two thousand sixty-nine

what fear says.

i had the joy and the privilege of being asked to share my story at my young moms group. i think there are so many stories to be told but i settled on starting with where i am right now, in this moment. i’m fearful, anxious, guilty and hopeful.

if you have 15 minutes take a listen. it’s a little of my heart.

what fear says:: Kimberly Cole

kimberly cole

 


one thousand nine hundred and seventy-eight

remember that sweet little babe i wrote about a few months ago? well he is finally here and man is he perfect. that being said… i now have TWO kids… TWO! and it’s wonderful and overwhelming and beautiful all at the same time. all through my pregnancy i felt very…emotional…obviously! pregnant women are ooooozing with extra hormones, combo’d with this inevitable person/moment/thing that is about to rock you, your family and your life to the core…yeah, i was emotional. fast forward to now…currently void of emotion, tears and at some level, caring.

at first i thought it was because i was SO emotional in pregnancy. with all the hardships and loss we had during that time, it would make sense. then i thought maybe it’s cause i “extroverted” too much early in my pregnancy – haha. i’m a natural extrovert but found myself needing more time alone to recharge and not putting myself in conversations where i would need to “make a new friend” or even just small talk. {starting to know how Kyle feels} now the more and more i sit and reflect on why i feel “different” i’m starting to realize it’s not that i don’t care and have no emotions: it’s that i’m spent. “my cup runneth over” and in all the ways you are thinking. i have an abundance of love coming in and going out. i have THE most amazing husband who cares and supports me and our family – always. i have two beautiful little boys who are my whole wide world. But that’s just it, they take up my whole wide world. my cup runneth over with small people needing, small people loving, small people butts, small people just being the most…the most everything.

i know that it’s just a season of a newborn + toddler. i know it won’t be like this forever and i will find myself again in the beautiful chaos that is my life. and all of this is ok. i am ok. we are ok. the part that has me feeling a bit blue is simply that i don’t have the capacity to love people like i want to. scratch that… rather… to love ON people like i want to. i love to care for others. check in on my friends. impart whatever wisdom i’ve gained in my experience to those who are asking/seeking. i want to hear what people are going through, struggles, ups and downs…but i feel like i’m not GIVING as much as i normally do to those i love. i know now that it’s not because i don’t care… cause i do DEEPLY care. it’s that all my care giving is being soaked up by the under 3.5 foot crowd in my house. and that’s ok too. right now, that is where it’s suppose to be. it’s meant to be given to the 5 week old baby who sometimes, just wants to be held close – in between the diaper changes, sleeping and using my body alone to sustain and grow this little babe. it’s meant to be given to the 3.5 year old who’s life has just been flipped on it’s head. he needs to know that even in this change that he is still loved, wanted and enjoyed. and sometimes he simply just needs me to get on the floor and do a puzzle with him, or cuddle up and tell him how when he tells me he loves me, it makes my heart grow so so big. he’s learning to love. he is where i need to be. in all that, it’s loving and giving to the handsome man, the wonderful father to these two littles. trying to find that new normal as parents of TWO, trying to navigate a newborn – different then we did last time, to still make sure he feels loved and wanted and needed. my cup truly runneth over…and over…and over…

please don’t read this as me not wanting to care and love on you friends…cause i do so very much. please come to me with your struggles and ups and downs. i WANT and NEED to care of others too. i’m making my new normal now as a friend, daughter, sister, wife, niece, granddaughter…with the added mother of TWO to my title. it’ll take some time, some growing pains, lots of lessons to be learned and lots LOTS of love…but i’ll get there. we’ll get there.

 


day one thousand nine hundred fifteen

i will never be the person to stand in front of you and argue politics. i will never be the person to tell you why you shouldn’t vote for your candidate, or even why you should vote for the other guy {or girl}.i will never debate the hot button issues either. it is not a topic feel confident debating, arguing or frankly just discussing. the whole thing just has me riddled with anxiety.

i will however debate, argue and discuss loving people. that IS something that i am confident in. it IS a subject i have chosen to invest my time and energy into because it’s something that i feel very strongly about and am good at.

i read this interview with the lovely and amazing Jen Hatmaker. a woman i have come to truly admire for her honesty, humor, openness and love for Jesus. she spoke very frankly about her believes. her believes.

i read the article and thought “yes! this is it! she helped put words to a lot of things i’ve been struggling with in this time of chaos our world is in.” but you read the comments, and you start to hear the words coming from OTHER christians mouths about what she had to say and i’m just taken a back. when did loving other people FIRST become an issue? when did disagreeing with others become hate? when did loving people become hate?

you know loved people first? Jesus. and damn he did it well. he gave us the best example of how, why and who. and now christians are attacking christians because Jen decided to love people first? i also want to be so bold to say there has become a distinction that needs some calling out. i believe there has become a difference between christians and Jesus followers. christians are the ones spewing the hate to a woman who was standing up for her fellow person {believers or not}. Jesus followers are the ones actively trying to love people like Jesus did. i almost cringe to call myself a christian in this time. my husband and i strive to be Jesus followers and it doesn’t always look the way it should, it’s not always pretty and not always the best reflection of Christ but we are humans in a broken world striving daily, hourly, minute by minute to love people in all of it.

there is something to be said about speaking God’s truth. but i don’t believe you have any right to speak ANY truth to another person if you haven’t taken the time to speak in love FIRST. the world knows what christians are against, but have we taken the time to tell {and show} the world what we are for. Jesus didn’t go around saying “hey there tax collector, i love you, truly i do…BUT you know you are big fat sinner and here is an itemized list in alphabetically order of why you aren’t worthy of God’s grace, and I just really hate they way you live your life, but i’m saying this in love.” NO WAY! he showed up and invited them to have dinner with him. no talk of how flawed they were, or how much he disagreed with their life, he feed them and loved them. the end.

i think what is so appealing to me about Jesus is that he loved people through their struggles. he went to weddings of sinners. he cried with the hurt, broken and grieving. he found a way to love us through all of that. and then commanded us to all do the same. where are we doing that right now? where are we stepping out and saying simply, “i love you…i love every part of you, and you know what…i’m pretty broken too. i’m struggling too. i’m grieving too.” we are losing the idea that people are people. facebook, media, social media have made it easy for us to throw our hateful words around without any thought of the people that it might pierce, that it might cut down, that it might exclude. we say what we want because “it’s our right”…well i’m here to tell you just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

my aim in all this is not to tell you how terrible christians are, how terrible you are or even how great i am. it’s to shake you… {literally if i could} and ask you to just stop. and think.

i learned a phrase from a wonderful mentor of mine that we’ve implemented in our marriage. when a situation arises and we are weighing the pros and cons of saying or doing something that could effect the other… we stop and think “is this marriage building?”

so i ask you friends, christians, Jesus followers, non-believers, believers, the broken, the weary, the hurt, the grieving or whatever other name you are wearing right now…is this “marriage building?” are the words you say, or type, lifting and loving another person, group of people, minority, ethnic group? no? then stop. and think. “how can i show this person love and not judgement, not hate, not hurt?” sometimes it’s just listening without an opinion or agenda, it’s a kind act, it’s showing up when it’s assumed you’d never, and sometimes it’s simply smiling at another.

let’s love each other well friend… the world needs each and every one of us uniquely.


day one thousand eight hundred eleven

i know people tell you that every pregnancy is different. Boy OH Boy is that correct!! It’s not just the difference on my body and mind but having a baby in a different season of life with a toddler in tow changes everything! Started this pregnancy with my Granny passing away literally a week after Kyle and I found out. Followed by Morning {READ: All day} Sickness for 7 weeks straight. I truly never thought it would end. In the middle of all of that Kyle was traveling back and fourth to China and on his third trip, literally the day/night he landed I went in for an ultrasound, only to find that the baby tested positive for a potential genetic disorder.
 
as you can imagine fear and heartbreak took over and I was sitting in the dr’s office talking over my options all alone. I can think of a handful of “surreal” moments i’ve experienced and this was defiantly one of them. We have spent the last 10 weeks worrying, praying, thinking, reading, and really just sitting in the unknown. We had moments of deep sorrow and moments of “whatever this is, we got this” but all along knowing God doesn’t make mistakes and we are the perfect parents for this perfect baby. In this fear, I felt selfish for wanting my child to be perfect. I knew I could handle and WOULD handle and learn whatever was/is thrown at us but it doesn’t mean I wanted this for him.
 
yesterday we had an ultrasound that I had be dreading. It was easier to push all these fears and thoughts out of my mind by saying “well we don’t know anything until July 13th” and I was comfortable in that. Well….July 13th showed up, like dates seem to do. I went in fully expecting the worst, but oddly not being scared. Yesterday I found myself in a puddle of tears all day. The wonderful, beautiful, amazing doctor who had once seemed so cold to me, sang to us {well I remember it as singing with the hallelujah chorus behind her – but i’m sure she just spoke} that sweet little baby Reid looked perfect! She couldn’t find anything that would indicate any type of genetic disorder and that every organ and body part was measuring perfect!
today I feel excited and ready to have a new little boy in our lives. I feel like the hardships of this pregnancy are HOPEFULLY behind us and we can begin to prepare for baby Reid. He is my strong boy. He is my connection to my Granny that will carry me through a lifetime. He is mine.
xoxo
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 {sweet little baby foot}

day nine hundred thirty-nine

a couple years, nine months and a baby later

reflecting back on my previous posts, seems we are still working on those same goals. i guess those will be struggles that we will be facing for awhile. it’s interesting, looking back, it is almost like i foretold our future.

we are still working hard with our budget and whittling away that debt. we took a second round of dave ramsey’s FPU and really enjoyed it. nice little refresher but we are looking to possibly host a class ourselves for our friends and family. the class was so life changing for us on how we view money, use money, talk about money and helped us to align our goals together. we have paid off all credit cards and actually own anymore, have paid of a few lines of credit and now are working on a few big ones. hoping in the next 3ish years to be completely debt free (minus our house). we are making out monthly budget and every month are getting closer to our zero based budget, having every dollar accounted for.

currently we are working on baby step #2…paying off debt. oi, how quickly that debt is racked up and how slooooowly it goes away. i am hoping that the work we are putting in now can be a wonderful example to lincoln, so that he understands money and doesn’t have to struggle with money the same way his father and i have. i know those creditors are gonna try to sink their dirty fingers into him the day he hits 18 but that just means we have 17 years and 3 months to get our act together and guide him.

and on that note…probably the best thing that has happen since my last post, which ironically talked about how distracted i was by babies at church. this little guy changed our lives in so many amazing ways on may 9th 2013…

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but more about that handsome boy later…until next time
xoxo


day fifty three

wow…it has definitely been awhile and lots to catch up on, so let’s just dive in.

there have been a lot of different changes in our lives the last 7 weeks since we’ve been married. as you read previously we made some commitments to each other to focus more on our relationship and our walk with God. sunday’s are now our day to spend together and have made it church every week but one [my fault, i hit snooze on accident]. we having been bringing the smith’s along with us and it’s been great having an accountability couple to keep you in check. i have to admit that i have been a bit distracted during service in the mornings, we are surrounded by some many adorable little babies and kids and i have the fever. but that’s a different story…

kyle and i have started FPU…financial peace university…it’s an amazing program by dave ramsey that teaches you better ways to manage your money. i take that back, he doesn’t teach you because it’s more common sense then it is anything else…he shows you how to use the tools you already have. example: save up your money and THEN buy what you want…SAY WHAT?!?!? I know…we are in the middle of week two and are soaking up the knowledge but not applying it as much as we would like. our current task is to save up $1000 in an emergency fund…we are more than halfway there, have our rough budget laid out but are struggling with curving our daily spending. uphill battle but we are working through it…

that’s all for now…gotta save something for other blogs…

p.s. wedding pictures to follow shortly ; ] here’s a teaser…


day seven

Today we were so fortunate to be able to watch two of our favorite people get married, the beautiful Courtney Caplin and charming Matthew Cotter. They had an amazing ceremony and reception at the Smog Shoppe in Culver City. A GEM of a place that you wouldn’t know existed unless someone told you. It was absolutely the perfect place for these two to start their lives together and the whole wedding was just “them”, not sure any other way to put that.

As the beautiful bride starts to walk down the aisle of course her soon to be hubby pulls out his iPhone and  snapped this:

He later uploaded it to Twitter with the caption “Best view ever!!!” ADORABLE! In his vows he was said he would not be on his iPhone during dinner and see said that see would only nag when absolutely needed and to buy shoes and purses in moderation, her decision on what “moderation” meanings. ; ] It was a great representation of these two people and was our honor to be their to witness the love between the two of them.

Matt and Courtney are very special to Kyle and I and we could not be more happy for them. Kyle was renting a room from Matt when I met him and I personally thought he hated me at first! Once I got to know him I realized that he LOVES me and I am too sensitive. Shocking right? haha Both Matt and Courtney became great friends to not only to just Kyle but welcomed me in as well. They both were there for Kyle and I in some rough times when we needed words of wisdom and just a friend to make you laugh. Beyond grateful for their friendship and blessed to have them in our lives.

Loved sharing our perfect day with them and honored they shared their wonderful day with us. The way we felt leaving their wedding, a high of just excitement and a feeling of love, contentment and happiness in knowing these two people found each other and get to share their future together, was exactly the feeling we hope people left our wedding with.

Congrats Mr & Mrs Cotter!

 

Here’s us in the photobooth having some FUN!! ;


day five

we had the best adventure at Del Dotto Winery. they take you in the caves where they store their wine and teach you about the different barrels and how the wood type, shape  and age can make such a huge different in the taste of the wine. Our tour guide was AMAZING and we were able to taste all the wine straight from the barrel. It was the perfect end to our Napa adventure. Of course we found the BEST little stop called Gott’s Roadside . They have the best burgers I have ever had, to die for Chili Fries and MY goodness….THE CHOCOLATE SHAKE!! We loved it so much we went back the next day on our way out of town. ; ]

 

 

day three

Today we took a bike ride through wine country. It was absolutely amazing. I haven’t really ridden a bike since I broke my arm many….many years ago. We jumped around to a few different wineries all with the slogan “spit and cycle”. Pouring delicious wine into a bucket seems like such a waste but neither of us wanted a RUI? Riding Under the Influence? Plus, they had us climb some killer hills which really proved to us how out of shape we are and how some wine just isn’t worth it! ; ]

It was nice to just ride with the wind blowing in your hair and not a care in the world. Kyle was our leader and kept a close eye on me because I hurt myself before we even made it to the first winery or even the first mile for that matter. I dropped by bike on my toe…who drops their bike? Well apparently me! After a fun ride meeting some amazing people we decided on our trip for our 10 year anniversary.

Every winery we have stopped at we have purchased one bottle of wine to open on what we thought would be significant anniversaries. What we have found is that unless we wanna pay the big bucks {which if you read my previous post you know we don’t have} you can’t get wine that lasts more than ten to fifteen years. They idea was to buy wine for our one, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty and fifty  year anniversary but that doesn’t seem to realistic. Romantic but not realistic. We have stocked up on the bottles from today and have plans to set them aside for every year that we can celebrate. Come our ten-year anniversary I guess we will have to come back and get some more…oh darn! All and all it’s been a great day, making some great memories and really diving into how we want to live our new life together. If there has been a running theme for our honeymoon I would say that we are enjoying some much-needed rest and digging deep into where we see our future. It’s rather exhilarating!


day one

Setting expectations:

Kyle and I have struggled recently with finding the time to go to church. I know, it’s silly but we have lacked the time and sadly motivation to get ourselves there. We committed to each other that we would work to have every Sunday off together. This way it will eliminate any excuse not to go and we have a guaranteed day off together. Our plan for Sunday’s is to be our day…”family day”. It’s not meant to waste the day away on the couch, or sleep in till noon, but to do things that we have been wanting to do but haven’t found the time. Now, we are making the time.

Money is usually the source of couples arguments, fights and frustration. We are not excluded. I can say it, we are BAD with money, we spend more than we make and have no savings to account for. Not a good place to be right? When we get home from our honeymoon there is a program that friends have recommended led by Dave Ramsey on spending. So pretty much when we get home we are on financial lock down! The idea that we get ourselves out of debt now and start preparing for our future. Everything we are doing is preparation for our future together and as a family.

Being happily married is a conscious decision that you need to work at daily. From day one we have decided that this is what we want and are going to work at that daily for the rest of our lives.