Layla’s musings on age and God

Mom?

Yes Baby

Is God sitting on top of the sky right now?

God is everywhere honey, just like the air. We just can’t see him.

Mom?

Yes Layla.

How are you and Daddy going to fit inside my heart when you’re dead? Cuz Jesus is already in there.

*The other night Alex was teasing the girls that I am not going to have a birthday.

Layla- “Mommy has to turn 26 cuz she has to die.”

(I told her that I wasn’t going to die until I she was a grandma or a 100 a few days ago, so now she figures I have to turn every age so that I can die)

How did I get here? Wait, I know how….Alex

In high school I had a definite plan for my life. I was driven, had serious goals, and some where a long the line things changed. I got swept away by an awesome love, we inadvertantly got pregnant and then I never stopped getting pregnant. 4 kids later I am wondering….. just where did Mari go? I know where Mama Mari is. 90% of the time I she is extremely content in her role and job as a stay at home mother. But there is another Mari inside me that still wants to be out there in the adult world, finishing her degree, getting a job. I look at friends I had from school who are lawyers and doctors and nurses etc. and I get envious. But just maybe….. are they envious of me??? Perhaps the grass is always greener.

Here’s my grass: I have the love of my life, found him early and I’m not out there searching. I have amazingly beautiful children who I love with every beat of my heart. My husband supports us nicely. I get to stay home with my children which I do not take for granted.

Here’s “their” grass: Responsilbility free life, go to a movie/concert/restaurant/ball game/another country, whenever they feel like it. Satisfaction of a college degree and career to go along with it. It seems like such an adventure.

I don’t know how to meld the two Mari’s into one. I want to be here for my children. It was torture sending Izzy away from me to school all day. I get the other girls’ kisses all day and see their dances to any little tune. This priveledge I am not willing to give to anyone else. But the intellectual side of me is struggling. When I first met Alex he was really impressed with my drive, my accomplishments academically etc. and I am afraid that as the years go on he sees me less and less this way. He likes to tease me about being an airhead and I don’t know quite when it started. Yes he thinks I’m a great wife and great mom, but I have a brain in my head too. Its true that stay at home moms are thought of as less intellectually. I’m not trying to toot my horn, but I did really well in high school and my one year of college, and even when I got my associates online I did really well. Its something my parents instilled in me, the desire to learn and achieve, so to now be looked down on is really a stab in my heart for all the years of really concentrated effort I put into school. Alex would never admit that he doesn’t see me as very smart any more, but I think deep down he doesn’t and it hurts.

I just don’t know what to do about it. I was finally getting to a point where my kids were getting older and before God handed me my surprise son, I was headed back to school this Fall. Now I am starting all over again with another helpless little newborn that I am going to want to fully devote myself to. I’m a good 3 or 4 years away from being able to pursue my degree again without giving up the essential early years with my new baby. I’m so torn in two directions…. I’ve been praying for contentment in where I live for years, an now I’m working on peace in where I am in my life.

Did you make it thru my book?

Proctect our Children Act 1738

To all my friends and family, (Everything in read is written directly by Mari)
Hundreds of thousands of children are victims of sexual abuse each year. Due to the sheer lack of resources, law enforcement is unable to follow up on the majority of leads they have. Thousands of these crimes are being committed on infants, toddlers and young children everyday on webcams, and pictures that are being traded back and forth on the internet. Crimes that as parents we cannot even fathom. I can’t even stress to you the magnitude of horriffic things that are being done to babies for sick men’s pleasure on the internet. There are even guides for teaching each other the best methods. I know this is hard to read, but on September 22, Congress is going to end their current session for a break, and by writing and calling your senator in your state you can help get this new legislation passed BEFORE they go on break. There are thousands of children out there suffering right now, they can’t wait to be saved until Congress’ next session. Please, please, please use the sample letter I have below and copy and paste it to your senators and congressmen. And don’t forget to send this message to everyone in your address book, friends, family, business contacts, everyone. This is not some silly forward, this is serious and needs every American’s support. The exact bill is number 1738.

The PROTECT Our Children Act will:
Authorize over $320 million over the next five years in desperately needed funding for law enforcement to investigate child exploitation.
Mandate that child rescue be a top priority for law enforcement receiving federal funding.
Allocate funds for high-tech computer software that can track down Internet predators. Act Now!Your U.S. senators will be voting on the bill soon, so it is crucial you contact them immediately.Go to www.senate.gov to find contact information for the senators in your state. Search for your senator by name or state by clicking on the arrow from either dropdown menu. Contact information is provided here. To send an e-mail, click on “Web Form” below his or her name, and e-mail your letter to make a difference! Call Your SenatorsIf you choose to contact your senators by phone, be sure to tell them, “Vote yes on Senate Bill 1738—The PROTECT Our Children Act.”Write to Your SenatorsIf you choose to write a letter, fax, telegram or e-mail, you may use the following sample letter—and modify it how you see fit.Dear Senator:I know that you believe, like I do, that we must do everything possible to protect children from sexual predators. That is why I am asking for your help.Last year alone, U.S. law enforcement identified over 300,000 criminals who were trafficking in movies and pictures of young children being raped and tortured. Experts say that one in every three of these criminals has local child victims. Child pornography trafficking over the Internet has given us a trail of evidence that leads straight to their doorsteps, but the vast majority of these children will never be rescued because investigators are overwhelmed, outnumbered and underfunded.As your constituent, I urge you to do everything in your power to pass the PROTECT Our Children Act (S. 1738, Biden-Hatch). This bipartisan legislation passed the House 415-2, but it is now the victim of petty partisan politics.Now that we know where these children are and how to protect them, there is no excuse for the Senate to fail to take action this session.(Your name here)

4 Sick Marks’ and an Alex

The fun of kids going back to school is that they get exposed to lots and lots of germs…..galore. My normally exceptionally healthy kids have brought home germs from school and given them to Addison and I. So currently our stats are at, swollen tonsils, runny noses and coughs. Aren’t we a fun bunch? On an upnote, I am madly in love with my husband. After 6 years of marriage, 8 years with dating, I am starting to grasp the wonders of God’s grace in giving him to me. It doesn’t hurt that he has killer good looks. So my goal for the next few months is to be super devoted to him. (A few months because I suck at setting goals longer than that) I am going to stop wearing pajamas when he is home, except bedtime of course, I’m going to put makeup on and do my hair in something other than a ponytail and try to show him how much I value him. Pregnancy needs to stop being my excuse for “letting myself go.” If Alex still thinks I look good, that I am going to try to actually look good for him. I will work better on my home, starting by going and putting away that laundry! Keep me accountable.

New House

I feel like I need a new house. It seems like all our furniture is crammed in, and there is clutter everywhere. But its clutter I’ve been thru and still seem to need, so I can’t get rid of it. For someone who has a lot of closets in her house, I still don’t seem to have enough storage space. I think the problem is that our desk for bills and laptop are in my dining room. No matter how hard I try I can’t keep that area clean. And as for decorating…… I have pieces of inspiration that I would love to work a whole room around, but my ideas end there. I am terrible with paint colors, and I have three rooms that connect, and I can’t figure out how to make them each meld curtain-wise because you can sit in the living room and see the windows in the dining room and the den. Maybe they don’t even have to match, but be similar???? Maybe I can just let the den do its own thing and then coordinate the living room and dining room. Its kind of a dark room, and I would like to lighten it up, but not paint it white. Oh my goodness……so stressful! That and, I have no place to put the new baby, but that is a whole new post of its own!

My Alex, my girls etc. Its a doozy

I could not possibly be any more proud of my husband than I am right now. Let me give you a little backgroud on him.

*Worked full time through college
*Went to school full time, classes straight from 7 a.m. until his last class at 9 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and then worked Mon, Wed, Fri and Saturday 15 hours a day.
*Graduated college with a 3.99. Yep that’s right. He got one “B” in 3 1/2 years.
*Oh did I mention that during that period of time he also became a father to 2 little baby girls?
*His major in college? Ancient History. His job right now? Environmental Restoration…..

Lets fast forward to present day. With no education or experience in the field he is working, he has helped the owner of his company go from nothing to a multi-million dollar profit company in 7 years. It is largely in part to his self-teaching, self-motivation, brilliant ideas and repoire he has with all the business men he encounters. Who make a point to tell Alex’s boss how impressed they are with him. Last Friday he met with one of the senators of Ohio, was featured in several news articles and online video. The difference maker? He does not have an un-ethical bone in his body, and every one he talks with knows it, and knows they can trust whatever he tells them. He has also been involved with projects and has had requests for him to consult on jobs for state governments, the top housing developers in the whole nation, has had his ideas implented in several European, Asian, and Australian countries and I could go on. There is one more important point.

How old is my Alex? Just turned 25 in June…. I have the honor of being his wife.

Part II: My girls
Kindergarten is hard. I miss Izzy so much. She absolutely loves it. Putting her on a bus is no fun, for me. Let me tell you about Layla’s first day of pre-school. Addison and I drive her to the school, then we stand with her in the lobby for her teacher to come down and get the class. Addison has never been without Layla, and they are pals. So my little one year old decided that she was going to get in line with her big sister and go to school too. At my urging for her to come back to me I got a staunch “NO! MY LAYLA” So as Layla’s class was led away, my sweet baby bursts into tears repeating “no, no, no, no….Laaaaayyyylllllaaaaa”. I had to carry her out and she cried the whole way home and the next day we repeated. It reminded me of how last year when we took Izzy to preschool and Layla cried and cried for Izzy. I love that my girls love each other. But do you want to know my secret? Addison was voicing what was going on inside of me too. “My Layla.” “My Izzy.” What gets me thru the day is their excitement and bright eyes as they tell me about all the fun things they did and learned at the end of the day.