Friday, September 18, 2009

To six wonderful years--September 20, 2003

This Sunday, we will be wishing each other a happy anniversary. As I look back at six years, I am humbled by all God has done in this marriage. Patrick and I were seriously going to kill each other when our marriage began. We're not afraid to tell you that we thought the other one was insane. We didn't understand how the same person we courted, was the same person we married. Inconceivable.

But, I have to hand it us. We worked hard. Exhaustingly hard-- to try and overcome our differences. We prayed and we read books. We sought a counselor. In our efforts to improve our marriage, I discovered how controlling and self-centered I was. When I stopped trying to take the lead, and admire my husband for who he is, I began to give him the respect that he so rightfully deserved.

And Patrick discovered that he had to initiate as the leader of our family, and to meet some of my greatest needs such as conversation, romance, affirmation--all things that weren't natural in his wiring. And then I began to feel loved. Love & Respect--it happened for us, and it revolutionized everything.

I am so grateful to God for marrying this man who has stretched me, taught me, and grew me. In the beginning, I was discouraged that we were opposites but now I wouldn't have it any other way. Through our differences, Patrick has helped me become stronger in the areas I was weak. He has made me wiser. Taught me to live debt-free! Have healthier boundaries. He forces me to stop being the energizer bunny, but relax and enjoy.

Patrick would say that I've taught him to appreciate more, resolve conflict, pursue things with passion, see people as the greatest priority in life, and plan, plan, plan. He's the brains and I'm the heart of the operation, and we both love how although they're different, they work hand-in-hand.

God knew what I needed from him, and what he needed from me. It's only been six years, but can you imagine the benefit after twenty? In the end, it doesn't matter how different we are. It matters that because we love God, we honor each other and we stay committed no matter what. And for those of you know the story, it also helps when he gels his hair. This has been the true secret to keeping our love alive. :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Vacation Part II: Small Group Family

We had so much fun in Michigan, we decided to keep going. We drove from Muskegon to Dewey Beach, DE where we met with our small group family on our annual trip.

This is Patrick's small group who have been meeting for eight years. It's exciting to see the evolution as some of the single men became married and some of the married men became fathers and the size of our vacation houses keep getting bigger and bigger. It is a huge blessing to share life with this family. As seen below, it's kinda CRAZY.

Next year, we expect three, possibly four new babies in the mix so we'll be renting one of those mega houses in Nagshead! I'll of course be blogging the progression. Stay tuned for scenes of the next All My Children. :)

This was also Caelan's first trip ever to the beach (more pictures in the next blog when I find my camera cord) and his first ride on the carousel too.

Forgive the quality of the photos as I left my camera charger in Michigan and couldn't take my own shots. These were taken with a phone! :)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Spending Time with Clan Lawrence

Forgive me faithful blog followers-all two of you--I forgot to tell you that we were going to visit family! We traveled 12 hours to Muskegon, Michigan and you wouldn't believe it--the car ride was surprisingly pleasant. No meltdowns! It was a wonderful time to see Patrick's sister, Kristen and her family. Micah and Caelan enjoyed time getting to know their cousins. Each day was filled with fun activities. Micah slept in a toddler bed with his two other cousins, and actually slept pretty well. And after the kids were down, the parents had time to relax and play games or watch movies. Thanks to Len-I am now a faithful follower of How I Met Your Mother. Can't wait until Monday night! Here's some photos and video of our time together.

(To view the full picture or video, put your cursor on it and click and then click again when you're done.)

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Double the Trouble

This week proved to be a test of patience and an understanding that motherhood is not a job for wimps. Son #1 has major constipation. He has not been able to go 10 feet without saying, "Owie, mommy, help." And aside from giving him some pedia-lax and prunes, I can't help.

Son #2 is breaking in his two front teeth. My sleep-instantly-when-placed-in-crib child no longer exists. He's had a low grade fever for days, is wetting his sheets with drool, and has had constant diarrhea. Classic teething symptoms. Worst part is he screams at night and goes back to sleep, but keeps Patrick from having a restful night. Aside from giving him Tylenol, I can't help.

Watching your children in pain is not fun. But knowing that this too shall pass, and this is all a part of their growing pains. The nice part is Caelan wants to cuddle all the time (both my boys were never cuddlers) and I had the privilege of watching Micah pray for the first time in his little life. I caught him in the corner by himself, hands grasped together, eyes closed, wimpering and whispering, "please God, please...PLEASE...."

I snuck up and said "Micah, are you praying?" And with big sad eyes, he nodded. I asked him what he was praying about and he said that he needed God's help with his poop. Broke my heart. I asked if I could pray for him, and together, we requested that God help him with his digestive distress. The late afternoon came and he was finally free (we hope!) of his issue and we pray today will bring back some normalcy to everyone's schedule!