Sunday, October 12, 2014
Well, I'm not sure this is quite that bad, but a LONG TIME AGO I did get an awesome present that I should have told you about.
RRL, the amazing, set me up on wordpress and made "deeprollingrightfield.com" officially MINE!
How thoughtful was that? And he did all the work rolling forward the old posts on the new site for me- and wrapped it all up and gave it to me for my birthday. LAST YEAR.
So- If you find yourself here, on this old site that I haven't logged on to in months. OOPS. I'm sorry i didn't tell you sooner.
Hop on over to where the real fun is: deeprollingrightfield.com
To hear about:
Our matching but not twin boys
Our hilarious Easter photo shoot
Dressing seven small children as cows to get free food
And our Lemonade stand with our bonus 3 kids
Among other fun (and some serious).
See, you haven't missed much.
Unless you consider adding three more kids to our house for a while being very much.
which I do.
And don't forget to add the REAL deeprollingrightfield.com to your blog reader of choice so you never miss a party again (that I forget to invite you to).
See ya soon!
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
To the one who left church because of me:
We were running late to service. It is one of my husband’s least favorite things about Sundays. With four (and on that day, seven) kids in tow, it is rare that we can get them all picked up from various Bible classes, delivered to children’s church and us to our seats before the opening hymn. Maybe I talk too much. Maybe.
I don’t know you, but you’ve changed something in me. I know you’ll likely never read these words, but you are now a part of my story. To be honest, I never considered before that our rushing to our seats might impact someone else. I guess the fact that I consider the section “mine” is my first problem. It’s just that we ALWAYS sit there. The seats in the way back are on a slope and kinda make my feet hurt. I thought about my feet again this Sunday and was willing to forge forward to find prime seats.
I’m sorry that in seeking those seats, I misunderstood you. When I asked if you were saving any of the seats around you- two on one side, three on the other- I understood the answer to be “no”. When I asked if you minded scooting in, you clearly said “I’d prefer not to”. No problem, we’ll sit around you- hubby and I on one side, 3 in-laws on the other. Only it was a problem. Apparently it was a big problem to you. Within minutes you gathered your belongings and left, minutes later you came back for something forgotten and left a second time in quite a huff.
I’m sorry because I know now it wasn’t about the seats. The conversation we had after I followed you out of the auditorium went so poorly. I have a feeling that nothing I said or did in those moments would have made a difference for you. The pain and anger ran too deep for me to “fix”. But I still hate that I couldn’t.
I’m sorry because as I stood there listening to the hateful things you said about me, the ridiculous nature of the blame you placed on me and the emotion with which you carried it all, I could only think “This is like nothing I’ve ever experienced from a stranger. And a stranger IN CHURCH. My word”.
But as you walked away and said “You didn’t even see me. YOU ARE THE REASON I CAN’T BE IN CHURCH,” I knew my persepective had been wrong. Completely wrong. Especially in church. And I’m so very sorry.
I want to apologize; because it is absolutely true- I followed you for me. Not for you. I wanted to fix it so that I could make myself feel better. Surely if you knew me, I could make it ok. If you knew why I’d been consumed with myself that morning, you’d understand. If you knew about the kiddos I’d brought with me- desperately hurting children- you’d be compassionate. If you knew my pain over having to decide where they were going to live- you’d see my heart. If you knew about the conversation I’d just completed, the first healthy conversation in 3 years with someone I love, you’d understand why my mind was consumed.
I just knew that if you could just SEE ME, you would understand my blinders. And you’d understand why it was a simple as me moving to a different seat, you coming back to service and definitely forgiving ME so I could eat my lunch after church without another thought to the matter.
But it wasn’t that simple. Because what rocked me was a realization that I had missedwhat I rarely consider in my Sunday rush to my seat. As I come to worship, I rarely consider that we all come into that auditorium the same way. Maybe in varying degrees of blindness, but all with things in our own lives- whether joys or sorrows- that keep us from seeing. Really seeing each other.
I am sorry that I felt so justified in my self-consumption. I do have some tough stuff in my health, in my emotions, in my life. But as a result, I could not see you. Even now, I remember you were wearing a blue sweater, but for the life of me, I can’t remember your face.
I am sorry because just before you stormed away, you gave me a peek into your pain. And I could tell it ran deep. You mentioned grandaughters that you never see. You alluded to a hope that they would join you that morning. Before your anger out-weighedit, I saw a glimer of your hope and emotion. But only in retrospect did I realize that my pain had kept me from asking you for any information about those girls.
I am sorry, for I may never know if they were the root of your pain. I will never know if ill-begotten seats represented their faces to you. I may never know whether you meant you were leaving the auditorium that day or leaving the Lord. And for that, I’m so incredibly sorry.
I’m sorry I did not see you.
I’m sorry that my pain blinded me from yours.
But I want you to know, it did not destroy me. And the efforts Satan made that morning to trap me in a pit of self-pity, were conquered by a God that I went to worship in the first place. And you were a vessel in that deliverance. I can’t promise you that there won’t be more Sundays of self-consumption. But I promise to try to see.
Thank you for opening my eyes. You helped me realize that I am neither alone in my pain nor alone in my desire to have it quenched.
Thank you for putting a name to my self-consumption. You helped me hear clearly that morning that even “God-work” can be an idol in which I place my self-worth and which dictates my actions and emotions.
Thank you for giving me the will to fight off the blinders that have swallowed me. You restored in me a spirit that does not want to be consumed, that wants to see others and more than anything wants to be present.
Thank you for reminding me why I come to Worship. You showed me that in worship, not just in that auditorium, I AM BEING RENEWED- despite my flaws, despite my pain, despite my busy-ness, despite my longings.
I’m writing so you’ll know that I’m praying for eyes to see those around me. To not be consumed by my own life in a way that keeps me from living beside others.
And most of all.
I’m praying that you find your way back to Church. Not a building full of people who can’t always see, not an auditorium full of seats that get too crowded, not worship that is a band playing in volumes with varying degrees of audience preferences, but CHURCH. A body of believers, encouraging each other while we hope for what we can not see. Worship, the experience in which we can be our messy selves, yet full of so much more. You helped me find my way back there on Sunday and I hope you’ll join me. I don’t want you just to join me in those crowded seats on Sundays when we come together, but join me in giving what little we have to the One who always ALWAYS sees us.
And give me a chance to see you.
I’m sorry that I didn’t.
I’m sorry that sometimes I won’t.
But thank you for helping me want to try.
Saturday, January 11, 2014
So, here ya go. FINALLY. The not-secret-on-purpose details of our Christmas adventure revealed in a format kind of like the 12 days of Christmas (only not at all. don't try to sing it, it won't work). We didn't send out Christmas cards this year, didn't give teachers Christmas gifts until we came back to school, didn't do a lot of things because of one amazing trip. We spent several weeks planning our roadtrip north, days packing for the excursion, and then 10 days away from home. And at the end, I'd say it far surpassed all expectations. If you were one of the haters who pointed out how cold it would be...well, you were right. But we loved every minute of it.
12 Family members under one roof for Christmas
For years we weren't together. Between peace core commitments and deployments, we experienced just enough empty spots at the Christmas dinner table to know it wasn't our favorite thing (like WAAAYYYYY down the list). So, this year when my baby brother (seems weird to say about a Captain in the AF, but still true) said he couldn't get leave to come from North Dakota to my parents house for Christmas, the choice was simple. Minot, here we come.
We were together. And it was worth it.
11 hours spent at the Mall of America
This is one of my favorite things about our Christmas. We actually slept in 5 different states, 4 of which I had never been to before. We drove through Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Missouri. Shew. I had a great plan to take pictures at every state sign. Which didn't really happen. But I was absolutely determined to get a perfect family photo at the North Dakota sign. This was worth documenting. So, even though the temps were well below zero, RRL got the tripod set up, we bundled everyone up, set the timer, ran to the sign, did the cutest family pose (sweet Lou in cheerleader position) and then ran back to the car to unbundle, rebuckle and admire the results. Which is why it was both hilarious and so sad that it turned out being only RRL's backside and the rest of us not even in "ready" position. Camera timer fail. Just like the ND motto on the sign and just like our little trip north- the picture is LEGENDARY. (as runners up, I also really like Cbugs interpretation of SD's "Great faces" motto and my hubby and i under "the good life" in Nebraska).
8 days we saw snow
Snow is a commodity for our little crew. KJ and Cbug, especially, loved romping in the snow, hiding in the snow forts their uncles helped them build and having snow ball fights.
7 suitcases loaded in the van
Packing for this trip was interesting- especially since we needed everything from swimsuits to snowsuits...times 6. I had a crazy awesome system for packing us for all the different stops so that we wouldn't have to load/unload the whole van each time.
Unpacking was easy- it all just exploded into our entry way when we got home.
6 People to spoil small children
We spent nearly 4 days actually in Minot and by far the best part of that was watching my kids be so well loved. Between Aunts, Uncles and Grandparents our kiddos always had someone to provide sweet treats, play games, read stories, snuggle...
5 Original Bradfields
And it wasn't just my kids that were so well loved, I was, too.
No family is perfect. But I sure love mine. For years and years, I've loved the five of us...
4 Different hotel rooms
We learned all kinds of tricks for making small spaces work well for the 6 of us, and we actually really didn't mind most of our hotels at all. We mostly stayed LaQuinta and found them a reasonable balance of well priced and well kept. And bonus, we stayed in so many on this little adventure that our last night was nearly free.
A "we've been in hotels too long" story I love to retell was when Cbug yelled "MOM, Tito is pushing buttons on the Ah-Mah-Nah" again. And when I finally figured out what he meant, I thought it was THE FUNNIEST THING EVER. The fact that I found it so hilarious, and even took a picture of it, made me realize- I MUST GET HOME.
3 Huge waterslides at the indoor waterpark
Like I said, this Christmas we gave our kids the gift of experience. Each day, for 12 days leading up to Christmas, they got to open something. Sometimes it was books to read in the car, sometimes snacks, but once it was a hotel WITH an indoor waterpark. Apparently, these are pretty standard in the area we visited in South Dakota, because even our LaQuinta was attached to one. And they were SUPER reasonably priced compared to the one in our town. Our boys were in HEAVEN. Libby loved it, too, but the boys really enjoyed the slides. Cbug would literally RUN up the 70 stairs (one time I made him count them so I could catch up), slide down and do it again so quickly that he swallowed enough water to make himself just about puke. So, he started a new routine of stairs, slide, toilet (just in case), stairs, slide, toilet.
KJ had quite the adventure in the lazy river (which is anything but lazy with boys). He and I were playing bumper rafts (see- not lazy) and he hit is face on the front of his float, knocking out his (very loose) front tooth. It sunk straight to the bottom (which he found hilarious) and he was missing his two front teeth for Christmas (which I found adorable).
2 Crazies playing in the snow at Mount Rushmore
I absolutely LOVED the time I got to spend with Cbug, playing in the snow in the ampitheater that is right at the base of Mountain. Everyone else mostly stayed inside (again with the FREEZING cold temps), but he was determined to play. How could I say "no" to "may I go play in the snow" in front of Mount Rushmore. How many kids can say they've done that (or adults for that matter). Not very many. In fact, approx 5000 people PER DAY visit Mount Rushmore in the summer. But only about 100 in the winter. There is a reason for that BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR, but its kinda cool that we were among the few this year.
1 Detour to see the Badlands
Have I said "my favorite" yet? Well, then this was my "surprise favorite" part of the trip. If I hadn't been researching this trip like crazy, we might have missed this gorgeous slice of our country. Seriously beautiful. But the main scenic route was under repairs so we had to really work to get ther. As we turned off the main interstate onto a small road which turned into an unpaved road into what seemed like the middle of nowhere, I really doubted myself. You can't see the spectacularness from the interstate so you might just miss it, but when you do finally arrive- wowzers. And covered in snow- double wowzers. I do wish we had been there sans small children so we could do more exploring, but we all enjoyed the views for a little bit and the visitors center was fun for the kids.
Friday, January 3, 2014
You are just slightly (cough cough) obsessed with numbers- always counting things or wanting us to try to stump you with math problems (which is difficult to do), and you love to know/remember dates. Whenever anyone comments on your missing tooth you respond "yep, I lost it on November 29th."
My favorite thing about your school year, though, is how much you love your classmates. You've even proclaimed "mom, I'm pretty great at making friends". While we may need to work on your humility, I would have to agree with you. You do seem to have a knack for noticing others who need a friend and for being able to play with just about anyone. Everywhere we go, you come away with a "new friend" and I couldn't be more proud of that characteristic.
He read all of Luke 2:1-14 from the NKJ version. No small task, but he was more than up for the challenge. The video picture isn't awesome because of the dark auditorium, but turn up the volume and listen to this sweet voice read about our Saviours birth. And then try not to swoon.
Thursday, January 2, 2014
Some years we plan for weeks to set aside time to celebrate.
Some years we get a babysitter and maybe even splurge
for a hotel room for some extra time alone together.
Some years the meal is elegant, the dishes breakable,
the table setting gorgeous and we dress in our fancy best.
and sparkle like our eyes did on our wedding night.
I loved our celebration this year because it really was a reflection of our marriage. Both of us just wanted to flop in bed and celebrate later, but instead we waited until the kids were asleep, laughed together about our hotel floor dining, watched some of our wedding video and reflected on the last 12 years. We chose to be together. It wasn't elegant, it wasn't what we would have planned, it was a little messy and took some effort from both of us to make it successful.
Just like our marriage.
Because in marriage...
The past is how you choose to remember it.
The present is what you choose to make of it.
And the future is how you choose to dream it.
Cheers to 12 years of marriage, RRL. Whether it's a fine china day or a take out and McDonalds tea kind of day- I promise to choose you EVERY day.