Friday, April 25, 2014

Everyone needs a Billy

Hey Peeps.

My house is eerily quiet.  Actually a bit unsettling if you ask me.  Billy just left for a 4 day canoeing adventure with nine other guys, and didn't even bother to take hand sanitizer.  He also didn't shower before leaving, so he's got a good head start on the grime factor.  You can imagine how concerned I am about his body's ability to fight off river bacterias such as giardia and cholera, not to mention how tasty he'll smell to the Western slope piranha.  Billy says Colorado doesn't have piranhas, but he isn't a native, so he doesn't know that much about our state. 

As he headed out of the house, sad about leaving us, I told him we wanted him to "go, and have so much fun.  And enjoy nature so much that you come back re-energized for our crazy lives.  Also, please don't come home dead.  I really couldn't take it".  He agreed.  Coming home alive is much better.  Then I asked him to put out Friday's garbage so I wouldn't have to. 

Our house would not run well without a Billy around.  He's the first face my kids see in the morning and is always there to listen to them talk about video games or new hair do tutorials as he packs their lunch.  He brings me coffee and knows to speak soft and slow as I do not wake up well.  He is patient and kind, whereas we are all demanding and crabby.  He would walk to the ends of the earth if any one of us asked him to.  His whole purpose in life is to serve our family in the best way he can. 

Billy is at a turning point in his life.  For the last 7 years, he worked in an environment that wasn't always pleasant.  He was undervalued at times, and his gifts and talents were not utilized well.  We've always been so thankful for that job, as it allowed me to go to Nursing school.  Not to mention he was able to work from home those crazy 2 years, being Johnny on the spot for me every single day.  So even though it wasn't ideal, it was still a blessing, and we don't take that lightly.  At the beginning of 2014, after he fought off pneumonia, he decided it was time to get aggressive and find a new job.  I'm happy to report after several long months of interviews and technical assignments, he was hired on at a new job in Boulder.   And after his 4 days in a canoe, he will head off to a new job, a new chapter, a new horizon.  I am so happy for him. 

The kids and I have a lot planned for this weekend, while Billy is off living the Wild at Heart dream.  My mom is coming to meet our new little baby girl, and the fun doesn't stop there.  Soccer, playdates in the park with Chick fil a, a visit from my aunt and cousin…we are going to fill our weekend up so full that we don't have time to sit around crying over Billy/daddy not making us our coffee/homemade smoothies.  Besides, the kids are so excited to see Gramma!  And they can't wait to introduce their new little sister to her. We plan on having as much fun as Billy does sitting around the campfire listening to our friend Mark tell stories about when he had to pee in a water bottle in Uganda because the bus wasn't supposed to stop for four more hours.  Our stories will be less gritty though, and won't involve as much details of body fluids. 

Tonight I will miss my best friend.  But I won't be sitting around feeling sorry for myself, because I know he is where he needs to be.  A man has to go and be a man sometimes, even if that means he doesn't shower, and comes home smelling like moldy onion.  Men need to go on trips where they need a "dry bag", a knife, and some flint for starting a fire.  Men need to feel like they can conquer something, even if all it is a river.  Men need to know they can survive outside, after all the years of sitting inside working at a computer feeling unappreciated and belittled.  This is Billy's time.  He gets to conquer and survive with other men who need the same things, even if for different reasons.  He gets to float down a river, with majestic scenery on all sides.  He will be quiet but he won't be somber.  He will be joyful, content, and at peace.  He knows he is loved and our arms will be ready to hug his neck the minute he comes home again.  After I start washing all his dirty clothes, I'll ask him if he has any signs of flesh eating bacteria, or needs to run over to Urgent care like last time he went camping.   And then I will sit and listen to his stories.  And quietly I'll say a prayer of thanks that he's home safe, and that for some reason I'll never understand this side of heaven, God gave me a Billy.  A very good gift indeed. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Repenning Revamp

Hey Peeps—

Many of you have asked me this week, "Hey Lisa, how's it going at your house, now that you have 4 kids?"  How do you answer that question in a brief, socially appropriate time frame of less than three minutes?  I mean, seriously, where do we begin?  This will most likely go over the allotted time frame, so forgive me in advance.

Adjusting to life with a 2 year old has been, well, an adjustment.  Duh.  The last time I shopped for a 2 year old was sometime around 2007.   It was around 2008 that we stopped changing diapers, and by 2010, our three older kids were pretty much running their own lives.  I figure once a kid can turn a shower on and off themselves, your work there is done.  And so here we are, back to square one, or two maybe.  Honestly, I'm not sure what square we are on really, but the important thing to take away here is it's one of the early ones.  Which might explain why I washed my new daughter's hair with bubble bath last night.  She's not any worse for the wear, and her hair smelled lovely today.  Not to mention it was voluminous.  What girl doesn't want that?

Tomorrow marks two full weeks with our new daughter.  And even though my heart and soul are bone weary, they are also full.  This little girl has transitioned so smoothly into our home and hearts, it's almost too simple to explain.  One day she wasn't ours, then the next day she was.  And she seems undeniably complete.  We know she is processing in her little heart, as she has had times of confusion and tears, but she has turned to us for comfort, and more importantly to "Bo-Bo" the dog.  Sometimes I have to go put Spencer  (aka "Bo-Bo") in his kennel, just so she can focus on how much she loves me, instead of playing fetch with the little mop head.

The kids all enjoy having another sibling too.  Now they have someone to blame "random" odors on, and she doesn't even know how to deny it, as her only answer to everything is yes.  "Hey, sister, did you make that smell?"  Tiny, sweet voice replies, "Yeah".  Last night I had a "girls night in", with my two daughters, while the boys were at soccer practice and out getting haircuts.  It may have been the most pleasant dinner our kitchen has ever seen.  No one burped.  No one lifted their shirt up to rub their belly.  No one talked about video games.  It was amazing.  Faith and I just sat and giggled at the cute little girl in her booster seat, and watched her in amazement.  She amazes us for different reasons, of course.  I'm amazed at the gift she is and how she has wiggled her way completely and totally into all our hearts.  Faith is amazed at how she eats every single vegetable placed on her tray. 

All of us have had to revamp things about our lives with the addition of another family member.  No longer can we have the television volume at the same level as Happy Acres Nursing Home uses.  We can't holler up the stairs after 7:30 pm, even though we all forget this rule every day.  We can't just run get in the car and go somewhere without a little planning and prep work.  We have to have approximately 87 items with us, in order to leave the house, all carried by me.  We've all learned to tolerate "The Wiggles", although we will be fine if/when she outgrows her love for them.   Just tonight, my sweet son Jack, saw how stressed out I was so he put away all the laundry from the huge pile on my bed.  Poor Faith and Will are on "booger duty" when I'm driving and can't wipe her nose.  They cringe and gag, but they know she needs help and their hands are just as capable.  We've been altered by the realization that when we opened our home, our hearts were changed.  And there's no turning back now.  No way.  Love transforms everything. 

We've been so touched by the support of our sweet friends, as our lives have been thrown into a fair amount of disorder.  They have sent texts, clothes, diapers, and Dairy Queen cake.   We have felt covered by the support, and even more, covered by God's great Hand as He guides us into unchartered territories.  We are blessed beyond what we could ask or imagine.  We are filled with joy.  We are exhausted.  And we are going to bed.