Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Best Sunday!

Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I'm found
Was blind, but now I see

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed

My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy reigns
Unending love, amazing grace

The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures

My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy reigns
Unending love, amazing grace

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow
The sun forbear to shine
But God, Who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.
Song by Chris Tomlin

Happy Easter!

I hope that your Easter is filled with joy and peace, love and deep happiness. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Favorites: Easter!

Some of my favorites on this Good Friday:

Spending the day at the Detroit Zoo with my little family. We were given a membership for Christmas and this was the first nice weekend to go check it out. The boys are already plotting what we will do the next time!

Capturing a sweet moment when Daddy rocked his girl (and himself) to sleep.

Colin pulling a Joey and putting on 5 different shirts..and wearing them for the remainder of the afternoon.

A contemplative baby bunny with her little baby bunny.

And, of course, Good Friday.
There is something so powerful about it. The pain, the great suffering, the injustice and the betrayal that lead to death..and yet. And yet, it leads us to the Resurrection!
The heaviness of the Cross and the debt that was paid for me is a constant thought with me today, but those thoughts are always followed with a profound anticipation. Anticipation for what is to come. Anticipation for Easter morning.
I can hardly wait!

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Great Discovery

Colin has recently discovered the greatest word.

It has opened his eyes.

He is enthralled with the word.

It fascinates him.

What is this wondrous word, this great discovery in the vocabulary of a 3 year old?

Butt cheeks.

Technically it is two words.

But, to a 3 year old, it is the greatest of words.

It came out innocently. In a bathroom/wiping situation, Ryan casually said the words "butt cheeks" and Colin died laughing.

He than came running out to me, dropped his little Lighting McQueen undies, turned around and asked me with much excitement, "Mom! Do you know what these are called?" pointing to his little bum. "These are called...BUTT CHEEKS!! Like cheeks on your face but they are on your butt!!!!"

His little mind was blown.

Now, he will tell me how much he loves butt cheeks.

"Mom. Did you know that everyone has cheek butts...I mean, butt cheeks? Macy has butt cheeks, Jack has butt cheeks, Daddy has butt cheeks, even YOU have butt cheeks."

"Mom, I love butt cheeks more than candy."

"Mom.These are called butt cheeks and I love them."

The world is a wonderful place with funny words to discover when you are 3 years old.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

It seems like yesterday...

Yesterday I was changing Macy in her room and Jack asked about a picture that I have on her bookshelf. He wanted to know how old it was. It was one of our engagement photos and it made me stop and think. 

What day is it?


Tomorrow is April 8th.

I got engaged on April 8th, 8 years ago.

 Stillwater, MN. April 8th, 2006.

I kissed my husband for the first time 14 years ago.

Holy crap.

That is a really long time ago. We are getting so old. (Good thing he has the gray hair to prove it.)

It is funny how it seems like yesterday, yet so very long ago. We both have changed so much, endured love and loss, fought, came back together, moved, worked and laughed together. We created 3 beautiful children together.

I am glad I let you kiss me 14 years ago today.

I would say "Yes!" to you again, 8 years later.

Thanks for walking with my through this life, my love.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Half Way!

 Miss Macy is now half way through her first year of life.
How in the world did that happen?!

My sweet girl is growing and moving.
Curious about everything and anything.

And sassy. She sure is sassy.
She makes her opinions known.

Her brothers were never, ever this loud.
Maybe it is because she is the third baby and needs to be heard.
Maybe because she is a girl and has a higher pitch to her voice.
But, baby girl can raise the roof off with her screams and screeches.

Sometimes those pterodactyl screams are of joy.
Like when she sees her brothers or her dad.
Especially when she sees the cat.

Sometimes they are not screams of joy.
Like when she is mad, or left alone for 2.3 seconds, or teething.

But this cute little face is hard to resist.

I can't believe that she is 6 months old already.
She is growing and moving so much now.
Life is exciting and beautiful with Macy around.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Friday Favorites: First, Seconds and Silly

Happy Friday! 

After two weekends of traveling in a row, I am looking forward to being at home this weekend. 

Here are a few of my favorite happenings lately:

My baby lost his first tooth!  I was away on a work trip in Virginia and got a call from a VERY excited boy. He was at my grandparent's, eating a popsicle, and it just came out! I was a little bummed to miss out on that, but was happy that my mom and grandpa got be there for the big moment. We had to negotiate a deal with the Tooth Fairy, as Jack insisted that the Tooth Fairy was going to give him $25 for his tooth! We brought the price down to $5 for the first tooth and a $1 for the rest. Apparently, teeth cost a lot of money these days...

Last weekend, Macy and I flew back to Virginia Beach for a work trip. Macy was absolutely fantastic. She was the best little traveler, who charmed everyone with in eyesight with giggles and smiles. We were blessed with open seats next to us for both flights and she slept decently for being in a hotel. I was able to accomplish everything at work and we had time to meet with some friends. Macy and her bestie Wynter had a nice reunion:)

Baby is on the move. She is not sitting up yet, because that would mean she has to sit still. She is rolling ALL over the place and can get her little hands onto anything. I put her ON top of her play mat and returned 2 minutes later to find her UNDER her play mat, happy as a clam, eating the tags. Life just got a whole lot more interesting!

While there has been some good moments in the last few weeks, it has been tinged with a deep sadness at the loss of my Grandma.
Overall, I would say that my family is doing well, considering.  We all came together and celebrated my Grandma and she would have loved it. There is a great solidarity in my family that seemed to strengthen instead of weaken during this hard time.
This little boy wanted to make people smile. He did not like people being sad, so he tried his hardest to bring a lightness and silliness to some of the situations.
His smiling face and cute little voice brought many a smile, when it was easier to not.
I am so thankful for him.

I hope you have a great, relaxing weekend!
I am hoping to get some sleep and get my house back in order!

Oh, and Happy Spring.
(It feels like 24 degree right now, so not feeling the spring time just yet,but at least there is hope!)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

March 3, 2014

When I first heard that there was a large mass moving towards my grandmother’s heart or lungs and there was nothing they could do it about it, I cried. She was given 2 weeks to 2 months. It was too short. Too soon. I could not, cannot imagine a world without my grandmother.

I texted my husband, because speaking those horrible words out loud on the phone was just too much. It was too real and too raw. Writing was easier.

We planned to head up north that weekend and see her.

I cried that afternoon while I rocked my daughter to sleep. I cried while I held her sleeping body and I cried when I put her down.

Then, I went into my kitchen, this insatiable desire to cook, to make something, to bring them food, to make things better. I rummaged through my cupboards; thinking of what I could make that was nourishing and healthful, but appetizing.

Suddenly, I stopped. I was in the kitchen, thinking of my grandmother, wanting to make something for someone else.

This was exactly what my grandma would do. 

She thrived in the kitchen, a trait that was passed on from her mother, to my mother and now, apparently, on to me.  And what big shoes do I have to fill. Those Craig/Maile ladies can COOK. I mean, they know how to make the best food and anyone who knows them will tell you that.

As I tried to find ingredient for some banana bread muffins (healthy and hearty for grandma, a touch of sweet for grandpa) I thought of all the times I had seen her pull out food from the depths of her seemingly bottomless freezer to feed anyone who visited.

I thought of the time that she came to visit me in Virginia and brought lake – caught fish for a fish fry. She bought me a turning fork, because I did not have one, and you need one to make fried fish how she does.

 My Grandma cooking in my kitchen with my mom., lacking a good turning fork.

 I thought of her “ Happy Birthday, Jesus” cake that she insisted that she make every single Christmas night and that we would read the same reasons for the cake every single time.  By this time of Christmas night, everyone was full and cake was the last thing that we wanted to eat, but we dutiful went along with her birthday celebration.

There are a thousand more stories and memories that I have, that I cherish. My grandmother has been the grandmother to many, not just her own biological children. She is grace, love and peace personified. I truly cannot imagine a world, my world, without her.

Time is drawing near for her. It is down to days now. Sweet, precious hours.

The only saving grace about this whole situation is that I know my grandmother and I know her Savior. I know where she is going and I know that I will see her again.

While I don’t know how I will be able to go about tomorrow or the next week or next Christmas. I don’t know what I will do when I need to decipher Grandma Craig’s famous pumpkin pie recipe and I can’t call her. I don’t know how any of my family will do, but I do know this. My hope is found in nothing less than Jesus. In the depths of my sadness, I am still at peace.

My grandmother was a living example of pure love and you saw Jesus through her, every day.

 My hope and prayer is that one day I may be able to be like her.


* I wrote this post in the afternoon of March 3, 2014.  Hours later my sweet, wonderful grandmother slipped peacefully into eternity. She is whole and complete, meeting her Jesus that she faithfully served for years. I love you Grandma and I miss you terribly all ready...

 Four generations. I love the picture so much. It was the last time I saw my Grandmother. My daughter was able to be with her GiGi one more time. This picture is crooked and my grandpa's bald head is in it. I am sitting oddly, as to not put any pressure on my frail grandma. It is still perfect.