Saturday, December 7, 2013

Christmas Letter

As I sit and reflect over 2013, I wonder which parts to share; which are the most important things to preserve in print to look back over and remember in years to come. December has arrived and, with it, joy for me. I am not a big fan of winter, but December allows me to slow down (yes, I prefer to slow down, rather than fill my calendar), focus on the joy and love of Jesus, enjoy warm fires, twinkle lights and festive d├ęcor. Savor my family. November was a particularly hard month for me, due to an injury that kept me in pain the entire month. It makes the joy of this December even sweeter, as I entered it nearly pain free.

I want us to remember this last summer! It was a really good summer. Full of many warm and sunny days and lacking the financial stress that is often present.

Last summer was a gift. Maybe one of the reasons it was so wonderful to me was that I was finally sleeping after discovering all of the things baby Landon cannot eat. It was a long road. It was a very long winter with a poor, sweet baby who is intolerant of much. After much research and trial and error, I finally developed a coconut milk formula on which he thrived, grew plump, and began sleeping easier! He is now a healthy, happy chubber, 14 months old, who loves to eat but has a very limited diet!

Or maybe what I loved most about the summer was getting to go to CrossFit every day kid free! I loved getting my wod in every morning at 6 or 7 am! CrossFit is definitely a new love in my life. Started in January, during my darkest hour, it literally got me back on my feet again. CrossFit changed my life. I have never been driven towards athleticism, but I was hooked after just one day. I knew I needed that hardcore exertion and subsequent exhilaration to survive the winter. CrossFit has made me more active, playful, and fun because I now enjoy finding out what my body is capable of doing! Olympic lifting, flipping giant tires, climbing ropes, doing handstand push-ups, and swinging kettlebells are just some of the fun things CrossFit provides me. And I finally got Matt to join me in August! He’s just as hooked as myself now, if not more so. He is looking forward to becoming certified as a CrossFit trainer in the future!

A little about the kids….the kids are so awesome. Carson and Montana continue to excel in their classes as a 4th and 5th grader. Carson has his first male teacher this year and I think he is his favorite so far. Mr. C is pretty cool. J They played basketball together in January with Dad as coach and then Carson played again this Fall. Watching them play has gotten more fun as they improve! They are both very helpful to me, especially with the baby. Carson loves technology and building and playing in the snow. Montana would want you to know she is a tom boy and NOT a girly girl. She is very creative, imaginative, thoughtful and kind.

Hallie is in first grade. Her best friend is a boy. She still loves dolls and princesses, and Barbies, as much as I’ve tried to dissuade that. I’ve given up and guess what she is getting for her birthday? J She is our only late sleeper and every school morning is a trial with her. There is no right side of the bed for her to wake up on! And all of her clothes feel bad on her! She longs to spend time with her big sister and be a gymnast. She would also like to be holding Landon constantly, even though he weighs nearly as much as her! She loves her baby brother!!!

This school year we have four kids at Sterling Elementary! Ollie is attending a Pre-K class there in the afternoons. He loves it! I guess Landon and I are not exciting enough for him. If we are doing work at home in the mornings, he is asking constantly if it is time to go to school! He loves his teacher, Miss Williams and he also gets to work with his speech teacher, Miss Amy, twice a week. His speech is improving. Ollie is all boy! He loves dirt, mud, water, climbing, swimming, and passing gas and blaming it on someone else.

We are currently enjoying watching Matt’s middle school basketball team kick some butt this season. We all take ownership of Dad’s team! J And we had the best Thanksgiving ever hosting all the local Fischers and my parents. We are looking forward to another relaxing, fun Christmas break hanging out with Aunt Katy and Uncle Jesse and Grandma and Grandpa Howard. We are also all looking forward to another spring break vacation with Grandma and Grandpa Fischer at their Arizona home in March!

We are so immensely and undeservedly blessed! It’s hard to even express how grateful I am for Christ’s sacrifice and His daily presence in my life. I pray daily to be shown how to serve, how to love as He loves, and how to help my children develop hearts for him, full of love and kindness, and gratitude.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

the hardest year

I thank God for giving me another sweet baby to love.

I thank God for giving me one last chance to learn I can't ever have it ALL together, that I will NEVER have it all together.

I thank God for wrapping his arms around me and holding me all together.

I thank God for hard experiences that have made me stronger and wiser and more compassionate.

I thank God for new friends and old friends.

I thank God that my baby is healthy.

I thank God.

Monday, April 29, 2013

walking the narrow path

This morning I came across this passage.

There are many whose conduct show they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and all they think about is life here on earth. Philippians 3:18,19

This has been on my mind a lot lately.  In this world, we have many opportunities to be around many types of people.  I do not think we, as Christians, should sequester ourselves among other Christians. I think we need to be a light unto the world.  But, how easy it is to get sucked into it!  We must be on guard at all times.  Recently, I found myself getting sucked into the world.  Satan is a sneaky devil and knows how to tempt me when I am at my weakest.  I thank God he opened my eyes to what was happening. I am strong when I rest in the Lord.  He is my Rock.

Professing to be a Christian but bragging about shameful things (the list of what is considered shameful to God is extensive, get familiar with scripture) is not doing God any favors. You could be a stumbling block to other Christians or a barricade to the lost finding their way to Jesus. Consider your conduct carefully, and what you "brag" about, particularly on social media.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Spiritual Awakening

I love this infographic, because it reminds me of the way I felt after God reached into that dark pit I was dwelling in and pulled me back into the light. When I started relying upon him and reached out to serve others no matter the cost. Being filled with the Spirit the the ultimate high. Right now I could use some Spiritual refreshment in this dry and weary land.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

What's been going on?

Surviving: Landon is approaching five months.  The last three and a half months have been some of the longest of my life. There is just no way to describe how high-maintenance he is. And how sleep deprived I am.  None of the other four, not even Carson, were as difficult as babies as he is. I thought I understood babies.  I've had five.  I have managed to get all of them sleeping well and into a routine by four months.  Not Landon.  It's all due to gas, but you probably won't believe that.  I have tried EVERYTHING.  I can only pray that he is an easy toddler.  Now, when you see him, he will flash you a huge adorable grin and possibly even woo you with his sweet voice.  It's all a show, folks.  I promise!  Due to this current status, I haven't had much energy to put towards anything else. That's okay for awhile.  But it is beginning to drag me down. Wear me out. Take it's toll.  I miss having a somewhat tidy home.  I miss doing other things that give me satisfaction, such as cooking for fun, scrapbooking, writing, reading....Bible study!  I miss friends.  All of my relationships are suffering.

MOPS: I still love it. I am still committed to MOPS and passionate about reaching moms.  But, as is everything else, my MOPS work is suffering.  I am barely present to support the local team.  I haven't been able to really plunge into developing relationships as I would like.

Health: Being almost 30 pounds overweight and stuck in maternity clothes for months has had its own effect on my emotional well-being. That, combined with my usual wintertime issues, following Christmas I struggled to eat healthy and couldn't get motivated to work out.  With so much to be done that never gets done, how could I take the time to exercise? I was on a downward spiral.

CrossFit: This is the glimmer of light in this tunnel. Thanks to a friend who was brave enough to do it first and then encouraged me to try it. The truth is, all the stuff at home will never get done.  I can leave the house and go to CrossFit for an hour and forget all the stuff I left behind.  When I am at CrossFit, I get an hour free from thinking about anything else because I am so focused on getting though a really tough workout.  My brain gets a rest.  I fight through and leave full of adrenaline and satisfied because I accomplished one thing that day.  I got one step closer to being healthy.  And, many days, the high of CrossFit is what gives me the energy to accomplish just a few more tasks.  And, even though I started out supremely out of shape, every time we come back to a lift or exercise that we haven't done for a week or so, it's so exciting to find I can do it better or heavier.  I am excited to be getting stronger, as well as leaner.  Thankfully, with CrossFit and getting back to Paleo, I have lost 10 pounds over the last month.  I am getting closer to fitting my regular clothes again.

So, there you have it.  That's what's been going on.  I am here, praying ceaselessly for baby to get over his gas issues and sleep like a good boy.  And counting down the many, many, many days until summer. If I could have one wish granted to me, I think it would be to live somewhere else from Jan-April.  Somewhere warm and sunny, of course!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Introducing Landon Paul Fischer

I've been wanting to get to this for awhile! I guess I'd forgotten how much time a baby takes up. Especially a gassy one.  Even now, I am pecking with one hand while nursing this sweet boy.

I have been composing this post in my head for quite some time. I planned to talk about the days leading up to, the birth, and the weeks following. But, words aren't really necessary, I've decided. Not sure why the picture quality diminished once I uploaded the movie; I apologize for that.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Divine Mind Changing

It's no secret that I do not love being pregnant. (I've met a few women who say they love it and I pretty much want to punch them in the face when they say that, but I just smile and nod.)  Pregnancy is a means to an end for me.  And I look forward to that end all the way through.  The beginning is rough, the end is rough, and the middle, well, it's really small.  But I am big by then, so there is plenty to complain about even when I am not ill or physically uncomfortable.

So now I've reached the "end".  38 weeks plus 1 day.  This is my fifth pregnancy.  At this stage I have been the same with each one - miserable.  It's not just the physical discomfort, which there is plenty of, but I simply cannot seem to focus on any of my responsibilities and/or commitments.  All I can think about is how sick of being pregnant I am, and the longing I have to hold my new baby.  At this point, I pretty much don't want to see anyone outside of my family until I actually have a baby outside of my body.  Which isn't really practical, since I do have places to go and things to do.  I get tired of the questions.  I get tired of talking about my due date, which still seems light years away. I also get frustrated to hear of other moms giving birth, some who were due after myself.  It's a hard time to be content and happy.  And of course I feel guilty about that for a whole host of reasons, but that's for a different post.

So, last week, or the week before - I'm starting to lose track of time - I was feeling pretty good. I mean, for some reason the sciatic nerve pain I had been dealing with for months had settled down and physically, I was feeling better than I had been.  I was sleeping better and had more energy.  I was thinking, I can make it through this, and even made myself a list of things I could accomplish before the baby came.  Like goals.  Like, this baby can take it's time because I have things to do. Silly me.

Then came THE HEADACHE.  This headache lasted a week+ and nothing would touch it.  Along with that came back the serious heartburn.  The headache took away any motivation I had, because I couldn't function.  And I wasn't very fun for my kids to be around because even their regular talking level was more than I could bear.  On Tuesday night, things were at their worst.  Thankfully, Matt was home that night, and he graciously told me to hide out behind closed doors and he would take care of the children.  I couldn't sleep and so I googled headaches in 38th week. There's the preeclampsia scare. I've never ever had any complications with my pregnancies, they just suck.  Always headaches and nausea and heartburn and all that fun stuff.  And very healthy babies.  For that I am thankful, but I knew I was fine.  Even so, I couldn't block out the noise through the door and so I decided to go to the grocery store to check my blood pressure.  Honestly, I was actually hoping it would be high so I could go to the hospital and they could make this baby come out.  But my blood pressure is great.  And, my doctor was there buying groceries!  And she was like, your blood pressure is great! Yeah, I know.  She wasn't concerned about my headache, but she did sympathize.

I should point out that my last three pregnancies have ended with induced labors due to very good scheduling excuses.  Like, baby's due date is Christmas.  Or, doctor is scheduled to be out of town.  These are good, right?  So, I have a history of knowing when I get to have my babies.  This is different.  I have no excuses this time.  The uncertainty is killing me.

So I get home from the grocery store (just after I know the kids will all be in bed).  I am feeling a bit better, just having had some quiet (I spent an hour and half out, most of it just sitting in an empty deli). Chat with Matt a bit and we head to bed at 10.  I notice some serious, abnormal pain in my lower back on the way up the stairs. That stirred some excitement.  I lie there awake and when my stomach starts to grumble at 11, I get out of bed and head to the couch.  My normal "can't sleep" routine is to eat cereal and facebook a bit or catch up on blogs I follow.  Then the contractions started!  After an hour of contractions, I started trying to time them.  I was thinking, this could be it!  But they were very mild and frequent. Always less than 5 minutes apart.  That was confusing.  Eventually, they spread further apart and even got stronger.  I got more excited.  I kept thinking, should I wake Matt up?  Should I call my mom and tell her she should come over?  But, since this is only the second time I'm experiencing "natural" labor, I am so reluctant to do anything.  The first time, with my oldest, I was sent home from the hospital after like 10 hours of laboring at home and thinking "this pain can't get any worse" and told I was dilated "a dimple".  That particular labor lasted 42 hours, and my second child and first induction was blissful and short, so you can see why I was happy to have good excuses for induction on numbers 3 and 4!

But back to Tuesday night, I didn't wake anyone, and fell asleep on the couch (obviously they weren't painful enough) and the contractions went away.  I was sad they went away.  But I woke up Wednesday full of excitement, just sure that it meant things were going to be happening!  I told Matt he better get his sub lined up!  Then all day Wednesday, that would be YESTERDAY, my excitement waned and I became more and more disappointed, discouraged, and eventually just bitter.  If it was hard for me to focus on my responsibilities before, when I was just anxious to have a baby, it was 100% harder after I thought I was getting ready to have one and then didn't.  That, plus a night with very little sleep.

Well, I made it through the day. I spent a lot of wasted time reading about how to make yourself go into labor.  All things I've read before. (At least one post really made me laugh.) By the time I got the kids to bed, I knew this baby was nowhere near arrival and so I better find a way to snap out of it. Two weeks is a long time to be a bitter zombie mom.  I crawled around the living room floor picking up toys and debris until I could see all the carpet.  I swept dirt clods from someone's shoes off the dining room floor.  Just seeing the floor always makes me feel better.  Kids were in bed and I was watching a movie and eating in peace while waiting for husband to get home from a late meeting.  It was peaceful, at least.  Went to bed at 9:40 and fell asleep by 10.

Then I woke up this morning!  I thought, that is really odd, I slept all the way through the night, didn't even get up to pee?!  This hasn't happened in months.  Then I began my internal grumbling with God and praying, as I do daily, that this baby would come early. This lasted 20-30 minutes until I hear Matt turn the shower off.  Then I turn on the lamp and sit up to read my devotion.  And this is how it starts:

Title: Your Will Be Done
"Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." --Matthew 6:10
(immediately, I know I am going to be convicted! I can't even continue on for several seconds...)
"God knows what will best minister to His gracious designs.  He ordains all things according to the counsel of His will, and that counsel never errs. Let us adoringly consent that it shall be so, desiring no alterations...."

I think that is enough for you to understand what I was facing.  I love God.  I really do!  He often has to smack me in the face like this.  But I am so thankful for it.

Even though it is hard, sometimes, to change my frame of mind, I know that is what is required.  It won't happen naturally every time, sometimes I have to make that decision.  I needed to realize what a gift it was to have slept through the night!  And now, what a gift it is that the sun is shining on me!  I changed my attitude this morning and I am grateful I was able to.  Because I had a pleasant morning with my kids, and we made french toast together, instead of cereal.  And there wasn't any arguing or bickering or crying!  And, the headache was gone!

So, I am TRYING to be patient about this baby.  At least, I am praying for patience now, in addition to praying for it to come early!  And praying the headache stays away, because that is really a mind changer!