Wednesday, August 28, 2013

5th and Main

Cocoa Daisy's full reveal of September's kit- 5th and Main happens tonight! Somehow between selling a house and buying a new one and then moving just yesterday I managed to find time to scrap and make the pages you see peeks of above. My scrap supplies are all in boxes right now, but let me tell you this, that I have a fun idea in my head for a mini book with this kit too. I also got the Day in the Life kit this month and it is sweet! It has the perfect set of cards and stamps to fit the great day that Chip and I had celebrating our anniversary in Chicago a couple of weeks ago.
I can't wait to get my scrap space set up in my new house. I'm not sure where it's going to be yet, but I am sure it's going to make me happy when it is finally said and done and I anticipate lots of happy crafting in this house. Above is a view of our main living/dining/kitchen space as it looks right now. We are already happy with the feel of this home just 24 hours after moving in. Hopefully we will like it even more with each box we unpack!
Yay for new streets, new kits, new beginnings and new changes to embrace and celebrate. Feel free to stop by Cocoa Daisy's message board tonight at 8 eastern time and see what the rest of these pages and full kit look like. I hope you end up loving it as much as I do!

Friday, August 23, 2013

The day that Daddy came back.

It's 3:47am. I am blogging. That means a couple of things are going on. One is that I am awake and my mind is spinning. The other thing is that the house is quiet and calm because everyone else is sleeping. I guess this is the only time I have available to blog in my life as there is never a dull moment in my day. This also explains the lack of posts. I am usually asleep at this time of the night. I already know I am going to regret being up right now and doing this, even in just 4 hours or so. But I am here for now. So I will squeeze in as much as I can- even though the past few weeks in the life of the Ferlaaks deserves it's own book. It's been that wild and crazy!
But even a tad fun.
And a whole lot of amazing.
And that is why my head is spinning and I am here typing.
Sometimes life gets going. Going in a certain direction. Other times it just stands still. And it drags. Or just is. Still at other times life starts moving, and I can tell something is up. I might not always know why or what or how come, but there's a feeling that something is going on.
That is what I write of today.

To do so, I need to finish a blogpost that I started a couple of weeks ago, and never got around to finishing, much less posting. It was a typical summer morning. Chip got up, showered and was saying his goodbyes for the day. The kids aren't always awake. At least not all of them. And sometimes some are eating breakfast and playing on the iPads and Chip and I have yet to get up. We're all over the place with our schedule in the summer. We like late nights {not normally as late as the one I am having right now!} and long mornings. We have very little on our agendas. Except to say goodbye and give Daddy hugs and kisses before he leaves for work.
This particular morning Chip was saying his goodbyes and as he did I could just begin to hear Teague start to fuss in his bedroom. He still sleeps in a crib {he just turned 3 and we love that he loves his crib and stays put in there!} and so someone has to come and get him out each morning. He got a bit louder just as Chip was putting his hand on the doorknob to leave, and I looked at Chip and said, "Go now so Teague won't have a meltdown saying goodbye". That's what Teague does.
He loves his daddy. He loves his dad a whole lot. With Chip's long hours at work in the summer, sometimes we don't see him a whole lot. So when Chip leaves, Teague cries. And throws a fit on the front step. Then Chip leaves and feels guilty. And I am left with a little guy doing limp body and fussing in the front step for several minutes some mornings. It makes me want to drink more coffee. That's what was ahead of us if Chip stuck around while I got Teague up, so instead Chip quickly left, and I went to go get Teague out of his bed. He started to fuss louder when I got him out. I gave him some morning hugs and kisses. But he just put on his best pouty face and started crying. "Do you want some orange juice, Teague?" "Do you want your little lamby and yellow blankie?" I started asking questions. "Calm down,'s morning time and we get to have a fun day!" This is what I was saying to him as his crying started to get louder and louder. The other kids had joined my question party by this time and they were all using their "happy voices" wishing him a good morning and offering kisses and other ideas like toaster waffles.
Nothing was working.
I just held him for a minute longer. He kept on crying. I asked him to "use your words" and tell Mommy what's wrong. His crying finally got quieter, and he looked right at me and said, "I wanted to give Daddy a kiss."
My heart basically melted.
He had been listening to the other kids say their goodbyes, and he had no way of getting in on the hugs and kisses and send-off. I was happy to finally know that there actually was a "real problem" and my "real solution" was that we could call Daddy on his phone and say good morning and goodbye all at once. I took Teague to the kitchen to get my phone and I told him my plan. I dialed Chip and he answered. Which I typically don't like him to do if he's in a car. "What's up?" he asked. He never knows what to expect when I call him. I don't do it often, but there's always a 50/50 that it's a good or bad thing. I said, "Teague was just waking up when you left and he is so upset that he didn't get to hug you goodbye." I fully expected Chip to say, "Put him on and I'll talk to him for a minute." Instead, Chip said, "I'm on my way home."
I was more than a bit surprised. Chip has a lot on his plate in life and at work these days. Several minutes had gone by since he had left home, so this wasn't just a quick turn around at the end of the block. I set the phone down and Teague just about had another meltdown right then and there. I grabbed his little hand and said, "come outside on the front step...Mommy wants you to get a surprise!" Kids love surprises, but not so much when they are just coming off of a meltdown and the drama of crying for the first several minutes of their day.
We sat on the front step. Brock joined us. We looked at the sky. We listened to a couple of birds. We saw the grass. And flowers. It must have felt to Teague as though I was the biggest phony surprise thrower of all time. At one point I finally told him to be quiet and listen. I could hear Chip's car coming down the street. Teague was on my lap on the front step clueless that his morning wish was about to come true!
I think Teague was about to start crying all over again when I told him to look down the street as far as he could to see if he could see anything. Brock was starting to grin at this point. And a few seconds later Chip's vehicle pulled back into our driveway. "Daddy's home!! Daddy came back! It's Daddy!"

Teague was so excited. I am getting a knot in my throat right now even as I type it out, because it was a truly magical moment. My little clueless, upset two-year old {at that time} suddenly had his whole morning turned around. His little heartbroken request that he had finally spilled out to me when "he used his words" hadn't just been a cry of hurt and disgust that fell on deaf ears. Instead, his cry had been heard, and more than loud and clear, his heartbreak at not being able to say goodbye and give a hug had turned to complete and utter joy at the surprise return from Chip coming back to more than meet his need.
I actually caught part of the whole scene on one of our iPad cameras. I snapped the picture in this post of Teague and Daddy together for that brief couple of moments that morning too, and those smiles are the real deal! Teague's fussing was so quickly forgotten and his tiny arms wrapped so tight around his dad and the 'drama' of our morning up to that point all melted into a beautiful embrace. I was so happy for Teague.
I was so proud of Chip and my heart melted at just how big his heart is at times too. He chose to come home, when a simple hello on the phone would have salvaged a part of Teague's hurt. He went beyond what he needed to do and it blew me and Teague away. The whole scene has played over and over in my mind the past few weeks.
It is so late and I am so tired, and there is so much more to this story. The part about how that picture in my mind so parallels what God has been doing in my heart and life too. It's been unfolding for months. Years, I believe.
God has been up to something.
I've been in a place where the only way 'out' {like Teague in his crib} was going to happen when God chose to get me out. I needed my Father to pick me up and open a door. I was kicking and crying, and even though I could have had a toaster waffle or juice or any number of things to bring me happiness, all the while He had a plan to bring me more than that. He has been up to something for awhile now. And I couldn't see it, hear it, or have a clue what it was. Just as Teague had no clue Chip was already on his way home with a big hug and kiss waiting for him on arrival.
He could have settled for a quick phonecall and chat with Daddy. But Chip had a better idea. And even though it temporarily broke Teague's heart for me to not let him talk on the phone, or even tell him that Daddy was coming home, I knew it was going to be a wonderful and even better surprise in the end.
I knew it would be worth Teague's confusion as he waited on a front step without a clue. I knew it would be more than worth it for him to see that Chip drove back home just to see him! I knew it was going to make the tears of the morning literally disappear. His sorrow would be turned to joy, and it was! Teague's whole morning was made!

My heart has been so hurt for a long time for many different reasons. Some days I haven't had a clue as to how life has played out the way it has for us. But for some reason- as reason I still don't know or understand- in the past few weeks too many things have happened that make me literally see God's hand in life's details. It has been wonderful. It has been amazing at times. It has been fun even! My heart has felt happiness in the truest sense of the word. Our house sold. A new one just happened to fall into place for us. At just the right place. At just the perfect time.
Chip and I somehow managed to go out on a date together. It has been more than a year since we have done that. And we didn't just get a date. We took a whole day trip together. And nothing went 'wrong' the whole day. In spite of the downpour we got stuck in as we walked from Navy Pier in Chicago to Millenium Park. We laughed together. We enjoyed each other. We had actual conversations. About things other than kids or work. There has been so much going on in the past few weeks that my head is still spinning and we still have a move ahead of us this coming Tuesday. I should be overwhelmed. I should be freaking out. I should be asking myself how on earth is everything going to get done that needs to get done?!
Instead I am blogging. I am doing something I rarely get a chance to do anymore. I needed to write. I needed to come here and tell the world that God is amazing. Even when we can't see Him or feel Him or have a clue if He is even listening to our fussing and cries. I want to assure myself and whomever else reads here that He is. He is real. He gives life to dry bones. He longs to do good things in the hearts and lives of those who love Him. He is trustworthy. He is faithful. He is good and kind and fun even! He is a God who listens, who loves, who makes time for us, who knows better than we know ourselves just how to fill our lives with goodness and joy.
I don't know if Teague even remembers the day that Daddy came back. But one day, maybe one day when all the world has let him down or life is threatening to steal his joy, I want to remind him of this story. That really happened. That was so beautiful and pure and true that it will hopefully stir in his heart a little something that makes him want to be a better person and believe in goodness and Love again.
I have sometimes wondered. I have doubted far too many times in my life.
I am ashamed because I have known since I was about Teague's size that I love a God who is bigger and more powerful than any mind can comprehend. Yet still my trust has worn thin at times and I have wondered if my prayers have even been heard.
He has heard every one. He has a plan to meet every need. His plans are good. His ways are higher. I am humbled and honored to give all my praise to Jesus, my Lord. I don't know what lies just ahead in this next adventure in life. I am just so thankful that I never need to doubt or wonder if God is real. He is. And He is so Good. He is so Good to me.