Friday, August 23, 2013

I need to change my blog name....

...to nelsonpartyofseven. We've been busy.

So that was a really long, unintentional blogging break. 6 months. So much has happened. So I am just gonnna give it to you highlight reel style.

My husband left for a month ish. We missed him a lot.

He came home. Tyler played baseball. Jack played t ball. Both boys did awesome and I loved watching them grow and learn. And Jack got what he so desperately needed- his own thing to be the star of. Awesome.

I started going into labor. But not really because my cervix is lazy. So one month of daily, uncomfortable contractions, but our little guy wasn't budging.

Until May 6th. The day he was evicted. It was so amazing. We had to be transferred to a different hospital because the one I was at was not equipped to help the baby if need be. (The medication I was on to manage the tumor was intense and there was a good chance of some residual effects on the baby.)

Anyways. I was sent to a different hospital with a great NICU. And when he was born, he didn't spend much time there at all. We named our sweet little boy Declan Andrew. He weighed 7 lbs 6 oz, and measured in 19.5 inches. He was born at 8:40 a.m. and I have to say, he was amazing from the very start.

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I will share his birth experience later. I don't have pictures of he and I together because my body didn't handle the c-section very well. In short, I barfed. The entire time. They kept trying to put Declan near me but the barfing. It was out of control. And not how I wanted my first picture with my son to be. Blech. So this is how I saw my son- with my husband holding his phone in my face.

Here he is later that day, after mama got her hands on him. And stopped puking.

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My husband and his baby boy.

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Just he and I in the early morning. So in love. I wonder what he was thinking about. I'm going to guess donuts.

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So that was our amazing start to May. Shortly after I had Declan, I went back to the hospital to have the tumor from my leg removed. I was anxious and excited to be done, but the morning of surgery was awful. Having to leave your nursing newborn and worry whether you pumped enough or if he'd even take a pumped bottle.....sitting in a hospital bed as you soak the gown you are wearing for all to see.....being alone in that hospital room because Jeremiah had to take care of all of the kids.....it was a crappy experience. But I had the most amazing doctor. And he got that nasty thing out.

The day after surgery- tumor free!!!

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So Declan has been the star of the show recently, the way new babies tend to be, but my other littles have been incredible these past few months of many changes.

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She stole my chocolate. I love her, anyway.

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Those freckles. That mischievous smile. If you sleep on the job, this boy will TAKE. YOU. DOWN.

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This girl of mine. Her heart is the most beautiful.

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This boy who made me a mama. I am so proud of him. He never gives up. And his smile lights me up.

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In awe of how we have been blessed.


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Hubba. Hubba.




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Oh baby boy. We just dig you.

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For serious. I cannot handle it.

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They really are.


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sigh. He is just soooooo good.


So after the surgery, we finished school for the year, said goodbye to some amazing Navy friends, MOVED AGAIN!!!., Jeremiah went for some desert training, and while he was there we found out he made CHIEF! If you're Navy, you get how awesome this is and how proud we are. And you also know that with initiation in full swing, we DON'T SEE HIM. EVER. EVER EVER. That's where we are now. Super proud. But really wanting this process over because I miss my man.

We are still getting settled in our new home. We love our new area-- which is about 2 tenths of a mile from the North Carolina border. It is so country, so quiet, and so peaceful out here. It's been like a nice warm blanket to my soul.

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From my front porch.

I will share more about our crazy life in a bit. But I have 5 children who are waiting for lunch and arguing over who gets the last 6 drops of lemonade. Toodalooo.

This is my "5 kids & a husband who is gone can be hard" face.


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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

some lovin

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Hey friends! From the bloggy world chatter, I've learned that Google Reader will soon be gone. So people are turning to alternative readers-- enter Bloglovin.

If you happen to read my blog, or any other blog, through google reader, you should check out bloglovin, because it will basically move all of your blogs over so you can still keep up with them long after Google Reader says peace out.

Just CLICK ON THIS HERE LINK to get the party started.

And, thank you Sarah, for me getting me all squared away!


Friday, March 15, 2013

My friends call me Valerie

Hi friends! Friday's are usually very woo-hoo, but with my husband gone again, it's less of a woo and more of a boo. So happy boo-hoo Friday peeps. I am watching Battleship {I DON'T KNOW}, sucking on a cough drop, and playing Song Pop on my phone. Etsy might  be open in the background.

This week was an eventful one. I changed my name- ladies and gentleman, meet Princess Consuela Bananahammock, but I'm going to have my friends call me Valerie. Okay, not really- I merged my maiden name with my husband's last name, after 12 years of marriage. But-- and this is a fun but- I do have all of my techie things (laptop, ipad, phone) attached to the name Princess Consuela Bananahammock. Which was intended to be a little funny that would make me giggle. Little did I know that assigning it to my Apple ID would be a little embarrassing when heading to the Apple store, and they call out Princess Consuela??? Oh HI, here I am!

Back to my busy week. Changed my name, got a VA drivers license, got a tooth extracted- during which, I am pretty sure my dentist hit me in the face with a crow bar-- I had my eyes closed, so it could have been a mallet, or even a big hole puncher (I once used that when I couldn't find a hammer. My husband thought it was weird).... Tyler has the flu- again, I finished piecing the baby's quilt top, I organized all my fabric, my knee started acting jerky- again, I got a new job responsibility, I got Tyler's germs, and I said goodbye to my husband. He's only gone for a little bit this time, which I am sure I am supposed to be thankful for, but really I'm just bummed he had to leave again and I may have given the Navy the middle finger today. I said MAY.


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Organized fabric makes me so happy.

I had high hopes of being productive with my sewing while Jeremiah's gone, but with the knee being craptastic again, I find myself wishing I had a sewing area set up in my bedroom. That's sexy, right?

I have all these ideas buzzing through my head and I want to start working on them before baby boy shows up. (Like he's just gonna ring the doorbell and have a tiny little suitcase and the necessary paperwork...) I at least had the foresight to write my ideas down as they have popped into my head. Is it totally weird that I am planning a quilt based on a cute cup I bought from Target? The voice in my head says yes, considering I have yet to actually COMPLETE a quilt. I have discovered that the piecing and sewing the top, I love.

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Quilt Top #1

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Quilt Top #2 (my favorite)

The rolling the thing out on the floor to baste and then actually quilt, I am freaking out about. The other night at 3am I was checking out sewing machines online because I am such an *avid quilter* now (I said avid to make me sound more legit) and emailed my husband this handsome Juki  I've had my eyes (both) on for a while. It's only about a grand.....and St. Patricks day IS coming up, sooooo. For St. Patty's day, I am getting my husband a baby, in case you were wondering. So it seems like a fair exchange. And my gift hurts more. Does anyone know if Amazon has layaway? And if you could lay-something-away, say, for 6 years?

I just had to stop typing to shout down to my children "All four of you are inside the house, right?". I thought I heard a door open, but I got four yeses in response. Moving on.

My birthday is coming up. In August. Today, I dreamily planned my perfect birthday party. I'd have all my lovely girlfriends, near and far, over to my house (but not this house, the great big farm house my husband is going to buy me for Earth Day) and we'd have a fun night in the yard filled with wine or sweet tea, Bunko and poker, and a playlist of MY making. Under a starry sky, paper lanterns, candles all around, yummy food to eat, chatting with my favorite people, 2Pac and Ace of Base crooning in the background, and a couple dozen babysitters to corral all the little people. Doesn't that sound wonderful? And then the next day we could go shopping at a craft store and hit up Target, and end the day with a bonfire on the beach.


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Oh, Target. I'm in love with you.

Speaking of wonderful, I was also thinking how neat it would be to have a little sewing/crafty club, like a book club, where ladies get together over the phone, by texting, using IG, through blogs, or whatever, to tackle a sewing or crafty project. Say, for example, the first week of the month, the topic is emailed out (an apron, for instance), the middle weeks we share pictures and questions and tips back and forth via whatever forum works best, and then the final week of the month we post our pictures of the finished product. No rush, because we would have an entire month, and we get to benefit from learning from others and being inspired by the creativity of others. Also, we get to stay motivated because we are held accountable. Does something like that already exist? It wouldn't surprise me if I was the last to know. I just found out that Seal and Heidi Klum are no longer together?!?!

If it doesn't exist, is anyone interested? There are a bunch of wonderful FREE tutorials on the www and we could use items we have on hand to save money. If that sounds like fun, would you let me know?


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This is not the back of my head. I don't know whose back of the head this is, I found it on pinterest. But I really love the back of this head. My hair is long enough now to make the back of my head look like this. 


Okay, time for me to round up the herd and get them all ready for bed.

xo
Valerie

Saturday, March 9, 2013

blurting again.

Hi guys!

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I couldn't sleep last week, so I took pictures of myself and then shared them on IG. Silly selfies are the best kind of selfies, in my opinion.

My husband came home early! Can I get a whoop whoop?

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He has to leave again soon, but I am so happy we get him back for a bit. It was only 10 days, but that was 9 days too many for me. I really like it when he's home. Really, really. And also, he got home just in time to help me cope with the craziness that was this past week.

Want to hear something funny? I am able to laugh at the irony now, so I can share it. On another night of not sleeping, I created a little list of things I asked my IG peeps to answer, to get to know more about them.

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I answered for myself, too. I shared that Blow Pops ranked up there as my favorite candy.

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So it is sort of grossly comical that a few days later I bit into a blow pop and BROKE my dang tooth. My #5 in case you're dental-curious. The dang tooth broke to the gum line, leaving the nerve exposed and causing big giant pain and a little bit of WHY GOD WHY cries.
There will be no picture of the tooth situation. You'll just have to trust me that it's super hot. I'm brining hillbilly back. Them other smilers don't know how to act. I got a gaping hole and that's a fact.....

I had some pretty good, but irregular, contractions tonight. I was sorting and folding my fabric when the first one hit and made me sit down. Then another, and Jeremiah noted the time. Then another 8 minutes later, and he got me a jug of water and told me to drink it and sit. I had a minute of nervousness. I'm just 31 weeks. The OBs I see have told me that my leg drama could cause the baby to come early, but up until Evie, my baby's don't come early. They get evicted. But for a minute, while chugging my water, I panicked. I crossed my legs and willed this baby boy to stay put. And he listened. It was like magic. Or maybe I was just a little dehydrated, I'm not really sure.


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It's almost 2am, and once again, I got woken up by some kicking. And I'm debating going downstairs to start another quilt. I have 2 quilt tops done, but they are both basic strip quilts, and I want to try my hand at something not strippy. I have pinned a lot of ideas, and have pages folded over in my favorite quilting books. I have even made a list of designs I want to make, and being that my 3 oldest have requested a quilt, I certainly don't have a shortage of people to quilt for. Also, I feel like eating gumming a clementine, and those are downstairs, too. So it's a two-birds, one-stone thing.

We live on base. I think I've mentioned that. When we first moved here, I loved that we wake up to the National Anthem and hear Colors playing at sunset. I still think it's neat, and a beautiful reminder of what it is my husband, and all the other men and women of the military past and present, are called to do. But the Colors song....I hear it all the time. Not just at sunset. It will be late at night and I think I hear it. Or early in the morning. This might be a warning sign of impending crazy. I'm just chalking it up to a phantom-kick like phenomenon.

My eyes are finally tired enough to close again. No middle-of-the-night sewing for me tonight. Night night lovelies!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

on loving anyway


I haven't shared on here at all about some family issues going on because they are personal and hard and I don't want to hurt anyone by discussing things publicly.

(and before I go further, I should mention that the issues are not at all marital. jeremiah and I are good :) 

Not writing about all of this has been hard because these issues have been so heavy on my heart for years and I have felt many times like it would release some of the pain
to just write about it. 

But I don't want to discuss the hurt today.
 I want to share the flip side of the upset. 

In all of the hardness, sadness, and heart ache, I have {begrudgingly}learned something that has changed me.  

I have found that it is still better, 
no matter what, 
to always, 
always, 
always 
love anyway. 

To keep trying, to keep loving, and to let go of what is done. 

Because hanging on to the pain, I have learned, plants a dark spot that grows in your heart and
drowns out the light.

I am learning to let go of expectations and the picture I had in my head of what things should look like, instead accepting how it is, and moving forward the best I can with the new picture .
I am learning a lot about forgiveness, and in turn, learning about my own issues that I need to work on.

The bottom line is, I have made mistakes and caused hurt in my life, too, and yet God still loves me and grants me Grace. 
He is merciful and forgiving- 
and I have done nothing to deserve this at all. 
He just does because He just is. 

So here I am, the recipient of this all embracing, unrelenting, undeserving love, mercy, and forgiveness, and yet I am clinging on to that forgiveness and mercy like I only have so much to give out, and I am not willing to waste it on anyone I find undeserving. 

Awesome, right?

There have been so many times that I've dragged my feet and fought the need to forgive. Honestly, I have called my friend Sherri several times, looking for an out, and saying 
'look, I have loved anyway, I have forgiven, I have tried, and I have let go, but here we go again with the hurt. can I just be done with the forgiving now? at what point can I stop turning my cheek.
dude, I GOT NO CHEEKS LEFT and the sting is just TOO MUCH!?!?' 

{Poor Sherri. When I struggle or need help sorting through things, and need a faith-filled compass, she is who I turn to. Everyone needs a Sherri. When I want guidance, she is who I call. And when I am stuck on something, she unmuddles it for me.}

 Gently, she always tells me what I knew all along but I didn't want to act on.
How ridiculous is that?
I know what is right, and at 35, I still fight it like crazy. I call her knowing that the answer is still, and always will be, to keep loving, but hoping that maybe Sherri knows of some obscure passage that I'm not aware of. A passage that basically says 'keep forgiving, but if it gets too tiring or it is getting really inconvenient, then the right thing to do is to tell the offender how wrong they are and cast your judgment loudly upon them.'

Yeah, I just said that. That's my ugly, right there. 

The crazy thing about all of this.....there is something about this pain and sadness that have blessed me. BLESSED ME. 

I have had to heavily lean into my God and just trust in Him, that unconditional love was and is the right thing, and in leaning into Him, I feel He has held me. He has given me the answer and quieted my questioning. I have felt lighter and unburdened, knowing that when I give it to Him, it's not mine alone anymore. I am not up all night wondering if I did the right thing. Because He tells us that to love is not wrong. I feel a peace in forgiveness that I didn't know before. And I feel a comfort and love I was missing because it's brought me closer to my Heavenly Father. 


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I still have moments (lots of them) that I wish things were different. I wish things were like the picture I see in my head, that I could go back to the days before all the pain and upset. I start typing out texts or emails that are definitely not loving. I get upset, and I look at my husband pitifully, crying out "whyyyyyyyyyy???". Then I delete those texts. I let the anger wash over me. My husband says something that softens me. I wait for the quiet of the night and I turn to His Word. 

And, when still muddled and hurting, I call my friend Sherri.

I am not sure why I felt compelled to share all of this now. I certainly don't think I am a great example of His loving forgiveness. I'm trying, but I'm made aware often, how much I need to grow in forgiveness.
But I do believe that when something is placed heavily on your heart, you need to listen and respond.

If you are reading this and feeling like you are tired of hurt and upset, I'd like to give you a big giant hug, wrap you tight and absorb some of that hurt for you- and tell you to keep loving.
To not let go of that, to keep acting out of love
-- if not for them,
then for yourself.

xoxoxoxo
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