How to survive CRYageddon

What is cryageddon you ask? The Ohm dictionary defines it below: 

Cry•a•ged•don 

noun

•When the majority of your offspring begin crying at the same time causing a sound that could possible break the sound barrier

I yelled “what is this cryageddon!?” at the top of my lungs, just trying to out cry the other three littles that were clinging on to me. All needing and wanting something I could not give them in that moment. A nap, another treat, to be held, daddy to hold them, paci holder, or that one thing from 3 weeks ago that we do not have anymore.   “Witching Hour” they call it. A time when everyone in the house goes crazy. That hour just happens to be around dinner time when my hands are occupied by boiling water, raw meat and huge knives. As the words came billowing out of my mouth I couldn’t help but let out a chuckle. “Where did that come from?” I wondered. I knew God planted that thought in my head so I could have a little laugh. We now have a knew name for this tragic event in our household and I have compiled 8 ways to survive this event if it should ever reach your home. Don’t fret, even though it feels like ages it’s is short lived. These survival tips will ease your pain. 

1.  Eat All the Chocolate 


Stop everything you are doing, drop the knife in a safe place, wash your hands and locate your hidden stash. Yes you know exactly what I’m talking about. The one you don’t even tell your husband about. This stash is for emergencies and by golly this is an emergency. Begin eating chocolate until the crying stops or when you have enough strength to carry on. There is a no judgement rule on this one and calories don’t count. We must survive.  

2. Turn on Chris Stapleton Pandora


Locate your phone and find your favorite pandora station. Or if you are feeling nice you can choose the kids favorite station (aka: Kids BOP)  My go to station is always Chris Stapleton.  It’s soothing yet has enough beat to get everyone’s foot a tapping. Plus, we can all agree my life is one big country music song right now.  I gravitate to what I know! Can’t help it. Before you know it, everyone will begin singing along. If they don’t, the music will be so loud you won’t be able to hear them anyway. 

3. Cry with them


Sometimes this is all you can do. Crying allows the pain from inside of you to escape. It must happen at some point. Plus, your tears will fall into the food and it will add a nice flavoring. No salt needed. 

4. Hide in the Bathroom 


( if this was my bathroom I’d be in there all the time) 

An oldie but a goodie. Drop everything you are doing and quickly escape to the closest bathroom. (Quick note: it is probably a good idea to make sure everyone is safe and contained before you retreat to your throne ) Sit in the bathroom and wait till you have enough energy to go back out there and deal with your crying kids and  now burning food. Oh well, just s perfect excuse to get pizza. Relax, You wanted anyway! 

5. Call your Significant Other 


Texting will do just as well. Voice to him how he needs to invent a tellaport machine like yesterday so he could be home like 5 minutes ago. Also procede to tell him how HIS kids have been screaming like this all day (even though it’s only been 5 minutes, but it feels like for-ages) and you are done with this stay at home nauncense and getting a full time job tomorrow. As he begins to use his quiet words, in his quiet car ( you can literally hear crickets coming from the other end) you will imagine you are there with him for a second and soak in all that glorious goodness. You will even be able to taste that iced latte (don’t try and hide, I see you) He then will tell you that you can have a break when he gets home and you will clutch this dream in your sweaty fist holding on for dear life just waiting for that sweet tender moment to arrive. 

6. Ohm Savings Time 


This is also known as day-light savings time when you move the clock either forward or backward twice a year. Ohm savings time is a reflection of the forward motion of time. This can happen on any day and any time. It can happen as frequent as you wish. This is when you move the clocks up one hour. You must be inconspicuous as the bigger kids will quickly catch on to your genius plan and out you. “Man…look at that time! It’s 7:00pm. Time for bed kids! I love you. Goodnight.” You’re welcome. It’s 7 o’clock somewhere! 

7. Pack them up


Drop everything you are doing. Turn off the stove. Grab a bottle and a diaper just in case and load everyone into the car. You don’t need to explain where you are going. Just get them in. You can even bribe the bigger ones with candy. It’s ok. It’s an emergency. Once you are in your car breathe because most likely everyone will be quiet. But you need to move fast because a standing car is a ticking time bomb for “the criers” you know who they are. Proceed to your nearest coffee shop drive through. Get the venti, you know you want to.

8. Praise Baby 


If you don’t have these dvds go to Amazon right now and buy a few. You will need a couple I promise. Move the littles in front of the TV (it’s ok, it’s an emergency) and put in the DVD and just sit back and watch a miracle happen. I don’t know what it is but they will be mesmerized and you will be able to continue making dinner. If it’s buttered noodles, that’s ok! You are winning at life just by being able to keep all these littles alive! 


Repeat steps if needed and remember to tell yourself you are so very loved. ❤

-Audra
(Pixaby.com) 

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Snow Falling at Midnight

The clock struck 12 midnight as my foot landed in the freshly fallen snow. The cold powder tinkled my ankles as I walked down the quiet Main Street. What once was full of busy shoppers with places to be is now a blanket of untouched pureness and twinkling lined streets. The shops were locked up tight and the windows were dark. There was a stillness in the air that made the huge snowflakes fall at such a slow rate it was as if they were suspended in the air. I could detect the delicate differences between each flake and they shimmered in the glow of the kerosene lamps. My eyes began to focus on a light further down the road. A cool breeze gently touched my back as I moved forward slowly.  My eyes began to focus on the blurry blob surrounding the light and as I drew closer I relized I had reached a forest full of mature willow trees.  Their long branches were covered in a thin layer of ice and they almost reached the ground. I could hear the sweet music coming from the branches touching each other but there was no breeze to make them move. They moved with such elegance and I wondered they they were dancing for me. I moved forward into the woods gently touched the branches as I passed. Within minutes I finally reached the light source. It was in the center clearing of a group of five trees. I noticed there were no other foot prints around but mine. I squinted as the light grew brighter. It was suspended in the air with nothing holding it into place. The light grew bigger slightly and then shot up into the air. It burst into a million firefies and they swarmed above my head in unison. I was amazed as I saw them start to create words.

Beautiful 

Worthy

Lovely

Desired

Loved

Chosen

Forgiven 

Then the fireflies paused and danced excitedly as if they knew He was near. Soft footsteps came up behind me and my whole body began to buzz. It started in my feet and moved up through to my head as He reached out and grabbed my hand. My body grew limp and wanted to fall but the strength in his hand lifted me up. He grabbed my face with his other hand and tilted it up to look into his beautiful eyes. They were a color not discribed here on this earth and my eyes began to water as I couldn’t take my focus off his beautiful face. So much love poured out of his eyes and into mine. He said, “my child this one is my favorite.”  And as His eyes looked back up into the sky mine followed and the fireflies began to form an image. It was a picture of a baby. Looking closer I realized it was me. Then the images changed again, quickly but one image after another of me growing up. Then He squeezed my hand as if he was saying “watch this!” It was an image of me as an older woman. I began to cry. Then he put his arm around my back and said, “daughter, I have loved you the same from the moment you were born to your very last day here on earth. You are so precious to me and nothing you do can change my love for you. Every day you strive to do more and be more and you feel as if you are not enough. You feel as if you are failing. Oh my child that is far from the truth. I’m so pleased with you. Fall into me and find peace in my embrace. You are more than enough and I love you more than you know.” 

I let out a sigh and my whole body relaxed into His. A breeze circled around my body and up through the air. As I opened my eyes I saw the fireflies disappear in to the stars. Even though I could not see Him anymore His presence was near. 

(Photo by pixabay.com)

Some may call us crazy

We received a call late Tuesday night informing us that our daughters birth mom was expecting again and she wanted us to adopt. My mouth dropped as I listened on the phone for all the details. She told me she is due early February and doesn’t know the gender yet. My heart leaped out of my chest and my nerves began to go into overdrive. We have a 7 year old, 2 year old and 5 month old so the thought of bringing a newborn into our family activated my anxiety. 

After hanging up the phone I called my husband, who was out running errands for our upcoming thanksgiving road trip. I laughed when he answered and said, “you will never guess who just called me!” After telling him the details he laughed too and asked when they needed an answer. We had 24 hrs. I didn’t sleep much that night. 

The entire trip down to Nashville was filled with us going back and forth, asking each other ALL of the questions.  Both of us willing to answer this call if it was God calling us. Was He calling? 

Fear set in and we decided to tell the agency we couldn’t do it at this time. We went to bed that night, silent, both praying. Secretly asking for a divine intervention. 

We woke up the next morning both feeling like we made a mistake. We didn’t know HOW we would do this but we knew we HAD to do this. It is too important to us, too important for our family, too important for our Amelia. 

So we said YES, a shaking yes but an obedient yes. Yes to Gods plan and ours. Yes to His Glory. Yes to this child. Yes to love on our precious Birth Mom. Yes to our daughter. Yes to crazy. Yes to the unknown and yes to help. 

We can’t do this alone. We have to walk this out with God every step of the way and we need you, Our friends and family. We need your prayers that God will pave the way clearly and one that only brings Him glory in this. We also need financial help. Would you be willing to walk along side of us in this? If you aren’t in a spot to donate we completely understand that and would love your prayers. We know God will provide the way. 

Much love and a million thank you’s

Click HERE to Support us. 

How to have Joy through the Wait 

Her tiny fingers hit each piano key with such intensity and passion, unable to gracefully move from one key to the other with out lifting her hand. Blue painters tape destiguished each key from the other to aid in the learning process.  Her eyes followed the notes intently on the page trying to hit the right note. When the wrong note was pressed her fingers would flex and a large sigh would exhale from her lips. A larger more experienced hand curled around the keys upscale from those tiny fingers. Setting the example of how to hit each note with the correct finger. The tiny fingers stretched to reach each note and out of frustration she would stop trying to play correctly and start playing the easy way, with one finger. The teacher urged her to keep practicing the proper finger technique until she perfected that section, but the child only wanted to learn the other sections and quickly move forward.  The larger more experienced hands stopped and placed their hand over the students to stop them from continuing. The teacher looked into the child’s eyes and explained, “playing with one finger may seem easy now, but we must learn proper techniques so that you will be able to play correctly and effectively when the pieces get harder. If you move forward without learning what you need to now, you will eventually have to go back and relearn, causing this to take much longer than expected. It is better to take your time now and perfect the section you are in.”

“God loves the process.” I have heard this phase so many times in the last few years from family and friends. I would immediately want to roll my eyes but would stop myself because deep down I knew the truth. God not only loves the process but he also loves when we are filled with joy through the process. 

That is so much easier said then done but if we try remember the story from above it will help us understand the meaning of the wait. Most of us have something we are waiting for or a promise that we are holding onto. We want to reach that promise or destination as fast as we can. What we need to try and remember is there is a purpose for your wait. God is trying to teach us some valuable lessons that will help us down the road. He doesn’t want us to get to our destination unprepared and ultimately fail because we did not have the right tools to succeed. 

Moses led the Jews out of Egypt toward this promise land. God led them through a 40 year time of testing. If God took them to the promise land before they were ready they would not have had the tools or the faith to achieve Gods plan once they arrived. (Joshua 1-24)

We ultimately want the easy road, the quick fix and a fast microwave meal. God wants us to savor the moment, slow down and learn as much as He has for us so we may achieve the final and greater goal. The moment you are in may be hard and full of mourning, financial troubles or you may be in constant survival mode. It’s hard and I’m with you on all accounts. I want to get out of this moment as soon as possible, but I also want to learn everything He has for me as well. I want to be able to use this and have it not be wasted. When we know there is truth being taught through our waiting we can choose to have joy trump our anxiety. Let us stop, breathe, inhale His truth and exhale His love that he has for us and others. 

Hold on my friend. His promises are true, He always keeps them and He is with you every step of the way. 

  

Bathroom Fixer Upper

When we move into our house in 2013 it was in need of a little TLC. The house had been updated from some of the original 1960’s decor but still had the original cabinetry, base boards and pink vanity and tub in the bathroom. 

  

 

The bathroom was one of the first rooms we tackled in our TLC project. We are on a pretty tight budget so everything we did was at low cost. We tried the vanity in white & black but I never loved it. The other day I found a beautiful dark grey paint in the basement and decided to paint the vanity once more. I’m crazy and love to spontaneously add projects to my already busy day.  Once I have an idea in my head, it bugs me until I have implemented that idea.  

  

When we moved in I had painted the walls this pretty blue color, added hardware and new sinks and vanity. I loved the color but the space seemed to dark (insert new idea into my brain). I decided a lighter paint color was a must. So I packed up the kiddos at 8:30am and headed to our local Menards. I usually browse the “reject paint” section for an amazing deal. It is usually located on a shelf in the back of the paint section. You can find paint for $5 and under. Amazing!! Someone else’s reject is your fixer upper gain. I have found many of the paint colors in our house in that section. This time I was not so lucky but decided to splurge and buy a gallon of the color of my choice anyway. 

  

I started painting while the kids napped, I was just going to do the trim but they kept sleeping, so I kept painting. If you have to stopped mid project, one thing you can do is wrap your brush and roller in foil and stick them in the fridge. They stay perfectly moist with paint so you can pick up where you left off at a later time. 

  

Here is the finished project!

  
  
  
(Old picture of a church from the first town we lived in, Oconomowoc, wi) 

   

(Old hook we found in the house to hang hand towel)

  (Where I hang my necklaces) 

  
 (Found these amazing sinks at Restore)

   
 
(Basket to hide the TP) 
Thanks for visiting! 

5 Things to do after a Miscarriage

First off let me just start this post off by giving my deepest apologies if you are or have experienced a miscarriage, either personally or through a close loved one. This post is not an easy one to write and one I wish I didn’t have to write. But, since going through six miscarriages myself, it has become one of my missions to help others overcome their miscarriage. I experienced my first loss in 2008, just 7 short months after we were married. It was an unexpected pregnancy that resulted in an unexpected loss. This type of loss never occurred to me as a young woman. My expectation was crushed as I laid on the bathroom floor clenching my fists to my stomach. I sobbed trying to figure out how I was going to tell my family and sobbed that I never had the chance to tell my friends. I was overcome with so much quilt thinking it was something I could have prevented. I layed there on the cold ceramic floor, helpless, as I thought of everything I could have done differently. While my husband slept soundly in bed my mind went back to the very moment I told him we were expecting. It is a moment we will never get back. A moment that is now tainted by excruciating pain, not joy.

Through the years I have used this blog to share what God has done through each of these miscarriages. God has brought me to a place of not only understanding why he allowed me to experience that type of pain but also to a place of thankfulness. I wouldn’t take back a single loss because each loss brought me closer to Him. That thankfulness didn’t come easy and it took a lot of work. I hope I can help you get there too.
One thing I wanted share today is 5 things to do after a miscarriage. This post doesn’t address what to do medically after a loss but it does address the top 5 of things that helped heal my soul.


1. Share the Loss with you Husband.
Not only share the news with him but also share your heart with him. Sharing the news with your husband is one of the most important things to do. There may be some temptation to hide your miscarriage, especially if you didn’t get the chance to share that you were pregnant. The enemy wants us to believe that by hiding this you are being strong. But that is the complete opposite. When you let the light touch your pain it allows the Holy Spirit to come in and heal. Once you share the news with your husband make sure you also share your heart. Your husband is not going to understand how you are feeling. He doesn’t have a uterus and will never know the feeling of having a tiny human inside of you. He won’t know the right words to say or the right actions to make you feel better. He may even say the wrong thing. Be honest and open with him with what you need and offer up a lot of grace. He WILL however experience pain but it will look a lot different than how you express your pain. That is why it is very important to talk with each other. Make sure you establish a safe atmosphere where nothing is off limits. You two need to know your feelings are not only honored but trusted.

“and the two will become one flesh.’So they are no longer two, but one flesh”

(Mark 10:8 NIV)

2. Share your Story.

This is similar to the last point, I highly recommend sharing your loss with a close friend, a family member or writing your story out. When you allow loved ones to walk along side of you during this time they become your support, someone to lean on when the path gets rocky and surrounded by weeds. There may be hesitation to share because you don’t want to show emotion or you are afraid of the uncontrollable sob, but crying is therapeutic. Its messy but it is healing. If you are not ready to share your experience with others I would recommend writing it out on paper. Write it as if you were telling a story. Try to remember every detail, every thought and every feeling. There is nothing off limits here. This is for you. Ask the questions you are afraid to ask, say the things that are too hard to say out loud and voice your pain. Let the pen flow with out hesitation.
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

(Galatians 6:2 NIV)

3. Mourn/grieve

You need to allow yourself to grieve this loss. It is a loss no matter how far along you were. I lost many of my babies at 6-8 weeks. I was early but I not only lost a living human being with a heartbeat, I lost the hope and dreams I had for this baby. Your feelings are real and they are seen and heard by God. He understands what you are going through and grieves with you. There are many ways and stages to mourning. It is wise to know the different stages in the process so that you can recognize which stage you are in and understand each stage is normal and appropriate for the healing process.

“3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”

(2 Cor 1:3-4 NIV)

4. Be with God.

I thought about putting this one first because that’s the churchy answer but I want to be honest and real with you. I didn’t want to talk or be with God right away. I was upset and I didn’t understand why he would allow me to go through such pain. At some point I reached out to God and that is what matters. Start by being silent and allowing him to speak to you. Don’t be afraid to ask him questions and expect answers. Cry out to him and voice your pain, he understand. Just be and let Him heal. Many times I wasn’t ready to talk with him so I would sit and listen to worship music. I would let the words seep into my heart until it would burst and then words would come crying out.

“When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.”

(Psalm 34:17 NIV)

5. Hope.

Never give up hope. With most of my losses I came to a crossroad. I had a choice to make, I could give up or hold on to that glimmer of hope. Don’t ever let that hope fade. God has a plan and reason for this pain. He won’t let this pain be wasted and will use it for his glory. He has plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Hold on to that truth.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

(Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)


I pray you have been blessed by reading this and know I am praying for you. If you need someone to talk to or ask questions I am here to listen or help. Feel free to reach out! Much love my friend.

-Audra

Turning a worn out Vintage find into a Little Girls Treasure

Ever since my daughter graduated out of her crib she has been in her very cute ikea bed.  It had me at “expandable bed.” You see, this amazing bed goes from toddler bed to in-between bed and then to a twin bed.  The ikea mattress comes in three sections and you add or take away depending on your desired length!  Did I sell you yet? Here is a picture from when we first bought her bed.

alivias-bed

Yes I was in love with this bed and envisioned my daughter in this bed forever! Well not forever but at least till she was a pre-teen.  Recently my daughter let me know that her bed was too “kiddish” for her now and she wanted a big girl bed.  All my insides screamed as I heard her say “big girl.”  Say it’s not true!  She can’t be there already, just yesterday we transitioning her into this amazing bed.  I didn’t want to just drop everything and go out and purchase her a new  bed just because of this confession & I would admit I was still in denial.  Then, one day I randomly stopped off at a thrift store to see what treasures I could find, and treasures we found!  I ran into this beauty!  A very beautiful vintage twin poster bed.  (Don’t mind my not so beautiful garage! )  I loved every inch of this bed and wished it came in a king. The details are stunning. 

I wasn’t sure if this would fit the “big girl bed” criteria, but I took a chance and bought it anyway.  It was in great shape and too perfect to pass up.  Upon her inspection she fell in love!  I gave her three options, we could leave it as is in its beautiful original color, paint it white (always my go to) or paint it a fun color.  She picked it option three, paint it a fun color.  Together we went to the paint store and found the perfect color, a pale pink called “pink beach” by the nautical line. We used the armor hammer paint in satin to eliminate fumes and shine. It took about three coats to completely cover the wood finish. The light color brings forth the detail in the post more and the hint of pink adds some flavor to the room with out an overwhelming color.

Here is our finished product and she loves every part of it. Also, this is probably the only time her bed will be made so I had to take a picture (or 10) of course. 😉