Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Journey

(Ok, the pictures shown below are from 2007…from our trip to Switzerland (our 3rd anniversary trip when I said to Jake…”how incredible would it be to live here”)…awesome…how life comes full circle.)

Webster’s  dictionary defines “journey” as “an act or instance of traveling from one place to another”…so, I guess this is a journey.  A dream to my husband…and a journey for me (slowly becoming a dream).  A little backstory on this journey dream…when did it all begin?  Well, I guess I can say it all began when my sister-in-law, Melissa, said, “Hey, there is this guy that Troy plays racquetball with…you should meet him.”  You see, my sister-in-law is a match maker and she was determined to match make me…and in hindsight, I will be forever grateful to her for all her attempts to match make me with Jake.  I look back and have many memories of her inviting him to eat dinner with all of us after church…and him sitting at a totally different table with all girls…and she would invite him to gelatto, which he would say, “I don’t like gelatto.”  I am sure she was banging her head against the wall…ah, the fond memories.  And then finally the stars aligned and we met up at a New Year’s Eve party (once again…match making by Melissa) and Jake talked to me about another girl the WHOLE night…like seriously, the WHOLE night.  Ten years later, and I still laugh about it all.  There are lots of funny stories from our pre-dating and dating…they all make me smile and laugh…I would do every last minute of it over again…even my engagement night when I ended in tears…and not good tears.  So, almost nine years ago when I pledged to be Jake’s wife, I meant it…every last word of it.  And this dream of his was no surprise to me…I bet he told me on our first date that he wanted to live and work abroad (however, I am sure it was one of those things I stored away in my “neva gonna happen” file in my head…kind of like when I say I am going to run a half marathon one day…Jake stores that in his “neva gonna happen” file in his head).  Honestly, marriage (besides Christ changing my heart) has been the single best thing that has happened in my life.  To say that Jake is an amazing husband would be a huge disservice to him…he is so much more than amazing – words cannot describe how much I love this man (my actions don’t always show it…darned sinful heart).  So, when a journey arises – I take it…because I know Jake is leading us through it.  And, I trust in God – he is the same God in Arizona and Switzerland…praise the Lord!

It is all a little surreal right now…moving halfway across the world.  I am embracing this move…we prayed about it and saw God open doors that we didn’t would think would ever open.  I should have listened to my sister-in-law, April, when she said, “Whenever your brother tells me something is a long shot, I start packing my bags.”  Seriously, I guess I should have started packing my bags when Jake came to me in October about this job…that job that seemed like a long shot…that long shot that has become a reality.  You see, I didn’t always embrace this move…God takes you through a valley to bring you up a hill…and that He did.  Back in October, I started in a valley…a very deep valley…with me being my typical self…crying, complaining…you know the, “How can you do this to me?” rant…well, maybe some of you don’t know, but I do.  I cried and said, “I can’t believe you would even consider moving us halfway across the world – what about MY support network!!!” And the ranting continuing…and for those of you who know Jake, he was calm…of course he was calm…I can handle the drama for the both of us.  We both had the discussions about not wanting to resent one another over this decision…and of course, (insert super Godly wife moment here…not) I wanted to be the martyr so I said I would sacrifice and he could apply for this job (knowing in my head that if I wanted, I would hold this over his head…wow, it hurts just to type it out).  And then God started working on my heart…like He always does…He is faithful despite of my unfaithfulness.  He laid it on my heart to support my husband, reminding me that being the leader of a home is no easy task, and that Jake wasn’t doing this to make me miserable…he was doing it because he loves his family.  And most of all, I wanted my husband’s dreams to be my dreams and as his wife, I want to see all of his dreams come true.  I realized I wasn’t trusting God – I was trusting in my “network”…and that needed to change.  God worked on my heart…a lot.  And, I can honestly say today that I am excited about this move…I am also super overwhelmed and scared…and a whole other host of emotions.  This is not a vacation…this is moving for some time…and it is hard…and God is control.  

So, we are moving to somewhere in Switzerland…near Rolle…Jake’s new work home.  Jake will leave the end of May and the boys and I will follow in August.  It will be crazy to be away from Jake for two months…the boys will go crazy…I will go crazy with the boys.  I love my boys…BUT I also enjoy breaks from my boys…I am just being honest (and when I read about moms that say being away from their babies for just a couple of hours is like ripping their hearts out…I think they are lying…just being honest).  However, this will prepare me for my new world in Switzerland, which in a lot of ways will be amazing – I don’t work a ton of hours right now, but it is still another stress in my life that sometimes I wish I didn’t have…I am still not sure if I will be working once we move (no, I will not be working for a Swiss company, but I may still work a few hours for the company I work for now – I have a fantastic boss and I would be sad to not work for him…we’ll see…time will tell).  So, I know this move is going to be super hard...I am not expecting a Sound of Music experience, but it will be an adventure and it will be exciting.  Life would be boring without a little spice every now and then. God is still preparing my heart for everything - Hugh starts school in August...was NOT prepared for that one...and all in FRENCH. Wowzers...we have some change coming. I will start working on my French now...and by the time our boys are ten, they'll be trilingual (not saying we'll be there that long...just pointing something out). Honestly, I just have to laugh when it comes to schools - I have the spent the last four years researching (researching and researching) schooling and curriculum - trying to figure out the best option for our boys...and now we are moving to Switzerland (the French speaking side) and all the curriculum is in French...I could be throwing Hugh to the wolves, but I would have no idea! And again, trust in God. We still may home school, but not to start - we need to figure life out...and we need to figure it out in French. I have joined many mom groups already and the women I am connecting with have been super friendly, which is such an encouragement...the overall theme I am getting is it is a fantastic place to live and raise kids...and it is expensive as all get $13 for a pound of chicken expensive (get back - yikes!). But you know what, who needs to eat meat every night...not this family anymore! My carnivore boys will be in for a rude awakening! But as with everything in life - you figure it out...things change, it is a part of life...and we'll survive. So, now we (I - it is definitely just I) are spending money like nobody's business getting ready for this move - I am buying clothes/shoes for years in advance...we are stocking up on meds...and buying more iPads (because twenty-two hours of travel = no sharing of iPads...because I would lose my mind!)...honestly, we are getting packages in the mail is like Christmas! So, I do what I can to prepare and remind myself that I am moving to Switzerland and not a remote African village...they do have everything double to triple the cost! 

All in all - this is a HUGE move for our family...HUGE. However, it is a move we are looking forward to...just wish we could pack up all of our friends and family and take them with us. We are going to miss our friends and family terribly, but we know we'll still see them...just not as much. I am so thankful for my little family unit and the adventures we'll have together. We have A LOT to do in the next couple of months...A LOT. Please be praying for this move - that all goes well with minimal issues. Our immediate prayer need now is to get the boys' passports processed ASAP because we need them to file our immigration paperwork which is needed for us to move there...and everything takes time and of course, we have a certain time frame in mind, so we pray it all works out! Au revoir pour le moment...Suisse ou buste! (Thank goodness for Google translate – I am sure we will become the best of friends!)

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Happy Birthday, Sammy Lammy!

Fifty-two year old. How did it happen? Well, I know how it happened, but it always seems to go by so fast. As I sit here watching my little baby destroy his brother's train tracks (with his brothers screaming at him), I realize that I am no longer looking at my baby, but I am looking at my little boy (my littlest boy, in fact). As much as I want this boy to stay my baby forever, I know he cannot...he must grow up to be a wonderful, God fearing man...he must seek his independence and explore the world...he must be his own person and create his own destiny...he must leave me. And yes, I know he is only one year old...a mere fifty-two weeks, but this Mama starts preparing her heart now...knowing what the future will bring. I pray for this sweet baby of mine - praying he loves the Lord  with everything in him...praying he understands that Christ is the point of his life, not a part of his life...I pray the world is kind to him, but that he always seeks the solace and wisdom of the Lord. I pray he knows how much we love him and that we will do anything we can to support him, and that we want to see all of his dreams come true. Happy Birthday to my sweet Samuel Elias "Sammy Lammy" - you have brought immense joy to this have made my heart swell. I love you little boy. 

Wow, it has been quite a year and we have learned so much.  So, just like his two older brothers...time to look back to see what we have learned these past fifty-two weeks. We have learned babies come on their own time clocks and you cannot wish them out early...even if they could have a chance to be a leap year baby. I have learned what it feels like for my water to break all on its own...yep, just like peeing your pants. We have learned that babies are actually born on their due dates.

We have learned that castor oil is not your friend...never was, never will be...but it can help stubborn babies come. I have learned that I can nurse a baby...I have also learned that there is no love affair with nursing...never was and never will be. I have continued to learn that babies survive and thrive on formula. 

I have learned that growth charts are for the birds and to focus on them would be a waste of time. We have learned that a tiny baby = a more spicy baby...very, very spicy. We have learned to be so thankful for flexible babies. We have learned that swings break...and the world doesn't end.

We have learned that sleep training isn't hard for all babies (praise God). We have learned that sleeping thru the night is a thing of the past...for all of us...and we wouldn't have it any other way (ok, that is not true...I would LOVE a baby to sleep thru the a sista out!). We learned that straight jacket swaddles are our friends...and not some cruel form of punishment (can I get a woot, woot for the Woombie?!?). We have learned that Sam loves his naps...much more than sleeping at night. I have learned that babies can start off so quiet and content and then they hit a wall and want to be heard...and never stop wanting to be heard. 

We have learned that piercing screams can burst eardrums (or at least it sure feels like it). We have learned that third born babies have a right to be heard...shoot, they demand it. We have learned that babies like to be all day long. We have learned that we have another milk hater on our hands...can we ever get a break?!? We have learned that Sammy likes to eat and will pretty much try anything...except breakfast...definitely not his scene. 

We have learned that big brothers really step up to the plate and love their little brothers...even when they are destroying their train tracks (normally, those big brothers are then screaming and threatening their innocent, angelic little brother). We have learned that Sam can make a career out of crawling and thinks walking is very overrated. We have learned that teething really really, really bad. We have learned that it is possible to stain almost every piece of clothing you own. We have learned that parenting (or I guess just watching your children) in a two story home is much more difficult...darned stairs. We have learned that Sam is a sneaky, little guy and is normally found racing up the stairs every chance he gets. 

We have learned he loves to play in the potty...yuck. We have learned he loves really loves it. We have learned that Sammy loves oh my wowzers, loves his Daddy (we joke he has imprinted on Jake...come on all you Twilight fans)...there is not even a close second (like nowhere near close...he just simply tolerates others). And, we have learned that Mama loves to say, "You made your bed, now you have to lie in it."  We have learned that a baby can never really spend too much time on a playmat.

We have learned that staph infections are not the worst thing in the world and not every weird thing is MRSA (that stuff is nasty and no, there is no MRSA up at our house). We have learned that if we think we are going to sleep on vacations, then we are just plain, straight-up crazy. We have learned that it is hard to see your baby go into surgery, but we have learned to trust God even more. We have learned that babies can fall right out a high chair onto tile floor and be just fine. 

Sam has learned that he will survive even when someone is not at his beck and call every second (he doesn't enjoy this lesson at all...and normally it doesn't happen with Daddy). We have learned this baby loves his blanket with a fierce passion...just like his brothers. We have learned that Sam likes to grip you like a monkey when he is being held. I have learned I am strong and I can handle weeks alone with my boys. I have also learned that we have an awesome family - my mom is amazing and I appreciate her so much. 

We have learned that black eyes, bumps, and busted lips heal. I have learned that I love having a little parrot around.  Sam has learned that watching from the window is not how he enjoys his days and he longs for the days when he can run around with his brothers (start walking already). I have learned that rocking Sam to sleep at night is my most favorite part of the day...and it can cover a multitude of wrongs from the day. I have learned that Sam likes to cuddle on his own terms and will not give kisses, which is sad because I am a total smother mother. I have learned to value the treasures of being a mom, and forget the hard things. I have learned that my heart can keep growing and loving more babies. I have learned that being a Mama to three boys is the best thing in the world. I have learned that God blesses me in spite of my disobedience. I have learned that this life goes by fast, so I better enjoy it now. We have learned that Sam Saylor is an awesome little boy and cannot imagine our lives without him!

Oh, my sweet one year can it be?  Praise be to God for His incredible blessings on this family...we are undeserving. My sweet Sammy baby...oh, I love you and I cannot believe you are growing up.  You are such a wonderful little boy - an amazing blessing to this family. I look back over this year with such fond memories and cannot believe it is done...the first year in the books. Oh, my son - I have such big hopes and dreams for you...the sky is the limit, let the adventure begin (and trust me...there is a big adventure waiting for you). I pray you know the love of Christ and live for Him. I pray He grabs ahold of your heart from a young age and you realize that a life without Christ is no life at all. I pray you know how much we love you. Thank you, Sammy, for showing me that it doesn't get any better than three boys. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Best Friends are Hard to Find...

It’s surreal that this is the third time I’m writing one of these blog posts.  That means little man Sam is almost one.  Hard to believe.   Seems like just yesterday that we found out Jenn was pregnant with baby #3 and that Judah and B3 would only be 18 months apart (cause for shiver).  Also seems like yesterday that we did the big cake pop unveil (drama is limitless in this household) to announce the sex of B3.  Again, it feels like yesterday that Jenn and I were out on a walk talking about names and we came to Samuel Elias Saylor.  It seems like yesterday that I was getting the family going on a Friday morning - on a day that just so happened to be a huge work event for me (Boeing 787 visit to Honeywell Phoenix that I had planned) – when Jenn came down the hall and said “I think my water just broke.”  I’m sure Jenn wouldn’t appreciate this recount, but it seems like just yesterday that I was telling her to drink the castor oil with a straw to help it go down easier (you all know how that ended).  Then it seems like just yesterday that I was holding Jenn’s hand while Sam joined us.  It was an incredible experience.  This boy has been a blessing to our family ever since – even when he screams and we all have to close our eyes a bit to bear the pain of his pitch, he’s a blessing. Some of my fondest memories of Sam in this last year include:

His voice.  Not to be confused with his scream – as previously mentioned, that can be ear piercing while at  the same time amusing because he will stop at nothing to rise above the fray and be heard – but his actual voice is sweet.  Early on when he started to be vocal, he made this “Aaaaah” sound.  I would mimic him and then he’d respond again.  It was like we we’d have a conversation.  Sweet memory.

His laugh.  He has a great laugh.  I have identified a couple spots on his body that can really get him laughing like crazy.  The most random things have made him bust a gut also – like me spitting water out of my mouth like a fountain, or saying “hey!...ho!”  Whatever the cause, I love to hear that laugh.

Tackling.  Sam likes to take any opportunity when he sees me lying down to crawl on over and tackle me.  He won’t just do it once either.  He’ll keep doing it.  All the while, he laughs like it’s the best thing.

Face hugs.  Or rather face slaps.  But they are always loving.  Sam likes to give Jenn and me these playful “hugs” while we’re holding him. 

Serious spunk.  This isn’t a specific memory, but rather a summary of many memories where Sam has shown us he has fire in his belly. 

Water baby.  This kid loves himself some water.  From the pool to the bathtub to the shower to the toilet (yep, that last one is correct).  He’s all about enjoying the water. 

Love for his brothers.  And his brothers’ love for him.  Sam lights up when he sees his brothers – his whole face lights up with a big smile and expressive eyes.  I should clarify that this is not an all the time sentiment because there are definite times when Sam just wants his brothers to go away.  But most of the time it’s love. Hugh and Judah have big love for Sam also.  Hugh wants to smother him with hugs – seems like we’re constantly having to tell Hugh “leave Sam alone, he doesn’t want a hug right now.”  But what a good problem to have!  And Judah – every morning when Judah sees Sam for the first time he lets out with a “Look!  It’s Sammy Lammy!  There he is!  He’s awake!”  I love it.  I hope and pray they are the best of friends who support, challenge, love and care for one another – most of all by sharpening each
other as brothers in Christ. 

Tough guy.  The day he had surgery, while by no means pleasant, I remember fondly his response.  Not an hour after we got home, he was lying on the ground and playing like nothing had happened.  Tough guy Sam.

Soft guy.  Unlike his brothers, Jenn has put Sam to bed every night.  It’s a time where he just melts into her, they snuggle and giggle.  I know it’s a time that Jenn cherishes and I’m pretty sure Sam loves it too.
Spider monkey.  Sam likes me to hold him.  It’s something I’ve bred – or as Jenn says, it’s the bed I’ve made – and I realize it, and while there are times it drives me crazy, I love that he wants me to hold, squeeze and take him wherever I’m going. 

I love Sam.  I truly can’t believe he’s almost one.  I know the time ahead will fly by even faster and I hope and pray that I use the time wisely to share the gospel with him and that God saves him from his sinful nature through Jesus Christ.  Sam is a great blessing, as are my two other boys - I am immensely blessed to be their dad.  I’m even more blessed by the woman who bore him – my wife is a gift and a treasure to me and my boys.  Thank you God for your kindness to me.  Happy birthday Sammy.