April 10, 2014

everything has changed



hi.
if anyone is still out there... surely you've given up on me by now.
i kinda dropped the blog roll ball. broke a bunch of rules. lost most my friends.
it's cool tho.

life is still livable. it's the usual frenetic pace, you know.
... except 1000 times worse!
change is upon us.
change you couldn't wrap your brain around if you've read this blog for any length of time.
4 kids under 6 with that crazy schedule i posted way back when just about put me away with a 51/50 on my record.

and don't say you didn't see it coming. i have all kinds of people ask me how how the hell i do it all.      
wouldn't it have been better to ask me why i do it at all?

well, you might say my appetite for approval was insatiable.

yup, i finally cracked.
the pressure had become so much to keep up with, the ever-increasing pace drenched in a lie. i couldn't even cope with the coping mechanism i created here as a diversion to survive.

i had no other choice but to drown in my own failed efforts for acceptance.
nope, i couldn't do it all.
so i stopped doing it.
and when i finally threw my hands in the air, i realized i wasn't drowning after all.
in fact, i was floating.
free.

in a let-it-all-hang-out kind of mentality
i found ME. the real one!
the christine with no fear.
the christine who crushes eggshells.
the christine who gave up on mounting the horse bigger than her house and instead deflated him.
so.... messes abound.
guess what? it's okay. i'm human.
my flaws are merely quirks
my failures nothing more than an incentive to succeed.

once i was able to simply be who i am- and with no remorse,
i felt released from the need to constantly fluff up my identity in order to feel my worth.
we all know worth isn't tied to accomplishment (but do we believe it?)

i am. therefore i am loved.
period. that's all folks.
shall i repeat?
i am (effed up and all).
and i am loved as is.

it's amazing. i can finally live, and love, and suck down air without ever needing to do more and more and more to feel good enough.

i found my voice in that freedom.
i found my freedom in that voice.

so here i am....

everything has changed.
(recaps to follow.)






December 22, 2013

a looooong december.

well hello there! crazy me, vanished again.
i guess this time it was for purpose.
i needed some air... still do.

this place can sometimes make me feel smothered.. too many words escape my mouth too freely and i lose my sense of direction. truth is, the minute i step foot from here i fail. a lot.
i'm good at setting my bar, not so good at keeping it. repeat, repeat, repeat >>>>>>>>

december has been loooooonnnggg.
feels strange to say that.
decembers prior ive used every antonym in the book for long.
my head is still spinning so that's not changed much.
but it's been sort of an awakening to put it lightly.
all these failed attempts at striving for perfection lock me in a cage.
make me want to just say:
fine. i failed, i'm done. can't change. can't keep pretending to be who i'm not and hiding from the world. can't fake the smiling good girl look. it's too exhausting. it's more exhausting here.

i woke up from a week of straight decomposing in bed with pneumonia to being whacked over the head with (holy freaking crap this is my) life?! what did i do? how did i get here? how am i gonna get back on that horse that looks bigger than my house. i asked myself why ever did i attempt to juggle this many balls? i got answers i didn't want to hear. or face. and i still can't mount this thing.

but maybe, just maybe there is a part of me that doesn't want to. there is so much freedom in owning your failures. in saying life goes on...pfft. actually the stress level is shockingly low in giving in to messes once in a while. it's enjoyable sometimes too.

i have no resolve or proper conclusion. just here to say my thoughts, nothing else.
(OMG. i ended a post with no ending. so wrong. shoot me now.)
nope, owning it.








November 26, 2013

where did i go?

IMG_6260
this blog has seen better days, ya think?
it’s sad. i lost my voice… sorta.
damn that thing we call time. it mocks me.
and i think i gave up on my dreams.

it’s been a steady season of chaos over here..
the out of control kind
the kind where even if you begged for everything to simply stop for two seconds,
you couldn't.
cuz you’d be late to gymnastics.

well at least not until you come down with pneumonia.
then, time just waves like a fool from the deck, martini in hand.
and there you are stranded on insanity island (aka: your bed)
for 6 days!

never been this sick.
never had this much time to kill staring at the ceiling & at patrick my ceiling fan 
never felt so bored and/or repulsed by netflix’s poor movie selections.

i’ll knock on wood but tonight i think im finally coming back to the land of the living,
babysteps.
still can’t walk too far without gasping for air or turn my head/chest certain ways,
but im feeling on the mends. the fever is down. 
and thank GOD because i was so afraid to miss out on my favorite holiday. 
Adam is going nuts again, as usual. three turkeys! really?!

back to all that spare time i was talking about on insanity island.
i got to reminiscing, you know, clicking through old photos on fb and all..
and oddly, it dawned on me… i cannot remember a lot of it.
i mean i remember being there, but not sure i was actually there there.

multitasking has had the best of me.. which really boils down to half-ass slivers.
mind not fully in the moment. 
i'm feeding the baby a bottle, texting, and yelling at my three year old for pouring–once again–SAND into the bathroom sink.
and when does the juggling stop?
someone tell me it stops, and not just here on this god-forsaken death bed.

looking back on this year i was realizing how much we put off.
some of our favorite traditions took a back seat. no apples, no pumpkin patch.
and maybe for good reason with a new baby, therapy sessions, social worker craziness, and two in school..
life must be maintained, i guess it’s the nature of the beast,
papers signed, children bathed, emails sent, dinner made, husband hung out with.

but when do i get to savor it?

my eyes are open and the switch is off.
im ready to step off the carousel and take a stroll. 
im ready to dream again. 
and i'm just in time..

for NOW.
(oh december please don’t kill me. sigh.)













do you ever struggle with being in the moment? 

October 27, 2013

right now:

i really don't feel like i have anything exciting enough to share these days.
not that my days are suddenly unexciting.. but blogging seems more foreign to me lately..
even within the 'share your story' concept

i guess the real truth is, i have zero time for social media.

since this new season has begun, life is busier than ever.
it's a good busy, an intentional full busy, if there was ever a thing.

i'll be quick.
right now:

*im reading:  Humility by Andrew Murray. i got the hankering for a new read so one day i decided to search amazon for a book... on humility. {gulp.} oddly enough there aren't a ton of great books on the topic... and yet, the foundation of our faith is based on this very virtue? this one is eye opening, deep and a bit painful. suffice to say, i've learned my lesson. never ask for humilty. why you ask?  ummm.. humiliation is sure to follow... your humanness surfaces and flaws somehow emerge to the forefront of not only the secret crevices of your heart, but in your actions and circumstances.. it's ugly and brutal. and yet, i can rejoice. (agh! if only i could apply that part.) for in my weakness, He is strong. 

*im enjoying: more face to face community. seeing people and interacting more. putting myself out there in ways i've always feared.. trying to genuinely care about people. and finding there are so many who need caring for, it's overwhelming.

*im listening to: Dustin Kensrue's new album, the Water & the Blood. and loving the camaraderie evoked through the lyrics. it's singing what feels like fight songs. 

*im thinking about: this week and praying i survive it. lined up i got
-monday=cleaning&laundry day/photoshoot
-tuesday=6 hrs of preschool (did i mention i have two classes now?)/photoshoot/company for dinner
-wednesday=prep for Preschool Fall party,
-thursday=helping at Evan and Rachel's class parties/Preschool Fall Party!!!/halloween night
friday=mops/photoshoot
-saturday=knotts for Rachel's b-day/mini surprise party at g-ma and papa's
-sunday=teaching sunday school/buddy walk where we'll meet up with Alli's birth mum (she is officially out) and her entire fam.
FUN FUN! need serious prayer.. all of these things are sort of huge in my mind right now and i feel small (maybe that's the point.)

*im snacking on: fancy cheeses from TJs. this week's? chocolate cheddar.

*im drinking: green fin. its a red. super cheap and mild. TJs

*im making: lists and more lists. think robert irvine's dinner impossible. that is my life. i'm that anxious (right now).

*im wearing: long cardigans and skinny jeans. my hair is a wreck and so is pretty much everything else about my appearance. i should really prioritize plucking my brows and shaving more. tmi?

*im feeling: worn. im still cranking out most evenings solo. i miss adam terribly. and im sick of complaining about his crappy hours. i had hoped by adding the new preschool class that he could take off one extra day, but then his car took a dump on him and it's always something. sigh.

*im in love with: lightroom. i can't believe i did without for so long. it's a little daunting to learn a whole new program, but its lightning speed will make it well worth it.

*i can't stand: Seamus. not joking. i now understand why he's been taken back to the shelter by previous owners-more than once. he's gets into everything! tonight he managed to sneak into the diaper pail and smear the gel-like substance of a soiled diaper across my hall and all the way down the stairs. now i have gel balls of pee imbedded in my carpet giving off a lovely pee fragrance.  he also chews up our couch pillows and bites holes in Alli's blankets. apparently he thrives off spit up and pee. uhhhg! just annoyed. i throw my hands up. 

*im praying for: my 'tude. life is so full and rich ..and last week i was fine. now i'm whining and i'm missing out.

*im feeling proud: of my kids. each of them so unique, they amaze me. and i feel blessed to be their mama. the older two had their school conferences last week and i was quite surprised to hear such good reports from their teachers.

*im loving all things: pumpkin. 

*im excited about: thanksgiving. it's totally my favorite holiday. no hype. no rush. just family and full hearts -and bellies.

*im missing: blogging. beyond the busyness, im tongue tied in this space. i have draft upon draft of now wasted thoughts.. and energy. it's all so quiet. it seems when Reader left so did the readers.

happy week ahead, y'all. and hopefully i'll have happier things to share. 

October 10, 2013

Personalities in Pictures


Every so often I like to capture this fleeting season of childhood with a few images that encapsulate each of their unique-in-this-age personalities.

Here we have:

PicMonkey Collage3
first off, Evan, still the buzz bucket.
YOU firstborn,
:: are changing like crazy. everyday you feel so much older than the last.
:: have such a soft compassionate heart for others- just tonight out of the clear blue sky you asked me to pray for Ellie and for the kids at your school who don't know Jesus
:: are a hoarder... of memories.. every last sticky juice box or popsicle stick represents something you cared about enough to want to remember it.. (im sorry to say that i throw those pieces of trash away)
:: love first grade and seem to have the groove of the 6 hour day down (it's so bittersweet for Mama)
:: math/logic is your strong suit. your 6 year old deductive reasoning skills is unheard of!
:: reading has been rough for you. many times i catch you reading the words backwards and when it comes to memorizing sight words, well.. not your favorite thing.. we are going to get your eyes checked just to cross that off the list.
:: love collecting things. right now it's rocks. you have been obsessed with trying to find a geode even after we've told you that would be pretty close to impossible.
:: are still very hyperactive, so we put you in gymnastics with your sister. im also grateful to your teacher who seems to know how to channel that energy really well (i.e. 100 mile club)
:: have lots and lots of ideas. and you are determined to put them into action
:: if you lose something special to you, you will spend about 4-6 hours looking for it. one day i helped you look for the cap to your brand new mechanical pencil for over and hour, only to end up giving you a lesson on time management and priorities. i think i was being taught the same lesson that day (bahaha)!
:: are a creative, artist. coloring and drawing up pictures is one of your favorite things to do still.
:: eat like a horse but have various texture preferences. one day you'll gobble eggs, the next day you gag on eggs.
:: are growing like a weed. i need to get you some 7T pants and winter clothes soon!
:: still call me Ma-ma and at night you can't sleep without a song, a back rub, and a prayer.
:: still talk about becoming a nurse like daddy.
:: are emotional ... especially if you were stuck on an idea we can't accomplish
:: have a crush on a girl from your old Kinder class. you haven't seen her in months since she is home schooled now, but you talk about her everyday.
:: are an amazing big brother.. you adore your siblings. Rachel's teacher told me you wait for her at recess every day (she eats lunch when you have first recess) . He said when you see her your whole face lights up and you clobber her with a bear hug.. way to make a Mama's day hearing that.
:: are an amazing kid, Evan. we heard you stood up to a bully a couple weeks ago - twice! and today you came home with a token for not lying to your teacher- when you were given the opportunity to get ahead.
Mama and Daddy both are so proud of you. we pray for your heart to always keep room for Jesus and we pray for wisdom in parenting you.. may God be glorified in your life always. love you!





  PicMonkey Collage1
Rachel, the unpredictable one
YOU, precious daughter:
:: have matured dramatically in the past couple months -
:: are still a total girl - sassy and stubborn but of course, and im hoping this isn't just the foreshadowing part of that.
:: you love Transitional Kindergarten and your kind of obsessed with Mr. Hughes - you asked if you can be him for Halloween. hmmm..
:: are very curious about the world and ask about 43298423098 questions a day
:: are not a morning person, I repeat NOT a morning person. yikes for your hubby one day.
:: need tucking in (like Evan) every night. yes, y'all have mama trained.
:: like attention, but not too much because
:: are bashful
:: are mommy's 1st cousin's look alike. your features are becoming more and more like her's it scary - i need to get a comparison pic up.
:: eat snackies all day and barely touch meals of any sort- unless it's corn dogs or chick-fil-a
:: are self conscious/ image conscious and have been since birth! i don't know how this happened. every morning is a battle. YOU have to choose what you will wear in the morning. and more often than not, it doesn't match or you wore it the day before or the day before that. i decided to stop fighting this battle.. i only wish i could put a sign on you that said "i dress myself." (ha!)
:: have a serious sweet tooth - and you're still sneaky!
: enjoy pretend play more than anything right now.. i hear you and Nick making up all kinds of silly scenarios. "mom and dad" is a game you guys play together and tea parties too.
:: enjoy reading books and putting puzzles together.
:: are competitive.. mainly with Evan. you like being the leader, the boss. and so does Evan. eek!
:: worship Jake and the Neverland Pirates- i swear this show is like crack for kids
:: are learning a ton in school. more specifically, pronunciation. just the other day we were cutting pictures out of a magazine that start with P.  you pointed to the computer and said "look ma, a puter."
:: have amazing dexterity which means your penmanship should be really good. but you are not a fan of homework these days so writing is considered a chore to you.
:: love daddy-daughter dates and mommy ones to. JAMBA JUICE!!
:: are sort of the alpha female socially speaking, but you don't initiate friendships, so you tend to get along better with kids a little bit younger than you, who pursue you.
:: are growing up. i let you help me out in the younger preschool class i have when you get home and it's like night and day from last year. you're the shining star now, not the rebel. no, that's your brother Nick now.
:: and Nick are like BFFs. i think it's because you found someone who will follow your orders..
:: are learning the ropes of life still, figuring it out one day at a time...five is around the corner now and it is so scary to think how quickly the time has gone. i pray to be intentional with you and love you fiercely in the way you feel love. I pray God moves powerfully in your life and that you grab hold of Him with a faith no one or nothing can ever sway. you are a beautiful little girl with such a sweet spirit. im thankful to be your mama! i love you, Rachel.

  PicMonkey Collage2Nick, oh boy where to start...
YOU crazy boy:
:: are potty trained!!! just within the last month. phew! one day we made you do it. M-A-D-E you. and from then on you never skipped a beat. you even wear undies to bed with no accidents (knock on wood).
:: are a handful, my biggest right now
:: are a dare devil - no fear whatsoever. which leads to...
:: are an accident prone, klutz. if i ever have a kid to break a bone first, it will be you. in fact you are the only one that's been to the ER more than once, and the only one who almost died choking.
:: are super sensitive and cuddly - you climb into my bed at least 3 nights a week.
:: are a total mama's boy and cry when i drop you off anywhere, but then you cry when i pick you up too
:: LOVE being "the baby" still - you've been workin this system for 3 years, im not sure it will change even with a new baby here.
:: are gregarious, and beyond charming. however, its only with people you innately like. some people- i have no idea why- you just don't click with and you blow them off.
:: are the silliest of the brood - your laugh is always from deep within the belly.
:: are a master at independent play. you entertain yourself for hours and hours and rarely want or need help
:: are attending mama's tot preschool class - what's nice is you are being socialized. something you haven't really had is friends your age.
:: are a musical genius... you can hear a song once and repeat the tune perfectly..
:: still do not like being told what to do, like ever. you are my hardest student.. lye!
:: are obsessed with cars - all cars! and lately puzzles.
:: are such a picky eater. i thought you would grow out of this for sure. but no. you still have days where you will eat maybe one meal. somedays all you want is breakfast bars. it's maddening!
:: are the easiest to get along with of the siblings
:: sing and dance a lot. the elmo slide and "you got to move it move it" get you bouncing off the walls happy
:: enjoy your time with mama when the olders are at school. we play puzzles and go for walks.
:: are mama's precious baby- forever!
it's so fun to watch you grow, Nick. i pray you learn character skills and Godly wisdom. I pray God uses you boldly to reach others for His kingdom. you have a unique gift with people. im excited to see it blossom and poured out. love you, son.


  PicMonkey Collage4
Last but not least. the newest here. the delight that is Alli.
YOU sweet Alligirl,
:: are absolutely incredible. your therapist today told me you are right on target as far as your milestones.. as in not showing delay.. did i hear that right?! i am still so blown away.
:: are such a joy to just watch
:: have the best facial expression/reactions of any one person i've ever met
:: have the eyes of a wise old soul - deep and piercing blue
:: are the perfect baby. can you say sleep through the night?!
:: are determined.. it's written all over your face and your posture. you want something? you will struggle until you attain it. this is a gift.
:: are smart. i am stunned a lot of the time at all that you can do. i guess i ignorantly assumed you wouldn't do certain things just yet, like picking up a block or pulling a blanket from your face... but you continue to keep me awed.
:: are healthy. i praise God every day for your health and your unbelievable strength.
:: want to stand up every chance you have. the excersaucer has helped strengthen your legs and you actually enjoy spinning around in that thing
:: are rolling all over the room. you don't set out to go this way or that (i don't think anyway) but somehow you will cover the length of the room in just a few minutes
:: worship your Papa. he makes you laugh and laugh. he was singing 'twist and shout' to you tonight and you were just cracking up as he turned and twisted you side to side. he loves you so.
:: despise carrots and most veggies but can't get enough fruit servings - sweet tooth much?
:: love love love to eat. in fact, your doc wanted me to cut back and give you more water.. so i do, but with prune juice
:: your bowels are weak and so that has been kind of rough for you. and me. sigh.
:: giggle a lot and smile on cue with every dip or drop - me thinks you will love roller coasters!
:: are generally calm most of the time. i can take you into a church service or meeting, i can bring you anywhere without second guessing if you will be quiet enough.
:: were hand-picked by God Himself to be our daughter. God has blessed us to no end with an unspeakable joy. that is, YOU. you light up every room, cheer up every face. you shine brighter because of that extra something inside. born with a spirit and heart of gold, you, my dear, make life worth living.. i pray God keeps you healthy as you grow, i pray He keeps you strong and on target developmentally. i pray He uses your life in ways far beyond my knowledge, i pray he does a work in and through you that would be more than i could ask or ever imagine. may you always stay close to His heart, and His to yours.. i love you, Alli.

October 8, 2013

Blinded: the meaning behind 'the story of Curly'

it's not just me, right.... this thing is creepy?
read prequel here if you need refreshing on this sucker.

i have to say, when i discovered Curly was going to be a moth- and not a butterfly, i was pretty, well...bummed.


i mean what the heck? 
it’s becoming butterflies. not becoming moths! all those big scary steps of faith these past years?
with metamorphosis being sort of the theme of my life, butterflies are like my go-to analogy, they seem to tie up all those big Christian words so nicely.

i'll admit, my excitement to bring a real-life caterpillar under my roof was solely based on the fact that this soon-to-be butterfly would in fact be the perfect illustration of this thing we call transformation... a changing encountered from the inside out. 

but this is a moth. how ordinary and unappealing. hmph.

it took me all of three months to finally "get it" (shoot, im still gathering my thoughts here), more because i never imagined God would use a measly ol' moth to reveal my blind spots. that is, the blinders of my own partialities and prejudices.

moths are ugly, un-couth, un-noticed.
moths do nothing for me, they are drab good for nothing creatures alive to mate and reproduce. i read somewhere that the larvae form (aka: caterpillar) of the moth is truly the only thing it has to offer the ecosystem. adult moths are simply food for everything else. so in essence im raising up a soon-to-be moth that will serve no other purpose than to become another's lunch? perhaps that is the beauty of it.. raising him up to feed the need of another?

but im not really a fan of moths, they annoy me. and they're gross.
through my research, i found that moths use the night sky as a navigational clue. the moon being its primary reference point. so a moth's attraction to artificial light actually disorients them - they were never designed to make it to the moon or fly above it, so confusion results. then to make matters worse, they stay near the light because its brightness keeps them blind for a while.. kinda similar to us when we have our pupils dilated. there is also research to claim that moths have a built in escape-route mechanism related to light. if they fly up toward the moon, they are in the clear. if they fly down toward darkness, not so much. 

interesting really, how this little bug is more like me - metaphorically speaking - than any butterfly. [wheel turning pause.] 

in the beginning of writing this (almost a month ago, i got halfway^) i interpreted this moth as a symbol of someone/something i don't have time for, maybe i brush them off. it's a picture of someone i may not necessarily dislike, but definitely don't prioritize or esteem highly (within my schedule anyway). 

moths, in general, are the orphans across the globe. moths are the homeless and elderly. to me they are places like mexico and the man begging off Ontario. and maybe just maybe this moth represents, (gulp!) my very own grandmother! 

moths are the unglamorous in this world. 

and yet, when you dig deep, scratch that- when you see beyond your own need to be accepted/loved/praised/entertained/nourished and instead simply obey the paradox to invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind (i.e. "the least of these" -whoever it is for you) into your life and even dine with them - you will be surprised. 

no, not surprised with warm and fuzzy do good/feel good feelings, but surprised by the strength that comes from the joy set before you - the strength that is not your own. it's the doing-what-you-are-made-for kind of fullness of life. the kind you will know even before you feel. and yes, it can hurt and suck and scare you to no end, but with it are peaks of joy that will never compare to the highest highs you ever thought you knew. it's knowing God is walking with you, and smiling through it because that's all you need. the relationship you were made for.

so... on behalf of Curly today, i exhort you. find the moths, and live the paradox- not vicarious through other people's experiences. you, yourself, take the risk. adventure is out there! participate. it'll be a personal testimony of Jesus' work in you. and it will be undeniable.

****

but lets not stop there, because the truth of the matter is all of us are moths. 
we, too, get lost, off course. we buzz around the artificial light a little too long, we lose our sight. and many times we're blinded. we get stuck. still He loves us just the same. For HE is LIGHT. and we too have this same built-in escape route. 

from one moth to another, look into the Light. and seek hard because there are many smaller lights promising hope, navigation, and happiness. they are illusions of the one true Light- rip offs, and look alikes even.  how will you know Him? because He's kind and gracious. He does not force, He does not demand your good deeds or your money. the only thing He wants is your whole heart... 

your willingness to be made new. 



the paradox is: this great and powerful God we know... well, He treasures the moths.

September 27, 2013

Alli, month 5

PicMonkey Collage5

Alli is doing incredible!!! She is by far our easiest right now.  Go figure.

She weighs in at 16.9 pounds and 27 inches!
She sleeps 10-12 hours at night, with 3 naps.
She has been eating 24-28 oz a day, along with a solid meal.

She's got the sweetest disposition! So happy and very easy to read. We are so so blessed!
PicMonkey Collage1 PicMonkey Collage4 PicMonkey Collage3 PicMonkey Collage2

Accomplishments: *rolling all over the place *laughing *tripod sitting *standing in exersaucer

Therapy: *infant massage, joint stretches *bearing weight on feet *core stability exercises on ball *assisted moving between crawling and sitting *playing with feet *head turn in prone *sensory play *clapping

 Likes: *bouncing/jiggling *standing up *eating!

 Dislikes: *sun *bowel movements
PicMonkey Collage6











you might notice she isn't smiling in a lot of these pictures - mostly because it's really hard to get her to smile AND take the picture. my self-timer came it handy!



























many more collins clan updates on the horizon!!
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