Our closest friends and family are probably not asking themselves this question, but I have found that acquaintances, coworkers, and others in our circles have been asking this a lot.

My husband was born near Madison, WI, and he lived about half his life there in two different parts of the state.  He still has family and friends in the state, in addition to lots of fond memories.

In April 2009, while we were still dating, I accompanied my husband to his friend’s wedding up near Milwaukee, and it was my first visit to the state of Wisconsin.  I was such an east coast girl that this was actually the furthest west I had even been.

We attended the wedding, then headed towards Madison to meet/visit my husband’s grandparents.  I will never forget pulling into their mile long driveway at nearly 1:00 AM to be greeted by a very pleasant, albeit tired, woman.

I will take a short aside here to tell you that a significant part of my decision to marry my husband was based on his family.

No, they are not rich, and no, he is not descended from any fantastic rulers.

My husband’s family is filled with good people.  Good accepting, loving people.  Even at my tender age of 22, I knew this was a rare thing.  I knew marrying into a family of good people would be a blessing later on.

Our visit with my husband’s grandparents was my first introduction to his extended family.  I had already fallen in love with him as a man, and grew to really like his parents and sister.  Now I could see that this kind of goodness was generational.

As the years passed, my husband and I continued to visit his grandparents with as much regularity as our budget and schedule would allow.  With each visit I grew to love them, their farm, and their hometown more and more.

It was our visit in 2012, just before Clara was born, that I felt a familiar tug on my heart that let me know I was standing in a place that would become my home.  I had felt that sensation before when standing in what was then my friend’s home that we would later purchase as our own first home.  I shared my feelings with my husband, and although he didn’t necessarily share those feelings, he wasn’t disappointed in anyway.

After our visit last summer, my husband finally felt the same feeling I did:  that at some point God would call us to live in that specific area of Wisconsin.  Being on the same page felt amazing, and so together we prayed diligently about the timing.  Since June 2014 we prayed and asked Him when this move would happen and how.

Of course after months and months of praying the thought faded out of our minds a bit, only to resurface a few weeks later.  Soon we were only praying about it every once in a while.

Then this spring, God was leading me to pull myself out of many of my commitments outside of the home.  I stopped serving in different aspects of ministry at our church, I decided not to continue coordinating finances for our local MOPS group, and I felt God calling me to resign from my part-time job.

This also came right around the time we found out we were expecting our third child.  Not having Wisconsin on our minds as much meant we started second guessing our involvement in things, as well as worrying about the health and development of our newest little baby.

It wasn’t long, though, before we started to ask God again “Is it time?”.

The week we both received the same answer was one of the most amazing, uniting moments in our marriage.  He told us “Just ask Me”.

And so we did.

I’ll continue with what happened after we “just asked” next time….

[Today’s post is brought to you by our sponsors Vacation Bible School and Play-Doh.  One will keep your 4 year old for two hours, and the other will entertain your two year old for about 15 minutes at a time, so long as you take “bites” of her delicious “cooking”.]

My dearest readers:

 

Life gets busy sometimes.

And by sometimes, I mean when you work half the week, then have three children under 5 the other half of the week.  For the last ten months or so I have been working part time for our church, and for the last six of those months, my sister-in-law and I have been splitting childcare with each other.  As wonderful as it has been to be able to put my time and efforts into our church, as well as help my sister-in-law do the same, this season has been exhausting.

I have hardly found time to read a book, let alone write a blog post.  On days when I’m not going to work, it’s a gamble if I will be able to shower or not, and even then, makeup will almost definitely not happen.

We have been juggling this season together, my sister-in-law and I, since February, when our mutual childcare provider decided to uproot and move to Utah.

(We truly love her dearly, though not as much as the kids seem to!)

With changes on the horizon with both of our families, we have decided that our situation has to change.  My last day of work is Thursday, and hers will come shortly after.  God was moving in both of our families to make changes and take big leaps of faith.  Of course, I’ll be sharing a bit of our families journey in this post.

First, and not super surprisingly, we are expecting our third baby!  After taking a nice long break from pregnancy and the newborn stage, the hubs and I have finally convinced ourselves that we are ready to do it all over again.

With our two little helpers, of course.

Our newest addition is due the first week of December, and we are so thrilled to be having another late fall/early winter baby.  Check out how our family is growing:

Big girl Madeline is now 4 years old (!!), Clara Bean is 2 1/2 years old, and our new munchkin (nicknamed “Wiggler”) is 21 weeks along already.

And no one needs to know how old I am, really, because looking at this picture makes me feel very old.

Now, for the other big news.

I don’t want to say even bigger news, because growing a new munchkin is certainly huge news.

But this news.

We’ve been waiting months to tell people about this, and we have been waiting years to finally do it.

This crazy family of five will be moving to the midwest!!!

I will explain more in another post, but the short of it is, that after years of knowing we will be called to live in a specific stated in the midwest (a particularly snowy one) we finally got some clear direction!

After years of praying “When, God?  When?”, He finally answered, “Just ask for it”.

And He has been faithful.

We asked, and He answered in huge ways.  Things were set into motion mid-spring that sent us on a path toward our goal, and we are happy to say that this September we will be moving our family from Virginia to Wisconsin.

I look forward to sharing a bit of our prayer journey that got us here, as well as what we have yet to come in the next few blog posts.

Until then, dear readers:  Good night!

Signed,

Your favorite Domesticated Physicist

I don’t know about you, but I feel like I was just complaining about how the cold weather doesn’t go away quickly enough.  I never really thaw until the month of April around here, and this year April was still pretty chilly.  So I remained frigid until May.

But now the nights are warmer and the days are hot.  The sun is out much longer, and we have all dragged out bathing suits and sunblock.

On some level, this will be a break for all of us.  Our family did a lot of traveling in the month of May, and we won’t be going anywhere else for the rest of the summer. The hubs and I are both looking forward to some time spent at home without having to load the girls in the car every other weekend.

With the extra time at home, I’ve decided to make a list of some of the things we would like to do this summer, so without further ado, I present to you our summer bucket list.

 

  • Go camping
  • Go to the lake (a lot)
  • Make weekly trips to the library
  • Fill the sidewalk with chalk drawings
  • Visit the zoo
  • Pick strawberries
  • Make ice pops
  • Grow vegetables
  • stay up late to watch the stars
  • catch lightening bugs
  • Watch fireworks
  • go out for ice cream cones
  • Try fishing

Some of these things we have done in previous years, and others we have not.  This year I am looking forward to both girls really being able to understand a bit more of the fun things we do.  We have visited a few museums already, and both girls really enjoyed them.

What is on your summer bucket list?

Friends and readers, today I ran my very first half marathon.

It feels like this has been years in the making, honestly.  I have literally trained for this particular half marathon THREE times, but the previous two times, extraneous circumstances kept me from actually racing.  This year, my husband is actually out of town this weekend, so it almost looked as though I wouldn’t be racing.

Again.

Fortunately, a running buddy of mine selflessly offered to watch our girls while I ran the longest race of my life until now.

I am by no means a fast runner, but I truly love the sport.  I went into the race this morning with no expectations of how fast I could finish.  It was, after all, a trail half marathon, which tends to take a bit longer than a road half marathon.

What made today’s race different from other races I’ve done in the past?  (Besides it being the longest, of course.)

I’m finally learning how to fuel and keep my body energized before and during runs.

For years I never bothered to carry a water bottle on any of my runs, even in the summer, and I wouldn’t dare carry any food on long runs.  I would always tell fellow runners that it would bother my stomach, and I truly was worried it would.

On a recent trail run, though, by mile 6 of a 10 mile trek, I was not feeling well.  My legs were heavy, my head was throbbing, and I was definitely thirsty.  Even after drinking lots of fluids and replenishing foods, I didn’t feel well for the entire rest of the day.  My one, poorly fueled long run cost me a Saturday.

After that weekend last month I bought myself a hand-held water bottle, and researched the best foods to eat during long runs.

Today, equipped with 20 oz of lemon water and dried dates, I finished my half marathon without a headache and cramped legs.

Of course now, about 12 hours after start time, my muscles are sore, but I don’t feel the usual “long run hangover” that I get when I run more than 7 miles or so.  In honor of that, I am going to try to recover properly.  Here’s how:

1.  I am going to take the next 2-3 days completely off of running.  I will stretch, walk, do yoga, and of course, do my usual household duties.  But I WILL NOT RUN.  At all.  You heard me.

2.  I will drink at least 1 1/2 times the normal amount of water I drink each day for a week.  Why?  Because water flushes out all the nasty build up that causes sore muscles.

3.  After 2-3 off running, I will start running at an easy pace for just a couple miles.  I will do this 3-4 times a week for 2 weeks.

4.  I will take a warm bath with either epsom salts and/or muscle relaxing essential oils like lavender, peppermint,and clove.

I am hoping to recover well from today’s race in order to run well afterwards and in future races.  Here is to learning to take care of my body instead of wearing it out!

In the last several months it has been difficult for me to blog because I have felt like I have had little direction.  Though, like I explained, I had my hand in my different activities, I couldn’t see through the weeds, so to speak.  I couldn’t make out what was truly important and what was superfluous.  I couldn’t focus on my priorities as well, nor could I go after my dreams and use my skills.

Being over-committed really wasn’t working for me.

As get the new sense of freedom that comes from eliminating some general schedule and life clutter, I’m more clearly able to lay out my own priorities and to evaluate where I am pouring the majority of my energy.

My priorities list hasn’t really changed much in the last 3 or 4 years:

1.  God

2.  my husband

3.  my kids

4.  my work/serving opportunities

The problem lately had been that pesky number 4 kept trying to sneak up past numbers 3 and 2.  I found that if I let them, my work and serving opportunities could take up the majority of my time, leaving me without the time and energy to really love my husband and my children.

After having pared down a bit on the things in category number 4, then of course, putting some more energy into numbers 2 and 3, I began to realize that the things I wanted to be in my category number 4 weren’t.  I was serving and working in areas that were good and that I did find some enjoyment in, but they were not my favorites.  It’s not the things that were filling my time before that were so fulfilling, but rather the things I wish I were doing.  Things like cooking more and being creative in the kitchen, being creative with my homemade bath and body products, teaching friends how to save money in their homes by budgeting, using coupons, and making lots of foods and products at home.

My brain feels freer.  It has the space to think about these things.  I believe I am taking a step in the right direction.

First, I will tell you, that after an hour on a lawn mower, there isn’t a lot that hasn’t gone through your mind.  There is just something magical about the monotony of riding on a lawn mower that truly opens your mind and helps you to sort through thoughts you’ve been holding on to.

Or at least it does for me.

Last week, I had a scary moment with my oldest.  I was cleaning in the house, and she wanted to play outside.  My youngest, though, wanted to stay inside.  As per our house rules, I told my oldest she could stay outside, just so long as she stayed inside the fence.

She has strayed before, and has been disciplined for it, but I know it is never beyond her to follow her whims into the next yard.

After a little while of cleaning, I called Madeline to come inside to wash up for lunch.

She wasn’t there.

I looked on the front porch where she might be coloring with chalk.

She wasn’t there either.

I grabbed Clara and started wandering down the road yelling Madeline’s name.

(Sorry, neighbors.)

On my way back, I decided to knock on our next door neighbor’s door, only to find my 3-going-on-35-year-old-first born sitting on her couch.

Apparently Madeline had helped her bring in her groceries, then sat herself down to relax.

“My mom will come find me,” she told our neighbor.

Of course, upon hearing this I was very upset.  I have been trying to teach Madeline to obey the rules of the house, especially because they all truly have her and her sister’s safety in mind.  The fact that she would blatantly leave our yard without telling me, and sit herself in someone else’s house, was infuriating.

Seriously, how dare she?

It wasn’t until this week, having had many hours to think about it, that I considered Madeline was actually exhibiting some characteristics my husband and I have been working hard to show her.

First, we are teaching our girls to show initiative.  Do no wait to be asked to do something, but do it if you see the need.  This hardly ever happens in our house, but when it does, we go wild.

Serve and help others.  We often ask our kids to help us with tasks, just so they can get used to the idea of helping one another.  We do have Madeline help Clara sometimes, when Clara can tolerate her big sister’s help.

Although it can be frustrating at times, we are raising a very independent, strong, caring, initiative-taking young girl.  Our little Madeline will move mountains one day, I guarantee it.  But until then, she will at least have to live by our house rule.