Currently

Hey there, and welcome to this week’s post about what I’m currently up to! I know it’s later in the week than usual, but Easter was a glorious doozy, and then we traveled to my parents’ house all day Monday, so I’m just now getting around to posting! I’m linking up with Becky at Choose Happy and some more wonderful friends, and we’d love for you to join us!IMG_0614

Celebrating || Easter! Jesus is risen, and that’s the best news ever! We had egg hunts, family meals, and church services galore. I wrote a couple of posts about Good Friday (here) and Easter Sunday for my family (here) in case you’d like to see a bit more. Here are a couple of cute photos in the mean time… 



Traveling || to Georgia to see my family! Since it’s the kids’ spring break, we figured it was a good time to cut out of town for a few days. After a ridiculous amount of time in the car, we arrived at my parents’ house around bedtime on Monday. Finally at 11:00 pm (yikes!) everyone was situated and asleep. It was a lot but in glad we are here! We stopped in SC to see my brother and his girlfriend and have lunch… 

   And then continued on to GA to hang out with my parents, aunt, uncle, cousin and my grandmother. It’s been pretty great. In case you missed these on Instagram (@onlyhsuman), here are a few photos!   

    
 

More will follow next week, I’m sure! Since I’m already late for this post and there is a lot packed in, I’ll close out and update ya next week!

What are you up to currently? What did you do for Easter? Is it your spring break?!

Things Toddlers Say

Happy Tuesday, y’all! We were traveling all day yesterday, and acclimating ourselves to Georgia and my parents’ house this morning, so I’m just now getting this post together! Hope you enjoy a little bit of humor from the past week!  

 EK: I could be a mom when I grow up!
Lauren: How old will you be to be a mother?
EK: 69!
Me: Of course.

Hubby: I was thinking about going to Lowe’s in a little bit.
Me: You could take EK with you and I can keep the boys here.
EK: Yeah! And you could buy me a special drink from Chickalay!
Hubby: Oh I could, could I?

Me: We’re having some just girl time, aren’t we?
EK: Yeah! Cause we are the BEST! (Shakes her booty. Really.)

EK at bedtime: Will you leave my door open?
Hubby: Sure.
EK: I mean really open. Open when the door touches the wall.
Hubby: …*clunk* yep. (walks away)

J has been carrying tongs around with him all the time. He is jazzed when he can pick something up with them. I think he feels like he’s a human crane. It was cute until he chased me with them this morning…


EK: I needa take your pentashure. (Temperature.)

My MIL told me that when she was with EK the other day, EK told her the most special thing about Easter is that it’s just for girls. She also said she asked EK why J wouldn’t snuggle her. EK’s response: He doesn’t love you. So I can go on all the special dates!

Out at dinner…
EK: Are you mad like anger?
Me: No I’m just frustrated.
EK: You could go like this with your arms!
What I videoed:


Me: Could you do that again?

EK:

Watching Hook…
EK: They have the children! They took them! Those people are mean!

Backseat driver…
EK: Mama, don’t go fast or an ambulance will give you a ticket and take you to jail. And then we could never find you!

EK: Daddy I drew you! With so manys hair! 

 At bedtime…
Me: EK, I’m going to snuggle J for a minute, so you go ahead and hop in your bed and I’ll be there in a minute.
EK, climbing on J’s bed: I want to give my brother a kiss!
She climbs up, right on top of J, and gives him a hug and a kiss. The joy on his face was tangible and contagious.
Me: You can be so sweet sometimes! You made J’s night.

There you have it! A little bit or humor and sweetness. What are your kids saying?

Getting the Picture Perfect

This post also appeared on My Big Jesus!

Yesterday, I posted a picture (a collage, actually) on Instagram (@OnlyHsuman). It wasn’t your typical Easter post. There were no eggs or baskets, and the children weren’t lined up oldest to youngest on the church’s front steps. In fact, they weren’t even all smiling. Sundays for us aren’t a beautifully relaxing experience. Sometimes, I’d even call them stressful.  

For those of y’all that don’t know me that well, I’m a worship leader. That means I choose the music, sing the songs, and play a big part in executing the church service on Sunday mornings. I won’t say that I do those things by myself, or that I don’t have amazing people helping me and working with me. I do! But there’s a lot on my plate most Sundays.

In addition, I have three children under four years old, and a husband that’s also a musician. He plays with me lots of Sunday mornings, meaning our family of five is out the door and in the church by 8:45am. Some Sundays, he hasn’t gotten home until 2:00 or 3:00am, because he also plays many Saturday evenings/nights at other venues. I’m certainly not complaining – it is his passion and it helps pay our bills – but it doesn’t exactly make our mornings run more smoothly. But back to my Instagram post…

The collage above is comprised of each of my children, and my one attempt at getting them all in the same photo. (I know, you can’t even that tell my daughter is underneath my older son.) I had been up since 4:45am, because my first service had been a joyful celebration of a sunrise service at a sister church in our town. I yawned my way through the 6:00am rehearsal, and prayed that my voice would be warmed up by the time the service began at 7:00am. Our worship pastor had, earlier in the week, referred to this service as a “spiritual cup of coffee”, and indeed it was. It woke my brain, my voice and my spirit to the incredible elation that is Easter morning.

Upon finishing the earliest service, I drove back to my home church (by way of my favorite coffee spot, of course) to begin rehearsing and executing two more perfectly lovely worship services, where the Spirit moved, hearts were changed, love was experienced and joy abounded. Family, friends, acquaintances and strangers gathered together to hear the good news of a tomb found empty. My children played, sang and shared with their friends, and I hugged necks, shook hands, smiled till my cheeks hurt, and sang until I had no more voice. I couldn’t ask for a better church home and church family.

Just like most other Sundays, I got home to my family (who had left halfway through the second service to save everyone else from their meltdowns) who was nibbling on lunch and preparing for naps. Their Sunday best was wrinkled (and drooled upon, in the case of my youngest) and they were really exhausted. They had no interest in posing for a picture together (with our without me) or even looking at me as a waved my camera around, knowing I’d already missed their best moods of the day.

But instead of being frustrated because I’d not gotten an “official Easter Day picture”, I decided to let it rest. To let them rest. And to rest myself. Although Sunday is our day of early rising, quick breakfast, rushed departures and very little down time, Easter included, it’s my favorite morning of the week. I’m convinced I have the best job ever, at the best church ever, with the best bosses ever (hey, pastors!) and the best people surrounding me. On other days, I might struggle to arrive at preschool on time, and still be wearing half my pajamas while I’m working from home, figuring out dinner and wishing for bedtime. But on Sundays, if I do nothing else, I have donned my Sunday best, set my heart on the Creator, and let Him take care of the rest. The details might get lost, but the praises are sung. The Gospel is shared. Friends are encouraged. Lives are touched. Jesus’ death and resurrection have been celebrated, and his sacrifice is not wasted. He inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3) and we are forever changed by His glory. Motherhood for me is a song of praise in itself, and I am grateful to share my worship leader life with my children, even if it makes for a messy Sunday. Because this Sunday, like every Sunday, He is risen. He is risen, indeed! 

 

Distracted By the Sacrifice

It’s Good Friday.

I wanted to start my day off today with a quiet time, with my heart in a certain place. I’ll have a marathon of two services this evening that will plunge me into the depths of the sacrifice that has been made for me. But I wanted to have a few moments on my own, with the Word, and with Jesus.

It didn’t work out that way.

I was summoned for applesauce about 15 minutes before my alarm was set to go off. Once I roused myself, I heard two voices and not just one. I tried to lay there, ignore the babbling baby, take out my iPad and read a devotional in the bed, but the toddler next to me just couldn’t be still. Maybe while he eats, I thought. Maybe while he eats I can sneak away for a moment. After scrambling eggs, toasting English muffins, and cutting fruit, it seemed I might get a moment to sit on the couch on my own. But then up the stairs came the third hungry animal who had awoken. My duties were far from over.

While I was waging my war on a toddler who didn’t eat and a baby who wouldn’t go to sleep, I was distracted. My mind was on higher things. I was going through the normal morning motions, but my mind was spinning, thinking of two thousand years ago on this day. On that day, a different war was being waged. That day, Jesus was beaten, pierced, crucified. That day, the whole of Jerusalem was plunged into literal darkness, as the Son of man died on a cross that should’ve been for everyone else. How could I just be going through the motions of a normal life, when this day should have been reserved for quiet reflection or a grand showing of appreciation?

Because it is this sacrifice that allows me to freely live and love and go through those motions. This gift of forgiveness is what makes me who I am, and who I am is a busy mother of young children who need me to extend to them the grace I have received. The battle was fought for me against sin and darkness, and on the third day, the Light triumphed, death was beaten, and sin was crushed by the weight of God’s love.That is what I will focus my mind on. And it won’t be just on Good Friday.

Things Toddlers Say

Happy Tuesday, folks! I won’t lie – on Sunday, I was a little worried that I had nothing (literally nothing) to put in this post. It was a very busy week of me not being with the kids as much as usual (between work and play, there was lots of childcare involved) so I was worried I hadn’t spent enough time hearing what they’d said to fill a post up. But alas, any time I worry about that, they always amaze me with the ridiculousness that comes out of their mouths. So here it is, this week’s humor! 

 I came into EK’s room and saw this: 
It’s basically a bunch of leaves/weeds/buds off a tree in our yard that she at some point brought inside. And then sorta ground into the carpet. It’s even a little funnier because of the toy vacuum sitting next to it like she’d tried to clean it up with that.

There’s a good close up so you know how tiny the pieces were. The only way she explained it to me was that she was having “a really fancy tea party”. Apparently that required natural decorations in the form of pollen. Obviously I made her clean it up. With the REAL vacuum.

Some friends came to pick me up to go to an out of town wedding, and EK shared with them this memory: One time, I came up the stairs when I was supposed to be in bed, and you saw me sand you said, “Hey!” Did you remember that?

J, any time I give him anything or put a piece of clothing/shoe on him: This is El’ Kate’s! (It must stem from her telling him all day long, “Hey! That’s mine!”) I have to reassure him that some things belong to just him.

The other night, EK and J spent the whole dinnertime shouting the word “tattoo” and giggling. I guess it sounded funny to them. (Addendum: they were very tired.)

Hubby has just this week been showing the kids Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, and EK keeps singing the “Won’t you be my neighbor?” song. I hadn’t watched it, and thought somehow she had been seeing Mister Rogers. Then I cried because I missed him and cried because Daniel Tiger totally ripped him off.

  
These snowballs have been relabeled “core memories”. Word is still out on whether they are joyful, sad, etc. (This is funnier if you’ve seen Inside Out.)

J: I want some space! I want some space!
Me: What, buddy?
J: I want some space!
Me, realizing he’s pointing to a deck of cards: Oh! You want to play spades.
I guess we do play a lot of spades.

Overheard from the other room…

EK: He tried to chew on my dress!

J is obsessed with two things right now: spiders and “stupid bugs”. Every dark speck or piece of lint anywhere is automatically either a spider or a “stupid bug”. One morning, he kept talking about a fly (which was a new one) and I assumed he meant the fruit flies we always have this time of year with the windows open a lot. I told him to get it and smash it, which overjoyed him. I figured he wouldn’t be able to, and if he did, well, that’s one less fly and we’d wash his hands. He came back with a dead stink bug on the back of a book he’d smashed it with. I was equal parts impressed and grossed out. We had a little teachable moment on stink bugs, how they smell really bad and we don’t touch them. Now, he’s obsessed with “stupid stink bugs”. At least he learned their proper name?

J: I see a bug on the table!

EK: It’s okay, honey. There are no flies or bugs on the table. 

And just because I never post on this post about D, here’s a little funny. He is OBSESSED with the vacuum. He probably thinks it’s the coolest toy ever, because Mommy uses it every single day.

A Letter to Myself Before I Became a Mother

  
Dear innocent, young girl,

I want to write you, even though I know you’ll never see it. But maybe it will make us both feel better, and let us share a little of ourselves with each other. Oh, if you only knew what’s coming. I could tell you so many things, but you wouldn’t even want to hear them right now. It’s difficult to understand the lifestyle, the struggles, all of the feels that you will experience later. You might even have a chuckle or two (or hearty laugh, actually) at some of the things coming for you.

But in lieu of us having a little laugh at my (our) expense, I thought I’d give a piece or two of advice. You know, a friendly few suggestions to maybe try out before you get to where I am now: wading through a pile of children on my way to the bathroom in the morning, hearing shouts floating up the stairs before I’ve even heard my alarm (by the way, my alarm is a crying baby). Here are my three big pieces of advice:

1. Sleep late. I know you do already, or I wouldn’t know how much you’d miss it. But do it more often, as often as possible. And you know what else? Go to bed early. I know you’re a night owl and you love staying awake in the wee hours, but just try it out once or twice. You might find that you like it!

2. Travel. You don’t have any idea how cheap and easy it is to go places right now. It will be again, but not for a while. Get out there into the world beyond your town. Visit friends that live far away, go to different time zones while your body can spring back easily, get on an airplane without any tag-alongs (and I don’t mean Girl Scout cookies), eat fancy food, visit museums and see shows. You’ll find that each of these things is either more expensive, more difficult, or altogether impossible, at least for a little while. Travel enough now to save up some memories until your children are older and you’re not using your paycheck on diapers.

3. Sow seeds. This seems broad, but it can be specifically applied to three areas: your family, your friends, and your career. You will be busy when you’ve got little ones. And not any sort of busy that you’ve ever experienced. You won’t have much time to build new relationships, so sow good seeds into the family and friends you’ve got now. You want them to stick around during that time when you’re largely an unshowered, frazzled mess, alive solely because of coffee. They’ll be forgiving (and even helpful!) because you’ve spent years loving them well when you had the time and energy for it. Your career will thank you as well. Work hard and long while you don’t have those little ones who need you at home. You’ll build a base of trust and integrity, and likely receive grace later when you have a sick babe or preschool play to attend.

The last thing I’ll say, free and childless one, is when you do get ready for children, and you are expecting one of your own, don’t brush off what those mothers you meet will tell you. New mothers, old mothers, working mothers, stay-at-home mothers will all impart wisdom to you in their own way. Sometimes, you won’t know why they need to tell you those ridiculous things, or scare you with their labor stories, or be the hundredth woman to tell you, “Oh, just wait!” They’re all right; what they say will be true at some point during your mothering experience. You will be tired, you will get fed up, and you will feel the craziest, strongest, most permanently bonding love you’ve ever felt about anything. Open your heart to it, because it’s the best thing you’ll ever feel.

Currently 

Happy Monday, friends! For today’s Currently, I will link up with Becky at Choose Happy and our other friends to hold our weekly updates. Read, comment, link up and let us know how you’re doing currently!

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Celebrating  || my gorgeous friend Kate’s wedding! It was a beautiful ceremony and a fun reception at the groom’s parents’ house. It sounds crazy, but they cleaned out their furniture from their great room (it was large with high, vaulted ceilings and huge windows) and set up tables and chairs. It really worked great! Hubby’s band played, the food was yummy and there was good beer. Overall, a total win!

Planting || our vegetable garden! We finally went to Lowe’s and got the wood for our last bed and some of our plants (some actually turned out to be most). We got them in the ground on Friday! We actually chose a few things we’ve never done before, including Brussels sprouts, asparagus, and romaine lettuce. We also got the usual herbs (and added cilantro!), squash, cucumber, and tomatoes. We will go back for peppers, eggplants, and the other kind of tomato we didn’t see yet: yellow gold cherry tomatoes- they grew like CRAZY and we all ate them off the vine! 

  
In case you’re wondering, the white petals have fallen all weekend off a tree in our backyard, and they’ve blown all over cars, the deck, and the garden. It looks like snow now that the wind has been blowing all morning.

I’d also like to give Hubby the outdoorsman award, because he’s also been mowing, weeding, and pressure-washing and staining our deck. He’s a keeper, y’all.

Praying || for sleep. I really feel like we are under attack in this area. Between Hubby’s late night work, a toddler who is getting up before 7 (unheard of with our kids until the past two weeks) and an 8 month old who is waking 1-3 times a night (having previously slept through the night), we are at a total loss. I’m having anxiety about even going to sleep at all, because I’m afraid that I’ll just be woken right after I actually get to sleep. It’s a bad cycle. So if you’re a praying friend, pray for sleep at our house.

Scheduling || our lives for the week. We have a lot going on between Holy Week (and my church job), Hubby’s two albums he’s in the middle of, some writing projects in working on, and just keeping up with regular life stuff. We don’t usually plan out weeks out in advance because our work is typically flexible, and we don’t mind working at odd hours. But this week, we’ve got deadlines and I have extra church services, and we need to really be diligent if we are to accomplish everything!

That being said, if you are local, Reynolda’s Easter weekend is going to be INCREDIBLE. Here’s the run down:

Good Friday Service, Village Campus: this Friday evening at 6:30pm & 8:00pm

Easter Sunrise Service, St. Peter’s World Outreach Center: We partner with them every year and it is a PARTY to kick off your Easter Day. This year, it’s at their place at 7:00am this coming Sunday.

Reynolda Easter Services: Village Campus Worship Center at 9:30am and 11am, Ascent (in the fellowship hall, where I’ll be!) at 9:30am and 11am and at the Union Cross Campus at 11am!

So many opportunities to celebrate and worship and check out Reynolda! If you don’t have a church home and you live in the triad, get to one of these services!

What are you doing for Easter? Is anyone out there planting this spring?