimed to like Chinese food, when in fact, I didn’t. Or so he thought.

So this weekend when Jonathan said “You tricked me” I had to clarify:

I didn’t trick him. I still love Asian foods, I just don’t like Asian food chain restaurants. There is a big difference. Upon learning this tidbit of knowledge {although I’m fairly certain this wasn’t the first time I told him my pickiness}, he was elated. As in I-don’t-care-if-we-just-ate-let’s-drive-to-Madam-Mam’s-now-and-eat-again elated.

Needless to say, this week’s date will include Asian food.

And we’re both pretty excited.

*photo credit

It is really the last day of 2010? I swear the year just started. And now it’s over. Wow.

Christmas Eve in Granbury, TX

December has been a slower month in terms of Windham-ness. It’s been busy, with settling into our apartment, becoming official Texans again and meeting new people. But, we have been able to have a lot more family time, uninterrupted by event after event. And it’s been very good for all of us.

December was Jonathan’s first full month at his new company. Can I tell you, I love his job? Seriously, it is as though the job was written just for him. Already within the first month I can see him flourishing as never before. It’s awesome. I never realized how important my husband’s job was until now. How much enjoying what you do can impact your family. It’s just been wonderful.

Julia has become a kid genius. I’m sure all kids are bright, but it seems like Julia is asking questions and probing for answers that are years ahead of her. Her biggest questions now are about the earth, the sun and the moon. She’s not content with simple answers, but wants us to explain where the sun goes at night, why the moon moves when we are in the car and where Texas is compared to Iowa. Speaking of Iowa, Julia’s really been missing her Iowa friends. A lot. She had us in tears the other night when she started crying asking to go “home”. She talks about her Iowa friends on a daily basis. We are still navigating how to introduce her to new kids, get her more involved with kids. I’m working on a post for that next week.

Hannah, my precious little Hannah, who has decided that now as her vocabulary haas nearly tripled this month so has her attitude. Vocabulary first – Hannah has become quiet the talker! She now speaks in more sentences than not. The other morning, she crawled into our bed at the crack of dawn and requested to watch Word World, which came out “Wa Wor World”. Too cute! And of course, to get 30 minutes more sleep, I let her. Her attitude, on the other hand is not so cute. Now, when we ask her to do something, her first reaction is “NO!” and holding her hand out to us. Hmph. I’m fully realizing she is going to be quite the little firecracker.

As for me, I am still in a little shock that we’ve moved. I told Jonathan the other day I think it will take a few months to really sink in. In a good way, as it seems each day I get a little more excited about being home. I finished up #14 {Finish our wedding album} on my 30 before 30 list this week. I’ve been spending some time this month reevaluating my list, debating on changing up some of my items and coming to terms with not getting as much completed as I wished. I still have half a dress sitting in our garage that never got completed before we moved.

Here’s to a new year and hopes that it will be a blessed year for you and your family!

As I mentioned yesterday, we took an impromptu trip to San Antonio this week. As we were heading out of town, Jonathan turns to me and says “Do you want to swing by the AT&T Center?” Now, my friends, that might mean nothing to you. But the AT&T Center is where our beloved Spurs play. I laughed and said “Sure, why not.” Jonathan’s face lit up with shock and excitement. He then asked “Would you want to watch the game if I could get tickets?” Of course! We found parking, discussed what we thought to be a reasonable price for tickets {since we’d already missed the first half}, and Jon went off in search of tickets.

After about 5-10 minutes, Jonathan comes back to the car with these:

I’m not sure what to point out first. The fact that it was a LAKERS game or that we are only TWELVE rows from the court!? I had no idea that we were playing the Lakers. In my little basketball world, the Lakers are my arch nemesis. And to only be 12 rows from the court? Seriously does it get any better?

Actually, it does.

Did you see the price of the tickets? Look really close. $175.35. Not for the pair. Just for one.

I’m sure you’re saying, “Sarah, um, that’s not better.”

But wait for it….

We got the tickets for free.

Free.

This family was coming out of the game and Jonathan asked them where he could buy tickets. They said he could have theirs, since they were leaving for the night.

So, on Tuesday, December 28th, our family went to our first Spurs v. Lakers home game. I hope there are many more to come.

Visit Alicia at Alicia’s Homemaking for more Try New Adventures Thursday and Jill at Diaper Diaries for more Things I Love Thursday.

Top Ten {Tuesday} I’m still in shock that Christmas is over. Every year, after the food has been consumed, presents opened, friends or family have left, and the stillness of post-Christmas life set in, I’m always a little sad and shocked that things happened so quickly. This year was no exceptions. It was a busy, fun {with some drama} filled weekend. Here are my holiday highlights:

1. No sleep – I knew going into the weekend none of us would sleep. And I was all too correct. Between family arriving late at night, festivities being delayed, and general funness to be had, there wasn’t much time for sleep. Thankfully, the girls made up for it by sleeping in the first day we were home.

2. Food – So. Much. Food. And someone brought cake balls, which I had never had, which were so incredibly amazing. I stepped on the scale yesterday. Hmmm… let’s just say I started back running this morning.

3. The presents – Or lack thereof. We didn’t give the girls, or anyone, anything for Christmas. The girls did, unexpectedly, get some gifts from other people, but there was such a peace at not feeling obligated to purchase anything for anyone.

4. Food – Did I mention there was a lot of food? Well there was. Cake balls and reindeer cupcakes. Tamales and sweet bread. Turkey and my mom’s dressing. Poached eggs with Bearnaise sauce. Hmmm….

5. Movie watching – Our family loves A Christmas Story and has to watch it at least once during the holidays. I watched it with my two younger {cause I can no longer say little} brothers. An absolute favorite.

6. Cousins galore – My girls have been on a cousin high for days. All Julia can talk about is “My cousins this”, “My cousins that”. It’s sweet as can be.

7. Grandparents are the better version of parents – Julia thinks her Grandpa hung the moon. In the weeks leading up to seeing my parents, Julia talked non stop about them. “My Dampa got this for me”, “My Omi lives in Tennessee and wants to see me”. I could quote her for days. This girls loves her some Dampa and Omi.

8. Drama – Ok, every holiday has to have some drama, right? Or is that just me? Literally, it was me. Sad to say, I had a few not-so-great moments this weekend. I even have a post to tell you all about it.

9. Far off friends – I got to visit with Emily, my friend who I met once in Iowa, before she moved back to Texas and then on to Scotland. We’ve formed a friendship over our blogs and we had the best time spending an afternoon with her and her two kiddos.

10. Food – Ok, now I know I’ve mentioned the bounty of food we had. But did I mention I skipped making dinner on Christmas {because we had so many leftovers} and ate Nutella on French bread instead? Yeah, well I did. And it was awesome.

How was your Christmas? What are some of your favorite highlights?

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