Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Last week started a whole new era for the Gardner Clan! Our first born, Carson, had orientation for kindergarten. We have decided to send him to the local neighborhood public school for now. (we plan to always be evaluating our children, the school and situations surrounding their whole schooling and we are willing to change if necessary).
Deciding what to do for schooling for my children has always been really overwhelming to me. It seems like a huge unknown world to me full of many choices and strong opinions by people. (I don't do well when other people have really strong educated opinions and I don't).
We chose our local public school for many reasons. I am happy to comment on them, but don't want this post to be about that.
I want to capture for remembrance sake the feelings that I have experienced lately with this new transition, that I'm sure as we get closer to the fall will only get more intense.
First of all, the Parent Orientation night was so helpful and good. We loved hearing from the Principal and she "impressed" us with how she presented things.
I am mostly so excited for this new season. Watching Carson walk into that room to play with other new kindergartners and their teachers while we went to the presentation was so emotional. (ha, I know, its not even school year yet). Watching him walk in confidently and excitedly and very competent made my heart skip a beat. I mean isn't that what I've been doing for almost 5 years now. Preparing him to be a confident person but also humble, who is capable of interacting with other children and other adults.
My fear as a first time kindergartner mom, who never sent her kids to day care or preschool was that my child wouldn't understand what's happening and going on in the day and that he would get lost in the shuffle of tons of kids who already know what to expect. I mean lets face it - I've been the biggest part, probably all but 5 days of his entire life!!!!!! I know every minute detail about this child. What makes him laugh, what makes him cry, and what sets off his sensory fits and how to calm him down. In the principal's talk she was very good at calming those fears and verbalizing how much they understand about 5 year old children and how much the 5 year olds need to learn about school and that they really work with them. I was afraid he wouldn't understand it's time to eat his lunch without me telling him and then be starving all day. But there was a lot of little things like that the principal really made me feel better about.
I was so excited about hearing things that he will learn this first year about our world, and mostly that it's not completely up to me to teach him about the world, math concepts, and how to write sentences. Because I'll just be honest - that really overwhelms me and I have no idea how to help him learn that best.
I think he will thrive in that social setting and that learning will be so fun for him.
I sat in that room trying to hold back tears listening to how his first few months of school will be and I felt sad and really happy at the same time. Excited and Nervous. Ready and completely not ready.
Carson has never been into learning his letters. But looking at the check lists of things they "should know" before kindergarten made me feel so much better. He is pretty much where the average kid is his age and he will do awesome.
I can't believe that my first baby is getting ready to head to Kindergarten, where he will have many friends, have a kind teacher, learn how to write his name and the world his lives in. As we walked back to the classroom to pick him up mostly what I felt was EXCITED! I can't wait for this new phase of life to begin.
Monday, January 13, 2014
January 14th is my mom's birthday and I wanted to
write a little something about her.
Mum, I look up to you so much. In the years that I have become a mother
I have learned how much you sacrificed.
I realize how much you laid down your life for your family, without recognition.
You left the comfort of your home and surroundings, you gave up everything
to live in a country where you knew no one, and couldn't speak to anyone. And you served your
husband and children beyond measure and without complaint. I don't know how you did it - leaving your friends and being so isolated in a country with three small children. And you
raised us with love beyond measure. I never heard you complain about
missing the States. I never heard you complain about the loneliness I know you felt.
I watched you serve others, trust God through many difficulties that most people can't even fathom and you did so with such faith and trust in God.
You taught what it meant to believe in the God of Salvation. You lived out the gospel
daily and taught us that we were sinners, needing a savior. And
taught us to live life the seeks to know a God who loves us.
You taught us to trust Him in all times no matter the circumstance and to not let circumstances
determine our actions towards others, that it's always right to treat others with
respect and love, no matter what!
You continue to bless our family and sacrifice for us.
Helping us financially and with your time. You bless your grandchildren
and make them feel special all while sacrificing your own time and finances.
Now that I'm an adult and realize the seriousness of life and the difficulties
I realize and recognize how much Faith and Love and Trust it took to live
a life of honesty, humbleness and service.
I realize how blessed I am to be loved by you. How blessed I am that
God placed me in your life as your daughter.
I hope today on your birthday you realize how much I love you, how much
I appreciate you, and how much I recognize what you did for me.
And I admire you, look up to and only hope to be able be the
mother you were to me.
Happy Birthday Mum.
I Love You!
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
I feel like I've been in a weird season. I don't think I can describe late pregnancy and early newborn stage effectively. My body and hormones have gone through many changes and are still changing. My sleep patterns have been completely altered and energy level shows it. Basically I've been trying to just "get through" each day. Get as much accomplished as I can, clean and maintain as much as I can but not having very many expectations. Maintain my boy's behavior and try to survive as best I can as far as entertaining them goes. But I haven't really been "present" for them. I've made excuses for myself.
Life is busy! Life is tiring! and Life is stressful! And we are still trying to figure out what all these new changes will look like for our family. We are still trying to get our house organized, figure out our new baby, and figure out responsibilities at church.
But in the midst of all of LIFE - there is the beautiful. The children who have a secret to tell you right this very minute of "I love you!" Full of cuddles and hugs with warm blankets on the couch. The hug from your husband who has worked a stressful day but comes home to help with the kiddos. The first smiles and coos from the baby, watching them learn to roll over. Beautiful is watching your newborn be calmed down in your arms laying against your chest.
So I choose to show up every day. A midst the tiredness and feelings of "I have no idea what I'm doing and if I'm doing enough" I choose to claim God's truth. He loves me unconditionally, he gives me hope, he is making me new and gives me a fresh start. Step out of the "funk" and really be there. Take time with the boys and do activities. Teach Carson as best I know how the skills needed for kindergarten. I need to really slow down and concentrate on the little moments. Be thankful for them. And really trust the God, who created the heavens, to care enough about me, my strength and family that he will carry me through. That he gives me exactly the rest that I need for that day whether it's the amount I want or not, and I can trust Him and rely on Him. Rest in him that already knows what 2014 will look like for me.
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
I've been doing this kind of post for 3 years now and it's one of my favorite posts to write. (the other two can be found here and here) I love going back and reminiscing about the year and being reminded of what we did and what happened. But it is really hard to keep it to one picture for the month. This year I really notice how my boys have changed. People keep telling me, but looking back I can really see it. The two oldest boys went from being toddlers to little boys! I can't believe how much they've grown. It was also a year marked by lots of change.
This month was boring. The biggest thing that happened was I started
watching a baby 4 days a week. She fit right in and we loved her. But it took me all month to adjust to a new routine.
We celebrated Valentines day with heart quesadillas, breakfast out, and a date night
We went from beautiful weather to snow and sledding. This picture
cracks me up from that month.
This one I chose 2 pictures. Our firstborn turned 4!!!! And we took a family Easter Picture.
We also found out we were pregnant with our 4th baby (3rd living one) so that was exciting, but
I was sick the whole month.
This month is only marked by a wonderful trip to MN.
My younger sister and her family was "commissioned" to head as missionaries
to serve in Spain. All original 6 Mayfields were able to be together
and we had a great time. So thankful for being able to take this trip
In May we celebrated Mother's day and Memorial Day
This picture is from Boulder on Memorial Day. I've wanted to go for a while
and this year we finally made it. Maybe one day I'll actually run in the big race there!
The boys learned how to fly a kite! We also were able to spend a long weekend
in the mountains with our Life group at a cabin! This group of people
have become like family to us. We are so thankful for them and blessed by them.
It's cool to see that "Community", the way God intended us to live,
really does bless us, challenge us and draw us close to Him.
Richard and I were also able to get away for a night to reflect
on our precious baby that we lost at the end of the year. June 13th marked the
due date I had and it was really nice to be able to get away during that time.
This also marked the month when Richard got promoted at work to Project Manager.
Which you would think would be a good thing, but has been
stressful, and not a lot in return. But hey, trying to not focus on the negative.
We were able to take a really fun camping trip with Family this month. We drove over the mountains and camped with cousins and grandparents. It was REALLY fun.
The boys went fishing with Grandpa, saw 2 bears, and ran around endlessly in the woods. They got super dirty and ate only junk food. And they were in heaven. :)
p.s. I also chopped my hair off for the first time in my life. YIKES!
I had to put two pictures on here as well. B/c we did two exciting things this month. We
Spontaneously made it to a Broncos scrimmage at the stadium
with the boys. And although it got rained out (hail, wind, and rain) we had a really
fun time as a family and it was cool to do that with the boys.
We also took a camping trip with our Life group! It was so much fun once again to spend
time together with them. We love camping!!!
(ok, so maybe 2 pictures per month would be appropriate :) )
This month started out with a big move to a different condo in town. I a was like 32 weeks pregnant or something so as you can imagine - not the most fun. But very very thankful for this new place to call our home. It suits us much better.
Also our middle son turned 3!!!!
And on that same day we were prayed over to become a pastor of our church. There is so much to say about this. But I don't know how to quite say it. we are blessed beyond measure
by this church body. We have grown so much and our desire is to be helping in this way. It was
a huge answer to God's calling on our lives. We are still trying to figure out
what it looks like to be bi-vocational and how we will function and what our responsibilities
will officially be, but we are so thrilled with this.
The rest of the month I basically tried to survive and unpack our house!
This month was survival. The end of my pregnancy was rough and hard on me. I had a lot of uncomfortableness, tiredness, and pain. I had two showers for my baby which we were totally blessed by. We visited the Zoo (which turns out to be a yearly October thing for us to do). My mom came at the end of the month, and we had fun with a transformer and wolverine for
This month was clearly marked by introducing our 3rd boy into the world.
Peyton was born on November 6th and everything after that is a blur. :)
The boys love him to death and he fits right into our family.
We had a quiet thanksgiving weekend. But other than that we just tried to figure out life as a family of 5. Richard and I also celebrated our 7th wedding Anniversary!
Honestly I don't really know what happened this month. It flew by. We celebrated Christmas early as our own family entity for the first time ever. That was wonderful and simple and so sweet.
We also traveled to Grand Junction for a big Christmas celebration and a family wedding.
Richard also preached this month which is always "all-consuming". So we made it to the end of the year.
My word for this past year was "SERVE". As I look back on the year I can't say I did this well. In the last 6 months Richard has received a lot of responsibility outside the home with work and church. Which has in a way "forced" me to serve my husband and family in many more ways that sometimes I don't feel I can handle or always have the best attitude. Most of the year I felt physically weak and tired (from pregnancy) which deterred me from serving much outside my home!
So in looking to this new year the word I have prayed about and chosen is "GIVE". I want to give unconditionally. I want to NOT hold back. Give of my time, my energy, my resources and my possessions. Give to my children, give to my husband, my friends, my neighbors, my church. Give unreservedly, how Christ gave to us. Give knowing I leave this earth with nothing. Give knowing all I have (energy, time, possessions) all are a gift to me, I don't deserve them.
I can't wait to see what this new year brings.
How our lives will change. This past year (really only 6 months)
was filled with many changes, housing, job responsibility,
new child, and church/pastor. What will this
new year bring???!!!?!
Thursday, December 19, 2013
I always tell new moms (trying to be an encouragement) to just make it to the 6 weeks mark and things will seem so much easier and better! It was something I have had to remind myself of lately too. And you know what! I still think it's true. I feel so much more myself now, we are settling into a routine, and I feel like going out for errands or play dates or responsibilities isn't so overwhelming and tiring. My new goal to make it to is 3 months!!! Half way there!!
I have put down all expectations for anything this Christmas season. I have tried to simply enjoy being SIMPLE - we barely got a tree up or Christmas cards ordered and mailed out. And you know what? -I'm totally fine with that. My goal is to Enjoy my bigger family and not put pressure on myself and let the boys enjoy simple things about the season. B/c we all know next year at this time will be totally different and I will be able to accomplish a lot more with more energy. I tried making homemade caramels this year! Something I've done every year of my entire life!!!! Something that in 7 years of marriage I have never messed up. And this year - I can't believe it but I must admit that I tried it 3 times and every time I messed it up!!! It's a delicate process but something I prided myself in mastering! Now I can no longer say that and cannot believe I wasted all those ingredients and time!!!! I'll chalk it up to having a newborn! That's it for my traditions this year. Now concentrate on wrapping presents - I hope I don't mess that up!
Things here at home are really starting to become enjoyable. I feel so much better and capable of handling life. :) Peyton has truly been a joy to our family. He is as easy as newborns can be and we all adore him. I am truly thankful for this little life. Since my last post we have started experiencing his smiles which is the best part of a newborn.
Life has been really busy around here with responsibilities to fulfill and every day life. (especially for Richard, which in turn makes me busier to keep up with more around the house) But we are a few days away from Christmas vacation and fun trip with family. We will make it. I'm happy to be able to say now that I'm excited about celebrating this simple Christmas with my family of boys.
Merry Christmas to you all!!!!
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
My labor was everything a labor should be, but in my experience rarely is. I labored at home for a good part of it, in fact all the beginning labor. I only had to be in the hospital laboring for about 5 hrs which is very ideal. And despite my pleadings for a c-section to end it all or my begging for an epidural I managed to push him out with no medication. Richard kept telling me during the labor that I would feel so much better without that stuff. And he was right. Although if labor lasted any longer I don't know that I would've agreed with him. Nothing can describe the feeling of pushing a baby out and your wonderful baby being placed on you immediately for you to ENJOY!!!! and for as much time as you like. (You see I never experienced this with my other two children). That moment that you have with your baby and your husband is magical and indescribable.
Peyton is truly my gift from God. I know that about my other two - but after the last 2 years I understand and really "KNOW" that Peyton is exactly who God chose for our family and for me as my son!!!!!! and we love him to pieces
You see God has taught me more than I can even begin to type here in this blog post. I have experienced an array of things when it comes to child-bearing. I have had an emergency c-section. I have experienced a preemie baby and the "joys" of a NICU stay, not being able to hold your baby, or feed your baby for days and leaving the hospital without your baby. I have gone through the terribly horrifying news that my baby died inside my body and God chose to take my baby before I got to meet him/her. I have also experienced the wonderful joy of a "perfect" labor and delivery peaceful and calm. I have nursed two perfectly healthy babies and also had the stress and helplessness of not being able to provide what your baby needs and then giving him formula. Now I'm not saying I have been through it all, or that I understand everyone's situations or emotions, or even come remotely close to knowing everything - I'm saying quite the opposite. These few experiences have taught me that we are not in control of life. That God is directing each of our lives even in these things. Some things for people go so smoothly and how they want -others have to face reality that "ideal" isn't very common. And the thing I have learned most in my measly 4 1/2 yrs of motherhood is that motherhood is hard and confusing and very intricate. We are trying our best in our situation at that stage of life to chose and do what is best for our family b/c we love them more than words can say and more than we ever imagined possible. We don't know other's situations/emotions or everything that played into how their life is - so we cannot judge. Let's instead encourage and uplift each other even in all of our differences and variations of this whole thing called LIFE!
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
It was a late Saturday morning after Thanksgiving.
We were married in Boston in the Fall and it was a perfect Fall day.
We have a great engagement story, we have a lot of fun trips we've taken, and romantic stories to tell.
But we also have the "boring", the mundane parts of our life. We have the going to work every day, kids around us all the time, busy with church things and maintaining life.
We have the difficult. We have the hard and the choosing to love. We have the grief, loneliness from moves, financial difficulties.
As we celebrated 7 years of life together we were able to get away from the 3 kiddos and enjoy a great meal and some quiet conversation. (thanks to my mom who took care of the 3 boys) In our talking and reflecting I am just so amazed at how things turn out. There are things about Richard that I love and am so thankful for that when I married him I had no idea was a part of him. There were things that bugged me so much when we were first married that now I love b/c it is a part of who he is. We have lived enough time together and established our lives and family enough now that I love who we are as a couple.
I love how committed Richard is to me. Right now we are in the thick of "emotional wife". And he makes an effort to say "goodbye Beautiful" to me when he leaves for work each morning. And let me tell you - 3 weeks out from having a baby, in the throes of trying to figure out nursing - I am not looking my best. But I know that he is by my side - that he cherishes me.
I wonder what joys and sorrows and trials and fun times the next 7 years will bring.
Love you Richard!
And this is what 7 years of marriage has produced :)
(p.s. I love being the mother of boys!!!!)