To Whom It May Concern :: An Orlando Getaway

Dear Orlando Hotel That Shall Remain Nameless Because I Don’t Think I Really Want You To Read This,

I know that you didn’t know.

You didn’t know that it was a last minute girls’ trip. And that we left right after Leah got off work and had a 4 hour drive. And that we were SO hoping to make it to The Grand Floridian Resort in time to stand by the lake and watch the Disney fireworks.

10538750_794593633895562_252848113_n

You didn’t know that we hit some crazy traffic on the way.

You also didn’t know that as we were maneuvering our way into the Disney area that we had to drive under some CRAZY fireworks that were being blasted off right next to the road and exploding over the top of our car, therefore, shaking the car and frightening the girls.

You didn’t know that due to that slow, crazy traffic that we arrived in the parking lot of The Grand Floridian just in the nick of time to catch the Grand Finale in the disappointing location of the parking lot with some glimpses of fireworks through the buildings.

Of course you couldn’t have known that!

So, of course, you didn’t know that when we checked in late around 11 at night that we were super-tired and ready to crash. With a tired, screaming baby.

So when we requested a crib in the room, I’m sure your intentions were good and that you intended to meet our every request and have that crib there so the sweet, tired baby could go right to sleep.

You certainly couldn’t have known {though I’m sure it’s happened before} that we would get lost looking for our room since you have two separate banks of elevators that do not go to the same places. And, of course, that was after walking six miles from the parking garage, through the lobby-ish area because, hello, you’re building is so amazingly huge!

10547225_1615345035358432_1675380920_n

However, I’m sure you can imagine our surprise when we finally arrived to our room a half hour later and there was no crib. But there was still that crying tired baby.

And I’m sure you can imagine our annoyance when we called and called and called and still no crib arrived.

And, Dear Hotel, with the AWESOME kiddie pool area with which you pretty much redeemed yourself, I’m SURE you can imagine our great frustration when FINALLY at one, I repeat, ONE IN THE MORNING, someone finally arrived with a crib!

10611100_1447188468877562_1426241499_n

Oh yes. Dear Hotel, that was ONE in the morning. Because, I’m sure you know that ALL babies do best when they DON’T GO TO SLEEP UNTIL ONE!

But can I give you a word of advice? Just a simple word. Just a simple thought. No biggie.

When you do send two lovely hotel employees to drop off the crib at ONE IN THE MORNING. Can I just request that they not greet me with, “Good morning!” in lovely, chipper, cheerful voices when I’m standing there in my pajamas in an overly exhausted state? And if they MUST greet me with lovely, chipper, cheerful voices, can I request that they NOT stand there for twenty minutes and highly, strongly, greatly encourage me to take half a ton of complimentary shampoos, conditioners, and shower gels? Because while that’s such a lovely thought, at ONE IN THE MORNING in my PAJAMAS I’m in no mood to to have sixty million mini-bottles foisted on me. {Though, I must admit, I’ve been slowly using them up and haven’t had to buy shampoo in months.} So. My advice? Save the bottles and the environment, and like do the green thing, and like, give me a free night’s stay or something.

10584728_616873481763390_1066882983_n

And, Dear Hotel, if you MUST bring the crib at ONE IN THE MORNING and you MUST foist upon me 96,000 bottles. Please. Oh, please. Oh, PLEASE!!!!! Do not. I repeat DO NOT. Knock on our door at SEVEN IN THE MORNING and deliver ANOTHER CRIB!!!!

At least have the decency to realize that we are very tired from the aforementioned prior evening’s activities. And, you know, you already brought us a crib and 150,000 bottles of complimentary hygiene products at ONE in the morning. We don’t need them again at SEVEN. In fact, we’d like to just go ahead and sleep in if that’s okay with you.

10349463_359304500893800_1649130751_n

And since I’m at it, Dear Hotel, next time you decide to have some kind of Taste of the Nations event the night following a crib fiasco. Can you please reserve your parking garage for your actual hotel guests? Instead of, you know, making them park five city blocks away? It just wasn’t very convenient. Though, the parking shuttle guy was super nice, and pretty cute and if we had lived in Orlando {and he was a Christian} I might have tried to hook my sister up. But that doesn’t mean that I’m still not just a little unhappy about having to park in Timbuktu. Because, you know, I have a baby and a stroller and another little one and that makes it just a little bit harder. And since aforementioned shuttle guy wasn’t available in the morning when we needed to get back to our car and all.

10570066_805945142771726_1652329528_n

But I’ll forgive you, Dear Hotel. Because aside from all of that and your exorbitantly expensive $4 bottled tea and $15 sunscreen {that was my bad since I forgot mine at home} and crazy 20% gratuity room service which did not also include the additional service fee {I probably could have bought a ticket to Disney for the price of a room service meal}. Aside from all of that, you really were a great place to stay.

10584778_1449188515351939_539265420_n

I hope we can be friends. Your kiddie pool rocked. Oh, and you had a Starbucks in the lobby.

But next time? And I do so hope there will be a next time because our weekend getaway was just what I needed. Next time? Please get the crib thing straight.

All the best,
Jenna

Little Miss :: 6 Months

My Baby Girl is halfway to one.

Can we now take a moment of silence?

::::::::silence:::::::::

Thank you. Don’t mind me as I wipe away a tear or two.

With each of my kids I’ve felt that once you hit the 6 month mark that babyhood just FLIES. I can’t say I’m ready for that. I have cherished babyhood with Little Miss so very much.

6

Don’t get me wrong, frequent feedings, crying, teething are for real and they aren’t always so enjoyable. Oh yeah, and the croup she’s had this week. Ugh. But I’ve really, really loved having this little squishy baby girl to love.

4

Sometimes I wonder if the connection I feel to her runs deeper because of what I lost. Not that I don’t love and cherish my others! But I think my heart is reminded that each life is so very precious.

3

Or maybe in part because I’ve had TIME to enjoy her. There are 3 years between her and Miss M. With the others it was like back to back to back babies. Having a potty trained. mature toddler has definitely helped me be able to really tune into the babiness of the baby and enjoy it.

8

Or maybe in part it’s my own growth and maturity in not wishing away the days. Being happy where I am RIGHT NOW.

Most likely, it’s a combination of it all. And while life is Crazy with a capital C. I’m for positive, definite in love with having this baby girl to love on.

1

So! We’ve hit 6 months! And she’s starting on solids. And teething. And growing. And being the wonderful, sweet girl she is – with a side of spunk. I’m curious to see if she’ll be spunky when she is older. She’s pretty mellow much of the time, but she’s definitely got a little spark of something in her!

9

7

Just can’t get enough of her!

{I’d totally post even more pictures if I didn’t think this blog was already very overrun with baby pictures. ;)}

Learning: Contentment in My Role

Content in my role.

Am I? {Are you?}

shoes

I am participating in a Bible study with the women of my church based on the book Calm My Anxious Heartby Linda Dillow.

{Let me take a slight commercial break and say that this is an excellent, easy to read, packed full of Truth book. Really a must read.}

One of the questions posed in the study guide was whether I ever wanted to trade roles with someone else. And based on Psalm 139 how I felt God would respond to that wishful thinking.

Like I imagine most people do, there are times when I certainly wish I could switch places with someone else. But generally speaking, I’m happy to be a wife and mom. To be in this role He has given me.

What I’m not always so happy with is how HARD this role is. I wish that *this part* of marriage wasn’t so hard. Or *these* kids weren’t so difficult *right now.* Or *this* season wasn’t so overwhelming. I’d wish away some of the hard things, but keep the good. {Wouldn’t we all?} I love my family, my husband, my kids and wouldn’t trade them for anything. But the hard things? Those I’d just as soon do without.

And sometimes. Sometimes. It does seem pointless. The daily grind. The constant character training in the children. The dirty dishes, dirty floors, dirty laundry that never ends. Is *this* all there is?

Psalm 139:14 & 16b says

I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well…all the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.

That Psalm is chock-full of goodness, but I like those two verses especially in light of the question.

Here is the response I wrote…
How do I think God would feel about me comparing myself and my life to those of other women…

He would say, “This is the life and role I have set apart for you.
I formed you for this and this for you.

Do you doubt My wisdom? Do you doubt My love? Do you doubt My strength for you?

Pull into Me and receive what you need from Me.

My joy.

My peace.

My strength.

My endurance.

My love.

You may not think your role is so special or glamorous, but it is specifically designed for My purpose in the world and to bring Me glory. [And for your good!]

Will you rest in My purpose, My goal, My calling for you?”

I am learning. Trying. Striving. {Failing and trying again.} To pull into Him when the days seem long and hard and I’d just as soon trade places with someone with an easier marriage or easier children or an easier life {which is really ridiculous, because everyone’s life has its hard things}.

flower

I am learning to be content in this specific role, in this specific season, in this specific place in my life.

For *this* role was created for my good and His glory. And it is good.

Little Miss :: 5 Months

Another month gone by… This blog seems to be dieing a slow, slow death. Or maybe it’s just hibernating for a season? Let’s go with that!

I’ve started a blog post {in my head} entitled “why I’m not blogging right now,” but finding the time and willpower to get even that out hasn’t happened.

So for now, I submit to you my monthly photo of my girl.

I think with each child the time appears to go faster. Sometimes I want it to slow down, but in reality I’m grateful for the speed it is. We’ve given up nightly wakings for a nice 8ish hour stretch at night. No more “just lay here and look at the ceiling,” I’ve got a rolly polly on my hands. She loves her toes. She loves her siblings. And she will scream at the top of her lungs if she is left out of the action! And when we compare her to some of my baby pictures she actually resembles me! {A first} Love this little one!

Baby #4 is changing my life. Not *her* really. She’s such a good baby. But just the reality of having four. Four wonderful, special, needy children. Four children who often demand and need from me more than I feel I have to offer. Sure I felt overwhelmed with three. Sure I was tired with three. But – four? Four is giving me the ride of my life! I wouldn’t change it! But it sure is stretching and growing me!

Back to School {With a Delayed be 3 Weeks Post}

School’s back in session, and I’m not quite sure how I feel about it.

SIDEBAR :: And just to give you an idea of how crazy it’s been around here…I wrote this post three. Count them. THREE weeks ago and never posted it. Even though it was completely written. I’m posting now because…it is my life. This is my life right now. Good or bad. This is me.

In one way I’m glad to be back to structure and learning all kinds of great things.

In another way, I’m missing the flexibility of summer days with nothing that I *have* to do.

But! It’s school season, so we’re here.

We started school on Monday {three weeks ago remember}, and…you guys…it was such a doozy of a day that I literally just had to spell “Monday” three times to get it write right. And…I took our “first day of school” pictures on the second first day of school. What’s one day? Lol…

Maybe one of these years I’ll ease us into school, but I’m always so eager to dive in that it’s like a shock to the system to go from nothing to full throttle! Lol…

T did pretty good.

Mr B was verrrrrrry resistant and slow, slow, slow. He enjoys guessing instead of listening and thinking, and pulls out the most completely random answers. ::sigh:: “What’s 1+2?” “Blueberry ice cream?!” Maybe not quite that bad, but….it feels that way!

Miss M twisted her knee on Saturday {ugh!} {three weeks ago} so is stuck sitting on the couch, which to her means whining for anything she wants. And, of course, since she won’t put any weight on her knee, I have to carry her around. Ya’ll…it’s not for wimps!

And then – Little Miss – who is like, one of the most content babies, was very seriously NOT GOING TO HAVE IT! She got up early from her naps {interruption!} and didn’t want to be held OR put down. And when I would hold her she would squeal so loudly that I couldn’t even hear my own voice! Yikes! I’ve never done full-blown school with a baby. It’s a whole new adventure in itself!

And, of course, I’m feeling the pressure of keeping my house semi-clean and the laundry and and and…

So in a moment in between the “mommy, I need you’s!” I decided to throw in a load of wash. When I went into the laundry room/garage to check on the load, I was greeted by INCHES of water on the floor and flooding out of the washer. Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!! I kept saying to God, “PLEASE, don’t let it get any worse!!”

Fortunately, that was the most of it and by nap time I was feeling a little more relaxed. But – wow! If someone would have told me to take a long walk off of a short pier, I would have been happy to oblige.

Yesterday was much smoother. I’m so grateful. So maybe there IS hope for the school year. :)

I guess this is a bit complainy and not so positive. But homeschooling is not a cakewalk! However, I don’t want to end on a down note, so….some positives:

The boys are PUMPED about studying Astronomy this year, and so am I.

Sonlight continues to be a huge highlight! Our first read aloud is Red Sails to Capri. Many of the characters are Italian and I’ve had a BLAST imitating my grandfather and trying on my Italian accent. {Watching a million episodes of Cake Boss on Netflix helps too. Just saying.}

Miss M is insistent that she do school. Which is good and bad because I’m not really sure what I’m going to give her to do! I had nothing official planned for her since she’s only 3. But at least someone in the house wants to do school.

My mom listens to me go on and on and supports and encourages me in our homeschooling endeavor. Being a veteran herself, she can see that the bad days will pass.

I’m excited for a new year! Bumps and all, I know that we have so much to learn and so much growing to do! By God’s grace, let’s do this!

Little Miss :: 4 Months

Well, folks, seems like this here blog has turned into a monthly show-off of my littlest girl.

I promise that my intentions are far greater, but my time is so limited.

I do hope to come back soon and chat with you about more than just my cutie pie!

However, she is pretty stinkin’ cute! And I just can’t believe that she is 4 months old!

Picking one picture is so hard…She’s so sweet and precious and beautiful….

Here’s what I imagine her saying…

“Wait. What did you say? I’m 4 months already?!”

“How did that happen?!”

“But I’m pleased as punch!”

She’s so yummy… Just a few more of my faves from our little photo sess…

I was so happy when big brother T asked to have his picture made with her since he declined last month. The love they have for her is something special.

This is actually my favorite picture of her from yesterday. But the exposure was way to dark, so it kind of has an artsy spin to it.

A glance back…

Something to Sink Your Feet Into

The power of a rug.

They are soft. They are comfortable. And they really can pull a room together.

Do you KNOW how much a of a difference a rug can make in a room?

Well, I KNOW it, but rugs always tend to get pushed down on my “to purchase” list since they are on the pricey side.

Miss M’s room progress is creeping right along. ;) As is all progress around this house. Not complaining here or anything – it’s just how we roll!

But I’d been feeling kind of unsettled about her room. Like I needed to hit some key things so that I could be happy with it. A rug was one thing.

I’ve been craving a rug in that room since it was Mr. B’s. Since the floor is tile, it’s cold and hard. The kids don’t complain about having to play on the tile floor, but I just think it would be all around nicer if they had some place comfy to sit and play. So a rug in her room was a very practical thing.

But rugs also bring such cohesiveness. They just pull things together. They are kind of amazing like that. I’m sure there’s some kind of scientific reason or home decorating rule about why rugs work the way they do, but I don’t know it. I just know that they work and I love ‘em.

I was in Target the other day and on my way out, I noticed their posted sale’s flier said that rugs were 20% off. Um, okay! This lovely was perfect for her room. Sold!

This rug is really plush. Like…I love to sit on it for no good reason.

Nolan and I laugh because Miss M’s mattress is the most comfortable in the house. I joke that one day I’m going to steal it. Now I just might have to commandeer that plush rug too. That girl’s got the cushiest room in the house. Funny this is, she LOVES to sleep on the rug. She would probably sleep on the rug for every nap and bedtime if we let her. Silly girl.

Living’ it up like a Princess!

Little Miss :: 3 Months

It’s been ten days since Little Miss turned three months, and somehow I managed to miss posting her monthly picture. Oops! Let’s just say it’s been a busy last couple of weeks.

Better late than never, right?!

Here’s Little Miss at 3 months. :)

She’s right around 12 pounds and at this rate will soon be out of her 3-6 month clothes {what?!}. She’s super sweet! She loves to “talk” and will coo back at you if you talk to her just like you’re having a conversation. She’s also pretty social and will cry if you leave her alone in a separate room for very long unless she’s napping. An all around pretty fabulous baby girl. #noimnotbiased

Two of her siblings wanted to get in on the photo action. Of course, I couldn’t turn them down!

12 Weeks With Little Miss

My baby girl is 12 weeks old already. How did that happen?

Yeah…I don’t know either!

I’m trying to take a monthly photo with my “real” camera. But I’m also trying to grab a weekly pic with my phone and posting to Instagram {find me @jennaqu}.

Here’s the last 12 weeks of Little Miss… They change and grow so quickly! I love it and hate it at the same time.

She’s a joy!

Why I Should Plant a Fruit Tree :: Thoughts on Neighborliness

Why I Should Plant a Fruit Tree - Thoughts on Neighborliness || Delighting in Today

It was so simple…

The doorbell rang.

With Little Miss on my arm, I peeked out the window and saw a lady I didn’t recognize.

“At least it’s not the incessant tree trimmers!” I thought. They never give up. They ignore the “No Soliciting” signs. They knock. All.the.time. Those industrious tree trimmers.

I opened the door and she said, “Do you like mangoes?” while holding out a bulging plastic sack.

“I do, I really do!”

“I’m your neighbor from over there. We see you out and about sometimes.”

She came in for a minute and gave me her phone number in case I ever needed anything. And, you know, I feel like I could take her up on it.

{I may not feel that way about everyone, but many, many years ago we went to the same church. So while I don’t *know* her, I know who she is – kind of.}

And that was that…

My heart expanded. I was so touched that she would come over and offer me mangoes. It meant a lot.

Such a simple thing to do. So non-threatening. So friendly. So neighborly.

The “neighbor” thing doesn’t come easy around here. There’s no small town vibe. No “you know all your neighbors.” No chitchatting in the front yard.

Because, truth be told, I hardly SEE my neighbors.

We’re the only ones with small kids, so no one is out in the street teaching their kiddo to ride a bike.
Most everyone {but us!} uses a lawn service, so they’re not out there mowing their lawns on any given Saturday.
I guess if people are outside, they are in the backyard. I know that’s where we tend to be.

We just plain old don’t see each other. And it’s sad.

I’ve thought about reaching out to my neighbors. But it feels so…difficult. So hard. So, “what if they reject me.” So, “what do I do, go knock on the door and be like all ‘Hi! I’m your neighbor!'”

And, sure, yes, maybe I SHOULD just knock on the door. But that’s so not me.

But the fruit thing? Yes.

My neighbor took the bounty from her own yard and extended it to me. No strings attached. No work involved. Little chance for rejection.

A simple thing that went a long way.

We may not become huge friends. We still probably won’t see each other much.

But the door has been cracked open. The door of neighborliness.

All because of a fruit tree.

I think I need to plant a fruit tree…

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...