It’s our 4 year anniversary today!  I’d post a recent picture of us, but well….there isn’t one.  There’s plenty of: me with Phinehas.  And me with Stephen.  And me with both the boys.  And Jeff with Phinehas.  And Jeff with Stephen.  And Jeff with both boys.  But I can’t find any with solely Jeff & I.  I guess having kids will do that to you — someone has to be holding the camera!  I better make sure we get one!

In honor of this 4th year, I thought I’d do some journaling blogging about marriage.  I looked back on my first year thoughts and realized that I was pretty darn smart back then. And also kind of dumb.  I really need to remember that Jayme is happier when her kitchen is clean (but I need to add ‘toy room’ to that list!)

People will still tell you that marriage is hard.  Really hard.  But I’m not sure we’ve seen that yet.  Not in a “this is really hard, I want to hit the eject button” kind of hard.  We’ve had the normal ups-and-downs that 4 years of marriage and 2 kids have brought, but we’ve really been very blessed.  No health crises.  No major financial challenges.

That said…I have more thoughts on what makes marriage difficult at times.

Thought #1: People can be annoying

Jeff can be annoying at times.  I can be annoying at times.  We’re humans like that.  Sometimes, our annoying is intentional – because we’re sinners like that.  Sometimes, it’s just bad timing: he did something that he thought was funny, but funny is not what I thought it was.  Sometimes I find myself singing the same song over and over again and apparently, that’s annoying.

And it’s annoying that is REALLY annoying because it’s hard to escape.  With a co-worker, you’d just leave their office.  With a child, you’d tell them to stop.  With a neighbor, you’d just limit your interactions. But with a spouse, you live with them and you have to deal with them being annoying.  And they have to deal with YOU being annoying.

It’s all good though.  That’s how it’s supposed to be.  That’s one of the ways that marriage helps us mature and become more holy.  We realize that our actions impact others.  We learn what’s annoying to the other person and stop doing it.  We learn how to tell someone (kindly!) that they are being annoying!

9 months old!

Stephen’s 9 months old!  (As of yesterday!)

What fun he is!  He and Phinehas are starting to “play together” more and more.  If “play together” means:

  • Being within 5 feet of each other
  • Hugging your little brother, possibly sitting on him
  • Laughing at silly things
  • Handing your brother spoons so he can chew on them
  • Pointing at your little brother saying “baby cry”, but looking confused if mom asks if you had anything to do with it.


Generally, they do pretty well together.  Finn’s great at keeping things away from Stephen that he shouldn’t have…but he can also be a little forceful in his tickling.  They’ll learn!

He’s also really close to walking — not like “any day now”, but I bet in the next month, he’ll be walking.  He walks along furniture and can even stand for a few seconds.  It won’t be long!

His scrapbook page:


Recent photos:


I Want To Remember

It seems that Stephen (8 months old) is learning new skills every day.  And his personality is starting to reveal itself more and more.  And there are times that I think “Did Phinehas do that?” because I can’t remember.  And they’re only 18 months apart!  And I still can’t remember unless I’m prompted by something or someone mentions it.  I don’t want to forget:

  • What Phinehas’ belly button looked like.  For at least the first year of his life, it was a cute little cinnamon roll shaped.
  • How he used to point to the lamp and whisper “Hot”, either like he knew a secret or that he was afraid that you didn’t know it.  I’m not even convinced he knew what “hot” meant at that point.
  • When we called Uncle Kyle for his birthday last weekend and he just knocked out a great rendition of “Happy Birthday” song.  Wasn’t perfect, but I don’t know how he even knew what he did!
  • How he ‘chases’ up after Stephen on the steps, “pretending” to catch him, just like we do with him.
  • How he (kindly intentioned, but not so kindly in action) pulled Stephen down the stairs trying to help him learn how to go down.
  • How lately he wants one last hug and kiss from me when I drop them off at Aunt T’s…that’s a new thing and I love it!
  • The way he says “tickle” when he wants Jeff to chase him around and tickle him.
  • And the way he says “No!” when you ask if he wants you to tickle his tummy, but then he lifts up his shirt so that you have easy access to tickle him.
  • How he asks for “some”.  It used to be that everything is “some”.  Some watermelon.  Some M&Ms.  Some cheese.  Doesn’t matter – he wants “some”.
  • Him playing with my hair dryer in the morning as I get ready.  His love for the vacuum is being replaced by that new toy.
  • How we have to read “Dog” (Go Dog Go) at least 5 times/day even though he rarely seems to be paying attention.
  • Playing in the bathtub asking me to “shoot” which means fill up this little syringe with water and shoot it at the wall.


What saddens me is how much I’ve already forgotten and that he won’t remember most of this…but that’s okay.  I’m creating good bonds between us that I hope to strengthen the rest of his life.


I’ve recently realized how small my world is.  Wake up.  Spend time with the boys.  Drop them off at my sister’s.  Go to work.  Go get the boys.  Play, put down for naps, play.  Jeff comes home.  Do dinner, play, put to bed.  Relax.  Go to bed.

Most days are like that.  I was taking a personality test for work and it asked questions like “Do you have many friends?” and “Do you seek out social situations?”  Umm…no.  Not many friends.  (I didn’t think facebook friends counted.)  And I definitely don’t seek out social situations.

I can blame it on my stage of life.  And it’s true.  It’s just much easier to stay home when there’s 2 young ones involved.

I can blame it on going to a big church.  And it’s true.  Our church is big and it is difficult to meet people, much less make friends.

I can blame it on moving away from friends.  And it’s true. For the first year of marriage, many of my friend lived really physically close to us.  When we moved across town, it wasn’t as easy to just stop in and see them.

But I think it’s mostly my introverted-ness.  I just don’t yearn for lots of interaction like other people do. Every once in a while I do, but really, most often I just want to read and stay in a cocoon.  (By the way, I recently read a great book on being an Introvert – checked it out from the library — Quiet: The Power of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking.)

But I’m starting to notice its affect on me.

  • When I want parenting advice, I don’t have many people that I can ask “Is this normal?” or “How would you handle this?”.
  • When different discussions come up about financial troubles or hardships, I can’t contribute much to the conversation – I haven’t personally been exposed to many reasons about why life is difficult financially.  Nor talked to many people about what they’ve gone through.
  • When the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court decision was announced, I didn’t think it was any big deal.  But apparently lots of other people did – judging from facebook anyway.

It’s odd because this is not Work Jayme.  Work Jayme has a big personality.  And is personable. And is (usually) funny and (I think) witty.  And asks about others.  And is informed.  And is usually in the middle of most of the stuff going on, project-wise.  But Outside-of-Work-And-Home Jayme just clams up.  And panics.  And feels awkward.  (Which that introvert book talks about why that is.  Good book.)

So I stay in my bubble.  Which I prefer.  It’s safe here.

I read another book recently about the Life Ready Woman by Shaunti Feldhahn, which I really liked.  It challenged me to think of ways that I can get out of my comfort zone.  Not big ways like move to Zambia.  But in “not related to work” ways that I can do.  Things that I have skills for.  Things that don’t have to take big efforts, but ways in which I could change.  So I’m starting to mull those ideas over.

Because as good as bubbles are, they can sometimes burst!

I’m living them.

I’m now dubbing July 5th the “Day After the 4th of July”. As far as I am now concerned, the day after Independence Day is ALL ABOUT recovering from the 4th of July. (That and that it’s also my brother’s birthday!)

We went to Jeff’s hometown yesterday (90 minutes away) to celebrate cause they celebrate it with homemade ice cream, a party with neighbors and lots of fireworks.  I’ve been going with Jeff since the first year that we were dating. But, now, things have changed. Instead of just hopping in the car and going, we fill the trunk with:

  • 2 pack-n-plays
  • diapers enough for an army (in 2 sizes and in regular-version and overnight-version)
  • baby food and formula
  • snacks for the car ride
  • blankets for sleeping
  • extra outfit “in case something happens”
  • pajamas
  • baby friendly toys
  • baby monitor

We brought a lot of stuff. And we actually used most of it except for the extra outfits.

The good news: The 2-year-old actually took a nap on the way there. (He hasn’t had a morning nap in over a year.)
The bad news: He never napped again and didn’t fall asleep until 11:00 when we finally hit the road to go home.
The worse news: He woke up at 5:00 AM this morning. It took a sippy cup of milk and Jeff sleeping with him to get him to sleep til 6:15 am.

To say the least, he’s had a rough day.

I try to remind myself to “enjoy these moments because they don’t last” and I find myself grateful that they don’t last. I’m grateful that in a few years, I won’t have to worry about:

  • Whether his diaper is too full
  • Where to dump the dirty, really smell diaper when we’re at Grandma’s house.
  • How he’s skipped a nap and wondering when the meltdown will occur.
  • Is he being too rough with the mini blinds because he wants to see the ducks?
  • What he broke that can’t be replaced.

In a few years, I also won’t have to stop eating steak lunch because he’s “DONE MAMA DONE!” and I can’t trust him un-monitored in the living room. Those are some rough moments. I know. I’m living them.

But in a few years, I won’t…

  • Have a little one on my lap curled with his blankie.
  • Get to listen to babbling from the backseat as he “talks” himself to sleep.
  • Get to hear neighbors say “What beautiful blue eyes your boys have!” or “Wow, they’re so blonde!”
  • Get to see the excitement that a little one has when they see “fwireworks” in the sky.
  • Help someone cover their head with their blanket so that they can see their glow-in-the-dark bracelet better when it’s darker.
  • Have anyone squeal in delight just because I looked at them.

Those are wonderful moments. I know. I’m living them.


Working Part-time

I’m not a President Obama supporter, but I’m far from a hater too.  In fact, I really dislike how people disrespect him and his office just because they don’t agree with him.  I’m talking about people that call him “Barry” or other disrespectful names.  There was a candidate for governer here in Nebraska a couple of months ago who had a President Obama bobblehead doll and knocked it off a fence post during one of his ads.  Just for that alone, I wouldn’t have voted for him.  (He wants to be the head of our state, but can’t respect the head of our country?  No thanks.  There were other qualified candidates.)

All that to say that I don’t normally get too excited about politics.  I definitely have my opinions, but it’s not an area that I spend lots of time on.  I just have other things that excite me more.

Until I read Parade Magazine’s article a couple of weeks ago with an interview with Michelle & President Obama on family issues.  And she said the following that really bothered me:

“Now I realize that that’s one of the challenges that we have as women:  We don’t negotiate for ourselves. We don’t negotiate hard. And I realized that again later on when I had Malia, my first child. After a while, I asked for part-time work [at the University of Chicago]. And I did the same job, part time. Essentially, I just got paid less. That was the first time I realized I would never again work part time, because that’s not a good deal for women.”

Now, I recognize that this was a short magazine article and had she been giving much more time and space to say what she really thinks, there might have been a different picture presented.  And it seems like her experience working part-time really colored her position on this.  But here’s my position on this:

Working part-time (compared to full-time) is wonderful.  And I wish more women would choose that option, not less.  (In full disclosure: I also wish more women would choose the stay-at-home mom route too.)  Working part-time might not have been a good deal for her, but it was probably a better deal for her children.  Maybe the solution isn’t to forget about working part-time (instead of full-time).  Maybe the solution is to work part-time and mean it.  And set boundaries around it.  (Easier said than done, I know…but let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater.)

I jut can not imaging working full-time at this time.  I just can’t imagine both my husband and I rolling in at 5:30 p.m., getting dinner thrown together, getting baths and bedtimes and cuddles and reading and instructing all in before 7:00/7:30 p.m. at night.  I just can’t imagine it.  (Well, I can imagine it, but I’m miserable in my imagination).

And maybe our kids go to bed earlier than most, but I far prefer that to waking a sleeping baby and toddler up at 7:15 a.m. just so that I can take them to the babysitter’s house (as wonderful as my babysitter is) or a daycare.  Or even letting them sleep in and having a nanny/babysitter be there when they wake up in the morning.

For women who want to work:  For women who need to work: Part-time can be a wonderful option.  It’s definitely worth looking into.

/rant over.

8 months old!

Baby Steve is 8 months old today yesterday!

The boys usually nap at the same time, but yesterday, just Stephen was awake so I had some one-on-one time with him and it was just so fun.  He’s at the age that he doesn’t usually want to be held – he wants to be off exploring!  He’ll just sit there, play with some random toy, then move onto the next toy.  He basically works his way from 1 level of the house all the way to the upstairs bathroom (hello tri-level!  Lots of stairs!)

He’s fun!

His scrapbook page:



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