Five Things on Friday

Some recent happenings around the Michael household for your reading enjoyment.

1. Josh and I are gearing up for Michael Family vacation 2013. Headed to Holland, Michigan (insert obligatory "boo Wolverines" comment from a buckeye girl.) This year is sure to be full of craziness and fun as we cram 5 kids and 8 adults into the same cottage.  Not looking forward to the drive (10 hours that we are breaking into 2 days with a stop in Indy at the Fancher's house!) but looking forward to getting out of TN and our stinky condo!

2. Speaking of stinky condos...our neighbor's house caught on fire this past Tuesday night and portions of our house were filled with smoke because we share a wall with them. I'm SO thankful that we all got out of the house safely and I'm thankful that the damage was mostly smoke and water (from putting out the fire) and not worse. However, our house now smells like a smoker has lived in it for 20 years and our closest and all of our clothes reek from the water and smoke sitting for a few days. Even with industrial fans blowing being in the house with the stench the last few days has made me nauseous and I'm sure Felix is feeling the same way. Needless to say, we spend most of our awake hours in his nursery (the room with the least damage) and on the back patio getting fresh air. Next week while we are gone the cleaners will come and do all the repairs and cleaning hopefully getting most of the smell out before we return. (yay!!)

3. Before we hit the road tomorrow morning we have our Bradley class reunion! When I was pregnant in my 3rd trimester we took a Bradley method birthing class with 7 other couples who were due around the same time as us. We all ended up having our babies within 4 weeks of one another and started a Facebook group for support heading into new mommyhood. It's been amazing. I can't believe all our babies are 4 months old and we still haven't gotten together! Only 4 couples can make the reunion, but it will be great to meet the new additions to everyone's family! I'm bringing a version of these to the reunion!

4. I'm pleased to announce Felix now takes a bottle. It took quite a bit of work and persistency to make it happen, but after Josh and I went out to a movie last Sunday for our first date post-baby and Felix wouldn't take a drop from the bottle from my sister we realized we needed a solution. So this week I set my nose to the grindstone and made it happen. He didn't like it at first, but lots of praise and repetition trying the bottle eventually worked! I know it seems weird, but now I feel a bit more free. As long as there is a supply of expressed breast milk I can be out and about for a whole day or maybe even a night! :)

5. Summer is taking it's time to get here. It's nearly June and we normally have weather in the 90s by now and my toes are longing to dip in a pool! But, it's been a beautiful 70-75 every day this week. (which has been awesome for the airing out of our house!) Hoping it's warm enough to jump in the pool with my lil dude when we get back from Michigan!

BONUS ITEM - It's not technically an update from our house, but my parents officially moved out of my childhood home in Columbus, OH and moved on to Baltimore, MD! Josh, Felix and I have a visit planned at the end of June to see their new place and check out my Dad's new job.

Have a great weekend!


Finding Good

The three girls ran by giggling and laughing chasing their tea-cup sized puppy who had escaped it's collar across the grass. The sun was beating down on my back even at 6:45 PM and I was finishing up my last lap on a 3 mile walk at Pinkerton park.

I was along side a dear friend, who I feel utterly and completely comfortable with chatting about our days. About what's to come and about life. I was soaking in much needed vitamin D. My baby was napping peacefully with his toes curled around the cup holder, sucking on the stroller strap. And God was filling holes in my heart at that very moment.

The early part of the week was rough. Felix wouldn't nap and wouldn't sleep more than 2 hours in a row at night MAX and I actually found myself questioning whether I wanted to be a stay at home mom. I envied the women out on kid-free lunch dates talking loudly about office politics and not worrying about leaky boobs, nap schedules or how to squeeze in a shower before noon.

A few mornings earlier I laid on the floor and cried while my baby fussed beside me and kicked his froggy legs up and down grabbing his toes and sucking on his fingers. Nothing could quite make him happy and I was so tired. I hadn't left the house in 2 days. I felt so alone. I felt so overwhelmed by the messy house. I felt so frustrated that nothing creative had flowed out of me for days and I didn't feel like I was a good enough mom for my buddy. I let God set peace on me. It didn't quite sink in all the way but enough rubbed off that I had grace to get through that rough day.

He gave me a husband who insisted on watching the baby that night while I spent sometime out of the house alone. He gave me time with other worship leaders for late night lattes. He revealed goodness to me in sunny mornings, hot showers, funny sit coms, snuggly babies, sweaty workouts, husband-made breakfast sandwiches, 6 hours of sleep and now this evening walk with a friend surrounded by happiness.

This season of life is hard for me and I'm still navigating how to not let my emotions run out of control on "down" days, but the good FAR out weighs the bad. God is more than faithful and always provides just what I need. I'm thankful able to raise my son as a full-time stay at home mommy. He really brings me so much joy.


My First Mom's Day

This year was my first official mother's day. I say official because I was sort of celebrating mother's day last year. We found out we were pregnant the Thursday before Mother's day and told both of our moms on Mother's day as part of their gift. It was a really special time. I will forever remember 5/10/12 being the morning that I peed on a stick and the lines finally showed the plus sign and that Sunday Josh bought me a sweet card and brought home some chocolate covered strawberries.

However, this past mother's day was especially great because I got to hold my little bud bud in my arms  and know his name and see his precious face and drooly smiles all day PLUS my mom was in town for the holiday as well, which just made it even sweeter.

Josh did a great making the day special for me. A MASSIVE (and I mean massive) breakfast feast was prepared and brought to me in bed. Where he let me sleep baby-free for 2 hours in the morning! (!!) A cute musical card that sang "Anything you want, you got it" with the ever-awesome cash gift  inside (which has already burned a hole in my pocket at target and Old Navy). I led worship at church, which ended up being a really nice time with the Lord singing songs to him about how thankful I am for being true to his promises.

They gave away some mother's day presents at church on Sunday, too and it totally ended up looking sketchy because Josh was giving the presents away and I won something (a $25 Macy's card) and so did my sister Rebecca (A Keurig which she gave to my mom!) Some jokingly said "it was rigged" but honestly, I really do think the Favor of God was resting on my family that day! 3 generations all in one place. Happy and God was happy about it and wanted to just pour even more on us. I'm not complaining at all!

We had another massive feast for lunch all made by the gentlemen - steaks, sweet potatoes, corn on the cob, salad, brussel sprouts and carrot cake. And then the afternoon Josh and I spent relaxing at the house while Josh mostly took care of Felix and let me work on whatever I wanted! I made a fun mother's day card for my mom (See above) that was just mailed today (Whoops!) and then in the evening we got some deli sandwiches from Whole Foods and walked around Target killing time.

I'm so thankful for such a supportive, understanding, kind, and wonderful husband who made my first official day as a mom super special. Sometimes I feel like I don't deserve such an amazing man and then add my cute baby on top of that and my heart wants to explode with thanksgiving.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!



Inspiration. Please come to me....I literally just typed that out as a start to this blog because for the last two weeks I have been feeling a bit like an empty shell walking around with nothing creative flowing out of me. I blame the rainy weather, the food poisoning, a fussier than usual baby who is refusing naps and sleeping restlessly at night (You have to sleep at some point kid - I hate to break it to you), or the fact that I have other, work related projects on my plate that are easy for me to escape to.

But if I'm really honest with myself I know what is causing this slump. It's resistance.

Have any of you ever read the book - the War of Art by Steven Pressfield? Well if you haven't, you should. I read about three- quarters of the book a couple of years back and recently acquired the audio book and have been letting the truths that book spins push me out of this funk.  It's an in-your-face direct and honest book about the reasons why people struggle to accomplish good things....be it a creative endeavor  betterment of your health, or personal growth of any kind. Pressfield clearly identifies "resistance" as the enemy that blocks you and then he lays out a war strategy against resistance to achieve success. His approach is worldly, but to be honest, he is laying out Kingdom principals and what happens in the spiritual realm of our hearts day in and day out.

God is the ultimate creative being and humans are made in His image. Whether you think you are creative or not, you are. Even if your creativity comes in the form of business strategies or overcoming complex engineering obstacles, every single person has creativity at their very core. Releasing that creativity, even if it doesn't have the label "christian" on it, is showing a piece of God to the world. Through art, music, dance, writing, acting, or complex scientific discovery, God reveals himself beyond a label and through all mediums of creative expression.

Enter resistance. In the book it's hard not to picture resistance as the devil himself. He is described as a liar. as a thief, as insidious. If that doesn't sound like beelzebub, I don't know what does. I know i am called to write. write poetry. write stories. write memories. write songs...therefore, Resistance (read: the devil) will do everything in his power to stop me from accomplishing this task.

I'm an overcomer by recognizing the enemy and merely pushing "publish" on this blog.


A Quick Update and iPhone Dump

Oh my word! The last two weeks have flown by! We spent two weekends ago celebrating our good friend Brendan's birthday, me leading worship on Saturday night and Sunday morning, then Sunday afternoon grilling out and sunday night making s'mores around a campfire in our friend's backyard! It was jam packed of memories, good food, and sweet times with some of those we care most about. Friends fill life to the brim.

Then last weekend Felix took his first big road trip up to Bloomington, IL for Josh's dad's 60th birthday. We did the 6 hour trip in 8 hours on the way up and just under 7 hours on the way back. Most of the trip went well and Felix slept a good amount leaving lots of time for me to read Catching Fire out loud to Josh (So excited for the movie in November!). The last hour both ways on the trip were the worst. Lots of "overly-happy mommy voice" and a few hang-over-the-car-seat-nurse-sessions to keep Felix satisfied and we got through the drive relatively unscathed.

A few extra side projects and a horrifying bout of food poisoning due to a broken fridge and me trying to "save" the expensive deli meat I just bought (bad bad choice) have kept all of us busy here in the Michael household this week.

All that to say, I'm just coming up for air and hope to get back into regular blogging again next week. For now a few favorite iPhone photos from the last couple weeks.


Row 1: Maddie at Play, Pensive Willow, Zoo Outing
Row 2: My men, finger chewing, 60 candles
Row 3: Cousins, a girl loves pink, toe exploration
Row 4: little stud, car entertainment, Cahill's egg maker