The holiday season is in full swing, and its hard for me to believe its been over three months since my last post.
My hiatus was much needed, although I have missed writing terribly.
Since my last post, as you can all safely assume, we now have a beautiful and healthy three month old boy.
Jeremiah Xavier Guinn was born on August 23rd 2012 at 10:01 pm.
A lengthy and drawn out labor, but of course more than worth it.
My son Anthony has started Kindergarden, Jordan started Preschool.
Devin has learned to say quite a few words, and is a complete fire ball of personality.
Jeremiah is growing like a weed and getting cuter by the minute, if that’s even possible 😉
We have moved, and I now am planning on going to college in January.
So many changes!
This holiday season is so full and intense.
A part of me is looking forward to the whole thing being over and January being here,
But I’m just trying to enjoy the moment in front of me and embrace these wonderful times.
Christmas really is the best when kids are young, and I only have so many years to enjoy their innocence, so I might as well drink in every second I can before it evaporates.
On a positive note, I’m adjusting a lot better to being a parent of four than I thought I would.
All my fears and irrationalities and over-analyzing were just me selling myself a little short.
Don’t get me wrong, its hard.
Parenting is the most challenging thing I have ever done, but I’m doing it.
Somehow, someway, at the end of each day my kids end up safe in their beds and I have yet to be institutionalized. This to me is success.
A small one maybe, but I’m getting through and I know despite the sleepless nights and endless days of chasing after a toddler, keeping up with an infant and my other two little ones we are all going to be okay.
Well, now that we have played catch up, we can pick up where we left off.
I’m very excited to be back on the tablet, and I cannot wait to share the stories of my life with you as these new seasons unfold.
Seasons December 5, 2012
The holiday season is in full swing, and its hard for me to believe its been over three months since my last post.
Growing Pains August 20, 2012
Just got a phone call from Anthony’s school, reminding me about their parent open house tomorrow evening.
It surprised me how close to tears I came as I heard the cheerful recording on the phones other end.
Tomorrow we meet my son’s Kindergarten teacher.
Tomorrow we get to see his classroom.
Tomorrow we meet all his new classmates.
Tomorrow my son becomes an elementary schooler.
I dreamed of this day, even when he was still in my belly.
I wondered what he would be like as a “big kid.”
I wondered how I would feel,
And how school and growing up would change him.
And after six years of wondering and dreaming,
I am still not prepared for this day.
I am bubbling with fear and questions and insecurities.
Have I prepared him enough?
Have I taught him all that he needs to know?
Will the other kids be nice to him?
Will he makes friends?
Will he learn quickly?
Will he enjoy it?
Will he remember all the values we have tried to instill in him?
Will he miss me as much as I will miss him?
The last few months I have tried so desperately to suppress all of this,
Focusing on the new baby and all the wonderful new changes that has brought into our lives.
I have tried not to think about how huge this is.
It seemed so far away, and just one of those “I will worry about that later” kind of things.
And now its here.
Its real and right in front of me,
And I have to face the fact that my first born son is really growing up,
And there is nothing I can do but accept it.
My husband and I have raised him, and will continue to do so long after tomorrow,
But we just have to trust we have done what we can and given him the very best of us,
And now it is time to let go a little and watch him flourish as his own little man.
I cant be with him every day, all day anymore.
I cant protect him from everything that is out there.
I cant fight off the kids who will be mean,
Because kids stink and they are all mean sometimes.
I cant keep him in a bubble.
I have thought about homeschooling him lots of times,
But that was before there was a whole other kid added to the mix.
The prospect of trying to take care of four kids, two of which are under two,
AND homeschool still makes my head swim.
I know my limits, and that was just not an option for me in this season of my life.
Still, the more I think about sending him off into the great big world,
The more I want to say “screw it! I’ll figure out a way!” and keep my little guy little for a while longer.
I know I cant do that,
But boy do I want to.
I guess this is a little bit of me growing up too,
Not just Anthony.
He is ready, and he is excited.
I’m not sure I am,
But I am praying with everything in me that I get there,
Within the next 24 hours.
I have to let my baby go,
And trust that God has him and everything else in his control.
I have to have faith in the decisions my husband and I have made together,
And believe that regardless of my doubts we chose the right thing for our family and son.
Who knew it would be this hard?
I never thought it would be.
I know I am going to miss him so much!
But hopefully it will make his time at home that much sweeter,
Because we will have a chance to miss each other during the day.
We are all growing up it seems.
Anthony into a young man,
And mommy into a grown up with elementary aged children.
Truth be told, I couldn’t ask for a better son.
He is so kind and sweet and sensitive to others feelings and emotions.
He has the biggest heart, and genuinely cares about others.
He is so smart and bright and funny,
And boy does he make me laugh.
He loves to be creative, whether its art or building things.
He is such a helper, always taking care of his brothers and even me!
He is a jewel in the truest sense and I am so blessed to call him my son.
I cant wait to see what the future holds,
And what a wonderful young man my little boy will grow into.
Yes, he has a bright future ahead of him.
He is so smart, and above all he is ready for this.
I am just trusting that even if I don’t know it just yet,
God has prepared me for this also.
Missed Memo August 13, 2012
Today is August 13th.
Peanut was supposed to come yesterday,
But yesterday came and went with…nothing.
Not a single contraction.
Guess he missed the memo.
Apparently my youngest is also going to be the most stubborn.
Sure, my technical due date isn’t until the end of the week,
But I am getting a little impatient.
I’m not usually very good at the whole planning ahead thing,
Yet somehow everything is in its place.
My kitchen is stocked to the brim with food and treats so I wont have to worry about grocery shopping for a little while.
The babies room is organized,
Every outfit and toy and blanket its in place.
I am caught up on all my laundry (which if you know me is a big deal).
The bassinet sits at the foot of our bed,
Empty, and looking as anxious to have a baby to fill it as my arms are.
If only school wasn’t starting for Anthony and Mel next week,
I really don’t think I would care at all when this baby came.
But I know I am going to need a hand for a couple of weeks after Peanut is born,
And Mel can’t very well miss two weeks of classes.
Work yes, school not so much.
Anthony’s first day of Kindergarten is also next week,
And I would REALLY hate to still be in the hospital or be in labor and miss his big send off.
But at the same time I am totally against being induced unless absolutely medically necessary.
So that leaves me in this wonderful position of staring at my belly,
Talking to Peanut,
Trying to convince him to come out and say hello to the world.
Powerless as I am, I’m still okay.
Perhaps this is a final lesson in patience before I become a mother of four.
Either way, sometime soon, its going to happen.
Whether at the most convenient,
Or the most inconvenient of times,
Baby boy will get here.
Now if only I could think about something else for five minutes it would make the wait much more bearable…
52 August 11, 2012
Another low key evening for me spent watching the Olympics with my boys and waiting for my hubby to get home from work.
After visiting the wolds of Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest I found myself checking up on my blog.
I found a link I had never noticed that breaks down views by country, and found a list of over 52 countries all around the world where people have read the words I have written within the last six months.
I felt a little choked up.
I had never realized just how far and wide my posts have touched.
And maybe every person who read them wasn’t a fan,
But maybe, just maybe, some of them were touched.
Maybe something I said made a difference in someones day,
Was a bit of encouragement,
Or made them feel a little less alone in the world.
Thats all I have ever wanted,
All I have ever hoped for in my writing,
That because I pour my heart and soul out to the world,
To someone, somewhere it will make a difference.
I cannot begin to tell you how humbling it is to know that a part of that dream has come true for me,
That all over the world I have been a part of people’s days,
Even if only for the couple of minutes it takes to read one of my posts.
God is good.
It’s that simple,
I consider writing a gift and a huge blessing,
The ability to verbalize what I think or feel is amazing.
Maybe I am not as articulate as some,
I certainly don’t see myself as anything amazing,
But I do know that not everyone can say whats on their heart,
And I thank God for giving me the words.
Every post may not always be pleasant,
But it is truth as I see or feel it,
And I think thats all anyone could ask for.
There are plenty of other great writers who have reached far more people than I have,
But for me,
A girl born and raised in a small town in Indiana,
52 countries around the world is a pretty big deal.
I am truly blown away.
I guess what I really want to say is thank you,
All of you,
Anyone who has ever taken the time to read one of my posts,
Or to share it with others,
You have touched me by supporting me,
And your views and comments and love and encouragement fuel my dream more than you will ever know.
I am so humbled by the love that I have felt from so many of you,
I cannot even begin to express just how much each of you mean to me.
Dream big and keep on dreaming.
You never really know just how much is within your reach,
And all that God will bring in your path.
Waiting Game August 8, 2012
Evenings are my favorite time of day,
And least favorite all at the same time.
My three little munchkins sleep peacefully in their beds,
Gently snoring like little bear cubs.
And although the peace of a quiet home is a moment to savor,
I am restless and bored waiting for my husband to come home.
Tonight feels a little bitter sweet though,
I will be 39 weeks pregnant in a little over 24 hours,
And our boy could come any day;
And when that comes I am wondering how long it will be before I have one of these nights again.
Even as I write this,
I can run my hand up and down my stomach and feel my boys back,
Just beneath my stomach, wedged in tightly is his little bottom,
Which he seems to love to jab into me and cause an intensely uncomfortable feeling.
My back is throbbing,
Simply from living day to day it seem.
But I’m so in love with this little boy,
And all the discomfort will be well worth it.
Its just a waiting game at this point,
And I laugh a little as my organs seem to find new hidden crevices to be jammed into as our boy continues to grow.
He seems so big,
I honestly almost wonder how he will get out!
(And no, not a serious question, three kids already so I do know where babies come from lol).
Yes, I can play the waiting game as long as I need to,
But I hope its over soon.
I’m ready to meet this little guy,
And begin the next chapter of our lives as a family…
True Love June 28, 2012
Love is patient,
Love is kind.
It does not envy,
It does not boast,
It is not proud,
It is not rude,
It is not deceitful.
Love keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil,
But rejoices with the truth.
Love always trusts.
Love always hopes.
Love always perseveres.
Love Never Fails.
~1 Corinthians 13:4-8
This verse has been on my heart a great deal over the last few days.
It has always been one of my favorites,
For its eloquence and beauty.
But it also spells out so clearly what the definition of what true love really is,
And what I as a wife and mother and woman should strive for in the relationships God has blessed me with.
Every time I read it,
It sheds a little light on the areas I am lacking,
But also encourages me that this kind of love is attainable.
I believe in this kind of love,
With everything in me,
I believe that this is something ithat I can experience.
Broken down in its simplest terms,
This is what true love and this verse means:
Love is Patient:
I have a difficult time with patience some days.
My three small children and my husband know this well.
I get overwhelmed and frustrated,
And sometimes allow my emotions to get the best of me.
But love, real love, is patient.
It keeps its cool when you’re boiling on the inside.
It bites it tongue when you want to lash out.
It teaches the same thing again and again,
Just as gently as the first time.
Because even when I absolutely don’t feel like it,
Love, in its purest form, is never short tempered.
It is gentle and calm and gives chance after chance,
No matter how frustrating that can sometimes be.
Love is Kind:
There are plenty of times I want to be sarcastic,
Or say exactly what I am thinking just because it popped into my head.
But real love doesn’t do that.
I don’t think that Paul meant that love never speaks a word that is unflattering,
But even when telling someone an ugly truth that needs to be said,
Doing so with kindness and humility is what love is all about.
Making sure that even criticism is constructive, with a purpose and with only that persons best interest in mind.
Love does not ever use someone as an emotional punching bag,
Allowing them to bear the brunt of frustrations and irritations.
Love has goodness at its root always.
It Does Not Envy:
This one I had a hard time understanding at first.
What does that have to do with love?
But that might be the point,
Envy has no place in a loving relationship.
For me, it means being happy in someone else’s success instead of wishing it for yourself.
It means not being jealous and petty,
Being jealous is nothing but poison to a relationship,
And remembering it has no place in your mind or heart saves a great deal of grief.
It Does Not Boast:
When you love someone,
The last thing you want is to make them feel inadequate.
Being prideful and boasting about yourself or your accomplishments has only one purpose,
To make others feel worse while you feel better.
Loving someone is making them feel good,
And making them feel happy with you when you accomplish something,
Not that you being great makes them less great.
Love is Not Proud:
Pride comes in several forms.
It can be similar to boasting (above),
Or it can be that stubborn bone of contention that makes a silly argument last for weeks.
Its refusing to admit that you are wrong,
Or refusing to apologize for causing someone you love pain.
Because sometimes, even if you were right,
Hurting someone you love is never right.
Pride has no place in love.
When you love someone,
You put their needs first.
Their happiness and well being is at the forefront of your mind and heart,
And pride cares only about itself.
Love is Not Rude:
Being rude to anyone is not okay,
Even if they initiate it,
Even if the last thing they deserve is grace.
But when you love someone,
Being rude is even worse.
Guard your mouth always,
So that the words you say do not leave scars on the heart of those you love.
Love is Not Deceitful:
When you love someone you are honest with them,
Even brutally so sometimes.
You cannot experience love the way it was intended if you lie,
If you keeps secrets,
Or skeletons hidden in the shadows.
The way that you live should be with the ones you love most in mind always,
So that there is never a need to hide things.
Deceit and lies always come out in the end,
And trying to prevent that just causes more hurt and pain than dealing with it outright ever would have.
Love Keeps No Record of Wrongs:
Holding grudges and refusing to let them go,
Poisons a person from the inside out.
It causes a healthy relationship to rot and die,
Leaving nothing but pain and resentment.
Keeping track of the bad things brings misery,
And shifts all your focus from the good;
And love is certainly not miserable or angry.
Love Does Not Delight In Evil:
Love is not evil,
And enjoying bad things,
Especially bad things happening to others is not love.
But Rejoices With The Truth:
Truth is good,
Even when it hurts,
We rejoice over the big things,
And the small things.
We rejoice with accomplishments,
And with goals,
And with anything that makes the person we love happy.
When you love someone,
Their happiness is shared with you.
Love Always Trusts:
Trust is hard for me,
And a lot of others I know.
It’s not that I don’t want to trust people,
It’s that pain and heartache leaves scars behind,
And sometimes one of the hardest things you do is to see past them.
But the thing is, loving someone requires you let go of your past.
Keeping no record of wrongs,
You move on from the things that hurt you,
And you force yourself to give the person you love the benefit of the doubt.
Even when they have hurt you before,
Love requires you to trust that person to do all they can not to cause that same pain again.
Love Always Hopes:
Without hope, what is the point?
No matter what trials are faced today,
We must always cling to the promise that tomorrow holds something better.
We hope for change in the things that hurt us,
Or bring us stress or grief.
We hope that our prayers will be answered,
And that change will come.
We hope that our dreams will come true.
Hope keeps us going,
And gives us the drive and fire to continue on,
Even when it seems there is no reason to.
Love Always Perseveres:
Determination has to be behind every relationship for it to last.
If you cannot persevere through the hard times,
You will never make it to see the good times.
Trials and tribulations are a part of life,
And there will be moments you really don’t like each other;
Arguments that get nasty,
And mistakes will be made you can never take back.
There will be heartache and heartbreak,
And there will be times you will let each other down.
If you keep going on,
With the mindset that no matter what happens,
You are in this forever,
Then you will experience the joy and delight of what true love really is,
And that bliss makes it all worth it.
Love Never Fails:
There is no pain too great,
No mistake too big,
No storm strong enough,
That true love cannot overcome.
It sounds so cliche,
But if you love someone,
Then no matter what happens you will make it through,
Simply because you refuse to surrender.
You must remember that love is many things,
But love is never uncertain,
And as long as you refuse to doubt,
You will succeed.
Real love can hurt,
Sometimes it may have scars from the battles it has fought,
But it is a bond that can never be broken,
Unless you allow it to be.
Love is treating others the way you want to be treated.
Love is giving of yourself without asking anything in return.
Love is working every single day to maintain what you have built,
Never allowing someone else to come in and damage it.
Love is forgiving before ever being asked,
Again and again and again.
Love is sacred,
The most valuable of all achievements.
Love is a journey of faith and trust.
Love is a promise;
Love is a vow,
Never to be broken.
If you cling to the promise of tomorrow,
And you remember all the things above,
Determining what this popular passage means to you,
You will discover something amazing.
The definition of love is right here.
Pure and simple.
And if you embrace is,
And strive to posses it,
Happiness and peace is sure to find you.
From the Heart of a Child April 11, 2012
“Mommy?” My son Anthony’s voice is small as we approach our front door.
“How do you think Treyvon is feeling in heaven right now?”
I turn from putting the key in the door and stare in my child’s big brown eyes.
The last few rays of sunlight are melting behind the horizon, dusk settling over the neighborhood.
We have just come from a prayer vigil at Valparaiso University, honoring Trayvon Martin and praying for peace and change in our nation, and for justice to be served.
I can see that the heart of my five year old is heavy. His face is somber and sincere.
“How do you think Treyvon feels right now Anthony?”
“I think he is sad.”
“What do you think made him sad?” I know what my answer is to this question, but I am curious what part of tonights events have struck a cord with my son.
“I think he is sad because he sees his mommy and daddy, and how much they miss him, and it makes him cry.”
I look at him, so young, and already so filled with the burdens of this world.
Tears begin to well, and I fight to swallow them back because the last thing I want is to make him even more sad.
“I’m sure you are right Anthony. But do you think that it made him happy that they found the man who hurt him, and that we all got to go and pray for him and his family tonight?”
He pauses for a moment and I can see his thoughts forming.
“Yes,” he finally says. “I think it helped that we got to pray. I hope it made him feel a little better.”
“I’m sure it did baby.”
I heard about the vigil through a family friend, and as soon as I read about it I knew I wanted to be there. This case has been on my heart and mind a great deal over the last 44 days, and with George Zimmerman finally being held accountable for his actions, it seemed such an appropriate closing to this waiting game nightmare the entire nation has been caught in.
My boys stood with me, Hoodies Up.
We stood together and prayed.
We heard students share poems they had written, and pastors and members of the community speak about race and stereotypes and how we can all be the change we wish to see.
Somehow in the dimly lit chapel, holding our candles and sharing together in the somber event,
I felt hopeful.
My children, so small and innocent, just the way Trayvon was to his mother once, are my hope.
If we all care enough to speak out, and refuse to accept the stereotypes and the hate and the racism, then we WILL see change in this nation.
My children could be part of the generation who sees a new kind of future, if my generation fights hard enough to change what our reality is.
We can be the difference.
From the eyes of my child, hating someone because of how they look is baffling.
Hating anyone that you don’t even know,
And taking the life of another human being is incomprehensible.
Why are people afraid of what is different?
Why do people hate what they do not know?
My son is only five, yet on some level he can understand that death takes sons from their mothers and fathers, and breaks families, and leaves holes in the hearts of those they loved.
I hope and pray it is a pain I never have to feel.
I can promise you one thing, I will live my life fighting for my children, and their children, and their children’s children.
Fighting every day for equality, and for an end to the madness that brings such pain and suffering and anguish.
Fighting against the hate and the stereotypes and the judgements without cause.
Fighting for justice in this great land of ours,
So that future generations have a chance to live their lives without fear of wearing their hoodies up.
**See me and my boys on the News Coverage from tonights prayer vigil.