Five is Still Little

Lately my sweet joyful Alexandra has been struggling. She has wanted to be right near us, doesn’t want us to leave and struggles going to bed on her own. 

Since moving into our home she has had her ups and downs. Her whole life, up until six months ago, she has always shared a room with her sister. 

I attributed her need for having me around to this transition. We really have only been in our house for a short time (even though it feels longer). 

Last week my mom took Thursday off to go hold her newest grand baby. My mom is also the librarian at the girls’ school. When I picked Alexandra up from school her teacher informed me that Alex was extra clingy. She said she hoped Alex wasn’t getting sick, but maybe it was because her Nana wasn’t at school. 

Saturday night I went to go and see the new baby and have some time with him as well. Alex cried when I left and struggled going to bed without me. At midnight she was crying and saying, “I just miss you.” I brought her to bed with us. The next day we made the plan that she could sleep in mama and dads room on Friday nights, after a week in her bed. This plan pleased Alexandra and I thought this was the end to the interesting evenings.

Sunday night, after reading Frosty the Snowman, Alexandra began to cry. 

She asked, “What if you die while I’m still little?” 

This (I think because Tim’s mom passed while I was pregnant) is one of my biggest fears. Trying to hold myself together, I asked, “What had made you ask this question?” 

Her response, “Like my friend who’s daddy died.” 

Recently our community lost a husband, and daddy to three, in a terrible accident. 

I responded to Alex by reminding her that because our family loves Jesus we will always be in each other’s hearts and that we will meet again in Heaven. Needing help I took Alex to Tim, he told her to pray for her friend and to pray for comfort for all (including herself) who may be sad, missing someone or scared. 

She is asleep in our room... she may sleep in here for a while. 

I’m not mad that she knows what happened. However, I’m sad that her childlike innocence and joy has been replaced with a real weight of the fallen world style of fear. 

She is not too little to learn to turn to God for comfort, she’s not too little to know that her emotions are real, but she is still little. She still needs me. For that reason she is sleeping sound right beside me. 

Lord, I pray for this little angel, for all who miss someone and for babies who have to grow up fast in this fallen world. I pray you give them guidance, grace and love. I pray to know how to help my baby girl. 

Together We Can

A little “Jamie” fun fact: I was born in San Diego. My dad was in the Navy and my mom worked for NASSCO. With both parents working full time I had a live in nanny, who I lovingly called my Nana. My Nana is a Filipina woman. I have several memories of my Nana, even though we left California when I was five. 

When I turned seven my mom shared with me that in my Nana’s culture the age of seven was a celebrated milestone. At seven you have all the traits you have for life. 

Today, our sweet Karoline is seven and a half. Two days ago I looked up to see this written on my board...
“Together we all can be possible of many things, and all things, because we can help create something amazing in the whole wide world! 

And we can do anything, no matter how hard it may be.
We can do many things, no matter how many disabilities we have!

A love for writing has begun to emerge in our girl. Her poems and thoughts are flowing and seeing her share her heart through words is beautiful and makes me SO proud.

May we all have the heart and faith of a child to see obstacles as something we can always over come, especially if we work together.

Happy half birthday, Karoline. Thank you for showing me inside your heart and for this beautiful reminder. 

How do you define rest?


cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.
an instance or period of relaxing or ceasing to engage in strenuous or stressful activity.

  1. This morning at Catalyst Church the message talked about how when we are busy two things happen. The first being that intentional time with God goes away. It is no longer a priority. Yep, true. It is so easy for me to jump out of bed and get started on my day when I could pick up my bible for five minutes. I know for a fact I can make up those five minutes quite easily in the morning (cough, cell phone use). 

    Tim has been getting up and reading the Proverb that matches the date every morning. I am not as diligent about this and only catch one here and there. My goal for this week is to give myself five minutes of reading my bible before my feet touch the ground this week. 

    The second thing that happens when we are busy, we don't rest. When people ask me, "How are you?" I like to respond, with the fact that life is constant. Somewhere along the way I decided that maybe this seems like I'm complaining less than saying busy. It's totally the same, it's not any less of a complaint. However, as I was sitting in church I was really quite baffled by the fact that I don't know what rest means to me. I imagine that probably means I don't do enough of it. How do I define rest? Laying bed, only taking care of myself and watching a couple of movies actually does sound really darn amazing. However, that's not quite what I need any more. Plus, it's not realistic for me. I would be trying to fold laundry, make lunch, or tend to the needs of my family. It would not be true rest. 

    When I read Webster's definition of rest I did not see what I needed from the definition the first time. However, the teacher in me had me reading it a few more times before I gave up on it. Then I saw the words, "refresh oneself." This, this I my rest. When I was younger one of my favorite parts about going to ballet was that I could think of nothing else while I was dancing. All of my attention was going to what I was doing. 

    Fast forward a few years and I'm no longer in ballet. Instead I find the same mind escape to come when I am working out or running. 

    So, as strange as it sounds, I find my rest in working out. Technically I'm not "ceasing work or movement." However, for that hour I am ceasing life. I'm ceasing the thinking, the to do lists, the anxiety of life, the comparisons, the guilt, the frustrations ... and well, all of it. It just stops. 

    Not only does it stop but thankfully endorphins are also pretty amazing things and the rest of the day tends to be better because of this time I give myself. 

    My hope for this week is that in giving myself five minutes with my bible every morning that I'm able to find this same sort of "high" in another way throughout my days and week. 

    How do you define rest? Whatever that means for you, do you take the time to do it? 

Lucky Number 7!

Sweet Karoline,

Today you’re seven. SEVEN! I say this every year, but I’m just not quite sure how the time keeps going so fast. 

Karoline, I’m sorry we’re knee deep in house work and transitions on your birthday. I’m sorry you won’t wake up to balloons for the first time. I put up two banners, made you a sign and hung some ribbons. I think it looks fun, but it’s still not a balloon. 

I’m sorry I forgot to get the one gift you asked for. I hope you will be excited to pick it out on the computer tomorrow and that the three gifts you have will make you happy. I’m sorry I’m not a Pinterest perfect party throwing, frugal but fancy kind of mom.

My sweet girl, I’m trying and failing and yet you keep loving me. To be honest, I don’t always feel worthy of your love. However, I know you’d never want me to feel this way. Because that’s you, my daring, you’re a ray of sunshine. 

I have a plan and I’m not sorry to be giving up social media for the summer so I can focus on our family. I’m not sorry I give you non-processed foods (most of the time), hate sugar and put you to bed early. Because I’m trying to do my best for you.

Motherhood is hard for me, and yet you just keep rocking the kid thing. You’re extremely intelligent, fun to be around, kind, beautiful, polite and precious in every single way. 

My daring, you’re incredible. 

When I was little my live in nanny was from the Philippines. She once said, in her culture, age seven is a big deal. At age seven a child has all the personality traits and behaviors they will have for life. My love, if this is true, then you nailed it. Your daddy and I are so proud of who you have become! 

My prayer for you, on your seventh birthday, is to always have courage and be kind - and to know Jesus and your family love you. Always. 

It's Starting to Feel Like Home

Just like that our house is starting to feel like a home ...
Alex was wondering how Tim could put the soffit and fascia up without there being a deck floor.
My precious curly haired loves.
He did a great job and I love the color with the bricks!
Drywall was next!

The brick is always running in the background ... only about 17,000 more to go. 
Drywall continued!
Our first home cooked meal (via hotplate) in the house was left over chicken noodle soup.
Tim asked me what I wanted the railing to look like. I found something like this on Pinterest and he made it come to life!
My shiplap dreams...
are coming true! This is the mud room, coming in from the garage.
This is the half bath off the mud room.
An accent wall in the kitchen. The coffee bar will go below those light switches.
Accent wall in the master bathroom.
Tim trimmed out all the windows, doors and installed the baseboards. I love that he is willing to put in the time and effort to make the little details I dreamed about a priority!
The view from Alexandra's West facing window is one of my favorites. On a clear day you can see Fremont Peak so well!
Shadow puppet fun!
We went back and forth on what to put on this fireplace wall. In the end my dreams of shiplap became a reality. However, my favorite part of this photo is, and always will be, the man casting the shadow. 

Timothy Joseph, 
you are an amazing provider. Two years ago I asked you, "What do you really want to do? What is your dream job?" You responded, "I've always wanted to build houses." My love, you're doing it. You're not just doing it, you're crushing it. The girls and I are so PROUD of you. Thank you for the tireless hours of labor and love that you're putting into our home.
The last two years have been hard, harder than we could have imagined. We felt led to make a change and the smile on your face when I see you working on our home has made it all worth it. Moving into this home will be a huge accomplishment. 
Where you go, I'll go. I love dreaming and conquering with you.
I am beyond thankful you make me the builders wife. 
This is just the beginning!

Teaching Blessings

This week I have been overwhelmed by the blessings teaching has brought into my life. The blessing have come in the form of relationships.

I miss my girls tremendously when I'm at work. However, this week I've made room for God to show me I am where I am supposed to be. In doing so I have been overwhelmed with a thankful heart. I am thankful for my co-workers and thankful for my students. My students are precious, precious kiddos. Many scoff when they think about teaching high school. I believe the joke is on them, our students are amazing. They all have so much to offer and I am thankful for each and every student I had and have the opportunity to know this school year.

This week I asked my freshman classes to write a two stanza poem in the rhyming scheme of ABAAB, the topic was up to them. I began to wonder if I could do the task I had assigned to them. I could, thankfully! I was able to summarize the gracious heart I've been filled with this week. This is what I came up with.

                 Hidden Blessings

When I chose this job I thought I knew what I was getting myself into.
I might not be the most rigorous teacher my students will ever have.
However, I have always known for sure, the thing I knew I could do;
I could show them their worth, show them grace and love them through and through.
At home, they may be loved by many, I’m learning many of them are only loved by few.

I’m lucky you see, 
I always thought I wanted to have a lot of kids.
Lately I say with more confidence, I’ve already experienced my last pregnancy.
But this year, children surround me like the leaves of a summertime tree.
My prayers have been answered and my blessings came to me in the hundreds.