Monday, February 27, 2012

what I imagined for my life...

This may end up being long. Lots of thoughts going through my head about my life.
Do you remember when you were younger and would try to imagine what you're life would be like as you got married, had a family, a career, an adult life? I do.
Sean and I were talking about that the other day. We were talking about how our life has turned out so different than we ever had dreamed. Never in a million years would I have imagined that I would be where I am today. Not only in my family life, by spiritually, physically, emotionally. I know a common topic on this blog is how God is clearly in control of my life and how His plans often seem to be far different from my own.
When I look down at my life from a distance, it is incredible how different it has turned out than I ever imagined. In fact, I still cannot believe it sometimes. It's all so fresh as so much has transpired in the last 2 1/2 months, so maybe that's why it's so unbelievable to me still.
I can't sit here and tell you that it's all so wonderful and how God made things so perfect and easy for us and my life is so happy all the time. That would be a lie.
It's been HARD! It's been hard from the beginning...from the day we said, "I do." Actually, since before that. Relationships are hard, marriage is hard, doing what God calls us to do is often times hard and scary and the devil tries to put doubt in our minds.
I love Sean so much and know that he was meant to be my husband, but I don't believe that is because everything was destined to be great all the time and we were put together because we would get along perfectly and married life would always be amazing. No, I believe we were meant for each other because we were meant to learn from each other, balance each other out, learn about ourselves through being with each other. However, it took years for me to learn that. In the beginning, I just thought that things should always be wonderful because God created us to be together so that's how it was meant to be. I was angry and doubtful (thanks to the devil) that we were actually meant for each other when things got hard. I felt like if we were meant to be together, if it was how God intended, than it should just be easy! Oh how wrong I was! God doesn't make our paths easy, he makes them necessary...necessary for us to take to get to where we are supposed to be.
In a weird way, our marriage is more difficult than it's ever been while at the same time, the best it's ever been. Does that make sense? I think it's difficult because it's hard to change, it's hard to endure things, it's hard to recognize our own faults. My marriage is at a place where we are busy and it's hard to focus on because we are so focused on our family...our children. It's at a place where I am recognizing where I NEED to change to make things grow and improve, yet my sinful self wants to remain the same, have everyone else (aka Sean) do the changing. That is the devil making me feel that way. I know so many ways that I could change to make things work better in our life, in our marriage, in our family. It's hard to admit those things and to make it priority to work on them. It's hard to recognize that things are actually often times MY FAULT. Ha...imagine that - I am actually in the wrong sometimes. :) Crazy concept.
Our marriage is the best it's ever been though because we are both growing together, changing together. happy together and we are more in love than ever. We are really at such a great place. It's still hard to be at that place because we are constantly aware of our own faults and working on changing them to make things better in our marriage. I do believe that marriage is always work, that it will be a continuous roller coaster as we grow at different paces and as we go through all of the ups and downs life gives us, but I am so glad that I am in this with Sean.
So no, my marriage is not at all how I imagined my marriage would be. I had no idea what all was involved in marriage though. So is it better than I thought it would be? YES! Is it worse and harder than I thought it would be? YES again!
And children. I have always wanted children. I was going to get married and have babies...4 or 5 (at least 1 girl and 1 boy in the mix). I was going to be a super mom. I was going to have my house clean all the time (ha...that's just funny to even type!), I was going to have the most obedient, polite, clean children. They were going to be happy and healthy in every way! I mean, why didn't people understand that the reason their children misbehaved and were obnoxious at times was because of the way they parented them?! Geesh...I was going to be consistent at all times, not put up with anything, they would know how to act and people would be so impressed with their wonderful behavior and adorableness. Really, I think I believed this. Did I ever dream that I wouldn't be able to birth children? No way! Did I ever dream I would adopt 3 children? Um, absolutely not! Adoption wasn't even on my radar! And 3 boys?! Ya, that wasn't going to happen...I needed my girl!
So to say that growing a family for me was different than I ever dreamed would be the understatement of the century!
I used to look at people who would adopt children who were medically fragile or who had Down Syndrome or were wheelchair bound or had other disabilities and think, "Wow, I could never do that!" Well apparently I can. And I can tell you this much, I have doubted our decisions every step of the way! I have been so scared and had 2nd thoughts. I have wondered what on earth we have gotten ourselves into and dreamed about what life would be like had we not done this. I have feared that we were just making things harder on our marriage and that we had ruined Tate. The devil put those thoughts into my head. I know this. The devil is smart and knows how to squeeze his way into our life when we're weak. He has found his way in so many times.
You know what? I have loved these boys through everything. I have had doubts and been scared and wondered if we were doing the right thing. Never did I doubt my love for these boys or wish they weren't in our family. Never did I think that I could easily hand them over and say, "nevermind, we can't do this." Our boys have taught us so much more than I ever dreamed a child could. It's been so hard to be a mother to 1 child, let alone 2 more who require much different care than a completely healthy child would. It's been scary and brought out so many bad things in me at times. And you know what else...they are not always obedient and are almost always messy and disheveled and they cry in public, have temper tantrums, whine, are disrespectul and do things that are embarassing. I give into them almost daily and let them get away with things that I know I shouldn't. I am tired and enjoy naptime and bedtime almost more than any other part of the day and I don't have my girl!
So to say that being a mom is different than I ever imagined it would be is the understatement of the century! Is it the better than I ever imagined it could be? Oh my, ABSOLUTELY! Is it the hardest thing I have ever done and sometimes impossible to imagine handling it for another second? Without a doubt!
My life is NOTHING like I imagined it would be. Not in the slightest.
It's harder.
It's scarier.
It's more tiring.
It's frustrating.
It's more exciting.
It's happier.
It's more wonderful.
It's full of love.
There are some things that are completely out of my control about my life that I would change if I could. However, I don't believe that if I were able to change those things that it would make my life a better life at all...just a different one. I can only change my reactions to things that are thrown at me, my response to the path God has paved for my life.
I won't even begin to imagine what is ahead for my life because if history repeats itself, it will be a waste of my time to even try. :)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

I'm sad.

Our family is once again not going to be all together this week. During this transition time over the next couple of weeks, this will be a common occurance. It is the way it is and will likely allow for the healthiest transition for our newest addition, but I am sad. I didn't want to bring him back today. And he cried. When we left, he went to put his coat on like he was going with us. When we explained he wasn't coming, he cried. Ugh. This isn't fun. :( We will anxiously await Friday morning when we are all together again!

A sneak peek of our night last night...

We had fun! And our newest "blob" adores Sean. Likely because Sean is WAY more fun than me!
I wish we could share our 1st family picture as a family of 5!!! It will have to wait. :( This picture does bring a smile to my face, though...that's for sure!
We went down to the Sky Bridge (aka Rainbow Bridge) and let the kids run. We met DeCooks down there and all the kid had a blast. Our newest addition and Chloe are going to be great friends just like Ava and Tate are!
I feel like I am just living a dream, looking down on what is now my life and not really believing it's true yet!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

8.5 hours...

That's how long it will be before our whole family is together again for the entire weekend! I should go to sleep now. :) Can't wait to have all of our kids under one roof for the whole'll be the first time we've all been together at HOME!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Jennie Peakin Daycare is closing up shop...

Today is the last day that I will watch these 2 sweeties. It was a super fun 3 weeks having them! Truly, I love these girls and they are so good!
I did an impromptu 2 minute photo shoot with them this morning. Actually, they were just being adorable so I snapped a bunch of candid pictures of them. Don't forget to scroll down and see the 2 posts below this to see all of the pictures.

I'll miss having you Ava and Chloe!

These make my heart jump out of my chest...

...and make me seriously doubt that we're done growing our family! ;)
These pictures make me want 2 daughters more than I ever have before!

Lora and James, you are so blessed!
I hope you know how much I love your girls!!!

Ava June

Tate's going to miss waking up to this lovely lady waiting for him in the livingroom each morning. And I'm going to miss my time with her too.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


I'm not Catholic. I have never believed that I needed to give something up for Lent. However, I have been thinking about giving something up for Lent this know, just as something that I can do to lean on Jesus or spend more time with Him during Lent...which hopefully will extend out into my life once Lent is over. I have been going back and forth with what I might want to give up. It hit me today...I have been "cheating" on my diet a lot. I have justified it because I haven't gained any weight because of it...however, I've lost very little due to it as well! I need to start running, but don't think that in the next several weeks that will be able to fit into my daily life without me giving up. So I decided I am giving up carbs...again. I mean, I still don't eat bread, potatoes, most sweets (I have been eating fruit lately), I don't drink milk or juice or regular pop, I drink sugar free creamer in my coffee...I've been pretty good. Not good enough. I am going to be back at it for the next 40 days. I am really going to have a tough time, I know it. However, when I feel weak, I am going to go to Jesus, not to carbs. I have realized over the last month or so that I eat my emotions and when I am emotional, I want carbs! So now, as I know I will be emotional over these next several weeks with all of the happenings in our family, instead of going to carbs, I am going to Jesus. He will give me the strength...I will need it!

My beautiful friend...

I think pregnancy is such a beautiful thing...and when paired with such a beautiful person, it is just amazing! I am pretty certain that's one of the reasons I can't get pregnant...I likely would have ruined the beauty that is pregnancy! :) Ha.
If you have read my blog much at all, you know Lora. Our friendship isn't even just that...she's like a sister to me. So today, I talked to her as she was driving home from work and said, "I want to come do your maternity photos...right now. Can I come over and do them?" Um, talk about last minute! She was a trooper and agreed and I showed up at her house (because she lives only a few houses down) before she even got home from work. James watched the kids, fed them supper, changed diapers and didn't complain while Lora and I leisurely took her pictures in their home.
Here are a couple, but go to MY PHOTOGRAPY BLOG HERE to see several more.

I mean, she had about 30 seconds to get ready and this is what she looked like.
I cannot wait to meet their new little bundle in only a few short weeks! Hopefully I am able to get that bundle behind my lens immediately when she's born.
Lora makes pregnancy look beautiful and was so much fun capturing it!

Monday, February 20, 2012

I want calm...

Will I ever have it? I usually wouldn't say that I want it...I mean, I must kind of thrive on constant change and chaos and stress and a full schedule. However, I can say that over the last 2 days, I have been craving calm. The worst part about that is that we are going to be entering into a season where calm moments will likely be rare. I am sure I will cherish them when they show their face, but I am equally as sure that I will be wishing they would peek through the chaos more often.
I don't have any doubt that this path is the path we are supposed to second thoughts on the matter (I've been asked). At the same time, I am worried and scared and know it is going to be harder than I expected. The rewards will be worth all of the difficulty, I know that I will come out a changed person...most definitely our whole family will.
Until this weekend when everything changes, I plan to savor every calm moment I can and soak up our time together alone as a family of 4 while there are only 4 of us!

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Well, some of you may have seen something you shouldn't have as I just posted on this blog something that was supposed to go on the private one! Oops! If you missed it, sorry! :)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

No time to edit pictures...

So you are getting a post of the completely unedited, straight out of my camera (and I used my flash) pictures. I am too tired to care. And honestly, you all may think I am weird, but I usually edit EVERY picture I post on here in some way.
So Tate has been wanting the Herky pillow pet for a LONG time! I am sorry, but that bad boy (the pillow pet, not Tate...ha) is EXPENSIVE! Not to mention that he already has 2 pillow pets! Spoiled much?! ;)
Anyway, we knew this was a big know, meeting his new brother and all. :) So, we figured it would be a good weekend to give him this special gift he's been wanting. And what do you know, but it was ON SALE for $15 at Von Maur!!!! Woohoo!!!!! Seriously, they are usually $35 or $38 or something crazy like that. So, I bought 2! One for him and one for his little brother. :)
They loved them, but Tate LOVED his more...

Oh my, it brought me so much joy to see him so happy about this gift. He clung to it all weekend and is soundly sleeping on it right now. I so want to just crawl in bed with my little guy and snuggle up to him this second! Too bad he sleeps in a twin bed on the top bunk! Not gonna happen! ;) Ha.
We are so proud of him and how he did this so proud!
(oh, and the weekend was OVERWHELMING, chaotic, wonderful, exciting...all of the above. Did I mention chaotic?! ;))

Friday, February 17, 2012

thoughts from a tired brain...

I had a crazy morning...ugh. It wasn't fun. THEN, the day turned wonderful! :) Got some great news, got to spend time with family, it's the eve of the day we will finally have all of our kids in one place to meet and spend time together as a complete family! Oh my, I am overwhelmed with joy!

Now I am tired because I did a (all to common for me these days!) late night Wal-Mart run that lasted until 11:30pm. I'm totally weird, I know, but it's like therapy. Roaming the store alone, no kids, just me and my thoughts. Love it. Kind of the same feeling I get when I run...I will be getting back at that soon and it's looking like it'll be saving me some money to get my therapy that way instead! I mean, it IS totally weird that I just compared a late night Wal-Mart run to an actual RUN. Totally different, but the comparison makes sense to me.


I must say that if I had twins, I would totally dress them alike...probably as much as possible! I find myself constantly looking for clothing for the boys that match. Problem is, it's not super easy to find the same shirt in 18mos, 3T and 5T (pushing size 6)!

I am so tired! Heading to bed...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

the term "special needs"

Okay, so I have had some thoughts mulling around in my brain these last weeks. Now that I have children with "special needs", I have found myself using that term a lot. Ugh. I hate that term. I mean, I don't know what other term to use though.

What exactly are "special needs"?

Wikipedia says...
In the United States, special needs is a term used in clinical diagnostic and functional development to describe individuals who require assistance for disabilities that may be medical, mental, or psychological.

I would venture to say that I HAVE "special needs"! Don't we all?! I could certainly use some pyschological help...I'm not afraid to admit this! And we all need medical help at times, right?

Okay, so I may be a bit dramatic here, but I can't help it...that term bothers me. I mean, I SAY, a lot. Maybe it's the fact that when someone says "special needs", the person they're speaking to automatically has this assumption in their head as to what that means and there is such a wide variety of "special needs". I don't want to put my child in this specific category. I don't know if this is right or wrong to feel this way, but it's how I feel. Not sure what writing this out is going to do for me, but I like to document my thoughts here so I guess you all get to read it as well. :)

So with our newest addition, I say he is "medically fragile"...because he is. This seems like an accurate category to put him in. However, with the little one, I don't know what to say. People will ask, "does he have special needs?" Well, yes he does...don't you? I sure do! I often find myself saying that he has some "developemental delays".

I guess I like the broader categories of "developemental delays" and "medically fragile" better than the term "special needs". On paper, 2 of our children will be labeled as "special needs children". I don't know, it just bothers me.

So there you have random thoughts on "special needs". Feel free to chime in with your thoughts on this.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tate's Valentines...

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Not a full family picture...

It feels wrong posting a picture of just the 3 of us and calling it a "family picture". We're missing 2 important boys in this picture. So it's a partial family picture. :)

Me and one of my Valentines. :)
My heart is bursting with love.
Goodnight all!

Preschool Valentine's Day party...

Tate and Ava had a fun little Valentine's Day party at preschool today.
This game was hilarious to watch all the kids do...I took a bazillion pictures!
These marshmallows were tied to fishing line and strung over a pole and the kids could only use their tongues and mouths to get funny!

Then we had an activity where the kids got a dab of Vaseline on their noses and could only use thier nose to pick up a cotton ball and then transfer it to some sticky paper. The kids LOVED this activity too.

After a couple of other activities, the kids got to open their Valentines. They were so excited!

It was a fun little party and the kids all seemed to have a great time.
Tonight, it's heart shaped pizza at the Peakin household!

The finished products...

The girls' Valentine's Day gifts for Lora and James...

Tate's Valentine's Day gift for Wesley...
Looks like we have some budding artists on our hands!

Valentine's Day party at Jennie Peakin Daycare...

We had a fun day today!
We started with a special breakfast of cinnamon rolls and chocolate donut holes covered in sprinkles along with opening up the Valentines I had for the kids...

Finger lickin' good...

Oh these two are such great friends...they really do get along so well which is something special because Tate isn't always the easiest child for other children his age to get along with! Ha.

He was ecstatic about his Angry Birds t-shirt. It was red, so it was close enough to a Valentine's Day t-shirt for me to get it for him...

Chloe is just hilarious...

We did a craft where the kids painted wooden picture frames. I had taken pictures with a heart backdrop earlier this week of Chloe and Ava so that they could have a surprise gift for Lora and James. So today they painted and decorated the frames for the pictures I took of them. I will have the finished product posted in a while. They turned out SO CUTE! Tate did one too and insisted his was for Wesley...more on who that is later! ;) ;)

Tongue out for concentration...always...

The 3 kiddos in their heart masks...

And they got heart necklaces too...that they wore as everything BUT a necklace...

Silly, cute kiddos.
Love them!