A Wife Loved Like The Church

Posts Tagged ‘Windham Familia

I’m not even sure where to begin, it feels so long since I have last written.

Life is busy.

Jonathan is working and traveling. A lot. Then toss in his MBA program.

I’ve started an amazing theological/seminary class through our church. It is crazy, and awesome, and totally kicking my butt.

Plus, there’s the whole, training for three major races thing.

Oh, and the kids. Let’s not forget the 3 kids under 5.

I don’t say all this to somehow make my life seem harder, busier, or more stressful than yours.

It’s not really. 

In fact, it’s really good. Really crazy and challenging, but good.

I tell you all this, because, life is busy. And because of that I’ve been pretty silent.

Sadly, I don’t see that changing. As much as I love this little blog I’ve created, as much as I love the friendships I’ve made, the lives I’ve touched and the ways I’ve grown through it, something has to give. And for now, blogging is it.

I have realized – I could keep writing, keep cranking out content. But it wouldn’t be from the heart. It wouldn’t be what I really want to say. It wouldn’t be what you really want to read. It would just end up being words on a screen. And I don’t want that.

For a while, I carried some guilt for not writing. Like there was a level of expectation set and I was failing to meet it. But that’s not true. I know that. You know that.

So for now, my sweet, dear, friends, I’m saying good night. I’m going to put Loved Like the Church to sleep for a now. I’m going to focus on this new season our family is heading into. And hopefully, one day not too long from now, I’ll be back, sharing my life with all of you again.

I have some really awesome posts for y’all. But, they are sitting in my queue and will be there for at least another week. Sorry to disappoint. We are leaving tomorrow for vacation to San Diego. It will be a lovely, lovely time {if only because of the weather}. But, the getting ready part? Not so lovely.

Jonathan got word Tuesday afternoon that he needed to leave the next day for a 2-day business trip. He’s been gone since Wednesday afternoon and comes back around midnight tonight. Which means I’m on my own to pack for myself and 3 kids, clean house, get Jack situated, and prepare the family to be gone for a week. Whew.

I’ve been checking my list over and over again, making sure we have everything we need. Oh, did a mention I’m not going to be here until right before we leave tomorrow? Yeah. I have a women’s overnight retreat tonight, so I have to make sure everything is ready to go before 7 pm. We Windhams sure know how to make hectic even busier, huh?

I am so ready for the beach.

We went to Amarillo last Thursday to visit my Uncle. Would you be amazed if I told you, you can drive for 9 whole hours without ever leaving Texas? Well, you can. And we did.

We visited Cadillac Ranch, which is a few minutes outside of town. There are 10 Cadillacs buried in the sand. People can come out and spray paint them. Don’t knock it, it’s art. Or at least that’s what the multi-millonaire who owns them says.

I remember visiting Cadillac Ranch when I was the girls’ ages. It’s one of those memories that are blurry around the edges, but never quite goes away. I loved taking Julia there and talking her through what she thought of the place. It was a really fun mom moment for me.

We drove 30 minutes outside of town to visit Palo Duro, the second largest canyon in America. It’s beautiful. I’ve never seen the Grand Canyon, so have no comparison, but Palo Duro is West Texas at it’s finest.

I haven’t been to West Texas in over a decade. Yet, I was surprised at how being there felt so right. I woke up Friday morning, stepped outside to the wind blowing and a farm smell hanging in the air and I felt peace. It was a strange feeling, one I haven’t felt about anywhere other than Austin.

My cousin later said that it was because West Texas runs deep in my blood. We have a heritage here, that for good or bad, we can never escape. It’s true. I spent a lot of childhood summers playing in corn fields, hiding from the Texas sun and hearing stories of life on the plains when my ancestors where children. That’s something that becomes part of your DNA.

My extended family isn’t very close knit. I haven’t seen most of my cousins in ten years and see my grandparents only annually at best. My immediate extended family isn’t much better. It’s sad how easy it is to lose connections like that. To let family slip through your fingers.

My “baby” brother is spending the summer with us. {I say baby only in the fact that he is the youngest, but clearly, not the baby.} It’s been wonderful having John around. Lots of laughter and jokes. The girls are crazy for him, and who can deny the benefit of extra hands to help around the house.

It’s one step toward family reconnection.

We ended our trip with sips of strong coffee and laughing about our pasts. Apparently, our family has always been a rowdy bunch.

We drove through Lubbock to see some cousins. It gave the girls a chance to run off any remaining energy, and gave the adults a chance to build some reconnection.

Reconnection. That’s what our weekend was. And I’m hoping that this is our family’s first of many West Texas summers.

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

The girls finished the school year on Wednesday. Thursday our family took a trip to Amarillo this past weekend {more to come on our trip later this week}. It was a great way to kick start our summer and has me looking forward to our summer plans. Here’s a sneak peak at the fun we had ::

Since graduating from college, entering the work force and then having kids, the seasons all blur together. I never feel a real difference between spring and summer, summer and fall. Which in some ways is sorta sad, cause I remember looking forward to school breaks as glimpses of freedom and possibilities of crazy adventures.

For the first time in 8 years, I’m getting a summer break. The girls finish school next week. Can I just tell you how excited I am? Part of me thought that I might dread summer break – the endless hot Texas days {I still have nightmares of last summer’s heat}. But, as the temperatures rise and our end of school schedule has gotten totally hectic, I’m dreaming of slow days by the pool, trips to the park and taking hours to get ready for the day. It also helps not being pregnant – turns out the heat isn’t nearly as bad.

My brother is spending the summer with us, working with Jonathan. We have several fun trips planned this summer and I’m playing bridesmaid in two weddings for two of my favorite people in the world. I think this may prove to be my favorite summer yet.

Have you started your summering planning?


Sweet baby Joseph Judea is six months old today.


Seriously, if the last six months haven’t flown by for you, they have for me. I mean, really, it seems like just the other day he was born. And now? Now he’s getting all big and teethy.

Joseph is such a sweet, lovable boy. He is eager with a smile and laugh for just about everyone he comes across. And as each day passes, I swear his cheeks get more kissable. Which makes him laugh hysterically, and makes me kiss him even more.

After what seemed like teething forever, Joseph’s bottom two teeth popped through about 3 weeks ago. I took this shot right after the first one came out. I haven’t attempted another picture, because every time I get this close to Joseph’s mouth, he tries eating the camera… or my hand.

Just after getting his two teeth, he started sitting up like a champ. It started off slowly, 20-30 seconds at a time, and has progressed to 10-15 minutes.

But sitting up just isn’t enough for my little man. He’s bound and determined to crawl. Joseph’s started getting up on all fours and rocking back and forth. And lately, he’s been waking himself up at night to “rock”. I’ve heard before that kids will “practice” a skill they are trying to learn during the night, but I don’t remember it so much with the girls. But sure enough, Joseph has consistently woken up this week throughout the night, rocking back and forth, grunting trying to move forward.

The rocking almost always leads to this pose I like to call baby planking {and it cracks me up!} ::

I swear, sometimes I think he does it just to make fun of my planking form. But this boy has some strength to him! Typically, he’ll go from sitting, to all fours, to rocking, to plank. Makes me think that actually crawling isn’t too far off…

We just introduced food in the last week. At meal time, we’ve been giving Joseph “bites” of our food. I gave him a small piece of cottage cheese once at lunch, and then some black beans. He doesn’t actually eat any of it – just gums it pretty good and spits it out. Much like we did with Hannah, we plan to skip jarred foods with Joseph and just introduce table foods. It’s a slower process, but it’s proved well for our family before, so hopefully it will again.

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this on my blog, but having Joseph has been really healing for me. With his entrance into our family, his laid back attitude and the chance to enjoy having a little baby, I’ve been enjoying motherhood a lot more. But, with that, I’ve been seeing areas that need improvement {or more aptly put – less of me and more of Jesus}. Because Joseph could be our last child, I’ve started understanding how much more I need to cherish this time with him. And that has made me realize how much more I need to cherish my time with Julia and Hannah. Sadly, that doesn’t always come easily. I’m learning to enjoy being a mom – not just grin and bare it. Enjoy those moments of complete silliness, instead of seeing it as one more reason to make us late for an appointment. Enjoy those moments of rapid fire questioning, instead of dismissing them immediately. Enjoy those midnight {and 2 am, and 3 am, and again at 4 am} nursing sessions, as times to snuggle just a little bit more.

While life can feel really overwhelming right now, God knew that bringing Joseph into our family would be the final push for me to more fully surrender to Him. And it has been so good for my soul.

The last two weeks have been one long blur. Jonathan’s been prepping for South by Southwest {SXSW} and the launch for HP Cloud. That has translated into long nights and working all weekend. We are now half way through Spring Break week and I am throughly confused as to what day it actually is {yesterday felt like a Friday, though it was Tuesday}.

Monday Night at the Belmont, show hosted by HP Cloud

At FrogDesign Party

Even with the crazy schedule lately, this is the first Spring Break {post-college} that has actually felt like Spring Break. It probably helps that the girls are usually in school, so to be home all week feels like a vacation/break in some way. Thanks to beautiful weather, we’ve been outdoors a lot and spending ample amounts of time with friends.

Hannah diving right in at Barton Springs

Julia was a little more timid of the cold water

Today we are making a trip to the Austin Zoo and Sanctuary with some friends. I made the mistake of telling Julia last week that we were planning to go, and she hasn’t stopped asking me about it since. Note to self : Don’t tell your kids a week before an event takes place… Lesson learned.

Hopefully by this weekend, Jonathan’s work will have slowed down enough for him to be home and we can enjoy the last few days of break together as a family.

How is your Spring Break? Do you have the week off? 

This weekend, after nearly five years of service, we sold our minivan The Great White.

For the last year or so, we’ve been considering the possibility of retiring Great White for a newer model. Being 14 years old, Great White has seen better days and is starting to cost more than she’s worth.

Last summer, we received an offer on her from a family in South Texas. We called them this last weekend and sold them Great White. They plan to repair her and use her as their newest family car.

In Great White’s place, we bought a new to us Kia Sedona. A pretty blue color, the Sedona features some updated bells and whistles {automatic sliding doors and a sunroof to boot}. Admittedly, I’m not a minivan lover, but three kids and a big dog deep and you’re committed to a minivan {not that I haven’t tried fitting our family in other options, nothing else seems to work}.

Here’s to the next five+ years as a minivan driving mama!

"I just got here and already I'm awesome"

I know, I know, all parents are crazy in love with their kids. But seriously, this kid is just the cutest boy. And I’m not just saying that because he only woke up once last night {WOO-HOO!}, though that does help.

Joseph will be 6 weeks on Friday. And while he is still so little and young, I can’t get over how fast things are going. Before I know it, he’ll be 2 months, then 6, then a whole year. S-l-o-w-d-o-w-n. Still, it’s so much fun to see this little man grow and how he’s fitting into our family so perfectly. I know, beyond doubt, that each one of our kids were perfectly meant for our family – and Joseph is most assuredly proving that. It’s amazing how his addition has made me feel like our family is complete.

I’m currently thinking up nicknames for our family – my favorite right now is The Fab Five. Any suggestions?

Joseph Judea {aka Joseph J, Jude, Baby Brother}
Born at 11:08pm on 11/4/11 {his due date, just like big sister Julia}
Weighing 8 pounds 13 ounces and measuring 20 inches

On Friday morning I woke up and ironically tweeted/facebooked this ::

Three hours later, my water broke. Just like my labors with the girls, it took a good hour before contractions set in. So I walked. And walked. And walked. During this time, we got the girls to a friend’s house and talked with our delivering midwife, Monika.

Around 1:30pm, we went to the birthing  center. Contractions were about 2 minutes apart, but were not all that painful and were relieved when I rested. But being a third time “quick laborer” Monika felt better if I was nearby in case I transitioned quickly.

Once at the center, I was dilated to 4cm {no change from my check up earlier in the week}. Jonathan and I decided to go walking outside. After an hour, the contractions were picking up in pace, but I was getting tired. We went back into the center and Monika gave me some herbs for cervix stimulation and had me lay down. After a good hour of light sleeping, I realized I had completely stopped contracting. Monika gave me more herbs and Jonathan and I tried walking to bring back the contractions. By 5pm, no progress had been made. We opted to try pumping to create stimulation. I went 15 minutes on, 15 minutes off. Around 6pm contractions were back, but still easy to get through. By 7pm they were causing me a good amount of pain, but were still only coming 2-3 minutes and lasting only 45-60 seconds.

Finally by 8pm, things began to pick up speed. The contractions weren’t getting closer together, but the intensity was overwhelming. I was having to focus on my breathing and bear down from the mounting pressure. Somewhere around 9pm, we decided I should get into a hot shower to help alleviate the pain. This would later prove to have been a mistake.

After 30 minutes in the shower, I was getting overheated and started having the urge to push. I came back out into the room to cool off. Things kept progressing when I said I needed to pee. While sitting, I had more contractions and the need to push was paramount. Monika said to groan through it and lightly push to help open my cervix. At this point things got dicey. While sitting, I couldn’t cool down and began feeling light headed. Everyone started placing cool rags on my back and chest, while Monika kneeled in front of me to maintain communication. Suddenly I felt like I needed to throw up. I stood up, but got very dizzy and sat back down. By this time, I was loosing focus and my ears began ringing {a big uh-oh for me}. I muttered something about feeling faint and then…

I fainted.

I woke up in a complete blur laying on the bathroom floor. Monika was lifting my legs, Jonathan was by my side running my arms and my mom was kneeling by my head. Everyone was telling me to take long slow breathes. It took a good bit for me to realize what was happening. A few contractions hit and then I remembered. I was finally able to get to my feet, and Jonathan held me up while I made it to the bed. By this point I was shivering. I couldn’t stop shaking and felt ice cold. Several sheets and blankets were put on top of me to help warm me up and calm me down.

During this time, my contractions were coming much stronger and beginning to piggy backing. I screamed out my need to push, when Monika gave me the go ahead. I began pushing while Monika massaged {aka, pushed back} the top of my cervix that was still remaining {swear words may or may not have been said – having your cervix “massaged” is a lot more painful than it sounds, especially during contractions}. I knew we were making good progress when I felt the dreaded ring of fire as Joseph began crowning. After what seemed an eternity, Joseph made his way into the world. He was/is a happy healthy baby and already a champ at latching on and eating.

After he was born, I had some major blood loss. I can recall hearing Monika say “her uterus is squirting blood everywhere” {nice mental picture, huh?}. A good 45+ minutes passed with Monika, my mom, the birth assistant, and a second midwife all administering pitocin shots, an IV for fluids, and trying to clamp my uterus to stop the blood loss. Thankfully, while I suspected things weren’t going well, everyone kept reassuring me all was fine. It wasn’t until 6am, and Monika knew I was completely in the clear, before she said they were flirting with the idea of transferring me to the hospital because of the amount of blood I had lost. Praise God for His hand over my life and for keeping me safe!

We were discharged by 8 this morning. They kept us a little later {typical discharge is 6-8 hours after delivery} because they wanted to make sure my bleeding didn’t pick up again. Praise to God again that everything has been smooth sailing since they first got the blood loss under control.

Now about Joseph Judea ::

I have already related how we decided on Joseph, but not Judea. Judea was only recently decided upon. For weeks, we had been considering another name, but it never sat right. Then a week before Joseph was born, Jonathan brought up Judea. We love it for several reasons ::

1. Judea was the birth place of Christ {Bethlehem is located in Judea}.

2. In Acts 1:8, Christ tells the disciples “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
While re-reading through Acts recently, this verse stood out to Jonathan. He was struck with the thought that he is starting and building a legacy founded on Christ for our family and that Judea is the next step in carrying on that legacy {the Gospel going first to Jerusalem and then Judea}. We both love that our legacy is being passed on to our children {and their children, etc}.

3. Judea is the land of the Tribe of Judah. Our own Judah is, and always will be, dear to us.

4. We just love the name Judea {which is derived from Judah and means The Praised One} and love the nickname Jude. And to make it even better, Joseph Judea has his own Beatles song {Hey Jude}, just like his sisters {who have the songs Julia and Michelle}. Yes – that was all planned and thought out, we are crazy folk like that.

Thanks you everyone for all your prayers and support over the last few weeks as we waited for Joseph Judea. We are beyond thrilled to have him in our arms. And I should say, Julia and Hannah are equally as smitten with him as Jon and I are.



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

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